Here’s some cool stuff to take your mind away from all the recent UFO craziness: early this month Christopher Ryan –best-selling writer and host of the popular podcast Tangentially Speaking– had a conversation with Dr. Dean Radin; one of the most important experimental parapsychologists in the world, who aside from publishing dozens of scientific papers in many prestigious peer-reviewed publications, has also written extensively for the public at large regarding the common misconceptions of what many unfortunately still misinterpret as ‘woo’. This despite the fact that instances of psychic activity have been recorded for decades on reputable laboratories all across the globe, with an almost astronomical odds these could be the result of mere chance or deliberate deception.
Among the many topics covered during this fantastic discussion were: the many similarities between Music and Science; whether what we call ‘genius’ has something to do with what many would call ‘channeling’; the possibility that Hollywood stars and Wall Street bankers are modern shamans expressing their talents in the only way our modern society allows them to; why PSI effects under lab conditions are so tiny in contrast with real-world experiences; why Radin and many of his colleagues eschew testing exceptional individuals (i.e. ‘professional’ psychics) and rely instead on experiments involving dozens of average individuals; why Dr. Radin considers investigating haunted houses to be a huge waste of time (ouch!); the merits of studying presentiment in contrast with precognition; why skeptics perform so poorly in PSI trials; whether scientists and engineers are less suited to perceive psychic activity than say, artistic types; whether or not there is indeed a genetic component linked to psychic abilities, and how the Inquisition played a sort of ‘reverse eugenics’ when they went after people accused of witchcraft; is the human mind better understood as a computer or a radio transmitter? Radin wisely chooses the middle road by saying it’s both. Radin also retold to Chris what to me is still one of the best synchronicities stories I’ve ever come across, and if you haven’t read his book Real Magic or listen to any of his previous interviews, then you are in for a treat!
Incidentally, I played a sort of serendipitous role that propitiated the realization of this podcast interview, back when I was complaining via Twitter on the ignorant behavior of Joe Rogan’s pooh-poohing the very notion of PSI when he had billionaire and paranormal patron Robert Bigelow on his podcast. Dean –who for some strange reason follows me on Twitter(!)– responded thusly to my rant:
Chris, who also follows me on Twitter, took the opportunity to ask Dean for an interview, and luckily for us all he accepted. Dr. Radin is one of those reserved and quiet people in this field who don’t like wasting their time engaging in futile arguments, and doesn’t like to raise his voice in order to be noticed; and at the same time, he’s one of the people we should be paying more attention to, because his research is laying the foundation to a future understanding of the mechanics behind PSI phenomena, and may also offer a glimpse to the true nature of Reality at large –including the things that go bump in the night.