Parapsychology {6} ~ Why Is Parapsychology So Controversial? {1}

“Parapsychology has remained controversial, even with substantial, persuasive, and scientifically palatable results, for four main reasons ~

First, the media and much of the public often confuse parapsychology with sensational, unscientific beliefs and stories about “the paranormal.” This widespread confusion has led many scientists to simply dismiss the field as being unworthy of serious study, and thus they think it is not worth their time to examine the existing evidence.

In addition, thoroughly understanding the nature of the existing evidence in parapsychology is not easy. While the meta-analytic results are both substantial and persuasive, meta-analysis requires specialized knowledge to understand that form of evidence. For people who are not familiar with statistics, or who don’t trust it (which is usually a sign of misunderstanding), the evidence will not seem very persuasive. Those same people may then go looking for the big stuff, the psi-in-your-face, self-evident proofs, and they will find enormous amounts of anecdotal evidence but almost no scientifically credible data. They may then view lengthy discussions, such as the one in this FAQ, as proof that no one really knows what is going on, and that scientists are still basically waffling and indecisive about this topic.

Our response is simple: The scientific evidence for some forms of psi is extremely persuasive. By the same standards used to establish proof in other areas of science, we can say with high confidence that psi does exist, and we are beginning to learn a little about it, and why people develop this gift.

Second, even if someone wanted to study the evidence, much of the persuasive work is published in limited circulation professional journals. In the past, these were only found in a few university libraries, with scholars needing to request reprints and technical reports from individual authors (a cumbersome process at best). Fortunately, this situation has recently changed. There is now a subscription-based online library which includes all of the journals and proceedings ever published for the Society for Psychical Research, the Journal of Parapsychology, the European Journal of Parapsychology, the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Research in Parapsychology, and Psi Researcher – Paranormal Review. It also has some books available. Best of all, the database can be searched to pull up particular words, topics, or names. It is available at (See Where can I get more information?)”

Source ~

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