# Can psychics really see the past/future?

russ_watters
Mentor
Overdose said:
Your right it is subjective, which i why i couldnt understand it when you started replying to my posts as if your idea of what constitutes compelling evidence was held by everyone.
Not everyone - just scientists.
Personally i dont think evidence has to be conclusive atall to be compelling as ive already established.
That's fine for you personally, but that isn't good enough for a scientist and you are trying to convince scientists.
No you didnt, you asked for conclusive proof, if you made a sensible
Sensible according to whom? Who is trying to convince who here? If you want to convince me of something, you have to satisfy my criterea! That's the whole problem with the way most against-the-mainstream ideas are presented! They get rejected for being unscientific, then the originators of the ideas attack science for being too scientific! Thats not an argument that can be won. Saying that my criterea are unreasonable doesn't help you convince me of anything. Try using your current tactic to argue against a technical journal and see how far it gets you.

Further, you implied earlier that you could satisfy my criterea:
...theres plenty of compelling evidence for psychic Phenomena being done by reputable people who conform to the most stringent guidelines.[emphasis added]
Saying "the most stringent guidelines" on a science bulletin board implies you have a scientific level of proof (ie, my criterea). Do you have it or not? Coninuing to argue that a scientific level of proof is unreasonable isn't going to change the scientific method or the way its applied.
...your standard of proof lies at around 90%, that's perfectly fine and your entitled to demand this level of proof. But bear in mind that my original statement was simply that there is compelling evidence for esp, not there is evidence which compells Russ.
Scroll back and reread some of the earlier parts of this thread. Your initial claim was made to Chronos in post #16 and Locrian responded that "Your definition of well documented is aparently more lenient than mine. Much, much more lenient." So that begs the question: if your evdience is not of the sort that would compell Russ or Chronos or Locrian, who would it compel? Do you see the problem now? You make the claim that its compelling without ever saying according to what criterea. In fact, you still haven't laid out your crierea (standard of proof) - all we know so far is its compelling to YOU. But yet you still claimed that what you had was compelling according to "the most stringent guidelines." Clearly, it isn't.

This should be self-evident, but since this is a science forum - that means our criterea/guidlines are for scientific level of proof. So if you're going to claim you have something compelling, it needs to be of that level of proof.

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russ_watters said:
This should be self-evident, but since this is a science forum - that means our criterea/guidlines are for scientific level of proof. So if you're going to claim you have something compelling, it needs to be of that level of proof.
Saying that this is a science forum therefore any standards that we demand on here must be scientific, sorry complete rubbish. There is no criteria to join this forum, it doesnt even require that you've passed any basic exams in science. So to say that is naive in the extreme. Do you even speak for everyone on this forum? no you are just one lone voice, demanding a level of proof. Nothing more.
My orginal statement was that the evidence for esp is compelling, i think it is, many scientists agree with me, some esp trials have been compelling enough to be printed in nature.
However there is no all-encompasing standard or level of compelling proof which spans all the sciences, nor is what is and isnt compelling entirely objective. I dont feel we are ever going to move forwards if you cant acknowledge this.

Btw i will be posting up various esp experiments in the weeks to come : p

russ_watters
Mentor
Overdose, clearly there is nothing left to discuss. You can choose to accept the scientific method or not, its up to you - but here, you will find that we hold it in high regard. And for future reference, if you assert that something is "compelling" without stating the critereon (in fact, you still haven't), people will assume that you mean compelling in a scientific sense.

Fredrik
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Ivan Seeking said:
Where is the money? Frankly, I don't trust Randi any more than I trust Sylvia Brown. I have doubts that the money even exists. I keep asking for proof but none of his devotees ever produce any.
If you actually believe that the Randi million doesn't exist, why don't you investigate it yourself? Why don't you just ask the James Randi Educational Foundation to prove that they have the money, instead of making ridiculous accusations here? (Their web page clearly states that they will provide the evidence if you just ask them).

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Why don't you? If you are defending Randi then where's the proof? This is all I have ever asked for from any of his true believers. They just go stomping off and never show up with any proof.

What is most telling is that none of his devotees have even bothered to check. So much for skepticism.

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Chronos
Gold Member
The most usual criticisms by Randi's detractors is he 'rigs' the testing to ensure no one can pass, and, refuses to accept challenges when he knows the challenger has genuine 'powers'. Given those circumstances, the existence of the million dollars is a rather moot point. Anyways, I'm not sure what would constitute proof. The validity of just about any manner of documentation could be challenged. The prize at one time was $10,000. The million dollar prize was, according to Randi, raised from contributors to his [non-profit] foundation. This was Randi's reply when skeptics challenged whether or not he actually could come up with the million "Bet me US$1,000 that we don't have the money. Send your check for US$1,000, payable to the Foundation, to any reputable lawyer you choose to name. I'll do the same, sending a US$1,000 check payable to YOU, to that same lawyer.

As soon as I'm informed by the lawyer that both checks have been received, I'll send the lawyer a financial statement, notarized by our bank, which establishes that the prize can be covered. At that point, both checks will be sent to the Foundation. Of course, if I can't, don't, or won't, supply that statement, the lawyer will send both checks to you."

Anyways, it is not even that hard. Randi was just annoyed at that particular whiner when he made the bet. According to the Randi website, a written validation of the account is available from the JREF in return for a stamped, self-addressed envelope. No, I haven't sent for a copy.

I am amused by notion Randi's advocates are "true believers". Believers in what? They're all skeptics. Has Randi elevated skeptiscism to a cult?

russ_watters
Mentor
Chronos said:
I am amused by notion Randi's advocates are "true believers". Believers in what? They're all skeptics. Has Randi elevated skeptiscism to a cult?
Yes, Ivan stated quite explicitly in another thread that, in essence, there are crackpot skeptics who are mirror images of the crackpot flying saucer advocates. I pointed out the flaw in that reasoning as well.

To point out the obvious (again), the main objection here is that Randi could be lying and therefore could be a crackpot. Ergo, if he's telling the truth that he has the money and telling the truth that he'll evaluate claims openly and scientifically, then he's not a crackpot. The difference between that and the flying saucer and ESP advocates is that they are crackpots whether they are lying or not.

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Fredrik
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Ivan, I think you know that your accusation is false. If you actually believed in it, you would investigate the matter yourself. It's not hard to do.

Ivan Seeking said:
Why don't you?
Because there are plenty of believers in the paranormal out there, who hate Randi and everything he stands for. These people would love to see him exposed as a fraud. If the \$1 million really didn't exist, one of them would have proved it by now.

Ivan Seeking said:
If you are defending Randi then where's the proof?
At the James Randi Educational Foundation.

Ivan Seeking said:
This is all I have ever asked for from any of his true believers. They just go stomping off and never show up with any proof.
You're obviously asking the wrong people. If you really wanted to see proof, you would be talking to the JREF.

Ivan Seeking said:
What is most telling is that none of his devotees have even bothered to check. So much for skepticism.
No, what is most telling is that people like you haven't even bothered to check. Think about it for a while. There must be someone out there who believes in the paranormal and hates James Randi, who has checked. Why don't we ever hear anyone of them saying that the money doesn't exist?

Chronos
Gold Member
russ_watters said:
Yes, Ivan stated quite explicitly in another thread that, in essence, there are crackpot skeptics who are mirror images of the crackpot flying saucer advocates. I pointed out the flaw in that reasoning as well.

To point out the obvious (again), the main objection here is that Randi could be lying and therefore could be a crackpot. Ergo, if he's telling the truth that he has the money and telling the truth that he'll evaluate claims openly and scientifically, then he's not a crackpot. The difference between that and the flying saucer and ESP advocates is that they are crackpots whether they are lying or not.
Of course the equivalent of crackpot skeptics to crackpot advocates exist when it comes to such things as ET, bigfoot, ghosts and other 'paranormal' phenomenon. They are usually referred to as scientists. They have this annoying tendency to distract people from the real issues by obscuring them with facts.

russ_watters said:
The difference between that and the flying saucer and ESP advocates is that they are crackpots whether they are lying or not.
I think thats the first honest statement youve made in this thread,
For you the data and the facts are completely irrelevant, youve already made up your mind. Which begs the question why are you even posting here?

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus