That's an old joke, but there are several claimed types of psychic powers, including precognition knowing the future and telepathy describing things at a remote location. But for sheer impressiveness it's hard to beat psychokinesis, the ability to move objects through mind power. The word is derived from the Greek words for "mind" and "motion" and is also called PK or telekinesis. Fictional psychokinetics are easy to find: The popular X-Men comic and film franchise includes the character Jean Grey, whose powers include extrasensory perception and psychokinesis. The movie "Push" is about a group of young Americans with various psychic abilities who team up and use their paranormal powers against a shadowy U. Though many Americans believe in psychic ability about 15 percent of us, according to a Baylor Religion Survey , scientific evidence for its existence remains elusive. Some people even link psychokinesis to the spiritual world, suggesting for example that some reports of ghosts — such as poltergeists — are not manifestations of the undead at all, but instead the unconscious releases of a person's psychic anger or angst. If people could move everyday objects with nothing more than their thoughts, this should be quite easy to demonstrate: Who wouldn't like their latte delivered by a psychic barista from across the counter, floating it right to your hand with a mere gesture? This doesn't happen, of course.
Are Telekinetic Powers the Next Step in Human Evolution?
Spiritualism and mediums
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Frauds and fakery
Psychokinesis experiments have historically been criticized for lack of proper controls and repeatability. Rhine coined the term extra-sensory perception to describe receiving information paranormally from an external source. There is a broad scientific consensus that PK research, and parapsychology more generally, have not produced a reliable, repeatable demonstration. A panel commissioned in by the United States National Research Council to study paranormal claims concluded that "despite a year record of scientific research on such matters, our committee could find no scientific justification for the existence of phenomena such as extrasensory perception, mental telepathy or 'mind over matter' exercises Evaluation of a large body of the best available evidence simply does not support the contention that these phenomena exist. In , the United States National Academy of Sciences , at the request of the US Army Research Institute, [ ambiguous ] formed a scientific panel to assess the best evidence for psychokinesis. Part of its purpose was to investigate military applications of PK, for example to remotely jam or disrupt enemy weaponry. The panel heard from a variety of military staff who believed in PK and made visits to the PEAR laboratory and two other laboratories that had claimed positive results from micro-PK experiments. The panel criticized macro-PK experiments for being open to deception by conjurors, and said that virtually all micro-PK experiments "depart from good scientific practice in a variety of ways". Their conclusion, published in a report, was that there was no scientific evidence for the existence of psychokinesis.