Monday, February 8, 2010

8th - Noetic Science?

Fortunately (or unfortunately), prior to drop-kicking Dan Brown's latest novel out my bedroom window due to the realization I wasted 15.95...I was enlightened! Enlightened to...A NEW DIVISION OF SCIENCE!!!!!

Or is it...a new realm of science? One of the points I wanted to make while discussing Noetic Science is that all science should be considered a continuum that realistically cannot, and does not exist in specifically defined subgroups - FACT - The well known subjects such as chemistry, biology, and physics are all intertwined. So one of my initial thoughts was....where have we seen Noetic Science within these subjects....? Just a thought. And I guess, that in order to ponder this question, we have to understand what noetic science is.

So what is Noetic Science? The following paragraph is from the Institute of Noetic Science (IONS):

"Noetic sciences are explorations into the nature and potentials of consciousness using multiple ways of knowing—including intuition, feeling, reason, and the senses. Noetic sciences explore the "inner cosmos" of the mind (consciousness, soul, spirit) and how it relates to the "outer cosmos" of the physical world."(1)

The following are the three principle areas of Noetic Science.(2)
Extended Human Capacities

  • Creativity
  • Meditation
  • Psi Studies
  • Wisdom Capacities
  • Subtle Energies
  • States of Consciousness
  • Death, Dying, and Beyond
Integral Health and Healing

  • Biofields
  • Distant Healing
  • Global Medicine
  • Integral Medicine
  • Mind Body Medicine
  • Extended Survival
  • Placebo Expectancy Effects
Emerging Worldviews

  • Integral Intelligence
  • Science of Wisdom
  • Gaia Theory
  • Transformative Practices
  • Cultivating Spiritual Awareness
  • East/West/Indigenous Practices

Well I have to be honest. After reading those definitions, I was even less clear on my understanding of what noetic science is.

Physics: the science of matter and energy and their interactions;
Quantum physics: A branch of physics describing the known behavior of energy and matter that predominate at the atomic scale.

Chemistry: the science of matter; the branch of the natural sciences dealing with the composition of substances and their properties and reactions
Organic Chemistry: A branch of chemistry concerned solely with carbon and its compounds.

Biology: the science that studies living organisms
Microbiology: the branch of biology that studies microorganisms and their effects on humans

Of the three conventional branches of science, i was able to track down definitions for all of them, AND definitions for subdivisions within them, of which, I understand completely. Now, one could argue that this contrast of imperfect clarity between conventional science and noetic science is simply the fault of the one who wrote the definition for noetic science. While this could be true, I pose a counter-argument that maybe noetic science doesn't know what it is yet!

Clearly the scientists who are conducting research in the field of Noetic science are trying to break some barriers. While there are some relatively normalized theories being pursued, there are some 'home-run' terms listed above that are likely fuel for the flames of criticism. This criticism could potentially be due to the fact that their mission is so unclearly stated, that the inherent characteristics of science, which we all (scientists) live and breath by, is those black and white parameters that we attempt to define our surroundings in. Noetic science seems to ignore this goal, and pursue a much more vague understanding of topics, leaving their conclusions equally as vague, and their data equally as discredited.

Of course I would be irresponsible in my own regard, and seemingly bias if I had left my understanding of noetic science to a couple of 'definitions' that I found on IONS website. The only way to obtain my own understanding of what noetic science is, would have been to read some of their articles. Unfortunately, as most of you know who have researched noetic science, this is not possible without joining the IONS. A lot of bloggers criticize noetic science for this practice. "Science should be free!" they say, "and if they are making us pay for it, its not really science and it is more like a cult!"

My friend Greg brought up a good point in regard to this criticism. Most science is not free. For example, from my experience I know that the public is not allowed to access medical journals for free. They are extremely expensive, and rarely will you find access to all journals in circulation other than universities, hospitals, are large medical practices. Not free, and certainly not cheap are medical journals or biology and immunology journals (according to my friend Derek who is a PhD candidate in Immunology at the University of Albany). So what makes us think that we deserve to see noetic science publications for free. Well, I guess we shouldn't, and I guess they have logical grounds for requiring membership to their institution in order to see the results of their studies.

The only thing that bugs me, is that they seem to be reaching some rather 'ground-breaking' 'conclusions.' When such conclusions - or advancements as we will call them - are made, they make "news." Public awareness is not something that researchers typically shy away from! Public awareness = GRANTS! Putting your scientific advancements out on the digital airwaves for all to see would theoretically result in an exponential increase in grant money, and thus, the opportunity to further advance their research.

On this website you can find advancements in physics, chemistry, biology, and medical research, and have access to the journal articles which support them....for free.

