On Physics and Psi - I

by Sergio Frasca

frasca@roma1.infn.it

http://www.roma1.infn.it/rog/group/frasca/home.html

More than one century of scientific inquiry on paranormal phenomena has enlarged the knowledge of them defining a paradigm. The problems are that

On the contrary, these phenomena "work" in a way that seems completely different from the standard physical (and biological) phenomena. For this reason, even if the proofs of their existence are overwhelming, the majority of the scientific establishment think that must be some errors in the experiments done until now and no genuine paranormal phenomena could exist.

Let us see some paradigmatic differences between a "standard" and a "anomalous" or "paranormal" phenomenon. Let us consider for the moment only the ESP or "cognition" phenomena. A "perception" is, in general, the acquisition of information on the external world, normally acquired by the five senses; the more classical hypothesis for clairvoyance and telepathy has been that there is a sixth sense, of possible "standard" origin, like ELF (extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves) or other, that is responsible of this information exchange. But every known perception (and perceptual channel) has the following paradigmatic peculiarities due not only to the physics of our world, but also to the information theory, i.e. to mathematics. All them are, in general, absent in ESP phenomena:

Models not based on perceptual paradigm don't escape some of these features. I will discuss them in subsequent paper.

There are some other features that make paranormal phenomena particularly difficult to digest:

If, as it seems likely, these features are confirmed, we must face that reality is deeply more complex than the today standard scientific view and we don't know if we will be ever able to understand and control it.


An important feature of "anomalous" phenomena is that they are intrinsically tied to consciousness or volition. It seems that a clairvoyance, a telepathic or a psychokinetic phenomenon make no sense if the agent is not a living being: one can say that the only way to determine the presence of a consciousness is by asserting that the observed thing has paranormal capabilities. A computer that uses PK to achieve its goals, has a goal and a will. A computer that uses telepathy to know something, really knows something. (I don't believe that something like a today computer can want or know anything). Today science is yet very far to understand will and consciousness. I think that the study of "anomalous" phenomena and consciousness can progress only if done together.


A theory that, in principle, can explain easily anomalous phenomena is that of synchronicity. It may be a natural theory of consciousness. The problem is that it is very much more, it is, in my view, the most revolutionary perspective of the world, even if the basic ideas are much older than science. Another problem is that it is intrinsically unscientific and if it is true, may mean that we shall never know anything about these things. This may be a theory whereof one cannot speak, and thereof one must be silent. Or not ?