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Professorís Book Challenges Paranormal Claims

A behavioral studies professor at Oklahoma City University recently released a book about disputing popular paranormal claims and other pseudoscientific deceptions.

Bryan Farha’s book “Pseudoscience and Deception: The Smoke and Mirrors of Paranormal Claims” was published by University Press of America. The book is a compilation of some of the most unusual claims regarding the paranormal, extraordinary events and fringe-science claims ever produced, along with logical explanations for the phenomena. The topics include claims of astrology, psychic ability, alternative medicine, after-death communication, psychotherapy and pseudoscience.

Ann Druyan, co-writer of the “Cosmos” television series, co-creator of the movie “Contact” and wife of the late science legend Carl Sagan, called it a “how-to book for apprehending nature in its true grandeur.”

Farha said the compilation of articles comes from the most accomplished critical thinkers, scientists and educators in the world who tackle their respective topics from a rational, logical and skeptical perspective. Examples include Yale University academic neurologist Steven Novella, who contributed an article on how to argue and another on the lunar effect and confirmation bias. Emory University psychology professor Scott Lilienfeld outlined the dangers of pseudoscientific practices in clinical psychology. Farha’s own article explains how the famous self-proclaimed psychic Theresa Caputo (aka, the Long Island Medium) deceives the public during her show.

He hopes that the book will help students become interested in exploring the field of behavioral studies.

“Most students are seldom excited to study ‘critical thinking’—with the exception of allegedly paranormal phenomena as the subject matter,” Farha added. “The universe is the way it is—not the way we wish it to be.”

Farha is a scientific and technical consultant to the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He has offered his expertise to several national media outlets including CNN, TIME.com, The National Geographic Channel, Huffington Post and the Christian Science Monitor. He holds a doctor of education degree in counseling psychology from the University of Tulsa.

For more information or to order a copy, visit the publisher’s website at www.rowman.com.