Off The Wall
Tracy Todd writes,
Just curious about your thoughts on the paranormal. I am a paranormal investigator and would love to here any theories you may have on the subject
My theories on the paranormal boil down to the fact that most people favor fiction over non-fiction.
Based on the available evidence, there is no logical reason for an impartial observer to conclude that ghosts, aliens, ESP, telekinesis, reincarnation, horoscopes, astral projection, miracles, or any other supernatural or psychic phenomena has ever occurred in the history of the species. That doesn’t mean such things do not exist or have not occurred. It just means they haven’t been proven. The James Randi Foundation continues to offer a million dollars to anyone who can demonstrate paranormal activity under controlled conditions. The prize remains unclaimed.
In general, I believe people find what they look for. But I also think that many who search for the “truth” are more interested in looking than finding. I assume you’d agree that investigating paranormal activity is fun, right? For that reason, I would encourage you to keep on investigating, regardless of what you ultimately discover. I’d say the same thing to a scientist. In fact, I just spoke at length with an astro-physicist who has dedicated his life to searching for life on other planets. Maybe he’ll find it. Maybe he won’t. Either way, he’s enjoying the search.
Weird things are fun to contemplate and worth investigating. But believing them is another matter, and when I read that 45% of Americans believe in ghosts, I can’t help but share Carl Sagan’s foreboding. We need to become a far more skeptical people. We need to stop confusing the inability to prove that ghosts do not exist as evidence that they might. The burden of proof has shifted to the point that skepticism – one of my favorite qualities – is now dismissed as cynicism, and those who doubt the existence of bigfoot are often labelled as “close-minded.”
Unless we want nothing from your profession but entertainment, we need to demand proof from those who argue the validity of any and all paranormal claims. Real, actual, million-dollar-winning proof.
The prize is out there. But so far – the proof is not.