Bio-Energy Debunked or Found?

Many forms of alternative medicine believe in a bio-energy, some form of energy produced by the human body that can be used to effect healings. Previous research claims to have detected this energy around the heads of participants with the use of a mesh dome that is allowed to swing like a pendulum. Placing a human subject’s head under this dome has shown to alter it’s oscillations, without any obvious reasons as to why.

 

Earlier researchers have claimed that the altered behavior of the pendulum is due to bio-energy emitted from the head. The current work further shielded this pendulum with both devices to inhibit any form of air currents and use of a plastic helmet for participants to wear.

 

Results from these new tests showed that air did not affect the pendulum’s swing (i.e., results were the same as previous work). However, use of the plastic helmet removed all effects that were supposed to be due to bio-energy (i.e., the pendulum behaved as it normally would without a human participant). These researchers state that either the effect of previous studies was due to heat convection of the participant’s head, or that the theorized bio-energy is somehow blocked by plastic. The researchers here tend to believe that the former, and not the latter is most likely the case.

 

Van den Berg, W. H., & van der Sluys, W. G. (2015). The human bio-energy field detected by a torsion pendulum? The effect of shielding and a possible conventional explanation. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 29, 37-45.

Training Psychokinesis: The Brief Career of Felicia Parise

One not so commonly known occurrence of the movement of objects with the mind (psychokinesis: PK) occurred with the interest of Felicia Parise. Having been exposed to the famous Russian PK producer Nina Kulagina, Felicia became determined to practice PK until she ultimately was able to move small objects with the power of her mind.

 

Felicia, under controlled conditions, was able to deflect compass needles (sometimes 360 degrees), and move corks or small vials of alcohol. Although done informally, several parapsychologists and stage magicians tested her under controlled conditions. Interestingly, some of her magnetic effects would persist for approximately ½ hour. Attempts to affect the compass by normal means (knives, or metal) would not work while the compass was nearby Parise. To this day, her documented movement of objects with the power of the mind has not been debunked or explained.

 

After a period of time, Felicia became weary of tests and conditions and decided to return to her career as a medical technician. The effects of moving objects made Felicia exhausted, and she would often be unable to coherently talk to others for several minutes after a demonstration of her ability. In the end, her curiosity was satisfied, and she was content to go back to a regular life free of magicians and parapsychologists.  

 

Reference:

Honorton, C. (2015). A moving experience. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 29, 62-74.

Paranormal Facts Could Use Your Support

Hello Readers!

I wanted to reach out to all of you and thank you for your readership of Paranormal Facts. We are proud to announce that we have almost 4000 repeat visitors per month! As we still have a few months to go before we reach a year of Paranormal Facts, none of us here at ISRAE can complain about those numbers.

We sincerely hope that you find value in our summaries of real parapsychology research. Part of our public mission at ISRAE is to provide access to paranormal research to the general public. That is our drive behind what you are reading right now.

I want to remind everyone that we’re offering a free layperson’s parapsychology course on our website.  In addition, the Paranormal Experience Registry (PER) is now up and running. The PER is time-consuming to complete, but all of those questions help us create an excellent database to analyze and to eventually provide you with some answers about paranormal experiences. If you can’t donate, consider donating time to the PER. Your experiences are valuable, and we want to hear about them!

We are a non-profit, and we run on your generosity. As a reminder, We have recurring donation plans that cost less than a cup of coffee per month! Our non-profit has a Guidestar Silver Rating, so you can rest assured that all transactions are secure. Every dollar helps us maintain research such as the PER, Paranormal Facts, and future services.

Again, reach out to us if there is a topic you would like to see or something you think we can help with. We serve at your pleasure.

Paranormal is Normal,

Dr. Laythe

 

Donate

Evolution and Parapsychology?

Work by McClenon examined if theories based on evolution would be verified by collecting a large community sample. The researcher examined specific expectations about survival and adaptability based on beliefs in the paranormal. These theories are referred to in this paper as “sheep”, “goat”, and “black sheep” in relation to these evolutionary tests.

 

The sheep theory claims that believers in the paranormal are mentally ill, but the benefits of hallucination or belief provide advantages in coping or in placebo effects for healing. The goat theory claims that paranormal belief is associated with primarily negative psychological and health for individuals and is not adaptive. The black sheep theory mixes the two and claims that despite disadvantages, paranormal belief can facilitate coping and positive outcomes.

 

In order to test these theories in the community, McClenon had participants answer many scales about mental functioning, paranormal belief and experience, and health and analyzed them to see what measures related most closely to each other. The results did support a relationship between types of mental illness and paranormal experiences (goat) but also showed that some psychological tendencies were associated with visions and possible healing (sheep). McClennon concludes that evidence for all three theories was present, but comments that evolutionary and biological research in this domain is limited.

 

McClennon, J. (2013). A community survey of anomalous experiences: Correlational analysis of evolutionary hypothesis. Journal of Parapsychology, 77, 55-78.

Does Psi Get a Fair Shake?

Although not known by the public, parapsychology has been plagued by criticism from mainstream science. Parapsychologists have always found this bias unfair, as the methods used in parapsychology are the exact same as those used in conventional science (and in many cases, more strict). Despite this, and a growing body of research that validates psychic ability, mainstream science denies the findings, and believes that parapsychology should be set to a different set of scientific standards.

 

Williams work reviews the debate over the validity of the evidence of psi. He debates that the research that looks at large numbers of psi studies (called meta-analysis), has sufficiently demonstrated that psi exists by professional scientific standards. Critics claim that different methods should be used to prove psi that uses different probabilities (a Bayesian analysis).

 

Williams provides a modified analysis method that he believes will satisfy critics. However, his core theme is that the evidence for psi is sufficient, and there are some dangers of abuse with other research methods. Ultimately, Williams claims that it is not the method, but scientists beliefs that are keeping psi research from reaching popular acceptance.

 

 

Reference:

Williams, G. (2015). Are different standards warranted to evaluate psi? Journal of Parapsychology, 79, 186-202.

Moving Objects With The Mind: An Energy Theory

William Roll, in his last work before passing away, teamed up with William Joines to examine theories about how poltergeist objects thrown about by invisible forces might work in a physics model. Roll has long theorized that poltergeist cases are actually due to the unconscious psychic activity of a target person involved in the “haunting”. He referred to this phenomena as Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis (RSPK).

 

Although the theories supported in this paper are based on individual cases of poltergeists, the authors found several interesting trends in RSPK phenomena. First, they found that a number of objects that would move were associated with the distance of the target person the poltergeist activity centered around. As distance increased, the number of incidents of objects moving decreased. Second, this pattern of distance matches the physics formula for the decay of electromagnetic waves.

 

Finally, both authors posit that the source of RSPK (poltergeist) phenomena may be what is called ZPE or “zero point energy” a field of energy that is theorized to permeate everything and everyone. Roll and Joines theorize that RSPK could be explained by manipulation of ZPE and electromagnetic waves and that future research should focus on these physics variables.

 

Roll, W. J., & Joines, W. T. (2013). RSPK and consciousness. Journal of Parapsychology, 77, 192-211.

 

Parapsychology Class

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We’ve been promising a free parapsychology course, and we are proud to announce that it’s ready for its first round of online students. Included are fifteen sections and a hearty (optional) quiz if you want to test your knowledge.

What do I need to do?

  1. Go to www.israenet.org/classes and click the link!
  2. Read and examine the content at your own pace!

This is our first release of the class, so please feel free to provide us with feedback (constructive comments only, please). Email blaythe@israenet.org with any comments. I’ll be checking into the class periodically.

 

 

 

 

Part of the Public Service We Provide At ISRAE,

Dr. Brian Laythe

Shaman Rituals and Detecting Psi

Rock and colleagues recently conducted a replication of a previous study examining shamans and psychic ability. The current study looked at various psychological processes used to perform shaman rituals and their association with success on a psi test.

 

These researchers tested this possibility by setting up psi tests in the lab. Two groups were used. The first group was essentially told to relax and try and detect which picture had been previously selected (psychic guessing). The other group listened to drumming and was given specific ritual visualizations in order to try and psychically guess the correctly selected picture. Two other groups were given mixtures of these instructions in order to completely account for the effect of just drumming or just visualizations.

 

Results from this study indicated that an overall relationship between the conditions and psi were not present. However, an examination of participant’s experiences during the experiment showed a relationship between altered experiences, changes in time sense, and perception, and correctly guessing the target picture. Thus, these results show limited support that ritual processes may facilitate psychic processes.

 

Rock, A. J., Storm, L., Harris, L., & Friedman, H. L. (2013). Shamanic-like journeying and psi signal detection: II. phenomenological dimensions. Journal of Parapsychology, 77, 249-270.

 

Help Us At Paranormal Facts

Hello Readers!

I wanted to reach out to all of you and thank you for your readership of Paranormal Facts. We are proud to announce that we have almost 4000 repeat visitors per month! As we still have a few months to go before we reach a year of Paranormal Facts, none of us here at ISRAE can complain about those numbers.

We sincerely hope that you find value in our summaries of real parapsychology research. Part of our public mission at ISRAE is to provide access to paranormal research to the general public. That is our drive behind what you are reading right now.

I want to remind everyone that we’re offering a free layperson’s parapsychology course on our website.  In addition, the Paranormal Experience Registry (PER) is now up and running. The PER is time-consuming to complete, but all of those questions help us create an excellent database to analyze and to eventually provide you with some answers about paranormal experiences. If you can’t donate, consider donating time to the PER. Your experiences are valuable, and we want to hear about them!

We are a non-profit, and we run on your generosity. As a reminder, We have recurring donation plans that cost less than a cup of coffee per month! Our non-profit has a Guidestar Silver Rating, so you can rest assured that all transactions are secure. Every dollar helps us maintain research such as the PER, Paranormal Facts, and future services.

Again, reach out to us if there is a topic you would like to see or something you think we can help with. We serve at your pleasure.

Paranormal is Normal,

Dr. Laythe

Donate

Physicalism: Can Science Say That “Everything” Is Based In Matter?

One of the biggest hurdles in parapsychology is the mainstream belief that all reality is based on physical interactions we can measure (also known as Materialism, Scientism, or Reductionism). Gebelein, a manager within the Journal of Parapsychology, provides his personal opinions on this issue, and they make for interesting reading.

 

 

Consider the following referenced arguments made by Gebelein, and ask yourself about these issues.

  1. Gebelein rightfully claims that evolution has replaced creationism in science. However, biologists have found examples of animal species that are contrary to Darwin and evolutionary theory.
  2. Despite the study of the brain, consciousness (the mind) is completely not understood in mainstream science.
  3. Scientists are forced to “believe” in physicalism, despite a strong body of evidence in parapsychology, quantum physics, and other fields.
  4. That essentially, the belief that everything is physical is a belief, without basis in science or evidence, but is treated as scientific fact.
  5. That mainstream science has been caught changing the rules or cheating when evaluating the evidence for parapsychology.

 

Is Gebelein correct? Well, his evidence seems to support many of his claims. However, the principal point Gebelin makes is that we have confused belief with science. Science is a method, a process, and it is determined by evidence and not belief.

 

 

Gebelein, R. S. (2013). Guest editorial: Physicalism. Journal of Parapsychology, 77, 159-164.