Talk:Astral projection

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Bias ?[edit]

“We know how many possibilities there are for dimensions and we know what the dimensions do." is a ridiculous statement as it can have no basis in science, and a citation to a newspaper article doesn't hold much water. With no counter, or indication that it is opinion not fact, it is misleading and should have no place in a balanced article.31.53.198.23 (talk) 22:17, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

that might or might not be true, but it is a quote from a published source. There is a challenge to be made here though, which is that of whether or not a spokesperson from the Queensland skeptics society is wp:rs when it comes to quoting in an encyclopedia article in a section titled "scientific response". To place a quote under such a heading he would have to have some relevant position in the field he is talking about. I will have a look at the source and invite other editors to do the same. If the conclusion is that he is not wp:rs the the quote may need to be removed or the section title changed to be inclusive of skeptical responses from outside scientific fields. I agree that there's an issue.140.207.8.242 (talk) 05:40, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
a cursory glance at available material reveals 'Bob Bruce is a retired industrial engineer who has worked widely in government and private enterprise. He currently works as an IT Orange Card with Education Qld. He holds a double major in Psychology. He has been President of the Queensland Skeptics Association Inc since the turn of the century.' http://www.asc.asn.au/blog/2016/02/05/asc2016-bob-bruce/Edaham (talk) 05:46, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
It seems Bruce is talking about very basic mathematics, the type engineers know inside out. That means he is amply qualified to say it. "Dimension" is one of those words scientists and their ilk are well-acquainted with, but which sound high-level to laymen. Thus, they are used by crackpots to impress those laymen. "Energy" and "field" are other such words. --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:54, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
I take it that that is your suggestion to leave the paragraph alone. Thanks for your response. For my part, I'd prefer that section to be populated with information taken from scientific journals containing commentary from actual scientists. I don't have an issue with what Bruce said. A source is a source. I have issue with him being quoted in a section which deals with scientific consensus, because he isn't a scientist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Edaham (talkcontribs) 09:08, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
Scientific journals do not mention such bollocks as astral projection. Skeptics are as scientific as it is going to get. Robert Todd Carroll and James Randi, who are quoted in the same section, aren't scientists either but what they and Bruce say is pretty what a scientist would say - indeed, Rawcliffe and Wiggins do say the same thing. Maybe we should change the heading? --Hob Gadling (talk) 22:55, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

Biased lead / irrelevance of science[edit]

The last two sentences of the current lead ("There is no ... to the contrary.) bear no relevance to the topic. Science deals, inherently, with testable phenomena, and non-physical phenomena are not testable. The lead makes it seem that science may or may not verify the claims that astral projection relies on, and that further research may provide elucidations. In other words: it falsely implies astral projection to be a subject of science, which it is not (again, by the very nature of science).

Regardless of whether or not the statements are true, they have no place in the article for the sole reason that (as I have shown above) they are irrelevant. Not only are they erraneous, but also, perhaps more importantly, do they hurt the perceived view of astral projection by - albeit subtly - portraying it negatively. It comes off as if it tries to alert the reader that there is something wrong with astral projection by presenting the views of a discipline that is not related to the subject, and, by placing these statements in the lead, it overexaggerates the significance of these claims. Such a blatant bias is unacceptable. I propose that the two sentences be removed from the lead, as well as the first paragraph of the section on scientific reception (which is but a repetition of these sentences) be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Antithesisx (talkcontribs) 20:25, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Oppose. Our objective as Wikipedians is not to present a subject in a positive or negative manner, but to present relevant material about the subject that appears in reliable secondary sources. This material is certainly relevant. The definition of astral projection includes an "interpretation of out-of-body experience", and one must use the brain to make that interpretation. Consequently, the brain can be studied and tested, and there are various branches in science devoted to the study of the brain, consciousness, perception, etc. -Location (talk) 00:18, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Can you name one branch of science that deals with consciousness and that get taken seriously by scientists outside that field? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.241.169.88 (talk) 16:33, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Cognitive science. It's also a topic of research in psychology, neuropsychology, and neuroscience. Do you also want me to name one branch of science that deals with the brain and that gets taken seriously by scientists outside that field? -Location (talk) 17:58, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Cognitive science doesn't deal with consciousness qua consciousness, inasmuch as there are no testable theories (which also turn out not to be obviously flawed) to deal with certain aspects of consciousness within the body of cognitive science. Cognitive science is essentially the research project spawned by functionalism, which likens the mind to a computer--on this view, the mind is the software run by the brain, which is a very complex computer of a certain kind. But no one has proposed any bottom-up theories for how qualitative experience may come about as the result of just so much neural processing which also achieve anything like consensus within the field. There may be no scientific evidence for astral projection, but then, there's no obvious way to test for the existence of an astral body.

