View Full Version : Nobel Laureate in U.K. Affirms Science Role in Psi & Paranormal
10-03-2001, 11:42 PM
Scientists Come Unglued Over Telepathy Row
[Original headline: Royal Mail's Nobel guru in telepathy row]
It was meant to be a simple celebration of the world's greatest intellectual prize. But this week's issue of six special stamps to honour the 100th anniversary of the Nobel prize has dropped the Royal Mail into an unexpected, and decidedly bitter, scientific row.
Scientists are furious that a booklet, published as part of the stamps' presentation package, contains claims that modern physics will one day lead to an understanding of telepathy and the paranormal.
'It is utter rubbish,' said David Deutsch, quantum physics expert at Oxford University. 'Telepathy simply does not exist. The Royal Mail has let itself be hoodwinked into supporting ideas that are complete nonsense.'
Last week Royal Mail officials defended their actions by pointing out that the offending paragraphs had been written by a Nobel laureate, Cambridge physicist Brian Josephson. 'Yes, I think telepathy exists,' he told The Observer, 'and I think quantum physics will help us understand its basic properties.'
Professor Josephson won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1973 for proving that some materials could act as switches operating close to the speed of light, and could revolutionise computing and power transmission. He said he had deliberately used the booklet to redress a serious imbalance in reporting paranormal research work. 'I think journals like Nature and Science are censoring such research,' he said. 'There is a lot of evidence to support the existence of telepathy, for example, but papers on the subject are being rejected - quite unfairly.'
Josephson believes that psychics and telepaths may be able to direct random energy at sub-atomic levels for their own purposes, and in the commemorative stamp booklet writes that developments in information and quantum theories 'may lead to an explanation of processes still not understood within conventional science, such as telepathy'.
It is not a suggestion that has gone down well with fellow Nobel laureates, however. 'I am highly sceptical,' said last year's physics prize winner, Professor Herbert Kroemer of Santa Barbara University. 'Few of us believe telepathy exists, nor do we think physics can explain it.
'It also seems wrong for your Royal Mail to get involved. Certainly, if the US postal services did something like this, a lot of us would be very angry.'
For its part, the Royal Mail said it had merely asked a British winner of each of the six different Nobel Prize categories - physics, chemistry, medicine, peace, literature and economics - to write a small article about their award and the implications of research in their field. 'The trouble is that there are only a couple of British physics prize winners we could have asked, and we picked Josephson,' said a spokesman.
It was not a fortunate choice, many physicists now argue. Although they believe Josephson richly deserved his 1973 Nobel prize, few believe he has done work of any merit since, while some argue that his flirtation with transcendental meditation and the paranormal has been intellectually disastrous.
'The evidence for the existence of telepathy is appalling,' said Deutsch. 'If engineers or doctors accepted the level of proof that is accepted by paranormal supporters, bridges would be falling down around the country, and new medicines would be killing more than they cure.'
This view is backed by Bristol University physicist Robert Evans who said, in a Nature article, that he was 'very uneasy' about a Royal Mail booklet that said quantum physics 'has something to do with telepathy'.
The row sums up a problem in dealing with Nobel Prize winners. Those given awards are treated as modern gurus and their words acquire startling power and authority. Most retain an orthodox scientific respectibility, but a few go off the rails.
William Shockley, inventor of the transistor, caused outrage when he moved on to the study of inherited intelligence and claimed to have found significant racial variations in IQ.
Similarly, Kary Mullis, inventor of PCR - the technique that allows scientists to make mass copies of genes - caused outrage when he expressed doubts that HIV was the cause of Aids. In both cases, their views have been shown to be utterly wrong. Many believe Josephson will similarly fail the test of time.
As one leading scientist put it: 'The trouble with the Nobel prize is that it is given to a man or woman for making an individual discovery.
'It is not awarded as a recognition of their total, integrated contribution to science. That is why you can get unstuck.'
Story originally published by:
The Observer, London / England | Robin McKie - Sep 29.01
All Copyrights © are acknowledged.
