Author: David Christopher Lane and Dan and Joe Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER Publication date: June 1997
E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at email@example.com
I want to go back to the home base now.
DAVID LANE REPLIES: The story has some interesting elements to it, but the most obvious one is this: Regardless of what the dying man actually meant by "The Car! The Car! etc." it did Nothing to stop the car from being stolen. JOSEPH P. WRITES: What has this got to do with whether the incident furnishes evidence of clairvoyance or not? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Because I am not at all certain (given the limited details of the story) that the dying man was talking about a stolen car, much less his family's stolen car. He could be talking about something completely different and the family's connection to the "stolen car" could well be missing the entire mark. It could also be that the dying man was more or less just speaking gibberish..... That's always a possibility. DAVE LANE continues: Moreover, given your story, we have no details which tell us what the man REALLY meant. We have, instead, what the listeners apparently "believe" he meant. They--the listeners--found the "meaning" in the car being stolen, even though it is quite plausible and possible that the dying man could have been talking about something else. JOSEPH P. WRITES: All we need to know is that the man said something about a car and that it was a car that was stolen. For example, in experiments in telepathy, a subject looks at a painting while a sleeping person dreams. Upon awakening the dreamer records the dream. An independent judge would evaluate the degree of correspondence between the dream imagery and the painting ... independent of what thoughts the 'sender' may have had about the painting while looking at it. DAVID LANE REPLIES: And you want to talk about the methodology of tests with me? Geez, you have already assumed that the dying man was "sending" something PSI-like. I don't know what he was trying to send out... He could have just been speaking gibberish. I don't know; you don't know; Paul doesn't know. The "listeners" interpreted what he said and have themselves made the "connection." Whether such a connection exists or does not exist cannot be adjudicated via the details of this story. That's my point. JOSEPH P. WRITES: What is needed is a correspondence between the content of the two items. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I personally would be interested to know what the dying man himself was trying to communicate. That part Paul does not reveal via his story. Geez, it could be all sorts of things. Before I give into some trans-rational paradigm, I would at least like to know that little detail. Seems somewhat important, don't you think? DAVE LANE continues: What the skeptic would NOT do is accept the story at face value. He or she would ask more questions, ask for more details, for more context. JOSEPH P. WRITES: This may or may not be what skeptics do. But scientists seem to operate somewhat differently., In the design of typical psi experiments, details have little relevance. If a 'sender' is looking at a painting of a car, it matters little whether the dream is about teenagers making out in the back of a car or whether the dream is about driving the wrong way down a one way street. DAVID LANE REPLIES: But, dear Joe, you have already made an assumption on Paul's story that you don't know is true. Was the dying man actually "sending" a message in PSI-like fashion, or was the dying man simply saying something non-PSI related like, as in a normal conversation. Given Paul's story, I have no clue. I don't see how his story relates to PSI experiments, since they are quite clear about what they are trying to accomplish. Both the sender and receiver know what they are engaging in. Do we know such information from the dying man? Do we really know what he was trying to intend? I don't, given the story. But maybe you have some psychic insight on the story that is not on the page? just teasing, dave -------------------- JOSEPH P. WRITES: This test is not designed precisely. It is not designed at all. Have you presented us an experimental protocol that specifies just what is to be done, how many participants there will be and how the results will be analyzed? No. You don't have an experimental design. All you have is a title 'The 5 Digit Test'. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Relax, Joe, this whole post started with a simple informal test wherein I responded to some on Alt.religion.eckankar who claimed that they could astrally read numbers off my wall. Glen even asked for my home address to do such an adventure, and when I agreed to give it to him, he backed out and said to me that I shouldn't trust strangers on ARE..... I wasn't trying to set up a research program..... But I am all for you doing it. Set it up. Tell us how you want the test administered and how you think it should be set-up and I will give you my input. DAVE LANE continues: In medicine you often start with very small tests and then if the results look promising (there seems to be some point or some hope), you can then move on to bigger arenas. ... If we do get a "hit" on the five digit number ... then we could follow that up with further tests. We do this in medicine all the time. Why should the paranormal have "lower" standards? JOSEPH P. WRITES: It's really laughable that you mention the practices of medical researchers to justify your shoddy experimental design. Medical researchers have to develop extensively detailed experimental protocols and have them approved before their experiments can go forward. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Shoddy experimental design? Relax. When I go surfing with my buddies we often make-up simple tests, like "Hey, I bet you can't do a carve on this 6 foot close out." So the guy does it and we come up with other tests. We don't discuss experimental design or methodology at this stage. We simply want to see if he can do it or not. The same happens with all sorts of sports endeavors, all sorts of medical endeavors (hey, I am going to fast for five days and see the effect on my body). We write it up, we explore further. What you seem to forget is that I proposed this little test informally in response to those who claimed on ARE that they could do it. Just like in surfing, I said, "Okay, DO it." Now, clearly, one can become more sophisticated over time with their tests (and if this turns you on, by all means go head), But medicine often proceeds by those who are simply "testing" on themselves a new method, a new diet. We can become much more sophisticated as we proceed. JOSEPH P. WRITES: If the research involved a new drug, they would have to conduct safety tests and efficacy tests. In the course of doing these, the researchers would have to specify *ahead of time* the details of the experimental design --- who was to store the drugs, who was to prepare the placebos, who designed the schedule for assigning patients to various control groups, who was to administer the drug (without knowing whether it was the real thing or a placebo), how often the patient was to come in for monitoring, what sort of monitoring would be done, what sort of follow up would take place after they stopped administering the drug and on and on. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Joe, I am not trying to prove the paranormal. I simply responded to the people on ARE who said they could astrally read numbers/names/pictures off physical walls. My response? Okay, DO IT. Now, you seem very concerned with research methodology, with design, with procedure. Okay, set up the test as you would like it and we can all engage in it. As for me, I simply called the bluff, just as we do in surfing. A guy claims he can get tubed for ten seconds, we say, "Okay, bro, DO IT." Those here on ARE who say that they can astrally read the physical numbers or pictures in my office, I responded by saying: "Okay, DO IT." My surf buddies don't get hot and bothered about research methodology and about research design. They either can do it or they can't. Now, naturally, I applaud your sincere efforts to want to prove PSI and the like, but you seem to be mixing that up with how this whole debate started. I replied to Glen that I would give him my home address (he was game, I though) and he backed out. Okay, Tracy tried it and didn't get it right. Now you want to up the ante a bit and set up a full fledged test for a scientific publication. Cool, I am game. Now set it up, JOE. I would be most happy to help you out on the details. JOSEPH P. WRITES: David, you've given us no details of your experimental design. That is not how a scientist operates, although that may be how a skeptic operates who cares nothing about science. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm.... I thought it was pretty simple. I got five numbers on my wall. There are those on ARE who claim that they can astrally travel and read those numbers. I replied, okay, "DO IT." --------- Let me put this in a much simpler way to you. Imagine I asked my nephew to go get a telephone number for me from the yellow pages (he makes the amazing claim that he can actually read and memorize 7 digits in five minutes). I don't think I would spend too much time with him on the various aspects of "research design and methodology." Instead, I would say, okay you got 5 minutes. Go DO IT. And guess what? My nephew can actually do it. He can read 7 digits and memorize them (I wanted to know the number for a Pizza place, by the way). Simple test and he passed!!!!!! --------- You see, Joe, all your talk about research design and methodology only covers up the obvious: Those who make the claim are turning out to be lame; and those who can't perform want squirm out of it. ------- As my friend Aaron would say to me (If I made such a claim, like "hey I can read five numbers in astral travel"). HEY, then shut up and DO IT. Maybe my surf buddies should enter this discussion. They have a low tolerance for excuses. "Well, I could have gotten tube if I had the right board, or if I was in the right mood, of if we discussed the conditions more." My surf bros would simply shout: "Yo, wanna-be. Either get tubed or stop making the claim." ------ Now, Joe, I am all for you setting up your own test and your own conditions. Go right ahead. But the fact remains, NOBODY yet has read those five digits off my wall. ----------------------- DICK WRITES: Getting back to Joe's original question: Not only is Eye-2 a dubious methodology, Dave once recommended it himself. Or, am I going blind? DAVID LANE REPLIES: First of all, Dick, you need to distinuish two points: 1. I don't think OBE's or NDE's reflect "physical realities" in a straight one to one correspondence. I didn't believe it in 86 and I don't believe in 97. 2. I raised the 5 digit test for THOSE who believe the opposite: that OBE's or NDE's can, at times, give one to one correspondence about physical environments. My views in 86 and 97 are the same in this regard: I don't think OBE's can given accurate physical information (like five digits). But, now here is a point that both you and Joe need to underline, I proposed the five digit test FOR THOSE WHO THINK DIFFERENTLY THAN ME. In this way, I was simply opening the door to those who have a contravening position, even though I don't hold such a view (didn't in 86 and don't now). Yes, I do think it is important to directly apprehend inner lights and sounds and have all sorts of interesting OBE's and NDE's and the like. I am all for it, and I think Wilber is correct to some degree to have us actually explore those realms directly. Where my thinking has changed is simply over the ultimate interpretation of that inner phenomena. On that score, I have become more skeptical. It's that simple. DICK writes: Whether an alien spaceship was following Comet Hale-Bopp, as apparently the cult members believed, is not the issue. Some very improbable claims, like Marconi's belief that one could send voices and music many miles through thin air, have been proven true and have changed society forever. But large claims require large proofs. (or, as is often said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof"). Marconi repeatedly demonstrated his claims to skeptics, and his claims were accepted only when other independent scientists had duplicated his results. Ditto every other advance by science over the past four hundred years, be it the polio vaccine, the law of gravity, or the special theory of relativity. No theory should ever be viewed as a final truth, but rather as the best explanation for the currently known set of facts. Each theory may be overturned when confronted with new data. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Nice passage. DICK WRITES: Our societal failing is not in making improbable claims, but in believing these claims without skepticism and before duplication by independent experts. Our only protection against repeating the tragedy of Heaven's Gate is to learn and teach how science works. We must embrace the scientific method. The lesson of Paul Kurtz, CSICOP, and all skeptics is that we must challenge every claim until it meets the tests of scientific proof. Uncritical thinking about any subject sadly begets uncritical thinking in general, and ultimately can lead to the ultimate harm. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Nice passage again, Dick. Bravo! DICK WRITES: Just think, if Dave had been hitting the philosophy of science books back in 1972 instead of practicing his underwater takeoff at The Wedge, we wouldn't be having this kooky discussion. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Very true, but I like to think that in 10 years from now my views will change even further. I wouldn't want to be dogmatic at 4, much less 40. As for the "kooky" discussion, I think it shows how differently one can think on a single subject. DICK WRITES: p.s. What will Dave do when he discovers that surfing was invented by the ancient Malaysian ECK Master, Hopupu? The original beach boy, few know of him because he was kicked out of the Varaigi for lacking a proper work ethic. Ola ke ali`i, ke kahuna DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hopupu? That snake? I was surfing with him at this nectar right point off Bank Nal and he completely cut me off, even though I was slotted right in the barrel.... That guy is kook..... Tell him to go back to the valley. -------------------------- JOSEPH P. WRITES: You will note that David Lane refuses to state what would be a significant result. He only says that if he gets one he'll do more research. DAVID LANE REPLIES: "refuses to state"? Come again? Five Digits on my wall. Get them ALL right. Look, if I asked Tom, my surfer bro, to read the telephone number off my fridge, I would want him to GET ALL THE NUMBERS RIGHT, since that way I could make the phone call correctly. Likewise, there are those who claim that they can do PRECISELY what Tom can do physically, except that they do so in an OBE. Alright, then just DO IT. I am not testing you Joe, since you have a much different take on OBE's (via Wilber). I also don't think OBE's reflect physical reality, but then again I am not "testing" my theory. I am "testing" rather those who make the opposite claim: that they can do what Tom does physically. It is so fudging simple that all this discussion overlooks the blatantly obvious. Tom would simply go read the telephone number and report it back to me. Why should are astral friends (who make these type of claims) not just do the same? According to these astral number readers, they are not do chance picking; they are simply reporting back what they see. Okay, let's see them DO IT. My little test is a great start, but so far all I get is hot air. ------------------------------------- DANIEL WRITES: Both believers and disbelievers in the paranormal need to question and examine their own assumptions. Everyone who is willing to the "play the game" must ask what ARE the rules of the game and everyone participating in the game must be fully aware of those rules, etc. From reading much of what David Lane has written about the paranormal, it would appear that in the entire history of the paranormal. . . up to today, there is no evidence, no testimony, no experiment or combination of any of these that passes David's tests (standards, criteria). If 10 or 15 years ago, David's standards were *too* low, maybe they are now *too* high? Could it be that David's "crossbar" is so high that nothing could pass the test? If Glen or Tracie successfully "guessed" the 5 digits, would that prove something to David? What more would David require of Glen and Tracie? I'm not implying that David should believe in the parnormal based upon that one correct "guess." Testing and further testing should be done. But from my own reading in parapsychology, many skeptics would never be satisfied. Whatever the results, such skeptics point out flaws. And if there are no documented flaws, they look for *potential* flaws. "There must be dirt in the test tube somewhere. I can't see it; I can't find it, but . . . . . . . ." DAVID LANE REPLIES: I have told you repeatedly Daniel that I would be duly impressed by the reading of five digits off my wall by someone who did it via an OBE. Naturally, we could follow it up with further research. I don't think the bar is too high, especially when you remember that all we are asking is for those who make SUCH claims to be able to DO IT. If they didn't make these claims, we wouldn't even be "testing" them, right? Babaji, it is alleged, is thousands of years old and is in a physical body. Okay, show up. Some on this group claim that they can come to my office or home and accurately portray what is physically there.... Okay, DO IT. This has got nothing to do with my skepticism. It has something to do with those who make the claims and being able to verify it. We are simply asking them to DO IT. ------ DAVID LANE WRITES: "Are you willing to admit that there is no proof of Elvis NOT living on Venus?" JOSEPH P. WRITES: Of course I am willing to admit that there is no proof that Elvis is not living on Venus. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Okay, given that, then we could conjecture just about ANY-thing and not be able to prove its non-existence. Thus, your argument about "Soul" has as much weight as trying to disprove Elvis on Venus. That was my point. JOSEPH P. WRITES: Moreover, your own dissertation on the difficulty of proving that Elvis doesn't live on Venus would seem to support an admission that we have no proof that Elvis doesn't live on Venus. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, that was precisely my point. You could postulate ANY-thing and not be able to "disprove" it. That is why the burden of proof is on the one who makes the claim. You need to show US why the soul exists, not the other way around (me trying to prove the soul's non-existence). Just as Elvis on Venus supporters have to show us just cause and evidence why the King is running a Circle K on Retz (i hear Gakko and him have formed a partnership), NOT the other way around. JOSEPH P. WIRTES: Similarly, recounting all the difficulties you would face in an attempt to prove that Soul doesn't exist would seem to support an admission that you have no proof of Soul's non-existence. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Geez, Joe, if you play this type of game, we could substitute Gakko with Soul, Lucky Astral Charms with Soul, or Lane is 90 foot tall on the planet Tuza, and get the same results. You have to show us why the soul exists, not the other way around. JOSEPH P. WRITES: If you are claiming to have knowledge the rest of us don't have (ie proof of Soul's non-existence), then present it. Otherwise, what is your problem with admitting you have no proof of Soul's non-existence? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Well, I have no proof for green Icky men's astral body living in a sewer in Jupiter "non-existence" either..... You could, Joe, substitute anything in your equation and get the same results. Elvis, Green Gumby, Uncle Joe from Petticoat Junction, etc. You have to show evidence for the soul's existence, just as those who claim that Gumby is spiritual love and living on Mercury need to show just cause...... Isn't this obvious by now? ------------------ JOSEPH P. WRITES: I questioned the sincerity of such statements on the grounds of behavioral denial. You don't walk your talk. No matter how often you claim to be open to incoming evidence, no matter how often you have proclaimed that you would be happy to be proven wrong about claims of veridical OBE perception, the facts are: 1. that you proposed a test too vaguely designed to be meaningful; DAVID LANE REPLIES: Too vague? I got five numbers on my wall. Read them via astral travel. Tell me what they are. Pretty simple. Joe, you seem to be forgetting the obvious. If I asked a friend of mine to go into my house PHYSICALLY and write down the telephone number off my fridge (it is the only number there), and asked him to later tell me what it is, I wouldn't consider that "REQUEST" (or is that "TEST"?) too vague. I have done it a lot. My mother has done it a lot..... And guess what, bro, nobody brings up methodology, quantum mechanics, or Godel's theorem. They simply do the obvious: get the phone number and report it back to me. All your purple prose ignores the obvious: I have done this VERY test in REAL life. It is called getting a PHONE number, bro. Okay, so there are some cats here on ARE who claim that they can read numbers while in an OBE. I simply gave them the SAME request I have given my friends: COME ON OVER and DO IT. ------- Sorry, Joe, but I proposed this test not because "I" believe in such excursions (see my letter to Dick), but rather to give an opportunity for those who make such claims a chance to illustrate why I may wrong. Great start. But nothing has happened yet, except your lame justifications, where you continually overlook what we do in everyday life. JOSEPH P. WRITES: 2. you seem to have no grasp of the need for statistical methods of analysis; DAVID LANE REPLIES: I am all for the use of statistical methods of analysis, but what you are forgetting (over and over again) is that if I asked my surf buddy to PHYSICALLY read a telephone number off my fridge he would DO it. I don't think we would have a discussion about Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty. Remember, this little test of mine is a start (not a conclusion). We do such little tests all the time. JOSEPH P. WRITES: 3. guessing game experiments can only yield statistics as to the likelihood that the results are due only to chance. It is up to us to infer the existence of a psi force when the statistics reach whatever level we have set for ourselves; DAVID LANE REPLIES: If you really want to be formal, Joe, I wouldn't even infer Psi. All we could do, given your modus operandi here, is say something appears to be contravening chance. What THAT is (if such did occur) is open to amazing amounts of speculation and theorizing. JOSEPH P. WRITES: 4. a guessing game experiment can't discriminate between types of psi forces, if indeed there are types. In particular, there would be no way to determine whether correct results were due to veridical OBE perception, telepathy (reading the mind of the experimenter to get the answers) or clairvoyance. Indeed, what we now call veridical OBE perception was sometimes called as 'traveling clairvoyance' in the early days of psychical research. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Psi forces? Geez, just read the fudging telephone number off my fridge. Can we start with SOME-thing? In the physical world, we do very simple tests like this; we can even do further exploration after that. But, Joe, why is it so difficult for THOSE who MAKE the claim to perform? There are those on this very group who have claimed to be able to visit the "physical" house while astral travelling. Okay, let's find out. Just like, if my friend Tom Wegener (star in a hot new surf flick) said he was going to be in my neighborhood, I might ask him to go read the serial number on my Iron Cross longboard. I even left the door open for him. He goes in and DOES it! We don't invoke Bohr, Einstein, or Wheeler. So it is the same (given the arguments of those who claim to be able to do this) with astrally reading the five digits on my wall. GO DO IT! I wouldn't have long winded discussions with Tom about Godel; I just want the number read. It's a start, Joe, and NOBODY has done it. JOSEPH P. WRITES: 5. In the unlikely event that you admitted to obtaining statistically significant results, Ockham's razor would require you to avoid the hypothesis that veridical OBE perception had been corroborated in favor of a less controversial hypothesis: that clairvoyance exists. DAVID LANE REPLIES: "Unlikely event"? Get a grip, bro. I would be most happy to reveal a direct hit. Why? Because it would show that something spooky might be happening, and I am for that. Naturally, we would want to do follow-up. Sorry, but your alternative hypotheses is not that simple. What a statistically significant hit would point to is this: A NON-CHANCE force. Now what THAT may be is still open to lots of theories and lots of ideas...... JOSEPH P. WRITES: Consequently, the conclusion seems inescapable: Tests of the type you allude to are not able to test for the phenomenon in question. Although you claim to be open to new evidence, your test is guarranteed not to find any. Only a psi cop would call that 'having an open mind about paranormal phenomena'. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Huh? You seem to be missing a very important point here, Joe. If I asked my brother Joe (I really do have a brother named Joe, by the way) to read the number off my fridge and report it back to me and he DID IT CORRECTLY, I wouldn't be in shock at all. Why? Because in this physical world, having somebody go walk over to your fridge and report the telephone number to you accurately is CONSIDERED NORMAL OPERATING PROCEDURE. Okay, so we got some on this newsgroup who claim that they can do the same as the above, but with one big difference: They allege that they can do it while having an OBE...... So, just like with my brother Joe, I simply asked the following: READ THE FIVE DIGITS OFF MY WALL. I would propose the same type of little test if an intruder had come into my house and said he was in my office while we were talking. I would say, okay, "tell me what numbers I have on my wall." IF he REALLY was in my office, it should be VERY SIMPLE to report those numbers back to me. So the same with these OBErs who make this type of claim. IT SHOULD BE EASY. Instead we have nobody getting the number right and Joe indulging in Godel to explain why. Can you imagine the physical "intruder" do the same? "Yea, I am in your office Dave, but due to Godel's theorem it will be impossible for me to read that five digit number off your wall...." Sure.... JOSEPH P. WRITES: You have invited me to propose a test design. I decline to do so. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Okay, but I still have my five digits on my wall for anybody game to do it via astral travel. I also have a telephone number on my fridge..... My nephew got it right, but he WALKED in with physical feet. I am awaiting those who make such claims to do it with Astral FEAT (pun intended). JOSEPH P. WRITES: This model won't be found in any text on empirical research methodologies for two reasons: 1. It isn't an empirical methodology. 2. So far as I know, I made it up. Using Wilber's terminology, it is not the methodology of an Eye-1 (eye of the flesh) science. It is an Eye-2 (eye of mind) science, perhaps even the variety he calls a mandalic science since it aims at gaining insight into the operation of spirit by using the eye of the mind, a dubious proposition, but less dubious than using the eye of the flesh. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Joe, I well understand why you think that physical tests won't reveal the true nature of OBE's. I think the SAME! (see my letters to Dick). What I am "testing" here is THOSE WHO CLAIM DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU AND I. There are those who say that they can indeed "read" physical signs and the like WHILE IN AN OBE. That is why I proposed a very simple test. I don't think OBE's and NDE's have anything to do with accurate readings of far away physical environments. My letters to Dick show that. I am simply being open to those who have a much different view on this subject than you or I. ----------- DANIEL CALDWELL QUOTES LANE AND THEN COMMENTS: "I don't think OBE's and NDE's have anything to do with accurate readings of far away physical environments." This is a *nice belief* for David Lane but from my own personal experiences I know that I have been able to have "accurate readings of far away environments." DAVID LANE REPLIES: Gosh, Dan, you do seem to take things