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Science & The Supernatural: A Discussion of the World Around us - Based on Science with an Interest in the Supernatural ...
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PostPosted: 09 Nov 2010, 22:57 
Grand Poobah
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Joined: 18 Sep 2007, 11:26
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Challenging Ghosthunters To Demonstrate Paranormal ... l?nav=5006

To the Readers' Forum:

Years ago, I wrote a letter here ridiculing the absurdity of belief in ghosts. A friend from an older generation chided me saying the topic was trivial and beneath me. People in her generation and mine with an average education or better scoff at such superstitions and consider them silly and immature.

The baby boomers changed all that. Dropping out of school, they never learned science. Desperate to deny any guilt for their vices and bad manners, they jettisoned Christianity. But the boomers, proving G. K. Chesterton right, believed anything rather than believe nothing. So they hyped up childhood bugaboos, pop culture fantasies, and misunderstood capricious selections from anthropology and history into revivals and supposed revivals of everything from witchcraft to homeopathy and dignified the mix with the self aggrandizing title "New Age.''

Ghosts too have become big time for the untrained mind and the nimble marketer. Most of the self styled ghost hunters in the field seem to have watched too much television and have more in common with Star Trek re-enactors than scientists.

I asked in the earlier letter, if ghosts are real and supernatural, why aren't they naked? Do fabrics and clothes have souls or supernatural existence? Why would ghosts even need clothes? I think the answer is that the clothes come from the same place as the ghosts, from living mortal imagination.

The October 31 issue of The Post-Journal has an article about a new Jamestown "Paranormal Investigator'' group, pictured in uniforms. There are other such groups. I urge people to evaluate them by going to the Prendergast Library and picking up the current (November/December 201) issue of Skeptical Inquirer and reading the article "Ghost-Hunting Mistakes'' by Benjamin Radford or go to the Committee For Skeptical Inquiry web site or make a trip to Amherst and talk to Joe Nickell at the Center for Inquiry.

I'll quote from the article, ''(N)early anything that anyone thinks is odd for any reason can be offered as evidence of a ghostincluding lights, shadows, noise, silence, heat, cold, moving objects, smells, uneasiness, and so on."

There is a standing offer of $1 million from the James Randi Educational Foundation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for anyone who can demonstrate any kind of paranormal phenomenon. And I have personally issued wager challenges to local people making specific public supernatural claims.

Norman P. Carlson


Chloride and Sodium: Two terribly dangerous substances that taste great together!

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