A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

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Whitedude
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A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Whitedude » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:39 am

Dean Radin has compiled an online "evidence" list of what he believes has scientifically demonstrated psi.

It's a very odd list that includes spiritualist books and pseudoscience papers, alternative medicine and prayer studies (nothing to do with psi), telepathy and ESP studies, precognition studies, some quantum physics papers that have nothing to do with psi, Mind-Matter Interaction (psychokinesis) studies and even some skeptical studies. I am not sure why he includes skeptical papers on his "evidence" list for psi. Some of the papers have been published in scientific journals, some of them have been published in parapsychology pseudoscience journals.

His list can be found here:

http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

This is just a random selection I have taken from his list.

Astin et al (2000). The Efficacy of “Distant Healing”: A Systematic Review of Randomized Trials


This is not a paper that discusses evidence for psi. As Wikipedia reports:

A meta-analysis of several studies related to distant intercessory healing was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2000.[32] The authors analyzed 23 trials of 2774 patients. Five of the trials were for prayer as the distant healing method, 11 were with noncontact touch, and 7 were other forms. Of these trials, 13 showed statistically significant beneficial treatment results, 9 showed no effect, and 1 showed a negative result. The authors concluded that it is difficult to draw conclusions regarding distant healing and suggested further studies.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Studies_on ... ory_prayer

It's mostly a negative paper.

Conclusion: Not evidence for psi.

Schlitz et al (2012). Distant healing of surgical wounds: An exploratory study.


This is a paper on distant healing which is considered pseudoscience and quackery by professional doctors. Dean Radin co wrote the paper. It was not peer reviewed and appears to be an article. The results were mostly negative. This article was published in the "The Journal of Science and Healing" not a peer-reviewed journal but a journal owned by Larry Dossey a well known new-age writer and proponent of alternative medicine. This is pseudoscience.

According to the article itself:

“The results suggested no main effects of DHI on the primary outcome measure of collagen deposition, or on secondary measures of self-reported emotional and physical health after surgery.” And this study did not provide support for the efficacy of DHI on wound healing unless participants’ and healers’ beliefs and expectations are taken into account.”

Conclusion: Not evidence for psi.

Duane & Behrendt (1965). Extrasensory electroencephalographic induction between identical twins.


This is not a peer-reviewed scientific paper. It is an article from a speculative science magazine. You can find the article on JSTOR and even the author admits "it appears unwise to draw any conclusions". The results were never replicated, hence only being mentioned once in a magazine from the 1960s.

Conclusion: Not evidence for psi.

Moulton & Kosslyn (2008). Using neuroimaging to resolve the psi debate.


This is a skeptics favourite paper! The conclusion "These findings are the strongest evidence yet obtained against the existence of paranormal mental phenomena."

Conclusion: Not evidence for psi.

Bem & Honorton (1994). Does psi exist?


This paper contained serious errors. It's been shot down by skeptics.

Bem and Charles Honorton (1994) reviewed the experimental arrangements of the autoganzfeld experiments, and pronounced them to provide excellent security against deception by subjects and sensory cues. However, Ray Hyman disagreed with Bem and Honorton as he had discovered some interesting patterns in the data that implied visual cues may have taken place in the experiments. Hyman wrote the autoganzfeld experiments were flawed because they did not preclude the possibility of sensory leakage.

According to Terence Hines:

"There was a serious problem with the Bem and Honorton (1994) review. In 1999 Milton and Wiseman published a critique of that review and an analysis of additional new ganzfeld studies. In their review Bem and Honorton had counted the results of some studies as being statistically significant when they actually were not significant. This error led Bem and Honorton to conclude that the studies they reviewed had shown, overall, that ESP was operating in the ganzfeld situation. Milton and Wiseman then reviewed thirty ganzfeld studies that had been designed to meen the rigorous methodological standards set forth in Hyman and Honorton (1986); these studies showed no effect greater than chance."

Julie Milton and Richard Wiseman (1999) who discovered errors in Bem's research carried out a meta-analysis of ganzfeld experiments in other laboratories. They found no psi effect, the results showed no effect greater than chance from a database of 30 experiments and a non-significant Stouffer Z of 0.70.


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

Conclusion: Not evidence for psi.

Milton & Wiseman (1999). Does Psi Exist? Lack of Replication of an Anomalous Process of Information Transfer


This is a skeptical paper, which a negative outcome for psi.

Conclusion: Not evidence for psi.


Targ & Puthoff (1974). Information transmission under conditions of sensory shielding.


This was a very silly paper that claimed Uri Geller had psychic powers and tests from remote viewing had been successful. All of this has been debunked by David Marks in his book Psychology of the Psychic and in his rebuttals to Targ & Puthoff in a series of Nature papers. You can read about the sensory leakage problems on Wikipedia.

Marks and Kamman concluded: "Until remote viewing can be confirmed in conditions which prevent sensory cueing the conclusions of Targ and Puthoff remain an unsubstantiated hypothesis."