What concerns me about this discussion is that skeptics seem to want, on the one hand, to endorse the epistemic standard of science, and on the other, treat the body of science as metaphysically delimiting. That is, if there's no scientific evidence for it, skeptics seem to say, it must not be real. But the justification for that belief rests on the epistemic standard of science, which in no way endorses that very claim--where is the scientific evidence that only what science says exists is what exists? I propose adding something to the effect that astral projection is, like many other proposed phenomena, simply not testable at our present level of understanding. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.97.203.106 (talk) 14:10, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

The first comment says "non-physical phenomena are not testable" - that's crazy. It is definitely testable. The fact is that it's failed, and supporters want it to pass, so the argument is made. If you're here to argue against science you might as well leave before you get banned for violating FRINGE. DreamGuy (talk) 20:21, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Ask a neuroscientist. Experiential phenomena are barely understood by scientific standards. The science of consciousness stands on much shakier ground than normal neuroscience. Consciousness does not lend itself to objective quantification. What this user is expressing isn't fringe. In fact it is something you will hear from scientists. Freud spent his life trying to legitimize psychology as a pure science, but the fact is much of the field depends more on qualitative than quantitative data. Even in clinical psych. Threatening that a user may be banned seems like an inappropriate response to a sensible disagreement. An attempt to shut him down instead of engage him. And describing it as having failed the test of verifiability does not make it pseudoscience. Especially if it predates science and does not present itself as scientific. We still haven't found a photon or a gravitron yet. Science used to rely on caloric heat theory until the paragdigm shifted. It wasn't abandoned because they couldn't find the mysterious caloric particle; it was abandoned when they found a better explanation that worked. And to represent astral projection practitioners as a singular unit with a singular goal is a gross misrepresentation. (for the record: I don't care about AP per se, and I am largely a rationalist, but I hate to see 'rationalism' used to dismiss things we don't fully understand)(talk) 19:03, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Good grief. If you're a rationalist it's weird to see you defend a fringe topic like this. That's not what a rationalist does. See WP:FRINGE and WP:NPOV in general for how Wikipedia treats it. DreamGuy (talk) 20:27, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't know about you, but I have found many photons. For a gravitron, try the county fair. Neither is relevant here; it amounts to the argument that, if we don't know everything, then we must not know anything. --Amble (talk) 20:46, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
That is a gross oversimplification. I'm not defending a subject and I have no opinions on the subject. I merely chafe at poor verbiage from people who would fill anthropological subjects with ill-fitting scientific language. Rationalism doesn't consist in misapplying the label pseudoscience. Consciousness is an incredibly complex subject that is hard to turn into quantifiable data. Pure science needs numbers, and most forms of psych don't meet that standard. Neuropsychology comes closer but is also a young field. Using the scientific method makes psychology scientific but not necessarily a science. This is a mainstream understanding of psychology. One you will hear from psyhologists themselves as well as rationalists, some of whom would deem psychology a pseudoscience. Pick up a Routledge guide and learn how one writes about non-scientific subjects, because it is not simply throwing condescending labels on anything that doesn't fit into a certain Weltanschauung. You need to think more like an anthropologist on an article like this. We don't call reincarnation a pseudoscience, we call the scientists who try to prove it pseudoscientists. It's only when imposing a pure rationalism onto a non-rational practice that we encounter these clashing ideologies. We don't fill up the article on Christianity with rationalist perspectives as prevalent as they are. We don't use the bible to define Judaism or Buddhism. So why write about this from a scientific voice? It is not always the same thing as an encyclopedic voice. The scientific voice belongs mostly to a section on 'scientific understanding' or 'mechanism'. And for the record: I am not against the word appearing in the lead, as long as it is phrased correctly (though the same idea can be expressed without the implicit condescension it brings). It is only in trying to explain it as scientific that we encounter pseudoscience. Outside of that it doesn't claim to be a science. It's not astral projectology.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 00:50, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
It can't avoid being called pseudoscience when that's what the reliable sources say. Fringe topics try to find dodges all the time. Reincarnation is also a pseudoscience. Articles about Christianity SHOULD be from a rational, historical view... but the true believers there have taken the articles over. That's their problem, not an excuse to let the true believers in other topics take theirs over too. All your talking about what should and shouldn't be here is original research of your own thoughts. That's also prohibited here. Have you read WP:FRINGE yet? That is official, and gives you an idea of how Wikipedia really should work. DreamGuy (talk) 03:16, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the term "astral projection" originated in theosophical circles in the late 1800's and has from the start been consistently been presented as a scientific topic within a broader range of scientific research into spiritual or occult practices [1][2][3]. This doesn't support your idea that claims about astral projection are non-scientific rather than pseudoscientific.
