Paranormal and Pseudoscience Research


Paranormal and Pseudoscience Research

Write a research that explains a paranormal claim using critical thinking and skepticism. IMPORTANT: MUST focus on the ordinary, down-to-earth, scientific explanation for the claim, NOT the extraordinary, supernatural, paranormal explanation.

This is an explanatory. Regardless of your personal opinion, you should be able to write that accurately represents the ordinary, down-to-earth, scientific explanation for the extraordinary, supernatural, paranormal claim.

  1. Present the specific paranormal claim and the best evidence offered by the supporters of the claim.
  2. Present the ordinary, down-to-earth, scientific explanation of the paranormal claim and the best evidence offered by skeptics of the claim.
  3. Discuss how belief in paranormal claims might adversely affect both the individual and the society at large. How might thinking skeptically and demanding extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims favorably affect both the individual and the society at large? Why is it important for a person to develop solid critical thinking skills and employ skepticism when evaluating any claim, whether made by a paranormal enthusiast, website or blogger, As-Seen-On-TV advertising campaign, politician, or spiritual leader?

Focus on the ordinary, down-to-earth, scientific explanation of one of the following paranormal or pseudoscientific claims:

  • UFOs are spacecraft piloted by extraterrestrial aliens.
  • Extraterrestrial aliens routinely abduct human beings, often at night from their bedrooms, in order to perform invasive medical procedures designed to create alien/human hybrid beings.
  • “Ancient alien” extraterrestrials built the Egyptian and other pyramids (or any other claim about “ancient aliens”).
  • “Ghost hunters” are able to detect and communicate with the disembodied spirits of the dead using a variety of tools and methods, including EMF detectors, EVP records, photography and video, dowsing rods, and psychics.
  • Humanity is frequently provided with “signs from heaven” in the form of images of Jesus, Mary, or other sacred icons that appear in unexpected places, such as tree bark, water stains on a windowpane, or a grilled cheese sandwich.
  • The Ouija board can be used as tool to communicate with the dead.
  • Near death experiences (NDE) prove there is an afterlife and humans have a “soul” that survives death.
  • Faith healers can cure disease.
  • Exorcism rids people of demonic possession.
  • Satanic cults sacrifice children and babies in worship to the devil (a form of Satanic Ritual Abuse).
  • Big Foot, the Loch Ness monster, and/or the Chupacabra exist as flesh and blood creatures as yet discovered by science.
  • Nostradamus predicted major world events in the quatrains he wrote in the 16th century, including the 9/11 attacks.
  • The Bush administration knew in advance about the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 and allowed them to happen or even planned and executed the attacks.
  • Alternative medicine is just as safe and effective at healing diseases as conventional medicine.
  • Vaccines cause autism.
  • Life on earth did not evolve, but was created by an intelligent designer.

use specific, current examples, such as:

  • The 2009 movie The Fourth Kind uses fakeumentary techniques to try to convince the audience a large number of people have been abducted from Nome, Alaska, by extraterrestrial aliens.
  • The Animal Planet’s Mermaids: The Body Found uses fakeumentary techniques to try to convince the audience mermaids really exist and “the government” of the US is conspiring to keep their existence secret.
  • The Discovery Channel’s Megalodon: The Monster Shark uses fakeumentary techniques to try to convince the audience a giant shark called megalodon did not go extinct over two million years ago, but still terrorizes the oceans, capsizing boats and attacking people.
  • The History Channel series Ancient Aliens claims extraterrestrials have been visiting the Earth and influencing human culture and evolution for millennia, for example, by building pyramids and “jumpstarting” human evolution.


  1. Your  include a thesis statement. Underline your thesis statement.
  2. Your incorporate at least four reliable and appropriate sources. Your sources must include one of your textbooks and at least one source from the course website. (All of your sources may come from the course website and textbooks.) You are encouraged to find sources through the college library, including the library’s website. You may use sources found on the Internet, so long as those sources are reliable and appropriate. You must cite your sources using MLA style, including in-text citations and works cited page.
  3. Your explain how Occam’s Razor assists the ordinary, down-to-earth, scientific explanation for the claim.
  4. You  explain how at least one logical fallacy applies to the paranormal or pseudoscientific explanation for the claim. (For examples, see your text or
  5. Your integrate quotations using signal phrases.
  6. Your offer an adequate number of logical reasons and appropriate examples (minimum three of each) in support of your thesis (explanation).
  7. Length: 4-6 pages (1000-1500 words), plus works cited page.
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