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Michael Persinger reputable?

Chris Rutkowski rutkows at ccu.umanitoba.ca
Sat Sep 25 14:45:24 EST 1993

In <Pine.3.05.9309241105.D1238-b100000 at uqbar> stephan at jsasoc.com (Stephan A. Schwartz) writes:
>On Thu, 23 Sep 1993, There's a seeker born every minute. wrote:

>>     Have any neurologists or psychologists heard of this man? Is he a 
>> reputable neurologist? A quack? Is he ever referenced by others in the
>> field? Does anyone know if he's still researching this sort of thing?  
>> Any recent (1992 - present) articles by or about him in the journals?

>Michael Persinger is a very reputable researcher, who has made a number of
>contributions of note.  The one that comes instantly to mind was the
>relationship of geomagnetic field strength with psi-functioning.  This has
>been replicated at several labs, and has been extended by James
>Spottiswoode et al to a small but perceptible correlation between
>geomagnetic field strength and epilepsy.
>Persinger has a lengthy publication list, and his work is sound.


"reputable"? by what criteria? His methodology in using geomagnetic
indices to correlate with psychic events leaves a lot to be desired.
I'm surprised McGrath and Sheaffer haven't stepped in yet.  Sheaffer
and Persinger don't see eye to eye, I'm told.

Persinger has published a lot of articles, it's true.  But he's
publishing articles about geophysics in psychology journals.  Surely
the referees can only comment on the stats, which DO show impressive
correlations.  But it's garbage in, garbage out.

Now, he MAY be onto something with regards to EM radiation and
epilepsy, but in one article he warned that UFO investigators were at
risk for being too close to ultraweak EM fields which were creating
luminous UFOs.  Trouble is, since most (if not all) UFOs are
misidentifications of airplanes and stars, not only are the
correlations meaningless, but so is the suggestion of EM-created UFOs.

Is there a connection between geomagnetic fields and biological
mechanisms?  Maybe.

Does Persinger's research prove it?  Hardly.


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Chris Rutkowski - rutkows at ccu.umanitoba.ca
University of Manitoba - Winnipeg, Canada

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