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BAMAPHIN 22
07-18-2007, 09:34 PM
The unexplained phenomena which science and medicine can't confirm that this are true and does it exist.Do you believe in Levitation, Telekinesis, Teleportation, Psychic Healing, Influencing Plants, Influencing…

http://www.netscape.com/viewstory/2007/07/18/powers-of-the-mind/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fworld-unexplained-mysteries.blogspot.com%2F2007%2F07%2Fpowers-of-mind.html&frame=true

Mike13
07-18-2007, 10:10 PM
Nah I doubt it.

adamprez2003
07-18-2007, 10:54 PM
well the CIA and Russians poured alot of money into Remote Viewing and there were some interesting tests on dogs being aware of their owners tens of miles away so there is some stuff there but I dont know about all of it

ckb2001
07-18-2007, 11:28 PM
Well, there are certainly many theories about mental power mentioned in that article.

Going through them, in general, there's no scientific evidence (a statistically significant result) that suggests humans can retrieve information from the future, from other minds (without any physical contact), move objects without physical contact, influence the weather, or teleportation through one's will.

Now, on the teleportation thing, note that it is physically possible and has been demonstrated on a subatomic scale. When we'll see that technology for macroscopic objects, who knows.

Effects of prayer? Well, that's been studied and depending on the study there is either no effect or some effect (though usually not statistically significant), but the question isn't settled. Anyway, if it does have an effect, it's not going to be for some "miracle" like curing cancer or so.

Effects of talking to plants? Who knows. Again, prove it in a controlled experiment and we'll talk after that. Either way, IF there's an effect it will have nothing to do with some psychic power. It will have something to do with how the plant reacts to the physical sound.

And through all this, keep in mind what "statistically significant" means. It means (usually in these types of experiments) that the null hypothesis (the hypothesis there is no psychic power, in this case) could account for the data at most 5% of the time (by convention). Well, there are precise statistical tests one can do to establish that, and if the result isn't statistically significant one has to throw it out.

For example, if a psychic claims they can read your mind, one can set up an experiment where the psychic must guess the birth date of a person with no other information about the person except say the name of that person. Well, if the experiment is conducted thousands of times, occasionally the psychic will be correct (being even off by one day is counted as being wrong). Say the "psychic" was correct X percent of the time.

So, the question is IF the "psychic" was only guessing with no psychic powers (the null hypothesis), what percent of the time would the guesser guess correctly at least X percent of the time? If that is less than 5%, THEN it's statistically significant.

So, for those here that want to go google for "evidence" of people possessing psychic powers, keep in mind the study has to show the "psychic" can make predictions better than a random guesser could by showing the result is statistically significant. Failure to do that and it's just another unsubstantiated claim meant to alter one's perception of what is true though it isn't.

BigDogsHunt
07-19-2007, 11:43 AM
I have to acknowledge that scientifically speaking no evidence, as CKB explains, exists, however; the power of the mind is one area that I cant help but feel is so un-tapped potentially that eventually its secrets and powers may be revealed.

How?, when?, by whom? I have no clue.

Miamian
07-20-2007, 07:28 AM
I once became convinced that I had a telepathic connection to a co-worker. One weekend for some inexplicable reason I couldn't get the theme song from Winnie the Pooh out of my head. Over and over again it was there like a stamp in my brain and I hadn't seen any stimuli.

At work the next Monday, my co-worker said that one of her little nieces was visiting from out of town and had they bought her that CD. I turned around and exclaimed "that's where it came from! You're telepathic, you know." One of the secretaries said that it was doubtful and my co-worker said that she didn't doubt because of other experiences with her sisters.

Nevertheless, I was skeptical about it, so I thought I'd test out. Before arriving at work the next day I concentrated on her and I suddenly saw the color green very intensely. Guess what color she was wearing from top to bottom.

Aussiefinfan54
07-20-2007, 10:38 AM
nup its a load of rubbish for things like tv shows.

ckb2001
07-20-2007, 01:32 PM
I once became convinced that I had a telepathic connection to a co-worker. One weekend for some inexplicable reason I couldn't get the theme song from Winnie the Pooh out of my head. Over and over again it was there like a stamp in my brain and I hadn't seen any stimuli.

At work the next Monday, my co-worker said that one of her little nieces was visiting from out of town and had they bought her that CD. I turned around and exclaimed "that's where it came from! You're telepathic, you know." One of the secretaries said that it was doubtful and my co-worker said that she didn't doubt because of other experiences with her sisters.

Nevertheless, I was skeptical about it, so I thought I'd test out. Before arriving at work the next day I concentrated on her and I suddenly saw the color green very intensely. Guess what color she was wearing from top to bottom.

Stuff happens. I mean if you guess enough times there is a high probability you'll get not just one thing right, but many consecutively.

Point is, anyone claiming they really do have such a capability is going to have to show they can do better than chance (from a statistical point of view).

If you want to do an experiment here, we can. We can have a random number generator generate either a 0 or a 1 multiple times and you try to guess which it is each time. If we repeat the experiment many times (say 100 times), we can see how well you do compared to someone that is just guessing randomly. Furthermore, it's easy to calculate the distribution of how well one is likely to do if one simply guessed. So, we'd know what percent you'd have to get right in order to say it was statistically significant (I can do the math later once I'm done with stuff here in the lab).

And if you can show that the null hypothesis (that you're doing it by guessing) doesn't hold in your case, well we have a discovery! :lol:

Miamian
07-21-2007, 02:37 PM
Stuff happens. I mean if you guess enough times there is a high probability you'll get not just one thing right, but many consecutively.

Point is, anyone claiming they really do have such a capability is going to have to show they can do better than chance (from a statistical point of view).

If you want to do an experiment here, we can. We can have a random number generator generate either a 0 or a 1 multiple times and you try to guess which it is each time. If we repeat the experiment many times (say 100 times), we can see how well you do compared to someone that is just guessing randomly. Furthermore, it's easy to calculate the distribution of how well one is likely to do if one simply guessed. So, we'd know what percent you'd have to get right in order to say it was statistically significant (I can do the math later once I'm done with stuff here in the lab).

And if you can show that the null hypothesis (that you're doing it by guessing) doesn't hold in your case, well we have a discovery! :lol:
I can only state what happened. The Winnie the Pooh part was not forced, but as I said just to test the possibility, I tried the color thing. The "greenness" that I saw was rather intense.

Something else I neglected to mention because it hasn't happened for some time and I had forgotten about it, but I used to have a sense of when people were arriving. I would here footsteps or a door opening minutes before someone would arrive and it was pretty regular. I didn't hear them otherwise, except when I was at an age when we all hear things.

HansMojo
07-21-2007, 03:36 PM
I can only state what happened. The Winnie the Pooh part was not forced, but as I said just to test the possibility, I tried the color thing. The "greenness" that I saw was rather intense.

Something else I neglected to mention because it hasn't happened for some time and I had forgotten about it, but I used to have a sense of when people were arriving. I would here footsteps or a door opening minutes before someone would arrive and it was pretty regular. I didn't hear them otherwise, except when I was at an age when we all hear things.
Like Deja vu, this is a sign that they have changed something in the Matrix and it's time to look for a hard line and fast.

Miamian
07-21-2007, 03:45 PM
Like Deja vu, this is a sign that they have changed something in the Matrix and it's time to look for a hard line and fast.
More than you think. BTW, it's been awhile; nice to speak with you again.

HansMojo
07-21-2007, 03:49 PM
More than you think. BTW, it's been awhile; nice to speak with you again.
Hey Miamian. Yeah, it's been too long... I hope all is well with you. We're just getting ready for Church and I couldn't resist making a Matrix reference for some reason. :)

Rafiki
07-24-2007, 02:27 PM
Every bit of matter in the universe is simply energy. The mind manipulates energy through the neuron pathways. Whether or not the mind is contained in it's ability to affect the universe (and vice-versa) is so far untestable.

But I believe they can affect each other. There's too many instances of so-called coincidence in which people receive information that is seemingly outside of their possibility of knowledge. People, in their limitless ability to decide and choose their beliefs, also have demonstrated miracles that science can't currently explain. Some attribute this to a God, some to powers possessed by them either by coincidence or through the help of natural or supernatural energies.

Either way, I think we can all agree that there's much more to reality and the universe than we have discovered or have the ability to comprehend.

ckb2001
07-24-2007, 02:37 PM
Every bit of matter in the universe is simply energy. The mind manipulates energy through the neuron pathways. Whether or not the mind is contained in it's ability to affect the universe (and vice-versa) is so far untestable.

But I believe they can affect each other. There's too many instances of so-called coincidence in which people receive information that is seemingly outside of their possibility of knowledge. People, in their limitless ability to decide and choose their beliefs, also have demonstrated miracles that science can't currently explain. Some attribute this to a God, some to powers possessed by them either by coincidence or through the help of natural or supernatural energies.

Either way, I think we can all agree that there's much more to reality and the universe than we have discovered or have the ability to comprehend.

??

