Talk:Electronic voice phenomenon/Archive 12

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Archive 11 Archive 12 Archive 13

Problems in article

  1. Most of the references aren't formatted properly.
  2. Generally the TOC shouldn't be forced onto the page, Most articles i've seen don't do it that way and instead let it form naturally right below the lead. Perhaps this should be changed.
  3. The section titled "Normal explanations" seems to be a bit vague. How does one define "normal"? Perhaps it should be better named "Scientific" explanations"?
  4. The skepticism section lacks any real content whatsoever and seems to consist 95% of quotes from other sources. There should probably be more info in that section and the current info should be rewritten and the direct quotes removed.
  5. The article could probably be cleaned up better and weasel words or ambiguities removed. I would say that it could likely be expanded and the lead expanded as well.

Wikidudeman (talk) 14:11, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Mostly agree with this. Normal is in correct opposition to paranormal, and we don't want to make the judgment that the paranormal explanations are automatically non-science. The paranormal can be studied by science.
I thought the TOC looked better that way, but whatever. I'm not sure how much expansion the sources will allow -there's almost no literature in the mainstream-, but we could do a lot more with pop culture. –––Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 15:42, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Wikidudeman, you said "...Perhaps it should be better named "Scientific" explanations"?" Also your complaint that the skeptical section lacks substance. It might be a good idea for you to review some of the archived talk pages from earlier this year. "Science explanation" was tried and proved to be a major bone of contention, as it was clear skeptical editors equated skeptical dictionary with science and paranormal with fraud or delusion.
Also, the section lacks content because there really is no substantive content to include. In fact, the paranormal section needs to be beefed-up to show foundation of research for each theory. As it is now, the two sections are very lopsided. Tom Butler 16:08, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
There is an issue of WEIGHT in which the paranormal explanations are tiny compared to the normal ones. I have no problem including all the skeptical points which can be specifically sourced- that is, that are specifically about EVP. I think there is not going to be much more there, however, because the mainstream has almost totally ignored the subject. That's what Tom said, but I'd like to make the point that it isn't a matter of bias if the section doesn't have a lot of good research in it. There are some points in the paranormal explanations which are not covered- thus that section needs a slight expansion.
I agree with WDM that the quotations aren't a good thing. We should summarize and source instead. –––Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 16:20, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Weight

This edit eliminated the issue of undue weight which the article formerly gave to the minority view. To quote WP:WEIGHT:

"Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject...Note that undue weight can be given in several ways, including, but not limited to, depth of detail, quantity of text...Minority views can receive attention on pages specifically devoted to them—Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia. But on such pages, though a view may be spelled out in great detail, it must make appropriate reference to the majority viewpoint,"

I think the article now adheres to these guidelines. In saying this I am ignoring the fact that most of the sources in the Normal explanations and skepticism section seem to be original research. I think this is a good opportunity to ignore all rules, because otherwise, in my opinion, the skeptical viewpoint would not be sufficiently represented, due to the fact that it has virtually no scientific sources. Please note especially in this connection that "Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject." –––Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 03:52, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Good Article?

This article should be at least a Good article by now. I would suggest you nominate it for GA and get some input on it on how to reach GA status. Fix all of the problems pointed out by the GA reviewers and hopefully you can get it to GA status in a week or so. Wikidudeman (talk) 02:50, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


RF Contamination in Audio Recorders

69.179.41.128, check your electronics. There are analog stages in the recorders and they are very susceptible to RF contamination before and after the A/D - D/A. I can trot out a few testimonials if you like. Tom Butler 11:55, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

"Normal explanations"

Has got to go. There must be a better way to phrase that. For one thing, it's inaccurate. EVPs, paranormal or not, are abnormal breaks in the audio. Even if it's a pareidolia effect, it's a section of the recording that exhibits a familiar pattern, opposed to the rest of the recording which exhibits no such pattern. Interference, same thing, an interference is by definition an abnormal part of the recording. Why not just call it "skeptical explanations"? --Nealparr (talk to me) 16:44, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that this article has progressed little since my proposed rewrite. Wikidudeman (talk) 18:03, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't know about a rewrite, but it does appear to need some work. One section that needs a rewrite is the "skepticism" section, which reads like a book's dust jacket (lots of quotes) and isn't very encyclopedic. Here's my recommendations (so far):

  • Dump the quotes in the skepticism section and actually write something.
  • There's three different sections devoted to "research" or "investigation", combine them into a full narrative.
  • Remove the dichotomy of paranormal versus normal. In other words, drop the "paranormal explanations" and "normal explanations" descriptions. The only reason there's a topic called electronic voice phenomena is because people think it's paranormal. There's no reason to call it a "paranormal explanation", just call it the "idea behind it" or the "belief surrounding it". Likewise there's no reason to call it "normal explanation". Call it skepticism, scientific explanation, or the easier explanation.
  • The most notable idea regarding EVPs (pro- and con-) is that EVPs are mostly subjective and interpretive. In other words, the whole phenomena is largely in the ear of the beholder. That needs to be covered in-depth and prominently. It's not a skeptical section because believers in EVP hear very different things as well and it's really a matter of opinion on the source and meaning -- like clear pictures of the Virgin Mary on a piece of toast. It's easily interpreted as the Virgin Mary (looks like her), but is it paranormal or coincidence? That idea needs to be a central idea.

The above are structural problems. There may be others I find as I read through it all. --Nealparr (talk to me) 18:25, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

There's a few problems with this. The current structure is there to prevent POV-pushing. There is no reason to contrast "science" with "paranormal" when you can contrast "normal." To do otherwise only conveys that there is nothing scientific about paranormal explanations- and would therefore have to be sourced. However, as you suggest, "Skeptical explanations" is NPOV. Another problem is sourcing the discussion you feel needs to take place- I doubt it can be done, but perhaps. The problem with sourcing such a discussion is that there are no neutral sources. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 21:47, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Paranormal-of or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation, as psychokinesis, extrasensory perception, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena. [1].
If we use this definition then "Paranormal" means outside of scientific explanation and includes supernatural phenomena. Even The Paranormal article defines paranormal as (according to the journal of parapsychology) "any phenomenon that in one or more respects exceeds the limits of what is deemed physically possible according to current scientific assumptions". So the explanations that are listed under "normal" would include scientific explanations. If the cause of the EVP are Ghosts for instance then that would be "Paranormal" and would as far as science can currently say impossible. Wikidudeman (talk) 22:00, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Normal would include scientific explanations, and paranormal might also include scientific studies. The problem here is the insinuation that the paranormal is UN-scientific, which it may not be. I just want to avoid that kind of language, so the reader decides purely on the information rather than the way things sound. I'm responding to the history of this page, where every trick in the book was used to try and make the article read to discredit. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 22:14, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
How about "Paranormal" and "Skeptical" as Nealparr suggested? ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 22:15, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
If we use the definition I listed above then "Paranormal" would exclude the scientific explanations. Wikidudeman (talk) 14:54, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

