Psychics versus Scientists.

Skeptico has an excellent entry comparing psychic research vs. scientific research:

In 124 years, psi research has progressed to no more than a carnival guessing game act on TV.  But it’s not just that the evidence for psi has not gotten any better over the last 124 years compared with advances in science, although that is notable. The real lesson is that even if psi were real, in 124 years we still haven’t found an actual use for it – no psi communications devices, no accurate predictions of the future, no military use, nothing.

Compare that with the real world of science. We started this post with Morse code, but now I can now access computers anywhere in the world from the color screen of my small cell phone. And it all works whether you believe in it or not. Where are the equivalent unambiguously real and useful psi applications? Oh I get it: they’ll be here pretty soon. My question is – how much longer do we have to wait for some use to be made of psi before we can all agree it doesn’t exist?

Probably about the same amount of time as it’ll take Jesus to visit us once again.

3 thoughts on “Psychics versus Scientists.

  1. Hope springs eternal, I suppose—but whether psi exists or not, it doesn’t seem to be significant enough to affect much if anything.

    Assuming, of course, that the military isn’t suppressing all the evidence and keeping secret psi farms down underneath Area 51 …

  2. The US intelligence community did experiment with psychic spying during the ‘80s and early ‘90s.  At one point the supporters of such activities were worried there was a “psi gap” with the Soviets given how much support psychic research supposedly had in the USSR.  I have no idea if the Soviets did spend a lot of time and effort on psychic research, or if such claims were part of some Soviet effort to get the US to waste time and money better spent on things like recruiting sources.  But you’d think the Soviet Union’s history with pseudoscience, such as the genetic theories of Lysenko, would have been sufficient caution that just because the USSR was spending money on something didn’t mean it was money well spent.

  3. The US intelligence community did experiment with psychic spying during the ‘80s and early ‘90s.

    See ‘The Men who stare at Goats’ Jon Ronson (UK journalist).  He also had a late night discussion show about conspiracies a few years ago, on which one man said Princess Diana was assasinated because she was the direct decendant of the Big J, and had psycic abilities.  This is before DVC, but after Holy Blood, holy Grail.

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