285 of 308 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2006
I've been waiting for this book for a long time. Driven by a passion to understand my own experiences, I have over the last 30 years read thousands of books about unusual phenomena and altered states of consciousness, and I thought that I'd seen and read everything. But this book by Dean Radin breaks new ground.
Many of us have become frustrated by the overuse of metaphor by many writers: "Mystics said almost the same thing as quantum physics, so that proves mystical insights," or worse yet "physics says that everything is energy, so that means that we are all energy." People have sometimes taken rare phenomena occurring at the subatomic level and extrapolated from them to make extraordinary claims about human interactions, little realizing that many quantum phenomena cannot occur at the level of a whole organism. Dean avoids such risky approximations and has instead written a precise account of experimental work that strongly supports the existence of parapsychological phenomena, and has created an imaginative model to account for it. It has become quite well known that Carl Jung and the Nobel Laureate Wolfgang Pauli were not only interested in extrasensory phenomena, but also believed that a synthesis of physics and psychology was both possible and necessary. Dean has taken their insights, and many others, run with them, and created a remarkable synthesis.
From personal experience and a thorough review of the literature, I am in no doubt that Dean's central hypothesis - that our minds are interlinked - is absolutely correct. If enough people were to realize and understand the implications of this interconnectedness, our world would be transformed in an instant. For this is no academic exercise: these are insights that cut straight to the heart of our personal relationships, the interactions of businesses and governments, and even such moral and ethical issues as free will and the consumption of animals.
The book is well written, and interspersed with a great many illustrations. I hope that it is extremely widely read, and that we all ponder the implications of what Dean has to say.
Richard G. Petty, MD, author of Healing, Meaning and Purpose: The Magical Power of the Emerging Laws of Life
116 of 128 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2006
ENTANGLED MINDS takes us on an exciting journey into the most cutting-edge scientific research pertaining to psychic phenomena, or "PSI." Not only does author Dean Radin present a thorough history and analysis of experiments in the fields of telepathy, clairvoyance and psychokinesis, but he does so with such brilliant clarity that these otherwise occult topics are illuminated sufficiently for any layperson to begin to see that these metaphysical areas of research have far-reaching consequences that none of us can afford to ignore. If PSI is proven to be a real, rather than an imaginary phenomena, we will be well advised to take PSI into account in fields of history, scientific research, medicine, and every form of social dynamics, including sporting events and international conflicts. The quantum entanglement that Albert Einstein called, "spooky action at a distance" may just be the key to comprehending how we may all be interconnected at a very deep, fundamental level.
Radin is uniquely suited to describing what we now know about PSI, since he is currently employed as laboratory director of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and is one of less than 50 conventionally trained doctoral level scientists currently engaged in full-time PSI research.
My favorite part of ENTANGLED MINDS is reading about how Radin and other PSI researchers were quick to note the tremendous opportunity available to them to track world-wide psychic responses to significant events. I also love the way this book describes how some of the more mysterious phenomena, such as presentiment, or responding to a stimuli in advance of physically experiencing it, are currently being scientifically studied. ENTANGLED MINDS truly shines when it describes meta-analysis results for a wide variety of research topics, in which previous scientific analyses are analyzed.
ENTANGLED MINDS is highly recommended reading for anyone interested in a more complete understanding of how humans interact with the world. While PSI may currently be considered a controversial "fringe" topic, Radin explains that, "History shows as the scientific frontiers continue to expand, the supernatural evolves into the paranormal, and then into normal." ENTANGLED MINDS is a truly courageous book that inspires all of us to consider a rational, scientific view of psychic experiences... and imagine what kind of world we can create together when we understand just how interconnected we really are.
73 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2006
What will it take to shift the current scientific paradigm to include work at the frontiers of consciousness, such as evidence of psychic abilities?
Your first answer might be evidence. But, as it turns out, we have more than a century of scrupulously-controlled scientific evidence for psi (the technical term) that cumulatively deliver results far beyond trillion-to-one-against-chance. In this book, Entangled Minds, you'll get an expert and entertaining tour of hundreds years of work studying these as-yet-unexplained abilities of mind. You'll learn about evidence for psychic precognition before 9/11, changes in randomness in response to collective events like the O. J. Simpson trial, as well as the inside story on some of the most famous psychics in history.
All of this makes for great reading and gives the sense that we're at the cusp of a revolution with Copernican-like implications. But by itself does it shift a paradigm?
Evidence is important but not sufficient. An explanatory framework is required that accounts for the new data and bridges to our existing scientific understanding of reality. That's what Dr. Radin begins to provide in this book, demonstrating how the concept of quantum-entangled minds can be compatible with the concept of quantum-entangled particles, an already established fact. Our consciousness may be literally linked so that even small perturbations in one mind instantaneously jostle other minds. This bubbles up to our conscious awareness in the form of intuitions, gut feelings, images, or knowings. Nothing is transmitted: We're simply interconnected at the root of consciousness in something beginning to resemble a global mind.
Very weird, but perhaps true. And it gets even weirder when we bring in the data on precognition indicating that this entanglement is not dependent on time.
What you have in your hand, then, goes beyond intellectual entertainment. It's a vital tool for creating a paradigm shift in science.
130 of 162 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2006
I hate to rain on the party of previous reviewers who gave positive comments but I do not recommend this book. For starters, the book falls under the same spell that trapped a long list of other, prior books that attempted (unsuccesfully, mind you) to make a connection between quantum mechanics and parapsychology. Talk about moth to the flame. There's nothing really new here. The mistake they make is to use one mystery, quantum mechanics, to explain another, ie, psi. Why isn't this fallacy obvious? No one has been able to account for QM in nearly 100 years other than to offer various interpretations and say "It works." Well, it does. And thank heavens. But how does the unexplained explain psi? Throw me a lifeline. Between 1932 and 1958 Jung and Pauli went down this path and if anybody could do it, they were the ones. But nothing productive came from such a collaboration. Secondly, Entangled Minds does not say how to go from micro-scale QM to psi which operates, seemingly, on the macro-scale. This objection is so well known and has been repeated so often, it hardly barely mentioning. Koestler pointed out this problem 34 years ago in his little book, The Roots of Conicidence. In fact, many of the same points in Extangled Minds are covered by Koestler except the latter said what he had to say in 150 pages instead of 350 pages. Which brings up another problem: the middle third of Entangled Minds throws in all these data and charts and statistics and whatnot. Who is the audience? What are we trying to prove? Koestler noted this is the main challenge for the entire field of parapsychology: it keeps trying to convince us that psi is real, or rather the study of it is legitimate. Yet the data clearly shows the public at large is with psi. We accept it. Even mainstream science has grudgingly admitted there's something there. See Broughton's Parapsychology: The Controversial Science. Finally, the last section of Entangled Minds, the section I was most interested in, doesn't really say clearly what is an "entangled mind." It doesn't give predictions or testable claims. All he offers are a lot of speculations that leave me feeling, well, entangled.
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2007
Dean Radin is one of those rare scientists who are not afraid of being out at the frontier of science, that lonely place where history can be made if you first don't die of professional neglect. This book rivals his last one, The Conscious Universe, in presenting persuasive, scientifically rigorous evidence for psi, in this case focusing on nonlocality (action at a distance) and consciousness. It's one thing to say everything is connected, and another thing to provide rigorous evidence to support that speculation. Radin does it again, not only contributing through his own research but by amassing the evidence from a host of researchers in a way that is satisfying to both the scientifically literate and the relative newcomer to the subject.
The title of the book speaks for itself, and other reviewers cover the details, so I won't go into a review of the actual studies cited in the book. For readers trying to make up their minds about purchasing this book, here are some other reasons why this book is worth your time. First is balance: Radin is neither the dry academic nor the ambiguous metaphysician; he maintains a balance between scientific rigor and respect for the startling implications of this research on every aspect of who we are and what we are capable of. He recognizes the import of this research, but he doesn't ever get carried away. Accuracy: while maintaining that undercurrent of awe and enthusiasm, he also doesn't allow readers to get sloppy in their thinking. For instance, he continually points out the difference between "cause" and "correlation," a crucial distinction that is often overlooked by many writers on this topic. He's not defensive: Radin offers no apologies for his, and his colleagues', choice of research, but he doesn't feel the need to dismiss critics. In fact, he speaks to their criticisms of psi research and theory with respect, and in the process manages to continue to build the case for psi without marginalizing or insulting anyone. No mean feat. Finally, Radin is no stuffed shirt, and his humor shines through here and there, at just the right moments to keep things from getting heavy.
Those of us who already believe in the reality of psi or have experienced it ourselves benefit from knowing that scientists such as Radin are working diligently to provide the scientific foundation upon which our experience and belief can rest; those who are undecided will find few other books that provide more credible evidence; and, well, those who are skeptical probably won't read this book. If you stay on top of psi research, there will be plenty here you will have already heard about but enough new information to keep you satisfied. If you are new to the subject, you will be amazed at the abundance of impressive evidence Radin gathers to support the reality of psi. Either way, Radin's book deserves your attention. Highly recommended.
42 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2006
I have known a little of Dean Radin's work (through the internet) for four years now, and I greatly admire his competence and the excellence of many of his papers. He is definitely doing true science, like many other psi researchers that I have come to know of, people like Jessica Utts, Adrian Parker, John Palmer, Stanley Krippner, Ian Stevenson, Jim Tucker, and many others. I remember marvelling at one of Radin's papers, "Time-reversed human experience: Experimental evidence and implications", especially the section "Detecting the Arrow of Time" (search with Google to find it...).
His previous book, "The Conscious Universe" (1997), aroused rather hostile controversy, which included a flawed book review on prestigious scientific journal Nature, that Nature, suspiciously enough, refused to correct for months long (despite criticism from many highly respected academics - search with Google for "Unfounded criticism of a parapsychology book in Nature"). This kind of extremely high quality parapsychological research that has been done by Radin and fellow psi researchers has raised some forms of psi to the status of truly scientifically proved phenomena, IMHO. Skepticism against this kind of research has, sometimes, been very misleading and even dishonest, especially by "Organized Avowed Skeptics", including some (but not all!) CSICOP members and related people. In this "Psi Wars", even I myself ended up getting an internet site started debunking pseudoskepticism, a site named "Criticizing Skepticism".
So, "Entangled Minds" presents a comprehensive (and compelling) overview of the experimental evidence for psi, a good historical outline of the psi research, an informative description of several theories of psi (arguably the weakest area of psi research), and some good hints for the psi research's sociological and pragmatic relevance. In a word: a Must!
Still, problems remain...
I do not agree with a previous reviewer in that Radin fell in the trap of "explaining one mystery (psi) with another (quantum theory - entanglement phenomenon)". Radin seems fully aware of the limitations of his approach, as he clearly states on page 235 ("Quantum entanglement as presently understood...is insufficient to explain psi."). However, I do think Radin was rather "weak" in other points.
I did not like the way "consciousness" was discussed. Concepts and terminology regarding "consciousness" and "mind" seemed ill defined and sometimes confused with one another. This is very bad, because Radin's central thesis is that psi is our "experience" (Subjective perception? If not, what else?) of the entanglement of our minds with the universe and with other minds. So, what is a mind? What is consciousness, in his view? Is it a necessary component of his psi-entangled mind? Authors like Chalmers, Penrose-Hameroff, Crick, and Libet seem to make a better distinction between "mind" (an organized and functioning entity-agent) and "consciousness" (subjective experience, qualia, Chalmer's "Hard Problem", etc). Radin doesn't. See, for example, page 240, and we get the impression that "mind" and "consciousness" are different concepts (first paragraph). Then, last paragraph on page 241, "mind" and "consciousness" seem to be the same thing. Then, on page 243, I just cannot tell whether "mind" and "consciousness" are being considered the same thing or not... And worse, Radin ends up getting a little bogged down in this definition confusion to the point that he states, twice (!), on page 243, that "Mind...(is)...an interplay between brain and mind." So, Mind = Brain interplaying with Mind? Put another way: Mind = Brain + Mind (i.e. 2 = 1 + 2 ...). Definitely, there seems to be something slightly strange in here...
