There are several ways we can know the world around us. Science focuses on external observation and is grounded in objective evaluation, measurement, and experimentation. This is useful in increasing objectivity and reducing bias and inaccuracy as we interpret what we observe. But another way of knowing is subjective or internal, including gut feelings, intuition, and hunches—the way you know you love your children, for example, or experiences you have that cannot be explained or proven “rationally” but feel absolutely real. This way of knowing is what we call noetic.
"The Noetic Sciences" are therefore explicitly psuedoscentific. They don't hide this fact at all, it's right there and yet they choose to co-opt the name "science" in their title for some reason?
Most of the practices defended under the banner of the "Noetic Sciences" have clearly failed formal scientific scrutiny, and have been reconstituted therein in an attempt to move the standard of evidence to rescue them from the flames of Scientific Inquiry.
Any discussion about whether or not they're bunk is ultimately going to go down the rabbit hole of dualist philosophy and spiritualist religion.
Personally, I'm not really interested in hashing out that familiar ground again, but I'll state my opinion for the record: the Noetic Sciences are anti-intellectual, rigidly unsupported, philosophically ancient (and I don't mean that in a good way).
Take a look at the quote above: is loving your children an exercise in knowledge, or is this an emotional smokescreen? Do experiences actually exist that cannot be rationally explained, or are the explanations simply not palatable to mystery mongering and new age thinking? Are intuitions a matter of supernatural insight or merely coincidence pared with confirmation bias? Does something feeling real actually make it real, or should we default to the more obvious explanation, the imperfection of observation and the human element?
I think a bit of critical thinking goes a long way here.
One last thing as food for thought. Check out this quote from the same page:
The term noetic sciences was first coined in 1973 when the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) was founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who two years earlier became the sixth man to walk on the moon. Ironically, it was the trip back home that Mitchell recalls most, during which he felt a profound sense of universal connectedness—what he later described as a samadhi experience. In Mitchell’s own words, “The presence of divinity became almost palpable, and I knew that life in the universe was not just an accident based on random processes. . . .The knowledge came to me directly.”
There is a portion of the brain we can inhibit that actually makes people feel "one with the universe." It is the portion of the brain that drugs often mess with, coincidentally, as do sensory deprivation tanks. This portion of the brain governs our feelings of the boundaries of our body, and when hindered, we literally cannot tell where we begin and end.
This is not evidence of universal connection, this is evidence of the physically constructed nature of our experience of reality.