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Old 04-26-2016, 06:56 AM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is online now
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 10,626
Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
The straight dope in a nutshell: Is is all complete and total bullshit.

A friend once remarked how, on many evenings, his wife would bring him a cup of tea just as he was thinking to himself that a cup of tea would be nice right about now! He was suggesting ESP was involved somehow, but knowing of Occamís razor, I offered a much more plausible alternative: that after having been married to each other for decades, she had constructed a pretty good mental model of him in her head and knew what he liked and when he liked it. No Ethernet link between their brains was required; her model of him was accurate enough so that nine times out of ten, when she brought him a cup of tea, he actually wanted it.

And thatís usually the case. Any time you think thereís something extraordinary going on, itís far more likely that thereís something ordinary going on. Some individuals have amazing ability to extract subtle-but-useful information from the usual streams of data coming into their brain Ė vision, hearing, taste, smell, touch Ė but Iím not aware of any repeatable clinical tests in which these ordinary data streams were verifiably interrupted and someone was still able to collect information from a truly extrasensory input.

To my knowledge, the 52-year-old One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge has still not been won.