This one has really been bugging me lately. Believer collect a piece of evidence, a video, a photo, even a hair sample and shoot from the rooftops this is definitive evidence. Then they stand aghast when the world doesn’t believe them. Here’s the problem, definitive evidence isn’t easy. Definitive evidence will probably never be a video or photo or even a footprint. Now a collection of hundreds of these, analysed by experts is getting closer, but the point is these things can be faked or misidentified too easily to accept as proof positive. Now there are things like DNA tests which could be considered definitive, however in order for these to be definitive the results must be replicated. That means if a lab claims to have found DNA from a Bigfoot, the results will need to be independently verified by others.
And there is good reason for the this – proof of the paranormal is well, extremely significant. It would rock many accepted notions in science and leave many skeptics (including some influential scientists) red in the face. Definitive proof is not a word to be used lightly.
The reality is if something like ghosts really existed to actually prove their existence is going to be a task that takes decades to accomplish, not a couple of field investigations. This is something paranormal investigators and skeptics need to understand. There is no easy way to prove anything paranormal. Paranormal events by their very definition are outside of our current scientific understanding. If they are true they have gone unproven for so long because of the extreme difficulty in proving them. To expect every photograph, video or witness testimony is definitive proof is unrealistic.
To actually get to a point of definitive proof there are two paths. The first is to wait until technology advances to a point where we can measure the phenomenon or test possible hypotheses until we find a match. The other method is to build a mountain of research; but this research cannot be loosely gathered testimony and samples. The collection and analysis practices must be improved and we need a methodology to see how this evidence influences the validity of competing hypotheses. Hint: I’ve already been working on one.
Many skeptics claim there is no way to disprove the paranormal in the eyes of believers but this is in fact not true. Most believer are rational minded human beings and would accept a scientific explanation if it could be demonstrated repeating all of the characteristics of a phenomenon. In other words you can’t expose one UFO video as a hoax and condemn every UFO sighting as the same. We need to see your hypothesis put into practice and it has to match the reports.
The fact of the matter is all of the cases of suspected paranormal have a root cause. These cases don’t remain controversial because two sides can’t agree the phenomenon is proven or dis-proven; they remain controversial because neither side has demonstrated their hypothesis for a root cause is actually true. Until both communities can accept and understand this fact we will continue to have both sides on single-minded journeys to prove their own viewpoints when w really need to focus on improving the investigations and analyses of these phenomenon.