Science Is A Method, Not A Position

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 14:54 | Filed in Faith & Forteana, Life, Oddities, Science

I had been going to reference this site a lot earlier, but unfortunately Matthew Cromer’s site disappeared at around the turn of the year and was replaced by somewhere showing me where I could obtain online pharmaceuticals. As I already knew where to obtain online pharmaceuticals from the comments I don’t allow onto my blog, I didn’t see much point in mentioning it at the time.

But now AMNAP is back. It’s a site which looks at what might be termed Psi phenomena, and concepts such as life after death, and tries to examine them from a scientific viewpoint.

Before you all start closing your minds and dismissing this as errant nonsense, let’s not forget many of the scientific beliefs we today hold dear — plate tectonics, particulate inheritance and so on — were themselves dismissed as errant nonsense. That doesn’t mean every Psi story or medium is correct, or indeed truthful, it just means that if you want to call yourself a scientist, you cannot simply dismiss something because it doesn’t fit in with your worldview, you have to examine the evidence.

Then, and only then, if the evidence doesn’t support the claim, you can dismiss it as errant nonsense. If the evidence does support the claim however, then it ought at least to be investigated further. Matthew is right to criticise the dogmatic and arrogant scientists who will dismiss claims because they “don’t sound right”.

Again, that’s not to say you should necessarily believe in this — I would ask you to be sceptical and open-minded. Request evidential proof, but if that evidential proof is provided, don’t reject it as invalid without at least justifying your reasons scientifically

On a similar vein, and in the interests of trying to provide a balanced viewpoint I’d suggest reading the Skeptico blog which takes a different tack — that of another sceptical thinker, who attempts to debunk this sort of stuff. Okay, I don’t agree with everything he says, but nor do I agree with everything on AMNAP and it’s always good to encounter multiple sides of a story before arriving at your own conclusions. Well worth a read, particularly for the humour…

And just to demonstrate that those who put forward claims may indeed be reasonable people who are perfectly willing to take a sceptical approach to them, I’d like also to give a mention to Marcel Cairo’s I done thunk blog, who was the person who provided me with the link to Skeptico in the first place.

Marcel is someone who claims to be able to talk to the dead and describes himself as a medium (whereas I’m an extra-large!). That’s something that while I’d like to believe (the concept of survival after death), what with me being thanatophobic and all, but for the same reason it’s something I’d want significant evidence in first because I know I have an emotional stake in wanting to believe in it.

So I don’t know. Maybe he can talk to the dead. Maybe not. I dunno. But I think Marcel Cairo is showing an open mind by happily linking to blogs about sceptics. Maybe he deserves the same respect, even if you don’t believe him?

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2 Comments to Science Is A Method, Not A Position

  1. Marcel Cairo says:

    April 17th, 2007 at 4:14 pm


    Thanks for the mention – as sideways as it might be for your readers.

    Just for the record, I do little talking to the dead. I’m usually just listening and repeating. I often kid that I am just a well-trained parrot on a sitcom in heaven.

    Anyway, the theory behind all this as you know is that consciousness survives the death of the organ, the brain. If you don’t subscribe to the theory of dualism then all this seems like woo woo voodoo.

    Also, a true skeptic is one that searches for wisdom and understanding from a subjective point of view. The key word here is “searches”. Most people who call themselves “skeptic” are either very stagnant in their quest for truth, or suffer from the herd mentality. So therefore, I am a skeptic. I am always on that search.

    When you are ready, we will set up a phone reading (pro bono), and I can show you how “spirit” uses metaphorical and cryptological methods to convey their permanence. I’m sure your readers would like a first-hand description of an actual reading with a skeptical medium.

  2. ThePickards » Blog Archive » a sceptic cursed with a thirst… says:

    April 26th, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    [...] been communicating with the medium Marcel Cairo after he commented on one of my posts offering to do a pro-bono reading for me, and suggested that I talk about it on my [...]

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