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Psi/Consciousness studies alluding to downwards causality

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Mar23-10, 07:52 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
I didn't realize PEAR was The Global Consciousness Project. You label it as "The most compelling, the most bulletproof to skeptical criticisms" but to real scientists it is one of the worst examples of psi "research" around. It is a bad mixture of selection bias and misuse of statistical data.
Funny, I wrote out a post saying just that (also using the 'bulletproof' quote) but I decided not to post.

I looked in the methodology section for where they explain how they pick events and theorizing about how it could be done properly (red-black type separation of systems, picking events without any contact from anyone who's seen the data, cross-comparisons with the odds for random times rather than important events, etc.), only to be let down... the data were clearly cherry-picked.
Mar23-10, 10:48 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
In essence, what was done is these random number generators were mined for anomalous non-random data, then interesting world events were found to connect the data to. For example, the 2001 Yankees World Series win generated an event, but neither the 1999 or 2000 Yankees World Series wins did.
PEAR & the GCP are two different things.

Nelson & Radin feverently denied that claim, you can see their defense in the JSE Volume 17, unfortunate that it's not on their site. And of the wiki article(s) here:

Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
Then they took all of the probabilities of the events and combined them over time to produce a shockingly strong claim of a million to one odds of such a deviation from random. But that's just nonsense.
No no, their claim is that this apparantely impressive cumulative z-score is for only formal events, defined before the fact. This is of course only their claim, which is a bit disappointing. But I don't want to jump to the lying conclusion, which is the only alternative.

That's why I found this so impressive, because they're either flat-out lying about the events being defined before the fact and they're actually cherry picking after the fact, or something amazing is happening.

The argument of cherry picking for their cumulative z-score is an accusation of lying, while it's still a possibility, I don't see how you can just jump to that and be satisfied.

Quote Quote by CRGreathouse View Post
the data were clearly cherry-picked.
You can just state this? How? I don't understand how you can arrive at this conclusion
Mar23-10, 11:15 PM
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Quote Quote by imiyakawa View Post
PEAR & the GCP are two different things.
GCP is a spin-off project of PEAR. They are parts of the same line of research.
Nelson & Radin feverently denied that claim, you can see their defense on their site.
They also state that only around 50% of data is after the fact, and the other they consider what they call 'rigorously defined events' in which they specify the amount of time before hand. Of course they could be lying about this..
No, I doubt they are lying - I always assume people are telling the truth and have no reason to believe they are saying things they don't believe. That has very little bearing on the quality of their research: in my experience, most crackpots really believe what they say.
OBVIOUSLY, this leaves the door open for the meddling of data and bias, BUT, I have never seen a proper dissemination of the data, which is all available, only baseless claims like yours that they mined. Common sense tells you that they in theory could have cherry picked, but it's interesting that 0 people have actually gone through the data, they just say the data has been cherry picked and they are somehow satisfied with their conclusion. It also seems you haven't considered the Nelson/Radin's attempted refutation to the critique you brought up, which is disappointing.
It's not baseless, I paraphrased and quoted the closet thing they have to an independent review (from the wiki). Here's the full paper:

You're also shifting the burden of proof here. These claims of theirs have never been published in a reputable journal, as far as I know - this thread should probably have been locked already for not meeting our quality guidelines. The burden of proof to show qualilty is completly yours.
But I don't want to jump to the lying conclusion, which is the only alternative.
No, there is also the alternative that they believe they are doing quality research, but aren't. Selection bias is a pretty natural human psychological failing.
Mar23-10, 11:19 PM
P: 251
Please refer to my edited post, it addresses most of the concerns you've had with my reply.

It was not my intention to appear to be shifting the burden of proof, in my last post I was trying to point out two things:

- There are attempted refutations of the criticisms you have pointed out that you aren't considering
- You were mistaken that the cumulative z-score was a culmination of all their events, and not only their before-the-fact events.
Mar23-10, 11:26 PM
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[edit] The link you just posted is broken.
Mar23-10, 11:35 PM
P: 251
Fixed :)
Ivan Seeking
Mar24-10, 01:49 AM
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Since my posts are being ignored, this thread is done.

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