An Anthropological Perspective
Chapter Eight: Religion and the Paranormal
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Religion and the Paranormal
Cognitive science has shown how the human mind is predisposed toward populating the world and universe with supernatural or paranormal beings, such as ghosts, souls, spirits, demons, aliens, and gods (see chapter 2). It comes as no surprise to find that large numbers of people today believe in the existence of such paranormal agents. Harvey Irwin (1993: 1) defines the term paranormal as “hypothesized processes that in principle are physically impossible or outside the realm of human capabilities as presently conceived by conventional scientists.” According to Erich Goode (2000: 18):
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