Skeptics Concede Evidence for Psi


Concessions on the Evidence for Psi Phenomena

by The Editors


Does Telepathy Conflict With Science?
Chris Carter, The Epoch Times, March 26, 2012
Wiseman et al. concede on ESP: Journalist Stephen Volk reports that Richard Wiseman has admitted that the evidence for telepathy is so good that “by the standards of any other area of science, [telepathy] is proven”. Even more incredibly, another leading skeptic, Chris French, agrees with him.

The following extracts are from the website Subversive Thinking:

“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 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 Confessions of a Parapsychologist (p.74). In: The Fringes of Reason, Ed. T. Schultz (Harmony, 1989).

“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 (p. 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 in 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,
Donald Hebb

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
pseudoskeptics, 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?

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