Transcript for Dean Radin, Ph.D. on Double Slit Experiments, Consciousness & Parapsychology

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so in these counts field experiments you

have a relatively small effect but we

know with high confidence that telepathy

as demonstrated in these experiments

occurs if the topic of psychic phenomena

ever comes up in standard science it’s

completely dismissed as somewhere out in

the fringe or the lunatic fringe and so

you learn very quickly you don’t talk

about this stuff and one of them picks

up his gun points a point blank in the

face of the other person and is pulling

the trigger what’s up guys

Xavier Kazan here and this is our

episode with dr. Dean Radin this is

doctor reading his second time on hxp

and I really wanted to get into some of

the double-slit experiments he’s

conducted and just the quantum mechanics

of what we’re talking about when we talk

about parapsychology and influencing

things with your mind and then measuring

it who else to bring on then dr. Aden to

talk about such things and you know dr.

Aden is not making any assumptions with

this he is very much a hardcore

scientist and that’s what I love about

speaking to him he’s great at that so

thank you guys so much for listening

the human experiences in session my

guest for today’s dr. Dean Radin dr.

Aden welcome back to hxp thanks very

much I want to bounce right into

experiments that you’ve done just

because we’ve done all the intro

questions you’ve conducted a number of

different experiences around the idea of

using a double-slit device to test the

influence of consciousness with regards

to the observer effect found in quantum


what is the observer effect and how does

the double slit experiment traditionally

show the experimenter the wave particle

duality of photons

okay so this is actually something

that’s moderately new I suppose not that

the experiments are new been doing this

for about eight years now but last year

it was April of 2016 I gave a summary

talk on all of the experiments we’ve

done so far 17 of which have been

published all involving double-slit or

other optical interference systems and

all looking at the this notion of an

observer effect so I just mentioned that

that YouTube talk has been seen now over

430,000 times so that’s a little unusual

or talk on parapsychology and it means

that people are interested in this topic

so the observer effect means that a

major difference between classical

physics and quantum physics is that in

the classical physical world we assume

that object objects are completely

separate and that observation it doesn’t

make any difference on the system assume

that objects are independent of being

observed and the quantum domain it’s

known that measurement or observation

changes the behavior of the system and

one of the easiest ways of demonstrating

that is with an optical system called

double slit and it the double slit

literally refers to a very tiny slit

with two little slits each about ten

millionths of a meter that are next to

each other

typically about 200 millionths of a

meter apart so those are the two slits

you shine photons or electrons or small

elementary particles through those two

slits and you have a camera on the other

side and if the if you imagine that a

photon or an electron is a particle like

a BB you would expect that when you look

at the pattern that is produced on the

screen as as it passes through the

double slit would be two bars it would

be like one bright bar behind each one

of the slits

and that is in fact what you get if you

send something as large as a BB through

through slits but when you send

elementary particles through which are

at the quantum domain you don’t see that

anymore you see a pattern of light

that’s called an interference pattern

which is very much what like what you

would get if you were passing waves

through the two slits just like water

waves okay so this is peculiar because

it in fact this is the way that you

demonstrate that light and elementary

particles have characteristics both of

waves and particles it look like

particles they show up on the screen as

individual dots but the pattern of dots

looks like it was a wave and so there’s

my puzzle number one this is why when we

talk about something like a photon it

sounds like a single particle but that’s

only it’s like half of the side of a

coin it has two sides to the coin the

other side is yeah but it also behaves

like a wave

so the second mystery here is

that if you have a system set up so that

you could tell when you shoot a single

photon a single packet of energy which

sounds like a particle you send it

through our toward to the two slits and

you can measure which slit that it goes

through and they’re weighed many made in

different ways of measuring which of the

two slits it goes through if you do that

then the pattern that shows up on the

screen is suggest that what went through

the two slits is a particle looks like B

B’s again as soon as you turn off your

math your method of measuring which of

the two slits that it went through then

it starts acting like waves again so the

observer effect is what you can know

about which of the two slits that the

photon goes through

and that mystery which is still not

resolved very well that mystery opens

the door just the crack into physics for

some element like mind or consciousness

because mind and consciousness are all

about gaining information and gaining

information is what seems to make

photons act like particles or waves

there’s an element of the quantum

measurement problem that once some kind

of physical system such as the double

slit devices observed by the measurement

apparatus the physical system and the

measurement apparatus are no longer

independent and they become entangled is

that does that I’m on the right track

here yes that’s correct

if this wasn’t strange enough about

where the measurement ends and where the

quantum becomes a more classical

understanding of what’s going on what is

the von Neumann chain well john von

neumann was not one of the founders of

quantum mechanics came along maybe

fifteen or twenty years later but he was

a mathematician who put the mathematical

foundations of quantum mechanics on a

firm foundation his book on the

mathematical foundations of quantum

mechanics is basically the Bible of

quantum mechanics so von Oy Minh was

wondering like many people have about

this observer effect and also trying to

wonder well when does the wave-like

nature of quantum mechanics turn into

the classical object like world that we

live in where does that happen and so he

came up with the idea that if you

imagine that your eye is looking some

aspect of your awareness is based on

what you see then that’s not good enough

to describe what measurement means

because you can think of what your eye

sees as a purely mechanical process the

the photon hits your eye and that

stimulates nerves and that goes into

your brain and your brain has certain

patterns all of this is a completely

physical process and so that’s not going

to collapse another physical system

because it’s the same stuff from a

quantum mechanical perspective your eye

and your brain are just other quantum

systems the

nothing there to change the quantum

nature so he came up with this idea that

what’s going on with measurement is what

he called a psychophysical process

meaning it is a mind matter interaction

and the only part that he could think of

that would be very different than purely

physical system would be consciousness

itself which he presumed was

non-physical or at least not physical in

a way we usually think of physics

he gave the notion that there’s

something peculiar about consciousness

that allows consciousness to interact

with matter and cause it to behave in

different ways and so that’s one of a

number of interpretations of what the

observer effect is about so his proposal

is not something to be dismissed lightly

and more importantly it’s a testable

idea a recent article and New Scientist

mentioned that an article was written

recently by a well-known physicist who

suggested that maybe consciousness

really does have something to do with

the way that quantum mechanics works and

you see this about every twenty years a

mainstream prominent physicist will say

well you know maybe there’s a way of

doing an experiment to see what is the

role of consciousness in the physical

world so this is great because it means

it’s a discussion that can take place in

mainstream physics and it’s also a

little frustrating because we’ve been

doing experiments like this not just

mine but within parapsychology these

eight types of experiments have been

going on since the 1960s and when you

look at the body of that evidence the

overall evidence is extremely strong

suggesting that there is something about

consciousness that is interacting with

the physical world

so the reason why I’ve been using

optical systems in a particular

double-slit systems is because when you

use something macroscopic like a dice or

Die it’s it becomes more difficult to

imagine what’s going on also it’s it’s

to a physicist it would seem creepy

because the object you’re using is too

big so they got too macroscopic dye

which is big so in the 1960s a physicist

came up there with the idea of using a

random number generator and so his

experiment was explicitly looking at the

notion of whether the mind interacts at

the quantum level with quantum particles

and his experiment suggested that they

did so that gave rise to 40 years of

people doing experiments involving

random number generators as the target

and over all those studies provide

evidence that something’s going on so

what we did is simply take it into

another another level by using the

optical systems which are now much

closer to what most physicists are

familiar with even the analysis that

we’re using the measurements everything

else is very similar to what you’d find

in physics 101 so they make all a very

long story short we’ve done these 17

experiments now we do get strong

evidence statistically that mind’s

directed at double-slit optical systems

will cause the interference pattern to

change a little bit but statistically

quite robustly and even more important

whenever you do an experiment like this

it’s challenging what people expect you

you can’t rely on any one laboratory to

make a strong case because a person from

the outside will look at it and say well

if that effect is true it’s a

breakthrough it’s changes our notion of

the way that we think reality works so I

don’t think we’re going to believe you

until somebody else comes along

completely independently and replicates


so I’m happy to say now that a colleague

at the University of South Paulo we sent

him some equipment we sent him a

double-slit and a few other items and he

constructed his own double slit system

from scratch did experiments using

advice that we had developed over the

years and he did a successful pilot

study and now a formal replication both

of which were quite significant

statistically even to the point now that

we begun to discuss the possibility of a

technology based on the use of a double

slit system that would be essentially a

detector of the mind so we’re testing

conscious awareness with this double

slit test how far away do you think we

are from seeing this sort of leap in

human consciousness how can we detect

that measurable change and you know what

are you doing to affect the human factor

while this experiment is being conducted

well those are two quite different

questions so the first question is how

do you know I think if I interpret it

correctly how do you know when the

paradigm is changing is that a fair

restate myths yeah okay so in that case

there’s two ways of thinking about why

paradigms change one is that you can

imagine a line going and this is the

current paradigm and all of a sudden

there’s a state change and like a step

function and now we’re in a different

paradigm that’s a sudden change that

happens occasionally but pretty rarely

what’s more likely is that you imagine

that we’re sort of bubbling along with a

certain paradigm and there’s a huge

status quo that wants to maintain that

paradigm because a lot of careers have

been made using that paradigm so when

anything comes along that seems a little

strange there’s a lot of resistance

against it because people don’t want

their careers to change so there’s

resistance and the resistance but the

evidence keeps building and so you can

imagine something like a slowly

increasing exponential curve then it

goes almost straight up at that point it

becomes like a step function and you get

a change very fast but it takes a long

time for this exponential build

to occur to get up to that point so I

would say now that if you imagine that

this we’ve been in a flat paradigm or a

uniform paradigm for a long time that we

are definitely going in the direction of

a shift and so at this stage where

previously you may have taken a half a

century or a quarter of a century it’s

shrinking now so maybe now we’re in a

matter of a decade or half a decade

before you start to see major changes

and and there are a number of reasons

for this one is that even 10 years ago

most physicists thought that quantum

processes were completely irrelevant in

understanding living systems

well that’s no longer the case there’s a

whole field now of quantum biology

as quantum biology continues to advance

soon people are going to find that it’s

operating in an important way in neurons

and the symptom moment somebody sees

that there’s quantum effects in neurons

it’s not a very large leap to the brain

there are already people thinking about

quantum mechanics and brain from that

point it’s not a big leap to speculate

that some aspects of brain function are

not located in space or time because

that’s that’s like the key mystery of

quantum mechanics it’s not in space time

out outside of space time some way and

that would mean that our brains are

mostly localized but some portions of

our brains are not in space or time well

cast into other language that sounds

almost exactly what we describe as

mystical and psychic experience

it’s a portion of your brain which is

not inside your head it’s outside

somewhere so this this used to be a

fantasy I was writing about this maybe

25 years ago projecting that at some

point we’re going to get to the stage

where it could be predicted that things

like telepathy and clairvoyance and so

on should occur based on what we know

about quantum mechanics in the brain so

that’s that’s like one area another area

is that there’s a growing trend and most

of the hard physical disciplines and in


you’re suggesting that if we’re trying

to understand the the ultimate basis

like the foundation upon which all of

science rests twenty years ago most

people would have said well it rests on

physics it’s matter and energy today you

get many different kinds of answers and

so some of the answers you’re getting

now is well there actually is something

below matter and energy its information

quantum information science is a growing

field now and there are many other areas

in mathematics and in computer science

looking at the possibility that what’s

really at the bottom or at least as far

as we can see at the moment is something

like informational fields well

informational fields sounds a lot closer

to mental constructs because the mind or

consciousness can be thought of as an

information processor essentially the

gap between mind and the ultimate

physical substance is beginning to close

so it becomes more and more plausible

that there’s something peculiar about

consciousness and information that might

make it more fundamental than space or

time you can see from afar that they’re

beginning to converge toward what more

and more people including well-known

philosophers are saying that there’s

something fundamental about

consciousness it’s not just being a

production of the brain it’s more

fundamental than that

well if we continue to go in that

direction as I think we will and at some

point the consciousness is fundamental

we’ll be accepted at that point suddenly

the whole domain that we currently

consider to be anomalous including

everything in parapsychology and

mystical experience will suddenly be

viewed in a new light and in that light

it’s not anomalous at all

so if science science and Bo and

religion both have pretty strongly

rejected the notion of of ideas like

