ESP Debunked?

Scienceblogging.com has a story up claiming that Harvard scientists have resolved the question of ESP - it does not exist:

The scientists used brain scanning to test whether individuals have knowledge that cannot be explained through normal perceptual processing.

"If any ESP processes exist, then participants' brains should respond differently to ESP and non-ESP stimuli," explains Moulton. "Instead, results showed that participants’ brains responded identically to ESP and non-ESP stimuli, despite reacting strongly to differences in how emotional the stimuli were and showing subtle, stimulus-related effects."

...Does this conclusively prove that ESP does not exist? "No," says Moulton. "You cannot affirm the null hypothesis. But at the same time, some null results are stronger than others. This is the best evidence to date against the existence of ESP.

I'm not sure I get the whole premise of the experiments, which appear to be making broad assumptions about a (possible) human ability and then testing those assumptions - namely, that there will be a difference in the brain scans. But I'll have to read the actual paper before I can offer any detailed comments.

However, parapsychologist Dean Radin has commented on the new paper on his website:

Radio 08-01-2008

Here's the alternative radio schedule for the first half of the week.

Fate Radio: This week Hilly talks to Nick Begich who details the Russians' progress in mind control and brainwashing, as well as the secret programs of the U.S. military (Real Audio or mp3).

Coast to Coast AM: On Monday L. A. Marzulli will discuss his research on the 'Luciferian Conspiracy,' as well as recent Mothman encounters in the Pt. Pleasant area. Tuesday's guest is paranormal investigator and columnist for Skeptical Inquirer, Joe Nickell who will discuss his latest work on the Shroud of Turin as well as his investigations of spontaneous human combustion, hauntings and the Nazca Lines. On Thursday John Longenecker will discuss his fight for reform of gun control policy, while Thursday is TBA at time of posting (check the link for updates).

More details including relevant guest links are available at the C2C website. You can listen to C2C live, or to recent archived shows, at CJOB.com.

News Briefs 07-01-2008

Someone's been eating my porridge...

Quote of the Day:

Adventure is just bad planning.

Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen.

UFOs in Washington, D.C.

Last year's National Press Club presentation on UFOs provided major mainstream coverage for the topic. Held on November 12th, Reuters wrote of the event:

An international panel of two dozen former pilots and government officials called on the U.S. government on Monday to reopen its generation-old UFO investigation as a matter of safety and security given continuing reports about flying discs, glowing spheres and other strange sightings.

The panellists from seven countries, including former senior military officers, said they had each seen a UFO or conducted an official investigation into UFO phenomena.

Video of the event is now available online, so I've posted it here on TDG for those interested. (h/t UFO Mystic)

Join Me at Graham Hancock's

As mentioned before Xmas, I'm the January 'Author of the Month' at Graham Hancock's website, and as such I'll be discussing various topics on Graham's messageboard, ranging from Darklore to Dan Brown, the Daily Grail, and how I see the current state and future of the genre(s) etc. It's a great place to get stuck into some serious chatting on these topics, so I'd love to see y'all get over there - post some new threads with questions, or respond to any threads that I start. There's all sorts of weirdness within my head jostling for the front door, so things should get interesting (or, if you're very lucky, ugly).

Weekend Roundup 04-01-2008

A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...

Enjoy!

The Edge 2008

Settle down Rick, I'm not talking about the enormously gifted guitarist for that Irish band. Once again, The Edge Foundation has released its annual 'World Question', posed to some of the brightest and/or freshest thinkers around:

The Edge Annual Question — 2008

When thinking changes your mind, that's philosophy.
When God changes your mind, that's faith.
When facts change your mind, that's science.

WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT? WHY?

Science is based on evidence. What happens when the data change? How have scientific findings or arguments changed your mind?

163 contributors gave their answer, including Richard Dawkins, Freeman Dyson, Rupert Sheldrake, Michael Shermer. Sheldrake's comments are bound to cause some controversy, although he does have a central point worth making. And Susan Blackmore's commentary was 'interesting', considering the passages I've just read in Chris Carter's Parapsychology and the Skeptics. Perhaps more on that later. Plenty of excellent reading all round though, so get over there and take a look.

News Briefs 04-01-2008

Hello! Are you still here?

Quote of the Day:

In practice, the goal of skepticism is not the discovery of truth, but the exposure of other people's errors. It plays a useful role in science, religion, scholarship, and common sense. But we need to remember that it is a weapon serving belief or self-interest; we need to be skeptical of skeptics. The more militant the skeptic, the stronger the belief.

Rupert Sheldrake

Free Zines Abound

It's time to hand out free stuff! Or at least, some free PDF magazines. Nick Redfern has charitably pointed out that the good folks at UFO Magazine have placed their entire latest issue online (free PDF download). Within you'll find contributions from the likes of Nick, Stan Friedman, John Jay Harper, George Noory , Regan Lee and Nick Pope (among a cast of thousands).

Jolly 'old' Saint Nick also points us to the fact that Fate too are offering a free magazine - this one a 'sample issue' - as a PDF download. Within you'll find the usual high profile Fate contributors, including that Redfern guy again, and also Brad Steiger, Hilly Rose, Kenn Thomas and more.

Of course, if that's not enough for you, there's always the six free PDF issues of our own magazine, Sub Rosa, which you of course have already read considering they contain interviews with Jacques Vallee, Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval, etc. and a bunch of fascinating articles besides.

News Briefs 31-12-2007

Happy New Year

Quote of the Day:

Humility is the best part of you remaining silent

Jameske