Saturday, January 29, 2011
The Rhine Research Center
Rhine was founded in the 1930's and began with all the type of studies a fan of Ghostbusters might imagine such as ESP card tests. According to The Rhine Research Center's website, however, they have moved beyond such studies. Their website says:
"ESP cards and dice games have long since been replaced by modern techniques that allow more subtle measurements of psi, such as by looking at the physiological changes or bioenergy characteristics of psychics and healers, or by measuring the telepathic awareness of emotional targets in a simulated dream-like situation. Efforts are made to detect clues that come directly from the psi experiencers themselves, whether they are healers, intuitives, or simply ordinary people who have these extraordinary experiences."
The Rhine Institute is interesting to me because they study the paranormal using the scientific method and publish their findings in peer reviewed journals. One of my fellow bloggers, Courtney Mroch of Haunt Jaunts, had an interesting post a while back questioning whether any ghost hunter could really call themselves a professional or say they had any credentials. Her argument was that the world of the paranormal seems to be run by people without professional degrees or credentials and that there is no way to verify who is truly a professional or not without such things. I agreed with her, but I think places like the Rhine Institute offer a challenge to that notion. If the paranormal can be studied and proved in a scientific manner by people with doctorates and credentials from a university like Duke in parapsychology, perhaps there can be professional and credentialed ghost hunters. They just may not necessarily be the ones on TV.