Science as Relative Truth

Loyd Auerbach, MS

NOTE: I wrote the first version of this more than 20 years ago.

There often seems to be discussion as to whether Science delineates absolute or relative truth with respect to the knowledge it uncovers. I wanted to share my own perspective on this, having some background in the physical sciences and more in social science. My own understanding of objective reality points me more towards the relative, as the absolute would seem to be just outside of human reach.

Our understanding of the Universe around us has a boundary of the whole of human experience – a pretty broad border, indeed. Much of Science ignores, and too many scientists forget, that while the data may seem “objective,” those correlating, theorizing, speculating, concluding and such with regards to the data are still subject to human perceptions, biases and beliefs, no matter how detached they may try to become.

Science is the search for knowledge, yet the more we learn about the natural world the more our conceptions are assaulted by new “facts.” The more new observations turn up, the more we try to theorize as to the workings of the natural world, the more we are forced to look at our ideas and if necessary, alter them to fit the new knowledge. The more we learn, the more we find we don’t know.

It was once thought that Science was a collection of what was known about the natural order. Sadly, some still behave as though this is the case.

As scientists learned more and more, their thirst for new “truths” led to the aiming of Science towards the pursuit of those “new truths” rather than merely collecting as we go along. The more we learn, the greater grows our curiosity. Or at least it should.

Our conceptions, scientific and otherwise, about our world and our Universe are constantly undergoing changes. Scientists are more willing than ever to believe their ideas are not really infallible. Unfortunately, of course, there are holdouts in every branch of Science, as scientists are human and humans are notorious for resisting change in their belief systems. However, as Science moves along, new theories are constantly superseding the old ones and we are forced to look at the physical world somewhat differently. It is not only the knowledge and truth that changes, but also our conceptions of these truths.

Science may try to deal in absolutes, but the human element is there. The so-called “Laws of Nature” don’t behave as we always say they do. They are not dependent on human thought. However, as David Bohm says, human actions with relation to these laws must be guided by correct conceptions of these laws if we are to ever achieve the results we are searching for.

It is our concepts of these laws and how we perceive them that tell us how we believe them to work. Our concepts depend on past human experience. No natural law as we perceive it can be totally without error; absolute. All scientific laws must have built in error(s) as these laws are represented in terms of human (and therefore finite) concepts. Therefore, there can be no one valid method or approach to scientific problems, as the method or approach would be applied to the problem in terms of the agent’s conception of the variables and laws involved. If we are to define all errors in a given law flawlessly, we would have an absolute truth, rather than the relative truth we know now. Scientific research moves toward the absolute by studying the relative. By uncovering these built-in errors, we challenge previous knowledge and conceptions. By altering our conceptions to include these new “facts” we can move towards new knowledge.

Truth in relation to Science is, at this point in time, relative to the way we perceive the facts and place them in categories. Someone once said that a Science sufficiently advanced of our own, as well as that which that particular science defines, would seem to us as Magic. Many scientists argue this point by saying that we are beyond the point of accepting phenomena at face value. In relatively recent years there have been discoveries of tribes of people in remote sections of the world still living in the Stone Age (at that level of development). To them, our science made the anthropologists seem as gods. To them, all about us was magic, as how else could they explain a helicopter as something other than a godly creation.

Our world and the sciences that are found here have many cultures standing behind all that is uncovered in the way of “truth.” Technology jumps ahead in leaps and bounds, while human understanding of the science behind the technology plods along. Perhaps most scientists, if they were to be presented with something out of the realm of human experience, would not accept such things as they appear to be. However, many dismiss unusual phenomena as not worth looking into, while many a layman might see something “magical.” Many people look on Science as something “unknowable” or even magical. Our concepts of the physical world are relative to past human experience, whether those experiencing (or investigating) the phenomena are scientists or not, and those concepts partly make up the truth – the other part actually composed of the facts.

Parapsychology deals with phenomena beyond the realm of what is termed “normal” human experience. The type of energy – if energy is what it is — that composes the phenomenon called the poltergeist, for example, is something physicists have never encountered before, at least not in the form it appears, or it is something we already know about that is presenting itself in a way that is “outside the box” of what it is and how we might look for it. The science of Parapsychology calls out for an alteration of human concepts about the physical world. If this is a new form of energy, the physicist must alter his concepts to include this new “truth,” and the same is true if it’s a known energy showing itself in a “new” way. But the search for the truth with regards to such phenomena is still a search for relative truth, as human perceptions and ideas are still involved.

Theories are approximate, conditional, and relative truths. If they were absolute, there would be no way a new theory could supersede the old one. Much is made of theory needing to be falsifiable (capable of being proven wrong), yet there are theories in Physics today that are not falsifiable (e.g. String Theory and the concept of a Multiverse), if only because we simply are not at a level of technology (and Science) to be able to provide that possibility.

The whole of human experience is made up of approximations and probabilities, and as such our knowledge is composed of relative truths. The question arises as to whether objectivity aids in the scientific method. Unfortunately, even when a scientist looks at something objectively, and tries to collate data with total detachment, in the best of instances human perceptions and readings of the results are still part of the process, and the “truth” is therefore in those instances might still relative to human experience.

The Truth is relative, not absolute.

As a next step, please go to dealing with a debate as to whether untestable theories in physics (and presumably other sciences) ought to be trusted anyway.

New Interviews with Loyd Auerbach

This past week, a few interviews with Professor Paranormal himself, Loyd Auerbach (yes, that’s me!) hit the web.

The first is a special clip from Audioburst from an interview with me by Art Bell, in which I talk about one of my favorite cases in relation to Psychokinesis (Mind over Matter).

Next are two segments of an interview conducted for a local web series, “The Haunted Bay.” First up, an interview for their episode 10, “What Are Ghosts?”

Next is for The Haunted Bay, episode 11, “Can Ghosts Travel?”

A more recent webTV interview, done at the production company that is the legacy of the old cable network TechTV — where I did many appearances — happened on Halloween 2015 for their show “The New Screen Savers.” The webTV network is TWiT.TV (This Week in Tech), hosted by Leo Laporte. My interview comes in at 1:05:43 — it’s a really good one!!


Paranormal Classes and a Chocolate Tasting/Ghost Stories Night in October 2015

OCTOBER PARANORMAL CLASSES: Mediums, Ghosts, Psychic Dreaming and Chocolate! Scroll down to see them all!

Register for the following classes: Email Loyd Auerbach or call 415-871-0175: — you may register by sending payment via PayPal to

Location: HCH Institute, 3702 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA 94549, or on your own phone (phone number sent out once registered)

Note: Please let me know your interest as soon as possible. There is a minimum number of students needed to run a class.

Also, note that if one (or more) of these classes appeals to you but you can’t make the date, recorded versions will be available AND if you gather a small number of people to commit to another date (and time), I can usually set up a special class — especially for distance students!

October 14, 6:30-9:30 PM Pacific time
Psychic Dreaming. One Session. $50. (local or by phone)
An in-depth look at Dreaming and how psi manifests in the dream state, from apparitional visitations to precognitive dreams to dreams that might indicate past lives. We take a look at methods of working with dreams in order to further discover your own psi-filled dreaming, and also look at the Lucid Dreaming state and how one might use it to enhance psi even in the waking state. The class will include a piece on how best to increase dream recall and program your dreams.
The class will be recorded, and you will receive the mp3 afterwards, as well as a number of articles and supporting text documents and a recording of a past session of the course.

October 21 & 28, 6:30-9:30 PM Pacific time
Mediumship: History, Mystery, Manifestation and Science. Two sessions. $100 (local or by phone)
A two-part class looking deeply into the history, practice, beliefs, claims and evidence of Mediumship, both physical and mental. History of mediumship, with focus on the rise of Spiritualism and Psychical Research, is covered as well as the main research and findings since the mid-1800s. Includes discussion of opening up as a medium and learning to control one’s mediumistic abilities.
The class will be recorded, and you will receive the mp3 afterwards, as well as a number of articles and supporting text documents and a recording of a past session of the course.

October 22, 6:30-9:30 PM Pacific time
Apparitions: Ghosts In-Depth. One session. $50 (local or by phone)
A one-shot class focusing on all forms of apparitions, from those projected by the living to the best cases, explanations and theories of apparitions of the dead. Illustrated with lots of ghost stories, specifically cases that exemplify the best evidence supporting the idea that apparitions are indicators of Consciousness surviving death.
The class will be recorded, and you will receive the mp3 afterwards, as well as a number of articles and supporting text documents and a recording of a past session of the course.

October 29, 7-9:30 PM Pacific time.                                                                                      A Haunted By Chocolate Evening: A Chocolate Tasting with Ghost Stories Told. One session, with chocolate, $40 for local attendees; $30 for distance attendees (by phone – no chocolate, of course).

Enjoy a fun and tasty Halloween event with 35+ year ghost detective/investigator and professional Chocolatier Loyd Auerbach. He will lead you through a session of tasting great chocolates, interspersed with some of his favorite cases and ghost reports (stories told to him). You’ll also hear about the history of chocolate, how it’s made, and get background on the chocolate makers whose gourmet bars you’ll be tasting. Spooky and Yummy!
The class will not be recorded, but you will receive an mp3 recording of some of Loyd’s ghost stories.

Location: HCH Institute, 3702 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA 94549, or on your own phone (phone number sent out once registered)

Register: Email Loyd Auerbach: or call 415-871-0175  — you may register by sending payment via PayPal

Is your paranormal team/group looking for specialized presentations or training? Talk with me about distance options (including training/lectures for groups via Skype or Webinar platforms) and/or bringing me to your location!

GHOST HUNTING class starts Wednesday, October 7th

GHOST HUNTING: How to Investigate the Paranormal: 4 (3 hour) classes

Wednesdays, October 7, 14, 21 & 28, from 6:30-9:30 PM Pacific time

ATTEND BY PHONE OR IN PERSON. Classes are held at HCH Institute, 3702 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA (or on your telephone).

All attendees receive a DVD-rom disc with a ton of info, including mp3 audio (a previous offering of the course, plus extra audio), video (including an unaired TV pilot), and a large amount of required reading and supporting documents (include a number of ebooks).

The class will be recorded, and you will receive the mp3 afterwards as well!

Most people are interested in the paranormal phenomena we classify as “ghostly”: Apparitions, Hauntings and Poltergeists. Many are interested in understanding their own experiences and the experiences of others. Many are intensely interested in gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to be an effective investigator of such things: a Ghost Hunter. This class is a guide to ghost hunting, and attendees will gain the basic skills and understanding for investigation of ghosts, poltergeists, haunted places and related psychic experiences. The class will include the models of what these things are (from the field of parapsychology), how the scientific and psychic approaches can mesh together, and how to assess a situation, investigate it, and resolve the case to the satisfaction of the people having the experiences (and hopefully to the satisfaction of the ghosts, when they’re involved).

Based on the field of Parapsychology’s 130+ year experience with such investigations, the class will cover: Apparitions, Hauntings and Poltergeists: differences and similarities; What else can make a “ghost”; The investigative process, from initial call to resolution; Technology & Psychics in ghost hunting; How the techniques of the professionals differ from those of the amateurs; The ethics of paranormal investigating and legal issues that can be involved.

The deep (and necessary) connections between apparitions, hauntings and poltergeists and other psychic experiences and abilities, and why a ghost hunter or paranormal investigator needs an understanding of the findings of Parapsychology in order to both conduct a thorough investigation and come to at least a range of reasonable conclusions – and to understand the “why” of the phenomena.

Naturally, the class will include some of Auerbach’s more exciting cases.

Students completing this course are eligible to affiliate with Loyd Auerbach’s Office of Paranormal Investigations and be deployed for appropriate investigations that become available in their own locale.

Cost is $250 for the course and DVD-Rom with audio, video and text.

Call 925-283-3941 to reserve your space, or email

HCH is BART accessible. Go to for directions.

Approved for CE credits for MFTs, LSCWs and RNs All classes are held at HCH Institute 3702 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA 94549

Remember: if you are outside the Bay Area (or even in the Bay Area and just don’t want to fight the traffic, you may attend the class by telephone.

An Important New Publication on Extrasensory Perception

I’ve been a little behind in posting events for myself, and in posting anything of substance here on my site. Been working on a few things, including working a bit at JFK University doing marketing and running a speaker program for the Consciousness and Transformative Studies MA Program, as well as developing content and teaching (or co-teaching) online courses for the Rhine Center ( and ).

Now I’d like to get back in the swing of talking about developments in Parapsychology and providing some commentary on the paranormal generally, and paranormal pop culture in particular. So do come back and visit every week for more.

To kick off this new push (for myself), something new…

I am very proud to have contributed a chapter (with the help of Sheila Smith and Dominic Parker backing up the research material) to an incredibly important new text on psychic phenomena.

Just released from Praeger is a two volume hardcover set called EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION: SUPPORT, SKEPTICISM AND SCIENCE, edited by Edwin C. May and Sonali Bhatt Marwaha.

The books include chapter contributions from notables not only in the field of Parapsychology, but also from a number of other mainstream sciences. The foreword is by neuroscientist James Fallon, well-known for his examination of the psychopath.

Volume one covers “History, Controversy, and Research, while volume 2 hits on “Theories of Psi.”

My chapter reviews the research in ESP and PK over the last 10 or so years at laboratories and from researchers in the United States. Other similar chapters cover Europe, Australia, and Asia.

While the two volume set is likely out of the price range of most (it’s over $120 even with Amazon’s typical discount), the quality of the material in the volumes is worth every penny. This set will hopefully create a stir in the mainstream, if only because some have put their place in academia on the line simply for contributing.

You can find an interview with Ed May about the set here:




In order of “appearance” (when they’re happening):

FREE “Dialogues in Consciousness” at JFK University, May 28 at 7:15 PM in Pleasant Hill, CA.  Dr. Edwin C. May on “A Materialist’s View of Consciousness: Evolution of a Concept.” Moderated by Christian de Quincy.

If you ask 10 people to define consciousness, you might get 10 different descriptions. The extremes range from “mind is not equal to brain” to  “mind/consciousness is an emergent property of the brain.”

The discussion with Dr. May will consider diverse angles on the definition of consciousness.

Edwin C. May, PhD, is a Physicist and Consciousness Researcher, Executive Director of the Cognitive Sciences Laboratory, and Former Director of Research for the US Star Gate Program. His main area of research these days is Anomalous Cognition. Dr. May is co-author of ESP WARS: EAST & WEST with Victor Rubel, PhD, and Loyd Auerbach, MS (2014) and co-editor of ANOMALOUS COGNITION with Sonali Bhatt Marwaha (2014), which is a collection of peer-reviewed papeers. He and Marwaha are the editors of a forthcoming academic 2-volume set entitled EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION: Support, Skepticism, and Science (June 2015, Praeger).

For more information on this free event: or email


Preston Castle Paracon, May 29 & 30, 2015 in Ione, CA.
I’ll be appearing at the Paranormal Conference at Preston Castle on Saturday, May 30. The event is Preston Castle Foundation’s First Annual Benefit Paranormal Conference to benefit the restoration of the (very haunted) building.
For more information:


INTRODUCTION TO PARAPSYCHOLOGY Online Course starts June 1, 2015. Instructor: Loyd Auerbach.
In this 8 week online course featuring weekly webinars and an online forum, students will be introduced to the topics that are studied by professional parapsychologists. Topics will include an overview of the phenomena (Telepathy, Clairvoyance, Precognition, Psychokinesis, and Survival Issues), history, research methodologies and researchers that make up the vibrant field of scientific parapsychology.Weekly webinars may be watched live or via recordings.

