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Study on Microscopic Perceptions

July 2011 - I now embark on investigating the experience of medical dowsing but with emphasis on the perceptions of microscopic organisms. I regard this an entirely new and different angle from previous investigations that were on perceptions of medical information in human subjects.

Starts with a Survey

As previously with the medical perceptions, I first start with what I call a survey. A survey is simply exposure to the samples so that I can make observations on the experience. A survey is my first exposure to some possible sample organisms in a semi-test environment, and to the use of petri dishes and the other material likely to be used in a test.

A survey is crucial to do before a study or a test. What I learn from initial impressions and observations is then implemented into study design, unless a survey indicates that there is no reason to proceed to a study or a test in case it becomes clear that no perceptions are possible.

The survey I did on medical perceptions took place in a mall, in which I simply took notes of perceptions of medical information in people passing by and how various environmental factors seemed to have affected the experience of the perceptions. This survey on microscopic samples takes place in a science laboratory, with microscopic organisms available to be looked at. Some questions to be answered in the survey:

  • What are the organisms available for the survey? What are my perceptions of them before I find out what they are? Does my perception of them change after I am told what they are? Am I perceiving the samples visually, in feeling, both, or neither? Description of those perceptions, if any occur? The ease at which they occur, their clarity, etc.
  • If more than one type of organism is available, is one easier to perceive than another? How do they rank and how would the experience of perceiving them differ?
  • How am I experiencing the surrounding factors of the test? The room, the other people present, am I comfortable standing or do I feel the need to be seated, or do I prefer to be standing. Are there disrupting factors such as a noise in the laboratory, is the lighting good for me, the temperature, and anything else that might catch my attention as I attempt to perceive the organisms.
  • How were the organism samples prepared for me? What container were they in? Was the container covered or open to the air? What solvent was used, if any? Were the samples live?
  • How would the samples be experienced to ordinary senses, ie. can it be assumed that they have no scent that would help in identification or location of samples, and what does the sample look like, ie. color, texture, and if any shapes are distinguishable.

It is meant that a survey does not test for the accuracy of any perceptions, but only establishes what those perceptions are.

The issue of whether the samples may be associated with a scent should be dealt with only on later stages if the investigation proceeds further. If there is no obvious, conscious, scent, then the issue may be disregarded at early stages even until early testing. The concern of subconscious scent should be dealt with if tests show positive results. Or, identification of microorganisms by subconscious scent may also qualify as extrasensory perception ESP, if tests yield positive results and if scent were the source of information and my results exceed that achievable by other control persons.

A survey has not taken place yet. The notes from a survey will be published here if one takes place.

Study on Microscopic Organisms

After any initial survey, if a survey is permitted, the study commences, unless a prior survey indicated that no perceptions of microscopic organisms are likely or possible. A survey is not absolutely necessary, as observations are also made during the study stage.

It is very important to distinguish between a study and a test. A study has no set hypothesis or claim that is being tested yet, as the testing protocol has not yet been devised. A study simply sets up various testing scenarios to study their outcome and to study the effect of various testing parameters on the phenomenon under study, in this case perceptions of microorganisms. For instance, I might want to set up samples in the dark, only to find out that I cannot perceive the organisms in the dark. But that does not falsify the claim of perception, it simply shows that this cannot be done in the dark and does not rule out doing so with the lights on. The study aims to determine factors that inhibit or block the perceptions; factors that promote the perceptions; and the optimal settings of factors for optimal perception ability. The purpose of the study is to construct a testing protocol, unless there is indication that the claim/hypothesis will not perform during a test.

Testing parameters define a frame for what parameter settings are allowed. If the hypothesis is extrasensory perception, then parameters must be set so that ordinary sensory access to the requested information is not available. Within this frame defined by the allowed parameter settings, a study aims to determine what then are the optimal settings in each parameter to best give the hypothesis the chance of achieving. If the claim cannot perform within the allowed frame, then that immediately falsifies the claim of extrasensory perception.

Some of the factors (parameters) for consideration:

  • Standing or sitting while looking at the samples, does it matter?
  • Distance to samples, does it matter?
  • Different organisms - which ones might work, which ones not?
  • Live samples versus dead samples
  • Do different solvents change the experience of perception
  • Time for looking at the samples, how much time do I need?
  • Covered dishes versus uncovered ones
  • Size of dishes, can larger dishes be compared to smaller ones?

From work on the earlier study that emphasized on medical perceptions, I have already learned the following which does not need to be tested in this study: I cannot perceive in the dark; I cannot perceive if I turn my back to the samples; I cannot perceive if I am facing the samples but close my eyes; I cannot perceive samples if there is any screen between me and the samples (transparent plastic petri dish covers may be considered for this study).

I also know from previous work on the investigation with medical perceptions, that there is a limit for how much time I can spend on attempting perceptions, after which the experience shuts down and I feel fatigue, nausea and headaches. I also suspect that I may ask for the option to pass on individual samples; in the case of human samples I find that searching for the one same item (health condition) in a number of different people, it is differently difficult in different individuals - microscopic samples may occur with less individual variation than do complex human organisms.

Preliminary Study Procedure for consideration

I have at my disposal a participating science laboratory and scientist(s) who are willing and able to set up a double-blind test involving samples of microscopic organisms. A double-blind test means that nobody in the room during the test, knows the right answers. It means that somebody else arranged the samples, and then left the room, and the other attendants with me during the test have no idea what the dishes contain. That way they cannot convey any unintentional clues from body language etc., yet there are people present to monitor the test.

Definitions used
Sample = a container, assumably a plastic petri dish, that can contain a microscopic organism with or without a solvent added. A solvent is a substance in which the organism is suspended. A solvent could be a liquid solvent such as water, or solid such as agar. A "sample" either contains an organism, or is a "blank sample" containing no organism.
Reference sample = a sample whose contents are given. The contents are either labeled, or the reference sample is placed under a microscope so that I can look at it, or both labeled and under a microscope. The purpose of a reference sample is to give me a reference, so that I can compare the "signature" I get from a known, labeled sample, with the "signatures" I should be feeling from the unknown, unlabeled samples, and hopefully make a match.
Unknown sample = a sample whose contents is not known to the persons present during the test (myself and the assistant). Unknown samples are prepared by a person who is not present during the test, thus the test follows a double-blind arrangement.
"Signature" = the unique perception that any particular thing produces for me. The perception is a combined feeling and image, sometimes more of one than the other. The idea is that one species of fungi for instance would always produce the same "signature", from one sample to the next, and that thereby I would know the identity of the unknown sample I am viewing, if the perception is more of a feeling than an image, I would have to do matching of a reference "signature" to an unknown sample "signature".

Proposed Study Procedure
One of each of the types of organisms available for identification, are also available as a reference sample to stay under a microscope throughout the duration of the study. The reference samples are labeled with the name of the organism, and I will be able to return to look at them under the microscope at any time during the study. A blank sample is also available in the same area as the reference samples, if blank samples are to be included among the samples.

Since this is a study, there is no set time limit during which I would have to be finished with forming my conclusions as to how I perceive the identities of the samples. During this study, I will be able to determine - in peace and quiet, and without the stress of a time limit - what amount of time I might require for these particular samples and this number of samples of those kinds. I may be given a maximum amount of time to spend on the samples, but if this time is not sufficient for me to finish with forming my conclusions, then I will not be rushed to conclude. I would simply gather the conclusions that I have at that time, and make a note that the amount of time given was not sufficient.

I am allowed to look toward the samples, without picking them up, moving, or touching them. I may not touch or lean against the table on which the samples are placed. I can of course not use any materials with which to analyze or disturb the samples. If the scientist(s) arranging the test believe that a certain minimum distance separating me from the samples is required, then that distance restriction will be followed.

I should not speak during the study nor interact with the assistant who surveys the study.

I will have pen and paper onto which I write down any impressions as to the appearance, behavior, structures, or other information about the contents of a sample. I am also encouraged to make drawings. If reference samples are provided, I am encouraged to provide a conclusive answer if the perceptions indicate a match. The final conclusion among my notes for each sample must be clearly marked, for instance boxed in.

I may finish or cancel the study earlier than a set time limit if I choose to. I may take a break any time during the study as I need to. (Remember that this is not a test. This is a study. I am supposed to be flexible about what I do and how I do it, so that I can from that suggest the things I need for an actual test protocol!)

Once the study is ended, I surrender my pen and papers to the assistant, who should place the date, end time, and sign or initial each page. Unless everybody sits down to go through my papers together in an informal setting, in a more formal situation, signed and dated copies of my notes pages should be made for me, and the originals should stay with the scientist(s).

The study will either conclude in falsification of the claim of extrasensory perception for detection/identification of microscopic organisms, or it will lead to a second study or to a test of the claim.

Possible outcome - Falsification
It depends on my stated experienced confidence in the perceptions and identity of microorganisms whether the claim can be falsified in this first study or not. If I state that I am absolutely certain of what I saw/felt, I can state there and then that if those perceptions are incorrect, then the claim would be falsified. If I am not confident in the perceptions, I must hold the reservation that perhaps under different testing conditions - with different organisms for example - the perceptions might work better, and a second study may be considered using a different procedure. I should be encouraged to state the confidence level of my perceptions if I can.

Possible outcome - Second Study
If results seem interesting (reasonably accurate) or inconclusive (hard to say what the results would indicate), a second study might be arranged. If the second study simply needs to add more trial sets to the first, then the procedure may be the same as before. Otherwise, a second study may tweak the procedure to try to optimize the parameters of the study, for instance by trying different organisms.

Possible outcome - Test
If study results are very good, it may lead to the next session to be an actual test. A test would be more elaborate and exhaustive and would include a larger number of trial sets.

Background and Sample Organisms

I have perceived seeing the clear image of Helicobacter pylori, Lactobacillus, and infectious bacteria probably Streptococcus. I have perceived seeing the clear image of Hepatitis C virus. I have had perceptions describing the "signature" of fungi and algae, though these organisms were large enough so that I knew what organisms I was looking at.

These tests will use live organisms that are so small in size that they cannot be seen with the eyes. There are bacteria, fungi, small plants and small animals that would be suitable for this type of test.