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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
on March 10, 2016
A wild ride through the data supporting psi. I was for many years a reductionist like Michael Shermer. However, after reading more and books like this, my mind has accepted the reality that we know very little about where we came from and what really drives our human experience.
The quantum field seems to be more and more strange and exciting the more I read. It explains alot of the unknown but leaves more questions in its wake. This book at least addresses the strange and wonderful and considers the possibly that classical physics is not only wrong but way wrong.
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.
on May 29, 2014
￼To be frank, I find this book much more interesting than 'The Conscious Universe', but this has to do with the simple fact that I am researching on these matters since two decades already; for me, the basic proof is since long established. However, I am well aware that such is not the case with the lay public, and thus I would recommend 'The Conscious Universe'—which I equally reviewed— to those who are skeptical, or who are so bare of knowledge of psychic phenomena that they need to begin with Adam and Eve.
I shall first make some general remarks about the book, and then focus on Chapter 2 entitled Naked Psi, which deals for the most part with the highly intriguing premonitions of the September 11, 2001 events. Let us first ask, what is entanglement?
For centuries, scientists assumed that everything can be explained by mechanisms analogous to clockworks. Then, to everyone’s surprise, over the course of the twentieth century we learned that this commonsense assumption is wrong. When the fabric of reality is examined very closely, nothing resembling clockworks / can be found. Instead, reality is woven from strange ‘holistic’ threads that aren’t located precisely in space or time. Tug on a dangling loose end from this fabric of reality, and the whole cloth twitches, instantly, throughout all space and time./2-3
—End of Quote—
Perhaps, as Dean Radin humbly suggests, there is no ready-made answer to this question, but he’s optimistic that over the coming years we’ll come around to see the light on that matter. Now let me get at the core of this review, the precognitive messages and presentments in the foreground of September 11, 2001, which were collected in their thousands, as the author reports, by the Rhine Research Center.
The first case he reports was a couple returning from New York to their home town; the man had tried to sleep in the plane, and had a nightmarish vision to be buried alive in tons of cement that were closing hermetically about him, virtually crushing his bones one by one in this prison of stone that was converging about him. When they returned home, exhausted after the long trip and three thousand miles away from their friends in New York, and went to bed, in New York the two towers of the World Trade Center went down to ashes in an unprecedented catastrophe that was mediatized in its every detail. In the second documented case, a couple had passed the Pentagon on a highway and the woman, in a sudden vision, had seen the Pentagon burning and huge piles of dark smoke rising from it, while her husband had wondered about her screams. In a few seconds the vision had vanished. This had been several weeks before September, 11, 2001.
Dean Radin explains that it is because of the psychological fact of memory repression and a blinding out of perception that so many people do actually not get clear visions; the author seems to be convinced that we do receive clear premonitions and visions in front of catastrophic events that cost many human lives, but that our brain safeguards our mental health by suppressing disturbing impressions and all the anxiety that is of course connected to it.