Witches, Boogers and Haints

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Aaron, May 20, 2001.

  1. Aaron

    Aaron
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    Scientific research in the effect of drumming on one's state of consciousness is showing promise of legitimizing shamanism (witch-doctoring).

    It must be noted that shamanistic practices are in essence identical world wide ruling out cultural conditioning.

    You must look up the article and read it yourselves to make any informed judgment, but here are some interesting quotes.

    Maxfield, Melinda, Ph.d. The Journey of the Drum. Vol. 16, ReVision, 04-01-1994, pp 157.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    "This research supports the theories that suggest that the use of the drum by indigenous cultures in ritual and ceremony has specific neurophysiological effects and is associated with temporary changes in brain wave activity, which may facilitate imagery and entry into an altered state of consciousness."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>"Drumming in general, and rhythmic drumming in particular, often induces imagery that is ceremonial and ritualistic in content even when it is extracted from cultural ritual, ceremony, and intent. It is interesting to note that all twelve participants had visual and/ or somatic [pertaining to one's physical body] imagery. For eight of these twelve, the images were vivid."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>"The drumming also elicits subjective experiences and images with common themes. There are twelve categories that are common themes as synthesized from participants' verbal and written reports of their experiences in one or more sessions during the drumming. These include

    "o Loss of time sense--Seven of the twelve participants stated that they had lost the time continuum, thus having no clear sense of the length of the drumming session.

    "o Movement sensations--This category includes the experience of feeling:
    "--the body or parts of the body pulsating or expanding
    "--pressure on the body or parts of the body, especially the head, throat, and chest . . . ."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    [ May 21, 2001: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  2. apeman

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    Question: Is this really a scientific study?
    There is a lot of bogus information posted to the internet and this study seems to only have had 12 people in it ... doesn't seem to scientific to me.

    "Turn the Beat Around" :D
    ~Theological Neophyte~
     
  3. Aaron

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ~Theological Neophyte~:
    Question: Is this really a scientific study?
    There is a lot of bogus information posted to the internet and this study seems to only have had 12 people in it ... doesn't seem to scientific to me.

    "Turn the Beat Around" :D
    ~Theological Neophyte~
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes it is. I did not get it off the internet, I got it from what little time I have to go to the library.

    Now Blade would kick against the pricks here talking about how it is not "proven," (and the researchers do claim to have proven anything) but you and I know that a consistent emotional response from 12 different people from different walks of life can't be the result of mere chance.

    You should read the article and look at the processes and rationale for the study.

    BTW, rock music does "turn the beat around." The stresses are placed on beats two and four which is backwards and unnatural.
     
  4. Blade

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron:
    Now Blade would kick against the pricks here talking about how it is not "proven," (and the researchers do claim to have proven anything) but you and I know that a consistent emotional response from 12 different people from different walks of life can't be the result of mere chance.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand. To do so wouldn't be very objective of me, now would it? ;)

    I agree with ~TN~ that 12 people isn't very many subjects, but conclusions might be drawn from them. I would need to see the study design, statistical analysis of the results and the bibliography. It appears that you only quoted the commentary portion of the article (which is fine--that is where the explanation is; however, to check validity one must have the entire article). Perhaps highlighting the words of the author will give a little insight to her confidence in drawing conclusions from her study of 12:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>"This research supports the theories that suggest that the use of the drum by indigenous cultures in ritual and ceremony has specific neurophysiological effects and is associated with temporary changes in brain wave activity, which may facilitate imagery and entry into an altered state of consciousness."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Didn't see any mention of the words "prove" or "proof." Nor did I see any suggestion that there were negative effects. But...

    Maybe if I have some time, I'll look into it. After all, you did list the source.

    Sincerely,

    [ May 22, 2001: Message edited by: Blade ]
     
  5. Theopolitan

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    Hey Aaron! Get off the computer and get your lawn mowed!! :D
     
  6. Ransom

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    Theological Neophyte asked, "Is this really a scientific study?

    Aaron replies:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Yes it is. I did not get it off the internet, I got it from what little time I have to go to the library.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Of course, where you got the article doesn't make it a "scientific" study. I did a little checking into this ReVision journal. Its homepage (see http://www.heldref.org/html/body_rev.html says of itself:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    ReVision brings you the thinking of those who imagine a new earth and a transfigured humankind. Articles explore both ancient and modern ways of knowing and examine new models of interdisciplinary inquiry to bring such knowledge to bear on critical issues of our times. The journal fosters inquiry and reflection especially in philosophy, religion, psychology, social theory, science, and the arts. In the interests of renewal and fresh vision, ReVision strives to challenge such bipolar concepts as Western and Eastern; feminine and masculine; intellectual and spiritual; local and global; young and old.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In other words, ReVision is not a peer-reviewed scientific journal (where one would expect to find scientific articles), but a postmodern, multidisciplinary journal with (in my opinion) New Age leanings. Their calls for manuscripts for their various issues indicate that they are interested in postmodern critical theory, not pure science - therefore anything in this journal purporting to be scientific research ought to be treated as suspect.
     
  7. apeman

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    Ransom: Thank you for pointing out the background of this article.

    Aaron: This is the second time in a short while that your sources have been more than a little off an acceptable background. I haven't read all your posts but do you have any other studies that are not covered or from a new age journal or anything?

    Thanks,
     
  8. Ransom

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Ransom: Thank you for pointing out the background of this article.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You're welcome. I have just done a little further perfunctory research on this article and its author, Melinda Maxfield. It is interesting to note that Maxfield is the secretary of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, the stated purpose of which is "to preserve, study, and transmit shamanic knowledge worldwide." It is no coincidence, I think, that if you run a Google search on "the journey of the drum" you get a number of hits on pages dealing with shamanism that cite that article in their bibliography.

    As with John Diamond's behavioural kinesiology, Maxfield's presuppositions are pagan to the core. Why doesn't it concern the anti-rock crusaders that the only arguments in their favour come from paganism and not Christianity?
     
  9. Aaron

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    Ransom,

    I was soooo hoping you would say that! :D

    First of all I am not trying to hide the pagan philosophies of those doing this research. I don't know how much more plain I could be with a topic like "Witches, Boogers and Haints." I even said it is an attempt to "legitimize shamanism." I even posted the name of the journal "ReVision." C'mon, cut me some slack here, I'm not being disingenuous at all.

    But the pagan philosophies of these Ph.d.'s are immaterial to whether the methods they employ in their research are scientific or not. All scientific research begins with a presupposition. The presupposition is irrelevant to the science of their methods and the subsequent results.

    Dr. Maxfield states plainly at the beginning: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>In the fall of 1986, as a graduate student in a course on core shamanism, I experienced my first "drum journey." I experienced vivid visual and somatic imagery, incorporating classic shamanic and archetypal themes. I was surprised and intrigued. I hypothesized that I was entering into an altered state of consciousness of some kind, related to, but not the same as, a meditative state. If this were so, then possibly it could be tested by measuring the electrical activity of the brain with an electroencephalogram machine (EEG). Three years later, I began my research to determine whether
    various drumming patterns would be associated with different brain wave activity, as measured by cortical EEG, and to determine if the subjective experience of percussion in general and rhythmic drumming in particular, would elicit images or sensations with a common theme.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Who better to explore the neurophysiological effects of drumming than those who believe there may be something in it? What incentive do those who think nothing of it have to investigate it?

    One of my main points is that drumming and ecstatic worship experiences are wholly pagan. Where else should I go to support it? Here is another quote from the article about how shamans think of the drum: <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The drum is often referred to as a "horse" or "rainbow-bridge" between the physical and spiritual worlds. Mircea Eliade emphasizes that "the shamanic drum is distinguished from all other instruments of the 'magic of noise' precisely by the fact that it makes possible an ecstatic experience" (Eliade
    1964, 174). In the oral tradition of Tuvinian shamans of Siberia, it is said that if the drum is nice, then the ritual works. If the drum is good, the shaman flies over the mountains and over very long distances. The soul goes out of the body, and the shaman begins to fly. If the drum is bad, the shaman stays on the ground (Lopsan 1993).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I have on my shelves a book called Christ's Witchdoctor. (Vision House Publishing Gresham, Oregon. 1994.) It's about the salvation of Elka of the Wai Wai tribe of South America. He didn't need the scientists to tell him what arts he should have used to summon his animal spirit guides (demons).

    But now we have Satan's ultimate triumph, the naturalistic witchdoctor, scientifically investigating her own experiences and finding evidence that some styles of drumming induces visions or "imagery" with common themes.

    In the course of my reading I have yet to find a harp or psaltery so extolled as a means of attaining an "altered state of consciousness" or "flying to the spirit world," and I think it is significant that when Saul was tormented by a demon his servants did not call for a drummer, 1 Sam 16:16.

    Ransom, though you specialize in ad hominem arguments, you have yet to present one shred of real evidence to debunk Maxfield's findings. But then, it would require more than a simple internet search. ;)
     
  10. Aaron

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    Hey Theopolitan!

