Some of my more obsessive critics have sent me emails indicating that Stuart Robbins has responded by pointing to a reference in a journal from 1867. I happen to know this reference was fed to Robbins by the Village Idiot, because he sent it to me months ago. It is nothing but a single word in a 600 page document from 1867 and contains no information about any medical studies which establish the existence of "pareidolia," since there never have been any. In any event, if this reference is genuine, then their problem is with the Wordspy web site, and I'd suggest they send them a note to correct their page. All other references seem to point to the Steven Goldstein quote as the origin for the word's use in the common language. It is also clear from reading the two descriptions that the word may even have had a different meaning in the 1867 reference than it does as used by Goldstein the debunker.
They've also attempted to claim that 3 obscure papers they mined on the internet use the word “pareidolia,” in their abstracts, and that this somehow proves me wrong, and that “pareidolia.” is a real, established medical condition. In a comment authored by "James Concannon" (who I think is actually the Village Idiot working under a pseudonym, a practice he has admitted to) they claim that I said that "no scientific or medical literature exists authenticating pareidolia."
First of all, "James Concannon," if he even exists, has sexually harassed numerous female Facebook friends of mine in the last several years, sending them harassing message after harassing message. At least 5 women had to block him to get it to stop. This is par for the course for both the Village Idiot and the distinguished Dr. Robbins, both of whom have proven time and again what complete creeps they are by pretending to be other people. They do this to keep people from realizing how mentally disordered they are, and to make their numbers look far greater than they actually are.
But I digress. What I said above about “pareidolia” is crystal clear. "This mythical, made-up tendency has no basis in fact, has never been written up or published in any scientific or medical journal, and has failed to meet even the most basic standards of a true medical or psychological disorder."
The 3 papers cited, which I was aware of when I wrote this post, do nothing to make me change or retract this claim. None of them is a medical study that establishes that there is an actual medical condition which causes people to see things that aren't there or don't exist. All they do is make reference to the word.
The first paper, published in 2009, assumes that “pareidolia” exists and specifically links it to facial recognition only. In reality, the paper is not about “pareidolia" at all, but only measures the speed of cognitive responses to visual stimuli, and nothing more. If the study had been done prior to Goldstein's 1994 reference and the debunkers community repeated use of it with regards to the Face on Mars, the word probably wouldn't even appear in the abstract. In any event, the paper is not a study of “pareidolia,” but merely the speed of brain function. The paper itself only uses the word "pareidolia" twice, and CANNOT EVEN CITE A SINGLE MEDICAL/SCIENTIFIC STUDY pointing to its existence.
The second paper, a tiny Japanese study published in 2012, tests patients with a specific kind of dementia -- who already hallucinate -- for hallucinations. It again uses the word “pareidolia,” but likewise cannot cite a single study verifying the existence of such a condition. In essence all it does is substitute the word “pareidolia” for "hallucination."
The third paper, published in 2009 in Brazil is available only in abstract form and like the other two, assumes that “pareidolia” exists, but once again does not cite even a single study confirming that.
It's obvious that the Village Idiot simply went to the PubMed.gov website and searched for the term “pareidolia.” All he could find were a pathetic 3 results, none of which is a study of the actual alleged "phenomenon." There is a 4th result, but the paper is in Spanish and the abstract is so off the wall that they must have decided not to cite for fear of embarrassment.
What this reinforces is that as I have asserted, there is no medically established disorder called “pareidolia.” If there were, there would be dozens of studies pointing to it and identifying its origins, causes, and treatment. Legitimate medical/psychological conditions like Prosopagnosia have such medical pedigrees. In fact, Prosopagnosia turns up an impressive 686 papers and studies from the same web site. The fact that all of the “pareidolia”papers were written after Steven Goldstein coined (or re-coined) the phrase in 1994 indicates they wouldn't even be using the term if it hadn't found its way into the debunkers vernacular in the first place.
So all they have done in reality is to further prove my original point: The supposed phenomenon of “pareidolia” is an Urban Myth perpetrated if not created by the debunkers, and nothing more.