I caught this on Yahoo! news a few minutes ago (see news article here. Now they’s got psychics out looking for this dog that went missing last week at a big dog show in New York City.
Apparently, the psychics have been useful. According to the news reports, there are about 12 psychics that are counciling searchers and they are saying that the dog is alive and warm.
I have so many problems with this I simply don’t know where to begin, so I’ll start with the “alive and warm” statement. Anyone who knows anything about basic probability should understand that based on nothing more than the law of averages the statement has a 25% chance of being true (the dog is either alive or dead, that’s .5 probability right there; and the dog is either warm or cold, that’s .5 probablility as well. Multiplied together you get .25 or 25%) You don’t have to be a psychic to be helpful there.
The psychics also seem to indicated that the dog is in a building. Well, if the is alive and the dog is warm, then it would make sense that the dog is inside, because it’s pretty cold outside. And why “a building”? In NYC, you are either in a building or you are out on the street. Chances are pretty good that the dog found its way into a building.
What would impress me with all of this is if the psychics (a) all agreed with one another on their predictions, and (b) were able to predict the outcome of the search, before ever getting started.
I guess the laws of psychics (as opposed to the laws of physics) just don’t work that way.