magic and psychic phenomena from a

religious perspective it was banned as

demonic and it was banned in science

because science focused on the external

world and didn’t really have ways of

understanding what was going on on the

inside so science and religion are two

primary holders of our knowledge of

reality they both rejected the the

notion of psychic phenomena magic all of

those ideas and as a result it has been

extremely slow in a modern sense to

begin to understand these things in a

new way

fortunately science is not locked into

dogma it’s aspirational sense is to be

open and exploratory and change as new

data comes along so we now have

scientific data that’s basically pushing

the paradigm so that eventually it will

it will begin to see reality and

ourselves in a new way

you know I want to talk about against

fields how does that work when you’re

doing an experiment and testing that

peeled for telepathy can you describe

that for us please

so the Gon’s field is a German word

meaning whole field it was developed by

a strong psychologists in Germany in the

1930s or so and the idea was that you

want to create a homogeneous low level

stimulation because at the time the

alternative is to put somebody into a

sensory deprivation chamber like a

floatation tank this does very much like

that except that you don’t need to be

floating in water and difficulty so

instead you sit somebody down in a comfy

chair you have them put on headphones

that play white noise so there’s no

pattern you have them put on a half of a

ping-pong ball over each eye keep their

eyes open and then shine a red light in

their face and so they can’t see

anything they can’t hear anything but

they’re fully awake because they are

getting a stimulation it’s just one that

has no pattern to it and after a few

minutes in that state maybe 10 minutes

most people because they’re are not

allowed to fall asleep you begin to go

into a hypnagogic state like a waking

dream state

exactly the kind of state that you want

someone to be in in a telepathy

experiment where they’re playing the

role of the receiver of the telepathic

information because the idea is that you

become exquisitely sensitive to any

subtle impression that might arise and

the impression in this case is your

partner who’s the sender somewhere at a

distance who has given a randomly

selected picture or sometimes they see a

randomly selected video clip and their

job is to mentally send that information

to the person who’s the receiver in the

ganzfeld state so the sending period

might go on for twenty minutes and then

the receivers taken out of the Khans

field condition if they said anything

allowed didn’t that’s played back to

them because when you’re in the ganzfeld

states very dreamy it’s hard to remember

what it was like just like it’s hard to

remember a dream sometimes and so you

listened to what you said and now you’re

presented with four images one of which

was the one that the sender was trying

to send to you and then 3 decoys so

since the original target image was

randomly selected there’s no way that

either the sender or the receiver could

have known in advance what the image is

going to be so the best that the

receiver could do in this condition if

there’s no telepathy is guess correctly

one in four times in other words a 25%

rate so this experiment has been done

over 4,000 times and the overall hit

rate is approximately 32% well it

doesn’t sound like much from 25 percent

to 32 percent but that’s seven percent

given the 4,000 sessions that have been

conducted means that the odds against

chance are beyond the quadrillion to

1000 to 1

it’s a chance effect

so this and among other things shows the

power of Statistics get enough data even

if you have a small effect after a while

you gain very high confidence that the

effect that you’re seeing is real

so in these God’s field experiments you

have a relatively small effect but we

know with high confidence that telepathy

as demonstrated in these experiments

occurs and it doesn’t explain what

telepathy is but it says that what

people report in the real world as

apparent telepathic connections as that

can also occur in the laboratory under

highly controlled conditions is there an

experiment that you’ve done that kind of

blew your mind in the the largest way

with is there anything that you can

recall I did that

well they all do that you see because I

had a completely traditional scientific

training and if the topic of psychic

phenomena ever comes up and standard

science it’s completely dismissed as

somewhere out in the fringe or the

lunatic fringe right and so you learn

very quickly you don’t talk about this

stuff you don’t even know that there’s

any literature on it and if you do know

something about the literature you

dismiss it you don’t even look at it

so that’s what I did up until about the

end of graduate school and I eventually

started looking into it in more detail

and I became impressed pretty quickly

that there was evidence there were

proper ways of looking at experiments of

this type and I started doing

experiments and to my initial surprise I

was getting interesting results similar

to what other people had reported so

that that was the first hook for me that

you can use proper scientific methods

and forget evidence suggesting that

these kinds of effects are real

say then as just to give you one example

of a translation from an experience that

somebody had into an experiment that

