Audrey A, Reviewer
Last updated on 19 Oct 2017
I Recommend This Book
I Recommend This Book
Real Magic contends that a variety of psychic phenomenons are real magic. The book shows there is truth in this statement and in the phenomenons themselves.
The book details a variety of studies that show quantifiable evidences of esp, clairvoyance, etc. Coming from a background of scientific method, most are sound as a beginning experiment and the experiments continue to grow to removing some of the complaints from the earlier experiments. These experiments show the merit of these phenomeons and the study of them. In fact, the book shows experiment that prove already determined psychological variables. The "sheep-goat" hypothesis is that believers will see more psi response and those who don't won't. This has been proved many times over in all areas of belief in psychological study and is referred to as biases. This shows that the researchers are well aware of such an important biases in their experiments.
I have two issues with the book as a whole. The first is that the first two-thirds of the book spends its time trying to make the argument that these experiences ae real and quantifiable. While the descriptions of this can be called magic, using the terms lessens the scientific side of it. There is aa discussion that woo-woo is not widely accepted. While I believe it can be scientific and respected calling it magic doesn't really help in the scientific world. The second is that the last third of the book gets more philosophical and light leaving behind the scientific side. Which like my first issues, confuses me of the intent. Does Radin want this as science or not? Or is he trying to bring in the "woo-woo" side into the scientific view.
FYI: I looked up the research article mentioned in the book that was retracted. Radin and a team created an experiment to see if psychics could tell if someone was alive or dead. A variety of ages, genders, and races were converted into black and white photos and shown to the psychics. Half of the pool of pictures were alive and the other half dead. Psychics were able say the outcome at only slightly better than chance. From reading about it, it seemed like a start for a further rigorous study. It was published in a journal but was later retracted with out the authors given concise answers on the reasons why. After reading the article, the only thing I found objectionable is that it did not meet the hypothesis of the paper: it claimed that there was a facial characteristic that would predict morality. The experiments does not do this at all. I am assuming this was a scientific "beard" because they were worried they would not be published if they centered too much on the clairvoyance part.
Psi activities are always of interest to me. I believe there is something we don't know yet and many of these experiences are real (though I don't believe they are anything like you see in the movies).
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