Scientific Vs. ?

One of the most used catch phrases you will see in the mission statement of a paranormal group is “we are a scientific based group.” What does this statement mean? Is there any other way to investigate paranormal activity? Can a psychic or medium be used in a scientifically based investigation? What about tarot cards or pendulums?

The first thing we need to do is have a clear understanding of what “scientifically based” is.

• employ systematic, empirical methods that draw on observation or experiment;

• involve rigorous data analyses that are adequate to test the stated hypotheses

and justify the general conclusions;

• rely on measurements or observational methods that provide valid data across

evaluators and observers, and across multiple measurements and observations;

• be accepted by a peer-reviewed journal or approved by a panel of independent

experts through a comparatively rigorous, objective, and scientific review.

After reading these guidelines one can understand why it is important to follow them if you want your evidence to be accepted as presented. The last bullet point in this guide is the most important for an investigator to have and keep a good reputation. Most of the paranormal investigation teams or groups publish their findings or “evidence” on various social Medias like Facebook, twitter, and YouTube as well as their team’s website. This would be considered as peer-reviewed journal and if the post is found to be fraudulent or even incorrect from the lack of supporting documentation then the negative feedback from our peers can be devastating to the reputation of the group that posted it. Most clients will check up on a group before asking them for their services and a group with a lot of negative feedback will most likely be passed by.

What other ways are there to investigate. When I hear the statement “We are a scientific based group” I interpreted this to be that they gather their evidence using electronic equipment such as video, photography, audio, EMF detectors. The use of a psychic or medium may be used as a secondary approach as well as things like dowsing rods or pendulums. The reason for this is because there is no way to scientifically prove that the human element of such a tool is not in some way affecting the results of the tool consciously or sub consciously to get the desired results. For that one reason any evidence produced solely on these technics stand a great possibility of ridicule and accusations of falsifying evidence which leads us back to that 4th bullet point of being accepted by our peers as truth.

How do we know our evidence is true when we do not have absolute proof of a spirit or the afterlife exists? For this answer we need to look at the definition of paranormal.

par·a·nor·mal  Beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation.

WHAT? If paranormal is out of the range of scientific explanation then how can we be a science based paranormal investigator? What we do is use our instruments to try and determin if there is any possible explanation scientifically to cause the activity or experience that we encounter. If there is an explanation or a possible cause then by definition the experience was not “paranormal”. This helps us understand why a pendulum or medium cannot be used as proof of paranormal activity. There is always a possible explanation, for example the pendulum may be swinging due to the person holding it is incapable of keeping their hand motionless. A medium may be recalling a personal memory or even facts they may have heard previous to the investigation.

As an investigator I am seeking the truth no matter what is explainable or not. I am not out to prove anything to anybody else except myself. In order for me to accomplish this task I must be true to myself and my own knowledge. To improve my knowledge I share my experience and techniques with others in hopes they will do the same. One must be open to try any and all techniques to search for the answers they are looking for. For me this includes using forms of investigating such as pendulums, mediums and applying science or the use of our electronic tools to try and find the correlation between the two methods. We can only learn by experimenting and thinking outside the box of normal. This is how all great theories, inventions, and cures started. The science method and one person to think outside the box has been the beginning of every great invention. It all starts with a question, then a hypothesis, followed by experimentation. Once done you analyze all of the data to come to a conclusion.

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