Transcendental Meditation Pseudoscience

By Steven Novella

It’s fun to run into such a wonderful example of pure pseudoscience. Let’s deconstruct this one: Field Effects of Consciousness and Reduction in U.S. Urban Murder Rates: Evaluation of a Prospective Quasi-Experiment. This study comes from the Maharishi University of Management.

The idea here (which, let’s be clear, is a tenet of religious faith, not a scientific theory) is that consciousness is a field, and that there is a universal field of consciousness of which we are all a part. When individuals engage in transcendental meditation (TM) they are not only affecting their own consciousness, they are affecting the entire field.

The point of this and other similar TM studies is to confirm the belief (they are not testing the belief) that if enough people put good vibrations into the universal field of consciousness, society in general will benefit. How many is enough? Well apparently they have an answer for that. It is the square root of 1% of the population. Why? Because math.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. @OP How many is enough? Well apparently they have an answer for that. It is the square root of 1% of the population. Why? Because math.

    I check populations of plants quite frequently, and even in square section plant pots, I don’t find square roots! 🙂 🙂

  2. Consciousness is a sensation produced by the physiology of the brain. It has no relationship to Quantum Field Theory.

  3. Stephen Novella: a genuine hero of science.
    He’s very occasionally wrong, but never without good reason.
    I expect he has good reason to not be occasionally wrong about this particular issue.

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