Science Evan Fales of the Univ. of Iowa, Professor of Sociology Barry
Markovsky of the Univ. of Iowa.
1997, The University of
North Carolina Press. Published December 1997 in Social Forces Volume
Here are some excerpts from their study:
"Our criticisms may be divided into those directed against the MT [Master
Thesis] and those
disputing interpretations of their data. As to the first, the main points
were that the MT has serious problems regarding the clarity and integrity
of its arguments, and it does not cohere well with other strongly confirmed
theories, hence conflicting with the evidence supporting those theories.
MT is under-articulated, often vague or enigmatic, reliant upon specious
analyses, and silent about key processes that link causes to their alleged
effects. These defects are not uncommon in novel theories, but in this case
they allow nothing better than crude plausibility arguments for its
"The theory receives low marks
for meaningfulness. Key terms are undefined or only roughly characterized
using other complex, undefined terms or metaphors. 'Planck scale' and
'unified quantum field' are defined in physics, but the meanings of many
crucial expressions are not so clear, including 'consciousness,'
'collective consciousness' (CC), 'pure consciousness,' and 'experientially
"We consulted several nuclear and particle physicists and
learned that detailed experimental evidence is lacking for Planck scale
phenomena. Also, a number of unified theories compatible with the existing
experimental constraints have been considered in this highly speculative
area (Davies and Brown 1988). Moreover, physicists examining purported
links to MT find them highly dubious (e.g., Stenger 1990; Pagels 1986).
Thus, although O88 give the impression that their assumptions are
well-grounded, the soundness of MT’s quantum field connections is an
open question at best."
"In sum, O88’s theory does not pass minimal criteria of meaningfulness
and logical integrity."
"...ME predictions cannot be derived from the MT. There are gaps in
the causal chain from group meditation to the phenomena supposedly
affected, there are no specified time lags for the ME, and despite the
capacity of MT’s formal component to generate specific ME predictions, the
model is ignored. Thus, evidence offered for the ME cannot significantly
increase confidence in the veracity of the MT."
"First, when research is conducted on behalf
of an organized group (as was O88), its results will often find publication
in arenas that do not afford an opportunity for informed rebuttal. Second,
such rebuttals (as we have shown) need not be overly expansive to undermine
an unorthodox theory."
"As for the second issue, publication confers a certain aura of legitimacy
in the eyes of the lay public and even the research community. Proponents
of unorthodox theories know this and, as with TM proponents, often attempt
to parlay such recognition into research grants, influence upon public
policy-makers, and influence with the public at large. To what extent does
the scientific community have a responsibility to allow--or not allow--these
considerations to influence its handling of unconventional proposals? ...It
is here, in any case, that a
much wider understanding of the principle that publication should not be
taken to confer respectability in the sense of acceptability, would be
Mordecai Kaffman. The Use of Transcendental Meditation to Promote
Social Progress in Israel. Cultic Studies Journal, Volume 3, No. 1,
1986, pp. 135-141.
A criticism of TM's "International Peace Project in the Middle East"
which later appeared in the Journal of Conflict Resolution in December
The methods of TM Peace Project researchers are dismissed as
unscientific, and their claims of positive results in the Israeli
context are deemed unconvincing, anecdotal, and based on a conceptual
error. The TM theory of the "unified field" is stated to be no more
credible than was Blondot's 1913 claim--supported by many papers from
his collaborators--that metals gave off N-rays.
Heinz R. Pagels,
Ph.D. New York Academy of Sciences. Affidavit dated
July 1, 1986. (2 pages)
Dr. Pagels was Executive Director of the New York Academy of Sciences
when he wrote this opinion. Excerpts:
"My summary opinion, as a theoretical physicist specializing in the
area of quantum field theory, is that the views expressed in the literature
issued by the Maharishi International University, and appearing in
the "World Government News" and other publications associated with
the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi that purport to find a connection between
the recent ideas of theoretical physics--unified field theory, the
vacuum state and collective phenomena--and states of consciousness
attained by transcendental meditation are false and profoundly misleading.
No qualified physicist that I know would claim to find such a connection
without knowingly committing fraud."
"Individuals not trained professionally in modern physics could easily
come to believe, on the basis of the presentations in the Maharishi
literature, that a large number of qualified scientists agree with
the purported connection between modern physics and meditation methods.
Nothing could be further from the truth."
"What was especially interesting to me, in reviewing this literature,
is the claim put forth by the Maharishi and his followers, that
transcendental meditation and 'The Science of Creative Intelligence'
qualify as a science. Although the word 'science' is much abused, it
continues to imply an adherent to logic, the clear presentation of
assumptions and deductions, and the experimental method. Most
importantly, any science necessarily contains a recipe for its own
falsification. None of these central features of the Western concept
of science are present in 'The Science of Creative Intelligence.'
This is not science."
HN, Bastien BA. Cold look at transcendental meditation. [Article
in French] Ann Med Psychol (Paris) 1980 Jul-Sep;138(7):839-48
The transcendental meditation, which has been initiated in Occident for
twenty years, is being more and more popular with the general public. So,
its more and more numerous devotees may bear witness to that fact. In this
article, the authors are looking over the diverse publications which have
been done about that mental technique up to now. In spite of many demands
of the transcendental meditation movement, the authors, with their own
analysis, are induced to formulate a few reserves on the scientific credit
to be given to that movement; for, in a way, it may look like an 'organized
magic' within humane agony.
, former MIU Dean of
Faculty and head of Physics Department, dated July 11, 1987, to Pat
Ryan. TM-EX Newsletter, Spring 1992.
"During my time at MIU, I had occasion to examine
the scientific claims of the movement, to interact with those who had
reportedly performed the research, to study the metaphysics, philosophy
and religion associated with the TM technique, and to work with the founder
of the movement and the college. It is my certain belief that the many
scientific claims both to factual evidences of unique, beneficial effects
of TM and to theoretical relationships between the experience of TM and
physics are not only without any reasonable basis, but are in fact in many
"The 'scientific research' is
without objectivity and is at times simply untrue. While Chairman of
Physics at MIU, I was asked to develop a quantum theory, a unified field
theory, which would incorporate consciousness in such a way as to explain
the 'flying' technique as non-ordinary and which would give to the
subjective experience of meditation a fundamental role in physics. I
found then and I continue to find now such claims preposterous. This
is what is normally called 'crackpot science.'"
"The early attempts to relate the experience
of TM to the physical nature of reality were by fuzzy analogies. Analogous
reasoning may be useful to clarify ideas, but never to establish
connecting relationships. Subsequent attempts to produce some sort of
physical theory involving TM merely carry the analogies further into the
realm of obscure thinking that can perhaps fool the person not conversant
with the language of physics but will be usually quickly described as
crackpot by the expert physicist."