Deepak Chopra, of all people, sent me a link to an account by a professional skeptic of an Anomalous Event That Can Shook His Skepticism to the Core, published in Scientific American. It’s embarrassingly bad, a story that would have scarcely passed muster at the old Fate magazine.
He was tinkering with an old gadget he and his wife had inherited from her deceased grandfather — a transistor radio. He put new batteries in, pounded on it a bit, and couldn’t get it working, so he put it away in a drawer.
The Totally Unexplainable, Really Weird Miracle that Skepticism Can’t Explain: months later, it spontaneously started working.
Yeah, that’s it.
Underwhelmed, are we?
Not this author and professional skeptic.
Jennifer is as skeptical as I am when it comes to paranormal and supernatural phenomena. Yet the eerie conjunction of these deeply evocative events gave her the distinct feeling that her grandfather was there and that the music was his gift of approval. I have to admit, it rocked me back on my heels and shook my skepticism to its core as well. I savored the experience more than the explanation.
The emotional interpretations of such anomalous events grant them significance regardless of their causal account. And if we are to take seriously the scientific credo to keep an open mind and remain agnostic when the evidence is indecisive or the riddle unsolved, we should not shut the doors of perception when they may be opened to us to marvel in the mysterious.
What, exactly, are we supposed to keep an open mind about here? That Jennifer’s dead grandpa wafted over from Germany with a ghostly soldering iron, and patched up an old radio…and then, since it stopped working the next day, decided “enough music for you!” and broke it again?
The only thing I marvel at is that Scientific American employs this guy.