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A Brief Introduction to Retro-PK

I’ve contacted a guy, Bryan Williams, who publishes great parapsychology articles on a yahoo group named Psi Society. He allowed me to post his articles on this site as well, verbatim. I only allow myself to reformat them a bit for the site. I believe you’ll enjoy them. The first three articles I’ll post will be on retroactive psychokinesis, also called Retro-PK. So, without further due:


A Brief Introduction to Retro-PK

An interesting study was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Parapsychology that reports a possible lunar modulation effect on retroactive psychokinesis effects. Before I attempt to describe the results of that study in a post, I thought I would provide a little background on retroactive psychokinesis for those in this group unfamiliar with the concept so that it a bit more clear as to what I am talking about in the post:

Precognition is often considered to be most perplexing form of ESP because it appears to be retrocausal; that is, it seems to involve a “backwards acting in time” process in which an effect appears to precede it cause, counter to our usual assumptions that cause leads to effect. It turns out that psychokinesis (PK, or “mind over matter”) occurring on the microscopic (i.e., subatomic) scale also appears to be capable of producing a “backwards acting in time” effect of its own, and this effect is called retroactive psychokinesis, or “retro-PK,” for short.

One of the first to report statistical evidence for retro-PK effects was physicist Helmut Schmidt (1976), then of the Mind Science Foundation in Texas, who was also the one to introduce the random number generator (RNG) to parapsychology as a useful apparatus for testing microscopic PK. In a regular PK test conducted in real-time, a subject attempts to mentally influence the electronic “coin-flips” of a binary RNG as the RNG is producing them. What Dr. Schmidt did differently in his study is that he had the RNG produce the “coin-flips” before the subject even attempts to influence them (how much time before ranged from hours to even days), recording the results on magnetic tape without anyone looking at what they were. Later on, during the actual test, Dr. Schmidt would play back the tape with the recorded RNG data to the subject, at which time the subject would try to influence them. But wait a minute…if the RNG data are already recorded on tape, and are thus already assumed to be “set in stone,” how can the subject possibly influence them by PK? This is where the “backwards acting in time” assumption comes in. Since the RNG data are already recorded, it would seem that in order to influence the data by PK, the subject would have to direct his or her PK influence backwards in time to the moment that the data were being recorded1.

As impossible as it may sound, all three of Dr. Schmidt’s (1976) initial experiments did indeed produce results supportive of an ostensibly backwards-acting PK effect, with the results having statistical odds ranging from twenty to one, to nearly a thousand to one, against chance occurrence. When he then compared these retro-PK results with regular PK results, he found little difference between them, suggesting that both worked nearly the same. Nearly two decades later, Dr. Schmidt (1993) had repeated these experiments under the close, watchful eyes of five outside witnesses (who were psychologists, physicists, or other parapsychologists), producing a combined retro-PK effect that had odds of about 8,000 to 1 of not being due to chance alone.

Since Dr. Schmidt reported his first retro-PK study in 1976, many other parapsychologists have attempted to reproduce his work by conducting retro-PK studies of their own, and by the time that Dr. Schmidt had reported the second study in 1993, 16 other studies by eight different researchers had also been reported. Dr. Dick Bierman (1998) of the University of Amsterdam carried out a meta-analysis of all of the retro-PK studies conducted by Schmidt and others between 1975 and 1993 to see how robust the effect really was, finding that together they produced evidence for a positive retro-PK effect that had statistical odds of around 18 million to 1 against chance.

Stimulated by these retro-PK results, Matthew Watkins and John Walker founded the RetroPsychoKinesis Project, a long-term, Internet-based retro-PK experiment that is hosted on Walker’s Fourmilab website (http://www.fourmilab.ch/rpkp/). Since 1996, the project has been running individual retro-PK experiments using data recorded and saved beforehand from an RNG that uses radioactive decay as its source of randomness, and the results are updated in a daily summary. The project is ongoing, so it is possible for anyone on the Internet to participate in the retro-PK experiments (if you want to learn more or even participate in the experiments, go to the Web address above). It is the data collected as part of the Fourmilab RetroPsychoKinesis Project since 1997 that was used in the study of a possible lunar modulation effect on retro-PK, which I will discuss in a post to follow.

- Bryan

1 There is actually an alternative approach to retro-PK that sidesteps the “backwards acting in time” assumption, but since this approach requires knowledge of certain concepts of quantum physics that many in this group may not have and would require me to make this post much longer than it already is to explain them in simpler terms, I won’t get into it here.

**

References (in order of text citation):

Schmidt, H. (1976). PK effect on pre-recorded targets. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research 70(3), July. pp. 267 – 271.

Schmidt, H. (1993). Observation of a psychokinetic effect under highly controlled conditions. Journal of Parapsychology 57(4), December. pp. 351 – 372.

Bierman, D. J. (1998). Do psi phenomena suggest radical dualism? In S. R. Hameroff, A. W. Kazniak, & A. C. Scott (Eds.) Toward a Science of Consciousness II: The Second TUSCON Discussions and Debates (pp. 709 – 713). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press/Bradford.

   

 

 

11 Comments

  1. I have often wondered after researching E.V.P.
    why its not taken seriously as a form of
    complex structured micro pk from the experimenter. It shows up on FFT spectrum shots over time, so its not all Apophenia??

    Obviously ignore all the dubious/fake examples on You Tube – but theres a genuine phenomenon here..

  2. I known how use the telekinetic energy…..

  3. a couple weeks ago i was opening and closing my bedroom door with my mind. it was the morning after a party and i almost had a hangover but i was in an almost trance kinda mode. and i was slowly opening and closing the door from across the room with my emotions. i did this for 15 mins. then decided to go back to sleep. havent done it since. but it was a cool experience.

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  4. If people could really move things with their minds, they’d have collected James Randi’s million-dollar prize, but no one has even passed the initial tests, much less been able to prove esp exists.

    It’s all b.s.

  5. Can someone who get JoP identify the “interesting study [...] published in the latest issue of the Journal of Parapsychology” that Williams notes? Is he talking about the 2005 study that he cites in the second part of his piece, which is available on line at:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2320/is_2_69/ai_n18647019

    That paper I’d seen, but gave up reading it when tracking all the different factors and statistics became excruciating. Anyone up for studying it and stating what it finally says about RPKP data? A couple more years of data is now available, and we could check how well the best previous result predicts subsequent outcomes.

  6. More on “one-to-one correspondance” math and parapsychology:

    OK another example of synchronicity in the West is the concept of “coherence” whereby two sine-waves are aligned via phase shift.

    http://cf.geocities.com/synergyandcoherence/b.htm

    This coherence relies on a one-to-one correspondance.

    But one-to-one correspondance is a VISUAL concept — not an auditory concept.

    So in the book “Magic of the Senses” by a German Biophysicist — von Droscher or something it’s detailed how

    The Ear perceives a sine-wave and it’s overtones as being in the same phase relation — EVEN THOUGH THE OVERTONES ARE NOT IN THE SAME PHASE RELATION.

    So visually we get a complex sinusoidal function that is analyzed for difference in amplitude and frequency, i.e. that which creates “timbre” differences in music, with a change in intensity of energy.

    But in Pythagorean or Taoist harmonics the visual difference is not used — the reliance is the sine-wave as

    ASYMMETRIC resonance that can not be contained as a frequency.

    In Western science frequency means the time it takes for the sine-wave to return to it’s source — in a CLOSED system.

    So even quantum chaos is considered a “closed” system and in calculus open systems are contained as much as possible.

    Statistics, even when using nonlinear functions and real number functions (non-quadratic functions), still relies on a logarithmic, one-to-one correspondance for analysis.

    Basically the use of a circle as 360 degrees relies on an equal-tempered tuning system. This degree system is then converted into matrices through the Poisson Bracket that converts classical physics into quantum mechanics.

    So even though the matrices of quantum mechanics are noncommutative they are still converted into a logarithmic-based symmetrical geometry.

    Freemasonry.

    Only by seeing PI through it’s ancient Egyptian or Vedic definition — through harmonics of 9/8 or 22/7 can the asymmetric resonance be achieved.

    So for example in this analysis of set theory total reliance on one-to-one correspondance is used:

    http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/51846.html

    But Cantor Set Theory only proved that Real Numbers have a greater infinity than Rational Numbers but Cantor could not prove a LIMIT for a Real Number Set.

    Betrand Russell observes that the first real number, the square root of two, is thereby a “convenient fiction” and one interpretation of the incompleteness theory that Godel built from Cantor is that math is

    “inherently inconsistent.” (Professor A.K. Dewdney’s book “Beyond Reason”)

    The mystery of ear science remains unsolved via the

    Time-Frequency Uncertainty Principle of Dennis Gabor.

    Riemann tried to solve the mathematics of the Ear but was unable to….

    OK so here’s the paragraph on “one-to-one correspondence” in noncommutative geometry:

    What is Noncommutative Geometry ?

    Shortly speaking – in a very broad sense – it is a generalization of geometry. Geometry deals with spaces, their properties and features, maps between them and structures built on them. Surprisingly, one can attempt to have a look at spaces from a different angle and then it appears that they are only a small fraction of a huge family of similar objects. This different point of view is offered by the theory of algebras. The starting point is the Gelfand-Naimark theorem, which establishes a one-to-one correspondence between a certain class of algebras (C* commutative) and a class of spaces (topological, compact). To see this link let us spend a while on this correspondence. Having a topological, compact space we can consider the algebra of continuous complex-valued functions, with the pointwise addition and multiplication. It be can proven that with a suitable (maximum) norm it is a commutative C*-algebra. Now, let us see it in the opposite direction. Take a commutative C*-algebra and consider the set of all characters on it – characters are complex valued maps, which preserve operations in the algebra. Then, it could be shown that this set can be equipped with a topology such that the original algebra is identical with continuous functions on it. From the algebraic point of view there is only one thing, which makes the above construction of the link between space and algebra possible: the fact that the algebra is commutative. However, there are many noncommutative algebras. The main idea of Noncommutative Geometry is to treat the noncommutative objects as if they were related to some noncommutative spaces although there are no such spaces in the usual sense of the word. Nevertheless many of the geometrical constructions (conformal, metric structures, differential calculus, fibre bundles etc.) can be carried out in this situation, and what is even more remarkable, the algebraic language seems to be more appropriate also for the “classical” objects.

    from: http://th-www.if.uj.edu.pl/~sitarz/ncgmain.html

    So the big point is you can’t visualize noncommutative geometry — yet it’s still based on one-to-one correspondence.

    Even Octonions which throw out both commutative and associative principle of algebra STILL rely on a one-to-one correspondance of symmetry:

    This isomorphism turns out to map points to lines, and in fact, it sets up a one-to-one correspondence between points and lines.

    from: http://www.math.ucr.edu/home/baez/octonions/node12.html

  7. Synchronicity is a Western term and is measured by symmetric-based mathematics, meaning a one-to-one correspondance of letter and number. All parapsychology studies rely on statistics using logarithmic-based math and even noncommutative math still relies on symmetry.

    In 1995 I woke up from a dream more vivid than being awake. I wrote the dream in my journal. It was of activist friends standing on the roof of a house to protest against the destruction of a forest. I wrote that I thought the dream was predicting the future.

    In 1998 I looked at a photocopy of a news article that was exactly the same as the above dream. No conscious recognition occurred but this slight feeling was noticeable. For some reason I went to parent’s house and decided to page through my old journal — for no particular reasons. All of a sudden I came across my journal entry about which I had completely forgotten.

