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ESP

ESP Debate: Is Belief in ESP Irrational?

A three-part debate between Steven Pinker and Brian D. Josephson, initiated from a private email exchange in which Josephson challenged Pinker’s claims in a BBC radio program that there is no rational reason to believe in ESP. Here, Pinker first makes his case, followed by Josephson’s critique, and then Pinker’s response to that critique. As is our custom, we prefer to steel-man a position someone else holds, especially with a controversial subject like ESP, but better still is to have a proponent of it make the case for believing in it.

Stuart Ritchie — Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth

Science is how we understand the world. Yet failures in peer review and mistakes in statistics have rendered a shocking number of scientific studies useless — or, worse, badly misleading. Such errors have distorted our knowledge in fields as wide-ranging as medicine, physics, nutrition, education, genetics, economics, and the search for extraterrestrial life.

eSkeptic for September 1, 2020

Dr. Michael Shermer considers the pitfalls of projecting the consequences of the pandemic for our future (the availability heuristic, the negativity bias, the difficulties of superforecasting, and the contingent nature of history). PLUS: In Science Salon # 131, Michael Shermer speaks with Stuart Ritchie his book Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth.

Abominable Science! Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids & Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future

In this lecture, geologist, paleontologist, evolutionary theorist and social activist in the name of science and skepticism, Dr. Donald Prothero, talks about his two new books that deal with battles over evolution, climate change, childhood vaccinations, and the causes of AIDS, alternative medicine, oil shortages, population growth, and the place of science in our country.

11-08-10

In this week’s eSkeptic, we present an article from Skeptic magazine’ (volume 1, number 4) in which Kevin Todeschi, the Director of Public Information at the Edgar Cayce Association for Research and Enlightenment, responds to Michael Shermer’s investigation of the A.R.E.’s extraordinary claim regarding proof of ESP (which we published last week in part one of this two-part series). Following Kevin Todeschi’s response, we present a reply from Michael Shermer, Arthur Benjamin and James Randi.

11-08-03

In this week’s eSkeptic (the first part in a two-part series), we present an article from Skeptic magazine’ (volume 1, number 3) in which Michael Shermer investigates an extraordinary claim regarding proof of ESP made by the Edgar Cayce Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.). In their study, two classic (but extremely common) blunders were committed: (1) misinterpreting statistical results, and (2) ignoring a basic tenet of scientific testing—repeatability.

11-03-16

In a spin on David Letterman’s “Stupid Pet Tricks,” psychologist Bryan Farha examines the very real world of stupid pet psychic tricks — people who think their pets have psychic power. Farha not only debunks the claims of psychic pet owners but reveals how the tricks are done through a series of techniques based on natural (not supernatural) powers.

The Great Afterlife

This debate between Deepak Chopra and Michael Shermer came about after the widely read and referenced debate the two had last year on the virtues and value of skepticism. Deepak and Michael thought it would be stimulating to have a debate on the topic. Michael read Deepak’s book and goes first in the debate, offering his assessment of the “proofs” presented in Deepak’s book, then Deepak responds.

06-12-20

In this week’s eSkeptic, Michael Shermer reviews Sharon Weinberger’s book Imaginary Weapons: A Journey Through the Pentagon’s Scientific Underworld.

Luck, ESP & Magic: How a Scientist Tests the Unusual

Dr. Wiseman has established an international reputation for research into the scientific examination of unusual areas within psychology. This lecture covers his many interests, including: the Luck Project, lying and lie detection, the psychology of magic, eyewitness testimony, the psychology of the paranormal, ghosts and hauntings, and experimenter bias in ESP research.

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