Searching for the impossible: Parapsychology's elusive quest.Am Psychol 2019AP
Recently, American Psychologist published a review of the evidence for parapsychology that supported the general claims of psi (the umbrella term often used for anomalous or paranormal phenomena). We present an opposing perspective and a broad-based critique of the entire parapsychology enterprise. Our position is straightforward. Claims made by parapsychologists cannot be true. The effects reported can have no ontological status; the data have no existential value. We examine a variety of reasons for this conclusion based on well-understood scientific principles. In the classic English adynaton, "pigs cannot fly." Hence, data that suggest that they can are necessarily flawed and result from weak methodology or improper data analyses or are Type I errors. So it must be with psi effects. What we find particularly intriguing is that, despite the existential impossibility of psi phenomena and the nearly 150 years of efforts during which there has been, literally, no progress, there are still scientists who continue to embrace the pursuit. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).