So in these various Spooked! posts, I’ve been puzzling over how an atheistic science freak, such as myself, could have such a soft spot for the paranormal.
Apparently, I am actually a “Possibilianist,” and I am not alone. Possibilianism, as described by frontman David Eagleman [a neuroscientist and author] quoted in the book Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable-And Couldn’t, by Steve Volk:
“Our ignorance of the cosmos is too vast to commit to atheism, and yet we know too much to commit to a particular religion. A third position, agnosticism, is often an uninteresting stance in which a person simply questions whether his traditional religious story (say, a man with a beard on a cloud) is true or not true. But with Possibilianism I’m hoping to define a new position—one that emphasizes the exploration of new, unconsidered possibilities. Possibilianism is comfortable holding multiple ideas in mind; it is not interested in committing to any particular story.”
The book begs for science to untangle the word “paranormal” from the word “supernatural” with all its religious connotations, and dive into research with a scientific mind and healthy skepticism, all the while being able to accept the answer “we don’t know” to most of the paranormal questions.
Fascinating so far, but I’m only 50 pages in.
The first chapter is about Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, author of the seminal On Death and Dying, who suppressed a final chapter about the many near-death experiences reported by the terminal patients with whom she spoke–and I have to get back to it. If you’d like, you can start reading it for free on Amazon.
More later. Peace.