All truth passes through three stages:
First it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as self-evident.
                                                                                            Arthur Schopenhauer

I’m excited to be able to write about an intriguing book suggested by a blog reader a while ago. The quote above is the starting point for Science and Psychic Phenomena- Fall of the House of Skeptics by Chris Carter. Carter is a Canadian, schooled at Oxford, who exhibits much courage in taking up a thorough review of parapsychology, its scandals, intriguing characters, research, and advances an idea about why parapsychology remains controversial.

Science and Psychic

Honestly, the existence of psi (including telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and psychokinesis) has already been proven to me by personal experience and I’m not alone. One study indicated that about 67% of Americans have had an ESP * experience. Polls taken over decades have shown that a majority of Americans already believe these things happen so what I’m going to get into here is a bit academic. Why is it that the discussion of these topics is still so taboo in some parts of the scientific community and in some parts of society? And what is the truth regarding scientific research into them?

Duke University

Duke University

Let’s look at the research first. It was J.B. Rhine at Duke University who first brought ESP testing into the laboratory. In the early 30s, Rhine and Karl Zenner conducted trials of card guessing that laid the foundation for telepathy research. By 1940, nearly one million trials had been performed which eliminated critics early objections that sensory leakage might be causing the results. Experiments performed at other labs also confirmed Rhine’s results. There was something there. In the 1980s, Charles Honorton continued work in telepathy by conducting computer automated experiments. With an expected hit rate of 25%, Honorton’s studies overall hit rate was 34% with the results occurring by chance alone estimated to be 45,000 to 1. Replication studies were conducted into the 1990s with similar results.

There are five chapters in the book that outline the ins, outs, and fights that resulted when the studies were released. The conclusion really is that if this research had been produced in any other field, it would have been easily accepted as early as 1950!

People have reported experiencing PSI for thousands of years and there is solid scientific evidence to support those claims. Why does it remain so controversial? Author Chris Carter believes that PSI acceptance threatens certain people’s worldview. This worldview is called materialism and is a byproduct of an outdated 17th Century model of science. Many skeptics believe that the existence of PSI is impossible because it violates “known” science. This is simply not true. Science has evolved beyond the old science of Newtonian physics. In fact, the latest science of quantum physics doesn’t deny the existence of PSI, but rather points directly to it. So how to resolve the conundrum? Science has spoken, but the skeptics remain unconvinced. I’ll let noted Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Planck close for me.
“a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

Max Planck

Max Planck

* Note: ESP includes telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.

Psi phenomena includes ESP and psychokinesis

ALSO SEE: video SOMETHING UNKNOWN IS DOING WE DON’T KNOW WHAT- Telekan 2009-the science behind psychic phenomena, with interviews by leading parapsychology researchers including Harold Puthoff, Charles Tart, Dean Radin, Rupert Sheldrake, Edgar Mitchell. 



Filed under Book Review, Books, PSI, YA

39 responses to “SCIENCE PROVES THE EXISTENCE OF ESP- Dateline 1950

  1. This is a really interesting post! Have you written about your psi experiences? I’d be curious to read about them. Celeste 🙂


  2. Pete Hulme

    Many thanks for visiting my blog and giving me a chance to read yours. This is a fascinating issue. I note that at least one comment refers to the need for evidence. The evidence is there already. It’s just that many materialists don’t look at it because they know already that it can’t be right. John Hick, a Christian theologian, pins down one aspect of this standoff. The universe has been constructed so that there is enough evidence to convince those who will believe but not enough to convince those who won’t.


  3. I have found a large number of blogs pertaining to this issue, but your article certainly provides the most detail.


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  5. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is needed to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks


  6. I don’t understand why something that is quite natural causes so much fear and unease. As far as I’m concerned everyone has this ability, but only a few choose to develop it. I’ve always felt that it will be the physicists who will ‘prove’ that Psi, ESP, whatever you want to call it ,does exist. I suppose its like anything else, society has to grow into it. Remember when going to a shrink was a mark against you, being gay a travesty? We are becoming more accepting every day and perhaps if we just talk about it in a matter-of-fact way, not allowing the ‘woo-woo’ factor to enter the conversation, people won’t feel as threatened by it. Thank you for a thoughtful post.


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  8. Interesting! I think a lot of people have a sort of low grade ESP, maybe left over survival instinct from early evolution. I read a book once about the science of the X-men – basically the idea that human mutations (i.e. super powers) are possible.

    P.S. Thanks for liking my blog. =)


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  10. As a sceptic (you can tell I’m British) I’d like to put in a word for sceptics. If the general definition of such a person is “one who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions”, then scepticism is a double-edged sword, depending on who’s doing the asserting or the accepting. Do you go with scientific empiricism or the evidence of your own experiences and the anecdotes of others?

    Like many others I’ve had odd experiences that I find difficult to explain in conventional terms, and I accept as genuine family and friends’ descriptions of odd experiences they’ve had. Equally I know there have been fabrications as well as misinterpretations which have muddied the waters. I remain the epitome of a Doubting Thomas, willing to accept a change of worldview if the evidence warrants it, but knowing that it’s difficult if not impossible for anyone to have an overview.

    Genuine scientific enquiry and empirical research doubts and questions everything, which is why it never stands still and why we have moved on from phlogiston and head sizes being an absolute indicator of intelligence. Scientists are not all the same and don’t necessarily live up to their image of being blinkered; they can think big, dangerous thoughts, more dangerous than guardian angels and Mayan prophecies. But their jobs and their vocations predispose them to be sceptics.

    Sorry, this has been a bit of a ramble…


  11. wowbanger

    I like playing with science fiction and reading about some of the stories that involve paranormalactivity like steven king’s books. I am trying to focus in my fantasy books on science concepts. Science gets left behind a bit in schools and there is a growing awareness of that. with ict’s literacy and numeracy taking most of the foreground science has had to play catch up.


  12. This made me smile, my dad was a great proponent of the PSI research. As kids in the 60s we did a lot of the card face games. And when I was in high school he convinced me to do a research paper on it, my teacher wasn’t as enamored but he still felt my work deserved a B (which for me, was a tragedy). “I told you this wasn’t a good idea….”
    “But it’s so interesting!” Dad still thought it had been worth it.


  13. I especially like Planck’s statement. Love what you wrote and thank you for liking my post!


  14. Is this the same Chris Carter of X-Files fame?


    • Not as far as I can tell. His bio doesn’t say anything about X-Files and I’m sure the marketing people at the publisher would have used that connection to sell the book. This guy is an academic and teaches throughout the world. I had a similar thought about the name when I picked up the book.


  15. I enjoyed your post, particularly as it makes me feel more comfortable about certain dreams and senses that I have believed to be precognitive through my life. For example I had a sense when my Nana died, despite the fact that I was on my honeymoon and my family were trying to keep it from me. Enough to make me ring home and almost blow their cover-up. Your blog enforces my feeling that this and other such instances are not my imagination.


  16. Very interesting article! 🙂

    (Max Planck looks too melancholy!)

    I dislike communicating about this… but ESP has been a part of my life for a very long time; it occurred even when I was a young child. And not just with me: My mother “knew” when someone was going to pass away… before any signs of illness or injury became evident. Not to merely plug my book… but I think that the contents of my recent book offers some compelling evidence in favor of ESP; you’d have to be pretty dense not to see it… and it occurs multiple times therein.

    I think that craving for ESP, concerning oneself, is a limited, rather futile, childish, and even rather egotistical process (that negates ESP). In its deeper manifestations… it is something that comes to you; it is not something that you can merely seek out… or learn to acquire. Seeking out true mystery, via some dead or calculated “path”… is like trying to capture God (the truly living) via some rigid, man-made, cadaverous method; it is an utter waste of time! (There are plenty of man-made institutions — that claim to hold what is holy!)


    • Applaud your honesty especially about your experiences. But hold a different view about the emergence of PSI. Some have it young, some have it come later, some meet it unexpectantly (or expectantly) along the spiritual path and some hunger for it but never manifest it. Most spiritual traditions I’m aware of warn of the dangers of pursuing it without the development of a strong spiritual maturity. But on a scientific level, it is starting to be viewed as a natural and certainly NOT para or super- natural ability.


  17. sophiebowns

    This was a really great post !


  18. Russell Bradley

    Hi Ellis I am giving away my Book Siddhis Superpowers on my blog. And you can read the reason why I am doing so. I am A Professional Remote Viewer and write books about the nature of Consciousness and Extrasensory ability if any one would like to unlock the ability in themselves They can read the book here.


  19. Ellis, it exists. But I think most individuals who have ESP don’t talk about it because it is like talking about religion and politics–it can raise your stress level. Somehow, though, visions forewarning disaster always manages to creep into what I write. An interesting post.


  20. I look forward to reading Chris Carter’s book. Thanks for the tip,


  21. I’ve known all my life, and still it amazes me at the resistance of acceptance by the general population. Especially as science now backs it. But again, we are talking about a small % of unbelievers who happen to be first world chief evangelists. If they don’t see it, it must not be real. Hmm…that’s what makes my angel sad…


    • Overthrowing a worldview is a tall order. Materialism will die a slow death but it is dying. More people have to understand the science and bring their interior knowledge to the forefront.


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