“L’arte del disinganno”, the XV course teaching skeptics to debunk tricks and lies of the occult world, to investigate past and present mysterious events, to take part in experiments with psychics, and to understand hoaxes will take place in Padova during 7 weekends from January to June 2017.
Students will be able to attend lessons held by a pool of 20 experts, with theoric lessons and practical work and activities.
In north Italy, Massimo Polidoro and Luigi Garlaschelli have conducted tests with two women, mother and daughter, that some newspapers had called “telepathic”.
Newspapers were reporting an extraordinary rate of success (an average of 25 correct cards guessed out of 25 attempts). It was therefore important to verify the validity of tests.
Tests performed by CICAP have shown that, by adjusting the conditions to eliminate any chance of sending visual or sound signals, the rate of correct guesses dropped to the expected average for random guesses.
The monthly magazine Focus has published an article with an account of the test carried out by CICAP on the two women in recent weeks.
‘Under the current rules, the Vatican declares something a ‘miracle’ if more than 50% of all experts (several dozens) vote in favour,’ the Dutch (Protestant-leaning) newspaper Trouw reports. ‘That bar will be raised to 66%.’ Apparently, the pope still doesn’t realise you can’t just suspend the laws of nature by majority vote.
Interestingly, the paper adds that ‘the number of miracles was already declining in recent decades – possibly because doctors can explain more and more’, implying that declaring something a ‘miracle’ may be nothing more than an argument from ignorance.