Friday, March 23, 2007


In The Conscious Universe one topic I wrote about was an apparent lunar modulation of casino payout rates, which appeared to be related to other geocosmic modulations of psi. I conducted the casino analysis because I was fortunate enough to obtain a few years of payout data from a friendly General Manager of a Las Vegas casino. Unfortunately, it is exceptionally difficult to obtain casino data for research purposes, so after that book was published no one was able to independently confirm the lunar effect in casino data.

Now, in the current issue of the Journal of Parapsychology, Eckhard Etzold reports a successful conceptual confirmation and extension of the original observation, not in data from a casino but from an online retro-PK experiment:


Eckhard Etzold

ABSTRACT: Radin and Rebman (1998) claimed evidence of psychokinesis effects in casino payout rates depending on lunar phases. They found the peak effect in the full-moon interval. This paper reports on an experimental data evaluation of 199,632 retroPK experiment trials, covering eight years. The hypothesis of a full moon effect is tested with the large database of the Fourmilab RetroPsychoKinesis Project. An earlier test of these findings by the author, published in 2000, supported the full moon hypothesis. In additional tests with new data, published in 2002, the observed effect changed its sign and disappeared. Some researchers, including the author, suggested in the past an anomalous experimenter effect and assumed the consequences of the model of pragmatic information to be the real cause of these effects. But a new evaluation of the data revealed a significant retroPK solar-periodic relationship which indicates that actually physical parameters are responsible for the change of the full-moon effect in the mentioned intervals. The hypothesis is suggested that the moon’s interaction with earth’s magnetosphere during the moon’s passage through the magnetotail in full-moon times might modulate retroPK performance.


David Bailey said...


Leaving aside the modulation of PK by geocosmic events, casino data sounds interesting anyway because you have intensely motivated individuals who presumably never get bored. Is a typical wheel sufficiently unbiased to make it possible to detect winning significantly above chance?

Dean Radin said...

I would think a wheel of fortune game (if that's what you're referring to) would be suitable to detect possible psi effects, provided there's enough data.

Based on watching gamblers' expressions while they're playing (I happen to be in a Las Vegas casino today), it seems to me that many people do become bored or dazed after a while, and they just play by rote.

Book Surgeon said...

Plus the casinos deliberately create an environment where it's very difficult to concentrate, which I would assume would make it quite difficult for 99% of people to use any psi ability.

That said, roulette and craps would be ideal to test PK effects as well as the wheel of fortune. Of course, precognition would come into play as well.

David Bailey said...

Gambling would certainly bore me rigid - which is why I am somewhat vague about the details - but any game that is pure chance would seem to be suitable.

I imagine that psi experiments must be intensely boring for the participants, which must create real problems. Unfortunately, from what you say, casino 'experiments' may be little better.

If you had enough data, it might be interesting to see if a person's performance at a pure chance game drops off as they become bored - there should obviously be no effect in the absence of PSI.

Roberto Labanti said...

For interested blog readers that haven't an access to JoP, since last April 2 the cited article

Eckard Etzold (2005). Solar-periodic Full Moon Effect in the Fourmilab Retro-Psychokinesis Project Experiment Data: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Parapsychology 69(2), 233-261

could be found linked at the following page of the German Gesellschaft fur Anomalistik

(direct link:

as a part of their "Studie des Monats" serie.

Heavy said...

While technically unproven, gaming insiders have known of the the lunar effect on casino payouts for years. A a casino pit boss told me about the effect back in the early 80's. Ever looking for an increased edge, I toyed with scheduling my in-casion play around lunar phases for several years. While I never noticed any particular difference in my win-rate during these sessions, it did give me an "excuse" to hit the casinos twice a month - during the full moon and the dark of the moon. Overall these were profitable years for me casino-wise.

Psi related? I don't know. My game of choice is craps (see I teach a controlled toss technique designed to give the player a small advantage over the house. My students will tell you that they "know" that the seven is about to roll the moment the dice leave their fingertips. Not because of any psi effect, but because of a mistake in their delivery of the dice.

Regarding precognition - I think most experts will tell you it is simply a result of selective memory. For example, craps is rife with superstitions. Veteran players believe if the dice bounce off the table the next toss will be a seven. They believe the seven will show after a stickman change. They belive the seven will roll if the dice hit a player's hands or his chips before coming to a stop. When players observe these situations they subconsciously look for the seven to show up next. And when it does (one time in six over the long run) they nod their heads and say "Aha! I knew it!" Conversely, when the seven does not show up after one of these events the player ignores the fact.

