Hocus pocus? Testing miracles
Astrology, fortune telling, alternative medicine: In Würzburg, science scrutinizes the supernatural.
They can sniff out gold veins, measure the poison in apples with a pendulum and make women levitate; these people claim to experience the supernatural. Once a year in Würzburg, they have the chance to prove their supposed skills. The Society for the Scientific Investigation of Parasciences offers 10,000 euros in prize money to anyone whose supernatural claims can withstand rigorous scientific testing. The society is a gathering of physicists, biologists, and psychologists who don’t want to discount those who delve in the paranormal as crazy, but analyze their claims in laboratory conditions. But so far, all candidates have failed the test, and the 10,000 euros are still in the pot. A report by Axel Rowohlt.