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The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena Paperback – Jun 22 2009


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The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena + Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality + Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harperone; Reprint edition (June 22 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061778990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061778995
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 13.9 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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First Sentence
Since primeval times, people have spoken of strange and sometimes profoundly meaningful personal experiences. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "wickiesnout" on May 28 2004
Format: Hardcover
I never believed in psychic phenomena. I still don't. But I also can't casually dismiss the results of hundreds of experiments indicating that something peculiar is going on that certainly looks like psychic phenomena. This book led me to track down and read a number of the original journal articles reporting experiments on psychic phenomena, especially those from the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory. If these results really are what they appear to be, then some psychic effects are real. Accepting this idea would have such a shocking impact on science that it's no wonder parapsychology is relegated to the far fringe (at best). This book summarizes a large body of experimental data from a scientific point of view and, as such, it probably wouldn't appeal to someone looking for ghostbusting stories. But for the scientifically minded, this book is far more mind-blowing than ghost stories because it just might be true.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cliente Amazon on Feb. 28 2003
Format: Hardcover
The results of Radin's meta-analysis are certainly impressive if you take them at face value. The problem is just that you can't do it.
Radin's alleged evidence is largely based in the use of the "fail safe file drawer" method to account for the publication bias, which assumes that the unpublished studies are unbiased. However, the real fact is that in psi research you can certainly assume that a study reaches the literature only when it has been successful, and then the unpublished studies are biased by definition. Through this method, Radin enormously overestimates the size of the so-called "file drawer" (amount of additional experiments necessary to bring the combined results down to chance).
Apart from any problem in the meta-analysis, there's the fact that individual results from other investigators are uncritically accepted. Even downplaying any possibilities of cheating, we must unfortunately be careful about the use of statistics in psi research. Skeptics have not been that unsuccessful explaining these results through publication bias, selective reporting, and optional stopping.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harrison Koehli TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 30 2013
Format: Hardcover
Radin's book (***1/2) covers similar ground as Richard Broughton's excellent introduction to the topic (Parapsychology: The Controversial Science), but is more up to date (albeit, only by 6 years) and focuses more on experimental procedures and Radin's specialty: meta-analysis. Basically, meta-analysis treats a whole bunch of experiments as one big experiment. So if one study only had 10 subjects, those 10 data points can be added to the pool, giving a better picture of the actual effects being measured. At the time of writing, here are a few statistics Radin shares: dream telepathy (450 sessions, chance: 50%, result: 62%, odds: 75,000,000:1), ganzfeld (2,549 sessions, chance: 25%, result: 33%, odds: 1,000,000,000,000,000:1), ESP cards (907,000 trials, chance: 20%, result: 20.6%), all clairvoyance tests combined (chance: 50%, result: 53%), dice rolling (2.6 million dice throws, chance/control: 50.02%, result: 51.2%, odds: 1,000,000,000:1), RNG tests (832 studies, chance: 50%, result: 51%, odds: 1,000,000,000,000:1), distant mental interaction on human electrodermal activity (400 sessions, chance: 50%, result: 53%, odds: 1,400,000:1), 'feeling of being stared at' (chance: 50%, results: 63%, odds: 3,800,000:1). The confidence intervals fall outside of chance, an the results can't be ascribed to faulty methodology or the 'file-drawer effect' (i.e., unpublished negative results). In other words, there is a definite effect being measured here.

Also interesting are the 'field consciousness' studies, using RNGs during events involving large numbers of people focussing on the same thing (e.g., the Academy awards), and his 'pis in the casino' tests, both showing positive results. Interesting facts: Group PK may influence the weather. Psi improves when geomagnetic field fluctuations decrease.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "sherwoode" on April 14 2000
Format: Hardcover
I cannot emphasize this more: In order to fully appreciate this book, you need knowledge of statistics. Really. The book is filled with experimental designs, confidence intervals, and meta-testing, which are lost on someone who doesn't know much of statistics, and will be misleading. I originally bought this book thinking it was going to be a book of explanations and stories of the paranormal, and I was pleasantly suprised. The author works in several stories to give the unknowing an idea of what is going on, but he is more interested in proving to the general audience his beliefs. The scientific discussions are fascinating, and eye-opening. The only reason I did not give this book five stars is because the jacket and the blurbs are misleading, and the procession of thoughts is somewhat difficult to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Scargle on Feb. 11 2000
Format: Hardcover
The conclusions in this book are largely based on combined analysis of published studies. As noted by the Author, such "meta-analyses" are subject to publication bias. Unfortunately, the "fail-safe file drawer" method of assessing possible effects of publication, used by the Author, is flawed. In my opinion, the claimed positive effects which form the thread of The Conscious Universe are spurious and the result of publication bias.
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