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Explaining the Paranormal

A remarkable discovery has emerged in astrophysics: key properties of the universe have just the right values to make life possible. Most scientists prefer to explain away this uniqueness, insisting that a number of unseen universes must therefore exist, each randomly different. Astrophysicist Bernard Haisch joined George Knapp in the first half of the show to propose the alternative—that the special properties of our universe reflect an underlying intelligent consciousness.

In the second half of the program, veteran journalist Chris Taylor talked about how the Star Wars franchise has conquered our culture with a sense of lightness and exuberance, while remaining serious enough to influence politics, and spread a spirituality that appeals to religious groups and atheists alike.

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Explaining the Paranormal

Show Archive
Date: Monday - July 11, 2011
Host: George Noory
Guests: Richard Wiseman, Mitch Battros

Author and psychologist specializing in the psychology of the paranormal, Richard Wiseman, discussed his twenty years of research into the paranormal and why he takes a somewhat skeptical perspective on phenomena such as ghosts, out-of-body experiences, psychics and mind control. While many people have what they call paranormal experiences, he views them as "very sophisticated and very interesting illusions where for one reason or another we're kidding ourselves about those experiences without realizing it." People, and Americans in particular, are predisposed to believe in the paranormal, as part of their psychological make-up, he added.

The bereaved, he continued, sometimes see ghostly apparitions of their recently departed loved ones, and this may be partially the brain coming to terms with the loss, and making them feel better. Wiseman conducted investigations at haunted sites in the U.K. such as the Hampton Court Palace and determined that people are feeling genuinely odd sensations, but these are brought about by physical phenomena such as infrasound which can cause vibrations in the body. He also studied the case of a dog who supposedly sensed just before his owner was about to return. While parapsychologist Rupert Sheldrake believed the dog had a psychic ability, Wiseman concluded the pet was simply going to the window more and more frequently.

Regarding Ouija boards, Wiseman actually encourages people to play with them. Rather than spirits dictating messages, he suggested it's a subconscious ideomotor action, and when the letters on the board are covered up, the messages turn out to be gibberish. He also spoke about his studies of the luck factor, and "quirkology," in which people's behavior doesn't match up to what they say. Wiseman will be speaking at James Randi's Amaz!ng Meeting, "a celebration of critical thinking and skepticism," later this week in Las Vegas.

Weather & Solar Changes

First hour guest, earth changes expert Mitch Battros shared updates. Regarding the current spate of extremely hot weather, he commented that such patterns are cyclical and cited heat waves that occurred between 1925-35 in which temperatures soared up to 130 degrees in a number of American states. He also talked about changes in solar activity, with a recent M class flare having the same impact as a larger, X-class flare.

News segment guests: Gerald Celente, John M. Curtis

Related Material

Video: Five Amazing Stunts
Video: Five Amazing Stunts
Check out this fun video, Five Amazing Mind Stunts, from Richard Wiseman's YouTube Video Channel.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Monday July 11, 2011