The paranormal web

 作者:田遇     |      日期:2019-03-08 03:11:00
The determined band of adherents to all things paranormal who, as Douglas Adams puts it, enjoy showing off their “believing credentials”, could win money, glory or even an entry in a dictionary—by way of the Internet. But sceptics, it seems, are willing to put their money where their webservers are. For instance, Australian Skeptics has an unbeatable offer for those claiming psychic or paranormal powers who need some cash. Go to www.skeptics.com.au/features/chalenge.htm (yes—that’s challenge with one `l’) and find out how $A80 000 could be yours by proving ESP, telepathy or telekinesis. The group has been offering a cash prize since 1980—recently publicising the offer on the Web—for evidence of psychic ability. It hasn’t been won yet. And there’s more on offer from the Skeptics. Sandra Cabot’s The Liver Cleansing Diet is up for the 1999 Bent Spoon award at www.skeptics.com.au/features/spoon/bs-home.htm. The Bent Spoon goes to “the perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudoscientific piffle”. Last year it was awarded to Southern Cross University in northern New South Wales which employs an academic who supports “empowered water”, and for its degree course in naturopathy. The Liver Cleansing Diet is the first nomination for 1999. It has been put forward largely because it has caused an outbreak of zealotry among supporters and an increase in the boredom level at dinner parties, according to the nominator Jeff Keys. The Skeptic’s Dictionary: A Guide for the New Millennium (skepdic.com) is truly indispensable for anyone cornered at a party by someone who has a history of kidnap by aliens—or who claims to be Fox Mulder’s sister from The X-Files. It has nearly 340 sceptical definitions and essays on paranormal, supernatural and pseudoscientific ideas and practices, as well as references to the best sceptical literature,