|Article Type:||Letter to the editor|
|Author:||Millay, Jean, Stokes, Douglas M.|
|Publication:||Name: The Journal of Parapsychology Publisher: Parapsychology Press Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 Parapsychology Press ISSN: 0022-3387|
|Issue:||Date: Spring, 2012 Source Volume: 76 Source Issue: 1|
To the Editor:
We were delighted that the prestigious Journal of Parapsychology generously provided six pages to review our large 632-page book, which is divided into 12 sections to accommodate the observations of 55 authors from a wide variety of professional disciplines. We realized that any review of all this would be difficult. Stokes was courageous to attempt it. I am also aware of the problems of deadlines, and so if he were rushed, he may only have had time to skim some of the material. However, his comments suggest that in skimming he misread a few items. So that the reader is not misled by these comments that were based on his misunderstanding of the material, I have listed them below as they occur in each section.
1. The prologue was written by Dean Brown (not Dan Brown). We felt Brown's prophetic statements in his 1993 "Epilogue" was an obvious choice to be a "Prologue" for this new version.
2. Stokes mistook Jeffrey Mishlove's "Foreword" for the "Introduction," which Beverley Kane and I were both involved in writing. Stokes wrote:
Mishlove actually wrote:
3. Re Section I, "Dimensions of Perception," Stokes wrote: "... the scientific study of anomalous dreams and gender differences in such dreams by Stanley Krippner; and a chapter on optometric phototherapy by Raymond Gottlieb.... (not updated from the 1993 version)."
Neither of those two chapters by Krippner, nor the one by Gottlieb, was included in the old version. They are both new to this 2010 version.
4. Re Section II, "Belief Systems Are Evolving," Stokes wrote: "Kane suggests that the cosmic microwave background is due to the explosion of our galaxy, not the Big Bang.... This is a bold statement from a person who is not a physicist but a specialist in horse therapy."
Beverley Kane, M.D., is a medical doctor, who has received honors for her innovative work. She trains nurses to be sensitive to nonverbal patients, by having them learn to work with horses first. Her Chapter 15 had nothing to do with the Big Bang. She wrote about "The nature of personal belief systems."
Kane wrote: "Beliefs are the net effect of our consensus observations and our private experience.... When we censor valid data, whatever their source, we sever the thread that connects us to our wisdom."
The Big Bang is only mentioned in Chapter 16, which is only two pages devoted to the idea of "Playing with ideas and beliefs." No author was listed, since this was condensed from a group discussion in Millay (1999).
5. Re Section IV, "Mind and Brain/Body Chemistry," Stokes wrote:
In discussing other unconscious perceptions, Quincy wrote:
Quincy is well aware of long distance telepathy (remote viewing). But even that must be translated into one or more of the senses, so communication about it is possible.
6. Re Section VI, "Mathematical Models," Stokes wrote:
In the Rauscher protocol, three photographs were taken by the outbound team while they were at the site during time during the trial. However, neither the viewer nor the judges were shown these photographs. The pictures were used by Rauscher only in the post hoc analysis.
7. Re, also in Section VI, Stokes wrote:
For further information about the work of Rauscher, Sirag, and others, see Kaiser (2010).
8. Re Section VIII "Dimensions of Spirit," Chapter 37, "Messages from Spirit Friends," Stokes wrote: "... the face of a heart donor was superimposed on the recipient's face in a photograph." (This implies that one image was digitally "placed over" the other one.)
Jack Stucki has published many Polaroid images of spirits using "The Bio-Luminator," in the following book: Macy, M. (2006). Spirit Faces: The Truth About the Afterlife. San Francisco: Red Wheel/Weiser. Stucki provided this photograph of a patient and heart donor for our book. Anyone who has used a Polaroid camera knows that the picture pops out with one click. The image of the face of the spirit is either near the face of the person who called it up, or it is not. It may be blurry, and/or it might have caused the person to look blurry, as well. We are just learning to use "The Bio-Luminator," since it is new to the technology of Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC), which began in the 1950s.
9. Re Section IX, "Dimensions of Consciousness," Stokes wrote about Gough's summary of Dean Brown's "Cosmic Law" paper, saying: "This essay contains a lot of untestable and sometimes babbling statements about the nature of the 'Absolute.'"