"Opportunity favors those who work hard." Well, the scientists of noetic science seem to be working hard on advancements, but don't seem to be seeking opportunity associated with them. This is counterintuitive to me, and it only makes me question what they may be afraid of publicly admitting they are researching, or what 'advancements' they think they have made.

Of course, there could be a completely logical explanation for why they are seemingly afraid to go public. They could be refining their research, which by all means, is a critical process when experimenting in brand new territory. The criticism will naturally be at a confrontational high (THE EARTH IS FLAT DAMNIT!!!), and the scientists behind this research are going to try and make their conclusions bullet proof to the devils advocate. However, the clock is ticking on this process. Too much time spent in this phase, and you start to really wonder; what are they doing behind closed doors? What are they filling the minds of their members with? Why don't they let other researchers know their experimental methods, and allow the scientific community to try and recreate their results? And if we reach the time where these questions can really start being asked, its because noetic science could potentially be labled as a psuedoscience. And with all psuedoscientists, they are afraid to let other in on their 'secrets' because they know deep down that their theories will be ripped to shreads by objective and non-bias researchers. And the ego of a psuedoscientist is to big to gamble with such a risk.

In conclusions, being a man of science myself, I too find it difficult to believe without proof or method. Yet this does not mean that I will not continue to do my own investigation. Just because there is not proof yet does not mean that there won't be. Let us not forget that all scientific fact was once based on an unsubstantiated notion that was later proven, and usually after many years later. Let us look at light. Light behaves as a wave and particle which for a long time was a mystery. So we developed the wave-particle theory. Abiogenisis (life arising from inorganic matter), was considered an everyday fact until disproven. Dark matter and dark energy is a hypothetical form of matter that supposedly predominates at the atomic scale. No one has ever concretely proven its existence, just like no one has concretely proven that the soul has mass (a claim supported by noetic science). Ultimately, there are countless unproven theories that exist throughout the continuum of science today. This being said, I believe that the best course of action would be to remain openminded and continue to look for evidence to either prove or disprove as one sees fit.

  1. What are Noetic Sciences? Institute of Noetic Sciences. Accessed February 12, 2010.
  2. What is Noetic Science? Noetic Sciences - World of Noetic Science. Accessed February 13, 2010.

If anyone has sources in which one can access Noetic Science journal articles for FREE, please comment on this post and let me know where! Thank you for reading : )

Monday, August 17, 2009

17th - The Key of the Future

So the other day I Googled 'cool x-rays' and came across a plethora of rad stuff....This top image being the first. Apparently, those little white cylinders in between the thumb and index finger are the new 'keys' of the future, aka; "Radio Frequency Identifiers" (RFIDs). Be sure to throw some Dr. Evil air quotes around that name when you're telling people about these at the water cooler. At 2mm x 12mm, these cylinders are implanted by a doctor - a cosmetic surgeon for example - and can then be synchronized/programed with external technology to act as keys. Examples of external technology would include, car doors, laptops, and the security box you keep all of your porn within.
Also, on the topic of x-ray, the new Backscatter x-ray machine has been hitting the bigger international airports and has been making headlines for the more obvious reasons; shown below...

Now, clearly the picture of this woman's body is violating the eyes of the poor security guards that have to look at it. In reality, I'm sure the guards would prefer to don some 4mm thick latex gloves, pat her down to find the 9mm Beretta in her g-string and the poorly concealed explosives just northeast of her FUPA, and then pass her off to the rookie for a horrifying strip search. Whatever gets the job done without burning the retinas people, is a job done right.
Of course, the Backscatter x-ray is still a job done right, if used on the correct people...

Of course we don't want to give Halle Berry cancer. That would make everyone sad : (

That's why the Backscatter x-ray machine is so rad! Instead of x-ray photons being blasted through Halle Berry, requiring a crap load of radiation, Backscatter x-ray machines use a backscatter principle that does not actually penetrate her sexilicious tissue. Instead, the x-ray photons reflect off the elements that make up her skin or guns or explosives, and they do so in specific ways. Thus allowing the computer that is picking up these reflected photon patterns to digitally create an image of Halle, and whatever she may be concealing....even boobies. Fortunately, because x-ray penetration (gigidy) is not necessary for this image, only 0.005 millirems of radiation are used to obtain each picture. A total of 1 millirem in a year is completely negligible, and 25 milirems is considered a toxic dose.


So if you're ever wandering through an international airport security checkpoint, and they select you for extra screening, you can choose between this Backscatter x-ray machine, or a full body pat-down. Now guys, don't worry if the airport is especially cold that day because the computer automatically blurs 'private areas.' I don't know how this works, but just know you won't be arrested for inadequate manhood. And unfortunately we really can't use it to see Halle Berry's boobies...


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