16 April 2009, JellyBean @ 1:58 pm

This one is for the skeptics: Economist and professional debunker of the paranormal, Michael Shermer, displayed how easily the senses can be fooled at the StaR (Science, Technology and Research Symposium) Symposium.

This interesting article appeared on the WTRF website:

“Where did the guy in the monkey suit come from?

That was the question on many people’s minds at the 2009 Science, Technology and Research Symposium at the Charleston Marriott Town Center after they participated in a devious experiment by economist and professional debunker of the paranormal Michael Shermer.

The setup was simple enough: Shermer played a video of six young people passing basketballs, three of them in white shirts and three in black shirts. He asked the crowd to count how many times the three in white shirts passed the basketball to each other.

Afterward, Shermer had the crowd call out answers. Then he played the video again, telling everyone just to relax and not worry about counting passes this time. And to the amazement of many, about halfway through a person in a monkey suit walked from out-of-frame into the middle of the scene, paused, gave a friendly wave and then promptly walked off screen.

It was the same video. The crowd had been so focused on counting passes that many of them missed the scene playing out before their eyes.

Shermer’s trick illustrated how easily the senses could be fooled. And he said that is a large reason why belief in the paranormal, from alien abductions to spoon-bending psychics, is so common.”

Read the whole article on the WTRF website

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