Mycroft said:I mentioned earlier in the thread where they prayed over medical records sorted randomly into two stacks one to be prayed over and one for a control and went back to check on the outcomes of the patients, those whose medical records were prayed over fared much better. The catch is that the prayers didn't take place until 10 years after all the patients had been discharged
Unless it's been set up in a way that DAT is excluded (someone had to decide which records went in which stack, or which tech/moment to use to decide) that'd get some critique, but it's still fascinating. One of my first books on metaphysics, I can't remember the name but it was by a preacher that arranged congregational volunteers to pray over plants. He tried to make it scientific, you know, rotating the plants and varying assignments and so on. Although he didn't totally succeed in the controls area (compared to a formal lab setting), still his results were very intriguing.
I read some stuff on the topic later (we are now reaching back into the paleolithic era, when I was a late teen) and one of the interesting things (related to 'prayer over plants') was that there seemed to be an 'effect' more related to someone's "attention" toward the plant -- positive or _negative_ -- than to what that attention was, really; as if any attention was good. That made me think that it was kind of an interesting throwback to Mesmer, who was quite SERIOUS about 'the fluid of the stars' and the 'energy' -- chi, we'd call it (but that's all been whitewashed into someone talking gently to you now, as if that's what hypnosis was in 1880 or something).
Humans "pay" attention, as I say (in magickal/metaphysical situations). To me that's interesting since it seems like when attempting to experiment on something, maybe the 'result-of-intent' is not always as clear as simply 'the result-of-attention'. What I'm trying (badly) to say is that maybe in this kind of experiment it's less important "what" happens as that "something, anything" happens. At least as a place to start.
I think psi is in a difficult situation that reminds me of an old saying I liked:
At first setting down as a fact fundamental
That nothing, with God, can be accidental.
You could throw 'psi' in there instead of God and have the same (though less benign) dynamic. If psi is real and if reality is if anything composed of its interactions, then there's pretty much no such thing as truly random, accidental, chance, luck, etc. once someone is paying attention to something. (In fact, even measuring to prove there is, could merely arrange situations according to the leading manager of the effort, to demonstrate that there IS chance, this itself being an effect, LOL.)
I once wrote about the alien situation that the whole thing was "so confusing that even the ancient philosophers would have thrown up their hands and got real jobs." I think some elements of psi have that level of boggling!