Esp Essay, Research Paper
Extra Sensory Perception
Everyone knows about the five senses. Taste: the sense that allows us to enjoy an essential part of life, eating. Hearing: the sense that enables us to carry a conversation with each other. Sight: without this we not be able to do things we take for granted, like driving for instance. Touch: this detects pain and prevents us from injuring ourselves further. Smell: this helps us identify hazardous chemicals which stops us from burning our lungs.
But what about a sixth sense? What if you could read someone’s mind and know what there really thinking when they say hello? Well, some believe that there is indeed a sixth sense; ESP.
Extra sensory perception, or ESP, is defined as a way of receiving information without using one of our five senses. The study of ESP is a part of a science called parapsychology. This is also called psychical research, or psi for short. Besides ESP, there is another branch of psi communication which includes the phenomenon in which an object seems to be moved by the mind alone. The mover does not touch the object which can be living or non living. This is called psychokinesis or PK.
There are three accepted types of ESP, clairvoyance, precognition,and telepathy. Clairvoyance is the extra sensory perception of events that are taking place at the exact time of the perception, but the sensor cannot know of these events through any of the five senses. Precognition is the extra sensory perception of events in the future. And finally, telepathy is the extra sensory perception of someone elses mental state.
For centuries, stories about ESP sounded suspicious to those who had scientifically trained minds. After all, they were usually tales told after the fact. The event had already happened when the subject might have foretold it in a dream, for example. So, it was impossible to test weather or not there is a such thing as ESP.
But, one basic principle of science is that an idea should not be rejected just because it is hard to believe. We make mistakes sometimes, but a strange notion should be tested before it can be rejected.
The problem was, who was to study ESP? The geologists, biologists, astronomers, chemists, and physicists are not equipped to do it. There lines of work include familiar properties of nature. So, for a long time, ESP was considered to be a supernatural phenomenon. That meant that ESP experiments were put on the shelf as far as scientists were concerned.
In the middle of the 1940+s, a new idea was born. It was thought that the three types of ESP were just different examples of the same thing. From that premise came an attempt to relate parapsychology to the other sciences- physics, biology, and psychology.
Let+s take physics, which is the study of the physical. ESP has yet to be explained in physical terms, so physicists cannot account for it. But why is ESP non physical? For one thing it does not depend on time. In precognition, time is not a factor. Furthermore, as in telepathy and clairvoyance, ESP does not depend on distance.
However, there is another side of the coin. PK is a type of energy. Physicists study energy. In the past, new elements, new planets, and other physical things have been discovered when scientists found physical phenomena consisting of the gravitational pull on one object by another undiscovered object. The problem was checked out and the unknown object was found. Could this happen with PK?
Biologists and psychologists also must go to work on the problem. There may be some form of mental energy in ESP which we have not yet discovered.
Russian scientists seem to be more concerned with ESP experimentation than scientists of any other country.
In 1972, Stanley Krippner and Richard Davidson of the Maimonides Institute went to Russia where they met Edward Naumov who directs the Institute of Technical Parapsychology at the City of Moscow Engineering Institute. He is also a memberof the physics department there and was the host for thr visiting Americans.
Krippner and Davidson compared some of the work in Russia to the Americans. They said that in the united states and in other western countries research is planned so that it will prove the existence of ESP and PK. In Russia, however, its is not usually done this way. Researchers are are more interested in looking for practical applications of ESP, since they feel that the existence of ESP and PK has already been established.
The soviet government supports their research. And instead of referring to ESP as extra sensory perception, they call it biological information, also clairvoyance is called bio-location. The Russians are also spending a lot of time studying dowsing and skin-vision. In some parts of the world, people are said to be able to find water by holding a stick in a certain way and and walking over a field. These people are called dowsers. An example of skin-vision is when a person can precieve the color of a card while blind folded, merely by feeling it.
Everyone has hear of stories in witch, for example, a woman is at work and she senses an eerie feeling about her child. Moments later the telephone rings and it is the school nurse calling to inform her that her child has broken his arm. There probably have been previous times when the woman has this notion before, and there is no telephone call, but we should not rule out the idea that, on occasion, ESP has
been at work.
Suppose that the story is really a case of ESP. Did the woman get the message through clairvoyance? That is, did she get an impression of the event? Or was it telepathy? In this case, she could have relieved a message from her son, or a person who had witnessed the event. These are the questions that scientists ask and without an answer, it leads them to believe that there is no such occurrence at all.
And what about religion? Most religious groups have had supernatural events as a part of their beliefs. In fact, both types of psi – ESP and PK – are present in religions. Prophecy is a type of precognition. Clairvoyance can be called revelation. Prayer could be considered a form of telepathy. And even PK can be found in the miraculous answers to prayer.
Do you believe all the stories you hear? Some people say that it could just be coincidences. Others would feel that some people have psychic power and there is a scientific explanation for the happenings.
The anti-esp groups say that ESP research overlooks errors, uses prejudice witnesses, and comes up with weak theories. They say that researchers are biased and do not carry on true scientific experimentation.
The pro-esp group admits that a lot of work has to be done. However, much is already known about extra sensory perception. Just because we cannot take a picture of it does not mean that it does not exist.
As J. B. Rhine, the famous biologist has said: |Among the scientific professions of the western world, there has grown up a conviction that the universe is physical, and that anything that does not fit into the physical picture is unreal and should be ignored if it cannot be disproved…. The natural result is a silent boycott of any unassimilable claim that arises, and this is the real opposition parapsychology has now to encounter.X
But neither side seems to realize that they have been getting closer and closer together in the last one hundred years. When ESP was first being examined back in the 1880s, there was no television or radio. Digital telephones? Most people had only the Morse telegraph to send messages to each other. Houses were lit by gas or oil lamps. there were no airplanes and few automobiles. People had never heard of X-rays. The discoverers of DNA and RNA had not even been born. No wonder early ESP looked like witchcraft.
Since those days we have learned a lot that might have seemed to be black magic one hundred years ago. We know that there are other ways of receiving information than just by our five most common senses. Bats have a |built-in radar systemX. Other animals can detect electrical charges that we cannot feel and infrared light that we cannot see. We know that weather effects human behavior through the nervous system. It is also proven that certain body odors that we are subconsciously smelling can affect our opinions of other people.
There are countless other senses that were not even suspected in the 1880s. And probably many more that we do not know of today. Maybe there is no such thing as extra sensory perception. That is, maybe there are no outside senses, just senses we have not discovered yet.
Lets keep an open mind.
The study of ESP is a young one. Scientists have been looking at stars, studying plants and animals for centuries.
But there are some things to be considered in the future. First, we have to have much more information about ESP. Millions of cases must be studied. We have to find out more about why certain people seem to have the knack more that others.
The most prominent problem is to overcome prejudice. Just because ESP cannot be defined exactly, and many of the ESP experiments cannot be repeated exactly, is no reason to discredit it completely. It wasn+t long ago that people rejected the germ theory of disease just because they have never seen bacteria.
And some people reject ESP just because they don+t want to believe in it. But hold on to your hats. If the day ever comes when we all believe in ESP, what will happen? If it is proved that some people can cause objects to move by psychokinesis, what happens to our ideas about the laws of motion in physics? If it is proved that ideas can be sent or relieved by clairvoyance and telepathy, what happens to our ideas about how the brain operates biologically? If it is proved that some people can predict the future through precognition, what happens to our ideas about the passage of time and the speed of light in astronomy? Perhaps everyone of us will have to start school all over again. I believe that this alone is frightening enough for any scientist to dismiss ESP.