Retiring this blog, sort of

I have pretty much retired this blog and have switched to posting shorter notes to Facebook and Twitter. Writing a blog was occasionally fun but ultimately not worth the time or effort given the limited number of followers. While this blog had received over 700,000 page views, after working full time on writing journal articles, books, and grant proposals, and conducting experiments, and being editor of a journal, and giving 20 to 50 presentations and interviews a year, I don't have much energy left to write a blog as well. This site will remain online for historical purposes, but look for my posts on various social media for ongoing updates.  And look for my latest book, which I'm working on now, in Spring of 2018.

Frontiers of Consciousness meeting at the National Academy of Sciences

In March 2014, I helped to design and participated in a two day workshop called  the Frontiers of Consciousness , held at the Beckman Center at the University of California, Irvine, the West Coast center for the US National Academy of Sciences. The meeting is described in a pdf in this link .  From that report (lightly edited): Innumerable anecdotal reports found in all cultures since the dawn of history suggest that the mind occasionally has access to information that transcends the ordinary senses. Examples of these "extended mind" (EM) phenomena include perceiving future events or spontaneously knowing a distant person’s emotions or intentions. Investigations of such experiences began with the very origins of scientific inquiry, and the experiences themselves continue to be reported today by individuals at all levels of educational achievement.   Notable scientific pioneers including Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and William James, to contemporary Nobel Laureates an

Sometimes it takes a comedian to state the obvious

From Wikiquote  (affiliated with Wikipedia, but a bit more difficult to seriously distort). By comedian John Oliver: "The world's become so horrifying now. It's too easy to become cynical about things and that's not fair and it doesn't work. And in fact, there is hope for the world. And it is in the form of Wikipedia. Now Wikipedia will save us all. I found this out when recently a friend of mine emailed me and he said that someone had created a Wikipedia entry about me. I didn't realize this was true, so I looked it up. And like most Wikipedia entries, it came with some flamboyant surprises, not least amongst them my name. Because in it it said my name was John Cornelius Oliver. Now my middle name is not Cornelius because I did not die in 1752. But obviously, I wanted to be. Cornelius is an incredible name. And that's when it hit me --the way the world is now, fiction has become more attractive than fact. That is why Wikipedia is such a v

Is the mind/body a machine?

From iai tv A discussion with Rupert Sheldrake, Colin Blakemore, and Joanna Kavenna. Watch more videos on

Levitation in Paris

I was in Paris the beginning of April, giving a talk at the Sorbonne for the launch of the French translation of my book,  Supernormal . While walking about and enjoying the city on the way to the Arc De Triomphe, I passed a levitating man. This was a nice synchronicity given the topic of my book, which just won the 2014 Silver Naulitus Book Award . This is a major book award " for exceptional literary contributions to spiritual growth, conscious living, high-level wellness, green values, responsible leadership and positive social change as well as to the worlds of art, creativity and inspirational reading for children, teens and young adults ."   How is the man levitating? It's an impressive trick, even when you know how it works.

Feeling the future meta-analysis

Before Cornell University psychologist Daryl Bem published an article on precognition in the prominent  Journal of Social and Personality Psychology, it had already (and ironically given the topic) evoked a response from the status quo. The New York Times  was kind enough to  prepare us to be outraged .  It was called " craziness, pure craziness" by life-long critic Ray Hyman. Within days the news media was announcing that it was all just a big mistake .  I wrote about the ensuing brouhaha  in this blog .  But the bottom line in science, and the key factor that trumps hysterical criticism, is whether the claimed effect can be repeated by independent investigators. If it can't then perhaps the original claim was mistaken or idiosyncratic. If it can, then the critics need to rethink their position. Now we have an answer to the question about replication. An article has been submitted to the Journal of Social and Personality Psychology  and is available here .  The key