Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Telekinesis is it possible?

  1. Dec 2, 2003 #1
    Telekinesis is it possible? Why or why not
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2003 #2
    I don't believe it is possible. The reason would be that the human brain/body can't generate the right kind of force to move something, or enough of the right kind of force.

    The notion of telekenesis probably arose from people hallucinating for one reason or another; psychosis or psychoactive plants. It has been fostered by charlatans who can do some very convincing magic tricks they pass off as real telekenisis. (Hint: there are very thin strings attached)
     
  4. Dec 4, 2003 #3
    Why not? The body generates plenty of force to move itself.
     
  5. Dec 4, 2003 #4
    Yes, but not telekinetically.
     
  6. Dec 4, 2003 #5
    I have seen some 'evidence' that telekinesis, if a true case has ever occurred, is due to an abnormal ability to generate static electricity (at will, without shuffling your feet). however, I can't say much on this, I just don't know. I doubt it would be very strong static electricity, so I lean toward no.
     
  7. Dec 4, 2003 #6
    Maybe you could consider those cybernetic monkeys that play videogames with their thoughts telekinetic, but they're aided by technology.
     
  8. Dec 6, 2003 #7
    Uri Geller claims he can bend spoons and stop watches using only his thoughts to control the external objects. Others claim to be able to make pencils roll across a table by a mere act of will. The variety of parlor tricks used to demonstrate psychokinetic powers is endless.

    I once tried to move an ant with my mind once, all he did was sit there. My size 11 Nike got upset and smooshed him.
     
  9. Dec 20, 2003 #8
    Re: Telekinesis

    Jeebus,
    Make sure you source your information. Your information came from Skepdic.com - telekinesis and psychokinesis.


    Telekinesis is not possible.

    1. There are no mechanisms in the human body that allow for controlling of objects with the human "mind".

    2. Quite a few Laws of Physics (i.e. Thermodynamics and Laws of Motion) will be violated (keep in mind that "forces" are not a substance).

    3. All instances of supposed telekinesis always have natural mundane causes (i.e. They are not telekinesis). Example of "telekinesis":
    A 1" square of paper is balanced on the point of a needle. The psychic puts his hand next to the paper, and then it begins rotating.

    Is that an example of telekinesis? No, just an example of heat from the "psychic's" hand producing convections currents that push the paper. It's an old trick and tends to fool those ignorant of the Laws of Physics. If that same trick were performed in a vacuum, the paper would not rotate (of course, the "psychic" might be killed by exposing himself in a vacuum).


    Those a few reasons I can think off the top of my head.

    Keep in mind, Uri Gellar's spoon bending is just a magic trick. Anyone can perform it. All it takes is a little preparation of the spoon (i.e. bending it to score a weak spot in the spoon, that allows you to merely use your fingers to wiggle the spoon, that creates a crack in the spoon, it begins to bend, eventually the spoon will snap in half... total time to snap the spoon is about 45 seconds...).
     
  10. Dec 21, 2003 #9
    why do you assume to know the laws of physics when there isn't even a unified field theory yet. I would assume that there is much to be discovered in what life is in relation to the actual universe. The human mind is too incompetent to even think that it knows what the universe actually is. Just my thoughts.
     
  11. Dec 21, 2003 #10
    While there is no Unified Field Theory yet, that doesnt make applying the Laws of Physics somehow inadequate.

    There is still much to discover, however telepathy is not one of those things. In the 1000s of test performed in controlled environments, there has yet to be a single instance of even a smidgen of proof for the existence of telekinesis.

    If there is no evidence that a certain thing exists, we can assume that it exists for the purposes of hypothesis and experimentation (such as Quark Theory), but if repeated experimentation and/or observation fails to show evidence that the thing exists, we can be fairly certain that it just ain't there.

    One must be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking that because there is no evidence that something does not exist, that it might exist.

    The James Randi Educational Foundation is willing to offer the first person US$1,000,000 if they can demonstrate any feat of the supernatural (i.e. dowsing, telekinesis, telepathy, anything of the sort...). Australian Skeptics offer AU$100,000. In fact, the combined offers skeptical organizations around the world yield a combined US$2,326,500. What a way to get rich quick!

    That reasoning almost sounds like an Ad hoc fallacy.

    I've heard often "humans are too ignorant to comprehend claim X, so claim X is true because so-and-so and it cannot be disproved! Hahahaha" many times (they dont really laugh at the end). Of course, the "human mind is too incompetent" puts itself in a position where you have a universal negative, or an unfalsifyable hypothesis. That puts the claim on a very shaky (or even non-existent) foundation. There's no substance to saying the human mind is too incompetent to understanding so-and-so.

    Its not good reasoning at all to assume "Well we havent found evidence against its existence, so theres a chance that it does exist".

    If its any help, the gateway between the puny competence of the human mind and the nature of the universe is called "Science".
     
  12. Dec 21, 2003 #11
    Some of the things you said were just stupid.
    The first automatically disallows the use of a theoretical proof as an absolute proof. The laws of physics are certainly well tested, but we would be very pompous, stupid, and prideful indeed if we thought that given experiments done on earth for a few thousand years we could know anything of any relevance about the working, past, and future of the universe. Also,
    That 'quote' is good reasoning, though it would be slightly more correct if it said 'a small chance'. If I look for my cat in the three most likly rooms, and cannot find her, I can conclude that there is a small chance that she has gotten outside. I would not conclude that this must be what happened until I have checked the 4th, 5th, and 6th rooms, and then double checked them all, and then tried yelling 'kitty, kitty, kitty, eat!' to get her to come out from hiding. If those fail, then the most likly thing is that she has gotten away. But given the evidence I had since I started looking for her, that was a possiblility the whole time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2003
  13. Dec 21, 2003 #12
    maybe telekenesis is just a subject which has not yet been uncovered due to the evolution of the human body not being able to "refine it" yet. Technically its possible surely. Sound is a force, it travels as waves, and can be heard from all drirections by your ears, because they are rigged to decode the information. However telekenetic waves may not yet have a way of being interpreted. Because we can not observe something, it would be alot harder to work out what that thing is. I.e. if we did not have ears, or a way of decoding sound, who could tell how the course of history would be changed?

    Theres also theproblem that EVEN IF we do have this, we may have the way of decoding it down, just not the way of transmitting it. Transmit any old sound wave in any old form and you get noise, and thats all. If telekinetic transmission is not wel developed, then oit would problalbly be undirection, weak signal strength or uncontrolled (you dunno what you are transmitting). I would favour (if any), the weak signal strength, due to some people claiming they do have it. There belief may be well founded.

    Just my 2 cents! I dont reckon things are done until totally disproved :P
     
  14. Dec 22, 2003 #13
    http://216.218.248.155/datastore/28/2c/b/282c27771fc5c69322de4ddeddda82ed.jpg

    From my original post:
    Thermodynamics and the Laws of Motion are some of the most profound and important Laws in Physics. Most would regard those 2 sets of laws as "impossible to violate", there are certainly no other laws I can think of that have been tested so thoroughly and shown to be true.

    (Note: This story relating to how the Law Of Entropy was violated, of course it would help if the authors would note how shaking a system adds energy to, no such violation of Thermodyanamics occurred...)

    You mention "if we thought that given experiments done on earth for a few thousand years we could know anything of any relevance about the working, past, and future of the universe". You dont do much to support yourself, do you believe that the "Natural Laws" (for lack of better terminology) have changed? If you can demonstrate this, your point might have a bit more credence. (Note: There is an established difference between laws written in a book which are revisable, and "Natural Law" which is irrevisable.)

    Neither "Possibilites", nor "Percent Chances", nor "Statistical Likelyhoods" are absolute formulas which govern the world we live in.

    By reading your analogy a few times, I see you dont have much a semantics based (in the significance of the word "possibility") overliteralized analogy, make sure to always exercise common sense (unknown to how that may be defined) when making judgements. Also, your analogy (where's kitty?) isnt analogous to my comments (The Laws of Thermodynamics and Motion - and other Laws - nullify any expectation of Telekinesis).

    And please, if you are going to make a criticism, do so constructively (see first line of your response).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  15. Dec 22, 2003 #14
    By technicality, it is quite impossible to find empirical evidence against the occurence or existence of anything. This is one of the areas where Science and Philosophy begin to intermingle with one another, its known as "universal doubt" in laymens terms (or Pyrrhoism in Philosophical Terms).

    It is actually quite a paradox:
    How can your disprove the existence of something which does not already exist?

    To get beyond this, Science derives itself from a few basic axioms (i.e. the external world exists is an example).

    If I told you I could morph into a tiger at the snap of my fingers, what would it take to disprove that I really dont have this ability?

    Follow-up: If my tiger-morphing claim cant be disproved, is it still possible?


    Note: Dont let common sense fly out the window, keep your Philosophy seperate from Science whenever you can.
     
  16. Dec 22, 2003 #15
    1)Certaintly true, but unless the universe is finite I can prove that you can't actually be 100% sure about anything: epistemological pessimism and Godel's incompleteness theorem.
    2)About you comments on the second law, I'd guess you don't know about emergent phenomena and chaos theory.
    3)No, the natural laws do not change, what we think they are do. If I ask you to name all the natural laws, you and anyone else can only name what they think they are and add that you're sure that's not all of them, we're not done researching yet. We don't have God's book with all the exact laws in it, so my point is again about epistemological pessimism, we will never really know for sure if the laws we have are the right ones. In fact, if the universe is finite then technically there can be more than one theory that holds, but they could be proven, by definition, to be mathematically identical, and of only trivial conceptual difference.
    4)This sounds contradictory to QM:
    do we not live in a world made of particles? If we have only part of the info necessary to make a sound conclusion, can't we only come to statistical possiblities for conclusions?
    5)I don't know what you are saying in this part:
    But I was refering to this:
    not this:
    Which I completely agree with. I don't even entirly understand our arguemnet here, because we both agree that telekinesis probably isn't real, what we disagree on is why.
    6)You are right, that was mean, I'm sorry.
    I find these quotes to be wise/funny:
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2003
  17. Dec 22, 2003 #16
    I can say that I honestly dont know what Emergent Phenomena and Chaos Theory are.

    The bit about "possibilities do not govern our lives" what in relation to:
    I often have a problem with stating that things cannot be disproven because they have a possibility of existing or occuring. Its just a pet peeve of mine. *twitch*

    For instance its possible that you are really a vat in a jar, and all the sensations of you have ever experiences were really figments of your imagination.

    Its possible nothing and no one really exists, your own consciousness represents reality, everything is merely a figment of your imagination.

    Its also possible that atoms dont really exist.

    Its also possible that the gravity on the earth will suddenly invert (AHHHHHH!) and we'll all fly away.

    Its also possible the world is balanced on the back of a giant invisible turtle, and a wolf will eventually eat the Earth.

    Of course, as long as you accept a few axioms, things such as the gravity on earth inverting dont worry you so much.

    The story with the cat, in my opinion, misrepresented the relationship between things which are uknown yet possible and things which are unknown yet impossible. Unless I'm being paranoid, it seemed like you were suggesting things which are possible, are actual (a philosophy called Actualism) until disproved. This is how some people legitimately justify saying "Precognition exists, we just dont know about yet". The general difference is of course the issue regarding metaphysical paradoxes (such as described above, where things are actual until disproved). I think I'm begining to ramble now...


    I wrote the post at 3:21 AM. Right now, its about 7:15 AM. I have an usual sleeping cycle, sometimes I decide not to go to bed. When I do that, I usually have more than one thought occuring inside my head at once... I have no idea what I was trying to say either.

