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[escepticos] Parapsicologia

Sacado de The Skeptic Dictionary, de Robert Carroll
¡Pero hay mucho más!

[Buena frase:]

"Parapsychology is unique in that it is a discipline which devotes
most of its energy to trying to prove the existence of something it
can't explain. Most sciences try to explain observable phenomena.
Parapsychology tries to observe unexplainable phenomena. "

[Esto también tiene miga:]

"Research in this area has been characterized by incompetence,
deception and fraud. When properly controlled experiments are done
they have usually yielded negative results, i.e., have been unable to
demonstrate a single clear case of psychic power or paranormal
phenomena. But negative result studies, such as the one done by
Richard C. Sprinthall and Barry S. Lubetkin published in the Journal
of Psychology (vol. 60, pp. 313-18) and which was carefully and
properly designed, are universally rejected by true believers in psi.
Researchers who claim to have found positive results usually
systematically ignore or rationalize their own studies which don't
support their claims. Many, if not most, psi researchers allow
optional starting and optional stopping. "

["optional starting" y "optional stopping" son procedimientos que
Carroll explica también en su diccionario]

[Sobre los resultados positivos:]

"Finding a correlation which is not what would be predicted by chance
does not establish a causal event. Furthermore, even if there is a
causal event, the correlation itself isn't of much use in determining
what that event consists of. What you think is cause may be the
effect. Or, there may be some third, unknown, factor which is causing
the effect observed. So, the fact that a group of test subjects
identifies correctly which of four pictures someone else has seen at a
.36 rate when .25 is what chance predicts doesn't establish a causal
event. Nor does it, of course, establish esp as the cause, if there is
a cause. The event may well be causal, but the real cause may be
something quite ordinary, such as fraud, unintentional cues, or some
tendency to bias in the subject matters selected by chance. If other
researchers can duplicate the results with more and more rigorous
tests, then it will become highly probable that causal events are
being measured. Then, the problem will be to find the cause. Maybe it
will turn out to be a psychic force hitherto undetected by physics but
I would not hold my breath."

[Mi inglés no llega a tanto: ¿qué es "hitherto"?]
                                              Ernesto J. Carmena
Webesto en el IRC
Web: http://www.interec.com/hwebensis