> Dean Radin, Ph.D.


> The Boundary Between Mind and Matter



>Dean Radin, President of the Boundary Institute and author of the

>award-winning book, The Conscious Universe (1997, HarperCollins),

>has advanced degrees in electrical engineering and educational

>psychology. He was a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell

>Laboratories and at GTE Laboratories, where he was engaged in R&D

>on a wide variety of advanced telecommunications products and

>systems. For sixteen years, he has conducted experimental studies

>of psi phenomena in academia and industry, including appointments

>at Princeton University and SRI International. Prior to becoming

>President of the Boundary Institute, he was in charge of a psi

>research program at Interval Research Corporation in Palo Alto,



>Dr. Radin was elected President of the Parapsychological

>Association, an affiliate of the American Association for the

>Advancement of Science (AAAS), in 1988, 1993, and 1998. He also

>served as a Counselor in the Society for Scientific Exploration

>from 1986 to 1994, and was Program Chair for the Society's annual

>meetings in 1987 and 1997.


>Dr. Radin has been interviewed about his research by many

>magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, Psychology

>Today, Fast Company, Newsweek, and New Scientist. He has appeared

>in dozens of television programs, most recently PBS's Closer To

>Truth and is author or co-author of 175 journal articles and

>technical reports.


>Over the last half-century, over a hundred scientists from academic

>and industrial laboratories around the world have quietly studied a

>strange prediction of quantum theory: The act of observation should

>directly influence physical systems. The specific question posed by

>these scientists has centered on whether certain types of

>observations, in particular mental intention, can directly influence

>physical systems. The results of the experiments strongly indicate

>that certain subjective states do affect certain physical states to

>a small degree.


Dr. Radin began by showing a videotape of some scientific experiments the were conducted with Uri Geller in 1972 at SRI in Menlo Park. On the tape were illustrations of being able to send and receive simple iconic pictures with great accuracy. They also did experiments where he was asked to sense without touching them which of a dozen or so sealed aluminum canisters a test object was in. This he was able to do for steel balls or water but not for sugar cubes. The probability that he would have been able to achieve those results by chance were given as less than one in a million.

Then he broke down the wide field of psychic phenomenon into ESP (Extrasensory perception) and MMI (Mind Matter Interaction). ESP of the type illustrated by Uri Geller is not unique, but because it is not common, it is hard to find statistically significant analysis of the phenomenon. MMI work, on the other hand, can quickly be differentiated into two categories, "spoonbending" and things like affecting the probability that a dice will land with a certain side up. Dr Radin's typical experience was that spoonbending often turns out to be a parlor trick, but the probability kind has been studied enough that there is clearly something interesting there.

There are two kinds of probability study that have been done enough times that a meta-study makes sense. These are dice studies and random number generator studies. During the time from the 1920s to the 1940s, several hundred papers were published about experiments where people were asked to try to roll specific numbers on perfect dice, and the answers were compared to what you would expect from chance. Since the 1960s, there were many papers (about 450) written about people trying to affect the output of random number generators. These were used as the inputs for the metastudy he told us about.

Dr. Radin showed what happened when you total up the information from all the dice studies. Clearly there was a deviation from the results that chance would have predicted in most of the cases that were reported. The question was, how many studies would have to have been filed instead of published to show that these studies were part of a statistical continuum. He briefly explained what a Z axis plot was, and then showed that the published results did look like the two sigma or more cases from a bell curve that you would expect. The results were quite similar for the random number generator studies, indicating that there is a real phenomenon being discussed in both cases.

After presenting his results, there was some Q&A. In response to a question about the distribution of MMI capabilities like those studied in the papers, he said that the Army had found that about half a percent of the general population has the abilities studied, and that it seems to be independent of culture (For example, in Brazil the culture strongly encourages this, whereas the American culture discounts it. In neither country is the ability any stronger, nor is it any more widely found.) In a particular person, the biggest predictor of MMI ability was a person's belief that it would be possible to do the task, and the second biggest predictor was a family background that respected the ability.

Tian Harter

In a message dated 10/25/00 8:12:53 PM, WaltonCA@aol.com writes:

>What is matter? Never mind.

>What is mInd? No matter.


I do think there is some connection between your mind and your brain.

Does it matter? There are people that say they think with their genitals.

Tian Harter

In a message dated 10/26/00 9:54:15 PM, WaltonCA@aol.com writes:

>Are "mind" and "brain" synonymous?


>There is established molecular connection between the brain and the body.


>The knowledge is well beyond the earlier conjectures.

>Several thousand "neurosecretory transmitter" molecules have been identified.

>The nerve endings of the brain secrete molecules which trigger various

>glands throughout the body. These glands in turn trigger other glands.


I find it just as likely that there is overlap in meaning between the words "prayer" and "coincidence."

Tian Harter