# Can psychics really see the past/future?

I’m sure everyone has seen the signs for “$5 Psychic Readings” in their town or while traveling elsewhere. What I wanted to discuss here were your thoughts on using psychics for more than just personal entertainment, more specifically in police and detective work. There’s been documented cases in the past where police haven’t been able to solve a crime, at which point they turn to a psychic for help. What I find the most interesting is when the psychics they hire actually solve the case. What are your thoughts on this? What about using psychics to help solve some of the current investigations (such as the Peterson or Hacking trials?) I’m not an expert myself on the topic, but I’ve been learning a bit more from a new show on Court TV called Psychic Detectives. It’s on Wednesday’s at 9:30pm in case you want to watch it too. ~ Marysol ## Answers and Replies Chronos Science Advisor Gold Member Mary, all the real tests say this is phony. Please stay around and listen to all the people who can explain it better than I. Any real phenomenon requires energy and mass to make things happen. Watch here and learn. There are many nice people who can help. You came to the right place. Last edited: Right, the psychics are frauds. They are however often smart. They are usually good listeners, and can help the police look at the evidents from a different perspective. But this does not seem to be a topic for this category did miss cleo forsee her being arrested? =P turbo Gold Member daveed said: did miss cleo forsee her being arrested? =P Why didn't the psychic network warn us of the 9/11 attack? Certainly, that horrific traumatizing event would have had all "real" psychics screaming. Case closed. Try this idea out. People have all kinds of talents. Some are good at mathematics, some are good at music. I think there are some people who are good at looking current events and extrapolating from them the most probable future. There is nothing magical, or strange here - just a subconcious assessment of the probabilities of various outcomes. Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Hi Marysol, I don't believe in "psychics", esp TV psychics, but I think psychic things may happen. One day these "psychic events" may be explained and given a scientific name. Then we will all agree that there is not and never was such a thing as a psychic event. In other words, "psychic" implies "magic". Consider that pheromones may in fact explain some of this stuff. And who knows, maybe quantum mechanics will produce other mechanisms for information transfer between two minds; or even a mind and some distant or future event. Also, consider one recent experiment that reportedly shows that people can tell when they are being watched. We do seem to find hints at something real. Your example of police investigations I think is a very good one. I have seen and read some very compelling "official" police files and reports, and interviews with investigators that definitely imply something real is happening. Still, debunkers will always insists that a psychic event is magic; and there is no such thing as magic. But this is a self fulfilling prophecy. We may find good scientific reasons for peoples experiences that for now only seem like magic; that we call psychic. I think it is painfully obvious that if real, most of these alleged events cannot be produced on demand for science. So I say keep and open mind but not so much that your brains fall out. sd marysol2103 said: I’m sure everyone has seen the signs for “$5 Psychic Readings” in their town or while traveling elsewhere. What I wanted to discuss here were your thoughts on using psychics for more than just personal entertainment, more specifically in police and detective work.

There’s been documented cases in the past where police haven’t been able to solve a crime, at which point they turn to a psychic for help. What I find the most interesting is when the psychics they hire actually solve the case.

What are your thoughts on this? What about using psychics to help solve some of the current investigations (such as the Peterson or Hacking trials?)

I’m not an expert myself on the topic, but I’ve been learning a bit more from a new show on Court TV called Psychic Detectives. It’s on Wednesday’s at 9:30pm in case you want to watch it too.

~ Marysol
Psychics don't exist

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I think psychics are just very talented at observing human behavior. They use subtle cues in the tones of your voice, your posture, your speech pattern, your mannerisms, etc., to guess at what you're thinking. The psychics you find out for entertainment and such start off with some leading questions, not really telling you anything, just getting a feel for how you react until you start to lead them in the right direction of what you want to hear. This same skill at observing human behavior can also help them predict things about how criminals operate. They probably have a knack for criminal profiling and understanding how other people think to help guess at what they've done.

Kerrie
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
i think the term "psychic" is just a fancy word for intuition. take for example, yesterday my husband and i were driving down a busy street to get the grocery store...i remembered a friend telling me he had an accident in the exact spot we were passing through, and then i became a little panicked...i kept saying to my husband who was driving to slow down through all this chaos (he's got a bit of a lead foot)...suddenly, a van pulls in front of us and my husband has to literally slam on the breaks to not hit the van, which left some tire tracks on the road. do you call that being psychic, or just a good intuition?

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
Moonbear said:
I think psychics are just very talented at observing human behavior. They use subtle cues in the tones of your voice, your posture, your speech pattern, your mannerisms, etc., to guess at what you're thinking. The psychics you find out for entertainment and such start off with some leading questions, not really telling you anything, just getting a feel for how you react until you start to lead them in the right direction of what you want to hear. This same skill at observing human behavior can also help them predict things about how criminals operate. They probably have a knack for criminal profiling and understanding how other people think to help guess at what they've done.
People can be trained to do it. Look up "cold reading".