"... and would as far as science can currently say impossible." "be impossible," I assume. That is an unsupportable conclusion which only suggests a predisposition on your part to assume the impossibility of EVP. "...deemed physically possible according to current scientific assumptions" is just that: not explained with known physical principles. The term, "impossible" is a stone cold killer of continued discourse and it has been bantered about by previous hard-core skeptic editing this article.

I have explained the point to you before that equating normal = skeptical = scientific has been argued before and is mostly how the article ended up in arbitration. The only stable approach I can imagine right now is to remove the two categories and simply describe all of the proposed explanations and research supporting them. Do it in order of most mundane, such as noise mistaken as having meaning to dead people talking. While you are at it, throw in the superpsi and quantum-holographic theories.

By the way, Wikidudeman, am I to assume you are okay with Martin's latest edits? Tom Butler 18:49, 7 September 2007 (UTC)


I would prefer it say "Natural" or "Scientific" opposed to "Normal". Wikidudeman (talk) 19:03, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
I know, but that makes the assumption or insinuation that the paranormal is not natural, or that the paranormal cannot be a subject of scientific study. We can't make those assumptions, especially when alternatives exist, such as normal or skeptical. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 21:51, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
If we use the definition of "Paranormal" that I defined above (which is the most used definition in dictionaries) then once it becomes in the realm of natural or starts to be studied scientifically then it's no longer "Paranormal". Wikidudeman (talk) 22:25, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
"Natural" is the most appropriate / most neutral word I can think of. I don't think there are any subjects which are termed paranormal and for which a natural mechanism is generally accepted. Sheffield Steeltalkersstalkers 23:13, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm really not talking about strict definitions here. I'm talking about using the words in ways which insinuate a point. In other words, using the word "science" or "natural" as WTAs. They are used as WTAs in this case because they suggest un-natural/unreal and unscientific as opposites. If you contrasted a "atheist" with "theistic" that's fine. If you contrasted "atheist" with "saved" that's using the words as WTAs. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 23:18, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Steel, we can't contrast paranormal with natural. The paranormal may be natural. To make the contrast, therefore, is a POV. I hate to get into these kinds of disputes again on this article. We have good substitutes- after all there isn't anything wrong with being skeptical. Skeptical is an honorable position. We aren't here to make the judgment of what is and is not natural. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 23:22, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Well we need to stick with strict definitions. By definition "Paranormal" means something not explained by science or something beyond the laws of nature as we understand them. Ergo, Saying "Scientific explanations" or "Natural explanations" is most fitting in this situation. Wikidudeman (talk) 23:26, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Further, WDM, if you base the argument on the interpretation that the paranormal is not studied scientifically- well, that goes against the definitions we have. But if you did, then you have to prove/source/attribute that EVP are not studied scientifically- which is in dispute. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 23:24, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

"Paranormal" doesn't mean not scientifically studied, It simply means that the "paranormal" explanations of the events can not be explained scientifically, making them paranormal. Wikidudeman (talk) 23:26, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Right. Parapsychology studies the paranormal scientifically, without making the paranormal normal as yet. In this context, the whole point of the normal explanations is that they are skeptical of the paranormal explanations. I'm not arguing with you technically so much as just saying that I think we can avoid biasing the reader in this case. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 00:35, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
So then what would you have against "natural"? As I pointed out above, "normal" doesn't just read bad, it's not accurate. EVPs are abnormal parts of a recording. Natural explanation (interference, etc.) would be just that, natural. They're natural explanations for abnormal parts of the recording.
Above you said that it implies that paranormal is not natural. There's nothing wrong with that. Paranormal by definition is unexplainable by natural science, and science does study the natural world. If natural explanation, not paranormal. Likewise, if paranormal, no natural explanation.
You also said that "science" and "natural" are words to avoid here. Why? Paranormal, again by definition, lacks a scientific explanation any way you cut it. That's its definition. Even parapsychology studies phenomena that lacks a scientific explanation, and they readily admit it. They don't try to offer an official scientific explanation, even as they are applying science to it, and have come up with an ambiguous term "psi" to say exactly that, that they study something without a scientific explanation. Again, if it someday gains a natural or scientific explanation, its no longer paranormal.
Paranormal cannot be "natural", ever. As soon as it does it stops being paranormal. That's why Dawkins coined that word "perinormal". He coined it to describe phenomena that used to be paranormal, but gained a natural explanation. The (right) motive in doing so is to acknowledge that something paranormal that has gained a natural explanation is no longer paranormal.
Avoiding "natural" because paranormal may turn out to be considered natural at some future point is not supported by any of the definitions, and (most importantly) is totally the wrong approach for an encyclopedia to take. Besides the fact that it stops being paranormal at the point that it does becomes natural, this approach caters to some possible circumstances that not only haven't occured, is unlikely to occur by all available evidence. In other words, it is not likely that EVP will ever be considered a natural phenomena (based on available information). Supposing that at some point it might, and that we should consider that in our writing, is definitely undue weight considering it's a pretty far fetched idea. --Nealparr (talk to me) 01:16, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Parapsychology is the scientific study of the "Supposedly paranormal". EVP is "supposedly paranormal" in the sense that no one can prove that the origins of the EVP are indeed "Paranormal". Simply because we can study their origins with science doesn't mean that they are necessarily "natural" or "supernatural"/"paranormal". An example: The explanation that EVP is simply due to human confusion or error is a scientific and natural explanation in the sense that science can account for it and explain how human error works. However if the explanation is "Ghosts" then that explanation is neither natural or scientific in the sense that neither our natural laws or our understanding of science can explain how "ghosts" work or how "ghosts" might cause said EVP. This means that either "scientific" or "natural" are acceptable words to use. Wikidudeman (talk) 02:23, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Because, Nealparr, paranormal explanations are natural explanations as well. No "paranormalist" invokes the supernatural.
"Paranormal by definition is unexplainable by natural science," no, that is totally, completely wrong. Paranormal is unexplained by natural science.
Reason to avoid "science:" it contrasts in the mind with unscientific or pseudoscience.
Reason to avoid natural: "Natural" contrasts with un-natural. There is nothing claimed to be un-natural about the paranormal.
The natural can be paranormal. The paranormal could be the natural we don't know about yet. Paranormal is a judgment of humans, not a state of things. You are defining "natural" as something humans define when you say "Paranormal cannot be "natural", ever." That's fine, but it isn't what most people think- they believe the paranormal to be natural which science can't explain yet- just like the definition says. Nealparr, a phenomenon doesn't suddenly become natural because it has been explained
"Besides the fact that it stops being paranormal at the point that it does becomes natural" You can't seriously consider this definition! Ok, maybe you can, but that makes you quite a radical, because you define what exists as what exists in the mind.
We aren't in the business of deciding the future, one way or the other. Thus, we have to find words which are neutral, which do not depend upon what is or is not likely. Such as skeptical or even explanations by way of known phenomena or something.
I suggest we give up on the discussions, because there are words upon which all could agree, I thing and hope. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 02:37, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Paranormal is "unexplain-able by science" exactly because at the moment it is explained by science it stops being paranormal, per the definition. That's completely clear. Science is in the definition of paranormal, so as soon as you use the word paranormal you invoke science (we've talked about that before). When you say we shouldn't use "science", we actually already have when we used "paranormal".
"The paranormal could be the natural we don't know about yet" <- is again invoking a possible future. The paranormal is not a "judgment of humans" or a "state of things". It is a classification of phenomena based on whether or not it is explained by science. Pure and simple. You said: "a phenomenon doesn't suddenly become natural because it has been explained". It certainly does become classified as natural. There's no change in the "state of being" or anything like that, but paranormal is not a state of being. It is a classification, and there is a change in the classification.
You really don't want to frame paranormal in terms of states of being considering most actually consider the state of being to be non-existent : ) But here's the thing... you say things like "they believe the paranormal to be natural which science can't explain yet". Who's they? The paranormalists? That's a POV. It's not even the POV we're dealing with here. What does the paranormalist's view matter when we're covering the point of view of the naturalist, the scientist, and the materialist? It's not the naturalist's point of view filtered through the paranormalist, it's the naturalist's point of view: a natural explanation. --Nealparr (talk to me) 04:55, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, I don't disagree with any of that. It seems to me that it is a clearer explication of your views than above. So I again am back to my original position, which is that contrasting paranormal with natural or scientific produces a certain bias in the mind of the normal reader who hasn't gone through all the gyrations we have. That's what I'd like to avoid. So are you basically saying that you think that we have to contrast with natural or scientific to be correct?

