Tag Archives: Richard Wiseman

Re-Investigating Un-Haunted Houses

Abstract Eight couples who had never experienced any ‘haunting’ activity in their houses and had no reason to expect they would experience ‘ghosts’ were asked by the author to keep a diary for one calendar month from 17th October – … Continue reading

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The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth

A fairly short piece today, on something I have mused over this week. I think it all started with a friend finally persuading me to watch the US comedy The Big Bang Theory: for the record I enjoyed it, and … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, Debunking myths, History religion and society, Science, Social commentary desecrated, Uninteresting to others whitterings about my life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pigs Might Fly! Randi, Bem and A Sceptical Failure?

I like James Randi, a lot. He has had a rough year, and I wish him well – and I have long supported the JREF, despite endless objections to some of Randi’s videos. Long time readers of this blog will … Continue reading

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The Fall of Parapsychology?

Long time readers of this blog will know I am a genuine fan of Professor Chris French — he is brilliant, hard working, and actually investigates claims, and like Professor Wiseman avoids making the “rationalist myths” howlers that most of … Continue reading

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Five things I learned from #ghostnobbergate

You can say what you like about Professor Brian Cox, the guy has style. The discussion of the Infinite Monkey Cage episode on spooks et al. led to his Twitter postings that apparently caused outrage, and the amusing little spat … Continue reading

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Cox and Nobbers

Anyhow enough! I have a sense of humour. Some nonsense is inevitable in any pop-science treatment, but I’m not going to sit here and rip in to the remaining two thirds. I can cope with nonsense being spouted even on a show that claims to be a “bastion of rationality” — some people have lives and have not dedicated themselves to decades on these subjects – well Wiseman has both, for which I am frankly envious. You should by now gather that a) I’m astonishingly critical, and sceptical of almost any claim I hear from an “expert” and b) this was a light hearted treatment with a condescending and at time close on sneering tone, but genuinely funny and entertaining — just don’t take it too seriously. Continue reading

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Cheltenham Science Festival: Richard Wiseman, “Seance” Review, Part One

Professor Wiseman was of course up to his old tricks — a despicable performance in which he tortured kittens, sacrificed goats to Dawkinsabub and then hypnotised the audience who compliantly became his slaves as he indoctrinated them against all that is good and holy — oh, sorry, no that was my Paranormality review. Continue reading

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The Science of Flirting and Other Curiosities: Cheltenham Science Festival 2011

So yesterday I managed to spend my first whole day at this years Cheltenham Science Festival. having no money is always an issue, but I still found plenty to do, and meeting up with three friends we enjoyed the sunshine … Continue reading

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Richard Wiseman’s Paranormality: A good, but fundamentally limited book?

I guess people who pay attention to my writings elsewhere will know they I am currently reading Richard Wiseman’s latest book, Paranormality: . I have read and enjoyed The Luck Factor, which I always saw as a response to Broughton’s suggestion that psi could hide in plain sight in every day life as luck; I recently enjoyed 59 seconds, or whatever the title was, and intriguing hotch-potch of modern psychology research a bit like the BPS homepage, where unlikely sounding research findings that are demonstrably true (at least among a population of second year psychology undergrads –so predominantly middle class white women aged 19-21???– seeking course credit) are entertainingly presented in the worlds first under a minute self help book with some degree of empirical justification. While I much prefer Wiseman’s interesting academic papers, these pop-science self help potboilers (there is another one equally good, I forget the title) are splendid reads where Wiseman’s impish sense of humour is given free rein. Yep, you should buy and read them. I bought Paranormality from Waterstones for £13 – you can get it on Amazon for £6.49; if what follows appears grouch, unreasonable and ill argued, then paying twice the cost I could have bought it for may be a significant factor. Continue reading

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Charting the Unknown: Ghosts, Memory & the Progress of Time

OK something mildly interesting tonight – very much a preliminary set of thoughts on something Becky and I are still working on. Before she started her PhD we undertook some simple research on reports of “paranormal experiences” together, using a novel new methodology which is actually quite close to that used by the SPR in the 1894 Census of Hallucinations. And something has already come up that I find fascinating! Continue reading

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