out of context, don't you? I pointed out that I devised the five digit test to CONTRAVENE my own views (and apparently those of Joseph Polanik's). Yes, Danny, please do read the telephone number off my fridge. DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: In a number of posts David Lane has assured people that there MUST be a "simpler" explanation for these kinds of expericences other than the "paranormal" one. By simpler he must mean the "true" explanation. I have no idea how I got out of the body nor can I control these experiences. But next time I get out of the body I will try to read some digits and see if I can remember them when I return to the body. DAVID LANE REPLIES: "Must"? Hmm, nice spin doctoring, bro, but Occam's RAZOR doesn't say there must be a simpler explanation; it simply points out that if a simpler explanation CAN suffice (and it is comprehensive) that we should opt for that. But, if such an explanation cannot comprehensively explain the given phenomena, then we have to opt for a higher level explanation. Yes, by all means, do some OBE's and try to verify what you think can be duplicated in this physical world. I am all for it. DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: But if I'm not lying and I'm not deluded, then what could possibily be the "real", "simpler"explanation? David seems to have GREAT FAITH that there MUST be some other, more down to earth explanation. Maybe one day David will have just one OOBE in which he gains information from "far away environments." When he can confirm it for himself, then he may find that in spite of Occam's razor the truest explanation may be a "paranormal" one. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Dan, it is obvious you don't know what you are talking about when you mention Occam's Razor. Occam's Razor doesn't say that ONLY simple explanations exists; it says, rather, that IF a simpler explanation is available and explains the data correctly that we should opt for that (don't multiply beyond what is necessary). I have had OBEs Daniel. But unlike you I have opted to look for alternative explanations instead of accepting it at face value. Feynman has also had OBEs and he too looked for alternative explanations. If the paranormal exists, danny, it should withstand some scrutiny. No need to cheaply convert without sufficient evidence. You may be a cheap slut, but I am a high priced hooker (just teasing). Read what Faqir Chand himself says about this very issue. It was by his very doubting that he realized a much larger truth that had not been expressed in R.S. circles. DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: It's good to look for a simpler explanation, providing it is the true one. But to deny "facts" when you know they are facts just to comply with Occam's razor appears to me to be sheer folly. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Facts??? Geez, Danny, please tell what "facts" you have. I am quite open to them, but you have given me any. You yourself admitted that you weren't sure if Babaji exists or not. Are you being too skeptical, bro? Don't you trust Yogananda and his "facts"? I haven't denied "FACTS." You just haven't given any concerning the very subject of this debate (Babaji?) DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: As I said in my last post, from reading much of what David Lane has written about the paranormal, it would appear that in the entire history of the paranormal. . . up to today, there is no evidence, no testimony, DAVID LANE REPLIES: Danny, please don't miss-state things. Did I ever say there was "no testimony"? Get your "facts" straight, bro, since you are misleading your audience again. DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: no experiment or combination of any of these that passes David's tests (standards, criteria). DAVID LANE REPLIES: Danny, when did I say there were "no" experiments? Why are you making things up? I simply have not seen compelling evidence, though "I" (not you) pointed to Joseph Polanik a case which would support his position (see HOW TO THINK ABOUT WEIRD THINGS). Contrary to what you wrongly believe about me, I like to read positive reports on the paranormal. Geez, I even gave a graduate seminar on it at the Shirley Mac Graduate school in Del Mar (otherwise known as the University of Humanistic Studies). DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: There are thousands of case histories of the paranormal as found in the personal lives of people living in different countries and cultures, from ancient to modern times. Not one of those experiences meet David Lane's standards. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, there are even MORE reports of Angels, UFO encounters, Virgin Mary apparitions, and Elvis sightings. Numbers don't constitute proof for your claim, but simply underline the fact that people see lots of interesting things throughout history. Thousands used to attest to demon possession too, danny. Thousands reported interactions with the gods, as well, including Thor. Does that mean that we "accept" at face value such testimonies as REFLECTIVE of the TRUE nature behind such apparitions? Hmm.... go read your Faqir Chand again. DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: Think of all the hundreds and thousands of psi experiments that have been conducted starting back in the 1880s and 1890s up to. . . .the present month. Apparently not one of those experiments can meet David Lane's standards. And many of these experiments in the last 20 years have been quite sophisticated in their design and in the use of statistics. For example, the various series of experiments conducted by the late Charles Honorton. A good summary of many of these kinds of experiments are given in the book on parapsychology by Dr. Broughton. And yet in spite of the combined efforts of these many parapsychologists to listen to criticism and hence to improve their experiments, apparently not one single experiment has produced any evidence that would "jump" over the crossbar of David Lane's standards. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I have even pointed one very intriguing study out already Danny. See HOW TO THINK ABOUT WEIRD THINGS. No, I haven't jumped over the crossbar Danny. I am sorry, but it looks like two bucks will make you spread your legs. Don't get me wrong, I can be a prostitute too, but I won't whore just yet. Nothing wrong with keeping one's virginity in tact until the right time. Truth should be able to withstand some doubts, some tests. No need for rushing conversions, especially since the topic of our debate still has not shown up for cokes. Oh where is Babaji? Hmm.... DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: It would seem that David believes only in a certain kind of "ESP," i.e., ERROR SOME PLACE. Certainly some of these experiences and experiments have "errors" and "flaws". But many of these experiences and experiments have no detectable "flaws". . . . and many intelligent, reasonable people (with or without PhDs) have come to conclusions quite different to those of David Lane. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, and even a Harvard Professor believes that UFO encounters are really happening with extraterrestials. I have read this literature extensively and I am most open to positive results (that is why I even mentioned HOW TO THINK ABOUT WEIRD THINGS, a skeptical book, by the way), but clearly Danny the results (as the APA points out) have been anything but compelling. Yes, let's do more tests, just like we are doing with cold fusion. But no need to convert cheaply..... I still haven't seen Babaji, have you? Is Elvis coming this week to Arizona? I heard he has a book overdue. DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: Certainly it would be interesting to see if anyone can pass the digit test that David has proposed. I hope a number of people will volunteer. DAVID LANE REPLIES: That's the spirit. DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: Maybe Babaji will also agree to appear in public. But I'm not going to hold my breath. DAVID LANE REPLIES: That's good; you would be dead by now if you did. DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: I believe that science has a great deal to learn about the paranormal. For the most part, scientists have ignored or ridiculed the paranormal which has prevented a honest, open inquiry into this area. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I think you have it backwards. Parapsychology has a lot to learn from science. DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: If David Lane is so eager to conduct parapsychological tests, I urge him to confer with various parapsychologists who have ALREADY done experiemental work in this area. Has David Lane published one paper in any parapsychological journal detailing his own psi experiments and the results whether positive or negative? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Lest, you forget again Danny, you are the one trying to prove the paranormal. Go right ahead and submit your findings. As for me, I even taught two graduate seminars on the subject and had many "believers" do tests and experiments of their own making. "Eager"? Hmm, I was simply asking for some fudging evidence about Babaji. Do you have any, Danny? -------------------------- DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: Notice David Lane's comment: "But UNLIKE YOU I have opted to look for alternative explanations instead of accepting it at face value." Caps added. What does David Lane know about what I have or have not done? DAVID LANE REPLIES: By listening to what you have explicitly stated here in this debate. You have repeatedly argued against my skepticism (while at the same turn offering no proof of your own). Tell us in detail, Dan, why you take your OBE's as suggestive of verdical encounters. Perhaps within THOSE details an alternative explanation may arise, just as it did with Faqir Chand (who, lest you forget, had some really amazing OBE's).................... DANIEL CALDWELL writes: I most CERTAINLY looked for alternative explanations instead of just accepting my OOBEs at face value. And as I have said before, most of my OOBEs could be nothing more than vivid "dreams" or "hallucinations." That is to say, even though the experiences were vivid and quite unusual, there was nothing in the experiences that convinced me that I was REALLY out of the body. Yet in other experiences I was apparently able to see things that later were confirmed when I was back in the body. In those particular OOBEs I looked for alternative explanations but found none that fitted the FACTS of the experiences. Now a skeptical outsider might suggest I was lying or that I was delusional to such a degree that I am not a trustworthy witness. Some skeptics would argue that it is more reasonable to assume one of those two alternatives than to believe I had an real OOBE in which verifiable information was gained of a distant physical locale. DAVID LANE REPLIES: I don't for a second deny the topology of your experiences, but that is exactly the point: advanced technology looks like magic to the unsophisticated. Even in real life we can be "enchanted" and misled by street magic. Just the other day, my nephews and I watched a show about a street magician who "looked" like he could levitate, who "looked" like he could twist his hands in all sorts of non-linear ways. But what we did is NOT accept the "trans-rational" explanation but rather worked quite hard to see if a very simple physical explanation would do. We found it and repeated some of his magic right there and then. So the same, I would argue, with OBE's and NDE's. Yes, there may well be something transrational, but I think we are much better served by focusing on the empirical realm first. Geez, that is why I have even been skeptical of my own guru. Sometimes we can be deceived by what "appears" trans-rational when, in point of fact (to cite Wilber), it is merely pre-rational. By all means, do some more experimenting. DANIEL CALDWELL QUOTES AND THEN COMMENTS: David Lane writes:"No need to cheaply convert without sufficient evidence. You may be a cheap slut, but I am a high priced hooker (just teasing)." Davey is so funny, isn't he? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Thanks, Dan. DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: But as I said, I had SUFFICIENT evidence concerning some of my OOBEs that I was willing to "convert", i.e., I was willing, in light of this evidence, to conclude that I was able to really get out of the body, etc. Of course, if Lane's and Feynman's OOBEs didn't contain verifiable information I can understand why they would opt for the "hallucination" theory about their OOBEs. The majority of my own OOBEs fit this theory, too. But the exceptions convince me that at least some OOBEs are more than mere hallucinations. If this means I am a "cheap slut", fine I will wear the label. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Then, Dan, please tell us in detail why you think so. I would be interested to know why. DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: Was Babaji the "very subject" of this debate? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Go back to your original questions, bro. You seem to have lost track of this key element. DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: Babaji was only one example of among many in this never ending debate. I never claimed I had any evidence (fudging or not) about Babaji. Next subject please. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, but you do seem a trifle perturbed that I am skeptical of him and the claims made about him. Next subject? You were the guy who brought it up in the first place. __________________________________________________ DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: I have noticed that in this reply as well as in previous replies by Lane that when I or others have spoken of people's paranormal experiences or about parapsychological experiements, that Lane brings in the most *extreme* examples. .. . the John Roger case with the hidden tape recorder or "reports of Angels, UFO encounters, Virgin Mary apparitions, and Elvis sightings" or reports of demons, Thor, etc. DAVID LANE REPLIES: You better read closer, bro. In that very section I pointed out a book which SUPPORTS Joe P.'s position. See the book HOW TO THINK ABOUT WEIRD THINGS. As for pointing out extreme examples, I was actually showing you the MOST popular examples--those with the largest numbers, those with the largest constituency..... DANIEL CALDWELL writes: In these discussions has Lane dealt with the strongest evidence, the best representatives of parapsychology??? [See the books by Broughton and Radin for the kind of evidence that I would consider the "best representatives" of parapsychology.] No, Lane brings up the easiest targets. . . ...........J.R.. .demons...... angels, UFO encounters, Elvis sightings, Thor, etc. And then Lane throws in a bunch of cute remarks, etc. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm, I am the guy who pointed out HOW TO THINK ABOUT WEIRD THINGS which actually supports YOUR postion (and Joe P.'s). Geez, learn how to read, bro. I mentioned that very book to illustrate that I am well aware of positive results, but that does not mean that the jury is in..... Why don't you read the book? It will actually help your case. What you fail to understand (over and over again) is that I am skeptical because I want the truth, not some petty version of it that cannot withstand more tests of it. If as you say OBE's can contain reliable physical information, I would be most happy to say so. That's why I proposed the five digit test. You haven't given me your strongest case, Dan. You have simply gotten irritated that I have become more skeptical over time, even of those things closest to my heart. Okay, give us your "strongest case." DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: In the above exchange, I was talking specifically about parapsychological experiments conducted in a laboratory setting, etc. but notice that David Lane in his reply jumps to UFOs and then to Babaji and Elvis. . . .A cute reply by Lane but here again he is jumping to the easiest target whereby he can have some fun. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Jumps? I cited HOW TO THINK ABOUT WEIRD THINGS once again (lest you missed it), which actually provides a very impressive "hit" about remote viewing. Try reading closely what I write, you may be surprised. _____________________________________________________ DANIEL CALDWELL WRITES: And elsewhere Dr. Hyman noted that: ". . .the critics [of the paranormal] . . .often BEHAVE IN RATHER EMOTIONAL AND IRRATIONAL WAYS. Indeed, the level of the debate during the last 130 years has been AN EMBARRASSMENT FOR ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO BELIEVE THAT SCHOLARS AND SCIENTISTS ADHERE TO STANDARDS OF RATIONALITY AND FAIR PLAY." DAVID LANE REPLIES: Nice quote and I want you to think long and hard over this debate that we have been having. I have proposed tests, I have doubted my own guru, I have asked for evidence, etc....... Re-read what you write, Dan; you may be surprised. You asked for a public debate on this subject and I have tried to respond to every one of your points. I am most willing to be wrong. Are you?
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