Can parapsychology supporters convert to skeptics?
Does it happen that so called “believers” in the paranormal and psi convert over time and become skeptics? Apparently, yes. And two interesting cases of such changes in personal position regarding parapsychology comes from people who actually took the time and energy to actually study it actively. The two people are Dr. Susan Blackmore (read her article from New Scientist from 2000 First Person – Into the Unknown) and Louis Savva (read his article from 2006 Why I Quit Parapsychology). They both started as believers and then, after actively studying and experimenting, came to the conclusion that no psi effects exist.
And more recently, the great blog Science is a method, not a position wrote a post Don’t set an impossible bar… where the author writes that going after finding the prove for psi may lead to the results of Susan Blackmore and Louis Savva. He writes:
I’d also suggest additionally that if one’s goal is primarily to “prove” psi or spiritual reality and “defeat” materialism once and for all one might well find oneself walking down the path tread by Susan Blackmore and Louie Savva, and ending up in the same place as they did. Because that kind of motivation does not seem to be correlated with fostering psi phenomena.
I wonder if myself with my Psi Experiments website will come to this? I sometimes feel that it might happen, as much as I’d like it not to be.