Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics
What I’m going to show you is that telekinesis, the ability of the mind to affect matter, is real.
Telekinesis, is the most disputed of the psychic abilities and the subject of the most fraud. From Uri Geller and his not quite provable spoon bending to countless magicians mimicking telekinesis with their tricks, it’s a skill that has been hard to take seriously.
It has no place in present physics theories and is widely regarded as the realm of kooks and whack jobs. If it indeed exists, it will throw all that we think we know into disarray.
When we look at telekinesis, the first question we have to ask is: What are our expectations? Moving a piano? bending a spoon? Summoning the lightsaber that Darth Vader knocked out of our hands? Creating a force field? We have to consider what we expect this to be.
I say this because telekinesis does in fact exist, but not in the form we expect. All scientific studies to date show it to be a very small effect. The earliest such studies date back to 1935 with the work of J.B. Rhine and Louisa Rhine at Duke University. So there is a lot of data out there. The grouping of this data is called meta-analysis. It’s necessary because the effect is small and a large database is needed because chance has to be ruled out as a factor.
From the book: “The Conscious Universe” by Dean Radin:
Over the next half-century, some fifty-two investigators published the results of 148 such studies (in English-language publications). . . .
. . .behind the apparently straightforward dice-tossing task lies a bewildering array of pitfalls, any one of which could legitimately cast doubt on the experimental results. . .
. . .In our analysis of the evidence, we considered specifically whether mental intention had caused a prespecified die face to land face up after being tossed. . .
. . .As in any meta-analysis, it was necessary to include every study that could be retrieved; otherwise, it is far too easy to allow personal biases to influence the selection of the “good” studies and leave behind the “bad.” . . .
. . .The result remained highly significant, with odds against chance greater than a billion to one.
So people were in fact, able to alter outcome of dice tosses so that they were not entirely random. (Chance is, of course, 50% and the altered outcome was 51%. Significant, but not enough to take to Las Vegas.)
The analysis also took into account the “file drawer” problem and found that it could not significantly alter the results.
Dice studies are tricky though. One could argue that this is not telekinesis, but rather subtle motions of the hand making perfectly calculated moves to achieve the desired results. It is a far fetched hypothesis, but not as far fetched as telekinesis.
The studies were later done by computer with random number generators, or RNG’s for short. Referencing the book again:
Now we can directly compare the overall results of the dice experiments with the RNG experiments . . . We see that the dice study results and the RNG study results are remarkably similar, suggesting that the same mind-matter interaction effects have been repeatedly observed in nearly five hundred dice and RNG experiments for more than five decades.
With the RNG results, there can be no doubt that an actual mind-matter interaction is at work. The fact that the results are very similar show that the most likely explanation for being able to affect the outcome of a dice toss is in fact, telekinesis.
There are on-going studies that anyone can participate in. The one I find most to my liking is this one.
This is the RetroPsychokinesis Project and anyone can participate. It shows some very interesting results. Check out the results on this page. What it shows is that deviation by intent after approximately 300,000 trials is Z=.54. That is very significant. (This number does change a bit because the study is ongoing.)
By comparison, the control run shows that Z=.0676. Here’s what the numbers mean: If Z=.000, then that is pure chance. However randomness means that the numbers will be higher sometimes and lower others. But if pure chance is involved, then as more and more trials are run, these will begin to even out and the number will get closer and closer to zero. Because so many trials have been run, the score Z=.74 where intention was involved indicates that chance cannot be a reasonable explanation for the result.
The Retro PK Database Compiled and presented at the Tucson II conference by Dick Bierman was a meta-analysis of retropsychokinesis studies from 1975 to 1993 comprising 26 studies by 10 different researchers published in 5 different journals. Retropsychokinesis is kind of weird. People are affecting results of blocks of random bits that have already been run, but not observed. The combined results of all these studies, according to an analysis by Tropher Cooper is one chance in 630 billion.
Is your head spinning yet? Telekinesis is a very real phenomenon and available to anyone, although its effect is apparently very small. Yet because it’s real, it means that our perception of the world is incomplete.
For one, this absolutely demonstrates that physics must take consciousness seriously because it acts upon matter and therefore energy. Consciousness is a force just as surely as gravity. Any theory not taking this into account will be incomplete.
Second, it opens up a lot of questions: Is chance just an accumulation of conflicting conscious intents? What becomes of biology if randomness does not exactly apply to evolution. There are a lot more questions, and in a way, this makes the world a more exciting place.