Religion
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God50 Voices of DisbeliefA Companion to Buddhist PhilosophyA Companion to Muslim EthicsA Frightening LoveA People's History of ChristianityAdieu to GodAn Ethics for TodayAristotle's ChildrenAugustine's "Confessions"Bad FaithBehind the GospelsBig DreamsBig GodsBody Piercing Saved My LifeBrains, Buddhas, and BelievingBrief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and FaithBuddhism and ScienceBuddhist Boot CampConfucianismConfucianismConfucius and ConfucianismContemplative ScienceCorporal Punishment, Religion, and United States Public SchoolsCourage to SurrenderCross and KhoraDarwin's Gift to Science and ReligionDarwin, God and the Meaning of LifeDeath and the AfterlifeDebating DesignDeeper Than DarwinDivinity of DoubtEmbracing MindEncountering the DharmaEngaging BuddhismEsalenEscape Your Own PrisonEvidence for PsiEvilEvolution and ReligionExplorations in Neuroscience, Psychology and ReligionFaithFaith and Wisdom in ScienceFingerprints of GodFor The Bible Tells Me SoForgivenessFrom Shame to SinGod & TherapyGod Is Not GreatGod Is Not OneGod: The Failed HypothesisHereticHidden DimensionsHooked!Hours with the MysticsHow to See Yourself As You Really AreHow Would Buddha Act?Incorporating Spirituality in Counseling and PsychotherapyInto Great SilenceIslam and the Future of Tolerance: A DialogueJewish DharmaLife After FaithLiving DeeplyLiving with a Wild GodLiving with DarwinMaking Chastity SexyMedicine and Health Care in Early ChristianityMedicine and ReligionMedicine of the PersonMysticism & SpaceNature and the Human SoulNothingOn Life After DeathPanpsychism and the Religious AttitudePathways to SpiritualityPeaceful Death, Joyful RebirthPhilosophers without GodsPhilosophical Myths of the FallPorn UniversityPray the Gay AwayPsychotherapy without the SelfRadical GraceReason, Faith, and RevolutionRecruiting Young LoveReligion without GodReligious and Spiritual Issues in Psychiatric DiagnosisSaving GodScience and NonbeliefScience and Religion at the CrossroadsScience and SpiritualityScience vs. ReligionSecular Philosophy and the Religious TemperamentSelf Hypnosis for Cosmic ConsciousnessSelf, No Self?Sex and the Soul, Updated EditionSmile of the BuddhaSpirit, Mind, and BrainSuperstitionTen Lectures on Psychotherapy and SpiritualityThe Accidental MindThe Belief InstinctThe Bodhisattva's BrainThe Cambridge Companion to AtheismThe Cambridge Companion to Science and ReligionThe Case for GodThe Chosen OneThe Dao of NeuroscienceThe Dark Night of the SoulThe Delight of Being OrdinaryThe Fundamentalist MindsetThe God DebatesThe God GeneThe Hero with a Thousand FacesThe Improbability of GodThe Joy of SecularismThe Language God TalksThe Language of GodThe MiracleThe New AtheismThe New Religious IntoleranceThe Philosophy of ReligionThe Power of FaithThe Power of ForgivenessThe Power of Religion in the Public SphereThe Psychology of Religious FundamentalismThe Psychology of SpiritualityThe Puppet and the DwarfThe Secular OutlookThe Sense of SelfThe Spirit of the BuddhaThe Spirit of Tibetan BuddhismThe Tibetan Book of the DeadThe Trauma of Everyday LifeThe Watkins Dictionary of Religions and Secular FaithsThe Watkins Dictionary of SymbolsTheology, Psychology and the Plural SelfThoughts Without A ThinkerTop SecretUnifying HinduismWays of KnowingWhat Is Buddhist Enlightenment?What Should I Believe?When the Impossible HappensWhy I Left, Why I StayedWilliam James on Ethics and FaithWriting as a Sacred PathYoga, Karma, and RebirthZealot

