Book Review: Parapsychology and the Skeptics: A Scientific Argument for the Existence of ESP Page: 61
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than made up for this omission. The reasons for attempting to provide
a research subject with an altered-state-inducing environment were
well described, as were the principle criticisms of the research and
Honorton's responses (pp. 53-67). Equally well described was the
controversy over how the National Research Council's (Druckman &
Swets, 1988) report was structured from the beginning to debunk the
findings of ESP research whether or not its expert commentators
agreed with that position. As the author noted, the report amply
illustrates how so-called "impartial" reports can fail to rise to any
reasonable level of objectivity (pp. 57-60).
Carter also handled Milton and Wiseman's (1999) flawed "replica-
tion" of Bem and Honorton's (1994) Ganzfeld ESP meta-analysis very
well. His arguments lead the reader to the conclusion that "[Ray]
Hyman and the other skeptics have lost the ganzfeld debate" (p. 66).
Carter hammered the point home: through his review of the
revisionist "spin" skeptic Susan J. Blackmore put on the chronology,
importance, and substance of her own research (pp. 69-73); through
his examination of the errors of design and analysis made by skeptic
Richard Wiseman in an attempt to debunk Rupert Sheldrake's (e.g.,
Sheldrake & Smart, 1998) work on animals who seem to anticipate
their owners' return (pp. 73-82); and through an able outline of the
pointlessness of becoming involved in magician James Randi's so-
called "challenge" (pp. 82-85).
From Chapter 12 through the end of the volume, Carter took his
arguments to another level. He examined the supposed disconnect
between the evidence offered by scientific parapsychology and modern
physics and showed quite clearly that the forms of skeptical positions
exemplified by Blackmore and Wiseman are based on a misunder-
standing of modern physics that borders on mythology as well as a
willingness to make statements that are patently false such as: "For
instance, Hyman has written that a 'serious challenge to parapsychol-
ogy's quest for scientific status is the lack of cumulativeness in its
database. Only parapsychology, among the fields of inquiry claiming
scientific status, lacks a cumulative database' [Hyman, 1996)]"
(Carter, 2007, p. 143).
To this erroneous assertion, Carter replied:
As mentioned earlier, in 1940 J. B. Rhine published his landmark
book Extrasensory Perception after Sixty Years that summarized all
quantitative experiments since the founding of the Society for
Psychical Research in 1882. How can we reconcile Hyman's claim
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Zingrone, Nancy L. Book Review: Parapsychology and the Skeptics: A Scientific Argument for the Existence of ESP, review, Autumn 2009; Durham, North Carolina. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461718/m1/5/: accessed July 29, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .