My article on why desperate families turn to psychics was recently on NBC News; you can read it HERE.
There are several claimed types of psychic powers, including precognition (knowing future events before they happen); pyrokinesis (creating fire with the mind, popularized in Stephen King’s novel and film “Firestarter”); and telepathy (describing things at a remote location). Among the most dramatic of these is telekinesis (also called psychokinesis, or PK), the ability to move objects through mind power. Though many Americans believe in psychic ability (about 15 percent of us, according to a 2005 Baylor Religion Survey), scientific evidence for its existence remains elusive.
I recently wrote about this for LiveScience.com; you can read the story HERE.
Here’s an interesting piece about failed psychic predictions from our friends at Relatively Interesting. Not only is it an excellent overview, but I’m also quoted (see below); you can read the story HERE.
Benjamin Radford, a regular contributor to many science based blogs, has this to say about psychics and their so-called predictions:
People should also ask themselves some simple questions when they hear psychics’ claims. If psychics can really find missing people, why aren’t they in Iraq, rescuing kidnapped hostages? Why haven’t psychics caught serial killers before they kill again? Why do different psychics give contradictory information? Why do we need Amber Alerts to find kidnapped children? And where are Osama bin Laden, Natalee Holloway, Lisa Stebic, Madeleine McCann, and the thousands of other people whom searchers are desperate to find? On these questions, psychics are as silent as the missing persons they fail to find.
You may remember I originally wrote about this:
The owners of a Texas ranch raided by police in 2011 based on false information from a psychic are now suing, along with police and several news organizations.The case began June 6, when a psychic using the name ‘Angel’ called police and described a horrific scene of mass murder: dozens of dismembered bodies near a ranch house about an hour outside of Houston, Texas.
Now the psychic has been found and is being sued; read the story HERE.
Harsha Maddula, a Northwestern University pre-medical student from Long Island, N.Y., went missing Sept. 22, last seen leaving an off-campus party in Illinois. Police and volunteer searchers were unable to find him, but Maddula’s family said reassuring words from psychics had raised their spirits….You can read the story HERE.
Albuquerque author and investigator Benjamin Radford (me) will be presenting a free talk on The Mysterious Crystal Skulls. Crystal skulls are among the strangest and most mysterious artifacts in the world. They have been seen in the world’s finest museums, inspired Indiana Jones, and, according to legend, have even been used to see the future—or kill with terrible supernatural power. What do we make of these objects, whose origins are shrouded in the mists of mystery? Come hear the bizarre true story of this strange modern mystery!
The talk begins at 7 PM. The event is sponsored by New Mexicans for Science and Reason and is FREE and open to the public.
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science 1801 Mountain Road NW, 87104. For more information click HERE.
Last week a federal judge in Alexandria, Louisiana, overturned a law banning fortunetelling on the basis that it is free speech protected by the First Amendment. U.S. District Judge Dee Drell struck down an ordinance outlawing fortunetelling, astrology, palm reading, tarot, and other forms of divination on the grounds that the practices are fraudulent and inherently deceptive. This curious case raises issues about the boundary between freedom of speech and fraudulent (or at least unproven) claims; you can read more HERE.
I will be in New York City giving a talk on Monday May 21, at 7 PM on psychic detectives:
Psychic detectives seem to be everywhere: on TV, in the news, on cable shows. TV hosts such as Larry King and Montel Williams regularly promote psychic detectives, and many of them claim to find missing persons and solve cases for police and the FBI. It all sounds impressive, but how good is the scientific evidence for their claims? Drawing on a decade of personal investigations and case studies, I will reveal a side to psychic detectives that you won’t see on Medium or Larry King Live.
I will join a discussion with Massimo Pigliucci on the validity of psychic investigations and then take questions from the audience. The event will be followed by a reception with wine and light fare.
For more information is available HERE.
This weekend I will be in New Jersey speaking to members of the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement at their annual conference, talking about pet psychics and trying to protect people grieving over the loss of a pet from being scammed and exploited.
I’ll be giving a talk in Manhattan in a few weeks on one of my favorite topics: psychics!
Psychic detectives seem to be everywhere: on TV, in the news, on cable shows. TV hosts such as Larry King and Montel Williams regularly promote psychic detectives, and many of them claim to find missing persons and solve cases for police and the FBI. It all sounds impressive, but how good is the scientific evidence for their claims? Drawing on a decade of personal investigations and case studies, Benjamin Radford (me) will reveal a side to psychic detectives that you won’t see on Medium or Larry King Live.
Radford will join a discussion with Massimo Pigliucci on the validity of psychic investigations and then take questions from the audience. The event will be followed by a reception with wine and light fare. You can find more details HERE.