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Is ESP research a dying trend

An article in technicianonline.com posted an article titled ESP research a dying trend. In this article they first present an interesting case of twin telepathy:


Since age 6, Bryan and James Williams, twins, have been able to read each other’s minds—to an extent.

Bryan, sophomore in agricultural education, said if asked to choose a number between one and 10, his brother will guess it correctly every time.

In addition to this, he said when his twin is struggling, he can sense it.

“If he’s ever in a bad situation, I can feel something,” he said.

James, a sophomore in chemical engineering, agreed and said he gets a “weird feeling” when his brother is in trouble, but nothing as specific as sudden knowledge of a certain injury.

Then, they write that it seems that ESP research is a dying field with prominent labs being closed (PEAR lab, doing mind over matter research in Princeton University, closed last month).

The article refers to the beginnings of ESP research by J. B. Rhine at Duke University from the 1920ies and his book “Parapsychology” published in 1957 to define PK and ESP.

The article also quotes Douglas Gillan, the psychology department head at N.C. State, which states that the department focuses on “normal everyday perception” in its research and instruction, and said he is not an expert in the field of parapsychology. Yet Mr. Gillan tries to explain that some seemingly paranormal events can be explained by the notion that “humans by nature tend to ascribe causes to events they see happen and assume personal responsibility for them”. He also said that “We’re good at coming up with stories to explain the world around us—to explain our role in those events.”

Gillan also points that research protocols should be looked at very closely for possible errors that may suggest that ESP exists.

My guess is that if you would ask Dean Radin, leading scientist of the Institute of Noetic Sciences which does consciousness research, he’d say that ESP research is dying since it was already proved positive and thus, less interesting to research. Instead, the explanation for their existence and way operations is what more interesting.

My way is in the middle. I still want to see good proof for the existence of Extra Sensory Perception and have launched the Psi Experiments to try myself in this field and give people the opportunity to participate.

For more on telepathy see my previous articles:
Telepathy experiments with identical twins
Telepathy experiments

   

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Odd. I would say PEAR has shown a pretty consistent level of rigor. What weaknesses have been corrected in sync with reduced scoring? Surely you are not one of those pseudo-skeptics who take a failure to observe results as proving that better controls are in place and then irrationally claim that the better controls which they have a pure and abiding faith must have been applied (though they are unable to demonstrate any meaningful problems with the existing controls except that they produce the “wrong” results) eliminated the positive results. This is called circular reasoning.

  2. Why would ESP research be dying if ESP worked? Wouldn’t there be many more experiments, to isolate variables, optimize techniques, and increase the effect? Alas, 60 to 70 years of laboratory research starting with Rhine has failed to discover a single repeatable demonstration that ESP exists.

    PEAR’s retrospective on 25 years of remote viewing research is an eye opener. What the data actually shows is that as experimental controls got tighter, the effect got weaker; their last run showed no phenomenon at all. Alas, they choose to interpret the results as showing a real effect that fades when one tries to measure it objectively.

    Radin’s experiments running at The Boundary Institute seem to show chance results, except where Radin made mistakes. Hard to say for sure, as there’s only a “Preliminary Analysis” available covering about the first 15 months. In the five years since they’ve collected an ocean of data, which they simply do no report.

    Several of us made comments on your experiments here at mind-energy.net. To achieve your stated purpose, you’ll need some advice on setting up and analyzing experiments. The first one, ending today, may be fun, but it’s not really going to tell you anything.

    • Yes, Brian, I know that I’ve made several mistakes in the design of the first experiment. Because of them it’s became more of a psychology research than of parapsychology.

      I’ve designed the second experiment to be less depended on psychological deviations, as you will see when it’s published today or tomorrow. Not sure that what I’ve done is good enough but definitely much better than the first one.

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