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 Post subject: Criticism
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 3:41 pm 
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The Ferryman
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I found this little quote on Wikipedia having a pop at typical ghost hunters.

"According to skeptical investigator Joe Nickell, "...the approach of the typical ghost hunter—a nonscientist using equipment for a purpose for which it was not made and has not been shown to be effective—is sheer pseudoscience."

Well a typical 'ghost hunter' IS more often than not a 'nonscientist' (so what! - does that mean they're stupid or maybe not as closed minded?), 'using equipment for a purpose for which it was not made' (very true - but a Torch's purpose is the light up a room but you can still knock someone out with one if you hit 'em hard enough), ' and has not been shown to be effective' (maybe not to established scientific methods, but there is certainly compelling data to suggest it could be), 'It's sheer pseudoscience' (For once we can agree).

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 5:21 pm 
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I always find this funny .. since when was the investigation of ghosts an actual science? You can investigate them scientifically - but as the scientists, non-believers and skeptics keep saying - there is no scientific evidence which even hints at ghosts .. nothing at all to observe .. so nothing to be scientific over if you choose not to. So unless he's part of some top secret government project which does understand and know of the science of ghosts and he has access to top secret ghost hunting gadgets - then all we're left with is another self-appointed expert blowing out of his arse ..

Once more - the arrogant scientist trying to lay dominant claim over everything that exists - or in this case, in his expert opinion no doubt - that doesn't exist either.

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 8:44 pm 
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yeah they do talk some garbage. i just can't understand how they can sit there all hi and mighty and contradict themselves with such school boy error and still think they have the universe - in a nut shell - cracked!
i agree with what you said there dok, stuff gets used and converted for everyday use like... everyday! why does it seem such a big deal that we use tools from different trades in our field, based on the evidence we've collected and proved (to those without the blinkers on) in some cases can be used for detecting the existence of the after life? but no they sit there instead of trying to find it out for themselves. i don't believe for one second any ghost hunting skeptic, has not encountered anything that has made them think! in my opinion, they will never believe, because a) they don't want to b) they're scared of the truth, or c) they think it's cool sitting there dishing it out that these things exist!!


fuck skeptics


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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 8:11 pm 
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triplow wrote:


fuck skeptics



Hi, I'm a sceptic!


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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 2:34 am 
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Different types of sceptics tho Skippy .. nothing wrong with open minded sceptics - unfortunately, they are a rare breed .. most "sceptics" these are debunkers masquerading as such ...

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 1:02 pm 
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Jay wrote:
Different types of sceptics tho Skippy .. nothing wrong with open minded sceptics - unfortunately, they are a rare breed .. most "sceptics" these are debunkers masquerading as such ...


Yes, totally agree. Maybe Triplow should have written "fuck debunkers" then or maybe "fuck cynics", or maybe I should childishly retort with "fuck believers".

For the umpteenth time, a sceptic is someone who questions, not debunks, that would be a cynic. If we talk about the irritating type of sceptic then perhaps we can them cynics from now on, or perhaps debunkers. If people can't tell the difference then it makes it difficult to comment without going off on a rant.


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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 2:33 pm 
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Totally agree - just a habit tho when we say sceptic .. anyway, the majority of sceptics are debunkers these days tho so its becoming increasingly more the correct term as it is .. :mrgreen:

Truthfully, like believer, I hate the word sceptic anyway .. its a horrible horrible word (altho, quite apt, sceptic .. bar a 'C' its almost poisonous!! :wink: ).

But take the definition :

someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs

habitually .. habitually .. habitually .. hence why I hate the word and its misuse .. habitually makes it sound like an automatic process .. without thought or reason you habitually doubt accepted beliefs .. you just doubt.

Then of course there is the accepted beliefs .. as I've said before and I know Claire bangs on about it .. I don't see many sceptics - sorry, debunkers, habitually doubting accepted beliefs when a bloke in a lab coat tells them something they want to believe .. no! They habitually take it for granted - he must be telling the truth, he's an expert ..

Thats the hypocritical nature of it all .. the sceptic - real or otherwise - has twisted the use of the word to ONLY habitually accept what THEY believe or want to believe - and everyone else is a lunatic.

The real sceptic questions everything .. has to question everything .. even the things they don't want to question and accepts nothing they've never directly experienced themselves. But its been warped.

I always find it funny .. take the government .. everyone and their dog knows that governments and politicians lie .. everytime they open their mouths, they lie. They take us to wars on lies, they tax us on lies, they lie and lie and lie .. and we all know it .. we all know they are dodgy as hell and corrupt and couldn't ever tell the truth ....

.. but when they tell (lie to) us about things we want to believe .. they are suddenly telling us the truth and are fine upstanding members of society which makes you proud to be British.

The same is true right across society .. nothing is true and everything is true. Its all bollox. So question everything.

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 4:51 pm 
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Maybe we should define what's going on here and instead of going down the same old path let's look at what everyone on this site (probably?) is trying to do.

Correct me if I'm wrong...

We're all trying to find evidence of the paranormal (ghosts and spirits in this case).

If we're all trying to do this then we don't accept that the paranormal is fact. Therefore, we're all sceptical about the existing evidence. Therefore we're all sceptics.

If not then that must mean people accept the belief, that the paranormal is all factual and the point of going on an "investigation" is merely to experience what we already believe in.

If we are out to capture evidence then why? Is it to present to the Wurtemberg Coven of Tree Elves or is it to present to the scientific community in general? I think probably the latter. So we are accepting that science has a major role to play and it's science that is ultimately going to prove us right and make the paranormal normal.

If people are not trying to find evidence of the paranormal then that would suggest they already have the evidence that they and they alone accept as proof. That's fine but don't criticise me or anyone else for wanting a level of proof that I as an individual am happy with, as I don't criticise any believer for accepting things without question.


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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 8:43 pm 
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I don't think theres many on here that criticise sceptics .. the believers get a much harder time of it .. Yes, I'll tend to go at the pretend sceptics who aren't really looking for proof / evidence of the paranormal but more a justification for their own outlook and the latest thing they've read on a cornflakes box - they are almost as bad for the paranormal as the believer who thinks every creak is a ghost.

Myself - I'm not in it to prove anything to the scientific community - I don't give a damn about that pompous lot .. but as I've said elsewhere, even if I was looking to prove it, I'd be wasting my time - any evidence would only be accepted if the community, society, governments and the whole human race was ready for it - which none are. I'm doing it for me and me only.

As the first post eluded to - too many people think there is a science surrounding ghosts. There isn't. Maybe one day we'll invent one like we've had to do with many things. But as things stands there is not a single branch of science able to quantify whats going on yet we still insist on getting our rulers out when its been shown time and time and time again that there is nothing for them to measure.

That doesn't mean there isn't anything at all - it means maybe, just maybe, science isn't up to the job (either "yet" or "entirely" - time will tell). As such, too many people (I think I'm now agreeing with the first post somewhat!!) - play at being scientists as though it gives them some authority on the subject when in truth, like everyone else, they haven't a clue whats going on or how to get to the bottom of it.

When these people are out to just debunk (the Randi's of this world and downwards) yet call themselves sceptics - then I don't take anything they say seriously. Scepticism isn't about debunking other peoples views and calling them "woo woos" or "deluded" for believing in something - its about questioning and finding ways to prove it. Too many sceptics are in the first category in this paragraph - few (and yes, you'd be one of them) belong in the second. And its more of the 2nd that the paranormal world needs.

If I was a scientist who put a theory forward about <something> - then the scientific world wouldn't go out of its way to dis-prove or debunk my theory or discredit me if they didn't share the same view - the scientific community would go out to try and prove my theory .. would come up with experiments to try and determine what I'd put forward. Only when all the experiments had failed would my theory by put in the bin ..

.. in the paranormal world .. it works, on the most part, the opposite (and these guys call themselves scientists ..... :roll: ) .. a theory is put forward and because we're talking about a subject so far removed what we consider "normal", it's immediately dismissed and forgotten about and the comfortable status quo continues.

If we want to find out whats really going on - then collectively we're going to have to out on a limb and take a risk.

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 9:49 pm 
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Science is just a way of doing things. Until every avenue has been exhausted then it's impossible to say that science can't explain the paranormal. The paranormal isn't something that scientists spend any time on because there's zero evidence except for personal experiences to base anything on that can be tested.

If you say that no one is ready for any evidence then that's pre-supposing that the paranormal (ghosts and spirits) is something that can never be explained by science. That in itself pre-supposes that there is evidence to show that science can't handle it and that the governments of this world know what that evidence is. That's an opinion based on a belief. If it's based on any hard evidence then I'd like to see it.

It's also closing the book entirely on searching for any evidence at all, so again, why go on ghost hunts? I presume it must be for the experience. I'd like an experience also but at the same time I want to rule out everything that can be readily explained so what's left can be investigated further. If searching for evidence is a waste of time then why are so many groups (including NGI I presume) doing it?

There's been times when I've thought of giving up, selling the kit and doing something else. But there's millions of people that believe the paranormal is real, and what they've experienced is something that appears to go against known laws. Newtons laws of gravity break down when you get out as far as Saturn (I think, can't remember). It's something that's being looked at, researched, theorised on, tested etc etc. Maybe one day someone will come up with a workable theory that explains the discrepancies. Maybe one day someone will come up with a theory about the paranormal that's workable and testable. It's interesting, fascinating and like a lot of areas of astronomy, it can be worked on by amateurs all over the planet. If the scientific community at large won't look at it then that's where we come in and that's what we're doing. Whether we'll generate any data that would be accepted as evidence to support any particular theory is, maybe, extremely doubtful, but that's no reason not to do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 10:18 pm 
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Im a Sceptic too.. and i say im open minded and get a bit pi**ed of when people say a sceptic cannot be open minded that is so untrue., I am willing to be proved wrong. We can say the same about a Believer cant we!
They will believe anything is paranormal and they are closed minded too... is that right? lol We all have our own belief's and i think its good that we do

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 10:49 pm 
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Hi Im a sceptic to.

"nothing wrong with open minded sceptics - "

Didnt think there could be such a thing!!!

"I don't think theres many on here that criticise sceptics .. the believers get a much harder time of it"

triplow wrote:


fuck skeptics


This is just another example of the many times sceptics are given grief.
Sceptics are pounced on, you know that as well as anyone Jay.
All any sceptic has to do is question anything a believer says and they get totally jumpt on. All a "sceptic" is doing is looking at a POSSIBLE LOGICAL explanation. If that explanation doesnt meet what the believer believes or is not understood by a believer then its taken as just another sceptic spouting shit.
If all POSSIBLE LOGICAL explanations are ruled out then you can begin to try and find out what is actually causing these effects.

As Scips says, we are all trying to find the same thing. The unfortunate thing is though that believers will accept without question anything they deem to be paranormal as proof, but sceptics question it, isnt that how it should be done??????

There are the few sceptics out there that give other sceptics a bad name, there are those who do the same in any walk of life, but the big difference is that sceptics at least are willing to take on board other peoples ideas and thoughts before making comments, and at least look at all the angles before jumping on the paranormal band wagon.

I agree with Andrea, believers are more closed minded than any sceptic ive met, but there are exceptions to every rule!

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 10:55 pm 
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Hear Hear :D

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 12:19 am 
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And people can and do, do it .. and good on them - but it isn't necessarilly the only way. The scientifically minded investigators own argument can get in the way tho .. there is no evidence (that would be accepted by science) and so therefore nothing to observe, measure or experiment with which makes science, in one way, defunct in respect of the paranormal. If theres nothing to measure then your not going to miss out if you leave your ruler at home.

You've brought up gravity and I'll use it as an example. Without knowing what was causing it, the effects of gravity could be observed every single second, by every single person, for the entire existence of the human race .. But it took however many thousands of years of observing until somebody was able to explain it.

Ghosts and hauntings don't work like that. Its obvious, if something is in it, that a proper and real paranormal incident happens extremely rarely, perhaps only in certain places, when certain conditions are met and maybe only with certain people.

Science will never accept those conditions and so will never accept anything put forward as proof of the paranormal to even bother researching it properly. Why? Because its not repeatable. Science wants to replicate things in a petri-dish - flick a switch and make a ghost appear at will - or create a dinky little formulae to describe it.

To many scientifically minded, a ghost is a molecule, a chemical reaction, a thing with dimension and weight, something that will always interact with the physical world, something that is predictable ... forget about how unlikely all that is, but science will always fail to include the Human Factor in it .. Are you predictable? Am I? Or are we subject to emotional whims? As mentioned - a paranormal incident is a unbelievably rare thing as it is - but lets say the scientist is in the right place at the right time and its coming .. here it is .. right now .. erm .. errrrr .. but the ghost, which couldn't be seen or detected anyway, has decided to throw a strop and can't be arsed showing itself .. bang goes your proof, your repeatable experiment and any future research grant.

So me, I seek to prove it to myself. I'll use science where its needed .. but I'll also use every other possible method available to me because its obvious that there is nothing yet within science to describe whats going on and so I wouldn't want to limit myself to that one track.

But personal experience is the first step. If somebody hasn't experienced something (ie, seen an apple fall from a tree or at the very least, have someone tell them about it) .. then they'll have no reason or drive to investigate what it was they experienced. If someone doesn't believe apples can fall from trees or even aware that they can - then they'll never know what questions to ask.

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 12:50 am 
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To be honest - from a completely non-biased perspective - believers really do get it far worse than a sceptic does. The only attack on sceptics I see is the "closed minded" approach .. the believers get that, deluded, woo woos, idiots, seeing what they want to see and a whole lot more with many a personal attack attached. But a lot of the science that gets thrown at believers for their own behaviours can also apply to the sceptic or non-believer - yet thats always conveniently and hypocritically ignored.

Believers are faith-based .. in most cases they've had personal experiences which have completely changed their outlook on life. Its like a religion to some .. nobody "nice" would walk up to a devout Christian and spout some of the crap that gets fired at believers in spiritual matters .. and do it to a fanatical muslim and see where that gets you .. 50 meters up in the air and spread across a wide area, no doubt ... :mrgreen:

Believe everything - accept nothing. True open-mindedness which both sides need to employ. We know, relatively speaking, absolutely nothing about this reality and this universe that we find ourselves in. Many claim to know a whole lot more, but they are just kidding themselves.

I'm neither a believer or a sceptic. I wouldn't want to label myself as either. I've had experiences in life - both NGI life and outside NGI life - that I can't explain. I've seen things that would make your toes curl, been attacked - physically and things thrown, I've seen objects move and vanish on their own and experienced things within me and made things happen outside of me. I can't explain it and neither could science - but nor does any of it make me a believer.

Shit happens. I can't explain. Observe & Experience. Move on.

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 10:04 am 
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Wa hey, It's seems my little thread had turned into another Sceptic vs Believers 'debate' which I didn't mean it to. I'm just fed up with people looking down the nose at what they would regard as 'amateur' ghost hunters whilst hiding behind that wonderful thing that is science.

As I've said elsewhere, I don't think the word Sceptic should really be the description of a persons belief structure. Scepticism is a way of working and one that we should really all employ be us believers / non believers / On the fence etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 11:29 am 
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Scipios wrote:
The paranormal isn't something that scientists spend any time on because there's zero evidence except for personal experiences to base anything on that can be tested.


I would actually disagree with the statement that there's 'there's zero evidence except for personal experiences to base anything on that can be tested'.

There is 'evidence' that crops up from time to time that can be studied, it's just that many scientists either dismiss it from the outset or don't want to put their necks on the block to seriously look into something that is considered a bit taboo.

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 4:54 pm 
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here here doc :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 10:23 pm 
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Scipios wrote:
Hi, I'm a sceptic!


really pleased for you!!

to be honest, i said that in jest but seen as it's turned into a big feck off debate i'll stick around.

Jay wrote:
Totally agree - just a habit tho when we say sceptic ..

exactly.. although taken very literally!

hairyfairy wrote:
The unfortunate thing is though that believers will accept without question anything they deem to be paranormal as proof, but sceptics question it, isn't that how it should be done??????


so i believe everything i see? i question as much as a skeptic does thank you very much, but when it hits the point were it may be evidence of their existence i don't throw it out and say - "nah it can't be"

ok put it like this if you don't believe in ghosts and under no circumstances think they exist, then why show any interest or go out ghost hunting at all? these are the people i don't understand.. closed minded - yet searching for something that ain't there! if you don't consider yourself in this category, then don't take such offense to a little thing like my above comment said in jest!! i've been called all sorts but to be honest i don't give a fuck :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 2:16 am 
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I don't think its about "not believing in ghosts" that drives the sceptic .. the sceptic just doesn't take things at face value, they seek a reason why and / or an explanation. If that explanation is "ghosts" and there is evidence of it then seek to collect it.

