Monday, March 12, 2007

My take on the paranormal

The following is a letter sent to the author of an article that appeared in The Register with the title If whales can communicate by telepathy, why can't humans?.

Dear Dr. Juan,

Your discussion of human telepathy fails to take into account the quantum mechanical aspects of ESP. The following addresses this shortcoming.

If a researcher looks for telepathy or clairvoyance, he won't find any evidence supporting a hypothesis of paranormal abilities in human beings. Why is this? We've all had experiences that are best described as psychic: guessing the next playing card, knowing what someone is going to say next, and so on.

The problem is that these moments of paranormal activity are all unexpected and unplanned. It is not a "power" so much as a twitch or an involuntary reflex. What does this show?

Like Schrodinger's Cat, observation resolves the question of psychic phenomena. Observation per se, or rather the attempt to observe, destroys the unexpectedness & unintentionality of psychic phenomena.

The best way, therefore, to ensure the most advanced development possible to human psychic powers is to stop looking for them and to stop thinking about them. Further, it might even be necessary to hold would-be psychics up to extreme ridicule and public humiliation.

The ridicule would only be for the purpose of creating the most favorable environment possible for the development of human psychic potential. Should the ridicule and public humiliation of would-be psychics turn out to be fun and a source of great merriment, wouldn't this prove, or at least suggest, that the eradication of psychic researchers and would-be psychics would contribute greatly to the cause of human progress?

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