Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Noetic science? What is it?

Yes you guessed right. I've just been reading Dan Brown's latest novel 'The Lost Symbol', the same Dan Brown who wrote 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels and Demons' and the other two novels. I've read all of his novels to date and I will continue to read anything he writes, because I'm enthralled by the sense of wonder that is conjured in my mind when I discover how progressively fantastical the story is becoming, as I turn from one wholly phantasmic page to the utterly stupendous next page..

So I came across 'noetic science' for the first time in the new Dan Brown novel and thought to expand my knowledge of this obscure branch of science by googling it. Of course there were the formal treatises and official sounding descriptions to trawl through. Then I happened upon a more light-hearted take on it, a blog post titled "What the heck is Noetic Science?", which taken together with the 31 comments left by readers, gave me something to ponder all afternoon. Please read the comments too if you can find the time. :)

Apparently, noetic science is a branch of science in which "scientists are trying to measure things we’ve long regarded as immeasurable, like prayer, intuition, or maybe even life after death, with the help of evidence-based research and peer review". Now tell me, how do you measure prayer and/or its efficacy thereof? Really!!

Anyway, all of this is taken very seriously apparently and this science has an entire Institute of its own, devoted to the study of such. Noetic Theory has even earned for itself a place in the pages of Wikipedia, where it is briefly described as "a branch of metaphysical philosophy".

This field of science got a boost when Edgar Mitchell a former US astronaut and member of the Apollo 14 crew that went to the moon, is said to have had a profound spiritual experience of some kind, or received some sort of 'revelation' while looking down on the Earth from space on his way back to the planet. (Read about it here). It was this same person who founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences in 1973 after his return to Earth and he also wrote a book titled 'The Way of the Explorer: An Apollo Astronaut's Journey through the Material and Mystical Worlds. Science editor of Howstuffworks.com, Allison Loudermilk, wonders what Mitchell's fellow astronauts thought of his career after he left NASA.. "Did they scoff? Did they have similar experiences? Did they also found institutes that will wind up in a Dan Brown novel?", she asks..


Quitstorm said...

I think with this revelations,i must consider myself "intelligent and genius,i have always measured prayers and its associates but couldn't think beyond my own thinking,thank you for opening a new window of even greater thinking,i have not read any book from Dan Brown but my nerves confirmed,i may have something in common with him

Fashionistafrica said...

I love this post, i really relate to it 100%. Thanks for sharing. Nabou

Anengiyefa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anengiyefa said...

Hello Quitstorm,

Maybe you should read his books so as to confirm whether you do have something in common with him..

Hi Nabou,

Welcome. It really makes you think, doesn't it? Someone commented that insurance companies don't give you a discount just because you pray or are being prayed for..

Surely it can't be possible to measure the effectiveness of something as abstract as 'prayer', or is it? But its not only prayer, there's also talk of 'distance healing' and other such intangible concepts...very strange, if you ask me.. :)

c'est moi said...

We keep having more & more things in common,mister!

Dan Brown is one of my favourite authors too! I have ALL his books and have only just started reading the "Lost Symbol"

Yes,i wondered what "noetic science" was,but unlike your eager and inquiring mind that sought to be enlightened,mine was just too lazy & just so keen to get on with finally getting to read the book after spending quite a bit of time on my bookshelf that i just overlooked that bit..

Clearly something esoteric & eccentric i thought,but oh well,i just couldn't be bothered anyway lol...thanks for sharing though.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year in advance Anenegiyefa!!

Anengiyefa said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you too C'est moi. May all our hopes and aspirations for the New Year come true

Peculiar Piscean! said...

Nicely wirrten!

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends
Can any one give examples of mystism mentioned in bible and co-relate it with scientific discoveries.
Newknowledge researcher

Visualization said...

This is an excellent review.I would love to read more about this topic.

VY said...

Thanks for the info !! Recently I read a book by Dan Brown which says about Neotic Science.I have been looking to know things about Neotic science. This article helped me a lot.