Just out of interest, though, since the paranormalists think the paranormal explanations are not paranormal but natural - defined within the realm of science- should we have "paranormal" in there at all, in terms of calling them "paranormal explanations?"

And "The paranormal could be the natural we don't know about yet"- that also is part of the definition of paranormal. The possibility of it's becoming normal is part of the definition of what it is "any phenomenon that in one or more respects exceeds the limits of what is deemed physically possible according to current scientific assumptions." -that's invoking a possible future.

"considering most actually consider the state of being to be non-existent" Well maybe on any one thing, but overall depending on how you define it, almost everyone believes in the paranormal. Like, 70 some in things like ESP, and then if you throw in God, you'd get almost the entire population. You sure you haven't been brainwashed by.... nevermind (-;

I see above you were doing definitions, and I was going at it from a literalistic standpoint. You're usually right, but I think I'm more normal. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 07:58, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

"...current scientific assumptions" is not a part of most definitions of "paranormal". It is an addition by the Parapsychological Association to their phrasing of the definition. They have the goal to someday explain it with science (in other words, they're biased). Every other definition defines it simply as "not explained by science". The possibility of being explained by science is not a part of the pure (unbiased) definition.
41% believe in ESP, btw, not 70%. Less than 40% believe in any haunts, ghosts, etc. whatsoever. It's probably a lot slimmer for EVPs.
I'm not going to argue any of the other stuff. It's making me weary and it doesn't get anywhere. I don't know any other way to explain the exact same thing. The two viewpoints are the paranormal viewpoint (spirits are involved) and the natural/scientific viewpoint (no spirits are involved). Plain and simple. Paranormal research may be scientific at times, but no paranormal explanation is ever scientific. If scientific, not paranormal.
I won't be explaining it again because it's already all said, several times. --Nealparr (talk to me) 05:16, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Funny, I think I have explained this too many times, as well. There has got to be an underlying issue that we are trying to work out. So far, I am hearing that EVP is impossible, it is paranormal and therefore can never be normal and there is an insurmountable barrier between unexplained and explained. All of that is nonsense.
EVP is an observable phenomena that has not been explained. That does not mean that it will not be explained, and if/when it is explained, it may or may not be an explanation declaring it something like dead people talking. For now, I agree that if you have to have a dichotomy, then "Mundane" and "Paranormal" would work. I do not care much for "Normal" but I can live with it, and I will take the article back to arbitration if it is something like "Scientific Explanation." Tom Butler 18:16, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
EVPs are not impossible according to science because science only studies the natural world. That's why there's a term "supernatural". Science can't prove or disprove the supernatural. The dichotomy exists because one set of explanations involve spirits. Spirits are not covered by science, and this has nothing to do with possibilities or impossibilities, just scope. Once you say spirits (which are not explained by science), it is "paranormal". It doesn't matter if you apply science to the study of it, use scientific gadgets, follow the scientific method to the letter, etc. The explanation is outside the scope of science. Completely. The other set of explanations involve only natural explanations found within science. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying "scientific explanation" or "natural explanation" because it doesn't involve spirits. "Paranormal explanations" or "supernatural explanations" involve spirits. Spirits are not explained by science. Science can study the paranormal and supernatural (parapsychology), but they can't explain it according to nature. There's no reason to whitewash that, and no arbitration will say that spirits are explained by science. --Nealparr (talk to me) 18:55, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Let's be clear here. Should we use the definition of "Paranormal" as defined by most reputable dictionaries. Yes or No? Should the definition of "Paranormal" that we use be consistent through Wikipedia? Yes or No? Everyone answer these questions please, short answers. Wikidudeman (talk) 12:00, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure about the dictionary definition; it sounds useful. On the other hand, consistency is surely the only acceptable approach. Sheffield Steeltalkersstalkers 13:15, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Paranormal applies here, yes. The definition of paranormal is consistent throughout Wikipedia, yes. The "may be explained some day in the future" is not a part of the pure definition -- it's not even a part of the Parapsychological Association's definition which only makes a "current" statement, not a "future" one. The pure definition is more or less "unexplained by science" or "beyond normal/natural experience" or a combination of the two. --Nealparr (talk to me) 14:59, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Haven't read through the above yet, but just a quick note. The PA's definition is " Term applied to any phenomenon which in one or more respects exceeds the limits of what is deemed physically possible on current scientific assumptions;" [2], and the one in Wikipedia is ""any phenomenon that in one or more respects exceeds the limits of what is deemed physically possible according to current scientific assumptions."" Where you get might be explained in the future out of that is that it is taking pains -obvious pains- to say current scientific assumptions. Otherwise, it would be better just to say "exceeds the limits of the physically possible." So part of the definition of the paranormal is that it might someday be explained by science. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 02:16, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