Dean Brown was a physicist, a metaphysicist, philosopher, botanist, and computer expert. No one is required to adjust one's own belief system to follow his important ideas, but to insult them as "babbling" suggests an arrogant attitude--one we discouraged at all PRG meetings. Instead, we welcomed all thoughtful ideas to be expressed freely.
10. Re Section X, "Education: Increasing Intelligence Through Understanding and Application of the Dimensions of Consciousness," Stokes rejected its whole premise when he wrote: "Marge King advocates the use of biofeedback and stress management in the classroom (although my teaching experience suggests that we could do with more stress and less self-esteem in the classroom). King would like to see students weaned from allopathic (as opposed to homeopathic) medicine, which she thinks would increase their intelligence."
King is not discussing homeopathic medicine. Neurofeedback is part of the new field of "energy medicine." The process of increasing intelligence and creativity begins with the understanding that we are all connected in energy. When students use SCR feedback (Skin Conductance/ Resistance), they directly discover their electrical connections with each other. In my own teaching experiences, I found that stress and/or the ego drive to overcome low self-esteem was often intrinsic to the problems of slow learning. Bio/neurofeedback gives the power back to the student to handle stress, and to increase his/her ability to focus attention. The learning that encourages students to better understand themselves and their health is fundamental to education and intelligence.
In Chapter 43, Louse Sample demonstrates the value of applying holistic methods (biofeedback, visualization, stress management) in her 5th-grade class. Her school included several 5th-grade classes that served as the control group, since they received the standard methods of teaching. She reported these results:
11. In his conclusion, Stokes wrote: "I cannot recommend this book as a serious scientific work. However, this volume offers one of the best available views into the mindset of Californian 'New Agers' at one of the peaks of public interest in parapsychology and all things occult."
The influence that the distinguished authors in this book have exerted on the development of modern scientific thinking is extensive, as one can read in their biographies we have included. These pages reveal their accomplishments, creativity, and publications. Even the tools we now have to study the consciousness of life owe their innovation to some of our authors, beginning in the 50s and continuing today.
For example: Joe Kamiya, using the large mainframe computers, discovered that subjects could identify their own alpha rhythms, thus establishing the field of brainwave neurofeedback; Timothy Scully later developed the first portable brainwave monitors to make them more accessible for therapy as well as for the classroom; Willis Harman used the chemistry of LSD to enhance creativity; Alexander T. Shulgin developed other chemicals for use in the study of consciousness; Stanley Krippner discovered that subjects could receive accurate telepathic and precognitive information while dreaming; Dean Brown, one of the founders of Zilog, Inc., was instrumentental in designing one of the first microprocessors and also developed the first interactive educational materials for children on mainframe computers, and later adapted them to PCs for ordinary classrooms; Jacques Vallee was Project Investigator for Arpanet, the first internet.
These studies of the brain evolved the technology used to study mind, and the new technology evolved our understanding. Now, since an individual can exert voluntary control over the chemistry and electricity of his/her own brain, as needed, the evidence that the consciousness of life acts in cooperation with its material composition, but is not limited to it, can no longer be disputed.
Kaiser, D. (2010). How the hippies saved physics: Science, counter culture, and the quantum revival. New York: W. W. Norton.
Millay, J. (1999). Multidimensional mind: Remote viewing in hyperspace. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
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To the Editor:
I will try to be as brief as possible in replying to Millay, responding only to the most salient points (at least to me).
I did not capitalize "introduction" when referring to Mishlove's introductory piece. It is true that the piece is formally entitled "Foreword." He does state, as underlined by Millay, that he interprets a significance level of 0.03125 as indicating that the "probability that this pilot study yielded only chance results" is 0.03125. This is a misinterpretation. The statistical significance level is the probability that the effect would occur by chance, not the probability that the null hypothesis (that only chance is operating) is true given the observed effect. (For that, you need Bayesian statistics, and then you can get any probability you want!)
I often had to guess which chapters have been updated (and sometimes even who the author is). I was misled by the fact that that all 28 references cited by Krippner and Gottlieb were from the previous century.
