‘I wanted to explain to Harry and Shirley that what many people think they know about psychic phenomena “ain’t necessarily so.” I wanted to describe how scientists have essentially proven that psi exists, using the same well-accepted experimental methods familiar to scientists in many disciplines. I also wanted to explain why hardly anyone knew this yet. But no one likes a lecture, so instead I wished I just had a book I could hand to them that would explain all this for me. This is that book.’
Dean Radin’s Official website and Excerpt from Chapter 1
Dean Radin's Teaching — From Magic to Religion to Science: What's Next?
Parapsychology and consciousness with Dr. Dean Radin, author and Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Science (IONS)
The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena (1997)
Dean Radin
In Summary

God is in the details. By looking at meta-studies (that is, studies of studies), Dean Radin argues that there is a statistically significant and cumulative case for the existence of psychic phenomena.


Dean Radin earned his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, graduating magna cum laude, with honours in Physics, from the University of Massachusetts. After completing his Master’s degree, he further earned a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois. Post-studies, Radin worked on advanced telecommunications at AT&T Bell Laboratories developing rapid prototyping systems for complex human–computer interfaces. 

For over three decades, Radin has been engaged in research on the topic of consciousness. He has become one of the most eminent and accredited researchers in parapsychology, gaining appointments at Princeton, Edinburgh and SRI International. He has published hundreds of articles and four bestselling books attempting to provide scientific evidence for psychic phenomena (psi) such as telepathy, telekinesis and clairvoyance. His bestselling title, The Conscious Universe (1997), was the first of his books, pointing to a possible future when psychic phenomena might finally be accepted by the sciences.


According to Radin, theories are often initially dismissed as impossible. They then enter the realm of possible but unproven. Eventually they are verified and embraced, with history all too often rewritten to convince the world that the theory in question had been obvious all along. Due to their naturalistic assumptions – and their fear of being associated with pseudoscience – most scientists have placed psi in the first category, dismissing it as theoretically impossible without bothering to engage with any evidence. Even those who do peruse the evidence focus on individual failures rather than broader meta-studies, dismissing positive cases as being either inherently flawed or tampered with. Radin laments that scientists are often so stuck in their old ways that ‘science progresses mainly by funerals, not by reason and logic alone.’

While individual studies may be flawed or influenced by wishful thinking, Radin insists that meta-analysis, which involves merging the results of numerous independent experiments, can provide cumulative evidence for psi. Even though experimental results often only exceed chance by small percentages, when found to be consistent across thousands of test cases, even minor results become statistically significant. For example, in a game of five cards where one of the cards is secretly chosen, the odds of guessing the correct card should only be 20 per cent. If, over the course of one night of play, you managed to guess 25 or 30 per cent correctly, this could be chalked up to good luck. Yet if these inflated results continued over thousands and thousands of nights, then even 5 per cent above chance would be staggering. Radin contends that such meta-results have been found for psi, pointing to meta studies of dream telepathy (which were 13 per cent above chance), Ganzfeld telepathy (12 per cent above chance) or precognition (37 per cent of studies suggested non-random results) among others. Thus, by bringing together multiple experiments via meta-studies, Radin attempts to show that something more than chance is at play.


In the final chapters, Radin explores the potential implications of psi for fields as diverse as physics, medicine, warfare, technology and business. Indeed, if psi were real – and could be studied or even harnessed – then the potential implications would be as enthralling to an entrepreneur as to a wide-eyed child. As Major General Edmund R Thompson said about the government’s forays into psi: ‘We didn’t know how to explain it, but we weren’t so much interested in explaining it as determining whether there was any practical use to it.’

Still beyond any tangible application, there remains the perhaps more provocative possibility that psi could rewrite the laws of nature altogether, breaking down the divide between subjective mind and objective matter. And if this proved the case it would mean the entire universe is conscious.

Further Reading By This Author

After the publication of The Conscious Universe, Radin released Entangled Minds, Supernormal, and Real Magic.

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