by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
At the end I wound it up by saying, “I don’t believe I even need to comment on this. The data speaks for itself.”
Apparently, it didn’t. I’ve been called out a few times about the blog, so I’m going to clarify here.
The reason that I thought the conclusions of the data spoke for themselves is because they were so patently silly that I was CERTAIN no one would think that I believed a conclusion that discarnate human spirits were leprechauns or that animals must have no soul because they couldn’t determine a weight that was a significant finding. In not wanting to insult your intelligence by pointing out how silly the findings were, those of you who contacted me and told me I was an idiot have insulted my intelligence. I thought it would be the height of hubris to point out the obvious. Guess not.
So then, without further ado, here is the point that I thought made itself.
Duncan MacDougall reached absolutely silly conclusions because he had a predetermined bias going into the experiment. He believed dogs had no souls and human souls had weight. Lo and behold, he did his very flawed experiment where he had ONE decent finding, and then from that he drew his conclusion about the weight of the human soul. He snuffed out some dogs, could get no weight differential, and therefore decided that it supported his conclusions that dogs had no souls. That’s not science. That’s silliness.
And the leprechaun guy? Puhleez. I’m guessing that this was a researcher who might have had a few assumptions that didn’t really serve what he claimed he was trying to discover. Unless what he was trying to prove was the existence of leprechauns. Or maybe not.
My point was about starting assumptions. Make as few as possible. If you’re looking to support a foregone conclusion, you’re not open to what the data is actually telling you. The soul weight experiments are a perfect example of that.
That’s it. Hope that clarifies what I was trying to say. I’ll try to be clearer in the future. In the meantime, thanks for keeping me honest.