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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