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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Entanglement: The Next Big Thing?

Just a few months ago on his blog, parapsychologist Dean Radin boldly claimed that the idea of entanglement will soon become taken for granted in biology. Entanglement is the idea that all things are connected at a deep level, and that this connectivity transcends the currently understood limits of space and time, as held in mainstream science. In the post, titled “Quantum biology now. Quantum psychology next?”, Radin suggests that psychology will quickly follow suit, taking on entanglement as a founding principle of mind.
 Dean Radin
Radin has long held the belief that entanglement will eventually be embraced in science, but his confidence received a boost at the beginning of the year because of a paper published in the prestigious science journal, Nature by Elisabetta Collini and colleagues.
That paper, entitled “Coherently wired light-harvesting in photosynthetic marine algae at ambient temperature”, provides evidence that quantum level coherence exists at room temperature in living systems. That evidence contradicts the view that long-range quantum coherence between molecules cannot occur in living systems, even at low temperatures.

Here’s what Radin writes:
…the evidence for quantum coherence in living systems continues to mount. This latest advancement… demonstrates that coherence not only exists in living systems, but it persists at room temperature. This contradicts long-held dogma that it is not possible to have quantum effects in living bodies. That dogma was based on assumptions about entanglement as observed in simple physics experiments, ignoring what happens when elementary things combine into new emergent properties. 

My thesis in Entangled Minds was that if some form of quantum entanglement exists in living systems, then the subjective experience of that entanglement may well be what we call psi, mystical experience, or noetic experience in general. In the five years since I wrote that book (Entangled Minds), the evidence leading towards quantum psychology is marching along quite a bit faster than I had expected.      

The irony in all this is that by the time I get to say "I told you so," the concept of entangled minds will become so obvious that it won't be considered controversial any more. It might take a year or two for the hoopla to settle down, but in the grand scheme of things we will have advanced from a "para" discipline to the mainstream in a flash. And likewise, centuries of past objections and skepticism about the reality of psychic and mystical experiences will also vanish in a flash.      
Perhaps Raidin is a little over-optimistic, but it is undoubtedly true that once entanglement is  taken as given in biology, psychology will jump on board. As Freud lamented well over half a century ago, psychology has become a handmaiden to neuroscience. And neuroscience in turn has become a handmaiden to molecular and mechanistic biology. Thus, once biology is stripped of its mechanistic givens, neuroscience and psychology must inevitably follow, as their foundations will have morphed into something entirely new.
The ricochet effect will be inevitable. The precise timing is what will remain uncertain.
In Transcending the levels of Consciousness, mystic David R. Hawkins rightly points out that at one level of consciousness, the consciousness levels above it cannot be easily understood. Further, mind as it exists at one level – in this case the sceptical mindset – inevitably interprets all reality at that same level. Each level draws data to itself which reinforces its perception of reality.
This is why, way back in 1960, in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn suggested that paradigms do not shift under the weight of evidence, but only after one generation has passed, and a new one arises. If he was right, the shift to an entanglement paradigm may take some time. Or perhaps it is that we are already between generations and paradigms, and that all that is required is a little more evidence to get a sufficient number of mainstream scientists to “come out.”
The deep connectedness of minds – of consciousness and consciousness - is a reality. Many who have moved beyond the purely rational level of mind, including myself, know that first hand. There are plenty of us about. The problem is that we have been silenced, and our ways of knowing rendered invalid by mainstream science and education. Yet our time will come.
We live in interesting times.        
Elisabetta Collini, Cathy Y. Wong, Krystyna E. Wilk, Paul M. G. Curmi, Paul Brumer & Gregory D. Scholes. “Coherently wired light-harvesting in photosynthetic marine algae at ambient temperature.” Nature 463, 644-647 (4 February 2010)


  1. I couldn't agree more, Marcus. I believe the difficult times we are currently experiencing in all aspects of life is the "softening" we need for a very dramatic shift in consciousness. The mind tends to be open to new ways of doing things during scary times, and this time in history just may be the precursor needed for the shift to begin. Some of us have been waiting for this for a long time. But I also agree with Hawkins - each level draws to itself reinforcing data, so some may come along more easily than others. Certainly having mainstream science back Entanglement helps even the most skeptical have doubts.

  2. This echoes the work of Sheldrake and his morphic resonance. Maybe entanglement is just another word for it.

  3. You are right about unsettling times being a possible catalyst for shifts of consciousness, Nancy. Not quite the same, but a related point is that Thomas Kuhn said that science proceeds as "normal" until the old system just doesn't work anymore, or can't account for a significant amount of the data.

  4. Trish OR Rob ;-)

    I'm a big fan of Sheldrake. Not necessarily because he is always going to be right, but simply because he is willing to push the boundaries of science. He makes a genuine attempt to account for anomalous data that doesn't fit the old mechanistic scientific paradigm. Science really needs people like him, especially in these days of big-business and government funded science, which has only reinforced the mechanistic paradigm, as it is highly compatible with consumer-based materialism - i.e. the ego is the common denominator.

    BTW, Radin uses the term entanglement as a general underlying feature of the cosmos - all things are connected. He uses quantum theory as a basic working premise (or metaphor). Sheldrake's morphic resonance is a specific testable theory, but does contain an implicit entanglement within it.

  5. Hi Marcus,
    That was Trish's comment above. I also sent one, tho, that seems to have disappeared. I recalled reading Thomas Kuhn's book in a college class called the History of Science, and am amazed to see that his thoughts from 30 years ago still seem cutting edge.

    I also asked you if you thought there would be a paradigm shift at some point where it would be acceptable for scientists to investigate UFOs. Mainstream science seems even less open to UFOs than to psi research.

    It seems that Radin's entanglement is similar to the holographic universe concept that Michael Talbot wrote about. Also similar to the implicate or enfolded order, described by David Bohm. For that matter, similar to Indra's Net from Hindu philosophy.

  6. UFO research is a real problematic area. Most scientists wouldn't touch it with a 40-foot pole. Almost any time it is brought up, they go on the defensive, and the same old references to "crackpots and charlatans" comes out. I do believe there is something worth investigating, as my own UFO story indicates. The fact that most investigators are enthusiasts, as opposed to scientists, is also a problem, as many in science won't take the time to sort the wheat from the chaf (i.e. dismiss all reports immediately).

    And yes, Radin's entanglement is not really new - Bohm, Sheldrake, Talbot and many others have used terms which refer to the same general concept.

  7. I have a cousin, a quantum physicist, who sees no connection with the numbers and formulas he works with and psi phenomena. In fact, he belongs to a group of scientists who are concerned about charlatans in their field trying to connect the quantum world with our macro-world activities.

    Hopefully, the generation following him - he's in his early 70s--won't be so defensive and dismissive. Interestingly, though, he asked me once what I thought about UFOs. He was interested, but only from a behind-the-scenes curiosity.

  8. Great blog post and comments. Since you mentioned Dean Radin, I wanted to let you know that Dean Radin, Senior will be interviewing Diane Powell on a teleseminar Wednesday June 2nd at 5:00 pm Pacific time... you can sign up to participate in the call FREE here:

    Diane Powell is one of those mainstream scientists who dared to investigate areas that other scientists won't touch with a 10 -foot pole....should be a great dialogue between them, and they will also take questions from those who participate in the call. She is the author of The ESP Enigma:

    Lindsey King
    Institute of Noetic Sciences

  9. Thanks for the tip, Lindsey. I've registered for the interview, but I'm not sure I'll be able to link up - I'm in Hong Kong. I'm also at work at that time, and my boss might not like it too much!

    BTW, is Dean Radin Senior a different Dean Radin from the one I wrote about here?