The Weiler Psi

Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics

Telepathy Has Been Scientifically Proven to be Real


Fog

The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.  

-Carl Sandburg-

The news that should have rocked the world, that eventually will completely upend the scientific world and cause a radical rethinking of theory in a variety of  sciences  ranging from physics to biology to psychology, arrived . . . on little cat feet.  The announcement, as is typical of the scientific community, came out in December of 2010, with little fanfare in the form of an abstract of a scientific paper with an unwieldy title:  Extrasensory Perception and Quantum Models of Cognition.   It reads:

Today, using modern experimental methods and meta‐analytical techniques, a persuasive case can be made that, neuroscience assumptions notwithstanding, ESP does exist. We justify this conclusion through discussion of one class of homogeneous experiments reported in 108 publications and conducted from 1974 through 2008 by laboratories around  the world. Subsets of these data have been subjected to six meta‐analyses, and each shows significantly positive effects. The overall results now provide unambiguous evidence for an independently repeatable ESP effect. This indicates that traditional cognitive and neuroscience models, which are largely based on classical physical concepts, are incomplete.

The experiment in question here is the ganzfeld, which is briefly described in the paper:

In a typical ganzfeld telepathy experiment, a “receiver” is left in a room relaxing in a comfortable chair with halved ping-pong balls over the eyes, and with a red light shining on them. The receiver is asked to keep his/her eyes open, and to wear headphones through which white or pink noise is played. The receiver is exposed to this state of mild sensory homogenization for about a half hour. During this time a distant “sender” observes a randomly chosen target, usually a photograph or a short videoclip randomly drawn from a set of four possible targets (each as different from one another as possible), and he or she tries to mentally send this information to the receiver. During the ganzfeld stimulation  period, the receiver verbally describes any impressions that come to mind. These “mentations” are recorded by the experimenter (who is also blind to the target) via an audio recording or by taking notes, or both.

After the ganzfeld period ends, the receiver is taken out of the ganzfeld state and is presented with four photos or video clips, one of which was the target along with three decoys. The receiver is asked to choose which target best resembles the image sent by the distant sender. The evaluation of a trial is based on (a) selection of one image by the receiver, based on his/her assessment of the similarity between his/her subjective impressions and the various target possibilities, possibly enhanced by listening to his/her mentation recorded during the session, or (b) an independent judge’s assessment of similarity between the various targets and the participant’s mentation recorded during the session.

The results are then collected in the form of ‘hit rates” over many trials, (i.e., the proportion of trials in which the target was correctly identified). Because four possible targets are typically used in these studies, the chance hit rate is normally 25%. After many repeated trials, hit rates that significantly exceed chance  expectation are taken as evidence for nonlocal information transfer. Most of these experiments are now fully automated, eliminating the possibility of data recording errors.

This paper bases its conclusion on six meta analyses.  Honorton (1985); Bem & Honorton (1994); Milton & Wiseman (1999); Storm & Ertel (1999); Bem et al. (2001); Storm et al. (2010).  Of particular interest is the paper by Milton & Wiseman.  They are both skeptics and their paper originally was meant to show that the ganzfeld actually showed no effect.  However, the paper had serious statistical errors, which, when corrected, yielded significant positive results.  Make no mistake; including this meta analysis to support the existence of psi was the parapsychologists way of giving a big middle finger to the skeptics and Richard Wiseman in particular.  (You can find my post about him here.)

More than 50 authors have reported successful replications from laboratories across the USA, UK, Sweden, Argentina, Australia, and Italy, and the reported effects have been reliably repeatable for over 30 years. In addition, a team of avowedly skeptical researchers led by Delgado-Romero and Howard (2005) successfully repeated the ganzfeld experiment, and they obtained the same 32% hit rate estimated by the meta-analyses.

This is the first paper I’ve seen where the researchers flat out say “it’s been proven.”  Tressoldi, Storm and Radin are all senior psi researchers with a great deal of experience in the field and judging by previous literature, they do not take this statement lightly.

This is a rather short paper as these things go, being a sort of meta, meta analysis.  What they’re saying here is that if you take all of the ganzfeld experiments and crunch the numbers in a variety of different ways, you still come up with significant positive results.  Given the importance of the experiment, the database is not very large, but these meta analyses show that there is no rational way to explain these results other than telepathy.  If you’re wondering why this would be difficult, it’s because not all ganzfeld experiments are created equal.  Some of them are straight replications, but others are not and there is some room for interpretation when deciding which studies to include.  In the 2001 Bem meta analysis for example, the studies were ranked according to how closely they hewed to the replication study design.  Some studies, such as those that substituted music or video for the original pictures would be excluded because they were experimental designs that explored whether the ganzfeld method worked for different types of sensory input.

In this way and others, the data was looked at from varying angles to see if the effect that the data demonstrated was legitimate, or, as skeptics claimed, the product of experimental design problems or statistical flukes that artificially created positive results.  Having all these different meta analyses which explored different subsets of the data yet still came up with significant positive results pretty much puts those questions to rest.  The evidence, in other words, sits silently on its haunches now, waiting to be acknowledged by the mainstream scientific community.  As of this month it’s been a whole two years that this has been ignored.  The problem now is not a lack of evidence, but a lack of belief.

Naturally, the skeptics would never allow any progress in parapsychology to go uncontested and their go-to skeptic for the ganzfeld is none other than Ray Hyman.  Hyman, never one for subtle titles, published a paper titled:  Meta-analysis that conceals more than it reveals: Comment on Storm et al. (2010)  In this paper, Hyman argued that the evidence for psi is “contradictory and elusive.”  It’s the usual skeptical hatchet job that is subtly inaccurate in order to be convincing enough to those skeptics looking for any reason at all to dismiss the data.  Hyman cherry picks statements by researchers and twists the research to present a picture of a confused, not-ready-for-prime-time science.  You can see the reply to this paper from Storm and Tressoldi to Hyman here.  It’s in their reply that you see all the inaccuracies that Hyman introduced in his paper.  Hyman’s assertions are picked apart one by one.  It’s boring, tedious stuff, but defending yourself from spurious skeptical arguments is all part of the job description of a typical parapsychologist.

Hyman is not the worst of the skeptics and it can be argued that he has made some actual contributions to parapsychology, but he is also completely unmovable.  In order to maintain his skeptical world view, he has no choice at this point but to resort to obfuscation.  All of his legitimate objections about the ganzfeld were addressed thirty years ago in a series of experiments with the late parapsychologist, Charles Honorton.  And by resorting to obfuscation, Hyman has all but admitted defeat.

There is also another skeptical paper published in the Psychological Bulletin that attacks the conclusion of the Tressoldi, Storm and Radin paper titled A Bayes Factor Meta-Analysis of Recent Extrasensory Perception Experiments: Comment on Storm, Tressoldi, and Di Risio (2010)  and of course, the obligatory rebuttal:  Testing the Storm et al. (2010) Meta-Analysis Using Bayesian and Frequentist Approaches: Reply to Rouder et al. (2013).  Basically the skeptical argument goes like this:  IF you switch from standard to Bayesian statistics, AND IF you set the prior probability really low AND IF you omit a bunch of the the studies, (including the ones with the best results) well, see?  There is no effect.  The problem with this approach is that it requires too much manipulation of the data to be a useful evaluation.  You could do this to any set of data and have a situation where no one ever proved anything.

This is what winning looks like in parapsychology.  Your detractors never, ever shut up and never, ever concede.  However, over the course of years, as the evidence has mounted up, the objections have become increasingly obtuse, shrill and incoherent.  -Hyman actually argued that the meta analysis was inappropriate for parapsychology and that it created problems in examining the data.-  That’s a little like arguing that you shouldn’t use a measuring cup for your sugar because you could be sure of the amount you just poured.

The ganzfeld evidence in fact, is so convincing that skeptic Richard Wiseman conceded:

I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven, but begs the question: do we need higher standards of evidence when we study the paranormal? I think we do.  If I said that there is a red car outside my house, you would probably believe me.  But if I said that a UFO had just landed, you’d probably want a lot more evidence.   Because remote viewing is such an outlandish claim that will revolutionise the world, we need overwhelming evidence before we draw any conclusions. Right now we don’t have that evidence.

Which he later clarified to mean:

It is a slight misquote, because I was using the term in the more general sense of ESP — that is, I was not talking about remote viewing per se, but rather Ganzfeld, etc as well.  I think that they do meet the usual standards for a normal claim, but are not convincing enough for an extraordinary claim.

This is as close to as an admittance of defeat as you’re ever going to get from a skeptic in parapsychology.  In order to wall off the admittedly convincing evidence for psi, Wiseman has resorted to the skeptical fairy tale known as “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

This is the ring of extraordinary evidence. It has the power to convince all skeptics. Use it wisely

It is a completely arbitrary, subjective term that can mean anything a skeptic wants it to.  This way, a skeptic never has to acknowledge that any evidence is good enough.  Ever.  Anyone then, who takes that position has lost all claim to a rational, scientific position.

So yeah, telepathy has been scientifically proven to exist.  The evidence has come silently, on little cat feet into the scientific arena.  And the skeptical arguments?  I’m reminded of a line from Macbeth:

It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

As I said, in parapsychology, this is what winning looks like.

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101 comments on “Telepathy Has Been Scientifically Proven to be Real

  1. Ryan Scott McFadden
    April 10, 2014

    What you both are experiencing is real. We, and people like us, (and please believe, there are a lot!) are somehow able to pick up thoughts from people around us. We are not schizoid, other than being able to hear voices in our mind that do not originate from our minds. What we are doing is receiving the energy that whoever we are hearing is putting out. Thoughts are energy, like everything else, so those who are sensitive to energy should be able to pick it up, and if you subscribe to the one mind, one collective consciousness theory, well then by all means we should be able to communicate on a mental level, which scientists have proven that we DO, except for telepathy. This can freak people out, them thinking that other people can read their minds, but this is not how it works. If someone is walking past me thinking about what to get for dinner tonight, I won’t hear them, but if they are around me and thinking about me, then I can. Where energy is focused, it is received. It does not just disappear half way. If someone is focusing their energy on you you are going to feel it. This is something that I have been able to do, to my awareness, for about a year now, but looking back at my life I think this gift was there all along. However, in my opinion this is more like a curse, especially if people don’t approve of you, or you make other people insecure. Please understand that we aren’t insane. Or dangerous. I cannot control you with my thoughts. I CAN however, put a thought in your head and make you think it came from yourself. Picture this. I’m on a bus behind a girl I like, if I concentrate, and focus my energy, I can get her to turn a specific way. Like look out the left window, or glance out the right window, or look back at me, even if her back is facing me, without me making any sort of physical movements or verbal utterances. When people are running autonomously, inception is easier. Picture this, you are at construction site, which for now is a city block sized hole in the ground shored up on all four sides with a big crane in the middle. You are working hard and you want your boss to see you. You look around, and notice him walking north above the hole, while you are in the middle of the hole facing west. He is walking, facing ahead, about a hundred or so feet away, and you think to him, “look at (insert your name), and he immediately turns and makes direct eye contact with you. Coincidence? Very possibly. But when things like this happen over and over again, it becomes hard to deny the possibility that we can communicate with our minds. Generally for this to happen, the people need to be connected in some way, have spent some time together, have emotional ties, etc. Trying this with some stranger whose energy you are not familiar with is much more difficult, but with training it can be done. We are not your enemies. We are not aliens. We are not demons or angels. We are scared and vulnerable human beings who are trying to live life normally, despite being able to hear all of your hate and spite for each other. We are not dangerous. We understand the importance of humility, peace, and love, and we wish that the rest of you will, too.

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  3. LoneForests
    April 3, 2013

    Take a look at this:

    http://www.hulford.co.uk/musicpa2.html

    Very rare topic which has not been explored by many parapsychologists, music and telepathy. See the section and the studies listed in the “Music and telepathy” section. All this research has been forgotten.

    Note the author of that article Melvyn J. Willin has coined the word “Paramusicology” to describe some of this phenomena. A forgotten field of research. Someone should do an update on some of this research.

  4. lone_forests@hotmail.co.uk
    March 19, 2013

    Craig what do you think about this study:

    Using Neuroimaging to Resolve the Psi Debate (Moulton and Kosslyn, 2008):

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used in an effort to document the existence of psi. If psi exists, it occurs in the brain, and hence, assessing the brain directly should be more sensitive than using indirect behavioral methods (as have been used previously). To increase sensitivity, this experiment was designed to produce positive results if telepathy, clairvoyance (i.e., direct sensing of remote events), or precognition (i.e., knowing future events) exist. Moreover, the study included biologically or emotionally related participants (e.g., twins) and emotional stimuli in an effort to maximize experimental conditions that are purportedly conducive to psi. In spite of these characteristics of the study, psi stimuli and non-psi stimuli evoked indistinguishable neuronal responses-although differences in stimulus arousal values of the same stimuli had the expected effects on patterns of brain activation. These findings are the strongest evidence yet obtained against the existence of paranormal mental phenomena

    http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~moulton/Moulton_Kosslyn_2008_Neuroimaging_Psi.pdf

    • craigweiler
      March 19, 2013

      Oh, yeah, that one. It’s rather well known. I don’t have time to chase down the links on this, but this study had a number of flaws. First, they failed to do a review of the literature, which would have turned up several positive studies in this area which would have helped them craft a more successful study. But then, this is just how skeptics roll. The main flaw of the study was that they forced the participants to go too fast and failed to allow for a meditative state that would have been conducive to psi. These sorts of mistakes are typical of people who don’t respect the subject matter that they are studying.

      It’s unfortunately a poor study and not evidence of anything really.

      • lone_forests@hotmail.co.uk
        March 20, 2013

        If telepathy exists then it has to be non-physical, are you in agreement with this? The reason I say this, is because if there was a physical basis to telepathy we should have detected physical activity or some kind of radiations/ electromagnetic waves going on via the brain by now, but nothing has ever been detected.

        The physicists John Taylor and Eduardo Balanovski wrote that the only scientifically feasible explanation for telepathy could be electromagnetism (EM) involving EM fields. But after their experiments the em fields were to weak to explain telepathy and no telepathic transmission was observed. The Em fields around the head are apparently too weak to pick anything up etc. So a physical basis for telepathy is out according to them.

        Taylor, J. G. & Balanovski, E. (1978). Can electromagnetism account for extra-sensory phenomena? Nature 276, 64-67.

        Taylor and Balanovski were both physicists and would not accept that telepathy may have a non-physical basis, according to them the non-physical is metaphysics and has no place in science. So ok so let’s assume or say telepathy is non-physical. All we can say is, is that it is non-physical. We don’t know anything about it, not its mechanism or nature etc. I am ok with that but most people especially scientists are not happy with this. They turn to science to understand things, especially empirically and claiming things are just “non-physical” is not acceptable to them.

        Another thing… information transmitted via telepathy must be translated into a code before it enters someone elses mind, considering that telepathy is said to happen almost instantaneously then telepathy really is beginning to sound like a miracle. From the skeptics viewpoint, it all sounds too magical to be true.

        Now I have had some telepathic experiences myself, but it does not seem to happen at will. With my brother over the years we have done some telepathy experiments with cards or numbers, usually when we try this we get it correct the first time, for example a number out of 400 we got correct, what are the chances of that? But you try it again and start thinking and then it doesn’t work. The confusing thing is why telepathy works sometimes but not most of the time. That probably plays into the skeptics hands becuase they just say that it doesn’t exist at all but I disagree I think there is something going on, but it is too weird to explain.

        • craigweiler
          March 20, 2013

          Thought, which can think of as information is non physical, but typically has a physical carrier. I don’t see why telepathy would be any different. What studies have shown is that psychic activity occurs when brain patterns synch up in a particular way. There is no indication that this communication occurs via ordinary signaling, which would be too weak to be effective and could be blocked by almost anything. Rather, it behaves identically to entanglement, which is immune to distance and barriers, suggesting that this is the means of information transfer.

          Entanglement, however, is affected by observation, so it may be that it is exceptionally easy to turn off. It sheds light on the whole “do without doing” frame of thinking.

          • Peter
            March 20, 2013

            Just because there is a correlation between brain patterns and some psychic activity does not mean there is a direct causal connection. Nor does it mean that there will be correlation between brain patterning and other psychic activity. Such are the limits of “scientific” thinking that seeks to prove what it thinks it already knows instead of investigating phenomena with an open mind. Getting rid of preconceived notions should be step one for a competent scientist.

      • JDE
        April 20, 2013

        I was recently told by Dean Radin that that study was the only one publicized while neglecting to report 4 prior MRI studies which were positive. Additionally, the one here mentioned was not as unsuccessful as it claims.

    • marcustanthony
      March 19, 2013

      The conclusion is clearly tenuous and problematic. The reasoning is circular. The founding presupposition which underpins the study is materialist in itself – that consciousness/psi resides only in brains; and secondly that whatever psi is, it will register on an fMRI scan. It is reasonable to assume that if telepathy exists, it operates – at least in part – beyond the material substrate of the brain. How else could it possibly operate, as there has to be a non-local connection between minds? It would be reasonable to conclude that psi or psi effects cannot be readily measured by an fRMI machine. Anything more concrete than that… well they are just not using their imagination enough.

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  6. craigweiler
    December 18, 2012

    I’ve changed the comment set up a bit to make it easier to read. New comments will show at the top and nesting of comments is now 7 deep to be able to follow a thread more easily.

  7. Michelle Gibson
    December 18, 2012

    I’ve been enjoying reading the above conversation. :) I’m never sure how to counter the “extraordinary claims” mantra when someone raises it; on the surface it sounds reasonable, but as Craig points out, it seems like some people use it as an excuse to ignore good evidence.

    The thing that upsets me most about *some* sceptics is not so much their denial/disbelief – if they don’t want to believe in something, that’s their choice – it’s the nastiness and insults that some of them use. Some of them are really hostile towards people who think and believe differently. It’s very upsetting. A lot of it is really no more than bullying, in my opinion.

    • craigweiler
      December 18, 2012

      When people raise the “extraordinary evidence” mantra, just ask them to define extraordinary. Calmly explain that extraordinary is not a scientific term unless you very clearly define it. Then leave. What they have to say next is of no importance and there is no point in dealing with their brainless bullying. (Yes, that’s what it is.)

      • Matthew
        August 15, 2014

        You ask them to explain what they mean but then leave and ignore their explanation? That is not a very “scientific” or mature way of handling a civil discussion. Personally, I have received far more insulting rhetoric from the less skeptically minded of people than the more. As a bit of a skeptic myself, I never insult and find doing so is a lack of intellectual maturity and perpetuates the spiteful attitude adopted by both sides.

        Anyway, the phrase originated with Carl Sagan if I remember correctly. It simply means claims that are so outlandish and inconsistent with well established scientific knowledge requires a large body of supporting evidence. Yes, large is subjective, but if there exists a wide array of independently verified results and the predictions from a particular theory continue to be confirmed without being reduced to chance or shoddy experimentation then it may overturn currently held beliefs and enhance our knowledge. That is essentially what the phrase is saying. While people do use it to ignore good evidence contrary to their schemata, outright denying it as an important part of objectivity is simply wrong and lacking in scientific literacy.

        With that said I look forward to seeing how this area of research progresses especially in the light of this supposed proof. For the record, scientifically proven is a long shot still.

        • craigweiler
          August 15, 2014

          When people pull out the “extraordinary evidence” card, they have already told you they are not interest in real science. There is no “extraordinary evidence” only evidence. The rest is all about what you believe and your personal standard for evidence.

          You have to be asking the questions: Is the claim inconsistent with established knowledge? Or are people just claiming that it is. Is the experimentation really shoddy, or is this an unsupported claim? Do I need a theory to believe that something exists? Or is evidence for mere proof of existence enough?

          In the case of parapsychology, the answers will require more than a quick Internet search. You label the proof “supposed” which indicates to me a strong bias on your part. Yet this evidence, if you bother to follow the links to the studies, is better than anything else you have ever seen.

          • Matthew
            August 15, 2014

            With all due respect, from reading your posts it seems you have a very adamant tendency of calling everyone else that does not agree biased; how does this help in any discussion? We are all biased to an extent, even you. I already explained what is meant by the term extraordinary in the phrase. You may be taking a metaphor a little too literal here.

            I do ask these questions, and continue to research the answers of both believers and skeptics. I am unconvinced by both sides. I do not think it is right to jump from some interesting statistical results to the outright smoking gun proof you claim it is. Nor is it some hidden bias or a load of nonsense as skeptics will say. I cant help but think you have an established negative idea of anyone who disagrees. It is very rude and makes for a lack of enjoyable discourse.

            I did, and have read them all. I say supposed because I do not think it is that solid. It is also unscientific to declare something as scientifically proven without even a theoretical basis and mechanism; there is still the chance it is something else, why are both skeptics and believers taking a leap across the epistemic chasm?

    • Peter
      December 18, 2012

      It is “argumentum ad hominem”, arguing against the person rather than the argument itself. It is a logical error and the stock in trade of skeptics (along with red herrings and denial). And it is ironic that the skeptical position rests on illogic when they profess to love logic so much. Skeptics are merely promoting their own biases and protecting their own shortcomings. They are, in effect, trying to dumb down the rest of the population to their fear-ridden level.

    • Dr Terence Palmer
      December 18, 2012

      Michelle,
      beware of the bully that makes you feel bad because there is a danger that their negative energy may resonate within yourself. Simply reject it, ignore it and move on. Their choice to denigrate others will surely return to them.

      • Peter
        December 18, 2012

        This is a very important point. One only has to engage these skeptics for a short time to notice how their negativity tends to spread into your own responses. It is because as you engage their version of logic you have to immerse yourself in their world view.

      • Michelle Gibson
        December 18, 2012

        Hi Terry (I hope you don’t mind me referring to you as such),

        Your advice is good and sound. I admit I do have a thin skin. I witness some cruel behaviour from time to time and I do forget it in the end, although I don’t deny it is upsetting at the time. What’s also disturbing, in a sense, is that a good number of the bullying sceptics are not your average online troll/troublemaker, they are usually quite well educated and, I have to imagine, fairly well brought up. Yet when they realise that someone has a spiritual or paranormal belief, they turn so nasty. I think some of these bullies see believers as being inferior people and thus they think it’s justified to treat us unkindly.

        You make a good point about their energy, I am thinking of experimenting with some psychic/magickal workings to create some kind of psychic shield against others’ negativity. Or arrange something that turns any incoming negative energy into positive energy. Listening to some of my favourite music helps as well, it can be a great soother.

        • craigweiler
          December 18, 2012

          Skeptics are generally well educated people, so you should expect that. The thing to always remember when they start bloviating with authoritative sounding statements about how psi isn’t real and people like us are a bunch of idiots, is this: They have no idea what they’re talking about.

          One of the reasons that I post so much science, and research about skeptics on this site is that I am pulling the curtain away to show people who they’re really dealing with. Once you understand that you know more than they do and they’re basically just blowhards who can never be wrong, it’s a little easier to just let go of being upset about them.

          • JDE
            April 20, 2013

            I have a friend who is pursuing his PhD in psychology and he won’t allow me to share my psi experiences and has decribed it as “crap” and “faulty memory syndrome” and selective coincidence. When I get upset about his conflationary arguments he says he is not ridiculing me but only pointing out my human predisposition for mental errors. I then ask him if he had ever had a psi experience and as many materialists do, the answer was no. So what then can be inferred by this I ask; that only you are not susceptible to brain farts and faulty memory syndrome but only us psi freaks? I then point out that he had implicitly underscored my inferiority to his superior brain. He doesn’t even seem to realize he’s doing it. Furthermore, he even went so far as to say that I needed more friends and the reason I don’t have more of them and push away the people I care is because i choose to talk about my experiences in psi (precognitive dreams, etc). He then even prescribed that I shut up about that stuff if I ever want to have a meaningful life. Yes, his prescription was that I pretend to be something other than what I am to find better social situations. I then said I would only want to associate myself with others who understood the depths of me-anything less than that is truly a life without meaning. He said i didn’t want friends but only enablers. But I have to ask, isn’t there a flip side to that coin? When he associates with other reductionist materialists, isn’t he selectively surrounding himself with “enablers?”

            • craigweiler
              April 20, 2013

              Isn’t that arrogance amazing?

              • JDE
                April 20, 2013

                Yes, but he has an amazing gift to make me feel that I am the incarnation of hubris. He is convinced my experiences are representative of some megalomaniacal tendencies to view myself as some source of power and even said it shows schizophrenic and/or bipolar symptoms. I have never been diagnosed with such problems and even while receiving relational counseling. I took that test that everyone takes prior to counseling-the one that asks if you hear voices, etc. Needless to say, that shoe never fit.

                Once when I had a blood clot in my leg (to me it was simply a swollen leg that wouldn’t go away) I went to emergency at the Midland Hospital in my town and the attending physician said a man in my condition doesn’t get blood clots and I needed to go home and take some aspirin and soak my leg in Epson salts. I readmitted myself in emergency for the 3rd time and while in the waiting room I turned to my right to see a magazine on a table sitting next to me but then thought nothing of it. I looked again as if drawn to it and repeated that 3 or 4 more times. I thought to myself, “For cryin’ out loud! Am I supposed to read something in this mag’?” I intuitively felt my answers to this problem could be found in this magazine. I picked it up and flipped through the pages and found an article on what a deep-vein-thrombosis is (DVT) and how to treat it. I presented with classic symptoms; I had a blood clot! I knew it just by reading the details. It also said I needed an ultrasound for diagnosis and the administration of blood thinners (Heparin, Coumadin). Immediately after I finished the article I heard my name being called and needless to say, they wanted to send me home for the third time. But this time I had knowledge and a defense; I pointed out that all my symptoms were classic of a DVT and I wasn’t leaving the hospital without an ultrasound. It was then that things turned nasty as they insisted they had more important patients to attend to with real problems. I still refused to go and my bed was surrounded by four physicians treating me as a mental case and possibly violent and said they would call the police and have me removed. I told them that was an excellent idea because then my complaint will be on record and upon my death from pulmonary embolism (got that from the magazine too) my family will sue them for negligence. You could see their faces drop and they relented and called the ultrasonographer at 2 AM to give me a diagnosis. BINGO! I had a DVT running all the way from my ankle to my knee and was immediately treated as an emergency-big time!

