If prayer worked, you’d be able to pray for lost arms.
Joe Rogan: Well, that you say that but what if prayer only works a little tiny bit. And you’ve got a lot of people involved.
Sam Harris: That it just boosts your immune system?
Joe Rogan: Well, no. It’s not perfect. It’s not magic. Is there.. is there power in thought?
Sam Harris: But it builds its magic.
Joe Rogan: Yes, it is build as magic. But we’re assuming
Sam Harris: But no everyone’s
Joe Rogan: Okay God. If we’re talking about God. We’re talking about groups, people praying with things. I’m talking about using their energy of their thoughts. I’m not talking about invoking a higher power. I’m just talking about..
Sam Harris: But they think they are. That’s so.. Sometimes <inaudible>
Joe Rogan: But with Art Bell. Remember that show? Art Bell?
Sam Harris: Yeah
Joe Rogan: Coast to Coast. Werewolves at 3’oclock in the morning while you are driving with an AM radio
Sam Harris: Right
Joe Rogan: Uhm, I believe he did some sort of a test where he tried to influence something whether it’s weather or something but you know, a gigantic mind melt– but it wasn’t a religious thing.
I think the idea was can you get a bunch of people to concentrate on something and do we have like the most minute ability to influence things and together
Sam Harris: Right
Joe Rogan: and we can do something measurable. But I don’t know if anybody ever did anything that’s actually.
Sam Harris: Well, a lot of people who have done research of that kind and what they claim is just that these micro-departures, these micro-effects that when you aggregate them over many, many trials represent huge statistical departures from chance.
And most people in the skeptic community find that completely unpersuasive because
Joe Rogan: Have you looked into it at all? Like random number generator influence?
Uhm, which you come down to there are just meta-analysis of someone’s statistics and the concern on the part of skeptics that you know, there are frauds involved.
There’s a file drawer effect where people are not reporting their failures and they are reporting the uhm, the positive results.
And so, there’s just what you want, what you should be able to find is if these are, if these are real abilities that really matter in terms of you know…
Joe Rogan: Tangible results
Sam Harris: Tan–you should find someone who can come into the lab and demonstrate telepathy or clairvoyance or whatever the thing is you’re interested in.
So that it’s really, it should survive the presence of a skeptic like James Randi who’s a professional magician who knows how to fake these mentalist games, uhm. You should be able to test it in..so actually
Joe Rogan: Sure.
Sam Harris: I talked to Rupert Sheldrake about this once ‘coz.. do you know who Rupert..
Joe Rogan: Sure. Morphic resonance his idea.
Sam Harris: Yeah. He’s a big advocate of the scientific testing of this phenomenon but he’s very uhm,
Joe Rogan: He’s a believer.
Sam Harris: He’s a real believer and you know, he’s published essays or articles on you know, pets that know when their owners are gonna come home
Joe Rogan: Right
Sam Harris: So he has the camera on the dog and the owner’s headed home and got them time synced and showing the effect of the dog getting up at the right time.
And he’s very into the idea democratizing science where you can get thousands of people doing these tests on their own and showing some effect.
But, what he hasn’t wanted to do was just actually submit to James Randi’s challenge of showing up and doing an experiment that will survive the scrutiny of professional magicians and just allow this thing.