    Welcome to the BB.
     
  11. Blade

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>All scientific research begins with a presupposition. The presupposition is irrelevant to the science of their methods and the subsequent results.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not good scientific research. Good research begins with a hypothesis, not a presupposition. A hypothesis can be tested; a presupposition is a foregone conclusion.

    Further, a "presupposition" can indeed affect the outcome of a study (it is not "irrelevant," as you say). This is why the most widely accepted type of research study is a randomized (as the term implies, subjects are not chosen specifically of any given arm), controlled (subjects similar to the experimental group who do not receive the stimulus, treatment, intervention etc. are studied concommitantly for comparison), double blind (neither the researcher nor the subjects know which group they are assigned). This all guard against subjective influence and faulty interpretation of objective fact.

    The last one, being blinded, is the most important to eliminate bias. If researchers know which group is which, they risk projecting what they want to see onto that group. This might result in an alpha or beta error (rejecting the null hypothesis inappropriately or accepting the null hypothesis inappropriately, respectively).

    Obviously, it is not always possible or practical to have blinded trials. In this case, there seems to have been no control, no blinding, and randomization is irrelevant (as there is only one group and no control). This is a cohort study. Potentially worth something, but open to question.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Who better to explore the neurophysiological effects of drumming than those who believe there may be something in it? What incentive do those who think nothing of it have to investigate it?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Who worse to explore these effects?! This is overt bias from the beginning. If I want to find something, I will. These people have an interest in legitimizing this practice. It is in their best interest to find something here. Objectivity is compromised.

    I am not saying it happened here, but it very well may have. We have a saying in science, "If you torture the data long enough, eventually it will confess." Who knows...?

    Also, how do you believe that this "research" weighs in against CCM? If you want a condemnation of "Witch Doctor" practices and music, I'm on your side. However, I don't see how this relates to CCM and, as far as I can tell (from what you've quoted) there are 2 major problems in applying it thusly:

    1) The author does not say anything bad about this "drumming." She states that it causes EEG changes (no big surprise, most stimuli do), but she is actually in favor of this drumming. How does this support your argument that drums are "bad?"

    2) This article deals with "Shamanic" music and drumming--a style that is not incorporated into any of the CCM I have heard. (I don't deny that it may be, but I would bet that it is only in an occasional piece.)

    So, even if we accept the premise and your interpretation of this article, how does it apply to the rhythm of CCM? After all, this is a very unique style not common (or perhaps even present at all) in CCM.

    Sincerely,

    [ May 23, 2001: Message edited by: Blade ]
     
  12. Larry

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    Back in my younger days (before I learned better) I bought a John Mcarther tape that had something to do with music. In it he quoted some research and, I think, even witnessed an experiment dealing with the "stop-analeptic beat" (? spelling).

    The "stop-anacleptic beat" was kind of like a backward heartbeat, when played the subjects of the experiment would loose strength. The point he was bringing out was that music has a physical effect on the listener. He went on to talk about how grocery stor chains will pay researchers to test different musicale arraignments to find the music that would prompt shoppers to spend more money. The point he was making there was that it is possible to manipulate the desired response with the rite music.

    That’s about all I remember from the tape, I remembered it because for the next several years I was exposed to "special singers" that came to my church to perform. Almost without exception, each new performer would begin the concert by going threw several songs with a different beat until they hit upon the tempo that moved the crowd than they would keep playing songs in that tempo. Talk about bringing down the house, a skilled performer can whip a crowd into a frenzy. Then, during the invitation they would bring things down (reminded me of the last dance in a honky-tonk) the sudden change of tempo really helped fill the alter.


    And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. Exodus 32:17-19
     
  13. Ransom

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Larry:
    Back in my younger days (before I learned better) I bought a John Mcarther tape that had something to do with music. In it he quoted some research and, I think, even witnessed an experiment dealing with the "stop-analeptic beat" (? spelling).
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think you mean "anapestic." An anapest is a three-syllable metrical foot where the third syllable is stressed: dah-dah-DAH, dah-dah-DAH, sev-en-TEEN, 'twas the NIGHT before CHRISTmas when ALL through the HOUSE.

    It sounds like John MacArthur was quoting "holistic" doctor John Diamond, who was largely the subject of a recent thread here as well. Diamond's presuppositions are pagan; I don't trust his research.

    Besides, isn't it ironic that this beat is "evil" when it is drummed, but tons and tons of bad poetry (and some good stuff as well, such as "A Visit from St. Nicholas"!) can get away with it with impunity?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    The "stop-anacleptic beat" was kind of like a backward heartbeat
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hold the phone for a moment. Who says it's a "backward" heartbeat? Who decides where the start of a heartbeat is? Did the human body come with an instruction manual saying that point A is the beginning of the heart's action, or is that just an arbitrary choice?

    In other words, this whole argument against a "rock beat" because it is supposedly the "reverse" of a heartbeat, is based upon an arbitrary presupposition about the heart's rhythm!

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    when played the subjects of the experiment would loose strength.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And if you read the remainder of this "research," you will find that the author made the same claims for synthetic fabrics and refined white sugar, as well. His methodology is suspect.
     
  14. Aaron

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    Blade,

    Is it "Dr." Blade yet? It is an honor!

    en garde! ;)

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Aaron said: All scientific research begins with a presupposition. The presupposition is irrelevant to the science of their methods and the subsequent results.

    To which Blade responded: Not good scientific research. Good research begins with a hypothesis, not a presupposition.

    Further, a "presupposition" can indeed affect the outcome of a study (it is not "irrelevant," as you say).
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Okay, I'll give that. I should have said, "All scientific research begins with an idea of some sort." Call it an hypothesis if you want. The problem here is that I don't have all the specialized, unintelligible jargon down to your satisfaction, but you get the idea. All your quibbling over semantics does not deal with the real issue.

    If an individual's method's are scientific, then her presuppositions are irrelevant to the facts she finds. Certainly her beliefs will influence her conclusions. Everybody's does. (Even Dr. Linam's) If Maxfield believes strongly enough, and does not find her desired results, she will not be quick to give up.

    Whether she honestly reports her findings is an ethical issue not intrinsic to her methods, and despite her religious preferences there is no evidence to suggest she is being less than honest.

    Right now she says more study is needed and other areas need to be examined, but her preliminary findings support her hypothesis.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Aaron said: Who better to explore the neurophysiological effects of drumming than those who believe there may be something in it? What incentive do those who think nothing of it have to investigate it?

    To which Blade responded: Who worse to explore these effects. This is overt bias from the beginning. If I want to find something, I will. These people have an interest in legitimizing this practice. It is in their best interest to find something here. Objectivity is compromised.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'll give that one too. I should have said, "Who more likely to explore these effects?" My point was incentive as is clearly evident in my second rhetorical question. If you believe that drumming has no effect on a person's state of consciousness, why look for one?

    Also, objectivity is an illusion. Why peer reviews? I'll admit that objectivity is easiest to achieve when investigating something with no social, legal or religious implications (like investigating whether rat poison kills dogs too), but you must admit that bias is a powerful motivation. And if the scientist is ethical, then his reports are reliable. I have read that Louis Pasteur's motivation for developing the germ theory of disease was his overt Christian bias in rejecting the then commonly accepted theory of spontaneous generation. And why read any Answers In Genesis articles, or articles in Creation Ex Nihilo, if bias is an automatic disqualification?

    You cannot simply dismiss something because there might have been less than an objective treatment of the facts.

    In fact, it is obvious that you are quick to find some kind of fault (no matter how minor) with these folks because of your own biases. If you felt as I did about the subject you would downplay some of the weaknesses you assume to be intrinsic of their methods and point out some of the weaknesses and limitations of a rigidly "scientific" approach.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Blade said: So, even if we accept your premise and interpretation of this article, how does it apply to the rhythm of CCM? After all, this is a very unique style not common (or perhaps even present at all) in CCM.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It supports the claims that certain rhythms can induce a vulnerability to spiritual influences. Of course Maxfield calls it "good." She is a pagan and apt to call evil good (I don't mean the overt evil of lying, murdering, stealing, etc., but the evil of seducing spirits.). It supports the premise that ecstatic worship induced by repetitive, rhythmic noise is truly a pagan form not appropriate in Christian gatherings. Voodoo utilizes the drum more than any other instrument. What possible justification can there be for forcing it into Christian worship? I'll admit it is very seductive.

    Now if Dr. Maxfield's methods and findings are so dubious, would you offer an alternate "hypothesis" for the prevalence of the drum in Satanic, shamanic rituals as opposed to the prevalence of the psalter in the worship of Jehovah?

    Could you offer some reason that Saul's servants sought a skilled harpist as opposed to one who played the flute or drum, other than the observed effects that certain tones and rhythms have on one's psyche?

    (Don't hit me with the lame postulation, "It was David's spirit, not the instrument." They weren't looking for someone spiritual, they looked for a musician.)
     
  15. Ransom

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron:
    First of all I am not trying to hide the pagan philosophies of those doing this research.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There you go again, making up stuff again! Where did I accuse you of "hiding" anything? I just said that your sources were, once again, pagan.

    That you quite openly admit that your research is based on pagan sources only militates further against the point you are trying to prove. Why can't you find any Christian experimentation on this subject to support your views? What has Athens with Jerusalem?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Who better to explore the neurophysiological effects of drumming than those who believe there may be something in it?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Who better to explore the addictive effects of nicotine on the human body than tobacco manufacturers, who have a vested financial interest in knowing whether there is something in it?

    Who better? Someone who has no stake in the outcome. Science is supposed to be unbiased, yet someone who believes "there may be something in it" would be more inclined to find something. Proper scientific method begins with a hypothesis which is then either verified or falsified by experimentation - NOT a presupposition that there "may be something in it."

    <UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Are the subjects of the experiment chosen at random so as to be representative of the population at large?
    <LI>Is there a "control" group also set up from random participants, to ensure that the results on the experimental group are indeed conclusive?
    <LI>How has the experiment been "blinded" to ensure that the biases of those conducting and participating in it don't influence the results?
    <LI>Has the experiment been subject to peer review? Has any breakdown in protocol (such as the ones above) been corrected and, if necessary, the experiment redone?
    <LI>Has the experiment been reproduced by others, and do the results confirm the original conclusions?
    [/list]

    The quotations from the report you cited mention only twelve participants, all subject to shamanic drumming, and no control group. That is strike one.

    The experimentor, Maxfield, has a vested interest in proving the legitimacy of shamanic drumming to induce altered states of consciousness. That is strike two.

    There is no mention of blinding or reproduction of the results by another party. That is strike three.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    One of my main points is that drumming and ecstatic worship experiences are wholly pagan. Where else should I go to support it?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Uhhh . . . the Bible? There are numerous instances of cymbals, tambourines, and other percussive instruments being used in celebration. It is interesting, and important, to note that they are used both in the context of worship and non-religious celebration.

    So the Bible approves of percussive music. If God permits it, why would I want to waste my time seeking the contrary opinions of witch doctors published in pagan journals? Isn't what pleases God good enough?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Ransom, though you specialize in ad hominem arguments,
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    So you still don't know what an ad hominem argument is, do you? Sigh.
     
  16. Blade

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Aaron originally posted:
    Right now she says more study is needed and other areas need to be examined, but her preliminary findings support her hypothesis.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Good. I will agree with that. More study does need to be done. And, as reported, her research supports her hypothesis.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I'll admit that objectivity is easiest to achieve when investigating something with no social, legal or religious implications (like investigating whether rat poison kills dogs too), but you must admit that bias is a powerful motivation. And if the scientist is ethical, then his reports are reliable.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is a good point to keep in mind when analyzing a study that involves any type of subjective interpretation that can't be truly standardized (blinded, controlled, randomized). Like you say, when testing a drug or other therapy that produces a result (like increasing white blood cell count, curing a cancer, etc.), the results are relatively easy to interpret objectively (although you might be amazed at how "acrobatic" some people can be with this type of data as well). Work in the psychological/behavioral area is frequently debated for this reason.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>In fact, it is obvious that you are quick to find some kind of fault (no matter how minor) with these folks because of your own biases.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not so fast. I didn't dismiss the results out of hand (nor do I now). I did see some problems with the study design, but the author seemed honest in her interpretation by qualifying with terms like "supports."

    Further, you have to realize that, to a large extent, what governs validity of these trials is numbers. Statistical analysis with its "p values," "confidence intervals," etc. determines whether or not something is a study with enough "power" from which valid conclusions can be drawn. I'm used to seeing studies with hundreds in the control group and hundreds in the experimental group. Please forgive the skepticism I have when I see a study that has 12 subjects, no controls, and isn't blinded.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Now if Dr. Maxfield's methods and findings are so dubious, would you offer an alternate "hypothesis" for the prevalence of the drum in Satanic, shamanic rituals as opposed to the prevalence of the psalter in the worship of Jehovah?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I wouldn't say they are necessarily "dubious." Weak, perhaps. I agree to some degree with her hypothesis: auditory stimuli (here, musical) elicits a cerebral response (even emotional). I don't know that I would take it to the "seeing visions" extreme that she does, however.

    You are coming along, though, Aaron. You are actually looking at study design and finding potential flaws in the analysis. BTW, no study is perfect (this is why replication is soooo important); perfect conditions generally can't be arranged to study anything. Indeed, that is what peer reviewed journals are for: to assure that the level of potential error was not so high that invalidates the results.

    Note, I haven't challenged any of Dr. Maxfield's findings. As to her interpretations...

    Sincerely,
     
  17. Aaron

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    Ransom, Ransom, Ransom.

    Is it reasonable for me to assume that since you never raised those objections when you had ample opportunity before Blade enumerated every item on your list that you knew them all along? One thing is certain, it is your intent to imply that you have always known them. It's something we call in the communication field (as I hold a degree in speech communication and a minor in English) subtext.

    Subtext is the meaning or theme implicit in a text.

    "Implicit" is an adjective meaning "implied or understood though not directly expressed."

    Thus the answer to your disingenuous defense, "Where did I accuse you of 'hiding' anything?" You can vainly appeal to your exact wording all you want, but your intent is obvious even to the most casual observer.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Ransom said:
    That you quite openly admit that your research is based on pagan sources only militates further against the point you are trying to prove.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Quite the opposite, actually.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Ransom said:
    What has Athens with Jerusalem?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    According to you all sorts of Athenian devices can be used in Jerusalem.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Aaron said:
    Who better to explore the neurophysiological effects of drumming than those who believe there may be something in it?

    To which Ransom replied:
    Who better to explore the addictive effects of nicotine on the human body than tobacco manufacturers, who have a vested financial interest in knowing whether there is something in it? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You don't realize it, but you are arguing my side. It's nice to have company.


    ***Theopolitan, where are you?!***


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Ransom said:
    The quotations from the report you cited mention only twelve participants, all subject to shamanic drumming, and no control group. That is strike one.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    And to what, exactly, would that control group be exposed? Silence? Would they be casually chatting while sipping coffee and eating doughnuts? Surely you know. After all you did read the artical, didn't you?

    No? Then what do you know of her methods other than what I have posted?

    Nothing?

    Actually there were three individual groups tested three times each. And the control was each group being measured during a session of "free" drumming, i.e. no discernable pattern. What you have is a total of 36 trials. [actually 35 since one participant had to leave because of a work-related crisis]

    But I repeat what I said in my first post, you must look up the article and read it for yourself to make any informed judgment. You obviously were uninformed.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Ransom said:
    The experimentor, Maxfield, has a vested interest in proving the legitimacy of shamanic drumming to induce altered states of consciousness. That is strike two.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Only dead people have no vested interests. This is not enough to disqualify her methods. Her methods stand or fall on their own merits. Again, did Louis Pasteur have a vested interest in disproving the theories of spontaneous generation? You bet he did.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Ransom said:
    There is no mention of blinding or reproduction of the results by another party. That is strike three.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Again, did you read the article?


    Ransom, Ransom. Not even Blade is so quick to dismiss Dr. Maxfield's methods.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Aaron said:
    One of my main points is that drumming and ecstatic worship experiences are wholly pagan. Where else should I go to support it?

    To which Ransom replied:
    Uhhh . . . the Bible?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You are right. It would benefit you to read it once in a while. So I repeat what I said in a previous post. I think it is significant that when Saul was tormented by a demon his servants did not call for a drummer, 1 Sam 16:16.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Ransom said:
    So you still don't know what an ad hominem argument is, do you?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Sure I do. Here is an example:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Ad hominem courtesy of Ransom:
    I have just done a little further perfunctory research on this article and its author, Melinda Maxfield. It is interesting to note that Maxfield is the secretary of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, the stated purpose of which is "to preserve, study, and transmit shamanic knowledge worldwide." It is no coincidence, I think, that if you run a Google search on "the journey of the drum" you get a number of hits on pages dealing with shamanism that cite that article in their bibliography.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Which is, being interpreted, "Melinda is Shamanistic, and therefore should not be heard." A glittering jewel of an amateur proffering of ad hominem arguments.

    It's true that one's biases are relevant, (a truth you denied in another thread when I pointed out the naturalism in modern scholarship) but when you summarily dismiss an individual's arguments on that basis alone (and that is the total force of your arguments) you have a very weak case.


