Blog powered by Typepad

« Guest blogger: Michael Tymn | Main | A moldy tale, continued »


“This is undoubtedly true in some cases, as in the infamous case of "Margery" (Mina Crandon), who produced a spirit thumbprint that turned out to belong to her all-too-living dentist.”

And over how many years did she produce a thumbprint of her deceased brother Walter? I consider the Margie mediumship one of the best examples of mediumship on record. Even Houdini could not prove her a fraud; it appears that Houdini was the fraud.

Read the book “ a life after death” by Ralph Harlow this person actually witnessed years of these séances unlike the researchers you quote in your article. I suspect Margery was the real deal that may have lost her abilities over time.

Ralph has devoted a whole chapter in his book on her mediumship. To suggest that the head of surgery at Harvard and his wife who set out to debunk mediumship were frauds is a bit of a stretch.


Massimo Polidoro and Luigi Garlaschelli hadn't show that thin molds could be obtained rather easily. They obtained paraffine's gloves of more of 1 mm, wherehas Geley obtained paraffine of less of 1 mm.
Everybody can try : get a hand out of a glove under 1 mm is quite impossible.
It's true that Polidoro and Garlaschelli obtained molds of complex hands forms. But they do some things that was not in the Geley's experiments :
- Put the hands many times in the paraffine, in order to have a more solid glove (and less thin). With experimental controls, the difficulty improve !
- Use a cold water in order to not be burn, and to accelerate the solidification. (In Geley's experiments, there is no cold water, and an another anomaly was that the gloves being strong in 2 minutes. In normal way, it needs at least 10 minutes without cold water.)

There was a good controversy on experiments with Kluski in the JSPR beetween 1992 and 2003. Here are some links :
- Mario Varvoglis article on Kluski hand moulds.
- A French radio-podcast on this experiment and his critics.

Thanks for your interessant blog.
Renaud EVRARD, psychologist, PA Student Affiliate, Member of the Student Group of Institut Métapsychique International


Houdini was not a fraud. Please, see this article:

This is the worst argument i have seen from a skeptic

Leo- Lol it had no mind so how did we wind up with a universe with all constants perfect for life? I know what you will say the many world's interpretation can explain away the apparent fine tuning of the universe but to me it sounds more unlikely than a creator. Even atheists admit the fine tuning of our universe.

atrib- Ever been to the center of the Sun? Or to the mantle of this little planet we call home? Or even the surface of the Moon? Would you say these places are "fine-tuned" for life? A majority of this universe is hostile and completely unsuitable for life. Your argument is based on the arrogant assumption that this universe exists simply to serve us - entire galaxies spread across the night sky like little toys hanging above a child's bed. In the end we are all worm food, and completely irrelevant to the workings of the universe we inhabit. The sooner we realise this fact the sooner we can get on with living instead of waiting to join some imaginary friend in the sky, a prisoner in our own minds.

Interesting evidence for physical mediumship there or course skeptics will say it was fraud.

That is a rather odd argument. The crux of it is that there can be no 'fine tuning' as the sun and the moon are examples of hostiles habitations and therefore serve no purpose.

However, as the earth relies on the sun for warmth, and the moon for gravitation forces, surely they therefore have purpose and in fact, their absolutely precise proximity to our planet would support the fine tuning argument if anything.

Also, even if the universe is fine tuned to support life, it doesn't make it an arrogant assumption that it exists 'purely to serve us'. A plant may help to support my life by providing me with the nutrients I require, but it doesn't mean I believe it exists solely for this purpose.

Who's the 'prisoner in their own mind' I wonder?

Here's more

Keith- Absolutely precise? Are you aware of how much Earth's orbit varies in the course of a year?

Go-No Go question time: How would you distinguish between a small area in the universe that's adapted to provide support for a particular form of life, and a life form that's adapted to a particular niche in the universe?

Thank you for the links, Renaud, and for the additional information.

I wondered about the cold water, since Geley said explicitly, "We had no pail of water."

It appears that this is yet another case of skeptics telling us only part of the story. Still, I give the Italian researchers credit for doing some hands-on work.

“Houdini v. The Blond Witch of Lime Street: A Historical Lesson in Skepticism”

vitor: take a look at the title. “The blond witch” no way is this article going to be bias! Ralph Harlow tells a different story and he sat in on the séances for years. The title is a give away as to the bias of this author.

Much more is involved in my believing Ralph Harlow than this author. Read the book. Thanks for the link another lesson in how belief and nonbelief can bias all of our minds.

An interesting link, Michael. And I agree about Conan Doyle's style (nearly as good as Jack Vance). It has reminded me to investigate Swedenborg, who was influential on William Blake.

Has anyone come across the idea of Christ's resurrecting and appearing to his disciples by use of the etheric or shrouding his spirit in ectoplasm? I'm sure I read it somewhere once.

We don't know that the whole Universe isn't conscious. We don't have a clue what consciousness is nor where it arises from. We also don't know where memories are stored. Personally I like Dr. Pimm Van Lommel's theories about consciousness and memories.

Vitor, thanks for the link to the article on Margery. I thought it was quite good, even if I am a little more skeptical of Houdini than the author is.

I tried to cover the story of Margery in an evenhanded way in one of my old essays. Not sure how well I succeeded, though.

As far as the anthropic principle I remember reading in some book that the chances of hitting exactly on our Universe is something like one chance out of ten billion to the 123 power.

In addition to that little bit of information, it's the total aggregate of "evidence" pointing towards "life after death" that leads me to believe that something of who we are survives the death of the physical body. As to what that something is, I don't have a clue. I guess I'm about 97.75% confident in "life after death."

One of the most amazing things are the parallels, support, and corroboration between NDE's and the holographic paradigm.

“Vitor, thanks for the link to the article on Margery. I thought it was quite good”

Michael P: the title of the article says it all. “The blond witch” that is blatant bias besides I suspect being sexist.

I have found in my research that our minds love reading articles and books that support our paradigms and tend to reject those articles and books that reject our paradigms.

Studies have shown that in most research studies data that disagrees with the researchers paradigm often is overlooked and the researchers do not use this data in their final analysis. Kind of like an inconvenient truth.

We only have to look at religious and political beliefs to see this phenomena happening on a daily basis.

From his writings Ralph Harlow appears to have had so much more integrity than this writer that wrote the article with a title that begins with “the blond witch”. One has to read the last chapter of Harlow’s book to get a hint of how humble this man appeared to have been.

“I guess I'm about 97.75% confident in "life after death."

Art you may want to read this persons website and see how he calculates the probability of there being NO life after death. I think you will be surprised at how the probabilities change for there being life after death.

The comments to this entry are closed.