Home > Investigating Skeptics > Examining Skeptics > Debunkers' Concessions

Debunkers' Concessions on the Evidence for PSI

source: Subversive Thinking web site

Back to... Examining Skeptics


- I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven - Richard Wiseman on remote viewing research.
See More

- It is a slight misquote, because I was using the term in the more general sense of ESP -- that is, I was not talking about remote viewing per se, but rather Ganzfeld, etc as well. I think that they meet the usual standards for a normal claim, but are not convincing enough for an extraordinary claim. Richard Wiseman's clarification of his previous citation on remote viewing. Emphasis in blue added.
See more.

- The SAIC experiments are well-designed and the investigators have taken pains to eliminate the known weaknesses in previous parapsychological research. In addition, I cannot provide suitable candidates for what flaws, if any, might be present.- Ray Hyman on SAIC experiments on remote viewing.
See Hyman's paper

- The other major challenge to the skeptic's position is, of course, the fact that opposing positive evidence exists in the parapsychological literature. I couldn't dismiss it all. Susan Blackmore in Confessions of a Parapsychologist (p.74)

- Human beings are not built to have open minds. If they try to have open minds they experience cognitive dissonance. Leon Festinger first used the term. He argued that people strive to make their beliefs and actions consistent and when there is inconsistency they experience this unpleasant state of 'cognitive dissonance', and they then use lots of ploys to reduce it. I have to admit I have become rather familiar with some of them. Susan Blackmore in The Elusive Open Mind (pp.250-1). Emphasis in blue added.

- I am glad to be able to agree with his final conclusion--'that drawing any conclusion, positive or negative, about the reality of psi that are based on the Blackmore psi experiments must be considered unwarranted'.Susan Blackmore's reply to Rick Berger's critical examination of her psi experiments. - Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, vol.83 , April 1989, p. 152)

- Why do we not accept ESP as a psychological fact? Rhine has offered enough evidence to have convinced us on almost any other issue... Personally, I do not accept ESP for a moment, because it does not make sense. My external criteria, both of physics and of physiology, say that ESP is not a fact despite the behavioural evidence that has been reported. I cannot see what other basis my colleagues have for rejecting it... Rhine may still turn out to be right, improbable as I think that is, and my own rejection of his view is - in the literal sense, prejudice. Donald Hebb.
See more

Note Hebb's concession that his own personal rejection of psi evidence (which he considered Rhine has offered sufficient evidence to have convinced us in almost any other issue) is, in the literal sense, a Prejudice.
At least, we should congratulate Hebb by his honesty in explicitly accepting that his pseudskeptical position is not based on science or evidence, but in pure personal prejudice.
You won't see this level of intellectual honesty in most professional pseudo-skeptics, because their job consists precisely in creating the public illusion that they're talking in the name of science and reason, and not in defense of their personal prejudices rooted in psychological and ideological (i.e. materialistic, atheistic and naturalistic) motives. If a first-rate, highly competent professional scientist like Hebb cannot escape from the materialistic prejudice against psi evidence (and he had the courage to concedes it explicitly), what would you expect from the normal, common, ordinary, intellectually mediocre materialistic pseudo-skeptic?


Top of Page

Back to... Examining Skeptics



If you have any comments or suggestions on this website please email... morphlist@aol.com
Copyright © The Association for Skeptical Investigations