Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/05/telephone_telepathy/

Scientist probes 'telephone telepathy'

'It's funny you called because I was just...'

By Lester Haines

Posted in Science, 5th September 2006 14:46 GMT

A UK scientist claims he has evidence of what he calls "telephone telepathy" - the phenomenon by which you think about someone and, lo and behold, the phone rings...

According to Reuters, Rupert Sheldrake reported on Tuesday the results of experiments which "proved that such precognition existed for telephone calls and even emails".

Sheldrake's guinea pigs gave researchers the names and phone numers of four relatives or friends. One of these was contacted at random and asked to give the subject a bell. Forty-five per cent guessed correctly who was on the other end of the line, Sheldrake told the annual British Association for the Advancement of Science shindig - "well above the 25 per cent you would have expected."

Sheldrake further commented: "The odds against this being a chance effect are 1,000 billion to one."

A similar test involving email yielded the same result, although the researchers' limited pool of testees - 63 for the phone and 50 for the email - coupled to the fact that only nine subjects were filmed across the two tests, prompted "some scepticism".

Sheldrake has vowed to continue his experiments, however, to prove what he believes is the "interconnectedness of all minds within a social grouping". Next up for scrutiny is text message telepathy. ®

Bootnote

We're sceptical about this, too. One Reg hack reports he recently had a new phone line installed and after a couple of days the phone rang. To his amazement, it was a friend he'd just been thinking about. However, when the initial shock had worn off, he remembered that he'd just been thinking that the friend in question was the only one he'd actually given the new number to.