The Conscious Universe Hardcover – 1 Nov 1998
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Radin is a mix of curiosity, scholarship, technical expertise, and sly wit. (New York Times Magazine)
Looking through The Lost Symbol, it seems that the “new” topic that will benefit from “the Dan Brown effect” is Noetic Science. . . . parapsychology researcher Dean Radin is at the Institute of Noetic Science - these “heretical science” topics are likely to generate much debate. (MSNBC's Cosmic Log) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Director of the Consciousness Research Laboratory at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and twice president of the Parapsychology Association, Dean Radin, Ph.D., has done cutting-edge parapsychology research for AT&T, Stanford, Princeton's Engineering Anomalies Research Lab, the University of Edinburgh, S.R.I. International, and the U.S. Government. He lives in Las Vegas, NV. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
To keep it short, Radin basically claims that the paranormal is real and has proof of it. He starts by defining the concept of Psi, and dedicates many pages trying to explain you the mathematical and statistical background you will need to understand the studies and the meta-analysis of the results. Radin then proceeds to expose all the evidence that has been gathered for the past years, for Telepathy, Perception at a distance and through time, Mind-Matter interaction, Mental interaction with living organisms and field consciousness. His next theme dedicates 50 pages to explain the why scepticism has been limiting the knowledge of Psi phenomena, and even approaches some metaphysics.
The book is very well organized, there is some redundancy, but no more than normal and it is often necessary. Subjects are well separated and the index is very good. What impressed me most was perhaps the way Radin provides the reader with external sources that back up his claims. The text is full of marks to references. You have about 40 pages with notes and references, which you will be able to check for yourself. If Radin claims something you might want to confirm, it most likely tells you where to go find the original document. This aspect alone would be enough to separate this work from many of the pseudocience junk on the market.
You will be left under the impression that the experiences known as "psychic phenomena" are real. Radin never refuses the possibility that these phenomena might be fully understood by science in the future, losing its "paranormal" label, but dedicates his energy in trying to prove that they are no longer based solely upon faith or absorbing anecdotes, or even in few experiments - It shows that these phenomena exist because they have been evaluated in massive amounts of scientific evidence.
Carl Sagan said extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence, and Radin does provide most of the evidence. As younger scientists become aware of these matters and innovative corporations pour resources into psi investigation, there is no doubt that the scientific community is getting very, very curious about something that is going on but cannot be explained.
Radin is very persuasive, many people might not be impressed with his writing on sociology and metaphysics, but his technical expertise on the rest of the book is obvious.
This is a very dense book to review in a short space, so I'll end up by warning those who are expecting a lot of hocus-pocus, ghost stories and x-files scripts. This book has almost nothing of that, Radin only gives a few short "reports" as the intro, but he obviously gives them no value at all and instantly proceeds to crunching the numbers. The studies are sometimes a bit dry for those who are expecting Uri Geller moments (Uri isn't even mentioned) and it might appear as if you're reading something your college forced you to, but once you get interested, it will be a delicious read. Even if you feel you might be challenged by the studies, but you don't need to be a statistician to understand it, Radin will give you the basics. So be warned, it gets zero on the Ghostbusters scale. (In fact, in many parts I could almost see Radin shrugging and saying "well uh, we have no idea on why this happens, but we are completely sure that it does happen for no known reason". Lacking some impact for Hollywood perhaps, but still engaging. :-)
Radin has convinced me that psi phenomena have indeed considerable scientific evidence behind, but that unlike what many pseudo-science fans think, those effects are extremely subtle and hard to control for any good use, at least, at present time. They cannot, however, be ignored as non-existing, or the product of ignorant minds. Nobel Laureate in Physics Brian Josephson for instance said "Radin shows the evidence in favour of paranormal existence is overwhelming".
I highly recommend it. A powerful case for the reality of parapsychological phenomena. Very professional work in a subject that has been plagued by many pseudoscience titles that do nothing but add more noise. What it sometimes likes in fun, it provides in painstaking research.
If you are a sceptic, read it, no matter if you are religious or not, with a scientific background or not. If you buy anything you hear as true, read it too. Most of all, it will challenge you to weigh the facts and think for yourself. But one view is never enough. Be sure to read several of the best sceptical works (many of which Radin mentions in the text and References) and any other you find interesting (Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan is a good title to start with) and you will understand everything better. Well worth the time. I look forward to Radin's next work.
Mr Radin also gives short shrift to gullible New Age "true believers", exposing both they and the skeptics as people publicly committed to belief systems that prevent them from being guided by evidence and reason.
If you have accepted the intellectually fashionable and heavily promoted view that such phenomena are impossible this book will prove a real eye opener.
Dean, doesn't claim that psychic phenomena are just real, nor does he get carried away by the common belief that psi is impossible. He just checks it out for himself and inteprets the result in a very scientific manner. As someone who has studied Advanced Maths and with a highly scientific background I find the interpretation of the statistics used to conform with those used in other areas of science. Even the methods used to make the experiments fair and relevant is what a demanding, unbiased scientist would have done.
The results though are fascinating and mathematically significant. I urge every science lover to not just read this book, but even to keep it.
It would of great benefit for us who love the scientific method of understanding the world; to realise that having a valid opinion about what we can't currently explain requires looking at the evidence first, rather than believing other people's beliefs (about the inexistence of psi in this case) simply because they are commonly held.
I bought this bookfor background research and I think I must have stumbled across a goldmine. Not only does it cover telepathy but also all the other Psi phenomena and it does so in a systematic and informative manner. It describes each area and explains the studies and methods used to test each ability. The results are clearly shown and Radin does not attempt to convince you of its existence, merely to show you the facts. The references section is a godsend especially for me as it has enabled me to consolodate my research. Not only does the book cover the Psi phenomena, it also looks into it's implications which was an added bonus. The book is well written and was so interesting I've read not only the sections on telepathy but the whole book!
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