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Can Ghost be explained in science?

  1. May 9, 2010 #1
    I am wondering
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2010 #2

    russ_watters

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    Not really, no. Evidence in most cases is far too thin to be able to be analyzed scientifically.
     
  4. May 9, 2010 #3
    I doubt one could come up a valid theory on how a ghost could exist using current scientific knowledge. The biggest problem would be defining what exactly a ghost is. Even if someone were able to create a valid explanation for how a ghost could exist (which would be really cool), as russ_walters said, it probably wouldn't anyways.
     
  5. May 9, 2010 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    Can ghosts be explained by science? Yes, but perhaps not all ghosts. :biggrin:

    There exists a wide range of claims that are all commonly considered to be ghost reports. Beyond any doubt, many of these claims can be explained away. Note that even the original Ghost Hunters debunked or explained many ghost reports as plumbing problems, unusual drafts, houses shifting with age, electrical switch failures and the like. However, there is also a body of reports that, if true, cannot be so easily explained away.

    When we say "ghost", do we mean something like the soul of a dead person, or are we simply referring to a claimed phenomenon that seems to defy explanation? While there are relatively rare accounts of people actually seeing and conversing with dead relatives or friends, the bulk of ghost reports are far less specific. If Uncle John really can pay us a visit from the great beyond, I don't think science will be taking that one on for quite some time. If however a phenomenon or range of phenomena exists that we simply don't understand, then I think that, with time, people will be clever enough to figure out ways to test, analyze, and understand these phenomena; eventually identifying them as normal physical processes found in our endlessly fascinating world. I think we may learn a few things along the way, perhaps a few amazing things, but as it must always be, the supernatural will be found to be completely natural; even if it includes visits from Uncle John.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  6. May 9, 2010 #5

    russ_watters

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    Yes, that's a better way of explaining it. "Ghosts", like "UFO's" are not a singular phenomena - not a concise theory that can be tested as a whole. They are individual phenomena/observations that must be examined individually. Some may be explainable/investigate-able by science, some not.
     
  7. May 11, 2010 #6
    If by ghost you mean the soul of a dead creature, that would seem to already be outside of the realm of science, and into religion and metaphysics. For ghostly phenomena Ivan and Russ have it.
     
  8. May 12, 2010 #7
    Cheers for the explenations guys.
     
  9. May 13, 2010 #8
    Ghosts are a funny thing to explain. Some science explains it, like the fact of a decrease in thermal energy when they're around (using its surrounding energy to appear [energy can not be created or destroyed only changed]) and some do not (like the fact of a energy based conciousness).
     
  10. Sep 10, 2011 #9
    We are living in a universe that we only know about 10% of it . Most of matter in the universe (90 % ) is dark matter and the rest is ordinary matter . So there is a possibility that very strange and explainable phenomena are real
     
  11. Sep 10, 2011 #10

    Ryan_m_b

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    You cannot possibly say that, especially when you don't seem to understand just what that statistic means. The fact that there are unknowns does not mean that we can attribute possibility for things that either have no evidence for them or have evidence against them.
     
  12. Sep 11, 2011 #11

    Drakkith

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    I gurantee you science does not explain either of these things. Many people try to use science to explain things that are simply either misunderstood or made up. In the former case it can usually be shown by someone knowledgeable that it isn't a ghost but it something else. For the latter, the made up stuff, there is not an explanation. The science falls apart the instant you look closely at it.

    Possibility implies (to me at least) that we know something is possible or not. IE it is possible a metoer can fall on my head, IF there is one already coming this way on the exact right trajectory. The "possibility" simply means that I don't know if there is one or not or if I will be in the exact right location. In this case I would say that none of us can know if these are possible or not. My guess is that you believe that these things are possible.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
  13. Sep 11, 2011 #12
    Can you please explain how arrived at your "we only know about 10%" statistic? Even if you're 90% dark matter statistic is correct (which according to wikipedia it isn't), "matter" and "understanding" are not the same thing. Just because we only understand 10% of the matter in the universe, that does not mean we understand 10% of the universe. In fact, given that we have no idea how many actual mysteries our universe still has in store for us, I would posit that it's impossible to ascertain a statistic telling us how much we do/don't understand.

    In any case, ghosts are far too ill-defined in most cases to actually be tested scientifically. Usually, people just say "I have no way to explain phenomenon X, therefore ghosts!", which is hogwash.
     
  14. Sep 14, 2011 #13
    The nature of traditional scientific examination limits its applicability. Yes, there is a lot that can be determined via recreation within a laboratory environment, but if the whole of reality was properly confined to what could be recreated within a controlled environment, then physical existence itself - as a whole - would be a myth. Obviously, that's not the case.

    Logic can prove the existence of "ghosts", but not science. That's due to the inherent limitations of the "dog chasing car" structure of the traditional scientific methodology, not due to the validity of what paranormal phenomena does or doesn't indicate.
     
  15. Sep 14, 2011 #14

    Drakkith

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    Nonsense. Science is not confined to a laboratory, nor would your statement be true even if it was.

    Logic proves that ghosts are exceedingly unlikely to be the cause of an phenomena. The thousands upon thousands of supposed ghost have turned out to have very reasonable explanations are evidence of that, while there have been exactly ZERO confirmed ghosts by any reliable method. Every other method has been shown to be completely false multiple times when someone has actually looked deeper than the surface for explanations. Frankly, there is no other method of investigation that uses good logic other than science.
     
  16. Sep 14, 2011 #15
    Science is crippled as a tool for unique discovery. It can verify, but it can only verify what it can control and confine. Your intellect can only be examined by way of the clear ramifications of your intellect, and yet, it does exist. Science can't even verify that your brain actually produces anything but tiny electrical impulses. Certainly not thoughts.

    And, as far as the method of investigation that can be confirmed to be reliable, until 100 years or so ago, there wasn't much that was reliable for investigating much of what we're all pretty comfortable with acknowledging as real these days. I'm going to suggest that we don't have every piece of technology required to successfully investigate everything that exists. With that being a plausible assertion, where does science even fit into any effort to establish a point of responsible reference when reaching this century's version of uranium-centric power development? Probably not anywhere just yet.
     
  17. Sep 14, 2011 #16

    Evo

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    This thread should have been closed.
     
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