...sure to please both the armchair skeptic looking for clear rebuttals to paranormal nonsense and the scientist interested in understanding the cognitive mechanisms involved in supernatural beliefs.- Skeptical InquirerI found [it] an eye-opener in everything said....Hines writes with great insight and plain speaking without belittling the reader with anything but common-sense....this book has my unreserved recommendation to be read and thoroughly digested and deeply thought about.- SFCrowsnest.co.ukTelevision, the movies, and computer games fill the minds of their viewers with a daily staple of fantasy, from tales of UFO landings, haunted houses, and communication with the dead to claims of miraculous cures by gifted healers or breakthrough treatments by means of fringe medicine. The paranormal is so ubiquitous in one form of entertainment or another that many people easily lose sight of the distinction between the real and the imaginary, or they never learn to make the distinction in the first place. In this thorough review of pseudoscience and the paranormal in contemporary life, psychologist Terence Hines teaches readers how to carefully evaluate all such claims in terms of scientific evidence.Hines devotes separate chapters to psychics; life after death; parapsychology; astrology; UFOs; ancient astronauts, cosmic collisions, and the Bermuda Triangle; faith healing; and more. New to this second edition are extended sections on psychoanalysis and pseudopsychologies, especially recovered memory therapy, satanic ritual abuse, facilitated communication, and other questionable psychotherapies. There are also new chapters on alternative medicine, which is now marketed in our drug stores, and on environmental pseudoscience, with special emphasis on the evidence that certain technologies like cell phones or environmental agents like asbestos cause cancer.Finally, Hines discusses the psychological causes for belief in the paranormal despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. This valuable, highly interesting, and completely accessible analysis critiques the whole range of current paranormal claims.Terence M. Hines (Pleasantville, NY) is professor of psychology at Pace University, and the author of the first edition of Pseudoscience and the Paranormal.
Television, the movies, and computer games fill the minds of their viewers with a daily staple of fantasy, from tales of UFO landings, haunted houses, and communication with the dead to claims of miraculous cures by gifted healers or breakthrough treatments by means of fringe medicine. The paranormal is so ubiquitous in one form of entertainment or another that many people easily lose sight of the distinction between the real and the imaginary, or they never learn to make the distinction in the first place. In this thorough review of pseudoscience and the paranormal in contemporary life, psychologist Terence Hines teaches readers how to carefully evaluate all such claims in terms of scientific evidence. Hines devotes separate chapters to psychics; life after death; parapsychology; astrology; UFOs; ancient astronauts, cosmic collisions, and the Bermuda Triangle; faith healing; and more. New to this second edition are extended sections on psychoanalysis and pseudopsychologies, especially recovered memory therapy, satanic ritual abuse, facilitated communication, and other questionable psychotherapies. There are also new chapters on alternative medicine, which is now marketed in our drug stores, and on environmental pseudoscience, with special emphasis on the evidence that certain technologies like cell phones or environmental agents like asbestos cause cancer. Finally, Hines discusses the psychological causes for belief in the paranormal despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. This valuable, highly interesting, and completely accessible analysis critiques the whole range of current paranormal claims.
Pseudoscience and Extraordinary Claims of the Paranormal: A Critical Thinker's Toolkit provides readers with a variety of "reality-checking" tools to analyze extraordinary claims and to determine their validity. Integrates simple yet powerful evaluative tools used by both paranormal believers and skeptics alike Introduces innovations such as a continuum for ranking paranormal claims and evaluating their implications Includes an innovative "Critical Thinker’s Toolkit," a systematic approach for performing reality checks on paranormal claims related to astrology, psychics, spiritualism, parapsychology, dream telepathy, mind-over-matter, prayer, life after death, creationism, and more Explores the five alternative hypotheses to consider when confronting a paranormal claim Reality Check boxes, integrated into the text, invite students to engage in further discussion and examination of claims Written in a lively, engaging style for students and general readers alike Ancillaries: Testbank and PowerPoint slides available at www.wiley.com/go/pseudoscience
Rev. ed. of: Pseudoscience and extraordinary claims of the paranormal: a critical thinker's toolkit. 2010.
