Classic Text on Consciousness and E.S.P Made Available Online

Quantum Consciousness

Norman writes:

A classic text of the "Hippies Saving Physics" ESP-researching '70s has been posted to arXiv by Sir Brian Josephson. The 200-page book (proceedings of a Cambridge symposium on consciousness) was edited by Josephson and V. S. Ramachandran, with a preface by Freeman Dyson, who remarks: "The authors of this book ... are accepting a certain risk that their orthodox colleagues will consider them a little soft-headed ... [especially the biologists because biologists] have made the meaninglessness of the universe into a new dogma."

Link: "Consciousness and the Physical World" - Edited Proceedings of an Interdisciplinary Symposium on Consciousness Held at the University of Cambridge in January 1978

News Briefs 15-07-2014

I'm not sure I like the direction computer gaming is heading...

Quote of the Day:

Never turn your back on Fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.

Hunter S. Thompson

Rupert Sheldrake Discusses Morphic Resonance and Animal Telepathy with Scientific American

Rupert Sheldrake

The website of Scientific American currently has an excellent feature and interview with 'maverick biologist' Rupert Sheldrake, via science writer John Horgan. Though he considers himself a 'psi skeptic', Horgan's piece is warm and open-minded (we find out that Sheldrake does a good impression of his late friend, Terence McKenna) - very pleasant to see these 'heretical' topics discussed in such a convivial manner for a change.

The article covers many topics, but I thought Rupert's description of his theory of 'morphic resonance' was a very good summary for anybody not intimately familiar with, so have excerpted the relevant parts below. Make sure you head on over and read the entire piece though:

Morphic resonance is the influence of previous structures of activity on subsequent similar structures of activity organized by morphic fields. It enables memories to pass across both space and time from the past. The greater the similarity, the greater the influence of morphic resonance. What this means is that all self-organizing systems, such as molecules, crystals, cells, plants, animals and animal societies, have a collective memory on which each individual draws and to which it contributes. In its most general sense this hypothesis implies that the so-called laws of nature are more like habits.

...The idea of morphic resonance came to me when I was doing research at Cambridge on the development of plants. I was interested in the concept of morphogenetic, or form-shaping, fields, but realized they could not be inherited through genes. They had to be inherited in some other way. The idea of morphic resonance came as a sudden insight. This happened in 1973, but it was a radical idea, and I spent years thinking about it before I published it in my first book, A New Science of Life, in 1981.

...There is a lot of circumstantial evidence for morphic resonance. The most striking experiment involved a long series of tests on rat learning that started in Harvard in the 1920s and continued over several decades. Rats learned to escape from a water-maze and subsequent generations learned faster and faster. At the time this looked like an example of Lamarckian inheritance, which was taboo. The interesting thing is that after the rats had learned to escape more than 10 times quicker at Harvard, when rats were tested in Edinburgh, Scotland and in Melbourne, Australia they started more or less where the Harvard rats left off. In Melbourne the rats continued to improve after repeated testing, and this effect was not confined to the descendants of trained rats, suggesting a morphic resonance rather than epigenetic effect. I discuss this evidence in A New Science of Life, now in its third edition, called Morphic Resonance in the US.

...I would like there to be much more research on morphic resonance and I would like to see a lot more evidence for it. If there were, it would not necessarily refute materialism, but could expand the materialist worldview, which has become excessively dogmatic, as I show in my recent book Science Set Free (called The Science Delusion in the UK). I think something like morphic resonance is necessary to make sense of inheritance, memory, the evolutionary nature of nature, and many other phenomena. Lee Smolin, the theoretical physicist, recently put forward a similar idea, which he calls “the principle of precedence,” and perhaps his hypothesis might mesh in better with established science, since it is formulated in the context of quantum physics. The main question is whether or not the effects predicted by the hypothesis of morphic resonance – or the principle of precedence – actually happen.

P.Z. Myers and company getting frothy at the mouth in 3, 2, 1...

Link: Scientific Heretic Rupert Sheldrake on Morphic Fields, Psychic Dogs and Other Mysteries

Related:

All Hail Breaks Loose in Siberia! (VIDEO)

It's like something out of The Day After Tomorrow: The video below captures how a group of terrified beach-goers in Novosibirsk, Siberia, are trying to flee from a sudden hail storm which completely disrupted a perfect summer day of 99°F (37°C)(!).

Siberia is known the world over for its ice - but hailstorms of this intensity are rare in summer, when temperatures are similar to Mediterranean resorts.

Towels, beach mats and personal possessions were sent flying by heavy winds as the hailstones pummelled bathers and the beach.

'If we die, I love you,' a female voice is heard saying on dramatic video footage of the deluge.

блин природа вы страшно! (That's Russian for 'Damn Nature you scary!')

Link: Freak hail storm hits Siberian beach in mid-summer - extraordinary pictures

(H/T Sploid & Geekologie)

News Briefs 14-07-2014

The wow, the woo and the WTF?

Thanks to Kat for links

Quote of the Day:

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

Plato

A Match made in Heaven: Graham Hancock and the Massive Megaliths of Baalbek

Trilithon stone at Baalbek

The massive megaliths found at the Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek always make for my all-time favourite "WTF?!" images of ancient sites. I posted the historical image above a while back here on the Grail just to share the love, but now we've perhaps got an even better one: our good friend Graham Hancock has posted an image to Facebook of him atop one of the Baalbek megaliths, taken by his wonderful photographer wife, Santha Faiia:


The visit to Baalbek is a part of Graham's research for his upcoming 'sequel' to the best-selling Fingerprints of the Gods, titled Magicians of the Gods. Be sure to like his Facebook page (you can do so by clicking the Like button in the image above) or follow him on Twitter for ongoing updates regarding his research. And of course, you can read much more about Graham and his body of work at his official website.

News Briefs 10-07-2014

Who sez the power of prayer doesn't work??

Thanks to Lon.

Quote of the Day:

"We have to stop. Brazil isn't the best and hasn't been for many years. We have to see what is ahead in the future."

~Carlos Eduardo Barata, a drunken aficionado commenting on the Mineirazo

Synchronicity or Coincidence? Parapsychologist Dean Radin Tells a Strange Personal Tale

Synchronicity

Dean Radin is best known as a scientist who examines possible 'psi' abilities in others, working at the Institute of Noetic Sciences on experiments on topics ranging from telepathy and precognition through to the effects of consciousness on quantum experiments. But the seasoned researcher has also had his own brushes with the stranger side of reality, including the massive synchronicity he personally experienced in the year 2000 involving another psi researcher (and lead designer of the Apple Powerbook) Jon Krakower.

I'll let Dean tell the story himself:

What do you think? Evidence that our minds/reality have certain undiscovered connections, or just a massive coincidence?

Strange 'Glowing' Clouds Sighted Across Europe

Noctilucent clouds over Moscow

Uh-oh Moscow, who ya gonna call? Photographer Alexander Lukinsky took the incredible image above of strange, ethereal clouds hovering above the Russian capital on Tuesday night. But rather than signaling the impending arrival of Gozer the Gozerian, what Lukinsky caught on his camera was a relatively rare phenomenon known as noctilucent ('night-shining') clouds.

Noctilucent clouds are still surrounded by mystery. There are no recorded observations of them prior to 1885, suggesting they are a relatively new meteorological phenomenon, and possibly linked to global warming. What we do know is that they occur at incredible altitudes: at 76–85 kilometers (46–51 miles) high, they are above the stratosphere. This height helps give them their eerie appearance: the tiny ice crystals from which they are composed are hit by the sun from underneath - giving them a silvery-blue appearance - despite the sun being below the horizon line, meaning the viewer sees these shining clouds from a position of darkness.

While they are rarely sighted, it seems that noctilucent clouds are showing themselves a bit more lately - astrophotographer Christoph Malin captured the time-lapse footage below in London last week, and many other amateur sky-watchers have captured the clouds on camera as well.