Today we discussed the boarders of science and David Hufford’s article, “Visionary Spiritual Experiences in an Enchanted World.” Hufford argues that the materialist bias of modernity has discounted spirits from the realm of possibility even thought, in his view, a belief in their existence can be quite rational. I was interested to hear a wide range of perspectives in class on the “realness” of spirits – skepticism, agnosticism, and belief. Even within those categories there is probably a lot of diversity.
If you have 17 minutes to listen while you do other things, check out this story from This American Life a few years ago, by Jake Warga. The whole episode is worth listening to, but this story in particular is relevant. It provides a case study of a scientific(?) approach to the study of spirits. Even the ghost hunters say it’s up to you to decide if there is enough evidence here to say the haunting is real. Is this “fake science” or an untapped new territory of study? What do you think?