J. B. Rhine

Comments on "Science and the Supernatural"


Strange though it may seem, the publication of the George Price paper, "Science and the Supernatural," is, on the whole, a good event for parapsychology. It is not merely that it is better to be attacked than it is to be ignored. According to the ways of American science, a revolutionary finding has to be cuffed and kicked through the entrance in order to gain admittance. When unorthodox issues are concerned, only critical articles, and the rougher the better, are likely to be accepted by the scientific periodicals. In fact, one can easily fancy (as some readers have) that Price deliberately undertook to sell parapsychology to American science by disguising a really informative article as a slanderous critique, with charges so utterly exaggerated that they would not be believed even by skeptics of ESP. At any rate, as a way to get a lot of instruction on parapsychology into Science, it worked as well as if it had been planted.

It is also of value to parapsychology to have Price portray so vividly the potential importance of psi abilities. He has even more clearly appreciated the great potential applications of ESP than have many of the workers in the field. It is true that he has overlooked the limitation owing to the unconscious level on which this elusive function operates; but if (as is not unreasonable to expect) that limitation can be overcome through

Reprinted from Science 123 ( 1956) No. 3184, pp. 11-14, by permission of the author and editor.


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