[ExI] Fwd: psi yet again

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Wed Jun 30 20:36:46 UTC 2010

On 6/30/2010 2:59 PM, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:

> accidentally posted off-list

and here's my offlist reply:

On 6/30/2010 2:33 PM, Rafal Smigrodzki wrote:

 > You need that build-up of
 > contradictory data and the need to introduce implausible modifications
 > to orthodoxy for this paradigm shift to occur.

My guess is that if and when psi is satisfactorily demonstrated to be 
real, cmplete with theory, former disbelieves will have no lack of prior 
experiences to confirm this. "Oh, yeah, there was that time when my 
sister had her heart attack 1000 miles away and I was on the phone a 
minute later trying to call her, full of terror," etc. I'm not sure 
about the following (because Sheldrake's "morphic resonance" shtick 
sounds like the purest woowoo to me), but it sounds as if they took good 
precautions in the recent telephone experiments:



 >  if psi is a
 > faculty dependent on complex features of the brain to work (like
 > intelligence), then its absence in most people is not suprising even
 > if does give replicative advantage. If you need a 100 genes for it to
 > work but the increase in fitness is small, then the overall selection
 > for it will be weak. A capability manifesting in 2 out 100,000 guesses
 > just won't manifest in the noisy world of casinos and lotteries - why,
 > it's hard to detect even under ideal conditions in the lab.

There's something to that; I recall replying to Lee Corbin that IQs 
above 150 are obviously impossible, because you could test just about 
anyone in the street without their getting over, say, 125. (Certainly 
the STAR GATE evidence seems to show that you need highly selected 
psi-gifted people before you can train them to moderately successful 
levels.) But I think it might also be that psi tends to kick in when it 
is ethologically appropriate rather than when scientists try to elicit 
it--knowing when someone or something is watching you, about to call you 
on the phone, etc.

Damien Broderick

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