Showing posts from April, 2014

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

No one pays any attention

Do scientists pay attention to psi research? Some skeptics would have you believe that this topic is so far from the mainstream that no one takes it seriously. What do article impact metrics indicate? For the article  Predictive physiological anticipation preceding seemingly unpredictable stimuli: A meta-analysis , which examines experiments studying what I've called "presentiment,"  Altmetric reports that this is "one of the highest ever scores" in the journal Frontiers in Psychology  (ranked #3 of 1,714 articles). The average v iew of a journal article is typically a few hundred, and that's for a very popular paper. This paper has 47,765 views so far.  For the article  Predicting the unpredictable: Critical analysis and practical implications of predictive anticipatory activity , Altmetric reports that this article "is amongst the highest ever scored" in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience,  with 10,584 views. For the article  A call for an op

Now it becomes clear

As I've previously mentioned , Wikipedia has a problem with topics that fall outside a tightly constrained, naive view of reality. That there are different opinions about such topics as homeopathy, parapsychology, or energy medicine, is not surprising. But it is disappointing (and on the verge of abetting libel when it comes to biographies of living persons) when an otherwise useful encyclopedia maintains a policy of presenting such topics with a systematic negative bias. Attempts to edit these articles to provide more balance are summarily ignored, and even neutral, well-intentioned editors have been banned. Articles with citations only from unreliable, uninformed, or cynical sources might be useful for promoting favored ideologies, but only in an Orwellian world could such an encyclopedia be considered anything but a work of fiction. Indeed, this very blog was labeled an "unreliable source" when I've simply pointed out an easily demonstrable  mathematical fact .