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May 11 2011

Tales From the Crypt of Idiocy – God Without

Considering the sheer amount of measles outbreaks, I was wondering when the homeopaths and naysayers would begin a counter drive against science.

Harmless! Except for mental retardation and death!

Never fear! Natural News’s very own “health ranger” Mike Adams is on the case with his new documentary of two parts called “God Within”.
Slick little presentations like this is what drive the anti-vaccine and alt. Medicine movements. This appeals to their world views that science is something evil because it is done by big corporations unlike back in the day where it was done by rich nobles who had a lot of time on their hands.

Yes this is a long and drawn out article. I will warn readers that, but sometimes you have to demolish idiot arguments otherwise we will be upto our cojones in morons claiming that medicine doesn’t work because of some new gobbledegook driven by a horrific misunderstanding of physics.


“I have always admired physicists they seek answers by answering questions of nature. And when they follow they follow a rigorous scientific approach to the quest for knowledge, they refuse to be sidelined by dogma, personal belief or trickery”

As are medical scientists and doctors. It’s why we don’t believe in Alternative Medicine. Because it is based off trickery, dogma and personal belief.
 

“Science in it’s most pure form is about the search for truth, I am not referring to the bastardisation of science by modern corporations which use the language of science to push a kind of intellectual tyranny involving for profit GMOs, Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals. I am talking about pure non-corporate driven science and the quest for human understanding”

Just a normal day of work!

Most science nowadays needs expensive equipment. We have learnt all we can from the simple and now require money to run expensive equipment. A simple device such as a MRI machine costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not to mention scientists have to make a living of their inventions otherwise we end up in a situation like the old apprentice method where masters closely guarded secrets which actually slowed down advances.
The ultimate irony is Mike Adams does make money from corporate sponsorship. The only difference is his sponsors are homeopathic drug companies often owned by real drug companies making him as much their crony as we are. The only difference being that our drugs work while his does not. GMOs aren’t as evil as he makes it out to be, drugs are fine if you take them at your doctor’s prescription and vaccines save quantifiable numbers of people.
Homeopathy does not. If we compared “real disease” cure rates homeopathy has an appalling track record. No what Adams wants is the olde days of individual scientists making shocking discoveries. In his mind those laboratories never mention the individuals working under them or their research being based of other works. The Wizard of Menlow Park (Thomas Alva Edison) actually at one point hired everyone’s favourite mad scientist and all round awesome man Nicholas Tesla.
Even back then science was being done by teams of people for profit, because not everyone can afford to sit around all day doing experiments and eventually poor people started becoming very good at science rather than just the people who were lucky enough to go into university and have money and estates to tide over their little fancies. Even prior to that the physicists often were part of engineer’s guilds and built things for the state while these discoveries were just “foibles”. Leonardo Da Vinci was actually a state employee for a fair while.

“Fertile grounds for exploration in the fields of quantum physics, the many worlds interpretation and the study of consciousness”

You found answers to medical problems in quantum physics which explain wave particle duality of light. The many world’s interpretation which has nothing to do with biology. And the study of consciousness which has proved beyond a doubt that consciousness is linked to brain architecture rather than being something divinely granted to us. We know this because the world is filled with young men who drive fast motorcycles and wear improperly fitting helmets. Tragically, we learn that being smacked upside the head is a good way to lose consciousness, often permanently and that alterations to the brain cause a variety of different issues relating to the conscious behaviour of individuals.

And what does any of this have to do with GMOs, Vaccination and Medicine, I shall never know.

“As a fan of Hawking’s work over the years I was looking forward to reading his explanations of The Theory of Everything and The Grand Design, the invisible hand behind it all. What I found in his book however rather surprised me, on the very first page of the book I found myself quite disappointed at the apparent lack of understanding of the universe from someone as intellectually capable as Hawkings. As you will soon see his words recall what can only be called the “great failing” of modern day physics to address the meaning behind the math. Far too many mainstream physicists seem to be stuck in what can only be called the Newtonian era of Consciousness, which is to say that they don’t grasp the idea that consciousness exists at all”

Let me get this straight. Mike Adams think Dr. Stephen Hawkings is wrong as Adams believes in souls while he does not?

A soul is a concept that human consciousness is not dependant on the architecture of the human body, that it somehow is alien. This is simply not true, consciousness is a lovely illusion brought on by the complexity of our brains. We assume that what makes me “Avicenna” is somehow unique and not merely chemistry. A further extension of this logic is the idea that what makes me “Avicenna” will survive my death and live in an eternal heaven. That is what a soul is. However we know that human consciousness and personality and all the bits that make us “human” are reliant on the architecture of our brains. Free will is linked to this complexity in that we can avoid following our reflexes and drives based on using our conscious thought to over-rule them much like how we can use our conscious thought to control the strength of the sphincter on our bladder.
What Adams is peddling here is industrial strength woo and herculean levels of bullshit in an attempt to discredit an intellectual titan by appealing to a very appalling lack of understanding of physics in his target audience.

“This mainstream physics is to reality what conventional medicine is to healing. In other words it has all the technical jargon but none of the soul and so it misses the whole point”.

Yes, medicine makes you a stone hearted monster whose only drive is to poison and cut! Not like homeopathy where your only drive is to peddle water that’s been smacked against a table a bunch of times. The soul is there in medicine, it’s just that people don’t see it. The satisfaction of a job well done, the satisfaction of giving someone a bit more time on this planet and the satisfaction of doing something people would regard as magic if not for your honesty on how it worked.

“Conventional Physics is high level mathematics desperately seeking to avoid any discussion of what it all means. You are not allowed to talk about consciousness or free will or the spooky connectedness that is been experimentally demonstrated to exist in all things in the universe. Because that brings up too many questions.”

Spooky Connectedness? Oh you mean how numbers tend to explain things and how if you link numbers together in equations you can link various phenomena under unifying mathematical equations which can be expanded in various ways to explain various events in elegant empirical fashion since mathematics is the true universal language of science and is without bias (for the most part) since no matter how much you wish it 2 + 2 = 4 (except for exceptionally large values of 2)

Most of these things are explained by mathematicians and physicists. Infact that’s pretty much what the Grand Unified Theory is and why physicists want to find out what it is.

“Questions about God”

If your model requires input from a magical non-provable entity in order to function then you have not grasped the point of physics.

If we start bringing God into equations then our world becomes very boring. It’s like if Newton decided to attribute the effects of gravity to invisible gravity fairies rather than effects of mass deforming space and various other theories (I am but a medical student who watches the Discovery Channel but I know a bit of physics, any physics based readers can help me out on this).

Where would we slot God in? Which God? What equations can calculate the incalculable and the unreal? We may as well assign values for boobquakes and other nonsensical ideas while we are at it. And indeed, then we may as well pack up and go home and replace physics textbooks with a piece of paper that says “MAGIC” if we are to start throwing god into equations. Infact we may as well declare everything to work by magic because “we could all be wrong and everything coincidentally works like this because it is pleasing to a big sky wizard”.

“Philosophy is Dead? It’s a stunning statement not so much in it’s abruptness but in it’s arrogance, which presumes that philosophy’s success is determined only to the degree it can keep up with physics. Conventional physicists believe that physics alone can explain everything. The Grand Design will only become apparent if we can only work out the math.”

Philosophy isn’t dead, it is sadly a decript shadow of it’s origins. It cannot keep up with science as science was unleashed from it’s constraints by the invention of the scientific method. The idea that peer review and universality of science meant that science exploded out of the starting lines leaving the comparatively staid philosophy in the starting lines. Science began to actually start answering questions raised in philosophy that were thought to be unanswerable.

Sadly philosophy is now a subject for the relatively easy going student with very little real world applications when compared to science however once upon a time philosophy carried a lot of weight because we simply were not very scientific. So actually talking about logic was more sensible than testing things out. Now we are in a situation where we are encouraged to experiment our thought experiments out and thus cross the line from philosophy to science.

Hence philosophy deals with the metaphysical while science expands what the physical entails. And hence why philosophy is kind of a silly idea since you are basically discussing what colour invisible unicorns are rather than building devices that see invisible unicorns if they exist.

“The Theory of Everything? Not just physics stuff? I find that hard to believe given that the average quantum physicist probably doens’t know what’s in a hot dog much less the entire universe”

Well since human beings work by molecular interactions which can be modelled in physics, I suppose yes the theory of everything could encompass that. And Adams find it hard to believe because he thinks water has a memory and that immune systems are responsible for autism.

Also the idea that a lack of knowledge in something doesn’t preclude you from expertise in some other field. You wouldn’t ask your plumber to fix your car but that doesn’t stop you from hiring him to fix your pipes.

“There is no definition that defines physics as the study of all that is.”

Really? Since when has science laid out boundaries. Physicists and Biologists do not get into knife fights over who gets to study the mechanics of bird flight. There are no science police who show up and bust chemists for dabbling in biology or biologists doing a bit of physics.

“Physicists are often wrong”

Scientists are often wrong. Hell Dr. Hawkings is famous for proving Einstein wrong on some bits. Scientists are relatively graceful losers, they will grumble but know when they have been beaten. No one begrudges the losing side of a scientific debate IF they have been holding to true scientific principle.

“The big questions that philosophy seeks to answer. Questions that cannot be asked through the study of physics alone. What is consciousness? Is there a God? What happens after death? How do we know what we know? What does it mean to exist? Can love be measured? How does consciousness interact with matter and energy? For what purpose if any are we here? Are these questions considered so unimportant that the knowledge seeking branch is to be discarded?”

  1.   Consciousness is the illusion of individuality brought on by the complexity of the human brain. It is a product of a vast network of neurons and complexity. Ultimately it is entirely chemical.
  2. No there isn’t a god since in order for one to exist there would have to be the ability to break the laws of physics at will. There is no proof of such an entity existing beyond wishful thinking and fables.
  3. Nothing happens after death. You die, your body rots and becomes food for a variety of organisms that break down organic matter. The end. Quite honestly an afterlife is just wishful thinking and incredibly childish.
  4. Existence means different things to different people as different people see different things in existence. Some fill their brief period in the sun with delusions of a god, others with something concrete like a family while others pursue goals such as improving other people’s lives in any small way they can. Some people are deluded and wrong and some people are not. People exist solely for the sake of existence!
  5. Love is merely the bond between two people and it cannot be measured logically since it is based on individuals and their notion and ideas of love and is based on unmeasurable things like culture.
  6. Consciousness is a product of matter and energy. Introduction of matter and energy to consciousness is “not very good” and can cause disturbances since consciousness is a product of the architecture of the brain. These we class as psychiatry.
  7. You are here for no purpose bar what you impose on yourself.
Neat eh? And I don’t even have a philosophy degree. A lot of things can be answered by carefully observing the world and experimenting. Turns out all these questions have been answered. It is just that people don’t like the answers we give them.

“Shut up and calculate!”

Mike Adams has a very strange understanding of physics. Of all the scientists I know and love my physicist friends often do use the “Shut Up And Calculate” school of dealing with weird things. Because it is not so weird after you break things down to mathematics.

“Consciousness collapses waves of probability into seemingly real particles in our seemingly real world. Without a conscious observer there is nothing to translate the laws of physics into observable, testable evidence in the first place… Consciousness is physics in the same way that E=MC2, which explains that energy is matter just in a different form.”

Yes Physics only exists if there is a conscious observer. That is true. However the actual mechanisms work whether the observer is a human being or a bacterial cell irrespective of who is watching. Physics is explanation of phenomena such as the waves of probability which still exist irrespective of whether we are looking or not!

Also E=MC2 states that the destruction of matter releases colossal amounts of energy since C = the speed of light which is “A Really Big Number”. It’s the principle of atomic energy and indeed the nuclear weapon.

“Francis Crick stated that awareness was no more than a feeling generated in the brain.”

Dr. Crick is right. We are an awesome chemical reaction. And that is more amazing than any stupid soul or magic consciousness. Can you imagine the countless tiny reactions of calcium depolarisation in my brain releasing neurotransmitters to control my fingers via the biological electrical cables that make up my nerves? That the entirety of my existence is so intricately complex that the amount of processing power for my hand and fingers on the motor cortex rivals that of my entire legs? It is phenomenally more interesting than the magic that Mike Adams believes in.

If you want true wonder realise that at our very core we are a binary beast like our laptops. Yet due to the nature of our brain we have a very analogue system based on the binary of active neuron or inactive neuron.

“If scientists are biochemical robots with no free will, then who do they believe wrote their books? Is Hawking’s The Grand Design a spontaneous regurgitation of biochemical ricochets cascading through his head without any intention, then by definition the book must be a mindless account of physics. In writing that humans are biochemical robots, Hawkings has not only lost his mind but he believed that he never had one to begin with.”

Rather tasteless there considering the only thing left on the man is his mind (And what a mind!). The assumption Mike has is that the brain functions at random firing away every neuron rather than an evolutionary function dictated by nearly 3 billion years of life on this planet. What Mike is describing is the “brain storm” of an epileptic seizure rather than the thought process.

Biochemical robot indicates the cellular mechanism that enables us to function rather than our neural chemistry which is reliant on a variety of things to come to conclusions. The same neural chemistry also can come to a wrong conclusion too depending on how we interpret data.

With regards to movement when electrical stimulation is applied to the brain during Awake Brain Surgery “This is a fallacious and illogical argument from the outset. I can tie a string to you and move you around like a puppet but that doesn’t mean that you can decide to move that same toe on your own through conscious intention translated through the brain. The mind you see works being translated through the brain which is a biological organ”

This is without the understanding that severing of the motor nerves results in loss of control. Severing of the pyramidal tracts in the spinal cord causes complete paralysis and a reversion to primitive reflex arcs rather than conscious movement because conscious movement is related to the brain and the nervous system rather than something special.

Conscious thought is not translated through the brain since it is part of the brain. Severe damage to the brain affects conscious thought. Simple chemical derangements can result in severe effects to consciousness. You can detect conscious thought by brain activity on MRI machines. It is not something independent of the brain. There is no magic “mind” that controls the brain at all.

He makes an assumption (and a pretty baseless one) that we have a unknown control mechanism. Primarily because this unknown control mechanism is one that he requires to exist for his brand of snake oil to work.
He uses the example of a radio controlled helicopter without realising that the remote works under principles we understand physically and can see rather than by something esoteric and undetectable.

 
“Determinism is a very dangerous philosophy as it absolves people of their own actions.”

Fuck no! Since when? Was I asleep when that happened?

This entire line of thinking from Mike assumes that humans as biochemical robots are absolved from not acting on laws that we have imposed on our self. The laws of society stem from the complexity of the society we live in and the need for us to produce a unbiased (or as close to) system of rules and regulations to solve problems. People who break these laws are criminals and are punished to discourage people from such crimes. Some crime is big such as murder, other are small such as jay walking. Being a biological robot means that you have machinery of a robot but your brain is the thing that determines what you do with your life and should you break the laws then you will suffer the consequences. Most people do not want to suffer consequences so follow the rules. The rules have evolved too. The 10 commandments are “a simplistic set of rules”. However by the end of Leviticus we are worrying about eating owls and wearing poly-cotton mixes because frankly the rules have exceeded those basic 10. That’s how our society has developed. Building rules that apply to us till somethings are ingrained into our very being.

The frequently invoked plea of insanity is only frequently invoked in the Movies Frequently. It is not a get out of jail card, it is a good way to get worse things to happen to you. Jail time ends, crazy time does not. In exchange for an insanity plea you can end up living the rest of your life in an institution under a doctor’s whim.
Mike Adams seriously thinks a psychiatric plea is one that works. Not one that is normally binned outright or used in serious cases where you lose all rights as an individual since you are no longer capable of making decisions and are sent to a psychiatric ward rather than jail which may be worse since psychiatric wards for violent patients are almost all restraint ready with burly men who are encouraged to give you medicines to make you easier to handle. They can keep you l
onger than a real jail often for lesser crimes than one would think possible.


“If we are biochemical machines, it would seem that we could be held accountable to pre-crime! Because as Hawking openly states, that if we knew the complete molecular state of someone’s brain today we can perfectly predict every thought and action they may take in the future.”

Crime is only crime if you commit it and not if you are thinking about it. Mike Adams is just inventing fears at this point. EVEN if we could predict future crime, we would intervene to stop the crime rather than punishing the person pre-emptively. (Yeah Minority Report was just that stupid!)

“But the belief that human beings lack souls or consciousness is far more serious reason. It can provide a scientific basis for the commission of heinous crimes against humanity… including genocide!” (dum dum DUM)

There has never ever been a scientific justification for genocide. Infact of the “genocidal fuckheads” that populated the world, none of them followed any scientific principles. Stalin’s deaths were due to following Lysenkoism, after rejecting Darwinism as Bourgiose (this lead to various famines that caused Stalin’s death toll to be so high). Nazis were religious and believed in souls. As did the Japanese. Pol Pot believed that people with glasses were smart and smart people were anathema to the state so killed them. None of these are scientific justifications for anything.

The world is overpopulated. We are dealing with that problem by “handing out condoms and teaching people that having one or two kids is best because having kids you cannot feed is stupid”. Not by committing genocide.

The people who have committed genocide have believed in souls. Nothing makes for a good genocide like religion and mindless ideology rather than rational scientific thought.

Also apparently the USDA is killing Cougars, Falcons and Owls (Thundercougarfalconburger?) and a whole zoo of animals for shits and giggles because they have no consciousness. (Last I heard is that Cougars were on various “no hunt lists” and so the USDA is not hunting cougars). And murdering the eco-system has actual consequences in fucking up the ecosystem. I am sure the USDA is out there killing foxes, rabbit, rats and perhaps badgers but not cougars, falcons and owls which actually eat pests that we “don’t like”.

“If the US government is already involved in the murder of animal species deemed too populous then by extension the same approach to managing human populations would quite easily be justified under the philosophical belief that human beings are mere biological animals too”

Ah yes the slippery slope argument so beloved of the Anti-Gay Marriage activist. If the government kills vermin then by logic it will kill human beings! If the government legally transplants kidneys then what is to stop it from stealing all our children’s organs and selling them to zoos for money!

Mike is nuts, and makes insane assumptions. Determinism is not a pretext for genocide and this is what we call a straw man argument. Mike has created a threat that does not exist. AKA that following the idea that man is a biological machine means that we are deterministic and this will lead to a lack of value of human life leading to genocide. When in reality we are possibly at the point of time when we there are fewer genocides going on at the moment than at any previous point in time because of how we have progressed as a species beyond the stupid constraints of religion, caste, creed and colour and have instead decided to embrace everyone as human.

No government would be able to utilise this argument and be called scientific because scientists will kick their arguments to the kerb. Like we have always done to such morons who tried to co-opt our fields for politics rather than for the benefit of human understanding.

“Adolph Hitler would have welcomed such a philosophy, making it all the easier to poison millions of Jews if you don’t think of them as human beings and instead consider them as mindless robotic machines waiting to exterminated. If Hawking’s book had existed, genocide would have been carried out under the name of science and the idea that jews were mere soulless animals to be exterminated at will. And anyone who opposed that idea would have been called unscientific!”

Instant Drama: Just Add Nazis (zombie Nazis for double drama)

Mike Adams has crossed so many lines here. What Mike has said is insulting to the Jewish survivors of a heinous act. Adolph Hitler would have had Mr. Hawkings gassed even before the Jews for starters rather than read his work. The Nazis were also firm believers in religion and of the soul. Hawkings is both disabled and an atheist so would have been in the camps as well.

Genocide was carried out in the name of science despite science stating that what was being done was insane. Jews were exterminated due to 2000 years of belief that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus. Gypsies were killed because they had darker skin. Religion twisted and tainted scientific understanding because people believed that Jews didn’t have souls and were not human as opposed to everyone believing they were equal.

Mike has not only insulted the Jews but also Dr. Hawkings whose personality and sense of humour mark him as a nice person. I have a strong feeling Dr. Hawkings would stand for what is right rather than the twisted teachings of the far right and racial superiority that go hand in hand with the belief that one is “god’s chosen”. At best Hawkings points out that we are all equal and the colour of skin is like a paintjob on a car rather than anything significant.

“Science has given us the Atomic Bomb and other technology with which to commit mass genocide has also given us other technology that justifies genocide. Ethics has kept up with physics, but physics has not kept up with ethics.”

The atomic bomb was discovered as part of a race to keep it out of the hands of very dangerous Nazis who would have used it indiscriminately considering their ethical view of the racial superiority of the Aryan. The Japanese were the same since they believed in the inferiority of everyone. The atomic bomb was dropped and ironically probably saved countless Japanese and American lives from a protracted war that would have cost the Japanese millions of lives in the invasion. Sad but that was a very sad era of humanity and The Bomb ended it. It also ensured that world wars were kept to a minimum. Fear of the bomb has reduced warfare and encouraged peace. We all remember those days and we all want peace now thanks to just two of them to end the last great war. And hopefully as long as we remember that war no one else will want to wage such a war ever again.

I am not sure if Stephen Hawkings says at any point that we do not have free will. Or that consciousness is nothing. I believe he stated that free will is a product of a complex brain and that free will is bound to logical pathways rather than true free will and that conscious thought is a product of a complex brain rather than something unique to it.

“Under the brand of science, we are all soulless meaningless biochemical robots, who have fooled ourselves into somehow thinking we are self aware.”

What we state that there is no soul, what you are is what you are. You are meaningless in the grand scale of things. Whether you live or die the world will go on. We are biochemical in nature. And we are self aware as a product of a complex brain and evolution rather than due to a god.

Humanity is all that. And that is far more fantastic than Mike Adam’s wish that we possess magic powers or the divinely mandated right of man to be man. We are far more interesting than that.

“ Part 2 on May 31st

Oh hell! There is not enough alcohol in the world! But fine! Since I started, I guess I will have to finish… Stay tuned for more Tales From the Crypt of Idiocy.

3 comments

  1. 1
    Larian LeQuella

    GREAT article! And a wonderful smackdown of delusional thinking.

  2. 2
    Larian LeQuella

    GREAT article! And a wonderful smackdown of delusional thinking.

  3. 3
    FacelessCowardAloneIntheDark

    How depressing. I hope you are happy you smug bastard.

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