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

See:

David Marks. (1981). Sensory cues invalidate remote viewing experiments. Nature 292: 177.
David Marks, Christopher Scott. (1986). Remote Viewing Exposed. Nature 319: 444.

Conclusion: Not evidence for psi.

Wiseman & Schlitz (1997). Experimenter effects and the remote detection of staring.


This was an old paper published by Richard Wiseman. Nowhere does he support psi in the paper. He calls for further studies on the subject with better controls.

Conclusion: Not evidence for psi.

Krucoff et al (2001).Integrative noetic therapies as adjuncts to percutaneous intervention during unstable coronary syndromes: Monitoring and Actualization of Noetic Training (MANTRA) feasibility pilot


This is a paper that discussed stress relaxation, imagery and prayer. It is not evidence for psi and the results were inclusive because the authors even admitted they only tested a small denominator of patients. They call for further research on the subject and even admit long term safety cannot be presumed for the therapies without safety monitoring from a review board. In short some interesting stuff here that could lead to something if more positive results are gathered but this has nothing to do with psi and as it currently stands the results are inconclusive.

Conclusion: Not evidence for psi.

Benson et al (2006). Study of the therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer (STEP) in cardiac bypass patients


This is a paper on the possible effect from intercessory prayer. Why does Radin lump such papers with psi? They are nothing to do with psi. The paper also had negative results "Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on complication-free recovery from CABG" surgery.

Conclusion: Not evidence for psi.

Grinberg-Zylberbaum et al (1994). The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox in the Brain: The transferred potential


The Hindu idealist Amit Goswami wrote this. It's well known Goswami's books are pseudoscience, he also supports intelligent design. A Google search for the paper reveals conspiracy theory "matrix", alien websites and new age books nothing else mentions it. It's safe to say the paper has not been taken seriously by the scientific community. It was a theoretical paper.

Information about Goswami’s “quantum quackery” can be found here by the physicist Victor Stenger

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/quantum_quackery/

Conclusion: Not evidence for psi.
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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Pyrrho » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:46 am

Basically, an appeal to popularity fallacy and the old "grain of truth" fallacy. As you no doubt have ascertained, it is the quality of the work that matters, not the quantity.
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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Shen1986 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:13 pm

A friend asked me to take a look on few of these studies. So I will. Here is the first that caught my eye:

FURTHER POSSIBLE PHYSIOLOGICAL CONNECTEDNESS BETWEEN IDENTICAL TWINS: THE LONDON STUDY

Here is the full study:
http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf

The basics of the study claims this:

Four pairs of monozygotic twins were tested for synchronous responses that occurred in the physiological data of one twin during the period when the other twin was exposed to shock and surprise stimuli. Each of the five stimuli was presented in random order, producing five blocks of trial periods within each 25-minute session per twin. There were eight possible trial periods within each block. The choice of the trial periods, that is, the exact time placement of the shock stimuli within the blocks, was determined randomly. Data from six sessions with the four pairs of twins were used by the same polygraph expert who was successful in a previous study in identifying these trial periods. In accordance with the previously determined protocol for the experiment, six of these trials were passed on, leaving 24 trial blocks for which assessments were made as to which period the stimulus had occurred. Six of these gave hits, whereas three hits were expected by chance and four of these six correct placements were made by one of
the pairs of twins. The data provide further justification for a major study in this area using the outlined methodology with selected pairs of twins.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 26

Now lets look on the problems which I found and which leave me skeptical of this whole article:

1. Problem: It is conducted by Adrian Parker, PhD a known believer and member of the anti-skeptic club, Skeptical Investigations:

FURTHER POSSIBLE PHYSIOLOGICAL CONNECTEDNESS BETWEEN IDENTICAL TWINS: THE LONDON STUDY
Adrian Parker, PhD,1,# and Christian Jensen, MS2


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 26

Here is the information on Skeptical Investigations:

Skeptical Investigations is registered to Rupert Sheldrake and is said to be

organized by the Association for Skeptical Investigation, the purpose of which is to promote genuine skepticism, the spirit of enquiry and doubt, within science. This includes an open-minded investigation of unexplained phenomena, a questioning of dogmatic assumptions, and a skeptical examination of the claims of self-proclaimed skeptics.

In fact, the so-called Association for Skeptical Investigation is a group of pseudo-skeptical paranormal investigators and supporters who do not appreciate criticism of paranormal studies by truly genuine skeptics and critical thinkers. The only skepticism this group promotes is skepticism of critics and criticisms of paranormal studies. Members of the group include: Larry Dossey, M.D., Brian Josephson, Ph.D., Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., Ed May, Ph.D., Adrian Parker, Ph.D., Dean Radin, Ph.D., Gary Schwartz, Ph.D., and Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D. Of these, in my opinion, only Krippner is fair-minded when it comes to accepting criticism. (The Skeptical Investigations pages are obviously not maintained, as at least two of those who are listed as associates are deceased, Montague Keen and Marcello Truzzi. However, Gary Schwartz, in a published paper, refers to several of the deceased—including William James!—as “departed hypothesized co-investigators,” so perhaps the group considers the spirits of Keen and Truzzi as active investigators.)


