Saturday, May 07, 2005

Andy Replies: The Case Against Psi (Part 2)

Here, Andy sharpens his sword a bit and makes some convincing points.

Any peer-reviewed journal would be ecstatic to break a story that proves the existence of PSI. Avoid it? Are you kidding? Do you know the money and notoriety that that would bring?

My argument against Radin is based on the mathematics. I don't know how familiar you are with the math behind "The Conscious Universe" and GCP [Global Consciousness Project]. So I'll put it in laymen's terms: Did you know that whenever I take a big shit there is a statistical anomaly in regards to the wins and losses at Trump Casino in Atlantic City. Why yes, just the other day I took a dump and at the same time there were 8 consecutive spins of red on one of the roulette wheels. The odds of that happening are 1 in 256! Then the other day I took a shit and just before I did a keno game had all the numbers fall into the range of 20-29. The odds of that are like one in a million. And then one time I took a shit and a little later some guy got three blackjacks in a row. The odds of that happening are 1 in 79,507.

Okay, that represents the same problem I have with the mathematics behind GCP. Their definition of what an anomaly is is dynamic.

Here are questions that would seem to deserve some investigation before we consider GCP indicative of PSI.

1. Why isn't the anomaly consistent?
2. How come there is often an anomaly when nothing of global significance has occurred?
3. How come there is sometimes something globally significant that happens and there is no anomaly whatsoever?
4. How come sometimes the anomalies occur before the event, sometimes after, and sometimes during?
5. If it's human consciousness that is causing these anomalies, shouldn't the machines nearer whatever situation is causing the anomaly register the anomaly to a greater degree?
6. Shouldn't the significance of an event have something to do with significance of the anomaly?
7. Why are the anomalies that are registered seemingly caused by situations that are eurocentric?
8. Why don't similar events (natural disasters, say) produce similar anomalies?

These are just some of the most basic questions that haven't been adequately answered. GCP plays on people's lack of knowledge about mathematics and large samples in the same way the Bible Code did.

Of course the most basic question is: Why would human consciousness have any effect on a RNG
[Random Number Generator]? The evidence for GCP "proves" PSI about as much as it proves that RNGs are intelligent robots that communicate with each other when bad things happen in the world. In fact I would submit that that second hypothesis makes more sense.

So you ask what I would consider solid evidence. If similar anomalies occured at similar times after similar events, that would seem like good evidence that this needs to explored further. With GCP you have varying anomalies that may or may not occur around the time of an event and may or may not occur when there is no significant event; if they do occur around the time of an event they may occur before during or after the event and may or may not bear any relationship to the magnitude or location of the event. Those are my issues with Radin and GCP.

I don't think I have ridiculous standards of what constitutes evidence, but I would like some evidence of some sort that seems consistent.

"But, by that token, there's no proof that we dream at night, either."

That's ridiculous! An EEG analysis can prove that we dream.

Don't get me wrong. I desperately want to believe in a lot of things. And I don't think any less of you for believing, I just think the level of proof you require is woefully inadequate.


NEXT: My reply.


Anonymous said...

When stories about what someone did with nothing to back it up constitutes proof, I can prove I am 300 years old.

PeaceLove said...

I don't think *I* ever claimed that a "story" constitutes proof. I spent a lot of time talking about peer-reviewed evidence from well-controlled studies in multiple labs.

On the other hand, multiple matching anecdotes occurring worldwide throughout history certainly constitutes important *evidence,* if not out and out proof. As I said to Andy, I can't *prove* to you that I dream...but I do.