Some people will argue that the average person is not a good observer and that if they have a belief in paranormal phenomena, their bias will influence their perceptions and they may be susceptible to fraud or misidentifying ordinary phenomena as paranormal. For this reason, they argue that reports of paranormal phenomena are unreliable and should not be taken seriously.
However, this reasoning doesn't hold up when you consider that many eminent scientists of the past including Nobel Prize winners who were trained observers and initially skeptics became convinced, by their observations, that certain paranormal phenomena are genuine.
Before the development of modern electronics, observation was a much more important part of scientific education than it is today. Without radio telescopes, electron microscopes, analog to digital converters, and other instruments that make measurements beyond the range of human perception, scientists had to use their own senses to do their work and developing powers of observation was a significant part of their education.
Therefore, when Nobel prize winning scientists of that era such as Charles Richet, Marie Curie, Pierre Curie, and other eminent scientists like Robert Boyle, Alfred Russel Wallace, Oliver Lodge and William Crookes describe their observations, especially during controlled experiments, those observations have to be taken seriously. Particularly because most of them began as skeptics until their observations convinced them otherwise. A trained scientist, especially of those past times, was an objective and skilled observer and because of their skepticism cannot be considered analogous to a "true believer" who's bias might influence their perceptions.
All those arguments that call into doubt the ability of ordinary persons who believe in the paranormal to make reliable observations actually reinforce the compelling nature of the conclusions of these eminent researchers. For the most part, they began as skeptics so their bias would work against perceiving paranormal phenomena. The evidence must have been extraordinary to compel them to change their minds against their preexisting bias. As trained observers and skeptics their conclusions that paranormal phenomena are real must be considered reliable and compelling.
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