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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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Top Customer Reviews
"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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
However, by the second half, he became bogged down in the afterlife stuff, which I found boring and repetitive. I felt abandoned and that he really lost focus. Still, a very good read, and with important arguments and ideas.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Normally both books by proponents and skeptics only consider the arguments and evidence which favour their position. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ian Wardell
I'm a long time fan of James Randi. As a child I'd watch the James Randi show on ITV. Back then we had Socrates on television, now they have Simon Cowell. Read morePublished 20 months ago by a badly positioned hole near centre of chariot wheel
Excellent and clear book. Reads like a thriller but is filled with insight.Published 21 months ago by Olivier
This is a well researched compendium of evidence for paranormal phenomena that merits study by both believers and skeptics. Read morePublished on July 13, 2014 by Pilsner
This revolutionary work is of immeasurable value. I will boldly declare that any negative opinions one may have toward parapsychology/psychical research are unwarranted unless one... Read morePublished on May 14, 2014 by Susie Sue
Robert McLuhan wrote this book to debunk and expose sceptics of the paranormal. The title focuses on James Randi's famous Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, an offer I've... Read morePublished on March 9, 2014 by Kevin O'Neil
I can really only echo what other reviewers have written regarding Mr. McLuhans excellent book. It is absolutely wonderful to see such a rational, well thought out, discourse on... Read morePublished on September 20, 2013
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