In last week’s column (“The science of the unscientific”), I mentioned that some American and European universities offer graduate degree courses in parapsychology (called psychotronics, paraphysics or bioenergy research in Europe).
Dr. Dean Radin, senior scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and founder of the Consciousness Research Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, wrote back that this is not true.
“In your article on parapsychology, you mention that ‘Masteral degrees in parapsychology are available in the curricula of the University of California in Los Angeles, Duke University, World University of America in Ojai, California, John F. Kennedy University, the Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and a university in Sweden.’
“This is not so. Nowhere in the United States or anywhere else in the world can one earn a degree in parapsychology from an accredited university. There are many ‘metaphysical’ colleges that offer degrees, but those schools are not accredited, which means they are not recognized as having sufficient academic quality to be considered a legitimate university.
“Also, it is not true that ‘most of the important phenomena studied by parapsychologists are nonrepeatable.’ See the attached journal article as proof of that.
“Best wishes, Dean.”
I replied to Dr. Radin, thanking him for the correction. I told him I was under the impression that such degree programs existed at Duke University in North Carolina under the late Dr. J.B. Rhine, and at the University of Utrecht under the late Professor Tenhaeff.
Dr. Radin said, “This was true in the 1960s, but both of those programs closed many decades ago. For a list of universities around the world that have courses or research in parapsychology today, see this page: http://parapsych.org/section/34/university_education_in.aspx.
“Some of the listings there are a little out of date, but it’s mostly still correct.”
‘The Noetic Universe’
I also told Dr. Radin that I have read his excellent book, “The Noetic Universe (The Scientific Evidence for Psychic Phenomena),” and wished skeptical magician James Randi had read his book so that he (Randi) could eat his words that “there is no proof for the existence of psychic abilities and paranormal phenomena.”
When I wrote that most psi and paranormal phenomena are nonrepeatable, therefore cannot be subjected to scientific scrutiny, I was referring to those mostly spontaneous psi occurrences as astral projection, seeing ghostly apparitions, seeing future events, receiving messages from the spirit world, and even close encounters with beings etc. which I and many others have experienced but cannot repeat at will.
It is true that many other psi phenomena could be repeated, such as telepathy, telekinesis, remote viewing, etc. and, therefore, could be studied scientifically.
According to Wikipedia, “The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) is an American nonprofit parapsychological research institute. It was co-founded in 1973 by former astronaut Edgar Mitchell, along with investor Paul N. Temple, and others interested in purported paranormal phenomena to encourage and conduct research on noetic theory and human potentials.
“The Institute conducts research on such topics as spontaneous remission meditation, consciousness, alternative healing practices, consciousness based healthcare, spirituality, human potential, psychic abilities, psychokinesis and survival of consciousness after bodily death.”
Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who held a doctorate degree in Science, was with the Apollo 14 space mission and was the sixth man to walk on the moon.
While in outer space, he conducted an unauthorized and secret experiments in telepathy. He sent telepathic messages to three psychics on earth who accurately received the messages after careful verification, thus showing that telepathy exists and is not hampered by distance.
Mitchell experienced “Samadhi” or cosmic consciousness upon his return to earth after the Apollo mission to the moon in 1971.
On one of my visits to the United States in the mid-’80s, I was invited by a small group of scientists and researchers of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, then based in Sausalito, California, to talk about my research on the controversial bare-handed psychic surgery practiced by Filipino faith healers.
It was not a formal presentation but just an informal meeting of some IONS researchers interested in the subject. The IONS president at that time was Willis Harman, author of “Global Mind Change” and “Higher Creativity,” among other books.
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