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A celeb skeptic has a normal experience

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Let’s let Michael Shermer tell it himself:

What does this mean? Had it happened to someone else I might suggest a chance electrical anomaly and the law of large numbers as an explanation—with billions of people having billions of experiences every day, there’s bound to be a handful of extremely unlikely events that stand out in their timing and meaning. In any case, such anecdotes do not constitute scientific evidence that the dead survive or that they can communicate with us via electronic equipment.

So the fellow has never heard of the unseen world? We are supposed to believe this? I guess we must.

Look, stranger things.

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33 Replies to “A celeb skeptic has a normal experience

  1. 1
    goodusername says:

    So the fellow has never heard of the unseen world?

    What a bizarre question.

  2. 2
    keith s says:

    goodusername:

    What a bizarre question.

    Denyse is on quite the roll lately.

    Yesterday:

    It takes no great facility with language to see that adjectives are just appended nouns and adverbs are just appended verbs.

    If the mindfulness craze is really so cool, why did Anders Breivik use it?

    Today:

    So the fellow has never heard of the unseen world?

    Though she has yet to match her personal bests:

    I wouldn’t be bothered reading about the selfish gene because it has never been identified.

    If both [man and chimp] are more than 30 years old, and are normal specimens, how many people will believe that they are 98% identical?

    What woman, otherwise consigned to being a spinster, would marry the chimp if she didn’t get the man? After all, the chimp is supposedly 98% of a man.

  3. 3
    News says:

    goodusername and keiths, how would you account for Shermer’s experience?

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    goodusername as to:

    So the fellow has never heard of the unseen world?

    “What a bizarre question.”

    Have you never heard of flatland gooduser? ,,,, In fact, on the Vienna Center for Quantum Technology’s outreach homepage (Zeilinger’s home group), they have a video illustrating, in a very easy to understand manner, the primacy of the higher dimensional ‘unseen world’ over this 3 dimensional world, so as to convey the importance such a concept has as to describing quantum actions,,

    Dr. Quantum in Flatland
    http://vcq.quantum.at/outreach.....age-4.html

    Of related note:

    The visible comes into existence from the invisible: Quantum Physics and Relativity 2: – Antoine Suarez PhD – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxuOE2Bo_i0&list=UUVmgTa2vbopdjpMNAQBqXHw

    God, Immanuel Kant, Richard Dawkins, and the Quantum. – Antoine Suarez PhD – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQOwMX4bCqk

    Verse and Music:

    1 Timothy 1:17
    Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

    Now Unto The King Eternal
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzA3E5XFNCw

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    keith s do you find it a pleasure to be so consistently insulting to an older lady who donates so much of her time to bring us such interesting News items?

    I find your behavior to be less than charitable to put it mildly, and outright rude, and repugnant, to be blunt.

    Can you at least pretend to have enough common decency to respect your elders? Are is even that modicum of decency forsaken in your desire to defend Atheistic Nihilism?

    Thank goodness News has a far more gracious sense of humor about these things than I do,,, Here is a bit of The wry wit of Denyse O’Leary

    Denyse O’Leary: Catholics & Evolution [God & Evolution]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA780yWDZAI

  6. 6
    goodusername says:

    Bornagain77: Do you like movies about gladiators?

  7. 7
    goodusername says:

    goodusername and keiths, how would you account for Shermer’s experience?

    Hard to say, especially since I can’t examine the radio, and I don’t know what the problem with it is. But I’m pretty sure that Shermer has heard of the “unseen world” considering that the topic of the article is on whether the incident is evidence of such.

  8. 8
    News says:

    bornagain77, you are kind to defend me, and I appreciate it. I do not understand the point of goodusername above about movies about gladiators. Is there even any great number of movies about gladiators?

    Now, what bornagain77 indicates is true: I will be 65 come March. So I have lived a bit in this world.

    My sense is that people like goodusername and keiths have had a less happy life than perhaps you have had or certainly I have had.

    So they cannot even answer a simple question like, how to understand what happened to Michael Shermer. They resort to insults instead.

