Psychokinetic Action of Young Chicks

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A classic and much discussed experiment on Psychokinetic is described in the paper "Psychokinetic Action of Young Chicks on the Path of An Illuminated Source" by Rene Peoc'h. The paper is published by "The Society for Scientific Exploration", an organization of scientists and scholars who study unusual and unexplained phenomena and subjects that cross mainstream boundaries.

The Subject

"In an initial experiment (Peoc'h, 1986) was established that young chicks aged from 1 to 7 days could attract towards them a robot controlled by a random generator"

Ok, so not the chicks are attracted by the robot but the robot (with a candle mounted on it) is attracted by the chicks (in a cage) :-) And why? Because they are in the dark and want to go to the light. And use their psychokinetic force.

Believe it or not? Science is not about believing it's about testing, observing and understanding.
So let's try.

The Experiment

At the HackteriaLab 2014 we had by chance the perfect condition to carry out this experiment.

Cindy Lin, amateur naturalist, albeit always tempted to remove living things from their natural environments, "found" three young chicken during the retreat in Bumi Pemuda Rahayu Arts Center.

Chick thechicken.jpg

Helmi Hardian, artist and scientist from Waft Lab, Surabaya contributed a vibrating robot (vibrobot), perfect for the experiment.

Chick robot.jpg

So we mounted a small candle on that robot and waited for the night to fall.
Chick exp1.jpg Chick exp2.jpg


Now what was the result of our experiment. We did not do any precise measurement, we rather observed and judged subjectively.

This is my (Urs) personal impression of what happened. (Others please give your own judgement.):
First the robot moved only little and definitely not towards the chicken. Then we moved the chicken cage, bit closer to the chicken and towards the wall of nearby building. After this move the robot went towards the chicken. Surprise. We removed the robot manually and again it would go towards the chicken. We then suspected that the floor was sloping towards to wall and this is why the robot would go down rather than towards the chicken. So we took the cage and relocated it again. The robot would now still go towards the wall and not towards the chicken anymore. That is when we stopped the experiment a bit disappointed.
Interpretation: The chicken were tired and the robot was not allays going towards the chicken. In classic rational judgement I would conclude that, under the circumstances of our test, I can not confirm a consistent psychokinetic action by the chicken. By classic judgement I mean that this kind of experiment are difficult to judge as if there is such a thing as psychokinetic force, then it would probably emanate from the chicken as well as from the person(s) conducting the test. And when we had suspicion that the floor was not even we would have probably influenced the robot in such a case.