    :)
     
  18. Dec 22, 2003 #17
    There are already things in that scientist have found that do violate the current laws of physics such as dark matter and energy. They only violate laws of physics because the laws of physics, as we know it, aren't correct yet. That alone is proof that without a successful unified theory, we may be seeing the universe in a backwards view. To insist that what we call an absolute today will also be tomorrow is just dumb and goes against the natural progress of science in every way.
     
  19. Dec 31, 2003 #18

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I have seen no good evidence for it, and not much anecdotal evidence.
     
  20. Dec 31, 2003 #19
    First of all, the examples you provided do not violate the laws of physics. And they never did.

    As for a unified theory, if one is discovered, it will not significantly change many of the predictions that physics currently makes. Since many of the pedictions of our current model of phsyics are correct, and even if we get a completely new model it will have to make the same correct predictions.

    Besides, simply saying "what we know today may be wrong" isn't really meaningful. No matter how much we know, you can always say that. Usually when people say "what we know today may be wrong" they forget to append "until what we know agrees with the way I think the universe should be".
     
  21. Jan 1, 2004 #20
    For any kind of force to be applied, there needs to be a mechanism to communicate that force. This force would have to affect other objects along its path to the item you are trying to telekinetically move. As there is no mechanism to communicate directly from your brain to another object across the room, telekinesis is not possible.
     
  22. Jan 31, 2004 #21

    DJL

    User Avatar

    telepathy, telekenesis

    Well it is possible wether you choose to believe or not to believe, anything is possible the imagination is the key to the mind. you could ask me a question you felt there was no answer to an i shall give a valid and possible answer to your question.

    "It is not that people know not what to say, its just they know not how"- Telepathy.

    At the begining of time the human mind was capable of all kinds of things but due to the advancing technology we have forgoton the gifts that our elders were born with: telekenises, telepathy, teleportation, levitation etc the human race choose not to believe the truth as they are incapable of dealing with it.
    We know not of why we are here anymore or how it is that we came to be, the big bang???? i don't think. the so called scientists cant admit they are wrong or have no idea so they create a reason that could be true, and in a way they are not so far from the truth.
    But the truth is only known to the five and the five will never tell this is the most information the general public shall ever read and i doubt i will remain here to answer any questions anyone may have on this post.
    If you believe you are capable of controlling or using your own mind properly then please contact me as i am looking for some people, my purpose in life was another but now that is not possible so i am searching for others they know who they are but may not believe their visions thoughts dreams feelings....... if you are reading this and it makes sense then please reply if you have no idea what i'm talkin about then please do not contact me.
    sri cun shamna si cuns shirat of the moons stars sun /an the earth the power u behold is the power above
     
  23. Jan 31, 2004 #22
    I share the same beliefs as you somewhat, but I'm confused when say "the truth belongs to the five". could you maybe be more specific about what you said?
     
  24. Jan 31, 2004 #23

    DJL

    User Avatar

    I believe there are five people alive at any time who know the true capabilities of the mind and the truth of the existence of the human mind, how or why i believe this i dont know yet i feel and know i was born with strange knowledge, knowledge wich to other people makes no sense maybe i'm crazy or maybe i know. but who is to know? there are only two ways to find out one way i choose not to take and the other i am waiting for.
    I will understand if you have no idea as to what i'm talking about or do not share the thoughts i have, i have theories for everything although they may be my own and personal to me i believe there are people out there who share them.
    I cannot go into detail as to my beliefs as i feel the people i am looking for could tell me what i already know, and will understand my code and meaning
     
  25. Feb 2, 2004 #24
    Hello, I'm sorry I can't speak now, as I have to leave. I just wanted to say this before I go.

    What if I have a theory which fits fairly well within the boundaries of physical and thermodynamical laws, that allows Telepathy, Telekinesis, and a fair amount of psionic phenomena in general?

    Well, I'm fairly sure I do.

    Anyrate, I will be back, Sorry I can't say anything now.

    EDIT: As no one has posted since, I'll put this here now.

