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Critically Speaking

Apr 7, 2021

In this episode, we welcome back Dr. James Alcock to the show, this time, he is here to discuss the paranormal and parapsychology. Throughout their discussion, Therese Markow and Dr. Alcock explain what is meant by paranormal, different types of supernatural phenomena and paranormal abilities, and the types of experiments that attempt to prove these abilities exist. There is a long history of paranormal beliefs that has evolved throughout the years, culminating in what we now call parapsychology. 

 Key Takeaways:

  • Despite the lack of scientific evidence that paranormal phenomena are real, it is difficult to convince those who want to believe because it is impossible to prove a negative.  For example, How can you prove that Santa Claus doesn’t exist?
  • No universities in the USA or Canada  have a department in parapsychology.  In some schools courses in parapsychology are offered.. 
  • Statistics cannot give causation, they can only say when there is a significant departure from what you would expect by chance.  In the case of parapsychology experiments, statistical evidence falls short. 



"There's no other area of science where the phenomena are based on negative definitions." —  Dr. James Alcock


Connect with Dr. James Alcock:

Wikipedia Page: James Alcock  

Book: Belief: What it Means to Believe and Why Our Convictions are so Compelling 

Magazine: Skeptical Inquirer

Link to relevant article:;!!Mih3wA!RHu5rIp1RgLXolzIlcKGsg5PlFaPu1afl6y6NJJWumPGtrUUz1HnNCeN6a9S9Jo$


Connect with Therese:


Twitter: @CritiSpeak




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