Kane is a physician with some notable achievements, and I mischaracterized her as a horse therapist, but it should be noted that most of her recent work (at least as cited in the book) has been in the area of horse-human interaction in therapeutic situations. The passage on the Big Bang theory immediately followed Kane's contribution and was not attributed to any author. Thus in writing my review, I mistook it as a continuation of Kane's piece. It does challenge the Big Bang theory, based on the hypothesis that the cosmic background microwave radiation stems from the explosion of our own galaxy, not from the Big Bang. As this does overturn the prevailing view of astrophysicists, hopefully someone among the still-unnamed authors of this piece is at least a physicist.
With respect to Rauscher and Targ's spacetime model, it is true that you can treat the time difference between two events as a pure imaginary number of the form cti. If you square this number, you will get a negative real number which when added to the squares of the spatial separations of the event will reproduce the spacetime interval of special relativity. However, this can also be done simply by treating the time separation as a real number and then subtracting its square from the sum of the squares of the separations in the three spatial separations. This is the more usual treatment. However, this is not what Rauscher and Targ propose. They propose that all the spatial and temporal separations are complex numbers of the form a + bi, where i is the square root of minus one. They thus have eight numbers to play around rather than just the four quantities that can actually be measured and subjected to scientific tests. If you play around with these extra four variables, you can make the spacetime interval between any two events (square of the spatial separation minus the square of temporal separation) equal to 0. It should also be noted that the spacetime interval being equal to 0 does not imply that the two events are contiguous, allowing psi interactions, as implied in these authors' claim on page 320 that there is zero "distance" between the events. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Minkowski spacetime interval represents. In the special theory of relativity, a zero interval implies that one event can be (just barely) reached from the other at the speed of light, not that the two events are one and the same event. (They would, however, be experienced as one event if the remote viewer is traveling at the speed of light, which is forbidden under the theory of relativity unless the remote viewer has been on a really good diet and has managed to lose all of her weight.) Even under Rauscher and Targ's theory, the spatial and temporal separations can only be made larger by the addition of the separations on the new imaginary axes, and the spatial and temporal distance between separate events cannot both be made zero. In Equation 5 on page 325 they state that the square of the complex number a + bi is equal to (a + bi) (a - bi), which is equal to [a.sup.2] + [b.sup.2]. This is of course, the square of the magnitude of the complex number, not the square of the number itself. Please note that the magnitude of the complex number will always be larger than the magnitude of its real and imaginary components, which are a and b, respectively (assuming a and b are positive numbers). The square of the complex number a + bi is actually equal to (a + bi) (a + bi), which is [a.sup.2] + 2abi + [b.sup.2].
As the values of the four extra variables introduced by Rauscher and Targ cannot be measured (or at least they provide no means of measuring them), their theory is untestable and therefore not a suitable candidate for a scientific theory.
That said, I was myself going to recommend the splendid book How the Hippies Saved Physics, although I see that Millay has already recommended it. That book shows how central a role the physicists in this group, including Rauscher and Targ, played in developing the philosophy of quantum mechanics at a time when even thinking about what the theory of quantum mechanics actually meant would earn you an academic death sentence in the groupthink world that modern academics has devolved into. Indeed, most of the contributors in this book have made very significant and valuable contributions not only to physics but the field of consciousness research (a field that did not exist in any formal, or indeed any rudimentary, sense when many of the contributions in this book were first written).
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As he states ... that an observed significance level of .031 means that the probability that the experimental results were due to chance is .031.... In fact, the significance level indicates that the probability that the results would arise by chance is .031, not that the probability that only chance is operating (the null hypothesis) is .031.
Overall, 261 of 417 (62.59%) flies treated with "telergy" recovered from the ether. In the control group, 210 of 440 (47.73%) of the flies recovered. This is a very large effect size as the "telergy" group flies outperformed the control group by more than 31%. If we eliminate the trial in which the results were, essentially, tied and apply simple binomial statistics to the remaining five successful trials, the probability that this pilot study yielded only chance results would be 0.03125. This result is more conservative than p = 0.023 of a simple, two-tailed t test that includes all trials. More conservative, nonparametric tests of statistical significance yield a p value of approximately 0.10.
