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From Book of Thoth:
"Telepathy Confirmed in Recent Tests":
Telepathy is one of those subjects that you either accept as a possibility or reality, or as something without substance that is performed by clever illusionists. At it's core is the notion that seperate minds can link and interact regardless of distance or circumstance. It has a highly controversial history. Right up to the present day with those either side of the fence stating it's reality or dismissing it out of hand.
Last year, the British Association of Science set apart a section of its "Annual Festival of Science" to allow a scientist (Rupert Sheldrake) to discuss "Telephone Telepathy". We've all experienced this, or at least the majority of us. We think about a person seemingly out of the blue only to find the telephone rings and that person is the one who is calling, the one we were thinking about. As a result of the subject being discussed, the Association found itself at the centre of a huge controversy.
Professor Peter Atkins commented in a radio interview that the samples used were tiny, and that the effects were statistically insignificant, further, that the experiments had not been conducted in a "scientific" way.
Professor Atkins later admitted that he had not actually seen any of the findings of the experiment, but insisted that it made no difference to his original statement, adding that there are no serious reasons for believing in the effect of telepathy.Not all scientists however agree with Atkins, as we shall see.
The criticism used against the British Association came from an attempt to test the assertion that "Telephone Telepathy" was real. The skeptical view was that selective memory was at play, where people would attach significance to strange events, but ignore times when there weren't anything strange. The experiments in question were carried out by Dr Rupert Sheldrake who has been examining these areas for several years now. His claim is that the person making the call obviously thinks about the person they're about to call before they telephone. It is this that the person at the other end detects psychically before the telephone rings.
Sheldrake recruited several hundred volunteers, each of whom nominated four friends. One of these four was then picked at random to make a telephone call to the recipient. The recipient then had to state before they answered the call, which one of the four they thought it was. Statistically, chance alone dictates that 1 time out of 4 they'd be correct, or 25% of the time they'd be correct.The results showed that 42% of the time people correctly identified the caller. Way above, and almost double what it would be with chance alone.
The skeptics have had their view challenged repeatedly. Another test most people are familiar with is the "ganzfield" test which involves people naming a shape displayed on a card that is turned away from them. A recent combined analysis of these tests, using over 3000 examples performed up until the year 2004 was completed. Again the success rate for these tests by chance alone should have been 25%. The results showed that the overall success rate was 32%, a small, but statistically significant number. This goes a long way to answering criticism tht only small numbers of people have been tested. Skeptics still refuse to accept the findings, blaming everything from bad analysis to outright fraud.
Scientists in the UK as well as the USA are now providing evidence which challenges this irrational skepticism even further. This time peoples brains are monitored during experiments. The results of these experiments are being detailed in Scientific journals, indicative that something extraordinary is really happening.
With the availability of high technology, and subsequent technical analysis, these experiments are not so easily dismissed. Dr Marios Kittenis based at the University of Edinburgh, has been using EEG techniques to provide the best evidence yet for telepathy, or at the very least a new phenomenon of consciousness. People who claimed strong telepathic links with each other, decided who would be "sender" and "receiver".
They were then taken to seperate rooms and wired up to EEG machines, which detect activity in certain parts of the brain.When in these rooms, the subjects were exposed to the sounds of rythmic drumming to bring their levels of consciousness to a similar state. Whilst in this state, random light flashes were beamed at the "sender". This triggered activity in the visual cortex of the brain (the area which activates with signals from the eye). Their startling discovery was that the visual cortex in the "receiver" also responded in a similar fashion, despite them not being exposed to any light flashes.
Skeptics are finding it more difficult to dismiss these findings so easily, stating that there must be some unknown error in the experiment causing these results. More than likely, like Atkins, they've not even examined the experiments before making these armchair conclusions. In America, Todd Richards from the University of Washington has performed similar tests using a more sophisticated technique using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Which is another method used to study brain activity in great detail.
The results were the same as those done with the EEG machines. That the sender who was exposed to random flashing lights, somehow triggering the same response in the visual cortex of the receiver. A significant number of these experiments have been carried out and each time producing the same startling results. Both teams have stated that more experiments need to take place before a proper conclusion can be made, but even at this early stage believe these findings to be the result of an "anomalous phenomenon".
No doubt skeptics will either continue to trot out the same cliched responses. They've demanded evidence for years, when that was supplied, they claimed it wasn't "scientific". Now that there is scientific evidence, they'll no doubt dispute the methods like they did with Sheldrake last year. I sometimes wonder how we progress when so many people devote so much time refusing to accept that which a lot of people already accept as fact, and have done so for hundreds if not thousands of years.
There will be a follow up to this article relating to more experiments done in Italy recently. This showed that nerve cells continue to interact with each other even when they are seperated and isolated from one another. In the same way as the light signals caused the receiver to respond in a remote room, these nerve cells BOTH do the same thing when only one set is exposed to light.
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Registration date : 2008-09-15
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