Dean RadinDean Radin, PhD, Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Science, joins Tonya Dawn Recla to discuss whether or not magic and superpowers can change our reality. Dean’s book, Real Magic: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe, challenges the bounds of what is acceptable as science. He has boldly tackled the very polarizing conversation about the relationship between psi studies and science. Listen to this amazing dialogue that tackles conspiracy theories regarding how we interact with the world and why we’re programmed to blindly accept materialism as the only viable explanation of our physical reality and what happens when we move beyond the obvious.  

Hello everyone, this is Tonya Dawn Recla, your Super Power Expert and I’m really, really, really excited for today’s episode. This gentlemen I’ve been kind of looking into for a while now ever since I stumbled upon his book Real Magic. I know we’ve talked about it on previous shows and we talk about it within the Super Power NET, but I felt like it was really important to bring him on to kind of share his perspective because what he’s done has created this relationship between looking at maybe the esoteric or magic embroidered into the realm of sciences really flushing it out from there. His book is so significant that the endorsements alone make it incredibly impressive and you said the president from the Statistical Foundation?

The American Statistical Association.

And that’s no small fete folks, and so we’ll get into all of that here soon. But I mean, you can read Dean Radin’s bio and it’s just incredibly impressive the work that he’s done in the world and I, for one, am just really excited to have somebody that is this courageous to kind of bring these conversations out of the science arena on the show today. So we’re going to be talking about can magic and superpowers change our reality. These conversations are great. I love the philosophies and everything else, but what is the impact, where are we looking at taking this down the road and in the future? So please, without further ado, please join me in welcoming Dr. Dean Radin to the show. Thank you so much for joining us.

Thank you for asking me.

Beautiful. So we jump right in. We’re going to ask you what are your super powers? Let’s kind of flesh this out a little bit: Like who are you in the world and how do you categorize yourself?

I would say that my super power is being comfortable with large amounts of ambiguity because you’re working in science, especially the edge of the known, most of the time you don’t actually know what you’re dealing with and you have to be comfortable with that. Otherwise, you wouldn’t do it.

Well, my hats off really to you because I don’t know everything that it took for you to step up into space but I have seen enough of the controversy and can only imagine the internal kind of journey you had to go through to step forward and say, “You know what? I think that we can approach this and prove it from a scientific perspective.” What was that journey like for you?

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You're bringing a tool kit with you to be able to explore the unknown

You’re bringing a tool kit with you to be able to explore the unknown.

Well, first of all, it does require a certain amount of ability to take a risk. It’s not like a risk-free climbing up a mountain but social risk and career risk and it’s only because science, like a lot of other things that people do, tends to be conservative in the sense of it wants to maintain the status quo. But if you look at the history of science, you find that almost always, the people who make the great breakthroughs are the ones who are driven by curiosity and the curiosity overcomes the fear of social ostracism and risk. And so, I’ve always been driven by curiosity, it’s not that I don’t care what other people think, but being a scientist, part of the joy of science is that your diving into the unknown. You’re bringing a tool kit with you to be able to explore the unknown. And more importantly, it’s not that you’re doing it yourself.

So I’m part of a long legacy now. About 150 years of other scientists who have had the same kind of experiences that I’ve had and the thing that is generally not known by mainstream science is that lots of the methods that are used in mainstream science today were developed as a result of people doing the kind of studies that I’m doing. So for example, the use of placebo controls and double-blind controls and the use of statistics and experiments, the development of the EEG, which is the origins of neuroscience and I could go on and on. All of these were started by scientists like myself who were studying the space between psychology and physics. And the other thing is that while the scientific study, especially psychic phenomena, which is what I specialize in, the scientific study of this domain is not any different than many studies in ordinary psychology or any studies in ordinary physics, it’s the same approach. It’s just aimed at a very common human experience.

Well, I think it is a little bit different only from the sense that for whatever reason, it threatens people, right? If I could be overly dramatic, even just the very fabric of reality and how we perceive of it, when we start to entertain ideas that perhaps our original five senses and how we initially understood them to work, might not be the only way that we can perceive of information. It starts to make people shutter a little bit and so within the realm, especially within the scientific community, it does shake things up.

I love how you explain it and as a matter of fact and it’s like, “I’m curious but it’s like wow, that’s a huge undertaking to move into those spaces” and say, “You know what? I think that this is legitimate, because a lot of folks are arguing vehemently that it’s not, and that it’s pseudoscience and everything else.” It begs the question of what is the relationship then between what we’re able to prove in a lab and with things especially like sign and magic or superpowers or whatever you want to call them that perhaps lie in the domain of belief so heavily that now you’ve got these conflicting realities of can you prove something that is very kind of in and of themselves requires belief on some level. How do you tackle that sort of conundrum?

Well, it’s a fairly standard approach, an experimental approach that’s used in psychology especially social psychology experiments all the time. You can study effective emotions and perception, the effects of belief on how you behave, all kinds of things that are thought to be fairly subtle. There are standard ways of doing these experiments in the lab. The advantage of then trying to study something like telepathy, to just take an example, the advantage is that it’s very straight forward in terms of the design of what you would do, how you would evaluate it, and when you look at the meta-analysis now over about four decades of repeated experiments, about 120 experiments, reported in many labs around the world, reported even by skeptics who didn’t believe at all in telepathy, and you find a very systematic, repeated pattern.

The great value of scientific methods is that it does allow you to take into account people's beliefs, the possibility that there are other ways of interpreting the data

The great value of scientific methods is that it does allow you to take into account people’s beliefs, the possibility that there are other ways of interpreting the data.

And that pattern says that whatever’s going on in these experiments is not due to chance, it’s not due to a flaw in the method, it’s not due to any known mistake, even skeptics will admit that, ones that actually read the literature. And the implication of what you get at the end of these experiments is that somehow, information from one person’s mind can get into another person’s mind. That’s basically telepathy. The great value of scientific methods is that it does allow you to take into account people’s beliefs, the possibility that there are other ways of interpreting the data. How you share it among colleagues, who are just as critical as you are, and you publish it as high a ranked journal as you possibly can and it withstands that level of scrutiny. Now, of course, there’s going to be skeptics who don’t want to buy it but generally what I found is that people who are the strongest deniers actually don’t know the literature, so they’re denying based on their own prejudice rather than the actual data.

Beautiful. I just love how matter of fact you are. Well we’re going to take a quick break, but before we do that, I know that we can send people to deanradin.org. Is there anywhere else you’d like to send them if they want to find out more about your work?

Well, I’m chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, so you can find out all about ions as we call it at noetic.org.

Perfect. When we come back from this quick break, we’re going to dive into what we’re talking about, what the impact is on how we perceive of reality and plus, maybe tap into a little bit as to why certain industries and genres are a little bit more willing to play in these areas than others. So stick with us. When we get back, we got lots of juicy questions for Dean and we will be right back. Stay tuned.

To listen to the entire show click on the player above or go to the SuperPower Up! podcast on iTunes.