PA/SSE Convention Spotlight:
Dean Radin, PhD
will be joining us in Boulder, Colorado this June, where he will present three different research papers (summarized below*) on topics related to psi research. Dr. Radin is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). Before joining the research staff at IONS in 2001, he held appointments at AT&T Bell Labs, Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, and SRI International. He is author or coauthor of over 250 technical and popular articles, three dozen book chapters, and three books including The Conscious Universe
, Entangled Minds
, and the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award winner, Supernormal
. He is a past president of the Parapsychological Association and the 2015 winner of the association's Charles Honorton Integrative Contributions Award
A Disturbance in the Force: Exploring Collective Consciousness at Burning Man
Radin conducted experiments in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 at the Burning Man festival in the northern Nevada desert. Two ceremonies at Burning Man attract especially high focused attention by tens of thousands of people; these are known as the Man Burn and the Temple Burn. The experiences reported during these events are variously described as an â€œenergetic shift,â€ or as a feeling of â€œelectricity in the air.â€ These experiences are reminiscent of a â€œdisturbance in the Forceâ€ because they appear to be evoked by groups of people focusing intently on the same event, creating unusual periods of mental coherence. If the Force is a metaphorical description of a real field-like phenomenon that permeates the physical world and is intimately correlated with all living systems, then during periods of collective mental coherence one might predict that the rest of the physical world would also exhibit periods of coherence.
To explore this idea, Radin and his team monitored physical systems designed to produce maximum entropy (in the form of truly random number generators) before, during, and after the main Burning Man ceremonies. The combined results of four experiments, involving different numbers and kinds of random number generators, including novel generators of our own design, showed that the random outputs deviated from chance expectation during both the Man Burn and the Temple Burn events. This outcome was consistent with previously reported results studying proposed â€œconsciousness fields;â€ it suggests that the Field may be more than an entertaining metaphor.
Toward an Energy Medicine Technology
Is it possible to capture energetic signals associated with the act of energy healing and then use those signals to promote healing outcomes? To explore this question, Dean Radin and his team built a sensor system consisting of 38 transducers: eleven 3-axis magnetometers, a one-axis geomagnetometer, two electromagnetic sensors, and two Caduceus antennas designed to detect longitudinal or so-called scalar electromagnetic waves. This sensor array was used to record healing and control (non-healing) activities in some 50 recording sessions, all of which were held inside a solid steel, double-walled electromagnetically shielded chamber.
Occasional small-magnitude deviations were observed during healing periods as compared to control periods, but the deviations did not appear in a systematic way. Surprisingly, when some of the 38-channel recordings were converted into stereo audio files, persons sensitive to healing energies subjectively reported that the sounds produced by those audio files felt similar to the effects produced by healers. The primary component of these signals that seemed to capture the healing effects were traced to the two Caduceus antennas.
The next phase of this experiment will be to expose cell cultures, including human stem cells, to these audio files to see if they objectively encourage healing outcomes.
Effect of Intentionally Influenced Water on Germination of Arabidopsis Seeds
(with Yung-Jong Shiah and Hsu-Liang Hsieh)
Arabidopsis is a small flowering plant in the mustard family that contains a flavoprotein called cryptochrome, a blue light receptor found in all plants and animals (including humans). There is evidence that cryptochrome also has quantum biological properties, used for example in avian magnetonavigation. As such, cryptochrome may be a candidate biological receptor for quantum phenomena such as entanglement and observational effects.
To explore possible quantum-mind-mediated effects of cryptochrome under double-blind conditions, Shiah, Hsieh, and Radin studied whether Arabidopsis seeds would show differences in the length of the stem of a germinating seedling (called the hypocotyl, short for hypocotyledonous stem) when watered with intentionally â€œtreatedâ€ vs. identical but untreated water. A single source of water was divided into two parts; one half was â€œimprintedâ€ with intention for improved growth by three experienced senior Buddhist monks, and the other half was used as untreated control water.
Their results support the hypothesis that intentionally imprinted water enhanced growth in an Arabidopsis mutation containing the cryptochrome gene His-CRY2. This suggests that cryptochrome may be a component of living systems that is particularly sensitive to intentional influence; it also provides a clue about potential links between subjective intention and behavior of the elementary physical world.
*These summaries are shortened/edited versions of the extended abstracts. Look for the official release of the PA/SSE convention abstracts in late May/early June for more details on these studies. Or bet yet...join us in Boulder!