Download An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult by James Randi PDF

By James Randi

During this striking encyclopedia, James Randi casts his cynical eye at the doubtful genes of the occult and the supernatural. With 666 entries and thousands of illustrations all through, this e-book examines the shady global of manipulators, occultists, and shamanists in microscopic element. themes comprise Jeane Dixon's lengthy string of failed predictions, the frilly hoax surrounding the secret of the Abominable Snowman, and lots more and plenty extra.

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Extra resources for An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

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Some even go so far as to claim that the universe is a gigantic computer. The sociology underlying this line of thinking is interesting. There is a popular conception that science drives technology rather than the other way about, but a study of history suggests a more subtle interplay. There has always been a temptation to use the pinnacle of contemporary technology as a metaphor for nature. In ancient Greece, the ruler and compass, and musical instruments, were the latest technological marvels.

Strange it may be, but logically there is no reason why the universe could not be like this. However, the physics of a two-dimensional world would be odd. For example, waves wouldn’t propagate cleanly as they do in three dimensions, raising all sorts of problems about signaling and information transfer. Whether these differences would preclude life and observers – which depend on accurate information processing – is unclear. Other problems afflict worlds with more than three dimensions; for example, stable orbits would be impossible, John Archibald Wheeler and the clash of ideas 15 precluding planetary systems.

Perhaps the most extreme version of a multiverse has been suggested by Max Tegmark, a theoretical physicist at the University of Pennsylvania. Tegmark proposes that all mathematically self-consistent world descriptions enjoy real existence. There is thus a sliding scale of cosmic extravagance, ranging from multiplying worlds with the mathematical laws fixed, to multiplying laws within an overall mathematical scheme, to multiplying the mathematical possibilities too. Some people conclude that invoking an infinity of unseen worlds merely to explain some oddities about the one we do see is the antithesis of Occam’s razor.

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