Japanese Ministry of Telepathy What will the Japanese think of next? Japan's Ministry of P

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

Japanese Ministry of Telepathy What will the Japanese think of next? Japan's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, the government agency that oversees the phone and postal systems, recently announced it is looking into human telepathy as a new communications medium. The ministry's specially appointed 8-member committee, which includes Japan's foremost parapsychologist as well as bigwigs from Japan's aerospace and electronic industries, has already begun discussions on the potential uses not only for mental telepathy, but also for gravity waves, the as-yet-unproven gravity patterns thought to travel almost infinite distances. The committee will also be seeking uses for neutrinos -- subatomic particles thought to have no mass, thus enabling them to pass right through the earth at the speed of light. Theoretically, the gravity waves could be used to send incredibly long-distance communications. And because neutrinos are emitted by the reactors aboard nuclear submarines, a huge neutrino detector might conceivably be built to track underwater movements of submarines on the opposite side of the world. The parapsychologist on the ministry's committee, Soji Ootani of Japan's National Defense Academy, says, "Although scientifically we are not at the stage to actually use telepathy or these other proposed methods, there is a good possibility that they could be used. So it is a good idea to begin thinking about them." But Alun Anderson, Tokyo correspondent for the British science journal NATURE, has reported on the new committee's work, and he disagrees heartily. "The ideas they are looking into are really farfetched, yet they decide to look for practical applications first, before the basic research is done," he says. "It's like announcing that you're going to investigate whether tarot card readers can predict the behavior of the Russian army."

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank