Science Delusion, 9-12



Are Psychic Phenomena Illusory?


p. 233 normal and beyond-the-norm psychology

Psychic phenomena are normal in the sense that they are common {frequent} : for example, most people have made other people turn around by staring at them, or had … telepathic experience with telephone calls … . …

Likewise, the term parapsychology means 'beyond psychology' and implies that it is not part of normal psychology.”

{'Beyond psychology' would be /metapsychology/; /parapsychology/ is literally 'as-if psychology'.}

Sceptics often repeat the slogan that 'extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence' … . The sense of being stared at and telepathy are ordinary, in that most people have experienced them. They are not 'extraordinary' … : they are common. From this point of view, the sceptics' claim is extraordinary and demands extraordinary evidence.”

p. 234 other psi-powers

the other two main areas of psi research : clairvoyance, the ability to see or experience things at a distance, sometimes called remote viewing and

psychokinesis, or mind over matter effects.”

[p. 351b, n. 9:5 : “Sheldrake (2003a, 2011) and

Radin (1997, 2007).”]

Radin 1997 = Dean Radin : The Conscious Universe; the scientific truth of psychic phenomena. HarperCollins, San Francisco.

pp. 235-6, 238 mutual telepathists

p. 235

telepathy usually occurs between people who are closely bonded, such as parents and children, spouses, and close friends. [Sheldrake 2003a] By contrast, most experiments by

p. 236

psychic researchers and parapsychologists have used pairs of strangers, between whom the effects were much smaller.”

p. 238

When tests were done between people who knew each other well, for example mothers and daughters, the scores were far higher.” (Dalton 1997; Broughton & Alexander 1997)

Dalton 1997 = K. Dalton : “Exploring the Creativity and Psi”. PROC OF THE PARAPSYCHOLOGICAL ASSN, 40th Annual Convention. pp. 119-31.

Broughton & Alexander 1997 = R. S. Broughton & C. M. Alexander : “... Replication of the PRL Research”. J OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY 61:209-26.

p. 239 William Long

a remarkable book written by William Long …, published in 1919 … found that … Wolves separated from the pack not only seemed to know what the others were doing but where they were. …

As Long pointed out, the same abilities may occur in domesticated animals. He was particularly interested in the ability of some dogs to know when their owners were coming home, and he described … a return-anticipating dog. The dog started waiting for its owner for more than half an hour before he arrived home, even at non-routine times.

Unfortunately no one followed this lead. The subject of telepathy was taboo”.

Long 1919 = William Long : How Animals Talk. Harper, NY. (reprinted in 2005 by Park St Pr)

pp. 240-1 the author (R.Sh.)'s own data on return-anticipating pets etc.

p. 240

Some people worked irregular hours, like plumbers, lawyers and taxi drivers, and yet those at home knew when they were coming because the dog or cat waited at the door or window, sometimes half an hour or more before the person arrived. More than twenty other species showed similar anticipatory behaviour, especially parrots and horses”.

p. 241

Domestic animals … pick up their owners' thoughts and intentions in other ways … . Most dramatically, some animals … sense when their owners have had accidents or have died in distant places. … Conversely ..., people knew when their pet had died or was in dire need.” (Sheldrake 2011a)

p. 242 telepathy in traditional & tribal societies

In most, if not all traditional societies, telepathy seems to be taken for granted and put to practical use. Many travellers in Africa reported ... people … to know when others to whom they were attached were coming home. The same occurred in rural Norway, where there is a special word for the anticipation of arrivals : vardo/ger. Typically, someone at home heard a person approaching the house and coming in, yet nobody physically did so. Soon afterwards the person actually arrived. Similarly, the 'second sight' of some inhabitants of the Scottish Highlands included visions of arrivals before the person in the vision appeared.

Unfortunately, most anthropologists who have lived with traditional peoples have not studied these aspects of their behaviour, or at least they have not reported them. Materialist taboos have inhibited their spirit of inquiry.”

p. 246 the mechanism of telepathy

the physical phenomenon most analogous to telepathy is quantum entanglement, also known as quantum non-locality, which does not fall off with distance. When two quantum particles have been part of the same system and move apart, they remain interconnected or intangled in such a way that a change in one is associated with an immediate change in the other. Albert Einstein famously described this effect as 'spooky action at a distance'.”

