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Title:Occam's Razor and The Case Against Psychic Powers
Date:March 28th, 2012
Self Righteous:7
Simply true:10

Whenever I read pro-pseudoscience opinions, they always make these grandiose claims that point to *nothing*. I.e.:

From Psychic Warfare from 1981-2008 there are many unsubstantiated claims such as:

"It should come as no surprise that some people have exceptional psychic skills"

And yet not a single citation to support that. It comes as no surprise, but there's no evidence of it??

Show me the experiments that were reproducible and double-blind.

You can't find them, and here's how I know that.

Because the *general* consensus in the world of science is that psychic abilities do not exist.

And we should be clear about some things here.

  1. Science is the organized and methodical study of human experience
  2. Science does not have a pro or anti psychic agenda.
    Science is not about faith
    Scientists do not have faith that psychic powers do not exists, they have knowledge that experimentation shows no psychic powers. If you can prove something to a scientist, using correct testing methods, then they will listen.
  3. Science is only interested in reproducible "experiences" (or experiments) where the effects are not misunderstood.
  4. The most important way to avoid mistakes in interpreting experiments is to do double-blind studies. This is crucial as without a double-blind study, we convince ourselves of many a foolish thing. For more info on "double-blind" see:
  5. Experiments must be reproducible! (See "Cold Fusion" for an example of why). It could be researcher error, or it could just be due to the fact that if you do enough studies, some of them will show a random correlation, but that's not a true correlation.
  6. If a reproducible double-blind experiment were to show that psychic phenomena existed, then scientists would be all over it in the excitement that it causes with:
    1. Creating a new world view
    2. Opening up all sorts of possibilities, from marketing to theory
If you understand these six points, then you would realize that there has *NEVER BEEN* a reproducible, double-blind experiment demonstrating psychic behavior. Government coverups can be ignored, because if the gov't can find psychic behavior, than so can non-gov't scientists who are working on the same thing.

Otherwise we would have psychic powers as part of our scientific understanding of the world.

We should also note that science does not know everything. It cannot, for example, ascertain truth about non-verifiable claims such as religious claims about gods who cannot be seen or measured. Ironically (though not at all surprisingly), these are the only "gods" that exist in the world today.

But psychic powers claim to be verifiable, they claim to actually effect our world and our experience and that can be measured.

The reason we need double-blind studies is because we are virtually guaranteed, as a people, to convince ourselves of things like psychic phenomena.

So the fact that people believe in psychic phenomena, even including people in the government, is irrelevant, it is to be expected.

The fact that there is no scientific evidence of psychic phenomena (if you disagree with this, PLEASE CITE! :) is what makes it so clear that it's not worth considering, or at least not worth considering beyond doing some lab experiments.

Some references:

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