Talk:God helmet

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

What in the fuck[edit]

is the God Helmet supposed to actually do? A literal reading of the article would suggest it does nothing more than generate weak magnetic fields, which, okay, why is that special? The later paragraphs talk about suggestibility or poor "sensitivity" as explanations for a "lack of results", without ever explaining what those results are intended to be.

At a wild guess, I'm thinking it makes you feel like you're talking to/surrounded by God? That would explain the manner in which these mysterious ResultsTM are being discussed, but it needs to actually be mentioned on the page, which right now basically says "it's a magnet, and people argue about it."KrytenKoro (talk) 16:24, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Also, the second paragraph has basically flipped its claims from their original:

The only attempt at replication published in the scientific literature reported a failure to reproduce Persinger's effects and the authors proposed that the suggestibility of participants, improper blinding of participants or idiosyncratic methodology could explain Persinger's results. [3] The theoretical basis for the God helmet, especially the connection between temporal lobe function and mystic experiences, has been questioned. [4]

I don't know who's responsible, but someone who understands what the heck this article is about should examine the sources to see what they actually say.KrytenKoro (talk) 16:27, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Well, the person who made the article is forever banned, so odds are whoever knows much won't be forthcoming.--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 16:31, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Would it be appropriate to delete it as pointless/off-mission, then?KrytenKoro (talk) 16:57, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
As religious science woo, it seems very missional to me, actually. 142.124.55.236 (talk) 17:54, 1 October 42015 AQD (UTC)
Okay, but then the article needs to demonstrate that it is religious science woo. Right now it just demonstrates that it's a helmet. Either someone needs to add to it so that it is at the bare minimum discussing content that makes it missional...or it's not missional.KrytenKoro (talk) 19:15, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
that's not how this works--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 19:26, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
No one's saying the current article is perfect, but calling an article "not missional" because it's not completely up to snuff is just silly. I hope you're not gonna copy Avenger's antics of questioning missionality at the drop of a beat. >.> 141.134.75.236 (talk) 19:34, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Okay, I can tell I'm pissing people off, and I really don't want to be doing that -- I really want to stress that I agree with what you've pointed out (that this helmet is woo and thus it is on mission to rebut it), I just feel like I'm not successfully communicating why I feel the quality of this article is a serious problem -- I'm not trying to come in and say "RW is so biased this helmet is legit". Here's a summary of what I'm seeing. I think I have a rough idea of what you guys want the article to be saying, and I agree that if we can get it to say that, it would totally be missional -- but my complaint is that the way it's written now, it appears to be endorsing whatever woo this is, rather than debunking it.
  • First paragraph: The God helmet is a helmet with magnets so weak that it should not be able to interfere with neurons.
  • Second paragraph: There is a study that verifies the God helmet is legit, although it wasn't published in a reliable journal. (with no clear idea of what the results are, the overall tone of this paragraph tends toward endorsing them)
  • Third paragraph: there's some sort of connection between magnetic stimulation and mystic experiences, but it's questioned, and a third study failed to replicate it as the original and the second did.
  • Fourth paragraph: Richard Dawkins definitely experienced an effect, despite the lead saying that's not physically possible, but did not sense a presence. This is linked to his low sensitivity scores. (again, with no clear idea of what the precise woo is, this feels like an endorsement that, despite the weak magnets, the helmet totally affects brains!)
  • Fifth paragraph: There's another device being tested, and it is claimed to modify emotional states. (again, feels like endorsement)
  • Sixth paragraph: Aum Shinrikyo wore the device, and they had mystic experiences. (As a bare anecdote, this feels like it is, at best, endorsing that the device creates a mental effect)
Without clarifying what the woo is, most of what appear to be attempted rebuttals in this article not only don't clearly rebut, but even read as endorsements, which would be strictly against mission. I definitely agree with you two that the topic is relevant, but the article as it is now feels, to me, as if it is achieving the opposite of our mission -- that's why I feel it is off-mission. Does that make more sense?
Also, I removed a mistaken complaint above, I had missed that the paragraph was simply moved down.KrytenKoro (talk) 19:46, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
KK: Please, rewrite it! FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 20:02, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
As a disclaimer, I don't have any sort of training in medicine or neurobiology, I can just tell that the article seems to be saying something woo-y. Is it still okay for me to attempt a rewrite of this article? I'd definitely need somebody who knows something to check my work.KrytenKoro (talk) 20:08, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
You don't need much training in either to prove weak-ass magnetic waves aren't gonna make you see god. Don't worry, we'll all check it. Whether you like it or not. =P FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 20:17, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

As per the OP, what the hell is thing intended or purported to do? The article mentions "an explanation for God Helmet results" but not what these results are. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:26, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

Agreed on just about all of this. KrytenKoro's point about the fourth paragraph contradicting the first paragraph seems like a particularly glaring oversight to me. If anything this article is going to be used by people to 'prove' that skeptics of this device are twisting results to fit their preconceived notions.