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.
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.
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.
...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.
A 'how to' book for apprehending nature in its true grandeur.
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.
General Critical Thinking
Chapter 3 The Fine Art of Baloney Detection
Chapter 4 Why Smart People Believe Weird Things
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?
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
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
Chapter 20 Bigfoot at 50: Evaluating a Half-Century of Bigfoot Evidence
About the Contributors