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Is PSI Physically Impossible?

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  • Is PSI Physically Impossible?

    Let's discuss:

    Sean Carroll - "From Particles to People" - TAM 2012 - YouTube

  • #2
    Originally posted by Maaneli
    I just listened to Carroll's talk. You misrepresented him. Nowhere did he say that ESP is impossible. He only said 1) homeopathy, astrology, and spoon-bending, 2) life after death, and 3) the ghost in the machine hypothesis, are ruled out by fundamental physics. ESP does not however logically depend on any of these three things being true. And in any case, his view about consciousness is quite arguable; fundamental physics still doesn't explain how consciousness emerged, and there are serious philosophical arguments (e.g. The Hard Problem) to suggest that it may never be able to. Moreover, some physicists, like Roger Penrose (who's even more distinguished than Sean Carroll) and Nima Arkani-Hamed (also more distinguished than Carroll), think explaining consciousness will require new laws of physics.

    Just copypasta-ing over from the Goalpost thread.


    • #3
      I don't know anything about this Carrol guy, but I had a quick look at the video, and I would say that these kind of people are quite a bit hampered by materialism and the limits of their own logic. So probably what they are saying is that they can't understand that PSI would work, "hence it doesn't work", and they preach that limited version of reality.


      • #4
        '.... In summary, the central point of this paper is merely to point out that the elaboration of orthodox quantum mechanics that achieves the most commonsensical solution to the biocentrism problem parallels an elaboration that naturally accommodates personality survival. Neither of these elaborations appears to require any basic change in the orthodox theory. But both require a relaxing of the idea that physical and mental events occur only when paired together.

        In light of these considerations, strong doubts about personality survival based solely on the belief that postmortem survival is incompatible with the laws of physics are unfounded. Rational science-based opinion on this question must be based on the content and quality of the empirical data, not on a presumed incompatibility of such phenomena with our contemporary understanding of the workings of nature.....'

        - Physicist Henry Stapp, Compatibility of Contemporary Physical Theory with Personality Survival


        • #5
          In short, I'd guess orthodox science rules out most psi phenomena almost by definition.

          Take ESP. These experiments are often performed between people who are well separated, and even in shielded rooms. They are specifically designed to rule out conventional scientific explanations.

          Of course, science only acknowledges the known parts of the subject, so a new form of interaction between people would not be recognised.

          Thus it is inevitably the scientific fringe that is more open to psi phenomena. Clearly they do happen to many people (but that could be selective memory, etc.) but they also happen in laboratory settings. Therefore it would make more sense if science accepted (and improved upon) the evidence, and set about creating a theory that fits the facts!