                So the moral of the story is, listen to that inner voice. But no matter how many times I tell my arrogant psychologist PhD “friend” about stories like these, and no matter how improbable, it’s only a brain fart or faulty memory or I’m coloring the story as faulty memories do. Every event is categorized and shelved away in his conflationary style to make his world more safe and predictable. In regards to his thinking I am presenting myself as some psychic guru, some overseer of the cosmos or a man with a hotline to God-or even worse, that I am God-I have always told him I am certain I would test terribly for ESP. All of these events come as wonderful gifts from a higher power. I have no control over them-they just come. Of course, that raises the question why doesn’t my skeptical friend have any of these? Michael Persinger has noted photon emissions from the right side of the brain (NOT the LEFT) and feels that is why creative people have these events. I am a professional illustrator and maybe therein lay the key towards that sensitivity? Fortunately I am also an academic and studied math and science and that allows me to go head to head with my doubting friend who always insists on the topic of the day-always controlling the conversation with my psi experiences treated as off limits.

              • neilmiller2011
                April 20, 2013

                Being a psychologist your “friend” is in a field that supposedly studies the varieties of human experience and seeks to understand human experience before he casts judgement. At least that’s what I think they do. Is he one of those guys who STILL is studying rats in Skinner boxes? That’s a personification of a small mind. If he is, torch the friendship by (anonymously) sending him dead flowers. But, psychology has over a 150 year history of exploring uncharted territory in the human mind. If you really want this guy as a friend, or, if you see him as humpty dumpty and want to knock him off the wall, why not push him hard by asking him why he is repudiating the heritage of his profession? Carl Jung and Abe Maslow would not have spoken to you as he did. 100,000 of their cohorts would not have spoken to you that way.
                With this thought, why not try analyzing his problem? His problem of renouncing Jung and the others to be self righteous and judgmental about things he’s ignorant of. Please remember sir, stay clinically detached.

            • Peter
              April 20, 2013

              These anti-psi folks are so militant because to admit even the possibility of psi events requires them to admit that they are incapable of having psi events and are incapable because of their linear, egoic mind set. No one wants to admit they are incapable. It is easier to claim the other person is wrong or delusional or dependent even if no evidence is advanced to that assertion.

              • Matthew
                August 15, 2014

                It is the same on the both ends of the spectrum. Very few people are actually in the middle on this. From the comments and this blog post it seems to be true. If you do not agree with me you’re stupid or lacking education(sometimes lack of scientific education is a valid response), paranormal nonsense is dumb and if you believe it you are no better than creationists etc. But the same comes from those with the purportedly “open mind”.

              • craigweiler
                August 15, 2014

                No. This is an understandable ignorance on your part about what is really going on. If you haven’t been on the receiving end, -and it’s clear you haven’t- then you’re not really in a position to comment.

            • marcustanthony
              April 20, 2013

              Such is the nature of mind – call it ego if you like. “I know best.” “I already know this stuff.” “Only I see the truth and you are deluded.” “I am smart and you are stupid.” This is the essential nature of mind regardless of worldview. If a person has not done a deeply mindful inner journey then this obvious truth is typically not acknowledged. Psychologists are no exception, as certain schools and approaches are analytical or even quantitative in their approach.

              Your friend does have a good point about talking about psychic experience. I personally find most people are quite open to such ideas, but the fact is that certain people are quite hostile to it. Some environments are simply not the right place to be bringing up such experiences. For example I wouldn’t talk about them normally in a formal education setting or a public meeting.

              The way you approach the subject is also crucial. Don’t be evangelical or obsessive about it. This will unnerve people.

              I live in a multi-dimensional reality, and experience a constant stream of non-local information. But I rarely talk about it in public, unless someone else brings it up. This doesn’t concern me greatly. I no longer see such experience as being extraordinary, nor even particularly interesting most of the time. It is simply everyday experience. I am not concerned that some other people refuse to entertain such cognitive experience. I have worked intensely with groups of extraordinary people at various times, so I know for certain that human consciousness has such qualities. So I am not threatened by those who deny it.

              In time this little mechanistic glitch in the history of human civilisation will pass, and the extended mind will be accepted as perfectly normal. Try to keep this in mind. As a futurist, I am used to thinking about culture and society within broad contexts. For me the historical present stretches over centuries. This kind of perspective can be very helpful in contextualising the way modern society and its education and culture operate. People are conditioned to deny the spiritual and psychic. But as the recent TED drama showed, things are now shifting. I believe we will see a dramatic shift in science and education in the coming decades. But there will be strong resistance from the status quo. That is something you have to be prepared for.

              I am developing a project called “The Great Mind Shift.” It is a blueprint for how we can transition into this new era. It is particularly aimed at helping people who are working and thinking across the spiritually-inclined discourses, industries and creative endeavours. My goal is to help the kind of people who come to blogs like this live happily and succeed professionally as the great mind shift unfolds. In particular I am going to highlight the kinds of opportunities the shift will provide. I am about to pitch the idea to my agent. I am hoping he has a bit of foresight in this matter!

              Marcus

          • Peter
            April 20, 2013

            Skeptics may be well educated but are “well educated” only within a narrow field. That education does not extend to inquiry beyond their field or even to wonder if there is something beyond that field which may require other means of inquiry from what they are used to.

        • Dr Terence Palmer
          December 19, 2012

          Michelle, now you’re talking. These bullying types we are talking about have spent their entire professional careers building an income from a foundation of methodological atheism and anyone who comes along with a concept that challenges their own core beliefs is a threat. They are defending their position with attacking what they see as a real threat to the foundations that their ontological security is built on. It is they who fear us who use precisely the techniques that you are talking about for your own defence from their negative energy. Try this: see them as victims of their own ignorance and feel compassion towards them. Don’t see them as good or bad – just see them as they are and do not judge them. By not judging them they are not able to judge you. Try it and see how you feel.

          Best regards

          Terry

    • Marcus T Anthony
      December 18, 2012

      If I may comment, Michelle? There’s no need to set up a psychic shield. What keeps you locked in the ‘drama’ of conflict with sceptics is your judgment of them. In turn that judment emerges from the mind when it feels threatened, and it seeks to attack or subtely destroy the object it feels is ‘out to get me’. It is precisely the same thing driving the sceptics’ desire to be rid of ‘you’. It’s a game of projection. The truth is that it is rarely necessary to protect yourself against other’s judgments, because very few judgments have any actual psychic ‘energy’ to them (unless it is a protracted drama, or something that really presses our buttons). It is mostly people we are emotionally bonded with who affect us in this way. So the key is simply to learn to be still, to be present, to create a space within yourself where you are not identifying with ‘the mind’ and its thought processes – including attachment to spiritual beliefs.

      A classic case of this occurred on Facebook the other night. Someone wrote a post along the lines of “Sorry for being in contempt of all religious and paranormal nonsense, but in this regard I am in agreement with most of the great minds in history.” I wrote a short reply (rare for me, I rarely engage anyone on the net in this way), mentioning a few of the many great minds – including scientists – who disagreed with him, and suggesting that who we consider great is a function of our value system, and in turn these are heavily influenced by our society and upbringing. I also mentioned that I thought that people like Dawkins, Wiseman and Hitchins didn’t understand spirituality because they had never explored it personally. At any rate, the fellow then rattled off about six successive posts/rants, railing against me as “a caveman who had never questioned his paranormal beliefs”. I thought about responding, but just let it go, and eventually he exhausted himself and stopped posting – about four hours later.

      The thing is, there is no point in engaging people at this level. It is clear, as Craig says, that hardcore sceptics are not coming from a position of ‘rational’ objectivity, but from strong emotional attachment to a subjective belief structure. So just pull out of the drama, acknowledge whatever judgments or projections you have toward the other person, and simply return to being present.

      If you are really keen, try this. You can own your projections by saying them out loud, imagining the person standing before you, and just ‘letting them have it’. Or better still, act it out. If you are honest you’ll probably find yourself swearing and kicking and punching, shaming and cursing the other guy, and wanting to destroy him (yes, this means that the sceptics will be in just as much need of psychic protection from you, as you from them). That should embarrass you enough to see how foolish such mind games are.

      You cannot win the war against sceptics. At a deeper level they merely reflect back to you the doubt in your own mind about the beliefs that you hold. Otherwise their judments would have no effect on you.

      Marcus

    • Leonard
      December 20, 2012

      I agree that bad manners bring down the level of discourse. Notice how how the blog entry compares the views of skeptics to “a tale told by an idiot”? Charming.

