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Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon that occurs when two particles continue to interact even after being separated from one another by infinite distance. It appears highly unlikely that the particles are pre-programmed to know what the other will do. And, considering they are responding to each other faster than the speed of light, it is also unlikely that they are transmitting signals. Einstein described quantum entanglement as a “spooky phenomenon”.

Somehow, they just know what to do.

Somehow us animals also know what to do. A newborn knows to swim in water. A spider knows to build a web. A bear knows to hibernate. These protocols aren’t taught. They are inherited. They are lessons built into our DNA. This is instinct. Well, one part of instinct. The other part is the better part of our brain. The emotion-free part.

A study at the School of Psychological Sciences at Tel Aviv University displayed two sets of numbers on a screen. Four numbers were displayed in a group to the left, and four to the right. The numbers were replaced each second. After 48 numbers had appeared on screen the experiment was stopped and participants were asked, which group had the highest average number? 65% of participants answered correctly.

The same experiment was conducted with four times as many numbers. In less than 30 seconds 192 numbers had been displayed on screen and participants were again asked, which group has the highest average number? 90% of participants answered correctly.

When forced not to think, but rather listen, the participants performed substantially better. This is hardly surprising. The human brain is capable of processing enormous amounts of information. It is us who slows it down. Our emotional baggage gets in the way. An abusive childhood will make us less prone to trust instinct because of self-doubt and fear. A friend’s opinion will make us less prone to trust instinct because of our need to belong. Time will make us less prone to trust instinct because our ignorance prevails.

We rarely trust our instinct. And yet, instinct proves to be faster and more accurate than our head is almost every case.