The rest of what you wrote doesn't seem to be related to the topic at all. You're welcome to clarify why it is that you think photons can't be detected, and what that has to do with anything. --Amble (talk) 01:05, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes the term developed there but as a term for a phenomenon they observed. Everything the theosophists did they tried to explain with science. The lack of hermeneutical understanding here is baffling. The practice predates the name. It is simply a modern name for out of body experiences where one feels they are traveling through space without their body. It is something that happens frequently in a number of shamanic and tantric traditions. In that context it is not presented as science. And if you read carefully, you might notice I said we can't see photons. Observing their impact is completely different. But that was a silly point that you continue to come back to. No one has truly addressed the lack of quotable citation. and : "Reincarnation is also a pseudoscience. Articles about Christianity SHOULD be from a rational, historical view... but the true believers there have taken the articles over." Do you not see that you are soapboxing here? Those do not meet the dictionary definition of pseudoscience, which you might look up by-the-way. I am not a proponent or practitioner of AP in any way. I have literally never tried it. I am a graduate student studying ancient yogic practices and I know how to write about these subjects without POV. I just recognize poorly written biased dreck. You might pick up a Routledge guide, AP style guide or anything on how to write in a balanced voice. It is not encyclopedic voice to write about all non-scientific subjects from a critical view. We write with NPOV. It's amusing that you want to play Richard Dawkins or Bill Maher here, but that is not how other encyclopedias are written. You have a clear agenda that you're not even trying to hide and that doesn't belong here. We don't write with an agenda; we represent a balanced perspective. Find the reputable etic quote that says "astral projection is pseudoscience". Or even an emic quote that says AP is a science. That would be a start.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 03:04, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Since I did read carefully, I know that you did not in fact write that we can't "see" photons. You wrote that we have never found one. I agree with you that either one is a silly thing to say. Thank you for acknowledging that the people who developed and popularized astral projection promoted it as scientific. --Amble (talk) 08:02, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Knowing they exist from inference is not the same as seeing a photon which is what I clearly mean by having found one. If you can't observe it directly it isn't 'found'. It's simply part of the working paradigm. We observe an effect attributable to the theoretical presence of photons. Just like a soul and an astral plane are theoretical explanations for certain experiences that occur in the mind (though not an effective scientific paradigm for its mechanism). But really this is a stupid point (stupid to debate it, not stupid to use it as an example). I didn't come here to argue about photons. It was one small example that you are using as the basis for personal attacks now while not addressing my points.
I obviously do not in any way "acknowledge that the people who developed and popularized astral projection promoted it as scientific". Not even all theosophists did. They simply started its scientific promotion (in a time when we knew much less about the mind). This modern movement that coined the neologism 'astral projection' for what was already a siddhi in yogic literature call ūtkrana (leaving the body at will) began the pseudoscientific chapter of astral projection's history. No source says they began the practice. Their developmental contributions to it are negligible. They co-opted it and elaborated on it, like they did with kundalini and reincarnation and everything else they tainted. This is why none of these reliable source defines it as a pseudoscience. Like all things soul, it's just pseudoscience to try to prove its objective existence. If there was anything verifiable about your argument you would save us all a lot of time and find a quote to support it.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 07:51, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
I no longer can tell what exactly you're trying to say about photons. I can see them, I have found many of them, I can detect them in various ways. You may as well call a banana a theoretical construct as a photon. If you just want to say that there are preexisting non-scientific traditions that predate the pseudoscientific version called astral projection, that suggests these traditions should not be covered under the heading of astral projection in the first place. --Amble (talk) 17:05, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Oh my god. Who cares about photons. I'm sorry you don't understand the difference between a theoretical particle and one we can measure, but it's clearly a distraction and all you want to talk about. Anything to say on the issues instead of trying attack your opponent? All I'm saying is you do not have a source that makes the distinction of "is a pseudoscience" instead of describing its empirical study as pseudoscientific. I'm only debating verifiability. Not trying to defend anything. Just pointing out bad writing, which was already removed. Do you have any evidence, or do you just want to play ad hominem all day? Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 17:43, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

...astral projection is considered pseudoscience.[edit]