Taken from: http://www.skepdic.com/refuge/sheldrake.html

The site itself was discussed before: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=10604&start=0

2. Problem: It is very strange how this whole study was financed which means by television companies. This makes me skeptical of this whole work from the start:

INTRODUCTION
In a previous report, a presentation was given of the methodology and the results of the testing of twins who claimed to have exceptional experiences of connectedness such as telepathic experiences and synchronous physiological experiences.1 We refer to this study henceforth as the Copenhagen study, and the current study is an attempt to apply the same basic design to a new sample of monozygotic twins, this time in a London location. Because of difficulties in raising funds for studies of this unusual nature, both Copenhagen and London studies were pilot studies supported by the resources of television companies that filmed and later broadcasted the sessions.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 26

3. Problem: Why do they always choose people who know each other from the start. If telepathy would exist then strangers would be better to be used and not people who knew each other the best:

The choice of monozygotic (identical) twins had been made because the authors of previous surveys before to the Copenhagen study had found that monozygotic twins report these exceptional experiences significantly more often than dizygotic twins.2,3


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 26

4. Problem: The Copenhagen study which the authors refer to so much in this paper was also financed by a television company:

The Copenhagen study was conducted with the logistic and financial support of Danish Television, which enabled the selection of four pairs of identical twins from a population of 50 pairs obtained through advertising for twins with psychic experiences. The present (London) study was set up when about 9 months later, a similar opportunity occurred, as far as we can tell completely independently and without previous knowledge of the Danish program, with financing and logistical support this time being provided by the American Broadcasting Company (ie, ABC News). This enabled us to test four more twins with a procedure that was very similar to that used in the Copenhagen study but used a different method of evaluating the results.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 26

5. Problem: The Copenhagen study was a mess and they use almost the same protocols here? Strange:

The design here was similar to the one in the Copenhagen study in the respect that one twin was exposed successively to one of five randomly chosen shock or surprise stimuli while the other twin was located in a distant room and being psycho physiologically monitored.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 26

The authors themselves claim in this paper that the Copenhagen study was far from perfect:

As reviewed in the report from the Copenhagen study, there have been a dozen or so attempts to study these experiences in a laboratory environment.1 Although some of the results appeared confirmatory, virtually all the experiments had major shortcomings such as the failure to select twins claiming to be psychic, failing to adjust for multiple-analysis of data, and the use of various complicated methodologies.5 This was a conclusion that motivated the contemporary pilot work aimed at developing a standard methodological design that would be easily applicable.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 26

Here also but that one pair was more better. What a shock (sarcasm). So this one pair was psychic for sure but the rest was not(sarcasm). I am getting the feeling that they are gasping on straws:

Although the overall results of the Copenhagen study were nonsignificant, one individual twin session (of the six that were usable) did give significant results, with the expert correctly identifying three of the five windows for the five shocks/surprises. A second independent expert made eight judgments confirming among these three hits, which was highly statistically significant, and suggested that the measures used here have reliability.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 27

6. Problem: They used the same polygraph expert like in the Copenhagen study:

As in the previous study, the protocol for the running of the experiment, including the definition of a hit, was recorded in advance and sent to ABC News. The method of statistical analysis also was agreed on and written into the protocol. We were able to use in this London study, the same polygraph expert Terry Mullins, who made the main judgments in the Copenhagen study.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 27

7. Problem: Wow this is really double blind when it was impossible to stop television personnel and camera teams occasionally wander between rooms:

The other twin (designated henceforth as twin 2) was placed in a reclining chair in the testing room, located 32.5m(_1 m) from the center of the other room and separated by intervening rooms, closed doors, and two corridors with doors. Twin 2 received relaxation instructions from the main experimenter (Adrian Parker), who then retired in to the adjoining console to select the stimulus. The start of the experiment was the word “Start” signaled as an SMS sent with via mobile phone to the polygraph expert, who marked this start time onto the recording chart of physiological activity. This one-way communication was, in principle, the only communication allowed between the two rooms during the sessions. In practice, it proved impossible to stop television personnel and camera teams from occasionally wandering between rooms, but they remained largely unobtrusive and were silent during the trials.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 29

8. Problem: This also gives me much confidence in the study(sarcasm):

Four pairs of twins were tested, and the eight sessions relating to them are designated 1 to 4 with the A and B added to referring to the twin being physiologically monitored. The first session with twin 1A unfortunately had to be registered as a mistrial. After the experimenter A.P. had sent the “start” SMS, the twin (designated 1A) who was being monitored decided she needed to visit the toilet, and A.P. did not see the return SMS from the monitoring room indicating this delay. (The protocol only allowed the start signal and no other communication was expected.) Accordingly, no attempt was made at identifying the exposure periods for session 1A. A further session, that of 3B, had to be declared a mistrial because the monitored twin had apparently fallen asleep during the procedure. It was also allowed as part of the protocol for the expert assessor to pass on specific exposure trials if he deemed it difficult or impossible to identify any remarkable deviations in the physiological record of the monitored twin.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 29

9. Problem: They had six such errors:

There were six such passes: 1B trials 2 and 3 and 2B trial 5 and 4A trial 2; and 4B trials 1 and 3. Therefore, of a possible 30 valid trial exposures, 24 trials could be assessed according to the protocol.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 29

10. Problem: They have a another problem:

An initial difficulty did occur in this evaluation because of the expert assessor inadvertently following the former procedure used in the Copenhagen study of giving several ranked values for a session in the manner. Because this was not part of the present protocol for the experiment, we addressed this by strictly following the procedure of only taking the “window” or timing that had received the top ranking for each of the trial exposure periods. Rankings other than the top were therefore never considered.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 29

11. Problem: The study was too small even the scientists agree here:

Because there were 24 periods under review and a one in eight chance of correctly identifying each, then three correct placements would be expected by chance. The result gave a total of six correct placements of the window. This was thus double this expected value and theoretically, and on a binomial test is marginally significant (P _ .07, one-tailed). Although the study is extremely small-scale, this result in such a small sample has the importance of justifying a replication with much larger sample or further trials with the same selected participants.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 30

12. Problem: The whole study is again about statistics and the p value which can be made into a positive result thanks to some freedom even Dr. Steven Novella points this out:

Researcher bias – Researchers are people who want their ideas to be correct, and studies may be conducted by industry or those with a vested interest in the outcome. Even within accepted methodology, researchers have a great deal of degrees of freedom, or wiggle room. This freedom can be exploited (consciously or subconsciously) to engineer a positive result, even out of completely negative data. Simmons et al demonstrated that a p-value of 0.05 can be created out of negative data 60% of the time just by exploiting researcher degrees of freedom. In surveys a third of researchers admitted to engaging in questionable methods that would exploit degrees of freedom to create positive results.


Taken from: http://theness.com/neurologicablog/inde ... ce-broken/

13. Problem: Even the scientists are not declaring this as total proof of PSI and that other studies should be done:

The London and Copenhagen studies were exploratory pilot studies, and nothing can be said in terms of so-called “proof based evidence” for anomalous physiological connectedness between identical twins. However, the results are consistent with previous findings, suggesting that among identical twins reporting these exceptional experiences to a high degree, about one in four may apparently give significant results. These findings should be followed up in larger and more controlled studies of selected twins with detailed case notes.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 30

14. Problem: The study protocol was done by Guy Lyon Playfair a known woo believer:

This research was sponsored by American Broadcasting Company News, Nightline. We thank ABC News for their financial and logistic support, Professor Tim Spector, Dr Lynn Cherkas, and Dr Juliet Harris for their support and the generous use of the facilities of the Department of Twin Research, King’s College, Dr Annekatrin Puhle and Liisa Bevan for assisting in the testing procedures, Göran Brusewitz and Gail Clement for help with the recruitment, and Guy Lyon Playfair for discussions concerning the design of the study.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 30

The woo of Guy Lyon Playfair:

Reception[edit]

Playfair's book The Flying Cow expressed his admiration for the Brazilian medium Chico Xavier. A review in the New Scientist wrote "Many books misuse science to gull the reader (and, perhaps the author as well, and the flying Cow is just one more)".[3] The magician Bob Couttie described Playfair as "devoted believer in Uri Geller" and the "author of an assortment of credulous books on paranormal subjects."[4] The science writer Martin Gardner criticized Playfair's endorsement of Geller and described him as a "hack writer on the occult".[5]

The magician Ben Harris author of the book Gellerism Revealed: The Psychology and Methodology Behind the Geller Effect revealed step-by-step photographs and text showing how to bend keys and cutlery by trick methods. Harris reviewed Playfair and Geller's book which concluded Playfair was not experienced in sleight of hand and was fooled by Geller's tricks. According to Harris "Mr Playfair turns out to be a weak observer due to his own misplaced confidence in his abilities as an observer... [he] rushes along crucifying the skeptics, the magicians and almost anyone who has questioned the Geller myth."[6]

In a review for The Geller Effect the parapsychologist Michael Goss wrote "Playfair provides little evidence to support the existence of paranormal powers. His main theory boils down to the fact that, because so many people imitate spoonbending, someone with real paranormal abilities must have started it off."[7] Richard Whittington-Egan in a review for Playfair's book This House is Haunted wrote "a shade credulous in some areas, but its value as a most capable scrutiny of a classic modern haunting makes it an indispensable addition to the relatively sparse literature of full-scale poltergeist investigation in the field."[8]

Playfair is most famous for his endorsement of the Enfield Poltergeist. The skeptical investigator Joe Nickell has written "As a magician experienced in the dynamics of trickery, I have carefully examined Playfair’s lengthy account of the disturbances at Enfield and have concluded that they are best explained as children’s pranks."[9] Playfair's belief that poltergeists are disembodied, mischievous spirits influenced the paranormal research of Colin Wilson.[10]


Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Lyon_Playfair

Playfair also wrote a book about Twin telepathy:

Twin Telepathy. Vega, 2002, ISBN 1-84333-686-3


Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Lyon_Playfair

15. Problem: This whole research was published in Explore which is a woo magazine:

Key words: entanglement, monozygotic twins, telepathy, parapsychology
(Explore 2013; 9:26-31. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.)

