Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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michael reynolds

Evolution the best idea? No, no, no. The best idea ever was the bottomless cup of coffee. Followed by the remote control.


Dennett is a devoted apostle of secularism because secularism is a tranquilizing drug. Many Americans are pacified by secularism starting in childhood -- there are no ghosts or devils, no reason to be terrified of the dark. Science has proven none of these things are real, so you are safe.

And how exactly did science prove there is no supernatural? Well Darwin explained how life could have originated and evolved out of dead and mindless matter. So we know that life is nothing but matter, and consciousness is merely something churned out by brains. Therefore, there cannot be a super-physical world, or any kind of non-physical beings.

I think every human being is, mostly unconsciously, terrified of the supernatural and its mysteries. I think secularists like Dennett are just as scared as anyone, and that is the basis of their fanaticism. No amount of logic or evidence can weaken their certainty.

Darwinism is the foundation of the faith that consoles them. This faith says that humans are more intelligent than nature, and there is no super-nature. Death is the worst thing that can happen to us, and death is nothing. So ultimately there is nothing to be afraid of.

Secularists are just as guilty of the delusional wishful thinking they accuse religious believers of.

michael reynolds

Science doesn't claim to disprove the existence of the supernatural. Science just doesn't see any evidence of the supernatural. I honestly don't know why people have such a problem with this really very simple idea: science is empirical. It looks for evidence. When it finds enough evidence science says "Aha, look!" And when it doesn't find evidence it goes back to pointing at the evidence it does have.

There is, I promise you, no major university science department devoted to "disproving" the existence of God, or unicorns for that matter.

Empiricists look for evidence. If they don't see any evidence they say, "Hey, I don't see anything here."



I just LOVE the idea that the secularist is ALSO a frightened child whistling in the dark -- what they so contemptuously accuse the religious of being. It explains the need for certainty at both extremes.

Richard Lawrence Cohen

If Darwin deserves all that credit, how come Wallace had the same idea at the same time? Dennett's lack of historical perspective shows that he's suffering from infatuation.

Michael R. is right, of course,in saying that science per se doesn't claim to disprove the supernatural; but in my opinion Realpc has hit on an important truth, and expressed it exceptionally well: scientists use science as an ideology, and sometimes misunderstand it and imperfectly practice it and misleadingly sell it, in order to deal with emotions they don't like to face. And because our society reveres them, they're allowed to pose as authorities in areas where they really aren't at all knowledgeable or insightful, e.g. religion.


"Science just doesn't see any evidence of the supernatural."

They don't see it because they will not look. Secularist scientists refuse to acknowledge the mountains of parapsychology evidence. Since they "know" matter creates mind, and mind does not create matter, they "know" that the parapsychology research must be defective in some way.

amba, Richard,

Yes, it is ironic that secularism provides a feeling of consolation and security similar to what people get from fanatical religious belief. But secularists also get additional benefits -- they can see themselves as intellectually superior to the ignorant believing masses.

I am not opposed to science, and I consider myself skeptical and scientific. And I don't think the scientific secularists mean any harm -- like most true believers, they want to help the world become as enlightened as themselves. But they are causing serious harm, in my opinion. They increasingly dominate the scientific establishment and the education system. They are politically powerful, since technology is so valued by our civilization (with good reason).
But extreme secularism is harmful to the human spirit because, for one thing, it is a mythology which distorts and diminishes reality. And it may cause harm to society by helping to ignite the backlash of religious fanaticism and terrorism.

In addition, scientific secularism and materialism can block scientific progress in important areas. Mental illness is no more understood now than it was a hundred years ago, for example. And physical disorders that do not respond to mechanistic treatments usually cannot be cured.

The great successes of our science and technology strengthen the secularist mythology. If we continue on this path, there will be cures for cancer, mental illness, AIDS, and all the rest -- hardly anyone doubts the myth.

But the damage caused by secularist extremism is not confined to practical areas like medicine. It makes it very hard for researchers like Rupert Sheldrake, Dean Radin, Gary Schwartz, Robert Jahn, etc., to be taken seriously, or even heard of, by the public. The secular priesthood carefully guards the doors of respectable science.

michael reynolds

Utter nonsense. Scientists have looked at al sorts of supernatural phenomena. The Amazing Randi has a standing offer out of a million dollars for anyone who can demonstrate pretty much anything supernatural. Any one of the "psychic researchers" you name could collect on that million -- ikf they had actual evidence.

Of course there's a much simpler, practical proof that psychic phenomena either don't exist or are inaccessible to humans: Las Vegas. The day humans acquire the ability to see the future or manipulate objects with their minds, Vegas will fold up. Still see Vegas? Then psychic power is still baloney.

As for your bizarre notion that mental illness is no better understood today than a hundred years ago, are we going down the Tom Cruise path here? Just because you don't like the answers doesn't mean there aren't any.



You claim that "...scientific secularism and materialism can block scientific progress in important areas." If this is the case, individuals not buried in such a mindset should be able to produce stunning results. Where are they? Don't say they are suppressed by science; ideas that work will win out because they WORK! It isn't the scientist that is successful, it is the science. Similarly, you imply suppression of a cadre of researchers. Again, stop focusing on the person, and examine the idea and whether it works or not! Sheldrake: morphic fields and telepathy; Radin: clairvoyance, distance healing, etc.; Schwartz: afterlife experiments; Jahn: effects of human thoughts on machines. Have these ideas been shown to work? All that needs to be done is for them to meet scientific standards of proof. There, I have set you up for your next post: all about how such standards are set up to guarantee failure of such ideas. Take the bait?

michael reynolds

What, you don't have your psychic-powered jet-pack yet?


"Radin: clairvoyance, distance healing, etc.; Schwartz: afterlife experiments; Jahn: effects of human thoughts on machines. Have these ideas been shown to work?"

Yes, they have demonstrated all of that with controlled experiments and standard statistical analyses.

The "skeptics" are not above resorting to sneaky tricks. For example, they will attempt to replicate a successful parapsychology experiment -- the attempt fails, and the "skeptic" declares the original results discredited. The trick is, the "skeptic" deliberately designs a low-power experiment that is guaranteed to fail.

This is such an obvious deception, but the general public is not educated in experiment design. They are educated, however, to have unquestioning faith in our scientific establishment. So when the headline says "Psychic Dog Fails the Test," or whatever, no "skeptic" is skeptical enough to doubt it. It's easy to design experiments that are guaranteed to fail! The challenge for experimental researchers is just the opposite -- to maximize sensitivity and power.

"The Amazing Randi has a standing offer out of a million dollars for anyone who can demonstrate pretty much anything supernatural."

Anyone who knows anything about James Randi is aware that he is one of the most fanatical of the scientific materialists. His certainty that matter creates mind is absolute. The million dollar prize is always cited as proof that there is no evidence of anything paranormal. But you have to consider Randi's screening method -- what makes you so sure Randi is being fair, considering his extreme materialist bias?

michael reynolds

You're not answering anyone's points. I made the point that an ability to either foretell the future or manipulate objects (say, dice) with the mind would put Las Vegas out of business. (Also, Wall Street, by the way.) You have no answer.

Koszmic asks you to point to the wonderful innovations created by your anti-materialist, non-secular paragons, and again, you got nothing.

It always comes down to this: some guy says he can levitate so we say 'okay, levitate.' And he doesn't. So the guy who can't fly blames us for witnessing his failure, never himself for believing nonsense.

You have psychic powers, RealPC? Hop a jet to Vegas, man: come home a millionaire and laugh in my face.


"As for your bizarre notion that mental illness is no better understood today than a hundred years ago, are we going down the Tom Cruise path here?"

The drugs used by psychiatrists to treat mental illness at best dull some of the symptoms. They do not cure the diseases, and medical science has really no idea how they work.
Although many Americans have bought the myth that modern science understands how the brain works, the myth is completely disconnected from reality. And what little is understood about the brain is seldom relevant to how it is influenced by the popular psychiatric drugs.