"...astral projection is considered pseudoscience" was added to the lead, but I have not seen that sources make this assertion. Listing astral projection in a book that happens to have pseudoscience in the title does not allow us to synthesize that "astral projection is considered pseudoscience", especially in Wikipedia's voice. Those wishing to keep this content need to provided evidence that this is a widespread view, in the form of at least a few science-based sources that unequivocally say so. - MrX 12:56, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

It's not synthesis, it's common sense that if a book on pseudoscience devotes substantial coverage to some topic, then it's pseudoscience. Astral projection is obvious pseudoscience and the current sources (and many more besides) also support that. In general ledes should also mirror the body, so attacking a lede (alone) which does so is damaging. Suggest if still in doubt, raise a query at WP:FT/N. Alexbrn (talk) 13:17, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
That's not how Wikipedia works. It would be like citing a book called Cooking with chicken that has a recipe with no chicken, but only tofu (mock chicken). We would not then be allowed to synthesize that tofu is a type of meat. Please cite specific passages in reliable sources that support a widespread view that astral projection is considered pseudoscience. If you're unable or unwilling to do that, and wish to force your POV into the lead, we can raise the issue at WP:ORN to get broader input. - MrX 14:25, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah but if an encyclopedia of pseudoscience has an entry on a topic, then it's in scope. Or just look at something like Shermer:
I'll ping WP:FT/N. Alexbrn (talk) 14:38, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Plenty of high quality academic WP:RS sources make this assertion (as now cited in the article). There is no question that this represents a mainstream, i.e. widespread view. - LuckyLouie (talk) 15:00, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Obvious Pseudoscience, per Alex and Louie. -Roxy the dog™ woof 15:11, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
WP:NOTAVOTE.- MrX 15:37, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
@LuckyLouie: You added Gardener which says "Anyone online can turn on [sic] a search engine to contact [sic] a thousand websites devoted to pseudoscience, the paranormal, and the occult. Yahoo! lists multiple sites on biorhythm, alchemy, ghosts, astral projection, crop circles, dowsing, spontaneous human combustion, the hollow earth...". Astral projection is in the realm of the occult and the paranormal, but I'm not seeing evidence in this source that the author is claiming that it's "considered pseudoscience". Gardener is a writer for the Skeptical Inquirer, not an academic.
You added Grim who is an academic, but his offhanded comment about fraud doesn't pass muster as a widespread academic view on the subject of astral projection. Part of the problem with this article is that it vastly overlaps, and should probably be merged with, Out-of-body experience. Then there should be sections for the scientific studies, religious beliefs, and pseudoscience claims, and a lead that states that their are different cultural and scientific points of view on the subject. This reminds me of the attempts to shoehorn faith healing in the category of pseudoscience. - MrX 15:37, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
All of the references are unequivocally explicit when read in context by any reasonable person. If you believe that the sentence "astral projection is considered pseudoscience" must appear in each reference in order to "pass muster", I feel you are quite mistaken. - LuckyLouie (talk) 15:55, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
I disagree, and I believe I am a reasonable person. I'm not saying that we need a literal statement. I'm saying we need words from the sources that are equivalent in meaning to claims that we write in Wikipedia's voice. See WP:WikiVoice. Clearly, there are folks who promote astral projection as if it had a basis in science. There are also people who simply believe that it's real because of their own experiences, or their religious beliefs, or a combination of the two. It is false to assert that ""astral projection is considered pseudoscience" when some consider it pseudoscience, some consider it paranormal, and some consider it to be based on faith. This is why we require attribution, or strong evidence that something is a widely-held belief. The second paragraph of the lead is not a reasonable summary of the article, which covers various cultural belief systems. We refer to things like perpetual motion machines and homeopathy as pseudoscience, because they're based on scientific claims. We don't label concepts like God, spirit and afterlife as pseudoscience because the knowledge of those subjects are not based on scientific claims. - MrX 17:10, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Sounds like a wording issue. I offered an alternative that may or may not get around it. jps (talk) 17:23, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Your wording sounds OK to me, but the Cosmo piece doesn't strike me as a reliable source. It addresses astral projection via a mention that it appeared on the syllabus of a class the author once took on the subject of pseudoscience. If that's needed, there's all kinds of online material from the prof. --Amble (talk) 22:42, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Go ahead an remove it if you want. My feeling is that we were getting pretty caught up in the absurdity of the sourcing when what we're talking about here is hardly an academic matter. People who argue that they can achieve astral projection rarely do so in the context of academic discourse. Cosmo is closer to the typical venue. jps (talk) 02:18, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
I removed the cosmo source and the second instance of one that was repeated. --Amble (talk) 03:32, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Good grief. Sources say its pseudoscience, and it is pseudoscience. The ArbCom probably even said that. DreamGuy (talk) 20:18, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes it is blatant pseudoscience. The same sort of thing is happening at Akashic records. Various believers want to remove pseudoscience from the lead. JuliaHunter (talk) 15:14, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
To say it is pseudoscience implies it is treated as a science by its practitioners. The idea that you can accurately create remote vision or travel to other planets might be untrue or unscientific, but that does not mean astral projection is primarily presenting itself as a science. Attempts to prove the experiences are real is the pseudoscience. The activity itself is just a phenomenon that people do experience (whatever its reality may be). This is like saying meditation is a pseudoscience. It's like saying using hallucinogens is a pseudoscience. Astral projection is an experiential phenomenon. It is only specific applications and studies of it that we could call pseudoscience. But as an aside: yes you absolutely need to use sources that have a quote expressing "astral projection is a pseudoscience". Otherwise a book on pseudoscience could just as easily end its entry by concluding it is genuine (not to say it would). Or the source might just say studies of it are pseudoscientific. Its inclusion in a book on the subject does not mean we can define it as such when it may just be a related theme. That's why we have a synthesis policy. Astral projection can be used in pseudoscience without being definable as a pseudoscience. I feel like some editors are over-eager to put disparaging labels in places they don't quite fit. Just because it isn't a 'rational' worldview, doesn't make it a pseudoscience.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 18:23, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
And to those rationalists eager to put a large phenomenon under a narrow label, I offer a quote from a great scientist: “The positivists have a simple solution: the world must be divided into that which we can say clearly and the rest, which we had better pass over in silence. But can anyone conceive of a more pointless philosophy, seeing that what we can say clearly amounts to next to nothing? If we omitted all that is unclear, we would probably be left completely uninteresting and trivial tautologies.”

