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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptical Inquirer > May June 2016 > Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor

The Paranormal’s Creators . . . and Some of Its Present Promoters

One of the intriguing things about pseudoscience and the paranormal is that each field has been initiated and championed by just a handful of proponents and promoters. Mainly through popular books and articles (today it would be blogs, infomercials, and cable TV shows), of varying credibility and quality, they’ve made their impassioned appeals for the public’s attention. Science has its famous heroes, but it doesn’t work the same way. Collegiality and cooperation (and peer competition) mark all science, and any new scientific field quickly expands to dozens or hundreds of people working on the problems and ferreting out errors. Advocates of pseudoscience and the paranormal work more in isolation, and so those who have been successful (popularly if not scientifically) become closely identified with their “specialties.”

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Creators of the Paranormal: A handful of twentieth-century figures “created” the modern concept of the paranormal and its leading topics, transporting fantasy, myth, or speculation into a kind of believable “reality.” Most proved to be a chimera. CRISPR-Cas9: Not Just Another Scientific Revolution Dissociation and Paranormal Beliefs Scientific Reasoning at the USAF Academy: An Examination into Titanium-Treated Necklaces Stick It In Your Ear! How Not To Do Science A Testament of Belief Masquerading as Science and much more...
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