I do not know to what extent people can learn to be more sensitive telepathically.”

{Telepathic sensitivity (alike to any other psychic ability) can be commenced, or increased, either by closely associating with a person who is already is thorough control of such powers, or else by formally worshipping such deity as is able to convey such powers to a worshipper.}

pp. 247-9 animals' praemonitions of earthquakes

p. 247

Ever since classical {antient} times, people have reported unusual animal behaviour before earthquakes, and I have reported unusual animal behaviour before earthquakes, and I have collected a large body of evidence for usual animal behaviour before recent earthquakes … . In all such cases there were many reports of wild and domesticated animals behaving in fearful, anxious or unusual ways several hours or even days before the earthquakes. Dogs were howling for hours beforehand, and many cats and birds were behaving usually.”

One of the very few systematic observations of animal behaviour before, during and after an earthquake … forced to the conclusion that the toads were somehow detecting the impending earthquake some … days in advance.” (Grant & Halliday 2010)

p. 248

animals … sense in advance what is about to happen in a way that lies beyond current scientific understanding, through some kind of presentiment.”

many animals seemed to anticipate the great tsunami … . Elephants in S[`]ri Lanka and Sumatra moved to higher ground before the giant waves struck; they did the same in Thailand, trumpeting beforehand. … In … south India, buffaloes, goats and dogs escaped by moving to higher ground, and so did a nesting colony of flamingos.” (Sheldrake 2005c)

p. 249

since the 1970s, in earthquake-prone areas of China, the authorities have encouraged people to report unusual animal behaviour”.

Grant & Halliday 2010 = R. Grant & T. Halliday : “... Pre-seismic Anticipatory Behaviour in the Common Toad”. J OF ZOOLOGY 281:263-71.

Sheldrake 2005c = Rupert Sheldrake : “Why did so many animals escape … tsunami?” ECOLOGIST, March.

p. 251 J. W. Dunne

a British aeronautical engineer, J. W. Dunne, … in his remarkable book … [1927] found he often dreamed about events that were about to happen … . … He also found that he sometimes

had experiences that seemed familiar – sometimes called de'ja` vu, French for 'already seen' – and by looking over his records found that they corresponded to recent dreams”.

{Perhaps all cases of “de'ja` vu” involve remembring a thither-forgotten dream which was a praesentiment of visiting that locale.}

Dunne 1927 = J. W. Dunne : An Experiment with Time. Faber & Faber, London.

pp. 252-3 waking praesentiments

p. 252

Precognitions are like memories of the future. Presentiments seem to involve a

{An alternative [or perhaps supplementary] explanation to the notion of emotions flowing backwards in time [though this may be actual enough, and may even be capable of explaining the existence of emotions], could be that the telepathic concourse of deities (immortal elemental-spirits mutually telepathic) have deduced the forthcoming cataclysmic event and have telepathically transmitted that deduction into the animals' minds.}

p. 253

back-flowing from future states of alarm ..., a flow of causation moving in the opposite direction to energetic causation.”

pp. 253-4 organized groups of dogmatically irrational doubters

p. 253

the US Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) … used to be called CSICOP … . … Their opponents see them as self-appointed vigilantes. [French 2005] These … campaigns are … political and economic. …

p. 254

I have had many encounters with skeptics, described in detail elsewhere. [p. 353b, n. 9:51 : “See the Appendix to Sheldrake (2011a) and the Controversies section of my website” .”]

In almost every case, they were not only ignorant of the evidence, but uninterested in it.”

{That they were uninterested in any-and-all evidence is, or course, strong a indication of their complete and absolute hypocrisy.}

French 2005 = Chris French : “Scepticism”. Chapter 5 of :- Jane Henry (ed.) : Parapsychology : Research on Exceptional Experience. Routledge, Hove.

p. 257 the disreputable nature of materialists' irrationality

committed materialists feel free to disregard the evidence and behave irrationally and unscientifically while claiming to speak in the name of science and reason. They abuse the authority of science and bring rationalism into disrepute.”

pp. 257-8 prospective effects of eliminating the taboo

p. 257

Dropping the taboo against psychic phenomena would have a liberating effect … . Scientists would no longer … need to pretend that these effects are impossible. … People would feel free to talk openly about their own experiences. …

p. 258

Anthropologists would be liberated from the taboo that stops them from studying psychic skills that may be better developed in traditional societies than in our own. Above all,

research on these phenomena would contribute to a larger and more inclusive understanding of the nature of minds, social bonds, time and causation.”

{This is very much an understatement of the benefits which would be accrued.}

{Howbeit, there is little or no prospect under a vicious and oppressive social system (such the the current capitalist despotism) of any permissiveness toward any program for studying and promoting telepathy, for the simple reason that telepathy could expose openly to public view the secret schemes for oppression being conspiratorially undertaken by the hypocritical and malevolently deceitful ruling class.}



Is Mechanistic Medicine the Only Kind … Really … ?


p. 267 medical ghostwriting

drug companies try to make as much money as they can while patents last. … In order to bolster the drugs' … credibility, they offer large fees to scientists to put their names to articles that have been ghostwritten by authors paid by the drug company, or else the scientists are given … inducements to lend their names to studies they have not done.” (Boseley 2002)

Boseley 2002 = S. Boseley : “Scandal of Scientists Who Take Money for Papers Ghostwritten by Drug Companies”. GUARDIAN, 7 Febr.

pp. 273-5 placebo cures; hypnosis

p. 273

The placebo response shows that patients' beliefs and hopes play an important part in the healing process. … .

p. 274

[quoted from Singh & Ernst 2009, p. 300] … a proven treatment is always enhanced by the placebo effect. … The best doctors fully exploit the placebo effect, while the worst ones add only a minimal placebo enhancement”.

If materialism were an adequate foundation for medicine, placebo responses ought not to occur. … There is even a field of research devoted to the subject : psychoneuroimmunology. … Placebo responses show that health and sickness are not just a matter of physics and chemistry. They also depend on hopes, meanings and beliefs. Placebo responses are an integral part of healing.”

p. 275

[Physiological] Functions that are normally involuntary are potentially subject to mental influence. [Weil 2004, Chapter 21] This same principle is also demonstrated by biofeedback training. …

Hypnosis can also produce 'miracle cures'”.

Singh & Ernst 2009 = Simon Singh & E. Ernst : Trick or Treatment? Alternative Medicine on Trial. Corgi Bks, London. (Bantam Pr, London, 2008)

Weil 2004 = Andrew Weil : Health and Healing : the Philosophy of Integrative Medicine. Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

pp. 277-8 religious faith as a factor for health

p. 277

The social and economic aspects of medicine show that the materialist model of people as machines is much too limited.

p. 278

People's motivations and attitudes … are not measurable physical and chemical forces : they work through minds. … Numerous studies in the United States and elsewhere have shown that people who are religious, especially those who regularly attend religious services, live significantly longer, and have better health and less depression than people without religious faith.” (Koenig 2008)

Koenig 2008 = Harold G. Koenig : Medicine, Religion and Health : where science and spirituality meet. Templeton Foundation Pr, West Conshocken (PA).

pp. 281-2 alternative/complementary medicine

p. 281

alternative and complementary therapies … grew up … in opposition to

the practice of orthodox medicine, which was often harmful”.

{Standard supposedly curative medications (as advocated by the colleges of medicine throughout western Europe and the United States into the 19th century) were usually lead, arsenic, and quicksilver – all actually deadly poisons.}

p. 282

in the West, there are now many therapists who practice tradittional medical systems from other parts of the world, including … ayurvedic medicine from India and traditional Chinese medicine … . … Yet all these systems … have cured people. Some have had impressive levels of success in clinical trials … . For example, in 2003, the World Health Organization … came to the conclusion that acupuncture was an effective treatment for a wide range of conditions”.

Nevertheless, everyone is prepared to admit that alternative therapies can work as placebos. And since placebo responses themselves really work , … Some may bring about bigger placebo responses and hence heal people more effectively.”

p. 285 materialist medicine & its future abolition

For decades, the materialist worldview has shaped the way that medicine is taught in medical schools, biased the funding of medical research, and shaped the policies of national health services”.

Comparative effectiveness research could lead to a genuinely evidence-based system of medicine that would include, rather than exclude, therapies that do not fit with the materialist belief-system.”



Illusions of Objectivity!


p. 292 illusion of objectivity

The illusion of objectivity make scientists prone to deception and self-deception.”

p. 294 an instance of Einstein's self-deception

Albert Einstein … realised that, from the point of view of a disembodied mind travelling at the speed of light, the light would be stationary {in space, not in time} and no time would elapse {a non-sequitur}.”

{As the light-wave moved along, it would be deformed and distorted by whatever force-fields (including gravitation) it might (and would) encountre; this continuing process is very much indicative of the passage of time. Ignoring this is one of Einstein's self-deceptions (or else, merely a cunningly devised deception of others – whichever mode of deception it may be). [This is not to say, however, that such deceptiveness had anything but beneficial effects; for, it contributed to the capitalist class's losing itself in a maze of metaphysical absurdities.]}

p. 297 dogmatic praejudice by scientists

Scientists are often dogmatic and prejudiced when confronted with evidence or ideas that go against their beliefs. They usually ignore what they do not want to deal with. 'Turning a blind eye is the … way to deal with potentially troublesome ideas,' observed the sociologists of science, Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch [1998, p. 111].”

Collins & Pinch 1998 = Harry M. Collins & Trevor J. Pinch : The Golem : what you should know about science. 2nd edn. Cambridge U Pr.

p. 299 physical science is a {and the only?} false religion

Those who are most prone to idealise the objectivity of scientists are people who know almost nothing about science, people for whom it {materialism} has become a kind of religion, their hope of salvation.”

pp. 306-7 experimental results may be influenced by psychokinesis (telekinesis); and the pertinance thereto of veritable human jinxes

p. 306

In the uncertain circumstances of research, the experimenter's expectations may directly affect the system under investigation through mind-over-matter effects or psychokinesis. … [As for] These ... possibilities, … discussing them is normally prevented by the taboo against psychic phenomena.

But … it is important to investigate … this question. Many stories circulate in laboratories that suggest that some people bring about mysterious effects. Sometimes they are negative effects, or jinxes. One of the most famous is …

p. 307

Wolfgang Pauli (1900-58). He was reputed to cause the failure of laboratory equipment merely by his presence. For fear of this effect, his friend Otto Stern, an experimental physicist banned Pauli from his laboratory in Hamburg. Pauli himself was convinced that the effect was real”. (Enz 2009)

A professor of biochemistry from a major US university told me … that he could achieve better purifications of protein molecules than his colleagues. He said that … he stayed with the apparatus … 'willing' the system to give clearer separations, and saying, 'Separate!'”

There is a conspiracy of silence about experimenter-expectancy effects in most branches of physics, chemistry and biology.”

Enz 2009 = C. P. Enz : “Rational and Irrational Features in Wolfgang Pauli's Life”. In :- Of Matter and Spirit : selected essays of Charles P. Enz. World Scientific, Hackensack (NJ).

pp. 310-1 deliberate fraud by scientists-experimentalists

p. 310

Frauds in the unpoliced hinterlands of science are rarely exposed by the official mechanisms of peer review, refereeing or independent replication [of experiments]. … Probably many cases of fraud are indeed hushed up. The authorities have a strong motive not only to protect the reputation of their institution but the image of science itself.”

p. 311

[quoted from Dennett 2006] “Since the belief in the integrity of scientific procedures is almost as important as the actual integrity, there is always a tension between a whistle-blower and the authorities, … when they know they have … conferred scientific respectability on a fraudulently obtained result.”

Dennett 2006 = D. C. Dennett : Breaking the Spell : religion as a natural phenomenon. Viking, NY.



Scientific Futures


p. 321 origin of the word /scientist/

At the third annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1833, delegates expressed the need for an umbrella term to cover their diverse interests, and William Whewell, a mathematical astronomer, suggested 'scientist'. The term was an immediate success”.

p. 324 interdependence of sciences

Everything is interlinked. Nothing is permanent {more accurately (and as the Buddha stated), no composite thing is permanent } and isolated from everything else. There is an interdependence of all things at all levels of orgainsation.

This sounds very like the Buddhist doctrine of dependent origination or dependent arising, according to which all phenomena occur in a mutually interdependent web of cause and effect.”

{The usual Bauddha use of the term “dependent origination” is more restricted than this (often applied only to vicissitudes of the soul after death). Howbeit, Taoist philosophy is amenable to a wider application, so as to declare a true doctrine of interdependence of everything.}

pp. 326-8 dogmatic authoritism of the state-favored institutions of physical science

p. 326

In almost every other sphere of human life, there is not [only] one but many points of view. … Only in the realm of science can we still find the old ethos of monopoly … and absolute authority that used to be claimed by the … Church. …

p. 327

The authoritarian mentality is most obvious in relation to psychic phenomena and alternative medicine ... . These are treated as heresies, rather as valid areas of rational inquiry.

Self-appointed inquisitions, like the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, …

{Rather than being merely “Self-appointed”, surely it is secretly appointed (and authorized, and given political influence) by the most vicious ploutokratic families in the United States, namely the biggest manufacturers of war-equipment.}

ensure that the subjects are not taken seriously in respectable media, deprived of funding and excluded from university syllabuses {syllaboi}. … There are many medical systems …, but only one kind, mechanistic medicine, is labelled scientific and accorded a state-sponsored monopoly of power, scientific authority and financial support. …

p. 328

Much of the hypocrisy of science comes from assuming the mantle of absolute truth, which is a relic of the ethos of absolute religious and political power when mechanistic science was born. … Dissenting voices are heretical. Fair public debates are alien to the culture of the sciences.”

p. 334 panpsychism

some philosophers propose that materialism implies panpsychism, meaning that self-organising systems like atoms, molecules, crystals, plants and animals have points of view, or inner lives, or subjective experience.”

pp. 334-5 shamanism

p. 334

Shamans link themselves to animals and plants through their minds or spirits,

{Or more clearly stated, the shamans link themselves to the minds of the immortal divine spirits governing the animals and plants.}

and find out useful information by doing so. They … know {by remote viewing, with or without the use of psychoactive herbs} where the animals are to be found, and they [thus are able to] help hunters. … . …

p. 335

But shamans themselves say that this knowledge has come from 'the plant teachers'. [Shannon 2007] … shamans really do have ways of learning about plants and animals that are completely unknown to scientists … . ... they have explored the natural world …, discovering ways of communicating with the world around around them that depend on subjective {e.g., telepathic} rather than objective methods … .”

Shannon 2007 = Benny Shannon : The Antipodes of the Mind. Oxford U Pr.

p. 338 pantheism

Although the creativity expressed in all these realms may ultimately have an ultimate divine source {namely, the divine nature of the mind within all physical matter}, there is no need to think of God as … external”.

{If panpsychism be repraesented as pantheism, then all minds are divine (and mutually co-operating). This system would be quite different from a single divine mind; and in any case the God of the Christians (and of the Muslims) is a monomaniac tyrannical brute.}

p. 339 “cosmic or universal memory”?

In some schools of thought, as in the Lankavatara Sutra {Lanka-avatara Sutra} of Mahayana Buddhism, there is a cosmic or universal memory.” (Suzuki 1998)

{This is the alaya-vijn~ana, which most Mahayana commentators regard as belonging separately to each mind, rather than its being a mutual quality. Suzuki's Studies was, however, published in India, where there is a tendency (perhaps absorbed to some extent by him) to treat each mortal atman ('self') as an aspect of an immortal deity.}

Suzuki 1998 = Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki : Studies in the Lankavatara Sutra. Munishiram Manoharlal Publ, New Delhi.


Rupert Sheldrake : The Science Delusion : freeing the spirit of inquiry. Coronet (an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton), London, 2012.

Rupert Sheldrake :“The Science Delusion” 35 min

Rupert Sheldrake : “The Science Delusion” 1 h 3 min

Rupert Sheldrake : “The Science Delusion” 1 h 25 min

Weblinks to two book-reviews of The Science Delusion :