© 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved EXPLORE January/February 2013, Vol. 9, No. 1
ISSN 1550-8307/$36.00 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.explore.2012.10.001


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Parker2013.pdf
Page: 26

Here is the information about the magazine and it shows it is woo:

Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing

EXPLORE: The Journal of Science & Healing addresses the scientific principles behind, and applications of, evidence-based healing practices from a wide variety of sources, including conventional, alternative, and cross-cultural medicine. It is an interdisciplinary journal that explores the healing arts, consciousness, spirituality, eco-environmental issues, and basic science as all these fields relate to health.

Benefits to authors
We also provide many author benefits, such as free PDFs, a liberal copyright policy, special discounts on Elsevier publications and much more. Please click here for more information on our author services.

Please see our Guide for Authors for information on article submission. If you require any further information or help, please visit our support pages: http://support.elsevier.com


Taken from: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/explor ... d-healing/

16. Problem: The authors already done something similar in 2012 published in the same magazine Explore and Playfair helped them to design the study and now it was financed by DR1 a radio station:

Acknowledgments
This research was sponsored by Danmarks Radio (DR1), Denmark. We thank Thomas Breinholt and Margit from at DR1; Thomas W. Teasdale is thanked for valuable statistical discussions and Guy Lyon Playfair for discussions concerning the design of the study.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Jensen2012.pdf
Page: 346

Here is the full study: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/Jensen2012.pdf

Conclusion: This whole study smells bad. It is weak and even where it was printed it leaves me extremely skeptical, no to mention the funding and people behind it. So my conclusion is that this whole study is NO proof of PSI or even evidence of PSI.
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Shen1986
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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Shen1986 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:57 am

This study was already criticized:

Greyson (2010). Seeing dead people not known to have died: “Peak in Darien” experiences


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

Here is the criticism of it and explanations:

http://neardth.com/seeing-family-during-nde.php

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=22092
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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Shen1986 » Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:00 am

Another study which was already criticized:

Nahm et al (2011). Terminal lucidity: A review and a case collection.


Taken from: http://www.deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

Here is the criticism and possible explanations:

http://neardth.com/almost-brainless.php

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=21285

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=19612

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum ... l-lucidity
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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Whitedude » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:38 am

Dean Radin has included old mediumship/spiritualist pseudoscience articles on his "evidence" list.

Crookes (1874). Researches in the phenomena of spiritualism

Crookes (1874). Notes of séances with DDH


William Crookes was a scientist who was easily duped by fraudulent mediums. He had poor eyesight and no education or practice in conjuring. He was taken in by the tricks of the medium Florence Cook and even the stage magician Anna Eva Fay (both were exposed as frauds). The above "papers" by Crookes about the medium Daniel Dunglas Home are nonsense.

There is a whole section on Home's fraud here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Dun ... _reception

Merrifield (1885/1971). Merrifield’s report (on D. D. Home)


More nonsense published in a pseudoscience journal. Even if the Merrifield report of fraud was not true there's many others.

Braude (1985). The enigma of Daniel Home.


A book review? This is not scientific evidence.

Stephen E. Braude is the man who believes rolled up cheesecloth ectoplasm or someone kicking a séance table is evidence for an afterlife and Ted Serios was a genuine psychic? lol

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Stephen_E._Braude

Inglis (1983). Review of “The spiritualists. The passion for the occult in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by Ruth Brandon.”


A book review is scientific evidence is it now?

Brian Inglis was a crank who claimed all mediums were genuine, he even had creationist beliefs:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Brian_Inglis

So much for scientific evidence Dean Radin.

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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Whitedude » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:48 am

The woo of Guy Lyon Playfair


Playfair published a whole book on the Brazilian medium Chico Xavier. Playfair claims that Xavier was a genuine materialization medium. It is hard to take Playfair seriously. Do an internet search for Chico Xavier we get images like this:

Image

Xavier is on the right.

Is this comedy? I wish it was but the spiritualists like Playfair believe it's real evidence for spirits. It's nothing more than someone dressed up in cloth.

More here:

http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/s ... d_kicking/
I am not longer posting on this forum. Too busy in real life with other interests.

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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Whitedude » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:54 am

Dean Radin has included the psychokinesis papers of Helmut Schmidt on his list:

Schmidt (1987). The strange properties of psychokinesis.

Schmidt (1990). Correlation between mental processes and external random events


Radin does not mention the criticisms of Schmidt's work.

It's parapsychology nonsense that contained errors and was never replicated. From Wikipedia:

Critics have written Schmidt's experiments in parapsychology have not been replicated.[7] Schmidt worked alone with no one checking his experiments. He was accused of being a careless experimenter.[8] C. E. M. Hansel found flaws in all of Schmidt's experiments into clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis. Hansel found that necessary precautions were not taken, there was no presence of an observer or second-experimenter in any of the experiments, no counterchecking of the records and no separate machines used for high and low score attempts. There were weaknesses in the design of the experiments that did not rule out the possibility of trickery. There was little control of the experimenter and unsatisfactory features of the machine employed.[3] Regarding the machine used in the experiments, Hansel wrote:

The most obvious weakness in Schmidt's machine is that the results are in no case recorded positively inside the machine. They are only revealed after processing data obtained from the resettable counters in the machine or from the paper punch connected it. While machines may be foolproof, human beings seldom are... If Schmidt had used two machines, his scores for high- and low-aiming runs could have been kept separate from the start. Nonresettable counters could have ensured that all attempts were recorded and some supervision of the use and recording of the counters would have instilled more confidence into readers of the reports than they are likely to have at present.[3]

According to the physicist Victor Stenger "While Schmidt claims positive results, his experiments also lack adequate statistical significance and have not been successfully replicated in the thirty-five years since his first experiments were reported."[9]

The psychologist James Alcock wrote that he found "serious methodological errors" throughout Schmidt's work which rendered his conclusions of psychokinesis untenable.[10]
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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Whitedude » Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:22 pm

Utts (1996). An assessment of the evidence for psychic functioning


This has been shot down.

In 1995, the project was transferred to the CIA and a retrospective evaluation of the results was done. The appointed panel consisted primarily of Jessica Utts and Ray Hyman. A report by Utts claimed the results were evidence of psychic functioning, however Hyman in his report argued Utts' conclusion that ESP had been proven to exist, especially precognition, was premature and the findings had not been independently replicated.[11] Hyman came to the conclusion:

Psychologists, such as myself, who study subjective validation find nothing striking or surprising in the reported matching of reports against targets in the Stargate data. The overwhelming amount of data generated by the viewers is vague, general, and way off target. The few apparent hits are just what we would expect if nothing other than reasonable guessing and subjective validation are operating.[12]

A later report by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) also came to a negative conclusion. Joe Nickell has written:

Other evaluators-two psychologists from AIR assessed the potential intelligence-gathering usefulness of remote viewing. They concluded that the alleged psychic technique was of dubious value and lacked the concreteness and reliability necessary for it to be used as a basis for making decisions or taking action. The final report found “reason to suspect” that in “some well publicised cases of dramatic hits” the remote viewers might have had “substantially more background information” than might otherwise be apparent.[13]


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

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/evidence_ ... s._reality
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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Whitedude » Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:27 pm

Rouder et al (2013). A Bayes Factor Meta-Analysis of Recent Extrasensory Perception Experiments: Comment on Storm, Tressoldi, and Di Risio (2010)


This is not a paper in support of psi. It is a skeptical paper. According to the conclusion:

In summary, although Storm et al.’s (2010) meta-analysis seems to provide a large degree of support for psi, more critical evaluation reveals that it does not. In our view, the evidence from Storm et al. for psi is relatively equivocal and certainly not sufficient to sway an appropriately skeptical reader.
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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Whitedude » Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:31 pm

Beischel & Schwartz (2007). Anomalous information reception by research mediums demonstrated using a novel triple-blind protocol


This is an article not a peer-reviewed scientific publication.

Information on Bieschel and Schwartz here:

On Fox News on the Geraldo at Large show, October 6, 2007, Geraldo Rivera and other investigators accused Schwartz as a fraud and that he had overstepped his position as a university researcher by requesting over three million dollars from a bereaved father who had lost his son. Schwartz had claimed to have contacted the spirit of a 25-year-old man in the bathroom of his parents house and it is alleged he attempted to charge the family 3.5 million dollars for his mediumship services. Schwartz responded saying that the allegations were set up to destroy his science credibility


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

Bieschel is the co-founder of the Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential a psychic woo organization that claims everything from levitation, psychokinesis to mediumship is scientifically genuine.


http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Julie_Beischel
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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Whitedude » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:34 pm

Radin also includes paranormal books on his evidence list:

Tart (2009). The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal Is Bringing Science and Spirit Together


Criticism of Tart here:

Tart has drawn criticism from the scientific community for his comments on a failed psychokinesis (PK) experiment. According to Terence Hines:

Charles Tart (1976) used a random number generator to study the possibility of training people to use psi. Subjects were given feedback on whether or not their responses were correct following each trial. Positive results were initially found, as subjects came to be able to match their responses to the numbers generated by the machine. It turned out, however, that the sequence of targets generated by the random number generator was not random. This finding renders highly problematic the contention that the experiment demonstrated psi.[4]

