And so the debate rages on. It's been one that has been going on for decades, but has become a lot more vocal in the past ten years thanks to the Internet and the ever expanding field of ghost enthusiasts. The topic: Science and the paranormal. Paranormal teams are proud to proclaim and post they are "Science-based" or take a "Scientific approach" during their investigations. Scientists on the other hand are firm on stating there's no such thing as ghosts and if paranormal claims are true, prove it.
That right there is the problem. We in the paranormal field cannot and will never be able to prove any claim if we continue to be hellbent on proving our extraordinary claims in a scientific manor. The hard truth is, the sights and sounds we experience during investigations cannot follow the Scientific Method because we will never be able to recreate the anomalies we encounter.
What we need to do is simply restate our objectives and how we explain our experiences with paranormal anomalies. I do believe one day, probably long after I'm dead, science and a collective of focused and dedicated minds will be able to explain how and why we see and hear the things we do on location. Maybe we'll even get an answer to, from where or when are these sights and sounds coming from? But what I propose is ending our need to explain these experiences scientifically. We all (paranormal investigators, skeptics and scientists) need to think of encounters with the unexplained as, well...encounters.
Example: I claim that I once saw Patrick Stewart. I asked him a question and I got a response. A doubter will say, "prove it." Well, I can't. He was only there for a few seconds. I didn't have time to take a picture or record the encounter, but it happened. If I were to apply the Scientific Method to my meeting with Patrick Stewart I wouldn't be able to prove it either because I can't recreate the encounter with the man. I could experiment like mad, calling him and sending emails asking him to meet me, but that would only lead to a restraining order, not proof.
My point here is hopefully clear. When someone tries to shut you down and discredit your encounter with the simple and, in my opinion, lazy statement, "prove it," don't get frustrated or try to defend your claim with science. Explain your encounter with the paranormal as if you were telling someone about that one time you met that awesome person no one will believe you met. They don't have to believe you. You know it happened and there's really no need to defend your encounter. It was personal and had profound meaning to you. The science will come when the accumulated encounters with the things we cannot prove lead to questions like, "What are ghosts?" and "How can they do what they do?" These are the questions science will hopefully prove in the future. Until then, lets enjoy our brief encounters with awesome anomalies and consider ourselves lucky to have been in the right place at the right time to have had the encounter. Maybe all those who don't believe today will one day experience something they can't explain scientifically and join in the hunt for answers. I hope so. We can use all the help we can get.
Patrick H.T. Doyle
Being out in the middle of nowhere for an extended amount of time gives me time to think. My mind wanders, jumping from thoughts about current theories in the paranormal to new ideas in the hopes of discovering the truth about what we're encountering. These are some of those ideas.