The internet and social media has been all fired up recently about a certain statement made by prominent physicist Professor Brian Cox, but more about that shortly. I think its important for me to tackle why I am actually enjoying the current debate that this has appeared to have sparked. The reason for this is relatively simple, it appears to have created some serious discussion around the very concept of ghosts. Now although some of those discussions have got a little heated, its been really good to see many get behind their beliefs and experiences too. Hopefully this post will also excite a little more discussion on the subject too and as someone who is a massive fan of science it would be slightly cool if Prof. Cox could chip in too.
Right, so the statement I believe according to a few internet and newspaper sources went something like this;
“If there’s some kind of substance that’s driving our bodies, making my arms move and legs move, then it must interact with the particles out of which our bodies are made. And seeing as we’ve made high precision measurements of the ways that particles interact, then my assertion is there can be no such thing as an energy source that’s driving our bodies.”
I believe that Brian then continued with;
“Before we ask the first question, I want to make a statement: We are not here to debate the existence of ghosts because they dont exist.”
Which sounds like a pretty definitive statement in regards to the existence of ghosts. I believe that he followed this up with ;
“If we want some sort of pattern that carries information about our living cells to persist then we must specify precisely what medium carries that pattern and how it interacts with the matter particles out of which our bodies are made.
That’s almost inconceivable at the energy scales typical of the particle interactions in our bodies.”
I have a feeling that most may have taken Cox’s statement simply as ‘Ghost dont exist’, which is what he said, but in direct relation to physics and our understanding of it. Adding into that evidence that has already been discovered by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN.
Here’s the shocker, in the context that the statement was made and given our current scientific understanding of ‘ghosts’, I would have to agree with Professor Brian Cox, as there is currently no sold scientific proof or water tight theory to support their existence. However, there is a large amount of anecdotal evidence derived from many personal experiences that could attribute to some kind of anomalous event occurring. I’ve personally had a few odd paranormal experiences myself, but to this day have no true answer for what they were. This is the case for many I have spoken to over the years, the things they’ve seen, they’ve felt, they’ve heard and on occasion the information that they’ve acquired.
The reason I agree with Cox, is simply because in reality our belief of what a ghost is, is simply that a theory based on belief. That doesn’t mean its all over and its time to hang up the paranormal investigator coat just yet! Currently this means that we are missing a good theory of what a ghost is for the science bods. Wait what now!
No seriously it’s true, think about it from a truly scientific approach none of the explanations we have are good enough to convince the physicists out there that there are ghosts out there. Don’t get me wrong I am in the same boat as many of you reading this, like you guys, I have had a personal experience or two during my years. The problem is that a personal experience is just that, they are also something that doesn’t fit the repeatable requirements of science and there is certainly no formula that fits to them.
This whole discussion and Brian’s statement has highlighted a single question that needs answering if we are to present a probable theory to the likes of physicists. Which is simply, what is a ghost?
I’ve recently been reading a book by Thomas Fusco called ‘Behind the Cosmic Veil’ and also had the pleasure of interviewing him for my new monthly radio segment called Ghost Frequency. Suffice to say the interview ended after an hour, but the discussion continued for another two. In his books Fusco presents some interesting ideas, of which I still have to read (I’m only a third in), but from what I have read he re-categorises ghosts or apparitions as the ‘translocation of available physical light waves’. So, its not as comforting as the ghost of great aunt Agnes, but it certainly begins to make sense in relation to physics. Question is, can it work?
This whole discussion has excited the paranormal community on the internet and certainly seen some page space taken up on the usual social media streams. I even kicked off a discussion myself on my Facebook to see what everyone thought and it was quite surprising to read in some places.
What is difficult about the paranormal and more specifically ghosts as those that seek them know, they’re not always easy to find in physical terms. Which is kind of obvious considering that they’re not physical like you or I am. However beyond that let’s be honest, we are all friends after all, we don’t really know much do we? When I say we don’t know much I mean as in we don’t know much that we can prove in relation to physical science. Individual experiences are still important as they help us begin to theorise what may be going on or even keep us interested in trying to find out more.
Alright, let’s be honest this subject could pretty much continue forever as its fundementally the hard question of the paranormal, which is does human consciousness survive bodily death? If it does then is it possible it may materialise in the form of ghosts or spirits? Many Mediums and sensitives out there across the world would certainly attribute some of the information they pick up to have the source of a spirit communicating with them. Many Ghost Hunters would certainly present their library of audio files, photographs and video footage as evidence to support the existence of ghosts. All of these to many would be proof enough that Professor Brian Cox and the LHC are completely wrong. However lets not get ahead of ourselves just yet!
Before I finish let’s just recap in Cox’s defence too. The statement is made around what I feel is a common understanding in the paranormal field, which is that ghosts have a direct relation to energy in some way. Let’s be honest though this makes perfect sense right. It’s the reason why most ghost hunters measure the EMF at a location and associate a change in it with activity. Cox’s point being that the work with the LHC at CERN has not highlighted any such energy patterns containing information relating to us that may survive bodily death. Well at least I think that’s what he means, as I am no quantum physicist!
So, currently under the standard model ghosts don’t exist as they couldn’t confirm to the laws and teachings of science as we understand it. This is nothing new, those that have been investigating and researching the paranormal have known this from day one. Otherwise the stuff we research wouldn’t be paranormal they would be normal.
Question becomes relatively simple once again; what is a ghost ? However the answer needs to dance to the tune that material science plays, which means not what we believe ghosts to be, what they actually are, what are they made of, why do people experience them, how is it they exist at all?
Don’t be down on Cox for stating what science teaches, get up, get out there, start researching a way to counter his argument. That’s how science works, scientists come up with theory based on what they know and then other scientists prove said theory incorrect or build on it. Just google the ‘scientific method’ or ‘scientific process’ in order to gain an understanding of this approach.
I would love to hear your perspective on this so please comment below, like and share the post.