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Author Topic: How does science explain the paranormal?  (Read 16189 times)

Dale

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« on: 19/02/2009 11:30:01 »
Dale asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I download the podcast religiously so thanks for that!

My question is regarding the 'paranormal'.  How does science explain things like ghosts and alien sightings and what are your views?  Do you think we are not alone in the universe?  Do ghosts exist?

What do you think?


 

Offline dentstudent

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #1 on: 19/02/2009 11:48:41 »
Scientific evaluation is a mechanism against which hypotheses can be tested, and in and of itself has no a prioiri position of the existence of paranormal activity. If there was high quality testable evidence in support of paranormal that showed through scientific evaluation that it existed, science would then accommodate for this.

It is just that thus far, there has been no evidence put forward to irrefutably support the paranormal.
« Last Edit: 19/02/2009 11:55:11 by dentstudent »
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #2 on: 20/02/2009 03:12:53 »
Paranormal? What paranormal?



AH! AHH!!
 

Offline BenV

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #3 on: 20/02/2009 11:11:59 »
It's an interesting field, and although the people trying to study things like ghosts, aliens and yetis are widely regarded as being the 'nutcases' on the fringes of science, they often eventually feed into real science.  Kat Arney interviewed Brian Regal about the importance of 'fringe' science here:  http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/interviews/interview/967/

There are interesting scientific aspects to most of these.  The psychology of "alien abductees" is fascinating - not least the simple fact that nobody ever claimed to have seen a little grey alien with big almond shaped eyes until an alien was describes as such in science fiction - but people will swear blind that this is what happened.

Likewise, some interesting research on the effect of magnetic fields on the brain, and vibrations on vision, have helped to answer, or even stemmed from, research into 'ghosts'.  I'm afraid I can't remember the details, but the 'God Helmet' is a good example - inducing "spiritual" experiences through magnetism.
 

lyner

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #4 on: 22/02/2009 15:58:33 »
Quote from answers.com
"Paranormal: Beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation:"
By that definition, Science cannot explain the 'paranormal'.

The set of paranormal things is steadily being eaten into, as rational explanations and scientific interpretations are produced. But the set is increased due to the ingenuity of the human mind.

One can only deal with one 'apparently paranormal' event at a time and try to rationalise it.
 

Offline RD

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #5 on: 23/02/2009 20:06:58 »
How does science explain things like ghosts

Quote
Some researchers have suggested that infrasound (very low frequency sound waves below about 20Hz) might be present in certain allegedly haunted locations and be responsible for people feeling uneasy. This idea was first proposed by Vic Tandy and Dr. Tony Lawrence ( Coventry University ). Tandy had been working late in an allegedly ‘haunted’ laboratory when he saw a grey shape coming towards him. The shape disappeared, but reappeared the following day when Tandy was doing some work on his fencing foil. The handle was clamped in a vice on a workbench, yet the blade started vibrating. Tandy wondered why the blade vibrated in one part of room but not in another. The explanation was that infrasound was coming from a large extractor fan. Subsequent measurements revealed that the infrasound being produced was 18.98 Hz, and that this may have made Tandy’s eyeball resonate and produce the optical illusion of the grey form. Tandy has since found the same type of signal in another allegedly haunted location.
http://www.psy.herts.ac.uk/ghost/theories-infra.html

 

Offline tony6789

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #6 on: 19/03/2009 14:26:42 »
some experts actually do study these unknown phenomena with many tools. these experts belive that "spirts" voices can be detected through EVP's. they also use tools like thermal imiagery, radioactive detectors, and of course special cameras that see in pitch black. it really has become a popular science that is advancing rapidly.
 

Offline dentstudent

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #7 on: 19/03/2009 15:01:38 »
some experts actually do study these unknown phenomena with many tools. these experts belive that "spirts" voices can be detected through EVP's. they also use tools like thermal imiagery, radioactive detectors, and of course special cameras that see in pitch black. it really has become a popular science that is advancing rapidly.

It's also a load of old tosh...
 

Offline Don_1

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #8 on: 19/03/2009 17:38:03 »
It's all balderdash and piffle.

Look, even my Mrs agrees..... Oi! come back you silly old....

Nah, she's gone shopping for some bat wing & toad pet food. Here Rover, here boy
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #9 on: 20/03/2009 01:07:31 »
these experts belive that "spirts" voices can be detected through EVP's. they also use tools like thermal imiagery, radioactive detectors, and of course special cameras that see in pitch black. it really has become a popular science that is advancing rapidly.

We're not talking about spirits people!

Although I didn't know spirts could talk.

 

Offline neilep

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #10 on: 20/03/2009 02:11:51 »
Spirits are good for keeping things level...



 

Atrueoriginall

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It's an interesting field, and although the people trying to study things like ghosts, aliens and yetis are widely regarded as being the 'nutcases' on the fringes of science, they often eventually feed into real science.
 

I registered simply to respond so don't bother responding to me, I won't be returning.  Not too often do we get to put a name to the derogatory and demeaning comments made toward us so I'll make note BenV.  Is it you think nobody would ever read your words or is it that you don't care about people you know nothing about.  I'm hardly a nutcase.  My Profile and one who never cared for the subjects of aliens, UFOs or the paranormal until one day while peacefully camping in the desert ...

