Debunking PseudoSkeptical Arguments of Paranormal Debunkers


By Winston Wu


 Revised 2011



Praises and Reviews


“Winston Wu has now written an essay that brilliantly and decisively rebuts the general skeptical arguments against the paranormal. This is among the best essays ever written on this subject, and deserves extensive study. The essay carefully moves through the entire skeptical lexicon of arguments, rebutting each in turn."
- Whitley Strieber, Author and Radio Host of


“Your treatise "debunking pseudoskeptical arguments of paranormal debunkers" is the best refutation of pseudoskeptics' arguments, tactics and fallacies to reject the evidence for paranormal phenomena. I've recommended your article to every person that I know.”

Deya, Spain


“I'm Jürgen and I write you from Germany. Let me tell that your article about debunkers/pseudoskeptics of PSI is the best handbook to debate with them. I used to debate pseudoskeptics as a pastime, using the arguments and tactics of your article.”

Jürgen, Germany


“Your article "debunking pseudoskeptical arguments of paranormal debunkers" is a must read to any person who seeks to understand the nature of pseudoskepticism… Your article was the first on-line resource to expose the fallacies, motivation, agenda and dishonesty of pseudoskeptics.”

Jessica Parker, USA



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Table of Contents


Foreword by Victor Zammit


- How this book came to be written
PseudoSkeptics vs. True Skeptics: Behaviors and Tactics

- True Skeptics / Open-Minded Skeptics

- PseudoSkeptics / Closed-Minded Skeptics
Scientism - The Religion of Pseudoskeptics?


Section I:  General Arguments Against Paranormal Claims


Argument # 1:  It is irrational to believe anything that hasn’t been proven.

Argument # 2:  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

- Extraordinary evidence for 4 phenomenon

Argument # 3:  The Occam’s Razor rule.

Argument # 4:  The Invisible Pink Unicorn / Santa Claus gambit.

Argument # 5:  The “anecdotal evidence is invalid” argument.

- Factors measuring degree of reliability in anecdotal evidence

- The Ebay feedback challenge that a pseudoskeptic failed and was caught lying red-handed

Argument # 6:  The memory malleability argument to dismiss anecdotal evidence.

Argument # 7:  Automatic dismissal of paranormal claims as due to mistake, lying or hallucination.

Argument # 8:  There is no evidence for any paranormal or psychic phenomena.

Argument # 9:  Science is the only reliable method.

Argument # 10:  Paranormal phenomena aren’t possible because they contradict known laws of science.

Argument # 11:  Unexplainable does not mean inexplicable.

Argument # 12:  Skeptics don’t have beliefs. They make assessments based on evidence.

Argument # 13:  Skepticism is not cynicism.  It is a method of rational inquiry.

Argument # 14:  Believers in the paranormal are thinking in primitive, irrational and childish ways.

Argument # 15:  Skeptics are defending science and reason from a rising tide of irrationality.


Section II:  Arguments Against Specific Paranormal Claims


Argument # 16:  Psychics and mediums use cold reading tricks and general guesses, not psychic powers.

Argument # 17:  Experiments that show positive results for psi must be replicable to count as evidence.

Argument # 18:  No psychic phenomena has been demonstrated under controlled conditions.

Argument # 19:  Alternative medicine and remedies have no scientific basis. All claims of their effectiveness are due to placebo effect or coincidence.

Argument # 20:  Miracles are impossible and defy everything we know about science.

Argument # 21:  The Skeptical explanation for answered prayers - Selective memory and coincidence.

- My own theory on how and why prayer works

Argument # 22:  The Skeptical explanation for precognitive dreams - Selective memory and coincidence.

Argument # 23:  The Dying Brain Hypothesis for Near Death Experiences.  

Argument # 24:  Consciousness is neurologically based, dependent on brain and does not survive physical death.

Argument # 25:  Spiritual experiences only exist in your mind, not in external reality.

Argument # 26:  Paranormal beliefs are childish fantasies for dealing with a cold uncaring world.

Argument # 27:  There is no evidence to support the existence of UFO’s or Aliens.

Argument # 28:  Evolution is sufficient to explain the origin of life, so God is not needed.

Argument # 29:  Atheists don’t claim that God doesn’t exist. They lack belief in God. The burden of proof for God is on the Theist, not the Atheist.

Argument # 30:  The James Randi Million Dollar Challenge argument.

- Why Randi, Shermer and the CSICOPers are not Real Skeptics 



New Developments and Research

Links, Blogs and Books on PseudoSkepticism and Paranormal Research

Appendix A:  My Presentation Outline – Skepticism vs. Psi

Reader Responses

My Other Debunking Articles



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