Debunk please

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http://www.mum.edu/m_effect/dc_md.html [Broken]

The primary author seems to have some pretty impressive scientific credentials (if Wikipedia is to be trusted).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hagelin


Anyone know anything about this?
 
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"Recently, Hagelin participated in the What the Bleep Do We Know, [4] an independent film released in 2004, and winner of five film awards. [5]"

"In 1987 and 1989, Hagelin published two papers on the relationship between physics and consciousness.[4] These papers discuss the Vedic understanding of consciousness as a field and compare it with theories of the unified field derived by modern physics. Hagelin argues that the most parsimonious explanation for these two fields having almost identical properties is that they are, in fact, one and the same.[5]"

...Sounds really fishy to me.

"In 1994, Hagelin was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize, an annual award given for achievements that “first make people laugh and then make them think." The award was given for the experimental conclusions drawn from the Washington, D.C. study. Although noted as an award for research that can’t or shouldn’t be replicated[11], Hagelin’s study was a replication of several such studies, suggesting that the study did not meet the criteria for the award.[12]"

Sounds like other people think it's fishy too :P
 
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Have a look at chart 2 in this document:

http://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/hinckley_3.1_crimesummary.pdf [Broken]

You will see how crime is fluctuating on a monthly average basis.
The weekly fluctuations should be twice large.

Therefore, it is reasonnable to think that the five points data from this Hagelin are just a favorable sample in noisy data.

To go further, it would be good to look at the statistics over at least 52 weeks and possibly for many years.
Can we exclude a systematic drop of crime during the five first weeks of the year? My guess is the opposite.
It would be interresting also to think about how an experiment could be conducted and evaluated to test significantly for an impact on crime. My guess is that a correlation can be established only if the experiment is reproduced several times on randomy-choosen periods.
 
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Evo

Mentor
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http://www.mum.edu/m_effect/dc_md.html [Broken]

The primary author seems to have some pretty impressive scientific credentials (if Wikipedia is to be trusted).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hagelin


Anyone know anything about this?
I know that Hagelin is considered a bit of a crackpot.

"Recently, Hagelin participated in the What the Bleep Do We Know, [4] an independent film released in 2004, and winner of five film awards. [5]"
"What the bleep" is definitely a crackpot film and discussion of it isn't even allowed here anymore.

Crime statistics for Washington DC

http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/dccrime.htm

http://mpdc.dc.gov/mpdc/cwp/view,a,1239,q,547256,mpdcNav_GID,1556.asp [Broken]
 
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russ_watters

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Bob Park did a bit on this in "Voodoo Science". Simply put, the data was cooked (or just plain fasified, depending on your point of view). It is meaningless. By most reasonable peoples' estimations, those were two unusually bad months for violent crime in DC. Murders, for example, were up. Besides playing with the definition of "violent crime" and picking and choosing which crimes to use, the guy added correction factors for everything he could think of to manipulate the data. One thing he did was to say that the weather hurt the data, so he added a correction factor for it.

...found a link to it online: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-67691836.html [Broken]
At the end of the demonstration period, Hagelin promised that over the coming year the results would be carefully analyzed according to strict scientific principles. As promised, he was back in Washington a year later with a 55-page report. It was a clinic in data manipulation. Smiling his unworldly smile, Hagelin announced that during the period of the experiment their analysis showed a significant reduction in psychiatric emergency calls, fewer complaints against the police, and an increase in public approval of President Clinton--all consistent with the hypothesis that a coherence-creating group of TM experts can relieve social stress and reverse negative social trends.

More significantly, he said, violent crime in the city had been reduced by a remarkable 18 percent. "An 18 percent reduction compared to what?" asked a puzzled reporter for the Washington Post, no doubt recalling the previous summers dreadful murder rampage. Compared to what it would have been if the meditators had not been meditating, Hagelin explained patiently. "But how could you know what the rate would have been?" the reporter persisted. That had been arrived at, Hagelin responded with just a trace of irritation, by means of a "scientifically rigorous time-series analysis" that included not only crime data, but such factors as weather and fluctuations in Earth's magnetic field.
One other thing:
The primary author seems to have some pretty impressive scientific credentials (if Wikipedia is to be trusted).
Actually, to me it reads like someone who had some serious potential, but suffered a short-circuited in his brain. The jump from SLAC to the ficticious "Maharishi International University" is not one calculated to be career-enhancing for a scientist.
 
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Anyone from crackpot films such as "What The Bleep Do We Know?" should be ignored and not taken seriously.
 

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