Proof of Psychic Cephalopods?

July 21, 2010

So, Paul the Octopus was right. 100% right.

And that’s no-nonsense proof of a psychic animal, yes? Randi, are you there?

Of course, the skeptics amongst us, and indeed the Forteans (such as myself) will not accept this as proof of anything. So that begs the question: what kind of thing will us twits accept as proof positive of unusual phenomena?

What if Paul did it for the next Word Cup? What it every octopus we tried it with did it for… well, every football game, for instance?

How long would it take before (mainstream) scientists started writing about the psychic skills of these animals? Is there a tipping point for the weight of evidence?

The issue is that, even if you accept this wasn’t blind chance, you’ve no proof that it was psychic ability. Maybe he had access to a secret trove of UEFA corruption plans. Or maybe the World Cup already happened and we’re being fooled into thinking it’s live. All equally interesting, if bizarre ‘explanations’, but none of them more or less proven than the psychic hypothesis.