If something is "not deemed possible according to current science" then that specific thing in question can't be called "scientific". Thus the paranormal views of EVP are "paranormal" and the other natural views are either "natural" or "Scientific". Wikidudeman (talk) 02:21, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

As I keep saying, you're technically right here. It's just for me a metter of the way it sounds.
The reason to use the above definition is that others put paranormal too close to supernatural, and thus make it much less useful- also not in accord with the definitions used by those who actually deal with the paranormal. [3]
I believe 70% or more believe in the paranormal, not ESP in particular. Did I say that wrong?
"Paranormal research may be scientific at times, but no paranormal explanation is ever scientific. If scientific, not paranormal." Right.
I've been looking up the definitions of paranormal and supernatural on the web. What I'm seeing is that the definitions are practically the same sometimes- but vary quite a bit. Because the distinction above is useful, I'd rather go with what we have. The paranormal can be studied scientifically, and might someday be explained. The supernatural cannot be studied scientifically (only beliefs), and can never be explained.
Using the distinction "mundane" vs "paranormal" would be OK with me. It conveys the same thing, but does not imply anything about quality or anything else.

I thought WDM's suggestion to get some other editors in here by asking about GA status was a good one. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 02:36, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Firstly, If "Paranormal" is defined as "Beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation" then technically the only people dealing with things "beyond the range of scientific explanation" are cutting edge scientists such as astro physicists, string theorists etc. Not parapsychologists. Dealing with things such as string theory which are indeed "beyond scientific explanation" at this time would be (according to that definition) dealing with the "paranormal", but dealing with supposed psychic abilities wouldn't be if such occurrences can be explained by science as fraud, confusion, faulty studies, etc.
Secondly, Studying things that are "purported" to be beyond scientific explanation isn't necessarily studying the paranormal. Unless the events are truly beyond scientific explanation then it can't be said to be paranormal.
In my opinion saying "Scientific explanations" isn't POV or negative in tone since saying "Ghosts did it" isn't scientific, Ghosts aren't "scientific. However interference, Auditory pareidolia, Apophenia, etc are clearly all within the explanation of science. Wikidudeman (talk) 02:42, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
We're only talking "explanations" for the phenomena X. If X is explained as pareidolia, X's explanation is scientific/psychological. If X is explained as spirits, X's explanation is paranormal. It doesn't matter what X actually is (fraud, confusion, faulty studies) because we're only talking explanations. The article is structured by explanations. <- Reply to WDM
I'd like to point out again, that the "current scientific assumptions" -- which could be neutral -- is not neutral when used as a basis for advancing the idea that someday it may be explained by science. That's wrapped up in WP:FRINGE, giving a theory more credit than it should have at Wikipedia. It's not the official definition that we should be going off of. It gives the impression that situation is going to change, and it's unlikely that it will. <- Reply to Martinphi
--Nealparr (talk to me) 03:34, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Then we might as well use "supernatural." The whole point of the word "paranormal" is that it is beyond current scientific explanations, with nearly the complete emphasis on the word current, due to the fact that otherwise it means the same as "supernatural." Granted they're used in the same way a lot, but there is no need for two words otherwise.
And I don't think that it is giving more credit than it should, because it is actually giving no quantification of the credit: What I mean is that it could be anything between one chance in a googolplex that it may be explained, to almost certainly. So it doesn't tell you what to think. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 03:55, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Repeating myself: "Current" is not in most definitions. It's the PA's version. The difference between paranormal and supernatural is that supernatural means not in the natural world and paranormal means not explained by science. That's why paranormal invokes science and supernatural doesn't. Supernatural doesn't make a science claim. Paranormal does (which is why I've been saying the alternate view can neutrally and legitimately be described as the "scientific view"). Paranormal does not mean "not explained by science -- yet". The definition in unbiased sources don't say "current" or "scientific assumptions". That's a slanted definition from the PA. The other definitions say "science" san- qualifiers. It's not implied by the other definitions either. It's just a simple statement. Often supernatural and paranormal are used synonymously, but that's the technical distinction: one invokes science and the other doesn't. There's connotative distinctions as well because supernatural is most often used to describe supernatural beings. That's not its only use, nor its technical use, just its most common use. Paranormal is also less loaded than supernatural because it also means "outside the normal experience". Supernatural's a little further outside the normal experience than paranormal : ) Ghosts can be described as both paranormal and supernatural. UFO phenomena is only paranormal. So there's "degree" distinctions as well. But the technical distinction is one's outside nature and the other's outside scientific explanation. They don't mean exactly the same thing.
The reason it's giving more credit than it deserves (in an encyclopedia) is because anything is possible. We shouldn't give undue weight to remote or unlikely possibilities. In other words, saying spirits are paranormal is fine. Saying spirits are unexplained by science is fine. Saying spirits are unexplained by current scientific assumptions is giving undue weight to the idea that spirits may (anything is possible) be explained at some point in the future as natural phenomena. It's a fringe idea (by scientific standards). --Nealparr (talk to me) 05:40, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I mean, you guys can call it "mundane" or "skeptical" or whatever you guys want to call it (normal is technically incorrect). I'm just saying that "natural" and "scientific" isn't point of view, and is in many ways the proper description. Ducking using "scientific explanation" just to please a few folks who have conflicts of interest is a lot more POV. --Nealparr (talk to me) 05:56, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Right WDM (and I am reading your use of the word "if" here). It's purely an issue of style. Let's find a word which makes everyone feel OK. I'm not out to bash or get around science or the mainstream here, nor to keep that information out of the article. Contrasting science with paranormal in this instance seems like contrasting science with pseudoscience. I think most people would get that. Purely a matter of style and feeling. The only reason I'm arguing this point is 1. that I think there are others who feel much more strongly about it than I do, and thus the article has no chance of stability if we use this distinction. 2. there may be some genuine science behind the paranormal explanations- we shouldn't judge that, even if only by implication. 3. There are alternative wordings on which everyone can agree. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 03:14, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
How about "Paranormal explanations" and "Non-paranormal explanations"? Wikidudeman (talk) 12:53, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Perfect. I came up with a small list of options this morning, but if you're happy with that then the problem is solved. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 20:53, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Good deal. Don't forget the other stuff I mentioned (relisted below). --Nealparr (talk to me) 23:01, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Other stuff

