Part 2, continued from Scientific Theories of Psychic Phenomena Part 1
When an apparition of a person is seen near the time of his death, it is called a crisis-apparition. Evidence of crisis-apparitions comes in the form of anecdotes because their occurrence is not predictable and can't be studied in a laboratory. Because of this, initially it was not known if there was a true correlation between a sighting of an apparition and the death of the individual.
A previous post on this blog, Studying Personal Experiences, describes an investigation into crisis-apparitions. The investigation was intended to determine if there was a correlation between the death of a relative or acquaintance and seeing an apparition of them. If there was a correlation, it would seem to be an important area for scientific investigation because the known laws of science could not explain what could cause such correlation to occur.
The test to determine if there was a correlation between seeing an apparition of an individual and the time of their death was very simple.
- The coincidence of seeing an apparition of an individual near the time of his death should occur more frequently than can be explained by chance.
The investigators who carried out this test made a survey from which it was possible to determine the frequency at which apparitions were seen by members of the population of England. Then, using data on frequency of deaths, the probability of someone seeing an apparition of someone by chance coincidence near the time of his death was calculated. This was compared to the actual frequency of crisis-apparitions. It was found that seeing a crisis-apparition occurred much more frequently than chance coincidence could explain.
If this investigation had shown that crisis-apparitions occurred at a frequency expected by chance, the investigation would have falsified the theory that there is a correlation between a sighting of an apparition and the death of the person.
However this investigation demonstrated that there is a correlation between the death of a person and an apparition of a person being seen. This is an extremely important result because no known laws of science can explain it. It demonstrates that crisis-apparitions are a real phenomena worthy of scientific study.
To be continued...
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