"an ability to either foretell the future or manipulate objects (say, dice) with the mind would put Las Vegas out of business."

Parapsychology is interested in trying to understand the mind, not in performing magic. If people can, under certain conditions and to a limitted degree, demonstrate paranormal abilities, that contributes to our understanding. If it's possible, for example, to have awareness of events that will occur a split second in the future, that tells us a lot about the relationship between mind and matter, and about our world. If people can influence random number generators to a slight, but statistically reliable, degree, that fact adds to our understanding.

I think there are some genuine psychics, and many fake ones. Why aren't the real ones getting rich at casinos? Maybe the most successful gamblers do have a slight psychic advantage. But I don't think ESP is easily turned out at will, and I think it operates mostly subconsciously. The best parapsychology experiments don't involve the conscious mind at all.

michael reynolds

The only "successful" gamblers play games of skill, (poker, for example) not chance.

Very simple experiment: roulette. It's essentially a random number generator. 1 through 36 plus zero and double zero. 38 numbers total with a pay-out of 35 to one. Your odds of hitting a specific number are 38 to 1, but with a pay-out at only 35 to 1 you need to bump your odds up a bit to come out ahead.

Random chance says you hit once every 38 spins on average. If you can hit once every 34 spins -- a small, but statistically significant effect -- you're rich. A person who could do that could shut a casino down over time. (Same kind of thing with blackjack or craps or keno.)

So, on the one hand we have people claiming to be able to use psychic abilities to beat random chance. And on the other hand we have a worldwide gambling business worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Hmmm, unsubstantiated claims, vs. gigantic gambling profits. Which to believe, which to believe . . .


No, you don't understand the random number generator experiments. It would take billions of trials to get the same results with a roulette wheel.



I think you are referring to the PEAR experiments when you comment on "random number generator" experiments. They DO claim crazy odds on their results occurring by chance. But statistics can be misused. Critics of the experiments note that one person, although only involved in about 15% of the trials, accounts for about HALF of the results, and that person is 'believed' to be a PEAR staff member . . . suspicious. Furthermore, statistics crunching according to one critic shows that the effect size claimed is the equivalent of one additional head or tail than chance predicts per one thousand coin tosses!


The PEAR research has been going on for 20 years, the scientists are experienced and qualified. But skeptics always insist there must be something wrong with parapsychology research that gets positive results.
Remote viewing was studied at SRI for 20 years, and this was not a bunch of amateurs either. The CIA finally decided remote viewing is not accurate or reliable enough for their needs -- but the results of the experiments showed remote viewing does occur. Even the skeptics who reviewed the research agreed about that.
There would be a lot more RNG research, and other types of parapsychology, if it weren't so hard to get funding. And it's hard to get funding because science is political, and is dominated by the secularist ideology. No amount of successful parapsychology experiments will ever convince a true believer in scientific secularism.
Parapsychology, like many other sciences, depends on statistics. You will take statistical results seriously if the research is in medicine, economics, political science, psychology, etc.. But you will not accept the same level of certainty in parapsychology. Even extremely high certainty levels are not accepted, because "statistics can be misused." Well, sure they can. But you don't automatically assume the statistics are misued in medical research.


On the other hand, parapsychology proponents always seem to assume that the studies are valid, no matter how questionable the methods or scientists involved.

Truly though, it is the job of any independent scientist to assume that any study they are reviewing has flaws, and attempt to locate those flaws. It just seems a lot easier to spot them in parapsychological studies...probably because the studies are likely to be flawed. It seems more common in this type of study than in generic scientific studies that the study proponents have a vested interest in proving their viewpoint.

Personally I would love to believe in psychic phenomena. However, though I do not deny the possibility, I deny that any psychic abilities have as yet been conclusively proven to exist.

Farmer Fred

Parapsychologists and other religious kooks are all over the place and NOT EVEN ONE of them can demonstrate the slightest shred of evidence that what they excitedly believe can ever be witnessed or duplicated. They're all full of crap.

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