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Ransom said:
    So the Bible approves of percussive music. If God permits it, why would I want to waste my time seeking the contrary opinions of witch doctors published in pagan journals? Isn't what pleases God good enough?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Misstatement and misrepresentation at its worst. For a scholarly, devout opinion see Dr. Peter Masters' article, Brass, Strings and Percussion? The facts about Bible instruments and the strong rules restricting their use in worship
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Dr. Peter Masters:
    Is it true that God allowed full instrumental worship in the Jewish church? Is it true, for example, that tambourines played by dancing maidens led the worship? Is it true the the Jews regularly worshipped with percussion instruments and brass, and the these generated powerful, rhythmic music?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    [ May 24, 2001: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  18. Ransom

    Ransom
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron:
    Is it reasonable for me to assume that since you never raised those objections when you had ample opportunity before Blade enumerated every item on your list that you knew them all along?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You may assume all you want, Aaron. You've been putting words in my mouth all along; why stop now?

    To answer your question, yes, I did know that much about the scientific method already when I posted it. Admittedly, I know not much more. I had not yet read Blade's message when I posted.

    [English lesson deleted; I majored in English and rhetoric]

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Thus the answer to your disingenuous defense, "Where did I accuse you of 'hiding' anything?" You can vainly appeal to your exact wording all you want, but your intent is obvious even to the most casual observer.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Of course, it's only fair to point out that you are not, in fact, a casual observer but are scrutinizing my posts carefully for evidence of disingenuity! As I said, however, you may take my opinion however you wish. So far no one has stopped you.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    And to what, exactly, would that control group be exposed? Silence?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not necessarily silence (although that would be nice), but they should be kept isolated from the particular stimulus being tested - in this case, shamanic drumming - and subjected to the same measurements as the experimental group. So they're hooked up to the EEG as well.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Again, did you read the article?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Why didn't you post those parts of the article if they're so important to your argument? Don't blame me for the shortcomings of your alleged research.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>You are right. It would benefit you to read it once in a while. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I thought you were above ad hominem remarks, Aaron?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Misstatement and misrepresentation at its worst. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    "Praise Him with the timbrel and dance." (Psa. 150:4)

    "Praise Him with loud cymbals; / Praise Him with high sounding cymbals!" (Psa. 150:5)

    "Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp." (Psa. 149:3)

    "Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, 'Sing to the Lord . . .'" (Exod. 15:20-21)

    "Sing aloud to GOd our strength; / Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob. / Raise a song and strike the timbrel, / The pleasant harp with the lute." (Psa. 81:1-2)

    "Then David and all the house of Israel played music before the Lord on all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals." (2 Sam. 6:5)

    What, pray tell, am I misrepresenting? Taken in their most natural sense, the above pretty much speak for themselves, n'est-ce pas?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Peter Masters:
    Is it true, for example, that tambourines played by dancing maidens led the worship?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Again, you put words into my mouth! Where did I say they were used for worship? I said they were used for celebration, both sacred and secular. I said nothing about worship.
     
  19. Eric B

    Eric B
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    Hello brethren:
    I've been reading some of the posts and the so-called scientific arguments, and also visited Dr. Masters' site.
    I have long been troubled by the adamance of many who think all contemporary beats are bad (leaving the impression that only "Traditional"/classical is acceptable to God.)
    Suffice it to say for now, that all of this scientific stuff is conjectural. Remember, many scients claim to "prove" evolution. And I agree with a couple of you about the double standard of turning to pagan authorities to try to prove our points. All of this is playing the devils game.
    I have dealt extensively with this whole issue at http://members.aol.com/etb700/ccm.html
    I would like to know what everyone thinks of this.

    Eric B

    In answer to Dr. Masters article:

    Dear Sir:
    I ran across your page from a link on a message board
    I have seen here some insight I have not seen in other contemporary music critics, particularly in the issue of OT Worship, but I still see some problems in the arguments.

    You try to suggest that there ware "banned instruments", (and of course, they were "banned" because of some negative reason, such as "distraction"). (e.g. "There was to be no brass or percussion.") Then based on this, people who point out verses showing rhythmic music are "making the Bible contradict itself". But God Himself neither says that the instruments He omitted in His instructions were "banned" for negative reasons; nor does He discuss these "reasons", so this is all pure speculation. Just looking at God's instructions for the Temple, there are many such minute details, and who knows why exactly God commanded all of them. We cannot read things into the scriptures like this and then use this to condemn the practices of our brethren. (This gets into the whole Rom.14/1Cor.8 issue). This is like saying that all these buildings, cars, technology, etc. are "banned" because God omitted them in His original creation (and it was fallen man who put them together)
    Even if God specifically did not want those things in worship, the full argument is about certain music styles and instruments being totally "unacceptable" all the time, including for recreation, so the fact that rhythmic music was accepted anywhere in the Bible disproves that whole argument.

