Monday, April 14, 2014

Stigmata-The Holy Wounds

Rules For A True Stigmata:
-The wounds must all appear on the same day
-They must cause considerable modification of tissue
-They must remain unaltered despite medical treatment
-Must cause hemorrhages
-Must not result in infection
Stigmata is a term used by people of the Catholic faith for people that randomly end up with the same markings, pain, wounds, and everything that Jesus had when he got crucified and died on the cross.  They call it the five Holy Wounds, wounds to the hands and feet from the nails, a wound to the side from getting pierced from the lance.  Bleeding from the forehead from the crown of thrones.  Also wounds on his back from being whipped.  
Now the question is, is stigmata a real thing?  The most famous case of stigmata was Francesco Forgione, the most beloved Italian saint in the last hundred years, he was known as Padre Pio.  He started to get early signs of stigmata in 1910 with red rings around his hands, then he got full blown stigmata in 1918.  Then it was said Padre Pio was able to fly and bilocate, which is be in two places at once.  Also his stigmata had a nice perfume to it, it smelled like violets, lilies, roses, incense, and sometime fresh tobacco.  
Even though Padre Pio was beloved by many, not every one was convinced that his wounds were sent from God.  There were two popes and one was the founder of Milan's Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Agostino Gemelli.  He examined Padre Pio and concluded that he was a "self-mutilating psychopath."  Other doctors looked at him and found no self mutilation...
Now that is just one case of many, there are many others, read a case for yourself and you decide.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Rally Caps

Rally caps can be seen worn by fans of all MLB baseball teams all over the league. Throughout history, the origin of the Rally cap has always been debated. It is believed that the players of the 1940 Detroit Tigers, to the 1977-1987 Texas Rangers, or maybe even the fans of the 1985 New York Mets created the Rally cap tradition. What exactly is a Rally cap? according to Wikipedia, a Rally cap is defined as "A baseball cap worn inside-out and backwards or in some other unconventional manner by players and/or fans to will a team to a come-from-behind victory late in a game".

Now how could wearing a cap inside out possible help make your team make a come from behind victory? It is believed that a fan is "to sacrifice a small amount of one's dignity in exchange for a little luck for one's team". Many people believe in this superstition because over history you can see fans wearing Rally caps in games where teams come from behind to win a game. This in my opinion is like listening to someone who plays lottery tickets, you only hear about when they win, but not how many they have lost overtime to those few times they actually do win. Personally I do not believe in this superstition, there is no way that turning a hat inside out can really help your team turn its luck around and perform a come from behind victory. Although I  do not believe in the Rally cap, I still participate when I am at a Phillies game and they are behind. Rally hats are a silly way to root for your team when you know your doomed and it is a tradition that I feel will be around for a long time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lie Detectors

Lie detectors have been used for a long time now and people are very familiar with it due to media attention. People assume that the science behind lie detectors is actually true. Lie detectors in reality are based off of psychological manipulation of the person under the lie detector test to possibly confess, because they think it may uncover the truth. It's basically a voodoo psychology.

The problem with lie detectors is the fact that it measures heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and skin response and conductivity. So how do these things correlate with deception? It seems that it measures anxiety more than anything. So the whole basis for lie detectors is the fact that anxiety brings out a sort of guilty knowledge?

There is no correlation that exists with these assumptions that anxiety = guilt. There is no scientific testing that shows this and not consistently enough to prove deception. People can be anxious that they are lying or that they are afraid the person examining them thinks they are lying. It also fails to consider people who can beat the lie detector test such as psychopaths who do not have anxiety over heinous acts.

This site discusses all of this

Additional info:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014



The 9/11 Truthers believe that the attack on the World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001 was actually an inside job by the United States. They believe that "The War on Terror was launched just to acquire more territory and resources. They use unanswered questions to charge their arguments and viewpoints. They throw many ideas out fast so it seems as though there are no answers and non chances for rebuttal. Some questions include:

  • the unprecedented failure of the US air defense system on the morning of the attacks;
  • the AWOL military chain of command during the actual attacks, including the inexplicable behavior of the presidential entourage;
  • the seeming impossibility of official claims with regard to Flight 77;
  • the evidence that Flight 93 was shot down;
  • contradictions and evidence in the official claims about the alleged hijackers and masterminds, and doubts about their real identities;
  • signs that the alleged hijackers enjoyed high-level protection against discovery by honest investigators;
  • evidence that the alleged hijackers were financed by states allied with US intelligence
  • suspicious and massive international financial trades suggesting foreknowledge of the attacks;
  • widespread signs of official foreknowledge and, in fact, advance preparation for the 9/11 attack scenario;
  • the long-running links between Islamist fundamentalist terror cells and US covert operations, dating back to CIA support for the anti-Soviet mujahedeen and Osama Bin Ladin himself;
  • the demolition-like collapse of the Twin Towers and of a third skyscraper, WTC 7;
  • and questions concerning who could have logically expected to derive benefit in the aftermath of a massive attack on the United States.

  • These Truther groups are now also tearing apart the Malaysian Airlines story as well. Everything that happens with them proves to be a governmental conspiracy in their eyes.

    Read over the website for the 9/11 Truthers, watch the documentary "Loose Change" but then also research the answers to these "unanswered questions" and be surprised with how many answers you actually can get and put a lot of these questions to rest.


    Said to be developed by mathematician and Greek Philosopher Pythagoras, "numerology" is a way to break down certain patterns using numbers as it states on Numerology .
    Following the FAQ on this page it says a lot of things about this being a "language of numbers" and how it can help decode "patterns of the universe" and help you understand the world as well as individuals.

    What kind of answers can Numerology give me?

    Numerology is a self-help tool that can reveal much about your personal character and your life as a whole. In many ways, Numerology can both predict and not predict your future. While your Numerology cycles indicate the opportunities and challenges, joys and pains that will arise throughout different periods of your life, the way you choose to handle these occurrences at any given moment is still up to you.

    Being that I check my horoscope on a daily basis I thought I might as well give this a try. It just so happens that todays "pattern" is finding your sun number. 
    Your Sun Number is easy to calculate and never changes. Simply add your month and day of birth, and reduce to a single digit (reduce Master numbers to a single digit as well).
    For example, if you were born May 15, add 5 (for May) and 15, is 20, which reduces to 2 (2 + 0). If you were born November 23, add 11 (for November) and 23, is 34. Reduce 34 by adding 3 and 4 to find the Sun Number 7.
    Keep in mind that, as with all numbers found in your Numerology chart, the influence is limited to the area that they affect. The Sun Number tends to dominate only your attitude toward changes, especially when they are unexpected.
    According to this, since my birthday is August 31st, I would take 8, plus 31 which is 39. So, i would reduce that to 3 and 9 = 12. My sun number is 12. Which isn't even on the chart because it said it has to be a single digit. I guess I'm suppose to further reduce my sun number to 1 and 2 which is 3 so now my sun number is 3? 
    After you figure this out you can click on the sun number and get a "reading". It's pretty much a horoscope - set up the same way with your biggest asset, success, and love. 

    Monday, April 7, 2014

    Turkey Makes You Sleepy?

    I always wondered if eating turkey made you sleepy because I get sleepy even after eating dinner not just turkey dinner. I’m always hearing that it’s the tryptophan in turkey that makes you sleepy. Well what exactly is tryptophan? According to an article on WebMd, L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid that the body cannot manufacture on it’s own so it has to get it from foods. Amino acids are building blocks of proteins. Tryptophan is in turkey but also in other poultry, meat, cheese, yogurt, fish, and eggs. It is used to make niacin, a B vitamin which is needed for digestion, skin and nerves, and serotonin. The body needs Tryptophan to produce serotonin which is needed to make melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep and wake cycles. Actually turkey has less tryptophan than chicken. So why is it we feel so sleepy at Thanksgiving than when we eat the other foods the rest of the year? According to Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN, (author of The Flexitarian Diet) "if we're sleepy on Thanksgiving as a direct result of eating turkey, then eating other foods rich in tryptophan should have the same effect".

    Even though turkey has tryptophan, according to Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD (author of "Eat Your Way to Happiness) "it's a myth that eating foods high in tryptophan boosts brain levels of tryptophan and therefore brain levels of serotonin." She also said that along with proteins like turkey, chicken, and fish, which are high sources of tryptophan, a person needs foods high in carbohydrates to affect serotonin levels. "Tryptophan is quite high in milk and turkey, but that's not the food that will give you the serotonin boost," she says. "It's a small, all-carbohydrate snack -- no more than 30 grams of carbohydrates -- in combination with the tryptophan stored in your body from food you've already eaten that will give you the biggest boost of serotonin." According to Ms. Somer, the research shows that a light, 30 gram carbohydrate snack just before bed will help you sleep better. So, people who are sleepy at Thanksgiving feel that way not just because of the turkey but probably the stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.

    Website Source: <>

    Dermo-optical Perception

          Dermo-optical perception (DOP) is also known as dermal vision, dermo-optics, eyeless sight, eyeless vision, skin vision, skin reading, finger vision, paroptic vision, para-optic perception, cutaneous perception, digital sight, and bio-introscopy.  These terms are used to denote the alleged capability to perceive colors, differences in brightness, and formed images through the skin without using the eyes. This is usually done by touching with the fingertips. People who claim to have dermo-optical perception claim to be able to see using the skin of their fingers or hands. People who claim to have DOP often demonstrate it by reading while blindfolded.
          Scientific interest didn't pick up until the 20th century.  ESP researchers studied DOP, hoping that it was an example of extra-sensory perception, but they could only conclude that some of the results couldn't be explained by cheating.  Magazines reported on several cases calling them "X-ray wonders", but all of them were found to be cheating when tested under controlled conditions. Studies done by Western scientists showed no effect, while studies done by Eastern scientists always showed this effect.The positive results have not been accepted because their procedures were probably not tight enough to prevent cheating by participants. Also, the lack of proper documentation doesn't allow to check if the controls were good enough.  There are also problems with replicating the effect reliably, and concerns about the colors being recognized by the texture of the ink on the paper.
           In conclusion, DOP is still not proven scientifically.  Most of DOP positive results have been explained as cheating by participants, either by the use of magicians' tricks, or by "peeking down the nose." Some of the results can't be explained by cheating. Recently, DOP has been the object of "mainstream" research that had no links with ESP.  Besides the "cheating" explanation, there are several theories about how fingers could "see" radiation given off by the colors in the paper, but none has been tested successfully. For example, people can hold their fingers near painted and non-painted surfaces, and distinguish them by how much heat is radiated back to their fingers. While it has not been verified if fingers can be sensitive enough to detect heat radiation from different inks in paper, it is theorized that blind people could possibly do it. The low quality of many studies, the cheating, the discovery that the most famous cases were fraud, and the use by ESP proponents have caused DOP to be classified as pseudoscience and to be dismissed as baseless paranormal claims.


    Sunday, April 6, 2014


    Since I'm of a fan of the show Game of Thrones and since season 4 premieres today, I decided to do a post about dragons because dragons are involved in the show. Dragons have been in mythology for centuries. The belief in mythical dragons have existed for centuries. Studies show this belief came from a combination of real animals and, surprisingly, a comet. For example, one of the concepts of the dragon originated from a Chinese alligator. The Chinese believed dragons were close to water. Chinese alligators being aquatic lead to this belief. A comet is considered because comets are spectacular and bizarre, just like dragons. Initially the concept behind the dragon was the same, but it took on many different forms over time.

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    Magic 8 Ball

    The Magic 8 ball is a toy that was invented by Albert Carter used for fortune telling or for people to seek for advice. The magic eight ball was invented in the 1940s however, did not hit the stores until 1950. A spirit writer device that was used by Albert Carter mother, Mary Carter, a Cincinnati clairvoyant, inspired the invention. Once the invention was ready for the shelves, Albert took it to a store owned by Max Levinson and asked him if he would like to put his invention up for sale. Levinson called his brother-in-law Abe Bookman, who was a graduate of Ohio Mechanics Institute. In 1944, Carter signed a contact with Bookman and Levinson and was later became partners of Alabe Crafts Inc, in 1946. Once the invention hit the market, it was renamed and sold as “The Syco-Seer” and in 1948; they renamed it to “crystal ball.” With those names, the invention was unsuccessful; the revamped product caught the attention of the Chicago’s Brunswick Billiards. That gave them the idea to make a version in the form of the traditional black and white ball in 1950 and became to be known as “the magic 8 ball”

    There are 20 possible answers all general responses, 10 answers agreeing, 5 answers for uncertainly and 5 digressing answers. Using the coupon collector’s problem in probability theory, it can be shown that it takes, on average 72 outcomes of the magic eight ball for all 20 of the answers will appear at least once. The name took off and the magic 8 ball started to fly off the shelves, people started to believe that the magic eight ball had the answers to the entire question they had. People usually ask basic yes or no questions therefore it made people believe the magic eight ball actually had the power to tell the future events.

