The Broken Technology of Ghost Hunting

#1
C C Offline
http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archi...ng/506627/

EXCERPT: [...] Designed to locate potentially harmful EMF radiation from nearby power lines or household appliances, the Safe Range has become popular for another use: detecting ghosts. [...] Yet it’s precisely because it’s not particularly good at its primary purpose that makes it a popular device for ghost hunters. Erratic, prone to false positives, easily manipulated [...] its popularity as a ghost hunting tool stems mainly from its fallibility.

[...] Ghost hunting was born out of a love of technological failure. In 1861, William H. Mumler [...] was studying the new trade of photography when the shadowy figure of a young girl appeared on a plate he was developing. [...] Mumler knew it to be an error, a consequence of accidentally reusing a plate that hadn’t been sufficiently scrubbed of its previous exposure. But then he showed the curiosity to a Spiritualist friend of his. [...] Mumler’s inadvertent invention of spirit photography cemented a connection between ghosts and technology that endures to this day—and specifically, the ways that mistakes and accidents of technology appear as manifestations of the paranormal. Consumer technologies from photography to telegraphy to radio to the internet are almost always immediately seized on by believers as offering further proof of the paranormal....
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#2
Magical Realist Offline
(Nov 21, 2016 11:17 PM)C C Wrote: http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archi...ng/506627/

EXCERPT: [...]  Designed to locate potentially harmful EMF radiation from nearby power lines or household appliances, the Safe Range has become popular for another use: detecting ghosts. [...] Yet it’s precisely because it’s not particularly good at its primary purpose that makes it a popular device for ghost hunters. Erratic, prone to false positives, easily manipulated [...] its popularity as a ghost hunting tool stems mainly from its fallibility.

[...] Ghost hunting was born out of a love of technological failure. In 1861, William H. Mumler [...] was studying the new trade of photography when the shadowy figure of a young girl appeared on a plate he was developing. [...] Mumler knew it to be an error, a consequence of accidentally reusing a plate that hadn’t been sufficiently scrubbed of its previous exposure. But then he showed the curiosity to a Spiritualist friend of his. [...] Mumler’s inadvertent invention of spirit photography cemented a connection between ghosts and technology that endures to this day—and specifically, the ways that mistakes and accidents of technology appear as manifestations of the paranormal. Consumer technologies from photography to telegraphy to radio to the internet are almost always immediately seized on by believers as offering further proof of the paranormal....

Except for the fact that ghosthunters routinely take baseline readings of a location before they start an investigation, this might actually have some credibility. Unfortunately it's just more baseless claims based on ignorance of what actually goes on in investigations..Including even old buildings that have no power, but in which they will register spikes of high emf at various moments and at outdoor locations like cemetaries where there are clearly no electrical sources..Here's an emf fluctuation with a meter being held totally still:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkkTrB5dsJM
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#3
Syne Offline

The supposed links between ghosts and electromagnetic fields, low temperatures, radiation, odd photographic images, and so on are based on nothing more than guesses, unproven theories, and wild conjecture. If a device could reliably determine the presence or absence of ghosts, then by definition, ghosts would be proven to exist. I own an EMF meter, but since it's useless for ghost investigations—it finds not spirits but red herrings—I use it in my lectures and seminars as an example of pseudoscience. The most important tools in this or any investigation are a questioning mind and a solid understanding of scientific principles.

The ghost hunters' anti-scientific illogic is clear: if one area of a home is colder than another, that may indicate a ghost; if an EMF meter detects a field, that too may be a ghost; if dowsing rods cross, that might be a ghost. Just about any "anomaly," anything that anyone considers odd for any reason, from an undetermined sound to a "bad feeling" to a blurry photo, can be (and has been) considered evidence of ghosts.

I was even at one investigation where a ghost supposedly caused a person's mild headache. Because the standard of evidence is so low, it's little wonder that ghost hunters often find "evidence" (but never proof) of ghosts." - http://www.livescience.com/4261-shady-sc...nting.html

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#4
Magical Realist Offline
I have a K2 meter. It registers levels of emf via colored lights from green to yellow to red. One night in my old apt I registered red levels in the chair I was sitting in. This is abnormal. Normally the levels are green at most. I never figured out why the emf would be so intense there for just that moment. But I doubt it was generated from anything technological.

https://www.amazon.com/K-II-EMF-Meter-Gh...B001PFPTCS
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#5
Syne Offline
(Nov 22, 2016 01:02 AM)Magical Realist Wrote: This is abnormal.

"Just about any "anomaly," anything that anyone considers odd for any reason, from an undetermined sound to a "bad feeling" to a blurry photo, can be (and has been) considered evidence of ghosts." - http://www.livescience.com/4261-shady-sc...nting.html
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#6
Magical Realist Offline
(Nov 22, 2016 01:12 AM)Syne Wrote:
(Nov 22, 2016 01:02 AM)Magical Realist Wrote: This is abnormal.

"Just about any "anomaly," anything that anyone considers odd for any reason, from an undetermined sound to a "bad feeling" to a blurry photo, can be (and has been) considered evidence of ghosts." - http://www.livescience.com/4261-shady-sc...nting.html

Just about any anomalous energy reading measured scientifically by an electronic measuring device can be considered evidence of an anomaly.
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#7
Syne Offline
(Nov 22, 2016 01:22 AM)Magical Realist Wrote: Just about any anomalous energy reading measured scientifically by an electronic measuring device can be considered evidence of an anomaly.

It takes evidence to establish causation.
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#8
Magical Realist Offline
(Nov 22, 2016 02:03 AM)Syne Wrote:
(Nov 22, 2016 01:22 AM)Magical Realist Wrote: Just about any anomalous energy reading measured scientifically by an electronic measuring device can be considered evidence of an anomaly.

It takes evidence to establish causation.

Any empirical measurement of a phenomenal anomaly is evidence of that anomalous phenomenon.
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#9
Syne Offline
(Nov 22, 2016 02:05 AM)Magical Realist Wrote:
(Nov 22, 2016 02:03 AM)Syne Wrote:
(Nov 22, 2016 01:22 AM)Magical Realist Wrote: Just about any anomalous energy reading measured scientifically by an electronic measuring device can be considered evidence of an anomaly.

It takes evidence to establish causation.

Any empirical measurement of a phenomenal anomaly is evidence of that anomalous phenomenon.

LOL. "Anomalous phenomenon" literally means something we have not identified. If we knew the causation, it wouldn't be anomalous (i.e. deviating from what is expected).
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#10
Magical Realist Offline
(Nov 22, 2016 02:09 AM)Syne Wrote:
(Nov 22, 2016 02:05 AM)Magical Realist Wrote:
(Nov 22, 2016 02:03 AM)Syne Wrote:
(Nov 22, 2016 01:22 AM)Magical Realist Wrote: Just about any anomalous energy reading measured scientifically by an electronic measuring device can be considered evidence of an anomaly.

It takes evidence to establish causation.

Any empirical measurement of a phenomenal anomaly is evidence of that anomalous phenomenon.

LOL. "Anomalous phenomenon" literally means something we have not identified. If we knew the causation, it wouldn't be anomalous (i.e. deviating from what is expected).

Right..Not knowing the cause of an anomalous phenomena means it is anomalous. Or at least a phenomena we don't know the cause of. So what?
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