    Maybe other readers will try to answer the question.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    goodusername, you said ‘what a bizarre question’ in response to question of ‘So the fellow has never heard of the unseen world?’. I provided evidence that the concept of the ‘unseen world’ is integral to understanding the actions of the ‘unseen’ quantum world on this 3-Dimensional world.

    Most normal people would either acknowledge that they have heard of the concept of a ‘unseen world’ before, and/or be grateful that they had learned something profoundly new about how reality is structured. You did neither. Why the dodge? Afraid to face reality on its own terms?

    of note to Gladiators and the ‘institutionalized culture of death’ of the ancient Romans, this book may interest you:

    Spectacles of Death in Ancient Rome
    The elaborate and inventive slaughter of humans and animals in the arena fed an insatiable desire for violent spectacle among the Roman people. Donald G. Kyle combines the words of ancient authors with current scholarly research and cross-cultural perspectives, as he explores
    * the origins and historical development of the games
    * who the victims were and why they were chosen
    * how the Romans disposed of the thousands of resulting corpses
    * the complex religious and ritual aspects of institutionalised violence
    * the particularly savage treatment given to defiant Christians.
    This lively and original work provides compelling, sometimes controversial, perspectives on the bloody entertainments of ancient Rome, which continue to fascinate us to this day.
    http://books.google.com/books/.....YH63-fARUC

  10. 10
    goodusername says:

    News,

    I do not understand the point of goodusername above about movies about gladiators.

    Then you share the same puzzlement I have about being asked “Have you never heard of flatland” in #4.

    So they cannot even answer a simple question like, how to understand what happened to Michael Shermer. They resort to insults instead.

    I didn’t realize that “bizarre” what such an insult.
    But perhaps I missed something and the question isn’t so bizarre. Why would you ask if someone has heard of the unseen world (and further, presume that they haven’t) as a response to someone writing about whether an incident is evidence of the unseen world?

  11. 11
    ppolish says:

    Ms News, your story teared me up. Reminded me a bit of the ending in Brideshead Revisited, one of my favorite books.

    With Shermer, if you read the whole account, you will note his daughter said she also heard the music from where she was alone in her room. My guess is that the daughter pranked her obnoxious dad and new step skepticmother. You can only but up with so much skeptic krud before you have to take matter into your own hands. Hats off to you daughter of Shermer:)

  12. 12
    RodW says:

    News,

    I suspect Goodusername has spent time in a Turkish prison

  13. 13
    goodusername says:

    RodW

    I suspect Goodusername has spent time in a Turkish prison

    No, but I do know what it’s like to fall in the mud and get kicked – repeatedly – in the head, with an iron boot.

    Wait, no I don’t, no one does. That never happens. Sorry, that was dumb… skip that

    (edited: added “in the head”, forgot that part)

  14. 14
    keith s says:

    BA77,

    The quality (or lack thereof) of a piece of journalism stands independently of the age and gender of the journalist.

  15. 15
    ppolish says:

    Shermer’s daughter meant the fixed radio to be a wedding present. After watching Dad use “percussive maintenance” (whacking radio against table) she called a person who knew what they were doing.

    After seeing the look on Dads face and hearing him get religion, she thought “this present is even better than I imagined” and kept mum. The good Lord works in mysterious ways. Who was that repair person anyway?

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    keith s, there is no excuse for your behavior. Where I grew up, if you did such behavior in public to an older lady you would find yourself explaining your actions to a group of young men that were not so concerned that your blood stayed on the inside of your skin.

  17. 17
    keith s says:

    BA77,

    Do you believe that “older ladies” should be held to lower journalistic standards than older men? Than younger ladies? Than younger men?

    If so, why? Do you think you’re doing them a favor?

  18. 18
    News says:

    ppolish, just to say thanks, re Brideshead Revisited, one of my favourites (film is good too). Just so you know, my father’s wife died earlier this year (94) so his children brought him (95) to Ottawa where I visit him twice a day in the local old age across the park. The staff find him a lot of fun as he insists on wearing a fedora, which he often remembers to tip to ladies, including nurses.