gave pretty robust results a friend of

mine told me once of an experience he

had which I called presenta meant

it’s like precognition except that

precognition as the word cognition in it

which means that you are consciously

aware of the effect presenta meant is

information from the future but it’s a

feeling that’s what the sentiment is

about soap resentiment means pre feeling

but without cognition but the way you’d

measure that is the measure aspects of

your body physiologically skin

conductance pupil dilation heart rate

things like that these are useful

because they show what’s happening below

the level of conscious awareness and

there’s a lot of data now suggesting

that all psychic phenomena bubble up

initially from an unconscious state

so the Astoria was this this friend like

to go hunting and he before he would go

out on a hunting party with his friends

he had two pistols and he was at the

point where he was cleaning as a

six-shot revolver pistol and he would

always keep five bullets and the

cylinders and the hammer over the empty

sixth chamber to make sure that in case

it was jostled it wouldn’t accidentally

fire so he took the bullets out he

cleaned the whole gun he’s putting the

bullets back in he puts in one two three

four and then he’s about to put the

fifth bullet in and he gets a bad

feeling about the bullet and so he

doesn’t put it in and he sets it aside

but two weeks go by they go out hunting

the folks come back to the cabin and

they start drinking which you shouldn’t

do if there are firearms around the

fight breaks out between two of his

friends and one of them picks up his gun

points at point-blank in the face of the

other person and is pulling the trigger

and in this type of revolver the hammer

goes back cylinder revolves and then the

hammer hits the next bullet so this is

happening and of course my friend

intervenes he jumps in between the two

to try to stop it but it was too late

the hammer the trigger been put all the

way back and the hammer is now going

click on to the fifth chamber it went

because the cylinder turned on to the

chamber where he did not put the bullet

right and he realized at that point if

he didn’t take that bullet out he’d be

dead so it’s as though that moment of

shock had rippled backwards in time to

two weeks before where he’s holding the

bullet and he got a really bad feeling

about it well he didn’t have any sense

of what of why he just felt it was wrong


so now you’d say okay this is the

real-life experience people have these

kinds of things happen and any given

case you could dismiss it as a

coincidence so we said okay maybe it’s

not a coincidence maybe you really do

get it a sense of important things in

the future so we want to simulate that

in the laboratory well in a laboratory

you can’t put people at risk for real

but you can simulate it so what we did

was we had somebody down in front of a

computer screen wired them up to look at

skin conductance and heart rate and

blood pressure and then they would press

a button and five seconds later on the

screen they would see either a very calm

or a very emotional picture the very

emotional picture was like standing in

front of a gun that’s about to shoot you

in the head and the very calm picture is

a control

and the question is if the future

somehow rippling backwards to you and

affecting you at an unconscious level

and before a compa

you shouldn’t show much of an effect but

before a very emotional picture maybe

your body begins to react to it so the

experiment is done with 30 to 40

pictures in a row each one separated by

maybe 30 seconds so that you’re even

calm down if using an emotional picture

and they’re presented in a random order

that nobody knows in advance and you do

this for multiple people and then the

final analysis is you look at how the

average physiology is before

accomplished as compared to before

emotional pictures and to make a long

story short we did that experiment we

got very strong evidence the people were

much more emotional before the emotional

target and they were before the calm

target so as as often happens I

presented this and my colleagues said

that’s ridiculous this is way too good

of an effect we don’t see effects like

that in experiments so fortunately a few

began to try to replicate the effect and

they were able to flash forward 20 years

into the future and there are over 40

replications by labs around the world

meta-analysis has summarized all of them

and there’s basically no question and

from a physiological point of view that

people do respond or at least you

unconsciously respond as reflected in

your body to events that are about to

unfold that are emotional and you

respond differently than if it’s about

to be a , vent hmm that’s an example of

of like constant miracles where I simply

take experiences that people talk about

figure out a way of safely replicating

that in the laboratory and then see

whether or not at least in principle if

the kinds of experiences that people

talk about especially once ever occur a

lot can we see that in the laboratory

where we’re able to rule out coincidence

and the answer in most cases is yes

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dr. Raiden gets into meditation why

meditation is so important and how it

connects us to this sort of ethereal

layer of connectivity why it increases

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that we all seem to exhibit and receive

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