Quote
The psychology of "alien abductees" is fascinating - not least the simple fact that nobody ever claimed to have seen a little grey alien with big almond shaped eyes until an alien was describes as such in science fiction - but people will swear blind that this is what happened.


You shouldn't be commenting on what you do not know.  You have it completely backwards.  You're only thinking of abduction cases that were widely publicized such as that of the Hill's, etc.  Abduction cases are noted back as far as the late 1800's long before television or radio.

I've read before what you stated so I know it exists on the Internet but it's incorrect.

Mod edit - spammy link removed
« Last Edit: 21/03/2009 23:38:31 by BenV »
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #12 on: 20/03/2009 02:53:06 »
So what did it feel like?
 

Offline Don_1

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #13 on: 20/03/2009 10:22:35 »
Ah well, unlike Arnie Schwatzenbiscuit, he won't be back.

Can you guess why children?

--------=---
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #14 on: 20/03/2009 10:23:38 »
:):)

 

Offline RD

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #15 on: 20/03/2009 15:53:41 »
Medical science may be responsible for reports of "space alien abduction" ...

Quote
Alien Abduction: A Medical Hypothesis

Author(s): David V. Forrest 
doi: 10.1521/jaap.2008.36.3.431
 
I noted that many of the frequently reported particulars of the abduction experience bear more than a passing resemblance to medical-surgical procedures and propose that experience with these may also be contributory. There is the altered state of consciousness, uniformly colored figures with prominent eyes, in a high-tech room under a round bright saucerlike object; there is nakedness, pain and a loss of control while the body's boundaries are being probed; and yet the figures are thought benevolent...
http://www.atypon-link.com/GPI/doi/abs/10.1521/jaap.2008.36.3.431?cookieSet=1&journalCode=jaap
 
« Last Edit: 20/03/2009 15:59:28 by RD »
 

Offline RD

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #16 on: 20/03/2009 16:20:06 »
this is the GoogleAd I am getting on this page ...



I wish they could "banish evil" GoogleAds from my computer.   :)
« Last Edit: 20/03/2009 16:27:23 by RD »
 

Ethos

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #17 on: 21/03/2009 00:00:57 »
Dale asked the Naked Scientists:



My question is regarding the 'paranormal'.  How does science explain things like ghosts and alien sightings

By avoiding them................Ethos
 

Ethos

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #18 on: 21/03/2009 22:54:11 »
Spirits are good for keeping things level...




And also for drinking,..........Yum,yum.........

So where did I put those car keys anyway? I may need a designated driver...........Ethos
 

Offline BenV

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #19 on: 21/03/2009 23:49:37 »
It's an interesting field, and although the people trying to study things like ghosts, aliens and yetis are widely regarded as being the 'nutcases' on the fringes of science, they often eventually feed into real science.
 

I registered simply to respond so don't bother responding to me, I won't be returning.  Not too often do we get to put a name to the derogatory and demeaning comments made toward us so I'll make note BenV.  Is it you think nobody would ever read your words or is it that you don't care about people you know nothing about.  I'm hardly a nutcase.  My Profile and one who never cared for the subjects of aliens, UFOs or the paranormal until one day while peacefully camping in the desert ...
What an interesting response.  I'm accused of being thoughtless and derogatory, despite the fact that I was actually quite careful not to be, as that would not reflect my feelings on the matter.  I think it's worth noting that I said "widely regarded", suggesting that many people do think this, which is true.  I, however, do not.  The sheer fact that I commented on fringe science feeding back into real science shows that I understand this study has a place.

Quote
Quote
The psychology of "alien abductees" is fascinating - not least the simple fact that nobody ever claimed to have seen a little grey alien with big almond shaped eyes until an alien was describes as such in science fiction - but people will swear blind that this is what happened.


You shouldn't be commenting on what you do not know.  You have it completely backwards.  You're only thinking of abduction cases that were widely publicized such as that of the Hill's, etc.  Abduction cases are noted back as far as the late 1800's long before television or radio.

I've read before what you stated so I know it exists on the Internet but it's incorrect.

So in the reports of these early abductions, did people describe "a little grey alien with big almond shaped eyes"?  I had been led to believe from what I have read on the subject that that particular description was never used before it was used in fiction.  I did not comment on people reporting having been abducted before that.

It would be really interesting if you were to offer good evidence to the contrary, but as you have decided to just turn up once on the forum, accuse me of being rude and then refuse to come back, I suppose that we will not get the chance to see it.

I hope that no-one else had imagined I was being derogatory in my above post.  In fact, I thought I was just commenting on the science that has stemmed from the study of the paranormal.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #20 on: 22/03/2009 02:22:19 »
Ben - I thought you were very objective and fair in what you said.

As far as the abductors being "greys" is concerned, I believe the first to describe them thus were Barney and Betty Hill from New England in 1961.
« Last Edit: 22/03/2009 02:27:12 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #21 on: 22/03/2009 02:50:43 »
I for one was deeply offended BenV, we're not all grey! Some of us are purple, please don't be racsist.
 

Offline _Stefan_

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How does science explain the paranormal?
« Reply #22 on: 22/03/2009 05:15:52 »
And the Hills' stories are demonstrably false.
 

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