  19. 19
    ppolish says:

    Ms News, you “picked a bad day to give up heroin”. That line, along with “gladiator movies” and “Turkish prison” are from an old movie called Airport. My kid had not heard of it either.

    I lost my 89 year old Dad earlier this year. Mom passed 6 years ago and Dad lived at home alone ever since. I did weekly visits every Monday, but I could never write of them as beautifully as you did/do of your visits. Thank you:)

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    goodusername

    2 Corinthians 4:18
    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

    as to:

    I didn’t realize that “bizarre” what such an insult.
    But perhaps I missed something and the question isn’t so bizarre. Why would you ask if someone has heard of the unseen world (and further, presume that they haven’t) as a response to someone writing about whether an incident is evidence of the unseen world?

    goodusername, in case you have not noticed yet, atheists/materialists hold that the world of space-time, matter-energy, is the only ‘real’ world that there is. In fact many materialists have said if you can’t see it, taste it, touch it, smell it, or hear it, then it, (whatever it is), does not really exist. Whereas, on the other hand, Theists hold that there is an ‘unseen world’, i.e. a higher heavenly dimension, above this world. An ‘unseen world’ from which not only this world arises and is sustained, but from which miracles from the hand of God are possible.

    In fact, in a humorous twist of irony, it is interesting to note that, with the discovery of a beginning for the material universe, and the fine-tuning of the universe to allow life within, that atheists have had to resort to ‘random miracles’ from an ‘unseen world’ as an explanatory principle:

    The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory and The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon – video
    http://vimeo.com/34468027

    Here is the last power-point slide of the preceding video:
    The End Of Materialism?
    * In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
    * In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as a explanatory principle.
    * In a Theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and are thus expressions of rational purpose.
    * Scientific materialism is (therefore) epistemically self defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.

    Moreover, whereas we have no evidence that these ‘bizarre’ materialistic postulations of multiple parallel universes or Many Worlds exist, (which materialists had postulated to ‘explain away’ the fine-tuning of this universe and the enigma of quantum wave collapse respectfully), we do have solid evidence for higher dimensions above this one. Higher dimesions that the Theists had predicted all along.

    One solid line of evidence supporting this position is the fact that the matter-energy space-time of this universe is not governed merely by ‘regular’ math, but is governed by ‘higher dimensional’ math. In fact, ‘higher dimensional’ mathematics had to be developed before Einstein could elucidate the 4-D spacetime of General Relativity, or even before Quantum Mechanics could be elucidated;

    The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality – Gauss & Riemann
    https://vimeo.com/98188985

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: We now have, in physics, two theories of great power and interest: the theory of quantum phenomena and the theory of relativity.,,, The two theories operate with different mathematical concepts: the four dimensional Riemann space and the infinite dimensional Hilbert space,
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Another line of evidence for higher dimesions above this one comes from special relativity. In fact we can visualize it on supercomputers. For instance, at the 3:22 minute mark of the following video, the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape around the direction of travel as a ‘hypothetical’ observer moves towards the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light.

    Approaching The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQnHTKZBTI4

    Moreover, besides empirical evidence for special relativity, we also have observational evidence for a higher ‘unseen’ dimension above this one. In fact, one of the most common features of deep Near Death Experiences is where the person having the experience travels through a ‘tunnel’ to a higher heavenly dimension:

    “I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.”
    Barbara Springer – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel – video
    https://vimeo.com/79072924

    Of related note to ‘higher unseen dimensions’, and Near Death Testimony about that higher unseen dimension, our own physical/material bodies or governed higher dimensional mathematical principles:

    “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.,,, The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection.”
    Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79

    The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology
    Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale
    with body size as power laws of the form:

    Y = Yo M^b,

    where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent.
    A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling.
    http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~dre.....18_257.pdf

    With apologies to C.S. Lewis,,,

    If I find in myself a desire 4 dimensional quarter power scaling which no experience 3-Dimensional materialistic process in this world can satisfy explain, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
    C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity, Bk. III, chap. 10, “Hope”)

    Verse, Quote, and Music:

    John 3:12
    I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

    “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
    George MacDonald – Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood – 1892

    Brooke Fraser – CS Lewis song
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PycBrNP8dXg

  21. 21
    Mapou says:

    News:

    Look, stranger things.