    Telekinesis is something which has a basically undefined amount of power. There seem to be those that say if it were possible, it would only be enough to, say, have a paper move a particular direction while falling. Three times out of ten.

    Others say that there's no physics involved, it's simply beyond what we know, anyone can do anything. They just have to believe.

    Well, be glad I'm not here to spew crap about 'believing', or anything particularly wondramazing.

    A well established and known fact is that Electricity is tied quite closely with Magnetism, of course, forming Electromagnetism! Both sides of this wonderful force have wonderful and grand qualities, Magnetism being able to affect non-ferride objects when placed in the proper arrays* and Electricity allowing communications, not being really bound into gravity in any significant** way, and being able to exert rather extreme amounts of force on objects when used properly.

    Now, we, as humans, generate quite a bit of electricity. This is also well known and established; that our synapses fire electric pulses many times a second, sending these along conductive pathways to neurons inside clusters in our spine, respectively splitting off and travelling to the required smaller clusters, down and down until they actually hit the receiver they are intended for, causing a chemical production, the tissue tightens, and your finger moves. Blah blah, we know it from basic biology.

    Next, We have magnetism. If you gather magnets in a pattern similar to a hollow sphere around an object, a displacement will occur, the object's particles will space out a bit, and the object will begin to float. By moving the sphere, you move the object. It's been exhibited by NASA a number of times.

    Back to Electromagnetism. We have electric current causing magnetic fields, and magnetic fields causing electric currents, it's quite a fancy little setup used in generators these days, no?

    Now we have humans generating electricity, magnets moving non-ferride objects in the right patterns, and electric currents acting as magnets. I'm sure you see the connection, but here's the kink in the theory.

    In order to have this work beyond a doubt, the neurotransmitters would have to be fired to a position outside of the body, in rather complex formations, and in high concentrations for extended periods of time. Told you it was a kink, eh?

    This is where Biofeedbacking enters the picture. Through a large amount of time spent 'visualizing' a 'third arm' extending from your chest, and constantly imagining moving that arm, extending it, flexing it, concentrating as much as possible on what it would actually feel like, really acting like it is there, you end up 'tricking' your synapses into firing off course with the neural pathways when you need to. This is the big hike that is hardest to believe, and it is where the most problems in the idea lie. However, Biofeedbacking is at times accepted as a proven concept/method, and I believe this is where it is truly tested.

    Through biofeedbacking, and yet more intense concentration, the firing rate of your synapses increases dramatically, and the control over which direction the pulses they fire go in also increases. After much practice and testing, it is definitely theoretically possible that any human being could use Telekinesis.

    Tying Telepathy into this isn't as hard as you would think. Were two individuals to actively send neurotransmitters back and forth, their brains would be likely to interpret them as signals of some sort. Here is yet another hazy area which all skeptics would love to avoid, but ah well, the Subconscious. It is generally accepted that when these work, it is mainly through the accidents and hidden abilities of one's subconscious, that if you have enough 'want', or enough stress on the need to get a message to someone, then the neurotransmitters sent will be intercepted in the proper area in their brains, and they will know what you are thinking. Much more difficult would be reception of signals from an unintending individual, in which case you would have to remotely issue commands for them to send neurotransmitters.

    I don't expect you to jump right in and yell 'OKAY!', but I do expect you to realize that, despite the holes in this theory, there is at least moderate evidence for the possibility of Telekinesis within the range of physics.

    I intend to do extensive tests on the subject, and were someone found who claimed to do Telekinesis, I would ask them to perform it on or near a compass, the slight magnetic fields would disrupt the subtle fields of the earth, and spin the needle, even slightly. After I find my compass which I have so conveniently misplaced, I will test this theory myself, and more than 80% certainly prove myself wrong. Until that day, I stand by this possibility, and I ask you to knock it to pieces, so that I may combat it, and strengthen my own case for the day I present it will full sources and backup.

    *, **: I know I used these, but I think I explained my sources during the text, and I'm in a rush, I apologise.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2004
  26. Feb 7, 2004 #25
    Any replies in the works?
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook