Book Review: Parapsychology and the Skeptics: A Scientific Argument for the Existence of ESP Page: 62
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JOURNAL OF NEAR-DEATH STUDIES
that parapsychology 'lacks a cumulative database' with the existence
of this book, considered a classic of experimental parapsychology?
And if a cumulative database for psi experiments does not exist, then
how could Radin and Nelson have performed their meta-analysis of
[random number generator] PK experiments conducted between 1959
and 1987? How could Radin and Ferrari have conducted their meta-
analysis of PK dice experiments using results of experiments dating
back to the 1930s? Meta-analysis is by definition the analysis of
cumulated experiments [Radin & Ferrari, 1991; Radin & Nelson,
1989]. (Carter, 2007, p. 143)
One brief correction is warranted here: Extrasensory Perception after
Sixty Years (ESP-60) was a collaborative effort which, although guided
by Rhine's plan, was written largely by Gaither Pratt, with
contributions of other team members woven into the resulting text.
ESP-60 was published with Pratt as the first author, then Rhine, then
Parapsychology Laboratory members Burke M. Smith, Charles E.
Stuart, and Joseph Greenwood and therefore should not be attributed
to Rhine alone (Zingrone, 2006).
Even considering the few criticisms I have raised, Carter's
Parapsychology and the Skeptics is a masterful work. His emphasis
on the successes of parapsychology and the failures of some skeptics
worked beautifully into the last section of his book. There he argued
convincingly that if modern physics is borne in mind, psi phenomena
are not anomalous but are, in fact, entailed. He further argued that
the continued controversy, rather than being the result of a failure of
psychical research and parapsychology to gather and present credible
evidence, is actually more the result of what Honorton called (and
Carter quoted) the "polemical campaigns that distort and misrepre-
sent serious research efforts" (p. 181).
The volume will appeal not only to beleaguered psychical research-
ers and parapsychologists but also to anyone who works in a field that
is tinged by scientific taboo, such as the field of near-death studies.
Sociologists and historians of science will also find it useful as a way
into the enduring controversy it covers. Carter is to be wholeheartedly
commended for this well-argued addition to the literature.
Dear, P. (2001). Revolutionizing the sciences: European knowledge and its ambitions,
1500-1700. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Dobbs, B. J. (2002). The Janus face of genius: The role of alchemy in Newton's thought.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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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/m1/6/: accessed July 29, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .