From ArticleWorld

The term Prescience refers to the knack of perceiving information about future occurrences through visionary means. In many cultures, Oracles were believed to have possessed this uncanny ability.

Modern Science refuses to acknowledge the possibility of prescience yet many remain convinced enthusiasts. Prescience is studied under parapsychology, which seeks to substantiate the influence of the supernatural without any physical interface.

Prescience does not deal with prophecies based on deductions and precedents. It is an innate ability of a human being to visualize the unknown in advance (before the events actually happen).

Prescience is a popular concept in science fiction. The Dune Universe by Frank Herbert lays great emphasis on it. He believes prescience to be not only an ability to foretell the future but also see all futuristic possibilities. The possibilities may alter with each passing moment or may remain unchanged. The visionary may be aware of an occurrence but is unable to do anything other than that which is pre-destined. Even if he wants to, he cannot change the course of his actions, it appears to be a locked situation. Herbert’s prescient characters perceive the “Golden Path” which guarantees eternal worldly peace and the continuity of mankind. Any other path would lead to negative consequences and ultimately be detrimental which may result in extinction of the human race.

The Dune series chronicles a society where prescients are not uncommon. The upshot of it all is that such a psychic ability would be curse on mankind rather than a boon.