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2 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

Do psychotropic drugs have the potential to take one to another 'real' place not normally accessible.

Some people under the influence of psychotropic drugs have gone to real places we don't often access, like hospital emergency rooms and morgues.

2 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Do psychotropic drugs have the potential to take one to ... a way to experience reality in a different state of consciousness that is as valid as our typical one?

People who've used psychotropic drugs (ex: Marsh Chapel Experiment) have reported "expanded consciousness" persisting long (decades) after their exposure to the drug. They're happy, healthy, and productive. I wouldn't say their self proclaimed expanded consciousness is invalid. Just as there is variability in people's physical appearance, there's variability in intelligence and sensory ability (sight, sound, taste, sense, touch). No two people will experience a situation in exactly the same way. Within a range of norms, we generally consider people's states of consciousness to be valid.

This is not to say that people's experiences of reality are accurate. We're all familiar with optical illusions. There are also auditory, tactile, olfactory and taste illusions. All of these are examples of the fallibility of our senses. Given how easy we are to fool, I think it's prudent to be skeptical of "feelings" we have of things that can't be otherwise detected. We routinely detect things that are known not to be there, and ignore things that are known to be there.

The general public doesn't know/think about all of this stuff. For the most part, our ignorance of our sensory and cognitive failings isn't an issue, but sometimes it is. We pull out into an intersection, oblivious to the car approaching from the right, because the thousand times we've done it before, there has rarely been a car approaching from the right. When the police officer ask's "what happened" for his report, we say "I don't know, that car just came out of nowhere!".

Magicians routinely exploit our sensory/cognitive failings to fool us, and give us a sense that "magic" is happening. There is no magic, just deception. And that deception can be the willful effort of someone with skill, or the unavoidable self inflicted result of the way we're constructed.

I you think about this, your mind may fill with similar examples of cognitive/sensory errors. If it doesn't, this might explain what appears to be a difference in our beliefs in the supernatural.

2 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

or are they simply creating a feeling with no basis in reality as you're implying here?

Have you ever gone into a dark space with other people? Were any of them afraid of the darkness? Were any of them delighted by it? (me!). The immediate reality is the same in both cases, yet the feelings are different. Have you witnessed a mother's excitement over the first smile from her baby, only to discover it was gas? We often ascribe to things motivations that aren't there, as you did when suggesting that people "hooked on science" use it to define themselves. If that were possible and I met such a person, I'm pretty sure I'd have no idea how that came to be.

There is this idea that people like Sheldrake are shunned by "mainstream science" because they hold unpopular views. I think this is backwards. The majority of earth's inhabitants are scientifically illiterate and a substantial majority of them share Sheldrake's belief in the paranormal. In that sense, Sheldrake represents the mainstream, so it should come as no surprise that some in the lay public feel they're being shunned by science. That feeling will persist at least so long as they remain scientifically illiterate.

The general public should want accountability from science, but they'll never know if they're getting it if they don't understand it. Until then, and as always, we're stuck trying to ascertain, via flawed perception mechanisms, who to trust. That's an age old "skill" that worked well enough to get us here, so I remain generally optimistic.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
Fix'n, fix'n, fix'n.
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2 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Some people under the influence of psychotropic drugs have gone to real places we don't often access, like hospital emergency rooms and morgues.

People who've used psychotropic drugs (ex: Marsh Chapel Experiment) have reported "expanded consciousness" persisting long (decades) after their exposure to the drug. They're happy, healthy, and productive. I wouldn't say their self proclaimed expanded consciousness is invalid. Just as there is variability in people's physical appearance, there's variability in intelligence and sensory ability (sight, sound, taste, sense, touch). No two people will experience a situation in exactly the same way. Within a range of norms, we generally consider people's states of consciousness to be valid.

