Explain this SERENDIPITY and these COINCIDENCES?

The_Sage theeSage at azrmci.net
Mon Jul 21 20:49:37 EST 2003

>Reply to article by: "John H." <john at faraway.com>
>Date written: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 14:50:48 +1000
>MsgID:<3f1b70bc at dnews.tpgi.com.au>

>>>'Co-incidence' is an appellation, not an explanation.

>>That is exactly why coincidences are very important to psychologists
>>since the reason for the appellation tells us more about the
>>psychology of humans than it ever would about physically real reality.

>Imagine what would have happened if Fleming noted the way the bacteria 
>were killed and let it go at that. He had no logical explanation for 
>this and wrote up his results in 1928. It was until 1937 that Florey 
>paid particular attention to this Fleming's little read paper that 
>pencillin came into the world. In medicine particularly, logic often 
>follows the application of a treatment (psychiatric drugs are a very 
>good example in this regard - it has taken decades to begin to 
>appreciate why these are efficacious and to this day no-one claims 
>with complete certainty why anti depressants work).

No imagination is necessary, the reality is that Fleming did the
proper thing by following through on his experiments (variation in
experimental technique is a part of the scientific method). See how
successful logic and science can be when properly applied?

>>From a subjective point of view, synchronicities are paranormal or
>>magical and therefore not in the realm of science, especially since
>>there is not one valid, properly documented and publicized case of
>>someone writing down a dream or foreknowledge of an event way in
>>advance of the event, and then having the event occur just as the
>>dream or foreknowledge predicted it would. All we ever have are after
>>the fact storytales where we have to take somebody at their word that
>>it happened. Jung was no exception to this. But what is most
>>significant about synchronicities isn't that they don't exist outside
>>of our imagination, but that so many people want to pretend they exist
>>and want to pretend that they are 'special' enough to have a few here
>>and there. The reason for people wanting this tells us alot about the
>>psychology of humans.

>Psychology is replete with after the fact stories of human behaviour 
>and is lousy at predicting the behaviour of individuals. Last count I 
>heard, there were over 300 different theories of human 
>personality. If you read my post carefully you would note that I am 
>undecided about such matters, the question remains open to me.
>I think it is very dangerous to dismiss things by psychoanalyzing 
>peoples' motives for such beliefs. That is the easy road and allows 
>rampant speculation, as the history of psychology and psychiatry 
>easily demonstrate. Think of Freud's madness, promulgated for years by 
>very intelligent and capable people and now virtually absent 
>(thankfully!) from theories of human behaviour.

For someone who is "undecided" you sure have you mind made up what you
want to believe. But unlike all those psychologists who you allude to,
you have no facts, no experimental evidence, and no data to base your
beliefs on.

I would rather stick to the known facts instead of the judgmental
opinions, if you don't mind.

>>>The unconscious has no concept of time and is prone to mix up cause
>>>and effect, especially under times of stress. Your phone call is a
>>>perfect example of that since hearing from a long lost girlfriend is a
>>>sudden surprize (read: stress) and that 'jolt' was enough for you to
>>>mix up your memories of cause and effect, creating a false memory.

>Unconscious has no concept of time? Ever heard of circadian cycles?

Since when are humans circadias?

>Explain to me why many people report waking up just prior to their 
>alarm clock going off. There is nothing spooky about this, the 
>unconscious can be a very capable time keeper. For example, even 
>though I use a diary I am often reminded by my "unconscious" that I 
>have an appt at time X.

That isn't your unconscious that is reminding you, so your point is

>Sorry, I can't follow your thinking here. To begin with, there was no
>stress, at the time I was very relaxed.

The opposite of psychological 'stress' is not 'relaxed'. Psychological
stress simply means 'change'. The more sudden the change, the greater
the stress level. Happy events and sad events can be equally

And stress is something that accumulates, so it doesn't matter what
you were doing right at the moment of the phone call, what matters is
how much change had you been going through in the last day, week, or
even year (if the stress level is high enough, say like the death of a

>Nor did I attribute cause,

But you did attribute cause, you assumed that you got up to plug in
the phone because some magical force was prompting you to do so, just
in time to listen to Jane.

>I was simply surprised at the event and more surprised when others 
>told me that they also have experienced the same (and these others are 
>very much rationalists).

You can't believe everything that everyone tells you.

>Your project causes onto my thinking, psychology seems to delight in 
>telling people why they think the way they do

You are the only one projecting here.

>but psychology itself is often a hodge podge of ad hoc after the fact 
>explanations of human behaviour.

I would like to see your research paper or references that you have
accumulated to prove that...unless of course you are just making this
up as you go along and in real life you don't know much about

>Ironically, psychology is often guilty of making the very same mistake 
>you are accusing me of: it seeks causes after the fact. This is 
>exactly what you have done here, surmised I attributed cause and 
>surmised I was stressed. Surprise is not stress,

Since 'surprize' is defined as "To encounter suddenly or unexpectedly;
take or catch unawares", it most definitely is a form of stress since
it is a *sudden* change.

>that is like saying that if you throw a surprise party for someone you 
>are subjecting them to stress.

Exactly. Your true ignorance of what psychology is very apparent. See
http://www.stresstips.com/lifeevents.htm for an example of what you
are missing. Christmas is an example of a time of surprize and
happiness that therefore is also a time of stress.

>>>Naturally I disdain all forms of religion, including rationalism.

>>By definition for the word religion, rationalism is not a religion, it
>>is a philosophy.

>Philosophy, religion, I'm not interested in semantic pendantry,

Well I am and you should too if you want to have an intelligent

>the point I was making is that some think rational thought is the 
>answer to everything. It isn't. Look at the history of science, it is 
>amazing how many fundamental dogmas shift over time.

I prefer evolution over stagnation but apparently you don't feel the
same way about it as I do.

>Philosophy has a scorecard somewhat akin to religion.

Philosophy is not rationalism, in fact it is the other way around,
rationalism is but a small subset of philosophy, just like
science...and science most certainly does not have a scorecard like
any religion. The scientific method evolved from philosophy but that
doesn't make it a philosophy, just like astronomy evolved from
astrology but that doesn't make astronomy an astrological art.

>The point here is that irrespective of semantics many rationalists 
>adopt a religious attitude towards their philosophy, as if it is the 
>only way to think about the world.

Don't try and falsely pretend that all rationalists are alike. That is
a logical fallacy.

>Yes, I am convinced that science is the best method for understanding 
>things but I am not convinced that it is the only method.

Give some examples of some legitimate alternatives then.

>>>The universe is spooky, get used to it.

>>Prove it then, because it certainly isn't spooky for me.

>I suggest you take note of Einstein's dictum that he has lost a sense 
>of wonder of the universe is lost to science.
>Or for that matter look at the number of physicists who have gone 
>spooky (Penrose and tubules rubbish, Bohm, Tippler, ... ) I am not 
>saying there is something to this supernatural stuff, I'm saying I 
>just don't know but refuse to rationalise away in the inexplicable 
>bits of reality. That is what religions do, deductively determine the 
>cause of this or that.

Look at the even more numerous physicists who believe that is all

Science is not a democracy, so it doesn't matter what anybody thinks
or believes. All that matters is facts and you have yet to provide any
that prove that the universe is spooky.

>>>If you don't believe me, read about J
>>>Wheeler's delayed choice dual slit experiment.

>>That isn't the universe, that is particle physics. When someone can
>>tell me if a photon is a particle or a wave or whatever, I will start
>>paying attention to those experiments, otherwise it would be resorting
>>to the unknown to explain the unknown.

>Read about the experiment.

I've read the experiment hundreds of times. I even have examples of it
on my webpage that have been there for years now.

>You are proposing an explanation for something you are not aware of.

I have not proposed any explanations at all.

>That is exuberant confidence in your cogitations, we all fall down 
>that hole all too often. In Wheeler's case whether or not a photon is 
>that or that is irrelevant, what is relevant is that the choice of the 
>observer, even after the event, profoundly affects the results. 
>Deductive, be inductive. Science begins by resorting to examining the 
>unknown to explain the known.

And likewise, science doesn't end by using the unknown (like particle
physics still is) to explain the known. It simply says, "Insufficient
data to make *ANY* conclusion" -- including your conclusion that the
dual slit experiment proves anything that you claim it does. The dual
slit is irrelevant because it can't prove or disprove anything.

>If you choose not to investigate something because it is unknown, then 
>you choose to remain ignorant forever of that thing.

Well then I have nothing to worry about since I have never done that
in regards to this issue. You aren't making up things about me as you
go along, are you? It would be kind of hard for you to prove what I
know or don't know since you don't know me or my education...unless
you want to propose you have some form of ESP that allows you to
magically know these things without having to do any research

>>>>>>No, I won't argue the case, it's all up for grabs for me. I practice 
>>>>>>science, I don't believe in it; and I'm not that fucking arrogant as 
>>>>>>to believe that there's an explanation for everything.

>>>>>Nor does everything need an explanation.

>>>>V. unlikely you would remember your mother's face at 6 weeks of age. Nigh
>>>>impossible actually.

>>>Why would it be impossible?

>>Show me one documented case of a child who remembers memories at 6 weeks of age.

>You demonstrate a puzzling dichotomy here, you attribute causes to a
>complete stranger and demand proof that something isn't impossible.
>Shouldn't you demand that before asserting the possibility there is 
>evidence in support of the same? One could just as well say, "why are 
>paranormal phenomena impossible." The question cannot be answered. Are 
>you not making the same error as myself? Hmmm, we are human after all. 
>Now ain't that a pisser?

No, I simply asking you for the facts and you simply aren't going to
provide any, therefore the proper thing to do is to doubt the truth of
your claim/assertion. You made the claim, now let's see if you can
back it up. I would hate to think that you made up "facts" as you go
along in a dialog.

The Sage

My Home Page      :           http://members.cox.net/the.sage

"Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you still
exist, but you have cease to live" -- Mark Twain

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