Thursday, January 22, 2009
Evidence of Ghosts
Where is the data? For over 100 years, people have investigated hauntings and in that time an enormous amount of data -- photographs, video, audio, witness interviews and investigator's notes -- have been collected. Where is this vast amount of information? Is there a ghost hunter's archive? Or is the data stored haphazardly in the attics and basements of ghost hunters all around the world? I fear the latter.
Many ghost hunters, like TAPS, honestly attempt to gather real data that can be objectively evaluated. I'm sure each ghost hunting group analyzes the data they have collected to reach conclusions, form hypotheses they can test and perhaps refine theories about life after death. But they are only looking at one tiny fraction of a fraction of all the data that has been collected. Think of it as a puzzle where the pieces are key bits of evidence spread all over the world. How can we determine what the puzzle is without having access to all the pieces?
Some will argue that much of the evidence is redundant. But I counter, how do you know? Have you seen all the evidence? One thing to keep in mind is Darwin's Theory of Evolution. He postulated that there must be some internal mechanism that propels the vast suite of diversity in biological life. Unknown at the time, Gregor Mendel, a German monk, was experimenting with diversity in sweet pea plants. His seminal work became the foundation for the field of genetics. He had one piece of the puzzle and Darwin had the other, but the pieces weren't put into place until long after their deaths.
In a perfect world, there would be some vast archive where data from all investigations of the paranormal (ghosts, cryptozoology, UFOs, etc.) would be stored and preserved. We need all the pieces before we can assemble the great puzzle of life.