Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How Skeptics Turn a Blind Eye to Psi

Heretical Notions asks why reports of positive results for psi experiments, even by respected researchers in high-profile journals, are ignored by mainstream science.
I’ve been away from this issue for a long while, but after the recent media flurry over Cornell psychologist Daryl Bem’s results, I thought I’d spend some time re-organizing my thoughts on it all.

First, as a sort of starting guidepost: Any branch of science, even mainstream modern “Science” broadly defined, has its own culture with its own relatively inelastic ways of seeing – and not seeing. Psi happens to be one of the many things that Science does not see; and in a sense, that’s not even remarkable, because for us humans, with our young civilization and small brains, probably most of the universe lies in our blind spots. We should be grateful for what we do see!

On the other hand, psi isn’t an advanced, yet-to-be-discovered phenomenon. It belongs to a rejected past, not to an inaccessible future. Parapsychology was once a very active branch of Science, with a literature that was full of positive and seemingly repeatable results. So the important question here is not, Why doesn’t Science see psi? but rather, How did Science come to unsee psi? Read more

No comments: