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Auras
Posted: 02 September 2006 02:44 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello,
it seems to me that the concept of "auras" whatever that may specifically mean, although quite unproven at this point, is often referred to as "obviously bogus" etc..I understand the basic idea of auras as human energy fields, and from my admittedly somewhat limited knowledge of physics this seems rather possible to me. What exactly about the concept (leave the purported abilities of folks who claim to sense/utilize it out of the picture for the moment) is so scientifically inconceivable? smile

-wes

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Posted: 02 September 2006 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Re: Auras

Good question, wkramer.

The notion of an ‘energy field’ is not, in itself, bogus. Clearly the human body is made up of molecules that have some (albeit very small) charge, and that respond (albeit in a very slight way) to magnetic forces.

After all, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machines take pictures of the interior of the human body by basically tracking these internal magnetic fields. Further, many cellular processes, like the beating of the heart, are basically electrical phenomena. That’s why you can stop or re-start someone’s heart with a sufficiently powerful electric shock.

What makes the notions of ‘auras’ so bogus is that (1) they are not available to be ‘seen’ by spiritualist mediums. (2) they do not have colors. (3) they do not need any sort of ‘manipulation’ in order to cure someone of disease.

For more about auras, look here and here as well as at the other websites that Carroll cites. NB: I don’t know why he decided to use colored fonts for the first essay. It looks horrible.

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Posted: 01 August 2007 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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In my nursing practice I’ve met several people with epilepsy who describe some quite odd ‘auras’.

They sense a change in themselves that often precedes a seizure.

There are few obvious external clues to humans that a seizure is about to occur, but there are many reports of dogs also sensing in their owner when a seizure is coming. Perhaps the ‘aura’ is there, but “we” don’t understand it yet or have the technology to “see” (or perhaps hear, smell, feel or taste) it?

Some auras reported to me…

The smell of cut grass or oranges.
Hearing wind, waves breaking, metal clanking against metal.
Metallic tastes in the mouth.
Numbness.
And perhaps most bizarrely… a sense of lilac!

Do I understand it? No. Absolutely not. But I always trust auras as they are rarely wrong.

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Posted: 01 August 2007 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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today i ate something that was not too good for my stomach. before i threw it up I got a weird sensation of numbness over my body and I said to myself, “Michael, you gotta puke!” i wouldnt call that a change in my “aura.”

that our senses preceed something like vomiting or a seizure (amongst many other things) just means that our bodies are working. im not a nurse or a doctor but I wouldnt be the least bit surprised that their “auras” are a natural response to something going on in their bodies that led to the seizures.

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Posted: 01 August 2007 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I think there’s a bit of language confusion here. “aura” in medical terminology is a sensory phenomena preceding a seizure as experienced by the person about to have the seizure. It typically has auditory and visual components, but can involve smell and touch as well. An “aura” in the sense used at the beginning of the thread refers to a supposed penumbra or halo around people visible to psychics or other paranormally gifted persons but not to most of us and which may contain some information about the persons psyche or health. They are really unrelated in meaning and history, though obviously etymologically connected words. Dogs may be able to sense an impending seizure, but I think it far more likley that they sense subtle behavioral clues (see the Clever Hans pehenomenon for how animals may do this) than to see pretty lights around us change color. As for psychic auras, I am skeptical of any phenomenon that can only be detected by people who claim special insight or gifts and who argue that no one else should be expected to be able to see what they can.

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Posted: 03 August 2007 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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brennen,

why is it called an aura, then? why not just call it a hallucination?

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Posted: 03 August 2007 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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If you stare at someone with a bright light behind them for too long, you’ll definitely see ‘auras.’

*cough*retinal fatigue*cough*

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Posted: 03 August 2007 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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why is it called an aura, then? why not just call it a hallucination?

I presume the first person to describe the phenomenon liked the etymology of the word and it’s associations (comes from Greek for light breeze or puff of air, also used to mean a subtle feeling as in “an aura of mystery”). I don’t know the exact history of the word, but a lot of scientific terms are vaguely poetic uses of Latin and Greek words.

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Posted: 25 February 2008 06:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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wkramer - 02 September 2006 02:44 PM

Hello,
it seems to me that the concept of "auras" whatever that may specifically mean, although quite unproven at this point, is often referred to as "obviously bogus" etc..I understand the basic idea of auras as human energy fields, and from my admittedly somewhat limited knowledge of physics this seems rather possible to me. What exactly about the concept (leave the purported abilities of folks who claim to sense/utilize it out of the picture for the moment) is so scientifically inconceivable? smile

-wes

Hi Wes,

You are refering to quite a big problem in our time here. Fact is that classic science can be very stubborn when it comes to phenomena which are not yet measurable by our scientific equipment. A quite controversial method of making the aura visible is the “Kirlian photography” which you will usually come across at spiritual convents. I don’t have enough technical background to go into the nitty gritty details if such a way of taking pictures can really make the human body field visible.
There are other methods as well, like the NES system (www.Nutrienergetics.eu) which is offering human body field scans in order to first find and then treat imbalances in that field/aura.

I myself can see the first layers of the aura. Especially well against dark backgrounds (No, it is not retinal fatigue since I keep my eyes moving during the process).
In the end it comes down to your own evaluation and point of view. Fact is that if something works to improve your life you should stick to it no matter what “professionals” or people say in general.

Cheers
Michael

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Posted: 25 February 2008 06:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Oooooooops! I just noticed that this thread is AGES old!

Well…....hopefully Wes will still read it wink

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Posted: 25 February 2008 07:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Auras are nonexistent “energy fields” typically used to bilk money out of people.

For more on auras see HERE. For “Kirlian photography” see, e.g., HERE and HERE.

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Posted: 27 February 2008 05:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Doug,

Why is everything that does not fit into your world view bogus? I can even see such fields and no, I don’t stare onto one spot but keep my eyes moving. As long as everyone stays close-minded alternative stuff will never get a chance.

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Posted: 27 February 2008 05:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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protein - 27 February 2008 05:03 AM

Why is everything that does not fit into your world view bogus? I can even see such fields and no, I don’t stare onto one spot but keep my eyes moving. As long as everyone stays close-minded alternative stuff will never get a chance.

My world view is one that involves evidence and reproducible experiment. People have been claiming to see energy fields for years, and when tested they failed. One common test is to have a partition behind which a person might or might not be standing, such that if they were there, the “aura” would be sticking out the side. Then we tell you to let us know if there is a person behind the partition or not. If you can really see auras, you should be able to know whether there is someone there or not simply by noting the aura sticking out beyond the wall.

When this experiment has been done, the results were chance.

E.g., check out Randi’s televised experiment HERE.

This claim is also quite similar to the claims of practitioners of “therapeutic touch” that they can feel energy fields of their patients. This hypothesis was tested recently by an 11 year old, and found once again to be fallacious. The experiment revealed no better than chance ability of the practitioners to determine the presence of humans behind a wall. E.g., see HERE.

This experiment was also discussed at the Quackwatch site HERE.

[ Edited: 27 February 2008 05:53 AM by dougsmith ]
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Posted: 02 March 2008 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Hello every one, well, I have had the experience of been capable to see in certain ambiences the aura of the people, I dont have control over it, it just happens, it started when I was a kid, I tought it was normal and that anybody could do the same, so I didnt pay any attention to it, It is true that you can see the reflection of the emotional state in its colors wich can be appreciated better in certain light conditions and certain background, (english is not my native language, so I appologize for the mistakes I might have in this reply) besides that, several times I have been able to cure my self from different things, for example I used to have this little skin moles (in spanish would be “mesquinos”, I dont know the name in english) in my hand for years, I was ashamed to show both hands all the time because of that, but one day I just started to think different and try to use my own mind energy and Imagine thousands of white cells comming under my skin and eating one of them from underneath, I placed my other hand a few centimeters from the “mesquinos” and used my aura to feed with good energy the area. Ok, I know this sounds crazy, and I just dont care because it happens to me, and maybe there is somebody out there who might have had a simmilar experience. What I understand is this: The body in its own structure has a pattern in wich is not included any of the things that make it sick. For example the illness I had might be produced by a bacteria in my skin, what I did was only to order my defenses to attack and get rid of it, since human brain is cappable of many things, what I did was only to use imagination and make my self feel the sensation of the white cells attacking this thing. Some other experiences have happened, but I might talk about later in another topic.

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Posted: 03 March 2008 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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protein - 27 February 2008 05:03 AM

Why is everything that does not fit into your world view bogus? I can even see such fields and no, I don’t stare onto one spot but keep my eyes moving. As long as everyone stays close-minded alternative stuff will never get a chance.

This site is dedicated to critical thinking, the scientific method, and debunking paranormal claims. The people here don’t blindly accept imagined phenomena that have been repeatedly proven bunk. If you want to convince us of anything you’d better bring solid evidence, not vague claims about being able to see things others cannot see. I used to see things too, but I quit eating that particular mushroom and the visions stopped.

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Posted: 03 March 2008 05:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Not to sound sarcastic, but the only auras I know of are the ones that signal a migraine about to start.  However, my older son insists Buddhism believes in these auras you all are talking about.  I have yet to see any actual scientific study on these auras though.  Could any of you professing to auras show us some actual studies on these?  We have Doug’s that debunks the idea, but it would be nice to read the opposing view on this too, so that we know more about what is being discussed.

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