Sunday, April 28, 2013
Show me the evidence
Critics are fond of saying that there is no scientific evidence for psi. They wave their fist in the air and shout, "Show me the evidence!" Then they turn red and have a coughing fit. In less dramatic cases a student might be genuinely curious and open-minded, but unsure where to begin to find reliable evidence about psi. Google knows all and sees all, but it doesn't know how to interpret or evaluate what it knows (at least not yet).
In the past, my response to the "show me" challenge has been to give the titles of a few books to read, point to the bibliographies in those books, and advise the person to do their homework. I still think that this is the best approach for a beginner tackling a complex topic. But given the growing expectation that information on virtually any topic ought to be available online within 60 seconds, traditional methods of scholarship are disappearing fast.
So I've created a SHOW ME page with downloadable articles on psi and psi-related topics, all published in peer-reviewed journals. Most of these papers were published after the year 2000. Most report experimental studies or meta-analyses of classes of experiments. I will continue to add to this page and flesh it out, including links to recent or to especially useful ebooks. This page may eventually become annotated, then multithreaded and hyperlinked, and then morph into a Wiki.
Update (November 5, 2013): Here's a link to another good web site with links to scholarly articles on parapsychology, on Carlos Alvarado's blog.