Can the physics of consciousness transcend space-time?

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However, it is possible that the déjà vu feeling is triggered by a neurochemical action in the brain that is not connected to any actual experience in the past. One feels strange and identifies the feeling with a memory, even though the experience is completely new.

We often have experiences the novelty of which is unclear. In such cases we may have been led to ask such questions as, "Have I read this book before?" "Is this an episode of Inspector Morse I've seen before?" "This place looks familiar; have I been here before?" Yet, these experiences are not accompanied by an uncanny feeling. We may feel a bit confused, but the feeling associated with the déjà vu experience is not one of confusion; it is one of strangeness. There is nothing strange about not remembering whether you've read a book before, especially if you are fifty years old and have read thousands of books over your lifetime. In the déjà vu experience, however, we feel strange because we don't think we should feel familiar with the present perception. That sense of inappropriateness is not present when one is simply unclear whether one has read a book or seen a film before.

Thus, it is possible that the attempt to explain the déjà vu experience in terms of lost memory, past lives, clairvoyance, and so on may be completely misguided. We should be talking about the déjà vu feeling. That feeling may be caused by a brain state, by neurochemical factors during perception that have nothing to do with memory. It is worth noting that the déjà vu feeling is common among psychiatric patients. The déjà vu feeling also frequently precedes temporal lobe epilepsy attacks.
 
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Originally posted by Jeebus
However, it is possible that the déjà vu feeling is triggered by a neurochemical action in the brain that is not connected to any actual experience in the past.
This is what I've spent all of my posts in this thread saying
One feels strange and identifies the feeling with a memory, even though the experience is completely new.
Correct, the feeling is not actually caused by any authentic memory: the feeling comes first and the attempt to ascribe an external cause comes second.

We often have experiences the novelty of which is unclear. In such cases we may have been led to ask such questions as, "Have I read this book before?" "Is this an episode of Inspector Morse I've seen before?" "This place looks familiar; have I been here before?" Yet, these experiences are not accompanied by an uncanny feeling.
This is what I was just explaining in my previous post. When the memory turns out to be authentic it does not have the same strange intensity of the Deja Vu

We may feel a bit confused, but the feeling associated with the déjà vu experience is not one of confusion; it is one of strangeness.
This is what I just said in my previous post. In a deja Vu the feeling of familiarity calls attention to itself, in and of itself.

There is nothing strange about not remembering whether you've read a book before, especially if you are fifty years old and have read thousands of books over your lifetime. In the déjà vu experience, however, we feel strange because we don't think we should feel familiar with the present perception. That sense of inappropriateness is not present when one is simply unclear whether one has read a book or seen a film before.
This sentiment seems familiar. Could it be I encountered it in my previous post?

Thus, it is possible that the attempt to explain the déjà vu experience in terms of lost memory, past lives, clairvoyance, and so on may be completely misguided.
No one has brought up the silliness of trying to explain Deja Vu in terms of memory from past lives in this thread, thank goodness, because it makes no sence to suppose anything you knew in a past life could possibly be recreated down to the last detail in this life, which is what one experiences in a Deja Vu: every detail of evrything around you seems amazingly familiar.
However the hypothesis that you saw it all before in a prcognitive dream or vision can't be dismissed on the same grounds. If this were the case everything would seem familiar down to the last detail. If these efforts to explain Deja Vu are misguided then it is for some other reason.


It is worth noting that the déjà vu feeling is common among psychiatric patients.
I have never heard anyone make this assertion before. What are you basing this on? One poll came up with a figure of 51% of the population at large havng experienced at least one Deja Vu in their lives. Are you saying this is greater among psychiatric patients? Or that any given psychiatric patient is likely to have them more frequently than people wihout psychiatric problems?

The déjà vu feeling also frequently precedes temporal lobe epilepsy attacks.
Reading this makes me wonder if you have read this whole thread because I spent several long posts
making the case that all Deja Vus are probably temporal lobe seizures. The Deja Vu doesn't simply "preceed" more serious temporal lobe seizures, it is a seizure itself. It is the simple partial seizure that can spread to other areas of the brain manifesting as a complex partial seizure, and then sometimes worse.
It can, and frequently does, remain contained without spreading in which case it is called a simple partial seizure (no defect in consciousness. A complex seizure is marked by a defect in consciousness).
 
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Nereid

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zoobyshoe: "Breath-takingly egotistical"? It's not clear to me why you cast these claims in this light.
"Anthropomorphic"? Ascribing human qualities to that which is not human? How does this fit in?
"Hubristic"? Pride-driven? Here again, why are you suggesing this?
These are fair questions; my post didn't make the context clear.
Kenneth V said: Could it be that during this time our brains break free of space-time, actually visit parallel dimensions and can even see ourselves in the future. What if while dreaming, our "brainwaves" hyperactivate and shoot out,at light speed, to the future (retarded wave) where our future brains simultaneously send out waves of us perceiving our environment (advanced wave) forming our all to real dream.
I submit that, if these questions had been cast as claims, they'd've merited the adjectives I used.

So, thank you zoobyshoe. {note to self: re-read replies more carefully before submitting}
 
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Originally posted by Nereid
I submit that, if these questions had been cast as claims, they'd've merited the adjectives I used.
I still must disagree. "Breath-takingly egostistical" is a term that comes to mind, for instance, when I hear Michael Flately Lord Of The Dance say, right on camera, and in all sincerity, "I am the greatest dancer in the world."

"Anthropomorhic" came to mind when I once heard a woman say: "That xerox machine hates me! It's always breaking down every time I try to use it!"

"Hubristic" came to mind when I heard Arnold Schwarzenegger once say "After Maria met me and decided I was the greatest thing since sliced bread we started talking about getting married."

It isn't the extremity of the terms I take exception to, or the negative connotations, it is that they don't accurately apply to the quote you're criticizing, even if the speculations had been put forth as claims. There are plenty of negative things one could say about the quote if he was of a mind to. The negative characterization you made just doesn't seem to have anything to do with the quote.

-Zooby
 

Nereid

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zooby: Ask yourself why you are interested in testing this in the first place.
Er, this thread is in "Scepticism and debunking", isn't it?

Re-phrasing the question as a claim (this is a strawman; Kenneth V did not make this claim):

our brains break free of space-time, actually visit parallel dimensions and can even see ourselves in the future

Hmm, let me see, AFAIK there are no observations of anything 'breaking free of space-time', nor anything 'visiting parallel dimensions'. So, a claim that the strange and wonderful collection of C, H, O, N, S, etc which comprises the human brain could do such breaking free and visiting is ... how would you describe it zooby? It fits my idea of 'egotistical' pretty well.
 
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Originally posted by Nereid
Er, this thread is in "Scepticism and debunking", isn't it?
Correct. So since there is no way to directly test the phenomenon as things stand, find a whole different way of approaching the subject by first asking yourself why it is your interested in testing the phenomenon. Weed out what you want to be the case and generally you'll be able to find a way of coming at the issue such that you can answer your question. Do not quote people out of context.

Re-phrasing the question as a claim (this is a strawman; Kenneth V did not make this claim):

our brains break free of space-time, actually visit parallel dimensions and can even see ourselves in the future
As a claim this strikes me as fantastic, pseudo-scientific, naive, probably mystical.

Here's a rewrite as a "breathtakingly egotistical" claim:

"My extrordinarily powerful brain can break free of space-time, actually visit parallel dimensions, and even see my awesome self in the future, which none of your brains can do."

That is the type of claim I would call "breathtakingly egotistical".

-Zooby
 
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Nereid

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Correct. So since there is no way to directly test the phenomenon as things stand, find a whole different way of approaching the subject by first asking yourself why it is your interested in testing the phenomenon.
Hmm, just read the thread again to be sure; may I ask what lead you to the conclusion that I had an interest in the the phenomenon, beyond establishing that there is no way to directly test it?

N: Re-phrasing the question as a claim (this is a strawman; Kenneth V did not make this claim):
our brains break free of space-time, actually visit parallel dimensions and can even see ourselves in the future.

Z: As a claim this strikes me as fantastic, pseudo-scientific, naive, probably mystical.
Not quite what I was looking for; 'egotistical, but referring to humans in general, rather than one person'; what's your favourite word for that?
 
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Originally posted by Nereid
Hmm, just read the thread again to be sure; may I ask what lead you to the conclusion that I had an interest in the the phenomenon, beyond establishing that there is no way to directly test it?
I came to that conclusion based on the fact that you suggested a way to try and test it. My reading of that suggestion was that you were interested, not in proving it couldn't be tested, but in finding a way to test it so it could be debunked.


Not quite what I was looking for;

I don't reccommend describing what you're looking for. It's a difficult enough task to simply describe what's there.

'egotistical, but referring to humans in general, rather than one person'; what's your favourite word for that?
Not a word, but a cliche": "Barking up the wrong tree."
 
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Hey everyone, I really enjoy reading all the posts you've replied with. I have found much insight to my questions I asked in my posts. It seems that there may be some confusion in regards to the way I wrote my thoughts. I just want to set the record straight by saying that my thoughts were and still are only speculation and not claims by any means. I had an idea and wanted other peoples opinions.

I personally believe in proven science and the "unproven" or unexplained. This leads me to believe in the neurological seizure ideas that have been posted as well as wondering in what else could be out there. Thousands of years ago people never would have guessed that the light that they experienced was a 'real' substantial thing. Now we know today that it is made from actual particles in a wave pattern moving at an astonishing velocity. My point here is that even though technology isn't advanced enough for me to physically prove my point (which is why I asked for other peoples opinions), it also isn't advanced enough to completely disprove it either. So who knows maybe in the future we may understand John Cramers ideas, on the physics I describe before, enough to really test these ideas. Like I said I'm only speculating and do enjoy your replies... keep em coming.

Kenny
 
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Originally posted by KennethV
It seems that there may be some confusion in regards to the way I wrote my thoughts. I just want to set the record straight by saying that my thoughts were and still are only speculation and not claims by any means.
Do not worry. I understood this.

I personally believe in proven science and the "unproven" or unexplained. This leads me to believe in the neurological seizure ideas that have been posted as well as wondering in what else could be out there.
I would like to divide the issue of Deja Vus from whether or not it is possible to "see" the future. (It may well be that this is possible. We hear anecdotal evidence frequently.) The point I wanted to get across is that I don't believe a Deja Vu ever represents an authentic instance of this. It is a purely illusory experience that must be subtracted from the speculation because it is just going to unnecessarily confuse the issue.

-Zooby
 
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I see your point, Zooby, and by all means, anyone who wishes to take this debate of "Can the physics of consciousness transcend space-time"(since that is my root question) to another topic relating to this question, feel free to do so. This is an interesting question to me (that's why I ask it) and I want to hear ideas.

Zooby, can you relate to me some of this anecdotal evidence. Sounds interesting.

Kenny
 
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Originally posted by KennethV

Zooby, can you relate to me some of this anecdotal evidence. Sounds interesting.
I am refering in general to mystics who claim to be able to see the future in clear visions while conscious.

The reports of this I trust the most are some brief mentions of it in connection with Zen Buddism. After a certain level of expertise is reached the Buddist monk is reported to be able to see both scenes from the past and the future, with complete accuracy. They get used to this and pretty soon it is no big deal to them.
(I don't think you'd get very far asking one to participate in any study of the "physics" behind this. They don't see science as an important human endeavor.)
 

Nereid

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Originally posted by zoobyshoe
I came to that conclusion based on the fact that you suggested a way to try and test it. My reading of that suggestion was that you were interested, not in proving it couldn't be tested, but in finding a way to test it so it could be debunked.
Two-stage programme zooby; first see if it's possible to test, then if it is, test!

Standard scientific method, IMHO.

Nereid: 'egotistical, but referring to humans in general, rather than one person'; what's your favourite word for that?
Originally posted by zoobyshoe
I don't reccommend describing what you're looking for. It's a difficult enough task to simply describe what's there.

Not a word, but a cliche": "Barking up the wrong tree."
How about anthropomorphic hubris?
 
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Originally posted by Nereid
Two-stage programme zooby; first see if it's possible to test, then if it is, test!

Standard scientific method, IMHO.
You seem to be trying to create the impression that your suggestion as to how it might be tested was intended to demonstrate that it couldn't be tested. You also seem to be trying to create the impression that you were and still are completely neutral about what the results might be if it could be tested. Am I reading this right? Are you trying to create these impressions?


anthropomorphic hubris? [/B][/QUOTE]
This term, anthropomorphic hubris, doesn't mean anything. I think you are shakey on the meaning of the word "anthropomorphic". The verb form "To Anthropomorphize" means to ascribe human characteristic to things that are not human. "Anthropomorphic Hubris", therefore, would mean something like pride associated with the act of ascribing human characteristics to something non-human. I don't get the impression that is what youre shooting for.
 

Nereid

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anthropomorphic hubris

Zooby said: This term, anthropomorphic hubris, doesn't mean anything. I think you are shakey on the meaning of the word "anthropomorphic". The verb form "To Anthropomorphize" means to ascribe human characteristic to things that are not human. "Anthropomorphic Hubris", therefore, would mean something like pride associated with the act of ascribing human characteristics to something non-human. I don't get the impression that is what youre shooting for.
Words and phrases, in any language, mean what their speakers mean when saying them, and what their listeners understand when hearing them. Language is a living thing, not subject to the will of an academy, or the wishes of your high school English teacher. Just look at "its" and "it's", as in 'belonging to it', or 'of it'; by common usage, they're the same now. (I still see red over 'affect' and 'effect' though).

With the internet and Google, it's much easier for everywoman to do real research. My short effort to find out what the accepted way to describe 'egotistical, but referring to humans in general, rather than one person' yielded the following (no, the effort lacked rigour as an application of the scientific method, but it was quite fun!):
- anthropomoric hubris has been used
- egotistical is much more common.

My guess is that the extension of the core meaning of egotistical to refer to 'the general conceit of the views of humanity' is not yet well established (otherwise you'd have not challenged my use of the term), but it's certainly well under way.
 

marcus

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Re: anthropomorphic hubris

Originally posted by Nereid
....quite fun!):
- anthropomoric hubris has been used
- egotistical is much more common.

My guess is that the extension of the core meaning of egotistical to refer to 'the general conceit of the views of humanity' is not yet well established (otherwise you'd have not challenged my use of the term), but it's certainly well under way.
my attention caught by anthropomorphic hubris (strikes a chord with me) but the phrase
"the general conceit of the views of humanity" is what--Johnsonian in grandeur? Swift? Gibbons? Did you make up this ringing phrase. it is a very good one and contains some humor while "hubris" is just kind of dull and pejorative---tho perhaps accurate

anthropocentric? too buzzy, rhymes too well with Eurocentric or ethno whatever

replace humanity with mankind and reduce number of syllables?

who said that phrase, unless you just now discovered it
 

marcus

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presumption

anthropic presumption

we have recently evolved from fish and naturally assume ourselves to be the model for intelligent life in all creation
and that our understanding of things is the model for all
physical law

Lubos Motl signs his SPR posts "String theory is the language in which God wrote the universe" which should be tongue in cheek but then his posts undermine that

I have to go sit at a political table at the farmers market this morning but I will try to think about the overweening and unconscious conceit of mankind the center of creation and perhaps a name for it will occur to me
 

Nereid

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zooby: You seem to be trying to create the impression that your suggestion as to how it might be tested was intended to demonstrate that it couldn't be tested. You also seem to be trying to create the impression that you were and still are completely neutral about what the results might be if it could be tested. Am I reading this right? Are you trying to create these impressions?
I've got a kinda 'love-hate' relationship with scepticism and debunking; I also sometimes trip when crossing from content to process or vice versa. I've toyed with developing a 'Debunking, a Practical Guide', which would describe an effective approach. In this, establishing whether the claim is testable, even in principle, would be an early step; if the person making the claim can work through this with me (or any sceptic), and propose their own tests, so much the better.

Would you be interested in collaborating to develop such a guide?
 
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Originally posted by Nereid Words and phrases, in any language, mean what their speakers mean when saying them, and what their listeners understand when hearing them. Language is a living thing, not subject to the will of an academy..."
This is true, but we have a situation here where I don't understand the word anthropomorphic to mean what you mean it to mean. The word marcus introduced into the conversation, anthropocentric, is a great deal closer to what you're looking for, but I really don't understand why you don't either settle for a phrase to describe what you mean, or coin a new word, (perhaps: anthropohubric) rather than commit the linguistic crime of trying to twist a preexisting word into meaning something other than its presently accepted and very useful meaning. If you use anthropomorphic to mean the concept you are trying to name what are you going to use to describe the attribution of human characteristics to non-human things?
Likewise, people use words incorrectly all the time, here, on this forum, all over the place. Usually you can tell what they mean. This doesn't mean, however, their incorrect usage has become correct. The fact they can be understood is a side phenomenon, and is not a criteria of correct or incorrect usage. It does not become correct to use the word horse to mean pig untill most people use it that way. The people who write dictionaries are extremely sensitive to common usage and are constantly monitoring all forms of the media to take the pulse of common usage. I always bow to the results of their research.
zoob
 
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Re: Re: anthropomorphic hubris

Originally posted by marcus
"...but the phrase
"the general conceit of the views of humanity" is what--Johnsonian in grandeur? Swift? Gibbons?
This is why I love you, Marcus. Who else would have noticed, this phrase, and asked those questions?
(Incidently, since none of the people on the short list I published contacted my privately with bribes, as I had hoped, I ended up voting for you.)
anthropocentric? too buzzy, rhymes too well with Eurocentric or ethno whatever
Also not quite close enough in meaning yet; lacks the clear indication of pride.
 
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Originally posted by Nereid
I've got a kinda 'love-hate' relationship with scepticism and debunking;
There are medications and therapies for this. (Just teasing)

Actually you will have to expand on this. I don't know what that admission of ambivalence might mean in specific terms. Does it mean you firmly believe in the Loch Ness Monster and hate it's debunkers, while scarcely being able to contain your distain for those who believe in Bigfoot?
I also sometimes trip when crossing from content to process or vice versa.
Expand on this too.
I've toyed with developing a 'Debunking, a Practical Guide', which would describe an effective approach.
My first question is:"Whom do you envision as the audience for such a guide?"
In this, establishing whether the claim is testable, even in principle, would be an early step
That sound right.
if the person making the claim can work through this with me (or any sceptic), and propose their own tests, so much the better.
This would be a rare bird: a person making such a claim who is actually open minded enough to face their claim being debunked. Almost never found in Nature.
Would you be interested in collaborating to develop such a guide?
I am more than happy to knock around ideas.
 

Nereid

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Originally posted by zoobyshoe
This is true, but we have a situation here where I don't understand the word anthropomorphic to mean what you mean it to mean. The word marcus introduced into the conversation, anthropocentric, is a great deal closer to what you're looking for, but I really don't understand why you don't either settle for a phrase to describe what you mean, or coin a new word, (perhaps: anthropohubric) rather than commit the linguistic crime of trying to twist a preexisting word into meaning something other than its presently accepted and very useful meaning. If you use anthropomorphic to mean the concept you are trying to name what are you going to use to describe the attribution of human characteristics to non-human things?
Likewise, people use words incorrectly all the time, here, on this forum, all over the place. Usually you can tell what they mean. This doesn't mean, however, their incorrect usage has become correct. The fact they can be understood is a side phenomenon, and is not a criteria of correct or incorrect usage. It does not become correct to use the word horse to mean pig untill most people use it that way. The people who write dictionaries are extremely sensitive to common usage and are constantly monitoring all forms of the media to take the pulse of common usage. I always bow to the results of their research.
zoob
Amen to all of that zooby.

Thanks to you and marcus for the advice; and to any other reader who has some ideas as to the phrase or word, please don't be shy.

Actually you will have to expand on this. I don't know what that admission of ambivalence might mean in specific terms. Does it mean you firmly believe in the Loch Ness Monster and hate it's debunkers, while scarcely being able to contain your distain for those who believe in Bigfoot?
A thespian who prides himself on the correct use of the language of Shakespeare? Musta bin a slip a' t' fingar.

My first question is:"Whom do you envision as the audience for such a guide?"
Zooby acolytes :wink:, folk who want to do their debunking quickly and cleanly, people who read Skeptic magazine, ...
This would be a rare bird: a person making such a claim who is actually open minded enough to face their claim being debunked. Almost never found in Nature.
Hope springs eternal!
I am more than happy to knock around ideas.
Good. Online or off?
 
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Re: anthropomorphic hubris

Originally posted by Nereid Just look at "its" and "it's", as in 'belonging to it', or 'of it'; by common usage, they're the same now. (I still see red over 'affect' and 'effect' though).
I use its and it's alot, and always have the queasy feeling my instincts are confused, but I haven't taken the time to pin down the correct (accepted) usage. Since you have raised the issue; a look in my grammar book reveals that its, no apostrophe, is the possessive form (encompassing both "belonging to it", and "of it"). It's is a contraction of it is.

I don't actually pride myself on my use of English because in the world where I was raised (college prep schools, 1960s-1970s) my command of English was passable, at best. What worries me is that there seem to be so many people posting on this forum who were born and raised in English speaking countries (USA, England, Canada) whose grammar and vocabularies are so bad that I honestly don't know what they are saying sometimes. The concepts being discussed are usually very complicated to begin with. Add incorrect syntax, grammar, and inaccurate choice of words (not to mention typos), and the result is ambiguous at best, incomprehensible at worst. Using language correctly isn't a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, it's a matter of comprehension, pure and simple. I can't leave the subject without mentioning that there are alot of extremely clear thinking, articulate people who post here as well, and their posts are a pleasure to read.

Zooby
 
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Originally posted by zoobyshoe Actually you will have to expand on this. I don't know what that admission of ambivalence might mean in specific terms. Does it mean you firmly believe in the Loch Ness Monster and hate its debunkers, while scarcely being able to contain your distain for those who believe in Bigfoot?
You evaded this. I'm still not sure what a love/hate stance toward debunking might mean in specific terms. Personally, I don't see myself as standing at either pole.
 
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Originally posted by Nereid Zooby acolytes :wink:, folk who want to do their debunking quickly and cleanly, people who read Skeptic magazine,
I'm not a skeptic or debunker by inclination. I was content when this forum was "Mystics and Pseudoscience". I would be content if it were called "Mysteries of the Unexplained". I would be content if it were called "Cool, Weird Stuff." I step in, as I did in this thread, when it happens that I know a perfectly scientific explanation for something that someone thinks might be paranormal. If I didn't happen to have that information I might have offered more of the same, if it were a subject that interested me;
additional speculation along the same lines.

I am definitely not a skeptic, in that I don't adopt an attitude of doubt to begin with. I enjoy a good, solidly constructed debunking but I am equally pleased to see solidly constructed proofs.
As Fz+ pointed out when the forum's named was changed it is just as counter to science to decide a thing is false without an open minded examination, as it is to buy into wild claims without an open minded examination.

This is why I say I don't mind kicking ideas around. The notion of digging in, sleeves rolled back, to put together a debunking manual is outside my sensibilities in the matter.

-Zooby
 

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