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LoraM

Lora's Rants and Reviews

My own unapologetic opinions on books and writing.

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The New Science of the Paranormal

— feeling doubt
The New Science of the Paranormal: From the Research Lab To Real Life - Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, Joe H. Slate

by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, Joe H. Slate

 

This book makes me think of the legendary Parapsychology Lab at UCLA in the 1970s. The qualifications of the authors are emphasized and the subject treated as serious study in the scientific realm.

 

A lot of what are considered 'new age' ideas are treated with a scientific approach, though it doesn't always succeed in a way that would convince a sceptic. Assumptions of belief in things like reincarnation might lose a few readers. By a quarter through it began sounding a lot like a self-help book and openly admitted that it was effectively re-branding the term 'parapsychology' as 'the science of the paranormal'.

 

Having said that, the book discusses aspects of what is considered paranormal in an unapologetic way that is refreshing and open. It oscillates between describing the methods and results of university studies to test for ESP, precognition and other abilities and defining those results in what might be called new age terms. As someone with an open mind in this area, I enjoyed the combined perspectives in a way that a serious sceptic might not.

 

I found the detailed accounts of studies performed rather tedious and repetitive to read, yet it was relevant to the objective study of psychic abilities. I did find the results of the dowsing experiments especially interesting.

 

The second half of the book progresses through discussing beliefs and how they affect results, religion and self affirmations. A glossary that covers both scientific and new age terms over about 30% of the page count.

 

An interesting resource for those who delve into alternative therapies and subjects and who wish to see results of scientific examination of these areas.