But he also generously considers the possibility that ESP could be real. Yet he effortlessly explains these dizzying subjects, which could very well supply mechanisms to explain ESP. Clegg smartly addresses the fundamental questions underpinning each ESP ability.
Jeremy Polacek The Brooklyn Rail …having just finished the book I can only say that it was an absolute joy to read… There are few books that strike a truly balanced, informed, fair-yet-reasoned approach to the subject being researched, but Clegg has managed just that with Extra Sensory and I have learnt so much while reading it… I would recommend this book to anyone with a passing interest is telekinesis, ESP, remote viewing, clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis and other powers of the mind.
Hayley Stevens Brian is a very grounded and extremely rational Cambridge educated physicist who, unlike many of his peers, takes a totally open-minded approach to the mysteries of the mind and its interface with "reality". What has long been needed is a book that takes a long, cool, and balanced approach to what subjective experience and objective science are telling us about the phenomenal world.
Brian's new book is exactly that. It is a breath of fresh air that may, just may, build bridges. If you read only one book in your life make sure it is this one… Anthony Peake, author of The Labyrinth of Time and The Out of Body Experience Clegg accomplishes the impressive feat of persuading readers that ESP might exist, while delivering a delightfully astute examination of the current evidence, which remains frustratingly feeble.
The Brooklyn Rail
It's interesting either way. The purpose of Clegg's research, his descriptions of personal experiences, and his conclusions are more to unpack the relationship between science and pseudoscience, if one exists at all. Kate Padilla, Spencer Daily Reporter. To keep up to date via Facebook, click Like to follow the Extra Sensory page:. Extra Sensory.
Hearing involves direct detection of pressure-wave motion of air molecules. Smell and taste involve direct detection of molecular shapes. Sensory organs eyes, ears, nose support the cells specialized to detect photons, molecular motion, and molecular shapes directly. These cells generate impulses that travel along nerve fibers and which are then processed in intermediate switching and coding areas, finally reaching the brain in a form that the brain can interpret.
The brain itself is insensitive to sensory information. If one opened a skull and exposed the living brain to light, sound, heat, smells, even touch, etc.
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For obvious reasons, the sensory organs containing the transducers cells are located at or near the surface of the body in all animals, including humans. When we apply this universal rule of nature about informational input into the brain to claims for telepathy, we come up short on all accounts. Assume that a person's brain radiates some kind of "something" as he or she thinks. How would another person's brain ever know about it?
Nowhere on the surface of the body is there a specialized organ that appears to lack a function, and which contains transducer cells sensitive to "unknown forces". Nor, contrary to popular myth, is there any large area of the brain whose function is unknown, and which might be responsible for reception and interpretation of signals from the hypothetical ESP organ. Furthermore, in the course of evolution many kinds of animals have developed extremely acute senses of one kind or another, as compared to those of humans. Dogs have much more highly developed sense of smell than we do; hawks and eagles, more acute eyesight; bats, much wider range of hearing, etc.
Where is the animal that has a much more highly developed ESP sense than humans?
The ability to sense the presence of predatory animals that could not have been seen, heard, or smelled would confer such enormous advantages for its possessors that evolution should have made ESP as common and obvious as fur, claws, and moist noses. It has not happened. Could it be that no such sense organ exists because there is no stimulus for the organ to detect?
Some persons argue that only human beings are capable of ESP communication; or, that only certain, special persons are so endowed. Comparative anatomy fails to show any evidence for the former contention.
And special people, upon examination, turn out to be invariably very ordinary A proponent of ESP could argue that telepathy differs from all other senses in that the brain itself is somehow the telepathic sense organ. In this case the detected stimulus would require the penetrating power of X-rays or nuclear radioactivity in order to get through the skull to reach the brain! This brings us to the realm of physics, where ESP falls down as badly as in the realm of physiology.
Physicists have found, in years of searching, only four fundamental forces in nature: gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. All interactions between one bit of matter and another can be understood and precisely described in terms of just these four forces. Because these are now well understood, we know none of them could be responsible for the hypothetical ESP stimuli. What then, about a new force, unknown to science? A force sufficient to account for ESP is almost certain not to exist for the same reason that you can be fairly certain that there is no elephant in the room with you as you read this.
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There is not any place for it to be concealed! If such a force existed, everything would be different from the familiar processes we currently see, because the force would affect everything in some way. To claim that it would have no observable effect is equivalent to claiming that it does not exist. Furthermore, all interactions in physics diminish as the inverse square of the distance between the interacting objects or even more rapidly than that.
All these interactions propagate at or below the speed of light. Proponents, in effect, claim that ESP would have to violate these universal conditions.
Extrasensory perception - Wikipedia
This brings us to another point that is apparently seldom understood by proponents of ESP. We know electromagnetic radiation exists over a vast range of frequencies and wavelengths that we are blind to, because we have no sensory organs that will detect such radiation. Our knowledge of the existence of such radiation, say radio, does not depend upon the accidental birth of mutants or "sensitives" who are somehow able to detect radio waves directly.
No one can detect these waves directly; there are no sensory organs for them in any animal.
We build mechanical transmitters and detectors for radio waves; we can build them to be as sensitive and flexible as we wish. If ESP radiation existed, the question of whether or not humans could detect it would be irrelevant. It could be studied far more precisely and carefully with sensitive scientific instruments than it could with human beings who are easily fatigued and often moody or deceptive.
It is a characteristic of all pseudoscience, not just ESP studies, that no actual physical process is ever uncovered or studied. What is usually studied are the unverified, anecdotal claims of Madam Piffle, the spirit medium; or Smoori Mellar, the stage magician; or Mondo Radar, the amazing "psychic detective"; or Aunt Tillie who remembers this really weird and special thing that once happened to her. Instead of looking for ESP in the universe of real phenomena, ESP believers tend to look in the same old places: in stories about how Aunt Maude "just knew" Uncle Bruce was in trouble, and sure enough, he was in jail; or in games of guessing playing cards or ESP cards, in which any amateur magician can score highly using nothing but subtly disguised sensory perception.
source site But anecdotes and parlor games are not experiments.