    Very nice and sad at the same time. I like your prose.

  22. 22
    Me_Think says:

    Old radios have electrolytic transistors. They evaporate with time and are temperature sensitive too. Stowing the radio might have thawed the remaining electrolyte and would have activated the radio circuitry. Once the electrolyte ran out, radio stopped, so nothing strange happened.
    I am sure the radio would have come alive a few times before the ‘strange incident’, but Shermer would not have been around to listen to the radio. In any case, checking out the transistor would clear the doubts.

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Mapou “Look, stranger things.” ditto!

    “She told me that after sixty years of practical atheism, anti-Catholicism, and anti-Christianity, Dad wanted to be reconciled to the Church. He had a dream, she said. His parents appeared and were calling him, urging this course on him, so that he could one day join them in glory.”
    http://www.touchstonemag.com/a.....4-03-044-c

    Of related note, a dream was also instrumental in Eric Metaxas’s conversion

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7juRRJhhIHE

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    Of note:

    Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life Hardcover – October 28, 2014
    by Eric Metaxas (Author)
    107 customer reviews
    #1 Best Seller in Inspiration & Spirituality
    http://www.amazon.com/Miracles.....ic+metaxas

  25. 25
    ppolish says:

    MeThink, the miracle is not the radio. The miracle is Michael Shermer’s belief that it was a miracle. Whouda thunk.

    BA77, very nice posts.

  26. 26
    gpuccio says:

    ppolish:

    “MeThink, the miracle is not the radio. The miracle is Michael Shermer’s belief that it was a miracle. Whouda thunk.”

    I agree. Maybe we can detect intelligent design in that. Compassionate ID! 🙂

  27. 27
    Me_Think says:

    ppolish @ 25 and gpuccio @ 26

    The miracle is Michael Shermer’s belief that it was a miracle. Whouda thunk.
    ===============================
    I agree. Maybe we can detect intelligent design in that. Compassionate ID!

    🙂
    The frontal cortex, vital to judgment, shuts down when we fall in love. MRI scans show this de-activation occurs only when someone is shown a photo of the person they adore, causing them to suspend all criticism or doubt.

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Pardon a note, electrolytics would be capacitors [large value for size, often used in power supplies and audio ckts, not generally the RF section of a radio], not transistors. The latter come as point contact, bipolar junction, field effect and onward derivatives. KF

  29. 29
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Me_think says,

    The frontal cortex, vital to judgment, shuts down when we fall in love. MRI scans show this de-activation occurs only when someone is shown a photo of the person they adore, causing them to suspend all criticism or doubt.

    I say,

    Perhaps this is a feature and not a bug 😉

    peace

  30. 30
    Me_Think says:

    KF @ 28
    You are right, ofcourse. I was thinking about old radios as transistor radios so the term slipped in. However, I am sure readers would have auto-corrected in their mind. I can’t imagine anyone confusing capacitors (storing current) with transistor !

  31. 31
    Mung says:

    Experiences are subjective and should therefore be ignored, especially when the experience is one by a scientist.

  32. 32
    wallstreeter43 says:

    I can’t for the life of me understand why Keith. S should respect anyone . In a worldview where someone believes that human beings at rust pieces if meat that came together through chemical interaction and random chance , why should they respect anyone ?

    Why shouldn’t he do as he wishes until the day he blinks away into non existence ?

  33. 33
    keith s says:

    wallstreeter43,

    human beings at rust pieces if meat

    I assume that made sense in your head.

    I can’t for the life of me understand why Keith. S should respect anyone . In a worldview where someone believes that human beings at rust pieces if meat that came together through chemical interaction and random chance , why should they respect anyone ?

    I can’t for the life of me understand why you think people are unworthy of respect if they aren’t attached to some piece of ghostly ectoplasm.

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