Physics and Psychics; The Search for a World beyond the Senses

Overview

This book critically examines theories of a transcendent reality in terms of all that is currently known about matter at its most fundamental level. Victor J. Stenger gives a provocative, often amusing history of psychic research and occult beliefs, offering a convincing rebuttal to those who attempt to link physics to mystical truths. Stenger examines a number of well-known paranormal claims and shows how they can be explained without resorting to supernatural or psychic hypotheses. Discussing quantum theory and...

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Overview

This book critically examines theories of a transcendent reality in terms of all that is currently known about matter at its most fundamental level. Victor J. Stenger gives a provocative, often amusing history of psychic research and occult beliefs, offering a convincing rebuttal to those who attempt to link physics to mystical truths. Stenger examines a number of well-known paranormal claims and shows how they can be explained without resorting to supernatural or psychic hypotheses. Discussing quantum theory and relativity, he demonstrates that these concepts actually invalidate paranormal claims and that there is no scientific basis for a universe other than one composed of observable matter.

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Editorial Reviews

SciTech Book News
A convincing rebuttal to those who attempt to link physics to mystical truths.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A particle physicist at the University of Hawaii, Stenger sets forth a purely materialist, reductionist view of the universe. The transcendent--gods, spirits, religious or mystical experiences--is delusory, in his reckoning. He further maintains that paranormal phenomena such as precognition or mind-over-matter are due to fraud, hallucination, error or a will to believe. Whether he is discussing ESP, poltergeists, UFOs, or out-of-body or near-death experiences, he ignores, misrepresents or skims over evidence that would contradict his thesis, while maintaining an aura of detached objectivity. Claiming that religious or supernatural beliefs may be programmed into our DNA because they once had survival value, Stenger rejects the holism of New Age Thinkers and physicists, disputing their claim that instantaneous connections link events across space and time. (June)
Library Journal
Stenger is an elementary particle physicist, an atheist, a skeptic, and an ardent defender of the scientific method. He uses the principle of Occam's razor (the simplest explanation is the best) and the test of the predictive value of a model to show how little evidence there is for paranormal claims, including religious beliefs, as well as ESP, astrology, and spirit channeling. Some of Stenger's ideas are controversial even among scientists, and he tends to explain all human qualities by just saying they are an evolutionary advantage. However, this book provides an interesting overview of both skeptical and credulous physics and much material for discussion. A good purchase for undergraduate science collections.-- Amy Brunvand, Fort Lewis Coll., Durango, Col.
Booknews
Stenger physics, U. of Hawaii critically examines theories of a transcendent reality in terms of what is currently known about matter at its most fundamental level. He offers a convincing rebuttal to those who attempt to link physics to mystical truths. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879755751
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 5/1/1990
  • Pages: 323
  • Lexile: 1430L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.45 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Victor J. Stenger (1935 - 2014) was an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado and emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii. He was the author of the New York Times bestseller God: The Failed Hypothesis, God and the Atom, God and the Folly of Faith, The Comprehensible Cosmos, and many other books.

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