"The Data Are Irrelevant”: Comment on Reber and Alcock (2019)

Etzel Cardeña

Abstract


The rebuttal by Reber and Alcock (2019) to an umbrella meta-analysis of the evidence for parapsychological (psi) phenomena (Cardeña, 2018) purposefully did not engage with the data and analyses in that paper. Instead, the authors proposed that because they and some physicists consider psi phenomena to be impossible there is no need to consider the data. After some background information, this commentary discusses how: 1) Reber and Alcock's disregard for the data goes against a core tenet of science, 2) eminent physicists have not considered psi phenomena to be incompatible with their discipline and some have even proposed theories to explain it, so no definite conclusion can be advanced with regard to the impossibility of psi phenomena based on physics, and 3) Reber and Alcock misrepresent the history and current status of psi research.

Keywords


parapsychology, psi, physics, philosophy of science

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