The Science of Miracles: Investigating the Incredible

The Science of Miracles: Investigating the Incredible

by Joe Nickell
     
 

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An entertaining, comprehensive, and science-based study of miracle claims

Is the Shroud of Turin really the burial cloth of Jesus, produced by a miraculous burst of radiant energy at the moment of Resurrection? What happens at faith-healing services to provide apparently miraculous cures?

Steering between the twin pillars of belief and disbelief,

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Overview

An entertaining, comprehensive, and science-based study of miracle claims

Is the Shroud of Turin really the burial cloth of Jesus, produced by a miraculous burst of radiant energy at the moment of Resurrection? What happens at faith-healing services to provide apparently miraculous cures?

Steering between the twin pillars of belief and disbelief, experienced paranormal investigator Joe Nickell examines these claims and more. Relying on his forty-plus years of experience in tracking down the solutions to mysteries, Nickell uses on-site examinations, lab experiments, and other detective methods to uncover the facts behind the most incredible claims. He evaluates the evidence in six major categories of miracle claims: miraculous images (such as "weeping" icons); magical relics (like the Shroud of Turin and the Holy Grail); miracle healings (at Lourdes or at the hands of healers like Benny Hinn); visionary experiences (including near-death experiences); saintly powers (such as stigmata); and "the devil's work" (such as demonic possession).

Conveying the sense of adventure surrounding the investigation of any mystery, this is both entertaining reading and a comprehensive, science-based study of miracle claims.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“There is probably no one in the world better qualified to write a book assessing the evidence relating to alleged miracles than Joe Nickell…. An expert evaluation…. An excellent reference work that belongs on every skeptic’s bookshelf.” 
-BBC Focus

“Joe Nickell is a thorough investigator and a great storyteller. He covers a wide variety of phenomena in an engaging and interesting way. The Science of Miracles is a worthwhile and challenging book for both the skeptic and the believer.”
-New York Journal of Books
Library Journal
In 57 short chapters, Nickell (senior research fellow, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, Ctr. for Inquiry; The Science of Ghosts: Searching for Spirits of the Dead) describes his science-based investigations of weeping statues, healing springs, and glowing paintings. Readers may be disappointed by the sparse use of the "crime lab" in debunking each miracle. Mundane discoveries—"tears" made from cooking oil; "secret text" in photographs—mainly required basic observation on his part, or at most the use of a magnifying glass or Q-tip. There is a lesson here about simple explanations and our human ability to fool ourselves, but it can make for some less-than-exciting reading. The evident repurposing of the author's previous standalone articles results in a lot of duplication among the chapters because they summarize information already given in previous chapters or share the same background information with other chapters. VERDICT The book will attract readers owing to the interest in legends such as that surrounding the Shroud of Turin, but it often drags under repetition. Buffs may appreciate the coverage, but the casual reader likely will not.—J.J.S. Boyce, Manitoba Métis Federation

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616147419
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
05/07/2013
Pages:
375
Sales rank:
1,384,477
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

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