Related Topics
Evidence for PsiReview - Evidence for Psi
Thirteen Empirical Research Reports
by Damien Broderick and Ben Goertzel (Editors)
McFarland, 2014
Review by Robert Lewis Henry
Jul 14th 2015 (Volume 19, Issue 29)

Paranormal or parapsychological research has always had what would appear to be an 'uphill' battle in terms of recognition in the scientific community.  But as the editors of a new book on the topic "Evidence for Psi: Thirteen Empirical Research Reports" point out in their introduction, in the form of a quote from Carl Sagan, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence; to which Damien Broderick and Ben Goertzel are confident that there is much of the latter in Psi research.  As the title suggests, the book is a collection of research projects and articles on the topic of Psi within a peer-reviewed context.  Its scope of interest, well documented case studies, meta-analyses, and compelling conclusions certainly give one pause when considering the whole of Psi research. 

In the prelude to these 13 case studies, Broderick and Goertzel offer a brief description of Psi and their attempt to narrow the field to a heterogeneous class of phenomena.  In virtue of this narrowed field, to which Broderick and Goertzel are eager to exclude such sensational topics as the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, Witchcraft, ghosts, and other outrageous issues, they highlight those phenomena such as ESP, Mind-Matter Interaction, and survival (the view that the essence of personality survives death).  The phenomena of Psi, as defined by the Parapsychological Association, are argued to have real physical processes that underlie them and as such should encourage more positive research into Psi as a whole. 

Broderick and Goertzel furthermore emphasize the importance of meta-analyses and Bayesian statistical analysis, in contrast to a frequentist approach.  The latter of these is characterized as ignoring the paradigmatic nature of the sciences, whereas the former encompasses a wider theoretical model of the History of Science.  In this spirit, Broderick and Goertzel suggest that such hypotheses as Psi, furtive to specific paradigms of physics, are incompatible to traditional laboratory evidence.  However, this is not to say that Psi is falsifiable or based on unscientific superstition.  Statistical analyses of case studies, to Broderick and Goertzel, present overwhelming evidence of Psi phenomena.  And so, the 13 case studies presented in the book are compelling studies based on meta-analytical, Bayesian principles.

The first research study is "Statistics in Mind-Matter Research," conducted by Jessica Utts.  The researcher, employing a meta-analytical approach, outlines the importance of statistics in disqualifying claims.  Oftentimes, this results in the null effect, but only when ignoring research of patients subjected to the Ganzfeld Effect (the effect when a patient is deprived of all sensory input, replaced by droning images and sounds).Another study, "Physiological Activity and Future Events" features what is referred to as anomalous anticipatory activity, APA, in human physiology and the possibility of predicting future events.  The rest of the research projects move from revisiting the Ganzfeld Effect, Telepathy (even in the context of e-mails and texts), the GCP (Global Consciousness Project-a 15 year collaboration of research that studies the effects of mass consciousness), and even the future of Psi in the scientific community.

The book's main accomplishment is in achieving a legitimatization and authentication of Psi research in the field of Science.  However, when reading the corpus of research provided there almost tends to be an over saturation of statistical, technical language.  The sense is one of a "short man's" syndrome, whose years of being bullied and belittled results in an exceptionally aggressive personality.  And indeed the book gives the impression of having something to prove even in the face of a population of vociferous doubters   However, in spite of this, "Evidence for Psi: Thirteen Empirical Research Reports" provides a comprehensive look at Psi.  It breaks down the discrete elements of Psi, presents reliable and peer-reviewed research on such phenomena, and certainly cracks the door open of skepticism into the possibility of tenable paranormal phenomena in a scientific and philosophical sense.

 

© 2015 Robert Lewis Henry

 

My name is Robert Lewis Henry and I am the author of apologetic and academic material. I have also enjoyed a career as a ghost writer for several publications. I received my BA in Philosophy in 2005 and attended graduate school at Vermont College.  I have also contributed to various academic research projects, collaborating on graduate level papers (theses and dissertations) on religion and religious subjects.  I am the author of "Epistemic Justification: Should it be viewed as a Metaepistemic process."

 


Share

Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature over 7900 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'


Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!


Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716