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Record Type: Review   ID: 633

The Hundredth Monkey and Other Paradigms of the Paranormal: A Skeptical Inquirer Collectio

Frazier, Kendrick. (Ed.)

 This is another anthology consisting of articles originally published in the Skeptical Inquirer. It is a valuable book for persons who have had EHEs or are interested in studying them because these essays present the counterhypotheses that have been set forth to refute the validity of EHEs, especially UFO and other alien encounters, parapsychological phenomena, firewalking, fringe medicine, astrology, and memories of exceptional experience uncovered by hypnotic regression. The section titles, followed by the number of articles in each, are Understanding the Human Need (5), Encouraging Critical Thinking (2), Evaluating the Anomalous Experience (7), Considering Parapsychology (6), Examining Popular Claims (8), Medical Controversies (4), Astrology (3), Crashed-Saucer Claims (4), and Controversies Within Science (4). I found especially interesting Paul Kurtz’s ongoing struggle with the "transcendental temptation" (pp. 13-16), or the will to believe in the paranormal. He has a persistent belief that there is something wrong about it. I have a persistent belief that there is something right about it. Then there is Martin Gardner’s account of his struggles with "Relativism in Science," especially with Harvard astronomer Bruce Gregory’s Inventing Reality. The piece I would most like to reprint in this Journal is English professor/folklorist Bill Ellis’s "The Varieties of Alien Experience." He examines the transformative aspects of exceptional human experience and applies folklore principles to EHEs. He appears, in this essay, to be a "constructive skeptic." There is, as the title indicates, a piece entitled "The Hundredth Monkey Phenomena" by Ron Amundson, who refutes Lyall Watson’s observations using the very sources Watson used.
Publisher Information:Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1991. 400p. Chap. bibl; 15 figs; 3 graphs; 9 illus; Name Index: 391-400; Recommended Reading: 381-382; 5 tables
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