Tart responded by claiming the nonrandomness was due to a PK effect. Thus, he has claimed that a procedural flaw in the experiment itself is evidence for psi. Hines has written this is an example of the use of a nonfalsifiable hypothesis in parapsychology.[4] In 1980, Tart claimed that a rejudging of the transcripts from one of Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff’s remote viewing experiments revealed an above-chance result.[5] Targ and Puthoff refused to provide copies of the transcripts and it was not until July 1985 that they were made available for study when it was discovered they still contained sensory cues.[6] The psychologist David Marks and Christopher Scott (1986) wrote "considering the importance for the remote viewing hypothesis of adequate cue removal, Tart’s failure to perform this basic task seems beyond comprehension. As previously concluded, remote viewing has not been demonstrated in the experiments conducted by Puthoff and Targ, only the repeated failure of the investigators to remove sensory cues."[7] Tart has also been criticized by the skeptic Robert Todd Carroll for ignoring Occam's razor (advocating the paranormal instead of naturalistic explanations) and for ignoring the known laws of physics.[8]

In 1981, Tart received the James Randi Educational Foundation Media Pigasus Award "for discovering that the further in the future events are, the more difficult it is to predict them."[9]


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

In other words, Tart is a pseudoscience promoter.

Targ (2012). The Reality of ESP: A Physicist's Proof of Psychic Abilities


It's well known anything Russell Targ has written is nonsense i.e. his support for Uri Geller and his bogus remote viewing experiments that contained sensory cues.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Targ
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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Whitedude » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:38 pm

Jahn & Dunne (2005). The PEAR Proposition.


It's well known that Robert Jahn's experiments at the PEAR lab contained errors and were never replicated. This is just more pseudoscience that has been debunked.


In 1984, the United States National Academy of Sciences, at the request of the US Army Research Institute, formed a scientific panel to assess the best evidence from 130 years of parapsychology. Part of its purpose was to investigate military applications of PK, for example to remotely jam or disrupt enemy weaponry. The panel heard from a variety of military staff who believed in PK and made visits to the PEAR laboratory and two other laboratories that had claimed positive results from micro-PK experiments. The panel criticized macro-PK experiments for being open to deception by conjurors, and said that virtually all micro-PK experiments "depart from good scientific practice in a variety of ways". Their conclusion, published in a 1987 report, was that there was no scientific evidence for the existence of psychokinesis.[13]

Kendrick Frazier has written Jahn's experiments were faulted because of failing to randomize the sequence of group trials at each session, inadequate documentation on precautions against data tampering and possibilities of data selection.[13]

The psychokinesis experiments of Jahn which involved "random machines" produced "a very small effect" not large enough to be observed over a brief experiment but over a large number of trials was able to produce a tiny statistical deviation from chance. The physicist Robert L. Park wrote it was not clear if any of the machines used were random and there are no truly random machines, therefore it was possible that the lack of randomness only began to show up after many trials.[14]

Park questioned if mind really could influence matter then it would be easy for parapsychologists to measure such a phenomena by using the alleged psychokinetic power to deflect a microbalance which would not require any dubious statistics but "the reason, of course, is that the microbalance stubbornly refuses to budge." Park has suggested the reason statistical studies such as Jahn's are so popular in parapsychology is because they introduce opportunities for uncertainty and error which are used to support the biases of the experimenter. Park wrote "no proof of psychic phenomena is ever found. In spite of all the tests devised by parapsychologists like Jahn and Radin, and huge amounts of data collected over a period of many years, the results are no more convincing today than when they began their experiments."[14]

According to Massimo Pigliucci the results from PEAR can be explained without invoking the paranormal because of two problems with the experiment "the difficulty of designing machines capable of generating truly random events and the fact that statistical "significance" is not at all a good measure of the importance or genuineness of a phenomenon."[15] Pigluicci has written the statistical analysis used by the Jahn and the PEAR group relied on a quantity called a "p-value" but a problem with p-values is that if the sample size (number of trials) is very large like PEAR then one is guaranteed to find artificially low p-values indicating a statistical "significant" result even though nothing was occurring other than small biases in the experimental apparatus.[15]

Two German independent scientific groups have failed to replicate the PEAR results.[15] Pigliucci has written this was "yet another indication that the simplest hypothesis is likely to be true: there was nothing to replicate."[15] The physicist Milton Rothman wrote most of the faculty at Princeton considered the work of PEAR an embarrassment.[16] Robert L. Park said of PEAR, "It’s been an embarrassment to science, and I think an embarrassment for Princeton".[10]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_G._Jahn

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/pear_prop ... r_fallacy/
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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Whitedude » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:40 pm

Alcock (2003). Give the null hypothesis a chance


This is a skeptic paper by James Alcock.

In 2003 James Alcock published Give the Null Hypothesis a Chance: Reasons to Remain Doubtful about the Existence of Psi, where he claimed that parapsychologists never seem to take seriously the possibility that psi does not exist. Because of that, they interpret null results as indicating only that they were unable to observe psi in a particular experiment, rather than taking it as support for the possibility that there is no psi. The failure to take the null hypothesis as a serious alternative to their psi hypotheses leads them to rely upon a number of arbitrary "effects" to excuse failures to find predicted effects, excuse the lack of consistency in outcomes, and to excuse failures to replicate.

