The Science of Telepathy

There is little or no scientific evidence for a supernatural or extrasensory telepathic ability, despite claims to the contrary throughout human history. However, there is scientific proof that brain signals can be used to operate robotic arms via wires and extensive computing equipment, and there is little doubt that eventually such technology will be wireless and the brute computing force needed will be compacted down into a tiny brain implant.

After other scientists successfully demonstrated a brain-machine interface in monkeys, researchers at Cyberkinetics Inc. are about to implant their own system, called the BrainGate, into the brains of five paralyzed people. They hope the people will eventually learn to control a computer with the implant. They expect to have a commercial product available by the end of this decade. The article in the online version of The New York Times (which requires free registration before viewing) also mentions several other scientists and research teams currently at work on similar technologies.

Arthur C. Clarke once wrote “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Our world in just a few decades will appear to be one of magic, with our enhanced brains suddenly in control of more than just our own individual bodies. For good or ill, this will occur in the lifetime of most people alive today. Do you think you are ready?

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (, on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).