Posts Tagged ‘Ghost’

This is a rewritten version of an earlier post –

These three phenomena cover a wide array of activities and beliefs but share the same broad sense that they break away from what could be considered to be ‘natural’ and move towards trying to produce or support events that cannot be explained unless there is an unsupported theory behind the curtain. They use a selection of common defences in order to make sure of their own continuation, these are claims that are often made outside of the sorts of other logic and reasoning that perhaps every other part of our lives are subjected to. If I were to claim that I was in fact the best stock broker in the world (I know that in these times of financial melt down that most likely is not a difficult claim to make) then you would expect me too to back it up with at least something. If however, I were to claim to have the ability to speak to a family member of yours who has died, if I were really good at reading you and had been through some sort of education which might include Barnum statements & showmanship, I could actually make you believe that I was doing it. Based not on my actual ability but because you are vulnerable (primed even) and you were brought up in a society where even the slight possibility of these things being real means something to you! These three things which I will refer to as general superstitions rely on at least these five common defences that have to be in place or they will simply fail. There are two wider questions; are such superstitions true (the answer is no) and why do they even exist at all, of course these have very complex answers. Part of the reason behind this post was a promotional video for the Centre of Inquiry which describes superstition as ‘uneducated answers’ and how science makes it possible to have educated ones. Still I think it should go further; superstitions are failures in reasoning, as René Descartes promoted – reason & rationality are the sources of truth and the guarantors of progress.

Read the rest of the post here: http://www.rationalunderstanding.co.uk/superstition/the-common-defences-used-by-superstitions-religion-and-sometimes-conspiracy-theories-rational-thinking-pushed-aside/

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*Picture from www.scifi.com/ghosthunters *Picture from http://www.scifi.com/ghosthunters

Ghost Hunters is an American TV show where they go to places, either homes or places like lighthouses, with the aim to investigate them scientifically. They use all sorts of equipment and it’s what has been recorded that they have to use as the evidence of any proof that paranormal activity is going on. Of course, there are a lot of questionable things that tend to keep coming up, that is not what I was most shocked by. Imagine this – they go into a government building of a small town and look at the webcam shots of a man standing in the main discussion hall. The webcam faced the centre, where the speaker would sit in the hall; there is space on either side outside the scope of the webcam. The webcam was set up to take a picture every 3 seconds. What happen is that in the first frame there is just the hall, on the second frame there is a man standing in the middle of the hall, in third frame the hall is again empty. Remember the webcam took a picture every three seconds.

In order to prove that this could be possible, the ghost hunters tried to walk from the left of the hall to the right of the hall in three seconds, they did not achieve this. In other words they tried to get from the right just out of frame to the left just out of frame. Their conclusion was that the webcam images could therefore, be the result of paranormal activity because they could not get out of camera view in three seconds. This is why sometimes those doing things scientifically can be subject to misunderstanding. Rather than 3 seconds, they had to at least 5 seconds to get from one end of the hall to the other and therefore, get out of camera shot – that is an over estimate of half a second for each exposure. In other words the ghost hunting team used their common sense rather than logic. This is how it works, in second 0 a webcam picture is taken, at 0.5 the man starts working across the hall, in second 3 a webcam picture is taken, then the man has 2.5 seconds to get to the other side of the hall in second 5.5-6 another picture is taken. That means the man has 5 seconds to get from one side of the hall to the other and this is possible. The ghost hunter’s science needs to be questioned.

Anyway, I thought I would mention it!

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