Drayson’s Sixth Sense

There has been a lot of comment in the last few days about statements made in an interview with Lord Paul Drayson, the new UK science minister, concerning his beliefs around faith, god, and particularly his claim to a ‘sixth sense’ for on occasion knowing what was going to happen.

Science Minister Lord Paul Drayson (Photo WikiCommons)

What I find regrettable is the tone of reporting that might lead some to imply Drayson either claims some supernatural power, or recognises the existence of some such power. Maybe that is what he believes, but there is a difference between having a mind open enough to entertain there being elements of nature operating that we don’t understand but whose effects are manifest in the world, and believing that supernaturalism or man-made mythic influences are at work. I can read his comments either way.

It is no mystery that our subconscious is continually chewing things over in the background of our minds, and taking note of things without us knowing. The product of that sub-conscious analysis appears as our intuition; we suddenly know something without knowing why – magically if you like. So is that where Paul Drayson is coming from? Or what?

It also doesn’t help when the press latch on to Drayson’s references to the ‘magic’ of science. Here for me at least he is clearly talking metaphorically, in the same vein that Einstein and Hawking expressed themselves.

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