Noetic science is the branch of science that investigates the role of consciousness in the physical world and, ultimately, the nature of reality. The theory that psychic phenomenon (psi) are real has been investigated by serious, rigorous scientific methods for over 100 years.
Psi phenomena fall into two general categories. The first involves perceiving objects or events beyond the range of the ordinary senses. The second is mentally causing action at a distance. In both categories, it seems that intention, the mind’s will, can do things that – according to prevailing scientific theories – it isn’t supposed to be able to do.
Psi has been shown to exist in thousands of experiments – an immense amount of evidence has been accumulated. There are disagreements over how to interpret the evidence, but the fact is that virtually all scientists who have studied the evidence, including the hard-nosed skeptics, now agree that something interesting is going on that merits scientific attention.
The experiments have investigated various forms of telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, psychic healing and psychokinesis. The evidence is so well established researchers today no longer conduct “proof-oriented” experiments. Rather they focus on “process-oriented’ questions like, What influences psi performance? and How does it work?
It is clear the results of the experiments are not due to chance, selective reporting, variations in experimental quality or design flaws. They have been independently replicated by competent, conventionally trained scientists at well known academic, industrial, and government supported laboratories worldwide for more than a century, and the effects are consistent with human experiences reported throughout history and across all cultures.
Few scientists are aware that any scientifically valid case can be made for psi, and fewer still realize the cumulative evidence is highly persuasive. One reason is the evidence has been suppressed and ridiculed by a relatively small group of highly skeptical philosophers and scientists.
Scientists are also human, the process of evaluating scientific claims is not as pristinely rational or logical as the general public believes. Some scientists continue to defend outmoded and inaccurate worldviews. The scientific controversy has had very little to do with the evidence itself and very much to do with the psychology, sociology and history of science. Psi threatens the very core assumptions of science.
If psychic experiences were any other form of curious natural phenomena, they would have been adopted long ago by the scientific mainstream on the basis of the evidence alone.
The eventual acceptance of psi is inevitable – acceptance is growing.
These phenomena present profound challenges to many aspects of science, philosophy and religion. Science must reconsider basic assumptions about space, time, mind and matter. Philosophers will rekindle the debate over the role of consciousness in the physical world. Theologians will reconsider the concept of divine intervention, as some phenomena previously considered to be miracles will probably become subject to scientific understanding.
A major shift in worldview.
These reconsiderations are long overdue. An exclusive focus on what might be called “the outer world” has led to a grievous split between the private world of human experience and the public world as described by science. There is every reason to expect that the same methods that gave us a better understanding of galaxies and genes will also shed light on experiences described by mystics throughout history.
Here you will find serious science with very detailed descriptions of the scientific methods employed in the various experiments, the critics’ positions and a discussion of meta analysis – the way results are analyzed. The Notes and References sections are extensive.
Dean Radin, Ph.D., is senior scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). You can find a link to their site at the bottom of this blog. He’s held appointments at Princeton University, the University of Edinburgh, and several Silicon Valley think tanks, and produced cutting-edge parapsychological research for AT&T, Contel, SRI International and the U.S. government. Visit the author online here.