How Telephone Telepathy Lets Us Guess Who Is on the Line

Article excerpt

Byline: JULIE WHELDON

THE phone rings. And on the end of the line is the very person you were just thinking about.

According to a study, this is no coincidence. Scientist Dr Rupert Sheldrake believes it is more a case of 'telephone telepathy'.

His research suggests those on the receiving end can correctly guess who is ringing them 45 per cent of the time.

This is much more frequent than if it was due to chance alone, he claims.

His controversial research, presented at the British Association's Festival of Science in Norwich, has been criticised by other scientists.

They questioned the reliability of his study, which involved only four people, and said there was no evidence that telepathy was 'anything more than a charlatan's fantasy'.

Some even suggested the research should not have been presented at a reputable scientific conference. Dr Sheldrake is a biologist, who receives funding to investigate unexplained phenomenon through a scholarship from Trinity College in Cambridge.

'By far the most common apparent kind of telepathy in the modern world occurs in connection with telephone calls - when you think of someone for no apparent reason and then they ring and you say, "That is funny I was just thinking about you",' he said.

'Is it a mass delusion or is something really happening?' Four participants were recruited through an advertisement asking if they had ever been able to predict who was calling them.

Each was asked to provide four telephone numbers of friends. …