For more info on how the online course works, a syllabus, schedule and registration, visit:
DREAMS & ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS: Online class starts June 2, 2015
This 8 week online course featuring weekly webinars and an online forum will cover topics related to Altered States of Consciousness (ASC) and will especially focus on the nature of dreams.  Lucid Dreaming, Sleep Paralysis, Shared Dreaming, and Dream Symbols will be discuss.  In addition, other altered states will be explored including the hypnotic state, drug induced states, meditation, and other altered states. Weekly webinars may be watched live or via recordings.
Instructors are: Ryan Hurd & Loyd Auerbach
For more info on how the online course works, a syllabus, schedule and registration, visit:


THEORIES & MODELS OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA: Two part class from HCH Institute which can be attended in person (Lafayette, CA) or by phone. June 4 & 11, 2015, 6:30-9:30 PM Pacific.
This short course covers basic models of how psychic abilities seem to work, what apparitions and hauntings are, and a survey of theories that might (or might not) explain it all. We’ll consider research findings that connect to how psi might work. Theoretical perspectives on psi are reviewed and discussed, including electromagnetic, space-time, quantum entanglement, and others. No technical knowledge is needed. All students receive mp3 recordings of the classes (and a prior course offering) as well as text materials.

For more information & to register, contact or call HCH at 925-283-3941.

FREE event at JFK University: “Death Makes Life Possible” film & discussion with Marilyn Schlitz, PhD

The Consciousness & Transformative Studies MA Program at JFK University is starting a new “Dialogues in Consciousness” series to be offered free to the JFKU community and the general public.

The first of the Spring 2015 series will be offered on Thursday, April 30 at 7:15 PM, with a brief meet-and-greet starting at 7 PM.

We are very proud (and happy) to present Dr. Marilyn Schlitz and the 1 hour film she produced with Deepak Chopra, “Death Makes Life Possible.” The film follows her exploration of the mysteries of life and death from a variety of perspectives and world traditions. Sparked by her own near death experience as a teenager, Schlitz has been delving into the nature of consciousness and death for the past three decades.

The film looks at how popular culture deals with the ever-present fear many have about our own mortality. Interviews with mental health experts, cultural leaders, and scientists explore the meaning of death and how we can learn to live without fear. The interviews and evidence presented are interwoven with personal stories of people facing their own death as well as those who report encounters beyond death. The narrative is illustrated with vivid imagery.

Following the film will be an interview and discussion with Dr. Schlitz.

For more information on the event, visit

For more information on the film, visit

The free event will be held at
JFK University, room 209
100 Ellinwood Way (off Contra Costa Blvd.)
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

The events will be video-recorded for later upload to the web, with links published wherever we can. The plan is to provide the recordings in streaming video and as a downloadable mp3 audio file.

Test Your ESP session, a Possession class and a PK Party for April & May (so far)

We have two special one-shot parapsychology/paranormal classes and a PK Event coming in the next couple of weeks.
TEST YOUR ESP & PK class on April 29
PK PARTY on May 8

Read below for all three, plus the announcement of a special related event on April 30 at JFK University.

For all three HCH classes/events following, please contact the instructor, Loyd Auerbach, directly to pre-register. It is very important that you contact him before the session. We have both a minimum and maximum number of people we can have for these sessions.

Contact Loyd at or by phone at 925-518-4071.

TEST YOUR ESP & PK: Wednesday, April 29 from 7-9:30 PM $40
This special session will present a variety of methods for people to test their own ESP and PsychoKinesis (Mind Over Matter) — which we’ll try throughout the class. The emphasis will be mainly on various ESP abilities (including mediumistic talents) and attendees will get to try their minds at a variety of tasks.

Parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach will “test” you and provide assessments, as well as provide you with instruction as to how to continue to work with the testing methods at home — which can help you develop your abilities as well.

Also available to attend by phone — we will try some distance ESP tests with you! Note: mp3 recordings and text materials will be made available to all registered attendees.

This one-shot class takes a look at the evidence for and against possession (by spirits and demons), how this is related to channeling and mediumship, to spirit attachment, and the difference between possession and psychic attack. How can one discern what’s going on in situations that might be called possession, psychic attack, ESP gone wrong, psychological disturbance or just plain mistaken perception? What can an investigator do? Or an exorcist? Or even a shaman?

There will be a discussion of the pluses and minuses of spirit communications practices, from the “dreaded” Ouija Board (and why it has a bad rap) to automatic writing to EVP and the use of K2 and other meters and flashlights.

Finally, parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach will directly address techniques for psychic protection and self-defense as well as getting rid of bad energy/entities.

