On Saturday, January 5, 2013 11:05:24 AM UTC-5, John Clark wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 4, 2013  Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com <javascript:>>wrote:
> > That's like betting that the Catholic Church won't make Martin Luther a 
>> saint again this year.
> I don't see the analogy. 

I'm not surprised.

> The Catholic Church, like all religions, claims to have all the answers 
> and the last thing they'd want is to dig up difficult questions; but 
> physicists at CERN have spent 10 billion dollars on a particle accelerator 
> for the sole purpose of finding something that they can not explain. And so 
> far, to their considerable disappointment, they have not been successful. 

You mean that physicists have been given 10 billion dollars to spend on 
particle accelerators (and comfortable salaries as well, among other things 
I would imagine). If someone was going to give me 10 billion dollars I 
think that I could try to find something that I could not explain also. Not 
saying that scientific curiosity is fake, only that you are applying a 
naive double standard to Big Science over Big Religion. As always - follow 
the money. What physics has confirmed is that its model pf matter is 
self-consistent, not that it has scientifically explained what forces and 
fields actually are.

>> If you notice, no private phenomena can be easily substantiated. 
> If psi were a private phenomena I would have no problem with it, the 
> problem is that people can't stop blabbing about it and claiming that it 
> gave them actionable intelligence that they otherwise would not have.  

Actionable intelligence is private. It only becomes public if we try to 
prove it publicly, but like the double slit experiment, sometimes the act 
of trying to prove things - even intending to prove things is not a neutral 
act. Each moment of our experience has many different layers of interaction 
and feedback, some explicit and local, others intuitive, implicit, and 
perhaps relating to a 'larger now'.

 We use intuition all the time. Don't you ever notice how things often work 
out smoothly when you take coincidences and lucky timing as an invitation 
to 'go with it' rather than rigidly sticking with your pre-arranged 

> > There won't be any publications proving the fact that we laugh because 
>> things are funny,
> That's because the existence of funny things is not in dispute, and the 
> non-existence of psi is no longer either. 

If people who had no sense of humor were in charge of peer reviews, then I 
think that you would find that the existence of funny things would be in 
dispute and that the non-existence of them would not be either.

> > Research of psi may indeed be misguided 
> May? Decades of research with absolutely positively NOTHING to show for 
> it, not even evidence that there is something there to study, if that isn't 
> misguided what is?

In science though, we can't claim that we know for certain that any course 
of research is misguided, only that it has not proved anything so far. The 
record of AI development is similarly fruitless at demonstrating computer 

> > it is not likely that the old guard of physics will ever be able to get 
>> beyond their own prejudice, and will go to their graves hanging on to the 
>> legacies of the 19th and 20th centuries
> And just like today in the 19th century fans of junk science were 
> complaining that they were not given enough respect by mainstream 
> scientists, but history has proven that they were given all the respect 
> they deserved.

Medical science played with leeches and incantations for a long time before 
other methods were developed. What psi researchers have done so far may be 
no better than Paracelsus did, but so what? That doesn't mean that what 
they are looking at can be explained away by 20th century physics. We don't 
say 'pfft, stupid medieval doctors not only failed to cure the plague, but 
they helped spread it' and dismiss the whole idea of medicine based on that.

> By the way, I've been on the everything list for all of 2012 and, although 
> I strongly disagreed with some of the things said, I marveled that it was 
> blissfully free of downright junk science. But then just a few days ago at 
> the beginning of this new year somebody mentioned Rupert Sheldrake and 
> overnight the IQ of the list dropped by 40 points. 

You know that Rupert Sheldrake was the Director of Studies in Biochemistry 
and Cell biology at Cambridge, right?

"and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. From 1974 to 1985 he worked in 
Hyderabad in India as Principal Plant Physiologist at the International 
Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics"

If you are expecting pioneers in frontier fields not to be flaky compared 
to the hordes of careerists in the established fields of science, then it 
is always going to look to you that we have the best possible understanding 
of science right now and that all deviation from it is stupidity or heresy. 
That isn't how progress works. If you want to understand something which 
challenges the status quo, you can't always do it in a way that the status 
quo is going to embrace.


>   John K Clark

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