You can very easily test what the mind/brain can influence. And what it can influence has so far been shown to lie strictly within the limits of what the laws of physics allow. The brain is just a complex machine, just like your computer is, though how it works and how it's built is totally different (and far more complex). But, testing an individual's ability to influence his/her surroundings is easy.

And as far as coincidences are concerned, humans are notoriously poor at guessing the correct probabilities of events occurring in certain cases. I mean it's a common mistake to think (say in a casino) that if say a "5" came up in a roulette wheel 4 times in a row, then it must be less likely it will come up on the very next turn than if the "5" didn't appear 4 times consecutively prior to the next turn.

That's just false. And studies have shown that for example in basketball, the idea that people go on streaks (for shooting) is mostly wrong. Players, coaches, etc.. mostly believe that you can get "hot", but statistically there's almost no evidence of that.

Point is, people have serious misperceptions about what the probability of something occurring is. That's why you have to actually demonstrate mathematically that the null hypothesis - random guessing - wouldn't account for the data (so the data could be accounted for by the null hypothesis at most 5% of the time).

So, until someone actually demonstrates a phenomenon such as telepathy or all that other "psychic" stuff exists, then as far as we know it doesn't.

Rafiki
07-24-2007, 04:19 PM
My brain, like a computer, is a machine? I don't think so.

Can a computer, without provocation, make assumptions on whatever it likes? Does it spend hours contemplating moral and ethical truths? Does it seek to discover anything unknown, again, without provocation? Does a computer value aesthetics? Has a computer ever added anything of value to society without being directed or inspired by mankind?

The answer is no and will never be the case. The comparison between the artificial and natural intelligence presents some glaring differences. To say that simply because the brain and computers answer questions by logic that they are similar is to marginalize existence to an equation. Perhaps, as a scientist, that's the only answer valid to you- but it does not make it the only possible answer.

ckb2001
07-24-2007, 05:43 PM
My brain, like a computer, is a machine? I don't think so.

Can a computer, without provocation, make assumptions on whatever it likes? Does it spend hours contemplating moral and ethical truths? Does it seek to discover anything unknown, again, without provocation? Does a computer value aesthetics? Has a computer ever added anything of value to society without being directed or inspired by mankind?

The answer is no and will never be the case. The comparison between the artificial and natural intelligence presents some glaring differences. To say that simply because the brain and computers answer questions by logic that they are similar is to marginalize existence to an equation. Perhaps, as a scientist, that's the only answer valid to you- but it does not make it the only possible answer.

Your brain operates on the same laws of physics as any machine does. In that sense it's like any other machine, and that's why you can test what kinds of influences it can have on other objects.

Is the brain actually constructed like your computer? No. Does it work like one? Not in the hard-wired circuitry, though a computer could perform the same kinds of information processing that goes on the brain.


And as far as the rest of your post (so the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs), the only evidence we have of the brain actually doing any "thinking", "feeling", etc.. IS it's information processing. There is basically a 1-1 correlation between the neural circuits that are active and sensations you have, at least as far as all evidence we've gathered so far suggests.

If you lesion certain parts of your brain (or even specific populations of neurons) that specifically process motion in a particular direction, you won't have that sensation. People with lesions show the inability to be aware of and process exactly the kind of information that part of the brain that was lesioned processed.

So, when a human brain "thinks" or "chooses" or "makes assumptions", all it's doing is processing information in essentially a deterministic way (though in practice there's so much noise in the system you have to model it stochastically).

No human has demonstrated the ability to just "assume" something without prior causes that in practice can be modeled deterministically. That you're not aware of those prior causes leads you to think you are "free". But, you can look at what caused every behavior you make (represented in muscle twitches basically) and in principle it's no different than the mechanisms underlying the behavior of machines we build, though again the precise architecture/design is totally different.

So, yes, in principle we can create machines that can "think". The question that needs to be answered (and it's a tough one) is precisely which forms of information processing does the brain use to arrive at different perceptions and decisions it makes?

The reason that's so difficult is because of the scale of the problem. You have an estimated 100 billion neurons in the brain, each with an average of 1000 or several thousand synapses with other neurons. That makes for an extremely complex system. And the main thing holding us back today is the inability to map the precise neural circuitry of parts of the brain easily. It may take a lab something like 1 year to just map out all the neurons one single neuron synapses with (they do that by freezing the neuron, slicing it into millions of thin slices, looking at where there are bulges in the slices, and deducing that's where a synapse occurs, for example.. though recently a means of using a modified virus to map out which neurons are synapsed with a given neuron was developed - that might accelerate the process a bit).