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Interview with Anthropologist Jack Hunter (Alex Tsakiris)

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Kitkat
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Interview with Anthropologist Jack Hunter (Alex Tsakiris)

Post by Kitkat on Sat 17 Jan 2015, 20:00

Feather,
you might be interested in Alex Tsakiris' most recent interview -

JACK HUNTER ON PARANTHROPOLOGY, PARAPSCYHOLOGY AND SPIRIT COMMUNICATION

Alex Tsakiris of Skeptiko interviews Anthropologist Jack Hunter on Paranthropology and the significance of cross-cultural spirit communication for parapsychology.

Jack Hunter is the guy whose table we shared at the Seriously Strange Paranormal Conference in Bath (was it actually three and a half years ago??).

Some interesting points are brought up in this interview and its ensuing discussions:

http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/264-jack-hunter-on-paranthropology-parapscyhology-and-spirit-communication.1659/

Perceptual bias is a huge problem among scientists.

Neuro-plasticity can cause scientists to become hidebound from a lifetime of education and work in science:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/08/george-orwell-scientists-themselves.html

Most people know that George Orwell wrote about the dangers of authoritarian government in his novels 1984 and Animal Farm. What is less well known is that Orwell also wrote about the danger of the authoriarian potential of science. In his essay What is Science? Orwell argued that society confuses science, the "method of thought which obtains verifiable results by reasoning logically from observed fact", with narrow areas of knowledge such as chemistry and physics. Because of this confusion, society mistakenly attributes broad authority to scientists when their specialization actually makes them narrow minded and so unqualified to exercise broad authority.

Orwell wrote that scientists encourage this confusion in order to protect their own prestige and power.

Other causes include:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/01/someone-in-internet-discussion-forum.html


  1. Habitual reductionist thinking prevents scientists from accepting anything that they can't explain in terms of simpler phenomena, such as non-physical consciousness, qualia, and psychic phenomena.     
  2. Indoctrination into philosophical naturalism during science education.
  3. Psychological attachment to the status quo scientific world view because it is the source of their status and livelihood.        
  4. Fear of alternative means of obtaining knowledge about the universe that might supplant science as the most important source of knowledge. If you can ask a psychic or a spirit, why would you need scientists?        
  5. Persecution of heretics. If Nobel prize winning physicist Brian Josephson is ostracized because of his interest in psi, what chance does an ordinary scientist have?

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Umberto Cocopop
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Re: Interview with Anthropologist Jack Hunter (Alex Tsakiris)

Post by Umberto Cocopop on Mon 19 Jan 2015, 17:26

It looks like the usual, pointless ad-Hom approach of coming up with all sorts of reasons why scientists can't see "The Truth".

Of course, the alternative is that these believers are wrong.
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Re: Interview with Anthropologist Jack Hunter (Alex Tsakiris)

Post by Kitkat on Mon 19 Jan 2015, 18:44

@Umberto Cocopop wrote:Of course, the alternative is that these believers are wrong.

Of course, it goes without saying .... that's always going to be an "alternative".   nuts


However, there's a whole lot of truth in those specific passages quoted up there - which many would agree with - and I don't see any of the "pointless ad-Hom approach" that you seem to have detected in that interview, Umbo ... .... or did you mean in the context of the related forum discussions?  That's kind of standard procedure for that particular forum anyway, par for the course really.
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Re: Interview with Anthropologist Jack Hunter (Alex Tsakiris)

Post by Umberto Cocopop on Mon 19 Jan 2015, 20:04

It's just the same old nonsense I became aware of a long time ago. Remember the likes of Winston Wu etc. on Spiritlove? The guy, amongst many, who has a website devoted to explaining what's wrong with 'skeptics' yet provides precious little in the way of evidence to support his beliefs.

All they do is come up with endless, and mostly badly flawed, arguments about why it is anyone who doesn't share their beliefs can't see 'The Truth'.

And look at this:

Habitual reductionist thinking prevents scientists from accepting anything that they can't explain in terms of simpler phenomena, such as non-physical consciousness, qualia, and psychic phenomena.

I mean, come on! lololol

To me, it's clearly the ramblings of someone who really doesn't know what they're talking about. Anyone who's reasonably scientifically literate will see it for the nonsense it is.

I find the way these debates are argued quite interesting but the subject matter no longer interests me.
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Re: Interview with Anthropologist Jack Hunter (Alex Tsakiris)

Post by Kitkat on Mon 19 Jan 2015, 21:58

To give him his due, that particular poster quoted above does devote a large section of his own website to setting out explanations and examples and referencing [at least what he believes to be] evidence backing up his claims.

https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/summary_of_evidence#summary_evidence_individual_cases

Do those that instantly dismiss and pooh-pooh such claims even take the time to check out and  investigate that side of it?
Very rarely, if at all.


(I keep getting timed out by the time it comes to post - and then losing all I have previously written.  hairpull
Have to remember to copy before pressing 'send'. annoyed   Is that happening to anyone else?  I don't know what the reason is.)
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Re: Interview with Anthropologist Jack Hunter (Alex Tsakiris)

Post by Jamboree on Tue 20 Jan 2015, 03:18

This Jack Hunter seems an interesting sort of chap.  Bit of a maverick in his field by the sounds of it.  The sort of person you would like to have at a dinner party.

@Kitkat wrote:Jack Hunter is the guy whose table we shared at the Seriously Strange Paranormal Conference in Bath (was it actually three and a half years ago??).

What was that all about then?  Sounds fascinating.
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Re: Interview with Anthropologist Jack Hunter (Alex Tsakiris)

Post by Kitkat on Tue 20 Jan 2015, 11:18

@Jamboree wrote:This Jack Hunter seems an interesting sort of chap.  Bit of a maverick in his field by the sounds of it.  The sort of person you would like to have at a dinner party.

@Kitkat wrote:Jack Hunter is the guy whose table we shared at the Seriously Strange Paranormal Conference in Bath (was it actually three and a half years ago??).

What was that all about then?  Sounds fascinating.

At one time, Jamboree, I would have directed you to the Spiritlove forum, where there was a long thread detailing all our adventures surrounding the event - but unfortunately that is not possible now since Spiritlove has now closed and all its historic archives obliterated into the ether.  sadd

I really haven't the heart to go into it all now.  Feather might oblige with some of her own memories, but I just can't do it.  sorry
sigh

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