1. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    09 Apr '05 00:50
    Does magic, conjuring, supernatural beings, esp, pyrokenisis, occult phenomena, teleportaion, etc... exist? I've been looking for documented, repeatable experiments with verifiable results. Can y'all point me towards anything interesting?
  2. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    09 Apr '05 02:47
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    Does magic, conjuring, supernatural beings, esp, pyrokenisis, occult phenomena, teleportaion, etc... exist? I've been looking for documented, repeatable experiments with verifiable results. Can y'all point me towards anything interesting?
    Here's a site that might interest you:

    http://dowsingworks.com/id31.html
  3. Standard memberDarfius
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    09 Apr '05 04:07
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    Does magic, conjuring, supernatural beings, esp, pyrokenisis, occult phenomena, teleportaion, etc... exist? I've been looking for documented, repeatable experiments with verifiable results. Can y'all point me towards anything interesting?
    Yes.

    The Occult is real and they get their power from a real source. For more info, read the Bible.
  4. Standard memberMaustrauser
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    09 Apr '05 04:59
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    Does magic, conjuring, supernatural beings, esp, pyrokenisis, occult phenomena, teleportaion, etc... exist? I've been looking for documented, repeatable experiments with verifiable results. Can y'all point me towards anything interesting?
    The Australian Skeptics have done several large scale water divining and dowsing tests, designed by scientists and agreed upon by the diviners who undertook the tests. The results were all the same level as chance.

    See: www.skeptics.com.au

    Further, there are no examples of repeatable 'magic' undertaken anywhere with a supernatural element. As you know James Randi offers over US$1000000 for repeatable paranormal events. The cash ain't been won.
  5. DonationAcolyte
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    09 Apr '05 10:341 edit
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    Does magic, conjuring, supernatural beings, esp, pyrokenisis, occult phenomena, teleportaion, etc... exist? I've been looking for documented, repeatable experiments with verifiable results. Can y'all point me towards anything interesting?
    If you mean 'are there phenomena we don't (yet) understand', then yes, of course there are. If you mean 'was Aleister Crowley/my deranged aunt/that guy I saw on telly right all these years', the answer is almost certainly no, at least in a scientific context.

    People have groped for explanations since the beginning of time, and if they can't think of a common-sense one, one of their favourite answers has been 'that's magic'. Unfortunately this is rather a cop-out, as is calling it 'occult', 'paranormal' or 'supernatural', as it says nothing about how it actually works.

    On the other hand, there are numerous theories of the world which have a more specific concept of 'magic'. One common theme seems to be 'mind over matter'.

    The conventional scientific view is that the mind is simply the processes of the brain, and the brain has a great deal of control and influence over the body it's in, but not much else. Perceptions of things being caused by the brain in some strange way are just that, perceptions, and they're caused by defects in the way we think, such as our tendency towards wishful thinking. If you concentrate hard enough, you can make yourself believe anything, and so eg you can make yourself believe that you are moving objects with the power of your mind.

    The 'magical' view turns this on its head. In this view, the various inner workings of the mind are in fact fundamental to external reality. Strong emotions are not feedback systems or releases of chemicals in the brain; they're forces or substances pervading the whole universe, which just happen to have an effect on people's brains. 'Intuition' isn't just a calculation process whose workings we are only dimly aware of; it's in fact a 'sixth sense' that tells us directly what's really going on. 'Empathy' isn't your mind devising a model of someone else's mind and using it to try to understand their behaviour; it literally lets you see what they're thinking. A 'powerful mind' doesn't just let you focus on a particular task, with the result that you can do things other people are too distracted to do; it allows you to will things you want to happen into occuring, without any physical effort.

    In essence, most magical theories I've come across try to come up with a psychological explanation of the universe - it is a universe of perceptions, thoughts, feelings and desires, rather than the scientific model of a universe of numbers, equations and mathematical structures. In this spirit, if you have a magical view of the universe you shouldn't look for scientific evidence for propositions, but rather psychological evidence - how does it make you feel if you assume it to be true/false?

    Of course, just as it's possible to come up with scientific explanations for some apparently 'paranormal' occurrences, so it is possible to come up with psychological explanations for some scientific concepts. For example:

    Gravity: All matter in the universe belongs to one great family, and as such, all matter feels a love for all other matter, and is drawn to it.

    Electromagnetic force: Nature strives for balance, and one of the most fundamental balances is between the positive and the negative. If matter is unbalanced, this makes it unhappy, and it seeks to redress the balance.

    It's this kind of thing which leads people who have a psychological worldview to claim that they are in agreement with scientists. That may be so, but they have come to such an agreement from fundamentally separate ways of understanding how the world works.
  6. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    09 Apr '05 10:50
    Originally posted by Acolyte
    If you mean 'are there phenomena we don't (yet) understand', then yes, of course there are. If you mean 'was Aleister Crowley/my deranged aunt/that guy I saw on telly right all these years', the answer is almost certainly no.

    People have groped for explanations since the beginning of time, and if they can't think of a common-sense one, one of their ...[text shortened]... ence, but rather magical evidence - how does it make you feel if you assume it to be true/false?
    That's assuming that science can't discover a gauge field that the human brain can influence or emit.
  7. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    09 Apr '05 12:54
    Originally posted by Darfius
    Yes.

    The Occult is real and they get their power from a real source. For more info, read the Bible.
    Darfius, I've read the bible, many times whether you believe it or not.

    I am interested in whether or not you have come across or can point me to actual events that are unexplainable by our current view of the world, however, are certainly repeatable and measurable.
  8. Standard memberDeepThought
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    09 Apr '05 14:581 edit
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    Darfius, I've read the bible, many times whether you believe it or not.

    I am interested in whether or not you have come across or can point me to actual events that are unexplainable by our current view of the world, however, are certainly repeatable and measurable.
    The problem is that because these things are implausible they are difficult to build a reputable career around so the research isn't done. What has been done has all had negative results or been unscientific - they cheated. They got people to do the Uri Geller trick with bending forks using 'the power of the mind' and either the forks weren't bent or they were and the hidden camera that the power of the mind was in fact the hands.
    The other difficulty is that most of these phenomena are in their nature unrepeatable - statues never weep in laboratory conditions. From a scientific point of view this means they don't occur, but people still believe in this stuff despite the absence of evidence.
  9. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    09 Apr '05 16:06
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    The problem is that because these things are implausible they are difficult to build a reputable career around so the research isn't done. What has been done has all had negative results or been unscientific - they cheated. They got people to do the Uri Geller trick with bending forks using 'the power of the mind' and either the forks weren't bent ...[text shortened]... ans they don't occur, but people still believe in this stuff despite the absence of evidence.
    So basically you're saying that while these things may occur, they are almost impossible to control, unrepeatable and for all intents and purpose without any practical application.

    I was sort of hoping I'd be able to conjure up a lightning bolt and blast my neighbour's gigantic crapping dog off the planet.
  10. Donationrwingett
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    09 Apr '05 16:09
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    So basically you're saying that while these things may occur, they are almost impossible to control, unrepeatable and for all intents and purpose without any practical application.

    I was sort of hoping I'd be able to conjure up a lightning bolt and blast my neighbour's gigantic crapping dog off the planet.
    You can blast your neighbor's dog off the planet without having to rely on something as speculative as magic.
  11. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    09 Apr '05 16:16
    Originally posted by rwingett
    You can blast your neighbor's dog off the planet without having to rely on something as speculative as magic.
    I know, but calling down a couple of lightening bolts from the heavens would be nifty.
  12. Standard memberDeepThought
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    09 Apr '05 17:12
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    I know, but calling down a couple of lightening bolts from the heavens would be nifty.
    Yes, maybe you could try building a static electricity generator or seed the clouds to make a storm - but directing the lightening bolts might be a problem so you'll have to connect a lightening conductor to the dog which might make its owner suspicious.
    Alternatively try voodoo on it by making a plastercine model and connecting it to the mains.
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