Paranormal Round Table Discussion

The other day I was asked to sit in as a skeptic in a paranormal round table discussion.  It was a great time and can be heard here: www.para-help.com/sfrbobby/sfr_intothedark_bobby.mp3

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Interview with Professor Richard Wiseman about his new book “Paranormality: Why we see what isn’t there”

Professor Richard Wiseman

Professor Richard Wiseman

Recently on Strange Frequencies Radio, Korbus and I had the privilege of speaking with Professor Richard Wiseman about his new book “Paranormality: Why we see what isn’t there”.  The interview was amazing and it can be heard here: www.para-help.com/sfrbobby/sfr_show153_hour2.mp3 (right click and save as)

One thing Professor Wiseman told us during the interview was that he was having problems releasing this book in the US.  He went on to explain, that for whatever reason publishers are very reluctant to release a book this skeptical. 

On Professor Wiseman’s blog he wrote:  

“The book has done well in the UK and has been bought by publishers in lots of other countries. However, the major American publishers were reluctant to support a skeptical book, with some suggesting that I re-write it to suggest that ghosts were real and psychic powers actually existed! We didn’t get any serious offers and so it looked like the American public (around 75% of whom believe in the paranormal) wouldn’t get the opportunity to read about skepticism.”

This is a crying shame.  Wiseman openly admits, as he did on SFR, this book isn’t intended for people who already truly believe.  It is more for the people on the fence about paranormal phenomena.  I guess I don’t understand how people like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens can be published without being asked to change their opinion on the view of God.  Could you imagine what “The God Delusion” would have been like if Dawkins said at the end “though I am an atheist there is definitely strong evidence to support the existence of God.” 

The fact that the publishers asked Professor Wiseman to re-write that ghosts and psychics exist very insulting, not only to Wiseman but to anyone who has an open mind.  It’s like making Hitchens say “religion is evil, but God is great!” 

Anyway the book is available by going to http://www.richardwiseman.com/Paranormality.shtml pick it up, you won’t be sorry.

My Interview and Psychic Reading on ParaChallenged Radio

Recently I was a guest on ParaChallenged Radio with hosts Brian Easterwood and Kathy Barts.  I had a lovely time talking about the importance of skepticism, what to watch out for in psychic readings and even got a psychic reading of my own by self proclaimed psychic medium, Angel Garcia (which you will have to listen to in order to see the results).

To download this interview right click and save as: www.para-help.com/sfrbobby/parachallengedbobby.mp3

My Interview on Mind Cemetery

On 6/6/11 I was a guest on Mind Cemetery Radio with hosts Chip and Nicole Plescher.  Here is an overview Nicole wrote about the show.

“We had an AWESOME time with Bobby Nelson last time… well, I did!  Chip’s world got rocked up a little bit.  I ❤ Skeptic month!  In honor of skeptical month, pay homage to skeptical hippo  🙂  

Anyway, Bobby is what I would consider to be a good guy skeptic.  After last night’s discussion, I admire him almost as much as admire Penn after his skepticism letter.  It was a fun show.  Listen in below!

Bobby’s biggest complaint about the paranormal community is when people bastardize science into fitting their needs.  He co-hosts Strange Frequencies Radio, which airs on Sundays from 3-6PM EST.  He also has an awesome blog called Pork Rhine and he is the founder and contributor of Bent Spoon Magazine which is smart, insightful, and amazing.  Check out Bent Spoon if you have a minute… it really appeals to believers and non-believers alike.”

I must admit, this was one of my favorite shows I have ever been on.

To download this interview right click on the link and save as: www.para-help.com/sfrbobby/bobbymind.mp3

Interview with Professor Mark Alford – Quantum Physics and the Paranormal

On Sunday 6/5/11 I was privileged to speak with Professor Mark Alford about quantum physics and the paranormal. If you’re like us, you’ve heard weird, spooky sounding connections between ghosts, psychic powers, and even consciousness itself all tied to the behavior of subatomic particles. Not only is the evidence for any of the perceived paranormal phenomenon lacking, but the supposed relation to quantum realities is irresponsible.  Mark Alford, professor of physics at Washington University at St. Louis whose main research topic is in high density quark matter. You can find out more information by checking out: http://www.physics.wustl.edu/~alford/

To download this interview, right click the link and save as: www.para-help.com/sfrbobby/sfr_show150_hour2.mp3

Haunted Collector Review

This week on SFR we didn’t interview anyone, but we did talk a lot about the new paranormal reality show “Haunted Collector.”   

Check it out at

www.para-help.com/sfrbobby/sfr_show149_full.mp3

Right click and save as.

A Paranormal Debate with CPPI’s KD Foreman

Last Sunday on SFR Jason Korbus and I had a friendly debate on paranormal topics with CPPI’s KD Foreman.  KD and I have gone head to head before on PSI FI Radio, I guess you could call this part two.

To listen to this debate go to www.para-help.com/sfrbobby/sfr_show147_hour2.mp3

Right click on the link and save as.

“Am I Dead? – Prove I am Not” are you kidding me?

There are certain things I discuss with people that seriously make me stop and go “what the f**k am I doing?”  For instance, I am currently in a discussion called “Am I Dead? – Prove I am Not.” 

The person who started this conversation states “After reading some threads I came to the conclusion it’s impossible to prove if someone is dead or alive. Our normal tests of inanimate, starts to smell, mostly dirt and bones work for a level of dead.”

