Thursday, January 06, 2011

Respected Journal to Publish Evidence of ESP

The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a highly respected psychology journal, will soon publish a paper presenting strong evidence of ESP.

Many scientists are described as either amused or scornful.

This paper may or may not prove to be a landmark event in the history of psychology, but some type of ESP, albeit limited, seems possible. The problem is to figure out under what conditions ESP occurs and what can be divined with it.

The New York Times article poses questions that I think completely miss the point about the true nature of ESP:
[I]f ESP exists, why aren’t people getting rich by reliably predicting the movement of the stock market or the outcome of football games?

The answer, of course, is that ESP doesn’t allow for such detailed understandings of future events. The phenomenon of glimpsing the future may be far more fleeting and shadowy than that. Reading future numbers and scores, if theoretically possible, may require specific prerequisites currently unknown to us.

The fact that no one gets rich by seeing future lottery numbers says nothing pro or con about the possibility of ESP. The question simply misreads the ephemeral nature of the phenomenon, and reproduction of results may be incredibly problematic.

Studies are now underway to replicate the results.

No comments: