|To be precise,
when we say that "X exists," we mean that the presently available,
cumulative statistical database for experiments studying X, provides
strong, scientifically credible evidence for repeatable, anomalous,
With this in mind, ESP exists,
precognition exists, telepathy exists, and PK exists. ESP is
statistically robust, meaning it can be reliably demonstrated through
repeated trials, but it tends to be weak when simple geometric symbols
are used as targets. Photographic or video targets often produce effects
many times larger, and there is some evidence that ESP on natural
locations (as opposed to photos of them), and in natural contexts, may
be stronger yet.
Some PK effects have also been shown to
exist. When individuals focus their intention on mechanical or
electronic devices that fluctuate randomly, the fluctuations change in
ways that conform to their mental intention. Under control conditions,
when individuals direct their attention elsewhere, the fluctuations are
in accordance with chance.
Note that we are using the terms ESP,
telepathy and PK in the technical sense, not in the popular sense.
Opinions about mechanisms of psi are wide-ranging. Because the field is
multidisciplinary, there are physical theories, psychological theories,
psychophysical theories, sociological theories, and combinations of
On one end of the spectrum, the "physicalists"
tend to believe that the "psi sensing capacity" is like any other human
sensory system, and as such it will most likely be explained by known
principles from biophysics, chemistry, and cognitive science. For these
theorists, psi is expected to be accommodated into the existing
scientific structure, with perhaps some modifications or extensions.
On the other end of the spectrum, the
"mentalists" assert that reality would not exist if it were not for
human consciousness. For these theorists, the nature of the universe is
much more effervescent, thus accommodating psi into existing scientific
models will require significant modification of science as we know it.
Strong theoretical debates are common in parapsychology in part because
spirit, religion, the meaning of life, and other philosophical
conundrums commingle with quantum mechanics, probability theory, and
Some theorists have attempted to link psi
phenomena with similar- sounding concepts from quantum mechanics,
including non-locality, instantaneous correlations at a distance, and
other anomalies. Such suggestions always spark vigorous debates, and at
some point it seems the critics are inevitably accused of not properly
understanding quantum mechanics.