Is magic real?


Fact Box

  • The root word for magic is the Greek term magoi, which “refers to a Median tribe in Persia and their religion, Zoroastrianism, [whose priests] possessed arcane or secret knowledge and the ability to channel power from or through any of the polytheistic deities, spirits, or ancestors of the ancient pantheons.”
  • After an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, First Lady Nancy Reagan began consulting with San Francisco astrologer Joan Quigley about her husband’s schedule. 
  • A 1980s study financed by the German government with findings published at Stanford University found that the practice of dowsing--a type of divination used to locate groundwater--was surprisingly successful. The head of the research group related, “In hundreds of cases, the dowsers were able to predict the depth of the water source and the yield of the well to within 10 percent or 20 percent.” 
  • Researchers have found that those who rely on good luck charms and who believe they have good luck on their side feel greater “‘self-efficacy,’ [which] actually boosts mental and physical performance.”

Maha (Yes)

Limiting magic to definitions like 'the skill of performing tricks to entertain people' has made people question its authenticity. However, despite the stigma created by witch trials and executions, there's ample evidence proving that magic does indeed exist, and it's as easy as exploring the inexplicable accuracy of its applications. 

One branch of magic, astrology, has several studies proving its accuracy despite science not backing it. This is probably why 29% of the population believes in it, and online horoscope pages receive increased visits annually. 

Similarly, necromancy entails peculiar rituals such as working in the dark or during a new moon to inexplicably solve mysteries

Evidence for magic also surfaces through phenomena which science has yet to explain. Miracles, for example, are events that natural or scientific laws can't rationalize. And many have occurred over the years, such as tumors disappearing without a trace. 

Science has also yet to provide a logical explanation for magical powers such as telepathy and telekinesis. While it associates these feats with brain waves, it still can't explain how and why people disprove this theory. 

Similarly, the law of attraction (LOA) is classified as pseudoscience since there's 'no empirical scientific evidence' to substantiate it. Interestingly, this is the same category into which scientists have classified astrology and other branches of magic. 

Finally, if magic doesn't exist, then throughout history, witches and their grimoires--books of magic spells--wouldn't either. A contemporary witch recently explained that witches are magic practitioners who use the elements to perform alchemy, thereby making changes to their surroundings that can't be explained by science.

With so much evidence indicating its existence, it's time to acknowledge magic as a part of our lives. 

Amna (No)

Arthur C. Clarke aptly said: 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.'

Wonder is an emotion that creates magic out of the mundane. For a child, a microwave and a rainbow are magic. However, for those who know better--it is simply science. Similarly, what the average adult population might categorize as magic, is merely logical applications for scientists and experts. 

Science might seem like magic because magic and its practitioner distance themselves from the observer. Similarly, certain scientific feats can only be performed by a few. But a clear method, a defined result, and a way to achieve perfection make science more real and probable. Science has flown man to outer space, cured diseases, invented AI, and predicted the future. It has demystified magic.

Magic relies on fate, luck, or the Universe. There are no coincidences, and everything serves a greater purpose. Alternatively, science believes in the Law of Truly Large Numbers, which states that any weird event or abnormality is likely to happen in large populations, and random coincidences are normal. Every unexpected event is perfectly explained by its non-randomness and probability, making it significantly less magical. 

Science also eliminates outrageous and alternative explanations by applying the principle of Occam's Razor. For instance, when examining patients, doctors are taught 'to look for horses, not zebras when one hears hoofbeats.' Simple, prudent logic replaces magic and sorcery. Science makes magic real and brings it closer to reality. Real magic simply happens through human creativity, ingenuity, and imagination being translated into reality through instruments. This makes all of us, aided by science, a little bit magic.

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