Sunday, June 10, 2007

Shrinkrapradio meets Stanley Krippner

Dr. David van Nuys of Shrinkrapradio has interviewed Stanley Krippner in show #30 and did so again in the latest edition of his podcast, #95. We continue discussing dreams, a subject that has Dr. Dave's special interest anyway, but the latest series of shows are intentionally all on dreams and dream research. David van Nuys is building up to the Dream Research conference in Sonoma State University by the end of June.

There are three questions that for me stand out in the interview. First Krippner discusses why we dream. Some of the explanations he gives why evolution has supported the development of REM sleep and consecutive dreaming are less convincing to me (the whimpering baby has a better chance of survival), but it sure is informative and necessary to discuss. Together what with other guests of Shrinkrapradio have said, one definitely gets the impression that dreaming naturally comes with having a brain.

The next item on the agenda, in my opinion, delivers the most interesting part of the interview. Krippner gives his view on the contributions to the understanding of dreams of the founding fathers in the field. He discusses Freud, Jung and Adler. Not only does he indicate where these theoreticians differ, Krippner also makes in inventory of where they were right and where they erred.

The next issue that stands out is the subject of scientific research. Krippner shows several methodologies that allow for serious scientific study of tough issues such as telepathy and premonition in dreams. It is intriguing that such subjects that from a skeptical standpoint are hardly worth serious studying could be subjected to methodical observation. What I missed however, is some kind of indication what those studies actually try to show, apart from statistical correlation.

I wonder what the observations are teaching us, if statistics show telepathy and premonition occurring with higher than statistical chance? Wouldn't we need some working theory that intends to explain and predict those occurrences? I do not hear Dr. Stanley Krippner state anything in the way of such a theory.
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