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The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena Hardcover – July 18, 1997
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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. Its 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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The main section of the book, entitled "Evidence", is about psi-experiments and an analysis of their results. Some phenomena, such as telepathy, clairvoyance (remote viewing), pre-cognition (knowing the future), and psychokinesis (mental manipulation of matter), are statistically proven to have an effect, having been researched thoroughly. Other phenomena, such as prayer-healing and field-consciousness (a unified consciousness between many people who focus on one thing) have not been researched thoroughly enough to prove that they have an effect, but what research there is has generally been positive, and is presented. What is not discussed are phenomena such as poltergeists and out-of-body experiences that cannot be researched in laboratories. The author makes it clear that he takes a strictly scientific approach to psi and therefore limits himself to laboratory-controlled evidence.
In the course of the discussion, many fascinating, though tangential, details of psi are mentioned. For example, in discussing remote viewing, the author quotes a study that found that among its participants, a mere one-percent was able to do remote viewing with consistency, and practice did not help their abilities to improve. In discussing psychokinesis, the author quotes a study that found that when two people worked together to produce a psychokinetic result, if they were a bonded couple, then their outcome was *four* times that of a single person, illustrating the magnified effect of teamwork. A fascinating discussion is also included about the connection between psi ability and fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field ("gyro-magnetic fluctuations"), and how this correlates to the lunar cycle.
Another theme that runs throughout this book is the debunking of skeptical arguments that try to cast doubt on the existence of psi. A few chapters (13, 14 and part of 15) are devoted to explaining the positions of skeptics, why they are wrong, and what motivates them to continue to deny psi even after it has been proven to exist. While all this argumentation strengthens the case for psi, for the average reader, who is not a hardened skeptic, it is overdone and redundant.
While the content of this book is valuable, it is written dryly, in a way that does not engage the reader. At times it is unclear, not giving the reader a thorough understanding of the topic. Nor is it well-structured. For example, the author's credentials are not established until the postscript; before the reader is introduced to what psi-research is, a detailed discussion about the methods used in the research is put forth. All this led to my often feeling frustrated while reading this book.
If you are a hardened skeptic, and want a book that goes great lengths in explaining why skeptics are wrong, then this book is for you. If not, then, while this book has a lot of important content, there may be better-written books on this topic that you will enjoy more.
I find it suspect that mainstream science publications and institutions are still using their tired old claims of PSI being "debunked" as "fraud" when clearly the only fraud here is people who reiterate a falsehood as fact ad nauseum.
I accept the existence of psychic phenomena...for me it is difficult to rule out anything as impossible in this still very mysterious universe. It is indeed a great mystery in and of itself that science still fears taking on this study of PSI, and certainly very arrogant to dismiss it. Dean is ( sadly) ahead of his time, as are a few others who choose to look into these matters in a rigorous manner. Dogma, whether it's religious or scientific, is really getting old! I wish more people of Dean Radin's powerful intellect would take the leap into truly investigating what is not yet understood. I believe he is exactly right in saying that we have so much to gain by moving forward on this front.
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Dean Radin PhD is an amazing and I MEAN AMAZING!Read more