what is PK

Is Telekinesis Possible?

When it comes to telekinesis (psychokinesis), there’s a plethora of tricks that magicians use to give the illusion that their moving objects with their minds, from magnets to static electricity, to invisible thread, or even simple sleight of hand. But what about the self-proclaimed psychics who don’t admit to using magic tricks. The ones claiming that it’s all real.

While supernatural and psychic claims date back to antiquity. The history of Psychokinesis (or PK) really took off in the 1800s. With the invention of photography and the widespread distribution of photographic hoaxes via newspaper, charlatans began popping up left and right and simultaneously, skeptic debunkers emerged, swatting them down one by one. During the Cold War people were losing their britches over the Commies’ military capabilities. So you can imagine how the public fascination with PK exploded from the media stir over the Soviet military investigating psychic warfare. First and foremost among the alleged psychics was Nina Kulagina, who claimed to be able to move objects with her mind, even objects inside closed containers.

And while numerous magicians have been able to physically replicate her feats, unfortunately, she died in 1990, and because she lived in the Soviet Union, she was never properly tested under adequate scientific controls. And I’m sorry, but to anyone who thinks that the Soviet Union was a bastion of scientific standards, just google “Lysenkoism.”

Was any of this actually possible, though? Initial tests by British physicist, Dr. John Taylor seemed to support the existence of telekinesis. He received positive test results of children bending spoons and paper clips.

But after setting up a two-way mirror and secretly filming the test, he discovered the little bastards were bending the objects by hand when they thought no one was looking.

In the early 80s, James Hydrick was seen as the world’s greatest practitioner of telekinesis, moving pencils, turning pages, and even rotating a psi wheel inside of a glass container - all without touching the objects. He was exposed on live TV by James Randi, and after the Magician Danny Korem was able to naturally replicate all of his feats, Hydrick eventually confessed to being a fraud.

Danny Korem: “Why did you feel that you had to tell them that you had powers that you didn’t have.”

James Hydrick: “Because I wanted attention. My parents would never give it to me. My whole idea behind this, in the first place, was to see how dumb America was. How dumb the world is.”

Around the same time, Psychokinetic spoon bending became a craze with Uri Gellar claiming that anyone could melt metal and bend spoons with their mind. He too, was exposed multiple times. Eventually the Skeptic Society was able to get their hands on some cutlery allegedly bent psycho-kinetically and examined it in a lab. Under a microscope they discovered that the spoons had been bent with a mechanical force rather than via heat.

Ad for brilliant

Get 20% off an annual membership!

The video was sponsored by Brilliant – Math and Science Done Right. Sign up at https://brilliant.org/holykoolaid. The first 200 subscribers will get 20% off an annual membership.

If all of this isn’t convincing enough, there’s another reason to believe that telekinesis is nothing more than a giant sham: the laws of Physics themselves. Science is the studying and testing of how the world works, and there’s a reason that most scientists don’t gobble up this tom-foolery. There are four basic forces in the universe that effect matter. The strong and weak forces only effect the world of the super small. They just don’t have the range to effect anything larger than an atom. That leaves us with Gravity and Electromagnetism.

To paraphrase Physicist Sean Carrol, an electro-magnetic field powerful enough to move a distant spoon would be “laughably easy to detect.” And our brains just aren’t physically “constructed to generate or focus such fields.” He wrote a great article about it for Discover Magazine and also breaks down why there’s pretty good reason to believe that psychics aren’t tapping into some unknown 5th force - I’ll link to it below.

And as for gravity, you’d have to have a freaking huge head to have a gravitational pull that strong, and it wouldn’t just tug on the spoon. But then again some of these psychics do have pretty big heads. Brain waves just aren’t physically strong enough nor do they have the range to move objects at a distance. You can, however, connect wires to the brain allowing you to control robotic hands. It’s not telekinesis, but it’s probably the closest to it, and blatantly shows how science once again, is our best shot at accomplishing the medical miracles that superstition & pseudoscientific fakery can only ever dream of. This entire series on psychics has been a blast so far, but you may be asking yourself. Why cover this at all? What’s the harm? And trust me, I will deal with that in the next video in this series.

Thanks! And as always, Dare to be curious! But don’t drink the Koolaid.

References:

Connect with me here:

This video was made possible by the following patrons, who you could join in supporting the show on a per episode basis by going to patreon.com/holykoolaid.

And I’m proud to announce that if you want to support future episodes with a one-time donation without pledging on Patreon, you can now do so. Holy Koolaid now accepts Paypal, Bitcoin, checks, and Venmo donations. You guys rock! Thank you for all of your love and support, and don’t drink the Koolaid.

Click here for a list of atheist podcasts.

Return Home

Like this post? Please Share It 🙂

Summary
Is Telekinesis Possible?
Title
Is Telekinesis Possible?
Description

Is psychokinesis real? Can people move objects with their minds or is it even scientifically possible? Explore the history of telekinesis and learn how even some of the greatest psychics in history have been exposed as frauds.

Leave a Comment