Bruce Lipton PhD: Quack, ignoramusApril 13, 2012
People googling “Bruce Lipton quack” often get referred to this blog, as that phrase was briefly mentioned in a comment on one post or another. I always got a twinge of guilt that I hadn’t written about him yet, so here goes…
Bruce Lipton, PhD has made a name for himself as a more science-savvy version of Deepak Chopra. But Unlike Chopra, seems to have largely escaped the attention of the skeptic community. He peppers his talks with technical terms from biochemistry, hoping that no one with the relevant training will pay any close attention and call him to account. I have no relevant training, so I will deal with a fairly straight forward talk, and consider its merits.
This two minute video talk is probably a good place to start. No need to watch it. I’ve already sat through the whole two minutes of it and transcribed a few of his barely articulate and ungrammatical sentences.
Cancer quack Bruce Lipton PhD with face-lifted cancer quack Louise Hay
Lipton tells us that the earth is going through its sixth mass extinction, which scientists say is caused by human behavior. Lipton agrees. But that’s where any agreement between Bruce Lipton PhD and modern science finishes. Lipton finds a rather curious origin for the whole thing:
Much of this human behavior is in fact related to a concept that we arose in this garden as a total result of accident, when in fact this is the complete opposite from the…the…I mean…we were, we were….it was purpose and design through the entire process.
I’d like to play dumb here and say that he couldn’t possibly be referring to evolution, because that doesn’t propose that life arose by accident or chance. But I can’t play dumb. I know he means evolution, because Creationists talk like this all the time. Now, I can understand why the average member of the public hears the words “random mutation and natural selection”, and focuses on the easiest word — random. It takes a bit of background reading to clear up the confusion: genetic mutations are only “random” within some clearly defined parameters; and beyond that, natural selection is not random, (which is why the word selection appears rather prominently in the term).
But Bruce Lipton isn’t an average member of the public. He has a PhD in developmental biology! Why is he ignorant of the most basic concepts of his own field?
…I mean, we were, we were….it was purpose and design through the entire process.
This is straight up Intelligent Design creationism. New Agers usually don’t like to number themselves with fundamentalist Christians, and neither does Lipton. That’s probably why he pulled back from saying “we were…we were designed,” preferring instead to put it in the passive voice.
And the relevance about that is that when we bought into the Darwinian theory…
Hold it right there, buddy! Now this is really getting stupid. How can someone with a PhD in biology think that biologists “bought into” evolution? How can he not know why evolution is one of the foundational concepts of biology? (Hint for Bruce: it’s been confirmed and reconfirmed by every single finding in every possible field of study from plate tectonics to genetics.)
And his reference to “the Darwinian theory” is also telling. Creationists also make this error, thinking that evolution is “only a theory”, or only one theory among many. But “theory” in this sense means the practical application of established knowledge — obviously not Dr Lipton’s strong suit.
…when we bought into the Darwinian theory, we bought into a way of life that’s based on survival of the fittest and the struggle for life.
This is a common error even among academics. But that doesn’t make it any less dumb. Fittest doesn’t refer to gym training here; it refers to suitability to a particular habitat. As often as not, the fittest are the smaller ones or the ones who co-operate, or remain loyal, or the ones who turned vegetarian. This is really really basic stuff. Why doesn’t Lipton know it?
And the actual theory of evolution would be the survival of those that cooperate, and the, and the, community of life, and that’s a completely different way of looking at life.
You idiot, Bruce…..Cooperative and social behavior among animals is routinely considered in the light of natural selection. Darwin wrote about it at length, and since then, there’s about 150 years worth of research into it which you don’t seem to have noticed. You have some reading to do Dr Bruce.
So where is all this heading?
We are right now facing a major extinction which may surprise people who look at the world and don’t see much going on, it’s like that’s the big surprise, we are already into the final hoo har.
The Final Hoo Har:
This is a central part of the Lipton Theory of Evolution, and it’s starting to make me think that normal Creationists aren’t so bad after all. It refers to the Friday before Christmas of this year. Yup, that’s right. “The Darwinian theory” doesn’t predict that the world will end on Friday December 21st 2012. But the Lipton Theory does! [Cue music]
And yet I’m not concerned, for the very simple reason that the earth is a living thing, and um…
Okay Bruce, the earth is alive. Obviously they didn’t include any geology in your degree, as well as missing out 150 years worth of biology.
…as you’re very familiar, terminal cancer patients can be called out, everybody said man you’re out of here you’re dead, and they have a change of mind, and when they have a change of mind they have what we call a spontaneous remission.
Cancer quacks are always fearless in the face of cancer, as long as it’s not their own stupid ass on the line. As you can see, this is what Bruce Lipton uses his PhD for: to convince cancer sufferers to trust him and buy his books.
But he’s not limiting himself to scamming the sick. If you’re healthy and concerned about the state of the world, he’s got some of that PhD knowledge to help you too!
And what we are in need of right now is a change of mind. And when the human population grabs on to a new understanding of who they are in this picture, it will offer an opportunity for a remission, and this garden will come back in full form for those will be there understanding who we are in the garden.
That’s right folks, global warming, pollution, resource depletion and all that stuff all happened because we bought into the Darwinian theory!
But the Lipton Theory will solve it all!
Buy into it now and save the world from the Final Hoo Har!
UPDATE: See also Part Two — Bruce Lipton: Quack, Creationist, Buffoon, PhD
(Later Update: For a more thorough critique of Lipton’s teachings, see Motivational Biology with Dr Bruce Lipton, Cancer Quack.)