The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge was a cash prize offered from 1964 to 2015 by stage magician James ‘The Amazing’ Randi for anyone who could convince him they had psychic powers. No one ever came close to winning, proof, say sceptical scientists, that there is no such thing as ‘the paranormal’. But are they right?
In this illuminating and often provocative analysis, Robert McLuhan examines the influence of Randi and other debunking sceptics in shaping scientific opinion about such things as telepathy, psychics, ghosts and near-death experiences.
He points out that scientific researchers who investigate these things at first hand overwhelmingly consider them to be genuinely anomalous. But this has shocking implications, for science, for society and for even perhaps for ourselves as individuals. Hence the sceptics’ insistence that they should rather be attributed to fraud, imagination and wishful thinking. However, this extraordinary and little understood aspect of consciousness has much to tell us about the human situation, McLuhan suggests.
And at a time when militants are polarising the debate about religion, its mystical, spiritual element offers an optimistic and enlightened way forward. Randi’s Prize is aimed at anyone interested in spirituality or those curious to know the truth about paranormal claims. It’s an intelligent and readable analysis of scientific research into the paranormal which, uniquely, also closely examines the arguments of well-known sceptics.
About the author
Robert McLuhan is a freelance journalist and former foreign correspondent for the Guardian. He has been a member of the Society for Psychical Research since 1993 and blogs about paranormal topics.
Since 2014, he has edited the Psi Encyclopedia (http://www.psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac), a free online resource that contains over 300 in-depth articles on a century and a half of scientific research into ESP dreams, mediumship and related psychic experiences.
Publisher: White Crow Books
Published February 2019
Size: 229 x 152 mm