― Werner Heisenberg Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 18:38, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Oh, good. I was hoping we might have some quantum quackery dredging up the quotes of Heisenberg or Bohr or Einstein. jps (talk) 21:16, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
Is condescension passing for debate now?Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 00:17, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Why did you try to bring up a "critique" of a "rational worldview" if you can't take the criticism of your argument as being quantum flapdoodle? jps (talk) 08:52, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

I changed the part that claimed that scientific understanding of the mechanism is a pseudoscience to just the topic is pseudoscience to fit what the experts and sources really say. Saying it is the mechanism presupposes it is really real, which Wikipedia shouldn't pick a pro-fringe side for. See WP:FRINGE. We can't talk weasel words around it. It's pseudoscience, period. DreamGuy (talk) 03:02, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

You haven't responded to any of the points we've brought up. You are editing without even attempting to make a consensus. Wikipedia doesn't pick sides, fringe or other. It lists all sides that meet notability standards. The idea that all of astral projection "just is pseudoscience" has yet to be backed up with a quote from these citations. And good sources should be written specifically on AP, not on pseudoscience. The fact that it has a pseudoscientific subcommunity (fringe to the larger movement) does not mean the rest of it pretends to be scientific. Nor do I believe your sources say so. To be a pseudoscience it has to present itself as science. It preadates scientific method and the majority of its existence was and still is completely outside of the scientific milieu. Its presentation as a pseudoscience is the wholly etic fringe opinion here. There is nothing cited to suggest the larger community of practitioners embrace it as scientific. No one is saying its claims are real (or that it is an encyclopedia's job to make conclusions), it just means it doesn't masquerade as a science. When it does, then it's pseudoscience. The remaining majority of the time it does not. It doesn't use or misuse any scientific methods as a collective whole. Only fringe elements within it do. Your describing the whole with a description that only fits a segment of the modern movement. That segment must be described relative to your claim because it is blatantly wrong to say the entire movement is pseudoscience. It certainly would have to explicitly say so in your yet-to-be-quoted sources. It's like saying all religion is pseudoscience because dianetics is a pseudoscience. Dianetics claims as a whole to be scientific so it as a whole can be deemed a pseudoscience. Does any practice that presupposes a soul or subtle body qualify by your standards as pseudoscience? Meditation, prayer, yoga, t'ai chi? Only a discipline that claimed to study the soul through a scientific methodology could be pseudoscience. You may as well say dreaming is pseudoscience. Do you not see the faulty logic behind your biased verbiage? Could you try debating the issue enough to appear to be reading the talk page. That's why we have talk pages. This kind of blind bias is what makes me ashamed of self-styled rationalists. Have you ever studied how to write anthropologically? You don't assume a critical tone. The article should not take a view for or against AP. Find me an encyclopedia (not of pseudosciences, but a real generic encyclopedia) that makes this claim.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 03:35, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Have you read WP:FRINGE yet? It answers your many questions and proves you wrong. I don't care if *you* think I didn't answer you, because your not talking Wikipedia policy. Your just telling us what *you* think. We don't care. DreamGuy (talk) 15:22, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
And putting a welcome to wiki WP:OR template on my talk page is just weird. If you think I've made an OR claim, point it out here please. Right now the accusation from multiple editors is that your edit is synthesis or OR. You need to give us a quote that says explicitly 'astral projection as a whole is a pseudoscience'. The fact that it is relevant to the topic of pseudoscience is not the same as saying it is pseudoscience. I would aruge your own citations agree more with me pending a conclusive quote. Because the common definition via google is "pseu·do·sci·ence /ˌso͞odōˈsīəns/, noun, 1. a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method". So are you claiming the entire movement is regarded as based on scientific method? Because that isn't suggested by any source I've found or can find on JSTOR, google scholar or elsewhere. You honestly can't believe the broader prescientific practice claims to be based on the scientific method. That doesn't make sense. Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 03:48, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Do you even read anything you don't type here? The reasons for labeling your edits as COI are in the edit comments and here. DreamGuy (talk) 15:22, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Most of the believers in astral projection tolerate if not outright promote the claim that there is scientific evidence for astral projection. That's pseudoscience right there. jps (talk) 08:27, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
Being science minded and all, I'm sure you will point to the data detailing the sample population of believers, the selection criteria, the methodology, and the actual numbers (>50%) of those believers determined to "tolerate if not outright promote" a scientific basis for their beliefs. Take a moment to think about it before answering.- MrX 12:54, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't matter what you or anyone here thinks. It matters what the reliable sources say. To claim otherwise is WP:OR.DreamGuy (talk) 15:16, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I'll be even more blunt then: anyone who says that there is scientific evidence for astral projection is full of shit. jps (talk) 16:28, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
If there are sources to support the assertion "Most of the believers in astral projection tolerate if not outright promote the claim that there is scientific evidence for astral projection". Otherwise it doesn't belong in this discussion. Let's stay focused on sources (all of them) and try to keep personal views to ourselves.- MrX 17:00, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
There is no precedence for forbidding statements in discussion on the basis of sourcing. I didn't argue that we should say in article space that most of the believers in astral projection tolerate if not outright promote claims of scientific evidence for their belief. Nonetheless, this is true about believers in this most ludicrous of ideas. jps (talk) 17:57, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

The new wording, "to the extent that believers say there is scientific evidence for such", is also weasel words and OR. If you don't come up with something more fitting to Wikipedia I will remove it. DreamGuy (talk) 15:16, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

I disagree. That's the definition of pseudoscience. It's certainly not original research to point it out. If someone says that, "astral projection is a flavor of ice cream" they aren't practicing pseudoscience. We're just letting the reader know what pseudoscience is. All the sources we have do that in the broader sense. jps (talk) 16:28, 29 November 2015 (UTC)
I didn't say "claims about astral projection are non-scientific rather than pseudoscientific". I said it's only pseudoscientific when it is claimed as science. That's the absolute definition of pseudoscience. When a kundalini teacher makes you hyperventilate and have a vasovagal response and tells you you're astral projecting, it's a completely different flavor of BS. But not pseudoscience until he says "we can measure the soul leaving the body by weighing you during the practice". Once scientific standards are applied to something non-scientific it becomes pseudoscientific. Until that point it is just not science of the real or fake variety. Pointing out the dictionary definition of the word is hardly OR.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 03:11, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Even the skeptics phrase it the same way we did [4]. They say there isn't evidence it exists as an objective phenomenon and that pseudoscientific claims to that affect are not accepted as science. Not that it is pseudoscience, only that when people claim it is real to material science are those claims pseudoscientific. This is what all the sources you're hiding behind say. That's why you can't pull a quote. To practice it as a skeptic, which is possible, is not to practice pseudosciene. To claim it as objectively real is pseudoscience. That context needs to be expressed.Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 04:13, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
This is all mental gymnastics. If you accept that when the yogi says that they can measure the soul leaving the body (which they do) then they are promoting pseudoscience then we are in agreement. If you think there are skeptics who practice astral projection, I encourage you to point us to who these skeptics are. jps (talk) 12:11, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes I accept that when he says he can measure the soul leaving the body it is pseudoscience. That's my whole point. No source claims that is a universal characteristic of AP. If you accept that when said yogi makes no claims within the realm of science he is not practicing pseudoscience, then we agree. Otherwise he is merely practicing an occult belief and presenting it as such. It would seem to be a common sense distinction. It's only the context that makes it pseudoscience. This is a simple association fallacy. Your characterizing a phenomenon by a selection bias of some groups who practice it. Just because there is pseudoscience within AP does not mean AP is entirely with pseudoscience. I've yet to find the author who claims it is.
When someone says they talk to angels, they are hardly masquerading as scientists. Nor would a faith healer claim to be a scientist. They might be con-artists and they might be delusional, but neither of those are pseudosciences. If a priest does an excorcism: not pseudoscience. When an auditor uses an e-meter to do the same thing and puts the word science in their name: pseudoscience.
To practice AP or lucid dreaming or OBE does not even require the belief in an actual subtle body or an astral plane. By the same token, a mystic who practices hypnotism is not a pseudoscientist, but you could argue that a psychiatrist who uses hypnotism is a pseudoscientist. That's why none of these authors say directly that it is a pseudoscience. It is just a subject within pseudoscience. Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 16:34, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
You're splitting hairs. The tolerance for the pseudoscientific claims associated with astral projection is such that the sources we have clearly indicate that (1) there is no explicit disavowal of that sort of argumentation by astral projection believers and (2) such argumentation is made frequently when it comes to this subject. Ergo, it is not unreasonable to identify the arguments that say, "astral projection is scientifically verifiable" as pseudoscientific arguments. It is further not unfair to associate such arguments with the general belief in astral projection because there is no explicit disavowal of this kind of approach to the subject seen in the literature. Even if not everyone takes that tack, the fact that this kind of pseudoscience is accepted generally is only to say that believers report, when asked, that they think it is fair and relevant to identify the claims that astral projection can be measured, quantified, observed, or phenomenologically deduced. Inasmuch as there is an "association" it is an association with people who say they believe in astral projection with others who say they believe in astral projection which is as good as we can do in writing this tertiary source (it is not our job to decide whether each and every person believes precisely the same thing -- we merely go by what the sources identify as the common or expounded-upon beliefs). To be clear, it is not necessary to "play scientist" to promote pseudoscience. A topic does not get shielded from the "pseudoscience critique" just because the people making the argument are not doing so in a laboratory or in an academic department devoted to scientific investigation, for example. The sources we have in the article are pretty clear in any case; the arguments that attempt to explain astral projection are something other than a hallucination or a delusion are all pseudoscientific. jps (talk) 17:04, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
It is not splitting hairs to say there is a difference between a belief and a pseudoscience. The fact that there is no explicit disavowel is meaningless. Absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. "the sources we have clearly indicate that (1) there is no explicit disavowal of that sort of argumentation by astral projection believers". Where do they say there is no explicit disavowel? What is the quote? That's all you have to do to win this argument is give a quote. As it stands your claim exceeds your sources' claims. Besides: proving a negative is a flimsy premise that these authors (unlike you) don't waste their time with. Those sources that don't practice it with a scientific belief don't talk about it in a scientific voice. Especially as an historical practice which existed outside of the scientific milieu. It's just another name for the definitive shamanic practice of entering the dream/spirit/astral world/plane/reality. As an ancient taosist/egyptian/Hindu practice it is not a pseudoscience. It is a prescientific belief. That's a huge distinction. These sources don't explicitly say it isn't scientific because they don't address anything scientifically. "(2) such argumentation is made frequently when it comes to this subject." Made frequently is not the same saying they characterize the entire movement. This is a fallacy of interpolation. The burden of proof is on you to show that these authors say it is a pseudoscience and not just related to pseudoscience in certain modern contexts. A seemingly simple task no one has managed to do. "it is not our job to decide whether each and every person believes precisely the same thing" yes it is not our job, and yet it is what you are doing by misrepresenting your sources. Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 17:54, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
The claim that belief in astral projection is "pre-scientific" is not backed up in any source I've seen. Perhaps you'd like to point to one. In the meantime, astral projection is fairly firmly established as a pseudoscientific claim in many venues. Trying to identify when "astral projection" is occurring or some other idea is perhaps an interesting game to play. Shamanism tends to use terms other than "astral" to describe their interaction with the spirit world, for example. jps (talk) 22:07, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
@I9Q79oL78KiL0QTFHgyc: This subject can't be reduced down in that manner, no matter what kind of mental gymnastics one tries to employ. It gives undue weight to more current, Western new age view points and completely ignores multiple cultural beliefs which are substantially relevant to an article in a global encyclopedia. If you tried to do this with an article like afterlife you would get exactly no where. If you tried to do this with resurrection of Jesus you would likely end up topic banned for aggressively pushing a POV. All of these articles have one major thing in common: the belief that consciousness exists independent of a physical body. You also seem to conflating hallucination with perception. We don't refer to dreams, memories, or intuition as hallucinations for good reason. - MrX 18:10, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I have not seen anyone be topic banned for pointing out that people don't physically rise from the dead and neither did Jesus. This is covered rather plainly in the extensive historicity sections of the page to which you link. Likewise, to claim that consciousness is independent of the brain is pretty much always a pseudoscientific claim. Conversely, here is a belief that has not been argued over in great detail. The metaphorical interpretation of astral projection is not sourced here. Please let me know when you find a source that does so. jps (talk) 22:07, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

That has nothing at all to do with my previous comment. We are still talking about hard score skepticism and attempts to brand multiple subjects as pseudoscience. cf. faith healing. I also never mentioned metaphors, so I decline to produce sources for that particular tangent.- MrX 22:27, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
You read WP:FRINGE yet? Seems like it would answer all of your questions. DreamGuy (talk) 00:50, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm kind of surprised this debate is still going on. There are 8 citations to high quality reliable sources. I seriously doubt all these authors somehow erroneously listed astral projection as an example of pseudoscience. - LuckyLouie (talk) 01:08, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
First: I like the current edit, the point is to not restore the old one that says it is a pseudoscience. It currently says "Claims of scientific evidence of astral projection are pseudoscientific" which is a close variation on the wording I used before. But this is the point. These sources list it as an example of where you can see pseudoscience. None of them call it "a pseudoscience". I feel you're all missing this simple distinction. There is nothing about this that you could call mental gymnastics (even if it's over some of your heads). So please quote any of your 8 citations calling it a pseudoscience. If you can't show a quote then your sources aren't worth much in this debate. You are coming to a stronger conclusion than the citations do. When Valmiki wrote about AP in Vasiṣṭha's Yoga in the eighth century, it was simply a spiritual practice. Same for the taoists. The theosophists just put a western name on an old practice and made up some Blavatskian mumbo jumbo to go with it. No source claims they invented it. But they did make the first pseudoscientific claims about it. The undeniable pseudoscientific use of it in the modern era is not the same thing as saying it is a pseudoscience. Belief in a soul isn't pseudoscience. It's religion or spirituality. Trying to measure the soul or prove it exists with empiricism is pseudoscience. Does anyone disagree with that? Really the only point that matters is that the quoted sources do not say "it is a pseudoscience". That is an extrapolation of the opinion of the authors. Mentioning its association with pseudoscience is a necessity. Calling it a pseudoscience is an oversimplification and a misrepresentation of sources. Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 07:17, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
It is splitting hairs, but from an extremely pedantic point of view, to identify a subject as a "pseudoscience", it has to be something like phrenology. On the other hand, the term isn't rigorously defined academically, so, until I can get an academic position in agnotology, I think we're stuck with the sourcing. Anyway, if you're happy with the current wording in the lede, so am I. jps (talk) 10:39, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
If you read carefully: my only point is that it needs to be worded this way. It defines the context in which it is pseudoscientific as all the sources do (except the cosmo source which actually makes no description of it, just uses the name in passing). As far as it agrees with the sources and does not call it a pseudoscience I approve of the lead. I was objecting to the stronger wording editors were adding earlier. The debate outlasted the bad edits for way too long. It's hardly pedantic to insist on honest representation of sources. Like you, I just try to keep wiki balanced. Iṣṭa Devatā (talk) 17:51, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

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"pseudoscientific"[edit]

"Claims of scientific evidence of astral projection are pseudoscientific.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14]"

No they're not, you morons; claims of scientific evidence are claims of scientific evidence. Perhaps the *practices* carried out by *most* (or all) of the specific people who research astral projection are pseudoscientific, in that they don't follow scientific protocols, but making idiotic blanket statements like this is antithetical to scientific skepticism. 2607:FEA8:875F:F44E:5CA9:D745:A392:BB9E (talk) 06:48, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

What you write sounds like several blanket statements to me. Could you tone down on the moronic and make a suggestion for improvement instead? --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:48, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
WP:CIVIL WP:NPA Edaham (talk) 04:52, 24 January 2017 (UTC)