Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Possible Ontological Paradox

  1. Apr 18, 2008 #1
    J W Dunne's research into precognition whilst dreaming suggests that people do in fact dream future events. His study published in An Experiment With Time concluded that people who dream an event before it happens are more likely to observe a news report of the event they had previously dreamed rather than witness it firsthand.

    If he is correct this suggests to me that the recent evacuation of the Flotel Safe Scandinavia which was widely reported may have been an ontological paradox.

    A 23 year old woman on board the Flotel Safe Scandinavia had a dream that the offshore platform was evacuated due to a bomb scare. She was so upset by this dream that she related it to some other residents of the platform. The story of the dream spread around the platform like a rumor until panic spread and eventually the Flotel Safe Scandinavia was in fact evacuated due to a bomb scare.

    If she did dream the future events or even the future subsequent news coverage as Dunne suggests is possible then surely this whole event was an ontological paradox?

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2008 #2

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You need to post a credible reference for this claim.
  4. Apr 18, 2008 #3
    I'm not sure there is a credible reference. Other than J W Dunne's study I have never found a serious investigation into dream precognition and J W Dunne never got a full scale study completed, only small test groups. I know for certain that I have seen future events in my own dreams but of course there is no way to prove this, it becomes a matter of faith or mysticism which is what J W Dunne was trying to avoid. This is the kind of thing that Richard Dawkins writes off as delusion or coincidence but I'm sure there is more to it than that.

  5. Apr 18, 2008 #4

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    How about a reference for that study?

    If he never published a paper in a mainstream academic journal then this is not a topic for discussion.

    Edit: We can discuss personal experiences, but claims of experimental evidence require a link to the published paper.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008
  6. Apr 27, 2008 #5
    You got the Flotel Safe Scandinavia story a bit wrong also, or perhaps you could supply a source for that. All the sources I found said she dreamed there was a bomb, not a bomb scare/evacuation. It's a really big stretch to go from dreaming about a bomb to dreaming about a bomb scare and then relating it all back to J W Dunne. By the way, I'm not at all sure what an "ontological paradox" is, especially within the context here.

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article785907.ece [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  7. Apr 30, 2008 #6
    I don't see the paradox, take this example, i dream about a bomb being place in my bank, then i go to my bank yelling "There is a bomb", next the bank is evacuated.. So what's the big deal?
  8. Apr 30, 2008 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It is not 'precognition', it is a 'self fulfilling prophecy'.

    If a financier with sufficient reputation says on TV that a bank is about to go bankrupt then everyone takes their money out of that bank and then indeed it does go bankrupt. No ontological paradox there.

  9. Apr 15, 2010 #8
    I think untill you actually know the truth of what happened there - which i do as i was a part of her team then i think you should keep your theorys to yourself as by no means was this a dream that she had that led to something else or that she dreamt that the platform would be evacuated due to a bombscare. This dream was not passed around to any other member by herself and was as you can imagine on a flotel of up to 500 people, alot of chinese whispers tell the story of what you have taken so easily as truth. This girl was ill and had a nervous breakdown, not just making storys out of a dream so maybe have a bit of respect and dont assume what you dont know just so you can compare it to "ontological paradox"
  10. Apr 15, 2010 #9
    This is a refutational argument equivalent to hand waving against all of parapsychology. The mainstream journals won't accept their research. They thus have to create their own journals. This is an inescapable problem they find themselves in and this is their only solution. We shouldn't deride them for this. The only way forward is to accept these journals as suitable references as long as they meet a certain criteria until this paradigm changes and mainstream psychology journals accept their submissions. Parapsychology is most definately not a pseudo-science in line with all criteria, and in over half of instances performs certain measures superior to mainstream sciences that would be expected of a real science. (http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_17_2_mousseau.pdf [Broken])
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  11. Apr 15, 2010 #10
    Perhaps you should become more accustomed with the data so that you can back it up with citations. I also suggest you become learned of more suggestive research databases such as RNG and the Ganzfeld subsets of parapsychology which are more recent and are thus more reliable and of which more funding has gone into which allows things like ES regressions and more critiques from more sources.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
  12. Apr 15, 2010 #11
    I think you need to get a grip on the real facts instead of blahing on!
  13. Apr 16, 2010 #12


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I don't know anything about the incident you mentioned, however, running around screaming bomb scare is likely to create an evacuation. As someone else said above, self fulfilling.

    Not quite the same as the incidents in JW Dunnes book, which seem to be random, but nonetheless genuine precognitive events.
  14. Apr 16, 2010 #13
    So she dreamt there was an evacuation and then afterward she caused an evacuation? That's not exactly uncanny.
  15. Apr 18, 2010 #14
    True, unless there is some sort of correlation between real world events that havn't been influenced by the dream it could be passed off as self-fulfilling. But I don't think it's very scientific to immediately disregard claims without proper investigation.

    Agreed. Mainstream science should be more open. And actually back-up their refutations. Not just blindly disregard them.
  16. Apr 19, 2010 #15
    A guy in a band said he had dreams that his teeth would fall out, and the next day, someone he knew would die. He said it really scared him, and he told people about, and after having the dream predicted someone he knew would die, and had it happen. I believed the person to be sincere.
    Now, I am well aware there is not necessarily any correlation between these events. It would be interesting to design some kind of statistical analysis to determine if there was.

    (It would be super wierd if it was one of those deals where everytime he dreams about teeth, he's actually sleep walking and killing people, like in a million movies)
  17. Apr 19, 2010 #16

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Could you be a little more specific? Was this a friend?

    We don't address rumors.
  18. Apr 19, 2010 #17
    A dream that someone he knew would die. Wow that's vague. That's almost like a reading from a psychic. It wouldn't be difficult for, coincidentally, someone, anyone, you knew to die within -- what was the time frame anyway? I could have a dream that someone I know would die and eventually that would come true. I know quite a number of people. Some of them are elderly. That eventually someone I know will die is an inevitability, not a dream prediction.
  19. Apr 19, 2010 #18
    Just an acquaintance. But not really worth adressing, the post just made me think of it. Time frame and such would be relevant of course. I am going to try and get some info from him and see if i can create a statistical equation, just for fun (and to learn more about how to set up a statistical problem).
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook