by JD Harrison, Science Editor
Paranormal Underground e-Magazine
Today, interest in the paranormal and paranormal investigating is more popular than ever. On TV and online, we see many groups out there claiming to use science in their investigative techniques, but are we going about it properly?
As many of you are aware, in the field of paranormal investigation, there is much to be done if the paranormal field is ever to rise from the realm of pseudoscience into the field of mainstream science. However, in order for this to occur the proper use of a true scientific method must be employed in paranormal investigations.
Many paranormal groups will go into an investigation armed to the teeth with the latest gadget (EMF meters, temperature probes, thermal imaging, ect.) feeling that by using scientific equipment, they are using a scientific approach in their investigating, while in reality they could not be farther from the truth.
What is done with the information that is gathered from this equipment? How is it used, and more importantly, what does it mean? If they were truly familiar with the use of the scientific method and proper methodology, they would know that the readings they get from their many gadgets couldn’t be considered “empirical evidence to validate the objects they seek (spirits, apparitions, shadow people, long-leggity-beasties). Why? Because the objects that are sought in a paranormal investigation are considered unknown variables when using the scientific method, and have not to date been quantified (measured, weighed, ect.).
If an object has not been quantified, no amount of equipment in the world (EMF meters, thermal imaging, ect.) can be used to measure it. In other words, if you use an EMF meter in an investigation, and get an EMF spike, does that mean that something paranormal is present? No. It means that something is causing a higher than normal EMF reading in the area. Is that something of paranormal origin? We cannot say, because until a presence can be quantified, the type of energy it emits (if any at all) cannot be measured by anything.
You cannot measure something if you do not know what it is. So, is the equipment worthless? Absolutely not. It is integral to the investigation, not for “detecting” the paranormal, but for the information it provides to us. The information from the equipment that we use in investigations is the key in making a proper analysis of supposed paranormal events, and ultimately their quantification.
By now you must be thinking “This sounds complicated”, and my answer is, it is. Using a scientific methodology in paranormal investigating requires a lot of dedication, for it is a long and sometimes frustrating process. All information from investigations, even the lack of information must be gathered and analyzed, a solid methodology must be established, all types of environmental conditions will need to be monitored and accurately documented, and then analyzed for any changes if paranormal activity occurs or does not occur.
All information will be important. Why? Because we are looking for correlations to show cause. If a seeming correlation does occur (such as the spike of an EMF meter or some other environmental change) as a paranormal event happens, then that correlation must be shown to occur under similar circumstances and similar environmental conditions in other investigations. It must be consistent, and ALL conditions must exist before you can consider it a possible correlation.
Once correlations are established, then causative measures, or the processes that made them happen can be examined. This will take a lot of information and a lot of investigating, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. The information gathered will have to be statistically analyzed and interpreted. New research questions will arise from the information, and will have to be investigated, and if done properly, the process will never end.
But from all of this, true scientific discovery will be made. Can it be done? Absolutely! It will take dedication, vigilance, and a strong will to truly discover what lies beyond, but we can do it. And hopefully through discussions through this Blog, we can come closer to the answer together.
I know this is a lot to process, but I leave you with this thought to ponder from one of the world’s greatest humanitarians and Anthropologists, Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”