Showing posts from 2007

Japanese translation of Entangled Minds

The Japanese translation of Entangled Minds is now available. It's beautifully done, with many new, clever illustrations added to enhance the text. I owe special thanks to the translator, Masato Ishikawa.

Survival of consciousness conference

In January 2008 I'll be speaking at this conference on the survival of consciousness.

Intentional chocolate website

See the new website for a company named Intentional Chocolate . This company is using the methods we developed for the study on intentional chocolate that I've mentioned on this blog. I am planning a new series of studies to further explore these "mind-food interactions." The goal will be to develop new ways of enhancing and extending the effects we observed in the pilot test. I continue to be very interested in the "how does it work" question, but I'm also interested in making it measurably work better (the Edison approach) before we understand exactly how it works.

Presentiment in the brain

Just published: Toward Understanding the Placebo Effect: Investigating a Possible Retrocausal Factor , Dean Radin and Eva Lobach, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Volume 13, Number 7, 2007, pp. 733–739 Objective : Conventional models of placebo effects assume that all mind–body responses associated with expectation can be explained by ordinary causal processes. This experiment tested whether some placebo effects may also involve retrocausal, or time-reversed, influences. Design: Slow cortical potentials in the brain were monitored while adult volunteers anticipated either a flash of light or no flash, selected with equal probability by a noise-based random number generator. Data were collected in individual sessions of 100 trials, contributed by 13 female and 7 male adult participants. Outcome measures: Ensemble median slow cortical potentials 1 second prior to a light flash were compared with the same measures prior to no flash. A nonparametric randomized permutation

Intentional chocolate article published

Effects of Intentionally Enhanced Chocolate on Mood has been published in the Elsevier journal Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, Volume 3, Issue 5, Pages 433-546 (September 2007). The paper is coauthored with Gail Hayssen and James Walsh. You can download the pdf for free by going to and clicking on "current issue" or "past issues," depending on when you read this post. The issue to look for is September/October 2007. I plan to continue a line of research focusing on the apparent intentional effects reported in that paper, across a wide variety of substances.

Precognitive dream

Sometime in the wee hours of August 1, 2007, I had a dream about being in a car accident. I remember waking up with a clear impression of a crash and all the air bags inflating. I don't often remember my dreams, but this one struck me because of the surprising level of detail, the emotional content, the fact that I don't recall ever having a similar dream, and because I had never before been in a car accident. Because of the dream, later that morning I decided to play it safe and drive to work a different way than usual. The most dangerous part of the morning commute for me is getting on 101, one of the major North-South highways in the Northern California Bay Area. The entrance that I usually take has a very short merge lane that often requires you to drive on the shoulder because both of the two lanes of the highway are congested, sometimes by massive trucks going 70 mph. My adrenaline is always in high gear when I use this entrance because if an unthinking driver decides to

Trickster, or failure of imagination?

In his blog, George Hansen expresses concern about a statistical result I published some 14 years ago (1993) in an article on mind-matter interaction (MMI) that. He writes: ... Correlation coefficients were calculated for each of the 16 outcome measures with each of the 33 environmental variables, which resulted in a total of 16 × 33 = 528 correlations. Radin reported that the 16 × 33 matrix produced 44 correlations that were associated with p < .05. He then used the binomial probability distribution to compute the probability of obtaining that many, or (presumably) more, correlations associated with p < .05. He reported a value of p = .0004. I have been unable to reproduce this number ... In any event, Radin’s reported result is statistically significant. However, the binomial distribution assumes independence for each of the measurements. But the correlations were clearly not independent. For instance, the environmental variables included background X-ray flux and log of back

Two recommended books

The first book is Outside the Gates of Science (why it's time for the paranormal to come in from the cold) , by Damien Broderick. This is a comprehensive, accurate and well written examination of psi research by a critically-minded observer of the field who has done his homework. Broderick is also author of numerous award-winning science fiction novels, and has a PhD in the comparative semiotics of science and literature. The second is Opening to the Infinite , by Stephan Schwartz. Among other things, this book provides an answer to those who cannot accept the possibility of psi unless it has some pragmatic use. Schwartz's stories about practical applications of remote viewing is worth the price of this book, but he goes beyond that and offers a series of exercises, tips and techniques to allow the serious reader to experiment with remote viewing first-hand.

Confidence by ignorance

In a Newsweek excerpt of astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson's new book, Death by Black Hole , Tyson waxes eloquently about the wonder of our senses. Then he raises the question of the sixth sense and dismisses it with, "... the persistent failures of controlled, double-blind experiments to support the claims of parapsychology suggest that what's going on is nonsense rather than sixth sense." Such a confident statement will no doubt impress some, but as readers of my blog know unfortunately this is an opinion borne of ignorance.

Presentiment in the brain

This paper has been accepted in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and will be published later in the year: Models of the placebo effect: Investigating a possible retrocausal factor Dean Radin , PhD & Eva Lobach, MS Objective: Conventional models of placebo effects assume that all mind/body responses associated with expectation can be explained by ordinary causal processes. This experiment tested whether some placebo effects may also involve retrocausal, or time-reversed, influences. Design: Slow cortical potentials in the brain were monitored while adult volunteers anticipated either a flash of light or no flash, selected with equal probability by a noise-based random number generator. Data were collected in individual sessions of 100 trials, contributed by 13 female and 7 male adult participants. Outcome measures: Ensemble median slow cortical potentials one second prior to a light flash were compared with the same measures prior to no flash. A nonparametric

Quantum observation experiment

The following paper has been accepted for publication in Explore . It will appear later this year. Testing nonlocal observation as a source of intuitive knowledge This study explored the hypothesis that in some cases intuitive knowledge arises from perceptions that are not mediated through the ordinary senses. The possibility of detecting such “nonlocal observation” was investigated in a pilot test based on the effects of observation on a quantum system. Participants were asked to imagine that they could intuitively perceive a low intensity laser beam in a distant Michelson interferometer. If such observation were possible, it would theoretically perturb the photons’ quantum wave-functions and change the pattern of light produced by the interferometer. The optical apparatus was located inside a light-tight, double steel-walled shielded chamber. Participants sat quietly outside the chamber with eyes closed. The light patterns were recorded by a cooled CCD camera once per second, and ave

Dalai Lama

I flew to Madison, Wisconsin last week to participate in a fund raiser for the Deer Park Buddhist Center, where I was fortunate to hear His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak to a small group. On the way to Madison my flights were unexpectedly rerouted when I reached Denver, so I had to run around the huge Denver airport to find the gate for the next flight. As I was anxiously rushing from one terminal to another, at one point on an escalator I looked up and saw this billboard. There I was rushing like a nut all over the airport to make sure I would make it to the meeting with the Dalai Lama early the following day, and I suddenly encounter him on a 15 foot high billboard. It made me laugh. The rest of the trip was fine.

I knew you were going to read this

Presentiment in the news .

Psi Wars, the cartoon

Try this link to see a new educational initiative from the Institute of Noetic Sciences:

HABS syndrome

I enjoyed this remark from an article about the author Kingsley Amis in The New Yorker (April 23, 2007), by Adam Gopnik: It is a very good thing to have a built-in bullshit detector, but a bad thing when the bullshit detector crowds out the rest of your brain; that's why they call it being narrow-minded. You quickly reach the stage where anything ambitious, complicated, or merely foreign gets spat on along with the things that are genuinely phoney. I'd add to this that those with HABS (hyperactive BS) syndrome, including cynics who proudly belong to "skeptics" societies, -- which revel in the presumed stupidity of others who don't belong to the club -- tend to reflexively spit on anything they regard as unorthodox or anomalous, including claims of psi experiences and experiments supporting those claims. This is not to say that a refined BS detector is a bad thing. On the contrary, it is a necessity, especially when it comes to evaluating all those exciting new opp

Some noteworthy books

Nancy Zingrone provides a nice annotated list (reachable here ) of 36 basic books on parapsychology covering the history and evidence of this field. Another book to consider: The Spirit of Dr. Bindelof: The Enigma of Séance Phenomena by Rosemarie Pilkington, PhD. You can read about it here , including a sample chapter. Warning, this book is likely to push your boggle threshold. But I know Rosemarie, and I know she's meticulous about her facts, so prepare to be boggled.

The trouble with Wiki

The idea of a large, user-contributed encyclopedia is, in principle, a good one. But the implementation of the largest such effort to date, the Wikipedia, is an excellent example of how good ideas can go dreadfully wrong. Authors of Wikipedia articles are anonymous in many cases, so expertise in the topic is not vetted for accuracy or depth. Worse, for controversial topics and for biographies of living persons, experts are specifically asked not to contribute to the articles. I discovered this when attempting to correct factual errors in the entry page on my name, and for the Institute of Noetic Sciences. I've been asked not to edit these pages, even though I am arguably the expert on me, and an expert on IONS, because it violates Wikipedia's guidelines. The most persistent editors on Wikipedia, by the way, largely seem to be 20-something students who are riding high on arrogance, because like all kids, they're suffering under the delusion that they know everything. (I rec

Radio shows

This week I participated in a series of radio shows all around the US, promoting Entangled Minds , which can be purchased for one dollar as part of an IONS membership promotion. The stations included WPEG-FM (Charlotte), KXXR-FM (Minneapolis), WOCA-FM (Gainesville), WEOL-AM (Cleveland), WICO-FM (regional Baltimore), KSFR-FM (NPR, Santa Fe), FRES-FM (Columbia), Voice of America, WLRN-FM (NPR, Miami), WMEL-AM (Daytona Beach), WQUB-FM (NPR, Illinois), WFTL (regional Florida), WLW-AM (Cincinnati), KRLD-AM (Dallas), KKZZ-AM (Los Angeles), KXKL-FM (Denver), KFWB-AM (Los Angeles), and KPQ-AM (Spokane). I have a few more stations remaining on the "tour" next week, including KSVY-FM (NRP, Sonoma) and KLPW-AM (St. Louis). In general, I do not enjoy the self-promotional aspects that are necessarily associated with being an author (that is, necessary assuming the author wants to sell books!). I have author friends who love traveling on speaking tours; they're on the road almost conti

More lunacy. Not.

In the most recent issue of the Journal of Scientific Exploration , Peter Sturrock and James Spottiswoode report another confirmation of a lunar phase relationship with psi perception performance. Their paper is entitled "Time-series power spectrum analysis of performance in free response anomalous cognition experiments." Their analysis was based on 3,325 free response trials. The reason I mention this finding and the one recently published by Eckhard Etzold is because over 10 years ago I published two articles on this topic, both finding lunar phase relationships with psi performance, one based on casino payout data. At the time no one paid much attention to those reports (except for a few skeptics, who felt that mixing lunar effects with psi in the casino was further justification for simply dismissing this realm of research). So it is gratifying to see that independent analyses are now finding the same result.

Quantum Enigma

Here's a new book I highly recommend for those who wish to learn why physics and consciousness are inextricably linked, regardless of how much some physicists may wish to exclude this "skeleton in the closet" from their domain. The authors are physics professors at the University of California at Santa Cruz and critics of movies like "What the Bleep." To read more about the book, go to the authors' website here .


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: SOLAR-PERIODIC FULL MOON EFFECT IN THE FOURMILAB RETROPSYCHOKINESIS PROJECT EXPERIMENT DATA: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY Eckhard Etzold ABSTRACT: Radin and Rebman (1998) claimed evidence of psychokinesis effects in casino payout rates depending on l


An article I mentioned earlier in this blog describing an experiment involving chocolate has been accepted for publication, so I post the abstract below. I'll say more about this study when the paper is finally published, sometime later this year. Other articles presently under review include one describing the results of a triple-blind experiment on the effects of distant intention on water crystalization, another reporting an experiment examining effects of distant observation on the behavior of photons in an interferometer, and a third study involving examination of visual evoked EEG responses prior to randomly timed light flashes. I'll post the abstracts of those papers after they are accepted for publication. Effects of intentionally enhanced chocolate on mood Dean Radin, Gail Hayssen & James Walsh Objective: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled experiment investigated whether chocolate exposed to “good intentions” would enhance mood more than unexposed choco

Opportunity: PhD with a focus on parapsychology from a major university

Lund University Seeks Psychology Graduates -- Friday, March 16, 2007 The Center for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology (CERCAP), under the direction of Etzel Cardeña PhD, encourages very bright psychology graduates interested in anomalous psychology (including psi) to apply to do a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Lund, Sweden (ranked by Newsweek as one of the top 20 universities in Europe). Selection is very competitive but the top 2-3 students accepted into the department get free tuition and payment; about 3 others will get free tuition but will have to pay their way otherwise. The studies can be done in English. The application deadline (which requires a plan of studies) is April 15th. If you still have questions after reading the information linked below, please contact Prof. Cardeña. See Annalisa Ventola's blog for more. I recommend her blog for more information on parapsychology in general, and of course the websites of the Parapsychological Associat

Extraordinary Knowing

This is a new book by U Cal Berkeley clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, the late Lisby (as she was known by her friends) Mayer. I highly recommend it. It describes her journey of discovery, from a skeptic who held the common academic opinion that psychic phenomena are delusional fantasies, to a reluctant but solidly reasoned acceptance that these phenomena are both genuine and important. Lisby was the best kind of skeptic - she was solidly rational and well grounded, and as a clinician she specialized in discerning the many ways that we fool ourselves and each other. She was very skeptical of claims of "extraordinary" experiences, and yet driven by her own, undeniable experiences, and those of other people she trusted, she became determined to find out what was going on. Lisby systematically surveyed the literature, personally interviewed many of the principal researchers, and eventually concluded that while we still do not have solid explanations for these things, the

Who cares?

Elsevier is the world's largest publisher of scientific journals and books. One of the journals is relatively new, called Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing . Elsevier tracks visits to their websites to help rank the scientific impact of their 2,000 journals. In a survey reported in December it recorded over 1 million visits by customers who viewed 4.8 million pages. Elsevier also tracks the top 10 most-downloaded articles each month, and which journals they were published in. One of those articles was published recently in Explore, so the impact of that new journal is rising fast. I found of special interest their observation that the second most popular download for the September/October issue of Explore was "Double-Blind Test of the Effects of Distant Intention on Water Crystal," by me, Gail Hayssen, Masaru Emoto, & Takashige Kizu. So who cares? As I've written before, lots of scientists do. I see it directly because I answer emails from scientists al

TV shows

I was on the Oprah Winfrey show today. The topic was mediumship. I provided a few words on what science has to offer about "the sixth sense." Oprah will have a follow-up show on the same topic later in the month, and I might be on that one too. On March 8 at 10PM/9C on the A&E Network I'll be on a special program about premonitions . A&E's description of the show: Everyone has dreamt that somebody they love has died. Most of the time, we wake up in horror, only to realize that it was only a dream...But what if it wasn't – What if your dream foretold real tragedy? How would you know that it was really going to happen? Could you do anything to stop it? Cutting-edge research now suggests we may all have the ability to predict what is about to occur. Premonition... precognitive dreams...presentiment...These phenomena might not be a matter of faith, myth, or just making a lucky guess. Premonition will explore extraordinary cases of real people who have had the


Original in the New York Times . By BENEDICT CAREY Published: February 10, 2007 PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 6 — Over almost three decades, a small laboratory at Princeton University managed to embarrass university administrators, outrage Nobel laureates, entice the support of philanthropists and make headlines around the world with its efforts to prove that thoughts can alter the course of events. But at the end of the month, the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory, or PEAR, will close, not because of controversy but because, its founder says, it is time. The laboratory has conducted studies on extrasensory perception and telekinesis from its cramped quarters in the basement of the university’s engineering building since 1979. Its equipment is aging, its finances dwindling. “For 28 years, we’ve done what we wanted to do, and there’s no reason to stay and generate more of the same data,” said the laboratory’s founder, Robert G. Jahn, 76, former dean of Princeton’s engineering

Debunking the debunkers

On the Barnes & Noble website for Entangled Minds there is an anonymous review by Kirkus Reviews. It says in part: ... He then detours into an attack on ESP debunkers. A history of psychic research follows (neglecting to mention that some of the pioneers later admitted faking their results).... Why am I hard on the "ESP debunkers"? Because some of their statements are bunk. A good example is the parenthetical comment above. It is pure fiction. In the 120+ year history of systematic scientific study of psychic phenomena, there is a single case where an investigator admitted faking data. That occurred in the 1970s by one researcher at J B Rhine's laboratory. Historically there are two or three other suspected -- but not proven -- cases. In all instances the suspects were identified by other parapsychologists. High integrity among parapsychological investigators is comparable to that found in any other scientific discipline. I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity

About the chocolate

For those who listened to me on the Coast to Coast AM show Thursday night, click here to go to the Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate website that I mentioned. The experiment involving chocolate will be published probably sometime this summer. When I get word that the article is in press, I'll post the abstract on this blog.

Too many numbers

Upon witnessing Mozart's first Viennese opera, "Die Entführung aus dem Serail," Emperor Joseph II reportedly offered the famous criticism, "Too many notes, my dear Mozart." In a recent review of Entangled Minds on, I am admonished with a similar criticism. The reviewer writes, in part: When I bought this book, I was fully ready to accept every word of it. But, as I read, I found Radin's numbers, especially his quantitative statistics of probabilities, rather ridiculous. 35 trillion-to-one against chance?? Come on. Mr Radin says his experiments gave a 56% rate of success (with 50% being chance). Come on. Chance is not hardcore. Sometimes chance is 42%, sometimes it's 56%. 6% over chance is not scientific evidence of anything. Come on ... And so on, in a similar vein. What comes to mind is the Emperor's suggestion (from the movie Amadeus ), that Mozart "just cut a few [notes] and it will be perfect." To this Mozart responds, "


How can someone who is not deeply immersed in all facets of a scientific controversy begin to understand it? For most such controversies, the knowledge required just to understand the nature of the debate may take years of specialized training and practice. I'm not just referring to psi, but rather to the much larger number of intense controversies that are constantly being debated within the pages of all scientific (and scholarly) journals. This intellectual fomenting is what scholarship is all about, and one of the primary strengths of science is the freedom to violently disagree on technical issues or matters of interpretation, but then go out and have a friendly chat over a beer. By contrast, strong disagreements within religion or politics often have more serious consequences. A new website called Skeptiko is now devoted to addressing how the scientific debate proceeds among more controversial topics like psi, where the friendly nature of disagreements sometimes break down. Th

On militant atheism

An op-ed on AlterNet takes author Sam Harris to task. Among other things, the author of the op-ed, John Gorenfeld, writes: The thrust of Harris's best-sellers is that with the world so crazed by religion, it's high time Americans stopped tolerating faith in the Rapture, the Resurrection and anything else not grounded in evidence. Only trouble is, our country's foremost promoter of "reason" is also supportive of ESP, reincarnation and other unscientific concepts. Later Gorenfeld continues: Another book he lists is The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena. "These are people who have spent a fair amount of time looking at the data," Harris explains. The author, professor Dean Radin of North California's Institute of Noetic Sciences, which is not accredited for scientific peer review, proclaims: "Psi [mind power] has been shown to exist in thousands of experiments." Gorenfeld's statement that IONS "is not acc

But what about ...?

I sometimes receive comments via email and on this blog along the lines of "What do you think about the criticisms of skeptic X on web site Y?" The answer is "Not much." In most cases I've found it to be a waste of time to respond to long-winded, free-ranging critiques appearing on blogs and in magazines. Articles published in journals aren't perfect either, but at least they provide a first-pass verification that the critiques seemed reasonable to a few referees. One hopes that the selected referees were knowledgeable about the topic at hand, which is not always the case, but compared to the level of discourse one sees in most op-eds, journal articles are a far superior way to debate controversial topics. So my response to most web critiques is this: If the author of a detailed critique is confident about their opinion, then they should publish it in a journal. Sometimes when I run across a comment on a web page that is flat wrong, and it's easy to corr