|What we call science is the systematization of information obtained from nature. Nature has had its own laws from the beginning. Some of these laws are easy to express, while others stretch our understanding and even our sense of logic. Our efforts to understand nature and its workings, that is our production of scientific knowledge, will never end. We may never truly understand the workings of nature, or get close to the real truth. Therefore, it is ridiculous to behave as if we knew all of the workings of nature and to say “this is not scientific, it is in conflict with the (known) laws of science”. The clearest example of this is when we see the workings of quantum physics in biological structures. When nature is working, it does not know the laws of our science and doesn’t even take notice of them. Nature even sometimes winks at us with “anomalies”. We learn from nature but we cannot impose on nature the laws we have learned from it.
What we call science is the systematization of information obtained from nature. Nature has had its own laws from the beginning. Some of these laws are easy to express, while others stretch our understanding and even our sense of logic. Our efforts to understand nature and its workings, that is our production of scientific knowledge, will never end. We may never truly understand the workings of nature, or get close to the real truth. Therefore, it is ridiculous to behave as if we knew all of the workings of nature and to say “this is not scientific; it is in conflict with the (known) laws of science”. The clearest example of this is when we see the workings of quantum physics in biological structures. When nature is working, it does not know the laws of our science and doesn’t even take notice of them. Nature even sometimes winks at us with “anomalies”. We learn from nature but we cannot impose on nature the laws we have learned from it.
Each theory set out in this article has its own acceptable points and deficiencies. Whatever our beliefs, theoretical ideas must be supported, and proof derived from experiment must be taken into account, with proof being strengthened by the same experimental method. If necessary, we must be brave enough to rewrite the physics textbooks. When Copernicus provided the proof that Man was not at the centre of the universe, the feeling that people were not privileged but just normal beings created great disillusion. Therefore, adding consciousness as a part of the solution to the measurement problem in quantum mechanics, as part of the approach which places humans back in a privileged position at the centre of the universe, is in conflict with these principles. Quite the opposite, the observer or experimenter, who is in such a privileged position, has set himself up as separate from the rest of the universe (the experimental apparatus, or what is outside us). The paradox is that if it is proved that we are participants in the universe, we will lose our last bastion of privilege, our position as experimenter, observer, or watcher. Such a proof would be the biggest revolution after Copernicus, and Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Entanglement and non-locality in quantum mechanics and the entwinement of light and gravity in physics are proven but difficult-to-believe realities. In contrast, scientific physics journals and their archives publish hundreds of experimentally unsupported and completely theoretical articles on subjects which look more like science fiction. Among these are the M-theory, D-brane, wormholes, string theory, tachyons, superluminal communication, and the theory of everything. These are thought by many physicists to be within the scope of physical science, or at least are not greeted with antagonism. Involving consciousness in the experimental apparatus and researching that relationship is no more unnecessary than physical research in those border areas.
Another approach is that there is no necessity for people to be involved in quantum mechanics. Mathematical symbols denote the state vector or wave function, and there is no pace for metaphysics. The mathematical equations of quantum mechanics give us its measurements of potentiality, and potential measurements give potential results. That’s all there is, and the rest is metaphysics. The approach that if one-day humanity disappears, quantum mechanics will continue to operate its own laws is not scientific, but includes emotional attitudes. If equations are not a reflection of the physical world, we need to search for new equations. The operation of nature is not forced to conform to the laws of science, and moreover nature has never heard of science. Scientists have reduced the operation of nature to a simple form in order to understand it, and never produce scientific knowledge which reflects the actual truth. If nature under certain circumstances shows “abnormality” and ignores the laws which we have set up, we must be able to express that in scientific language. We cannot just bin an anomaly which has the potential to cause a revolution in our understanding of nature because it did not fit our scientific laws and equations, or because we could not find a valid law.
The existence of the graviton and the neutrino has been unquestionably accepted: there is direct evidence of their existence, but they have never been directly detected. No one doubts the existence of the omega minus particle, which has been detected twice in 200000 experiments. Against this, even if cases of parapsychology are rare, they appear much more frequently than the omega minus particle. In medicine, presentations of one-in-a-million cases are frequently made. However much a case with exceptional characteristics shows extreme deviation from the normal, it will be used to add to scientific knowledge. There are many cases which show that the consciousness or mind which is imprisoned inside the skull can in certain situations extend outside and stretch the limitations of space-time. It is wrong to say that if an illusionist can reproduce or copy the skills of ordinary or extraordinary people he is performing a fraudulent trick. If it is shown in even one of these samples that consciousness and the mind can extend beyond the skull or the limitations of space-time, this must be taken as a revolutionary finding. Such examples have appeared in the past and are appearing today. We must take these anomalies into account and try to understand the underlying mechanism.
The main field of interest of parapsychology is the existence or non-existence of psi, and research into whether consciousness, personality, memory and recall continue to exist after death. Psi can be divided into two groups, receiver psi and transmitter psi. Receiver psi is defined by extrasensory perception, brain-to brain perception (telepathy), remote viewing, clairvoyance, and transmitter psi by the effect of mind on material in the outside world (psychokinesis). Psi phenomena can also be grouped in another way, by their relationships in time and space. On the temporal dimension, there are people who exhibit the skill of psychometry, or the ability to access the experiences of an object from the past, and there are records of the skills of many of those people. Also, thousands of cases have been recorded of reincarnation, or when the continuing memory of someone who lived in the past and who has died has been accessed. If the reincarnation cases do not demonstrate rebirth after death, then at least it has been hinted that the continuing memory of someone who has died has been transferred to a newly-born child. Even this hint is beyond the known perception of space-time, and must be taken into account. Even though science dies not believe in these cases, the truth of some of them has been proved. Science must at least ask this question: what happens to our consciousness, or memory and our personality when we die? There have been many cases and scientific studies demonstrating the existence of memory of things which have yet happened, or precognition, premonition and presentiment. Looking at the spatial aspect, a classification can be made into brain-to-brain contact (telepathy) and remote viewing. In addition to these, near-death experiences and out-of-body experiences can be counted among time-space anomalies. Apart from the brain’s extrasensory perception, the effect of consciousness or the mind on the outside world may be shown in various ways. All these topics, rather than being taken separately, must be taken as anomalies where mind/consciousness has overflowed the limits of space-time, and must be examined in one big unified theory. The main objective of science must be to investigate unexplained real or conjectural human skills in an unbiased and unprejudiced way, in a scientific spirit, an in the light of generally accepted scientific hypotheses.
In the past 20 years, the attitude of “solid” physics and science to the results of studies of mind-over-matter effects and extrasensory perception has been to ignore them or to show contempt. Those who were better intentioned have found the methods of the studies to be wrong or biased, that the results were wrongly evaluated or that they were not sufficiently statistically significant. It went so far that it was even suggested that the p-value limit, the statistically significant 95% safety margin, should be changed in studies of mind and matter. When the use of eight tons a year of aspirin in the world is recommended to prevent heart attacks on the basis of this p-value, the same statistical effect is seen as insufficient in the case of research into mind-over-matter. This is a reflection of fear of a belief change. Can narrowing the gap between statistical values render meaningless the anomalous cases as they appear one by one? Your friend says he has a pig and that it can talk. You go to his house and the pig really can talk. In this situation, are you going to say you have to calculate the p-value, and unless there are more talking pigs you won’t believe? Or would you say yes, there is the potential for talking in a pig’s brain, and try to understand the biological basis and what changes enabled it to talk?
Even so, research on parapsychology is not published in the foremost and most influential scientific journals. Prejudice and invisible censorship is being applied. Financial support is not made available to the research and people dealing with this topic are regarded as on the borderlines of being crazy or abnormal. But the fine line between being crazy and wise is something which is known by every creative scientist and anyone who reads the history of science. In the end, this is also done by researchers on the topic producing a systematic body of knowledge including the laws of science. Whatever our personal beliefs, even if the proof conflicts with our most deeply held beliefs, we must show courage and pursue the truth.
There is one recurring theme of science. This is that resistance to change and the effect of change continually repeat themselves. Classical Newtonian physics, beginning in 1687, affected social life, other branches of science, and even the economy. In working life, it has made everyone specialize and has forced everyone to work like machines. In social life it has shown individualism, and in art, Dadaism and cubism. In religion, the idea that ‘God is dead’ has taken root, because in a universe where everything is predetermined there is no need for a transcendental or regulating concept like God. The same physics produced Karl Marx’s economic views based on class struggle, Adam Smith’s self-managing liberal economy, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and even Hitler’s genocidal policies. In psychology, it was the inspiration for Pavlov’s dog and the development of intelligence testing. In the 400 years that Newton’s physics ruled and afterwards, it was accepted that life was completely observable, measurable and convertible to numbers. Thus today, “solid” physicists, who oppose the reflection of quantum mechanics on social life, must acknowledge that the previous physics affected social life and even their own belief systems.
From ancient Greek times to the Middle Ages, it was considered for around 16 centuries that mathematics was a higher branch of learning than physics. This was because mathematics was based on firmer foundations and everything could be solved using only pen and paper, whereas physics carried out complicated experiments and made errors in measurement, giving inexact answers. As soon as the importance of experiments was understood, mathematics and physics joined forces, and started to produce results neither could have achieved alone. Today, physics is gaining the negative image previously acquired by mathematics, in face of research on the brain, the mind and consciousness. However, if they join forces, both will have much to gain, and this must happen. Time will highlight the truth. Until that time, every piece of knowledge produced must be met with respect, interest and a spirit of enquiry.
We desire to bring the thoughts of researchers working in different fields of science and seeing science from different points of view under one roof. Our journal will give priority to publishing the work of these people, especially interdisciplinary studies. Our aim is to publish without any kind of prejudice, all kinds of methodologically soundly written, internally consistent work and theoretical ideas which can provide leadership for new ideas or which can lay the ground for experimental research.
Sultan Tarlacı, MD
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