Thursday, January 6, 2011

I predicted this: "Journal Article On Precognition Sparks Outrage"

Slashdot must have read my mind. Days after scribbling my random thoughts about what I am calling the "paranormal paradox," Slashdot once again fails to disappoint by posting a typically snide summary ridiculing the publication of an article on precognition. Drilling down through the comments modded up to 5, I can't tell whether the Slashdotters take issue with the publication in a mainstream, scientific journal of a peer-reviewed study of precognition on the basis of a.) faulty use of statistical analysis, b.) anyone with half a brain knows this as pseudoscience, or c:) both the journal and the study's author are fools. Looking over the New York Times referenced article, reporter Benedict Carey quotes that reliable stand-in, "many experts," who argue that claims that "defy almost every law of science are by definition extraordinary and thus require extraordinary evidence" (I think that Carl Sagan said this also, but I'm not sure if he was the first).

I will not argue that the existence of precognition, nor its fuzzy relative, "ESP," defies "almost every law of science," but I'm not sure that this, in and of itself, proves that precognition is not "real." Those are really two different issues. Most of the people who are caused to stumble across this blog likely have had their own personal experiences that demonstrate the "reality" of precognition. But it's also my opinion that no matter how real these experiences are, on a personal level, irrefutable proof will be, for now, impossible. And the Slashdot article pretty much bears this out. Indeed, the fact that there is such a primal, visceral aversion, among those who claim to be the digerati, to any attempt to scientifically objectify the paranormal, pretty much supports my suspicion: there is a substantial unconscious resistance to anything that might threaten our materialistic construct of reality.

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