  • Dump the quotes in the skepticism section and actually write something.
  • There's three different sections devoted to "research" or "investigation", combine them into a full narrative.
  • The most notable idea regarding EVPs (pro- and con-) is that EVPs are mostly subjective and interpretive. In other words, the whole phenomena is largely in the ear of the beholder. That needs to be covered in-depth and prominently. It's not a skeptical section because believers in EVP hear very different things as well and it's really a matter of opinion on the source and meaning -- like clear pictures of the Virgin Mary on a piece of toast. It's easily interpreted as the Virgin Mary (looks like her), but is it paranormal or coincidence? That idea needs to be a central idea.
This is true of some EVP, not others- there are many instances where the interpretation is not subjective at all. Recent studies showed that the interpretation of even the hissy whispery white-noise EVPs aren't totally subjective. EVP is a wide range, a pyramid, with a top which is about as clear as any spoken word, and a wide bottom which is fairly subjective. That is a concept which should be included. I can source most of this to Fontana. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 23:20, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

(reprint from above) --Nealparr (talk to me) 23:01, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't dare touch the skeptical section. The problem is that it is hard to have one on this topic, because there are much better sources on the "pro" side. As stated above, the section is mainly OR, I think, and it will be hard to do anything else. If I did anything with it, most of it would have to be deleted as OR. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 23:20, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

There's quite a bit of material in skeptical periodicals, encyclopedias, and such. Peer reviewed journals probably ignore it, but there's other sources reliable enough to explain the opinion of skeptics without stating them as facts. The quotes already here can also be paraphrased or reworded so that they're not actual quotes. --Nealparr (talk to me) 23:25, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Organizational changes

I made some organizational changes. There are a few text changes as well, especially under popular culture- added some material in the organizations section. The only changes to the rest of the text are a few bits introducing material, or minor changes which were needed to make the new arrangement work. But nothing which is likely to raise hackles, unless in the new Organizations section- where I added in the AA-EVP. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 03:58, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I think it's time for a rewrite

I think it's time for a comprehensive group rewrite effort. When I say 'rewrite' I don't mean everything erased and new info added. I simply mean that the existing info that is worth keeping will be used to the best of it's ability and some info erased while other needed info added. This page could have been a GA weeks ago if we had gone through with my rewrite plan I initially proposed. This page seems to taking one step forward and two steps backwards. I think the best thing for it would be for us to do with it what we did to the Parapsychology article. Though I won't go through with it unless everyone agrees. Wikidudeman (talk) 00:17, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

No offense to the writers, but I think this one is so far from GA status that I'll pass on a rewrite. Too many entrenched editors and (sorry, but) too much catering to special interests. --Nealparr (talk to me) 15:50, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
What would you do to the current article if it weren't so battleful? ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 22:15, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I have been away, so I apologize for catching up in one post. However, I am a little amazed at the conversation. "Mundane" works, but if you want to say "paranormal" and "not paranormal," that is fine as well. At least both are supported by the facts. While you are making the changes, keep in mind that your ability to think in complex abstractions is not shared by the average reader.
Nealparr, you have said "... Once you say spirits (which are not explained by science), it is "paranormal". It doesn't matter if you apply science to the study of it, use scientific gadgets, follow the scientific method to the letter, etc. The explanation is outside the scope of science...." First, referring to the possible origin of EVP as "spirits" is jumping to a conclusion. I think you are one of the few in the world who refers to the suspected communicators as "spirits." Yes, we occasionally publish an article that makes that reference, but only when the author is clearly not trying to be an authority in the subject. "Spirits" is a pretty religious term. Is that what you think? Second, it is a absurd to even attempt to make the point that EVP cannot be studied by science.
You said, "Ducking using "scientific explanation" just to please a few folks who have conflicts of interest is a lot more POV." Then you said, "Too many entrenched editors and (sorry, but) too much catering to special interests." If you have something to say, then please say it, rather than making implications that you cannot support. Or, are you inviting me to edit on the article?
You also said, "The most notable idea regarding EVPs (pro- and con-) is that EVPs are mostly subjective and interpretive. In other words, the whole phenomena is largely in the ear of the beholder." Please provide a source for this that is not right out of the skeptical magazines. Martin is correct that there is a range of understandability in EVP and that some are sufficiently understandable to be agreed on by a group of un coached listeners. If it were otherwise, we would not be able to quantify the phenomena for research. (Do you know that we do that? Have you studied any of the evidence at all?)
Rather than going on about how EVP is not science, why not try to have the article address the facts. If you must pitch the study of EVP against skeptical views, then state it in terms that are supported by the facts. The facts do not support calling the mundane explanation science when you only refer to the current research as paranormal. Once again, you are equating the skeptical view with science and that is POV pushing in the extreme.
My vote is to keep the discussion here where other editors can find it. Tom Butler 01:30, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

All of the above is why I'm not really interested. There's no common ground to start from. Simple example, you said: I think you are one of the few in the world who refers to the suspected communicators as "spirits." Spirits. Ghosts. The guy in the room that doesn't have a body. Whichever. There is a voice on the tape that comes from a someone other than the people in the room. That's the idea behind it, right? I don't want to work on an article where I have to say "communicator". Everyone, everywhere, says ghosts and spirits when talking about EVPs. There are hundred of ghosts hunters hanging out in old buildings with tape recorders trying to pick up ghosts and spirits but I'm one of the few who call it that? Huh? This is a mainstream encyclopedia and not the AA-EVP. It shouldn't be written from the AA-EVP perspective. It should be a neutral perspective for general audiences.

