Time for a break from Katrina news. Laura and I have been watching Ghost Hunters on the SciFi Channel. This show follows the exploits of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) as they invistigate various hauntings around the US. The main investigators are Roto Rooter plumbers by day and ghost hunters by night. The show is part paranormal exploration and part reality show.
Much is made of the professionalism and scientific approach of the TAPS investigators. They certainly seem to have a ton of gizmos for video and audio recording. Forget for a moment whether or not you believe that paranormal activity is real. The question is wheither or not this is truly a "scientific" investigation. I don’t think so. They only spend one night in a location, so if their results are negative, a single sampling can’t be anywhere near conclusive. Also, there doesn’t seem to be any control for variables as with an actual research setting. The TAPS crew are such believers in the paranormal, that their first reaction to anything unusual is that it has to be supernatural, but usually a natural explanation exists. The researchers do, however, try to find alternate causes for various phenomena that have been described by their clients, and more often than not debunk the stories about a particular local.
I can dismiss the hokiness of the show’s scientific qualifications – I like a good ghost story. However, the reality show part gets very tedious very fast. Of the last episode, the majority of the story was about how two of the investigators weren’t getting along, with one acting the major drama queen. If I continue to watch this show it will depend on whether or not it keeps leaning toward reality or the paranormal.