Archive for the ‘Bruce Lipton’ Category


Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ – Annotated With Facts: Part 41 (Hallmarks of pseudo-science: pseudo-referencing & cross-promotion)

December 17, 2018

Sigh. It’s been a bit of a struggle to start up on Lipton again, but here I am. I will try to keep these Lipton posts coming fairly regularly (by my standards at least), and have a series of posts on other topic in works too, to ameliorate the detrimental effects of so much Lipton.

One reason why it has been a struggle to start again is that Lipton is now getting into to actual physics — a topic which I have never studied or even read up on in any depth. In the previous post I made a few misstatements and clumsy formulations that were kindly fixed up as much as possible in the comments by @Lettersquash.

Anyway, I am sitting happily at home in my new apartment in the kinda chic ‘Belgian quarter’ of Cologne, and listening to Oscar Peterson to keep my nerves calm for this next exasperating venture into Liptonistic physics.

We are in the middle of his completely bizarre explanation of how a mammogram works. He has spent the previous 115 pages arguing not only that all biology since Lamarck has been fundamentally flawed, but also that modern medicine has completely ignored all developments in chemistry and physics since the time of Newton.

PET scans and the like are, he argues, “rare exceptions” to this rule.

What’s more, they are not really rare exceptions either, because they don’t belong to materialistic modern science at all. Rather, they are examples of esoteric “energy medicine”, which is all confirmed by quantum physics. Confirmed, not using the mathematical laws of physics, but rather the laws of English grammar. Physicists translate mathematical calculations into verbal language, where Lipton and his colleagues can take the words and manipulate them in ways that mathematics can’t. Like ‘mammograms use energy’; chi is also energy; therefore chi is part of modern medicine. Syntactically, the sentence makes sense. Linear logical thinking will only lead you astray.

As anyone who has been suffering through these posts in any depth will know, this is not hyperbole or parody. He really says exactly that.

Anyway, Lipton continues from where we left off last time:

Each atom is unique because the distribution of its negative and positive charges, coupled with its spin rate, generates a specific vibration or frequency pattern. [Oschman 2000]

This is the kind of thing that totally throws me off. Unlike his readers, I don’t trust Lipton here, but I don’t know anywhere near enough physics to identify exactly what he is muddling up here. Worse, I don’t know how to quickly check this and get a clear enough overview of how exactly atoms behave in order to evaluate the statement.

But he has helpfully provided a reference to a study confirming this: Oschman. Usually such a reference to an academic study leads to a paper that reliably supports the claim being made and has been peer-reviewed, clearly indicates the extent to which reliability has been determined, and would note any serious objections or deficits, and suggest areas requiring further study. And Lipton has a Ph.D and presents references in this book in an academic manner. He provides a very extensive bibliography and reference material at the back of the book — far more in fact, than most pop-science books. I would assume this reference to Oschman will take me to a paper that is, like so many in Lipton’s end notes, way over my head and the heads of Lipton’s readers.

(I’m spelling out my thinking here to illustrate how difficult it is check Lipton’s claims, and to develop a way of approaching his work.)

Before looking at Oschman’s paper though, I notice that the statement is a very general one, of the kind which doesn’t usually get a reference. I am aware that atoms have positive and negative charge in different areas, and that this affects their behaviour, but routine facts like this that can be found in any text-book don’t need a specific reference.

At least not if they really can be found in any standard text-book.

So it’s odd that Lipton gives it a reference. But maybe Oschman has done specialist work in this, and it will be demonstrated in his research paper. Anyway, Lipton’s bibliography reveals that this is not a study or a paper, but pages 121-137 of a book by Oschman.

It’s nice of Lipton to give such a specific reference. This is unusual. Classical pseudo-scientific referencing practice dictates you must get at least one detail wrong, to make it harder for anyone to check your sources. Lipton is unusually reliable here.

