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The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena Hardcover – July 18, 1997

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Editorial Reviews Review

Holding up such anomalies as ESP, psychokinesis, prayer, near-death experiences, and reincarnation under the cool light of scientific scrutiny can be a daunting task. Dean Radin, director of the Consciousness Research Laboratory at the University of Nevada, rises to the challenge in the pioneering and exhaustively researched The Conscious Universe. Fans of The X-Files will need no further convincing, but for the remaining skeptics, this easy-to-read mix of history, scientific evidence, and proclamations ("When modern science began about three hundred years ago, one of the consequences of separating mind and matter was that science slowly lost its mind.") will authenticate the existence of psychic phenomena.

Radin creates two categories: the perceiving of objects or events beyond our ordinary sense capabilities and the triggering or influencing of action through mental powers. Radin aims to present simply and clearly the basic elements from science, psychology, and physics that prove the existence psychic phenomena. Given the tacit acceptance of psychic phenomena as "real," why do both government and mainstream science repudiate the claims and the evidence, yet continue to exploit them?

The Conscious Universe challenges our most basic assumptions about reality, those that exist in both the upper echelons of science and in the basic daily interactions. It’s a mind-bending exploration of how and what we see.


Radin is a mix of curiosity, scholarship, technical expertise, and sly wit. (New York Times Magazine)

Looking through The Lost Symbol, it seems that the “new” topic that will benefit from “the Dan Brown effect” is Noetic Science. . . . parapsychology researcher Dean Radin is at the Institute of Noetic Science - these “heretical science” topics are likely to generate much debate. (MSNBC's Cosmic Log)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1 edition (July 18, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062515020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062515025
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #647,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Supernormal" wins the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award

Dean Radin, PhD, is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University. Before joining the research staff at IONS in 2001, he held appointments at AT&T Bell Labs, Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, and SRI International. He is author or coauthor of over 200 technical and popular articles, two dozen book chapters, and three books including the award-winning, best-selling "The Conscious Universe" (HarperOne, 1997), "Entangled Minds" (Simon & Schuster, 2006), and the award-winning "Supernormal" (Random House, 2013).

Longer Bio: Dean Radin, PhD, is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University. His original career track as a concert violinist shifted into science after earning a BSEE degree in electrical engineering, magna cum laude with honors in physics, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and then an MS in electrical engineering and a PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. For a decade he worked on advanced telecommunications R&D at AT&T Bell Laboratories and GTE Laboratories. For over two decades he has been engaged in consciousness research. Before joining the research staff at IONS in 2001, he held appointments at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, and several Silicon Valley think-tanks, including Interval Research Corporation and SRI International.

He is author or coauthor of over 200 technical and popular articles, two dozen book chapters, and several books including the bestselling The Conscious Universe (HarperOne, 1997), Entangled Minds (Simon & Schuster, 2006), and Supernormal (Random House, 2013), awarded the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award.

His technical articles have appeared in journals ranging from Foundations of Physics and Physics Essays to Psychological Bulletin and Journal of Consciousness Studies; he was featured in a New York Times Magazine article; and he has appeared on dozens of television shows. He has given over 275 interviews and talks, including invited presentations at the Sorbonne, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton Universities, for industries including Google and Johnson & Johnson, and for government organizations including the US Navy and DARPA. In 2010, he lectured in India as the National Visiting Professor of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, a program within the Indian government's Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

309 of 331 people found the following review helpful By Spiff on August 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Radin's book was a surprise to me. I have been often interested in the paranormal, but have always felt it completely lacked any scientific truth, and was worth little more than entertainment. Eventually, I became very sceptical to any issues that could not be easily accepted by science. This book has made me think twice by finally providing some meta-analysis that convinced me to at least stop to wonder.
To keep it short, Radin basically claims that the paranormal is real and has proof of it. He starts by defining the concept of Psi, and dedicates many pages trying to explain you the mathematical and statistical background you will need to understand the studies and the meta-analysis of the results. Radin then proceeds to expose all the evidence that has been gathered for the past years, for Telepathy, Perception at a distance and through time, Mind-Matter interaction, Mental interaction with living organisms and field consciousness. His next theme dedicates 50 pages to explain the why scepticism has been limiting the knowledge of Psi phenomena, and even approaches some metaphysics.
The book is very well organized, there is some redundancy, but no more than normal and it is often necessary. Subjects are well separated and the index is very good. What impressed me most was perhaps the way Radin provides the reader with external sources that back up his claims. The text is full of marks to references. You have about 40 pages with notes and references, which you will be able to check for yourself. If Radin claims something you might want to confirm, it most likely tells you where to go find the original document. This aspect alone would be enough to separate this work from many of the pseudocience junk on the market.
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82 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Payman Saghafi on March 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I consider Dr. Radin to be a man that takes a lot of heat for his experiments and beliefs. Whether or not you agree with him, I think this book shows that Dr. Radin didn't come to the conclusion that psi phenomenon are real overnight. He spent years investigating subtle aspects of "psi phenomena", analyzed large bodies of this type of experimental research, and learned to implement numerous statistical techniques. I do not consider him to be a "quack". Dean Radin is a dedicated scientist. Whether or not he is a misguided scientist depends upon your point of view. I am not convinced that he is misguided. This book has made me open to investigating more and learning more before I draw any conclusions. I simply am not sure what to believe.

Dean Radin has a very expressive and easy to read writing style. In addition, he has an uncanny ability to explain the ins and outs of statistics by utilizing simple analogies.

For me, this resulted in a book that I was able to read and digest very rapidly.

I decided to give the book 5 stars for all of the above reasons.

Potential psi research criticisms that were addressed reasonably well by Dr. Radin include:

1) The File Drawer problem
2) The problem of fraud
3) Statistical significance of results (ie. effect size)
4) Replicability of results
5) The use of Meta-analysis
6) Sensory Leakage
7) Randomization of tests

There is one area of criticism that I wish were addressed more thoroughly:

A fair amount of skepticism about psi phenomena appears to stem from the fact that so much of the evidence is based on "statistical deviations". Granted, (p) values are important, but isn't there even one form of psi that can be captured upon demand? Not one?
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78 of 90 people found the following review helpful By D. A. Patton on February 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book came to my attention while waiting for a back-ordered copy of "Pauli and Jung: The Meeting of Two Great Minds". I became interested in the latter while listening to a review of it on National Public Radio. My interest in the relationship of traditional science and consciousness comes from a combination of training in the areas of applied mathematics, computer science and twenty-five years as a government engineer along with a Buddhist meditation practice of approximately five years. Thus I would describe myself as someone quite meticulous but willing to look for answers outside the box. It is from this perspective I wish to comment.

The first part of this book is dedicated to a brief explanation of statistical methods, ultimately intended as a foundation to support numerous studies suggesting that human perception is not strictly limited to the five senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling). Some anecdotal evidence is also included. This evidence is presented not from the perspective of "why" but from the perspective of "what is". I found this part of the book to be compelling and a good read.

From there the story digresses into an attack on numerous incidences of ignorant behavior by skeptics, many of whom are other scientists commenting on related work, along with instruction about various forms of fallacy associated with their criticism. It is at this point that my interest began to wane. It's not that I cannot relate to the author's frustration in dealing with what is undoubtedly a great deal of prejudice and narrow-mindedness surrounding this subject. It's my belief that true knowledge or wisdom is never frustrated. But how can frustration arise when we arrive at a complete understanding of nature?
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