It's a bad day for ghost research, though you can be sure Discovery or History Channel will fill in the gap when they run out of Shroud of Turin articles.
The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) program at Princeton University, which attempted to discover if there was any way the mind could influence physical reality, closing its physical facilities at the end of February. Well, they can just ESP the research, they don't need physical facilities.
The purpose of the program, established in 1979 by Robert G. Jahn, then Dean of the university’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, was "to study the potential vulnerability of engineering devices and information processing systems to the anomalous influence of the consciousness of their human operators." The research was funded by gifts from Princeton alumni James S. McDonnell, patriarch of the McDonnell Douglas Aerospace empire, Laurance Rockefeller, Donald C. Webster, and by numerous other philanthropic benefactors.
And it wasn't a bad idea at the time. The 1970s were quirky in lots of ways - pet rocks, disco and David Bowie come to mind - so a real study of ESP and telekinesis could put an end to speculation and people exploiting the gullible for profit.
Jahn and Brenda Dunne, a developmental psychologist from the University of Chicago who has served throughout as PEAR's laboratory manager, together with other members of their interdisciplinary research staff, focused on two major areas of study: anomalous human/machine interactions, which addresses the effects of consciousness on random physical systems and processes; and remote perception, wherein people attempt to acquire information about distant locations and events.
Did it work? No, but they still believe and say they have 'clear evidence' that human thought and emotion can produce measurable influences on physical reality but they mostly developed theoretical (read: hypothetical) models that attempted to accommodate the empirical results, because cannot be explained by any currently recognized scientific model. If science does not confirm what you want, invent new science.
Jahn and Dunne currently serve as advisers to Psyleron, www.Psyleron.com, a Princeton, NJ-based enterprise that produces a line of state-of-the-art technology to enable public exploration of human/machine anomalies. But that isn't the extent of their work. They recently prepared a 150-page anthology of PEAR publications pertinent to complementary and alternative medicine.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- The Genetic History Of Ice Age Europe
- Exodus 2100: Due To Climate Change
- What Lies Beneath West Antarctica?
- Three Earth-sized Planets Found Orbiting A Tiny Nearby Star
- Professor Frenkel: Why Shouldn't We Drop Algebra From Our Education System?
- Matter Can Potentially Accelerate The Expansion Of The Universe
- Scientists Discover Oral Sex In Spiders
- "Something we don't pay much attention to is that Syria, Libya, and Iraq populations have gone up..."
- "I get the urge to quote H.L. Mencken, so here goes: “The whole aim of practical politics is to..."
- "I'm glad proving yourself wrong can be so amusing. 1. If you bothered to read the Guardian link..."
- "Nobody predicted the ice cap would be gone by 2013... 1. You might want to use language a little..."
- "Oh Brother, Bernt Balchen was a polar aviator, not climate scientist. In fact, he wasn't even a..."
- 3 Reasons Aerial Pesticides Are Not Causing Autism
- Most Stores Refuse E-Cigarette Sales to Minors
- Vitamin C Conundrum for the Organic Crowd
- Newsweek Journalist Loses His Mind, Time-Traveling Radioactivity And More Media Links
- This Single-Celled Organism Is Capable Of Learning
- Study Says Bilingual Kids’ Brains Are Smarter & Faster
- UC San Diego bioengineers create first online search engine for functional genomics data
- UK Health Check has only modest impact on risk factors for cardiovascular disease
- Adult brain prunes branched connections of new neurons
- Five new breast cancer genes and range of mutations pave way for personalized treatment
- Quantum sensors for high-precision magnetometry of superconductors