• niedziela, 21 października 2018 r.

Robber Goat, Bird Woman and Cat Woman. Leo Igwe


Recently, there have been media reports of various paranormal claims in different parts of Africa. These reports highlight occasions where people supposedly turned into goats, cats or birds. There have been cases where women allegedly gave birth to a horse and a frog, and the police arrested a goat. Very often a critical analysis of these events is missing. A skeptical viewpoint is lacking. So people take these claims for granted and largely accepted as normal. In fact, these incidents are touted as expressions of ‘African science’ or as potent testimonies of black magic. This presentation provides a skeptical critique of cases from Nigeria and Zimbabwe. It notes that religious beliefs and magical narratives feature prominently in popular perception and representation of events. This presentation argues that religious beliefs hamper scientific interpretation of issues because they provide ‘causal’ links and connections, explanatory models, precedents and justifications for making paranormal sense of experiences in Africa.

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