Originally Posted by Kamarling
I wonder - are they hedging here? I'd like to see their definitions of supernatural and paranormal. For example, would they include the afterlife into what they consider "entirely lawful and natural phenomena"?
Having read some other material by Greyson, I think he makes a distinction between "supernatural" and "paranormal" thusly:
-A "supernatural" event is a miracle, or a rare and generally unreproducible (by human means, at least) exception to normally-operative laws which govern reality. Jesus walking on water, for example, was a supernatural event. I get the impression that Greyson may accept the Humean critique of miracles, holding that they are impossible or should not be believed.
-A "paranormal" event is not an exception to, but rather an instance of, a general rule. For example, though it may have a quality that most people think of
as supernatural, a Near-Death Experience is representative of a consistent, observable, reproducible phenomenon-- you can predict in advance that if a given group of people are subjected to life-threatening trauma or danger, a certain portion of them will report Near-Death Experiences, which are likely to involve various consistent features.
We know that something is a miracle because it is a very rare or one-time exception to the normally-operative laws which bring about a particular course of events under a given set of circumstances, whereas something may be considered "natural," in one sense of the word, if it follows the expected or predictable course. I believe that Greyson uses the term "natural" in this sense (using Webster's dictionary definitions)-- "occurring in conformity with the ordinary course of nature," rather than "of, relating to, or operating in the physical as opposed to the spiritual world," by which definition Near-Death Experiences would obviously not be natural.