For over a hundred years, physicists have systematically shattered the mechanistic universe, and by doing so have made room among the black holes for ESP, mindons, psitrons, and ghosts among others…
The general public remains comparatively apathetic to psi research, despite its steady legitimization within the circles of science and government. This may be due to time lag as it could take up to forty and even fifty years for the findings of the scientific avant garde to percolate down to the rest of us whether as useful technology or part of the “myth” of science. ESP research has taken even longer , because psi phenomena have no readily apparent use and the experiments behind them are grindingly prolix and unspectacular.
The first academically backed experiments in parapsychological research began in the 1930′s under the leadership of Dr. J.B. Rhine and his wife, Dr. Louisa Rhine. Biologists by profession, they set up their parapsychology laboratory at Duke University in 1930. The field of occult phenomena, once stiffly defensive and musty, began to whirl like a centrifuge, acquiring a methodology and terms to match: ESP, diagonal decline, stimulus object.
It took the Rhine’s some thirty years of hard work, shuffles, deals, dice throwing, and statistical analysis to establish parapsychology as a respectable science. Not until 1969 did the American Association for the Advancement of Science admit the Parapsychology Association to its membership, after two rejections. The ugly duckling of science was finally fledged; yet its habits and purposes remained obscure and still are to most people.
As a discipline, parapsychology seems both irrational and factually constipated; yet this pedantic and surprising orphan was now able to claim legitimacy for itself. More astonishing still, was its edging away from its status as a foster child of psychology and moving into the embrace of theoretical physics.