But the bottom line in science, and the key factor that trumps hysterical criticism, is whether the claimed effect can be repeated by independent investigators. If it can't then perhaps the original claim was mistaken or idiosyncratic. If it can, then the critics need to rethink their position.
Now we have an answer to the question about replication. An article has been submitted to the Journal of Social and Personality Psychology and is available here.
The key phrase in the abstract reads:
"The paper reports a meta-analysis of 90 experiments from 33 laboratories in 14 different countries which yielded an overall positive effect in excess of 6 sigma with an effect size (Hedges’ g) of 0.09, combined z = 6.33, p = 1.2 × 10e-10. A Bayesian analysis yielded a Bayes Factor of 7.4 × 10e9, greatly exceeding the criterion value of 100 for “decisive evidence” in favor of the experimental hypothesis."In layman terms this means that according to the same standards used to evaluate evidence throughout the psychological sciences that implicit precognition is a genuine effect. This outcome, combined with a meta-analysis of presentiment effects, provides additional evidence indicating that what bothers critics is their belief about how Nature should behave, rather than how it actually does.
We do not need precognition to predict that the new meta-analysis will not influence the critics' beliefs. Their beliefs, like those of most people, rest upon a naive realist (i.e., common sense) view of nature.
While common sense is good enough for most basic activities of daily life (not including an understanding of how television, smartphones, GPSs, and computers work), it is not sufficient to account for the larger reality revealed by science. Nor is it capable of perceiving the far stranger and vaster realities that patiently wait for us far beyond the reach of today's science.
Update April 25, 2014. As I predicted, this meta-analysis shows no signs of influencing critics' beliefs. Instead, new objections are invented. The latest is that we shouldn't believe this analysis because Bem was one of the authors and he has a vested interest in the outcome. But based on that logic we are also justified in ignoring any meta-analysis published by avowed skeptics because they have a vested interest in their outcomes. Do vested interests pro or con influence these analyses? Undoubtedly they do. So is it even possible to craft a truly neutral assessment? Probably, but it would take some effort because the published reports would have to be carefully scrubbed clean so the analysts wouldn't know what the topic of their analysis is all about. And somehow other analysts would need to thoroughly search all published and unpublished sources to find every relevant study ever conducted.
I haven't heard of anyone ever getting funding for this type of uber-neutral analysis, but if you do know a source of funding that might be interested in supporting such an effort, please let me know.
Update August 14, 2014. And now some critics are claiming that the most sophisticated usage of meta-analysis itself is flawed, throwing into doubt everything published in psychology, biology, medicine, ecology, and all other disciplines that rely on meta-analysis for assessing replication of small effects. This is a "move the goal-post" strategy: When evidence is not to your liking, change the rules so it's no longer offensive. Now the only acceptable evidence is based on experimental designs that are publicly preregistered. Why any critic thinks that will solve the problem is beyond me.