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Debunked!

ESP, Telekinesis, and Other Pseudoscience

Georges Charpak and Henri Broch
translated by Bart K. Holland

Publication Date
Binding Type

Can you walk over red-hot charcoal without burning your feet? Appear to stop the beating of your heart? Bend spoons using the power of your mind? In Debunked! Nobel Prize winner Georges Charpak and physics professor Henri Broch team up to show you the tricks of the trade and sleight of hand that keep astrologers, TV psychics, and spoon benders in business.

Using only the simplest of science, the authors explore the effectiveness of horoscopes—the blander the better—and why, with a television audience in the millions, any strange, unlikely prediction is almost certain to come true. If such...

Can you walk over red-hot charcoal without burning your feet? Appear to stop the beating of your heart? Bend spoons using the power of your mind? In Debunked! Nobel Prize winner Georges Charpak and physics professor Henri Broch team up to show you the tricks of the trade and sleight of hand that keep astrologers, TV psychics, and spoon benders in business.

Using only the simplest of science, the authors explore the effectiveness of horoscopes—the blander the better—and why, with a television audience in the millions, any strange, unlikely prediction is almost certain to come true. If such insider information does not impress your colleagues, why not pierce your tongue with a skewer or demonstrate your eerie powers by using telepathy and the telephone to get a distant friend to intuit the number and suit of a card picked at random. Charpak and Broch show you how.

Not merely an expose of magic tricks, this book demonstrates how pseudoscientists use science, statistics, and psychology to bamboozle an audience—sometimes for fun, sometimes for profit. During the most scientifically advanced period in human history, belief in the paranormal and the supernatural is alarmingly common. Entertaining and enlightening, Debunked! is the antidote, vigorously asserting the virtues of doubt, skepticism, curiosity, and scientific knowledge. This lucid translation makes the arguments clear, understandable, and a pleasure to read.

Reviews

Reviews

Debunked! is short and highly readable. It tells good stories about human foolishness masquerading as science. It offers useful assistance to citizens trying to tell the difference between sense and nonsense... Charpak and Broch have done a fine job, sweeping out the money-changers from the temple of science and exposing their tricks. I recommend this book to believers and skeptics alike. It is good entertainment, whether or not you believe in astrology.

Delightful... [Charpak and Broch] show how the application of probability theory to such events is enlightening.

We have here a new book by two eminent scientists—three if you count the translator—that emphatically debunkes ESP, telekinesis, telepathy, dowsing and numerous other similar magic stunts.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
8.375
Pages
168
ISBN
9780801878671
Illustration Description
15 halftones, 20 line drawings
Table of Contents

Translator's Preface
Prologue: Sorcerers and Scientists
Chapter 1. The First Steps in the Initiation
Chapter 2. Amazing Coincidences
Chapter 3. Let's Play Detective
Chapter 4. The Right to Dreams and

Translator's Preface
Prologue: Sorcerers and Scientists
Chapter 1. The First Steps in the Initiation
Chapter 2. Amazing Coincidences
Chapter 3. Let's Play Detective
Chapter 4. The Right to Dreams and Clarity
Chapter 5. A New Millennium Dawns
Appendix: How to Calculate Probabilities

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Georges Charpak

Georges Charpak is a physicist at the European Center for Particle Physics (CERN) in Geneva and winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize in physics.
Featured Contributor

Henri Broch

Henri Broch teaches physics and zetetics, the scientific investigation of paranormal phenomena, at the University of Nice–Sophia Antipolis.