"There's an old saying; just because you're paranoid, that doesn't mean they're not out to get you. I have my own variation: just because you're insane that doesn't mean that things aren't slipping in unnoticed through dimensional gateways..." ~ Christopher Knowles (h/t to The Daily Grail for quote.)
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Skeptic Shermer on Paranormal Challenge
Anyway. one of these shows is Ghost Adventures, on the Travel channel. The host, Zak Bagans, has another show called Paranormal Challenge, where teams of ghost hunters investigate the same haunted locale while Zak and a few judges watch them on cameras. Last night's episode had, as judges, non-skeptics, but also one skepti-bunkie: the one and only Michael Shermer!
I hate to say this, but Shermer was surprisingly low key, non-combative, and barely scoffed at all. At one point he acknowledged he had no explanation for how a light turned itself on (no power in the place, lights were dead. Gone. Black. Out.) and he was open about how objective the ghost hunters were being. He did do some skeptic stuff though; before the teams went out into the dark dank halls of the now abandoned Linda Vista hospital in East L.A., Shermer gave some "background" of the place to each team. He told one team there was a child spirit about and gave them her name. The other team was told there was the ghost of a man named George who liked to hit people. The reasons for this, Shermer explained (and unbeknownst to the teams) was to check for "confirmation bias" and "expectation." Makes some sense. On the other hand, what's to say a spirit, as spirits are wont to do, wouldn't just have a field day with that and play it for all it could get? I think that would have worked much better if mediums were involved.