Further, we get to know that "...clockworks are not conscious..." (page 257). Well, I never thought they were. But how did Radin conclude that they are not? Stan Franklin has a splendid book on "Artificial Minds" (1995), and a more recent paper on possible consciousness in a software (IDA - Journal of Consciousness Studies/Machine Consciousness - 2003). Would Radin also declare that IDA is not conscious? (Franklin himself does not take sides on this issue). And, on page 265, talking about how psi processing may work, we read "...your unconscious mind pays attention...". So we have conscious minds, unconscious minds, unconscious matter, conscious matter (page 235). Too much talk about it all for too little philosophical insights into it.
Then, page 219, Radin says "Few of us believe that...we have absolutely no free will." Well, I happen to be one of these "few ones", and I do not think we have any theory (or logical reasoning) for accounting for free will or for choice. What we do have are theories for determinism and for randomness (the latter, with or without bias). Not for choice. Not yet. Linked to it, on page 257, we get the feeling that classical physics cannot account for consciuousness and that quantum mechanics (Stapp) accounts for it. Again IMHO, quantum mechanics is just as feeble as classical physics in trying to account for this mystery (qualia).
I disagree, too, with the concept that psi may not involve information transfer. Page 264: "Maybe psi is purely relational and manifests only as correlations." With this, Radin sidestepped a needed in-depth discussion about what is correlation, what is causation, and how can two things be correlated via psi without transfering information.
Anyway, none of these flaws belittle the importance and the strength of Radin's book. And I present them just as constructive criticism to a work that is already excellent.
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2006
Radin's first book, The Conscious Universe, is the book that first convinced me that there is something to the science of parapsychology. This book is even stronger. Entangled Minds is excellent. There are a number of books available on psychic phenomena, but all the others I know of are either out of date, dry, or flakey. This one is based largely on solid science and is a really enjoyable read.
The book is jam-packed with information, but doesn't feel that way because of the breezy style of writing and because much of the technical detail is tucked away in the end notes. Therefore it can be pleasant bed-time reading, or if the reader wants to go more into detail on any topic, the wealth of references can point the way.
Radin builds the case for the existence of psi (psychic phenomena) from experiments in telepathy, psychokinesis, precognition and clairvoyance. But he doesn't stop there. He describes physiological experiments in which the effects of psi are evident in the brain and at the cellular level. But he doesn't stop there. After a survey of theories of psi and the basics of quantum entanglement, Radin pulls all the observed phenomena together as a grand entanglement of minds.
Some of the strengths of the book are also its weaknesses. Radin is so enthusiastic about the psi experiments that he sometimes comes across as a cheerleader for psi rather than a balanced observer. By focusing in detail on some isolated experiments (often carried out by him) he leaves some readers with the impression that the phenomena are more weakly supported by experiment than is the case - even though he does survey other experiments. Finally, my view is that it is premature to point to quantum entanglement as the underlying mechanism behind psi, but it certainly is attractive.
I heartily recommend this book to the mystic, the skeptic, and anyone who has maintained a sense of curiosity.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2008
Nice to have a book which doesnt go New-Age on a New Age kind of subject. Don't be bothered about too many negative reviews from the 'get real' people. This book is factual and just explains after years of scientific research what we now do know about psi.
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2007
Once you've gotten into it, there are points at which you might start to think that this is a "proof-oriented" book. Also, you might want to look ahead thinking that one of the later chapters looks mighty interesting, but don't. Go start to finish because it's really in a good format and has good flow for the main content. This is definitely a book to get you to think about the information presented and, if you're like me, you'll be writing oodles of notes in the margins! Although the presented results of experiments are certainly impressive, I personally thought that a couple of conclusions were a little understated. So, now, we know that we can show in a laboratory setting that humanity has a "psychic twinkle". That's interesting, but it's a little like discovering that we can scientifically prove that positive thinking and prayer actually work. Then again, we don't really expect full effects in the lab where real people are concerned; that's like studying wildlife in a zoo versus out on the Serengeti. Also, as Radin rightfully states, "psi might appear weak and erratic, but that's at least partially because the tools being used to study it are inappropriate" (p.100). Once we know a little more about how psi works, we might be able to better measure it--and Radin does suggest a possible psi amplifier later in the book as well as an "ideal" testing situation. Actually, some of the experiments, especially about presentiment and the delayed choice experiment, are very cool. And Radin has a great way of using what's already been shown--the proof-oriented business--to lead into how quantum physics accounts for these observations and theories about psi. (BTW, the explanation/history of quantum theory is, IMHO, extremely well-done. He moves gracefully from classical physics to quantum physics. But careful reading is required during the evolution of the science and the section on quantum theories of psi, just to make sure that you get it straight.) He makes a good case for entanglement and shows how entanglement describes the different types of psi tested/observed to date. Entanglement also goes a long way toward explaining "side topics" in psi, such as the "filtering" of too much psi information and the role of attention in receiving information both locally and nonlocally.
Radin does address briefly skepticism. Personally, I think that there isn't any doubt: Psi happens. Truthfully, one must be careful when addressing rabid skeptics. Although it's tempting to pummel naysayers (with the facts) because they can be irritating and irrational, I do believe that we need to be sensitive to people who might be afraid of the overwhelming evidence. Fortunately, Radin doesn't go too far, but it could become very hurtful to others if it became a trend in parapsychology. Remember how eagerly Ebenezer Scrooge dismissed the image of Marley before his very eyes, "A little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats." Forcing the ghosts of the past, present and future on diehard skeptics could be considered cruel.
There are some points that I wish had been brought out. For example, if memory serves, knots are naturally occurring. (I think DeWitt and Klaus proved this back at FSU in the late 80's: If you take a random walk of n steps, then the probability that you will get "knotted" goes to 1 as n goes to infinity.) So, doesn't it stand to reason that the universe is terribly knotted, tangled and maybe even a little kinky? Wouldn't that make entanglement and, hence, nonlocality really-really-really obvious? Well, I might not be the center of the universe, but I'm quantumly connected to it and I can observe it. But, back to the knots, the most common biological occurrence of knots is in the tertiary structure of genetic material, but previous psi research seems to revolve around quantum elements in the firing of excitable cells (p. 250), I suppose because that is more in line with mind-matter discussions but still.... Then, I wonder about the effects of heat on entanglement; don't most light sources have heat, incandescence? And light's the stuff that we know right off the bat has dual properties of waves and particles, and then there's the experiment involving heated metals (temperature/light intensity) leading to the "ultraviolet catastrophe" and spawning Max Planck's idea of energy packets, or quanta. So, how does heat/temperature affect entanglement? Intuitively, I would guess that heat decreases entanglement or makes things dissipate somehow. Maybe I'm just missing something there. (I also wish that I knew more about the multidimensional theories of psi, but I suppose I shouldn't expect to be spoon-fed every little thing.) There are a few other minor things that I might have liked to see developed, but that's just me.
There are lots of wonderful insights--and great quotes--throughout the book. Just as one last note, while near-pummelling a skeptic, Radin says that psi research is "engaged in investigating puzzling human experiences--often profoundly meaningful, and sometimes transformational, experiences--as reported by countless people throughout history." Couldn't agree more.
I highly recommend Entangled Minds...but I did have a nightmare about being chased by a bowl of nonlocal Jell-o last night.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2011
Reading The Conscious Universe and Entangled Minds over a two week period, I feel confident in arguing that Entangled Minds is an updated response to the critics of Radin's earlier work, The Conscious Universe. Entangled Minds is filled with bits of new information, follow up research findings, and has been tweaked to answer some of the more egregious critics of The Conscious Universe. However,neither The Conscious Universe nor Entangled Minds is your everyday new age book/psi type of read; in fact it's not even close. Radin finally gives those with a belief in psi, a great look at the subject from a scientific point of view. And while nothing will completely quiet the "skeptics", these books most certainly arms believers with some pretty good evidence to bring to the conversation. I highly recommend reading both books, in sequential order, to get the most out of what Radin has to say- it will be well worth your time.