Has it ever happened to you to hear the phone ringing and know who is calling without looking at the number on the screen?
Rupert Sheldrake is a British biologist known for his unconventional scientific views and his experimental research on telepathy. It is an interview where he speaks of “telephone telepathy” – the ability of some people to understand who is calling them before hearing his voice or see the number on the screen. Are you one of them?
Experiment on telephone telepathy.
The following text is based on the excerpts from an interview with Rupert Sheldrake:
At times I heard many people describe the same experience: they call a friend or acquaintance, and as soon as he hears their voice he says: “Weird, I have just thought about you, the phone rang and it was you!” According to polls, more than 80% of people have similar experiences.
Most scientists consider it just a “coincidence”. But how can we know if this is a coincidence and not telepathy without studying it? So I decided to make a special experiment using the following model:
How the experiment takes place
We ask volunteers, participating in the experiment and claiming to have “telephone telepathy”, to name 4 people, whom they consider to communicate telepathically with. Usually, these are friends or family members. So we communicate with them and inform them that within the next hour we will ask them to call their friend – the volunteer.
At the same time, we close the volunteer in a room where there is a phone without a caller ID. We make sure that the volunteer doesn’t have a mobile phone or any other electronic device. We explain to them that within the next half hour, the phone will ring six times.
At the other end of the line is one of the 4 friends. The series of calls is unpredictable. What we ask is to just hear the phone ringing and to tell us who is calling. Then we study the answers, and after excluding the cases of random probability, we make our conclusions.
What does it mean, according to Sheldrake?
There is no chance for volunteers to cheat. People who call are very far. There is no chance to know the order of calls as they are randomly selected by the lottery. There is no way to detect who is calling using the known human senses.
The only way the volunteers could know who is calling is telepathy. Since the results surpass the law of probabilities, then the person must be telepathic. The correct predictions surpass the luck factor, so the results are positive and have statistical significance.
I have conducted over 1000 experiments on telephone telepathy. We have examined more than 60 people, and most of them showed positive results.
I do not make claims about the “inexplicable” phenomena. I study them. Many people say they experience telepathy. Many believe that their dogs are telepathic. So what is the proper scientific attitude?
Some of my colleagues pretend that it is not happening. But I allow myself to believe that the proper scientific attitude is the study and research.
So does telephone telepathy exist?
To sum up, it’s worth mentioning that most scientists don’t recognize the results of Sheldrake’s experiments as valid. His ideas have been considered pseudoscientific and were widely criticized by the scientific community for a lack of evidence and result inconsistencies.
Even though these kinds of claims look fancy and are interesting to consider, the truth is that there is no conclusive evidence to back them up. So for now, the question of whether telephone telepathy is real or not remains open, no matter how much we would like to believe in this concept’s validity.
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