His evidence amounts to a series of anecdotes such as this one:
Like many mothers who feared for their family’s safety during World War II, Mona Miller was evacuated from London to the peaceful seaside town of Babbacombe in Devon.
It seemed like a wise precaution but, shortly after her arrival there with her young children, Mrs Miller became increasingly uneasy.
‘I had a feeling that I must leave Devon and return home,’ she told me.
‘At first I dismissed the idea; why leave when I was so happy and contented despite the war going on around me?
‘But the feeling increased. The walls of my room seemed to speak to me: “Go home to London.” I resisted the call for about four months then, one day, like a flash of light, I knew we must leave.
‘On a Saturday in late 1942, we travelled back to London and a few days later I received a letter from a friend in Devon.
‘“Thank God you took the children on Saturday,” she wrote. “Early Sunday morning, Jerry dropped three bombs and one fell on the house where you were living, demolishing it, and killing all the neighbours on either side.”’
I am fond of saying that anecdote is not evidence but it’s a bit more complicated than that – an anecdote is evidence but it is a single data point – and a single measurement rarely proves a hypothesis true. However, Sheldrake provides more than one anecdote/data point so do these prove anything?
I’m not convinced that they do. An important principle in science is that one should not cherry-pick ones data – one should include all reliable data, not just that which supports ones hypothesis. Sheldrake is not deliberately cherry-picking here but a selection process is going on none-the-less. For example, we do not have any anecdotes from people who were killed because acting on their premonitions actually took them into harm’s way, for the obvious reason that they’re too dead to do so. Similarly, I doubt many people contacted Sheldrake to tell him about premonitions and feelings of foreboding that came to nothing.
So I remain unconvinced that psychic abilities exist. But I suspect you knew that.