Saturday, August 02, 2008

What gorilla?

I've posted a commentary on Reality Sandwich.


David Bailey said...

I thought that was an excellent contribution, Dean. It is a pity that journalists do not follow the approach of Alex Tsakiris (at, who has tried to put skeptics on the spot for misrepresenting the evidence.

I increasingly feel that people only really got converted to science because it created powerful technologies - a powerful Ψ-based technology would change everything.

The technology could not be military, otherwise it would simply be kept secret, and would have to do something that people need. Map-dowsing for oil or missing persons would do the trick if it could be made sufficiently robust, I guess.

I wonder, Dean, if you have any ideas for a technology that might do the trick!

pete t said...

Hi Dean-I enjoyed the Larry King show and have also read your book ENTANGLED MINDS. I have been doing Tarot Cards for a number of years as a hobby. I feel I am quite good at it with accuracy rates way above average. Have you done any research into this? What I would like to see is a study done to see if a number of people, given the same subject for a reading, would have matching readings. This would really be significant. The problems I have encountered is the level of doubt is so high that there is a prevailing belief that these things are impossible. Because of this, it is not taken seriously. Also, there is the problem of phoney psychics. I know that I could prove things in this area, if you are interested. I have done cards on football games, and stocks and other things. Interestingly, I have tried it on baseball, but find baseball much more difficult to predict than football. I think it has to do with the different dynamics of the two sports. Baseball is more random, football isn't.

Hope to hear from you.

Peter Terry

I am in Calif. for another ten days.

Dean Radin said...

Pete - I'm interested in all sorts of divination techniques. There are straightforward ways of testing whether they work. My guess, based on some experience looking at various methods, is that the particular technique used is not as important as the skill of the "operator." If you'd like you can email me via dean at noetic dot org.

Zetetic_chick said...

Hi Dean, I see the Larry King's program last saturday. It was very interesting!.

Also, your article is very good, because it shows (one more time) how skeptics distortion the evidence. I believe most people realize that most skeptics aren't open minded.

I've noted that most scientists are open mind to psi research. And when they read your books, they change their misinformed skeptical view on it, and accept there's something interesting in it. (Philosophers tend to be more closed mind about it, maybe because their philosophical prejudices)

I hope you can write more scientific books on psi research. They mark a real difference between the real science of psi research and some non-scientific approach to the topic.

Zetetic_chick said...


Have you (or any other psi researcher) investigued the effects of psi in sports?

For example, I suppose that, in basketball, when a player is shooting a free throw, the intense focus of fans could affect the effectivity of the shoot (specially, influencing the ball trajectory or direction).

Of course, in case of great players like Larry Bird (whose free throw percent was, in some cases, above 90%), the influence if psi seems to be almost null (I mean, he negative influence of fans against the celtics) because it's nullified by the extraordinary skills of the player.

Most basketball players are very constant and consistent in their porcentage of free throws (at the opposite side of Bird, Shaquille O'neill is consistently a bad free throw shooter)

I suppose in other sports psi could have some influence; but it seems that in basketball the influence could be tested with more precision.

By the way, and from a philosophical point a view, recently I read a paper written by a philsopher about the "Hot hands" in sports:

Marie said...

Hello Dean,

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to you and the others on L.King Live.
I'm tired of all the skeptics jerking us around on this subject. I agree that they should be held accountable for their unfounded findings.

I wonder if you would lead me to a sight on how to develop ones own understanding of intuition/ESP. I just recently was thinking about the recent crane collapses in NYC, and later that day yet another crane collapsed. This sort of thing happens to me frequently, and I want to recognize the premonition before it happens, not after.

Perhaps you would consider posting some tips/hints on the subject in your blogs.

I truly hope to see another appearance from you very soon. I will be watching your schedule.

Thanks, Belle

Book Surgeon said...

Dean, I read some of the many comments in the long thread of your Reality Sandwich piece, and I have to say how much I appreciate the consistent rationality, maturity and intelligence of the regular commenters on this blog. The RS thread quickly disintegrated into a morass of 9/11 conspiracy nonsense and ad hominem ugliness. It's always refreshing to come here and find keen minds discussing controversial issues with such acumen and self-awareness.

Dean Radin said...

That's because in open forums it's impossible to discuss controversial topics in a civilized way. Open anonymous forums (including Wikipedia) are like blank walls - they attract crude graffiti from adolescent minds.

I reject about 1 in 25 comments submitted to this blog. Most of the rejections are because the message is essentially an email request to me. On rare occasions I reject a comment because it is inconsiderate, irrelevant, or just plain stupid.

Atheistic Mystic said...


Do you know of any skeptics who have gone from not being able to see the gorilla to being able to see the gorilla?

Or any links to opinions of skeptics, methodologists and statisticians, giving some sort of praise or any other sort of positive appraisal on some parapsychological study(ies)?


Dean Radin said...

> Do you know of any skeptics who have gone from not being able to see the gorilla to being able to see the gorilla?

I count myself in that category. It took many years before I was convinced by my own experiments before I was able to see the gorilla. Likewise, I would say that most of my colleagues are far more skeptical about these things than most people think. Scientists tend not to believe in psi like a theist might have faith in gods. Rather, we are temperamentally skeptical, but curious. So we put our skepticism to the test.

People who start out as strong, "true believers" in psi, and then put their faith to the test in scientific experiments -- often breathless in anticipation of witnessing a miracle -- can easily end up disillusioned. Experiments are good at providing a controlled context for investigation, but they don't capture the real-world motivations and emotions often associated with strong psi effects. So experimental results, while real and statistically repeatable, tend to be weak. For some true believers, the contrast between their (unrealistic) expectations and the effects actually observed in experiments shatters their faith in psi. Such people can end up flip-flopping their faith and bitterly rejecting all claims of psi.

We see the same type of behavior in children who are strictly raised in a smothering religious faith, then as teenagers for one reason or another they learn that their faith was based on nothing (or worse), causing them to become virulent atheists.

Only a few skeptics who have made a career out of being skeptical put their beliefs to the test.

Jessica Utts, Robert Rosenthal and Daryl Bem are three people who come to mind as mainstreamers (statistician and psychologists) who have said favorable things about the methodologies used in psi research.