It is my understanding that there is--as yet---no conclusive evidence.
That being said, there are many claims of supernatural manifestations---both in organized religion and in pseudo-spirituality.
I read a good article in Psychology Today...Do Psychic Phenomena Exist?...in which the author ( Steve Taylor Ph.D.)suggests several reasons why he personally thinks such phenomena could exist:
Click on the link for his explanations.
Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain " ~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith "as long as chance rules, God is an anachronism."~Arthur Koestler
A few years ago I read a pastor's view of psychic ability as one of the faculties or powers our original parents had, that was lost at the Fall but may still appear in some people sporadically or vaguely, sometimes in Christians since religious experience seems to bring it out. For this reason some pagan religious practices are aimed at developing it. But he says it shouldn't be cultivated because it's deceptive and subject to fraud. Also no doubt easily influenced by Satan, who is the "prince of this world" since the Fall. It would be hard to get evidence of such an unpredictable thing.
I think there is plenty of evidence gullible people will believe in all matters of absurdities. Pseudoscience, Alien anal probes, ghost, demons, Bigfoot, psychics, zombies, gods, pixies, flat earth and religions. All would fall to the trash heaps of history if they could not generate mountains of cash.
My brother used to live with my wife and I and our 2 children. He was a genius wrestling with a bipolar disorder and a tendency to be nervous. He had lived with us for about 3 years and was 50 yrs old when he died. At 7 in the morning, about 6 hrs after he died, our mother called me and asked if he was ok. This type of call was completely unprecedented and absolutely out of character for my mother. I went to his room and discovered him there.
Some time later I asked my mother about it and she said that she had awoke with the overwhelming compulsion to call. I don't know. Its weird.
In Porosity's defense there really isn't much reason to believe in the supernatural, From a life time's experience this is about the only event that I can point to that defies explanation. Singular and yet substantial enough to maintain a doubt.
And so what is more likely? The existence of a supernatural realm or the possibility of a missed explanation.
Well I've had so much experience of the supernatural I'm beyond doubting it but I understand the skepticism since the evidence is hard to come by and pretty spotty except for those who've had such personal experiences. But the accusation of making money off them always gets my goat.
There are lots of supernatural claims that could be discussed but this thread is limited to psychic powers.
If there was such a thing as psychic ability we'd have known all about it long ago. That kind of thing can't hide.
This seems a bit of a limited view.
If we're talking about somebody like Professor X existing in reality, then sure - the reality of his powers could easily be demonstrated experimentally if he chose to. We can safely conclude that people with psychic abilities on the order of X-Men characters do not exist in reality (or are very secretive).
But this is not at all the sort of thing which people are usually talking about when they claim to believe in psychic abilities. They're talking about things like that implied by Prototypical's story - someone establishing some brief psychic connection with loved ones at the moment of their death, causing the loved one to think of them.
Now, I don't think that such abilities exist; but they are the kind of thing that would be extraordinarily difficult to demonstrate experimentally. How do you distinguish between a genuinely existing ability of this sort and mere coincidence?
I'm just thinking some anecdotal bullshit, but I thought I'd share it.
I have a cousin that I literally grew up along side. Sometime we wonder if we have a psychic connection, or something.
Like, we can communicate non-verbally really really well. We don't "finish each other's sentences", but we're always "finishing each other's actions".
It's really cool when we're working on a project together or one of us is just helping the other. When other friends help me, I always have to do a lot of talking and explaining what we're doing and what I need them to do right now and then up next.
But with my cousin, we'll spend long periods of time working on things together without saying a word. We just know what the other person needs right now and up next and we're always just staying ahead of each other and on top of things and getting shit done.
Now, of course since we've literally spent our whole lives together we are going to be picking up on small clues, body language, past behavior trends, and just inferring the next steps from all that.
But sometimes it is so surreal. It's impressive and awe-inspiring when someone just knows what you're thinking, or you just know what someone else is thinking, and it simply works out in the real world in getting results.
I think there's more to it than a plain woo-less inference from physical clues, and I believe we do have a psychic connection. But I don't have any evidence, as I said this is just some anecdotal bullshit