Rock et al. (this issue) used a Drake-like equation to provide an estimate of the mathematical likelihood of survival of consciousness after death based on combining a number of probability guestimates. Although it is refreshing to see a mathematical paper within transpersonal psychology, as this subdiscipline of psychology suffers from a shortage of quantitative research, it is uncertain whether this contribution is good, bad, or not-even-wrong science. The original Drake equation, and its derivative Drake-like equation spinoffs, have been criticized for combining numbers that produce results that lack meaning and thereby perhaps can be seen as using pseudomathematics. This concern is discussed in relationship to problems related to romantic scientism within transpersonal science, including methodolatry involved in privileging qualitative over quantitative approaches. Self-expansiveness is discussed as an example of transpersonal psychology appropriately using good science, while the critical positivity ratio is discussed as an example of bad science, and astrology is discussed as an example of pseudoscience that is not-even-wrong. Questions are raised about the proper use and the misuse of mathematics within the transpersonal area, and comment is made about advances in mathematics that might become useful within transpersonal psychology.
Friedman, Harris L., "Good, Bad, or Not-Even-Wrong Science and Mathematics in Transpersonal Psychology: Comment on Rock et al.'s "Is Biological Death Final?"" (2023). International Journal of Transpersonal Studies Advance Publication Archive. 68.