Ghosts and Science: Friend or Foe?

Science is in many ways a wonderful thing, but in still others it is one of the most tyrannical and often quoted elements of modern society.  And if history has taught us one thing about tyrants, it is that they inevitably share their rebellion as well.  To those who have long believed in the power of science this may seem unnecessary, but to others it is at the core of a very fundamental difference between those who believe exclusively in the scientific and those who seek more spiritual answers for some problems.  And nowhere is this conflict more apparent than in the study and categorization of ghosts.

Ghosts are to us a simple – if not frightening prospect.  As we look at the periphery of normal human experience we find these phantasmal figures lurking just out of our reach.  And yet the mainstream of science has a firm stance on the existence of ghosts – one of disbelief.  But if we look into the matter further we find anecdotal evidence as far as the eye can see suggesting quite the opposite.  As scientists are interested always in unraveling mysteries it is always a point of question why they cannot (and indeed often refuse)to give us answers in this regard.  There are canned answers, and general responses as to why ghosts can or cannot exist, but that is there the argument often simply dies with no explanation.

But an argument cannot be won simply by abstaining from it.  Are these experiences simply the product of overactive imaginations?  And i so, why are they so often uniform?  And why don’t people simply imagine other things the same way they do with ghosts?  Why are we always looking at the end of an enlightened conversation with a simple wave of the hand and ritualized specific words designed to cast out and dispel any rumors that something may be abnormal when it in fact is not.

Far from the objective reality science claims to have on the forces of the universe the best the scientific community can do is make educated guesses on the topic.  And just as any institution that holds absolute authority over a subject will be questioned, so too must science be.  And in disagreeing both the more skeptical forms of science and the belief in the paranormal actually work to help one another.  One would likely not exist without the other these days.  Ghosts provide us with an interest in the forces of life that most plague us such as “what happens when we die?”  And where would science be if not attempting to disprove the disprovable and confirm other theories through structured analysis and experimentation, then what would drive so many ghost hunters?  It is a relationship between two very different fields that will continue for as long as they do.  And in the mean time, both fields will borrow terms and ideas from one another.  What was the telephone originally if not a failed machine to attempt to talk to the dead before its true usefulness was discovered?