Available to attend by phone — mp3 recordings and text materials will be made available to all registered attendees.

PK PARTY! COME PLAY AT MIND OVER MATTER!! Friday, May 8 from 7:30-9:30 (*though may go a little later). $$25 if you bring at least 4 spoons; $30 if you come without utensils.
This is a special session devoted to the experience of Psycho-Kinesis.
In part one, you’ll learn and play with a method of mentally moving small targets.
Part two is a Spoon-Bending Party!
Note: This session will only run if we have at least 10 people (and we are limited to no more than 22). We need a good turnout in order to get the social energy up (and to have fun)!
Anyone 10 years or older is welcome to attend.
Please be sure to pre-register with Loyd Auerbach no later than Friday morning!
Note that this session will not be recorded, and necessitates in-person attendance.

Loyd Auerbach can be reached via email at or by phone at 925-518-4071.

EVIDENCE FOR LIFE AFTER DEATH course starts April 9th!

I’ll be offering my three part “Evidence for Life After Death” course, part of the Parapsychological Studies Certificate Program (or taken as a solo course), on three Thursday evenings at HCH Institute in Lafayette, CA (or you may join us by phone):

April 9, 16 & 23, 2015, from 6:30-9:30 PM

Do we survive the death of our bodies? Is there Life after Death? What is the evidence? This seminar will cover the search for evidence of Survival of Bodily Death from the earliest psychical researchers to parapsychologists of today. With an eye towards the evidence garnered and the research and investigations methods to gather it — the class covers topics such as ghosts, mediumship, near death experiences, electronic voice phenomena, out of body experiences, reincarnation and psychic experience says about whether we live on in some fashion after the deaths of our bodies.

Some time will also be spent discussing the recent research of Dr. Julie Beischel of the Windbridge Institute and previous work by Dr. Gary Schwartz of the University of Arizona conducting research with psychic mediums and the continuing work at the University of Virginia with children who remember previous lives.

The importance of ESP and PK in any model of Survival will be discussed. The class will also look at the debate regarding evidence for Survival vs. the Super-Psi hypothesis from the perspective of the Survival proponents.

All students receive a DVD-rom with mp3 recordings of a past course session as well as extensive text and video materials, including several dozen ebooks. Additionally, all students are sent a download link for the audio recording of each of the new class sessions (for this course offering in 2015).

Cost: $200, including all materials mentioned above.

REGISTER by calling HCH Institute at 925-283-3941 or email

For additional information, contact me, Loyd Auerbach, at

HAUNTINGS: IN DEPTH! One shot class on March 10, 2015

Please Join Us!

Tuesday March 10th, 6:30 – 9:30 PM Pacific Time, at HCH Institute, 3702 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette, CA or by phone!

Hauntings: In Depth


The term “haunting” refers to places that have repeated paranormal/ghostly activity. Buildings or the land they are built on can be haunted, and the building can be old or even relatively new. It’s also possible for objects to be haunted (after all, what is a house but a big object?). Researchers have long determined that hauntings (often referred to as “residual hauntings” by many) have a different cause than apparition/ghost cases: place memory/psychic imprints vs. actual conscious entities . This one-evening session will look at the long history of haunted places and objects and why psychical researchers and parapsychologists have separated them into their own category different from apparitions.

Learn about the models of hauntings, from psychic imprinting to the British “stone tape theory” to geophysical possibilities. We’ll also delve into specific haunting cases, including a few from the casebooks of the instructor, Loyd Auerbach and several of his colleagues. We’ll consider how sometimes phenomena can be mixed (hauntings and apparitions together), and even how a haunting can cause a poltergeist situation. Finally, for those investigating haunting, apparition, and poltergeist cases, we’ll talk about resolving cases of hauntings and how and why haunting resolutions are so different from the others.

This will be offered on site at HCH Institute in Lafayette, CA, available on disc as MP3 files for home study and also offered live on a conference call format for our distant learning students (by phone!)

Cost: $50 for on site class and distant learning.

TO REGISTER: Call or email Loyd Auerbach at 925-518-4071 or OR Send payment via PayPal to I can take credit card payment over the phone as well.

Please indicate your interest as soon as possible.