Science cannot prove a negative. It’s not possible to prove that something does not exist using real science. This is why science should stay out of religion. You cannot disprove a belief. It simply cannot be done. The scientist and the believer are arguing from entirely different and incompatible worldviews.
There might or might not be a god or gods. Science has no evidence to suggest there is, and no means or method to prove there isn’t. To pure science, it is an entirely irrelevant question unless and until some god or other decides to leave a clue.
Many people believe in a god or gods. Are they wrong? Science has no means to even begin to study belief because ‘belief’ is a concept that does not apply in science. There are many scientists who are devoutly religious but apart from a very few fields of study, the two mindsets are not in conflict at all. In geology, palaeontology, evolutionary biology and a few others, trying to work within a 6000-year constraint would cause a conflict that could blow a talented mind to bits.
In, say, chemistry or biochemistry, no problem. It does not matter how or when the molecules originated. Only their current interactions matter.
In any studiies of what is referred to as the ‘paranormal’, the focus tends to be on trying toi prove it’s not real by replicating the effect in the lab.
Personally, I don’t think Uri Geller’s claimed powers are real. I cannot say for certain that they are not. I just don’t see why only one person out of seven billion would be able to do what he claims to do. But maybe his powers are real. I don’t know.
I can do the ‘ratcheting’ that makes it look like I’m bending a spoon or a key in real time. I can do a pretty good cold reading that can make most peole believe I’m really speaking to their dead relatives. I have no paranormal powers but I can fake some of them. I make no money from it, it’s all just a bit of fun to scare a drone or two.
Because I can fake them, is that proof that nobody can do those things? No, it proves only that I can replicate those things using fakery. Using logic and a bit of mind-bending, I can look as though I have some kind of spooky abilities. It won’t work on you now that I’ve already told you it’s fake but it does work on those who aren’t pre-warned.
This does not prove that all who claim to do these things are fakes.
For the record, I consider anyone who makes a living as a medium as a fake. Logic again. How can they call up the right number of ghosts for the duration of a show and have every ghost relevant to someone in the audience? Never a dud show where no ghosts turn up. Never a show where too many turn up. Never one where the ghosts impart anything really important. It’s a show. It’s not real.
That does not prove that all mediums are fakes. All the TV ones are.
Ghosts cannot be studied in a laboratory. Unless it’s a haunted laboratory and there aren’t many of those. Taking all your equipment (which equipment – what are ghosts made of?) to a haunted location means you have changed the nature of that location, possibly in a way that means the ghost can no longer appear.
We have no idea if ghosts are real. If they are real, we have no idea what they are made of nor what materials we might bring to their location that would affect their ability to appear or communicate. We might bring a device that blocks them and declare ‘No ghost here’ while the ghost screams silently against our inadvertant wall. We just do not know.
When we medicate a schizophrenic so they don’t hear the voices any more… are we curing their imaginary voices or blocking their ability to hear real ghostly ones? Can we really be sure?
Yes, we can replicate ghostly effects. Low-frequency infrasound can do it, among other things. We don’t even need to go as far as holograms. Humans are easily fooled – but does that prove that all such experiences are not real?
It only proves that they can be replicated. It does not prove that all reports are caused by our replication method.
So when I read something telling me that ghosts are all in the imagination because the experience can be replicated by a machine, I have to ask…
… where is the machine in all the other reports?