h1

Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ – Annotated With Facts: Part 40 (Vibrators)

September 30, 2018

Welcome back to the inescapably lengthy review of Bruce Lipton’s book Biology of Belief. (Forty posts so far, and we have only arrived at page 114!)

Since the last post, I have myself undergone a minor treatment for skin cancer. Two areas (on my face and neck) needed to be treated. According to Lipton, modern medicine rejects all but ‘Newtonian’ physics. Were this true, my treatment would have involved simply cutting out the offending tissue and maybe grafting on some skin from another area.

Luckily for me, Lipton is completely and utterly wrong about this. Medicine of course embraces modern physics, and my face was zapped by three carefully calibrated lasers. Two small patches of my face and neck are a still little pinkish, and even this will soon disappear completely.

Had I done what thousands of Lipton’s readers have done and will do, I would currently be trying think only ‘positive’ thoughts, while a cancer burrows towards my lymphatic system.

Anyway, back to this dangerous and extraordinarily stupid and ignorant loon.
Lipton is now about to explain that all time favorite of New Age pseudo-physics, the “collapse of the wave function”. Why he has decided to leap from his hilariously inaccurate explanation of how a PET scanner works, to an equally bizarre account of the Litponian interpretation of the New Age interpretation of the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum physics is beyond me, but he seems intent on doing it.

(Again, I am sitting in a cafe, and need to constantly remind myself to control my facial contortions while reading all this. People will be wondering what kind of website I’m looking at — videos of clowns trying to have sex while falling off a huge cliff into a vat of boiling sludge, perhaps…?)

Anyway, we need to recap a little from last time. Lipton has just informed us that:

…The energy signatures that pass through our bodies travel through space as invisible waves that resemble ripples on a pond.

Now, according to Lipton, it’s not X-rays from the PET scanner that pass through your body, detecting the gamma rays emitted by a tracer. Instead, the body’s organs themselves start emitting “energy signatures” which the PET scanner can somehow read. (Of course, even if such ‘energy signatures’ did exist, they would only reveal something about individual atoms, not about things as gross as tumors. And a PET scanner would not be able to detect them anyway.)

He follows this idiocy with an entirely vague and half-hearted attempt to link all this somehow to the physics of waves and wavelengths. He includes diagrams to make it all look complicated and sciency, but what he describes could easily be visualized by anyone with a passing familiarity with a bath tub.

If you drop a pebble into a pond, the “energy” carried in the falling pebble (due to the force of gravity pulling on its mass) is transmitted to the water.

Factual error.

Not only is this utterly irrelevant to PET scanners and even more irrelevant to medical diagnosis, it must also again be noted that there is no distinctly existing “energy” that is being “carried in” the falling pebble like a battery ‘carries’ electricity. (Lipton’s Cartesian dualism is on display here — belief in a spiritual soul-force that is separate from matter but can influence it somehow. This is exactly the kind of “linear” thinking he accuses modern science of being addicted to.)

Real physics, of course, speaks here of force: mass and acceleration. (And remember of course that Lipton is not using the term energy as a physicist might metaphorically use it to explain something. Lipton means the ‘energy’ of the life force or the thing people are referring to when they claim they can see someone’s aura.)

(Update: See the corrections & clarifications for this section made by @Lettersquash in the comments.)

The ripples generated by the pebble are actually energy waves passing through the water.

Superficially, this is the kind of thing one might expect a scientist to say, but again, this is Liptonian “energy”: a mysterious entity, independent of the water and passing through it. So we can drop the word energy here. This leaves us with the statement that ripples are waves — which I doubt would come as a surprise to any of Lipton’s readers. (Sadly, Lipton is incapable of stating even such a trite and tautological fact as this without messing it up.)

If more than one pebble is thrown into the water at the same time, the spreading ripples (energy waves) from each source can interfere with each other, forming composite waves where two or more ripples converge.

Again, this would have been both true and trite, had Lipton left out the word “energy”.

That interference can be either constructive (energy-amplifying) or destructive (energy-deflating).

Factual error #1: “energy amplifying” is not a term from physics as Lipton implies.

Factual error #2: same as above for “energy-deflating”.

Factual error #3: even if it was “energy-amplifying”, there is no reason why this would be “constructive”.

