[extropy-chat] Precognition

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Mon Mar 19 01:44:06 UTC 2007

At 12:14 PM 3/19/2007 +1100, Stathis wrote:

>unless it has just started sporadically appearing in humans in the 
>last few decades, we should have noticed a trend of increasing 
>prevalence, and increasing strength if this does not contravene some 
>physical limit, in historical times.

First look at the public scientific evidence, then try shoveling it 
into your favorite theory.

One bundle of evidence suggests an apparent cyclicity in psi effect 
size mapping to sidereal time; another suggests a long term decline 
in protocol effectivity that turns upward again after several 
decades. It is conceivable that the psi vector (if this is an 
appropriate model) is intermittent, and that adaptation to this weak 
vehicle uses it as ancillary to more reliable electromagnetic and 
impact vehicles. None of this offends against reason.

(Here's a silly example of a partial explanation: there is a lode of 
kryptonite inside Halley's comet, and organisms can with 
difficulty--using a spandrelized vermiform appendix--detect and 
modulate its weak dark energy radiation for telepathy, precognition 
and enhanced sex appeal. It gets blocked by the turning earth, and 
there's an inverse square law that causes irruptions of mediumistic 
activity every 70 years or so as the comet swings by. Yes, this 
explains one mystery by another, but it took quantum theory to 
explain radioactivity.)

Obvious gibes on the lines of "Oh, psi `declines' because the cheats 
are found out and precautions improve" simply don't fit the extant 
evidence. What concerns me in this... um... "debate" is too benign a 
word... is the very widely held assumption that any objection an 
intelligent person can think up in a minute of two must be utterly 
amazing and devastating to an equally intelligent parapsychologist 
who's been working in this discipline for decades.

Look at the data, then come up with the cool explanations.

Damien Broderick

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