Then and now

THEN: This video is from a TV program on the physics of mind-matter interaction, shown in the UK in the early 1980s. The interviewer's conclusion:

"I think a scientist would have to be massively ignorant, or a confirmed bigot, to deny the evidence that the mind can make connections through space, time and matter in ways which probably have nothing to do with the ordinary senses. And also that he would find it difficult to deny that these strange effects are compatible with current thinking in physics, and may in the future become part of an extended science, in which they're no longer regarded as paranormal, but as normal."

(Video uploaded by Brian Josephson.)

NOW: This is a talk by Rupert Sheldrake at Cambridge University on February 9, 2011 . (Also uploaded courtesy Brian Josephson.)


Tor said…
Dean, when looking at these kinds of TV programs from the late 70s/early 80s, I get the impresison that people where more open minded then than what is the norm today. And especially in the UK. You have been in this field for some years, is this your impression too?

Anonymous said…
This may not be entirely on topic and is may sound silly, but if the human mind can subvert matter space and time, and is not entirely localised to the brain. Could one if reincarnartion is true, reincarnate in what is our past?
Dean Radin said…
I'd say that privately people were as interested in these topics then as they are now. They might even be more interested now. This can be seen by paying attention to the evolution of psi-like themes in TV, movies and the rest of popular culture.

But when it comes to science, a complex brew of political winds, economic status, and vigorous skeptical propaganda probably combine to create ebbs and flows that sustain the psi taboo. One can see e.g. in reports written by the NSF, that the wording used to describe the public's belief in ESP comes straight out of the skeptics' handbooks. Fortunately, most of the scientistic spin has disappeared in those documents over the last five years or so, but the taboo persists, at least in the US.
Dean Radin said…
> Could one ... reincarnate in what is our past?

If aspects of consciousness reside outside of space/time, which is suggested by the evidence for psi, then I don't see why not.
francisco.j.93 said…
The stauts of psi acceptance in the US has evolved slowly, and it can be seen, as Dr. Dean notes, on the huge media interest on it. There are still many card carrying skeptics who have been against it for their entire lives, but the number of supporters is increasing. How long will it take until psi is taken for granted as in the magical times? It depends on how parapsychology evolves and how long will it take the field to develop a reliable practical application. The evidence is there, the data is there, but there are still some social forces that are acting against psi-research. Dean, do you think the trickster archetype, as G.P Hansen says, plays a role?
Quentin Ruyant said…
> Could one ... reincarnate in what is our past?

Our past does not exist anymore. How could one reincarnate in something that does not exist?

We shouldn't buy too much of scentific spatial representation of time- this is only representation...
levis said…
Dr. Rupert Sheldrake on the Persistence of Richard Wiseman’s Deception
Unknown said…
In regards to Sheldrakes email and telephone telepathy experiments I wonder what the result would be if a robot that the receiver was emotionally bonded to was added to the pool of potential callers/emailers. If the receiver demonstrates above chance guessing for the robot would it make sense to call what is happening telepathy? To me telepathy indicates a mental faculty that is specific for communication between two minds. The robot could be very simple which would likely preclude the possibility that is has a mind.

The robot telepathy experiment might be a pain to run (recapitulating the strong bonds that can form between humans in a robot-human relationship might be hard) it could be run much more simply in chickens. Just imprint the chicks on a robot when they are young then see if they act different when the robot "decides" to enter vs when a stranger decides to enter. The robots decision mechanism could be random or pseudo-random.

Unrelatedly, Sheldrake implies that telepathy evolved. If this is so then telepathy must be a selectable trait. Why don't people then try to breed psychic mice? Mice are social, cheap, breed quickly, have a sequenced genome and partially determined connectome, and are readily available. It might not even be that hard, other researchers have taken wild species and after ten generations or so bred them to have the common traits found in domesticated species. I think that IONS or Sheldrake should start a breeding program and then sell psychic mice as pets.
Theophrastus said…
Possible OT, but Kit Pedler was among other things co-creator of Dr Who monsters the Cybermen. Didn't know he was interested in parapsychology.

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