There is no theory that allows testable hypotheses to be formulated except that somehow people can guess information known to others, but unknown to themselves, correctly, with a probability greater than chance. It's just statistical fiddling about. Strictly for the woo-woos.
Well one can in theory "test" whether in some way it occurs. Given the most likely, such tests will PROBABLY yield negative results, its a bit premature to say whether a testable hypothesis exists as to WHY such a thing exists.
(For the record, I've designed a simple experiment but have had a few problems with the details.) If you are aware of monte carlo simulation in your teaching of biological statistical methods, you might see my plan to avoid complex statistical analysis, assuming a "reasonable" random number generator. (I was playing with one based on digits of PI; it passed my FIRST test but I should test it further to calibrate it.)
Assuming my card experiment had a "positive" result, the most obvious hypothesis would of course be that there is a pattern in the card drawing that somebody has figured out. (Or somebody has access to a computer capable of breaking the encryption algorithm I'm planning to use.)
I have a copy of a paper PUBLISHED in the I.E.E.E (and subsequently completely and throughly debunked by other scientists) explaining REMOTE Viewing in terms of a crazy Quantum theory thing. If experiments were found consistantly TRUE ... who says that testable theories could NOT be shown to be there?
P.S., I would LOVE ideas on how to run my experiment better. (Its a hobby of course and I fully EXPECT the results to turn out negative and to show "chance" to be involved.)
If information is transmitted from the sender to the receiver, the channel over which the information is sent must be extremely noisy because when evidence has been claimed it is always statistical: the probability of the match between the information transmitted and the information received occurring by chance is very low. The way to transmit information over a noisy channel is to send repeatedly and look for repetitions in the received data. The more times the same data are transmitted, the more likely it is that the information will be received. This is true whatever medium of transmission and reception is chosen . . . except for telepathy. I believe that there are the usual ad hoc
excuses to explain this, including fatigue in transmitter or receiver, but without an underlying theory of transmission there is no reason to assume that fatigue need play any part in reducing the effectiveness of transmission or reception.
Bauer in his article ‘Pathological Science’ is not Scientific Misconduct (nor is it pathological) http://www.hyle.org/journal/issues/8-1/bauer.htm
and he criticises the Langmuir criteria for the identification of pathological science, noting cases of unpathological science that seem to satisfy Langmuir's criteria, but on the whole I think that purportedly scientific endeavours that satisfy some of Langmuir's criteria are likely to be pathological.
Langmuir offered six characteristics of pathological science:
1. The magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the causative agent.
2. The effect is of a magnitude that remains close to the limits of detectability; or, many measurements are necessary because of the very low statistical significance of the results.
3. It makes claims of great accuracy.
4. It puts forth fantastic theories contrary to experience.
5. Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses.
6. The ratio of supporters to critics rises up to somewhere near 50 percent and then falls gradually to oblivion.
I think that telepathy satisfies criteria 1, 2, and 5, and possibly 4, and is an example of pathological science properly identified. Of these the most telling and persuasive is the first, and experiments in telepathy certainly satisfy it.