Dean Radin's book, Entangled Mines, is required reading
for anyone seriously interested in understanding the current debates
in the science of psi. Here Radin proposes that human minds are
literally entangled with the universe on a quantum level, and that
this entanglement may be the root explanation for a great many psychic
Entangled Minds is Dean Radin's second book on the science
of psychic phenomena (or, more generally, "psi"). As with
his first book, The Conscious
Universe, Radin survey's a huge scientific literature on
the subject. But with Entangled Minds, Radin goes much
further in the direction of proposing a theoretical underpinning
that may explain psi. Before turning one's attention toward this
theory, however, it is worthwhile placing Radin's theoretical contribution
in context, which is why his lengthy and rich description of the
relevant extant literature is so important.
Radin begins his book by focusing on the primal exposure to psi
that first riveted so many early scientists, and which still intrigues
lay people today. His focus throughout this book is the idea of
entanglement as a possible explanation for psychic phenomena. Thus,
even when he discusses early approaches to the study of psi, he
keeps his eye on this larger theoretical picture. Radin then moves
on to examine both consciously and unconsciously mediated psychic
phenomena. Consciously mediated psi is, for example, when a person
consciously tries to send a telepathic message to someone else.
Thus, we have a sender and a receiver, both of whom are trying to
establish a psychic mental connection for the purpose of transferring
information from one person to another. Unconsciously mediate psi
typically refers to unconscious responses of a person's nervous
system to distant mental influence, often as measure with respect
to brain waves or skin resistance.
The study of psi extends well beyond the transfer of information,
either consciously or unconsciously. Psychic phenomena include mental
influences on physical mater, and Radin spends considerable time
explaining this. To introduce the idea of mind-matter interaction,
Radin summarizes a large set of laboratory experiments in which
mental influences are statistically apparent in things as diverse
as throwing dice to the computation of random numbers by computers.
The statistical evidence of this is overwhelming, and certainly
far beyond that which would be required in any branch of nonparanormal
The study of psi also extends to the cosmological realm of time.
Radin addresses the issue of time by examining something called
"presentiment," and that is the ability of a person to
respond consciously or unconsciously to a stimulus before
the stimulus is applied. This is a highly complex area of research,
but at its core is the simple idea that humans can react emotionally
to certain things that are about to happen, even when they are given
no prior physical information relating to this. Skeptical readers
can be assured that all scientific controls are in place, and the
experiments are conducted so that there can be no leak of information
to the person about to receive a stimulus. For example, when a computer
randomly selects a picture to show to a person in a controlled and
isolated environment, various measures (such as skin resistance,
EEG measurements, etc.) indicate that that the person knows in advance
when the picture is going to elicit a strong emotional response.
As with the other evidences of psychic functioning surveyed by Radin,
the statistical evidence is many times greater than any minimum
One of Radin's chapters ("Gaia's Dreams") addresses a
set of experiments that are increasingly attracting mainstream scientific
attention. It appears that certain types of events in the globe
affect the way humanity in general thinks. That is, certain types
of events cause large numbers of humans to think about the same
subject, and to hold similar emotions. When this occurs, computational
devices that compute random numbers are influenced. Events such
as the terrorist attack in the United States that destroyed the
twin towers of the World Trade Center, the funeral of Princess Diana,
the funeral of Pope John Paul II, and the tsunamis in Asia in 2004
seem to be particularly potent in triggering a coherence in human
thinking that can influence the operation of random number generators.
Put bluntly, this is the strongest evidence to date that there may
be something to the idea of a "collective consciousness."
Perhaps most interestingly, the random number generators are often
influenced a few hour before the major events occur,
suggesting that a predictive capability to major events may one
day be possible.
The great beauty in Dean Radin's book becomes most visible in his
later chapters in which he proposes a connection between psychic
phenomena and quantum mechanics. Here, readers can obtain one of
the most comprehensive and approachable introductions into this
area of physics in print. Radin summarizes much of the debate among
physicists regarding the interpretation of quantum phenomena such
as entanglement. Indeed, his exceptionally clear description of
John Bell's famous theorem is itself worth the price of the book.
He then goes on to explain why quantum theory should be considered
the prime candidate for explaining the manifestation of psi.
If someone were to ask what are the most important things that
one gets from reading this book, I would say there are two. First,
Dean Radin's approach to the explanation of psychic phenomena is
thoroughly comprehensive. Reading this book forces a realization
that an enormous number of very serious scientists working in large
variety of prestigious places are deeply concerned with matters
of psi. Moreover, their experiments are convincing beyond any reasonable
scientific doubt that psi is real, and that its implications to
the way we conceive of reality are profound. Second, Radin offers
the reader a truly intriguing entry into the theory of psychic functioning
based on theories of quantum mechanics. In this regard, Radin is
in good company with the likes of Stapp, Josephson, Goswami, Wolf,
Hameroff, and Penrose.
If I could wish anything to be true, I would wish two things. First,
I would wish that every college president would read Radin's book,
Entangled Minds. Second, I would wish that each of these
presidents would turn to his or her own faculty and ask them why
they are not studying this material. It should be clear to anyone
familiar with this literature that this area of research will one
day profoundly influence the future of science. College as well
as lay audiences who want an insider's glimpse into some of the
most important questions that future scientists in many fields will
be working on should read this book.