30 POINTS) A 5 page 1,000 word report in which you summarize and critically evaluate one paranormal claim approved by the instructor. (You may browse the topics listed early in the syllabus (avoid those marked with an “*”), or consider the 785 claims listed in “skepdic.com” or “whatstheharm.com.” SEE THE LIST ON PP 109-110 IN YOUR TEXT. DO NOT PICK A TOPIC THAT RECEIVES MORE THAN 200 WORDS OF ATTENTION FROM CH 1-12 IN YOUR TEXTBOOK!!!! YOU MAY PICK A TOPIC COVERED IN CHAPTERS 13 OR 14 PROVIDING YOU COVER INFORMATION INFORATION BEYOND THAT IN THE TEXT.
Your report should take this format. The first half should describe the paranormal claim and the support proponents give (do not evaluate this support). In the second half, you present a critical evaluation of the claim and support from the perspective of an Open-Minded Critical Thinker. Caution: even if you totally believe in the claim, write what you think a critical thinker might say about the claim and the support given by proponents. Do not provide an overall conclusion of whether or not the claim is justified. This report is designed to give you practice taking both sides of an argument, the “pro side” and the “anti side.”
As with forum discussions, you can earn additional points by offering polite helpful constructive feedback to other reports. You may resubmit your report up to the due date.
PENN & TELLER BS: Season 1, Episode 10, Psychokinesis, Spoon Bending, Remote viewing, Stargate, ESP, Pet Telepathy, Past Lives
Student acquire or rent DVD described in syllabus.
Chapter 14, pp. 230-235: ASTROLOGY: Bill Nye on Astrology
Watch Video Bill Nye on Astrology Duration: 1:18
User: n/a – Added: 10/17/06
Chapter 14, p. 238: TAKE THE ESP TEST: ESP Zener Cards Test (Genuine Psychic Test)
Watch Video ESP Zener Cards Test (Genuine Psychic Test) Duration: 4:56
User: n/a – Added: 12/24/13
Chapter 14, pp. 240-244: REMOTE VIEWING: Michael Shermer Remote Viewing Experiment Part 1
Watch Video Michael Shermer Remote Viewing Experiment Part 1 Duration: 7:30
User: n/a – Added: 7/9/07
Chapter 14, pp. 240-244: REMOTE VIEWING: Live Remote Viewing Session – Major Ed Dames
Watch Video Live Remote Viewing Session – Major Ed Dames Duration: 5:56
User: n/a – Added: 2/20/14
Chapter 14, pp. 144-249: Judgment Day Intelligent Design On Trial FULL (NOVA)
Watch Video Judgment Day Intelligent Design On Trial FULL (NOVA) Duration: 113:18
User: n/a – Added: 10/20/11 One of the most important controversies in world of the paranormal is the teaching of creationism along with evolution science classes. The creationist view comes from the Bible and claims the world was created in a week 4000 years ago by a Deity, who then hid conclusive evidence of what he did. Darwin’s theory of evolution is based entirely on the scientific method. The controversy is whether creationism should be taught in classes on religion or in science classes. Today, many states consider Bible creationism to be another theory and the par with Darwin’s theory of evolution. There have been a number of court cases considering this issue. One reason this controversy is important is that it extends beyond evolution and addresses questions central to this class. What are facts? How do we know what’s true?
MILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE: James Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge (2008)
Watch Video James Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge (2008) Duration: 1:42
User: n/a – Added: 3/28/08
Project Alpha Lookback w/ Michael Edwards 1 of 2
Watch Video Project Alpha Lookback w/ Michael Edwards 1 of 2 Duration: 10:00
User: n/a – Added: 5/28/10
Project Alpha Lookback w/ Michael Edwards 2 of 2
Watch Video Project Alpha Lookback w/ Michael Edwards 2 of 2 Duration: 10:02
User: n/a – Added: 5/28/10
answer to my classmates
2 days ago
Déjà vu is something that has been talked about in many movies, books and TV shows. This experience has even been associated with many paranormal stories that have been shared varies times before. It is the known concept that you have an unsettling feeling that something has happened before. Many people will experience déjà vu at least once in their lives and some can have it multiple times as well. The concept of déjà vu has been explained by many mediums and paranormal spectators as a form of a premonition or vision, since déjà vu is remembering something that has not yet happened before. According to a medium named Jay Lane the experience of having déjà vu are reminders from our dreams. It is a type of precognition that allows us to recall our dreams while we are in a waking state, in this sense it is allowing us to see what has already happened. It is a way that our subconscious is letting us foretell an event that is going to happen in the near future. Another explanation would be that the feeling of déjà vu would be due to alien abductions. It has been known that aliens abduct humans to experiment on them and erase their memories so they will not know about the alien’s existence. Through this experimentation on the human brain the experience of “already seen” or déjà vu can be explained through the fact that these are just our memories coming back from being erased from the abduction. It can be our brains helping us understand what has happened to us. Déjà vu can also be explained through the fact that this feeling can be due to a message from the spirit realm. Time is different in the realm of spirits and this is a way for the spirits to communicate with us and show us our memories from the past, present or the future. They can also possibly show us our past lives and bring the memories back up into our waking state, so we have a vivid experience of something we have already seen in our lives (past and present). Lastly, a big paranormal explanation to the experience of having déjà vu would be that that the multiverse theory is true and we are seeing into another dimension when we have the feeling of déjà vu and “already seen” would be a good way to explain it as we have already seen it in another version of our lives. The multiverse theory is simply that there are multiple versions of our lives on an infinite number of Earths at the same time. Each of our lives is similar with subtle changes to make them all different. So, the paranormal claim would be that when our feelings of déjà vu seem so real it’s because it is, and we have already experienced it in another one of our realities. This can also be seen as a warning to stop us from our future choices because this feeling acts as a vision of what was already done, so if we do not like the outcome, we can simply change something in our path to change the future outcome of the situation.
Déjà vu is a feeling that is said to happen to almost every person at least once in their lives, making this experience not paranormal if everyone can experience it. The concept that we experience déjà vu multiple times in our lives can be explained through scientific explanations. The common explanation that is associated with experiencing déjà vu would be due to memory errors. These memory errors can experience many times in one’s lives and therefore cannot be seen in an FMRI to see how the brain reacts to these feelings of seeing something already. Also, our brain can be experiencing false memory which mixes our memories with fragments of dreams, TV, or more and confusing it with déjà vu. Our brain may skip this information and make a mistake that we have already seen something before, when in reality we are seeing it for the first time, and we are recalling something that may be similar in our minds. Déjà vu can also be traced back to oddities of nature in the sense that we overestimate strange events like coincidences which in the case with thinking you already saw something can be a just a possibility that is overlooked due to our math ignorance of strange events that occur daily. Many people also contribute their déjà vu experiences as dreams of precognition, but since our dreams consist of people, places and events that can actually occur in real life these people see them as significant and a sign of the future. People want their dreams and experience to have a big significance so they just to justify what they are seeing and saw that it is paranormal and unique, when in reality it is not an unusual experience and about 60% of people experience this every day. Another critical evaluation of the déjà vu paranormal claim would be that this experience is due to people dealing with stress and being fatigue in their lives. It has been said that stress and being fatigue can be one of the reasons that can evoke a hallucination which could explain what the person is seeing when experiencing déjà vu since they think that they have already seen this event play out in their heads. To justify their déjà vu as a premonition of the future the people claiming this need to realize that they need specifics and not just vague description of the feeling. Lastly, I believe that the illusion of truth effect can play a factor in the constant déjà vu experiences since this deals with familiarity and repetition. Researches say that is a person is visiting many places a lot that this can evoke a déjà vu experience since the brain places fragments of memory with reality that is occurring. The person is experiencing a new environment which can confuse a person into feeling that they have been there or experienced it already but say vague comments and not specifics to understand their reasoning. Traveling can also contribute to the feeling of stress and fatigue which can induce the feelings of being there before. Drug use and brain related injuries have also been connected to having déjà vu since they both effect the brain and influences them to see anything and be confused with real life.
“Deja Vu Explained.” Psychic Medium Jay Lane, 11 Jan. 2019, www.mediumjaylane.com/deja-vu-explained/.
“Dreams, Deja Vu, and the “Science” of Parapsychology.” General Psychology, 28 Feb. 2015, percypsych101.wordpress.com/2015/02/28/dreams-deja-vu-and-the-science-of-parapsychology/.
FreemanMcNeil. “Déjà Vu and the Multiverse Theory.” Gawrker, 14 July 2017, sidespin.kinja.com/deja-vu-and-the-multiverse-theory-1796920609.
16 hours ago
The topic I chose to discuss is CRYSTAL POWER.
