I have a degree in engineering and a Ph.D. in geophysics. I spent my career mostly doing R&D in geophysics and worked largely with nuclear physicists, publishing 60+ papers in refereed journals. I took early retirement as soon as I was eligible and my wife and I now live off the grid in very northern California.
I am pretty much agnostic about everything and although I have opinions, they are open to revision as needed. Up until six years ago I still had a rather weak materialist bias to my agnosticism. Then I heard an interview with Dean Radin, the episode titled "Digital Breadcrumbs" in the ElectricPolitics podcast archives (there are a few other excellent podcasts of direct interest to Skeptiko listeners there). I bought Dean's book "Entangled Minds" and read it, finding it to be rather dry but quite persuasive to a person like me, accustomed to dealing with data in various forms; that book is still the one I would recommend to a materialist who is comfortable dealing with a lot of data.
When I finished the book I thought something like, "Yikes... either we have here a totally unprecedented case of fraud extending over more than a century and involving thousands of people, some with very impressive credentials, or we have a web of vast incompetence involving those thousands of highly qualified people, OR, this stuff is real." My agnostic assessment of psi phenomena went from "Perhaps, but I doubt it" to "There seems to be something to this, subject to further investigation." That further investigation has consumed much of my time since then, including reading hundreds of books dealing with a very broad range of "paranormal" and other weird topics, hundreds of papers in refereed journal and listening to boatloads of podcast lectures and interviews.
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