This is not to say that people's experiences of reality are accurate. We're all familiar with optical illusions. There are also auditory, tactile, olfactory and taste illusions. All of these are examples of the fallibility of our senses. Given how easy we are to fool, I think it's prudent to be skeptical of "feelings" we have of things that can't be otherwise detected. We routinely detect things that are known not to be there, and ignore things that are known to be there.

The general public doesn't know/think about all of this stuff. For the most part, our ignorance of our sensory and cognitive failings isn't an issue, but sometimes it is. We pull out into an intersection, oblivious to the car approaching from the right, because the thousand times we've done it before, there has rarely been a car approaching from the right. When the police officer ask's "what happened" for his report, we say "I don't know, that car just came out of nowhere!".

Magicians routinely exploit our sensory/cognitive failings to fool us, and give us a sense that "magic" is happening. There is no magic, just deception. And that deception can be the willful effort of someone with skill, or the unavoidable self inflicted result of the way we're constructed.

I you think about this, your mind may fill with similar examples of cognitive/sensory errors. If it doesn't, this might explain what appears to be a difference in our beliefs in the supernatural.

Have you ever gone into a dark space with other people? Were any of them afraid of the darkness? Were any of them delighted by it? (me!). The immediate reality is the same in both cases, yet the feelings are different. Have you witnessed a mother's excitement over the first smile from her baby, only to discover it was gas? We often ascribe to things motivations that aren't there, as you did when suggesting that people "hooked on science" use it to define themselves. If that were possible and I met such a person, I'm pretty sure I'd have no idea how that came to be.

There is this idea that people like Sheldrake are shunned by "mainstream science" because they hold unpopular views. I think this is backwards. The majority of earth's inhabitants are scientifically illiterate and a substantial majority of them share Sheldrake's belief in the paranormal. In that sense, Sheldrake represents the mainstream, so it should come as no surprise that some in the lay public feel they're being shunned by science. That feeling will persist at least so long as they remain scientifically illiterate.

The general public should want accountability from science, but they'll never know if they're getting it if they don't understand it. Until then, and as always, we're stuck trying to ascertain, via flawed perception mechanisms, who to trust. That's an age old "skill" that worked well enough to get us here, so I remain generally optimistic.

I’ve more experience than anyone I’ve ever met, with psychotropics. The fact I’ve been lectured a lot about Sheldrake says more about who told me (guru), than anything else.

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25 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I’ve more experience than anyone I’ve ever met, with psychotropics. The fact I’ve been lectured a lot about Sheldrake says more about who told me (guru), than anything else.

I don't think I'm following you, Love. What did your guru tell you about Sheldrake, and what do you think about both Sheldrake and your guru?

I'm also curious about your experiences with psychotropics, but you needn't explain.

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2 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I don't think I'm following you, Love. What did your guru tell you about Sheldrake, and what do you think about both Sheldrake and your guru?

I'm also curious about your experiences with psychotropics, but you needn't explain.

I apologize, as those are two separate topics (psychotropics and my guru mentioning Sheldrake). Since I didn’t give any specific info, it makes sense that you didn’t follow me.

My guru mentioned Rupert Sheldrake many times over the years in talks. I can only say that his mentions of Sheldrake were on the order of, “related information” to what guru was presenting; I never researched it on my own to see if Sheldrake was presenting the same information. I believe the topic was metaphysics, the specifics slip my mind right now. Something like, “metamorphic resonance”: the more times an experiment  was performed, the more likely it could be performed with the same outcome.

As for what I think about my guru, I love and respect him even though I chose to leave his ashram years ago; I listen to his talks often.

As to psychotropics, I suppose that led me to being with a guru (indirectly). In high school, and later in college, I experimented many times with them. I occasionally tell others that I’ve done them more than anyone else I know. Of course, this has shaped my psyche and set the bar very high for expectations of “real life” psychotropic / “supernatural” experiences. This isn’t for everyone, but I’m glad I experienced it.

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9 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Something like, “metamorphic resonance”: the more times an experiment  was performed, the more likely it could be performed with the same outcome.

