The Existential Files


In episode 52 we are joined by psychologist and parapsychologist Cal Cooper. Cal joins us to chat about, amongst other things, his PhD research looking at bereavement and ghosts, and the role of hope (crossing over into positive psychology). You can follow Cal on his official Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/CallumECooper


For episode 51 we are joined by former academic, now science writer Graham Farmelo, to chat about his wonderful biography of physicist Paul Dirac. The nature of the universe is something we like to chat about here on The Existential Files, and Dirac essentially discovered half of it, when he posited the existence of antimatter! Dirac was a very interesting chap, and it was great to pick Graham’s brains about a host of physics questions, and about Dirac too. You can learn about Graham’s book on Dirac, The Strangest Man, and his new book Churchill’s Bomb, at Graham’s website http://grahamfarmelo.com

Well here we are at episode 50! For this milestone we are joined by another special guest, author Matthew Alper. Matthew has written two fascinating books: The God Part of the Brain outlines his theory that religion is an evolved adaptation to help us deal with the pain of existence. His most recent book, Icarus of Brooklyn is an autobiography of the events that brought him to his theory on religion. Matthew joins us to chat about the ideas in both books and by the end of the episode there is a nihilistic pissing match between Matthew and Louie, as we debate just who is the more nihilistic! You can learn more about Matthew Alper and his books at http://www.godpart.com/ and http://icarusofbrooklyn.com/

For this episode we are joined again by sceptical blogger and fellow podcaster, Hayley Stevens. Hayley started out as a believer in the paranormal, but found her way to the dark side of disbelief and spends much of her time looking for the nonparanormal explanations for paranormal experiences. This time we cover cryptozoology and fake paranormal researchers. You can learn more about Hayley at her blog http://hayleyisaghost.co.uk

After the head hurting topic of the last episode, it seems like a good idea to return to something a little less serious. For this episode we are joined by sceptical blogger and fellow podcaster, Hayley Stevens. Hayley started out as a believer in the paranormal, but found her way to the dark side of disbelief and spends much of her time looking for the nonparanormal explanations for paranormal experiences. We chat about ghosts and the paranormal, ghost hunters, and scepticism. You can learn more about Hayley at her blog http://hayleyisaghost.co.uk

We are joined for this episode by a very special guest, philosopher Arthur Witherall. Arthur has published a book and a number of papers on the fundamental question of why the universe exists and he chats with us about some of the metaphysical and philosophical explanations for why there is something, rather than nothing (a most irksome question, we hope you agree?). This includes a brief discussion of David Pearce's 'Zero Ontology'. You can purchase Arthur’s book ‘The Problem of Existence’ on Amazon.



We are joined for this episode by PhD student Ann Winsper. Ann is an old buddy from the parapsychology days, and joins us to chat about a variety of topics including ghost hunting, parapsychology, paranormal experiences, and electronic voice phenomena. Although we are not a parapsychology podcast, we do sometimes like to chat about these things, and we debate some normal explanations for some of the strange experiences people report (e.g. apophenia). You can learn more about Ann at www.parascience.org.uk and if you’d like participate in her research you can email her at evpstudy@gmail.com

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