Monday, August 14, 2006

Who ya Gonna' Call?

There's a show on SciFi called Ghost Hunters. I find the name misleading. The word 'hunter' seems to indicate that upon finding the ghosts they try to capture or kill them. How one kills a ghost I have no idea. I bet it would look killer above the mantle, though.

Most importantly, Ghost Busters wouldn't do because, aside form copyright concerns, they do nothing of the sort. They don't bust. They don't do much of anything! They wander around haunted houses with high-ish tech equipment until they find some spooky shit. Upon the discovery of said spooky shit, they call it a day.

They expend a few brain cells theorizing about what the spookiness could be, but they never make any testable claims. They never find the spooky shit, then dig down until what caused it is definitively determined. They find spookiness, and if no blatant explanations are forthcoming, they declare a haunting.

It is the worst kind of pseudoscience. They play around with equipment their audience understands just enough to know it's really cool. Most egregiously, they wrap themselves up the flag of skepticism, saying they go into every house determined to prove the haunting false. They then proceed to toss out the window any semblance of actual, skeptical thought.

One of the best magazines out there and easily worth the monthly cost (screw Time), is Skeptic Magazine. It's headed up by Michael Shermer, who, in the world of science and scientific thought, is god-like. Their online magazine, eSkeptic, recently did a debunking of Ghost Hunters. They give it a jolly good thrashing. I recommend you read it.

TAPS vs. SAPS (Via

No comments: