Some Disinfonauts might recall that last month I posted a rather scathing commentary in regards to the career of blow-hard skeptical debunker James Randi. Of course I hope people realize that I write polemic rants like this to reflect the negativity that the closed minded “skeptical” community, hardline materialist types, and religious people alike have been directing at anyone with alternate spiritual practices for the vast majority of recorded history. We deal with this condescension constantly and to pretend there isn’t a bias against things like Shamanism, the Occult, or Psi is sort of like pretending there’s no homophobia or misogyny, or that racism is just a thing of the past. For the record, we’re not talking about a fictional “sky-god” but rather the potentiality of the human imagination. It’s incredibly bizarre how many people desperately want to believe that this potentiality doesn’t exist and will eat up anything that reinforces this deeply held belief no matter how short on facts or evidence their claims happen to be.… Read the rest
Tag Archives | Pseudoscience
There’s a shadowy group lurking in the squeaky clean corridors of the scientific information conglomerate known as TED. Here in the cockles of this monolithic shaft of Copernican cocksuredness hides a gloaming collection of secret scientists who decide the fate of the information you’re allowed to hear. They have no name, so we shall call them the Anonymous Society of Scientist (A.S.S. for short). We may have never known of A.S.S.’s existence if not for the hell raised over the removal of two popular TEDx Whitechapel speeches by Scientist, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake and best-selling author, Graham Hancock.
Both Dr. Sheldrake and Graham Hancock’s talks revolved around the idea that consciousness is not necessarily limited to the physical human body, but that it may extend far beyond in ways not yet fully understood. In light of the present paradigm of scientific thought which supposes we are actually “lumbering robots” as Richard Dawkins famously stated, the contrarian claims of Sheldrake and Hancock are not considered suitable for public consumption – so think the veiled harbingers of A.S.S.… Read the rest
What do you make of Mike Adams and his Natural News site, disinfonauts? Big Think has a very negative take:
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If there was an award for the single greatest hub of pseudoscience on the internet, the website Natural News would well and truly take the crown tin foil hat. Expect to find anti-vaccine paranoia which extends not only to your garden variety antivaxxer favorites such as the debunked link to autism but to crackpot claims that vaccines caused the “cancer epidemic” and were even responsible for the “origin” of AIDS. According to Natural News, Microsoft is developing “eugenics vaccines that target specific races and nationalities with infertility-inducing pharmaceuticals“. Alongside this you’ll also find full blown AIDS denialism (emphasis mine):
“HIV does NOT cause AIDS. HIV does not cause anything. A staggering statement given the hype and acceptance by the scientific establishment and, through them, the public that the HIV virus is the only cause of AIDS. HIV is a weak virus and does not dismantle the immune system.
Michael Shulson says “Americans get riled up about creationists and climate change deniers, but lap up the quasi-religious snake oil at Whole Foods. It’s all pseudoscience—so why are some kinds of pseudoscience more equal than others?”, writing at Daily Beast:
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If you want to write about spiritually-motivated pseudoscience in America, you head to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. It’s like a Law of Journalism. The museum has inspired hundreds of book chapters and articles (some of them, admittedly, mine) since it opened up in 2007. The place is like media magnet. And our nation’s liberal, coastal journalists are so many piles of iron fillings.
But you don’t have to schlep all the way to Kentucky in order to visit America’s greatest shrine to pseudoscience. In fact, that shrine is a 15-minute trip away from most American urbanites.
I’m talking, of course, about Whole Foods Market. From the probiotics aisle to the vaguely ridiculous Organic Integrity outreach effort (more on that later), Whole Foods has all the ingredients necessary to give Richard Dawkins nightmares.
Is alchemy not the sham science we have been led to believe it is? The Smithsonian on how alchemists’ breakthroughs were pillaged by the forefathers of modern science:
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In the 1980s, some revisionist scholars began arguing that alchemists actually made significant contributions to the development of science.
Historians of science began deciphering alchemical texts—which wasn’t easy. The alchemists, obsessed with secrecy, deliberately described their experiments in metaphorical terms laden with obscure references to mythology and history. For instance, text that describes a “cold dragon” who “creeps in and out of the caves” was code for saltpeter (potassium nitrate).
Growing evidence that the alchemists seem to have performed legitimate experiments, manipulated and analyzed the material world in interesting ways and reported genuine results. And many of the great names in the canon of modern science took note.
Robert Boyle, one of the 17th-century founders of modern chemistry, “basically pillaged” the work of the German physician and alchemist Daniel Sennert, says Newman.
Earlier this year Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock suffered a form of censorship at the hands of TED, a dispute covered amply here at disinformation. However, we missed a none too dissimilar spat regarding TED telling its TEDx event organizers to avoid “pseudoscience” and that red flag topics included GMOs and “Food as medicine.” Mike Adams jumped all over it at Natural News, writing:
… Read the rest
Allow me to be the first to announce that TED is dead. Why? Because the group that organizes so-called “TED talks” has been thoroughly hijacked by corporate junk science and now openly rejects any talks about GMOs, food as medicine, or even the subject of how food can help prevent behavioral disorders in children. All these areas of discussion are now red-flagged from being presented on any TED stage.
This is openly admitted by TEDx itself in a little-known letter publicly published on December 7, 2012. Click here to view the letter.
Is the notion that our planet’s roundness a massive conspiracy perpetrated across centuries? The fascinating Flat Earth Society says yes, and attempts to address all of your doubts in their comprehensive FAQ guide:
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The evidence for a flat earth is derived from many different facets of science and philosophy. The simplest is by relying on ones own senses to discern the true nature of the world around us. The world looks flat, the bottoms of clouds are flat, the movement of the sun; these are all examples of your senses telling you that we do not live on a spherical heliocentric world
Perhaps the best example of flat earth proof is the Bedford Level Experiment. In short, this was an experiment preformed many times on a six-mile stretch of water that proved the surface of the water to be flat. It did not conform to the curvature of the earth that round earth proponents teach.
Magnets: How Do They Work? If you’re attempting to prove that gay marriage is scientifically impossible then the answer is not very well. Not. Very. Well. A Nigerian student has attempted to use magnets to “scientifically” prove that gay marriage is impossible.
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A bar magnet is a horizontal magnet that has the North Pole and the South Pole and when you bring two bar magnets and you bring the North Pole together you find that the two North Poles will not attract. They will repel, that is, they will push away themselves showing that a man should not attract a man. If you bring two South Poles together you find that the two South Poles will not attract indicating that same sex marriage should not hold. A female should not attract a female as South Pole of a magnet does not attract the South Pole of a magnet.
When I first heard of Dr. Emoto’s amazing work with water crystals through his book “The Hidden Messages in Water” I was absolutely stunned. I then saw the movie “What the Bleep do we Know” and became thoroughly intrigued. I set off to conduct a research project in the chemistry department of Castleton College in Vermont to see if I could find sufficient evidence and support for Dr. Emoto’s claims to merit conducting a deeper research project to try to reproduce his work. The idea was to uncover as much information about his methods and procedures as possible to determine if is would actually be feasible to study the effect of energy healing, such as Reiki, on the formation of water crystals. I was so excited to think that I might be the first person in the world to verify his work!… Read the rest
I came across the following post in an occult group on Facebook: “Only God could have created a 9 number system that can encompass infinity with a zero as the emanation [Chaos].” Just the kind of quirky and weird statement I just can’t pass up. “I’ll bite,” I commented.
I was led by the poster to a number of videos featuring Marko Rodin, who discovered what he termed, “Vortex Mathematics.” While attempting to decode the greatest name of God in the Bahá’í faith, using Abjad numerical notation, he created a symbol consisting of the nine arabic numerals inscribed upon a circle. He called this the “symbol of enlightenment” (shown at right) which he has also referred to as “the mathematical thumbprint of God.”
For me, understanding math is like trying to walk up a grassy hill in the rain with flip flops that are two sizes too large.… Read the rest