‘Noetic sciences’

I was listening to the NPR food show, The Splendid Table, and they ended the show with by having Dean Radin from the Institute for Noetic Sciences on to talk about how ‘thinking at’ chocolate makes it better. No, I’m not joking, and it wasn’t April Fools’ day. Ordinary fools day, I guess.

Looking at the Institute for Noetic Sciences (IONS) web site, it looks like this is the place where the California nuts collect. They are still doing psi studies, lots of ‘intentional’ studies which test various ways thinking at something changes it, from prayer and healing to remote viewing to psychokinesis. Not too surprisingly, Deepak Chopra is ‘associated faculty’.

The chocolate study guy, Dean Radin, is an interesting nut. He was a real engineer, then got a Ph.D in psychology from U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then went off the deep end. It’s odd, he uses methods that look quite respectable–the chocolate study was double-blinded–to come to nutty conclusions, and publishes them in nutty niche journals. IONS has its own journal, “Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing”, and disturbingly the NIH’s Pubmed article indexing service includes its articles (see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17905358). This is by far the craziest journal I’ve ever seen in Pubmed.

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