For courses in Introductory Psychology, Critical Thinking and Scientific Reasoning. This topically organized text integrates naturally with the flow of all introductory psychology courses presenting the differences between science and pseudoscience in a fun and interesting way. Timothy Lawson uses original sources to address the numerous pseudoscientific claims that students are exposed to through the media, the Internet and pop psychology books.
Pseudoscience and Deception is a compilation of some of the most eye-opening skeptical articles pertaining to extraordinary claims and pseudoscience. The articles explore paranormal, extraordinary, or fringe-science claims and reveal logical explanations or outline the deceptive tactics involved in convincing the vulnerable.
A rational explanation of 27 paranormal phenomena - from walking over hot coals to spontaneous combustion - that appear to defy the laws of science.
A Gallop poll surveyed 506 American teenagers, aged 13 to 18 and discovered the following:- 69% believe in angels- 59% believe in ESP- 55% believe in astrology- 28% believe in clairvoyance- 24% believe in Bigfoot- 22% believe in witchcraft- 20% believe in ghosts- 18% believe in the Loch Ness MonsterCarl Sagan has said that the wonders of real science far surpass the supposed and imagined mysteries of fringe science. Yet, as statistics show, the paranormal is still an endless source of fascination for people around the world.This collection of critical essays and investigative reports examines virtually every area of fringe science and the paranormal from a refreshingly scientific and clear-minded viewpoint. The authors are noted scientists, philosophers, psychologists, and writers. All bring to the task a determination to sift sense from nonsense and fact from fiction in an area notorious for misinformation, misperception, self-delusion, and wishful thinking. They do so in a way that highlights the differences between real science and pseudoscience. They've made special efforts first to find the actual facts behind numerous claims that have popular appeal, and then to explain and communicate what scientific investigation and reasoning reveal about them.Subjects treated to incisive and entertaining examination include astrology, ESP, psychic detectives, psychic predictions, parapsychology, remote-viewing, UFOs, creationism, the Shroud of Turin, coincidences, cult archaeology, palmistry and fringe medicine.There are also explorations of the implications of paranormal beliefs for science education.Informative and fascinating. -Science Books & FilmsKendrick Frazier (Albuquerque, NM) is editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, former editor of Science News, and the editor of four previous collections, including Encounters with the Paranormal and Science Confronts the Paranormal. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Revised and Expanded Edition. In this age of supposed scientific enlightenment, many people still believe in mind reading, past-life regression theory, New Age hokum, and alien abduction. A no-holds-barred assault on popular superstitions and prejudices, with more than 80,000 copies in print, Why People Believe Weird Things debunks these nonsensical claims and explores the very human reasons people find otherworldly phenomena, conspiracy theories, and cults so appealing. In an entirely new chapter, "Why Smart People Believe in Weird Things," Michael Shermer takes on science luminaries like physicist Frank Tippler and others, who hide their spiritual beliefs behind the trappings of science. Shermer, science historian and true crusader, also reveals the more dangerous side of such illogical thinking, including Holocaust denial, the recovered-memory movement, the satanic ritual abuse scare, and other modern crazes. Why People Believe Strange Things is an eye-opening resource for the most gullible among us and those who want to protect them.
Extra Sensory is a pop-science look at the untapped abilities of human beings, from ESP to Telekenesis and other real life sciences that are currently being studied today, from physicist Brian Clegg. We'd all love to have 'psi' abilities like telepathy, telekinesis, and remote viewing. But is there any solid evidence to back up these talents, or are they nothing more than fantasy? We still only understand a small percentage of the capabilities of the human brain—and we shouldn't dismiss such potential powers out of hand. Although there is no doubt that many who claim these abilities are frauds, and no one has yet won James Randi's $1M prize for demonstrating ESP under lab conditions, we still have a Nobel prize winner suggesting a mechanism for telepathy, serious scientists researching the field and university projects that produced potentially explosive results. What's the verdict? By looking at possible physical mechanisms for ESP and taking in the best scientific evidence, the reader can discover if this is all wishful thinking and deception, or a fascinating reality. The truth is out there.
