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The ESP Enigma : The Scientific Case for Psychic Phenomena
A revolutionary explanation of the link between psychic phenomena and how human consciousness works.
Dr. Diane Powell, a prominent Johns Hopkins-trained neuropsychiatrist, examines the evidence for many types of psychic phenomena, from telepathy and precognition to psychokinesis, and finds several well-designed and rigorously supervised studies that prove the existence of some psychic phenomena. The fact that psychic abilities are stronger among prodigies, autistic savants, and some people who are bipolar or have suffered certain brain injuries has led to brain-imaging and other research that can explain which parts of the brain are dominant in psychics and mystics. Dr. Powell proposes a new paradigm for consciousness that would explain psychic phenomena, such as how the mind of a mystic or psychic could have an organizational effect on the physical world. Grounded in decades of reliable scientific research, The ESP Enigma establishes a common ground among psychic phenomena believers and skeptics.
In science it is axiomatic that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Powell, a neuropsychiatrist who has taught at Harvard Medical School, certainly makes extraordinary claims about the four basic psychic abilities: telepathy, psychokinesis, clairvoyance and precognition. But her evidence is consistently below par. She relies on self-reported claims by psychics, hundred-year-old newspaper accounts and the results of studies published by organizations like the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research rather than in reputable, peer-reviewed scientific journals (and sometimes she cites no source at all). Powell is woefully short on mechanisms to explain the phenomena she claims are so common, although she does turn to quantum physics to assert that molecular resonance and the space-time continuum are likely responsible, and she finds evolutionary explanations for the existence of psychic phenomena. She claims, for instance, that psychic events are related to dreaming, which may have evolved so babies, who mostly sleep, can detect threats and communicate them psychically to their parents. Undaunted by the weak evidence, Powell asserts that she is on the forefront of a Copernican revolution of the mind. (Jan.)
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December 21, 2009
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