Friday, July 15, 2011

Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions

Throughout his book, Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions, James Randi examines various cases of the so-called paranormal to be nonsense. He discusses about how things considered to be paranormal are nonsense due to the lack of scientific research to back it up. He even offered a check for $10,000 to anyone that could perform one paranormal action with observable conditions. Over six hundred people made the attempt, and they all failed.

Some things he criticized were fairies in photographs, the Bermuda Triangle's validity, and astrology. He goes on to make sense of how those cases are not paranormal and how evidence proves that these things are nonsense. For instance, in Chapter 2: Fairies at the Foot of the Garden, the fairies in the photos were found out to be similar to those in the book, Princess Mary's Gift Book.

My favorite part of the book is Chapter 5: The Giggling Guru: A Matter of Levity, where meditation gets its shot from Randi. Meditation is supposedly a fourth state of mind that positively benefits us to do better at a job or reduce stress. The Maharish International University is a great example of sharing its Transcendental Meditation, or TM, philosophy. The "Maharishi Effect" is when a percentage of the population is dedicated to TM, the quality of life will improve. It has been found to make no significant changes at all! What a great effect that is...

Here's a video about this Maharishi Effect

As far as the class goes, Randi's book presents an individual who debunks the a set of claims by using research and other methods. It is similar to the chapter on child development where sugar for the kids makes them hyper or dyslexia from reversing letters and the scientific findings for those respective cases.

I found this book to be reader-friendly and would recommend it to others. To those interested in making claims seem like nonsense, this is a book for you. It's like an episode of Syfy's Destination Truth, you hear about some creature, travel to its supposed location and speak to locals, and most likely end up not finding anything that confirms existence.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I think someone is certainly making a lot of money on these people in the video. Over 600 studies and the good Doctor elaborates on one study in DC. Thanks for posting this.