Talk:Susan Blackmore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Temes are a third replicator, not a meme[edit]

At a talk in which I heard Susan Blackmore in June 2009, she described temes as being "the third replicator". This implies that they are not - as this article implies - a type of meme, but the third replicator after genes and memes. If genes and memes have their own article in Wikipedia, perhaps an article could be started on this concept, if there is currently enough information to justify its own article. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 19:53, 27 June 2009 (UTC)


This article has been rewritten with appropriate sources. I am removing the third party tag. Should any additional citations be needed they can be found by doing a Google Scholar search for Susan Blackmore and going to any of the many journal articles citing her books and articles. The references that remain to her own work are to support the direct quotations and have been referenced with third party sources that cite the articles quoted. If an editor has the time her work in Memetics could be expanded and if truly necessary the direct quotes could be converted to prose based on third party sources. Her work in parapsychology and the paranormal could also be further detailed. - - MrBill3 (talk) 11:11, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Large study quote[edit]

I reverted the removal of the following:

"A large study of paranormal experiences that Blackmore conducted from 1996 to 1999 revealed most them "fell under the definition of sleep paralysis.""

The source (Rowlands, Barbara (17 November 2001). "In the dead of the night". The Observer. London. Retrieved 24 July 2013. ) has this:

"Dr Susan Blackmore, a research psychologist and visiting lecturer at the University of the West of England, carried out a large study between 1996 and 1999 of 'paranormal' experiences, most of which clearly fell within the definition of sleep paralysis."

The editor who removed it stated in their edit summary that it did not follow from the source. Clearly this sentence follows the source very directly. Regarding the focus of the study it is my understanding that the study was focused on Out of Body experiences not sleep paralysis. If there is a RS that states this study was of sleep paralysis please cite and consider including in the article as appropriate. - - MrBill3 (talk) 05:37, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

No, it doesn't follow. The sentence in the WP article suggests that they indiscriminately gathered 'paranormal' experiences and discovered that most of them were the result of sleep paralysis. That's not what the cited article says, and that's not what happened. I provided a pointer in my edit comment, the Perrott-Warrick Project: "We carried out several surveys, several experiments, and collected a large number of accounts of psychic experiences. We concentrated especially on the experience of sleep paralysis, and collected over 300 accounts of these experiences."
Incidentally the sentence in the WP article also falsely implies that Blackmore wrote the words in quotes, when they come from the author of the Guardian article. And it isn't even an accurate quote, substituting "within" for "under". Vzaak (talk) 07:10, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
I suggest then;
Barbara Rowland in an article in The Guardian stated that Blackmore, "carried out a large study between 1996 and 1999 of 'paranormal' experiences, most of which clearly fell within the definition of sleep paralysis."Rowlands, Barbara (17 November 2001). "In the dead of the night". The Observer. London. Retrieved 24 July 2013.  The study examined borderline states of consciousness focusing on sleep paralysis and found that many experiences that some attribute to psychic phenomena, including out of body experiences, occurred during sleep paralysis.Blackmore, Susan. "Perrott-Warrick Project". Archived from the original on 2013-06-15. 
Please note WP policy WP:BRD. After making a Bold edit and being Reverted the appropriate action is to Discuss not to undo the revert. I am more than happy to have a discussion here and work towards consensus. That is the policy of WP not a series of edits before there has been discussion. What I think is important to include in this article is a specific example of Blackmore studying phenomena that have been attributed to psychic causes and finding scientific explanations. If you can find a better example I welcome it's substitution for this example. It is clear that her work was originally an attempt to study psychic phenomena and her results led her to believe there were scientific explanations. This is in the article already and as I said I think a specific example is appropriate. - - MrBill3 (talk) 08:11, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Take it easy. The original sentence in the WP article was clearly mistaken, as was the revert of my edit. This wouldn't have happened if the pointer I gave to the Perrott-Warrick Project was checked, or if the cite was more carefully read. Removing obvious misinformation isn't edit warring.
Deciding upon an appropriate replacement is orthogonal to this correction. Vzaak (talk) 08:46, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
To address your point about WP:BRD directly, my edit was not a bold edit. Correcting an article isn't being bold. So please relax with this stuff. Vzaak (talk) 09:15, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Vzaak: 1. Removal of material and source from an article without first discussing it on the talk page is a bold edit. 2. It is clearly stated on the Bold, revert, discuss process page that “a revert should not be reverted again by the same editors until the changes have been discussed”. I pointed this out on your talk page. 3. Removal of a quote published in a notable source rather than correcting a one word error could be seen as disruptive editing. 4. “this stuff” is discussion in an attempt to reach consensus.
I continue to take it easy and welcome discussion. Please don't imply any personal attack or animosity. I certainly hope that my comments are seen as civil. I enjoy working to improve Wikipedia and find the collaborative process engaging and constructive. I respect your opinions and conclusions and remain open to compromise. As you can see in my proposal below, I have corrected the error in the quotation, clearly identified the author of the quotation and given the subject of the article for context. If you have other issues with the fact I seek to include in the article please continue to voice them.
Please see the following guidelines and procedures: Bold, Editing policy, BOLD, revert, discuss cycle, Edit warring, Consensus and Identifying reliable sources. - - MrBill3 (talk) 14:35, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
You wrongly accused me of criticizing Blackmore's research methods and methodology (still no apology), apparently because you thought I was some pro-paranormal enthusiast. You misrepresented the content of the Guardian article. You didn't carefully reassess the article after the removal, and didn't check the confirming reason for the removal, the Perrott-Warrick Project. Moreover, you misattributed a quote to Blackmore, and even the misattributed quote was incorrect. And, to boot, you forgot an ending quotation mark. All in one sentence! There is no controversy whatsoever in removing such a sentence, and your voluminous efforts to paint it otherwise are highly inappropriate. Vzaak (talk) 17:41, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
I misinterpreted Vzaak's criticism of the use, accuracy and attribution of a quote as a criticism of the content of the quote or the research methods of the study mentioned in the quote, I apologize. The material he removed contained a misquotation and error in punctuation. The attribution of the quote was not clear. I have sought to remedy these errors in the sentence suggested below. My misenterpretation of Vzaak's criticism has resulted in this exhaustive discussion of his removal of material that contained at least two errors. My comments in the discussion on this page and elsewhere have been unncessarily long and strident. I regret the effort required to discuss and reach a consensus on rather small item that required correction due to my over the top reaction to a revert of a revert without discussion first. - - MrBill3 (talk) 08:43, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Proposal for inclusion in article[edit]

I propose the following sentence for inclusion in the article:

In a article in The Observer on sleep paralysis Barbara Rowland wrote that Blackmore, “carried out a large study between 1996 and 1999 of 'paranormal' experiences, most of which clearly fell within the definition of sleep paralysis.”


Rowlands, Barbara (17 November 2001). "In the dead of the night". The Observer. London. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 

Justification for inclusion: This is factual and verifiable. It is notable for publication in a major newspaper. It has encyclopedic value as a specific example of the content of the article.

Response to criticism: This “follows” the source directly it is a quotation. If there is content in the article that provides context or clarification, suggest it's inclusion. An editor's opinion of the implications of a writers statement (what it "suggests") must be supported by a reliable source. The webpage pointed to (Perrott-Warrick Project) clearly states that the study was funded by a grant (administered by Trinity College, Cambridge) that is "absolutely for the purpose of psychical research". Criticism of the methodology of the research methods should be backed up by a more reliable source than this webpage, there are 19 conference papers and 8 published articles listed on the webpage. These papers and articles (or other articles which cite them) would provide verifiable information on this study. However it is a fact that Rowland wrote precisely what is quoted and it was published. - - MrBill3 (talk) 13:44, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

I find this response bizarre. Do you think I'm a pro-paranormal advocate or something? A look at my history will show the exact opposite. Why all this lawyering? Why do you think I'm criticizing the "methodology of the research methods" of Blackmore or anyone else? That is obviously not true.
Why not simply summarize Blackmore's research into sleep paralysis with respect to alien abductions or OBEs or something? You're citing an article that discusses the medical aspect of sleep paralysis which only mentions Blackmore in passing, and the paranormalish aspect of sleep paralysis is given no treatment whatsoever. Vzaak (talk) 14:53, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
My objective in including the above quote is to provide a notable third party source. I think the article already contains adequate explanation of Blackmore studying paranormal phenomena and not finding any supernatural causes but would benefit from specific examples. WP places an emphasis on someone other than the subject as a source. I think including the fact that Blackmore was consulted on an article where it is stated she studied a phenomena as possibly paranormal but found a scientific explanation instead provides that. I don't understand what you see as bizarre about that. Sorry if my suggestions to adhere to WP policies and guidelines seem excessive. I will strive to be more concise and focused on content. I will also look for another example that elaborates further on Blackmore's research. At this point I still think this is a factual and valid example for inclusion, however should a better example be found and included this one could be removed. - - MrBill3 (talk) 15:56, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
The bizarreness I mentioned is your accusation that I criticized the "methodology of the research methods" of Blackmore, which is completely untrue and out of left field. Also bizarre is the lawyering on display here, indicating you thought I was a paranormal enthusiast looking to push a point of view or something. No, I simply removed inaccurate content.
I'm not involved with whatever you decide to add (or not). My removal of inaccurate and misleading information is independent of that.
This is a backhanded uncivil remark: "Sorry if my suggestions to adhere to WP policies and guidelines seem excessive." Please see WP:UNCIVIL. Consider this a warning. Vzaak (talk) 17:45, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
My remark was not intended as a backhanded uncivil remark it was sincere. I have apologized above for both my over reaction and misinterpretation.
I am not sure how to interpret your statement "I am not involved with whatever you decide to add (or not)." Does that mean you have no opinion or objection regarding including the sentence proposed? If so I will add the sentence after waiting for any other editors to weigh in. - - MrBill3 (talk) 08:55, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

As there has been no objection I will add the proposed text and reference. - - MrBill3 (talk) 05:20, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Problems With the Photos[edit]

Both photos in the main body of the article make references to something called TAM. There's no reference to TAM in the body of the article, nor does to photo caption provide a link or explain what that apparent acronym stands for. I assume it's some sort of conference, but surely there's a better way to reference it.

Also, the second photo (the one of the autographed book) doesn't seem to be relevant to anything in the body of the article. There is no explanation of who Susan Gerbic is, nor does the name link to anything. It's also not clear what "fakers" Blackmore is referring to, and the suggestion that she won't fight the fakers (whatever that means) seems to be at odds with the description of her as a skeptic. Webster100 (talk) 19:56, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

TAM is presumably The Amaz!ng Meeting, and yes, the signed book doesn't seem to add anything. I've updated the first photo and cut the second. --McGeddon (talk) 20:28, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Request for Comments[edit]

There is an RfC on the question of using "Religion: None" vs. "Religion: None (atheist)" in the infobox on this and other similar pages.

The RfC is at Template talk:Infobox person#RfC: Religion infobox entries for individuals that have no religion.

Please help us determine consensus on this issue. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:04, 21 April 2015 (UTC)