ECEN 3070 – Edges of Science

Spring 2018 - TTh 12:30-1:45 – Professor Garret Moddel – University of Colorado at Boulder

Location: ITL 1B50 (seminar room in the southeastern extension to the Engineering Center)






Texts & References

Contacts & Locations

Issues & Ethical Guidelines

Links to Psi Resources

Quiz solutions: 1


ANNOUNCEMENTS  (updated 16 Feb 2018)

  • The IRB office has come up with a simpler way for you to register for the CITI quiz. Please see the Coursework page.
  • The links for the human subjects training and proposal submission have been updated on the Coursework page.
  • To be on track with your Advocacy Reports you should have turned in two so far (some people have submitted three). To improve your score you can turn in more than five over the semester, and only the five best scores will be counted.. Although I’ve said that you can turn in reports only for the subjects marked with a dot, if you can generate a convincing point of view about non-dotted topics, that would be OK too.
  • To help you find project partners, Daniela Rodriguez has set up an online Google Doc. You should all have received email invitations to add to it.  Please make your topic description very short, as others may not read it if it is long. I suggest but do not require that your topic be about applications of psi.
  • Very well carried out projects on applications of psi can be submitted for presentation at the Society for Scientific Exploration meeting in Las Vegas, June 6-10, 2018.
  • The Parapsychology Association will have its annual meeting in Northern California August 2-5..
  • Four project will be selected for presentation at the local chapter of the Society for Scientific Exploration on May 4.
  • Until we get the D2L site working, please email your advocacy reports (in MS Word format) to me.
  • Examples of two good advocacy reports are here (they are from later in the semester; earlier ones deal more with specific experimental results, etc.)
  • To get you into the spirit of the course, you might want to participate in one or more of Rupert Sheldrake’s online experiments.  I told him to expect participants from this course.
  • See the abstract and video of a course project presented at Society for Scientific Exploration Conference



SCHEDULE  (updated 24 Jan 2018)




Jan 16

General introduction


Advocacy Arguments may be written on topic labeled with dot

Jan 18

Mind-matter 1: Psychokinesis

Reading: Radin Ch 9 (note references at end of file), Retro-PK (Schmidt 1976)



Jan 23

Perception through time 1: Experiments

Reading: Radin Ch 10 (note references at end of file), and precognitive habituation (Bem 2003) & reaction (NYT 2011). The 2003 reading is one of the studies in Bem 2011 (not required reading)

Jan 25

Psi in everyday life

Reading: Sheldrake (Ch. 27 in Handbook), and Sheldrake (p. 93 in BG)


Jan 30

Ball selection test

Reading: Ertel (p. 138 in BG)

Optional reading: Ertel 2010

Feb 1

Maverick science success & failures

Reading: Brody 27-39, Friedlander 21-34, flying machines, ulcers, epigentics,

Optional reading: recent cold fusion, and more recently


Feb 6

Remote perception, with Paul Smith

Readings: Schwartz (p. 168 in BG)

Optional readings; What is remote viewing?, Methodology, and CIA program

7 pm: Remote viewing workshop – in regular classroom (ITL 1B50)

Feb 8

The scientific method

Reading: Friedlander 35-62, Bridgman, Beaty: Scientific Method

Discussion of class projects


Feb 13

The scientific process 

Readings: informational cascades, breakfast, scientific consensus, medical lies [pp. 1-4 (top half)], brass containers

Feb 15

Project proposal due (see Coursework page for description; turn in on paper in class)

Psi history

Reading: Carter Ch 3 & 4, skim Radin Chs 2, 4 –5.


Feb 20

Complete the online course for Social Behavioral Research Investigators and Key Personnel and pass quiz. (See item 3a on coursework page)

Telepathy 2

Reading: Radin Ch 6, the Monte Hall problem, playing the odds

Feb 22

Complete a description of your protocol and expedited worksheet for the HRC. (See item 3b on coursework page.) Email completed research proposal to G. Moddel

Statistics primer I: using Seeing Statistics

Paranormal Distribution


Feb 27
Submit research proposal to the HRC.

Statistics primer II: using Seeing Statistics

Reading; Statistics in psi research

Mar 1
Statistics primer III: using Seeing Statistics

Reading: Aikin on inference


Mar 6
Perception through time 2: Logic & causality

Reading: retroactive prayer: Leibovici, Backward causation (definition of nomic: “lawlike”), strange PK (Schmidt 1987)

Short analysis page (optional; counts as one advocacy report)

Mar 8

Perception through time 3: Meta-Analysis & Theory

Reading: Mossbridge12


Mar 13

Healing (and harming) with intention

Readings: Bengston (pp 5-9), and meanspeak (slides #14 &#15 here)

Mar 15


Readings: placebos, card guessing

Optional reading: Radin (2007)


Mar 20

Project analysis paper due

Mind-matter interactions 2: Field consciousness

Reading: Radin Ch 11

Reproducibility & experimenter effect

Reading: Smith

Mar 22

Machine consciousness

Reading: presient machine or machine precognition (Moddel 2011)


Mar 27  Spring break

Mar 29  Spring break


Apr 3

Give a brief (3 minute max) in-class update on your projects

Skepticism 1

Reading: Psience, Outrage to presentiment experiment

Pseudoscience, Worldview

Apr 5 

Skepticism 2

Shermer on RV Part 1 & Part 2

Reading: Utt’s Report, Conclusions section in Hyman's report

Optional Reading: Utt’s reply, May’s report


Apr 10 

Skepticism 3

Reading: Carter Ch 8, & Ch 14, Sheldrake on Wikipedia

Optional reading: Carter Ch 2

Apr 12 


Reading: Radin Ch 12


Apr 17 


Reading: Radin Ch 13

Optional reading: Wilber on Physics & Mysticism

Apr 19

Significance of psi

Personal psi anecdotes

Optional reading: Revisiting decline effect (subject to change)

Final advocacy arguments due


Apr 24

Project presentations:

Apr 26

Project presentations:


May 1

Project presentations:

May 3

Project presentations:


May 8  Final project paper due: slip under my office door by 5 p.m., or turn in at front desk in ECEE office. Emailing it to me is also fine if printing in black & white is adequate.