The Paranormal is Boring.

Why, one may ask, do I commit the unseemly crassness of saying the above?

It’s simple.

Every single time the paranormal has been thoroughly investigated, every time a mystery has been solved, it has been shown to by decidedly something else, something mundane, but not boring, for the truth is hardly boring …NOT mystical, NOT supernatural, and NOT paranormal.

And every mystery not solved is simply not solved, due to a lack of sufficient explanatory data, hints and clues, and only that…

…not anything in support of paranormal claims at all, merely the unexplained, not the epistemically unexplainable.

“Paranormal,” like its synonym “supernatural,” is merely a placeholder for ignorance, and by itself explains nothing. It is just a label for what we don’t know, what we don’t understand, not a profound description of what we do.

If I may be so bold, I would even go so far as to say that, stealing a page from Michael Shermer, there probably isn’t anything supernatural or paranormal, only what’s normal, natural, and whatever things we haven’t explained just yet.

You cannot rightly declare anything unexplainable unless and until you make an honest, persistent, and systematic attempt to look first, before writing it off as an insoluble conundrum and a genuine mystery.

Even then, there may be an explanation for it that you or someone else are not resourceful enough to find, or imaginative enough to conceive.

There are limits on human abilities in the realm of knowledge-gathering and understanding, but those abilities still work with some reliability when used well — We do not and cannot know everything, but that does not mean we know nothing at all.

But aren’t I being a little harsh in saying that the paranormal just doesn’t meet the standards of coolness that it could?

Not at all.

Paranormal research hasn’t been completely useless, and I think it should be carried out so we can discover more about the human mind and how it works, such as mechanisms of self-deception and how we form and support our beliefs as personal truths, however misguided we may be.

Paranormal research has led to many new discoveries, especially those detailed in Richard Wiseman’s recent book, “Paranormality”… I recently finished, and highly recommend it to the genuinely curious.

But none of those discoveries support claims of the paranormal as they are offered by proponents and adopted by believers.

I’d put the paranormal into three groupings; Phenomena, Critters and Arcana.

Phenomena are those alleged forces, events, and places like UFOs, hauntings, out-of-body and Near Death experiences, poltergeists, spontaneous human combustion, Atlantis, the Bermuda Triangle, ESP, claims of ancient astronauts, and crop circles.

Critters get a bit more personal and concrete, but no less questionable, ranging from alien encounters, Loch Ness monster sightings, Bigfoot sightings, the Chupacabra, the Jersey Devil, and Springheel Jack, among many others.

Arcana are those “arts,” performed by humans claiming special knowledge and abilities, or animals claimed* by humans to have these, such as divination techniques including dowsing, astrology, automatic writing, and channeling human spirits, dead Martians or 35,000 year old Atlanteans, for starters.

*I’m looking at you, Punxutaney Phil, you little furry precognitive bastard…

What do all of these things have in common?

Consistently, each time these claims have been examined, when they have, an alternate, a more plausible explanation has been forthcoming, brushing aside the cobwebs of mystery to reveal what’s really going on, or looking closer into the origin of the claim to show there’s nothing deep or ineffable to groove over.

More often than not, at least to me, the truth turned out to be more interesting than the original claim, and it was the claim, not what’s really happening, that seems uninteresting and dull.

This is especially so when reading good fiction, when, even if the phenomena in the story aren’t spectacular in their effects, they are often unambiguous, perhaps even self-evident in their genuineness, not the result of hoaxing, illusion, delusion, sensory misinterpretation, flawed reasoning, or any one or more of a number of other confounding factors.

Even when such phenomena in a well-written fictional setting aren’t flamboyant, much less ridiculous in their obviousness, they are extremely difficult, even impossible at times, for a conjurer or mentalist to replicate in a performance and successfully pass such trickery as the real thing.

In the realm of the paranormal, there are few genuinely original and new claims, just the same old thing regurgitated over and over, recycled from generation after generation, and maybe it’s that fact that makes claims of the paranormal, at least at face value, hardly interesting in the long term to those without a rigid fascination for them.

For my part, the findings of science are much more interesting, elegantly parsimonious, intellectually challenging, and better, more evidentially supported than the claims of proponents by far.

About Troythulu

I seek to learn through this site and others how to better my ability as a person and my skill at using my reason and understanding to best effect. I do fractal artwork as a hobby, and I'm working to develop it to professional levels, though I've a bit to go till I reach that degree of skill! This is a crazy world we're in, but maybe I can do a little, if only that, to make it a bit more sane than it otherwise would be.

Posted on Thursday, 19:29, February 2, 2012, in Pseudoscience and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. What you say is quite reasonable. However, kooks will just see it as you setting your belief system against theirs. Kooks will then stop trying to prove their claims and will attack yours. Kooks have this bizarre idea if they can discredit so-called mainstream science, then by default, their nutty ideas become the “real” science.
    Kooks see truth as some kind of culture war — a shouting match, really. They are not interested in scientific processes, they just want to win.
    Since kooks are not interested in establishing objective facts, I have concluded that the paranormal is just entertainment, nothing more.


  1. Pingback: Book Review: “50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True” | The Enchanted Naturalist

Commenting below. No spam or trolling, or my cats will be angry.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Beautiful Life with Cancer

Discovering the Gift


80's Revivalists UNITE!

Writing Popular Fiction

Sharmishtha Basu

paintings, poems and thoughts

Realm of Empress Musie

Sharmishtha Basu's poetries

"songbird sings to sun" ebook in amazon

Colours and words two muses dancing together


Realm of Musie (my muse)

Marianne Talbot Philosophy

Marianne is Director Of Studies in Philosophy at the University of Oxford's Department for Continuing Education

La Audacia de Aquiles

El Mundo Visible es Sólo un Pretexto

Optimal Human Modulation

Your Space To Defrag

Words on a blackboard

In a world of poems, words steal love and put it on a blackboard

Math Outlet

Math Resources For Elementary Teachers

Kurt Brindley

listening for the wind ------------------------------------- (´-`).oO(( hmmm... )) -------------------------------------

Author -Carole Parkes

Psychological, thriller, mystery, secrets, betrayal, adoption, romance, poetry, art

Some Bad Plankton

creative outlet plugged in


I don't want believe I want to know. - Carl Sagan

Physics and Art

The strange case of Dr. August and Mr. von Orth.

Charlotte Cuevas, Author

Current writing projects: 52 Flashes of Fiction & The 365 Poetry Project: Year 2 is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

Deidra Alexander's Blog

I have people to kill, lives to ruin, plagues to bring, and worlds to destroy. I am not the Angel of Death. I'm a fiction writer.



Riley Amos Westbook

A fantasy Author with too much free time on his hands.

Kelsey's Cluttered Bookshelf

My ramblings about books and other random things.

Radhika Mukherjee

Writer. Editor. Dreamer. Eco-Feminist.

The Nerd Nebula

The Nucleus of the Universe for all Nerd Hacks!

The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Sucheta the Scribbler

Random. Purely Random. And then some more...

Eric Ian Huffman

I've come to Write.

Woodland Rambles

A writer, a dog, and miles of trails

A.D. Martin

writing - novels - film - television - video games - other stuff

Sausey is Sexy...

Humor, Dating, Sex, and a Whole bunch of Sause...


A writing site



UP!::urban po'E.Tree(s)

by po'E.T. and the colors of pi

Mik Mob's Music Mass

share your favourite tunes with The Mob

Something Like a Storybook

This is where Morgan Bradham shares stuff.

Project i•Am•You

Awareness. Lifestyle. Motivation. Spirituality. Inspiration.


This site is all about ideas

Zebra Humor

The world's biggest collection of zebra jokes!


This site is the cat’s pajamas


All about (our) cats. Food, toys and other cat related products


living in the shoes of a woman

Ray Jay Perreault

Science Fiction writing about aliens with lives you can relate to.

Spirituality Exploration Today

Delving into the cross roads of rationality and intuition

The Wrong Triangle

Obscurum per obscurius | Ignotum per ignotius


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,120 other followers

%d bloggers like this: