Proof That There is No Sixth Sense… I’ll Examine The Facts
A new study was published in Plos One leading many to claim that there is no sixth sense. As you can imagine paranormal critics are happy to see a science-based explanation for the claim of sixth sense… But let’s dig in a little deeper. After all if you are a critical thinker, like me, you understand that we cannot take such claims on face value.
First we need to define what a sixth sense is: Sixth sense is synonymous with the term ESP or Extra-Sensory Perception. These terms, in a general sense, mean a person have the ability to feel or sense something beyond their known physical senses. This can include psychic phenomenon like telepathy and clairvoyance. But ESP can also be a sense that something is there, that something is different or a change has occurred. With ESP you might be able to “sense” a person standing behind you.
Now that we have that out of the way let’s examine the test. There were a series of four experiments conducted. In each experiment the participant was shown two images, an original and a changed image. Their goal was to recognize when a change occurred and attempt to explain what the change was. In the test the images were displayed for 1.5 seconds. The findings concluded that while participants were often able to sense a change had occurred, they usually could not determine what the change was.
So how does this related to ESP? It is claimed that this explains the sense of ESP. People are often picking up a minute difference that they are unable to identify, but their brain is able to recognize the change exists. While this may explain some perceived ESP experiences it does not explain claims of psychic ability. The ability to read another’s thoughts or engage in remote viewing. These abilities result in images and thoughts in a person’s head that go far beyond a sense that something happened. This test also did not test a human’s ability, or lack thereof, to sense an unrecognized change like a person standing behind them. Just because the experiment demonstrated a method to create this feeling of a perceived change, it does not mean ESP doesn’t exist. This is far from a complete explanation of ESP.
I think many in the media and scientific community either do not understand the nature of ESP, as it has been defined, or are looking for an easy answer to explain away claims of psychic phenomena, even when the shoe doesn’t fit. If we apply critical thinking skills we see that we are a long way from closing the book on ESP.