Hauntings are objectively real, but ghosts are not!
Debate Rounds (3)
The trigger and mechanism that result in the subjective experience (traditionally labeled "ghosts and haunting phenomenon") are objectively real, require only three elements to produce the target phenomenon (a haunting), and will affect specific genotypes (MAOA gene variants) diversely and according to types. Con-specific markers, resulting from human biological contamination of the environment, activate "high affinity" (TAAR) receptors, long before conscious awareness occurs, if ever. This triggers an innate survival / anti"predator adaptation, which manifests as a physiological, psychological, perceptual, and behavioral cascade, that results in the pre-conditioned subjective experience for a suitably sensitive individual. In groups, this predictably results in "contagion," which through language, chemical broadcasting, imprinting, re-imprinting, mirror-neural processes, and behavioral cues, "infects" others in a group, who fail to detect the trigger or lack the ability, thus providing a group-survival benefit.
I will continue... While researching The Haunted Vaults of Edinburgh, Scotland, Robert Wiseman (et. al.) clearly demonstrated that his own hypothesis (regarding ambient light, room size, etc.) was not supported, but that individuals without prior knowledge were indeed able to correctly determine (beyond chance), which vaults were historically considered haunted. This clearly demonstrated that an environmental element, undetected by the researchers, was present and being sensed by some individuals. Furthermore, Wiseman, and many skeptics before him, completely ruled out four of the five primary external sensory modalities as likely mechanisms, as well as any detectable pattern of energy. All that remains is matter.
The only sense that was not, and had never been, ruled out was chemo-detection. This particular modality had been the most probable because it is our most ancient sense (cranial nerve one), was once (before we evolved into primates) its own brain (rine encephalon), is the only sensory organ/apparatus that comes in direct contact with the thing it senses, works both near and far, through apparently solid objects, and has incredible longevity, and is always on. It also works primarily below conscious awareness, and it (chemo-detection) remains the primary form of communication in nature, and particularly with those creature with which we share a common ancestor dating back over 300,000,000 years (C. Elegance). However, what was most compelling to us was that it represents the largest single gene group in the human genome (345 active) dwarfing the amount needed for neurotransmitter function (15).
However, there was a problem. According to a century of scientific dogma, a human beings entire olfactory pallet was thought to be in the area of around 10,000 scents (Neither we nor anyone else have been able to find the research to support this assertion). After going over countless research papers, believers stories, skeptics arguments, etc., we predicted that the 10,000-scent assertion, was not only incorrect, it was wrong by orders of magnitude. It turned out that we were correct.
Shepherd GM (2004) The Human Sense of Smell: Are We Better Than We Think? PLoS Biol 2(5): e146. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020146
Bushdid, et. al., 2014 - "Humans Can Discriminate More than 1 Trillion Olfactory Stimuli" http://www.sciencemag.org...
The point everyone had missed all along was that we did not evolve into our current species (homo sapiens) in the civilized world, but in the natural world. This was a major revelation, as we realized that the confusion over hauntings (and many other things) was likely a contextual issue, and could only be understood in terms of its original context. As soon as we changed the context to the natural world, and the background to a cave, things instantly began to become clear.
"In his book "Are You Getting Enlightened or Losing Your Mind" (Gersten, 1997), Dennis Gersten, M.D., recounts a story told by a friend, and "psychic," Shama Smith, who has been a "psychic consultant" for the FBI, and various California Law Enforcement Agencies. Here is a perfect example of how "The Mythological Box" skews the perspective of a highly educated individual with an advanced degree in Psychiatric Medicine, resulting in a completely illogical conclusion. Below, we have two brief excerpts from the book in which, Smith is relating some bad news about her new residence to her husband. Pay particular attention to how she unknowingly describes our trigger and the mechanism.
"When my husband, Cass, and I moved into a house in Southern California, I was standing in the kitchen the first day and said to him, 'Honey, the house is haunted.' He said, 'Oh no, please don't tell me that.' I replied, 'It is and I know it is.' 'Well how do you know it is?' he asked. 'Well, number one, I can smell it and number two I can feel a presence around me here." Dennis Gersten: " " According to her, sometimes if there's been a grotesque death on the premises, the house will smell, no matter how much cleaning you do. She knew she was smelling or perceiving an odor from another realm, something that would definitely be called "crazy" by most psychiatrists."
The Other Realm
Our somewhat mundane explanation of Dr. Gersten"s conclusion is that "the other realm," of which he speaks is the microscopic realm of conspecific volatile organic compounds, trapped on and within the material substrate and cellulose matrix of the building materials, wafting out under favorable conditions and being detected by a sensitive individual, who then through contagion spreads the information. Otherwise, we could not agree more with their assertions. Here all three elements are present and working just as they should, and just as they always have. We also have a good example of how contagion works as she uses her heightened sensitivity to receive the alarm trigger, and then notifies her husband, who is clearly unable to consciously detect it.