What's the bottom line answer? I don't know. I've long felt that if the moon could control the tides it could impact the roll of the dice. June 30th there will be a "blue moon" in my part of the country. That night I plan to belly up to the craps table.

anonymous said...

I really liked "The Conscious Universe" I just re-read it to prepare for my first reading of "Entangled Minds" which is next on my list. The review of psi research and the psychoanalysis and analysis of tactics of skeptics were particularly interesting to me. A couple of points I thought of while reading it might be relevant. I don't know if you have considered them already but for what they are worth:

I think you wrote somewhere in the book that precognition or retrocausal pk may be due to quantum particles going back in time. Actually anti-particles are normal particles going back in time. An positron (anti-electron) is an electron going back in time. Maybe the low effect sizes of psi are due to matter anti-matter annihilation when the particles are sent back in time.

Here is a reference for that...
"What's really meant by that is that if I think of a particle moving from one place to another forward in time, the physical process is the same as it would be if we image running the film backward and also changing the particle into an antiparticle."

You did not say much about the evidence for survival of consciousness after death and you did not discuss it much in any of your theorizing about how the universe works. If there are lots of spirits existing they might have some influence on matters occuring on earth.

If you accept survival, spirits, and a spirit world, it might be that psi works for sprits because they don't have matter / anti-matter annihilation since they are non physical beings in a non physical world. Psi might be a normal capability of consciousness but it just might not work well in the physical plane because the message gets annihilated. Even if the matter/antimatter issues is wrong, the notion that psi is an efficient and normal part of nonphysical consciousness but doesn't work well in the physical plane could still be true - maybe physical particles have too much mass or something like that.

There is still the possibility that better understanding may allowing humankind to get psi to work more efficiently, but just because we find it in humans doesn't mean that is its natural place in the scheme of things. It might be easier to understand psi interms of something prevalent in the sprit realm of which we see only minor effects in the physical plane. The rarity good quality mediumship might be evidence of this.

Another point is that the mysterious and incomprhensible wave particle duality in quantum mechanics, which you mention in the book, is, in my opinion, an artifact of language. A photon, or electron, both of which interfere with themselves in double slit experiments are really just quantized waves. In fact all these particles that we consider "matter" are really such a quantized waves. There isn't really any duality because there is no such thing as a particle.

Part of a ripple in a pond can interact with a rock sticking up through the surface. However part of a photon can't interact with something. It's all or nothing, it's quantized. That's where the idea of particle properties came from - the quantization. It behaves like a wave according to maxwells equations in a double slit experiment and the wave function may extend over an area but the photon can interact only at one point and must interact with it's entire energy at that point.

If there is any mystery it is how a wave can be quantized. It's like those toys where you have a row of ball bearings on pendulums and if you pull one back and let it go, one swings off at the other end. If you pull two back and let them go, two swing off at the other end. The shock wave is quantized by the resolution of the ball bearings. You can't draw back 1.5 ball bearings so the types of interactions you get are quantized. This is just a way of demonstrating a quantized wave, in this case a mechanical shock wave - the analogy is superficial.

So when you make the analogy that mind is to matter as a wave is to a particle, implying that these different properties have different areas of action, I'm not sure that is really a good model that would be helpful in understanding psi.

anonymous said...

I finished reading Entangled Minds and I found it very interesting. I particularly thought it was impressive that experimenters are able to identify subjects and conditions that give a higher effect size as in the ganzfeld experiments with creative arts students. This is a very practical result of knowledge obtained through experiments and nicely illustrates that parapsychology is yielding more than proof of phenomena but also knowledge that can be applied in predictable ways.

However, I do have a different outlook on theories of psi.

I would not start developing a theory of psi by trying to explain how the brain could be a detector of quantum effects. That approach seems to me to assume that psi and consciousness are phenomena that come from the brain. That may not be a correct assumption.

I would start by assuming the spirit has psi abilities, that they are the natural means by which spirits communicate and interact with their environment, and then try to identify the role the brain and body play in the consciousness of a spirit incarnated in a human body.

It may be that the spirit communicates with the body through quantum effects on the brain, or that in an incarnated person, the brain really is responsible for psi, so I can see how modeling brain as quantum event detector/actuator can be useful but I think it is not the most direct way to the truth about consciousness and psi.

This is only my opinion and I noticed many of the questions I have previously posed in comments on this blog were answered or addressed in the book, so I have to admit you are way ahead of me on all these subjects.

Another possibility that occurs to me is that psi and entanglement share similarities not because psi is based on entanglement but that they both occur because of the same underlying phenomena whatever that feature of space time might be. For example, wireless telegraph and AM radio both work through radio waves, but AM radio doesn't require a wireless telegraph sending the information using morse code and then somehow convert it into music and voices.

In the book, you seemed to be open to the possibility of survival of consciousness after death. I think there are a lot of good reasons for believing the evidence for survival is really due to spirits and not just ordinary psi phenomena from living persons. The best recognized evidence for this widely held to be the cross correspondence experiments. Also, very pronounced psi effects are reported to occur with some mental and physical mediums. One might consider this strength of effect as an indication that spirits are behind those phenomena and not just living persons who otherwise generally show weak psi abilites. Also I have taken classes in mediumship and on one occasion in a class I felt a certain spirit I knew well come to me to give a message but it wasn't my turn yet so I didn't say anything about it, but a few seconds later someone with less compunction interrupted to give the same message from the same impatient spirit. It seemed to me that when I refused to give the message the spirit went off and found someone more cooperative. So because of this experience, while I can think up a convoluted way it might be psi from a living person, to me it seems obvious that spirits are real, purpose driven, intelligent beings. Given my belief in spirits I approach theories of psi from that perspective.

One of the reasons for the decline effects that occur in individual test subjects may be due to the fact that doubt can become a self fulfilling prophesy. If a subject has a low score in one trial that might cause doubt which results in negative expectations that affect his ability to succeed in the experiments. At one time I had a personal experience like this in studying mediumship, I knew it was happening and that it was purely psychological but I couldn't do anything about it. I suspect it is possible that others might be effected the same way. If self fulfilling doubt is found to be a factor in the decline effect then psychological techniques might be found to reverse this type of decline or even to enhance the abilities of test subjects.

A question I have about the possibility of developing the technology for a psi based switching device relates to the independence or dependence of psi through time and space. If psi were independent of time and space then anyone anywhere anywhen in the universe from the beginning of time to the end of time could flip that switch. There might even be a lot of noise from billions and billions of psychic beings that may have existed or will exist that could cause the switch to flip accidentally or could prevent the switch from being flipped by the intended operator. (Could all this noise from all those beings explain why there is such a small effect size for psi?) So for a switch to be useful, it would seem that psi must be limited by distance as you say in the book there is some indication that it may. But if psi is limited by distance that it would also seem that for practical purposes it must also be limited by time since the earth is moving through space. Is this why presentiment experiments show a presentiment of only a few seconds? Does the earth move so quickly in a few seconds that the earth is beyond the distance range of psi? A related question is how, when psi is working across time does it also find the right place to act or retrieve information given that the earth is moving through space?

Also there seems to be an assumption that the global effects on rngs are caused by the human mind and or human presentiment. Might not other forces be responsible for those effects in some cases? If there is a cosmic consciousness that has it's own individuality and therefore it's own will, might not it influence rngs? In particular I'm thinking of the 2 hour presentiment for 9/11. What if cosmic forces beyond our comprehension were behind that event or even struggling amongst each other over that event? Might not those forces working in the world have an effect on the rng's. The rngs might be able to detect the "hand of God", or intelligent designers at work if such entities work through psi?

It was also interesting that in the experiments where group consciousness was detected effects were correlated with positive and cooperative conditions among the group. These conditions are also believed to be helpful in conducting successful seances.

Lastly, I wonder if the observation that introverts are more likely to experience psi may partly explain the slow pace at which psi is accepted by society. Is it possible that the greatest skeptics who are obsticles to the acceptance of psi are skeptical because they don't have psi experiences because they are extroverts and because of their extroverted nature, are particularly enthusiastic about in influencing others to believe the way they do, while believers in psi may be believers because they are introverts with psi experiences and because they are introverts have less enthusiasm for influencing others to believe the way they do?