But now the book:

Oschman, J. L. (2000). Chapter 9: Vibrational Medicine Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis. Edinburgh, Harcourt Publishers: 121-137.

This is clearly not a standard scientific work. Nor is it likely to provide supporting evidence for the claim that the distribution of an atom’s negative and positive charges, coupled with its spin rate, generates a specific vibration or frequency pattern’. More likely it just repeats the claim.

Lipton has not linked to a scientist who did the work supporting the claim, but rather to someone who is simply saying the same thing as he is. This is not using research to support claims and construct an argument.

This is not how academic referencing is done, rather, this looks more like cross-promotion.

It also means that for me and anyone who wants to check Lipton’s claims, this reference is utterly useless. I still don’t know if atoms have a spin rate that “generates a specific vibration or frequency pattern”, and I’m not going to buy Oschman’s book.

All I can do is note that if this statement is true, Lipton has not supported it with that pseudo-reference.

But I will take a brief peek at Oschman though. He has a website and an ‘institute’ for “Bioenergetic & Informational Healthcare”. (Forgive my fashion-bigotry, but he also wears a bow-tie: a sure sign of someone with an absurdly high opinion of themselves.)

Ah- the site has a “Research” section. Maybe this will lead us to a relevant research paper….

Nope — it has a heading: “Energy Medicine Researchers” with a rotating menu of “Profiles and accomplishments of the world’s leading bioenergetic researchers. And of course, Dr Bruce Lipton is one of them. So this is indeed cross-promotion and not cross-referencing that Lipton is engaging in here.

I recognise a few other names who have featured on my blog too over the years:

Dean Radin, who I dismissed as an utter fraud on the strength of the first five minutes of a lecture he gave to academics. By stopping the film and checking his references, I found he had made s string of ‘errors’ which were clearly deliberate. Had he given the correct references it would have completely destroyed his argument.

Oschman also promotes Masumo Emoto, promoter of carefully contrived ice crystal photos that he claims arise spontaneously due to life force. He is often used to sell absurdly expensive  water filters through multilevel marketing.

And there’s also the late Hulda Clark , author of The Cure for All Cancers, The Cure for All Advanced Cancers, and who died of cancer after trying to heal it with her own cure. It was an unnecessary and painful death. The fact that Oschman is still promoting her work demonstrates the absolute refusal to apply any standards whatsoever beyond ‘does it sell?’

And — big coincidence — he promotes the idiot Bruce Lipton too.

This is how cross-promotion differs from normal networking and word-of-mouth. It aims to surround a consumer with a circle of mutually reinforcing sales messages in a way that gives the impression that this is what anyone would find if they explored this area. Lipton says Oschman proved it, so we check out Oschman; Oschman in turn refers us back to Lipton as an ‘accomplished scientist’.

Oschman, it turns out, does seem to believe his own ideas. This review of the book goes into some detail about his ideas. Unfortunately the reviewer (Harriet Hall, a deservedly well known skeptical writer on medical topics), gets a bit impatient with the book and dismisses ideas out of hand, rather than explaining exactly what is wrong with them. (No doubt space and the mere volume of BS are factors here, but it also makes it difficult for readers unfamiliar with critical views on thses matters to see what the problems are.)

But she does give a fair account of the book’s contents, and gores into some detail about the objections to Oschman’s ‘evidence’ for energy fields. (See the ‘Core Arguments’ section.)

This entire New Age ‘scientific spirituality’ is built squarely on the bait and switch Lipton has pulled here. Lipton’s fans can read as many of the tens of thousands of books have flooded their culture, all selling ‘science’ yet offering a single honest representation of any single scientific concept.

And we’re done for today. Only covered one sentence this time.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ – Annotated With Facts: Part 36 (Medicine has not advanced & visible light is invisible)

May 21, 2018

Lipton might be getting a bit tired at this point, as he has stopped leaping so vigorously from topic to topic and field to field. Consequently his lines of reasoning suddenly become easier to follow. This makes it possible to sum up his argument, rather than needing to wade through it line by line as was previously necessary.

There are only five strands to the argument which Lipton is tangling up here, and we can easily untangle them and present them separately — and far more clearly than he ever does:

1. The methodology of medical science is flawed because it “failed to incorporate the findings of quantum physics”.

2. Quantum physics (which for Lipton includes relativity theory) “confirms” “energy medicine” — because the “E” in “E=mc2” stands for the same kind of energy that Lipton is talking about. (Energy medicine includes the “ancient wisdom of the East”, homeopathy, chiropractic and a host of other scam treatments.)

3. To conceptualize any system that is more complicated than a bus timetable is to engage in quantum physics, which also equates with “holistic thinking”.

4. The medical profession as a whole is incapable of such thinking because it has remained attached to “Newtonian linear thinking”. This means that doctors are incapable of conceptualizing human physiology as a set of interconnected systems.

5. This makes them incapable of understanding why drugs have side effects, and side effects are deadly and a sign of failure.

(We’ve already seen the above before, but he repeats all of it here, all over again.)

Then comes something new:

6. The reason doctors prescribe these “lethal” drugs with their horrid side effects is not because they are evil, but because their ignorance of “quantum physics” makes them useful “patsies” (Lipton’s word) for pharmaceutical companies to exploit. These Newtonian doctors:

prescribe massive quantities of drugs that contribute to the health profession’s lethality.

So far, in the entire book, Lipton has not mentioned a single advancement or achievement or success of modern medicine, and has failed to note any of the vast array of diagnostic and therapeutic uses of medical technology that uses quantum physics. But finally, 107 pages in, he makes one brief mention of such technology.

He lists advancements for which quantum physics is “directly responsible”. Of course he includes things for which quantum physics is not directly responsible, like “rocket ships”; but he does include

CAT scans

in the list.

So finally, we have an admission from Lipton that medical science has chalked up at least one application for quantum physics!

Don’t we.

….But then this is the very next sentence:

But what great and marvelous advances in biomedical sciences can we attribute to the quantum revolution? Let’s list them in order of their importance:

It is a very short list— there haven’t been any.

This is why Lipton’s work has never been reviewed by any medical practitioners; and why it has only ever been seriously reviewed once — here by an amateur blogger. What is one to do with such a statement? Heave a pile of text books and operating manuals for medical equipment onto that sentence and bury it forever? Scream abuse?

All I will do is note a factual error that is so dumb and so stupid that even Lipton himself unwittingly demolished the claim in the previous sentence when he blandly noted the existence of CAT scans.

(Even if Lipton thinks they scan cats, that should have made him wonder if it might count as veterinary technology.)

And it should not be forgotten that Lipton is claiming CAT scans, rocket ships and the like not for real quantum physics, but for Liptonian quantum physics — that math-free entity and “confirms” what the ancients “knew” about “energy”.

Lipton then leaps to a biologist, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, who studied the effects of quantum physics on biology — that field which doesn’t exist or has been ignored or actively suppressed, depending on which page we are on. The poor ignored Dr Szent-Gyorgyi was awarded a Nobel Prize for this work. (This is the second time that Lipton has cited a Nobel Prize winner as having their work “ignored” — Dr Howard Termin who won it for his “ignored” work on genetics was the other.)

He lists a few more researchers and a few more studies, but as these refer to real and not Liptonian quantum physics, we can pass over them.

Lipton continues:

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.

What in God’s name is he talking about?

Invisible forces? Profoundly impacting every facet of biological regulation?

He helpfully lists some of these “invisible forces”:

…These energies include microwaves, radio frequencies, the visible light spectrum…

Factual error. Visible light is not invisible.

(This is why you shouldn’t read or write about Lipton in a cafe. Involuntary gesticulations and facial expressions that accompany the act are not easily recognizable to others in terms of normal spectrum of human behaviors.)

Lipton continues to demonstrate his mastery of scientific terminology:

…extremely low frequencies, acoustic frequencies…

Factual error. The field of audiology does not ignore acoustic frequencies. (Even by Lipton’s standards, that claim is extremely stupid.)

…and even a newly recognized form of force known as scalar energy.

Factual error. Scalar energy is a non-existent force that is capable only of separating consumers from their money. Again, Lipton gets his “quantum physics” from a New Age advertising catalog, but I think we are now beyond being surprised by any of this.


Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ – Annotated With Facts: Part 35 (Lipton says 3 sensible things in a row and then stops)

May 18, 2018

Apologies again to those who subscribed to this blog expecting a bit more varied coverage of topics than this. There are posts on other topics in the pipeline, more than half written, I promise.

Anyway, in the previous post, we witnessed Lipton saying something sensible. He noted that the reason drugs have side effects is because biological systems are “redundant”. Oddly, for him, he took time to explain the jargon to his readers: “The same signals or protein molecules may be simultaneously used in different organs and tissues.”

This is not a stupid thing to say. In fact, it counts as an interesting observation about the reason drugs can have side effects.

While this redundancy complicates the effects of prescription drugs, it is another remarkably efficient result of evolution.

This is truly remarkable. For the first time in the book we have three sensible (if completely tangential and ungrammatical — the result is not efficient, but rather evolution) points in a row. But then he suddenly leaps to this:

Multicellular organisms can survive with far fewer genes than scientists once thought because the same gene products (protein) [sic] are used for a variety of functions.

WTF has that got to do with anything at all here?

But since he took us here, let me note the following:

Factual error. Some scientists in the early 1970s speculated about this, and, not surprisingly, their estimate was wrong. Their error is both entirely inconsequential for subsequent science; and entirely irrelevant to the point Lipton is trying to make. Unless of course, if he means to imply that the error remains uncorrected and is widespread, in which case we would need to throw another ‘factual error’ onto the enormous heap he has accumulated so far.

Then we get more copy-and-paste obfuscation. I’ll quote some of it, to show that it is irrelevant blather aimed at impressing his readers and sending them to sleep so they don’t notice the next intrusion of the next Liptonian non sequitur.

In my research on human blood vessel cells, I experienced first-hand the limits imposed by redundant signaling pathways. In the body, histamine is an important chemical signal that initiates the cells’ stress response. When histamine is present in the blood that nourishes the arms and legs, the stress signal produces large gaping pores in the walls of the blood vessels. The opening of these holes in the blood vessel’s wall is the first step in launching a local inflammatory reaction. However, if histamine is added to blood vessels in the brain, the same histamine signal increases the flow of nutrition to the neurons, enhancing their growth and specialized functions. In times of stress, the increased nutrition signaled by histamine enables the brain to ramp up its activity in order to better deal with the perceived impending emergency. This is an example of how the same histamine signal can create two diametrically opposed effects, depending on the site where the signal is released. [Lipton, et al, 1991]

He continues with a lot more of this, and explains yet again how a drug can affect more than one part of the system. He uses the example of hormone replacement therapy for women. He makes absolutely no reference whatsoever to modern medicine having had any success at all.

Adverse drug effects, like those contributing to the HRT controversy, are a primary reason why a leading cause of death is iatrogenic illness, i.e. illness resulting from medical treatment. According to conservative estimates published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, iatrogenic illness is the third-leading cause of death in this country. More than 120,000 people die from adverse effects of prescribed medications each year. [Starfield 2000] However, last year a new study, based on the results of a ten-year survey of government statistics, came up with even more dismal figures. [Null, et al, 2003] That study concludes that iatrogenic illness is actually the leading cause of death in the United States and that adverse reactions to prescription drugs are responsible for more than 300,000 deaths a year.

These statistics, assuming they are correct, are scary but they don’t support his argument.

He stupidly implies that these deficiencies are a result of the “linear Newtonian thinking” and lack of quantum physics. But deaths due to mal-practice, poor hygiene, procedural error, and bad luck would account for the vast majority of these. A long list of improvements could easily be drawn up, all pointing in the direction of more staff, better training, better working conditions, more personable and more individualized care, and restriction of rampant profit-motives for pharmaceutical firms, but inserting Liptonian quantum physics or anything else in his “New Biology” would solve absolutely nothing, (except perhaps cure insomnia). And it would need to overcome exactly the same procedural problems. And how have they gone with that so far?

With alt med, people die when they are given what according to their protocol is exactly the right diagnosis and exactly the right treatment. There is never any investigation into what wrong, because (a) no alt med practitioner keeps sufficient records; (b) the patient probably signed a disclaimer; and (c) everything went exactly according to protocol.

Lipton has no idea how many people are dead today because they believed his quackery. Occasionally, here on my rarely visited website, a potential victim leaves a comment like this one:

As someone that’s currently due to have a preventative double mastectomy due to brca1, the initial readings/listening of his [Lipton’s] on a few podcasts etc I thought was my get out clause – I could not have the surgery! But reading his claims which make no sense for the many ladies who realise they are brca1/2 after diagnosis, or for many other illnesses, it’s upsetting to me that he could be giving women such a glimmer of hope at such a traumatic time.

Those who trust Lipton and die because of it appear nowhere in anyone’s statistics, except in Lipton’s sales figures. 

Lipton continues:

These are dismaying statistics, especially for a healing profession that has arrogantly dismissed three thousand years of effective Eastern medicine as unscientific…

Factual error #1: Geographical location or origin of an idea is irrelevant to science.

Factual error #2: “Eastern” medicine has not been rejected as “unscientific”, but rather as unstudied.

Factual error #3: If by “Eastern”, Lipton is referring to acupuncture, its origins owe more to Chairman Mao and some alt med freaks in the US in the 1970s than it does to any “three thousand year” tradition.

Factual error #4: If the treatments really had been effective for the past three thousand years as Lipton asserts, they would still be effective now, and it would show up in research. Which it doesn’t.

The sentence continues:

…even though it {“ancient wisdom”] is based on a deeper understanding of the Universe.

Factual error. It isn’t.

For thousands of years, long before Western scientists discovered the laws of quantum physics, Asians have honored energy as the principal factor contributing to health and well-being.

Factual error #1: Lipton implies a connection between quantum physics and some idea of “energy” supposedly held by “Asians”. There is none. The “energy” of quantum physics can only be the sub-atomic strong and the weak electromagnetic forces.

Factual error #2: The term “Asians” is ridiculously broad, and it must include the Chinese idea of “chi”, as well as the Yogic idea of prana. Both conceptualize some kind of life force-type of “energy”, but the latter relates explicitly to the breath, which the former does not.

In Eastern medicine, the body is defined by an elaborate array of energy pathways called meridians. In Chinese physiologic charts of the human body, these energy networks resemble electronic wiring diagrams. Using aids like acupuncture needles, Chinese physicians test their patient’s energy circuits in exactly the same manner that electrical engineers “troubleshoot” a printed-circuit board, searching for electrical “pathologies.”

Factual error. What an acupuncturist does is not “exactly like” what an electrical engineer does. I will leave it for acupuncturists to decide whether Lipton is doing them justice, Lipton’s account is exactly the kind of simplistic reasoning that neglects complex interactions of various systems that Lipton accuses “Newtonian” scientists of.

Furthermore, if these “electrical circuits” really could be checked like that, they would easily show up like that when properly investigated. And of course it doesn’t. This is all fine if you’re just fooling about with stuff that makes you feel better — lying on a table while a nice caring person respectfully takes care of you (even if that involves sticking pins into you). But the fun stops exactly at the point where it becomes dangerous or life-threatening. And that is exactly the point at which this dangerous and extraordinarily ignorant book starts.