Re: Skeptical approaches (was: "weird sciences"?)

Hara Ra (
Thu, 30 Oct 1997 22:22:14 -0800

> Holger Wagner ( said:
> >I was wondering if anybody on this lists knows about *scientific*
> >approaches to some of the phenomena most people consider mystical.
> >Things like out-of-body-experiences, spontanuous recovery from
> >sicknesses, witchcraft and so on.

I see two approaches to all of this. The first is to use the usual
methodology of study involving double blinds and the like, all of which
have resulted in no measurable effects. The second is to regard these as
experiences within the brain, with the unfortunate phenomenon of these
experiences being "absolute" or "more real" than normal experience.
Those untrained in scientific methodology and unaware of the ease with
which unconscious emotional needs and alter the meaning of experiences
fall into the trap of thinking that this "absolute" aspect is physically

I also caution you to note that your list has quite a few items there.
OBEs are probably brain states. Spontaneous healing is more complex;
does my recovery from the flu qualify?? And witchcraft is a combination
of herbal healing, which can be seen as applied pharmacology using
plants, trance and hypnosis, which is also sometimes valid, and
religion, another area entirely.....

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