Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ghost Revival.

Most British people think it is possible to communicate with the dead. This is especially remarkable because very few believe it is possible to communicate with a living politician. Perhaps we'd have better luck if they were dead. It must surely be worth a try.

Even so, it's encouraging news, even if many of those 'believers' are determined to talk to Princess Diana, an ex-member of the Royal Family and hardly someone you'd expect to chat to at the supermarket checkout.

Why does everyone think that talking to the dead involves a fireside rumination with royalty or an ectoplasmic flirtation with Marylin Monroe? Just as in real life, most dead people are commoners and some are downright bores. One thing that would alert me to the possibility of a fake psychic is the apparent ability to call up famous dead people at will. Or indeed, the ability to call up anyone. That's not mediumship, that's necromancy and that's nasty.

One thing I would really like to try is to get two of the most obviously fake psychics and send them a client each. Those clients would ask the fakes to call up the same ghost at the same time. Obviously, the fakes won't be in on the game.

I'll bet they'll both get a result and I'll bet the ghost, while appearing at two locations simultaneously, will also exhibit two completely different characters. I will further bet that neither fake will hear from this ghost that he/she is being called away to another sitting. Have you ever seen that happen on TV?

No real psychic can claim 100% success. No real psychic can call up just the right number of spirits to fill a TV programme week after week with never a blank spot and never a random spirit who isn't involved with anyone in the room. No real psychic would ever call up any spirit at all, they would just have to deal with whoever turned up. Real psychics can learn to shut them out but never to force an appearance of a specific spirit. Fakes annoy me.

All the same, it is encouraging to find that I am not working in a totally disparaged field. There are those who laugh and dismiss the entire subject, but there always have been and always will be.

It's nice to know they are not the majority.


Southern Writer said...

I don't know if I told you or not, but I'm reading this great little book called Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism, and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind by Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer, Ph.D.

Dr. Mayer wasn't just a skeptic, she was in complete denial. But then her daughter's rare and expensive harp was stolen, and unable to find it through any regular means, on a dare (her friend said, "If you really want it back, you should be willing to try anything...") she contacted a dowser in Arkansas who, armed with nothing but a map, located the exact address where the harp was hidden in Oakland, California. And that, Dr. Mayer began, "changes everything."

I only have about ten minutes a day to read (note to self: spend less time online), so I'm only about half way through with it. Right now, she's discussing remote viewing, and I'm sure that it would be possible for more than one person to see the same scene from more than one location.

What I wanted to tell you, though, was that there was something the other day that reminded me of you. It was about science:

"Normal science doesn't make room for observations that don't fit its own basic assumptions. Normal science is about solving problems that arise inside those assumptions. It is the problems that refuse to fit that lead to scientific revolution."

And on the next page:

"...long before normal science gets disrupted, we're likely to find, on the edges of normal science, a persistent coterie of scientists who have happened across some observations that won't fit, and it nags at them. Their work becomes increasingly concerned with making it make sense. They develop experimental programs. They establish labs and accumulate research. Meanwhile, normal science proceeds as usual, barely noticing what's piling up at its edges."

And I thought, "That's Rom."

P.S. I didn't even click on the link about Diana. I just thought, "hunted in life; hunted in death." Poor woman!

Romulus Crowe said...

It happens a lot. The scientist who discovered apoptosis (where old or damaged body cells kill temselves rather than turn cancerous) was pretty much hounded out of science for years. Now it's accepted.

Then there were those who insisted that Neanderthals had tools and society and weren't as primitive as they'd been painted. They were laughed at, but now it's accepted.

Of course, there are kooks who never get accepted and it works the other way too - some kooks get funded, if they are doing something politically expedient.

Science isn't as free of personalities as it claims to be.

opinions powered by