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Why does science have such an issue with the paranormal?

Donnie Vienus

Paranormal Novice
I know the hardened skeptic will flat out say it's because it's B.S, but i think there is more to it than just that.

I will be interested to read other posters views on this and on whether there will ever be an acceptance.Especially the acceptance of proper scientific research.

I apologise in advance if this topic has been done to death on the forums before.
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
Staff member
I know the hardened skeptic will flat out say it's because it's B.S, but i think there is more to it than just that.

I will be interested to read other posters views on this and on whether there will ever be an acceptance.Especially the acceptance of proper scientific research.

I apologise in advance if this topic has been done to death on the forums before.

There has been some discussion here: https://www.theparacast.com/forum/threads/philosophy-science-and-the-unexplained.14196/
 

pduchesne

Paranormal Maven
I know the hardened skeptic will flat out say it's because it's B.S, but i think there is more to it than just that.

I will be interested to read other posters views on this and on whether there will ever be an acceptance.Especially the acceptance of proper scientific research.

I apologise in advance if this topic has been done to death on the forums before.


There must be hundreds of honest scientists who are curious about paranormal issues and would like to conduct serious investigations, but almost none of them will admit it. There are probably thousands of reasons why, but here are a few.
1. There's no money in it. Scientists operate on grants from the public or are paid by corporations who want to monetize their discoveries.
2. Scientists are held to a type of social structure called a "consensus". If they wander outside the bounds of the consensus they are ostracized by their peers and their careers are threatened. Currently, the consensus is that anything paranormal is not worthy of serious scientific investigation. The science is "settled" and "deniers" of are not tolerated. Actually, paranormal investigators do this too.
3. Even if maverick scientists were to independently fund and conduct paranormal investigations, there is no peer-reviewed publication for them to publish results. In the world of science the phrase "publish or perish" is literally true.
 
S

smcder

Guest
I know the hardened skeptic will flat out say it's because it's B.S, but i think there is more to it than just that.

I will be interested to read other posters views on this and on whether there will ever be an acceptance.Especially the acceptance of proper scientific research.

I apologise in advance if this topic has been done to death on the forums before.

There is also current discussion here:

Consciousness and the Paranormal | Page 30 | The Paracast Community Forums
 
S

smcder

Guest
There must be hundreds of honest scientists who are curious about paranormal issues and would like to conduct serious investigations, but almost none of them will admit it. There are probably thousands of reasons why, but here are a few.
1. There's no money in it. Scientists operate on grants from the public or are paid by corporations who want to monetize their discoveries.
2. Scientists are held to a type of social structure called a "consensus". If they wander outside the bounds of the consensus they are ostracized by their peers and their careers are threatened. Currently, the consensus is that anything paranormal is not worthy of serious scientific investigation. The science is "settled" and "deniers" of are not tolerated. Actually, paranormal investigators do this too.
3. Even if maverick scientists were to independently fund and conduct paranormal investigations, there is no peer-reviewed publication for them to publish results. In the world of science the phrase "publish or perish" is literally true.

There are peer-reviewed journals:
http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications on Psi Research
The following is a list of downloadable journal articles reporting studies of psychic phenomena, mostly published in the 21st century. There are also some important papers of historical interest and other resources. Click on the title of an article to download it.

This is a small subset of the literature. A full listing would run into thousands of articles. Note that the correct shorthand term for psychic phenomena is psi, and not PSI
.

George Hansen's book The Trickster and The Paranormal discusses this issue extensively.

The Trickster and the Paranormal: George P Hansen: 9781401000820: Amazon.com: Books

In my opinion it is worth reading. Here is a link to Hansen's blog:

The Paranormal Trickster Blog

Dean Radin also discusses this issue in his books and on his blog:
Entangled Minds

Another approach is to read Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions - especially in relation to point #2 and the idea of paradigms
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
There must be hundreds of honest scientists who are curious about paranormal issues and would like to conduct serious investigations, but almost none of them will admit it. There are probably thousands of reasons why, but here are a few.
1. There's no money in it. Scientists operate on grants from the public or are paid by corporations who want to monetize their discoveries.
2. Scientists are held to a type of social structure called a "consensus". If they wander outside the bounds of the consensus they are ostracized by their peers and their careers are threatened. Currently, the consensus is that anything paranormal is not worthy of serious scientific investigation. The science is "settled" and "deniers" of are not tolerated. Actually, paranormal investigators do this too.
3. Even if maverick scientists were to independently fund and conduct paranormal investigations, there is no peer-reviewed publication for them to publish results. In the world of science the phrase "publish or perish" is literally true.

Good points - especially number 2. However, I think scientists are very much intrigued by the phenomena informally. Most human beings are because everyone has some experience of the 'something else' one way or another.

Regarding point number 3 - I think psychology journals would be the venue for such research. But others may have a better informed answer on that one.
 

SaucerKing

Paranormal Novice
Scientists aren't interested in non-replicable experiments or evidence. Every time something deemed paranormal can be actually tested, replicated, and concrete evidence is produced, it is no longer paranormal but normal and science. We will never see a merging of science and religion. Or science and the paranormal. When something can be tested and verified it is no longer religion or the paranormal. It is science and verified fact.

It doesn't mean that somebody who experiences something currently unexplainable didn't experience it. But without the above, all we have is their testimony and that's it. That's not science. There's nothing a scientist can do with that. Is he/she supposed to stake their scientific paper and reputation on witness testimony that can't be tested and verified by colleagues who want to test the findings?
 

pduchesne

Paranormal Maven
There are peer-reviewed journals:
http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications on Psi Research
The following is a list of downloadable journal articles reporting studies of psychic phenomena, mostly published in the 21st century. There are also some important papers of historical interest and other resources. Click on the title of an article to download it.

