Scientist Proves ESP Is Real

Daryl J. Bem. Source: http://dbem.ws/

Professor Daryl J. Bem

A serious story about Extra Sensory Perception on page A1 of the New York Times — unusual to say the least — but is the Times just setting up the lead researcher, Professor Daryl J. Bem?

One of psychology’s most respected journals has agreed to publish a paper presenting what its author describes as strong evidence for extrasensory perception, the ability to sense future events.

The decision may delight believers in so-called paranormal events, but it is already mortifying scientists. Advance copies of the paper, to be published this year in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, have circulated widely among psychological researchers in recent weeks and have generated a mixture of amusement and scorn.

The paper describes nine unusual lab experiments performed over the past decade by its author, Daryl J. Bem, an emeritus professor at Cornell, testing the ability of college students to accurately sense random events, like whether a computer program will flash a photograph on the left or right side of its screen. The studies include more than 1,000 subjects.

Some scientists say the report deserves to be published, in the name of open inquiry; others insist that its acceptance only accentuates fundamental flaws in the evaluation and peer review of research in the social sciences.

“It’s craziness, pure craziness. I can’t believe a major journal is allowing this work in,” Ray Hyman, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University Oregon and longtime critic of ESP research, said. “I think it’s just an embarrassment for the entire field.”

The editor of the journal, Charles Judd, a psychologist at the University of Colorado, said the paper went through the journal’s regular review process. “Four reviewers made comments on the manuscript,” he said, “and these are very trusted people.”

All four decided that the paper met the journal’s editorial standards, Dr. Judd added, even though “there was no mechanism by which we could understand the results.”

But many experts say that is precisely the problem. Claims that defy almost every law of science are by definition extraordinary and thus require extraordinary evidence. Neglecting to take this into account — as conventional social science analyses do — makes many findings look far more significant than they really are, these experts say.

“Several top journals publish results only when these appear to support a hypothesis that is counterintuitive or attention-grabbing,” Eric-Jan Wagenmakers, a psychologist at the University of Amsterdam, wrote by e-mail. “But such a hypothesis probably constitutes an extraordinary claim, and it should undergo more scrutiny before it is allowed to enter the field.”…

[continues in the New York Times]

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  • Liquidself

    The main thrust of the Times article seems to be that “exceptional claims require exceptional evidence” as popularized by Carl Sagan, however this contradicts traditional scientific methodology:as there is no science of exceptional evidence; so what is in fact being claimed is that we should look to an exceptional evidence that cannot exist according to orthodox science – the skeptics and researchers using this Saganesque claim are not going to create a new science of exceptional evidence; they are going to keep using the tried and true methods of existing science. There is no reason to presume that existing standards that are deemed appropriate for scientific research should not apply to Bem’s work. If it is good for the goose, it is good for the gander.

  • Liquidself

    The main thrust of the Times article seems to be that “exceptional claims require exceptional evidence” as popularized by Carl Sagan, however this contradicts traditional scientific methodology:as there is no science of exceptional evidence; so what is in fact being claimed is that we should look to an exceptional evidence that cannot exist according to orthodox science – the skeptics and researchers using this Saganesque claim are not going to create a new science of exceptional evidence; they are going to keep using the tried and true methods of existing science. There is no reason to presume that existing standards that are deemed appropriate for scientific research should not apply to Bem’s work. If it is good for the goose, it is good for the gander.

    • Marklar_Prime

      I knew you were going to say that.

      • GoodDoktorBad

        I knew you were going to say that.

        • GoodDoktorBad

          I knew I was going to say that.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C5AKM2QTHZAE267QH6T4N2TYLM Psychedelic

            I knew you were going to say that

    • Haystack

      What the expression means is that you exhaust mundane explanations before moving on to extraordinary ones. If your missing a sweat sock, you check to see if it’s still in the dryer before positing the existence of a previously undiscovered race of thieving laundry gnomes that subsist off of cotton fabrics. In this case, people guessing at cards being right 53% of the time has more mundane explanations than a sixth sense that Bem has no theory to describe, or reason to suppose to exist.

      • GoodDoktorBad

        I knew you were going to say that.

      • http://canuck45.myopenid.com/ Andrea

        There are no gnomes. Everyone knows the dryer in spinning creates a vortex, which in reality is a wormhole to an alternate universe. Sometimes objects are able to return to their point of origin, hence later you find the sock in the dryer.

  • http://twitter.com/Marklar_Prime Marklar Kronkite

    I knew you were going to say that.

  • Haystack

    “Still, the participants beat chance, by 53 percent to 50 percent”

    Bem has been around for ages, publishing studies that show minuscule effects that go away when other people try to replicate them, or when better controls are added. The studies which show no effect, of course, aren’t submitted for publication. An unreplicated, 3% effect is hardly what one would call a smoking gun.

  • Haystack

    “Still, the participants beat chance, by 53 percent to 50 percent”

    Bem has been around for ages, publishing studies that show minuscule effects that go away when other people try to replicate them, or when better controls are added. The studies which show no effect, of course, aren’t submitted for publication. An unreplicated, 3% effect is hardly what one would call a smoking gun.

    • GoodDoktorBad

      I knew you were going to say that.

      • RoscoeMG

        I knew you were going to say that, but I don’t think it’s ESP.

  • Haystack

    What the expression means is that you exhaust mundane explanations before moving on to extraordinary ones. If your missing a sweat sock, you check to see if it’s still in the dryer before positing the existence of a previously undiscovered race of thieving laundry gnomes that subsist off of cotton fabrics. In this case, people guessing at cards being right 53% of the time has more mundane explanations than a sixth sense that Bem has no theory to describe, or reason to suppose to exist.

  • Anonymous

    I knew you were going to say that.

  • Anonymous

    I knew you were going to say that.

  • Anonymous

    I knew you were going to say that.

  • Anonymous

    I knew I was going to say that.

  • Linkamathingy

    this is old news, Dean Radin, Bruce Lipton, study what they research and talk about and you’ll understand this isn’t crazy at all

  • Linkamathingy

    this is old news, Dean Radin, Bruce Lipton, study what they research and talk about and you’ll understand this isn’t crazy at all

  • Ironaddict06

    These type of so-called ESP test are set up to FAIL. Due to ignorance people associate ESP with foretelling the future. If you take the time to read and research the STARGATE FILES you will notice that ESP does not =predicting the future. What they were able to show, was that it IS possible to sense people, feelings, and or objects at a distance with the MIND.

  • Ironaddict06

    These type of so-called ESP test are set up to FAIL. Due to ignorance people associate ESP with foretelling the future. If you take the time to read and research the STARGATE FILES you will notice that ESP does not =predicting the future. What they were able to show, was that it IS possible to sense people, feelings, and or objects at a distance with the MIND.

  • RoscoeMG

    I knew you were going to say that, but I don’t think it’s ESP.

  • No

    If you actually give a shit about this topic, read a real book on it. http://www.deanradin.com/NewWeb/TCUindex.html

  • No

    If you actually give a shit about this topic, read a real book on it. http://www.deanradin.com/NewWeb/TCUindex.html

  • http://canuck45.myopenid.com/ andrea

    There are no gnomes. Everyone knows the dryer in spinning creates a vortex, which in reality is a wormhole to an alternate universe. Sometimes objects are able to return to their point of origin, hence later you find the sock in the dryer.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C5AKM2QTHZAE267QH6T4N2TYLM Psychedelic

    I knew you were going to say that

  • Mr_massacre1234

    TO THE CLOSE MINDED RETARDS OF THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY: In science, the acceptance of new ideas follows a predictable, four-stage sequence. In Stage 1, skeptics confidently proclaim that the idea is impossible because it violates the Laws of Science. This stage can last from years to centuries, depending on how much the idea challenges conventional wisdom. In Stage 2, skeptics reluctantly concede that the idea is possible, but it is not very interesting and the claimed effects are extremely weak. Stage 3 begins when the mainstream realizes that the idea is not only important, but its effects are much stronger and more pervasive than previously imagined. Stage 4 is achieved when the same critics who used to disavow any interest in the idea begin to proclaim that they thought of it first. Eventually, no one remembers that the idea was once considered a dangerous heresy.

  • Mr_massacre1234

    TO THE CLOSE MINDED RETARDS OF THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY: In science, the acceptance of new ideas follows a predictable, four-stage sequence. In Stage 1, skeptics confidently proclaim that the idea is impossible because it violates the Laws of Science. This stage can last from years to centuries, depending on how much the idea challenges conventional wisdom. In Stage 2, skeptics reluctantly concede that the idea is possible, but it is not very interesting and the claimed effects are extremely weak. Stage 3 begins when the mainstream realizes that the idea is not only important, but its effects are much stronger and more pervasive than previously imagined. Stage 4 is achieved when the same critics who used to disavow any interest in the idea begin to proclaim that they thought of it first. Eventually, no one remembers that the idea was once considered a dangerous heresy.

    • http://canuck45.myopenid.com/ Andrea

      Science needs to see the evidence before it accepts something.  Its not close minded, it’s building a solid case.  Open minded liberals, just accept everything at face value, but no one bothers to remember the billions of explanations that are wrong.  Fall off the edge of the world, flat earth, centre of the universe.

      Real scientists do not dismiss things that don’t agree, they need to be shown where they erred and how the
      ‘new’ explanation works.

      A real scientist would never say it violates the laws, they will say it violates the KNOWN laws, and that leaves room for growth and improvement.

      ESP is just saying there are ‘other’ senses beyond the five major ones.  Having a hunch come true once in a while doesn’t PROVE ESP exists.  Consistently duplicate the findings and duplicated by others and you have proof.

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  • http://canuck45.myopenid.com/ Anthony L

    Science needs to see the evidence before it accepts something.  Its not close minded, it’s building a solid case.  Open minded liberals, just accept everything at face value, but no one bothers to remember the billions of explanations that are wrong.  Fall off the edge of the world, flat earth, centre of the universe.

    Real scientists do not dismiss things that don’t agree, they need to be shown where they erred and how the
    ‘new’ explanation works.

    A real scientist would never say it violates the laws, they will say it violates the KNOWN laws, and that leaves room for growth and improvement.

    ESP is just saying there are ‘other’ senses beyond the five major ones.  Having a hunch come true once in a while doesn’t PROVE ESP exists.  Consistently duplicate the findings and duplicated by others and you have proof.

  • http://canuck45.myopenid.com/ Anthony L

    Science needs to see the evidence before it accepts something.  Its not close minded, it’s building a solid case.  Open minded liberals, just accept everything at face value, but no one bothers to remember the billions of explanations that are wrong.  Fall off the edge of the world, flat earth, centre of the universe.

    Real scientists do not dismiss things that don’t agree, they need to be shown where they erred and how the
    ‘new’ explanation works.

    A real scientist would never say it violates the laws, they will say it violates the KNOWN laws, and that leaves room for growth and improvement.

    ESP is just saying there are ‘other’ senses beyond the five major ones.  Having a hunch come true once in a while doesn’t PROVE ESP exists.  Consistently duplicate the findings and duplicated by others and you have proof.

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