Skeptic Answers Your Questions on Psychics

A: I can honestly answer Yes. We have become so accustomed to biased reporting in the media these days that it is difficult to recognize truly "fair and balanced" reporting when it is actually done correctly. The ABC News department is first-rate in this regard. Larry King, by contrast, is in the entertainment department, not the news department, of CNN, and the difference in the quality of the reportage shows.

Q: I'd like to know how Shermer can discredit someone without knowing anything about how the paranormal works. I find it to be such a shame that someone who doesn't understand the paranormal is the first to criticize it. Shermer has no clue as to how something works or why it works, so I guess the best thing to do is discredit it and call it baloney. I listen to the skeptics, but most of the time I just roll my eyes at their close-mindedness. — Dusty Vestal

A: Please go to www.skeptic.com and read the numerous articles I have written on the subject, the readings I have received and given, the research I have been conducting on the subject over the past decade, etc.

Q: People like [John Edward] should be taken with a "grain of salt." But a part of me does hope that my Dad is watching over me. — Debby

A: A whole shaker of salt is more like it, but I concur with your sentiment. I often wish the same thing about my dad and mom.

Q: I think you stink. John Edward is my hero, idol and I believe him all the way. He doesn't care who believes him. — Judy Case

A: He doesn't need to when acolytes such as yourself will believe him regardless of how clearly we can demonstrate that it is all a fake. That is the power of belief, and, as Ritter noted in the show, with a base of 60 million believers he doesn't need to care about skeptics.

Q: A couple of years ago I watched a show on Discovery about a scientific experiment done with a group of the major psychics to test whether they really had psychic powers. John Edward was part of that experiment which did show definite positive findings. Have your skeptic watch that and redo the show about that particular aspect of Mr. Edward's ability. Would make for an interesting show if you can find that research video. I think he deserves the other side shown since you presented this negative side only. — Darlene

A: I am very familiar with that test. The problem with it is that it was unclear what constitutes a "hit" or "miss" with Edward's statements. There was far too much wiggle room in allowing what looked to me to be misses to count as hits. That is why I devised the simple male/female binary test. No ambiguity there!

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