Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Study Suggests More People Willing to Believe in ESP When Told It's Been Scientifically Disproven

An article on alternet.org published in 2010 discusses a scientific study that showed people are more likely to believe in ESP if they are told that it has been disproven by scientists. The experiment was conducted at the University of Maryland by a team led by sociologist Heather Ridolfo:

Study Suggests More People Willing to Believe in ESP When Told It's Been Scientifically Disproven

Newly published research on belief in ESP suggests a public disregard for -- and perhaps even hostility toward -- the scientific consensus.

April 20, 2010 | Scientists wondering just how low faith in their field has fallen will get some uncomfortable answers in a study examining belief in Extrasensory Perception (ESP), recently published in the online journal Current Research in Social Psychology.

The researchers wrote:

“In fact, when participants believed that science rejected a claim, they moved in the direction of being more likely to accept the clam as true. This finding ran counter to our expectations, but is consistent with findings that trust in science is decreasing.”

Why would people be so distrustful of science? There are for them to be:

  • Most published scientific research findings are false.

  • Many of the most important scientific discoveries, including some that eventually were awarded Nobel prizes, were initially ridiculed by scientists.

  • Many materialist pseudo-skeptics make misleading claims denying ESP and they incorrectly say that their claims are backed by science. This might create suspicion that science is not reliable.

Most people believe in ESP and the afterlife. People with more education are more likely to believe in ESP and the afterlife and most doctors believe in the afterlife. They believe this way not because of what science says, but because of their own paranormal experiences and the experiences of others. And they are right to do so. They recognize that ordinary people can know truth that Science denies. There is a vast amount of valid evidence for ESP and the afterlife, including scientific evidence validated by replication and published in peer-reviewed journals.

Whatever the reason, this research shows activist materialist pseudo-skeptics are hurting their cause when they try to spread their beliefs. It would be better for everyone if they stopped, because those beliefs can be harmful to other people.

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