Ghost hunters teach kids mistaken ideas about “science of the paranormal”

My pet peeve – ghost hunters playing pretend scientist.

Ghost hunters to present program for kids at Clymer Library, Pocono Pines | PoconoRecord.com.

Watching ghost hunting television shows might help eak the interest of paranormal experiences for some kids. But what you see on TV isn’t always how it really is behind the scenes. A local paranormal investigation group wants to help explain what it’s all about to kids ages 8 to 18 at the Clymer Library on Saturday morning.

Core Phenomenon Research, a Pocono based paranormal investigation team is hosting a “Tween Ghost Hunting” seminar to help give some background information on the science of the paranormal.

They say they are going to talk about EVP – electronic voice phenomena, explain base readings, tools they use and alternative normal explanations. The point is to show that ghosts are not scary. I have no problem with that. No, ghosts are NOT scary, but the idea of “science” and “realism” that you are dishing off on these kids is. There is zero scientific basis for what you are promoting.

This is a topic that makes me furious. Having studied paranormal investigation groups, their use of “science” is strictly for show and displays ignorance of the scientific ethos. What they do only appears to be scientific but it lacks critical qualities of science such as objectivity, elimination of bias, use of controls, consideration of plausibility, peer review, proper application of skepticism, and more…

This is NOT science, it is sham inquiry. When the goal is to collect evidence of the paranormal instead of finding what if anything is going on in the first place, you have completely started off on the wrong path. They have the goal (find paranormal activity, prove ghosts exists) along with an unwarranted assumption (ghosts exists) in place. There is no value in such an investigation except to fool yourself and bolster your own beliefs. Definitively NOT science or true to the ideals of investigation.

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  6 comments for “Ghost hunters teach kids mistaken ideas about “science of the paranormal”

  1. August 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    It’s especially frustrating that it’s being directed to kids and teens. These are young people who likely have a thirst for knowledge and investigation but this is setting up a shaky base for that. I’m in favor of reaching out to educate kids, but if it’s pseudoscience, that might end up doing more harm than good.

  2. Harold Renshaw
    August 10, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    I wonder if they’ll show the guys how to use those glasses that see through clothing. When I was a teen, I could never get them to work.

  3. August 10, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    I have to ask – and I know it’s in the source article – but “eak the interest”? Weird typo – were they going for “peak” maybe? That would also be incorrect (it would be “pique”). Anyway. Yeah, no – there’s no science there and no reason to give the impression there is. And that’s a good reason why these shows should not be on so-called science or educational networks, too.

  4. Chris Howard
    August 10, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Television is ALWAYS entertainment, and at best info or edutainment. It should never be confused with real educational content, and course work.

    The same is true of ghost hunters/investigators. ALWAYS for entertainment purposes, just like horoscopes. ;-)

  5. Pete Attkins
    August 10, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    My pet peeve is CAM quacks appealing to quantum physics in order to indoctrinate (directly or indirectly) the current generation of young minds for the sole purpose of securing the future of quackery as a lucrative business.

    Proponents of the paranormal have to influence young minds for the same purpose. As I’ve mentioned before, predators have to rely on prey otherwise they will become extinct.

  6. Andrew Walsh
    August 10, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    What, then, is you opinion of this?:http://www.portarthur.org.au/index.aspx?base=14946
    (I think I can guess). FYI Port Arthur Historic Site is World Heritage and, unfortunately, world famous because of a shooting massacre back in the 90s. Also 1.5 hrs from where I live. The ghost tours are fine and quite cool, a mixture of spooky stories and history, and they NEVER mention any ghost sightings to do with the massacre (too soon I guess), but THIS? I’m disappointed that the skeptic community in Tasmania seems so ambivalent about it.

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