It's called the Institute of Noetic SCIENCES for a reason!

Posted Jan. 2, 2014 by NoetPoet in Open

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commented on July 27, 2014
by dustproduction



Dear all,

Let me start of by saying that I really like the fundamental idea of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). That idea, as I see it, is to use science to explore the full capabilities and potentials of humans. This is such a positive and worthwhile idea. A big part of what makes it such a worthwhile idea is that, unlike so many New Age websites and quasi-religious institutions dedicated to the promotion of pseudoscientific quackery and unfounded fantasies, IONS is all about using a *scientific* approach to exploring human abilities. This means looking at the evidence objectively with integrity and without bias, and seeking out a credible, independently verifiable and above all a practical understanding of reality.

To put it another way, IONS attempts to be a small island of open-mindedness and possibility in a vast ocean of religious dogmatism, close-minded "scepticism", and New Age lunacy. So it dismays me to look at the IONS forum and see, time and time again, people making wild claims based on shoddy reasoning and with little or no reference to scientific research; to see certain posters explicitly ostracise certain other posters from certain conversations simply because those other posters put forward challenging arguments based on actual evidence; to see fantasist groupthink and confirmation bias not only abounding but even encouraged by some posters; to see the scientific method, and even the institution of science itself, ruthlessly and ridiculously vilified simply because the findings of science threaten certain posters' neurotic narcissistic beliefs about the nature of reality; and to see certain posters hysterically denounced and smeared just because they dare to have a different, evidence-based view.

I for one am determined to look the truth square in the eye, to see and accept it for what it is no matter how disagreeable I may personally find it. Because only when the truth is understood and appreciated can we really begin to make any progress. I will also do my utmost to make the IONS forum a place where science and reason receive the respect they deserve, in keeping with the spirit in which IONS operates.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jul 27, 2014

    Re: Why has science founded itself upon its belief, FAITH, that the ONLY thing that matters is...matter?

    It examines the thing there is evidence of.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 19, 2014

    Re: "The primary mission of science must be that it relentlessly questions itself. Same for the scientist!"

    Where is this not the case? Example please.


    "The concern with falsifiability gained attention by way of philosopher of science Karl Popper's scientific epistemology "falsificationism". Popper stresses the problem of demarcation—distinguishing the scientific from the unscientific—and makes falsifiability the demarcation criterion, such that what is unfalsifiable is classified as unscientific, and the practice of declaring an unfalsifiable theory to be scientifically true is pseudoscience. This is often epitomized in Wolfgang Pauli famously saying, of an argument that fails to be scientific because it cannot be falsified by experiment, "it is not only not right, it is not even wrong!"

  • frequencytuner Jan 20, 2014

    Great idea for a new topic.

  • NoetPoet Jan 19, 2014

    The following was posted by someone in another forum. I had to repost it here because it resonates perfectly with what I think IONS should be about, particularly the last paragraph:

    "Humans can potentially experience truly remarkable states of mind. Whoever has taken LSD or ecstacy knows that our brain can be influenced to behave in fascinating ways which one would not have thought are possible. Now I don't want to downplay the dangers and risks involved in using such drugs... But they are also highly effective ways of producing states of mind which lead many people to have deep spiritual experiences. By this I mean things like feeling one with the world around you, profound feelings of compassion, and an understanding of human beings and even animals on a level deeper than what the brain in a normal state could ever produce.

    "Now drugs are not the only way to achieve such states of mind (albeit the easiest). Many monks and Yogis in buddhist and hindu traditions have retreated into caves for years and done nothing but meditate every day, seeking spiritual enlightenment. When they come back, they often are true geniuses of compassion und human understanding. For example, after a buddhist monk was ..

    "Now, most people have spiritual experiences of some sort in the context of religion. A Christian who feels bliss while praying, say, may feel the presence of Jesus. The fact, however, that people of all religions across the world have such experiences makes it quite clear that these experiences have nothing to do with religion. Most religions are mutually exclusive. But if only one religion is right, that doesn't explain how billions of people of other religions throughout history have had these experiences. The connection between religion and spirituality is therefore an illusion, and a very unfortunate one. For it has not only led religious people to ascribe their experiences to wrong causes, it has also prevented science from studying the phenomenon.

    "Ultimately, all states of mind can be broken down to neurological processes in our brain. Scientific research could potentially show what ways of meditation work best for different people and how the brain can be influenced to alter our positive feelings, like compassion and empathy. We could have an entire scientific discipline of mysticism. Since spiritual experiences belong to the most valuble experiences we have, it is very unfortunate that we are hardly using this potential. The important thing to note in all this is that at no time do we have to believe in anything on bad evidence in order to strive for feelings of spiriuality. Once we realize that it is all in our brain, we can leave aside all religious dogma and superstition and honestly and openly explore the remarkable potential of our brain. "

  • Anonymous Icon

    RealityOverScience Jan 05, 2014


    Science can neither just conveniently claim ultimate authority, as if some elite social status, nor sit on that authority without relentlessly questioning itself, and allowing itself to be questioned. Imagine a government trying to pull that off! Noetic science must likewise remain open to question.

    The way to teach is to clearly define, and then...directly involve... your students, such that they become teachers right back...with YOU as their student! Are you up to the challenge?

    So, don't ...TELL... the Universe what it "HAS TO" be, as your original foundation, and don't demand authority without SHARING that authority with everyone else. Guide them toward HOW you know what you know, so they can know it, too/2! ;)

  • Anonymous Icon

    RealityOverScience Jan 05, 2014


    That higher processing requires higher Consciousness/Awareness of the Universal Physics. None of these higher realizations/awarenesses are just invented outta thin air, but rather adhere to far more complex and consistent processing than convention and its sciences allow themselves to process.

    Surely a scientist would agree that simply not allowing oneself to *go there* is not proof that *there* doesn't exist!

    Time and space, as convention has been told, are relative, but yet conventional scientists, as do most other folks, treat them like they're locked in place. With higher Consciousness/Awareness, those boundaries are broken down, uncongealed, and traversed further. Enlightenment is the ability to process that translucence, to recognize the reality of wormholes, for instance, in everyday activities, etc.. Conventional science so adheres to such a limited definition of "physicality" that it cannot recognize why it keeps running into its dreaded "philosophy!" It has left/"left" (intellectualized) the other half of itself out/"out!"

    Also, recognize that getting lost in what convention has done with language and its obsession with stereotyping and labeling things (by era, fad, fashion, misinterpretation, etc.), breathing life into stories they tell themselves around those things, is nothing more than precisely that! For example, the mockery that unconscious convention has made of "precognition," mistaking it with "fantasy" as opposed to a legitimate way of detecting events before they manifest, as I've mentioned above relative to earthquakes, or pre-manifestation. You have to understand what folks and societies ...do...with what's immediately available to them, and not dismiss the overall concept, or that they are ...trying... to process concepts as best they can. Those unfortunately fad-stereotyped labels/concepts are reflections of their own inherent physics they don't otherwise know how to process. The physics behind those concepts require redefinition, not "new age" name calling!

  • Anonymous Icon

    RealityOverScience Jan 05, 2014

    Conventional science, as with many fundamentalist religions, has inadvertently founded itself upon FAITH, belief, assumption, projection, and becomes irate when it is questioned. Why?

    If it's legit, it can stand up to any and all questioning, and openly welcomes it, if for nothing more than additional proof of that legitimacy.

    The primary mission of science must be that it relentlessly questions itself. Same for the scientist!

    It isn't a valid science if it is easily threatened and expects, as do many fundamentalists, that everyone simply fall into place around it, without fluently and exhaustively reasoning, exploring, questioning, wondering, etc... Scientists should know that neurons and neural pathways can't just suddenly redirect their neuro-chemical components/status at the drop of a hat, to conform to conventional science's need for folks to dutifully rush to conform.

    The very first step in your argument should be in your clearly defining the ...foundation... of science, not a rush to claim results rooted in that foundation, without accountability.

    Why has science founded itself upon its belief, FAITH, that the ONLY thing that matters is...matter? Why does it have such a limited definition of what constitutes the "physical?" For example, geologists wait for earthquakes to happen, to have something to measure on their instruments, but events occur because ....the conditions are in place for them to occur.... . Events don't just magically appear! With higher-than-convention processing, those conditions can be realized as congealing, forming, approaching, looooong BEFORE they "ultimately" CONGEAL to manifest as an earthquake, or even a conventional hint of an earthquake.

  • NoetPoet Jan 05, 2014

    Indeed. We may be driven by our beliefs and passions to seek the truth, but in seeking the truth we must be prepared for the possibility that it will not turn out to be what we wanted or expected it to be.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Jan 02, 2014

    Well stated. I have been commenting here for maybe two years and I am view by some as a negative force in these discussions because I embrace the role that science has to play in the discovery of our human potential, and in understanding the physical world and our role in it.
    Let's underscore the fact that while many believe that there is more to this universe, IONS seeks to use the scientific method to learn these unknown truths. Beliefs have their place then, as they indicate a direction we might choice to look in. But we must also embrace science as a tool to explore the unknown. There is no separating these two ideas.

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