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, 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616147426
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication date: 05/07/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 450
File size: 18 MB
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About 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 for more.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Introduction: Toward a Science of Miracles 13

Part 1 Miraculous Effigies

Chapter 1 Miracle Idols 19

Chapter 2 Miracle Statue of Belgium 23

Chapter 3 The Idol of Pachacamac 27

Chapter 4 The Holy Image of Guadalupe 31

Chapter 5 The Painting That Performs a Miracle 35

Chapter 6 Jesus under the Microscope 41

Chapter 7 Snapshot Miracles 45

Chapter 8 Grilled-Cheese Madonna 51

Chapter 9 Animated Images: The "New" Idolatry 57

Chapter 10 A Weeping Icon and the Crime Laboratory 65

Chapter 11 The Case of the Miracle Oil 71

Chapter 12 Hindu Statues That Drink Milk 79

Chapter 13 The Statues That Glow 83

Part 2 Magical Relics

Chapter 14 The True Cross: Chaucer, Calvin, and Relic Mongers 91

Chapter 15 The Holy Blood 101

Chapter 16 The Image of Edessa Revealed 105

Chapter 17 The Holy Mandylion: A Déjà-View 111

Chapter 18 Miracle or Fraud? The Turin Shroud 119

Chapter 19 Artistry and the Shroud 129

Chapter 20 Oviedo's Holy Sudarium 133

Chapter 21 Miraculous Relics 139

Chapter 22 In Search of the Emerald Grail 149

Chapter 23 St. James's Miraculous Relics 157

Chapter 24 "Incorruptible" Corpses 169

Part 3 Miracle Healings

Chapter 25 Jesus' Healings 175

Chapter 26 Lourdes and Other Healing Waters 183

Chapter 27 The Belgian Lourdes 187

Chapter 28 Miracle Dirt of Chimayó 191

Chapter 29 Peter Popoff's "Gift of Knowledge" 197

Chapter 30 Benny Hinn's Miracle Crusades 205

Chapter 31 Spiritist Healer: "John of God" 213

Chapter 32 Healings by a "Victim Soul" 219

Part 4 Visionary Experiences

Chapter 33 Jesus' Resurrection Apparitions 225

Chapter 34 "Visions" behind The Passion 233

Chapter 35 Eucharistic Signs 241

Chapter 36 The Secrets of Fatima 249

Chapter 37 The Medjugorje Phenomenon 257

Chapter 38 Guardian Angel Encounters 261

Chapter 39 Heaven's Stenographer 269

Chapter 40 The Mormon Seer 277

Chapter 41 Visits from the Beyond 285

Part 5 Saintly Powers

Chapter 42 Miracles-or Parables? 297

Chapter 43 Miracle Worker of Amsterdam 309

Chapter 44 Mysteries of Popular Saints 315

Chapter 45 Tijuana's Murderer "Saint" 319

Chapter 46 Stigmata: Wounds of Christ 323

Chapter 47 The Case of Padre Pío 335

Chapter 48 Stigmata of a Convert 341

Chapter 49 Taking Up Serpents 347

Chapter 50 Additional Pentecostal Powers 355

Chapter 51 Loretto Staircase: St. Joseph's Miracle Carpentry? 359

Part 6 The Devil's Work?

Chapter 52 Exorcising Demons 369

Chapter 53 Horror at Amityville 381

Chapter 54 Demon Victims I Have Known 385

Chapter 55 Satan's Step 391

Chapter 56 Footprints of the Devil? 395

Chapter 57 Fire from Heaven-or Hell? 403

Notes 407

References 410

Index 442

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