    The incident was from a big protest to stop the logging of old growth in Minneapolis in a sacred indigenous area where a huge spring gave water at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi river. The protest finally ended when a military raid took place on the activist encampment. I had gotten arrested previously in a civil disobedience protest, I had researched the history of the issue and I had camped in the forest.

    So somehow our future, in detail, is already existing. How? Because Western science, i.e. synchronicity, is measured by spatial sense while time is really a measurment of pure Number that is asymmetric, i.e. does not have a one-to-one correspondance of letter and number. This is modeled in Pythagorean harmonics whereby C to G is 2:3 and G to C is 3:4, in violation of symmetric-based measurements.

    When our consciousness resonates with time as pure Number then it’s possible to bend time so that our consciousness becomes aware of the pure knowledge that exists beyond spacetime. It is said that 70% of our future is already known, based on the trajectory of consciousness determined by the time of our birth and the cosmic alignment.

    It’s possible to travel through time in meditation so that even our past lives are known and yogi masters can indeed read our past lives. But the only path to stop reincarnation is to logically persue pure consciousness itself until our mind resonates with it’s source, in the right-side of the heart. The heart literally stops for over 10 minutes and then “eternal liberation” is achieved and the heart starts up again and the person continues living.

    That person is then a Jnana and accumulates no further karma since with each breath the mind empties out or resonates back to the source of the heart-mind. Can “synchroncities” happen for such a person? Indeed the rest of the life of that individual will be determined by the karma previously accumulated with that current body. That life may appear “out of synch” for an outside observer but for the Jnana that life, in that body, no longer exists.

    Pure knowledge is outside of time and therefore can not have synchronicities.

  8. There’s a lot to like about the RetroPsychoKinesis project at Fourmilab. The whole things is automated from running the trials to reporting the results. They opened the source-code that runs the tests, they offer the complete data for download, and their system updates the results every day.

    http://www.fourmilab.ch/rpkp/experiments/summary/

    Williams’ “Brief Introduction to Retro-PK” closes with a paragraph on the RPKP project, but the only outcome he notes is this Lunar thing. In fact RPKP has been looking for the same retro-pk phenomenon Schmidt had reported. RPKP ‘s results are at chance.

    –Bryan

  9. Actually, it was the Quantum Mechanical interpretation that inspired Dr. Schmidt. It isn’t really distinct from retro-causation: its a matter of how you look at what is happening. It turns out that a limited form of retro-causal effects (delayed choice experiments) is a hot topic in QM research just now — they even use the term sometimes.

    However, research in “decoherence” that has been done since Schmidt’s initial experiments mean that it is extremely unlikely that the QM mechanism Dr. Schmidt initially envisioned (that the recorded magnetic bits remained in a state of quantum superimposition until observed physically by the PK agent) could apply.

    One alternative to a retro-causal effect on a purely mechanical system (albeit quantum mechanical) is that the PK influence occurs at the time of target recording guided by precognition. One of the paradoxes of parapsychology is that combining multiple apparent psi “steps” into one action produces results no weaker than one requiring one apparent step. Precognition is, of course, also retrocausal, but some would argue that the influence is on something that is not strictly “mechanical” — the mind of the percipient.

    Also relevant here is a theory by Ed May and James Spottiswoode (I believe that James is the author of the paper on lunar effects mentioned in the above note) that they call Decision Augmentation Theory. It claims that many if not all examples of micro-PK are better explained as an unconscious selection of, for example, when each trial is to take place. This still requires precognitive “guiding” of actions.

    An aside: at about the same time that Schmidt was publishing his experiments I delivered a theoretical paper at a parapsychology conference that essentially proposed that *all* psi phenomena are a form of retro-causal PK. (Which explains, among other puzzling characteristics, why multiple psi steps are no harder than a single one).

    • EVP i,ve researched and they(evp) contain a lot of precognitive information regarding my future.
      BUT the phenomenon doesnt support DAT theory does it?

      Anthony