ESP AND PARAPSYCHOLOGY: A Critical Re-Evaluation by C. E. M. Hansel

ESP AND PARAPSYCHOLOGY: A Critical Re-Evaluation

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KIRKUS REVIEW

British psychologist Hansel is the recognized debunker of ESP claims, and this update and extension of his 1966 classic, ESP: A Scientific Evaluation, is every bit as powerful as its predecessor in its painstaking examinations of cases. The text is chronological, beginning with delicious tales of mediums and messages around the seance table, and relating the successes and later confessions of people like the Fox sisters, as well as tales of the unrepentant. Hansel then traces the history of the Rhines and academic ESP, quickly pointing out the flaws in experimental design which attend even the four or five classic card-guessing experiments usually touted as incontrovertible evidence of ESP (e.g., the Pratt experiment at Duke). Moving through the Fifties and later, Hansel discusses the case of the telepathic Welsh schoolboys; he describes how he himself was able to train his young daughter in ESP by virtue of a concealed high-pitched dog whistle he could operate--audible to children, but not to the middle-aged or elderly auditors called upon to witness experiments! In the final chapters, he takes to task the Stanford Research Institute experiments with Uri Geller, the ""thoughtography"" film prints produced by Ted Serios, and other recent ""miracle men,"" as well as attempts to produce ESP using sophisticated computers and random number generators, Always, always, there is a loophole; always there is a chance of fraud, be it a previously metal-fatigued spoon, or the tampering with the tape printout of a computer. When you close the loophole, you wipe out ESP. The best kind of wry, informed skepticism.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Prometheus