Milestone: the Psychology Establishment Acknowledges PSI

Since man has been on earth, there have been reports of paranormal events.  Since the scientific method was established, it has been applied to study telepathy, precognition, remote viewing, psychokinesis, and spiritualism.   On the one hand, evidence for all these phenomena has not been scarce; on the other hand, accepting their reality calls into question the reductionist framework on which modern science rests.  Is there an objective physical reality that unfolds mechanically according to laws that operate at the microscopic level?  (In this case, mind is an epiphenomenon that came into existence as brains evolved.)  Or is mind part of the fabric of reality, as fundamental or perhaps more fundamental than matter, space, and time?

Research in telepathy and other paranormal phenomena has proceeded outside the purview of the scientific establishment.  Researchers have realized the need to integrate a science of mind into the physical and biological sciences, and have adopted increasingly rigorous protocols and bulletproof statistical methodology in order to beat down the walls of censorship and earn a place in the scientific canon.  Finally, this may be happening.

Last month, the flagship journal of the American Psychological Association published this review of experiments in many different fields of parapsychology.  The author concludes

The evidence provides cumulative support for the reality of psi, which…is comparable to that for established phenomena in psychology and other disciplines, although there is no consensual understanding of them.

(Daryl Bem prepared the ground for this event 7 years ago.)

If you are interested in reading in more depth about experiments in parapsychology, I recommend Dean Radin’s books and videos. He is both a rigorous scientist and an engaging communicator. You might start with Supernormal or this on Youtube .

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One thought on “Milestone: the Psychology Establishment Acknowledges PSI

  1. This is not a denouement, but first steps toward a beginning. Where we are headed is a post-reductionist science, and no one has a clear idea what that will look like or how to construct it. Science and reductionism have become so closely associated that people, in good faith, criticize any questioning of reductionism as “unscientific”. But a good scientist will question everything, including the tenets of reductionism.

    “Science” is a methodology for seeking truth, founded in empirical observation plus logic (including mathematics).
    “Reductionism” is a belief about how the world works:
    + that causes in the past propagate as effects in the future;
    + that the effects are produced in the immediate vicinity of the cause and propagate outward from there;
    + that the universe obeys fixed laws that are the same everywhere and for all time
    + that these laws relate the physical variables of space, time, and matter to other variables of space, time, and matter. Space-time-matter is a closed system that explains everything. Sensations, emotions, intentions, and consciousness are ‘epiphenomena’, meaning that they are just shorthand ways to talk about nerve signals in the brain

    We can agree to accept science as our criterion for judging what is true, and use scientific methods to ask if the tenets of reductionism hold true in our world. The great mass of data on telepathy and psychokineses is telling us, “probably not.’

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