Paranormal Claims: A Critical Analysis

Paranormal Claims: A Critical Analysis

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Edited by Bryan Farha, Foreword by Michael Shermer, Contributions by Michael Shermer, Contributions by Carl Sagan, Contributions by Ray Hyman, Contributions by Susan Blackmore, Contributions by Barry L. Beyerstein, Contributions by Linda Rosa, Contributions by Stephen Barrett, Contributions by James Randi

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  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Format: Paperback | 185 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 224mm x 15mm | 227g
  • Publication date: 28 April 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Lanham, MD
  • ISBN 10: 0761837728
  • ISBN 13: 9780761837725
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 728,358

Product description

This academic text features articles regarding paranormal, extraordinary, or fringe-science claims. It logically examines the claims of astrology; psychic ability; alternative medicine and health claims; after-death communication; cryptozoology; and faith healing, all from a skeptical perspective. Paranormal Claims is a compilation of some of the most eye-opening articles about pseudoscience and extraordinary claims that often reveal logical, scientific explanations, or an outright scam. These articles, steeped in skepticism, teach critical thinking when approaching courses in psychology, sociology, philosophy, education, or science.

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Author information

Bryan Farha is a Professor at Oklahoma City University where he coordinates the graduate program in applied behavioral studies. In 1985, he received the Doctor of Education degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Tulsa. He serves as a scientific and technical consultant to the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and has been a member of their astrology subcommittee since 1996. He has published approximately 30 articles-many of which appear in critical thinking periodicals such as Skeptic and Skeptical Inquirer. His work in educating the public regarding the truth about paranormal claims and pseudoscientific deception has recently been recognized by TIME, CNN, and National Geographic. He has given over 50 interviews for television, radio, newspapers, and books. Dr. Farha is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Oklahoma as well as a National Certified Counselor.

Review quote

Reading the chapters in this fine anthology will make you smarter and better able to cope...they will give you tools to allow you to sift sense from nonsense about all manner of claims and assertions that swirl about without much intelligent evaluation or response. This is your antidote to those. -- Kendrick Frazier, editor, Skeptical Inquirer: The Magazine for Science and Reason Dr. Farha has never had any misconceptions about how the universe really works. His book will encourage and help those for whom questions have arisen, and will give them points upon which to base arguments against the ever-growing dumbing-down of the public. We must awaken to this danger and oppose it. -- James Randi ...Bryan Farha's book is a compilation of serious, scientifically and logically grounded articles; balm for the mind. The importance of this book should not be underestimated. It's a concise vade mecum in our struggles against those who refuse to see logic. -- Angelo Stagnaro A 'how to' book for apprehending nature in its true grandeur. -- Ann Druyan, co-writer, COSMOS television series, co-creator, CONTACT, the motion picture

Table of contents

Foreword Preface General Critical Thinking Chapter 3 The Fine Art of Baloney Detection Chapter 4 Why Smart People Believe Weird Things Fortune-Telling Chapter 5 Cold Reading: How to Convince Strangers That You Know All About Them Chapter 6 Sylvia Brown: Psychic Guru or Quack? Afterlife and Related Phenomena Chapter 7 Deconstructing the Dead Chapter 8 Near-Death Experiences: In or Out of Body? Numerical Anomalies Chapter 9 Number Manipulation: The Not "So Spooky" Tim McVeigh Alternative Medicine and Health Claims Chapter 10 Why Bogus Therapies Often Seem to Work Chapter 11 A Close Look at Therapeutic Touch Chapter 12 Chiropractic's Dirty Little Secret: Neck Manipulation and Strokes Chapter 13 Magnet Therapy: A Skeptical View Chapter 14 The Great Dilution Delusion Celestial Influence and Extraterrestrial Chapter 15 The Case For and Against Astrology Chapter 16 Looking Up to Logic Faith Healing Chapter 17 Prayer and Healing: The Verdict Is In and the Results Are Null Chapter 18 Benny Hinn: Healer or Hypnotist? Chapter 19 John of God: ABC's Primetime Live Special about a Brazilian "Healer" Falls Short of Investigative Journalism Cryptozoology Chapter 20 Bigfoot at 50: Evaluating a Half-Century of Bigfoot Evidence About the Contributors