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Paranormal

Paranormal

Historically, paranormal phenomena in Western culture were either associated with the divine or the demonic. The Bible contains many references, including apparitions, clairvoyance, levitation, precognitive dreams and prophetic visions. In the eighteenth century, Pope Benedict XIV investigated alleged miraculous and paranormal phenomena. The rise of Spiritualism in the nineteenth century kindled a great interest in communication with the dead and in physical mediumship. The 1930s ushered in an era of controlled laboratory experiments, pioneered by J.B. Rhine and his wife Louisa E. Rhine. They investigated psychic ability, telepathy, clairvoyance and psychokinesis. The Rhines are credited with naming the study of paranormal phenomena: parapsychology, as well as the term "extrasensory perception" (ESP). In the 1960s and 1970s, research into remote viewing and astral travel was conducted in the USA. Today, experts disagree as to how much the field has progressed since the late nineteenth century. Many scientists remain sceptical about paranormal phenomena, although some researchers predict an emphasis on applied science, including parapsychology, as we progress through the twenty-first century.

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