Death of Robert Baker, Skeptical Investigator of Paranormal Phenomena

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Robert A. Baker dies at the age of 84 in his home in Lexington, Kentucky.

A senior research fellow at the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) and a professor of psychology emeritus of the University of Kentucky, Baker was one of the world's preeminent skeptical investigators of ghosts, alien abductions, apparitions, and other paranormal phenomena.

Baker reported that he owed his skeptical perspective to his parents who encouraged him to "read, think and get an education":

"They also, inadvertently, started me on the skeptical path by taking me at an early age to the local First Baptist Church, where the new minister — one Percy Walker — a kind, gentle, soft-spoken man, turned into a fiery-faced, screaming maniac every time he took the pulpit. ...

When I asked my father what was wrong with the reverend, he smiled and said, 'Religion makes some people crazy.' "

In 1999, a panel of skeptics will name him as one of two dozen most outstanding skeptics of the 20th Century.

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