Basic endemic problems in parapsychological research include amongst others: insufficient definition of the subject matter, total reliance on negative definitions of their phenomena (E.g.- psi is said to occur only when all known normal influences are ruled out); failure to produce a single phenomenon that can be independently replicated by neutral researchers; the invention of "effects" such as the psi-experimenter effect to explain away inconsistencies in the data and failures to achieve predicted outcomes; unfalsifiability of claims; unpredictability of effects; lack of progress in over a century of formal research; methodological weaknesses; reliance on statistical procedures to determine when psi has supposedly occurred, even though statistical analysis does not in itself justify a claim that psi has occurred; and failure to jibe with other areas of science. Overall, he argues that there is nothing in parapsychological research that would ever lead parapsychologists to conclude that psi does not exist, and so, even if it does not, the search is likely to continue for a long time to come. "I continue to believe that parapsychology is, at bottom, motivated by belief in search of data, rather than data in search of explanation."[17]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Alcock
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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Whitedude » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:47 pm

Matlock (2012). Bibliography of reincarnation resources online (articles and books, all downloadable)


This is a bibliography of paranormal books. Matlock shows his bias by including no skeptical books on his list. None of the critical books that debunk Ian Stevenson's or other parapsychologists alleged reincarnation data are mentioned like Paul Edwards, Melvin Harris or Ian Wilson.
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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Whitedude » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:55 pm

Schwartz (1980/2000). Location and reconstruction of a Byzantine structure … [by remote viewing]


This is some crazy crack pottery. A self-published article by the psychic Stephan E. Schwartz. Is this your scientific evidence Dean Radin?

So who is Schwartz?

He is a proponent of "psychic archaeology" author of the book The Secret Vault of Time: Psychic Archaeology and the Quest for Man's Beginnings.

Further reading:

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

http://www.badarchaeology.com/?page_id=1016
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Re: A skeptical look at Dean Radin's psi evidence list

Post by Whitedude » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:30 pm

Dean Radin's psi list has recently been copied to a woo website:

http://thespiritscience.net/2014/06/04/ ... i-and-esp/

But in the comments section a skeptic Jeroen Verdoodt has debunked some of these papers as not being anything to do with psi:

Krucoff et al (2001). Integrative noetic therapies as adjuncts to percutaneous intervention during unstable coronary syndromes: Monitoring and Actualization of Noetic Training (MANTRA) feasibility pilot


The Monitoring and Actualization of Noetic Training (MANTRA) pilot study examined the feasibility of applying 4 noetic therapies-stress relaxation, imagery, touch therapy, and prayer-to patients in the setting of acute coronary interventions. They come to the conclusion that the patients were more then happy to participate with the study but, and this is crucial: no outcomes differences were significant.

So this study doesn't proof the effectiveness of the therapy, it only proofs that the patients were happy to take part in the therapy.


Leibovici (2001). Effects of remote, retroactive intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients with bloodstream infection: randomised controlled trial

The researcher who wrote it actually meant it to be a light hearted piece to illustrate the importance of asking research questions that fit with the scientific model of the world. It was published in the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journey. This edition is meant to be jokey and light hearted (note the reindeer picture in the article).

In the article he uses heavily skewed statistics to come to the conclusion that prayer can have a positive effect on a patient even when it is performed after the patient has left the hospital.

In short, this is a joke article which is being misrepresented as proof.
You really should remove this from this list


The Efficacy of “Distant Healing”: A Systematic Review of
Randomized Trials

John A. Astin, PhD; Elaine Harkness, BSc; and Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD

The Review gives a summary of studies that involve 'distant healing'. These healing practices include prayer, reiki and therapeutic touch. All studies are rated using the JADAD scale which give an inication on the quality of the research. The review concludes that further study is required to shed light on the potential efficacy of these approaches.

This review doesn't provide proof of the efficacy of any of the studied practices be it prayer, therapeutic touch or reiki. It merely provides suggestions on how to improve the studies. The suggestions include studies on animals, enlarging the sample sizes and so on.


The mere existence of a study does not constitute evidence _for_ the thing you're talking about. Indeed, if you have a look at the Benson et al. (2006) study...
"Conclusions: Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on complication-free recovery from CABG, but certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with a higher incidence of complications."


Effects of Healing Intention on Cultured Cells
and Truly Random Events


So basically this is an experiment were the effect of 'having the intention to heal' on Cultured Cells and Truly Random Events was measured. The cultured cells comprised of human astrocytes (the most common form of brain cell) and the Truly Random Events were represented by Random Number Generators

The paper claims that the treated cells had a significantly more growth then the untreated cells and that the RNG deviation data showed a statistical significant correlation with the healing sessions.

I haven't found any study that have confirmed or repeated these findings. There are loads of studies about the effect of psychokinesis on Random Number Generators and the general conclusion here is that there is no effect.

The study was carried out at Institute of Noetic Sciences. A haven for pseudoscience and statistical magic.


Radin is definitely confused about what the definition of "evidence" is. His list is not evidence for psi at all. His has been dishonest by including many of these papers in his list.
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