Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Still more community college woo

The Community College of Baltimore County isn't the only Baltimore area community college offering classes in woo and pseudoscience . Howard Community College also offers these new-age nonsense and pseudoscience classes, sending its students who take the classes back into the community stupider less-well informed and more irrational than they were before. For shame, HCC! Have you no basic standards for the classes you offer, so that students are taught valid, factual information supported by evidence? Or can any charlatan, snake-oil salesman, or new age delusional kook true-believer teach classes at HCC?

[Note: I have no objection to yoga or tai chi taught as a form of exercise to improve posture and increase balance, flexibility, and coordination. Nor do I have a problem with the meditative component of yoga and tai chi to increase relaxation. What I do have a problem with is when yoga teachers make claims that it leads to "spiritual awareness," "enlightenment", "self-realization" (whatever that means), "liberation," or "union with the universal soul"; health claims not based on valid scientific evidence such as that yoga will boost the immune system, prevent the flu or lessen the effects of the flu; or claims that yoga and tai chi work with "energy flow" to increase better health.] 

Howard Community College's catalog of Winter 2010 Noncredit Classes lists the following woo and pseudoscience classes: 

Past Life Regression/Future Life Progression: Experience firsthand a review of your past lives or a peek into your soul's future lives. Deepen your understanding of your current life. Discussion following regression/progression.

Feng Shui Basics: You've heard the term, so come for an evening of fun to get acquainted with the 3,000-year-old Chinese practice of art and placement. Through the Tibetan Black Sect Tradition of Feng Shui, learn the history, Basic Principles, the four Cardinal Rules, and how to navigate the Ba-gua map, and apply your knowledge to bring harmony and balance into your life. 

Develop Your Psychic Ability: Psychic development--or could it be called "intuitive development?" Come to this class and discover your intuitive gifts. Learn how messages are received, as well as the meaning of divination tools and their uses. Get connected to the universal energy stream through guided mediation and energy work. Feel free to bring your cards or other divination tools to class for demonstration and practice.

Yoga and Self-Awareness: The practice of yoga enables you to establish a deeper inner awareness, ultimately leading to what the yogis call self-realization, or enlightenment. Classes will consist of yoga posts, breathing techniques, meditations, and yogic-ayurvedic philosophy aimed at cultivating that awareness.

Yoga and Ayurveda: Ayurveda, India's traditional system of self-healing, and Yoga, the science of Self-Realization, are integrated in this course to give you a complete approach to wellness, wholeness, and greater awareness. Learn techniques of physical postures, breathing, and meditation, and gain insights to determine what foods and lifestyle choices are good for you based on knowledge of your own constitution.

Yoga and Eckhart Tolle's New Earth: Awakening to your Life's Purpose: Using body, mind, and spirit, we will explore the parallels between Yogic philosophy and Tolle's A New Earth in areas such as identifying not with the ego but with one's 'True Self' (sic), finding our inner purpose, and birthing a new, more loving and conscious world...."

Yoga for Bolstering the Immune System: As we approach the dilemmas of the flu season and flu shots, of wanting health and well-being for ourselves and our loved ones, we can use yoga to bolster our immune system. In this class, we will explore breathing and relaxation techniques, yoga postures and meditation, a positive yogic attitude, and appropriate lifestyle practices including diet and rest to build up the immune system. Thus the body can do its natural job of preserving our health and healing us when we become stressed or sick.

Yoga  & Exploring the Chakras: In yoga, the chakras are the seven major energy centers that parallel the spine. We will use the chakras as a map of human evolution, from survival consciousness to unity consciousness. Through classic yoga phases, breathing techniques, mediation, and discussion, we will explore how we and the human species are evolving toward our full potential. As we experience challenges in relation to ourselves, our fellow human beings, and our planet, we are inspired to engage life from an ever-deepening and more conscious place.

1 comment:

  1. Got to love the nuttiness that sprouts up when they let almost anyone in the door as a teacher. At least around here the only requirement for a community college course is someone willing to unlock the door and be there every week.