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Paywalled article in New Scientist on the paranormal?

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From New Scientist:

The term “parapsychology” can raise eyebrows. Do you encounter opposition to what you do?

There is occult baggage attached to the field, which is really not related to what we actually do. We are scientists. Sometimes other scientists describe parapsychology as a pseudoscience, and that’s unfair. I’ll stick my neck out and say that the methodological standards of parapsychologists are sometimes higher than those of psychologists. For example, since 2012 I’ve been operating a parapsychology study registry; psychologists are only now starting to take study registration seriously. Parapsychologists are making extraordinary claims, so we have to ensure our research eliminates as many artefacts and normal explanations as we can. …

Then it trails off into subscription brushland… .

New Scientist is trying hard to sell subscriptions. In 2005, the mag classed the placebo effect as No. 1 of 13 things that don’t make sense.

(Placebo effect: You start to get better because you are convinced that the remedy you are receiving works, one of the best attested effects in medicine. It is the true reason drugs are tested against placebo as opposed to being tested against “no treatment.” So doubting it amounts to doubting that the mind exists and acts.)

That said, it’s a good thing if people examine such claims without the ritual worship of new atheism, which has been a huge barrier in the past.

The new atheist is typically a lectern splinterer, according to whom paranormal experiences can never be substantiated in principle. Which is hardly a useful contribution to any field of research whatever. Sidelining him would be a useful start. But in the end, they might back out of that. And I am not paying to find out.

Until we know what normal is, for sure, we can’t know what paranormal is. And certainly not what can’t happen. All we have or don’t have in the end is evidence.

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5 Replies to “Paywalled article in New Scientist on the paranormal?

  1. 1
    Collin says:

    Thanks for this. Parapsychology has been an interest of mine since I got a bachelor’s in psychology. My father in law is a brain researcher at university of Washington and some of his research on telepathy has yielded positive results.

  2. 2
    Robert Byers says:

    Most people who stick their necks out don’t really expect to get them chopped. Creationists really do feel the blade.
    Parapsychology is a waste of time I say. Yet still safer then creationist papers. its that dumb oppressive.

  3. 3
    Mark Frank says:

    Placebo effect: You start to get better because you are convinced that the remedy you are receiving works, one of the best attested effects in medicine. It is the true reason drugs are tested against placebo as opposed to being tested against “no treatment.” So doubting it amounts to doubting that the mind exists and acts.

    As you say the placebo effect is well attested. Of course, it has no relevance to the dualism versus materialism debate.  Materialists do not doubt the mind exists. They just think it is material. And a material mind is perfectly capable of producing a placebo effect.
    However, you are being rather misleading when you write:

    It is the true reason drugs are tested against placebo as opposed to being tested against “no treatment.”

    That suggests that people are putting forward some other false reason and your are revealing the  true reason. It has always been quite clear that is why drugs are frequently tested against a placebo effect. 

  4. 4
    Joe says:

    Mark, Materialists cannot explain the mind for the simple reason they cannot explain organisms. Their’s is a total failure.

  5. 5
    Jim Smith says:

    Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications on Psi Research
    http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

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