Yes you can see the into the future and its well documented, someone mentioned no one foreseeing the 9/11 attacks, well infact many people did, and one man in england even went so far as to paint a picture of the planes hitting the twin towers, and to get the picture dated and verifed at his local bank, and put in storage (to proove that there was no cheating involved).
The guy actually did this on a regular basis and had many premonitions which came to pass; so i learnt from an interesting documentry a year or so ago...

Overdose said:
Yes you can see the into the future and its well documented, someone mentioned no one foreseeing the 9/11 attacks, well infact many people did, and one man in england even went so far as to paint a picture of the planes hitting the twin towers, and to get the picture dated and verifed at his local bank, and put in storage (to proove that there was no cheating involved).
The guy actually did this on a regular basis and had many premonitions which came to pass; so i learnt from an interesting documentry a year or so ago...
Can you provide a source of documentation for this?

It would seem safe to say that he cannot.

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Chronos said:
Mary, all the real tests say this is phony. Please stay around and listen to all the people who can explain it better than I. Any real phenomenon requires energy and mass to make things happen. Watch here and learn. There are many nice people who can help. You came to the right place.
Not so atall, this is either disinformation or someone whos just misinformed, theres plenty of compelling evidence for psychic Phenomena being done by reputable people who conform to the most stringent guidelines.

Overdose said:
Yes you can see the into the future and its well documented

The bottom line was inconclusive: there was no strong evidence that the man’s gifts were real and not imaginary, but there was also no success in uncovering a deliberate hoax or a falsehood.
Your definition of well documented is aparently more lenient than mine. Much, much more lenient. There is no evidence this person saw this specific event prior to its occurence; descriptions of his painting make it abundantly clear that he captured none of the particular details.

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Chronos
Gold Member
Overdose said:
Not so atall, this is either disinformation or someone whos just misinformed, theres plenty of compelling evidence for psychic Phenomena being done by reputable people who conform to the most stringent guidelines.
That would explain why James Randi still has that $1,000,000 in escrow. Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member I want to see proof of the money. Locrian said: And on the web link, Your definition of well documented is aparently more lenient than mine. Much, much more lenient. First of all when i talk about documented evidence bare in mind that im not just talking about this case, this case is just the tip of the iceberg. There is no evidence this person saw this specific event prior to its occurence; descriptions of his painting make it abundantly clear that he captured none of the particular details. Well this is the crunch, how much detail needs to be there to be a 'direct hit' ? At what point do you say...right, this is just too much of a coincidence, this person has seen the future; no question. The problem is there never comes a point like this, you can always invoke coincidence... This is the problem of researching ESP, the seperation of prediction from chance. All you can do is try to statistically work out how likely or unlikey it is that someone could get a prediction right. This in essense is what was done in the Mandell's case, and the conclusion was that he was certainly 'over the odds'. Chronos said: That would explain why James Randi still has that$1,000,000 in escrow.
Ah yes a 'test' that has a million dollars at stake if the researcher 'looses'.
I try to keep an eye on research which isnt so odviously biased myself...

Chronos
Gold Member
Overdose said:
Ah yes a 'test' that has a million dollars at stake if the researcher 'looses'. I try to keep an eye on research which isnt so odviously biased myself...
How is that biased? A free million for anyone who can show proof of their paranormal 'powers'? That does not sound very biased to me. The 'Amazing Randi' tossed down the gauntlet and no one has survived the challenge. As far as I know, the offer still stands.
http://www.randi.org/research/index.html
Money talks and crap walks.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Where is the money? Frankly, I don't trust Randi any more than I trust Sylvia Brown. I have doubts that the money even exists. I keep asking for proof but none of his devotees ever produce any.

Chronos
Gold Member
Verification in progress, hopefully. Your dual skepticism is acknowledged.

Chronos said:
How is that biased? A free million for anyone who can show proof of their paranormal 'powers'? That does not sound very biased to me. The 'Amazing Randi' tossed down the gauntlet and no one has survived the challenge. As far as I know, the offer still stands.
http://www.randi.org/research/index.html
Money talks and crap walks.
You dont understand how thats biased? let me break it down for you..
if esp is proven true then Randi looses a million dollars, and more
than that he would have so much egg on his face he would never be
able to show himself in public again.
Randi does not believe in anything paranormal, he doesnt even leave room for the fact that there may be something in esp. He thinks it's all complete nonsense. Well, thats about as biased as your gonna get i think.

Oh and did you know Rhandi can turn away any potentional subjects for any reason and doesnt have to give an explaination, so if he meets someone who he knows will pass all his tests, he can simply tell them to go away.
Randi is a complete charlatan.