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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Voice of Reason
There is a disturbing new trend in "popular science" to justify New Age and mystical beliefs using misinterpreted scientific ideas. Most experimental physicists are content to ignore this trend and continue in their research, regardless of how people choose to interpret it. Others are careless enough to make ambiguous statements about physics and the nature of reality...
Published on March 24, 2002 by chrisindenver

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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Standard Debunking tricks
The common debunking tactic is to CLAIM there is no scientific evidence for any paranormal phenomena which is simply flatly wrong, to put it kindly. This is the usual claim in which someone, the supposed debunker, merely assets no data exists and that after more than a century of research. Data does exist. It shows there is a small but statistically significant effect...
Published on June 30, 2010 by RV


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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Voice of Reason, March 24, 2002
By 
"chrisindenver" (Aurora, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Physics and Psychics (Hardcover)
There is a disturbing new trend in "popular science" to justify New Age and mystical beliefs using misinterpreted scientific ideas. Most experimental physicists are content to ignore this trend and continue in their research, regardless of how people choose to interpret it. Others are careless enough to make ambiguous statements about physics and the nature of reality that add fuel to the fire of pseudoscience. Victor Stenger is a refreshing voice of reason, with a solid background as a respected experimental physicist.

First of all, Dr. Stenger is not attacking parapsychology. Rather, he is defending science from those who try to corrupt it by putting parapsychology on the same level, or use scientific ideas to support unscientific theories. Science, specifically physics, has a rigorous standard of evidence and experimental verifiability under controlled conditions. Any theory that claims to be scientific must meet these standards to justify that claim. Psychic powers, and the other supernatural phenomena addressed in this book, have never met these standards.

To summarize, this book is not anti-supernatural, it is just pro-science. Dr. Stenger does an excellent job of showing that supernatural phenomena are not scientifically established, and probably never will be, or they would have been experimentally verified a long time ago. If you choose to believe in the supernatural, feel free, but don't try to justify your beliefs scientifically.
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22 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative but Unconvincing, February 10, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Physics and Psychics (Hardcover)
This book is good in that it identifies problems in understanding the paranormal in terms related to physics, especially relativity and quantum physics. The author indicates that the new world of quantum mechanics and relativity makes it improbable that the paranormal is real, even more so than the world of Newtonian physics. I personally do not agree with that conclusion. Quantum mechanics and relativity have demonstrated that the real world may be different than commonly assumed, however the author has suddenly concluded that all paranormal phenomena is fraud, delusion, you name it, anything but a possibility that it is true, and thus is making the same mistake as those who were so convinced that Newtonian mechanics was the final world that they refused to consider anything else. In my opinion I am very skeptical that all paranormal phenomena is fraudulent, resulting from wishful thinking, delusion, etc. There is just a bigger world out there than we have imagined and which remains to be explained.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book if you want to learn how a good man can go wrong., June 20, 2013
By 
Richard H. Wachsman "Book Bed Bug Victim" (Lowell, MASSACHUSETTS United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Physics and Psychics (Hardcover)
Stenger is a noted cosmic ray physicist who religiously believes in the physics model known as materialism. Not content with attacking psychic phenomena, he has also attacked god in newer books of his. He appears to be totally unaware of the assumptions, approximations and limitations of key aspects of physics on which current physics models are based. Ironically, I not only was able to solve some of the psychic phenomena, but was also able to solve some of the cosmic ray physics issues that had troubled him, namely the nature of the muon and other leptons and how super-high-energy cosmic rays can travel clear across the universe before striking the Earth's atmosphere. It's simple, they start off as high-energy neutrons that decay into super-high-energy protons when they reach the Earth. They do not travel as charged particles. What amazes me is how many physicists limit their thinking to such an extent that they cannot even solve problems in their own field. The mere fact that they see these mysterious phenomena in their own fields should open their minds to other possibilities. I must admit that I did not believe in psychic phenomena either for many years, but I spotted the flaws in physics as early as my freshman year at MIT... back in 1956. It was only when I chanced to read books about psychic phenomena when I was between engineering jobs in 1971 that my eyes and mind were open to the so-called 'paranormal'.
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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Standard Debunking tricks, June 30, 2010
This review is from: Physics and Psychics (Hardcover)
The common debunking tactic is to CLAIM there is no scientific evidence for any paranormal phenomena which is simply flatly wrong, to put it kindly. This is the usual claim in which someone, the supposed debunker, merely assets no data exists and that after more than a century of research. Data does exist. It shows there is a small but statistically significant effect which is weak, poorly understood but real. The fact that, as the critics demand, Psi cannot generally be always reproduced as a stunningly large effect on demand and that it does not behave as reliably as say particle physics is meaningless and becomes a false and disingenuous comparison.

In particular, Mr. Stenger is selective and misleading regarding his claims of the Targ-Puthof remote viewing experiments. He asserts the data is meaningless because a judge COULD have used a potential cue to assign which blind session went with which remote viewing sessions. That assumes that the judges would even try to use "cues" to match sessions with data and ignores the fact that the matching is done by looking at the drawings and descriptions of the targets, not in effect trying to cheat by looking for cues. Mr. Stenger also fails to mention that after that criticism, Targ and Puthoff removed any conceivable cues that might have been in the viewers transcripts and let new judges blindly match the results. The new judges matched the sessions exactly as the original judges thus proving that the criticism, used to "debunk" remote viewing was groundless.

Of course what they never talk about is the mind boggling improbability of doing a blind remote viewing session of a unique target out of a potential infinite pool of targets and getting data that just nails the description of the target. There should be virtually no chance of doing that if remote viewing were impossible. It appears to be very possible and there are now multiple controlled replications and a very large number of successful remote viewing results available for public review.

Sure, some of the topics discussed in this book need to be debunked but they need to be debunked with an unbiased attitude and with a higher standard.
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Physics and Psychics
Physics and Psychics by Victor J. Stenger (Hardcover - April 1, 1990)
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