Paranormal, Theories of the
Alternative Interpretations
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There are a number of positions regarding the existence of paranormal phenomena such as occultism, magic, siddhis, and non-ultratech-generated supernormal powers in general. These vary according to polity, clades, and memeticities in the civilized galaxy and beyond. While there are a great many options, including a few proposed by transapients that are incomprehensible to subsingularity sophonts, they fall into three main categories as follows:

Materialism: There is no unambiguous and repeatable evidence for supernatural powers of any kind. Whilst there are reports and anecdotes, none have ever been confirmed. Everything else can be given a mundane explanation, explained as subversive nanite cybertelepathy, and so on. This is the position of a great many physicalist sects and ideologies, is widely held in a great many civilizations, and is by far the majority position amongst Terragens in general. Critics claim that this stance selectively ignores or reinterprets factual material.

Supernaturalism: This goes in the reverse direction by affirming belief in the literal existence of God or Gods, Spirits, and other beings of religion. However, these beings are thought to intervene in this universe only subtly and when they want to, and their power cannot be summoned by ordinary sophonts. This is the next most popular option among Terragens.

Esotericism: This position holds not only that paranormal powers exist but that ordinary sophonts can tap into and be affected by them. This includes belief in chi, psi, visions, clairvoyance, and so on. These are claimed to follow undiscovered laws of nature beyond the known laws of physics. Some seek to cultivate sensitivity to these powers via gengineering or certain mental designs. Claims of such powers have been falsified every time they have been subjected to controlled conditions. Nevertheless, belief in such phenomena goes back to the dawn of sophonce, but critics point out that this is because of reasoning flaws common to certain regions of the toposophic landscape.
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Updated by ProxCenBound, 21 June 2018
Initially published on 19 December 2001.