A discussion with the charming author of Running with Scissors about his latest book, in which he claims he is a witch. A back and forth demonstration of scientific skepticism
Just finished listening to this FASCINATING conversation.
1. As always, I loved the rationale from Lawrence on his “spooky premonitions”. Especially the one about the tree crashing into house. I am sure Burroughs heard the trees creaking and noticed their age at some point. At the least he sensed their fragility and registered in his unconscious prior to the day of the trees falling. But, as Lawrence says, it is not the job of science to test things and prove things to be wrong, not to prove things are right.
2. Near the end, Augusten uses the discovery of a “new organ” in 2017 as justification for some of his thinking that something heretofore hidden will emerge to explain his mental abilities of witchcraft. He was in fact referring to the “discovery” of the interstitium. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/meet-your-interstitium-a-newfound-organ/
This was a huge media con-job, facilitated by the researchers who made this “announcement”. At best, it’s a new classification of what we have known for decades in medicine, that there is an “insterstitium” in all organs, and trying to call it an “organ”. Yes, medicine has improved understanding of the role of interstitium and various functions over recent years, but it is NOT a newly discovered organ. Just look up interstitial lung disease and interstitial nephritis, as two examples of diseases affecting the interstitium that have been known for at least a century. Also see this article that explains the BS involved in this discovery:
I only bring it up to show the example of how the media makes grandiose stories out of essentially nothing and gives fake credence to smart folks like Augusten to suggest that the validity and mechanisms of his “witchcraft” premonitions are something that can maybe be discovered with more research.
Thank you, Dr. Krauss(apology for misspelling your name earlier). ￼Yes, in chapter 3 of your excellent biography of Feynman you describe with keen insight his love and respect for his wife Arline. Can’t help but wonder what RF would think of Augustine Burroughs’￼witch experiences. Or for that matter mysterious ￼ occurrences like “spooky action at a distance”, and quantum entanglement ￼.😊
Hello Dr. Kraus.I’m a new subscriber. Enjoying the Origins series very much. This conversation with Mr. Burroughs brought to mind a Richard Feynman anecdote where the clock in his wife’s room stopped at the exact time of her death. I don’t remember the details exactly, but I think ￼Feynman ,even in that moment of grief, refused to attribute it to any supernatural event.