Have you seen a Ghost?

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  • Have you seen a Ghost?
  • Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    All you scientists can take the mickey but there ARE things we cannot explain.

    Sure. But that does not mean we should give equal credence to any old rubbish we think up. (See also, religion)

    Most of these anecdotes will have a rational explanation. Mix something not readily obvious in with a bit of coincidence and we have “ooh, spooky.” The human brain is prone to pattern-finding – ever see shapes in clouds? – and susceptible to misleading information, especially when tired or deprived of normal input. How many ghost stories start, “it was late one night, and…”

    I got into bed the other night and could’ve sworn I could see it vibrating. It was an optical illusion with chequered bed sheets, and I suppose being bone tired and only having half-light in the room probably didn’t help. But I was absolutely convinced it was vibrating, even when I rationalised that it wasn’t I could still see it.

    Something brushing against your arm in the night could be a mouse or a bat or a draft even, but most likely is you’d imagined / dreamt is as you were half asleep and expecting a familiar sensation.

    The door opening could just be that it wasn’t closed properly. Could be that a loving father had rigged a bit of cotton to it to help a daughter deal with her grief; “he’s still here, look!” (Amusingly, the door next to me just popped open as I was typing this paragraph. Spooky.)

    If a dog has a favourite spot where he spent a lot of time, it’s not a great leap to expect the smell to linger. It’s going to take more than a quick vacuum to remove twenty years of wet dog. Smells and memories are tightly linked; the fact that you expect him to be there probably amplifies the sensation.

    Or, y’know, it could be ghosts. That’s the easiest answer, after all.

    Karinofnine
    Member

    Thanks for remark re rescuing dogs. I only wish I could afford to do more.

    Yes, my post did wander a bit. It’s such a huge subject. I gave it all some more thought this morning.

    I think there are some kinds of energy which we do not (yet?) have equipment to measure. I think one of the names for these could be ‘ghost’. I think that when one experiences an instance of this one interprets it according to one’s experience/folklore/culture. Thus, different cultures have different ‘ghosts’.

    I think that some people (scientists), instead of saying ‘we don’t understand this’ say ‘silly superstition’. Because it is not currently capable of being replicated (for your empirical data) it is dismissed. Go back 100 years and tell people about mobile phones – an immensely powerful computer that you can put in your pocket, which can communicate, pretty much instantly, with someone in Australia – voice and video! You’d be burnt at the stake.

    Yes, I believe in reincarnation and past life memory and recall, definitely. I have had other experiences of this. No, not imagination.

    And I also think that just because we have explained something it doesn’t have to stop being ‘spiritual’ or ‘magical’. Yup, we know how things work, cells divide, electrons and protons whizz around and swap from molecule to molecule, but there’s the why.

    Yes, I do think animals have ‘special powers’ – see above re not having equipment to measure/record things so dismiss them as ‘quack’ (oh! see what I did there? :)).

    You think I’m crazy? Check out some quantum physics. Wild! 🙂

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
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    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TGjSyYL8Oo[/video]

    edward2000
    Member

    Massive bump

    Karinofnine
    Member

    …in the night? 😆

    Frankenstein
    Member

    Do not read ghost threads at 0120 hrs in the dark in bed…doh!

    (Fart)

    jekkyl
    Member

    Did you hear that ghost duck?

    Karinofnine
    Member

    Cougar:

    Something brushing against your arm in the night could be a mouse or a bat or a draft even, but most likely is you’d imagined / dreamt is as you were half asleep and expecting a familiar sensation.

    I am not an imbecile thanks, I know exactly what a mouse feels like on my skin, and the sound a bat makes in flight. I was in bed with my boyfriend, his little terrier Scrappy was there too. Scraps would have been straight on the case if there had been another animal in the flat. A draft, in a room with no windows and a flat with no doors open. No. Half-asleep? No, I’d just got into bed, was wide awake. Expecting a familiar sensation? No, my dog’s dead body was in the next room, I wasn’t expecting him to do anything, nothing at all, on account of him being dead.

    If a dog has a favourite spot where he spent a lot of time, it’s not a great leap to expect the smell to linger. It’s going to take more than a quick vacuum to remove twenty years of wet dog. Smells and memories are tightly linked; the fact that you expect him to be there probably amplifies the sensation.

    If you read my post again I said that Sam smelled really bad. That’s because his physical body was there, in the lounge. (He was put to sleep on the patio outside, I couldn’t get him to the crematorium until the next day, couldn’t leave his body outside for the foxes etc to nibble, so brought him in). It wasn’t my imagination, the dog’s body was actually there, in the lounge, minging.

    I spend a lot of time out in the country with my dog(s), in all weathers, in daytime and nighttime. I know exactly when I’m feeling spooked by a coming-together of ordinary events: wind rustling leaves/wildlife making odd noises/branches falling due to natural processes – mixed with a human’s innate fear of darkness/remembering scenes from films/superstition. I also know exactly when something extra-ordinary is happening.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    To expand on Cougar, and no your not an imbecile, the human body is amazing thing in how it recognises sight, sounds smells and sensations. However, it relives on interpretation you no doubt felt a sensation. Now when ever we feel any sensation your body tries to recognise what it it is, at the very basic synapse level it will trigger a response in your hand to react to this. Picking up a hot rock we would drop it instantly to stop harm due to the synapse. Picking up a hot plate we’d get the same synapse but then the brain will kick in and say no it’s a plate put it down carefully.

    In normally sighted people the sight of course helps the brain to do this and recognise the object. If we can’t see it then the brain will try to construct what it could be due to the feeling, you may claim I know what a mouse feels like but that’s because your thinking about it. When it’s down to a synapse and you can’t see it then your brain will try to construct based on memory and experience. In this case the sensation you felt your brain came up with it’s your dog, you’ve then thought no it can’t be he’s dead. Now some people will leave it at that but you for your beliefs continued to think it was your dog.

    Ok now some more interesting stuff, there is very strong evidence now that that all nerves contain memories of some degree and that’s how the synapses also work as the memory is at a base level they nerves in the hand contain the memory of how things feel too. This is to the extent that some transplant patients even have shared memories from the donator in some cases as organs obviously contain large amounts for nerves.

    There is even evidence now to suggest that we also use a basic echo sensation in dark rooms to asses certain objects, some blind people or learning to see by clicks. Which really isn’t too different to how our eyesight works, there is a very small percentage of the eye that can focus on objects to the point to make them easily recognisable. The rest of the eye picks up parts and the brain constructs the rest and again relies on memory and experience which is why we often say “I saw something in the corner of my eye.”

    Now I go down the science route and the evidence one, which has shown there is no energy admitted by the dead and no it’s not that we haven’t found a way to measure it dead things just don’t produce energy other than decomposing. However, if you wish to believe otherwise then it’s your choice. When I lost my Lab I’d hear her, see her and feel her brush past of course it was never her but for a brief second I’d think it was until I recall she was dead. Funny now I have another dog that never happens and think it’s the current dog coming in the room or brushing against me. Of course when I then see him lying already in the room I don’t then think it’s any of my dead dogs just something else and I can’t always work out what.

    Junkyard
    Member

    If you read my post again I said

    The smell comment was to another poster who said about still being able to smell the dog in its favourite spot years later

    no one called you an imbecile they treaded lightly, whilst disagreeing, because of your loss.

    We still need an explanation of transcending death, another place, coming back etc

    As the others I am firmly in the no camp however sincere folk are in their descriptions

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Who in this thread has read this book?

    EDIT: Now you have no excuse

    http://www.philosophy.thecastsite.com/readings/godwantsyoudead/demonhauntedworld.pdf

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I am not an imbecile thanks,

    I wasn’t suggesting you were. Why so hostile?

    You said you were “open to explanation/other beliefs and ideas” and solicited suggestions as to alternative explanations (“please list of things it could have been, other than Sam coming to say goodbye one last time”). That’s all I was trying to do, I’ve no idea what your exact circumstances were that night or what your experiences are with things that go squeak in the night.

    “Expecting a familiar sensation?” – you misunderstand me I think. Rationally, sure, you knew he’d passed away, but subconsciously you’d be quick to associate (or even imagine) events formed out of habit. It’s what our brains do; when my last cat died I kept ‘hearing’ him at the door and would expect to be greeted by him when I came downstairs of a morning. I knew he wasn’t – I’d been holding him whilst the vet did the deed – but the brain patterns get pretty ingrained.

    The smell comment was to another poster who said about still being able to smell the dog in its favourite spot years later

    Indeed.

    aa
    Member

    I don’t believe in ghosts, but…….

    Once, in a backpackers, having a wee in the gents i saw a figure in my periphal vision, i turned around and there was no person, just a shimmer in the air.
    Mrs aa later said her shampoo bottle shut by itself in the ladies shower. She wouldn’t go in the toilets by herself after that.
    Another time at some local ruins (gracedieu) on an organised ghost walk i saw what looked like a wisp of cloud in one of the windows on an otherwise clear night. Someone else saw it too. I was drunk on that occasion so it might have been my eyes.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Mrs aa later said her shampoo bottle shut by itself in the ladies shower. She wouldn’t go in the toilets by herself after that.

    Proof right there. 😆

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    If you could come back as a ghost, would you really think “fantastic, I can spend the day closing shampoo bottles!”

    Hanging around the ladies’ shower blocks however, that sounds a lot more plausible.

    aa
    Member

    if mrs aa insists, then its fact!

    Only wikipedia is a higher form of proof.

    I’m with karinofnine on this.

    yunki
    Member

    I saw this goat earlier in the summer at a wildlife park near Inverness.. I can only assume that it’s the goat of my dead great grandmother..

    It shit me right up I can tell you

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Moreover, if ghosts were real, we’d be overrun by the bloody things by now.

    Most ghosts have some sort of grisly backstory to them; “oh, the liverless man, yes, his spurned lover brutally bludgeoned him to death with a stoat and then his liver was fed to beavers.” But think about it, how many tragic / violent deaths have there been over the millennia? You’d be hard pressed to find a square foot of the country which hasn’t seen needless bloodshed at some point.

    And that’s before you even look at the animal kingdom; Africa should be awash with ghostly gazelles, Scotland’s air thick with the spirits of despatched midges.

    joeydeacon
    Member

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeBNg-Cnegg[/video]

    TuckerUK
    Member

    The sheer volume of stuff to remember…

    How many songs do you not only know the words to, but also the tune? Hundreds? Thousands? People vastly underestimate the capabilities of the human brain.

    TuckerUK
    Member

    if mrs aa insists, then its fact!

    Only wikipedia is a higher form of proof.

    Quality post!

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    if mrs aa insists, then its fact!

    Only wikipedia is a higher form of proof.

    Touche!

    I’m with karinofnine on this.

    Good for you it’s your choice.

    TuckerUK
    Member

    One of the problems with ghost (or alien UFO/faerie/gods) sightings is that people confuse:

    What I’m definitely convinced I experienced

    with

    What I actually experienced witnessed independent by others

    It’s not even as if the ability of the human mind to ‘create’ sounds and images, and the unreliability of the human mind when it comes to accurate recall hasn’t been very well documented.

    Karinofnine
    Member

    *trying not to be hostile now*

    I felt a bit cross because people say it’s a stretch for me to suggest some kind of unusual energy, but quite believable to suggest a mouse? Scrappy would have gone crazy if there was a mouse in the room. Where did it come from/go to? There are more unanswered questions in the mouse/bat scenario yet people cling to this. Fear perhaps? Fear that there IS something we don’t know about – and worse – that we can’t control?

    Over-run by ‘ghosts’. No, I think the energy/spirit/soul/? sticks around long enough to finish business, then moves on. As I say, I believe in reincarnation so I’m off to Valhalla when I die (I hope, I do try to be brave and honourable), don’t worry,I won’t be hanging around, there’s feasting to get on with 🙂

    Perhaps ‘ghosts’ occupy space in a different way (so take up less room) or vibrate at a different frequency (cf The Celestine Prophecy), but I think the spirit goes ? somewhere (I don’t have all the answers) to be re-born. I think there’s a spirit or soul in the earth, animals, us and everything).

    The last part of the story of that evening is that in the morning when I got up, a large free-standing mirror and the tumble dryer had been moved. That part I put down to my then boyfriend making a not-very-funny practical joke.

    andrewh
    Member

    There was an experiment conducted recently on a cardiac ward in a hospital. Each patient had a shelf above their bed. On each shelf was a picture, face up The patients could not see it (without getting out of bed and climbing on stuff) The point of this was that any patient who dies and was then resusetated was asked to say what the picture was. Any who had had an ‘out of body experience’ and floated up above the bed and looked down on their body, as is often reported, would have seen the picture.
    I only heard that this was being done, I have not heard the reusults. Does anyone know if any patient correctly named a picture?
    .
    .
    Also (possibly daft?) science question. If there are more dimensions than we can see, as some theories suggest isit possible that something from another dimension breifly crosses into ours and would we interpret such as a ‘ghost’? Say from a reality where the dog didn’t die? It would still occupy the same physical space but be in another dimension from our own. Is there anything in the various multiverse theories which preclude this?

    tazzymtb
    Member

    Ok, this may come out a bit iffy as i’m not the brightest button in the box and not terribly eloquent…so please bear with me as I try to explain (badly) my thoughts on this:

    If we presume that a person sees, hears, feels, something, then there must be a physiological response. a triggering of nerves, a sending of impulses etc..to the perceptual/cognitive buffers.

    now as I understand it, perception and cognitive recognition is to a certain extent a function of learning. So if I look at this in a context of societal conditioning, the same observed/perceived incident could be understood in many different ways, all of which have an equal validity to the observer depending on their background.

    So, a glass moves and falls from a shelf;

    this can be as a result of building vibration, perhaps the house is on a busy road and HGV and traffic vibration over time has moved it towards the edge, just in time to be observed to move and fall. But it would be as equally valid to say a ghost/angel/demon/evil spirit did it as the observation and physical triggering of nerve impulses is the same, only the interpretation of data based on the belief of the observer is different.

    just because that may differ to your perception doesn’t make it any less valid or real to the observer.

    Everything we see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to us as an individual. We create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe we perceive is specific to us. I can look a painting and will see it differently to everyone of you as each of us is unique physically even down to the shape of the eye, minor changes in rods and cones, nerve impulse and cognitive function.

    even if scientific empiricism is used it is still ultimately based on experience, observation and repeatability (with some data smoothing to take out the results that don’t fit into the cognitive “norm” for the experiment) So an incident where people report the same “ghost” over a period of time with no knowledge of previous reports would fall into the same empirical category, as it is repeated experience and observation without tester bias as in many reported “incidents” the observer has no prior knowledge or positive expectation of a “seeing a ghost”

    and finally, if we use occam’s razor, more people have seen ghosts/demons/angels in history and still today religion and religious belief in the supernatural far out numbers the belief in “science” and the glass fell of the shelf in front of someone because a ghost did it, is a much simpler hypothesis and therefore must be correct when compared to the multi-factorial explanation/hypothesis of vibration/displacement and the observer being in place at just the right time for all of the factors to occur together.

    Not sure if I believe, but that doesn’t stop me treating anyone who claims to have experienced something with the utmost respect as, for them, it has actually happened and the fact I may have perceived it differently makes it no less valid.

    big snogs xx

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    *trying not to be hostile now*

    Calm down dear it’s just a ghost story.

    I felt a bit cross because people say it’s a stretch for me to suggest some kind of unusual energy, but quite believable to suggest a mouse?

    Because a mouse is very much more plausible than some energy form a dead dog stroking your hand. Even if Scappy had screamed “Lemme at im, lemme at im”

    Junkyard
    Member

    what Drac said

    But it would be as equally valid to say a ghost/angel/demon/evil spirit did it as the observation and physical triggering of nerve impulses is the same, only the interpretation of data based on the belief of the observer is different.

    Well if by valid you mean someone says it then yes However it would not be valid in the sense that what they told you happened is not in fact what happened. it has no validity if it is wrong no matter how sincerely delivered

    I used to do experiments with nonsense words and condition responses. you could then transfer that condition to other nonsense words. the subjects could not tell you this had been done.

    In essence introspection as a method of gaining truth is useless* so you need something objectively verifiable

    * it is what early psychologists did till they realised it was unreliable and of limited , if any, use.

    just because that may differ to your perception doesn’t make it any less valid or real to the observer

    critically though it does not make the correct either

    tazzymtb
    Member

    old you happened is not in fact what happened

    did the person observe a glass falling? Yes..that is in fact what happened. Now if one person uses the word ghost, or god is that wrong? No, to that person it is absolute and correct. Only by your minority world view of science is it “wrong”. If science was absolute and there were now new developments, understandings, and re-interpretation of data in the future than you may be correct. We both know however that “science” is our best guess based on available data, which is again based upon observation, perception and cognitive reasoning so it is just as fallible as any other hypothesis. 😀

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    *trying not to be hostile now*
    Calm down dear it’s just a ghost story.

    That’s not very 2013, man.

    TuckerUK
    Member

    We both know however that “science” is our best guess based on available data, which is again based upon observation, perception and cognitive reasoning so it is just as fallible as any other hypothesis.

    Rubbish. Scientific ‘fact’, or even ‘theory’, before becoming either, is subject to extensive critical peer review. ‘Any other hypothesis’ often isn’t subject to critical review even by the source!

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    That’s not very 2013, man.

    I still ride 26″

    tazzymtb
    Member

    Rubbish. Scientific ‘fact’, or even ‘theory’, before becoming either, is subject to extensive critical peer review.

    you don’t work in a Science based industry do you? As an ex research chemist I know from experience that “critical peer review” is open to failings..

    look at the Cochrane review and the Royal Society working group on peer review of scientific data. it is no way the magical stamp of approval that you want it to be.

    “Heading up the inquiry is Patrick Bateson, provost of King’s College as well as biological secretary and vice president of the Royal Society. He believes that “peer review is an imperfect process.”

    In a February interview in The Guardian, Bateson argued: “Scientists are under enormous pressure these days, and many are reluctant to give the time to [peer review]. Sometimes what happens is that the paper gets passed to a graduate student who then delivers a damning critique.” He stated further: “We are all aware that some referees’reports are not worth the paper they are written on. It’s also hard for a journal editor when reports come back that are contradictory, and it’s often down to a question of a value judgment whether something is published or not.”

    The Royal Society Working Group has established an aggressive time frame for generating two reports by September. One of the committee’s charges is to determine best practices for peer review and consider alternatives such as naming the referees. This system might make referees more responsive and responsible (and perhaps more polite).

    A second report aims to help the public interpret scientific results. This could be a particularly compelling document if the working group concludes that the existing peer-review system is in fact fundamentally flawed. It would place the Royal Society in the awkward position of trying to calm public fears about the trustworthiness of scientific research while calling for essential changes in the very framework that underpins it.

    If the Royal Society does call for new best practices for peer review, it will be interesting to see how or if the research community embraces them.”

    erm…up yours mr 😀

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Drac – Moderator

    I still ride 26″

    So do I 🙂

    I keep thinking I saw a 27×1¼ in my box. Though it’s likely a daytime hallucination.

    tazzymtb
    Member

    The peer review system has decayed to the point where the culture of the two “top” science journals virtually guarantees they will reject the most important research done today. It is the exact opposite of what we need to further human knowledge the fastest. Science and Nature are prestigious journals, yet they are now so conservative about ideas that challenge dominant assumptions, that they reject ground-breaking papers because those papers challenge the dominant meme, not because the evidence or the reasoning is suspect or weak.

    For example there is a published case where billions of dollars of medical research may have been wasted because researchers assumed mice were the same as men. Dr Ronald W. Davis from Stanford comments: ““They are so ingrained in trying to cure mice that they forget we are trying to cure humans.” He found that 150 drugs were tested that in hindsight, were guaranteed to fail in humans. People didn’t understand that mice have a very different response to sepsis (which is any overwhelming blood-borne bacterial infection). Mice are already resistant to huge numbers of bacteria in their blood whereas humans overreact, our capillaries leak, our organs run short of blood, mass organ failure ensues, and we can die. While mice may have an answer to deadly sepsis (how do they resist it?) we weren’t looking for that in our experiments, we were testing drugs on mice that were never going to help us. Now we understand why.

    The study’s investigators tried for more than a year to publish their paper, which showed that there was no relationship between the genetic responses of mice and those of humans. They submitted it to the publications Science and Nature, hoping to reach a wide audience. It was rejected from both.

    The data was described as persuasive, robust, and stunning. Yet both prestigious journals tossed the drafts out. The best excuse they can give is that they reject lots of papers. Oh, well that’s ok then…

    Science and Nature said it was their policy not to comment on the fate of a rejected paper, or whether it had even been submitted to them. But, Ginger Pinholster of Science said, the journal accepts only about 7 percent of the nearly 13,000 papers submitted each year, so it is not uncommon for a paper to make the rounds.

    Still, Dr. Davis said, reviewers did not point out scientific errors. Instead, he said, “the most common response was, ‘It has to be wrong. I don’t know why it is wrong, but it has to be wrong.’ ”

    so there we go..more evidence that peer review is based on human perception and pre-conditioning.

    Your blind adherence to “science says so, so it must be true” is just as flawed and based on faith as any belief in ghosts, gods, or little green men

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Tell you what though, they know they have a problem now and will try to fix it.

    I’ll take that option, thanks.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Now if one person uses the word ghost, or god is that wrong? No, to that person it is absolute and correct.

    To that person it is correct but they can still be wrong. Their sincerity is irrelevant as to their accuracy.

    We both know however that “science” is our best guess based on available data, which is again based upon observation, perception and cognitive reasoning so it is just as fallible as any other hypothesis.

    It is not as fallible as a guess

    “science says so, so it must be true” is just as flawed and based on faith as any belief in ghosts, gods, or little green men

    Straw man and it is nothing like though nothing is perfect [ except one gear of course]

    tazzymtb
    Member

    junky- your science process flow chart would be more accurate if you added

    have idea -> find corporate sponsor for idea as long as it fits within a financial/political/lobby group agenda -> try to get idea peer reviewed….does idea conform to the established dogma or does it fly against large multinational organisations with a vested interest in the data being buried or against the politics of scientific journals etc…

    if it fits with an already established “old boys network” it gets approved.

    but your “faith” is endearing 😀

    if there was pure research on a “I wonder what happens if we do this basis” rather than “I need to find something to pay for my research for the next 10 years” it would be far more beneficial. But unfortunately human nature always comes into it, and man is ultimately is massively flawed.

    oh and nice ad hominem dig!

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