How do you "prove" photography to a blind man?

One analogy psychics sometimes use to claim that we "normal" people can't understand their abilities is to ask a question like: How would you prove to a blind man that photography exists?

The implication, of course, is that psychics have a sense that you do not, just as you have a sense (sight) that a blind man does not. Skeptico tells us exactly how you could prove the existence of photography to a blind man using the scientific method. Even better, he completely turns the question around on the questioner to show why the "evidence" supposedly used to "prove" psychic phenomenon is so weak and unconvincing.

Beautiful. No wonder Skeptico is rapidly becoming one of my favorite skeptics' blogs.


  1. ah, love the scientific a discussion w/ a friend of mine recently we ended up on an oft discussed issue: what is science and what makes something science. In that regard, scientific method per se a science doth not make. Another vital element is predictive import, and one could presumably graph this in a way such that the further some field of knowledge is from having predictive import of some veracity, the less of a science it becomes. Astrology and related thus fare poorly, and slightly better but really close are fields such as meteorology, political science, etc. (these may piss off some folks). I don't think that they fare well enough to be called a science due to the lack of sufficient predictive import (hmm...this probably does not involve normative undertakings such as ethics...), and should instead be called be "studies" (e.g. political studies). This a topic of sizeable disgareement between my circle of friends. Those in the harder fields of knowledge (sciences) are seen as being snooty for having this belief, and those in lets say psychology, are seen as being lesser researchers for being in that/those fields. This need not be the case...the undertaking is different and calls on different modes of description...i digress, and may discuss that later. Anyhoo, this is just some general phil. of science stuff.


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