Monday, July 23, 2012

Ghosts Change Nothing

Why is it considered irrational to believe in ghosts? Well, there is no good evidence for their existence that can be publicly verified, the exact definition of the word 'ghost' is not even particularly clear. But there also seems to be a common presupposition that ghosts are unscientific phenomena. There is a perceived enmity between the scientist and paranormal hauntings.

This is really unnecessary, though. There is nothing inherently unscientific about a ghost. The reason scientists ought not believe in them is simply that no experiments have ever provided a good reason to believe in them. If we somehow managed to find a haunted house with a ghost that could be reliably observed, there is no reason for science to be threatened by this. It simply means that there is a new branch of science that needs to be founded.

If we somehow discovered a ghost, but also found that the ghost was in some way immeasurable, then science may have reason to feel threatened. But if we called in the professors, measured whatever was measurable, developed hypotheses to explain the measurements, and tested those hypotheses through repeatable experimentation, then ghosts are properly added to the list of things that science can study.

Ghosts, in and of themselves, change nothing with regard to science's capabilities.

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