Ok first I have to say, we have biological proofs and characteristics to tell if someone or something is alive or not.  These fundamental characteristics are things such as cellular organization or made up of cells, the ability to obtain/use nutrition and energy from its environment, living organisms respond to stimuli, living things develop or grow and living organisms must be able to reproduce.

While I was explaining this to the person who I was having the conversation with, someone decided to try and pull a fast one over on me.  “What about hybrids?  They are alive but they can’t reproduce.”

Well first of all a hybrid isn’t a species and these characteristics have to be looked at when dealing with a species as a whole not individually.  Like I said before, when it comes to hybrids, they are not a species they are a mixture of 2 species. Species can reproduce within their own species, because each individual within the species has the same number of chromosomes. Hybrids can’t reproduce; if they could they would be a species.  I mean just because a human becomes infertile doesn’t mean he/she is suddenly nonliving. However if the whole human species were suddenly infertile, humans would cease to exist within a 125 years.  

However there are some hybrids that are fertile, certain plants and fertile canid hybrids occur between coyotes, wolves, dingoes, jackals and domestic dogs.

After I gave this explanation I was told: “The whole premise of your argument is that you have a correct perception of everything. That’s quite a high position to try and defend. There has been many great minds that have been mentioned already in this thread that questioned these same very premises and never found a satisfactory answer.

As for the point to the discussion, can there truly be something that we can “know” versus the esoteric repeatable and demonstrable evidence standard of strict science. Pondering these type of questions and stretching your mind will only lead to answers, not asking will only lead to ignorance.

The edges of science right now are finding all types of unusual rules such as quarks, squarks, selectrons, and more however philosophers spoke of these before Plato. It takes imagination, creativity, and intelligence to come up with ideas outside group consensus science. Science has problems describing some of the most innate things to humans beings like smell, feeling, and emotions. How can this be something we need to base all our logic on? I think talking about an idea that has been tested repeatedly is the worse intellectual suicide one can indulge in.”

This response made me laugh a little bit, mostly because I don’t really need to argue something that is fact. Death is the termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Termination means end in time or existence. To be dead would mean I can’t type this blog. Just because great minds thought of this question doesn’t somehow make it true, this is what is called an argument from authority. Also this person states that he has have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to tell whether or not someone is alive or dead. He is coming from the same stance on the opposite side of the fence. So could I not argue that he must know everything, not me?  I provided the biological ways to tell if something is living, he is still making the claim we don’t know, but has provided no sound reasoning except a thought.  So why is it ok for him to make such a certain claim?

As far as this individual claiming that “science has problems describing some of the most innate things to humans beings like smell, feeling, and emotions.”  This statement couldn’t be further from the truth, actually science has a very good understanding on how the body smells, feels and why we have emotions. 

And what would a conversation in the paranormal be without the appeal to quantum mechanics?  “The edges of science right now are finding all types of unusual rules such as quarks, squarks, selectrons, and more however philosophers spoke of these before Plato.”  First of all this is false, philosophers like Plato and before never spoke of sub atomic particles.  Also this response is 100% completely irrelevant to the conversation at hand.  Please stop talking about sciences you don’t understand, especially quantum physics.  

“Unlike you, I’m asking a question not stating a fact. I’m not acting an expert. The topic “Am I Dead?”. You are stating for a fact you know that death means the cease of biological function. If that’s the case I have a dead uncle right now yet his biological function is running great after having his heart stopped. People cease biological function all the time, some have even done it for up to an hour when chilled. So…. But really that’s beside the point that is trying to be made.

How can you prove your perception is the “correct” one? Do you understand what I mean by perception? This was more a question such as the Allegory of the Cave. Is there one way or another you can prove it? As others mentioned Simulation and Simulacrum pose similar questions and don’t try and tout that they “know” but rather what can be known”

No, this person did not ask a question he said and I quote “I came to the conclusion it’s impossible to prove if someone is dead or alive.” The word conclusion means you have come to a decision. This person is playing the same game Harold Camping plays, “I called the book 1994?”  Well sorry, but this doesn’t matter, he still made the prediction that the world would end in 1994 “?” be damned.  And yes you can prove whether or not something is alive or dead, the experiment is very simple. All you have to do is just kill something living and compare it with something that is still alive. Repeat it over and over again; I bet you will get the same exact results.

Anyway that is my rant, thanks for reading.

The Bent Spoon!!!

The Bent Spoon

The Bent Spoon

So last Friday the first issue of The Bent Spoon was released.  I have received a lot of positive feedback and comments (which I love).  If anyone would like to subscribe to receive a free copy every month in their inbox, just send an email to thebentspoon@live.com and in the subject line type “subscribe” and you will be added to the list. 

The Bent Spoon is a skeptical magazine for the true believer.  Within its pages you will find Q&A between those with opposing viewpoints, interviews with leading investigators and thinkers, as well as articles which will not only provide in-depth analysis, but also be critical of both believers and skeptics alike.  Along with reviews, comic strips, and other lighter fare, The Bent Spoon hopes to foster an attitude of outreach, forming a middle ground where believers and skeptics can come together and have a conversation about the issues and questions we’ve all given thought to.

Please tell your friends and leave feedback, we would love to hear from you!  

If you havent subscribed and would like to read issue 01, just click this link Bentspoon issue001

Interview on Haunted Voices Radio

On April 8th, 2011 I was invited to be a guest on a radio program called Haunted Voices to discuss what made me a believer in paranormal phenomena and what turned me into a skeptic.  Before I was interviewed, James “The Amazing” Randi was also on the program, so I left it all in for your listening pleasure.   

You can listen directly by going to: www.para-help.com/sfrbobby/randi.mp3 or you can right click the link and save as.