Connections Through Time, Issue 14:
January - March 2002
Precognition and theoretical physics usually have very little in common, except that precognition and physics both begin with a "p". There are, however, some relatively new and very intriguing theoretical models that do include precognition. In this section we look at one, called Link Theory, that has the potential to provide quantitative information concerning connections with the future. In the following Intuition section, we discuss two heuristic models that provide additional insights.
Here is an example of how Link Theory views a simple "psi-guessing" experiment in a holistic-system fashion. (Note that Link Theory works with the various possibilities and probabilities within systems; this fits with most psi experiments since only after many guesses or trials can results be evaluated for non-random effects.)
Simple Prediction Experiment
The Subject (S) intends to match a zero or one generated by the Target (T). T could be in the past, present or future compared to S. S and T are connected to an analyst (computer or person shown as [=?]) that collects/compares/judges individual outputs from S and T. The analyst provides data to create a collection of Results of hits/misses. S does not "cause" the final results in the Present, but is one part of the coupled system. "The concept of causality should be generalized in directionality, and replaced in our thinking and in our vocabulary by less-restrictive concepts such as influence, dependence, and correlation."
The Theory Program paper of Thomas Etter and Richard Shoup at the Boundary Institute summarizes their approach to precognition and psi:
... we have been holding onto the absolute difference between past and future, thus rendering any theory of precognition inconceivable. A genuine scientific theory which encompasses psi phenomena must begin by shedding these and other obsolete habits of thought which we all share. What is needed is not radically new physics, but a fresh approach to the physical laws already on the books.
At the Boundary Institute we have made a small but significant start on this task. We now have in hand a new approach and the supporting mathematics necessary for a precise probabilistic account of bidirectional causality outside of time. We have shown how this mathematics (dubbed "Link Theory") encompasses the core of quantum mechanics. A PC-based interactive Link Theory tool has been built that enables us to quickly and easily design and analyze a wide variety of experimental situations.
We are now able to formulate sensible theories about how psi might work, and to put these theories to the test with new experiments on the drawing board.
This last sentence is key to the basic approach of science. Science is all about testable theories that provide new information.
Link Theory involves the complexities of dynamic Markov theory and the raw simplicity of the basic logic of AND, OR, and NOT. See, for example, Link Theory – from Computation to Quantum Physics, or, How to build a Universe using only things found lying around the math department. The theory is very powerful, as indicated by its ability to reproduce quantum mechanics in the following limit: "When contraints on past and future are equally balanced at all times, dynamical Markov theory reduces to quantum mechanics."
Link Theory develops laws that permit precognition because it allows cause-and-effect to be connected mathematically so as to appear to go "backward in time". In Theories of Psi, Etter discusses how fundamental probability theory and logic are used to create:
... a law that applies to random rather than mechanical processes, where least action now turns into least improbability. The resulting mathematical formalism does in fact transform common-sense causality into a new and more general explanatory principle – for one thing, it allows cause-and-effect to go backward in time. The math here was discovered in the 1960’s by Helmut Schmidt, and independently a bit earlier by myself. It was this math that suggested Schmidt’s experiments in backwards PK, whereas I eventually turned it into the Link Theory interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Causality is also discussed in LINK THEORY & PSI Clairvoyance, Precognition, and PK without Rewriting Physics?
The concept of causality should be generalized in directionality, and replaced in our thinking and in our vocabulary by less-restrictive concepts such as "influence", "dependence", and "correlation". Despite our everyday experiences with objects and events, physics theory already teaches us that causality is bi- or omni-directional and in principle timeless. Our common-sense notion of causality has been developed (evolved?) through years of experience in the macroscopic world. But, just as with Relativity, our common sense has limited applicability, and in fact may have similarly misled us.
According to Shoup in his paper, Link Theory and Psi - Clairvoyance, Precognition, and PK without Rewriting Physics?, "The most important ingredient of this new approach is timeless, relational thinking."
Here is the grand objective for Link Theory from Outline of a New Science, v3:
The science I envision and am working on is one that presents us with a more radically grounded understanding of the unity of the physical world and the life world, and at the same time with a more radically unified mathematics as a part of the "connective tissue" of this new understanding.
The Link Theory papers are available here
The RetroPsychoKinesis Project - a site with info on PK that occurs "precognitively".
Discussions of the scientific experimental data on psi,
including precognition, can be found at:
- Individual Intentions Can Affect RNGs
- Precognition - Information from the Future: Replication Studies by the PEAR Group at Princeton University
- Capabilities of Consciousness
Go to another section of this
Intuition: Two Heuristic Models of Precognition Applications: Prediction of a High-Speed Object Entering the Earth's Atmosphere