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Telepathy

Telepathy

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'Telepathy' is derived from the Greek terms tele ('distant') and pathe ('occurrence' or 'feeling'). It is a psychic phenomena (Psi) by which the transference of thoughts, ideas, feelings, sensations and mental images occurs between two or more subjects. A person who is able to make use of telepathy is said to be able to read the minds of others. Telepathy, along with psychokinesis forms the main branches of parapsychological research, and many studies seeking to detect and understand telepathy have been done within the field.

Telepathic descriptions are universally found in writings and oral lore. In tribal societies such as the Aborigines of Australia telepathy is accepted as a human faculty, while in more advanced societies it is thought a special ability belonging to mystics and psychics.

Technologically enabled telepathy

Converging Technologies, a 2002 report exploring the potential for synergy among Nano-, Bio-, Informational and Cognitive (NBIC) technologies for enhancing human performance.

Some people occasionally referred to by themselves or others as 'transhumanists', believe that technologically enabled telepathy, coined 'techlepathy', will be the inevitable future of humanity. Kevin Warwick of the University of Reading, England is one of the leading proponents of this view and has based all of his recent cybernetics research around developing practical, safe for directly connecting human nervous systems together with computers and with each other. He believes techno-enabled telepathy will in the future become the primary form of human communication. He predicts that this will happen by means of the principle of natural selection, through which nearly everyone will have the need for such technology for economic and social reasons. - Stephenie Meyers

Telepathy in parapsychology

TelepathyWithin the field of parapsychology, telepathy is considered to be a form of extra-sensory perception (ESP) or anomalous cognition in which information is transferred through Psi. It is often categorized similarly to precognition and clairvoyance. Various experiments have been used to test for telepathic abilities. Among the most well known are the use of Zener cards and the Ganzfeld experiment.

Zener cards are cards marked with five distinctive symbols. When using them, one individual is designated the 'sender' and another 'receiver'. The sender must select a random card and visualize the symbol on it, while the receiver must attempt to determine that symbol using Psi. Statistically, the receiver has a 20% chance of randomly guessing the correct symbol, so in order to demonstrate telepathy, they must repeatedly score a success rate that is significantly higher than 20%. If not conducted properly, this method can be vulnerable to sensory leakage and card counting.

When using the Ganzfeld experiment to test for telepathy, one individual is designated the receiver and is placed inside a controlled environment where they are deprived of sensory input, and another is designated the sender and is placed in a separate location. The receiver is then required to receive information from the sender. The exact nature of the information may vary between experiments.

Types of telepathy

Parapsychology describes several different forms of telepathy, including latent telepathy and precognitive telepathy.

Latent Telepathy, formerly known as 'deferred telepathy', is described as being the transfer of information, through Psi, with an observable time-lag between transmission and receipt.

Precognitive Telepathy is described as being the transfer of information, through Psi, about the future state of an individual's mind.

Skepticism and Controversy

The field which studies certain types of paranormal phenomena such as telepathy is called parapsychology. There is a consensus among parapsychologists that some instances of telepathy are real. Skeptics say that instances of apparent telepathy are explained as the result of fraud or self-delusion and that telepathy does not exist as a paranormal power.

Parapsychologists and skeptics agree that many of the instances of more popular psychic phenomena, such as mediumism, can be attributed to non-paranormal techniques such as cold reading. Magicians such as Ian Rowland and Derren Brown have demonstrated techniques and results similar to those of popular psychics, but they prefer psychological explanations instead of paranormal ones. They have identified, described, and developed complex psychological techniques of cold reading and hot reading.

A technique which shows statistically significant evidence of telepathy on every occasion has yet to be discovered. This lack of reliable reproducibility has led skeptics to argue that there is no credible scientific evidence for the existence of telepathy at all. Skeptics also point to historical cases in which were discovered flaws in experimental design and occasional cases of fraud. Parapsychologists such as Dean Radin, president of the Parapsychological Association, argues that the statistical significance and consistency of results shown by a meta-analysis of numerous studies provides evidence for telepathy that is almost impossible to account for using any other means.

References:
Wikipedia - Telepathy

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