There have been many recent topics regarding what constitutes beneficial evidence in support of paranormal events. With scientific method in mind, I would like to start this discussion around three terms; cause & effect, correlation, and conjecture. I will provide examples of each and hopefully generate interest in how this applies to paranormal investigation.
Cause & Effect – a direct and verifiable relationship between two things; one causes the other.
Correlation – an apparent relationship between two things; one appears to cause the other.
Conjecture – a guess, most likely biased by culture and personal experience.
CAUSE & EFFECT:
This is where science gives us answer. Maybe not the only answers but, answers the paranormal community needs to acknowledge to be taken seriously. Cause & Effect is where meaningful conclusions come from verifiable data. These conclusions are proven through repeated experimentation within a given situation and present us with likely cause whenever we experience the same effect/result. However, we need to remain aware that these conclusions may not apply to all situations.
1. Specific particles, lighting, and camera position can result in “orbs”.
2. The omnipresence of radio frequencies can result in EVP.
3. Hair, straps, clothing, or moving particles can result in streaks in photos.
4. The omnipresence of EM Spectrum signals can cause unexpected EMF readings.
This is where some science starts. Correlation may point our research in a good direction but, it can be too broad and completely misleading. Correlation should not be used to support a conclusion. Be aware of people who have carefully chosen specific correlations to support a deceptive agenda. There may be extensive verifiable data in support of each aspect of a correlation but, there may not be a verifiable Cause & Effect between the two. If the scope of the correlation is narrow enough we may be able to take the leap to Cause & Effect.
1. I took a picture at a haunted location; there are “orbs” in the picture.
2. Some EVP seem like direct answers to specific questions.
3. The area history suggests satanic cult activity; I took this picture with the streak in it.
4. I noticed this EMF reading when I heard the noise.
There is no verifiable data here. Some science concepts may start here but, without verifiable data, there is no progress to mature the concept into something more. This is often where bias, driven by culture and personal experience, keeps our emotions tied to ideas we cannot otherwise support. From here we may be able to make the leap to Correlation but, we cannot find Cause & Effect.
1. “Orbs” are disembodied spirits.
2. EVP are the voices of the dead.
3. The bright streak in this photo is a demonic portal.
4. This EMF reading indicates spirit activity.