Skeptic Answers Your Questions on Psychics

Q: Mr. Shermer, I have noticed your Skeptic Society around the Web with such unscientific theories as that an "out-of-body" experience that was obtained during weird psychosurgery disproves the existance of the soul (according to the article, you were the author of that whacked idea) and another by the Skeptics Society that claims there were no concentration camps in Germany. I am wondering why you purport such Nazi ideology and are so hell-bent on making unscientific assertions as to the nonexistance of the soul? A subject of LSD experimentation who "leaves his body" equally neither proves nor disproves the existence of the soul, of course. Also I wonder if you are brazen enough to agree that your group supports Nazi ideology. — Ross Rice

A: Actually, we debunked the Holocaust deniers. I even wrote a book on the subject, entitled Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It (University of California Press).

Q: If John Edward and his kind are legitimate then they should assemble a group of relatives of victims of unsolved murders. Then they could solve these murders. — Mike

A: Yeah, how come John Edward doesn't tell us where Jimmy Hoffa's body is buried? Or who killed Nicole Brown Simpson?

Q: Hi Michael, Way to go! Keep after these disgusting phonies wherever they raise their money-grubbing heads. To prey on people's losses the way this scum does is despicable and should be a punishable offense. Dirtballs like Edward encourage the kind of brainless gullibility that has police departments paying "psychics" to investigate crimes, or idiot hand-wavers to make hospitals even more expensive by charging for so-called "healing touch" that involves no touching! Edward, you belong in the mythical hell along with San Diego's own blathering fruitcake, Deepak Chopra, who wouldn't know a quantum if it bit him on his aura! LOL — Jeff Wells

Q: About 10 years ago I dreamt one of my clerical workers would die in a car accident en route to Mexico the coming weekend. I told her of my dream, she told her mother (who locked her in her room Sat. night). Her boyfriend opened her bedroom window, they went to a dance in Mexico and were killed in an accident that night. Just coincidence? 8 months ago I turned off the freeway and arrived at a green light but found myself afraid to go through it, so I sat there for 8 seconds. A hugh tractor trailer "moving van" I had not seen went through the red light and crossed the intersection where I should have been. The trailer saw his mistake and slammed on his brakes several yards after going through the red light emitting tire smoke everywhere. Coincidence? — Joseph Sanchez

A: Yup, coincidink. The law of large numbers explains this one, or as I like to say, million to one odds happen 280 times a day in America. With enough people and even things happening to those people, a handful of really weird things are going to happen every day, and this is what gets reported in the news ("film at 11"). We remember the hits and forget the misses.

Q: Are you an atheist? If so, where can other atheists talk to others who have the same beliefs? — Tim Young

A: Go to www.the-brights.com where you will find lots of us nonbelievers.

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