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Randi's Prize: What sceptics say about the paranormal, why they are wrong and why it matters Kindle Edition

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Length: 429 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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About the Author

Robert McLuhan gained a First in English Literature at Oxford, then worked as a foreign correspondent for the Guardian in Spain and Portugal. He now works as a freelance journalist. He has been a member of the Society for Psychical Research since 1993, blogging and lecturing on paranormal topics.

Product Details

  • File Size: 830 KB
  • Print Length: 429 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1848764944
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Matador; 2.00 edition (November 30, 2010)
  • Publication Date: November 30, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004EHZX34
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #604,939 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Robert McLuhan gained a First in English Literature at Oxford University, then worked as a foreign correspondent for the Guardian in Spain and Portugal. He left to join the music business, managing the techno dance label Rising High Records, before going back to writing. Robert has long had an interest in the paranormal, and Randi's Prize is the culmination of years of research into the scientific investigation of such things as ESP, ghosts and near-death experiences. Against prominent sceptics like James Randi and Richard Wiseman, he argues that paranormal-seeming episodes cannot always be explained away as tricks or misperceptions.

Robert blogs regularly at Paranormalia.com, on matters relating to consciousness, spirituality and psychic research, and can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. He lives with his wife and family in Walworth, South London.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Sun Dog on January 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
I greatly enjoyed Robert McLuhan's fine new book "Randi's Prize" - it's packed with accurate information while at the same time is surprisingly engaging and fun to read. I'd like to say I couldn't put it down but I actually did put it down late in the evening and picked it up the next morning to finish.

If you haven't investigated the scientific research regarding psychic (now generally called "psi") phenomena objectively and are curious, I assure you it's an amazing adventure and "Randi's Prize" is an excellent place to start. Incidentally, McLuhan is taking some flack because his book doesn't spend a lot of time talking about the prize per se, but because a large part of the book deals with the Skeptic vs Scientist "debate" that is symbolized by the prize, I thought the name was appropriate. (By the way, since most humans could surely be considered to be skeptics or we would have died out long ago, that term doesn't convey much information; we really need another name for an extreme close-minded "Skeptic" who believes that the ends (obliterating this branch of science) justify the means (including personal attacks), perhaps something more like "Antibeliever" or "Denouncer").

As it happens, I have a strong background in science (PhD Geophysics, 20 years in research with teams of nuclear physicists and other highly-qualified scientists), so I understand science and, like you no doubt, I also recognize hot air and hype when I see them. I didn't know anything about the scientific study of psi phenomena until I stumbled onto some of the scientific research three or four years ago.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ronald W. Maron on December 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Below is a copy of the email which I sent directly to the author of this text:

Dear Robert,

It is seldom that I compose an email to a writer whom I just read. Your meta-spiritual study entitled "Randi's Prize" deserves an exception.

Slightly over thirty five years ago I began the journey that you summarize in your book. I had been raised in a Fundamental Christian environment, read 150 + apologetics and listened to hundreds of hours by people the likes of Swindoll and McArther. One day it all snapped inside of me and I could no longer attempt to rationalize away scientific data that conflicted with Biblical `truth'. My first step was to fully re-read the Bible, which I have done five times. Finding it greatly seeped in fiction and wishful thinking my next step was to fully inspect the other world religions. A full two years after this exploration I concluded that they, too, were based on innuendo and tales, constructed for social control, and created from sparse worldly knowledge. The only credo they had in common was that they all, in form or the other, supported the Golden Rule, being kind to one another.

Fully disillusioned with society's morality police I set out to further explore the world of Newtonian and Quantum Physics. Being a post-graduate in Psychology I was fortunate to have chosen Biology and Physics as my minor so I was able to get on the speeding Physics train with little trouble. I particularly examined all the data, regardless of the intent of the experiment, for signs of psi and/or on-going life. While none of the writers would ever recognize anything metaphysical nor without repeatable measuring techniques, I did begin to pick up a pattern in the writings that pointed to an area in which they were unwilling to explore.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gabriel Sohier Chaput on January 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While I was vaguely aware that there was research into ESP and investigations into paranormal phenomenon like poltergeists and seances, I was under the impression that such things were largely inconclusive and controversial, and thus of little value. I assumed that all the seances where operated by charlatans, and that there was no real serious evidence for the reality of supernatural phenomena. I wasn't a "skeptic", I did not believe such things to be impossible or ridiculous, but I just thought that if these things were real, they must be quite rare, since there is scant evidence of it.

"Randi's prize" was quite an eye opener. Mcluhan brilliantly brings to the reader's attention both the mountains of evidence for all sorts of "paranormal" phenomena, AND the reaction and responses of so-called "skeptics". By presenting both positions, their chief actors and their history, and quoting liberally from them, we get a good understanding of the DEBATE itself. And this is devastating to the professional skeptics. In this way, this book is FAR more convincing and authoritative on the subject than a hundred books which only try to convince the reader of the reality of the paranormal, without giving voice to the critics who dismiss it.

The author shows persuasively that those who label themselves "skeptics" are seldom in the business of actually DOUBTING things, but rather in the business of DISMISSING things they don't like. A skeptic doubts everything - ESPECIALLY the common wisdom of the day. Someone who is ardently "skeptical" of SOME things (like paranormal phenomena) while rigidly supporting OTHER things (like the orthodox materialist ideas) is not a skeptic, but an advocate.
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