[extropy-chat] Precognition

Ben Goertzel ben at goertzel.org
Sun Mar 18 22:00:41 UTC 2007

These arguments against psi on evolutionary grounds seem very silly to me.

Obviously, if psi is real, it is a weak effect in humans and other 
biological systems.

One could just as well argue "if magnetic homing is real, why isn't it 
used by all animals instead of just by a few species?"  Indeed, the 
magnetic homing sense that some birds have would be useful for humans 
and lots of other animals


but only a few animals have evolved it.  Because of its limitations.  We 
don't know what psi's limitations are, but if it's real, they are 
apparently very severe under familiar conditions involving biological 
systems.  Presumably, once we understood psi better, we would be able to 
rationalize why it didn't evolve as a broader and more powerful force.

-- Ben

> Of course there are feedback processes, but these lead to a dynamic 
> equilibrium, not usually elimination of the adaptive trait: vision 
> leads to camouflage which leads to better vision, and so on. If ESP 
> were possible, it would be as useful as a sense like vision, if not 
> more so, and we should expect to see evidence of it everywhere in 
> nature, just as vision has evolved independently many times. Moreover, 
> we should expect that it will become increasingly refined and powerful 
> through evolutionary competition, just as other senses have.
> Stathis Papaioannou

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