When you hear hoof-beats, think horses first, not zebra! So far, nothing you have said has directly addressed any new points that we have made in a very old argument. Unfortunately, none of those hypotheses (including so-called string theory) are testable, and consequently represent a path that leads nowhere."
Allow me to continue: "That Which Remains," (Linder, McGill, et. al., 2014)
"In our own area of expertise, "air sniffing," Leavers, perform at least as well as a dog, and better than a rat (Shepherd, 2004). Human beings also have unprecedented polymorphic diversity in our olfactory sensory ability, and research suggests a minimum divergence of 14% between any two individual"s olfactory palettes (Zhang, 2007). As human beings evolved in social groups, this affords us with an enormous spectrum of odors that we can collectively detect. (> 1,000,000,000)
According to declassified CIA documents, the amount of aerosolized material required for human detection of specific compounds (not associated with high affinity receptors) is minuscule, and on-the-order-of a millionth-of-a-millionth of a gram in a liter of air, which is comparable to a dog"s air sniffing ability (Tebrich, 1993). Isoamyl mercaptan, in extremely low concentrations, has a garlic/green onion scent and flavor, can be detected in at levels as low as .77 parts per trillion. Other research focused on unconscious detection thresholds, suggest they are significantly lower still. One study (Nagata, Takeuchi, 1990) found that the concentration required for shifting our attention to one compound, ethyl mercaptan (used as an odorant for propane gas), requires concentration levels 57,000 times greater than needed for detection.
Now let's see what the subjective feeling of being in a haunted place looks like in a cave:
"About an hour before sunset, your scouting team finds a large cave, but the hunters know, in their world, nothing goes to waste and unoccupied caves are rare, and at best short-lived. The team cautiously enters with only the flickering glow from a single torch to light their way, but the cavern is deep, and the dim light fades beyond view into darkness. As you continue into the depths, a general sense of uneasiness overtakes you, as if the cave itself does not want you there.
The further you go the warmer and more humid it becomes, making the air feel thick and heavy. As if on cue, the hunters stop, sniff, look at each other knowingly, and all begin listening intently. However, the faint echo of dripping water, and the mournful whispers of the wind, which sound like voices murmuring in the distance, are all you can hear. As you continue, you realize the air has become foul, and you make eye contact with your youngest companion. He sniffs the air again, furrows his brow, and he raises both hands with fingers hooked like claws, creating a distinctly ferocious, cat-like appearance. However, completely undaunted, he turns and continues following his mentors deeper into the predator"s lair.
Against all better judgment, you continue following, and eventually the team works their way into a large chamber, where you become aware of a very faint, almost sickeningly sweet odor, different from the obvious animal stench. Not unlike the scent of rotting flowers, you think. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, the cave seems to take on a sinister aspect, and an ominous sense of dread and foreboding overtakes you. You begin to feel nauseous, as a cold chill runs down your spine, and all the hairs on your body stand on end.
The dank stench hovering in the chamber finally registers, and though you have never been in one before, you inexplicably whisper to yourself, "This is a crypt." You try to dismiss it as your imagination, but the growing, ominous sense of presence all around you is so real, so overwhelming, that you are on the verge of running for your life, and stopping only when you cannot go on. Your pulse and respiration have tripled, and with each step, a sense of imminent, mortal danger grows inside you. Your hands shake from the adrenaline coursing through your veins, and cold sweat now covers your entire body and drips from your brow. Still, you hesitate to alert your companions, who seem completely oblivious to your travail and might consider you a coward or fool.
You strain to peer beyond the torchlight, and you are certain that you see malevolent shadow-figures lurking in the darkness just beyond sight, watching and waiting for you. The moaning wind has faded to silence; your heart is pounding beneath your breast like a bass drum, and every sound in the chamber echoes off the limestone walls like thunder.
From out of the darkness, something screeches in your ear as it flies by your head. Startled, you gasp and reflexively duck and cover, as it passes and flutters out of sight. Finally, with one hand on your chest to prevent your heart from bursting through your rib cage, your courage finally fails, and after taking several long slow breaths ending in a deep resigned sigh, you stand and reluctantly draw the attention of the hunters to inform them of your plight..."
Don't you think it odd that everything we find in a haunted house, that is, things that are innately frieghtening to us (corpses, skeletons, bats, black cats, spiders, etc.) came from a cave? Below, please find the one thing that no other competing theory has that meets all the criteria to be considered the true trigger for a haunting, the evidence of it's validity!
Wisman A, Shrira I. The smell of death: evidence that putrescine elicits threat management mechanisms. Frontiers in Psychology. 2015;6:1274. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01274.
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