"Such nonmainstream areas of inquiry as astrology， fortune-telling， and psychic and paranormal pursuits play a vital role in society by satisfying human needs that are not addressed by mainstream science."
This statement actually consists of two claims: that non-mainstream areas of inquiry are vital in satisfying human needs， and that these areas are therefore vital to society. I concede that astrology， fortune- telling， and psychic and paranormal pursuits respond to certain basic human needs.
However， in my view the potential harm they can inflict on their participants and on society far outweighs their psychological benefits.
Admittedly， these non-mainstream areas of inquiry address certain human needs， which mainstream science and other areas of intellectual inquiry inherently cannot.
One such need involves our common experience as humans that we freely make our own choices and decisions in life and therefore carry some responsibility for their consequences. Faced with infinite choices， we experience uncertainty， insecurity， and confusion; and we feel remorse， regret， and guilt when in retrospect our choices turn out be poor ones. Understandably， to prevent these bad feelings many people try to shift the burden of making difficult choices and decisions to some nebulous authority outside themselves——by relying on the stars or on a stack of tarot cards for guidance.
Two other such needs have to do with our awareness that we are mortal. This awareness brings a certain measure of pain that most people try to relieve by searching for evidence of an afterlife. Absent empirical proof that life extends beyond the grave， many people attempt to contact or otherwise connect with the so-called "other side" through paranormal and psychic pursuits. Another natural response to the prospect of being separated from our loved ones by death is to search for a deeper connection with others here on Earth and elsewhere， in the present as well as the past. This response manifests itself in people‘s enduring fascination with the paranormal search for extraterrestrial life， with so- called "past life" regression and "channeling，" and the like.
While the sorts of pursuits which the speaker lists might be "vital" insofar as they help some people feel better about themselves and about their choices and circumstances， query whether these pursuits are otherwise useful to any individual or society.
In the first place，用一个非常普通的用于连接的词语开始了自己的列举because these pursuits are not rooted in reason， they are favorite pastimes of charlatans—经典，非常好的否定，hit home。and others who seek to prey on dupes—好，一个单词就直截了当的表明自己的想法driven by the aforementioned psychological needs. And the dupes have no recourse. After all， it is impossible to assess the credibility of a tarot card that tells us how to proceed in life simply because we cannot know where the paths not taken would have led. Similarly， we cannot evaluate claims about the afterlife because these claims inherently defy empirical ?这个形容词是经常用来解释pseuoscience的用词，我后面会给大家附一个伪科学的解释大家可以多次找到这个empirical这个词——proof——or disproof.