That term is new to me.  It is similar to the informal rule that scientists use to distinguish between hypotheses ( interesting ideas that have not yet been tested ), theories ( concepts that have been tested at least once and have not yet been disproven ) and laws ( that have been tested many times in many ways and appear to be likely to survive future tests).  Your formulation of the rule is somewhat different, however.  If I understand correctly, you are suggesting that we can be more certain of a theory's validity if we perform the same test over and over again and it never fails.  All that tells us, though, is that we've designed a good experiment.  The way to test the theory is to apply different tests and different experiments and see if it still stands up to scrutiny.  For example, Newton's laws of motion became accepted as laws because they survived thousands of very different tests over a period of more than three centuries.  It was only when Einstein and others started looking at the behavior of submicroscopic particles that they discovered conditions under which Newtonian physics does not apply.  Their new tests led to quantum theory and to adding "footnotes" to Newton's laws to clarify that they apply strictly to the motions of macroscopic objects.

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4 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

Your formulation of the rule is somewhat different, however.  If I understand correctly, you are suggesting that we can be more certain of a theory's validity if we perform the same test over and over again and it never fails. 

Not exactly, more like - the more times a result is achieved, the easier it is to achieve that result. Nothing is certain until it is.

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1 hour ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Not exactly, more like - the more times a result is achieved, the easier it is to achieve that result.

If that's what you meant, then I disagree.  Each time you perform the same experiment, the outcome is guaranteed to be independent of what happened previous times when you performed that same experiment.  The experiment has no way of knowing that you have done it before, so it is no easier or harder to do the same thing over and over again and get exactly the same result.  All you are confirming each time is that it's a good experiment.  

If you get a different result each time you do the experiment, then that tells you that the experiment is not designed well enough.  You have neglected some important variable or have been just plain sloppy.  If the individual trials with the same experiment give different results but all fail to disprove your working hypothesis, then at best  the hypothesis is tentatively confirmed. A safer inference is that the experiment is inconclusive: it didn't tell you enough to decide whether the hypothesis is valid or not.  Time to go back to the drawing boards.

It's possible, I suppose, that you are saying that once you have performed one experiment and had a positive result, you are more confident that a different different experiment will also give a positive result.  If that's it, I do agree.  It's purely a psychological thing.  I have never been skydiving, for example.  If I tried it and didn't kill myself, I'm sure that it would be easier for me to say, "Gee, that wasn't so hard.  Maybe I should try cliff diving or something else to test the hypothesis that I can survive a fall from a high place."  Scientists are not immune from feeling a boost of confidence when something succeeds. That's ultimately behind our informal hierarchy of hypotheses, theories, and laws.  Every time a new experiment fails to disprove a hypothesis, we are more confident that we're on the right track.  That sort of reaction keeps our spirits up and gives funding agencies confidence that we are making progress.  (It can also put blinders on us, so that we don't recognize troublesome discrepancies that should tell us to do more testing.)  Still, as far as the individual experiments are concerned, the outcome of one doesn't change the probability that the next one will succeed or fail. 

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17 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

 

1 hour ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Not exactly, more like - the more times a result is achieved, the easier it is to achieve that result.

If that's what you meant, then I disagree. 

I don’t necessarily agree with the theory. Just presenting it to you as I understand it.

Curiously, there are areas of Western medicine where discoveries seem to follow the theory as I explained it.

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27 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

It's possible, I suppose, that you are saying that once you have performed one experiment and had a positive result, you are more confident that a different different experiment will also give a positive result. 

This could, of course, be the actual explanation for the effect.

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I'm working from fading memory here, and I don't have time to go hunting again, but here's another recap of what I remember...

Sheldrake's "morphic resonance" posits that the universe learns from its experiences, just like we do. He uses crystallization as one example of this effect. Apparently, back around the 1900, some folks were fiddling around with a chemical that crystallizes at some temperature. During one experiment, something happened that caused the crystallization temperature to increase. The experimenters were no longer able to lower the temperature to the original point without the sample crystallizing before they got there. After reporting this phenomena, others elsewhere in the world experienced the same thing. Someone said "it's magic, the chemical on one side of earth taught the chemicals on the other side of the earth to crystallize at a higher temperature!"

The change in crystallization temperature was caused by the appearance of isomers, and as we learn more about polymorphism/isomerism the less spooky this all becomes. In some cases, contaminants stabilize certain isomers and prevent others. Improved lab techniques remove the contaminants, shifting equilibrium towards the new isomers. Not knowing what the original contamination is (cuz we got rid of it), we can't get back to the initial conditions.

Sheldrake believes that alien civilizations could be communicating with us telepathically, and we wouldn't know it. It's pretty neat that those aliens are clever enough to reach across the cosmos to pick our brains, but never managed to teach any chemicals to crystallize. Remember, once you've taught one test tube the trick, the entire universe gets the lesson. I guess they wanted to leave something for us to do?

Sheldrake theorizes that creatures find "beauty" in things because there's a hierarchy of structure and symmetry in the universe that everything shares (except when it doesn't) and that our (and bug, etc) brains "resonate" with things that share this hierarchy of structure, which should be every damned thing. We like spiky things because our neural connections are spiky, etc. However we don't like jagged rocks because nature's flow smooths them out, and we like nature's flow. But we like both smooth and jagged music because... well I can't remember. Oh, and bugs have an aesthetic sense because they're pretty. Galaxy's are pretty because they look like flowers. Never mind that there are ugly plants that bugs love and pretty plants that attract ugly bugs.

I found Denis Dutton's theory of beauty more compelling, maybe because it was accompanied by cool drawings, or because he ran a "Bad Writing Contest".

Sheldrake did some notable plant biology work when young, but walked away from that to pursue the paranormal. I don't think he's ever posited a falsifiable theory or had any of his experimental results replicated reputably elsewhere. For that reason, he's now viewed as a pseudoscientist.

Sheldrake reminds me of Alfred Lawson, a pseudoscientist from Wisconsin, who's "University of Lawsonomy" sign along I-94 between Milwaukee and Chicago piqued my attention during road trips of my youth. Lawson's theories of "suction and swirlage" were amusing. His heart was in the right place, but his head was in the clouds.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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10 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Sheldrake theorizes that creatures find "beauty" in things because there's a hierarchy of structure and symmetry in the universe that everything shares

I saw a video related to that on YouTube and will have to check it out, as I've always been interested in what denotes beauty in the minds of others (related to design or art especially).

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On ‎1‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 11:13 AM, Madelaine McMasters said:

People who've used psychotropic drugs (ex: Marsh Chapel Experiment) have reported "expanded consciousness" persisting long (decades) after their exposure to the drug. They're happy, healthy, and productive. I wouldn't say their self proclaimed expanded consciousness is invalid. Just as there is variability in people's physical appearance, there's variability in intelligence and sensory ability (sight, sound, taste, sense, touch). No two people will experience a situation in exactly the same way. Within a range of norms, we generally consider people's states of consciousness to be valid.

This is not to say that people's experiences of reality are accurate. We're all familiar with optical illusions.

It's as if you're saying, "There there, little one, you can have your feelings but they are not accurate".  lol
Well this is the problem...how we define "accurate". For anyone with a materialist world view only experiences which fit within what THEY determined is reality can be reality. You see the problem. You've set your definition of reality (materialism) as the default that everyone else is supposed to go by. But the fact remains...a reality beyond the material has never been disproven.
The materialist world view with its mechanistic, reductionist ways of looking at reality decides anything that does not fit into its BELIEF is false, and it touts this BELIEF as ultimate truth. This is Scientism, dogmatism.

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On ‎1‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 11:13 AM, Madelaine McMasters said:
  On ‎1‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 9:02 AM, Love Zhaoying said:

Do psychotropic drugs have the potential to take one to ... a way to experience reality in a different state of consciousness that is as valid as our typical one?

 

On ‎1‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 11:13 AM, Madelaine McMasters said:

Magicians routinely exploit our sensory/cognitive failings to fool us, and give us a sense that "magic" is happening. There is no magic, just deception. And that deception can be the willful effort of someone with skill, or the unavoidable self inflicted result of the way we're constructed.

**** (and other statements you've made about people fooling themselves as opposed to willful deception on the part of others)

I you think about this, your mind may fill with similar examples of cognitive/sensory errors. If it doesn't, this might explain what appears to be a difference in our beliefs in the supernatural.

I think you are taking the fact that humans can and do delude themselves in a myriad of ways (believing a specific paranormal experience as real when it's not, for example) as an excuse to then say that all paranormal experiences are a delusion. It doesn't follow that because SOME, or even most, could be proven to be delusional that ALL are.
You even use your beliefs of 'numerous paranormal experiences determined to be false = all paranormal experiences false' as a possible explanation for why Love (and me too, I guess, since I'm the one who made the statement that Love agreed to) would believe in paranormal realities (so you're assuming he hasn't seen delusions in others if he believes in the paranormal, as well as not considering other reasons he might believe in a non-materialist view of reality). But it's possible he's seen others being deluded yet STILL believes in the paranormal due to his experience and realizing SOME being deluded does not equal ALL are being deluded.

Taking the case of telepathy (transfer of information on thoughts or feelings between individuals by means other than the five classical senses) there have been numerous studies that reach the conclusion that telepathy does not exist. However, telepathy occurs between people who are emotionally bonded and usually when important information is being conveyed. It does not happen when two strangers sit across from each other in a lab and make guesses about symbols on cards. In other words, those experiments were not designed correctly. There are better experiments in more recent years however -- I'll list some books later.

Most likely the reason paranormal experiences are so hard for a many traditional scientists to stomach is because one has to believe in a non-materialist structure of consciousness itself. Presently, many traditional scientists believe consciousness arrived via chemical processes in evolution -- our brain kind of 'squirted out' consciousness as it evolved. In this theory of consciousness, minds are separate from other minds due to physical boundaries.
Another theory of consciousness is becoming more popular among scientists where consciousness is viewed as fundamental vs derivative -- as a kind of omnipresent 'force', and our minds (and the minds of all other animals and elements of the world) are like radio or TV receivers that tune into this 'force' to varying degrees, depending on how they developed during evolutionary processes. If this is how consciousness is structured then we are not limited by our physical bodies to the degree we once imagined. This allows for paranormal experience and the type of energy 'fields' which structure reality like Sheldrake posits in his morphic resonance theory.
The key is how to lessen this 'ego' we developed as humans (where our mind was structured to tune into consciousness in a specific way) that forces us into a rut of seeing through only 'human eyes' -- meditation and certain psychoactive substances can help us achieve a new way of perceiving.

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Pricey books following. I have not read them specifically but have read similar and it's fun to read the comment sections until I decide if I'll really cough up the money for them. These are referenced a lot by scientists researching consciousness:

 https://www.amazon.com/Irreducible-Mind-Toward-Psychology-Century/dp/1442202068/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546796922&sr=8-1&keywords=Irreducible+Mind%3A+Toward+a+Psychology+for+the+21st+Century

