Seeking Genes Governing Anomalous Experience | James McClenon

A pilot study was designed to locate genes governing anomalous experience. The study uses a variation of Pearlson and Folley’s (2008) strategy for locating alleles (alternative forms of a gene governing hereditary variation) based on evolutionary theory. The pilot study was guided by two theories: (1) A sheep theory hypothesizes that ESP alleles provide sufficient benefits to overcome the costs of schizophrenia. (2) A ritual healing theory argues that genes governing absorption and dissociation provided evolutionary benefits to archaic humans exposed to childhood trauma and shamanic healing. The ritual healing theory hypothesizes that shamanic healing, practiced by Paleolithic hunter-gatherers over many millennia, selected for alleles shaping anomalous experience, hypnotic suggestion, shamanism, and spirituality (McClenon, 1997, 2002a). Pearlson and Folley (2008) propose correlational mapping (multidimensional analysis) of community survey data to analyze hypothesized allele markers. The pilot study discusses the sheep theory and ritual healing theory with regard to allele markers. These theories predict existence of alleles governing ESP, absorption, dissociation, transliminality, boundary scales, and other anomalous experiences. A questionnaire was designed to measure frequency of anomalous experience, psychological symptoms, shamanic variables, childhood and adolescent difficulty, and other variables thought correlated with psychological symptoms (McClenon, 2012, 2013). Between 2001 and 2006, the questionnaire was administered to a non-random community sample in northeastern North Carolina (N = 965). The hypothesized allele markers were evaluated through correlational mapping of the survey data. Findings are based on five correlational maps (previously unpublished): (1) Anomalous experience variables were highly correlated with each other. (2) Particular correlational clusters, which suggest possible underlying alleles, include “waking ESP, OBE, apparitions,” “waking ESP, apparitions,” and “waking ESP, paranormal dreams, apparitions.” (3) Waking ESP and apparitions were highly correlated with shamanic variables but were generally not within shamanic variable correlational clouds. (4) Although waking ESP is highly correlated with schizophrenia symptoms, researchers have not uncovered major schizophrenia alleles. Failure to locate these alleles calls into question the sheep theory. (5) Cluster patterns suggest that the search for alleles associated with shamanic ritual will be fruitful. (6) Correlational mapping provides no evidence of a psi allele (waking ESP, paranormal dreams, PK). (7) Analysis provides a list of 16 variables most correlated with a “waking ESP, paranormal dreams, apparition” cluster. Although correlational mapping does not provide clear evidence for an ESP allele, these variables are possible allele markers. Pilot study results suggest theoretical revisions. A revised ritual healing theory hypothesizes that random genetic mutations are the source of anomalous experiences.

Recorded at the Society for Scientific Exploration Conference in Boulder, Colorado 2016.

Special thanks to our Patreon Explorers for providing the support we need to keep our video content freely available online: Dr. CMC Toporow, Kathleen Erickson, Mark Crewson, Mark Urban-Lurain, Roger Nelson, and Sandy Wiener.

Want to support our commitment to open access scientific research? Become a patron yourself:

Or take your support of our 501(c)(3) nonprofit even further by becoming an SSE member:…

The SSE provides a forum for original research into cutting edge and unconventional areas. Views and opinions belong only to the speakers, and are not necessarily endorsed by the SSE.

Published on November 22, 2018