Re: Psi and Science Fiction

Bryan Moss (
Fri, 6 Aug 1999 13:02:21 +0100

Damien Broderick wrote:

> Say those experiments are as water-tight as you can make them, and your
> data show some subjects making calls that correlate with *future,
> non-inferable* states of the symbols. (This is in fact often done in
> ganzfeld and similar set-ups.) Obviously this has implications for
> cognitive science, since a human being is making the choices. But gosh,
> doesn't it also have astounding impact on physics in general? Veridical
> data from outside the light cone? That's probably why the PEAR team and
> others do include physicists and materials scientists, as well as
> statisticians. (Alas, I find some of the metaphysics of the PEAR
> researchers tiresome, but maybe that's an occupational hazard, given the
> results they get.)

Well, you could first call the cognitive scientists to ask if, during their investigations, that happened across any wormholes or very long dense objects that may explain how the information can travel from future to present brain states. Then you could call the theoretical physicists and ask them if any of their new theories might allow for the time travel abundant enough that natural selection could exploit it. Then you might want to give the evolutionary theorists a call and ask them why this ability appears not to of been used in nature more extensively. Then you might want to give, say, *all* of science a call and tell them that nature appears capable of practical time travel, if your theory doesn't account for this you are most likely wrong. These are quite big implications for some anomalous stats.

[Btw, when the researchers find "data show some subjects making calls that correlate with future, non-inferable states of the symbols" do they also find the average of the entire set of tested subjects is higher than usual? Or do they just test on an individual basis?]

> > The study of the *paranormal* can, by definition, only tell us
> > that science does not account for everything. This is not news.
> That's weak. If the claims for precognition are valid, extant science is
> failing very badly as a deep level of explanation.

Very badly indeed. I think scientists would be justified in ignoring the data until it became overwhelming.

> This is good news, of course, since it opens up all kinds of yummy
> opportunities for people who prefer rigorous intelligence to superstition.

No shit.