www.whyville.net Nov 24, 2013 Weekly Issue

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Mind Over Matter

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"Whoever believes in telekinesis, please raise my hand!"

Telekinesis is the ability to influence objects using only the mind, without any physical contact. It is sometimes interchanged with the word "psychokinesis" or "PK". However, psychokinesis is generally a blanket term that many have branched out into smaller categories like biokinesis (the ability to manipulate genes), hydrokinesis (the ability to manipulate water), chronokinesis (the manipulation of time), and a never-ending list of many other abilities. Generations after generations of people have dedicated time trying to use the power of their mind to do things such as levitating, bending spoons, and making soda cans float. Admittedly, these powerful assumptions of the human brain had me interested too, so I decided to dig a little deeper and see what telekinesis is all about.

The term "telekinesis" was coined in the 1890's to explain the movement of objects by ghosts or spirits, but eventually it was believed that maybe humans were capable of this unexplained influence of objects too. This sparked a craze of "psychics" trying to prove their abilities that ranged anywhere from using their mind to move a feather a few inches or making a table float across a room. However, many of them were exposed for using tricks such as thin wires and assistants dressed in all black, and the interest began to fade.

Much later, in the 1970's, telekinesis began to spark debate again as a man named Uri Geller became famous for supposedly using his mind to bend objects like spoons and keys. He even took his talent to a British radio station and after bending a key, he urged those listening to try it too. A few minutes later, the radio suddenly received several calls of people claiming to have spoons, forks, knives, and keys start to bend, and clocks and watches that had not worked in years began to start up. However, Uri's tricks were never performed under a scientific control, and despite his fame and claim of using his mind, many magicians are able to duplicate his tricks using sleight of hand.

Although Uri Geller was never able to perform under scientific control, there are still those out there who are willing to attempt it. In 1964, James Randi of the James Randi Educational Foundation offered $1000 to anyone who was able to prove paranormal or psychic abilities under a scientific test. Donors who have heard of his challenge have also offered money, putting the prize today at 1 million dollars to anyone who can prove paranormal ability. All applicants must perform a preliminary test that they can help design in order to be eligible for a second test and the prize money, however no one to date has ever passed even the preliminary exam and the prize is still up for taking.

Despite today's proof of telekinetic activity, many still work to achieve it. A largely popular belief is that the world is nothing but energy, and energy will flow where your attention is. Because of this, telekinetic hopefuls spend immense amounts of time meditating and learning to "focus their energy" to strengthen their ability. Many believe that telekinesis can give you the ability not only to move objects, but to influence outcomes of things like random number generators and the roll of a die, simply by willing it.

Although not currently proven, perhaps one day someone will have strengthened their mind enough to do the impossible and give validity to telekinesis. Maybe telekinesis as we see it is simply impossible and doesn't match up with the laws of energy. Many people are firm believers and others think it couldn't possibly be true. I personally don't know what to think and although I tend to doubt its possibility, the idea of it is fascinating to me. What do you think?

Author's Note: Sources: http://www.livescience.com/28119-telekinesis.html, http://psi.wikia.com/wiki/Telekinesis, http://paranormal.about.com/od/telekinesispsychokinesis/a/aa031703_2.htm, http://www.kzone.com.ph/images/airbender1.jpg, http://www.circusperformers.co.uk/Pics%20for%20circusperformers2/Thumbs2/looch__spoon.jpg


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