    Diana Elgueta

    Bates Method

    Bates Method

              An alternative therapy use to improve eyesight. There is an eye physician named William Horatio Bates was the one who came up with this method and the contributed his work to the Bates Method. He believed that found the cure to fix all eyesight problems and claimed that wearing glassware like glasses and contacts is harmful to the eyes and not needed. William Horatio Bates published a book and a magazine about his techniques and research to help people relax their “strain” to improve sights. The techniques are mainly focused on visualization and movement. In other words, he thought he could cure eyesight problems by relaxing the eyes, putting too much effort on the eyes strains the eyes.

            The techniques vary in; 1. Closing the eyes. 2. Cover your eyes. 3. Observe the swing of things. 4. Use your imagination. 5. Catch those flashes. 6. Keep your vision centered. 7. Enjoy the sun. 8. Practice with a test card. There is a website he created along where his supporters and other can read about the techniques and plays the few games that were designed to improve eyesight,

            A young writer named Aldous Huxley, at the age of sixteen his comeas has been scarred and recently learned about the Bates Method from one of William Horatio Bates supporters. Huxley used the method to help him improve his eyesight. In 1942 Huxley wrote a book based on his experience with the Bates Method, he said that his eyesight did not improve by much but it still remained abnormal. Throughout the years there were many more reports of the Bates Method working for some and not for others. Bates Method is not harmful therefore it still continues to trick some people.

    Diana Elgueta

    Stone Henges

    Stonehenge's are made up of 11 Dolerite Blue-stones. Those are the stones that are on the outside ring of stones.Prehistoric builders would use tree trunks until they got them onto rafts. The rafts then carries the trunks to where these builders needed it. Each of these stones  can weigh up to 4 tons. The Stonehenge's were believed to be created in parts by first the Neolithic agrarians and then by "native Britons descended
    from the original builders." Stonehenge's were used as burial sites, and also for religious means such as celebrations. Scientists are still unsure of what the real purpose of Stonehenge's were, however now a days they are used as a tourist attraction.

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014


    Chromotherapy is the believed use of colored lights in order to balance"energy" lacking from a person's body, whether it be on physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental level. This is distinctly different from proven forms of ultralight therapy such as photobiology.
    This idea comes from Avicenna  (August c. 980 – June 1037), a Persian philosopher who believed that color was an observable symptom of disease. He even created a chart that links color to the temperature and physical condition of the body.
    Therapists who work in healing with color therapy use tools like gemstones, candles and crystal wands all of different colors to apply light and color to the body in order to balance energy.
    To no ones surprise this has no scientifically proven data. Color is simply a visible form of electromagnetic energy, and has no apparent affect on the physical body whatsoever.

    Crop Circles

    Crop circles are geometric designs of crushed or knocked-over crops created in a field. The circles come in different designs varying in difficulty, ranging from simple circles to complex patterns .They have clean-cut edges, and appear to have been made by machines, but the crops are in fact intact and not damaged. Because of this and the fact that they usually appear over night, people are quick to assume that it was the working of extraterrestrials. 
    The earliest mention of a crop circle dates back to the 1500s.Mentions of crop circles were sporadic until the 20th century, when circles began appearing in the 1960s and '70s in England and the United States. In the 1980s gained more momentum when three additional crop circles, 60 feet wide, were found in oat crops on a farm in England. UFO researchers were sent out to do investigations. By the 1990s the phenomenon of crop circles has turned into a tourist attraction. It is because of this reason it is very rational to assume that jokester farmers looking to gain media and public attention would make these on their own farms themselves. 
    As of now there is no substantial evidence that any crop circles have been a result of extraterrestrial force, but there are many people who still believe in it. They think that the circles are made from the landings of spacecrafts or are messages from aliens trying to communicate with humans. There have been countless claims of people stating they have seen UFO-like lights and have heard strange noises around farms at night.
    Other, and more rational theories to the origin of these circles include winds, aircraft, earth energy and humans.

    Mood Rings

    Companies love Pseudoscience. They feed off the money they yield from the various products that claim to give ordinary human beings, everyday "superhero" powers or feelings. Most of these products love to make claims such as well being, positive energy, and even pain relief. With most of the products making these claims targeted towards adults, what products could  use this same formula to have children contribute to the companies money feast?

    In my eyes, I see mood rings as a pseudo-scientific way for companies to have children help contribute to their wealth. Mood rings are fashionable rings that changes a variety of colors making it very appealing to children. According to what color your Mood Ring changes to, correlates with what kind of mood you are feeling. Here is a map of the colors and their meanings.
    • violet blue - happy, romantic
    • blue - calm, relaxed
    • green - average, not much going on with you
    • yellow/amber - tense, excited
    • brown/gray - nervous, anxious
    • black - cold temperature or damaged ring
    Now how do mood rings work?:
    "The crystals were calibrated with have a pleasing blue or green color at the average person's normal resting peripheral temperature of 82°F (28°C). As peripheral body temperature increases, which it does in response to passion and happiness, the crystals twist to reflect blue. When you are excited or stressed, blood flow is directed away from the skin and more toward the internal organs, cooling the fingers, causing the crystals to twist the other direction, to reflect more yellow. In cold weather, or if the ring was damaged, the stone would be dark gray or black and unresponsive."

    Mood rings are a nice little souvenir for kids  to bring home from a vacation, yet just like the many products that use Pseudoscience to sell, it is misleading with its claims. Thankfully these claims are for a fun product and not one that people will depend their life around. 

    Monday, March 31, 2014

    The "Wow" Signal

    The Signal

    In 1977, Jerry Ehman a volunteer for SETI (The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) may have been the first person to receive an intentional message from an alien world.  He was scanning radio waves from deep space to hopefully receive a signal that might have been sent from intelligent aliens. He was shocked when he saw his measurements spike.  The signal lasted for 72 seconds, “the longest period of time it could possibly be measured by the array that Ehman was using.”  Ehman said, “It was loud and appeared to have been transmitted from a place no human has gone before.”  The signal came from a star called Tau Sagittarii, 120 light-years away.

    The signal is called the “Wow Signal” because Ehman wrote Wow on the printout of the signal when it arrived since he was so surprised at what he had just saw.  He made more attempts to locate the signal again but they all failed.  This led to much controversy and mystery about its origins and its meaning. 

    I do think the radio signal was sent from extraterrestrial life.  The Hubble Telescope  took a picture of whats called "deep space" the picture shows hundreds of huge galaxies which astronomers thought would be nothing, showing how many galaxies are really out there.  The "deep space" picture is about the size of a grain of rice pointed in a random position of the universe. 

    Bad Luck

                    Bad luck superstitions have been around for many years. Many people believe that certain characteristics or actions can cause bad luck. There are actions such as walking under a ladder, opening an umbrella indoors, breaking a mirror, singing or sleeping at a table and more are known to cause bad luck, some for a few years. These superstitions are rooted in the human trait that believes in monsters and ghosts. When our brain can’t believe in something, we tend to make things up. Sometimes it could turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy because people believe in them so much.
                    Walking under a ladder almost makes sense. I mean, no one wants to knock someone over who is a ladder. In addition, it could arise from Christian beliefs in the holy trinity where there is a ladder leaning against a wall and breaking the trinity would be sacrilegious. The mirror breaking superstition stems from the belief that mirrors are a window to the soul. The seven years of bad luck comes from the fact that it was believed that the body or soul is reborn every seven years. Furthermore, when opening an umbrella inside, it was rooted in tale where people opened umbrellas indoors and some catastrophe happens like sudden death or a house collapse. It’s almost as if you’re asking bad luck to “rain on you”.
                    Though there are some remedies known to ward off bad luck. For instance, spilling salt is known to be bad luck but it is thought that throwing some over your left shoulder would cancel it out. This is because in the ancient times, salt was valuable and almost looked at as a salary of sort so throwing some away after you accidently wasting it is a way to acknowledge is value and their remorse for wasting it. In addition, it is sometimes thought that you can break a bad luck spell by turning seven times in a clockwise circle.
                    There are also some strange origins to some good luck charms. A horse shoe for instance is known to be good luck because there are often seven little holes in it and seven is considered a lucky number. Also, they are made of iron as a way to ward off evil spirits. In addition, a four leaf clover is always known to be good luck, and it’s not just because they are so hard to find. The stories state that when you find one, you must either eat one or put it in your shoe to activate the lucky powers. It also causes the next person you come in contact with will be your future mate.  But these charms won’t help you if a black cat crosses you path, especially on Friday the 13th.


