Essay ESP - Extra Sensory Perception

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ESP: An Effort to Quantify the Magical A self-conscious girl has a feeling of being watched in class and spins in her chair; indeed, from the back of the room, a curious admirer is following her every move. A woman randomly contemplates an old friend with whom she long ago lost contact; that evening, the friend calls with important news. A man wakes up with a sinking feeling about his day and decides to skip work; later he hears of the disastrous crash of the train he rides each morning. A retarded boy who cannot count correctly states the number of cards dropped on a laboratory floor. (1) A handful of people, perhaps more (and I among them), dream of crashing airplanes and crumpling buildings in the days before the twin towers of…show more content…
We cannot see, or hear, or touch the future. Yet these things happen. Clinical tests show that certain people have the ability to describe figures on a card being held by a person in another room. Such tests repeatedly yield results whose probabilities of being "lucky guesses" are one against ten-to-the-umpteenth power (i.e.,1:1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000). (5) Hardly attributable to chance! Indigenous peoples, particularly shamans (tribal healers), have claimed for years to know how to enter trance states in which they perceive animals or people who are far away –- or dead. (4) And, while clairvoyance generally involves interactions between two or more living entities, some have been known to use such "superpowers" to locate objects – such as water with a stick. (3) Though theories range from the scientific to the fantastical, we can say really very little to explain these curious phenomena. (6) The investigation of the "paranormal" is plagued by an unfortunate, though inevitable, facet of scientific and human inquiry: the "I wouldn't have seen it if I hadn't believed it" phenomenon. In this case, it's more "I don't believe it, so I can't see it." To a great extent, we see what we believe can logically be there and overlook, or justify away, the rest. So, many pragmatic modern thinkers either deny the reality of instances of ESP, or attribute them to chance alone. (2) But it's there, even if you're not
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