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Storm
SFN Regular

USA
708 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  07:50:01  Show Profile  Visit Storm's Homepage Send Storm a Private Message
Last nite at chat was very interesting and thought provoking...One thing that we discussed was Joe Nickell...While many of you praised him..I find his techniques to be poor and lacking quality and evidence... He does not.. I feel look to investigates seriously but immedietly debunks... he even uses the word "debunk" numerous times let me give you an example:

From his book Real Life X-files....Chapter 45 Haunted Inns

Under the headlines Appearences of the Dead.. his first example is that of a living person...?
He talks of how "typically" sightings of ghostly figures out of the corner of the eye are due to a "floater" drifting material in the eyes vitreaous humor...or a twitching eyelid...or an illusion or a different stimuli. or a noise or or or... but never taking into consideration that maybe it was something else..a figure possibily...never providing evidence for what he claims.. nothing for nothing when my eye has twitched or I have had drifting material it never looked like a figure of a human...

As evidence is expected of me so too should it apply to Mr. Nickell..
Joe Nickell never takes into consider any other possibilities other than hallucination,atmosphere, bad character, waking dream. noise, yada yada yada... just as Wu predicts....A true debunker.. a true Pseudo Skeptic.. I do not fiollow Wu.. I am a fence sitter..Joe Nickell and Wu are not..Although compared together Wu has many thought provoking thoughts..

joe Nickells feels there is no proof of "Spirts" of the Dead... here is where he fails in his investigations... here is where I have tried to emphasize to release the ball and chain of Spiritualism...
The belief that ghosts are just conscious living spirits of the dead..
and the other end of the Spectrum of Spiritualism... the belief that everything was just a big scam...

While Spiritualism had very damaging effects on Sciences view of life after death..It also sparked great research into it...great Men Scientists...Like Podomore, Gurney, Meyers, Tyrell have sparked new research into Human consciousness after bodily death...

I looked in the index of Nickells book and not once were these men Scientists mentioned...
It is time to release the flim flam of ghost tours and new age fairs...It is a new age into discoveries of Human Consciousnes and its state after the death of the body

http://www.feebleminds-gifs.com/angels-fairies1.jpg
[Moved to the General Skepticism folder - Dave W.]

Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  08:09:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
never providing evidence for what he claims..


Oh.... the irony!

quote:
It is a new age into discoveries of Human Consciousnes and its state after the death of the body



Its like your a brick wall. Talk, explain, talk some more... and you have absorbed just as much as that brick wall would.

I know you are stuck on this idea, but you are going nowhere because you refuse to learn and apply the scientific method.

Your claim that "ghosts are decaying human consciousness" violates so many of the concepts of the scientific method its not funny. I, and others, have explained this all to you before. On many occasions.

To start with, you haven't even met your burden of proof that "ghosts" even exist! Annecdotal "evidence" isn't evidence. You have yet to show that you can define and reliably detect "consciousness" in live humans. You have yet to state an actual hypothesis (your claim is a conclusion, not an actual hypothesis). And so on.

This has all been explained to you before.

The conclusion at this point is that you aren't actually interested in science, but are going to remain firmly in the realms of pseudo-science and fantasy.

Your loss.


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
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  08:31:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
...but never taking into consideration that maybe it was something else..a figure possibily...never providing evidence for what he claims..


All he is doing is trying to explain what possibly could be happening. Just listing natural, known phenomena which could explain the event just as well as the supernatural. The only way he could ever provide evidence is to build a time machine, and travel back in time to see what actually happened.

But you do see the difference between saying:

"It was ________"

and

"It could have possibly been ________"

Right? The first is a claim, the second is merely a suggestion.

quote:
Joe Nickell never takes into consider any other possibilities other than hallucination,atmosphere, bad character, waking dream. noise, yada yada yada... just as Wu predicts....A true debunker.. a true Pseudo Skeptic


Is anyone who tries to explain events with natural (i.e. known) phenomena a "Pseudo Skeptic"?

quote:
joe Nickells feels there is no proof of "Spirts" of the Dead... here is where he fails in his investigations...