This is a small subset of the literature. A full listing would run into thousands of articles. Note that the correct shorthand term for psychic phenomena is psi, and not PSI
.

George Hansen's book The Trickster and The Paranormal discusses this issue extensively.

The Trickster and the Paranormal: George P Hansen: 9781401000820: Amazon.com: Books

In my opinion it is worth reading. Here is a link to Hansen's blog:

The Paranormal Trickster Blog

Dean Radin also discusses this issue in his books and on his blog:
Entangled Minds

Another approach is to read Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions - especially in relation to point #2 and the idea of paradigms
Thanks for the references, I'll check them out.
 

pduchesne

Paranormal Maven
Scientists aren't interested in non-replicable experiments or evidence. Every time something deemed paranormal can be actually tested, replicated, and concrete evidence is produced, it is no longer paranormal but normal and science. We will never see a merging of science and religion. Or science and the paranormal. When something can be tested and verified it is no longer religion or the paranormal. It is science and verified fact.

It doesn't mean that somebody who experiences something currently unexplainable didn't experience it. But without the above, all we have is their testimony and that's it. That's not science. There's nothing a scientist can do with that. Is he/she supposed to stake their scientific paper and reputation on witness testimony that can't be tested and verified by colleagues who want to test the findings?
You make a good point. What would be some fairly modern examples of paranormal science becoming mainstream? I'm sure there are good examples, but I'm drawing a blank.
 

SaucerKing

Paranormal Novice
The existence of many cryptoids for one. Gorillas maybe the most famous. Various sea creatures. Or how about the existence of invisible germs in the air? Scientists didn't accept their existence and doctors never even washed their hands before surgery.
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
I know the hardened skeptic will flat out say it's because it's B.S, but i think there is more to it than just that.

I will be interested to read other posters views on this and on whether there will ever be an acceptance.Especially the acceptance of proper scientific research.

I apologise in advance if this topic has been done to death on the forums before.

The real answer is a very short one.
There is no money in it.
(leans over the desk and looks down the hall) Next!
 

pduchesne

Paranormal Maven
Germs might be a good example of something that was formerly paranormal. I wonder if there were doctors washing their hands secretly so not to get ridiculed by the other doctors for believing in magic. Funny thought but probably happened.
 

XBadger

Paranormal Novice
What I think is that if urologists want to find more acceptance they should approach their inquiries through the lens of social scientists who have already by nature of their disciplines grappled with human perception, the effect of emotions in experience, the construction of time in the human mind, and have over the course of 100 years developed better methodology for utilizing evidence from interviews than blithely saying "so...what did you see?" Without a doubt in my mind these sightings and experiences are to an extent a social consrruction and should be treated as such by researchers who use the tools of sociology, psychology, history, semiotics, cultural and religious studies, etc.

If the past seventy years have shown anything it is that studying these phenomenon through the guise of the hard sciences has been an utter failure that has proved nothing. The only question is whether this insistence on hard data and it's failure to show anything has lost all momentum in the study of these phenomenon. When the public was engaged in the 50s nothing was "prooven" and now unfortunately no one cares.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
 

XBadger

Paranormal Novice
Heck many hard scientists reject the usefulness of cultural anthropology. That's been practiced for over 200 years.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
 
S

smcder

Guest
The existence of many cryptoids for one. Gorillas maybe the most famous. Various sea creatures. Or how about the existence of invisible germs in the air? Scientists didn't accept their existence and doctors never even washed their hands before surgery.

For a look into a similar process of acceptance by science (not paranormal) - have a look into the history of how the medical community was convinced of the existence of child abuse.
 
S

smcder

Guest
What I think is that if urologists want to find more acceptance they should approach their inquiries through the lens of social scientists who have already by nature of their disciplines grappled with human perception, the effect of emotions in experience, the construction of time in the human mind, and have over the course of 100 years developed better methodology for utilizing evidence from interviews than blithely saying "so...what did you see?" Without a doubt in my mind these sightings and experiences are to an extent a social consrruction and should be treated as such by researchers who use the tools of sociology, psychology, history, semiotics, cultural and religious studies, etc.

If the past seventy years have shown anything it is that studying these phenomenon through the guise of the hard sciences has been an utter failure that has proved nothing. The only question is whether this insistence on hard data and it's failure to show anything has lost all momentum in the study of these phenomenon. When the public was engaged in the 50s nothing was "prooven" and now unfortunately no one cares.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

Urologists are not accepted? Heck, I went to see one about ten years ago . . .
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Germs might be a good example of something that was formerly paranormal. I wonder if there were doctors washing their hands secretly so not to get ridiculed by the other doctors for believing in magic. Funny thought but probably happened.

One need go no further than the history of the Bubonic Plaque (Black Death) in Medieval Europe. Jews lived in enclaves (ghettos) - and practiced (ritual) cleanliness. Those enclaves were significantly free of the plague. The reaction of the surrounding non-Jewish community to this observed disparity is tragic history.

It's possible - and here I am just speculating - that the idea of washing and 'germs' - some idea akin to that - was known but couched in more 'magical' terms. I need to chase this down - but I could see there being 'magical practices' related to water - ritual washing, etc. In the East there are ritual 'purifications' with fire.

How about conception? That was a big one!
 

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