Discuss conspiracies, mysteries and paranormal phenomena.
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Media Skeptics (or pseudoskeptics as we call them) are fond of saying, "There's no evidence for any paranormal or psychic phenomena" no matter how much evidence is shown to them, even if it's a mountainful. They always find excuses to deny or dismiss the evidence, even in the most unreasonable and irrational manner, then go back to repeating this claim as though it were a religious Gospel Law that could never be overturned. This is extremely aggravating because it's like trying to reason with someone who chooses to be blind and ignorant, and in total denial of facts and reality.
But the reality is that for some popular paranormal phenomena such as ESP or ghosts, there is plenty of long standing evidence of several types - anecdotal, experiential and scientific. Controlled scientific experiments have yielded positive results for ESP for many years. From the 1940's with JB Rhine, to the current day with Dr. Charles Tart, Dr. Gary Schwartz, Rupert Sheldrake, and many other scientists, positive and consistent results for psi have been found to exist far above chance under controlled conditions. And series of psi experiments that have been repeated for years known as The Ganzfeld Experiments, Autoganzfeld Experiments and PEAR (Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research) have yielded statistically significant and consistent results above chance as well.
In addition, the anecdotal and experiential evidence is overwhelming. Studies show that at least half the population of the world has had paranormal experiences, and according to the National Science Foundation, "60% of American either AGREE or STRONGLY AGREE that some people either possess psychic abilities or extrasensory perception". That's A LOT, no doubt. Common sense would tell you that if half the people in the world have experienced something, then it's pretty much certain that there's something to it other than fraud, misperception and fantasy, especially since a good number of these experiencers include credible down-to-earth people as well. Likewise, large percentage of people of all types from all walks of life have experienced ghosts too.
So you see, the evidence for such common paranormal phenomena is huge. As Parapsychologist Author Dean Radin has said, the evidence for psi is so solid and robust that if the same quality of evidence existed for something non-paranormal, it would definitely have been accepted as proven. But because the paranormal is considered taboo in the scientific establishment, there is a sort of censorship and knowledge filtration toward it. There is an automatic negative stigma and bias toward it that assumes that only crackpots believe in such things. So any scientist who openly supports the legitimacy of paranormal phenomena seriously jeopardizes their career and image among their colleagues. Thus, most scientists who believe in some paranormal phenomena will not declare it publicly, but become close enthusiasts. Mr. Radin discovered this, as many scientists confided in him their secret unofficial interest and belief that some of the paranormal is real.
Even in regard to UFO's, there is plenty of evidence for them of several types. UFO photos and videos are controversial and vague of course, but many credible eyewitnesses, including Air Force Pilots and Astronauts, have seen them. They've also been tracked on radar doing aerial maneuvers that man-made aircraft could not do. (And as you know, hallucinations do not appear on radar.) In one famous official incident known as the Washington Merry Go Round Incident of 1952, jet fighters were scrambled to intercept UFO's after they had been tracked on radar. Afterward, to quell public panic, the incident was quickly dismissed though never fully explained. Nevertheless, something significant happened to trigger the alarm and scrambling of fighters, and it wasn't "zero evidence" for sure. But if you think that UFO evidence is strictly confined to obscure sightings, think again. The famous Bentwaters UFO Incident that occurred on an American military base in England in 1980 involving two dozen military witnesses, including Colonel Halt, of an up-close UFO sighting, remains an undebunked and compelling case. And after years of extensive investigations and interviews with Alien Abductees by Budd Hopkins and John Mack, who wrote books on the phenomenon, they concluded that there was more to the abduction experience than mere hallucination or sleep paralysis. In addition, public coalitions such as The Disclosure Project have brought forth a large pool of high ranking government, military and intelligence officials and insiders, over 400 currently, who have confessed to personal knowledge of government involvement with UFO's and ET technology, and the cover ups and secrecy surrounding it. (See a video of their testimonies at a public conference here)
Now, that's certainly NOT "zero evidence"!
Nevertheless, pseudoskeptics who claim to only want evidence continue to declare that "there is no evidence" when they get plenty of it from credible sources. Obviously, they are in a state of perpetual denial and cognitive dissonance. They deny and filter out anything that doesn't fit into their materialistic reductionistic view of reality, especially anything that has to do with paranormal or conspiracies, no matter what evidence is presented, even if its documented and scientific. One thing they are they not open to is possibilities. Any possibility that challenges the views of the establishment is simply not possible to them, even if the claims of the establishment itself are not scientific or contradicted by facts. It doesn't even have to be paranormal, it can be ANYTHING that opposes the official version of events, including conspiracies and lies by corrupt government officials or even the existence of shadow governments (which were acknowledged to exist in the 80's with the Iran Contra Scandal). Thus, their bias and blind faith in authority as dogma is revealed.
Even if a highly credible source with a long history of accuracy suddenly makes a paranormal claim or a claim against an established view, they automatically dismiss it as bunk before even looking into it. If they do look into it, it will not be to learn the truth about it, but to debunk it. They will even deny evidence from scientific experiments as well. All the while, they tout, "Show me the evidence. Where's the evidence?" Yet when they are shown the evidence, they merely dismiss it or ignore it, acting as though they heard nothing, then go back to repeating that there's no evidence. I've seen them do this for years, in the media, on websites, in forum discussions, and on my own mailing list. It's as though they were deaf and totally belief oriented, seeing only what they want to see.
The problem for these skeptics is that their denial and cognitive dissonance does NOT erase the evidence from reality. It may erase it from their own minds, but it does not the erase the evidence itself. Thus, it can be said that they are deluded and do not face up to reality.
Some examples of pseudoskeptics' denial of evidence and cognitive dissonance:
* If a psychic or medium gets an amazing hit, either something highly unusual and specific that doesn't apply to everyone or a deep dark secret about you that no one knows, which could NOT have been due to cold reading or guessing, then it means nothing to the pseudoskeptics, who will say that it must have been a lucky guess, or due to fraud or your own faulty memory, because no one has psychic abilities.
* If witnesses experiences a ghost, they must have been hallucinating, have an active imagination, or lying. Ghosts don't exist, so it must have been something else.
* If people see UFO's, including trained Air Force Pilots and Astronauts, then they must have misidentified natural phenomenon, because alien ships don't exist, at least not near Earth. And this is so even if radar picked up objects performing maneuvers impossible for man-made aircraft.
* If psychic abilities are demonstrated under controlled conditions (e.g. PEAR, Ganzfeld, SRI), then there must have been flaws in the protocols or lack of controls, because psychic abilities are not possible. Pseudo-skeptics then demand repeatability and peer review. But when they get that, they then ask for more repeatability, from skeptical scientists as well. The bar is continually raised until a skeptical scientist finds or imagines any flaw in the experiments and declares them debunked. Only then are they satisfied. Clearly, they only want a particular result (only chance results), not the truth. If it doesn't get debunked, then they accuse the experimentors of improper controls or deceit, as Randi is infamous for doing.
* They claim that no psi study that shows positive results has ever been published in credible scientific journals. Yet when they are shown citations that they have, they simply become deaf and ignore them. Then they have the nerve to simply repeat their lie again, as if they never even heard you! This is very infuriating and dishonest
* If a resuscitated patient has an NDE or OBE where he/she sees details that they could not have known about, then it must have been lucky guesses or unconscious memories, because there is no soul that can leave the body..
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