He fails in his investigations because he disagrees with you?

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  08:53:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
Storm:
He talks of how "typically" sightings of ghostly figures out of the corner of the eye are due to a "floater" drifting material in the eyes vitreaous humor...or a twitching eyelid...or an illusion or a different stimuli. or a noise or or or... but never taking into consideration that maybe it was something else..a figure possibily...never providing evidence for what he claims.. nothing for nothing when my eye has twitched or I have had drifting material it never looked like a figure of a human...

As evidence is expected of me so too should it apply to Mr. Nickell..
Joe Nickell never takes into consider any other possibilities other than hallucination,atmosphere, bad character, waking dream. noise, yada yada yada... just as Wu predicts....A true debunker.. a true Pseudo Skeptic.. I do not fiollow Wu.. I am a fence sitter..Joe Nickell and Wu are not..Although compared together Wu has many thought provoking thoughts..

quote:
Joe Nickell:
Some skeptical investigators refer to themselves as “debunkers.” Which is unfortunate. Although investigation my often result in the debunking of fanciful claims, to call oneself a debunker implies bias, suggesting-rightly or wrongly that the results are known prior to the investigation and will always be negative.
This not only lessons the investigator's credibility, but can lead to a habit of mind that too readily accepts a dubious fact simply because it supports a negative position.”

“Between the two extremes functions the true investigator. To him, or her, mysterious phenomena are not to be uncritically heralded as proof of transcendent realms; neither are they annoyances to be dismissed or debunked at all costs. Instead, to the investigator, mysteries are meant to be solved.”


In order for me to fully respond to Storms criticism of Nickell, I would have to read the article she is referring to. But the idea that Nickell has suggested other possibilities for an anomaly does not mean that he has ruled out an actual apparition. What it means is that natural causes must be considered and ruled out first! I have never, in all my readings of Nickell's seen him say there is no such thing as ghosts.

And what I have read of his investigations, he is fair and thorough. So what is the exact investigation that you take issue with, Storm? I would like to read it…

And don't even try to give me your bullshit about how maybe ghosts are natural. Until the existence of ghosts are confirmed beyond doubt, they remain in the realm of the paranormal from an investigative point of view.

Also, your use of the word debunker is an ad hominem.

As for Wu, he wouldn't know a skeptic from a pseudo skeptic if he fell over one. To qualify as a pseudo skeptic, all you have to do is not accept Wu's ridiculous idea on what qualifies as a true scientific investigation, including allowing for anecdotal evidence to support a claim.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Storm
SFN Regular

USA
708 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  09:27:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Storm's Homepage Send Storm a Private Message
Well Kil if you have the copy of the book..I am talking about The Haunted Cathedrel or Haunted Inns...

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joe Nickell:
Some skeptical investigators refer to themselves as “debunkers.” Which is unfortunate. Although investigation my often result in the debunking of fanciful claims, to call oneself a debunker implies bias, suggesting-rightly or wrongly that the results are known prior to the investigation and will always be negative.
This not only lessons the investigator's credibility, but can lead to a habit of mind that too readily accepts a dubious fact simply because it supports a negative position.”

“Between the two extremes functions the true investigator. To him, or her, mysterious phenomena are not to be uncritically heralded as proof of transcendent realms; neither are they annoyances to be dismissed or debunked at all costs. Instead, to the investigator, mysteries are meant to be solved.”

I agree with what he says.... but it is not what he himself promulgates... get the book ..then we can will debate..

