Can we go back and change the past?

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One of the most basic assumptions about intention is that it operates according to a generally accepted sense of cause and effect: if A causes B, then A must have happened first. This assumption reflects one of our deepest beliefs, that time is a one-way, forward-moving arrow. What we do today cannot affect what happened yesterday.

However, a sizeable body of the scientific evidence about intention violates these basic assumptions about causation. Research has demonstrated clear instances of time-reversed effects, where effect precedes cause. Indeed, some of the largest effects occur when intention is sent out of strict time sequence.


The secret message of pain

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We are a society gripped by constant pain of one sort or another—and life appears to be getting more painful by the year. In the UK alone, according to government statistics, at least a third of all households—representing some eight million of us—have one or more members suffering from moderate-to-severe persistent pain of some variety. This is two to three times more than the number of such sufferers in the 1970s.

Matters are even worse in the US. According to the American Pain Foundation, more than 26 million Americans ages 20 to 64 experience frequent back pain alone. Almost a third of all adults aged 65 or over report some variety of knee pain, and more than one-sixth report having hip pain or stiffness. Staggeringly, some 25 million cases of pain have to do with migraine, or lower facial pain or jaw pain such as a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.


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