“I’ve accessed 28% of my cranial capacity. I can feel every living thing.”
So says Scarlett Johansson in the new movie Lucy. Unfortunately, this movie is perpetuating a common scientific myth, one that every neuroscientist reading this blog should feel offended by: that people have the power of psychokinesis.
Now, it is understandable if you are one of the many people that believes in the power to control space-time with your mind. After all, up to 47 million Americans believe that psychic powers exist and 1 in 10 people believes in psychokinesis – just go to random physics forums to see how prevalent this belief is. And you could be one of them! Yet despite the many convincing videos available on youtube, the wikihow tutorials, and this scientific-seeming experiment on weather control, psychokinesis is a myth.
Remember, these powers have never been demonstrated scientifically! James Randi has offered a million dollars to anyone who can prove their powers to his satisfaction, but none has done so yet.
Fact #1: No part of the brain has been shown to light up and cause things to move (besides other parts of your body)
Fact #2: Telekinesis is probably inconsistent with the laws of physics
Fact #3: There is only one way to control space-time, and you probably don’t have access to it
Fact #4: I can’t believe we have to have this discussion, but there you go
So kids: when you go see Lucy – wish you should do because it looks totally sweet – remember that it is full of neurobunk: there is no such thing as telekinetic powers. It’s completely silly and the idea that someone would make a movie around it is comical.
Oh there’s also something about using a lot of the brain but I go by wikipedia article length and it seems like people care way more about psychic powers than they do about the amount of of their brain that they use.