Psychic = FAIL. Again

Psychic = FAIL. Again

Psychic = FAIL. Again

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Sept. 2 2009 8:00 AM

Psychic = FAIL. Again


I don't like to think that all psychics are blood-sucking ghouls feeding on the misery of others. Some of them certainly are, while others probably honestly think they have powers, but are self-deluded.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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You be the judge.

Jaycee Dugard was a little girl when she was abducted. For nearly two decades she was kept prisoner and abused in horrible ways. However, unlike so many stories like these, she recently turned up alive. Of course, psychics tried to "help", giving clues as to where she might have been. Dugard's parents even paid psychic Dayle Schear for her advice, which, shockingly, did not help find Jaycee.

That hasn't stopped Schear from claiming success. In an all-too-rare critical article, skeptic Ben Radford takes this so-called "psychic" to task, pointing out all the stuff we skeptics know, but the general public never seems to maintain a hold on: psychics give vague descriptions that are so generic they can always be retroactively fitted once the real facts are known, and utter bland positive messages that again are one-size-fits-all.

Radford does a good job pointing this out, and how psychics never seem to actually help. As he writes:

If Shear's psychic powers told her that this poor girl was being kept in the most horrific conditions - being subjected to continual sexual and physical abuse for nearly two decades - then it's puzzling that Jaycee was not found 18 years ago.

Ya think?

Tip o' the tin foil beanie to Kitty.