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J.B. Rhine
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    (September 29, 1895-February 20, 1980)
    Born in Waterloo, Pennsylvania
    Birth name was Joseph Banks Rhine
    Botanist turned psychologist
    Founded the parapsychology research lab at Duke University and the 'Journal of Parapsychology'
    Wrote 'Extra-Sensory Perception' (1934), 'New Frontiers of the Mind' (1937), 'The Reach of the Mind' (1947) and 'New World of the Mind' (1953)
    Usually tested for ESP using Zener cards (decks of 25 cards printed with one of five symbols: a circle, a cross, a square, a star or wavy lines)
    A subject in theory should score 20% right by chance
    He got his best results early on, before instituting rigorous controls.
    For example, Adam Linzmayer got a run of 21 correct out of 25 in a test conducted in Rhine's car. (Linzmayer couldn't possibly be seeing the card's reflection in the windows, could he?)
    Hubert Pearce got 40% right over a series of tests where he was allowed to shuffle and cut the cards himself.
    When Rhine brought a magician in to observe, Pearce's results dropped back to chance levels.
    Some of his early decks of Zener cards were printed on paper so thin, they could be seen through.
    Since the decks were not reshuffled after each guess, someone card counting could easily exceed the 20% chance figure. (Simple example: Once you've seen your fifth circle, it's time to stop guessing circles.)
    He was a former Marine sharpshooter.
    He and Louisa Rhine were married for 60 years until his death.
    He coined the terms ESP and parapsychology.
    He made psychic research a respectable field of study.

Credit: C. Fishel

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