Originally posted by Kil

quote:
But the idea that Nickell has suggested other possibilities for an anomaly does not mean that he has ruled out an actual apparition. What it means is that natural causes must be considered and ruled out first! I have never, in all my readings of Nickell's seen him say there is no such thing as ghosts.
Yes Kil he does rule that out.... He like others have never taken apparitions out of the realm of the Supernatural... Then what does he say about ghosts...because what I have read of his philosophies he seems to sit on one side of the fence...
And by no means do I disagree with Nickell because he does not agree with what I believe to be the causation of some phenomenon known as "GHOSTS"... I am a rational educated woman....Can't ya tell...

http://www.feebleminds-gifs.com/ladyinfernos.jpg
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  10:43:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Storm

From his book Real Life X-files....Chapter 45 Haunted Inns

...

He talks of how "typically" sightings of ghostly figures out of the corner of the eye are due to a "floater" drifting material in the eyes vitreaous humor...or a twitching eyelid...or an illusion or a different stimuli. or a noise or or or... but never taking into consideration that maybe it was something else..
Um, that's what "typically" means.
quote:
joe Nickells feels there is no proof of "Spirts" of the Dead... here is where he fails in his investigations... here is where I have tried to emphasize to release the ball and chain of Spiritualism...
And you're sure that Nickell uses the term "spirits" in exactly the same fashion you do?
quote:
It is time to release the flim flam of ghost tours...
And this is what I find most amazing about your post, Storm: that you talk about Joe Nickell's failings in regard to "haunted inns," and then you make the claim that "ghost tours" are "flim flam."

You and Joe Nickell are saying the exact same thing, but you don't fault yourself like you fault Nickell. Why is that? Why the double-standard? It is, of course, the same double-standard that Winston Wu so proudly displays. You and he have many similarities.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  11:26:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

quote:
Originally posted by Storm

From his book Real Life X-files....Chapter 45 Haunted Inns

...

He talks of how "typically" sightings of ghostly figures out of the corner of the eye are due to a "floater" drifting material in the eyes vitreaous humor...or a twitching eyelid...or an illusion or a different stimuli. or a noise or or or... but never taking into consideration that maybe it was something else..
Um, that's what "typically" means.
quote:
joe Nickells feels there is no proof of "Spirts" of the Dead... here is where he fails in his investigations... here is where I have tried to emphasize to release the ball and chain of Spiritualism...
And you're sure that Nickell uses the term "spirits" in exactly the same fashion you do?
quote:
It is time to release the flim flam of ghost tours...
And this is what I find most amazing about your post, Storm: that you talk about Joe Nickell's failings in regard to "haunted inns," and then you make the claim that "ghost tours" are "flim flam."

You and Joe Nickell are saying the exact same thing, but you don't fault yourself like you fault Nickell. Why is that? Why the double-standard? It is, of course, the same double-standard that Winston Wu so proudly displays. You and he have many similarities.



Here's an interview with Joe Nickell, PhD.

http://www.scifidimensions.com/Nov00/jnf_hauntings.htm

He actually goes to the investigative extents to fully investigate the alledged hauntings. He suggests some natural phenomenon when there is no clear sighting (movement caught out of the corner of the eye, bright spots on the edge of sight, etc.) which is plausable and casts doubt on the sighting.

He is a senior research fellow with CSICOP. He is also an expert when dealing with historical documents.

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

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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Storm
SFN Regular

USA
708 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  14:00:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Storm's Homepage Send Storm a Private Message
ghost tours do not seek scientific research into ghosts...they think of the phenomenon as ghosts who have yet to see the light.... they like Joe Nickell fall into the same categories...Pseudo Science... Pseudo Skeptic...
His interview that Valiant Dancer gave us is the same thing that I was just discussing about... He does not take these things seriously... how many times does he laugh at the phenomenon or calls it ghostly shinanegins... doesn't sound to serious to me...

originally posted by Dave

quote:
You and Joe Nickell are saying the exact same thing, but you don't fault yourself like you fault Nickell. Why is that? Why the double-standard? It is, of course, the same double-standard that Winston Wu so proudly displays. You and he have many similarities.


