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January 25, 2014


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Good for Penny! She's some researcher.

I too don't like the Daily Mail's politics any more than I like the Guardian's, and I've always regarded both 'major' parties as dangerous extremists. With all that out of the way, yes the Mail deserves praise for its consistently psi-friendly policy. Maybe it is better than its competitors at knowing what people are really interested in?

Penny Sartori gave a fascinating talk at the SPR some years ago and I had a nice chat with her afterwards. I think I know a real expert when I see and hear one, and there's really no substitute for first hand experience, of which she has had plenty, as a basis for a plausible hypothesis.

I don't often recommend books before I've read them, but I think her new one is definitely a must-read.

Believe it or not, The Sunday Telegraph was also very sensible re psi subjects while Robert Matthews was science editor in the mid-late 1990's.

Yes, Matthews did what he could, also in Focus magazine. I gather that when Dominic Lawson took over the Sunday Telegraph in 1995 he was told to forget all that psi rubbish. It all seems to depend on the editor. Paul Dacre (D.Mail) must have a soft spot as his paper has long been supportive. I suspect he may have had a psi experience himself. Prejudice can work both ways, luckily. Or it could be that he is just a smart editor who gives his readers what they want.

Anyway, Penny Sartori seems to have made waves like we haven't seen for some time. Readers comments are still popping in. I hope she sells a million.

Yes Guy, I've been following the subsequent articles. It's rather unusual, but welcome all the same.

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  • ‘A brisk, bracing look at this continuing controversy, exhaustively researched .. a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in parapsychology and its critics.’
  • ‘‘Packed with accurate information while at the same time surprisingly engaging and fun to read.’
  • ‘‘This is one book that gives a completely objective review of skeptical debunking, and spells out in detail a clear pattern of chicanery which pervades a well-funded and organized campaign against all psi research.’

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  • ‘These disturbing phenomena seem to deny all our usual scientific ideas. How we should like to discredit them! Unfortunately the statistical evidence, at least for telepathy, is overwhelming. It is very difficult to rearrange one’s ideas so as to fit these new facts in.’ Alan Turing, computer scientist.

  • ‘I have noticed that if a small group of intelligent people, not supposed to be impressed by psychic research, get together and such matters are mentioned, and all feel that they are in safe and sane company, usually from a third to a half of them begin to relate exceptions. That is to say, each opens a little residual closet and takes out some incident which happened to them or to some member of their family, or to some friend whom they trust and which they think odd and extremely puzzling.’ Walter Prince, psychic researcher.

  • When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. Arthur C. Clarke

  • ‘Science seems to me to teach in the highest and strongest manner the great truth which is embodied in the Christian conception of entire surrender to the will of God. Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.’ Thomas Henry Huxley

  • We can always immunize a theory against refutation. There are many such immunizing tactics; and if nothing better occurs to us, we can always deny the objectivity – or even the existence – of the refuting observation. Those intellectuals who are more interested in being right than in learning something interesting but unexpected are by no means rare exceptions. Karl Popper, on the defenders of materialism.

  • If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run - and often in the short one - the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative. Arthur C. Clarke.

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