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Critical Evaluation of a Parapsychological Phenomenon - Telepathy PowerPoint Presentation
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Critical Evaluation of a Parapsychological Phenomenon - Telepathy

Critical Evaluation of a Parapsychological Phenomenon - Telepathy

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Critical Evaluation of a Parapsychological Phenomenon - Telepathy

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  1. Critical Evaluation of a Parapsychological Phenomenon - Telepathy By: Alexander Pasko

  2. Think about Parapsychology…….

  3. Why Study Parapsychology? • Knowledge is progress • Rewards are incredible • To uncover the truth • People want to believe

  4. Initial Studies of Telepathy • Upton Sinclair – Mental Radio (1930) • From 1928 to 1930, Sinclair conducted 300 experiments with his wife, Mary, trying to harness her latent telepathic power • Sinclair would be in one room, while his wife was in another; Sinclair would draw a picture of anything that happened to pop into his head, and his wife would try to duplicate the image using “thought transference” only • Out of the 300 experiments done, Sinclair’s results showed 65 successes (23%), 155 “partial successes” (55%), and 70 failures (24%) • Experiments were not conducted in a controlled scientific laboratory environment; Sinclair also failed to mention any of the failures in his book

  5. Initial Studies of Telepathy (cont.) • Harold Sherman and Hubert Wilkins – Thoughts Through Space • Conducted an experiment for over 5 months in 1937 while Sherman was in New York and Wilkins (a polar explorer) was in the Arctic • At the end of each day, Wilkins would record the events of his day in a diary and attempt to send his thoughts to Sherman by mental telepathy, who would record his impressions of the events in a diary of his own • When Wilkins and Sherman compared notes at the end of the study, it was found that 75% of the information was accurate • To rule out any kind of fraud, each night Sherman had sent his impressions to Gardner Murphy, a psychologist at Columbia University • Their book, “Thoughts Through Space”, was published in 1942

  6. Recent Studies Supporting Telepathy • Rupert Sheldrake (2006): Mother/Baby Telepathy • Sheldrake, a British biologist with a strong interest in animal telepathy, investigated the phenomenon of a nursing mother knowing exactly when their baby needs them • 100 mothers who had recently had babies were surveyed and asked a series of questions about their experiences when breastfeeding; 62% had experienced milk let-down when away from their babies and 16% had noticed that this seemed to coincide with their baby needing them • In addition, 31 women said they had felt there was something wrong with their baby when they were away from home, and found that it was indeed in distress because of a fall or other accident, and 5 women commented that they often woke up shortly before their baby needed them in the night • Analysis of spontaneous cases of telepathy have already shown that people who are emotionally close seem more prone to communicate telepathically than strangers or unrelated people

  7. Studies Supporting Telepathy (cont.) • Dr. Michael Persinger: Quantum Entanglement • Research starts on the basic premise that all experience is generated by brain activity; the critical thing is that all experiences of love, or memories, etc. must be associated with specific patterns of brain activity • If you place two different brains at a distance and put a circular magnetic field around both, making sure both coils are connected to the same computer, (which means they’re generating the same configuration of two different spaces), flashing a light in one person’s eye, even though they’re in a chamber that’s closed up, the person in the other room that’s receiving just the magnetic field will show similar changes in frequency in the room • This is the first macro-level experiment to showcase the existence of quantum entanglement; that is, the apparent connection of two or more particles over a distance with no notable physical connection between them • In other words: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB-PUmWx10A

  8. Criticisms on Telepathy Experiments • Sheldrake • It is possible that the phenomenon is caused by a combination of chance coincidence and selective memory: Milk let-down occurs for a variety of reasons when women are away from their babies for reasons unconnected with the babies’ needs • E.g. the breasts being full after a long period away from the child, hearing other babies cry and thinking about feeding the baby • The alleged “psychic bond” between mothers and their infants is nothing more than the instinctive protectiveness that a mother feels for their infant; mothers away from home, whether their infant really needs them or not, will often assume the worst and be overly concerned for its well-being; this behaviour is entirely evolutionary in nature, preventing mothers from abandoning their baby for a long period of time • The telepathy effect in close relationships is likely an illusion, brought on by full understanding of one another’s personality; unconscious recognition of behaviour patterns and body language leads to a disuse in verbal communication as the two people are so in tuned to each other’s signals that it appears as though they can communicate telepathically

  9. Criticisms on Telepathy Experiments (cont.) • Dr. Michael Persinger • Heavily favors a top-down approach to neuroanatomy (i.e. the brain creates what we experience in the world) while ignoring the bottom-up approach (i.e. our experiences dictate what our brain is doing) • Quantum entanglement has thus far only been proven to work on a sub-atomic level; whether the same theories can successfully be applied to human-sized objects is another matter that has not been fully tested • Furthermore, entanglement has only been shown to work with pairs of particles; as far as we know, there is no “thought particle” • There is still debate over whether the subjects in Persinger’s experiments have their innate telepathic abilities enhanced, or whether their state is artificially created by the magnetic stimulation • E.g. the “God Helmet”

  10. Conclusions: Is Telepathy Real? • As of today, no experiment involving telepathy (or any other parapsychological phenomenon) has been successfully reproduced with the same results • Parapsychologists and skeptics agree that virtually all of the instances of more popular psychic phenomena, such as mediumism, can be attributed to non-paranormal techniques such as cold reading; magicians such as Ian Rowland and Derren Brown have demonstrated techniques and results similar to those of popular psychics, without paranormal means • Research in anomalistic psychology has discovered that in some cases telepathy can be explained by a covariation bias • E.g. In an experiment, Schienleet al. took 22 believers and 20 skeptics and asked them to judge the covariation between transmitted symbols and the corresponding feedback given by a receiver; according to the results the believers overestimated the number of successful transmissions whilst the skeptics made accurate hit judgments

  11. Mini-Experiment! Prove telepathy for yourself!

  12. The End (*Cue Applause*)