The mind does not exist – or anyway it cannot cause anything to happen, right? Well, it would be very convenient for materialists if that could be shown to be true.
Such a deep dynamic could explain, for instance, why parapsychology is nearly as implacably opposed today as in the early days of psychical research, 1870-1900 (at least this is my impression).
Well they have certainly tried to implacably oppose it.
But actually, Magnan, things are changing a little bit – though it took way too long, to be sure. Professional unidirectional skeptics are giving up on trying to disprove the idea that there are no paranormal phenomena.
It’s about time. History lesson:
The Parapsychological Association, an international scientific society, was elected an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1969. Seminars on psi research have formed part of the regular programs of annual conferences of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, and the American Statistical Association. Educated audiences at the United Nations, Harvard, and Bell Laboratories have invited lecturers on the state of psi research. Reports have been prepared by the Congressional Research Service, the Army Research Institute, the National Research Council, the Office of Technology Assessment, and the American Institutes for Research (this latter one commissioned by the CIA). All five of the reviews concluded that, based on experimental evidence, certain forms of psychic phenomena deserved serious scientific study. ( P. 168, The Spiritual Brain)
Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard and I cover this key change in detail in The Spiritual Brain (Harper One, 2007).
And how much have things changed? Well, for example, CSICOP – the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry into Claims of the Paranormal – changed its name a couple of years ago to merely Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.
I have heard various explanations for the moniker change, but what most obviously emerged was that they wanted “paranormal” out of their name.
Advisedly. There is serious evidence that psi phenomena do exist as a LOW level phenomenon, not a high level one.
So like, yeah, the world is still normal. Madam Baloni IS a fraud.
(Surprised, anybody? No, … I didn’t expect you guys would be. )
But some people do beat the odds in guessing or influencing random generation of numbers, beyond the reach of chance. So a basic tenet of materialism is simply incorrect.
A discreet change of name is probably the wisest strategy for CSICOP > CSI.
That, and distancing themselves from the likes of Richard Dawkins, which they seem to also be doing.
Most interesting developments …