by Marinus Jan Marijs
Extrasensory perception such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition have been reported throughout the ages. If they can be proven to exist, then their existence has an important philosophical meaning to the nature of the mind and mind body relationship. The idea that extrasensory perception could exist has been denied by a great part of the academic world. The problem wasn’t that there wasn’t any data supporting its existence, this was debateable, but a much greater problem was the presumed nature of this extrasensory perception. While the nature of sensory perception was to a great degree understood, extrasensory perception was totally different: Because there were no senses involved, it was difficult to see how this information could be received and processed like the eye, the retina and the central nervous system do in relation to visual information. Furthermore extrasensory information doesn’t decrease quadratic with increasing distance like normal physical signals. And perceived persons or scenery were not in the vicinity but sometimes far away. Part of the solution to this problem came from theoretical physics, the principle of non-locality in Quantum Theory which was proved in 1982 by Alain Aspect showed a somewhat similar process which could explain extrasensory perception. As in quantum non-locality there is no transfer of information from point to point, the information is everywhere simultaneously. But according to John Bell this quantum mechanical processes could not be used for complex information.
(However a quantum computer uses entanglement, its now already used in quantum cryptography) It is not suggested that extrasensory perception is a quantum mechanical process but that at a more fundamental level reality is nonlocal, which could explain the way in which extrasensory perception is possible. The idea is that extrasensory perception takes place at a higher ontological level and that it may point to the existence of a part of a human being that is nonphysical and would survive death. Not only that, it could be that after death extrasensory perception would be much stronger, much more accessible, and that clairvoyance could be the way in which after death the higher ontological worlds (heaven) are perceived. Telepathy could be the way in which spirits communicate after death in the higher ontological worlds (heaven)
Alan Turing about Extra-Sensory Perception:
“The Argument from Extra-Sensory Perception. I assume that the reader is familiar with the idea of extra-sensory perception, and the meaning of the four items of it, viz. telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and psycho-kinesis. These disturbing phenomena seem to deny all our usual scientific ideas. How we should like to discredit them! Unfortunately the statistical evidence, at least for telepathy, is overwhelming. It is very difficult to rearrange one’s ideas so as to fit these new facts in. Once one has accepted them it does not seem a very big step to believe in ghosts and bogies. The idea that our bodies move simply according to the known laws of physics, together with some others not yet discovered but somewhat similar, would be one of the first to go”.
“This argument is to my mind quite a strong one. One can say in reply that many scientific theories seem to remain workable in practice, in spite of clashing with E.S.P.; that in fact one can get along very nicely if one forgets about it. This is rather cold comfort, and one fears that thinking is just the kind of phenomenon where E.S.P. may be especially relevant”.
The World of Mathematics: James R. Newman
Turing, OBE, FRS; 23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) was a British pioneering computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, mathematical biologist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of “algorithm” and “computation” with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.(Wikipedia)
Gödel endorses the view that mathematical intuition comes to us through extrasensory perception, as opposed to logic or evidence.
“Roger Penrose contends that the foundations of mathematics can’t be understood absent the Platonic view that “mathematical truth is absolute, external and eternal, and not based on man-made criteria … mathematical objects have a timeless existence of their own…”
Extrasensory perception in the New Testament:
Early seers and prophets
Elaborate systems of divination and fortune-telling date back to ancient times. ….
Some fortune-tellers were said to be able to make predictions through some sort of direct apprehension or vision of the future. These people were known as seers or prophets, and in later times as clairvoyants (French word meaning “clear sight” or “clear seeing”) and psychics.
Seers formed a functionary role in early civilization, often serving as advisors, priests, and judges.
A number of examples are included in biblical accounts. The book of 1 Samuel (Chapter 9) illustrates one such functionary task when Samuel is asked to find the donkeys of the future king Saul. The role of prophet appeared perennially in ancient cultures. In Egypt, the priests of the sun deity Ra at Memphis acted as seers. In ancient Assyria seers were referred to as nabu, meaning “to call” or “announce”.
The Delphic Oracle is one of the earliest stories in classical antiquity of prophetic abilities. The Pythia, the priestess presiding over the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, was believed to be able to deliver prophecies inspired by Apollo during rituals beginning in the 8th century BC. It is often said that the Pythia delivered oracles in a frenzied state induced by vapors rising from the ground, and that she spoke gibberish, believed to be the voice of Apollo, which priests reshaped into the enigmatic prophecies preserved in Greek literature. Other scholars believe records from the time indicate that the Pythia spoke intelligibly, and gave prophecies in her own voice. The Pythia was a position served by a succession of women probably selected from amongst a guild of priestesses of the temple. The last recorded response was given in 393 AD, when the emperor Theodosius I ordered pagan temples to cease operation. Recent geological investigations raise the possibility that ethylene gas caused the Pythia’s state of inspiration.
In addition to the belief that some historical figures were endowed with a predisposition to psychic experiences, some psychic abilities were thought to be available to everyone on occasion. For example, the belief in prophetic dreams was common and persistent in many ancient cultures. (Wikipedia)
There was a strong resistance against the idea that there were extra-sensory perceptions.
This because extra-sensory perceptions where difficult to place within a 19th century mechanistic worldview.
If telepathy and clairvoyance do exist, than they must be non-local perceptions and this explains why some people have such a problem in placing extra-sensory perception within their worldview.
About the supporting evidence:
“In 1995, the US Congress asked two independent scientists to assess whether the $20 million that the government had spent on psychic research had produced anything of value. And the conclusions proved to be somewhat unexpected.
Professor Jessica Utts, a statistician from the University of California, discovered that remote viewers were correct 34 per cent of the time, a figure way beyond what chance guessing would allow.
She says: “Using the standards applied to any other area of science, you have to conclude that certain psychic phenomena, such as remote viewing, have been well established.
“The results are not due to chance or flaws in the experiments.”
And: at the end of that project I wrote a report to Congress stating what I still think is true. The data in support of precognition and possible other related phenomena is quite strong statistically and would be accepted if it pertained
to something more mundane”.
“Yet, most scientists reject the reality of these abilities without ever looking at the data”.
Jessica Utts is a statistics Professor at the University of California, Irvine, and is president of the American Statistical Association. In writing for her part of a 1995 evaluation of our work for the CIA, she wrote: “Using the standards applied to any other area of science, it is concluded that psychic functioning has been well established. The statistical results of the studies examined are far beyond what is expected by chance. Arguments that these results could be due to methodological flaws in the experiments are soundly refuted. Remote viewing has been conceptually replicated across a number of laboratories, by various experimenters, and in different cultures. This is a robust effect that, were it not such an unusual domain, would no longer be questioned by science as a real phenomenon. It is unlikely that methodological flaws could account for its remarkable consistency.”