      • craigweiler
        December 20, 2012

        I have the benefit of having read a great deal of skepticism of psi over the years and compared it to the research. Their tales might not be told by idiots, but they are definitely full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

        Engaging in sarcasm, by the way, does not elevate the debate.

        • Matthew
          August 15, 2014

          Could not respond to the other comment above where it was posted so doing it here.

          I can easily reciprocate your comment. If you are intent on assuming my personal experiences I do not think you intend to engage in civil discourse. I am in a position to comment, as is anyone who has been in the discussion and received appalling flak from all sides. I would say to get into the real life academic community and not internet forums. It is a great place to see and receive good as well as bad criticisms regarding your own ideas. But to me it seems you have some sort of blinders on that wont allow you to see the arrogance and implicit spite of your comments.

  8. Marcus T Anthony
    December 18, 2012

    (Sorry to post this here, Craig, but emails to palmer55@gmail.com bounce)

    Hi Terry,

    You can correspond with me via this email address: mindfutures@yahoo.com

    Not sure why my comments boxes aren’t showing up for you – what search engine are you using? They are definitely there, and I do get some comments and heaps of spam. But maybe the software isn’t compatible with some versions of some search engines.

    I can take a look at your thesis. Probably can’t read all of it in depth, though. I got mine published through Sense Publishers in Copenhagen, as part of Futures Studies series.

    We can also chat via skype, but not till after about Jan 4, because my broadband is switching over to a better service.

    Regards,

    Marcus

  9. Dr Terence Palmer
    December 17, 2012

    I have just been informed that my thesis is being considered for publishing. Would anyone like to write review of it?

  10. Dr Terence Palmer
    December 17, 2012

    Marcus, the comments box is definitely missing. Do you have it switched on in your preferences?

  11. Dr Terence Palmer
    December 17, 2012

    Marcus,

    I have just tried to comment on your post ‘Diary of a 21st Century Mystic’ but the only option open is to ‘tweet’, but I am not a tweeter. If you want to achieve your stated objective, which I am in agreement with, then you will need to open up your lines of communication.

    Best regards

    Terry

    • Marcus T Anthony
      December 17, 2012

      Hmm, that’s strange, Terry. There should be a comment box (“Leave a comment”) right under the Twitter/Facebook icons. The box is a little hard to see if your computer screen is at the wrong angle. Or maybe the search engine you are using doesn’t show it? It shows up for me via Firefox. I did get your email yesterday by the way. I’ll send you a personal email, so we can communicate that way. Certainly I would like to have a chat to you, if possible.

      I do agree that it is important not to be against the system. That’s a bit of a trap, I think. It traps you at the same level of mind – confrontational binaries. I do appreciate that people like Craig, Dean Radin and Sheldrake have a professional duty to confront some of these people – like Wiseman, Dawkins, Dennet etc – when they get out of line.

      Regards,

      Marcus

  12. Dr Terence Palmer
    December 17, 2012

    Marcus,

    Your blog site is an excellent shop window but it is difficult to enter the shop. I feel an affinity with what you are doing and how you do it, and what you and I are doing is not so much against mainstream science but pioneering it. My PhD thesis was on the work of Frederic Myers, and he declared in the late 19th century that mediums were in the vanguard of the evolution of consciousness. I too teach others how to reach altered states that enable them to ‘see’ into other worlds that are dissociated from the physical 3-d universe. Applications in healing are tremendous and pose a serious threat to institutional medicine, and when the financial security of individuals or institutions is threatened by an alternative that costs nothing then that is a serious matter. This is why I choose not to challenge them, but educate those who ‘want’ to learn. I feel as if I am communicating with you through Craig’s hospitality, and I am sure that he would not object, but there is much that I would like to discuss with you. When I look at your WordPress site alongside my own and Graig’s yours is the one that stands out as being difficult to communicate with. Set them all up side by side and look at the top bar and see what the difference is.

    PS. Call me Terry.

  13. Marcus T Anthony
    December 16, 2012

    Craig, I agree that the implications of the extended mind are absolutely massive for neuroscience, psychology, biology and science itself. The computer brain=consciousness model is a fundamental presupposition of all mainstream discourses on mind/brain. When the foundations are faulty, the building falls down.

    BTW, last night I read through a few more of your posts, and I enjoyed them greatly.

    Terrence, I am not strictly a theoretician. I don’t do experiments, but I work with the intuitive mind on a daily basis. I embarked on a PhD many years AFTER exploring the mind at a first person level, and working with wonderful spiritual teachers who helped me develop my own intuitive abilities. It may be true that some people are more gifted than others, but I have seen first-hand that many intuitive capacities can be developed. Integrated Intelligence is innate to human beings – it is just that they lie dormant in many. So a big part of what I do is teaching people how to develop their intuitive capacities, and this includes shifting from the mechanical worldview/delusion that prevents so many people from being able to do this.

    And thanks for the compliments about my blog, Terrence and Craig (for some reason I can’t seem to respond to your individual posts directly). I had an old blogspot blog (www.22cplus.blogspot.com), which is still there, but I now put my stuff on the new one. The new one is a wordpress blog, and they can be a little more complicated to run that standard blogs (but only $40 a year for my theme). In answer to your question about how to subscribe to my blog, Terrence, the answer is I don’t know – yet! I’ll get onto that, as I should have worked this out three months ago when I set it up. Thanks for reminding me.

    Marcus

  14. Marcus T Anthony
    December 16, 2012

    Thanks for the great post. It’s the first time I’ve come across your blog, Craig (or you!). Although I write and speak a lot around domains related to psi research (I call it “integrated intelligence”), I admit I tend to roll my eyes when I see another debate between skeptics and proponents. I did see that original meta-analysis paper a couple of years back, as Dean Radin mentioned it on his blog. It is a little difficult to know what to do with the existence of these mental faculties (not at a personal level, but in broader society, science and education). The existence of psi is absolutely crucial to understanding human consciousness and what it means to be human. I’ve done a lot of experiential work, which has given me a strong working understanding of many of the cognitive processes involved. I’ve also tried to outline the practical importance of integrated intelligence for the future of society and the human species in general. I get a pretty good reception in Futures Studies, which is a very open minded field. I have written and presented scores of papers in the field, and written quite a few academic and popular books. However this has pretty much led to me being completely excluded from the broader academic world. It is rather disheartening indeed to meet with so many years of exclusion from academic institutions, even the one that gave me my PhD. However I haven’t given up, and my next step will probably be to move into the idea of leadership and conscious governance, which does have strong overlaps with the intuitive mind.

    Anyway, keep up the good work with your blog, Craig. I’ll add it to the list of recommended sites on my blog.

    All the best,

    Marrcus T Anthony

    • craigweiler
      December 16, 2012

      Hi Marcus,
      You have a beautiful blog. I’m jealous. And thank you for the compliments!

      What will science do with psi? I think first of all, psi challenges the widely held, but scientifically unsupported view that consciousness is an evolutionary adaptation. Rather, the data point to consciousness being a fundamental property of the universe. The human mind then, is not a transmitter, but rather a filter of consciousness. This, I think, will be the most significant shift.

      • Dr Terence Palmer
        December 16, 2012

        I agree with Craig,
        Marcus you have a beautiful site, very well constructed and good to look at. I need to spend some time going through your material. I must confess that I am more of a doer than an academic debater. I prefer to construct experiments with spiritual healing rather than discuss the theoretical properties of ‘psi’. My attitude towards the sceptics is the same as towards anyone who chooses to deny what stares them in the face. Denial is a symptom of mental illness, whether it is denial of one’s alcoholism or denial of one’s inherent spirituality. It is all the same to me – denial is crazy.

        • Peter
          December 16, 2012

          “A symptom of mental illness” Succinct and accurate. I’ll use it in my travels.

      • Matthew
        August 15, 2014

        How is consciousness as an adaptation not scientifically supported? (not being rude here just asking honest questions because I am curious as to what you have to say). There are a few papers in PNAS that speak of the cognitive niche and provide evidence from both neuroscience and biology; simply type it in the search box and they should come up, if not I will post the link if you need it. What data exactly points to this? Consciousness, as far as I am aware, does not affect the natural world but is a product of it. To paraphrase Dr. Richard Feynman, nature will do whatever she wants whether or not we are there to (consciously) observe it. It is also false that consciousness is required in the collapse of wave function. The observer refers to any apparatus of measurement and does not necessitate consciousness. I do not yet see how the mind is separate from the brain. Contrary to popular belief, the current substantiated claims of neuroscience aren’t being withheld because of bias or indoctrination by “materialist dogma”; the evidence continues to support those conclusions. New ideas are put to the test of current and well supported ideas to see if the evidence out weighs one another and or they can perhaps be compatible and included in a better theory. To me it seems those without scientific training repeat that same canard. I am honestly curious as to your opinion on this and would hope for civil mature discussion as that seems hard to come by from both skeptics and believers alike.

        BTW In case you might ask, I have had an NDE, OBE, and numerous “telepathic” experiences.

        • craigweiler
          August 15, 2014

          To prove that consciousness is an adaptation absolutely requires that you understand what consciousness is. And no one does. That’s why it’s called “The Hard Problem.”

          • Matthew
            August 15, 2014

            I can say the same to you. You can not posit it as a fundamental aspect of the universe if you do not fully understand consciousness (which no one does at this point). But specific traits attributed to consciousness including things like access to information have graduated from mysteries or very difficult to actual scientific ideas with a basis in empirical evidence. Consciousness, or its traits, as a fundamental part of the universe is not supported by any scientific evidence as far as I am aware (I will read links if provided). I have looked into the quantum consciousness positions of Henry Stapp, Stuart Hameroff, and Sir Roger Penrose. The revised ORCH OR theory is the only thing i can think of where maybe, and I mean maybe, such a conclusion can be extrapolated but that is highly suspect and Penrose does not agree with the implications Hameroff parrots around. To clarify, the Hard Problem, as presented by David Chalmers, refers to the inability of modern science to explain qualia. Our subjective experiences of qualia and how exactly it arises. It is an area of interesting research I thoroughly enjoy, but what you posit is essentially outside science and belongs in metaphysics in my opinion.

            • craigweiler
              August 15, 2014

              I really can’t give you a full reply tonight. You seem to be dismissing theories of the fundamental nature of consciousness and claiming there is no evidence, but you don’t seem to know what the evidence is. It’s beyond the scope of a comment area to even begin to cover that area. You will have to actively search this out if you want to learn.

              The skeptical position you’re taking seems to be done without an understanding of the cultural aspect and the very real taboo against psi in mainstream science. Without that, you can’t really understand what is going on. Bear in mind that I am the author of a heavily researched book on parapsychology skepticism. Feel free to read it: Psi Wars: TED, Wikipedia and the Battle for the Internet.

              As things stand in neuroscience, the evidence shows correlation, but not causation. Science has no idea whatsoever how you get from neurons to experience. It’s an easy problem to solve if you start with the assumption that consciousness is fundamental, but impossible if it isn’t.

              • Matthew
                August 15, 2014

                I have not read the book but I plan to, thank you. I’m sure you are familiar with very damning reviews of it if you have checked up on them. It’s not pretty, but I will withhold my position on it until I’ve read it myself.

                Yes I do dismiss those hypothesese. I have not found anything aside from uncredible blogs and websites that promote nonsense on the side (well debunked myths like we use 10-20% of our brains only). But I will continue to look into it.

                You are definitely right. So far neuroscience has only correlations. The book/papers from Francis Crick and Christoff Koch are a great read I would recommended on the subject of neural correlates of consciousness. I subscribe to this view as more plausible as of now but willing to change in light of new discovery. I appreciate the change of attitude very much thank you. I look forward to reading your book.

        • marcustanthony
          August 16, 2014

          I attend various science conferences, and my perception is that the current level of understanding of consciousness is poor. Most of the current research is on the easy problem – neural correlates – and much of this is based on very crude instrumentation. The fMRI, for example, has a resolution of about one cubic mm. That’s extraordinarily clunky IMHO. It’s like trying to observe distant galaxies with a pair of binoculars.

          When you say the evidence points to the neural basis of consciousness, you are drawing on circular logic, or perhaps circular methodology is a better term. Neuroscience conferences are incredibly insular, and it is impossible for people with differing worldviews or understandings to get a voice. I know. When I attend such conferences, I am rendered professionally silent. This is because I work with an entirely different approach to consciousness.

          I think it is self-limiting and self-stultifying to silence those who offer divergent perspectives – and then continue to look in the same places with the same crude instruments asking the same paradigmatically delimited questions.

          And there is intriguing evidence that counters the materialist school. The evidence from psi research is one.

          Lawrence Le Shan in his book A New Science of the Paranormal, makes a strong case as to why the anecdotal reports of psi experience are crucial to understanding these things. I am in agreement with him. Excluding first person reports from consciousness studies is like banning references to animals and plants in biology. It is madness.

          What’s more there are incredibly brilliant practitioners of this kind of intelligence – but they too are silenced in mainstream circles.

          I predict this will change in time. I believe the foundations of modern neuroscience are fundamentally in error, and one this becomes widely acknowledged, we will see an entirely different “discourse” emerge.

          • Matthew
            August 16, 2014

            One can’t expect to be able to voice a topic outside of such a focused conference. I would not expect a physicist to start talking about his research on evolution at a biology conference. You are correct in your assessment of the limits of FMRI but recall it is well known this is a crude method as it measures merely hemodynamics. EEG combined with FMR and Trans-Cranial stimulation tend to be used together to build upon the spatio-temporal picture given. Methods are still crude of course and ways to examine many neurons at once effectively elude us.

            Respectfully, I don’t think that is something in the realm of science. That is, para psychological psi research. The field istself is wrought with glaring issues damned in other fields such as a consistent welcoming of an unfalsifiable hypotheses.

            It is also well known that anecdotal evidence is poor. In science, it is very low on the totem pole if considered at all. The analogy is flawed because in biology we readily study humans and there is no discrepancy or meaningful one, between first and third person analysis. The animals and plants are essential to biological study. Asking how someone feels is not essential in studying consciousness unless you wish to conduct this study in phenomenology; which is where it should be placed.

            I am very interested to see if you’re work or the work of others can shake the ground of contemporary neuroscience. To do so, there is going to need to have had your hypotheses repeatedly verified and solid testable predictions that are consistently true. You need to have something that works and produces results that can further investigation and insights. In my opinion PSI research lacks these fundamental qualities. Even the famed Ganzfeld experiments. I think this stuff could make a dent in philosophy, especially in the philosophy of mind. I would encourage such studies being brought there as I am unsure to the veracity of this research.

            Thank you for the response, best wishes

          • Matthew
            August 16, 2014

            I’m speaking about the polls done on actual scientific institutions. The places where thousands of scientists in various fields are actively involved in some aspect of research or editorial work in their fields. As an example, the NAS was surveyed in 1991 where 96% were skeptical of the phenomenon. This was published in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical research. It’s is not easy to find stats on this topic as it seems most active working scientists where it matters don’t care that much. The poll from 40 years ago is highly dubious and is a measure of professors, this does not reflect the scientific community. In light of all of this I think it is justifiable to claim most of the scientific community is skeptical to parapsychology and it’s claims (10% believed parapsychology was worth it). If support were truly as strong as you say, the field would not be as barren as it is with hundred years of research amounting to only 2 months of work in the hard sciences. The lack of funding, attention, exalting, and overall fruitless effects is testimony to my claim. By all means you may disagree, but I do not think there is as much support as you claim there is. It is unfortunate.

            • Anonymous
              August 16, 2014

              So I take it you have no interest in the other five polls? If you were truly interested in this topic you would show enthusiasm when people open up the discussion and point you in a new direction. The historical, civilisational, paradigmatic, cultural, educational and institutional barriers to professionally discussing these topics are well known, as is the distinction with discussing the issues in private with academics and scientists. I sat round a table with a group of neuroscientists last month discussing these things, and only one was aggressively hostile – a colleague of a well known skeptic. This is not an uncommon experience for me. Of course if I opened the conversation by criticising or ridiculing related ideas, or if I’d come to the table with a certain attitude, people would not likely open up. All the best with your research.

              • Matthew
                August 16, 2014

                I am actually unaware of these other poles. I have had a hard time finding a comprehensive survey done on the topic. If you have links or can direct me to where to look I will happily do so. I haven’t been to many conferences so most of my experience is still premature; I also appreciate you sharing your experience. I do express enthusiasm I’m being directed to new areas of research or work I am not already aware of, so these polls will serve me well to look at. Yes I have heard about scientists feeling more relaxed in certain settings where they don’t have to keep up a persona, so to speak. Thank you, and I will continue to look into it.

                Also, if you’re familiar, what would be the best piece of literature to offer a comprehensive overview of parapsychology especially PSI research? Thanks!

