Joe Rogan: But you would say no.
Sam Harris: I.. I would.. I’m not close enough to the research to have any sense, but.. I.. to some degree
Joe Rogan: Is that substantiated though?
Sam Harris: We just have to take people at their word so.. so.. I’ve talked to Rupert. I don’t think Rupert is.. I don’t think he’s a conscious fraud. I think he’s a smart guy.
He’s a very earnest guy. Is he lying about what he thinks he knows? Or is he self-deceived? Or has he been deceived by unscrupulous people or
Joe Rogan: information bias
Sam Harris: yeah, yeah, exactly. The problem is that, it’s so fringe. And so many people want to believe it’s true, that it’s easy to worry that it hasn’t really been fully uhm, the bush hasn’t been beaten hard enough to find all the errors and the biases and the frauds.
But if there’s a real phenomenon there, it should be testable. It shouldn’t be vulnerable to the slightest quirk of “Oh, that experiment had a bad vibe or too skeptical” and therefore killed the effect. Uhm, it just, especially when you’re talking about people who has.
Joe Rogan: So that’s not real. If.. if.. if.. is it possibile that someone could be the experimental hero of the bad vibe and be too skeptical
Sam Harris: You can set up an experiment
Joe Rogan: And that is of negative energy?
Sam Harris: You can set up an experiment where uhm, the experimenter was five thousand miles away or had really good vibes.
You can put the true believers in you know, kinda, the coach.. put a completely friendly coach who is you know, Sylvia Browne, you know crazy, fraudulent psychic Sylvia Browne.
She could be there, working her magic you know, and just, just helping every.. you can surround them with true believers if you wanted to
Joe Rogan: Uhuh
Sam Harris: You can design the experiment in such a way. Uhm, so you can make the vibes as nice as you want. That’s.. anyone who’s…
There’s a fundamentally, unscientific attitude you get from many, many people in this area of the human conversation which is science is reductionist.
It’s.. it’s hypercritical, life-destroying. It’s.. there’s this whole area of truth that science and principle can’t touch. And that’s just not true.
If it’s a real phenomenon, science is the best way to touch it. There are certain things that it’s hard to figure out how you would do the experiments.
Joe Rogan: Right
Sam Harris: Or how to figure out how to get them into the lab
Joe Rogan: And how to get it to the person who’s doing the experiments not being influenced by the fact that you’re experimenting on them.
Sam Harris: Yes, exactly. So there’s a certain, you know. The scientific research I’ve done is with functional magnetic resonance imaging.
We have to put people in an MRI scanner and it’s.. hugely limits what you can study because there’s.. people can’t move. You know if you move, you destroy the image.
So you gotta lie in a clattering machine motionless and do some cognitive task that you can do looking at computer goggles or looking at a mirror uhm, across your feet out into the room. It limits.
So a brain scan experiment is hugely limited. You can’t put somebody on their bike and you know, have them ride off into the distance, uh, while scanning their brain.
But those things aside, you can and here we’re not talking about experiments with those kinds of limitation. You can.. if people have an ability to know who’s calling on the phone, uh, if even there’s one guy in planet Earth who knows, who has this ability, it should be..
We could easily design an experiment that demonstrate that. And the people who claim, and there are people who really claim these abilities.
Joe Rogan: They claim it on a repeatable basis?
Sam Harris: Yeah. There are people who.. well, they’re the sort of kinda shyster Western New Age psychics uhm, who I’m not sure but I imagine they just never submit to being tested. Uhm, for obvious reasons.