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 Just who's doing the damage...?

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Rob
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PostSubject: Just who's doing the damage...?   Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:56 pm

Taking a step aside from my personal skeptical viewpoints, I often think that many of the proponents of the paranormal lend very little credence to their plight. Especially in the mainstream media - just look at some of the TV productions on "Sky" as an example. There is obviously an extensive market for this stuff, as it's so popular (I'm totally hooked on it Smile). Like it or not, these programs are becoming the new face of modern parapsychology, cryptozoology and ufology. Unfortunately as these productions are aimed at the "mass media", they are often set to appeal to a very average or susceptible audience. Which means that they will only often scratch the surface and leave out the science. I suppose it's more important that they sell you the idea of a "cool" sounding conspiracy, creature, or unleash someones bizarre viewpoints. Just who needs proof anyway as long as it gets viewers? Skepticism seems to be a hard sell, probably as it's just too boring.

Quite often the information is distilled down, misrepresented or fed to us by absolute "kooks". Which sometimes cannot help the "non-believers" or even the "neutral" standpoint (most of them anyway). Now of course I'm not saying that every program or individual is like that. However, many of the people that we see on TV are just either fakes, have very little evidence, or are very odd individuals (Reptoids, Thetans etc.) There are exceptions of course, and it's a pity that mainstream TV won't spend the time endorsing such productions.

I remember seeing a set of programs by writer Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval - Finger Prints of the Gods (I believe). I thought that these were fascinating. The two men tried to prove everything they said scientifically, and backed up their claims with some very compelling evidence. Their research was also exhaustive and spanned many years. I'm not saying that I endorse Hancock's views of a "lost civilization", but it was a very interesting concept, and provided much food for thought. If only other people or production companies who hold beliefs that are outside the norm would put the same time and effort in.

With the advent of the internet we see an explosion of bizarre ideas given to anyone who will listen. Quite often, as with anything on the internet, there is absolutely no "quality control" whatsoever. I remember hearing an internet radio show featuring an interview with "Paul Nicholls". He has made some of the most bizarre claims that I have ever heard, including meeting a future version of himself to name one. Unfortunately there are many of these "oddballs" around making some very peculiar claims. I've heard numerous shows now with people touting some absolutely nonsensical ideas that have no scientific basis or evidence whatsoever. Just have a listen to the www.kevinsmithshow.com, but I must admit I find it absolutely fascinating listening.

So what is my original point? Are these people and programs actually helping the cause of the "true paranormal" researcher? Unfortunately I don't think they are. I often hear the scientific community ridicule mainstream TV programs as "nonsense" or "complete bunk" - this would happen less if the productions were more objective and analytical, and at least tried to back up their claims much like Hancock did. Also, it would surely help if the "kooks" were left to their own devices, and not given valuable publicity. Publicity that would be better spent on "genuine" research (or researchers).

I believe that most paranormal investigators even the good ones, are now generally lumped into the same bag as the other, "not so good ones". Which is a sad case of affairs. People like this, that have little or no evidence to offer, make fantastic or bizarre claims I find very off putting. And I'm sure they can only have a very negative knock on effect, and this must be a big set back to their cause.
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PostSubject: Re: Just who's doing the damage...?   Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:06 pm

As mentioned elsewhere, discovery and other science programs are showing lots of paranormal programmes as true Rolling Eyes

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Den.

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PostSubject: Re: Just who's doing the damage...?   Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:26 pm

[quote="Dennis"]As mentioned elsewhere, discovery and other science programs are showing lots of paranormal programmes as true Rolling Eyes /quote]

True... Highly questionable. "Bums on seats" I suppose...

Nobody really wants to the more mundane and probable explanation.

Sad
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