The Science of Miracles: Investigating the Incredible [NOOK Book]

Overview

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. 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 ...
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The Science of Miracles: Investigating the Incredible

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Overview

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. 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).
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Editorial Reviews

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
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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616147426
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 648,949
  • File size: 18 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Joe Nickell (Amherst, NY) has been called "the modern Sherlock Holmes" and "the real-life Scully" (from The X Files). Since 1995 he has been the world's only full-time, professional, science-based paranormal investigator. His careful, often-innovative investigations have won him international respect in a field charged with controversy. He is the author of numerous books, including most recently The Science of Ghosts: Searching for Spirits of the Dead. See joenickell.com for more.
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