10-03-2001, 11:48 PM
I am sharing a response from Donald Watson, M.D. to this story:
On 3 Oct 01, at 18:50, Joe King wrote:
<edited by moderator>
I'd say Brian Josephson is following the data--like the minority of
scientists throughout history who have pushed scientific knowledge
Those "normal" scientists who get in a lather because of his work
simply can't see the data. The facts are beyond the horizon of their
worldview. Of course, their ignorance doesn't keep them from
10-04-2001, 12:32 AM
An interesting row!
<edited by moderator>
Anyway, the article never gives the exact quote which started the brouhaha, so it is hard for me to express an opinion on. If he indeed said that physics "will one day lead to an understanding of telepathy and the paranormal", then I think it was a poor choice of words.
If he had said:it may one day lead to... or,
perhaps it will one day lead to... or,
I hope/believe it will one day lead to...
... it would have been less controversial, to me at least. But to state it as a fact (if the article's paraphrasing was accurate) is misleading.
That probably would not have stopped the hue and cry, but I would have found it more accurate and acceptible.
I, for one, hope that he is correct!
Thanks for posting this!
10-04-2001, 05:25 AM
Professor Josephson, having had the ability to have seen and evaluate the data, was correct in his choice of words. In fact they may have been on the conservative side. Here is a reply to this post from a remote viewer friend in England who knows and has worked with him:
"When I first met Brian Josephsen in the 1970's, he wasn't convinced that parapsycholological phenomena existed...however,
after hanging out with us for several years, he has apparently changed his mind.
He attended the 1st scientific symposium on the study of consciousness in Tuscon, Arizona in 1994 and I wrote a short article about him in the "brain/mind Bulletin". His paper was on how the brain interprets music.
He has aslo participated in several conferences at the Institute of frontier sciences in Philadelphia (founded by Dr. Beverly Rubik) and you can read many of his papers on the paranormal there. I will be glad to provide a list of references if anyone is interested. There have also been several conferences on quantum physics and parapsychology over the years, but I would guess that there are less than 100 physicists worldwide who take this field seriously!"
(SG: Actually 87, I have counted them up! This is 87 physcists, since 1960, including three Nobelists -2 who have crossed over.
These are the ones who have gone on the record or published on this. There are many thousands of physicists of course, so undoubtedly out of these there may be more but they are not exactly on the record. Its true, however, that a majority are probably opposed to this on the basis of their own belief systems and convictions which makes it hard for them to be open minded about it. In Russia there are hundreds more, however).
References to professional media skeptics are being removed from this thread: this forum will not lend credability to skepticism for commercial purposes. The <edited by moderator> has not changed the context and focus of the discussion.
10-04-2001, 10:31 AM
but I would guess that there are less than 100 physicists worldwide who take this field seriously!"
(SG: Actually 87, I have counted them up! This is 87 physcists, since 1960, including three Nobelists -2 who have crossed over.Did those two start taking the field seriously before or after they crossed? :)
Its true, however, that a majority are probably opposed to this on the basis of their own belief systems and convictions which makes it hard for them to be open minded about it. In Russia there are hundreds more, however).So does this mean that Russians have less of a bias against this interpretation of the data?
If so, what do you think in their society would account for this?
10-04-2001, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by RSLancastr
Did those two start taking the field seriously before or after they crossed? :)
So does this mean that Russians have less of a bias against this interpretation of the data?
If so, what do you think in their society would account for this?
1. Funny. Actually before they crossed. One, who was the Director of the International Center for Theoretical Physics, dispensed grants and even his own money to support research involving the relationship of physics (paraphysics) to survival.
2. We have placed the DIA Documents on survivalscience's website (up top under physical sciences) as well as here under a separate thread. There are excellent discussions of the waxing and waning of state supported research into psi and the paranormal depending on the political climate at the time. These publications document the names and institutions as well as bibliographies of the Russian researchers in painstaking detail and it is clear that there was far more out-in-the-open interest and support for this research in the former USSR than there was in the US or Britain. The U.S. did do extensive research into remote viewing for its military and intelligence applications, declassified SOME OF this in 1995 but it is unclear what remnants of these projects remain because they are or remain classified.