    The shoe-fitting fluoroscopes, aka the Foot-o-scope was an X-ray fluoroscope machine used to determine shoe fit from the 1920s until the 1970s. The devices were made of metal and covered in wood and would have an opening where a child would place their feet while standing in shoes that they were trying on and their parent and the sales person would look through viewing ports at an x-ray view of the feet. They were able to observe the child's toes being wiggled to show how much room for the toes there was inside the shoe. The bones of the feet were clearly visible, as was the outline of the shoe, including the stitching around the edges. Several sales pitches were used depending on the market during the period they were in shoe stores, the most famous one was that it would allow for the better fitting of shoes and it made shoe shopping fun for kids. At the time of the great depression, one pitch was that these devices ensured the best possible fit, which in turn would make shoes last longer. These devices couldn’t have really worked because the fit of a shoe not only depends on the bones but the flesh surrounding them which would not be easily made out on an x-ray. What these devices were really doing was exposing children to ionizing radiation, which they are twice more susceptible to than adults. While there isn’t much data on those affected by these machines, it can be said that the salesmen who had chronic exposure to these radiation sources could have been negatively impacted. The shoe-fitting fluoroscope was just another example of radiation quackery which probably did more harm than good.

    Friday, March 28, 2014

    The Bermuda Triangle
                The Bermuda Triangle is located in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean. Several aircrafts and surface vessels have disappeared in this area which is unexplainable. In 1945, five torpedo bombers took off from Fort Lauderdale Naval Base. Neither the planes nor the bodies could be found and that is one reason why the legend lives on. The theories to explain the disappearances are based on assumptions. A popular theory is that the missing individuals were abducted by extraterrestrials. Another widely known theory is that the Bermuda Triangle is being affected by supernatural forces and that is why nothing has been recovered. There is no evidence to support that there is extraterrestrial life or supernatural forces, but people enjoy believing in such topics. In actuality, the disappearance may instead be explained by human error, weather conditions, exaggerated stories, miscalculations and so on. The region of the Bermuda Triangle is known for experiencing severe hurricanes, for example, and that is a logical solution.
                I chose the Bermuda Triangle because it shows how when something is hard to explain people tend to rely on pseudoscience beliefs to find a solution to the unexplainable occurrences. This relates directly to the course because it demonstrates how pseudoscience relies heavily on assumptions instead of fact. The beliefs make the stories more interesting but do not actually prove anything.


    Monday, March 24, 2014

    Past life regression

    Past life regression is the use of hypnosis to unlock the memories of your past lives.  This practice is rooted in the belief of reincarnation since we would have to have come back at least once in order to have a past life.  It is mostly used in a spiritual or therapeutic way.  It can be used to explain our fears (for instance, fear of fire means your died in a fire in a past life) or our relationships (you may have known the past lives of people around you, like your best friend now could have been your brother in a past life).  It is also available to those that are curious.  The recipient of the past life regression is put into a deep hypnosis then is asked questions that are supposed to give a time and place of the past life and the kind of person they were (past lives can have a different gender and race than the current life).
    Past life regression is so widely believed because a lot of the advocates for it are people with fairly legitimate credentials (a lot of them have doctorates) but the "research" into past life regression is no empirically tested or peer reviewed like legitimate scientific matters.  The practicioner uses suggestive questioning while the recipient is under hypnosis in order to get a certain response, much like how entertainment hypnosis is done. Much of the "past life memories" are attributed to cryptomnesia, which when a forgotten memory is remembered but not recognized by the person (for instance, if you are intently listening to a movie or focusing a lot on writing a paper and someone around you says to someone else their idea for a pickle vending machine, later on you may come up with the idea for a pickle vending machine and you will think it was soley your idea and not remember the other person suggesting it).
    People believe in this most likely because authoritative sources advocate it, it seems to be a good explanation for our "unexplained fears" (when in relatiy, you are probably afraid of fire because it hurts a lot and you've read reports of people dying in fires), and it gives us a feeling of immortality which is very comforting to most people.
    My family is not religious at all and I never went to church, but my mom is a big believer in past life regression.  She would read a lot of the works of Brian M. Weiss and even attempted past life regression on herself.  She believes that her dreams hold secrets to her past lives.  In high school I believed this also since she was my mother and had me read the books also and since the information was coming from people with doctorates it seemed highly believable.  I believed my dreams were insights into my pst lives and I tried to take meaning from them when looking back they were just random dreams.

    3 ways to remember past lives
    "Scientific proof"