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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

intuition Knowledge or feelings about events, conditions, or other data without apparent direct evidence, regular sensory input or previous training. A faculty often ascribed, by tradition, more to women than to men.
      There are two ways of looking at intuition: The mystic tends to consider it a paranormal or divine attribution, the pragmatist sees it as an unconscious drawing upon basic instincts, previous experience, and available clues to arrive at a probable decision or conclusion. Persons highly skilled in various arts often exhibit remarkable abilities to know facts and subtleties about various substances, people and circumstances, skills that may appear almost supernatural to the uncritical observer.
      For another example, a mother's ability to “know” of danger to her child may be triggered by sounds that are audible to the mother on an unconscious level, but which suddenly change or cease in a manner that shows a difference to which the mother is sensitive.
      A supernatural explanation is not parsimonious when examining such matters.

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