So are you saying then Dave that Joe Nickell is at fault... So because I say ghost tours are a flim flam not for your serious investigator I am at fault? Joe Nickell is a debunker at best...I looked at his other books on line.. not once does he mention anything about the Society for Psychical research..never hints at even the thought of the works of great mind lke podomore, gurney, myers... he focuses on Spiritualism, hallucinations, waking dreams...and if not that some other noise that is coming from a building 40 feet away...Sheesh!!!! Let me ask you do your knuckles crack so loud they sound like rappings... read the whole story on the Fox sisters.. they were tired of the drama..tired of the publicity...so they confessed into faking it...the rappings could not be reproduced...
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woolytoad
Skeptic Friend

313 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  16:36:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send woolytoad a Private Message
quote:
Let me ask you do your knuckles crack so loud they sound like rappings...


Sometimes yes. When I am really tired or stiff. When I am really really tired, my neck and spine will crack very audibly. And in my old house this could certainly sound like rapping. But I wouldn't know, I was doing the cracking. The house was 3 stories tall and conducted sound extremely well. If you were outside and jingled the keys you could hear it all the way from the top floor. And the sound actually seemed to be amplified. Sounds were also a bit "hollow" if they travelled that way. I was creeped out on several occasions.

I have (mostly) quit my knuckle cracking ways.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  17:20:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Storm

So are you saying then Dave that Joe Nickell is at fault...
No, you were faulting Nickell for being a "pseudo skeptic," while both you and he agree that ghost tours are "flim flam." Because you agree with him on that count, you are also a "pseudo skeptic," Storm, per your own logic.
quote:
So because I say ghost tours are a flim flam not for your serious investigator I am at fault?
Try a little comprehension before you get all upset, Storm. You are not "at fault," you are being judgemental, but only towards people not yourself. You are a hypocrite.
quote:
Joe Nickell is a debunker at best...I looked at his other books on line.. not once does he mention anything about the Society for Psychical research..
Why did you limit yourself to his books?Note that a search of CSICOP's web site for "society for psychical research" returns another 21 hits after the four by Joe Nickell listed above, and what they've got online is a very small fraction of the articles ever printed in Skeptical Inquirer.

Joe Nickell and CSICOP know the SPR, they reference the SPR, and just because you can't find the name in a book's index doesn't mean they're ignorant of the SPR. It just means that you, Storm, are ignorant of how to find examples of the thing you claim does not exist.
quote:
...never hints at even the thought of the works of great mind lke podomore, gurney, myers... he focuses on Spiritualism, hallucinations, waking dreams...
And, in your opinion, one must look at the works of the "great minds" if one is to properly investigate the claims made by people running "ghost tours?!?" You said they're all "flim flam," so I don't see what one has to do with the other.
quote:
...and if not that some other noise that is coming from a building 40 feet away...Sheesh!!!! Let me ask you do your knuckles crack so loud they sound like rappings... read the whole story on the Fox sisters.. they were tired of the drama..tired of the publicity...so they confessed into faking it...the rappings could not be reproduced...
Could not be reproduced by whom? Spirit rappers are still around, Storm. And the idea that it's done by simply cracking one's knuckles is also naive. For someone who claims to be educated in these matters, it looks like you've got a lot to learn.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  17:45:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
A wider Google search proves more interesting. For example, in "Intuition: the case of the unknown daughter," Joe Nickell writes:
Much effort has been expended in the search for extrasensory phenomena, including the pioneering work of Britain's Society for Psychical Research (SPR), founded in 1882...
Yeah, Nickell never mentions that group. [/sarcasm]

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  17:47:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
Storm:
ghost tours do not seek scientific research into ghosts...they think of the phenomenon as ghosts who have yet to see the light.... they like Joe Nickell fall into the same categories...Pseudo Science... Pseudo Skeptic...


Okay, lets get into it. First of all, it doesn't really matter if the ghost is a spirit, or fading consciousness, or whatever you speculate that it is. It is either there or it isn't. What it is, if it is really there, is another subject. You suggest that he is looking for the wrong thing. Just how do you go about looking for the right thing? Again, either there is an anomaly or what even you call a ghost, or there isn't! You are in no position to call looking for spirits pseudo science but looking for fading consciousness, or whatever, science.The notion that there may be conscious spirits or they may be fragments of disembodied unconscious consciousness are both speculations on the why of ghosts without any regard for whether ghosts even exist!

Calling Joe Nickell, who is merely looking for an apparition, a pseudo skeptic, because you don't approve of one of many definitions of what a ghost might be is total bullshit. It does not rise on any level above the lowest possible ad hominem attack. It is a logical fallacy and it reeks of your own prejudice.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  18:10:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
how many times does he laugh at the phenomenon or calls it ghostly shinanegins... doesn't sound to serious to me...



Evidence Storm. You need evidence that ghosts even exist. The annecdotal stuff doesn't cut it, neither do your own experiences unless you can have them independently verified and make them repeatable to some degree of precision.

Kil... we've been telling her this same shit for months and months, that she has a conclusion about what ghosts are but not a SHRED of evidence (by any reasonable standard) that ghosts even exist.

Storm, the entire body of "evidence" that is put forth to support the claim <ghosts exist> is inadequate. It is entirely made up of annedotes and "experiences" of people. None of it is independently verifiable (despite many valid attempts) and none of it is repeatable. Blurry pictures, fuzzy video, auditory halucinations while listening to the static from recording totally empty rooms, etc... NONE of it lives up to any reasonable standard of evidence.

I don't think you are interested in learning how to apply science, but rather your intent is to follow your confirmation bias to its pseudoscientific, fallacious end. Despite how foolish it is.

(edit for grammar)

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
Edited by - Dude on 06/06/2005 19:46:21
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  19:20:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
Here is the article that has caused Storm to call Joe Nickell a “debunker” and a “pseudo skeptic.”


Haunted Inns


I can find nothing in this article that demonstrates anything other than the consideration of natural explanations for ghostly phenomena and why people might believe they have seen a ghost…

Apparently, explaining why a ghost might not be a ghost is the crime that has Storm's knickers in a bind….

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 06/06/2005 :  19:46:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Yup. And looking up the book Storm mentioned, Real-Life X-Files: Investigating the Paranormal, one can find Booklist saying,
In this collection of articles reprinted from Skeptical Inquirer magazine...
Which means that the chapter, "Haunted Inns" is definitely the same as the article of the same name linked-to by myself and Kil.

And in that very article, Nickell references Apparitions, by Tyrrell, which was published by the SPR. Is Tyrrell one of the "great minds" or not?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2005 :  01:07:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
This brings back a memory -- I once 'debunked' a ghost. Did a pretty good job of it, too.

It happened some 30 years ago, I guess, when I lived in VT. Now, if you want ghosts in very old farm houses, northern New England is one of the prime locations for it. Some friends were renting one of these creaky, old houses, and told me of a persistant tapping that might go on all night long. It often sounded like several tappers at work, yet nothing solid was to be found. As it wasn't all that scary, it wasn't taken too seriously, but the rumor around was that the place was haunted.

My friends had named their ghost 'Mediocre Fred.'

I had a firm suspicion as to what it was as soon as I heard about it, and said so with a mysterious smirk -- I'd read about this exact, same thing.

Called on my statement, I went to the house and examined the furniture, mainly the legs near the floor. And found that my suspicion was correct. The furniture contained death watch beetles, as did every bit of hardwood in the place, and the males gave their version of the Anvil Chorus every night, and often during the day.

Kinda neat, the way they do it. They raise up slightly and then smash their heads down on the surface they are on. The sound can range from a light click to quite a loud tap for such a small bug. These are usually the insect responsible for the 'wormholes' found in antique furniture. They are called 'deathwatch' due to their tapping at times when, before hospitals were common, a person in the household might be dying, or dead and laid out for the wake. I think that the name was originally British.

And thus did I enhance my reputation as a stinking spoil-sport and general smartass.

Edited to add the link.


"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!

Edited by - filthy on 06/07/2005 01:17:20
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