10-04-2001, 06:54 PM
Yes the two I had in mind are Abdus Salam, of Pakistan and
Denis Gabor of Great Britain. Some material regarding their
work follows. People who knew them, and in Salam's case,
received scientific and financial support for paraphysical research,
could shed more lights on these Nobelists. Also Einstein, who
received the prize in 1921, wrote a very favorable preface for Upton Sinclair's book on mental telepathy called "Mental Radio."
His 1905 lecture on the Ether and Relativity is on our website. It has been authenicated by the Einstein Papers Project editors at Princeton and they will include it in the volume being published in December with considerable annotation as well.
Professor Abdus Salam is famous for that electroweak theory which is the mathematical and conceptual synthesis of the electromagnetic and weak interactions - the latest stage reached until now on the path towards the unification of the fundamental forces of nature. With this motivation, Professor Salam received the Nobel Prize for physics together with the Americans Steven Weinberg and Sheldon Glashow in 1979. The validity of the theory was ascertained in the following years through experiments carried out at the superprotosynchrotron facility at CERN in Geneva which led to the discovery of the W and Z particles. Salam's electroweak theory is still the core of the 'standard model' of high energy physics. He died in 1996.
Nobel Prize in Physics 1971-Given to Denis Gabor of Great Britain. Gabor developed the holographic method.
Presentation Speech by professor ERIK INGELSTAM of the Royal Academy of Sciences
Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our five senses give us knowledge of our surroundings, and nature herself has many available resources. The most obvious is light which gives us the possibility to see and to be pleased by colour and shape. Sound conveys the
speech with which we communicate with each other and it also allows us to experience the tone-world of music.
Light and sound are wave motions which give us information not only on the sources from which they originate, but also on the bodies through which they pass, and against which they are reflected or deflected. But light and sound
are only two examples of waves which carry information, and they cover only very small parts of the electromagnetic and acoustic spectra to which our eyes and ears are sensitive.
(For works on how the Holographic Theory may be responsible for paranormal phenomena see www.survivalscience.org)
10-05-2001, 08:49 AM
Dr. Grayson was kind enough to copy EInstein's preface to SInclair's book on mental telepathy
and I am sharing that here:
Here is Einstein's Preface to Upton Sinclair's "Mental Radio" in its
"I have read the book of Upton Sinclair with great interest and am convinced
that the same deserves the mnost earnest consideration, not only of the
laity, but also of the psychologists by profession. The results of the
telepathic experiments carefully and plainly set forth in this book stand
surely far beyond those which a nature investigator holds to be thinkable.
On the other hand, it is out of the question in the case of so conscientious
an observer and writer as Upton Sinclair that he is carrying on a conscious
deception of the reading world; his good faith and dependability are not to
be doubted. So if somehow the facts here set forth rest not upon telepathy,
but upon some unconscious hypnotic influence from person to person, this
also would be of high psychological interest. In no case should the
psychologically interested circles pass over this book heedlesly." (A.
Einstein, May 23, 1930)
Bruce Greyson, M.D.
Bonner-Lowry Professor of Personality Studies
Department of Psychiatric Medicine
University of Virginia Health System
10-05-2001, 12:37 PM
This may seem off-topic for you but, differing of intellectual opionions has gone on for centuries, involving many different issues.
I always remember the particular issue in medicine, and it always brings home fresh that professionals may know a lot, but they don't know everything. No insult intended to anyone, but didn't medical experts of their day pish-posh the idea that washing hands before treatment could save lives, from surgery to women giving birth. But years later if proved true. Still happens in our lifetime. This food is bad for you, stop eating it...after a few years you find out it's okay and actually good for you. Drugs put on the market and then recalled. The general public are the pawns and guinea pigs for both the good and the bad of research.
