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I do not see any practical difference between RationalWiki and Conservapedia. Two interest groups with a strong desire to tell the world about their opinions found Wikipedia full of people with the "wrong" opinion, so they started splinter sites.

I have never liked articles, both pro and anti paranormal that act as if in a few sentences or Paragraphs think they have the whole issue down pat. It a level of condescension too much to put up with!

'debunked'. That's ok then. We can all go home now.

Are all these RW articles written by the same person? This passage about Chris Carter is very similar to the ones about me and Michael Tymn that I quoted in the main post:

"Carter ignores any evidence contrary to his beliefs, he chooses to ignore ectoplasm becuase it was discovered in seance rooms to be the result of fraud made of butter, muslin, plastic dolls or newspaper clippings. He also rejects the psychological evidence for mediumship."

Whoever is posting these articles seems to have just two or three all-purpose criticisms, which he rearranges in arbitrary fashion. Very slipshod work.

Seems to be someone with a grudge.

I think that anyone who has "flipped through" your blog even for a short amount of time would be able to see that you aren't always a "woo woo." I've always found your blogs to be objective.

Since this post went up, if one googles "Michael Prescott's blog" the very first hit (listing? What is it called?) reads as follows:

"Prescott owns a blog where he posts on paranormal, spiritualism and topics related to life after death but has not actually done any experiments or investigations ..."

Which I guess is a somewhat true statement, but sort of reads as carrying an instant discrediting or at least discounting.

Generally I am beginning to develop a disdain for the modern google/internet info culture. There is just so much low grade information out there. Anyone can write anything about anyone or anything, and there it is for anyone in the world to instantly find and read and base an opinion on.

There's little to no incentive for the writer to exercise any responsibility or discretion. No reprecussions for failing to do so. Even the most defaming or inaccurate statements will remain out there into perpetuity.

It's not the old days when someone had to be serious enough to go to the trouble of being published and readers motivated enough to purchase the material of find it at a library.

Now any anonomous yahoo can disseminate to the world whatever nonsense is writhing around in his head in a matter of minutes.

The internet and google, etc can be a lot of fun and excellent means of sharing information and bringing people together, but it seems there is a real danger of the whole thing decaying into a cyber/virtual lord of the flies situation.

At any rate, the proprietors of the rational wiki are obviously a bunch of juvenile hacks.

There. Now, when some googles Rational Wiki, my considered opinion will come up in the search.

Irrationalwiki, indeed. They've put up a lot of dogmatic debunking articles on many different topics. And irrationalwiki's opinions are so uninformed that I don't know how anyone could take them seriously. Obviously, RW is just another group thats against anyone who questions the current paradigm.

I am laughing almost to the point of tears.

The Rationalwiki is an equal opportunity bashing tool and it's quite insane; comedically insane. It doesn't seem to like anyone.

First I read the RW on Barak Obama. The article is as warped as it is critical. However, then I read the article on Mitt Romney; same thing.

I now realize that the rationalwiki is like The Onion - not as well written, but it's a tongue in cheek joke. It's really entertaining if you read it that way.

This is fun. From the rationalwiki on James (amazing) Randi:

"Global warming flapIn a notable case of a skeptic being unskeptical, Randi caused a tempest in a teacup by mouthing off about global warming on his blog. His sins included citing the Oregon Petition and pulling the "science was wrong before" gambit.[8][9] Randi retracted his earlier comments and included a link to eSkeptic's debunking of the Petition.[10]

[edit] Personal lifeRandi is gay,[11] thus demonstrating the inherently superior rationality of Homo sapiens homo and proving that atheism, skepticism and joined-up thinking is part of the gay agenda in particular and the liberal conspiracy in general.[12] "

No one is safe!

Darryl, see my essay "Getting a Rise out of Ectoplasm," linked in the main post.

I wasted a little more time on the RW site. Frankly, I can't tell what it's supposed to be. The political articles appear to be parodies. Articles on the paranormal and skepticism seem intended to be taken seriously, but it's hard to be sure, because strange jokey asides are sometimes slipped in - as with the remark about Randi's sexual orientation quoted by No One above.

My best guess is that because the site (presumably) receives little traffic, a handful of immature contributors can play games with the entries with abandon.

Who as produced the most plausable Ectoplasm phenomena?

When referring to information found online, I think No One summed it up succinctly: "...any anonomous yahoo can disseminate to the world whatever nonsense is writhing around in his head in a matter of minutes."

For myself, I try to use discretion when searching for information, whether the search is online or in books. Although I expect an author to have drawn conclusions and formed opinions from their own personal search, I also look for them to 'give the devil his due'.
This blog is one of those rare places where that balance can be found.

That being said, I can see why Chris Carter and Michael Tymn wouldn't want to waste their time listing the accomplishments of their opponents. I use the word "opponents" because sometimes the discussion of spirituality seems like a fight, even a cultural war.
In this culture war, I see Carter and Tymn as frontline soldiers, with Michael Prescott working hard at the State Department, trying to find a sane, diplomatic solution. least that metaphor works for me. :-)

While this is not a defense in any way of the Rational Wiki site, some of the things they criticise Carter for I find quite valid. (Something I cannot say about the Prescott Article). He can be quite rude when dealing with people who object to his views, at least in comment sections. (however from what I read of his book, he seems to reason his arguments quite a level of professionalism) Therefore I find critisms of his work flawed, but of his personality having a little more bases
(however a touch of irony. The auther laments that carter is "just" a philosipher with no scientific training, however does he seem to realize that many if not most famous debunkers have no scientific training. I would bet my firstborn that the author doesnt have any either, yet he sees it fit to do some debunking himself

Tom, carrying my metaphor further, Carter and Tymn are caught up in the fog of the cultural war. It's not their job to be nice and understanding. Micheal (who resists getting pinned down by writing a book about the paranormal) can afford to be more objective.
Just my take.

no one said:

“The internet and google, etc can be a lot of fun and excellent means of sharing information and bringing people together, but it seems there is a real danger of the whole thing decaying into a cyber/virtual lord of the flies situation..”

No one, I hear you, but to worry about the internet is really to worry about society in general.

I look at it this way. The internet, with its multitude of sites, is not a trusted reference. It’s just a bunch of people in a room, talking with each other. I decide who I trust (little by little), stay away from people who seem to have little to offer me, and join in whatever conversations I find appealing.

Like this one! Although *some* people have surely concluded that this blog is exactly the sort of garbage you’re objecting too. :o)

"If you are a rich man Prescott? Then perhaps you can buy a copy and review it?"

I am currently one of the 1% (thanks, ebooks!) and therefore I probably can afford to buy it. (Next year may be a different story - another thing the class warriors don't take into account is that people's fortunes tend to rise and fall.) I'll look into it.

However, as a general rule, I think people who want their books to be widely read should price them appropriately. I price my self-published ebooks at $2.99. Why should I pay $50 or more for someone else's book?

This might be slightly off-topic, but I just feel many terms seemed to have been "hijacked" for a lack of a better term by materialists. I find it kind of ridiculous there is an implication that one can only practice rational thinking by being a materialist (Though I don't doubt on the opposite end of the spectrum there is a lot of irrational thinking).

"Skepticism" these days has basically become synonymous for "materialist apologetic", I don't have a problem with one trying to advocate that belief system but to go by it under the banner of being a "skeptic" and claiming to be unbiased is misleading IMO.

"Secular" does not necessarily mean atheism, but I find once again the term has become associated with that belief system. I also find some people subtly saying that one cannot support evolution and not be a materalist, which I also do not think is necessarily true.

'On the bright side, Prescott is listed as a "notable parapsychologist."'

Pretty funny. Another clear indication that these folks don't know what they're talking about. I'm not a parapsychologist at all, just an interested layman.

btw don't know if everyone's read this already, courtesy of the Daily Grail, but it looks like Persinger is getting some exciting results with his 'octopus helmet', the successor to the ridiculously named 'god helmet'.

The results are looking promising for non local infomation transmission, AKA telepathy. He's already replicated the results several times, with the 'sender' and the 'receiver' separated up to a range of 2km. The ultimate range is not yet known, although I suspect it's infinite, as we wouldnt expect distance to be an issue with this phenomenom:

Persingers - Theory of how Telepathy works brings in the Earths magnetic field into the framework. And the Earths 7Hz oscillation.
I just wondered how this ties in with the quantum/non locality ideas for PSI.
He was also saying on one video that the Psi effect works better when there's not much sender/receiver seperation.
anybody know??

Well, the magnetic field idea is a speculative hypothesis which he has come up with to explain the reported effect, not a theory as such.

It's a pity that science doesnt actually know what magnetism is either - one of those areas where people assume science knows what something is because it has given it a lable. Actually, magnetism is still one of science's greatest mysteries.

Researcher, while I agree Carter can be quite nasty and rude with his treatments of skeptics he doesn't seem to have a religious agenda, and his describes it as the ignorance of mankind often. Also the problem of psi vs survival is much more complex than "if telepahty is proven mediumship is all telepathy" and books have gone into discussing these conflicts.

"No one, I hear you, but to worry about the internet is really to worry about society in general."

You're right, of course, Bruce.

One reason I serf the net and participate in blogs is that I am deeply interested in what and how people think (or don't think as the case may be).

I come here because I am genuinely interested in the topics themselves AND because Michael is so intelligent, discerning and even handed in presenting them AND the commenters are typically equally so in their discussions as well as displaying a level of civility and thoughtfulness rarely found on blogs.

Other blogs I go to discuss other things that, in and of themselves, interest me far less. My visits are more for the purpose of understanding, through discussion/debate *how* people have come to arrive at the opinions they hold and, to some extent, how they deal with dissonance, competing ideas, etc.

Sadly, I have arrived at the conclusion that a lot of people have deeply held, heavily protected opinions that they wield like bludgeons and as if they were obvious truths. Even when the opinion holder has credentials that should indicate the ability to think objectively and even when material incentives to present irrational perspectives are not obviously operating, close mindedness is present.

Sometimes it seems that the criteria for adhering to a perspective is how many others share it, how alike they are, their perceived level of social prestige and loud they can shout; evidence and data be damned.

Yes, Michael has created a rare gem in this blog.


here here no one. I have learned more from discussion on this blog than any of the parapsychology books that I have read.

"Of course if telepathy comes a scientific fact one day then mediumship will be totally discredited"

I don't follow the logic. Why would it be totally discredited? Could we not have telepathy AND valid mediumship?

Regarding telepathy masquerading as mediumship, it *could* explain some aspects of mediumship. However, it does NOT explain instances (and these instances are common enough) where the medium's message contains some specific detail known to the deceased, but *unknown* to the sitter, that later is proven accurate. An example would be the deceased communicates that a will is hidden in some secret compartment in a desk. After the sitting the sitter checks out the desk and finds the will. The sitter had no idea that there was a secret compartment let alone that a will would be in it prior to the sitting.

"I would make a step further and say that we NEED telepathy for valid (mental/trance) mediumship.The question then is: from where the information is cominmg, from deceased or from living?"

Good point, Alexander.

Mediumship - like telepathy - requires that minds be able to communicate with minds absent physical input/output.

Alexander I think you misunderstood what I was sayin , I was saying to Researcher that I found his logic too simplistic.

Whoa now Michael, you can't say that.

Didn't you see the new report? Atheists are being discriminated and persecuted around the world. Stop persecuting them


Rationalwiki meet encyclopedia dramatica.

tell me you didn't laugh reading dawkins bio

" I have arrived at the conclusion that a lot of people have deeply held, heavily protected opinions that they wield like bludgeons"

Nice sentence. :o)

Personally I think there is a clear difference between telepathy and medium-ship e.g. in the case where the medium is talking of a future event that no one can know.

I know for myself some years ago I was told by a medium that a family member was about to marry, she would meet the guy in three months and it would happen fast. Now at the time she described the person, and I had no clue as to who she was talking of. When I got home and thought about it, it was only then that I realized. It happened exactly how she said. She told me all about this guy and to this day I have never met him, but those that have, have told me he is exactly as was depicted.

