Do Scientists Fear the Paranormal?
Do Scientists Fear the Paranormal?
January 14, 2013
Benjamin Radford

The question has been asked for decades: Why haven’t psychic powers been proven yet? Psychics have been studied for decades, both in and out of the laboratory, yet the scientific community (and the public at large) remains unconvinced.

In a recent book, Science & Psychic Phenomena: The Fall of the House of Skeptics, author Chris Carter insists that the reason that psychic powers have not been proven is because scientists are unaware of the research or refuse to take it seriously because “Clearly many scientists find the claims of parapsychology disturbing.”

This is a common charge leveled against skeptics and scientists: that they refuse to acknowledge the existence of paranormal phenomenon (psychic abilities, ghosts, etc.) because it would somehow challenge or “disturb” their worldview.

Skeptics and scientists, they say, are deeply personally and professional invested in defending the scientific status quo and cannot psychologically tolerate the idea that they could be wrong. This results in a closed-minded refusal to accept, or even seriously examine, the evidence.

But is this really true? Do scientists ignore and dismiss claims and evidence that challenge dominant scientific ideas? Let’s examine some recent examples...

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