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The Conscious Universe Exposed
What does the science really show?

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reader comments: Gary Schwartz

24 June 2009

I am a friend of skepticism, and there is much in the world to be skeptical about for the best of all reasons. If someone warned me that most people lie most of the time, I would not be skeptical because that is really quite plausible to me based on my experience.

reply: You've lost me already.

When a professional debunker takes aim against a scientist with laboratory data on his side, then the skepticism sword might cut both ways.

reply: I think that depends on whether the debunker is riding the high horse backwards with his sword dangling in the wrong place. Anyway, thank you for noticing that I am professional in my debunking.

As for Schwartz being a scientist with data on his side, I agree. Unfortunately, his data doesn't support the conclusions he says they do. If you read my review of Schwartz's Afterlife Experiments, you would know that his work proves nothing but his incompetence and arrogance.

Most of the objections to the conclusions of Dr. Schwartz inject a host of unnecessary complication suggesting Occum's [sic] Razor and its helpful guidance.

reply: No kidding. I'm not usually one to inject anything, especially if it is unnecessary. Does Occam's razor cut both ways, too?

If you read my review, you should know that my objections are not to his conclusions but to his methodology and his reasoning from the data to his conclusions.

Let us say a scientist has the credentials and the training. He conducts the experiments and publishes not only his findings but other metadata.

reply: Metadata? You've lost me again.

The fact that Schwartz has the education, training, and credentials to do potentially first-rate science makes it all the more baffling that he is such a jackass. My own personal opinion is that he is too emotionally invested in his hypotheses to be a fairminded observer of nature.

I believe the scientific response is to read them thoroughly and comment without egregious errors. Then, replicate the experiments. If they do not replicate under these circumstances, then there needs to be more inspection.

reply: Another response by a scientist, after having read how Gary Schwartz omits most of his data when submitting a paper for publication in one of the third-tier journals he publishes in, would be to laugh until his horse split his sides with his two-edged Occamite sword. No reputable scientist would bother trying to replicate the shams that Schwartz has participated in. You have read my review of his work, haven't you?

To dodge that requirement and move immediately and directly to scandized [sic] disbelief smacks of a conflict of interest and misleading self-interest.

reply: I'm not going to respond to any more of your acerbic witticisms until you quit getting personal. What I do with my interest and self-interest is my business alone.

I didn't know that a critic of a scientific experiment has an obligation to try to replicate the experiment. I must have missed school the day that lesson was passed on.

I believe the subject matter renders you irrational -- I believe you have an irrational objection to the possibility of life after death and a few other possibilities.

reply: Believe what you want. I will admit, however, that I nearly went mad reading and trying to find something teachable in Schwartz's Afterlife Experiments. I did that for several years because I wanted my students to see what the best research on the subject looked like.

Furthermore, my objection to the possibility of life after death is sublimely rational. If you ever want to do a serious experiment with your mind, spend an evening contemplating what it would be like to live forever.

Or possibly you are so invested financially in your role as professional debunker that you must squeeze it perpetually.

reply: Possibly. Then again, maybe not. What exactly did you have in mind by 'it' in "squeeze it perpetually"?

There is much about which to be skeptical.

Sincerely, Steve Baxter

reply: It took awhile, Steve, but you finally said something sensible! On the other hand, if you're a friend of skepticism, then I'm the Antichrist.

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