Paranormal Phenomena

Download Beyond Belief: Skepticism, Science and the Paranormal by Martin Bridgstock PDF

By Martin Bridgstock

No matter if ghosts, astrology or ESP, as much as eighty according to cent of the inhabitants believes in a single or extra features of the mystical. Such ideals are enjoyable, and it truly is tempting to think about them as risk free. even if, there's mounting proof that paranormal ideals should be harmful - circumstances of youngsters demise simply because mom and dad rejected orthodox medication in favour of other treatments, and 'psychics' who exchange at the grief of the bereaved for private revenue and achieve. Expenditure at the paranormal runs into billions of bucks every year. In past trust: Skepticism, technology and the mystical Martin Bridgstock offers an built-in realizing of what an evidence-based method of the magical - a skeptical method - comprises, and why it's important. Bridgstock doesn't got down to exhibit that every one paranormal claims are inevitably fake, yet he does recommend that all of us want the analytical skill and important pondering talents to hunt and investigate the facts for paranormal claims.

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Extra resources for Beyond Belief: Skepticism, Science and the Paranormal

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Finally, the scientific picture of the universe, and our place in it, is likely to appear bleak to many people. It relegates our lives, ideals and struggles to insignificance in a vast and impersonal cosmos. Hence, although science is intellectually extremely successful, it faces problems of other natures that may, in the future, possibly threaten its existence. For an extended glimpse into the workings of science, Le Grand (1990) is excellent. Kuhn (1957) goes through the historic overthrow of the idea that the Sun went round the Earth.

This is not to limit the possibility of exploration by science: it follows directly from the nature of the definition. 39 40 BEYOND BELIEF The point is best explained by an example. Consider telepathy – the transference of thoughts from one mind to another, without any intervening physical process. This is clearly part of the paranormal. Now let us imagine an experiment which shows, consistently and repeatably, that telepathy is possible under some circumstances. Furthermore, let us imagine that scientists investigate the matter closely, and are able to explain the telepathy scientifically: perhaps some form of electromagnetic radiation passes from one brain to another, carrying thoughts.

In due course, Gupta built up a bibliography of over 300 books and papers. However, Gupta’s evidence was faked. In reality he had bought specimens in Africa and China, and his stories about the Himalayas were false. As a result, scientific knowledge of that part of the world has been terribly damaged. It is a classic example of how science needs reliable evidence to function properly. I S S C I E N C E A LW AY S R I G H T ? It is fairly easy to find cases where the scientific process does not seem to have led to the best answers, at least in the short run.

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