Zen Faulkes zfaulkes at bio1.lan.mcgill.ca
Thu Jul 24 08:50:44 EST 1997


Ronald Blue (>) replied to A. Stein (>>):

>> [We're] in desperate need tp learn about the biological and psychological
>> basics of telepathy!!! How may, would, should it work/be possible????

   It doesn't. The reasons why are numerous, including the power
requirements to actually send a signal and the lack of any evidence for
anything that could send or receive such a signal. Telepathy is
essentially a dualist proposition, that "mind" can somehow exist
separately from "brain," which is anathema to contemprary neurobiology.

> My understanding has been that the overwhelming data has been
> to refute any possibility of telepathy.

   There is evidence from some labs, actually. The problems are that (a)
the effect reported are typically very, very, very small, (b) fraught
with confounding variables, notably contamination, and (c) have not been
reliably reproduced in other labs.

> However, precognition may be possible from a quantum mechanics perspective 
> which may look like telepathy.

   Despite many claims that quantum mechanics makes some sort of "psi"
effect possible, none have convinced many physicists. Vic Stenger has
written a couple of books on the subject (one is titled "Psychics and
Physics," I believe). Quantum physics is indeed spooky, but I have yet
to hear a convincing argument that it can allow precongnition (or free
will, or many other things QM is invoked to "explain").

   I'd recommend looking through some back issues of The Skeptical
Inquirer (http://www.csicop.org) and maybe few books from Prometheus
(http://www.prometheusbooks.com/satp.htm) on these issues.

Zen Faulkes

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