              • Ryan McFadde
                August 16, 2014

                I can assure you, that telepathy is real. While I may lack your guys’ level of 2D education, and I do not mean to offend, think about it, I have first hand experience as a telepath. I’m not like Xavier from Xmen, I can’t take over, and I don’t know if a telepath exists who can, but that thought is worrisome.Here is how it works: everything in existence is merely vibrating particles of energy. Thoughts included. So, if you are thinking about a person, and focusing energy on them, they will feel it, as long as they are sensitive. Anyone can send and receive, but very few can control it at will. I’m sure you are familiar with emotional contagion? Same thing going on, we are feeding off and feeling energies sent our way. I would like to sit down with a group of scientists interested in this field and open their minds. When I first became aware of my abilities, I was skeptic, more so then you can imagine, and thought I had gone Schizo. However, I, time and again, was and am able to get people to respond to my thoughts, and I call them on theirs, and believe me, it makes for some interesting conversation. Look, lets face it: the main reason people don’t want to believe is fear. They want to believe they can be free in their own mind. Our minds are the ONE place that we can be completely isolated from the outside world. Or are we? Can we? The energy that makes us is the same as the energy all around us, so we cannot cut ourselves off from it. It is impossible. You will always be a part of existence around you, and the more you try to isolate yourself the more you will find it to be impossible. People like us are just a little more sensitive to existence around us. I think that it is just another part of life, and should be seen as another wonder than a threat. If you guys have any serious question, feel free to ask, but I will not respond to disrespect. I am here on this planet in this life to teach. To open doors never even thought to exist.

              • jerry decaire
                August 16, 2014

                My friend, I have had these experiences as well. But when you mention anything that even closely resembles Xavier and then assert exactly what this phenomenon is, well, no wonder the mainstream scientists think us quacks. Please don’t overblow the facts. You’re making yourself a target for the likes of Randi. He preys on people like you who exaggerate the facts and assert knowledge that cannot be empirically validated. Some of the biggest researchers in psi like Dean Radin and Daryl Bem will say they only know it exists but they cannot give any explanatory model for why or how that is. If they don’t know, you don’t know. Of course you’re welcome to submit the peer reviewed articles that support your thesis.

              • Ryan McFadden
                August 17, 2014

                Define empirical validation, to you, because to me it means making the best decision based on the information you have received. IMO there are only three ways that telepathy can happen. First, the most scientific: Electromagnetism. But my first argument for that is, how can different thoughts emanate different EM waves. If EM eaves are released when we think, wouldn’t they all be the same type of wave? Therefore how could we distinguish on thought from another? Does each different thought release a unique EM wave? Second, is the One Mind theory. That each human being is merely a subjective experience of a collective whole. That would make sense then that our minds could communicate, because all thought would be coming from the same place. The third, and most plausible in my mind, is simply the sending, receiving, and translating of energy. You are correct though, it is, at this point, very unlikely to find a definitive answer, and that is why this is happening, so we can get more minds on it and figure this shit out. :-) And I would love to meet Randi, to blow his mind and take his million. Then I could go build a house in the mountains
                and truly be alone.

              • Anonymous
                August 18, 2014

                Telepathy defies distance-decay effect and appears to transcend time, which rules out electromagnetism- and certain experiments are conducted in “shielded” spaces. “Energy” means the ability to do work, so has little meaning in terms of ESP. If you mean one if the four known forces, again all forces operate within standard linear space-time, including the strong and weak forces, if I’m correct. As for the idea of one mind, again it’s a label or perhaps you might say a description, not an explanation

              • Ryan McFadden
                August 18, 2014

                Yeah, it is quite hard to figure out. I can say, if you get two people who are in tune, they could be on other sides of the planet and it would work, instantaneously. There must be another force. Could be consciousness. Consciousness itself could be a force. At the beginning consciousness could have been what crafted existence. Consciousness would be the force that ties all the other together.

              • Matthew
                August 16, 2014

                Ryan,

                I found reading your post enjoyable and has piqued my interest. As far as I am currently aware (can be wrong of course) that the electromagnetic field that radiates from our brain outward due to the electrical activity of neurons is not strong enough to be picked up (except by EEG but that is different from such a strong affect as this); I am also unaware of any mechanism as to how the brain could send or receive such information. I am not doubting you in the slightest, this is just my current understanding. As my scientific career progresses I want to experiment with this phenomena to see if I can get truly significant results. I would be happy to conduct an experiment with you or anyone you know that has such abilities and run it in a scientific manner. Of course, I am still a long way from such a position but I am interested in pursuing this. My plan is to test the aspects of PSI or ESP in a way that certain results could not have been received otherwise; meaning, there has to have been some process similar to the telepathic transferring of information in order for specific things to be known. My intent is to try and remove chance as much as possible. One idea I have is to have you transfer knowledge of an object to the receiver as scrupulously as possible and then at the end, the guesses of the receiver are analyzed. My example of this is to have the receiver In the sort of ganzfeld like state so it is as certain as possible nothing is being leaked in or out except for psychic abilities (if any exist). Now there will be two receivers. They are both told to guess the card from a standard poker deck that the sender is holding. Heres the trick, one of the senders is not using a poker deck, but blank cards. I think at this point, it is nearly impossible for the receiver to guess the sender is holding a blank card unless somehow information of this is truly transferred. This is my basic idea and it may sound crude and perhaps weak but i think it may be a good start to rolling up our sleeves and really trying to see if this colloquially ubiquitous experience is more than heightened intuition or coincidence. I have strange esp like experiences myself. I tend to be extremely good at telling whether or not a person is off emotionally in a concealed way as well as lying (this could very well be my imagination I have no idea).

                Now professor Xavier thats something. Honestly, I think I prefer Magneto’s powers (yes, I am a comic book nerd). I hope you continue to experiment with your own abilities and meet more civil skeptics (I am one myself if i may float my own boat) as working together in a civil and respectful way is the one true course to progress.

                best wishes,
                Matthew

              • Ryan McFadden
                August 16, 2014

                Electromagnetism is a very probable theory. I think it might be deeper than that though. I think the theory that we are all One collective Consciousness, may have some weight. But how the heck do you test that? Experimenting is hard. From what I know my abilities are no where near the level of Xavier’s. It is difficult to control, both people would have to be aura sensitive as it is called, and there cannot be other people around, for reasons I’m sure you understand. Its just like my brain is an uncontrollable radio, and I can easily see how some people go insane from it. I just happen to have an unbreakable spirit. It is part of my life, and I accept it, and I am trying to develop it for my, and I believe more important other’s benefit, because I am in a unique position to teach. I can teach people to be more humble, and to think more positive. Nothing is lost by thinking good things of people, and nothing is gained by thinking bad things. It is not up to us to decide who or what another person is, we have no right to judge what we do not understand. Not by just seeing them. Not without getting to know them. Humility to me is one of the most important lessons on becoming a quality human.

                Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

  15. Michael Duggan
    December 15, 2012

    Craig, another excellent post. The Ganzfeld is just one of several robust lines of evidence for psi. The cumulative data is indeed overwhelming.

    • craigweiler
      December 15, 2012

      I agree and I’ve known this for quite awhile, but I really needed the researchers to say it.

  16. msevp
    December 15, 2012

    Dr Palmer, Craigweiler: Just to add my twopence worth. Enjoyed listening to your discourse and as Dr Ernet Senkowski said to me over 30 years ago that you can give them the ten points that they ask for and when you have fulfilled that they always ask for one more! Always moving the goal-posts.
    Tina Laurent

    • Peter
      December 15, 2012

      Agree. Discussing the paranormal (or religion) with skeptics is like playing “Whack-A-Mole” at the county fair.

      The problem is that their linear “reasoning” paradigm is exactly that which prevents them experiencing the paranormal. Their linear “reasoning” arises from their fear and is intended merely to deny that which they find threatening.

      • Dr Terence Palmer
        December 15, 2012

        Peter, good reasoning. Makes a lot of sense. All the more reason to not waste time on trying to convert them. They do have their value though in helping us to devise more robust methods in experiments.

        • Peter
          December 15, 2012

          Just as having pets helps us to be better and more conscientious care providers.

  17. Dr Terence Palmer
    December 14, 2012

    I’ll call it a night. Good night and God bless. Talk soon.

    Terry.

    PS. glad to meet you.

    • craigweiler
      December 14, 2012

      Thanks. Right back at you.

  18. Dr Terence Palmer
    December 14, 2012

    Sorry Craig, the title was enough to put me off. We don’t heal mice we heal people.

    • craigweiler
      December 14, 2012

      I do recommend it. What makes this study so unique is that it is an exceedingly rare example (the only one I know of) of a very tightly controlled psychic healing study. The outcome for the control mice was known to be 100% fatalities.

  19. Earl
    December 14, 2012

    A number of years ago I asked one Mr Daniel Dennett how he would react if psi effects might one day be proven real. His response was “I would have to kill myself. All my theories are based on its impossibility”. Nuff said.

    • craigweiler
      December 14, 2012

      I have one of his books; the hilariously named “Consciousness Explained.” I actually made it about 3/4 of the way through before I gave up. To me, it seemed like it was mostly elaborate guessing.

  20. Dr Terence Palmer
    December 14, 2012

    Here, be my guest and follow this: http://www.tjpalmer.org/research/

    Kindest regards

    Terry

    • craigweiler
      December 14, 2012

      I looked at your site and bookmarked it for further review. It looks interesting.

      • Dr Terence Palmer
        December 14, 2012

        Thank you Craig. Here is another one that you may be interested in with three manuscripts in preparation for publishing: http://tjpalmer.blogspot.co.uk/

        Take your time. This is the culmination of 18 years of work.

        Cheers.

        • craigweiler
          December 14, 2012

          I will have a look when I am able. I have a queue of reading that is on my list. It does sound interesting.

  21. Pingback: Telepathy Has Been Scientifically Proven to be Real (again) » Terence J Palmer PhD

  22. Dr Terence Palmer
    December 14, 2012

    Confirmation of what Frederic Myers, Edmund Gurney and Frank Podmore found to be true 125 years ago.

  23. Peter
    December 14, 2012

    Are you sure that the article, ” Extrasensory Perception and Quantum Models of Cognition”, was not first published in the Onion, along with such other reliable Onion articles as “Kim Jong-Un’s Wife Escapes North Korea In Long-Range Missile”?

    • craigweiler
      December 14, 2012

      Explain please.

      • Peter
        December 14, 2012

        It was meant to be a joke. “Science endorses ESP” sounds like the sort of satirical comment that the Onion would publish. If one has to explain a joke it likely wasn’t too funny. I’ll try harder next time.

        The article refers to meta analyses, so “science” has long known that the paranormal including ESP exists. It is the loudest skeptics that get the press however. And, unfortunately, influence the hoi polloi or, at least, allow them to vent their fears of what for them is the unknown.

        • craigweiler
          December 14, 2012

          Sorry, I just didn’t get the joke. I spend way too much time dealing with skeptics and their snarky ways and your comment was too close to what they would say.

          The multiple meta analyses do help build the case by being so different from one another and still getting significant positive results.

          • Dr Terence Palmer
            December 14, 2012

            I have no interest in what the sceptics say or think. They are sceptics because they have never had a real mystical experience of their own, and until they do they will continue to deride those that have. It has nothing to do with science because science has already provided the evidence. There is no more to say about it except to put it to good use in healing the sick.

            • craigweiler
              December 14, 2012

              I basically agree with you on those points. Unfortunately, the skeptics are a force to be reckoned with. They more or less control the scientific mainstream views on this subject and they have to be dealt with if you want to reach a wider audience. Most people unfortunately have little understanding of just how dogmatic they really are and it is up to us to educate them.

            • Eddie
              January 31, 2013

              The fact you have no time for sceptics means you are free to believe in your own little world and you won’t confront any doubt (guilty of something you have blamed the sceptics for doing). You likely only scoop up things which “prove” your ideas and discard anything that goes against them, such as results that produce a negative results when the studies are replicated. Sceptic is a word from to consider, to think and most who aren’t hard-lined (hard-lined ones shouldn’t be called sceptics for etymology reasons) simply doubt and consider and think.

              When replicating a studies sometimes the results are replicated sometimes they are not. Consider them all. With parapsychology the more you replicate the study the more likely the results are too. Statistics. Why do you think another side to analysing scientific data includes statistics? There is evidence for, there is also evidence against. This happens a lot in science. There is evidence for triclosan interacting with chloride to create chloroform, however throw it into a toothpaste with other variables and add water with chloride in and no chloroform produced.

              The human mind is patterned anyway and it keeps to what it knows. Pre-cognition happens. If you will call it telepathy that is your call but it is nothing mysterious or spiritual and it happens irregularly, it is not consistent.

              I reject one comment on this blog about sceptics not having anything mysterious in their life. I used to be a spiritual pagan who thought we existed roaming the earth as a spirit when we die larking about in forests and such and used to believe in ‘spiritual energy’ and Chakras and I hated it when Stephen Fry had a go at it – I was young (about 14, I’m now 21). I go back to that thought and realise how silly I was, considering how I think now. Also, might want to see Michael Shermer, he is also an example of going from believer to sceptic.

              • craigweiler
                January 31, 2013

                Hi Eddie,
                Thanks for your comment. I spent a long time evaluating the skepticism for the ganzfeld experiments. It was one of the first things I did when evaluating the evidence. Basically, it comes down to this: Are there sufficient Ganzfeld trials to reach a conclusion? Yes. Replicated by many different researchers? Yes. Are those conclusions positive? Yes. Are those conclusions significant? Yes. Scientifically, these questions have been answered.

                Now it is up to the skeptics to have their crack at it. The bar is quite high for skeptics to disprove the validity of the experiments at this point. Mere opinion about what might be wrong with them is unpersuasive because that is unscientific. If you choose to reject the results you now have to demonstrate a scientifically acceptable reason for doing so. In other words you have to conclusively prove that the researchers were in error and you have to do it in a peer reviewed, scientific paper and effectively deal with the criticism of the parapsychologists.

                No skeptic has done this.There have a been a couple of academic papers by skeptics, but they were not very good and were easily repudiated. I have included one of them in the article.

                You really need a better understanding of statistics, based on your comment, to understand the significance of the ganzfeld experiments.

            • Matthew
              August 15, 2014

              I am one, I do not appreciate the generalization. It is rude and immature to conduct discourse in such a manner. The near entirety of the scientific community disagrees with you (maybe the parapsychological community does-but even they can be quite skeptical if you check that literature) but as you said, you will not address it. Skeptics and believers alike never stop the rampant finger pointing and my evidence is better than your evidence playground argument. I am currently an undergraduate in psychology and plan to pursue neuroscience into my PH.D. I do not dismiss PSI claims outright, that is unscientific and not progressive in any way. I wish to read and understand the claims and the experiments, as well as their criticisms. I dismiss neither and pursue without confirmation bias into these fields as I have very close “psychic” friends I talk to regularly. I wish to truly discover whether or not there is something more or if it is reducible to biochemical processes as most evidence currently suggests. The jury is not out as most believers and skeptics believe. There is much work to be done. The work of Darly Bem and the recent analysis of the Ganzfeld experiments deserves to be looked at. We may discover something we never would have believed, or make a mockery out of the parapsychological community or scientific community.

              The disposition of many on this blog and blogs like it is the exact opposite of what you claim to be.

              • craigweiler
                August 15, 2014

                I don’t think that you fully understand the cultural situation. You don’t really get the full brunt of the skeptical backlash until you defend parapsychology. Pretty much any parapsychologist you talk to will acknowledge the taboo.

              • Peter
                August 16, 2014

                Referring to “the near entirety of the scientific community” is the logical fallacy of argumentum ad numerum. The number of people who believe something has zero to do with the truth of that something.

                In your sample, we are looking at an excellent example of groupthink.

                It would be far useful for you to be focusing on those outside of that “near entirety”.

                Incidentally, I would also challenge your claim on its truthfulness. The Russian and U.S. militaries, for example, are actively engaged in psychic research including telepathy. Those bodies are as mainstream as you can get.

              • marcustanthony
                August 16, 2014

                The “near entirety” of the scientific community does not disagree with psi research. There have been six major surveys into scientific and academic opinions on ESP and related subject matters, and there is a healthy diversity of opinion. I also speak to people in private at conferences and while some are very hostile in an almost religious way, about 50% are open or are proponents. Skeptics groups do not represent a normal cross-section of “scientists”. They are extremists. Psychologists are the least likely of all scientists to hold positive beliefs, but if I ran rats through mazes all day as part of my “training” I’d probably have a pretty skewed view of consciousness too.

                e.g.

                A survey of more than 1,100 college professors in the United States found that 55% of natural scientists, 66% of social scientists (excluding psychologists), and 77% of academics in the arts, humanities, and education believed that ESP is either an established fact or a likely possibility. The comparable figure for psychologists was only 34%. Moreover, an equal number of psychologists declared ESP to be an impossibility, a view expressed by only 2% of all other respondents (Wagner &h; Monnet, 1979).

      • Peter
        December 14, 2012

        You do understand that I was not denigrating meta analyses, I hope.

        • craigweiler
          December 14, 2012

          Yes. I understood what you were saying and you’re right. The parapsychologists didn’t need any meta analyses to see what was staring them in the face. They have known for a long, long time.

        • Matthew
          August 16, 2014

          (Reply box was not visible above I apologize)

          I agree, I did not make the comment to say that psi does not exist. Likewise, the number of people in the United States who believe it does not prove it does. I personally do not know if it exists and withhold belief from any one camp.

          The near entirety refers to the scientific community. Not the military, and not “outside” of it. That would not be a part of the scientific community and irrelevant to the truth of my claim. If we are to look outside of that, then the focus should be in metaphysics not science. If I recall the CIA tried to test remote viewing and came up short finding no result that this was possible.

          I would like to see your source of the information that these militaries “actively” engage in such research. If a significant finding has occurred, would it not be of high pragmatic use to the military? I question the truth this claim and would like to read the source if you don’t mind providing it.

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This entry was posted on December 14, 2012 by in parapsychology, Skeptics and Skeptic Arguments and tagged , , .
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