Known for his pioneering work on altered states of consciousness, Dr. Charles Tart talked about the connections between science, parapsychology, and spirituality. In his latest work, he's sought to make people comfortable with science and spirituality existing together. He distinguished spirituality from religion-- spiritual experiences of an individual can be mystical and/or unique, and may not conform along religious lines. He has created an archive in which scientists share their transcendent and spiritual experiences.
There is strong evidence for five types of psychic phenomena: telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, and psychic healing, he noted. Telepathy is known to sometimes function in a crisis, but this is hard to test in a lab. He detailed one experiment where subjects in a sound proof room showed physiological responses (they were unaware of) when the experimenter received random interval electric shocks. In JB Rhine's tests on psychokinesis, it was demonstrated that people could affect the outcome of dice rolls, in a small but statistically significant manner.
But in general, there's been very little research into psychic and spiritual matters, and this should be of the utmost importance to explore, Tart commented. Psychic abilities may be part of our spiritual nature, but we typically only see a little bit of it in our lives, he added.
He also talked about his studies of Out-of-Body experiences (OBEs), and how one woman was able to correctly recite a five digit number that was on a high shelf that she saw while out-of-body. Near-death experiences may start with an OBE, but then have an altered state of consciousness added on to it, he explained. There is less solid evidence for reincarnation, but Tart tends to think it's probably a real phenomenon.
First half-hour guest, Dr. Brooks Agnew shared an update on his planned North Pole 'Inner Earth' Expedition. The charter company for the Expedition ship can't travel above the 81st parallel, as the Russians won't allow it, and the proposed site is at the 86th parallel, he noted. He also touched on his involvement with 'green cars.'
The US military is experimenting with creating half-robot, half-insect "cybugs," that could function as spies and fly undetected into enemy locations. They will attempt to surgically implant microchips into insects as they grow, intertwining their nerves and muscles with the circuitry that can steer their flight. More here.
Bumper music from Wednesday July 15, 2009