Current mainstream opinion in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind holds that all aspects of human mind and consciousness are generated by physical processes occurring in brains. Views of this sort have dominated recent scholarly publication. The present volume, however, demonstrates empirically that this reductive materialism is not only incomplete but false. The authors systematically marshal evidence for a variety of psychological phenomena that are extremely difficult, and in some cases clearly impossible, to account for in conventional physicalist terms. Topics addressed include phenomena of extreme psychophysical influence, memory, psychological automatisms and secondary personality, near-death experiences and allied phenomena, genius-level creativity, and 'mystical' states of consciousness both spontaneous and drug-induced. The authors further show that these rogue phenomena are more readily accommodated by an alternative 'transmission' or 'filter' theory of mind/brain relations advanced over a century ago by a largely forgotten genius, F. W. H. Myers, and developed further by his friend and colleague William James. This theory, moreover, ratifies the commonsense conception of human beings as causally effective conscious agents, and is fully compatible with leading-edge physics and neuroscience. The book should command the attention of all open-minded persons concerned with the still-unsolved mysteries of the mind.

~~~~~

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Physicalism-Reconciliation-Science-Spirituality/dp/1442232382/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546797098&sr=8-1&keywords=Beyond+Physicalism%3A+Toward+Reconciliation+of+Science+and+Spirituality

The rise of modern science has brought with it increasing acceptance among intellectual elites of a worldview that conflicts sharply both with everyday human experience and with beliefs widely shared among the world’s great cultural traditions. Most contemporary scientists and philosophers believe that reality is at bottom purely physical, and that human beings are nothing more than extremely complicated biological machines. On such views our everyday experiences of conscious decision-making, free will, and the self are illusory by-products of the grinding of our neural machinery. It follows that mind and personality are necessarily extinguished at death, and that there exists no deeper transpersonal or spiritual reality of any sort.

Beyond Physicalism is the product of an unusual fellowship of scientists and humanities scholars who dispute these views. In their previous publication, Irreducible Mind, they argued that physicalism cannot accommodate various well-evidenced empirical phenomena including paranormal or psi phenomena, postmortem survival, and mystical experiences. In this new theory-oriented companion volume they go further by attempting to understand how the world must be constituted in order that these “rogue” phenomena can occur. Drawing upon empirical science, metaphysical philosophy, and the mystical traditions, the authors work toward an improved “big picture” of the general character of reality, one which strongly overlaps territory traditionally occupied by the world’s institutional religions, and which attempts to reconcile science and spirituality by finding a middle path between the polarized fundamentalisms, religious and scientific, that have dominated recent public discourse.

Contributions by: Harald Atmanspacher, Loriliai Biernacki, Bernard Carr, Wolfgang Fach, Michael Grosso, Michael Murphy, David E. Presti, Gregory Shaw, Henry P. Stapp, Eric M. Weiss, and Ian Whicher

 

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1 hour ago, Luna Bliss said:

Drawing upon empirical science, metaphysical philosophy, and the mystical traditions, the authors work toward an improved “big picture” of the general character of reality, one which strongly overlaps territory traditionally occupied by the world’s institutional religions, and which attempts to reconcile science and spirituality by finding a middle path between the polarized fundamentalisms, religious and scientific, that have dominated recent public discours

Reality is overrated. IJS.

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12 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I'm working from fading memory here, and I don't have time to go hunting again, but here's another recap of what I remember...

Sheldrake's "morphic resonance" posits that the universe learns from its experiences, just like we do. He uses crystallization as one example of this effect. Apparently, back around the 1900, some folks were fiddling around with a chemical that crystallizes at some temperature. During one experiment, something happened that caused the crystallization temperature to increase. The experimenters were no longer able to lower the temperature to the original point without the sample crystallizing before they got there. After reporting this phenomena, others elsewhere in the world experienced the same thing. Someone said "it's magic, the chemical on one side of earth taught the chemicals on the other side of the earth to crystallize at a higher temperature!"