I don't feel like that's going to happen without grief from you, no offense. I feel like you're watching over this article to make sure it says what you'd like it to say. I don't want to work like that. If this were a magazine, and I was writing a review of one of your books, I wouldn't do it if you were telling me what to write or looking over my shoulder. That wouldn't be a neutral and objective review. I feel it's a lot like that here. If your name is in the article, you should sit it out. If you're not going to sit it out, I don't want to participate.

No offense, but I just don't have the time or the motivation to write the article you want written.

And I never said that EVPs aren't science, but hey, guess what, they're not. Phenomena is just that, phenomena. It's an observed thing. Science is the observing, not the thing. And again, science does not explain ghosts. Science does not explain spirits. Even parapsychologists do not explain these things, they just study evidence for them. There is no scientific explanation for EVPs unless EVPs are completely natural and mundane. Paranormal explanations are opposite of scientific explanations.

What else did you say? Oh yeah, "some are sufficiently understandable to be agreed on by a group of un coached listeners". Right. And what I said was "EVPs are mostly subjective and interpretive". Which is the more notable? The "most". Most EVPs are subjective and interpretive, but I even got grief for saying that, when all I said was "most".

You're way too wrapped up in this and embattled. You see everything in terms of "skeptics" versus your point of view. Martinphi asked me what I would write if this article wasn't a "battlefield". I would write an article based on WP:WEIGHT. Unfortunately, that's not in your favor. It's not a skeptical thing. It's a weight thing. I mean, I'm sure you're a nice guy and all of that. And outside Wikipedia it would be a totally different article I'd write. But here it's couterproductive to the parameters of the project. --Nealparr (talk to me) 07:46, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Nealparr, of course I am "watching over" the article. The subject is important to me because we--not just the AA-EVP--are doing all we can to convince qualified scientists that the phenomena is worthy of examination. I have been at this for a long time and the one common problem I run into when trying to have an intelligent and informed discussion about EVP is faith-based preconceptions such as those you seem to live with. I am "embattled" because too many editors either don't understand the difference or are determined to spin it as a faith-based subject. You are good at spiritualist subjects. Perhaps you should save your time for that because this is not a phenomena of spiritualism.
It is all about semantics. "Spirits" is a religious term and we are trying to distance the subject from religion just as previous researchers have coined such terms as remote viewing, telepathy, therapeutic tough and such to distinguish the critical examination of observed phenomena from religiously held tenets. You all know the importance of perception or else you would not have such fun-filled battles over placement of parapsychology or categorization of paranormal.
Qualifiers such as "most" enables you to say that EVP is entirely subjective because I doubt the reader will ask you what you mean by most. The fact is that there is a continuum in EVP from nothing->noticeable deviations in sound envelope-noticeable voice modulation->recognizable words->recognizable phrases. After that, the recognizable words and phrases are understood, depending on the training of the listener. We have not found an EVP that is universally understood without some prompting; however, the last listening test ran around 32% word recognition. However, our online tests also show that words and phrases spoken by a still physical person are equally not universally understood without prompting.
Wikipedia does not get to publish anything it wants. As an editor, you are bound by certain rules of conduct. I am honoring the conflict of interest rule, but even the just completed arbitration said I could edit with reservation. I do not care what you say in the EVP article as long as it is supported by evidence and is stated in a way that does not unduly bias the reader to think it is one way or another.
Please do not confuse faith-based opinion with evidence-based data. One way to avoid this is, as I have suggested in the past, to have a faith-based heading for things you believe and an evidence-based heading for things you know. The third paragraph of the opening has drifted a little, but at one time, it made the clear distinction between empirical and experiential views which could have provided for associated articles. Tom Butler 16:35, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
What you call "faith-based" (saying that EVP is related to notions of ghosts and spirits), I call pop culture. Hundreds of ghost hunters hanging out with taper recorders versus you and some other guys wanting "to convince qualified scientists that the phenomena is worthy of examination." I really don't want to work on any article where the goal is anything other than WP:FIVE. The job isn't to convince anyone of anything. It's to report on the situation as it is. Sorry, but that's not compatible with your goal. It's not Wikipedia's job to improve the situation of EVP researchers. So I'm out. Enjoy your article. --Nealparr (talk to me) 17:34, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Take a deep breath. For several reasons, these things are not issues we have to deal with. For one thing, both Nealparr and Tom get caught up in philosophy, rather than what can be done with the article. For another, Tom is a teacher rather than a Wikipedia politician, and basically edits the talk page on that basis. But he is not here disrupting the article to make it into anything more than a factual rendition- look at his actual edits. I suggest you two not respond to each other, but rather focus on whatever actual text changes need to be done to the current article to make it better. I've had contact with both of you, and I promise you that you are mis-reading each other. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 22:20, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
" I think you are one of the few in the world who refers to the suspected communicators as "spirits."" Is there a better term? We could use it if there is.
I'd like to make the suggestion that we not continue this debate, because it is more or less solved as far as the article is concerned.
No one has told us exactly what is wrong with the article except the following:
  • Dump the quotes in the skepticism section and actually write something.
This still needs to be done.
  • There's three different sections devoted to "research" or "investigation", combine them into a full narrative.
I tried to re-do the article with this in mind. Tell me what you think.
  • The most notable idea regarding EVPs (pro- and con-) is that EVPs are mostly subjective and interpretive. In other words, the whole phenomena is largely in the ear of the beholder. That needs to be covered in-depth and prominently. It's not a skeptical section because believers in EVP hear very different things as well and it's really a matter of opinion on the source and meaning -- like clear pictures of the Virgin Mary on a piece of toast. It's easily interpreted as the Virgin Mary (looks like her), but is it paranormal or coincidence? That idea needs to be a central idea.
This doesn't seem to be supported by the literature. This is only an argument for the base-of-the-pyramid EVPs. Some of them are just voices- although there is debate about whether they are EVP or indepenendent voice. However, if a piece of electronic equipment is involved, then we can call them EVP. Basically, I don't agree that this is the nature of the debate, the most notable idea.
For now at least, we should keep the discussion here. I'd like to know more about what people would like to see changed. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 03:15, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Martinphi, Would you support or oppose a rewrite of this article exactly the way Parapsychology was done? Simply tell me if you would support or oppose it. Wikidudeman (talk) 03:58, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Wikidudeman, I guess I should come out and be honest with you. I really like some of the things you've been doing lately. But if we're going to do a re-write I'd prefer it to be hosted by an editor who really feels neutral toward the subject, such as Nealparr. I think an editor who thinks that we should bring articles from the paranormal to Featured Article status and then put them under headlines such as you mentioned is just a little too biased for the job. I refer to this edit:
"The only way to solve this is to bring up several [paranormal] articles to FA status and then make a new category called "Pseudo science, Fringe Science, Quackery" and another one called "Paranormal and Supernatural". Parapsychology could fit into either. Wikidudeman (talk) 01:07, 15 September 2007 (UTC)" Quoted from here ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 04:13, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
What's wrong with putting Parapsychology under the headline of "Paranormal and the Supernatural"? Wikidudeman (talk) 04:15, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Basically, it is that you'd be willing to put it under "Pseudo science, Fringe Science, Quackery."
I understand that you are right that parapsychology is fringe science. It is just that you'd be willing to bias the reader about subjects through headlines. And I know this is the way you really feel. Also, I wasn't the only one who felt ignored on the parapsychology re-write. While I acknowledge your good intentions, I think that sometimes an editor's basic feelings cannot help but influence the way things occur.
You know, you're a difficult case, because I can work with you. If you didn't try so hard, and if we just couldn't work together at all, this wouldn't be hard for me. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 04:20, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Firstly, I never said "Parapsychology" should go under a heading of "Pseudo science, Fringe Science, Quackery". You're misreading the sentence. Secondly, I'm a "difficult case" and it would not be hard for you if we couldn't work together at all? This doesn't make any sense. Thirdly, I won't continue to try to convince you that this article would benefit greatly if we treated it just like we did Parapsychology. If you want to do it some other way which hasn't shown results then I'll move onto other articles which need improvement. Wikidudeman (talk) 04:29, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Why don't you move on for a while and let us call you back if there is a consensus that the service is needed? I can see circumstances in which it might be most welcome. I did not mean to imply that what you did with Parapsychology was no good- it had many good effects.
You said you'd be willing to put parapsychology under the heading "Pseudo science, Fringe Science, Quackery."
Yeah, it is easier to deal with a person who hates you and doesn't know anything and just wants to POV-push than someone who has good intentions and you can work with, but who also disagrees with you on almost every issue. Funny how that seems to be the case in human relations. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 04:42, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
I never claimed parapsychology should be under the heading of "Pseudo science, Fringe Science, Quackery" but the heading of "Paranormal and Supernatural". I said that it could fit into either but I offered two alternatives to see the consensus on each.
Martin, There was a consensus for a rewrite last month. I decided to wait for you to realize that this article wouldn't go anywhere without it and give you another month or so. I come back and the article is still in terrible shape and you're still objecting to a rewrite. Wikidudeman (talk) 04:49, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
TTYL WDM. No hard feelings I hope. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 04:52, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Later when? A month later? 2 months later? If I come back in a month and this article still isn't a GA and the Skepticism section is still mostly quotes the the Refs are still unformatted and the flow is still terrible what then? Wikidudeman (talk) 04:56, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
If the consensus among editors here at that time is that it needs that kind of re-write, then we'll do it. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 05:00, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

GA

I think WDM's suggestion of nominating for GA status was a good one. It should get some new eyes on this, hopefully ones who do not hate the paranormal. Do others agree to this? ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 05:00, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

That only works on articles that are close to GA status. This article is nowhere near GA status. If an article is close to GA status then various people will do minor changes here and there until it's ready. If an article is nowhere near GA status then no one will bother. Wikidudeman (talk) 07:12, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, two questions:
  1. Why did you suggest it?
  2. What do you think needs changing? ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 07:29, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
1. My suggestion didn't apply for this article as it currently stands.
2. A lot.
Wikidudeman (talk) 23:54, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

I happened to stumble upon this article for the first time recently, and enjoyed reading through it. The article appears to be stable (no recent edit wars), well referenced, and without maintenance tags, so there should be no obvious objection to nominating it for GA. Even if the article fails, or is put on hold, some good feedback on how to improve the article will be received. Johnfos 07:44, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Cool, thanks for the feedback (: we need it here. That's my basic take on it, that it could use work, especially expansion of the culture sections, and re-write of the skepticism section. But that it isn't really in such bad shape. I see you've had some experience with this. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 07:55, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Naming the source of EVP

The physical explanations of Interference, Auditory pareidolia or Rorschach Audio, Apophenia, Capture errors, Processing artifacts and Hoaxes are all related to experiential or procedural explanations, rather than a phenomenal one. In the context of EVP, the perception of phenomena resulting from these would be considered "false positives" and most experimenters employ practices to avoid them.

By definition, the unexpected sounds and utterances of EVP must have an origin. Since we do not have a sufficiently robust empirical bases of evidence explaining who or what the cause is/are, a proper theses on the subject should probably refer to the cause as something like an initiating influence, communicating component or something equally abstract for general discussion. You want a thing not a who.

In the communications from nonphysical entities and/or recorded thoughts of physical people explanation, the term, communicator would probably be about as neutral as we can be and still discuss the point. However, a communicator is an entity and in the superpsi, and quantum-holographic explanations, the origin of the phenomena is thought to be a form of residual energy containing the information accessed by the experimenter and deposited in the recording via PK. In these, the proper term would be more like initial record or residual information.

The problem is that reducing the subject to a one-page article, and trying to include all of the "ya-buts," make it necessary to generalize. When you do that, you open the door to such nonsensical generalizations as spirit communication, which is fine for a faith-based article, but the term automatically requires someone to counter it with a science-based argument. That is where we have been for the last year or so.

Perhaps the best thing to do now is to drop the categories and simply say Proposed Explanations, or something equally neutral. I have no problem at all with including what is now the skeptical view, except to call it a skeptical view. In fact, we all struggle with those points every day and to think otherwise would be to say some people are not intelligent enough to consider such possibilities.

However, if you are going to keep the terminology of skeptical, and clearly the Non-paranormal section is elaborated on in the Skepticism section, Martin is right in that he probably should not try to fix it. On the other hand, it makes no sense to let a skeptic decide how the more paranormal explanations are worded. I include the view that spirit cannot be studied by science as a skeptical view. Tom Butler 18:33, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Skepticism section needs expanding

I've added a POV tag to the skepticism section because the section needs to be expanded much further to correspond with WP:WEIGHT. The amount of criticism of EVP should be represented more with more content added to balance the POV of the article. The amount of info in the "Skepticism" section is not anywhere near commensurate to the amount of criticism and skepticism that exits in general concerning EVP. Wikidudeman (talk) 00:09, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

I doubt this. There was a huge effort put into that section, and that was about all they could come up with. Unless you can come up with something more to put there, we can either switch back to the former section. Or just take the tag off, since it isn't POV if nothing can be done about it. Anyway, what do you think we should do? I don't think there are any objections which haven't been covered. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 00:26, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
I think that if you can't find more specific criticisms (which I highly doubt) then elaborate more on the criticisms that do exist. It wouldn't be to difficult at all. Wikidudeman (talk) 00:31, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Wikidudeman, I don't understand. Are you going by visual weighting? Work count (my favorite)? People were complaining about all of the quotes in the Skepticism section and martin cleaned it up, now it looks unbalanced?
You can expand all you want on the mundane explanation, but it will not make them any more convincing. I think the mundane explanations need to be there, but I would rather it make sense. The reader should know that radio can get into a recorder or that voices heard in fan noise are pareidolia. As it is written now you all have apparently felt obliged to make these explanations prove EVP is not phenomenal. By definition, pareidolia is not EVP, but some circumstances can allow pareidolia to produce a false positive. Tell the reader that. It will make a goof article.
This is not a scale of justice on which you are piling pro and con to find balance. It is a discussion of a subject about which things are known and speculated about. You all are not making forward gains by using this pro and con style for the article. Going to a private space to edit it will not change your style. I think it is a good idea for you to take a while off and let us try a few new approaches. Tom Butler 00:55, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
I tried that. I took nearly 2 months off and the article made no real progress. Wikidudeman (talk) 01:14, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, it made no progress in your opinion. Personally, I think it is making progress. In fact, it has turned into a rather stable article, and there is no edit warring.
P.S. If I don't respond here, it will be because I've been blocked. Not for anything I did wrong, but for taking a moral stand here. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 01:35, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, WDM, the skepticism already says just about everything skeptics say. There is a clear explanation of the major contention, that people are just hearing things. Tell me, are you counting the skepticism section by itself, without the "normal explanations" section which is really part of it? If so, we can combine them, in which case they will be about the same as the paranormal. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 03:01, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Stable doesn't equal quality. It could easily mean people have given up on it. After reading the article I can easily say that is what it is. The "Skepticism" section" should probably be changed to "criticism" as in criticism of the process of measuring these sounds and identifying them. This section should be expanded further, which if rewritten would be incredibly easy for me to do. Wikidudeman (talk) 13:39, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
This is a good idea. I like the overall current structure of the article, and most of the text. The current lead did have consensus, and most of the History was written by skeptics and is approved by everyone I know of. The paranormal explanations represent well the ideas of most of those who experiment with EVP. But I believe you are right about the general needs of the normal explanations section, although a huge expansion would violate WEIGHT- and one would have to be very careful not to do OR. How about re-doing just that section to start with? It could be done that way, as the rest of the article does not deal with criticism. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 22:01, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Merge with Instrumental transcommunication

This article should be somehow merged with Instrumental transcommunication. Whether Instrumental transcommunication is a sub area of EVP or vise versa, A merger needs to take place because both articles are fairly small and little expansion seems to be possible. Both cover the same basic subject and same topics. So either EVP needs to be renamed to Instrumental transcommunication or Instrumental transcommunication merged with EVP. If EVP is a sub discipline of Instrumental transcommunication, a merger with EVP would still make sense based on the popularity of the term "EVP' compared to Instrumental transcommunication. A basic paragraph can be dedicated to Instrumental transcommunication mentioning other equipment aside from sound. Wikidudeman (talk) 17:25, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Agree. I've thought this for a long time. Not sure of the exact mechanics. Other ideas? ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 21:57, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Want me to do it? Wikidudeman (talk) 00:17, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
If Nealparr's objections do boil down to the evidence that ghost hunters use "spirit," thus making my terminology a personal one, then I have no problem using the "spirit." However, it needs to be defined as it is being used here and made clear that it is a place holder until the evidence can be more determinant. I am regretful that my determination to have the article reflect the state of the art has proven so distressful. Perhaps we should recruit a few ghost hunters to give us their input. At least they will have experience in the field.
I have always hoped that you would not get around to combining ITC with EVP. It would be wonderful if it can be done effectively, but I suspect there is a good reason the ITC article has not been expanded on. For me of course, the less said, the better. In fact, deleting the article is always the best solution for me.
Considering all of the problems stabilizing the EVP article, it may be much more complex to address such things as faces found in reflected light, faces found in video feedback noise, spontaneous faces in video images, direct voice via radio and text in computer files. There is also the whole problem of the apparent dependence on technology on for phenomenon formation.
All of these phenomena are even more outrageous than EVP, and since much less is known about them, they are more difficult to put in perspective. If you do merge them, I and I agree that it makes sense, perhaps the best thing to do is to frame the entire subject in a just what format, rather than trying to show all of the pro and con evidence. If you can do that, perhaps you can add substantiation later.
You are considering describing a very complex phenomenal environment in one article, while I predict that in a few years, you will have a whole category named ITC. Tom Butler 01:44, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
These were the reasons that I never did it. And another thing, there is no skeptical research on these things, or none that I know of. However, if it is merely to be one paragraph somewhere down the page, just to let people know about the term, then that should work. As long as it doesn't disrupt the rest of the article. If the topic gets expanded, then we can break it off into its own article. In other words, we dont' really have to cover the subject, just mention it. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 01:50, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Support, ITC should be merged into this article. I do feel with the research now being done on both subjects - that there is going to be a fair amount of data for both. --Northmeister 04:56, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I went ahead and merged it. Wikidudeman (talk) 17:48, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Looks fine what you did. I think in this case it is ok to have the criticism in where you put it, because it is sort of a seperate topic from the rest of the article. ——Martinphi (Talk Ψ Contribs) 21:27, 18 September 2007 (UTC)