    &lt;QUOTE&gt;&lt;SMALL&gt;Was the music characterised by strong rhythm? The idea that it was is pure speculation. We are told that the trumpets called the people to solemn assemblies, and accompanied the burning of the offering—a serious, awe-producing, and even shame-producing activity. The Hebrew term for ‘solemnity’ appears in the description of these acts of worship. In the light of this, it is most probable that the trumpets and cymbals were played to stir the people to gravity (the cymbals holding the timing of the singing). The idea of modem-idiom music is horrifically ‘read into’ these worship passages.&lt;/SMALL&gt;&lt;/QUOTE&gt;

    This does not mean that they were always used solemnly. This is answering one supposition with another. You have the right do that, but just know that it is not enough justification to say what the entire modern Church is doing is wrong. And still, most of the music (what we would call "Mideastern") was still vastly different from "traditional Church music", which is basically from Europe. So someone could make an argument that that style was not sanctioned in Scripture, and also, is of pagan origin (The prominent underlying argument about modern styles being from "Barbarian Africa")

    &lt;QUOTE&gt;&lt;SMALL&gt;The Scottish preacher Andrew Bonar writes: ‘In this psalm’s enumeration of musical instruments, there is a reference to the variety which exists among men in the mode of expressing joy, and in the mode of exciting feeling.’ The psalm, in other words, lists the instruments not as those to be literally used, but as representing the range of emotions which form heartfelt worship. The instruments are purely figurative or representative. This is the traditional interpretation of this psalm... ["trumpet", "psaltery", "harp", "timbrel", "dance", and "organ" allegorized as "emotions"]
    &lt;/SMALL&gt;&lt;/QUOTE&gt;

    Once again, we can make these associations, but we cannot build important doctrine on such allegorical interpretations. Just think how we reject when people do this exact thing to the 7 days of Creation in Genesis.
    Then the [traditional] "church organ of today" is somehow separated from all these "banned" (omitted) instruments of worship, because it is "played by a single player". But if the point was the number of sounds being used, it doesn't matter how many people are playing it. Modern synthesizers can produce a whole rock song, with one person sitting at the keyboard playing, sequencing, the whole thing.

    &lt;QUOTE&gt;&lt;SMALL&gt;Worship is not for human exhibitionism—God resists the proud. It is not to show off or to admire human artistic ability. Musical aids must never be allowed to turn worship into entertainment. They must never interfere with the spiritual character of worship. Traditional worship promotes awe and reverence, spirituality and thoughtfulness. Joy must flow from the heart, and not be worked up by the excessive use of external helps. Traditional worship is based on biblical worship, which observes certain restraints. The Lord trusts His people to use musical helps to assist their praise, but that trust must never be abused. This trust is completely disregarded by modem-style worship.&lt;/SMALL&gt;&lt;/QUOTE&gt;

    This is an overgeneralized assessment, though I will agree that a lot of contemporary worship has become entertainment. This cannot be blamed solely on the music, while traditional winds up as the pure antidote. A clip from my page:
    &lt;SMALL&gt;John M. Frame, of Westminster Theological Seminary in Contemporary Worship Music: A Biblical Defense (R&R Publishing, Philipsburg, NJ 1997) also brings out many great points showing that many of the faults used against contemporary music and worship are equally present in traditional music and worship. These include the traditionalists being full of pride, the traditional forms of music having entertainment value and being a commercial enterprise, and the possibility of people who love it losing grip on the higher purposes of worship. He also points out that the critics "redefine Christianity by making it at every point the opposite of what they are opposing"&lt;/SMALL&gt;

    The modern church may be doing a lot wrong, but still, this issue needs to be rethought. Blanket denunciations of whole genres of music is not the answer to the problem

    In Christ
    Eric Bolden

    issue fully treated at: http://members.aol.com/etb700/ccm.html
     
  20. Theopolitan

    Theopolitan
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron:
    ***Theopolitan, where are you?!***<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Unlike you, I have real work to do!! :D

    I guess I have to put in my two cents. If it wasn't for the reaction I see Aaron getting at our church when he says anything at all about music I might agree there's nothing to it.

    He talks nice. He kind of cuts loose here. He made me promise not to tell anyone else at church about the Baptist Board.

    Anyway, do you know they tried to church him when he said something to the bible school leaders about the rock music in the program.

    It didn't work, and I saw him respond in a kind way to there anger. If it wasn't for that I would have to say he was all wet.
     

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