Re: Movement Vs. Telekinesis

From: HARNAD Stevan (
Date: Wed May 29 1996 - 20:57:20 BST

> From: "West Ben" <>
> Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 10:40:25 GMT
> When reffering to movement you are also reffering to the laws of

referring: always use a spell-checker (though I myself, in responding to
these 100+ postings within the space of a few days, may well let some
spelling errors and typos through, as I don't even have time to re-read
what I reply, let alone the time to run it through a spell-checker!).

> physics and the laws of conservation of energy. when you think of
> someone causing movement you invisage physical contact between that
> person and the movement they are causing eg throwing a ball, knocking
> down dominos. this "direct physical contact" is the key to the
> movement as this is where the laws of the conservation of energy are
> up held and enrgy is transformed from one form to another.

But in physics there is also action-at-a-distance, such as gravitational
attraction, which can also cause movement.

> kinetic
> energy of a throwing hand is converted to kinetic and gravitational
> energy of a ball for example. this is a causal law of physics and no
> exceptions have been observed. with telekinesis there is none of
> this "direct physical contact" hence it would appear not to up hold
> the laws of physics.

The problem is not that telekinesis would be action-at-a-distance, but
that it would be the wrong KIND of action at a distance: It would not be
physical, but something else, and that would violate the conservation
laws of physics, according to which physical energy is neither created
nor destroyed, but merely converted from one form to another.

> gravity is a force which acts at a distance so
> why should the brain not create a force (a magnetic field for
> example) and use this to move things and hold true to the laws of
> physics.

If it did, that wouldn't be telekinesis any more; it wouldn't be mind
over matter. It would just be the usual matter over matter -- at a

> like wise it could be said that if you move something with
> your hand your brain "willed" your hand to move so that is also
> telekinesis, and the laws of physics are observed.

No, if the laws of physics are observed, then the cause of the movement
was not your will (whatever that is), but the usual mechanical,
gravitational (etc.) forces of physics. If it WAS your will and not
just physics, then even ordinary voluntary movement is every bit as
telekinetic as the wildest parapsychological effect (Uri Geller's
allegedly bending a spoon with his mind).

And that is the point: It is not action at a distance that distinguishes
telekinesis from the ordinary physical laws of motion; it is mind over
matter. If there is mind over matter, it is just as big a problem with
ordinary voluntary movement as with mental spoon-bending. And if there
is no mind over matter (I think there isn't) then it is just as much of
an illusion when we think our wills are the cause of our movements as it
is in the case of the tricks of an illusionist like Uri Geller.

> all cases of
> telekinesis can be eliminated as fraud or on other technical grounds
> so IF you believe in telekinesis and that sort of thing then there is
> no difference between that and movement.

I THINK you understand, though you expressed it awkwardly (but I'm not

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Feb 13 2001 - 16:23:42 GMT