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Perhaps anomalous phenomena is a misnomer. The advocates assert that natural explanations in terms of observer error, unusual optical reflections, etc. are inadmissable. In their stead, theories which run counter to conventional science are asserted with little evidence.
IMHO, the above is unclear, but could and should be re-moved to the main page after it's expanded. I can't tell whether it's a meta-comment (about the choice of the name of the article) or a comment about, e.g., parapsychologists. Who are the "advocates" here (what do they advocate for)? Also "theories" about what, and who is asserting them? In short, is this what you mean?--

Some skeptics hold that anomalous phenomena is a misnomer, because this implies that there are real phenomena under study. Those who believe there are real phenomena to study--parapsychologists, for example--are said to assert that natural explanations of alleged "paranormal" phenomena cannot be explained in terms of observer error, unusual optical reflections, etc. Instead of these natural explanations, the parapsychologists (and others) advance theories that, skeptics maintain, run counter to conventional science and are supported by little evidence.

If that's what you mean, there must be a simpler way to say it. :-)

Was not [Quantum Physics]?, and even The [Chaos Theory]?, during initial postulation rejected by mainstream scientists as a sort of "pseudoscience?" It would seem to me that a discussion on Anomalous Phenomena and pseudoscience, any articles that expand upon these, might not be complete without inclusion of fields previously included in these categories, but is no longer labeled such. -Invictus

I wouldn't say so. Quantum physics met with a lot of resistance, but because the theory itself is unusual - the effects it explains were well-known at the time. Chaos theory is mathematics, so the question was whether the theory applied to the real world. In this case, it's not clear that there are effects or a theory to work with.

I'd say so, if what you say is true. What better person to make the change than you? --LS :-)
Apparently, either there are phenomena, or there is merely coincidence. A large enough body of regularly observed coincidence (as the case of "Audie Murphy," or the family relative whom each of us has who can always tell you when the phone is about to ring) will be finally expressed by the casual observer as a discrete phenomenon. If we are to take the position that there are no anomalous phenomena, then we should replace the page with "coincincidences, misperceptions and frauds." Otherwise "phenomena" is as good a tag as anything.

Let us take for example the practice of johrei, as practiced by the Johrei Fellowship, AKA Church of World Messianity. Here a practicioner, according to the tenets of the faith, wears a Chinese character in a pouch about his neck which serves to help attract a universal divine light. In an effort to alleviate the suffering of an afflicted person, he assumes a meditative mindset and holds his hand near the affected portion of that person's body, palm-facing, and "channels divine light" toward the area. Persons so ministered to frequently go through episodes of coughing or shivering, speak of warmth, tingling in the area, etc., and walk away (subjectively, at least) improved.

Skeptics will say "hogwash" or "placebo effect" or "fraud" (never mind that there is no financial incentive to perpetrate such a fraud) or whatever. But there will be a body of people who say - "This is a part of my life experience." That much, at least, I think qualifies the obervation as a "phenomenon." Certainly, there is no scientific physical explanation for what these people experience. That would probably qualify it as "anomalous." So, perhaps the page, category, or whatever is aptly named.

And there are, to be sure, any number of claimed experiences or observations for which there is no reliable evidence that they ever even happened. Do these rise to the level of "phenomena?" Perhaps not. To be on the safe side, our discussions of phenomena might do well to start out with things for which there is at least some credible corroboration that at least some event really occurred.

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Last edited August 6, 2001 4:31 am by General Wesc (diff)