WHICH IS PRIMARY,
MATTER OR MIND?
This PowerPoint was presented as an invited address given to the EU2015 Paths of Discovery Conference in Phoenix, AZ.
The actual lecture is provided in a YouTube video below.
It presents a five factor framework for formulating and accepting responsible beliefs in any area of science. The FFT (Five Finger Test) was subsequently renamed the FACT (Five Additive Criteria Test).
SPIRIT COLLABORATION HYPOTHESIS
This PowerPoint was presented at the Science of Consciousness Conference in Tucson, AZ.
The Abstract is presented below.
Multi-blinded experiments have reported that skilled claimant evidential mediums (CEMs) (evidencEXP-based persons who purport to communicate with hypothesized discarnates, HDs) can obtain accurate information about HDs. These rigorously designed experiments rule out conventional psychological mechanisms (e.g. fraud, subtle cueing, rater bias, placebo effects, and experimenter bias) as plausible explanations of the findings. A fundamental theoretical question is whether CEMs are obtaining information about the HDs: (1) directly from the HDs (spiritual explanation), or (2) telepathically from the sitters’ minds (parapsychological explanation)?
Three CEMs participated: CEM-1 and CEM-2 (professional evidential mediums) served as primary and replicating CEMs. EXP-CEM (a long standing experimenter with recently acquired mediumship skills) served as the research proxy sitter in the HD-present (collaborating) condition, and the imaginer in the HD-absent (telepathy) condition.
Four well-known HDs who allegedly worked closely with EXP-CEM were invited by EXP-CEM to participate in the HD-present (collaboration) condition. CEM-1 and CEM-2 were kept blind to the identities of the four HDs as well as the order that the individual HDs were silently instructed by EXP-CEM to step forward and stand in front of two webcams recording the session. CEM-1 indicated that he thought the 4 possible HDs were from a pool of 32 candidates; CEM-2 said 16.
A second experimenter, a skilled rater in blinded mediumship experiments, knew the identities of the four HDs but was kept blind to the order that they were invited to step forward to be read by CEM-1 and independently by CEM-2.
The design of the HD-present (collaboration) condition was optimized to minimize stress on the CEM’s to encourage the successful execution of the protocol. To determine, experimentally, whether the observed accuracy scores were mediated by CEM-1 and CEM-2 reading the mind of EXP-CEM, plus possible subtle cuing effects, an HD-absent (telepathy) control condition was performed. EXP-CEM did not invite the HDs to attend the session; instead he consciously imagined each HD standing in front of the two webcams.
Mathematically, when the [HD-absent (telepathy) + possible subtle cueing] condition is subtracted from the [HD-present (collaboration) + possible telepathy + possible subtle cueing] condition, what remains is the [HD-present (collaboration)] effect.
To make the task less taxing for the CEMs, they were given the names of 8 HDs, reducing their possible pools from 32 and 16 to 8. However, they (and the experimenter) remained blind to the order that EXP-CEM used to imagine the individual HDs allegedly absent from the setting. Possible fraud via EXP-CEM was ruled out given his long standing association with the laboratory.
The differences between the two conditions are striking and clearly replicated for CEM-1 and CEM-2.
The CEMs accuracy was substantially stronger in the HD-present (collaboration) condition than the HD-absent (telepathy) condition (p values for HD-present from 32 pool for CEM-1 p <.000002; from 16 pool for CEM-2 p <.00003. A more conservative measure of effect from the experimenter’s perspective (pools of 4 and 8 respectively), yielded a Yates corrected chi square p <.005. Careful analysis of raw telepathy scores revealed no evidence of possible subtle cuing effects.
The findings strongly support the collaborating HD interpretation (rather than fraud, sensory cuing, or telepathy). Implications for the psychology and neuroscience of consciousness are considered.