Skeptic Friends Network

Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
 All Forums
 Our Skeptic Forums
 General Skepticism
 Can psychics really see the past/future?
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 5

marysol2103
New Member

1 Post

Posted - 09/18/2004 :  22:27:28  Show Profile Send marysol2103 a Private Message
I'm sure everyone has seen the signs for “$5 Psychic Readings” in their town or while traveling elsewhere. What I wanted to discuss here were your thoughts on using psychics for more than just personal entertainment, more specifically in police and detective work.

There's been documented cases in the past where police haven't been able to solve a crime, at which point they turn to a psychic for help. What I find the most interesting is when the psychics they hire actually solve the case.

What are your thoughts on this? What about using psychics to help solve some of the current investigations (such as the Peterson or Hacking trials?)

I'm not an expert myself on the topic, but I've been learning a bit more from a new show on Court TV called Psychic Detectives. It's on Wednesday's at 9:30pm in case you want to watch it too.

~ Marysol

beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2004 :  23:35:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
Lots of the psychics just give generalities and it's pretty obvious there is nothing behind it.

A couple of cases are interesting like that lady that found the body of the murdered nurse and got arrested because the cops didn't believe it could have been a psychic phenomenon. And the lady who led police to the kids body in the river by phone, talking them to the place and telling them to look down and there was the kid.

Michael Schermer explains it as coincidences and he gives a pretty good argument for it. Of all the trillions of things that happen in the world every second, coincidences can occur. We notice the coincidences and ignore all the failures.

I see his point and it is well taken. But every once in a while you have to wonder. Especially when it would take a number of coincidences adding up to get the result.

It is hard to find a mechanism for information to travel from mind to mind or from other sources to one's mind. Our thoughts are like computer data, the way the information is stored is not dependent on structure as much as it is dependent on the organization of data. So an alpha wave, for example, isn't a thought, rather the brain cells it stimulates contain the thoughts. If your brain waves traveled to another's head, they wouldn't take data with them as far as we know.

Then there is quantum mechanics where some particles do seem to communicate with each other instantly across space. While it isn't brain function, it does leave some things unexplained.

I find the shows like psychic detective fun, but only when they show the stuff with real strong inexplicable events. If it's just someone who says I see water or a telephone poll, I lose interest real fast.
Edited by - beskeptigal on 09/18/2004 23:37:20
Go to Top of Page

H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2004 :  23:56:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by marysol2103
There's been documented cases in the past where police haven't been able to solve a crime, at which point they turn to a psychic for help. What I find the most interesting is when the psychics they hire actually solve the case.

Can you provide the documentation then? Because I've never seen this to be true. I've seen psychics claiming to have done this, but usually those claims are unsubstantiated.
quote:
I'm not an expert myself on the topic, but I've been learning a bit more from a new show on Court TV called Psychic Detectives.

Ah, well that explains it some. Television shows will run stories like that for entertainment value only. There is no truth to them. They often don't even investigate their sources, they just run the story based on a single account, often the psychic themselves.

This link provides a very good overview of the topic, as well as comments and further reading material: http://www.skepdic.com/psychdet.html

quote:
"These guys don't solve cases, and the media consistently gets it wrong," says Michael Corn, an investigative producer for "Inside Edition" who produced a story last May debunking psychic detectives. Moreover, the FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children maintain that to their knowledge, psychic detectives have never helped solve a single missing-person case.
--"Prophet Motive," Brill's Content, November 27, 2000.


If psychics really were a valuable crime solving tool, every police force in America would employ one. The truth is, they provide no useful information. TV shows can be compelling, but they are packaged that way. The truth is often far more mundane.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 09/19/2004 12:19:37
Go to Top of Page

filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2004 :  03:10:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Hi Marysol and Welcome!

There is exactly zero evidence is support of psyhic phenomina; even Miss Cleo admits as much (I miss her. She had a great act).

Now, if someone were the real deal, they could line their pockets with a cool million from the James Randi Educational Foundation, which has a standing offer to hand it over to anyone who can prove paranormal abilities in a controlled testing.

http://www.randi.org/

Many have tried, all have failed. The best known 'psyhics', such as Sylvia Brown or John Edward, avoid Randi like the plague. An excuse they sometimes give is that they are above mere money, yet these two grifters, among others, get something like $700 for a private 'reading'.

