Georges Charpak, Henri Broch
Becoming a Magician is Becoming Wise Publication date : September 1, 2003
Would you like to know how to burn out a light bulb from afar? And would you like to understand why this can be done? Would you like to know how to pierce your tongue without feeling the slightest pain or discomfort except the discomfort of not being able to close your month again? Do you want to understand why this is possible? Would you like to know how to walk barefoot on burning coals without scorching your feet and as comfortably as if you were walking on the softest deep-pile rug? And would you like to understand why this is possible? Would you like to know how to locate wells with a divining rod? Do you want to understand why this can be done? Georges Charpak and Henri Broch provide fascinating answers to these two recurring questions in each one of the cases mentioned above, and in many others as well. Though their explanations resolve numerous mysteries, they never break the charm. Magic here has simply switched sides: it no longer belongs to the realm of the supernatural; it has become completely natural. The goal of this book is to make the reader understand that the supernatural does not exist and that it is essential in todays world to be scientifically literate. To quote Henri Broch : The upholders of the paranormal in fact contribute to the mystification of knowledge. This mystification results in a conception of the world in which many things and events immediately escape the understanding and therefore the control- of most people.
Georges Charpak, a physicist at CERN, is a winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics.
Henri Broch heads the Laboratoire de Zététique at the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, where he studies so-called paranormal phenomena in order to demonstrate their illusory character. Zététique (from the Greek zêtêin = to seek) is a method used to understand the reason behind things and events.