Factual error #4: same with “energy-deflating” being “destructive”. Try it in the bath. Your bath doesn’t start destroying you if two wave-troughs come together; nor is this damage healed if two wave-peaks converge.

The behavior of energy waves is important for biomedicine because vibrational frequencies can alter the physical and chemical properties of an atom as surely as physical signals like histamine and estrogen.

Factual error #1: “energy waves” as Lipton means it don’t exist.
Factual error #2: vibrational frequencies do not “alter physical signals like histamine and estrogen.” What on earth is he talking about? He writes as if he has established this as a fact, but it’s the first time he’s mentioned it.

Because atoms are in constant motion, which you can measure by their vibration, they create wave patterns similar to the expanding ripples from the thrown pebbles we talked about above.

Factual error. The physics of the movements of atoms is way above my feeble understanding. Maybe someone who was paying attention in high school can weigh in here. But as far as I know, the way that atoms jiggle about is quite chaotic and can be measured as heat — not as a nice harmonious wave pattern. And what on earth does all this have to do with how a PET scanner works, for heaven’s sake? (The answer, as we shall soon see, is nothing: he has already forgotten about it and veered off into a new topic.)

We will need to stop this here, because people are starting to cast uncertain glances in my direction and Lipton is about to get extremely stupid. It will need to be dealt with in one chunk.

The next post will be up soon.

h1

There are lots of really weird things in Berlin

August 18, 2018

It’s been longer than I was expecting since I last posted something. I moved to a different city late last year — from Berlin, where I lived for nearly 20 years to Cologne. It took about 8 months to find a new apartment, and I still don’t have the internet connected.

I’m happy here in Cologne, but I found that for the first time in my life I actually miss the place where I was previously living. Berlin was the first place I ever really felt at home in, (I was actually born in Australia, where I lived till adulthood), but it is also just such a fascinating and utterly weird city.

In terms of its history, Berlin is itself a living museum. Germans, and especially Berliners, are usually just horrified by or numb to the various bizarre things that one encounters at virtually every street corner, but for outsiders like me, it is usually fascinating, mind-blowingly weird, and only occasionally horrifying.

Read the rest of this entry »

h1

Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ – Annotated With Facts: Part 39 (Mammogram, tumor, & Lipton gets even his own pseudo-science wrong)

June 22, 2018

In this post we get to the hard core highly dangerous cancer quackery that Lipton has been hinting at until now. This is why I have spent so much time pointing out that despite burying them in an avalanche of irrelevant copy-and-paste lecture notes, Lipton has gotten every single one of the scientific facts important to his argument wrong. Not only wrong, but spectacularly and often hilariously stupidly wrong. And now deadly dangerously wrong.

We can begin this rather sickening post by ignoring a completely stupid story Lipton tells about a crooked car mechanic with whom he supposedly worked. The mechanic tricked a woman out of her money by cutting a wire to a warning light on the dashboard and told her the problem was fixed. (Lipton spent a whole page on this.) According to Lipton, this is what drug companies are doing.

Similarly, pharmaceutical drugs suppress the body’s symptoms, but, most never address the cause of the problem.

Factual error.

Lipton cites no example of what he is talking about here, but as a general claim it is flat wrong. This is propaganda from the homeopathic industry which also fails to back it up or even say what the heck they mean with it. –link—–

Lipton continues, noting that hospitals include ‘complementary’ medicine, hoping to increase its credibility with an appeal to authority. In fact all he does is further undermine his own case that modern medicine is dogmatically opposed to anything that doesn’t fit with its supposed “Newtonian” bias.

Next, Lipton confronts his readers with a picture of a mammogram of a breast with a tumor.

Figure 4.4 in Lipton’s Biology of Belief

This further contradicts his earlier statement that modern medicine has not achieved any progress whatsoever — “None at all”.

He adds this caption for the picture:

Mammogram. Note the above illustration [sic] is not a photograph of a breast…

Correct! Factual statement by Lipton! A photograph is by definition, made using photons! Lipton has gotten something right.

….it is an electronic image created from [sic] scanning the radiant energy characteristics of the organ’s cells and tissues.

Factual error #1: “radiant energy characteristics” are not being scanned by this machine. This is because…..

Factual error #2: “radiant energy characteristics” do not exist. Not the New Age esoteric way that Lipton defines “energy”.

Differentials in the energy spectra…

Factual error #3: There are no “differentials” in any “energy spectra”, because….

Factual error #4: the “energy spectra” that Lipton is referring to do not exist.

….enable radiologists to distinguish between healthy and diseased tissues (the black spot in the center).

Factual error #5: “energy spectra” do not display any differences between healthy and diseased tissue, because they do not exist.

Factual error #6: by not existing, these “energy spectra” also do not enable radiologists to do anything at all.

Factual error #7: This is not how a mammogram works.

End of caption. Lipton’s text continues, with an unusually direct, flat out, utterly stupid, and above all deadly lie.

Though conventional medicine still has not focused on the role energy plays as “information” in biological systems…

Factual error #1: Lipton has not even tried to establish that “energy” plays any role at all in biology; he has merely assumed it does.

Factual error #2: Lipton’s accusation that medicine “still” hasn’t focused on this assumes it should do, which again he hasn’t even attempted to argue.

Factual error #3: Nor has he explained what he means by the idea that this non-existent “energy” is “information” in biological systems nor anywhere else.

Factual error #4: as already mentioned, medical science in fact spent at least 300 years searching intensively for a vitalistic “energy force” that governs life. The time for saying it “still” hasn’t focused on it passed some time in the late 1400s.

….ironically, it has embraced noninvasive scanning technologies, which read such energy fields.

Factual error #5: Lipton has already stated categorically that medical science has failed to embrace quantum physics, so it is not “ironic” that it indeed has done so, rather, it contradicts the central thesis of Lipton’s book.

Factual error #6: these technologies do not read esoteric New Age or vitalistic energy fields.

This all amounts to being the most pathetic attempt at a bait and switch I have ever seen — switching the using the “energy” of quantum physics with the “energy” of New Healing scams.

Tragically for his readers, already put to sleep by his barrage of copy-and-paste jargon and hundreds of irrelevant citations to academic papers that don’t relate at all to any of his central claims whatsoever, this will all sound familiar. They have read this kind of lie in flaky New Age advertising and conspiracy magazines for several decades. And now they think it is being “scientifically verified” by a real scientist.

It isn’t.

People have certainly died because of this book, and that is one of the crucial sentences that may have convinced them they were safe.

He follows this up with some more reassuring copy-and-paste lecture notes. Instead of crediting modern medicine with the progress he has just denied exists, he claims it for his own team of deadly New Age quantum quacks:

Quantum physicists have created energy-scanning devices that can analyze the frequencies emitted by specific chemicals.

Factual error. Again, Lipton switches New Age esoteric “energy” for the E in E=mc2, which he thinks is part of quantum physics.

These scanning systems enable scientists to identify the molecular composition of materials and objects.

What, please, is the difference between a material and an object? (Lipton has an editor, but she is no doubt soundly asleep at her desk at this point.)

Physicists have adapted these devices to read the energy spectra emitted by our body’s tissues and organs. Because energy fields travel easily through the physical body, these modern devices, such as CAT scans, MRIs and positron emission tomography (PET) scans, can detect disease non-invasively.

Again, Lipton’s claim that modern medicine has achieved “no progress at all” takes another hit from Lipton himself.

Physicians are able to diagnose internal problems by differentiating the spectral energy character of healthy and diseased tissue in the scanned images.

Factual error. There is no such thing as a “spectral energy character”. Lipton is talking of PET scans as if they are those New Age aura cameras from the 1980s. I’m surprised he hasn’t mentioned any Kirlian photography scams or tried to sell us a water filter yet.

The energy scan….

Factual error. There is no such thing as an “energy scan”. Lipton has invented his own term for this medical technique he has stolen from medical science while claiming it “suppresses” esoteric “energy” research because of Newtonian dogmatism.

The energy scan illustrated on the page to the left reveals the presence of breast cancer.

Factual error. Deadly lie. A cancer tumor cannot be revealed by an “energy scan” because there are no energy scans. This is no more an energy scan than it is aura photography.

The diseased tissue emits its own unique energy signature…

Factual error #1:

“Energy signature” is, as we have seen, terminology invented not by physicists nor medical scientists, but by Star Trek. It was then adopted by New Age esoteric scammers, and smuggled into “science” by this hilariously stupid buffoon who is as deadly as hell.

Factual error #2 (this is probably the stupidest mistake I have ever seen):

Even according to Lipton’s own fantasy science, the “energy” is not *emitted by* the tissue, but rather *sent through* the issue, revealing a difference in tissue density and chemical structure.

Lipton has invented a new form of logical fallacy here. He has gotten his own pseudo-science wrong, and invented the revolutionary new field of pseudo-pseudoscience.

….which differs from the energy emitted by surrounding healthy cells.

Factual error. He repeats the same stupid mistake.

The energy signatures….

Factual error. They’re still from Star Trek, and still don’t exist.

…that pass through our bodies travel through space as invisible waves that resemble ripples on a pond.

Factual error #1: energy signatures do not exist, and therefore do not pass through empty space nor anything else “like ripples on a pond”.

Factual error #2: if energy signatures, along with the Starship Enterprise, really did exist, and really could be used for diagnosis, it would not work like this, even according to Lipton’s own description of them. He can’t decide whether the diagnosis involves “invisible forces” from the invisible quantum force machine pass through an organism, or whether the organism itself emits an “energy signature” which is picked up by the invisible quantum force machine.

Anyone who thinks it is impolite and too harsh to call Lipton an ignorant buffoon and a moron needs to realize that here he has completely botched even his own fantasy medicine, and in a hilariously ridiculous manner manner.

A machine that reads energy signatures does not exist any more than energy signatures exist. But that that tumor in the picture he used to frighten his audience completely is real, and in the early stages at least, completely treatable. Lipton and his books are more of a deadly threat than an early stages of a tumor.

I can easily understand why his readers are so impressed by his multitude of citations and lengthy blocks of copy-and-paste jargon, but no one deserves to die because of this.

h1

WordPress censors Jerry Coyne’s website in Pakistan

June 21, 2018

My webhost, WordPress, has (almost) always been good to me. They have been swift to provide assistance when I’ve had technical problems, even though I pay them no money. (Instead they place ads here occasionally.)

Jerry Coyne, however, pays them quite well to keep his site free of ads and with daily postings of high resolution nature photos.

However, during the odd moments when he is not feeding baby ducklings, he is busy upsetting the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, who “demanded” that WordPress block his entire site from Pakistan.

Faced with this demand from these religious fanatics, WordPress immediately capitulated.

As we know, Muslims tend to have identical autonomic nervous systems which seize up if they see a line drawing of a man with a beard, or a brief written text inviting them to ponder an idea if they feel like it. Some might find the previous assertion racist, bigoted, idiotic, insulting to Muslims and to humanity, and completely and utterly wrong. Some might argue that Muslims are a diverse bunch who are every bit as capable of taking responsibility for their emotional responses to things as anyone else on the planet. Some might argue that even the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority along with every other theocrat knows this too and is merely using mob mentality and hatred as a cloak for their own assertion of earthly political power.

But WordPress thinks it’s better to avoid such speculations and simply side with theocrats, and block an entire website from the entire population of Pakistan.

In other words, WordPress has clearly decided it is in its own financial interests to decide what Pakistanis can and can’t read.

Okay, at least now we know where they’re coming from. But we also know that their “Beat Censorship” page, which they included in their message to Jerry Coyne is missing one option: Don’t censor things yourself in the first place, unless you want to be exposed as a hypocrite as well as a coward.

I hope, and expect that WordPress will cop so much flak for their disgraceful capitulation and complicity, that they will reverse their decision. I will keep readers here posted.

Posted by Yakaru

h1

Message for James Arthur Ray

June 3, 2018

A comment on a post about James Ray, spiritual teacher and killer of four, from a friend of his first vicitim Colleen Conaway.

Colleen was my best friend in high school and after high school. She was such an energetic and beautiful woman. I miss her so much. I did not know this article was here. Lynn I’m so sorry and as I was given the news my heart stopped and cried for days. This man needs to rot in jail. There’s something wrong with that judicial system to let this animal do ONLY those couple of years. Colleen, you are always in my heart.

Marcy June 3, 2018

h1

Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ – Annotated With Facts: Part 38 (Death caused by “invisible forces”)

May 31, 2018

With apologies again to those who subscribed to this blog expecting more varied coverage than this avalanche of nonsense from Lipton; and with apologies to those who were expecting me to make actual progress through this book, I must again back track and cover some things I skipped over. Worse, I will have to retread some territory that I did already cover, but need to return to it.

But first, in the previous post I invited readers to explain what Lipton might have been referring to when he claimed that Newton’s inverse-square law of gravity has been successfully integrated into modern medicine. Regular commenter Lettersquash has shared his insights.

“I’d be glad to bring you up to speed on this. Newton, as everyone knows, discovered gravity when an apple fell on his head, which, due to the high concentrations of vitamin C soaking directly into the brain, gave Newton the mental agility to figure stuff out that nobody had before. By a long, complicated web of events you don’t need to worry about, this also eventually led to the important medical saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”…and a lot of apple-scented shampoos.
It is said that if you threw an apple hard enough it would come around and hit you in the back of the head, which would be a stupid thing to do, but demonstrates the deep connection between apples and gravity. Also, it’s the fruit of the tree of knowledge.”

This all rings perfectly true to me, especially given the reference to the mystery of apple-scented shampoos. Science still can’t explain why these are so popular with certain sections of the population.

Before returning to Lipton and his “invisible forces” that “profoundly impact every facet of biological regulation”, I want to note an article posted by Edzard Ernst today. It concerns one of Lipton’s “invisible forces” that “profoundly impact every facet of biological regulation”, and is titled, This is what happens if you treat cancer with homeopathy.

Ernst, himself a former homeopath, recounts a story from a German newspaper:

An elderly woman with a sore throat consults her doctor who happens to be a homeopath.
The doctor prescribes homeopathic remedies.
The homeopathic treatment continues for months, evidently without success.
10 months later, the patient changes her doctor, and her new physician sends her straight away into hospital.
There she is diagnosed with throat cancer.
After 4 years of suffering, the woman dies.

So now, back to Lipton. I need to return to his claims about “invisible forces”. This passage has already been quoted:

Hundreds upon hundreds of other scientific studies over the last fifty years have consistently revealed that “invisible forces” of the electromagnetic spectrum profoundly impact every facet of biological regulation.

As Lettersquash highlighted in the comments back then, Lipton cites precisely zero of these “hundreds upon hundreds of studies”. This lack of rigor is not surprising, given that one of his “invisible forces” was

visible light

and another was

a newly recognized form of force known as scalar energy.

As already noted, this is “scalar energy”:

For only $80 (Source)

It’s a New Age scam product that Lipton thinks is real because the advertising says it is.

What I failed to explicitly point out last time is that Lipton claims this “energy” is “part of the electromagnetic spectrum”.

Factual error. It isn’t. Usually fudges the connections between esoteric beliefs and science, but here is doing it explicitly. He clearly states that scalar energy is real and part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Lipton’s readers who think he is dealing in science can note this failure.

He also implies scalar energy is something that is dealt with by quantum physics. Another factual error.

He also claims that scalar energy has been ignored by modern science. He is right about that.

Lipton follows up that sentence with more science talk — as if he hasn’t just driven his argument off a cliff with this scalar energy stuff. This is what “invisible forces” like scalar energy can do:

Specific frequencies and patterns of electromagnetic radiation regulate DNA, RNA and protein syntheses, alter protein shape and function, and control gene regulation, cell division, cell differentiation, morphogenesis (the process by which cells assemble into organs and tissues), hormone secretion, nerve growth and function. Each one of these cellular activities is a fundamental behavior that contributes to the unfolding of life. Though these research studies have been published in some of the most respected mainstream biomedical journals, their revolutionary findings have not been incorporated into the medical school curriculum. [Liboff 2004; Goodman and Blank 2002; Sivitz 2000; Jin, et al, 2000; Blackman, et al, 1993; Rosen 1992, Blank 1992; Tsong 1989; Yen-Patton, et al, 1988]

Factual error. Those studies may be legit, but they do not refer to scalar energy or any other etherically charged snake oil that Lipton claims are real and “scientifically proven” and “ignored” by modern medicine” and “suppressed by Big Pharma”.

This is followed immediately with a new subheading:

Buying the Pharm

Lipton attacks the pharmaceutical industry, but instead of providing evidence for his claims about scalar energy, he pretends he has already established that, and assumes — rightly — that his readers will not notice the chasm in the middle of that argument.

Instead he swerves off to talk about psychiatric drugs instead.

…[T]hey identify deviations in physiology and behavior that vary from some hypothetical norm as unique disorders or dysfunctions, and then they educate the public about the dangers of these menacing disorders. Of course, the over-simplified symptomology used in defining the dysfunctions prevalent in drug company advertisements has viewers convinced they are afflicted by that particular malady. “Do you worry? Worry is a primary symptom of “medical condition” called Anxiety Disorder. Stop your worry. Tell your doctor you want Addictazac, the new passion-pink drug.”

This will all go down well with his readers, who will also think it is connected with his claims about homeopathy or scalar energy being part of the electromagnetic spectrum, having profound impact on biological processes, and being ignored and suppressed by the medical establishment.

In fact, this attack could probably have been written by most of his readers, just by regurgitating their own semi-digested rumors and prejudices. And again Lipton fails to notice that if alter the terms it refers perfectly to alt med.

Lipton then broadens it out: it is not just scientific method, scientists themselves and Big Pharma that are corrupt, but the media is in on it all too.

Meanwhile, the media essentially avoids the issue of deaths by medicine by directing our attention to the dangers of illicit drugs. They admonish us that using drugs to escape life’s problems is not the way to resolve one’s issue. Funny… I was just going to use that exact sentence to describe my concerns about the overuse of legal drugs. Are they dangerous? Ask the people who died last year. Using prescription drugs to silence a body’s symptoms enables us to ignore personal involvement we may have with the onset of those symptoms. The overuse of prescription drugs provides a vacation from personal responsibility.

Again, Lipton’s readers could have written that for themselves. And again, no sources or cases cited at all for any of this.

And again, Lipton does not bother checking how alt med stacks up compared to these same criticisms. “Just ask the people who died last year.” Or this year, in Edzard Ernst’s post from today, or yesterday, or tomorrow.

h1

Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ – Annotated With Facts: Part 37 (Modern medicine and Newton’s inverse-square law of gravity)

May 28, 2018

So far we’ve covered 109 pages (just over half the book) in 36 posts — a rate of slightly more than 3 pages per post. In 3 pages, Lipton writes about 950 words. In one post, I write about 1500 words. That means that just to correct his errors, I am exceeding Lipton’s word count here by about a third. That’s not too bad, given the extraordinary number of compound errors that, like hornets nests, lie in wait for the unwary reviewer to kick their foot into.

But now I am going to have to double back and pick up some issues that I didn’t think worth dealing with last time. I try where possible to skip over any tangential stupidity that Lipton’s stream of consciousness has randomly tossed up, but they often turn out to be central to his argument after all.

Last time I skipped some things that are utterly irrelevant to his case. But I now realize that his readers will think supports his case. So I will need to back track one page.

Luckily, however, thanks to Lipton’s chaotic “quantum” approach, continuity is not going to suffer. This is on page 108, before the passages dealt with in the previous post.

Though I stress the need to apply the principles of quantum mechanics in bioscience. I’m not advocating that medicine throw out the valuable lessons they have learned using the principles of Isaac Newton. The newer laws of quantum mechanics do not negate the results of classical physics. The planets are still moving in paths that were predicted by Newton’s mathematics.

What on earth is Lipton talking about here? Comments are open for people to school me on how Newton’s inverse-square law of gravitation influenced modern medicine. Last time it was “invisible forces” (including visible light) “profoundly impacting” your metabolism; now it’s modern medicine learning “valuable lessons” from Newtonian cosmology.

The difference between the two physics is that quantum mechanics more specifically applies to molecular and atomic realms while Newtonian laws apply to higher levels of organization, such as organ systems, people or populations of people.

Factual error. I think. Lipton should be talking about the laws of chemistry or biochemistry, not gravitation, for heaven’s sake. This shows just how absurd his dichotomy between “Newtonian” and “quantum” medicine is.

The manifestation of a disease, such as cancer, may show up at a macro level when you can see and feel a tumor. However, the processes that instigated the cancer were initiated at the molecular level within the affected progenitor cells.

Lipton of course is implying that if only the medical establishment had embraced modern physics, we might have technology for early detection of cancers — which of course already exist, because contrary to Lipton’s claims,  modern medicine has embraced modern physics. And also maybe treatments like chemotherapy — which of course already exists because contrary to Lipton’s claims modern medicine has embraced modern physics.

In fact, most biological dysfunctions (except injuries due to physical trauma) start at the level of a cell’s molecules and ions. Hence the need for a biology that integrates both quantum and Newtonian mechanics.

Lipton is doing a good job here of promoting Newtonian mechanics for modern medicine, but I fear his pleas will fall on deaf ears. The traditionalist, materialist mechanist reductionist medical establishment is still struggling to integrate Galileo’s studies of balls rolling down a slope.

There have, thankfully, been some visionary biologists who have advocated this integration. More than forty years ago the renowned Nobel Prize-winning physiologist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi published a book called Introduction to a Submolecular Biology. [Szent-Gyorgyi 1960] His text was a noble effort to educate the community of life scientists about the importance of quantum physics in biological systems. Unfortunately, his traditional peers, who considered the book to be the ravings of a once brilliant but now senile old man, merely lamented the “loss” of their former colleague.

Factual error #1: The implication that Szent-Gyorgyi was talking about Liptonian quantum physics is false.

Factual error #2: The idea that Szent-Gyorgyi was ignored, or dismissed as senile is untrue. What did happen to him, however, is that a wealthy patron who had been sponsoring his research in his later years died, and he refused to submit the necessary paperwork to apply for government grants. He work dealt in part with the spurious notion that vitamin C (which he won his Nobel Prize for isolating) can cure cancer. 

And what was Szent-Gyorgyi’s book about anyway? Lipton doesn’t say a word about it, other than to imply it supports his thesis, which it clearly does not. It is not even on the topic of his thesis.

Biologists in the main have still not recognized the importance of Szent-Gyorgyi’ s book…

Factual error. All I can do here is quote the rapacious if not extortionate and very mainstream academic publisher Elsevier, offering to sell you a copy and advising:
This publication is a good source for biochemists, biologists, and specialists aiming to acquire basic knowledge of submolecular biology.”

…but research suggests that sooner or later they will have to because the weight of scientific evidence is toppling the old materialist paradigm.

Factual error. Lipton’s dichotomy of a “quantum paradigm” and a “Newtonian/materialist paradigm” is, as frequently noted, entirely bogus. Modern medicine has of course embraced quantum physics.

You recall the movements of protein molecules that are the stuff of life? Scientists have tried to predict those movements using the principles of Newtonian physics, to no avail. By now, I bet you can guess why: in 2000, an article by V. Pophristic and L. Goodman in the journal Nature revealed that the laws of quantum physics, not Newtonian laws, control a molecule’s life-generating movements. [Pophristic and Goodman 2001]

Factual error. None of this supports Lipton’s thesis. Furthermore, it further confirms that quantum physics is being integrated into biology as the discoveries roll in. Lipton is merely irritated by the fact that biologists don’t leap onto a bandwagon and throw out their entire supposed “paradigm”.

Reviewing this ground-breaking study for Nature, biophysicist F. Weinhold concluded: “When will chemistry textbooks begin to serve as aids, rather than barriers, to this enriched quantum-mechanic perspective on how molecular turnstiles work?” He further emphasized: “What are the forces that control the twisting and folding of molecules into complex shapes? Don’t look for the answers in your organic chemistry textbook.” [Weinhold 2001]

Again, none of this supports the case Lipton is trying to make. And, again, the fact that this call for integration of new research into text books is published in Nature demonstrates that this is all normal fare for scientific progress.

Yet organic chemistry provides the mechanistic foundation for biomedicine; and as Weinhold notes, that branch of science is so far out of date that its textbooks have yet to recognize quantum mechanics. Conventional medical researchers have no understanding of the molecular mechanisms that truly provide for life.

Lipton’s concept of “life” is a vitalistic one, of the kind which was researched and searched for by scientists for 300 years. Ultimately the idea was discarded because no one found anything like a “vital force” in the manner of electricity or magnetism. Unlike the latter two, the concept bore no fruit whatsoever for biology.

Most importantly, to repeat the point, none of this supports Lipton’s case — which is not that quantum physics needs to be integrated into biology and which is happening anyway; instead, Lipton is in fact claiming that quantum physics contains no math, includes relativity theory (which he also gets entirely wrong), and simply refers to anything slightly complex. This is the “New Biology” that Lipton imagines himself to be heralding.