Forget about misleading labels such as sceptic and believer - the main debate is about to what extent science is or should be used in searching for the paranormal. Some say it should be everything .. some say in moderation .. some say none at all .. we then place silly labels on people depending on what they say and make judgements on each other.

I've yet to meet a "believer" who thinks every incident is paranormal - yet that gets levelled at the believer all the time. Even the biggest Creaky Floorboarders who've passed through NGIs doors over the years have always sought an explanation for what is percieved as apparent paranormal activity.

In addition, the "sceptic" is looking for the evidence to prove the paranormal - they want it to be true and they'll find the evidence god damn it! Sadly, as i said above, too many cynics and debunkers have infilitrated and abuse the word and I personally think this diminishes a lot of input given by real sceptics.

The real difference between the sceptic and believer, tho, is the starting point of perception ... the believer says "right .. that seemed like it was paranormal .. lets check it out to see if it was" .. whereas the sceptic says "ok, that sounded like the wind .. I'll check the windows" ..

And thats it ..

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 3:13 am 
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well said jay!! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 9:41 am 
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triplow wrote:
i agree with what you said there dok, stuff gets used and converted for everyday use like... everyday! why does it seem such a big deal that we use tools from different trades in our field, based on the evidence we've collected and proved (to those without the blinkers on) in some cases can be used for detecting the existence of the after life? but no they sit there instead of trying to find it out for themselves. i don't believe for one second any ghost hunting skeptic, has not encountered anything that has made them think! in my opinion, they will never believe, because a) they don't want to b) they're scared of the truth, or c) they think it's cool sitting there dishing it out that these things exist!!


fuck skeptics


If the devices we use.....quite often with no idea how to use them correctly.....have been proven to detect the existence of the afterlife we must have proven there is an afterlife. Unfortunately we havent.

All we know is that an EMF meter detects EMF, and given that there can be a lot of EMF in a building, its hardly surprising when the meter detects what it is made to detect.

K2 meter as used rather a lot on ghost hunters, detects magnetic fields. And when it does it lights up. It means its detected a magnetic field.

Thermometers give us a temperature reading, and that temperature will vary around a room.

So when I see some one waving an EMF meter all over the place I think......dickhead. When I see someone use an EMF meter to detect the are its picking the signal up from, I think, theres someone who knows how to use their tools.

I'm a sceptical beleiver, because I do think there may be something in it, but the more I investigate the more sceptical I am becoming. In the ALL the investigations I have done, I have experienced three things I would class as Possibly paranormal and one that I cant explain.

The difference between someone who is sceptical is they beleive in the more rational, so that thump is not a ghost communicating by tapping, those orbs are not a sign of spirit etc. People confuse sceptics with none beleivers.

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 10:00 am 
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I also describe myself as a sceptical believer Anth. The more you do investigations the more you see how people interpret normal events as paranormal which is a bit depressing really. Then again I have experienced a couple of things (mainly pre NGI) that I cannot explain and that is why I am convinced things do indeed happen. I live in hope that on my next invo something will happen to knock my socks off.

EMF meter waving is just plain stupid, but I do think they have had a lot of criticism for the sake of it recently. (See my views in the Equipment thread).

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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 10:45 am 
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i have witnessed to much to be able to say im not ,, but i also question everything that i see and hear,, to such a scale i end up questioning my own self :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Criticism
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 12:40 pm 
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like i said in another thread i use my K2 for elimination, for detecting EMF that may be causing these feelings of being watched etc...

doktor_phibes wrote:
The more you do investigations the more you see how people interpret normal events as paranormal which is a bit depressing


i find this a lot too dok! I would hate to think you "skeptics" think i'm trying to preach to you, because i only want you people to look at evidence when it's all out of explanation - what i mean is sometimes some skeptics, debunkers, whatever you want to call them, don't give a good enough evaluation of some of the good evidence out there and i sometimes feel it gets fobbed off! that said the boom in faked evidence ie video's on the net and pictures don't help matters what so ever. sometimes you do get a really good one that makes you think "shit that was strange", and it's only a fake causing good, honest evidence to be ignored.


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