Oddly, or perhaps not, many 'physics', especally dowsers, actually believe that they possess such talents.

Our capasity to delude ourselves knows few boundries.



"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Go to Top of Page

Renae
SFN Regular

543 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2004 :  06:04:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Renae a Private Message
I don't believe in psychics. I have a visceral reaction and instinctual distrust of people whose sole goal is to separate me from my money (I also tend to dislike salespeople and preachers for the same reason.)

Having said that, though, I think some people--"psychics" or otherwise--are unusually intuitive with regard to others. They're adept at reading body language, nonverbal communication, subtle shifts in attitude, etc. They also have a good understanding of human behavior. Some people with these skills become wonderful therapists or cops...others become snake oil salesmen and con men.

JMO.
Go to Top of Page

R.Wreck
SFN Regular

USA
1191 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2004 :  10:09:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send R.Wreck a Private Message
Welcome Marysol!

Since no psychic that I know of has ever been shown to have psychic abilities in a controlled test, I don't see why we should believe that these so-called psychic detectives are any different. Check out the links previously posted. It is a skill that can be learned: read the situation, have some good background knowledge, then give out some generalities ("the body is near water") that are likely to be true given the circimstances. Desperate people can resort to desperate measures, like police who are unable to solve a crime. When one of these psychics demonstrates the ability beyond chance, then I'll take them seriously.

The foundation of morality is to . . . give up pretending to believe that for which there is no evidence, and repeating unintelligible propositions about things beyond the possibliities of knowledge.
T. H. Huxley

The Cattle Prod of Enlightened Compassion
Go to Top of Page

Plyss
Skeptic Friend

Netherlands
231 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2004 :  12:05:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Plyss a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert

If psychics really were a valuable crime solving tool, every police force in America would employ one. The truth is, they provide no useful information. TV shows can be compelling, but they are packaged that way. The truth is often far more mundane.





I'd say this is pretty much on the mark. If there really were active psychics they'd be used all over the place. You'd see psychics winning millions on the race tracks, or being employed by large companies to predict stock rises. Possibly insurance companies would use them to determine who to insure, and who not.

Even better, if we allow for a genetic component in psychic abilities (as suggested by, say, Sylvia Browne) the extreme selective advantage of having any kind of forsight would have ensured the majority of the human race would have these abilities by now.

Plyss - Still looking for a sig
Go to Top of Page

tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2004 :  14:07:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message
Yoohoo, another dutch guy in the community. Good, the world needs more people from the Netherlands . Nou Plyss, welkom

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
Go to Top of Page

Maglev
Skeptic Friend

Canada
65 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2004 :  18:40:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Maglev's Homepage  Send Maglev an ICQ Message Send Maglev a Private Message
Hello and welcome!

I dont beleive in psychics either i'm afraid... Mostly because there is no good evidence that it exists, but also because magicians (mentalists) do it every day with no claims of having psychic power. If they can fake it, then "real" psychics could be faking it too, right?

Here's a very interesting text on the subject of cold reading written by a magician: The art of cold reading.


Maglev

"The awe it inspired in me made the awe that people talk about in respect of religious experience seem, frankly, silly beside it. I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day."
--Douglas Adams, on evolutionary biology.
Go to Top of Page

H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2004 :  21:56:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
Of course I didn't mention, nor has anyone else touched on, the great harm and emotional trauma these "psychics" can inflict upon the families of those missing. Whether they are well-intentioned or frauds, being told by them that "you're daughter is alive and living in Miami" gives desperate people a false hope--all the more crushing when police discover the girl's decomposed body. Some families even waste small fortunes on fruitless searches at the psychic's suggestion.

So these people are not *merely* useless, they are actually quite harmful and unnecessarily cruel. I wish I could find a link (I couldn't), but I've heard of at least one current case where a family is suing a psychic for putting them through just such an ordeal.

No. These psychics are bad business. They have earned my contempt.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 09/19/2004 22:07:06
Go to Top of Page

furshur
SFN Regular

USA
1536 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2004 :  06:43:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send furshur a Private Message
Carla Baron is one of these disgusting leaches that prey on the fear and loss of victims families. She is one of the psychics on the court TV program. Here is a link detailing the "amazing" accuracy of this bottom feeders psychic abilities:

http://www.iigwest.com/carla_report.html




If I knew then what I know now then I would know more now than I know.
Go to Top of Page

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2004 :  08:06:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
Seaking of psychics, I met James Van Praagh this weekend. Pretty cool eh? We have picture of me with Van Praagh (he actually has his arm around my shoulder) only I seem to have been blinking when it was taken and look I look stoned. Oh well. Maybe we will put it up anyway, I dunno... I may have more to say about this in chat wednsday night...

