Friday, December 08, 2006

Psychic Investigators 2

Bullshit bagLast night's episode of this stunning revelatory documentary real science series was even less convincing than last week's episode.

The police solved the murder through fingerprints, DNA, police records and family statements. If the psychic had not existed the crime would have been solved with exactly the same steps. She contributed nothing to the investigation.

There were some really poor guesses. The psychic told the policeman he was investigating an old case. He said "No". She said "Yes", he was. And then, only two months later he was given an old case by his boss to investigate. How incredible. It seemed he'd been sitting around for two months doing absolutely nothing until that very moment.

The psychic also "saw" the Brooklyn Bridge. EoR's US geography is a bit hazy, but he imagines that a lot of people travel across the Brooklyn Bridge.

The psychic also "saw" that the murderer was a serial killer. No evidence was raised by the police at any time to support this suggestion (not even a group of unsolved murders which, EoR presumes, would be a good start) yet the program concluded with a worrying suggestion: just how many people had this man killed? Well, as far as we know (via science and investigation): one.

The psychic further explained that psychics don't "solve" crimes, they only "assist". So what is their use? Why are they playing games? Why can they see things like "the killer's shoulder" but not his name? Could it be something as simple as the fact that they are "seeing" nothing at all? That they are not "assisting" but, in fact, wasting time, raising false hopes, and being paid money for nothing?

Psychic Investigators' usurping of the science slot on ABC TV seems to be a less than popular move. Here are some comments:

Robyn Williams (eminence grise of science broadcasting in Australia):

Polluting the Catalyst timeslot [...] Ten excruciating weeks to go...

Larissa Dubecki:

rubbish [...] entirely unconvincing

Sacha Molitorisz:

sensationalist drivel

Leigh Dayton (ABC science broadcaster):

I want to kick the ABC [...] A bunch of hocus pocus. It's completely erroneous. It's totally unacceptable.

The Mystery Investigators have their own page debunking the series, including a spooky response from the ABC claiming the series is "factual". Yes, and so is Harry Potter (that other well known documentary series).

Q: What do you call a psychic who solves a crime?
A: A suspect.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.