Dean Radin – 2
insane individuals can wipe out large sections of the planet, and that’s a troubling thought.
David: Assuming that we do survive, how do you envision the future evolution of the human species?
Dean: I would say that we have an enormous amount of inertia, so we’re unlikely to change very much in the short term. On the other hand, there’s also a lot of new evolutionary pressures–environmental changes, demands on our intellect because of the rise of information, and new advances in science and technology. Anyone of those can spawn unattended consequences that might force a very fast physical or mental changes. A hundred years might seem too short a time to see much happening, but you never know. A human mutation could be born tomorrow which turns out to be a lot better than what we currently are. After a couple of dozen generations that new species could significantly change the world. In fact, ultimately a single powerful mutation, especially a human with highly enhanced psychic abilities, could completely transform the entire world in 20 to 30 years. One hopes that such a mutation would be kindly and compassionate, but the universe has room for many variations and one never knows. Also, a compassionate act from one person’s perspective might seem cruel and unjust to another.
David: What are some of the latest developments in psi research?
Dean: I think the last time we spoke in 1998 I may have been the only person who had been talking about the “Presentiment” experiment. Since then I’ve conducted many more experiments looking at this effect. Presentiment was the term I used unconscious precognition. This is an experiment that I talk about in my book. The idea is we’re testing the notion that intuitive hunches are sometimes caused by perception of your future, something, usually of an emotional nature, that’s about to occur to you.
In my version of the experiment a person is wired up to measure their skin conductance, and it’s recorded continuously. They sit in front of a computer screen, and they’re asked to press a button, whenever they wish. They press a button, and the screen is black. Five seconds later an image appears. The image is randomly selected from either a pool of calm images, like a tree or a cup, or emotional images, like either a violent or a sexual scene. That image stays on screen for three seconds. Then the image goes away, and they get a chance to cool down for at least ten seconds. Then, whenever they wish, they can press a button and the trial begins again with a new randomly selected picture. The hypothesis is that, if we are affected by our immediate future–in this a case a future five seconds down the line–then skin conductance should begin to rise before an emotional picture, but not before a calm picture. And that is what we see.
Since I conducted my first experiments looking at this effect, about six other groups have successfully replicated it. The most recent replication, by Ed May and James Spottiswoode, used an audio version of the test that I did, and they got incredibly good results. Their overall statistical result was millions to one against chance, using a simpler method of analysis and a more rigorous design in many ways. So it’s encouraging because it means that not only can the effect be replicated, but ways have been found to make it even stronger.
So that’s one development which is somewhat new. The other one is that about a year ago a short article came out in Neuroscience Letters, which is a mainstream journal for short reports in neuroscience. The article talked about an experiment looking at correlations in the EEGs of isolated people, where one person gets a stimulus, like a light flash, and then you look in the brain of a distant person to see whether there’s a corresponding response.
David: What’s the connection between the two people? Do they know each other?
Dean: Yes, like two friends who come together, and they’re told to “feel the presence” of the other person. They meditate for a short while beforehand to intensify that feeling, and then they’re separated. Assuming some form of interconnectedness exists, then you would expect that if you poke one person, that the other person will go “ouch!” What you actually look for is evoked potentials in the brains of the two people. So this was a study published in Neuroscience Letters, and it was significant. I know the people who did the study, and they’re very rigorous about what they do.
The night after reading the article I had a dream that if I ran a similar study, in a certain way, and if I could finish the entire experiment from beginning to end in three weeks, then I would be able to significantly replicate that study. So I woke up in