Why psychic abilities probably aren’t possible

May 28, 2010 10:47 pm Published by 4 Comments

And like our existing senses, they wouldn’t be limited to only certain people. Psychic abilities would be as widespread as eyes and ears. In fact, the idea that only certain people have psychic abilities, and well-defined ones at that, is ridiculous.

Psychic abilities also wouldn’t be limited just to humans. They would be widespread throughout the animal kingdom, just as eyes and ears are. Some animals would evolve the ability to be undetectable by psychic abilities, like camouflage hides an animal from sight (see ysalamiri). Others would evolve the ability to create psychic decoys, or imitate the psychic signatures of other animals.

In short, it would be pretty obvious that psychic abilities existed, if they did exist.

Naturally, this line of logic has its flaws. I certainly don’t intend to disprove the existence of psychic abilities with this article, but I think that I’ve demonstrated how unlikely psychic abilities are, at least on Earth. Maybe they’ve evolved on another planet, with an entirely different ecosystem. But they haven’t evolved here.

It’s also worth pointing out that I’m not ruling out artificial psychic abilities, which are probably no more than 100 years away. We have the precursors to such technology in widespread use today, in the form of computers and data networks. We can have one device transmit information wirelessly to another device. It’s not that much of a stretch to think that one day, we’ll be able to implant computers into the human brain, which will translate our emotions or thoughts into data, which will be broadcast to receivers implanted in the brains of other people.

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This post was written by Bevans

4 Comments

  • I think you hit it right on the head. Check out my blog. I wrote about an entire planet in which psychic ability is real.
    http://rationalcrank.blogspot.com/2010/05/psychic

  • attilad says:

    I like the approach, but this article needs some work. A better way to address #2: if we could see the future, optical illusions wouldn’t work [reference] (http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/080602-foresee-future.html) On the other hand, >"Psychic abilities … would be widespread throughout the animal kingdom, just as eyes and ears are." Watching pack animals cooperate, I’d almost believe in psychic communication. It makes more sense than "They’re magically born knowing what to do". Now that I’m thinking about it, what’s really psychic, anyway? I mean, you’re reading my thoughts right now across thousands of miles.
    This comment was originally posted on Reddit

  • Interesting read, I especially like idea that psychic ability wouldn’t be fully developed in some people, and then not apparent in most people at all. As important as a sense as it would be, it would be easily selected for and developed.
    This comment was originally posted on Reddit

  • Claudia says:

    Thanks for this post! Even though i, obviously, do believe in psychic abilities, i also think it is necessary to have a discussion about these matters and not blindly believe everything people say. “I want to believe” is , in many cases, a bad starting point to free yourself from illusions.

    I do want to point out a potential problem in your argument. At first sight, it is compelling but it does not take into account the possibility, that humans have developed a trait which made psychic abilities somewhat superflous for survival. For instance, we still have body hair because we neede it at some point for survival – it kept us warm. Nowadays, thanks to technology, we are very unlikely to freeze to death because of artificial heating, good clothing etc. Body hair is going extinct, sure, but it is still there.

    I would hypothesize that the same could hold true for psychic abilities. We don’t need to sense a predator behind us because we have cameras. We don’t need to communicate telepathically because we have cellphones and the Internet. Even if we HAD inborn psychic powers, why would we care to learn how to use them if there was no apparant need?

    Thanks and much love,
    Claudia

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