Skeptic agrees that remote viewing is proven
Excerpt from a January 2008 item in the UK's The Daily Mail newspaper:
Thus, a prominent skeptic agrees that (1) the study of remote viewing is an area of science, which should thoroughly obviate the skeptical epithet of "pseudoscience" once and for all. And (2) that when judged against prevailing scientific standards for evaluating evidence, he agrees that remote viewing is proven. The follow-on argument that this phenomenon is so unusual that it requires more evidence refers not to evidence per se, or even to scientific methods or practice, but to assumptions about the fabric of reality.
In 1995, the US Congress asked two independent scientists to assess whether the $20 million that the government had spent on psychic research had produced anything of value. And the conclusions proved to be somewhat unexpected.
Professor Jessica Utts, a statistician from the University of California, discovered that remote viewers were correct 34 per cent of the time, a figure way beyond what chance guessing would allow.
She says: "Using the standards applied to any other area of science, you have to conclude that certain psychic phenomena, such as remote viewing, have been well established.
"The results are not due to chance or flaws in the experiments."
Of course, this doesn't wash with sceptical scientists.
Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, refuses to believe in remote viewing.
He says: "I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven, but begs the question: do we need higher standards of evidence when we study the paranormal? I think we do.
"If I said that there is a red car outside my house, you would probably believe me.
"But if I said that a UFO had just landed, you'd probably want a lot more evidence.
"Because remote viewing is such an outlandish claim that will revolutionise the world, we need overwhelming evidence before we draw any conclusions. Right now we don't have that evidence."
I agree that remote viewing would be difficult to explain using 17th century ontology, which from today's perspective would be a naive, classical physics view of reality. But I suspect it will be explained through 21st century expansions of those assumptions.