As soon as I Googled CRYSTAL POWER, the very first article that popped up was a blog called Energy Muse: (https://www.energymuse.com/blog/beginners-guide-to-healing-crystals/ ) . This turned out to be not just a blog, but a treasure trove of information on all you need to know about the healing properties of crystals. It included a comprehensive list of which healing crystal works best for each condition, videos on how to survive Mercury Retrograde and take spiritual inventory of your home, as well as directions on how to use the proper crystals in several different rituals. The author explains that crystals are “physical forms that have powerful vibrations”. The crystals gain their power through the wearer/user’s intentions and thoughts. So it is important that the user remain mindful and focused on what it is they wish to accomplish. This is critical in helping the “crystals pick up on your unique vibrational energy and amplify the positive vibes that you’re cultivating”. In the Why Do Crystals Work section we learn that quartz crystals have been around since the “beginning of time” and were used by ancient civilizations as talismans, jewelry and peace offerings. The article then goes on to explain that quartz is still used today in keeping time, electronics, and information storage. A scientific experiment by Marcel Vogel from IBM is cited, claiming it “proved that rocks can store thoughts similar to how tapes use magnetic energy to record sound”. There is a link included in the paragraph, but when I clicked on it to review the article, it simply sent me to the page that has their crystal jewelry for sale. In the same paragraph they quote Albert Einstein as saying that “everything in life is vibration”. The conclusion is then that our thoughts are vibrations and can be stored in the crystals as energy. The crystals then connect us to the “universally healing vibrations of the earth”. Users are encouraged to be patient with the stones. They remind us that just as it took eons for the stones to form, healing and change doesn’t happen over night either. It is supposed to be rather simple to understand which crystal will work best for you. You can click through the blog to learn the basics of each crystal’s “healing properties” and then examine a few stones to see which crystal “chooses you”. Since all crystals can “clear blockages and ward off negative energy”, you really can’t choose wrong. Each stone is said to have “it’s own unique energy and metaphysical properties” that can provide the “physical and emotional support that your body needs”. Once you have chosen your crystal, you need to examine what exactly you want from it and then give your crystal it’s job or purpose. The authors refer to this as “programming” your stone. There is also a ritual described on how to cleanse your stone, charge your stone, and connect to your stone by reciting your intentions and taking deep breaths. Now that your crystal has been programmed, it will “help you remember your goals and limitless potential”. There are also ways to recognize if your crystal is “working”. The user is instructed to look for sensations such as “hot or cold, pulsations, or calmness and tranquility”. Once the crystals are properly cleansed and programmed they will help the user “manifest their dreams” and “clear mental and emotional confusion”. Certain stones can also “open and realign the heart chakra”. No matter which stones you use, they all work to increase one’s vibrational frequency.
Now let’s examine the power of crystals as presented in this blog using CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS. The author claims that crystals are physical forms that have powerful vibrations. This is a good example of a HIGH-LEVEL PARANORMAL CLAIM OF SIMPLE ENERGIES as well as VITALISM. The idea that crystals can help during Mercury Retrograde also suggests a BORDERLINE/GRATUITOUS PARANORMAL CLAIM. Given that most of the claims in the article are unproven or anecdotal and LACK EVIDENCE, it appears there is a lot of PSEUDOSCIENTIFIC THINKING being demonstrated. The fact that quartz crystal is present in the earth’s crust and has been around since the “beginning of time” uses the belief justification of the TEST OF TIME. When the author invokes names like IBM and Albert Einstein, it almost lends the premise CREDIBILITY. However, that would mainly be from an error in SOURCE MONITORING. It is also likely that referring to a known company and their involvement in a scientific study (whether it has been properly cited and vetted or not) and mentioning Albert Einstein and his alleged stance on vibrations will cause the MISINFORMATION EFFECT. People that read the blog may associate CREDIBLE names with the information they received and recall it as verification and fact. Those that would be inclined to use crystals for healing are reminded to be patient, that this type of “healing” takes time. However, it is more likely that any improvement over a longer period of time would be due to a NORMAL RECOVERY PATTERN. For example, if one focuses on intention and diet and exercise and loses weight after a while, it is likely that their lifestyle changes are the cause. It is LESS PLAUSIBLE that carrying a few stones had anything to do with the improvement. Next, the author suggests the user takes deep breaths and relaxes and looks for “signs” the crystal is working, such as calmness or tranquility. This creates the PLACEBO EFFECT of EXPECTATION. The article also claims that crystals can help with “wellness” and clear “mental and emotional confusion”. These are examples of FALLACIES OF AMBIGUITY and MEANINGLESS JARGON, not to mention a pretty blatant use of WEASEL WORDS. The use of words like chakra, metaphysical and Mercury in Retrograde create an ONTOLOGICAL EFFECT. While the author uses a lot of terminology and makes claims that sound like they support the efficacy of crystals, even by attempting to reference actual scientific research, there is very little proven fact, if any to support these claims.