Parapsychology and The Skeptics by Chris Carter
Let It Be Written
Let me first say that Parapsychology and The Skeptics, written by Chris Carter is a book that had to be written. In fact, this should have been written a long time ago, but nobody was up to the task. Enter Chris Carter.
Even though, it's a book that had to be written, to write such a book is still a risk because of the possibility of harsh criticism and personal attacks from some of the more rabid cynics out there. Fortunately, these types of cynics are in the minority.
Parapsychology and The Skeptics isn't all light reading, as some of the book's material can be quite heavy. So I don't recommend trying to rush through the book in one sitting, unless of course that's your normal pace of reading and comprehension.
As the introduction to the book begins, Carter quickly jumps into covering some of the controversies, debates and critics of PSI from a historical perspective.
The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal(CSICOP) gets it's fair share of criticism in the beginning of the book, but Chris doesn't attack the CSICOP in an abusive over the top manner. He just points out the unfair and inconsistent ways that PSI has historically been treated by the CSICOP.
Magician and debunker James Randi is also discussed, but the coverage of Randi is kept to a minimum. What little time Randi is discussed is spent showing how he is not without his flaws and how his testing protocols are far from perfect.
I would have to say that my favorite part of Carter's book is is part one. That is where Chris gets into the meat and potatoes, that is, the experimental evidence for PSI. Carter covers quite a bit of ground here, without sounding redundant and spending too much time on one area.
Chris begins a brief discussion on the history of PSI and then quickly launches into the experimental evidence of Telepathy and Psychokinesis.
Of course, no PSI book of evidence would be complete without detailing the impressive Ganzfeld experiments.
As does any good researcher, the author is quick to support what he writes with plenty of references.
Later in the book, the reading becomes quite heavy. As an example, Chris spends quite a bit of time discussing quantum physics and how different theories in the field of physics, support the existence of ESP. Some may want to skip over this section, but I found it fascinating.
As Carter states on page 159 in Chapter 16, "There is no shortage of theories of PSI. Like many other fields of inquiry, theories have come and gone as times have changed". As it wraps up, Chris gets into some of the physical and observational theories of PSI.
Parapsychology and the Skeptics is recommended reading for anyone that ever asked the question, "Why is PSI shrouded in such mystery, and why is there still so much skepticism that surrounds it?".
As mentioned earlier, this is a book that had to be written. Many books on PSI just touch on skepticism with little effectiveness, but Chris devotes a whole book to the subject, and he does it well.
Carter also has another book recently released regarding near death experiences, that I have yet to read. Looking ahead, he will have a third and final book dealing with the evidence in support of mediumship. That's the book that I'm most looking forward to.
Based upon the brilliance of Parapsychology and the Skeptics, his other 2 books on near death experiences and mediumship should be very enjoyable and fascinating reads.
Parapsychology and the Skeptics is the first of 3 books in a series.
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