Another thing that I have found regarding if psychics connect with the living or dead. Some years ago when living in a house in Thailand, an image came into my head of a Thai man. Now at the time I had just started to get psychic information, and it was one of the first times that it had come that way. I remember thinking is this an image of a dead person or one that is alive? It was only after a year that the landlords brother visited, that I realized the image was of him.

So sometimes it can be confusing in interpreting the information that comes to you.

I know with Jessica Ridgeway's perpetrator, the image I got in my head was of a person leaning up against a car, taken from a side angle, and at a bit of a distance much like photo. He looked older to me, and I see now that what I thought was a receding hairline, was a widows peak (apparent when viewed for the front). Which is why I mentioned he had alot of hair even though his hairline was receding.

I am an amateur, and only really dip in from time to time, and realize if I want to do it more, one as to practice and apply yourself, like any skill.

I had to laugh, I hadn't talked to spirit for a month, and we have just been away and stayed at a very old hotel ( bound to have spirits). I had gone to bed and my husband was down at the bar, and I asked God as I do each night, to clear the room of spirits ( why not go to the top, as I don't fancy them visiting dead in the night, excuse the pun).
When there was some knocks in the room. I often get this, sometimes huge bangs in the walls, and wonder if the spirits are annoyed they can't come in. Who knows?

So I say to God, "Is the room clear'? "Yes", he says, "Its just the furniture cooling". It feels hot though, and then I remember the husband has said that the fins of the aircon are turned away from the bed - to where the knocks are coming from. "And", he says, knowing I'm a bit worried, "your husband is on his way up the lift now". Second later the buzz of the card goes in the door. And I think, "yep it still works". Ha ha. Lyn x.

Why was I linked to this article by a reputable science-related app?

You mean the RW article, or this blog post? Either way, I have no idea. I wouldn't think any reputable science-related app would take you to RW, given the quality of its content, or to this blog, since this is not a science blog.

"Psychic Irene Hughes dead at age 92":

Long story focusing on her "hits" and associations with bigshots in media and politics. (Maybe worth a thread?)

Here's a link to a very tuneful and touching 3-minute song by a 17-year-old who has only months to live. The possibility of eternal life is suggested.

"Alexander1304 rationalwiki have exposed you as a troll"

I see they make special mention of our friend Sandy on the page.

Hi Matthew, do you have any knowledge of who the person(s) that writes these Rationalwiki articles might be?

I find them fascinating and I'm curious to know more.


I wonder if this the soul group of Sniffy the Athiest :)

"Craig weiler is a well known troll he deserved to be exposed."

I dunno, Darryl - I think you're a troll. You post obnoxious and hostile comments, and seldom engage in any constructive give-and-take. For instance, on this thread you rather heatedly demanded to know my views on ectoplasm; when I pointed out that I'd already linked to my essay on the subject in my main post, you didn't pursue the subject.

Now you're saying that Sandy posed as a scientist. I don't remember her ever saying that, though I haven't tried searching the archives. I do know that she's been tested by Michael Persinger and apparently impressed him. It seems to me that if someone consents to laboratory testing by a scientist who is known to be somewhat skeptical, it's likely that the person is acting in good faith.

On the other hand, a person who takes random pot shots at other people is probably not acting in good faith.

I don't know about the other people who are accused of being trolls but I have been following all the forums Sandy is on and she never once claimed to be a scientist. She has only claimed to be studied by scientist for her psi abilities (which is seems to reluctantly accept). I am not a lawyer but it appears to me that the Rationalwiki site is doing nothing but slandering people and providing no proof for their accusations. If this is what it is like to be a "Bright" then I am glad that I am on the outside looking in. I never was one to be in the "in crowd" anyway.

This is interesting. An IP address check shows that Alexander1304 has also posted under the following names:

Is this the truth?
"Chris Carter"

Naturally, all these posts will now be deleted, and the IP address will be banned.

I think it is safe to assume that this individual has mental health issues and should seek treatment.

I may have deleted some legitimate comments in my zeal to get rid of the troll spam. Hopefully we have heard the last of Alexander1304 under his many names, though I wouldn't count on it, since he was using at least three IP addresses and probably can use others as needed.

That's surprising and a little shocking. I found Alexander's comments and links interesting but it turns out he was the worst kind of troll...a concern troll. Such wasted energy

Hi Michael, two of the three eveshi posts were written by me (I'm the user 'eveshi' from the Skeptiko forum: I'm not the guy you just banned (if you compare my IP with his, you will see that they're different), and I did even expose him over at the Skeptiko forum (see here: There was only one eveshi post (with the content 'I am also gay' *rolleyes*) that was written by the banned guy, apparently as 'revenge' for my exposing him.

The same is also true for Alexander1304 IMO. I think there is a genuine Alexander1304 (who has nothing to do with the banned person) and a fake Alexander1304 (who is identical to the banned person). The majority of the posts that were made under the nick Alexander1304 was written by the genuine Alexander1304, and only a few (the ones that were made most recently) were written by the fake Alexander1304.

Neither Alexander1304 nor I (eveshi) are trolls, we've merely been victims of identity theft.

Kind regards,

Why even bother to troll sites, I mean really!! Isn't there something better to do?

Ok, just curious, off on a tangent again as I have been meaning to ask peoples thoughts on this- that subject of global warming!

I don't know, but it seems to me it has had its effects for some years now, and it is devastating. The increased temperatures are already causing huge changes in weather.

I know in Asia, storms are much stronger, people die, there is damage to shores and coastlines, and many don't recover. In Thailand last year, the heavy rain, left flooding for months. People lost their houses, their belongings, and were stranded with no food and water. The worst is crops die, including rice, seeds float off, plants don't like wet feet and nor do animals. They imported chickens, rice and sugar. The price of food skyrockeded, shelves stayed bare for months. Business shut due to flooding and product damage, and a number of the Japanese business jut shut shop and went off shore.Costing the country an awful lot of money!

It costs government millions to fix the damage, and the loss of revenue just after that one deluge was huge. People lose their livelihoods, even after one massive storm let alone more.

For two weeks, Thailand couldn't get their rubber out, the main export. as the roads were blocked. Roads airports etc, are low lying and the first to be affected.

Hurricane Sandy in the states, is unlikely to be the last, like Bangkok it is low lying and flooding will continue with rising seas. A number of countries have already lost housing close to the coastline. New Zealand also has had alot of damage in coastal regions.

Research from the arctic, and I know many go, oh research!. But its pretty conclusive, that looking at the core for some years tells us the history. There has been warming before to quite large extremes. But the problem is now is that the permafrost is melting and revealing the substrata. This will release huge amounts of carbon dioxide and methane in levels never seen before. And scientists say this would be catastrophic. For the first time, the 80's is hotter than the 70's, the 90's hotter again, this perpetual heat has never been recorded before. Oceanliner's say the seas are getting much more dangerous, the waves are so much higher and they are forced to close ports, which cost huge money,

People don't recover, they lose homes, crops are destroyed, and in parts of Asia this is happening time and time again. It takes time for a crop to mature and getting this frequently, quickly brings a nation to its knees. People need food, let alone the enormous outpouring of money it costs the country. Cheers Lyn.

Michael: I hope You can easily recognize that troll used my nick to create the mess here?
I can admit that I have 2 IPs, because I write from both home and (sometimes) work, and You can easy find that these 2 IP adresses in Toronto?I don't want to play victim here, but I think You can easy find that "Alexander1304" who indentified himself with other names has the same IP? Again,I have 2 IPs, since I write from both home and work, but niether if these IPs were used for different troll names.It was me who suggested You to allow only to registered users to post here.And up to today I hope You can appreciate(and I post here for a good 2 yesrs) that not a single post of mine looked like trolling.

Ray:"I found Alexander's comments and links interesting but it turns out he was the worst kind of troll"

Sorry,Bro,but You are wrong,Now,at least,if Michael can figure out IPs,he can easily recognize who is who.Also,read Eveshi's comment above.
I told: I write from Toronto,actually from downtown Toronto while at work,and North York(which is part of Greater Toronto)while at home. Michael,simply remember these IPs and the problem is solved.
Ray,You're welcome to follow my comments on Skeptico,and make up Your mind if I troll or not.There trolling is impossible
P.S. I'll not be surprised if few mins later this troll will post again under my name.Well, at least now I hope Michael will figure that out

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