Doing the right thing, after we exhaust the alternatives
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April 20, 2007
Robert Jahn is all for keepin' it real. He's the emeritus Professor of Aerospace Sciences at Princeton University, and Dean of their School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Jahn was awarded a medal for working on advanced aerospace propulsion systems for NASA and the Air Force. He's a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Physical Society.
The tools of Jahns' trade are plasma dynamics, fluid mechanics and quantum mechanics.
Which brings us to the point of the story: Jahn also directed the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research laboratory for the past 28 years. The objective of PEAR was to create rigorous tests to see if mind has any influence over matter. The picture is of an astute scholar who spent a career trying to convince other scientists what he found.
The graph is the result of people interacting with a Random Event Generator (REG). First, the REG was calibrated with 5.8 million trials. It established a baseline, which is the black curve you see above and below the horizontal line.
The red line shows the result of operators "wanting" the machine to go high, the green is the result of "no effort" to establish a "personal" baseline, and the blue line shows the result of operators trying to make the machine go low.
The statistical probability of the deviation is 1 out of 1,000,000,000,000.
Jahn looked for human operator bias in literally hundreds of thousands of trials using a variety of optical, acoustical, mechanical, electronic and fluid devices. The results were similar.
He found a few other things:
1. Three women were the highest scorers 2. The male average was higher than females 3. No operator appeared to learn how to improve 4. The distance between the operator and device did not affect the outcome 5. Intentions expressed before or after the device ran created the same anomaly 6. Most successfull operators spoke of the device as having a human nature
At some point, one must ask when do numbers constitute proof. With Jahn's consistant results and that probability of one in a trillion, what would you think?
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