A reviewer named "Short Dog" provides a two-star review of Entangled Minds. I'll intersperse my responses in blue; the review is in black:
"I hate to rain on the party of previous reviewers who gave positive comments but I do not recommend this book. For starters, the book falls under the same spell that trapped a long list of other, prior books that attempted (unsuccesfully, mind you) to make a connection between quantum mechanics and parapsychology. Talk about moth to the flame. There's nothing really new here. The mistake they make is to use one mystery, quantum mechanics, to explain another, ie, psi."
I address this in the book's Introduction: "Some may object that linking the elegance of quantum theory to the spookiness of psychic phenomena is illegitimate, that it’s a mistake to claim a connection exists simply because these two domains are permeated with uncanny effects. This objection is certainly understandable. Quantum theory is a mathematically precise and exquisitely well-tested description of the observable world. Psychic phenomena are slippery, subjective events with a checkered past. But as it turns out, the fabric of reality suggested by quantum theory and the observations associated with psychic phenomena bear striking resemblances. They are eerily weird in precisely the right way to suggest a meaningful relationship."
Later I add: "... the connection proposed here is not trivial. As physicist Henry Stapp explains, 'Quantum approaches to consciousness are sometimes said to be motivated simply by the idea that quantum theory is a mystery and consciousness is a mystery, so perhaps the two are related. That opinion betrays a profound misunderstanding of the nature of quantum mechanics, which consists fundamentally of a pragmatic scientific solution to the problem of the connection between mind and matter.' "
Why isn't this fallacy obvious? No one has been able to account for QM in nearly 100 years other than to offer various interpretations and say "It works." Well, it does. And thank heavens. But how does the unexplained explain psi? Throw me a lifeline. Between 1932 and 1958 Jung and Pauli went down this path and if anybody could do it, they were the ones. But nothing productive came from such a collaboration.
That's not entirely true. Jung's concept of synchronicity came out of their collaboration. In addition, it's useful to keep in mind that when Pauli and Jung were discussing this topic, the concept of nonlocality was an abstract mathematical curiosity. No one even knew if the idea was testable. Today we know that nonlocal effects like entanglement are indeed real, which leads to a radically new ontological view of reality. That new ontology is the lifeline, as I discuss in the "New Reality" chapter. This isn't a concept that is easily graspable. It takes time to seriously ponder what it means to live in a holistic reality.
Secondly, Entangled Minds does not say how to go from micro-scale QM to psi which operates, seemingly, on the macro-scale. This objection is so well known and has been repeated so often, it hardly barely mentioning. Koestler pointed out this problem 34 years ago in his little book, The Roots of Conicidence. In fact, many of the same points in Extangled Minds are covered by Koestler except the latter said what he had to say in 150 pages instead of 350 pages.
This is a common mistake. Entanglement is not limited to the microscale. Photons 50 km apart can show nonlocal connections, clearly demonstrating macroscale effects. I discuss others examples of macroscopic entanglement in the Introduction chapter. Also, how big is human experience? As I discuss in the Theory chapter, there are several proposals being floated about the mind-QM link. Most of these proposals assume that quantum-level tweaks in the brain are sufficient to influence cascades of neural activity that correspond to subjective experience. Thus elementary QM effects might be sufficient to account for psi experiments. Such ideas were purely speculative in Koestler's day. Today there are theoretical descriptions that are fleshing out models that make past speculations physically plausible.
Which brings up another problem: the middle third of Entangled Minds throws in all these data and charts and statistics and whatnot. Who is the audience? What are we trying to prove? Koestler noted this is the main challenge for the entire field of parapsychology: it keeps trying to convince us that psi is real, or rather the study of it is legitimate. Yet the data clearly shows the public at large is with psi. We accept it. Even mainstream science has grudgingly admitted there's something there. See Broughton's Parapsychology: The Controversial Science.
I wish it were true that psi is accepted by the scientific mainstream. It isn't. If it were, there'd be more than a few handfuls of doctorate-level researchers working in this field. Yes, many scientists who are aware of the data have become favorably inclined to accept that the effects are what they appear to be, and this trend is likely to continue because of books like Entangled Minds. I expect that the audience is also non-scientists interested in learning that their experiences have been verified in scientific experiments, and that rational ways of explaining them are slowly evolving.
Finally, the last section of Entangled Minds, the section I was most interested in, doesn't really say clearly what is an "entangled mind." It doesn't give predictions or testable claims. All he offers are a lot of speculations that leave me feeling, well, entangled.
All I can say is that the reviewer should read Chapter 13 again, more slowly. That chapter goes into detail about the meaning of "entangled minds," and it does provide both predictions and testable claims. Anticipating such generic complaints, I wrote: "The implications of all this for understanding psi are sufficiently remote from engrained ways of thinking that the first reaction will be confidence that it’s wrong. The second will be horror that it might be right. The third will be boredom because it’s obvious." This reader has apparently not advanced to stage two yet.