Missed this last week: ‘psi statistician’ Professor Jessica Utts was featured in a short news story last week, in which she commented via email on her investigations into the validity of positive psi experiments, in particular her work assessing the U.S. government’s ‘Stargate’ remote viewing program:
I definitely think there is a place for parapsychology in intelligence gathering, but it’s somewhat limited by two things. First, although remote viewing and similar abilities work well enough that we can reject chance guessing as the explanation, the results are usually not completely correct.
Occasionally, the remote viewer produces a striking match to a target, but there is no way to know when that has happened until we know the target. Even experienced remote viewers don’t know when they have done well and when they haven’t until they see the target.
So I think remote viewing can be useful, but it’s not going to work every time, and it’s not going to give 100 percent accurate results. When all other methods have failed, or in combination with other intelligence, I think it can be useful.
Jessica Utts’ conclusion on psi results is often overlooked when the topic is discussed – for instance, in his recent book Physics of the Impossible, Professor Michio Kaku dismisses Stargate by citing the (CSICOP-biased) AIR committee report. He makes no mention at all that Utts – a very well-respected statistician – concluded quite the opposite:
Using the standards applied to any other area of science, it is concluded that psychic functioning has been well-established. The statistical results of the studies examined are far beyond what is expected by chance…there is little benefit to continuing experiments designed to offer proof, since there is little more to be offered to anyone who does not accept the current collection of data.
Unfortunately, parapsychological research will never get the same standards applied as other areas of science. And so the dance continues…