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Last Show Recap

The Skeptic

In the first half, Dave Schrader (email) welcomed veteran police detective Robert Snow, who during a hypnotic regression experienced a vivid awareness of being alive in three separate historical scenes. Remaining skeptical, he began to investigate with the intention of disproving reincarnation. However, what he discovered was the opposite—solid evidence that he lived a former life as Carroll Beckwith, a 19th-century American artist.

In the second half, former President of the Scottish Society for Psychical Research, Tricia Robertson, shared stories from her extensive casebook that deal with a wide range of phenomena that provide evidence for survival after death.

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The Skeptic's View

Show Archive
Date: Sunday - October 17, 2004
Host: Art Bell
Guests: Dr. Michael Shermer, Whitley Strieber

Founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine, Dr. Michael Shermer, shared his viewpoint as to why he doesn't believe in paranormal phenomena and many extraordinary claims. He also commented on the emerging field of quantum science, suggesting that it is not connected with the thought process because quantum effects are happening at a subatomic level and the mental process occurs on a molecular level.

Here is a rundown of some of his explanations on a variety of topics:

  • Witchcraft: Their successes are basically "self-deception" fueled by "reinforcement from their followers."
  • Psychics & Mediums: Often use cold readings, and mention common items such as a watch in the case of men, that is likely they may have been given by a deceased father or relative.
  • Remote Viewing: What is considered a "hit" is subjective and the results are not replicable.
  • EVPs: The voices or sounds are related to a signal/noise problem and generally not decipherable.
  • Prayer: Studies which show prayer may help hospital patients have quicker recoveries have faulty methodology, in terms of what is being tested.
  • Dowsing: Dowsers were not able to identify hidden water containers under experimental conditions.

Anne Strieber Update

On Saturday evening, Whitley Strieber's wife, Anne, suffered a severe stroke. Whitley phoned in with an update on Sunday night, and said that Anne would be undergoing surgery on Monday morning to treat the brain aneurysm that led to the stroke. More details here.

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