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
Go to Top of Page

Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2004 :  08:58:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by marysol2103

I'm sure everyone has seen the signs for “$5 Psychic Readings” in their town or while traveling elsewhere. What I wanted to discuss here were your thoughts on using psychics for more than just personal entertainment, more specifically in police and detective work.

There's been documented cases in the past where police haven't been able to solve a crime, at which point they turn to a psychic for help. What I find the most interesting is when the psychics they hire actually solve the case.

What are your thoughts on this? What about using psychics to help solve some of the current investigations (such as the Peterson or Hacking trials?)

I'm not an expert myself on the topic, but I've been learning a bit more from a new show on Court TV called Psychic Detectives. It's on Wednesday's at 9:30pm in case you want to watch it too.

~ Marysol





Using psychics aids only the psychic's wallet.

My own religion, which contains a bit of psychic theory, even says that psychic ability is not on command. Sometimes, it's a feeling, sometimes it's a dream, sometimes it's a fully lucid daydream.

And all about as scientific and accurate as faith.

The police would be better served by following leads, revisiting the scene of the crime, and looking at evidence than wasting time and money on these charlatians.

The Court TV show looks like fiction to me. If these people did exist, we'd know where Jimmy Hoffa is.

I've done palm reading and Tarot. I started as a believer but noticed early on how similar some aspects of my readings were. I also noticed how I got information by realling paying attention to the communication I was doing with the subject.


Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Go to Top of Page

Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2004 :  21:32:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
Then there is quantum mechanics where some particles do seem to communicate with each other instantly across space. While it isn't brain function, it does leave some things unexplained.



No information can be transmited faster than the speed of light. What your talking about is quantum entanglement, and it's a nasty bit of brainwork to grasp even the basic layman's description.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement

Entanglement is the part of quantum theory that Einstein (and others) objected to.

Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
Go to Top of Page

beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2004 :  02:14:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
OK, I watched an episode of psychic detective tonight. It was pretty bad. First, they could have done the whole show in 5 minutes. Second, the psychic was totally useless finding the victim, (who actually got away on his own). All they had at the end were four things the psychic said that were correct, the guy was alive, it was a random abduction, a street with the name ridge was involved, (it was the street address of the bad guys), and the lady had a vision of Russian Roulette, (which the kidnappers did to torture the victim).

But what they didn't say was how many other things the psychic said that weren't correct. In fact, they didn't say anything else about her predictions. So it didn't seem the least bit credible.
Go to Top of Page

filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2004 :  02:58:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by beskeptigal

OK, I watched an episode of psychic detective tonight. It was pretty bad. First, they could have done the whole show in 5 minutes. Second, the psychic was totally useless finding the victim, (who actually got away on his own). All they had at the end were four things the psychic said that were correct, the guy was alive, it was a random abduction, a street with the name ridge was involved, (it was the street address of the bad guys), and the lady had a vision of Russian Roulette, (which the kidnappers did to torture the victim).

But what they didn't say was how many other things the psychic said that weren't correct. In fact, they didn't say anything else about her predictions. So it didn't seem the least bit credible.


Hahahaha! It's worse (or better, depending on your point of view) than you think. Dig this:

quote:
A couple of weeks ago, my cat Fritz began talking to me. After a lifetime of silence, his comments were surprisingly ordinary: among other things, he mentioned that he's not very fond of the kibble he eats on a regular basis and would prefer to be on a more nutritious diet. He also said that he would appreciate it if I got him a better scratching post, one that he could really stretch out his back on.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that Fritz was not speaking directly to me, but through Maleah Jacobs, an animal communicator who specializes in two-way telepathy with critters. For $100 an hour, Jacobs will "check in" with a pet to see how it's feeling, what it's thinking about, and help it work through any special behavioral issues it might be dealing with — all over the phone.



http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6010801/

One hundred bucks and neither you nor your varmit even get to see the chick. Again, I fear for the future of my species. It is far too gullible to survive.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Go to Top of Page
Page: of 5 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Topic Locked
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Jump To:

The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.


Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.17 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000