Okay, I know that the GHRS in general is NOT a "scientific" organization nor has it ever billed itself as such even though we do 'dabble' in it occasionally but still... it's scary that lately I've heard from many sources that "Science is Bad, mmmkay?" because groups like CSICOP and whatnot (read: sceptdebunkers) cover themselves in the moniker of 'science' and the 'scientific' and they feel empowered because someone of the like of Dr. Stephen Hawking hasn't devoted his life to ghosts and hauntings.
Well, there's a reason for that and it's not what you think.
Basically, all "real scientists" get their funding from getting assignments from upstanding academic or research institutes. They get the positions from these places via "peer review". This means, other scientists write glowing comments on their work to date on 'x' thing and that the scientist in question is really, really super and deserve to work on 'x'.
Now, considering academia factors in greatly, you deal a bit with what I call the "committee mentality". One thing I've learned doing this research is that if a request of mine to go into a certain place or spot must be okayed by a committee of over five people, I can forget about getting the permission I need.
Simple. Basically, if one of those five people says "Ghost research? Isn't that Satanism?" or "What if their findings or reports lead to teenagers breaking in for a cheap thrill?" or the most popular one, "Isn't that getting people interested in the site/history for the WRONG reason?" With this one dissenter, considering I really can't bring a whack of cash to the table, I am guaranteed to be voted (by the committee) out.
Well, imagine this, the board of this institution who is debating hiring on this scientist who want's to look into something that a certain segment of the population looks at as 'hoaxes and frauds' and this is mentioned to the board, that's it for the chance of serious study.
Science is not the paranormal world's enemy. The committee attitude and to a lesser degree, "real science peer review" is.
One question I like to ask scientists, amateur scientists and non-scientists alike is how would one prove the existence of ghosts?
If I was able to (and I'm not saying I am, I can, I have done so or want to) cage and capture a ghost for "experiment" in a lab, would I not be told by many that this thing I've caught could not possibly be a ghost due to whatever reason stemming from why it didn't "float through the bars of the cage" or it is not a "purely psychical entity"? Ghosts seem to be whatever the witness experiences and not a cut-and-dry sort of thing making quantifiable evidence difficult if not impossible to achieve.
So, now I want the real scientist to look into something we can't prove exists using scientific methods. Dead issue. Impossible. Case closed, right?
Ask a physicist exactly what is the force of gravity and what proof does she/he have for this to be the case and the answer should be "We don't know".
Yup, real science does not know what gravity truly is in a definite answer... it's all speculation and theory.
So, what separates the scientific acceptance of something we all know exists (gravity) from something that is at best a "fringe" belief? Simple, HOPEFULLY everyone has experienced gravity in some sort of way.
Hence, most believers in ghostly phenomena (myself included) usually have experienced something ghostly in one way or another. It might have been first hand or a trusted second hand account but nevertheless, it's okay to us.
The problem here is that's great but how do I present this to the world and get "real science" to say "Wow! That be a ghosty and YES! It's real!" so that when the scientist in question says "I want to study ghosts" she/he won't get smacked upside the financial head by peer review?
Answer, I have none.
What we do have to accept though is that "real science" has provided excellent 'natural' explanations for some experienced ghostly phenomena. Standing sound waves do cause items to move without physical help, sleep paralysis and the hypnopompic/hypnogogic state does explain some of the reports of ghosts that wake people and terrify them by constricting their movement and breathing patterns. These are all useful as heck to the real researcher not to use as a debunking tool but to keep us from spinning our wheels on a case of something truly "natural" in desperate search for something we hope is "supernatural".
So, although you may see "real science" as the enemy, it isn't and scientists are not all sceptdebunkers, non-believers or ignorant of the paranormal. They just know which side their bread is buttered on.
Don't shun "real science" but learn from it and embrace it. It is very helpful.
One last thing before I leave this topic... I find it interesting that when a "so-called-sceptic" (read: Non-believer or Sceptdebunker) troll appears on our board, "we" expect them to make educated arguments. I think it's only proper that "we" too are educated and aware of what 'science' has to say about our particular area of love in the paranormal. Just a thought...
Now, about historians and ghosts and that comment about people getting interested in history for "the wrong reasons"... Wait, that's next months rant!