The change in crystallization temperature was caused by the appearance of isomers, and as we learn more about polymorphism/isomerism the less spooky this all becomes. In some cases, contaminants stabilize certain isomers and prevent others. Improved lab techniques remove the contaminants, shifting equilibrium towards the new isomers. Not knowing what the original contamination is (cuz we got rid of it), we can't get back to the initial conditions.

Sheldrake believes that alien civilizations could be communicating with us telepathically, and we wouldn't know it. It's pretty neat that those aliens are clever enough to reach across the cosmos to pick our brains, but never managed to teach any chemicals to crystallize. Remember, once you've taught one test tube the trick, the entire universe gets the lesson. I guess they wanted to leave something for us to do?

Sheldrake theorizes that creatures find "beauty" in things because there's a hierarchy of structure and symmetry in the universe that everything shares (except when it doesn't) and that our (and bug, etc) brains "resonate" with things that share this hierarchy of structure, which should be every damned thing. We like spiky things because our neural connections are spiky, etc. However we don't like jagged rocks because nature's flow smooths them out, and we like nature's flow. But we like both smooth and jagged music because... well I can't remember. Oh, and bugs have an aesthetic sense because they're pretty. Galaxy's are pretty because they look like flowers. Never mind that there are ugly plants that bugs love and pretty plants that attract ugly bugs.

I found Denis Dutton's theory of beauty more compelling, maybe because it was accompanied by cool drawings, or because he ran a "Bad Writing Contest".

Sheldrake did some notable plant biology work when young, but walked away from that to pursue the paranormal. I don't think he's ever posited a falsifiable theory or had any of his experimental results replicated reputably elsewhere. For that reason, he's now viewed as a pseudoscientist.

Sheldrake reminds me of Alfred Lawson, a pseudoscientist from Wisconsin, who's "University of Lawsonomy" sign along I-94 between Milwaukee and Chicago piqued my attention during road trips of my youth. Lawson's theories of "suction and swirlage" were amusing. His heart was in the right place, but his head was in the clouds.

Sounds legit. NOT Strangely, most pseudoscience seems “whacko”.

On the other hand..

A lot of “real science” sounds like B.S. until it catches on. I remember when I was first told some cancers were caused by viruses. I called B.S. but now, you know. It’s true.

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On 1/6/2019 at 12:25 PM, Luna Bliss said:

It's as if you're saying, "There there, little one, you can have your feelings but they are not accurate".  lol

Well, the "not accurate" part is more or less correct though once again you have imbued my statements with attitude that doesn't exist. I have been pretty careful to include myself in the population of people who's perceptions of objective reality are inaccurate. I do not think of myself as "little one". The attitude you're ascribing to me is incorrect and supports my contention that cognitive error produces things like the perception of paranormal activity. You would not be the first person to challenge my beliefs while simultaneously confirming them. Please be mindful of that, I don't want to miss the message because of the messenger.

On 1/6/2019 at 12:25 PM, Luna Bliss said:

But the fact remains...a reality beyond the material has never been disproven.

A "reality beyond the material" would be Bertrand Russel's Teapot, a popular tool for explaining (under the right circumstances) "burden of proof". The burden of proof of paranormal/supernatural activity is on the claimant, in this case... you. Over the span of recorded history, countless supernatural claims actually have been disproved. Greeks once thought the sun was carried across the sky in a chariot, driven by the god Helios. We once believed that sneezes expelled demons (rather than bacteria or irritants), and blessed those who did it, to prevent the demons from regaining entry.

The arrival of the theory of quantum mechanics may have forever closed the door on our ability to observe all there is, so I don't expect discussions like this to go away. But I do expect believers in the paranormal to understand that, absent any evidence to support their claims, they can't expect science to accept those claims. Science is designed specifically not to do that.

And it's not like being excluded from the mainstream of science puts one in the minority. A significant majority of Americans believe in the paranormal. Nearly one percent of American mothers believe they gave a virgin birth. Today, more than half of Russians don't think the US ever landed on the moon. Does any of this prove that paranormal activity doesn't exist? No. Across the breadth of that question, it's impossible to prove the negative. However, given the preponderance of evidence that we incorrectly perceive physical reality, are massively ignorant of how the physical world world works, incorrectly assign causation to correlation, etc, I think probability favors questioning paranormal explanations.

