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PhysicsWorld Archive

Skeptics cornered

  1. Brian Josephson
September 1997
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In an interview supposedly confronting proponents of paranormal beliefs (July p11), Steve Donnelly “reads the mind” of the interviewer, and discusses alien spaceships hiding behind comet Hale-Bopp, the absence of clear-cut evidence for influences of planetary positions on personality, and cold fusion. Curiously absent is any reference to the results of careful experiments carried out by parapsychologists under conditions that magicians have agreed do not afford an opportunity for them to use their magical techniques, and in which sceptics have found it hard to provide alternative explanations that hold up to detailed examination. (On the question of sceptics and their often spurious attempts to debunk experiments on the paranormal, I refer interested readers to Dean Radin's book The Conscious Universe (Harper Edge 1997)).