Unfortunately, it usually takes a long time to fix mistakes and beliefs. Even the dinosaurs were hit. A bronto head was put on an apadasaurus body and several generations of children grew up with the mistaken identity. I was one of them. You trust the experts......but they don't know everything.
With psychic ability, you can't absolutely prove, but neither can you absolutely disprove it. Boggles the mind that scientists who are out to discover great and new things can't grasp this concept of paranormal. Is it that frightening?
No, I'm not blowing away all the wonderful discoveries that science has made for mankind, but at some level we need to make our own decisions and not rely totally on the scientific communities opinions. Please underline the word opinion. That's what was discussed in the above post....differing opinions. Believe it or not there are many,many people who will not believe anything unless the the scientific community endorses it. You may have had a visit from Great Aunt Agatha the day after her death, but they didn't experience it, so due to stress, it's your imagination. What keeps them from making the connections?
Just my 2 cents. Maybe you can't agree, but that's okay, because these are MY opinions.
10-05-2001, 01:20 PM
Believe it or not there are
many,many people who will not believe anything unless the the scientific community
endorses it. You may have had a visit from Great Aunt Agatha the day after her death,
but they didn't experience it, so due to stress, it's your imagination. What keeps them
from making the connections?
Reply: I believe it. :) There is another way of looking at this and it exemplifies my own case. I have never even thought about any of this until I was confronted by absolute unequivocal proof. At that point I "believed" it. Nothing stopped me from making the connection. But as a scientist, I naturally wanted to learn more. I hope that's okay -- I mean not to go blindly following a faith or belief system -- which is exactly what those who "do not believe" do and instead seek a rational or scientific explanation as well?
I think most scientists who are studying this have done so because they have experienced it and were open minded. Pish-poshing Lister's germ theory because a group of his contemporaries could NOT see the germs that cause disease is of historical benefit to all of us. But what did science do then? They found a way to see those germs! We are at exactly the same point now with ESP, PSI, Survival .....
10-05-2001, 01:33 PM
I'm not in any way slamming scientists and all of their wonderful contributions. Yes, some have an epiphany of sorts and seek to find more information. My statement was for the ones who have not had any connection and so won't give it 2 pennies worth of attention. The really vocal(as in loud) ones.
Lister's germs definitely got mugshots, thank heavens for us. I do believe we are allowed knowledge as the Lord sees fit. When it's time, it will be there. So, when our psychic abilities need to come forward, they will. Until then, it will be an uphill battle just to stay even.
Steve, how would you try convince someone of psychic ability in everyone or anyone? With someone who has had no experiences.
10-05-2001, 02:06 PM
Steve, how would you try convince someone of psychic ability in everyone or anyone? With someone who has had no experiences. [/B][/QUOTE]
Reply: I agree it would be difficult, well yes, maybe impossible to "convince" someone of the reality of psi in all its myriad aspects when they have not experienced it themselves.
Answer then: I wouldn't try but down the road this is where the scientific evidence will come in handy. But in the meantime I am not doing any missionary work, just plodding along trying to gather the scientific evidence for those who need it to be convinced. There is already a preponderance of scientific evidence that has slowly been winning converts over the years and this is the purpose of www.survivalscience.org and similar projects. This kind of work, done to date and statements like that of Einstein in Sinclair's book, make open minded skeptics interested in pursuing this further. This is a good thing.
But yes, for now other than referring them to the website and telling them to make up their own minds, I am not out to personally convince anybody.
PS: For those that do not know him, Dr. Grayson
(who provided us with the Einstein quote...)
by the way is one of the world's leading investigators of Near Death Experiences and he works closely with Dr. Ian Stevenson at the University of Virginia on that institution's ongoing reincarnation studies as well.
10-05-2001, 02:27 PM
Thanks for the web addresses, Steve.
You are excused from missionary work. Very few people can do that demanding work.
Plod along so the rest of us can pick of the pieces you find and pass them along.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.