Scientific Paranormal Investigation describes how logic, critical thinking, and scientific methodologies can be applied to mysterious or "unexplained" phenomena including ghosts, crop circles, miracles, Bigfoot, etc. The author includes a half-dozen in-depth investigation case studies describing how he solved the mysteries.
In a post-truth, fake news world, we are particularly susceptible to the claims of pseudoscience. When emotions and opinions are more widely disseminated than scientific findings, and self-proclaimed experts get their expertise from Google, how can the average person distinguish real science from fake? This book examines pseudoscience from a variety of perspectives, through case studies, analysis, and personal accounts that show how to recognize pseudoscience, why it is so widely accepted, and how to advocate for real science. Contributors examine the basics of pseudoscience, including issues of cognitive bias; the costs of pseudoscience, with accounts of naturopathy and logical fallacies in the anti-vaccination movement; perceptions of scientific soundness; the mainstream presence of "integrative medicine," hypnosis, and parapsychology; and the use of case studies and new media in science advocacy. ContributorsDavid Ball, Paul Joseph Barnett, Jeffrey Beall, Mark Benisz, Fernando Blanco, Ron Dumont, Stacy Ellenberg, Kevin M. Folta, Christopher French, Ashwin Gautam, Dennis M. Gorman, David H. Gorski, David K. Hecht, Britt Marie Hermes, Clyde F. Herreid, Jonathan Howard, Seth C. Kalichman, Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, Arnold Kozak, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Emilio Lobato, Steven Lynn, Adam Marcus, Helena Matute, Ivan Oransky, Chad Orzel, Dorit Reiss, Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter, Kavin Senapathy, Dean Keith Simonton, Indre Viskontas, John O. Willis, Corrine Zimmerman
[P.D. Ouspensky's] yearning for a transcendent, timeless reality - one that cancels out physical disintegration and death - figures into science at some fundamental level. Einstein found solace in his theory of relativity, which suggested to him that events are ever-present in the space-time continuum. When his friend Michele Besso passed on shortly before his own death, he wrote: "For us believing physicists the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, even if a stubborn one." - from Magic, Mystery, and Science The triumph of science would appear to have routed all other explanations of reality. No longer does astrology or alchemy or magic have the power to explain the world to us. Yet at one time each of these systems of belief, like religion, helped shed light on what was dark to our understanding. Nor have the occult arts disappeared. We humans spend much of our time in darkness and in dreams, and though we may prefer solid ground beneath our feet, our need for mystery and a sense of the infinite remains. Magic, Mystery, and Science presents the occult as a "third stream" of belief, as important to the shaping of Western civilization as Greek rationalism or Judeo-Christianity. The history of the occult is intrinsically interesting, but it is also relevant to contemporary concerns, for modern culture never leaves behind as much of the past as one might suppose. The occult seeks explanations in a world that is living and intelligent - quite unlike the one supposed by science. By taking these beliefs seriously, while keeping an eye on science, this book aims to capture some of the power of the occult. Readers will discover that the occult has a long history that reaches back to Babylonia and ancient Egypt. It proceeds alongside, and frequently mingles with, religion and science. From the Egyptian Book of the Dead to New Age beliefs, from Plato to Adolf Hitler, occult ways of knowing have been used - and hideously abused - to explain a world that still tempts us with the knowledge of its dark secrets. Dan Burton is Assistant Professor of History and Political Science at the University of North Alabama. David Grandy is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Brigham Young University. He earned a Ph.D. in history and philosophy of science at Indiana University.
This academic text features articles regarding paranormal, extraordinary, or fringe-science claims. It logically examines the claims of astrology; psychic ability; alternative medicine and health claims; after-death communication; cryptozoology; and faith healing, all from a skeptical perspective. Paranormal Claims is a compilation of some of the most eye-opening articles about pseudoscience and extraordinary claims that often reveal logical, scientific explanations, or an outright scam. These articles, steeped in skepticism, teach critical thinking when approaching courses in psychology, sociology, philosophy, education, or science.
At a time when there is a growing fascination with the paranormal and the occult (witness the popularity of "The X-Files" and movies such as "The Sixth Sense"), this penetrating analysis of so-called psychic abilities offers a long overdue and thorough refutation of the whole psi craze. Illustrations.
In Science in the New Age, David Hess explores ideologies of the paranormal in the United States. He offers a map of the labyrinth of views put forward by parapsychologists and skeptical debunkers, spirit channelers and crystal healers, Hollywood poltergeist scripts, and prophets of the New Age. Adopting a cultural perspective, Hess moves beyond the question of who is right or wrong to the cultural politics of how each group constructs its own boundaries of true and false knowledge. Hess begins by looking at each group's unique version of knowledge, science, and religion and at its story about the other groups. Comparing the various discourses, texts, writers, and groups as cultures, he shows how skeptics, parapsychologists, and New Agers may disagree vehemently with each other, but end up sharing many rhetorical strategies, metaphors, models, values, and cultural categories. Furthermore, he argues, their shared “paraculture” has a great deal in common with the larger culture of the United States. The dialogue on the paranormal, Hess concludes, has as much to do with gender, power, and cultural values as it does with spirits, extrasensory perception, and crystal healing.
Most scholars dismiss research into the paranormal as pseudoscience, a frivolous pursuit for the paranoid or gullible. Even historians of religion, whose work naturally attends to events beyond the realm of empirical science, have shown scant interest in the subject. But the history of psychical phenomena, Jeffrey J. Kripal contends, is an untapped source of insight into the sacred and by tracing that history through the last two centuries of Western thought we can see its potential centrality to the critical study of religion. Kripal grounds his study in the work of four major figures in the history of paranormal research: psychical researcher Frederic Myers; writer and humorist Charles Fort; astronomer, computer scientist, and ufologist Jacques Vallee; and philosopher and sociologist Bertrand Méheust. Through incisive analyses of these thinkers, Kripal ushers the reader into a beguiling world somewhere between fact, fiction, and fraud. The cultural history of telepathy, teleportation, and UFOs; a ghostly love story; the occult dimensions of science fiction; cold war psychic espionage; galactic colonialism; and the intimate relationship between consciousness and culture all come together in Authors of the Impossible, a dazzling and profound look at how the paranormal bridges the sacred and the scientific.
A dizzying array of popular psychology books, articles, and promotion campaigns tout a multitude of remedies for psychological problems. If you or someone you know is seeking therapy, this excellent reference book will provide needed guidance for navigating the mental health maze.
Aliens, flying saucers, ESP, the Bermuda Triangle, antigravity ... are we talking about science fiction or pseudoscience? Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference. Both pseudoscience and science fiction (SF) are creative endeavours that have little in common with academic science, beyond the superficial trappings of jargon and subject matter. The most obvious difference between the two is that pseudoscience is presented as fact, not fiction. Yet like SF, and unlike real science, pseudoscience is driven by a desire to please an audience – in this case, people who “want to believe”. This has led to significant cross-fertilization between the two disciplines. SF authors often draw on “real” pseudoscientific theories to add verisimilitude to their stories, while on other occasions pseudoscience takes its cue from SF – the symbiotic relationship between ufology and Hollywood being a prime example of this. This engagingly written, well researched and richly illustrated text explores a wide range of intriguing similarities and differences between pseudoscience and the fictional science found in SF. Andrew May has a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and a PhD in astrophysics from Manchester University. After many years in academia and the private sector, he now works as a freelance writer and scientific consultant. He has written pocket biographies of Newton and Einstein, as well as contributing to a number of popular science books. He has a lifelong interest in science fiction, and has had several articles published in Fortean Times magazine
In the 21st century, reality television and the Internet have fed public interest in ghosts, UFOs, cryptozoology and other unusual phenomena. By 2010, roughly 2000 amateur research and investigation groups formed in the U.S.--ghost hunters, Bigfoot chasers and UFO researchers, using an array of (supposedly) scientific equipment and methods to prove the existence of the paranormal. American culture's honorific regard for science, coupled with the public's unfamiliarity with scientific methods, created a niche for self-styled paranormal experts to achieve national renown without scientific training or credentials. The author provides a comprehensive examination of the ideas, missions and methods promoted by these passionate amateurs.

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