On 1/6/2019 at 12:30 PM, Luna Bliss said:

However, telepathy occurs between people who are emotionally bonded and usually when important information is being conveyed.

Can you cite any well designed experiments detecting telepathy, repeated independently and peer reviewed? Until then, there's this. Remember, the burden is on you.

Back in 2010, the neuro/psych community was shaken by Daryl Bem's paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, in which he claimed to have proven ESP. He had a pretty good track record and his research passed JPSP's vetting. It didn't take too long for it all to unravel. The biggest takeaway from the entire fiasco was that quite a bit of scientific research (particularly in the soft sciences) was on shaky ground, with experiments having been poorly constructed, evidence poorly analyzed and peer review poorly done. Daryl wasn't the only one who's research was suspect. He accidentally did the science community a favor by pointing out how slipshod his and their work could be.

In the years since, there's been progress in improving the quality of research, and Bem has been subsequently unable to show any evidence that ESP exists. He's now more famous for exposing systemic errors in the research community than for his psi work. The welcome improvement in the design and execution of experiments he spawned pretty much discounted the entirety of his years of psi research.

On 1/6/2019 at 12:25 PM, Luna Bliss said:

The materialist world view with its mechanistic, reductionist ways of looking at reality decides anything that does not fit into its BELIEF is false, and it touts this BELIEF as ultimate truth. This is Scientism, dogmatism.

There might be scientists who reject anything beyond the material as false, but to project that across the entirety of the endeavor is wrong. Quite a few scientists maintain simultaneous beliefs in objective reality and something outside it. My belief in an objective reality doesn't preclude anything beyond it. There might be. However, I feel no need to invoke magic, spirits, gods, psi, or whatever to explain the feelings I have that there is something beyond what I understand. It's sufficient for me to say "I don't know" and keep digging.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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20 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

My belief in an objective reality doesn't preclude anything beyond it. There might be. However, I feel no need to invoke magic, spirits, gods, psi, or whatever to explain the feelings I have that there is something beyond what I understand. It's sufficient for me to say "I don't know" and keep digging.

I like your attitude. Have you studied NDE’s?

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28 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I like your attitude. Have you studied NDE’s?

Not deeply, but I've read articles about it. I'll have to work entirely from memory, but I recall this:

  • Via FMRI, we've located brain regions that become active during NDE.
  • Via (fatal) tests on lab animals, we've witnessed elevated brain activity shortly after cardiac arrest, followed by eventual cessation. I don't recall if we have any understanding of the neurochemistry involved. I only remember imaging.
  • The drug Ketamine has been reported to induce NDE like experiences.
  • People are able to meditate themselves into states that resemble NDE.

Unfortunately, I do not expect to be able to report back on my own eventual personal experiment. It will probably be a DE.

ETA: I'm sure I've missed some interesting research, let me know if you've got more. It's a fascinating topic.

ETA2: I wonder how much of my attitude is mine to control. ;-).

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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I once had a friend, a widely published psychologist, who was convinced that the entire universe was a figment of his own imagination.  He told me, quite seriously, that when he died, we would all disappear.  "It's all perception," he said.  It's a bit hard to refute a hypothesis like that.  He's right, after all, that all we know about is what we gain through our perceptions.  Still, it's a spooky thought.  I hope I am not in one of his NDEs.

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Just now, Rolig Loon said:

I once had a friend, a widely published psychologist, who was convinced that the entire universe was a figment of his own imagination.  He told me, quite seriously, that when he died, we would all disappear.  "It's all perception," he said.  It's a bit hard to refute a hypothesis like that.  He's right, after all, that all we know about is what we gain through our perceptions.  Still, it's a spooky thought.  I hope I am not in one of his NDEs.

Don't worry, he's a figment of my imagination... and you know how that works.

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