A Gallop poll surveyed 506 American teenagers, aged 13 to 18 and discovered the following:- 69% believe in angels - 59% believe in ESP- 55% believe in astrology - 28% believe in clairvoyance- 24% believe in Bigfoot - 22% believe in witchcraft- 20% believe in ghosts - 18% believe in the Loch Ness MonsterCarl Sagan has said that the wonders of real science far surpass the supposed and imagined mysteries of fringe science. Yet, as statistics show, the paranormal is still an endless source of fascination for people around the world.This collection of critical essays and investigative reports examines virtually every area of fringe science and the paranormal from a refreshingly scientific and clear-minded viewpoint. The authors are noted scientists, philosophers, psychologists, and writers. All bring to the task a determination to sift sense from nonsense and fact from fiction in an area notorious for misinformation, misperception, self-delusion, and wishful thinking. They do so in a way that highlights the differences between real science and pseudoscience. They've made special efforts first to find the actual facts behind numerous claims that have popular appeal, and then to explain and communicate what scientific investigation and reasoning reveal about them. Subjects treated to incisive and entertaining examination include astrology, ESP, psychic detectives, psychic predictions, parapsychology, remote-viewing, UFOs, creationism, the Shroud of Turin, coincidences, cult archaeology, palmistry and fringe medicine.There are also explorations of the implications of paranormal beliefs for science education.
Kendrick Frazier is a veteran science journalist and the longtime editor of the Skeptical Inquirer: The Magazine for Science and Reason. A former Editor of Science News, he is author or editor of ten books, including the anthology Science Under Siege: Defending Science, Exposing Pseudoscience. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Geophysical Union. He is a recipient of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry’s “In Praise of Reason” Award.