Ghost Hunters
Posted: 18 July 2007 08:43 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I just made the mistake of watching Ghost Hunters on the SciFi Channel. It worries me to think that some folks might actually take this stuff seriously. I’m all for investigating claims of ghosts, and at first I was willing to give them some credit for trying. Unfortunately it seems like these folks don’t understand the definition of evidence. I think they define evidence as anything unexpected or unusual that they can’t readily explain. They then take things like somewhat human-shaped shadows without a visible source, unusual warm spots on thermal sensing cameras, and subjective personal experience of “it feels really creepy in here” as sufficient to declare a place haunted.

I turned off the television when they brought in a Dowser. That’s too far down the woo woo rabbit hole for me, thanks.

[ Edited: 18 July 2007 08:47 PM by brainlesssteel ]
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Posted: 18 July 2007 09:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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That’s the joy of having multiple TV channels.  I’ve never watched 7th Heaven, and especially the shows about a psychic.  I agree that if the SciFi program purports to be real, that’s beyond being dumb, it’s sleazy and unethical.

However, I do enjoy a silly program on USA called Psych.  This is about a young guy whose father, an obnoxious policeman, trained him as a boy to be extremely observant and have eidetic imagry.  Using these skills, he claims to be psychic and solves crimes for the local police.  However, we are shown how he reasoned the solution out.  It shows how psychics snow their audiences.

Occam

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Posted: 19 July 2007 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I actually watched Psych for the first time last Friday. It was the episode with Tim Curry lampooning that American Idol douchebag. I thought it was pretty damn funny, and really seems to show psychics for what they are.

I don’t really know how I feel about the Ghost Hunter guys, though. I really wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, but the more I watched the more I’m sure this is just a gag to make a buck. I just can’t imagine someone making a living in television simply by being that misguided and credulous.

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“The language and concepts contained herein are guaranteed not to cause eternal torment in the place where the guy with the horns and pointed stick conducts his business.”—Frank Zappa

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Posted: 19 July 2007 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Try ghost hunting for yourself, but really investigate thoroughly instead of the way those guys do it.  I’ve had two brushes with the paranormal in my life and both were scary and fun.  One of them lasted for months before I worked out what it was (it is detailed in the “Do you believe in ghosts” thread in pseudoscience and the paranormal).  The other one was in my final year as an undergraduate.  The first day I moved into a big old house in Manchester, my housemates sister was staying overnight.  I ended p sitting up watching TV til 4am because she was freaking out badly - saying that she was getting bad “vibes” and that something terrible was happenning right now and that she had to wait until her sister (my housemate) got back from the Student’s union where she was working that night.  I even had to walk her to the top of the stairs and wait for her when she went to the bathroom.  Eventually, after a load of this mumbo jumbo, I’d had enough and walked her to the top of the stairs and told her to go to bed and I went to mine.  The next morning her sister had got back okay and I laughed at her foolishness.  Anyway, a month later, I met a friend walkng back from Uni (he also lived in that house). He asked me if I had seen the paper.  I said no.  He told me that on that night A guy had been stabbed to death and decapitated ni the small hours of the morning in the old people’s home at end of our garden.  Apparently, it was a case of mistaken identity - the killer broke into the wrong house.  I never did explain that one other than to say that she was that kind of girl and it was that kind of neighbourhood.

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Posted: 20 July 2007 03:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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narwhol - 19 July 2007 04:09 PM

Try ghost hunting for yourself, but really investigate thoroughly instead of the way those guys do it.  I’ve had two brushes with the paranormal in my life and both were scary and fun.  One of them lasted for months before I worked out what it was (it is detailed in the “Do you believe in ghosts” thread in pseudoscience and the paranormal).

That was an awesome ghost story, and it reminds me of something.

I recall a conversation I had a year or two ago when I was just starting down the road to becoming a skeptic. I’d been reading Carl Sagan’s Demon Haunted Universe, and I was fascinated by the very reason and scientific explanations of supposedly “supernatural” phenomena. One night I was discussing some of these things with a friend who is a bit of a believer. By that I mean I have heard her say things like “I believe in ghosts”, but I never endeavored to figure out exactly what it was she believed or why.

One of the things she said struck me as odd at the time though I eventually discovered that it’s something skeptics tend to hear somewhat regularly. She asked me “Why you have to go and take all the fun and mystery out of life by explaining everything like that”. I was a bit put off because I just don’t understand that point of view. To me the wonderful thing about mysteries is the moment when you finally figure out what it was that made them so mysterious. I love the emotional high I get when I finally figure out something that has perplexed me. I suppose that means that unlike a lot of folks I don’t see what good it is having mysteries if nobody bothers to try and solve them.

[ Edited: 20 July 2007 03:57 AM by brainlesssteel ]
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Posted: 20 July 2007 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Ignorance is strength ...

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