Sunday, November 23, 2008

Evidence

Evidence, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is something that furnishes proof. Using that definition, what proof do we have then that ghosts exist? What evidence has been presented in the last thousand or so years that furnishes proof?

Experiences are not proof. There are some gifted psychics to be sure, but can we claim their feelings and findings as irrefutable proof? If I tell you that I have a terrible headache where is your proof that I in fact have a headache? None; therefore you must take my word for it. So it is with psychics. This is not discounting personal experiences. Most of us have had one or two. And while these experiences might convince us, they are not proof to others.

There are photographers in the field working with infrared and other specially designed cameras. Some of their photos are remarkable, but not proof to those who don’t already believe. Photographic proof is almost an oxymoron when it comes to ghosts; especially with all the photo doctoring software available. In the hands of the unscrupulous these programs can whip out anomalies faster than you can say, “Cheese balls anyone?”
Recently, someone wrote that she was aware of people who used photo software to stretch themselves skinny. Then surely she is also aware of photo manipulation. And so is everyone else.
Orbs are in a class all by themselves; one either loves them, or hates them. Some of those who championed orbs as ghosts in the early days of digital cameras, have done an about face and now disavow 99.9% of them. There are those who still vigorously insist orbs are ghosts. The problem is distinguishing genuine ghostly orbs from dust, moisture, and bugs etc.

Research into Electronic Voice Phenomena didn’t begin with the film White Noise. But even those who didn’t care for White Noise had to admit that one thing the film did was bring mainstream attention to EVP. And there it was, everyone started recording and gathering evidence. Unfortunately, just like photography it’s easy to fake EVP. So where’s your proof that this is real EVP and not fake? When on the investigation is each person required to start in with an empty recorder? Empty as in no previous sound files. This is one way to stop pre-recorded sound files from making their way into the world as Class A EVP.

It’s easy to awe those who aren’t in this field with our evidence. Wow look at those photos, listen to that EVP. But ask yourself this, does your evidence stand up to the intense scrutiny of your peers? Does your evidence offer proof that ghosts exists?

4 comments:

TonyaK said...

"But ask yourself this, does your evidence stand up to the intense scrutiny of your peers?"

The answer has to be "no." Unless, of course, you've been forgetting to take your medication and the delusions are coming back....

There is no good evidence. More importantly, people are NOT subjecting their evidence and research to peer review. Why not? Fear. Nobody wants to subject their evidence to close scrutiny, and many are afraid to provide that close scrutiny when the opportunity affords itself.

The cost of the scrutiny outweighs the benefits for most people.

**Disclaimer** By "nobody," and "most people," I am referring to the statistical majority...not to you in particular, reader of this blog. So, before you go off on a tangent and say I'm attacking you, take heed** :)

KristyHinkle said...

I actually just wrote an article dealing with Evidence Falsification and teams presenting them as 'evidence' of not just hauntings, but also falsifying 'demon' cases, to make their cases seem more interesting.
The Article touches briefly on those who refuse to allow other investigators to look at their evidence, *I also used the phrase, peer review* Now I am not saying everyone HAS to present anything and everything they find, we all know, I don't post any private residence case information on the internet at all, however, I do submit all of my evidence to others in the field, for their opinions. I also ask anyone and everyone I send them to, to tear them apart, help me to find a rational explanation for anything I may have to send them.
I know that it doesn't matter what we present to the cynics and most of the general public, it's never going to be considered 'evidence' of anything, as far as they're concerned.

BatBoy said...

Since the time of Fox sisters, the amount of credible evidence collected by the paranormal community is zero. Yet a great deal of energy is used gathering experiences and taking it as evidence. This of course is light-years from science, the paranormal community needs to take a deep breath and have a serious renaissance. They need to drop all of the gadgets, the goofy television shows, pick up a pad and pencil and began investigating what is going on inside the minds of those who are having alleged paranormal experiences. And yes I do believe people are having paranormal experiences but it is not caused by the paranormal.

The very idea that the human mind can trick itself using its own senses is actually more fascinating than the idea that the experiences are being caused by external forces. External forces by the way science is long dismissed, paranormal claims play very fast and loose with the laws of physics. Any such variation in natural law would have been detected long ago. The only thing I would take to task in the blog is that I have never met a gifted psychic all of the psychics I have come across are nothing more than performance artists. I was once told by a psychic that my skepticism was a shield against the paranormal. If that is the case then perhaps those in the ghost culture should recommend to those who have alleged hauntings to read some books on critical thinking. Or better yet they should do that themselves.

TonyaK said...

You make some valid points, Batboy. It is time for change!!!!!!