nz herald, what are you *thinking* – all kids are psychic?

By Alison Campbell 30/05/2012 12


From the Herald’s website, we hear that

[a]ll children are psychic and they’re tuned in to their abilities now more than ever, according to one of Australia’s top intuitives.

Oh, really?

And there’s more:

“We’re starting to see little kids who can see spirits, who can actually validate who it is. It’s different to a child saying, ‘I’ve got a monster on top of my bed’. We know that’s imagination.

And seeing ‘spirits’ isn’t imagination? How does a little kid ‘validate’ who a ‘spirit’ is supposed to be? Often children will have seen photos of various family members (some deceased); how does our Australian ‘intuitive’, Sue Bishop, know that the child is not simply populating the usual childhood imaginary world with faces from those albums? It’s certainly a simpler (& more likely) option than suggesting that the ‘spirits’ are real. And encouraging children to believe otherwise is not exactly helping to develop their critical thinking skills.

(Apparently, the ability to ‘see’ this stuff depends on the state of your skull. No, seriously – we’re told that once the fontanelle atop the skull closes off, kids are cut off from the spirit world.)

Mind you, Ms Bishop also seems to believe in reincarnation:

“I believe that each evolution carnates to bring a new gift, a new awareness to help us grow and expand also to deal with the problems created from the former generation,” she says.

Which leads me to the next question – rather than parroting the claims for juvenile psychics, why on earth wasn’t the Herald’s reporter asking these questions? What on earth has happened to investigative journalism, when material like this is given page space with no questions asked?


12 Responses to “nz herald, what are you *thinking* – all kids are psychic?”

  • From the article:
    “It’s when children go through this phase ….they start to focus more on being logical and analytical.”

    She says that like it’s a bad thing.

    Which I guess for her it is, otherwise who would buy her books?

  • The part about the fontanelle does bring a whole new meaning to that saying about keeping an open mind :-)

  • “we’re told that once the fontanelle atop the skull closes off, kids are cut off from the spirit world”

    That belief has a medieval feel about it.

    I wonder when the Herald article on unicorns and vampires will feature?

  • One of the things that bothers me about the herald article is that young children ARE incredibly amazing – they can be incredibly creative, imaginative, observant, can think quite laterally, and have minds like sponges.
    All this “intuitive” is doing is using children to validate her own imagined abilities and to flog off her book.

    And the lack of journalistic questioning, I’m gobsmacked.

    I think this Herald article will be hard to beat for the NZ Skeptics Bent Spoon award!

  • And while we’re on things that bother us: what are parents teaching children, in encouraging them to think that they’re ‘psychic’? Certainly not critical thinking – a lack of which will lay them open to whatever the next woo-purveyor has on offer.

  • Alison, they are sending them along the track of “if you believe something hard enough it will come true” and to be gullible and therefore vulnerable to quacks and snake oil salespeople

  • Er, what the heck is an ‘intuitive’?
    Should I be asking my 1-year-old nephew for the Lotto numbers?

  • @shadowmind

    I believe that is *exactly* what the article is saying. Let me know what those numbers are.

  • In my experience, children of this age are exploring their environment by experiment. They are using the scientific principle. As Michael says, young children ARE incredibly amazing.

    I would suggest that the “sixth sense” is likely to be prediction based on rules previously identified by the child. eg a child looks at the door just before their parent opens it. Ms Bishop would see this as “psychic”. The child is more likely to have thought: “It’s getting dark, I’ve just heard a car engine stop and the front door close = Dad’s home”.

    As adults, we may not be able to identify the environmental stimuli, nor have access to the experimental rules developed by a child, it does not mean that they are not there. Just because we don’t understand the childs’ world fully doesn’t mean children are “psychic”.

  • @Alison – I need trepanning like I need a hole in the head;-)

    Maybe the editorial board at the Herald should try the operation.

  • Maybe schools could “employ” spirits of teachers past to teach primary age children when the education cuts result in teacher redundancies and increased class sizes. There would be no need to pay spirit teachers because I’m pretty sure you have to be alive for employment contracts to be enforceable.

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