Cheri Quincy provides an overview of work involving neurotransmitters. She rather simplistically talks about psychological states produced by a single neurotransmitter, such as the "dopamine" state. She states that, due to the loss of odorants in our sanitized modern society, telepathy, which is really nothing more than sensory communication in Quincy's view, will be lost.
Whatever we experience happens on a background of molecular chemistry. Many states of consciousness can be characterized by their associated chemical events. The chemistry of our moods and behaviors is extremely complex and can be thought of as both reflecting and creating the electrical activity within our nerve networks. But some generalizauons can be made, based on both objective and subjective observation.... ... Chemical exchanges between the cells of our nervous system are part of the language of mental events. The major neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, adrenalin, acetylcholine, endorphins, and many others) as well as hormones drive our daily lives, influencing movement, thinking, mood, reactions, pain, sleep, hunger, and thirst.
One of the effects of taking exogenous hormones is to alter the composition of the molecules secreted by our adult sweat glands. That is, hormones change our pheromones. ... Any experience with telepathic communication as a function of "what's in the air" is being lost. In truth, such communication is sensory; we're just not sensing it anymore....
Elizabeth Rauscher presents the results of a remote viewing experiment involving trial-by-trial feedback. As the photographs used in the judging process were taken on the day of trial, the photographer could have unconsciously biased the pictures based on the subject's mood that day, and the subject could have incorporated the day's weather into his/her description of the target scene. This would provide the judges with sensory cues enabling them to match the subject's descriptions to the targets....
... Elizabeth Rauscher and Russell Targ ... set forth a spacetime model that they believe may be able to explain precognition and other psi phenomena. They assert that precognition cannot change the past and that the future is determined from the perspective of the present and the past.... However, elsewhere (on p. 314), they state that "additional precognitive and psi information allows us to experience a different world line" [future]. They propose an eight-dimensional spacetime to account for psi (actually four dimensions with complex numbers as coordinates). Instead of the usual definition of the magnitude (length) of a complex number a + bi, which is the square root of [a.sup.2] + [b.sup.2], they define the magnitude as the square root of [a.sup.2]-[b.sup.2]. This trick enables them to set the imaginary parts of the complex coordinates in ways that the spatial and temporal differences between two seemingly distant points (events) in four-dimensional real spacetime have no separation in Rauscher and Targ's eight-dimensional hyper-spacetime. However, in physics one can directly measure the spatial and temporal coordinates of an event, whereas Rauscher and Targ offer no procedure whereby one may measure the imaginary parts of their spacetime coordinates. Thus, they are free to adjust these coordinates in such a way that there is no spatial or temporal separation between two seemingly separated events involved in a psi experience, and this lack of separation in hyperspace allows psi events to occur. However, this is just a cheap mathematical trick unless a means of measuring the imaginary parts of the coordinates is provided. Rauscher and Targ tie the lack of separation between two seemingly separated events to quantum nonlocality....
The Minkowski metric is a fundamental formalism of the physics of spacetime. It is utilized in Einstein's special and general relativistic physics, and has four dimensions--three of space (x, y, z) and one of time (ict). The special relativistic spacetime invariant is the measure of our space, which is [s.sup.2] = [X.sup.2]-[c.sup.2][t.sup.2] where X stands for x,y,z, and the temporal component [(ict).sup.2] becomes -[c.sup.2] [t.sup.2] where [i.sup.2] = -1. This is where the minus sign comes from. This is not a trick, but is fundamental to the foundation of modern physics. Psychic and nonpsychic events occur in spacetime. As one obtains precognitive information and brings it into the present, one can utilize this information as one does any information to make informed choices (e.g., avoid a disturbing precognition, or use it as needed). Several of our authors have had such precognitive experiences, that were later confirmed.
On the CTBS, the experimental group showed a mean gain of 15.3 months growth, as contrasted with a mean gain of 9.2 months growth for the control group (P < .002). The experimental group also demonstrated an average of 10% overall increase in positive attitude/ self-esteem responses above the control group. This pilot study validated use of the holistic educational techniques, which increased learning, self-esteem and positive attitudes.
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