Randi and parapsychology journals

From: Damien Broderick (thespike@satx.rr.com)
Date: Tue Jan 03 2006 - 20:15:54 MST

At 12:47 PM 1/3/2006 -0600, I challenged John Clark:

< Please provide a list of the parapsychologists at the Rhine Institute,
University of Edinburgh, University of Northampton, University of Amsterdam
and other established centers of academic parapsychology who cite Robert
Anton Wilson as an authority. Even three names would be useful to test the
credibility of your claim. Which of the peer reviewed journals in
parapsychology have Wilson as one of their referees? >

No reply, so I approached several parapsychologists. One replied:

< I confess I have never heard of Robert Anton Wilson. I have been studying
the literature in parapsychologoy for over 25 years. And I haven't limited
myself to reading only the academic scholarly work ...

So based on my own experience... I would not say that Wilson can be
considered a representative of scientific parapsychology, or even a popular
spokesperson for the field. I certainly would not accept the description
of him as one of the authorities to support their claims and as peers for
their "peer reviewed journals". >

Another, who knows Wilson, said:

< to my knowledge, he has no standing -- whatsoever --in the field of
professional parapsychology. I rather doubt that his critique of CSICOP was
even reviewed in any of the professional journals. And, I do not recall
ever seeing him at any gathering of parapsychologists.

This confusion, amongst the general public, between popular figures who
write about psi and those who approach the field professionally is
extremely common. I'm sure other fields of science also have this problem
-- but I suspect it is more true of parapsychology than, probably, any
other field. >

Exactly. It's as rather if one were to despise and denounce quantum
theorists and experimenters on the grounds that Deepak Chopra, Fritjof
Capra's and Danah Zohar gabble about QT in their new age drivel.

Damien Broderick

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