Archive for the ‘Bruce Lipton’ Category

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The Book That Changed Bruce Lipton’s Life (This is really stupid)

March 18, 2016

Welcome back to the series “Lipton Meets Sheldrake“. This is the fifth and final installment.

Long time readers will probably have scrubbed from their mind (if they ever tortured their mind by reading it in the first place) a statement in Part 1 by Bruce Lipton, where he was blithering incoherently about having read a book that changed his life and convinced him to quit his job as a tutor in biology, get on the spiritual path, and become a wealthy cancer quack. The book was about quantum physics and was called The Cosmic Code. It was written by someone called Heinz Pagels.

Fans of modern esoteric spirituality can waste a lifetime reading any of the thousand or so books about “quantum spirituality”, without ever discovering that what they are reading has little or nothing to do with actual physics. So it didn’t surprise me at all that an ignorant buffoon like Lipton would get sucked in to this fad as well. Even the book’s title appears prescient of later trends (it was published in 1984, long before the Da Vinci Code, the Moses Code, The (fill in blank)____ Code), and even the author’s name sounds suspiciously New Agey. Heinz is a good German name, and Germany is Grand Central Station of Complicated Pseudo-Science, and Pagels reminds one of Elaine Pagels, the nice person who wrote nice books about early Christianity — all impressive “woo” credentials for the book that convinced the young Dr Lipton that “the field” is in fact consciousness, and that everything he learned in biology is “all wrong”.

I’d never heard of Heinz Pagels before, so I googled him. Surprisingly, Lipton had in fact got both the title and the author correct. (Classical pseudo-scientific methodology strictly insists on shoddy referencing, to make it harder to check sources.) Pagels, it turns out, was indeed married to Elaine Pagels, and died rather tragically in a mountain climbing accident. Unexpectedly, however, he was in fact a genuine, highly regarded physicist.

…So what possessed him to write a pseudo-physics book that convinced the gullible young Bruce that the (non-existent) “field of consciousness” equates with one or more of the various “fields” which physics deals with?

….And — more to the point — why, shortly after writing such a book would Pagels write a strongly worded affidavit for a court case against the Transcendental Meditation movement, rejecting any such idea?

No qualified physicist that I know would claim to find such a connection without knowingly committing fraud.

Fraud? Lipton says that Pagels’ entire book centers on making exactly that claim. Pagels continues:

Individuals not trained professionally in modern physics could easily come to believe… that a large number of qualified scientists agree with the purported connection between modern physics and meditation methods. Nothing could be further from the truth….

The claim that the fields of modern physics have anything to do with the “field of consciousness” is false….

To see the beautiful and profound ideas of modern physics, the labor of generations of scientists, so willfully perverted provokes a feeling of compassion for those who might be taken in by these distortions.

I suspect that at this point, readers fall into one of two categories:

(1) those who are thinking “Huh? Why did Pagels change his mind? What’s going on?”; and

(2) those who are familiar with the degree of stupidity that Dr Bruce Lipton is capable of.

I often get attacked by Lipton fans who, when challenged, realize they actually haven’t got a clue what Lipton is talking about. Not one of them has ever summed up any aspect of his ideas succinctly. They won’t even try. It’s no surprise that they have trouble understanding him: even Lipton himself gets his own ideas wrong. It is entirely appropriate that such a spectacular career in random senseless blithering and deadly quackery was launched by reading a book he couldn’t make head or tail of, and which in fact said the opposite of what he thought it said.

Here’s my advice to anyone turning to Lipton in search of a cancer cure or hoping to learn something: there’s a good book to read that will rescue you from Lipton’s insane quantum babble. It’s called The Cosmic Code, by Heinz Pagels.

Posted by Yakaru

 

 

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Bruce Lipton gets his own teachings wrong (Lipton Meets Sheldrake Part 4)

October 10, 2015

Welcome back to this long-running series on the discussion between quack biologist Bruce Lipton and pseudo-scientist Rupert Sheldrake. (Part 1 is here.)

Dr Bruce Lipton has invented a form of cancer quackery based entirely on complicated analogies. Cancer sufferers are in danger of believing his claims — after all, he has a Ph.D, and promises hope. But luckily his errors are easy enough to recognize, once his teachings are clearly explained: something you won’t find Lipton doing, but you can find here!

The central dogma of Lipton’s teachings is the (scientifically implausible) assertion that 

We are made in the image of the cell.

Esoteric people associate this with the ancient mystical idea:

As above, so below; as within, so without.

They think that they can use this idea as a template to understand his rather garbled and convoluted teachings. But what they don’t realize is that not even Bruce Lipton understands Bruce Lipton’s teachings. In fact Lipton does not teach that we are made in the image of a cell. He doesn’t realize it himself, but what he actually teaches is that 

Cells are made in the image of a person.

In other words, he has made a fundamental error of scale. As we will see, this is an important and unbelievably stupid inversion of his own illogical logic.

102Dr Bruce Lipton (right) discusses quackery with… whoops, wait a minute…

101Dr Bruce Lipton (right) explains cancer quackery to Dr Rupert Sheldrake (left, snickering like a fool)

As I have covered elsewhere, Lipton teaches, in effect, that every characteristic a person has, is also to be found in “the cell”.

A person has sense organs to detect things; a cell has receptors to detect things. So receptors are the sense organs of the cell. This analogy only works on the most basic, even childish level, although I wouldn’t even use it with children because it’s too misleading. But for Lipton it’s not an analogy: it’s a fact. He thinks that cell receptors are literally sense organs — every bit as complex and sensitive. (Yes, he does say that. I am not exaggerating.) 

And he pushes it even further, claiming that just as your sense organs perceive, so too do cell receptors “perceive”. But obviously perception occurs in a brain, and a cell does not have a brain…. You know that, I know that, but Bruce Lipton doesn’t know that.

He thinks they do have a brain. Why? Because you have a brain and you are “made in the image of a cell”. Therefore, a cell must have a brain, because this is dictated by Lipton’s teachings. So what part of the cell is its brain? Of course, it’s the cell mem-“brain”. And this mem-“brain” has perceptions, just like your brain does.

Crazy as it sounds, this really is what he is saying. It’s worth taking a moment to look at this, because Lipton thinks it’s his greatest discovery and he bases all his teachings on it. Of course, he’s got it hilariously wrong and we can laugh at him.

Lipton says that biologists believe that the cell nucleus is the brain of the cell. (They don’t — scientists don’t think that cells have brains.) And he thinks he dramatically proved them wrong once in his lab, by removing the nucleus from a cell and finding that the cell didn’t die instantly like it “should” if the nucleus is the cell’s brain.

Well, as it happens, cells can indeed live without a membrane, so by the same Lipton-logic, the membrane can’t be the “brain of the cell” either. Let me break this to you gently, Dr Bruce: cells do not have brains. People have brains, and some of them even use them.

But, regardless of all that, on with Bruce Lipton’s Amazing Cell-Brain Show.

Lipton blabs to Sheldrake:

….when I first saw cells I saw them as sentient beings, I didn’t see them as just moving around in the water. They were, like, the amoeba would go look at something and then back away and then move somewhere else, or the paramecium, and I saw them as people…

According to Lipton, the reason they scoot about like that is not just to do with the chemicals in the glob of goo they inhabit; it’s because cells have hopes and dreams. They have a brain; they perceive; they even have beliefs about the nature of their glob of goo. And of course, in true New Age style, their beliefs “create their own reality”. If they are happy with their lifestyle and perceive their glob of goo as a welcoming place, they will lead fulfilling, rewarding lives. But if they are unhappy and start harboring negative emotions in their teensy little brains, they will turn cancerous… This is where cancer comes from, according to Dr Lipton. 

(No, I’m not kidding. If you bought his book The Biology of Belief but couldn’t make head or tail of it, this is in fact what it says.)

And now we will suddenly start talking about fractals, because that’s what Lipton does.

He continues: 

…and it turns out to be that here’s a very interesting relation if, you know, we talk about at some point in regard to fractals…

Fractals, of course, are a “repeating pattern that displays at every scale.”

Fractal-Steiner-Chain-Orbit-Trap-18(Image from Fractal Science Kit)

Esoteric people love fractals. Not only are they scientific, but they also seem to echo that “as above, so below” idea mentioned earlier. (Actually fractals don’t mean this at all. They mean something more like “as within, so even further within; without is by definition different.” But again, let us not spoil things with reality.)

Fractals are a favorite among Creationists too. The Creationist website, Answers in Genesis says: “Evolution cannot account for fractals. These shapes have existed since creation and cannot have evolved, since numbers cannot change…”

Well, indeed some structures in humans do form something like fractal growth-patterns: the lungs, and the cardiovascular system, for example. But, sadly for Lipton and his fellow Creationists, this is not evidence that we were designed by a divine Creator.

As biologists at Yale point out, “this fractal structure makes the lungs more fault-tolerant during growth” and increases surface area for absorption and transfer of oxygen and blood. In other words, survival advantages — aka evolutionary advantages.

Even more stupidly, Lipton thinks that the same degree complexity is maintained, up and down the scale — that a single cell really is as complex as a being composed of 37.2 trillion cells. He really thinks that cells are basically little humunculi each with their own brains and beliefs. 

The big selling point of Lipton’s cancer cure is that if you change your own beliefs, this will somehow — he doesn’t say how — change the “cancerous beliefs” that cancer cells are harboring. Do that, and this will somehow — he doesn’t say how — stop your cells from being cancerous.

That’s it.

Confused? Incredulous? Well done. That means you understand more about Lipton’s teachings than he does.

The good news is that there is indeed a kind of fractal that is relevant here. It’s called Fractal Wrongness. This term was simply made for Dr Lipton. It means

the state of being wrong at every conceivable scale of resolution.


Got to: the final installment:”The Book That Changed Bruce Lipton’s Life”

Correction: Thanks to commenter “simon” for pointing out a stupid mistake I made when I initially published this post. I used the example of a protoplast as a cell without a membrane, but here a cell wall is removed, not a membrane. In any case, the membrane can be removed from cells, so the joke I was making still stands, and the text has been amended accordingly. Anyway, Lipton himself never specifies which kind of cell he is referring as the supposed in whose image “we” are supposedly made, so I could just as easily argue that according to Lipton’ vague standards, I was completely right. And as I noted in the comments, “simon” is demanding far higher standards of me than he does of Lipton.

Posted by Yakaru

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Lipton Meets Sheldrake Part 3 — The Mystery of Morning Wood

July 11, 2015

I should have written this post ages ago, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. This post deals with a single sentence about science that Bruce Lipton uttered during his discussion with Rupert Sheldrake, (see the first post in this series). But it was so stupid that I just didn’t know how to approach it. Should I simply post the sentence — it is mercifully short — and abandon the reader to deal with it as best they can, or should I indicate what is wrong with it and wind up writing an encyclopedia length article, only stopping when I run out of expletives? 

I am beginning to think that stupidity is not the polar opposite of intelligence, down the other end of a scale, but rather a creative force that works independently of intelligence. Both these fellows, Lipton and Sheldrake, have Ph.D’s, so they clearly have some intelligence. But if it was possible to measure one’s Stupidity Quotient, they would also both be high achievers.

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So for this post, I have decided to call upon our two heroes who appeared in Part One of this series — the cartoon stars, Beavis and Butthead — to help illustrate the stupid, stupid, stupid sentence that Dr Bruce Lipton Ph.D said.

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In one episode of Beavis & Butthead, our heroes are told by their teacher to choose a topic and do a science project. 

The boys explain to their teacher that– 

“We’re not going to do it. It sounds too hard.”

Their teacher, Mr van Dreesen, tries to coax them into learning something. “Come on guys,” he says, “this should be easy. There’s mysterious things happening around us every day. For example, this morning, would there anything you didn’t understand…”

Butthead chuckles behind his hand to Beavis,

“Heheheh…..He said morning wood… Heheh.”

Van Dreesen thinks that this was their suggestion, and after considering it, allows them investigate the topic of morning wood, as long as they “approach it from a scientific standpoint.” As we shall see, both Beavis and Butthead demonstrate a better grasp of how science works than Bruce Lipton does.

Beavis: What do you think makes it happen?

Butthead: Uh, I dunno. That’s why we’re doing this, dumbass.

Note how Butthead reserves judgment, and maintains a clear sense of the purpose of the project, as well as a dedication to unbiased methodology.

Beavis: Because I was thinking, like, maybe there’s, like, a Morning-Wood Fairy, you know, like the Tooth Fairy.

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In fact, this is not so far away from the kind of answers Sheldrake comes up with. But instead of accepting it out of hand and then interpreting all sorts of results according to it, Butthead recognizes the importance of not succumbing to premature conclusions.

Butthead: Dammit, Beavis, quit screwing around. We’ve got scientific work to do. Besides, there is no such thing as fairies…. Fairies are for dillholes.

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The experiment they have designed is deceptively simple. They are going to remain awake all night in front of the TV, and try to avoid getting what Butthead terms an “artificial stiffy”. (He even confiscates a magazine from Beavis which might have spoiled the experiment. — Again, we see these young boys showing more commitment to experimental method than those clowns Lipton and Sheldrake.)

Unfortunately the boys fall asleep in front of the television. They are awoken next morning by the sound of the national anthem coming from the TV. They discover that the phenomenon being studied has already occurred, without the chance to record any data. Their experiment is a failure.

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Butthead: Maybe morning wood is supposed to be a mystery. It’s like the secret is too dangerous…

Beavis: I’m just glad it happens.

Butthead: Yeh. I never wanted to be a scientist anyway. Science sucks.

Just like Lipton and Sheldrake in parts one and two of this series, the boys have failed to understand a fairly uncomplicated piece of science, and wrongly declare it a mystery. In two junior high students with learning difficulties, this is an entirely understandable failure. In two people who hold Ph.D’s in the very subject being studied, it is beyond a joke.

Beavis and Butthead have intuited that they are out of their depth and decide they don’t want to be scientists. But this is where the similarity ends. Lipton and Sheldrake have also decided that “science sucks” — a conclusion they base on exactly the same degree of comprehension as our heroes — but unlike our heroes, they have decided that the fault lies with scientific method, rather than with their own stupidity. Beavis and Butthead have managed — like Socrates before them — to admit their own ignorance. Lipton and Sheldrake have not.

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Making Beavis and Butthead appear Socratic demonstrates the genius of Lipton’s stupidity. 

And now on to that sentence. (Again I must both forewarn and apologize to readers for transcribing a portion of Lipton’s atrocious verbiage, but I have highlighted the important part for easier reading.)

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Over to Dr Lipton — former biology lecturer — to explain scientific method:

….And the joke for me was, that when I finally got to the [sic] awareness and I was already a tenured faculty member, I realized I was teaching religion, er, as much as I was teaching science. 

And that’s because I was just teaching dogmatic beliefs based on what everybody, you know like, show of hands — how many people want to believe in this? Oh that’s enough people, so that’s a rule.”

If science was a person, it could sue Lipton for defamation.

Tell me Dr Bruce, when a surgeon removes an inflamed appendix, was it decided by a show of hands which body part is really the appendix? Do you think that the reason a plane can fly is because scientists took a vote on the laws of aerodynamics? Is the milk in your fridge still fresh because of a consensus of scientific opinion declaring that it must be? 

This is why both Lipton and Sheldrake have contributed exactly the same amount to modern science as have Beavis and Butthead. Like Beavis and Butthead, they are there to be laughed at. However, Beavis and Butthead know when to stop. They have wasted nobody’s time, nor sold anyone a bogus cancer cure.

(Part Four is now complete — “Bruce Lipton Gets His Own Teachings Wrong”.)

Posted by Yakaru

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Primal Physics (Lipton meets Sheldrake Part 2)

February 17, 2015

Physics,

says Dr Bruce Lipton,

is the primal science.

Not “primary”, but “primal”. And in Dr Lipton’s hands, primal is exactly what physics becomes — it bubbles up unrelentingly from the chaotic primordeal depths of his unconscious, randomly mixing self-invented physics and New Age trigger words. It can also illicit a primal scream from the listener, proportional in strength to their degree of science literacy.

However, there is something to learn from Dr Bruce here. While Deepak Chopra buries his errors unter an avalanche of meaningless jargon, Lipton’s errors are surprisingly uncomplicated. He is so ignorant that he doesn’t even know he needs to cover his footsteps. The fundamental errors that all New Age anti-physicists make are thus candidly revealed.

And what the physics says is that it’s not the physical reality where the information is. It’s in the field, the invisible stuff, and all of a sudden that jumped me from my mechanical material world idea into entertaining the concept of the invisible forces being more powerful.

So, Lipton thinks that “physical reality” stops where quantum physics starts.

We saw in Part 1 how Rupert Sheldrake doesn’t understand that the simplest laws of chemistry are perfectly good for explaining simple plant growth. For him atoms are inert billiard balls that need a divine intelligence to tell them what to do. For Lipton, the laws of quantum physics explain how this occurs. It’s all there in the physics text books, but the other biologists don’t understand physics. They are “still trapped in the Newtonian materialist reductionist world”. They don’t realize that physicists have “proven that matter doesn’t exist” and that quantum physics is the study of the spiritual realm.

This stupidity leads to a remarkably stupid version of physics, but also to a quite strange version of spirituality as well. They haven’t thought through the implications of this in slightest; nor have their fans.

Yes, quantum physics strikes our everyday understanding of the world as incomprehensibly weird. Yes, ideas about the spiritual realm also strike many as weird. But it does not follow that therefore the laws of quantum physics prove the existence of a spiritual realm. Do Lipton and Sheldrake really want to try this?

Our world view based on our experience of everyday life is ill-suited to conceiving events in the sub-atomic realm. But the language of mathematics can describe them without trouble. The weirdness is a product of the cross-over from mathematical to verbal language, but the mathematical model of it is nonetheless, rock solid (if I can be excused a dreadful metaphor).

Apart from their almost complete ignorance of physics, Lipton and Sheldrake have also failed to ask themselves if they really want to believe in a spirit realm that rigidly obeys mathematical laws.

Surely they must regard spiritual beings as having some independent volition; of being capable of doing something unexpected. But this kind of guided intention is one thing that is by definition absent from events that have been discovered to exist only because of their mathematical predictability.

For all that they rage against “Newtonian materialism” they in fact share with Newton a mechanistic view of the spiritual realm. Newton, unable to explain how gravity acted at a distance, proposed God as agent of maintaining the regularity of the planets. It was even proposed at one point that the planets were driven along their course by angels beating their wings. Enchanting as such an image might be, do we really want to condemn angels to this ultimate drudgery throughout the entire universe? Surely when mystics search for some kind of consciousness in the universe, they are looking for irregularities, of the kind that helps us distinguish between a rock that’s being tumbled by the waves and a seashell with some little fellow living inside it.

There is something deeply dissatisfying about a spirit realm that coldly maintains mathematical laws. But this is the only kind of spirituality that can, as far as I can see, possibly be consistent with quantum physics.

I am, of course, leaving out an important detail. This is Primal Physics. Its defining characteristic is the complete absence of math. Remove math, and the door is suddenly kicked open for verbal language to take over. Without math, the same events which previously fitted an exact model, can be transported into the realm of verbal constructs, where they take on the appearance of spiritual occurrences — spooky actions at spooky distances, and all that.

Of course, removing math also removes the quantum physics in its entirety, but the highly prized brand-mark and all the fancy-sounding terminology remain. Freed from the tyranny of mathematically consistent laws, Primal Physics need only obey the laws of grammar.

We are indebted to Dr Bruce for explicating the hidden laws of Primal Physics, a mysterious product which has been promoted since at least the early 1970s by moderately smart people like Fritjof Capra, and horrid foul mouthed gimps like Deepak Chopra. Physicists, still clinging to their unfashionable mathematical concepts remain baffled by the concepts and workings of Primal Physics.

In Part 3 (link), Dr Lipton will explain scientific method.

Posted by Yakaru

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AAAAARRRRRGGGHHHHH: Rupert Sheldrake Meets Bruce Lipton (Part 1)

December 14, 2014

We have already met both Rupert Sheldrake and Bruce Lipton on this site. Both have PhDs in biology. Both present their idle speculations as fact. Both are utterly mystified as to why proper scientists ignore them. And in the following video, titled A Quest Beyond the Limits of the Ordinary, they both meet each other.

How will this go? Are we about to witness an inspiring fusion of groundbreaking new ideas? Or will this be more like an episode of the old MTV cartoon show Beavis and Butthead, only using quantum physics instead of toilet jokes?

bnbBeavis & Butthead not paying attention in high school

The action starts with Sheldrake suggesting that whereas Lipton’s work started at the cellular level and “worked upwards”, Sheldrake’s own work looks from the “top down”.

When I was working in developmental biology I got very interested in “organizing fields” — morphogenetic fields — which organize living systems, as it were, from the top down. 

This morphogenetic field, he informs us, was first postulated by Alexander Gurwitsch in the 1920s. He does not inform us, however, that its only known habitat is a fuzzy area inside his own head — and not in any place where it might influence other living organisms.

What’s more, Sheldrake presents this idea of an organizing field as if it’s radical, and a threat to modern science. But it’s not radical at all. It’s a completely mundane idea. We already know of such “top down” organizing principles — scientists refer to them as the laws of chemistry and physics.

When applied in the life sciences, these laws of chemistry and physics can be used to explain things which Sheldrake finds utterly mystifying. Like this:

If you take, say a hollyhock plant, the leaves, the flowers, the petals, have completely different structures and yet they have the same veins and the same chemicals…

This is basic high school botany. But Sheldrake, the fool, presents it to his audience as if it’s a baffling enigma. He continues:

…So the chemicals alone couldn’t explain it.

Well the chemicals alone do explain it perfectly well. Atoms are not like inert billiard balls rolling around aimlessly, needing an external hyper-physical organizing agent to boss them about. Living organisms are indeed extraordinarily complex, but the chemical processes governing their growth and development are extremely well understood.

What Sheldrake would need is some well documented anomalies that are not well explained by the known laws. But instead, what he offers his audience is the supposedly baffling mystery of how mushrooms grow. 

In hushed awe-struck tones, he describes how mushrooms send their threads out through the soil, and then “when the right moment comes”, the threads grow together and sprout miraculously up into a mushroom.

How on earth did these separate threads know what to do? They’re all [chemically] the same to start with, but some form the cap, some form the gills, some form the stem, some form the membrane at the top. How on earth did these cells know what to do, to harmoniously coordinate with the rest?

It may have baffled Herr Professor Doktor Gurwitsch in the 1920s, but it’s not baffling to anyone today who’s capable of opening a high school botany text. This is all basic — really really basic — botany with a splash of genetics. And Sheldrake has been too busy gawping at mushrooms to realize it.

The focus now shifts to Lipton

Wooly, useless, ignorant, cognitively docile and Prince Charles-like as Rupert Sheldrake is, he’s not as poisonously stupid as his interlocutor, Dr Bruce Lipton. As we have seen elsewhere on this blog, Lipton is a cancer quack who promotes the healing power of analogies.

So what has this got to do with Sheldrake and his non-existent “morphogenetic fields”? Are Lipton and Sheldrake really looking at the same thing from different directions?

I am sorry, but before this can be considered, I must subject the reader to a sudden burst of Lipton talking about his research and half his fucking life story along with it. He regularly subjects his audiences to hours of this. Much of it uses New Age trigger words, so his audience has a kind of dim trance-like feeling that they know what he is talking about — which, I suspect is much more than Lipton has.

Lipton:

I was still stuck in the chemical world and I identified that on the cell membrane there are these structures called receptors and there’s an interesting parallel here and that is that we are made in the image of a cell, actually, so that if I talk about a cell or if I talk about a human we’re still talking about the same thing. So the skin of a cell is very much similar to yours in the sense that it’s a boundary that contains the inside but it also has the ability to read the environment because we have eyes and ears and nose and taste and all these other receptors. Cells have on them the same things but in micro form, in a sense, so they’re reading the environment and the truth is that actually my second grade image when I first saw cells I saw them as sentient beings, I didn’t see them as just moving around in the water. They were, like, the amoeba would go look at something and then back away and then move somewhere else, or the paramecium, and I saw them as people, and it turns out to be that here’s a very interesting relation if, you know, we talk about at some point in regard to fractals, that we are made in the image of the cell. Every function that is in our human body is already present in every cell and anything you can identify in here is in a cell, digestive, nervous, reproductive systems. Every cell has even got an immune system and so the relevance that was really fun for me is that my understanding of the nature of what the cells were reading in their environment, it changed their lives and then I started to recognize this because I was cloning these cells in a petri dish and the simple thing that you’ve learned right away in culturing cells is that sometimes the environment isn’t that good when you culture them and then you put the cells in these cultures and the next thing you know is they’re sick and dying and they don’t look very good, but I found if you take those cultures and then put them into a better environment the cells immediately recover, grow and start to flourish and then all of a sudden it hit me. I said Oh my goodness I realized this, that while we see ourselves as single individual entities that’s a misperception because the living things are cells. We are communities of cells about 50 trillion cells, it’s been suggested, are making us up. Why that’s relevant is that in a simple reality we are like skin covered petri dishes and if we put our petri dishes in a good environment then we flourish and do well and if we put it in a bad environment we start to reflect what was going on in that environment and that we can come back and then get back into a good environment and recover, and why this became important is for me it took the emphasis to understand the nature of health and vitality was to look outside the cell and not look inside the cell which became to me a physical complement of the world. So the cell becomes a complement of its environment and so then the issue is what is that environment and my conventional teaching only left me in the physical world of molecules and atoms and the material world and it was at some point after I left my conventional job that I picked up a book by Heinz Pagels called The Cosmic Code and it was about quantum physics…

Stop!!!

Okay…. Some deep breaths…

It’s over now. You won’t have to read that ever again.

But I would like to pick out some very small portions of it and take a closer look….. 

…..But we can do that next time, in Part 2, okay? 

You may use the comment section if there is anything you need to talk about.

(Part 2 is here.)

Posted by Yakaru

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Bruce Lipton Ph.D, doesn’t understand optical illusions

May 25, 2013

In the middle of an incredibly long and garbled lecture (which I wrote about here), there is a brief segment where Dr Bruce Lipton isolates a very straight forward topic for explanation. He wants to give a short demonstration of how perceptions can be fooled.

For people who don’t feel themselves qualified to judge whether or not Lipton really has a handle on all that complicated cell biology stuff he teaches and makes enormous claims for, this is a chance to see how deals with a task that is really easy to follow along with. Either he will fool your perceptions and explain clearly what happened; or he won’t fool your perceptions and won’t explain it very well. Whatever happens, this will be a situation in which every reader, regardless of qualifications will be able to judge Dr Lipton’s performance for themselves.

…….He is going to use some optical illusions, isn’t he. Everybody likes optical illusions, and it’s an extremely easy concept both to understand and explain.

… 

He begins. He shows the audience a picture of two boxes, A and B, each shaded red. He asks which box is bigger, A or B?

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B, says the audience, and they are right. So far so good. Probably the next one will be something like this, with the question, which line is longer….

optical-illusion-1

………Won’t it?…….

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Dear Bruce Lipton Fans & Commenters….

May 19, 2013

I just received an email from someone who thought that I should treat Bruce Lipton‘s teachings on the Biology of Belief as a provisional hypothesis awaiting further confirmation or disproof. Okay, let’s consider the arguments for and against.

There are two common arguments against this position. 1. that Lipton’s teachings are in fact supported by mainstream science; and 2. that Lipton’s work is a threat to mainstream science and that the studies supporting it have been suppressed. Let’s examine these opposing factions.

One who argues strongly that the Biology of Belief is accepted by mainstream science is Dr Bruce Lipton Ph.D.

In this lecture, he argues that recent advancements in genetics have been misunderstood by the press, who then misinformed the public. He is supported in this position by a group of commenters here on this blog, who point to numerous articles which they believe, for reasons that escape me, somehow support Lipton’s teachings.

On the opposing side, arguing that the Biology of Belief directly contradicts the dominant mechanistic paradigm of modern science and has therefore been suppressed, is Dr Bruce Lipton Ph.D.

In this interview he argues that the studies which support the ideas behind the “Biology of Belief” healing system have been suppressed. “Hundreds of studies”, he claims (without naming any) have not become part of modern science, nor been reported on by the media. Rather, they have been suppressed because they contradict mainstream science. He is supported in this by a group of commenters here on this blog, who argue that mainstream science is narrow-minded and so blinded by its materialism that it is incapable of recognizing the truth of Lipton’s teachings and suppresses them.

I could just let these two groups of commenters slug it out between them but they haven’t noticed each other’s existence yet. And anyway, experience tells me that if they did ever meet to discuss things, they would all be swapping sides back and forth without even noticing. It’s a bit like biblical interpretation. Lipton’s teachings are so garbled that his fans are forced to make up their own version. In fact, this leaves them free to make up several of their own versions, between which they can alternate according to which ever point they want to make at a given moment. Of course, they still ascribe it all to Bruce Lipton Ph.D.

Luckily, the solution is simple.

Both camps are wrong. Lipton’s teachings are not supported by mainstream science, nor are they supported by research that has been suppressed. At least Lipton has never named any of the “hundreds of studies” that were refused publication. That argument might have been slightly more plausible in the 1980s, but these days with the internet, anyone who wants to put their cancer cure online can do so. And obviously, we have cases like Andrew Wakefield‘s elaborate fraud which got published in the Lancet despite being highly controversial at the time, and the sincere but premature publication of the neutrino affair which would have overturned a “central dogma” of physics. This even got saturation coverage in the mainstream press before the scientists themselves discovered their error and retracted it at great professional cost.

More importantly Lipton does not present his ideas as a provisional hypothesis, but rather as fact. So certain is he that his teachings work that he is prepared to stake…… well…… other people’s lives on it.

If you wish to claim Lipton’s teachings are a provisional hypothesis, you have just acknowledged that Lipton is a cancer quack.

Incidentally, there is also a third group who suspect that Lipton is a babbling loon, but can’t quite bring themselves to let go of the idea that magic is real because someone with a Ph.D says it is. So they say “I’m not defending Lipton, but can you prove he is wrong?” All I can say to these people is pick one of the above groups and get in line.

An analogy is NOT evidence and it does NOT constitute a hypothesis, not even a provisional one.

Lipton does not describe or propose any chemical reactions or physiological processes which might be involved in his cancer cure, despite having a Ph.D in cell biology. Instead he uses nothing more than an analogy — an extremely poor and wildly over-stretched analogy — to support his claims.

Scientists sometimes use analogies to explain unfamiliar things by comparing them to familiar ones. For example, a protein fits into a protein receptor in a manner that is analogous to a key in a lock. This does not mean that proteins dangle on something like a key chain or that the protein receptor will rust if it gets wet. That’s pushing the analogy too far.

Lipton uses a general analogy to describe cell function. He likens cells to an individual human being. He lists some functional components of a person (brain, heart, sex organs, etc) and then points to parts of the cell which he feels are analogous to these. Then he goes way overboard and ascribes ALL the characteristics of such components in a whole person, to the supposedly analogous components of a cell. Not surprisingly, everything that follows this ridiculous abuse of analogy, is utterly wrong and highly dangerous. 

Clearly, if this were to be a hypothesis, he would postulate chemical reactions which might be occurring. He doesn’t  do this. Instead, he starts with technical explanations using technical biological terms, and then advances it using analogy alone, and winds up presenting a model of healing which is based entirely on this one spurious analogy. This is what he sells as a cancer cure.

38-brain-testes

Let’s go through this step by step.

Lipton draws an analogy between the way the cell membrane can identify a protein using its protein receptors, and the way we use our sense organs or perceive our environment. From there he makes an unjustified leap and starts using the word perception to describe what the cell membrane does!!!

From there, he explains that our belief systems influence our perceptions, and then leaps on further to insisting that by changing our belief system we can change our perceptions. (His presentation of this is wildly exaggerated and very muddled, but I’ll let it pass because he’s traveling towards a different goal.)

The next leap is to assert that not only do cells perceive things, but that they too — like us — have belief systems!!! The next leap is that these belief systems determine the way the cell perceives, and the next leap is that by changing its belief system the cell can alter its perceptions of what is around it.

And the next leap is the idea that the cell can change its belief system if ordered to do so by the brain. This is followed by another long and squarking-like-a-turkey leap, where Lipton insists that our brain can cure cancer by ordering cells to stop perceiving their environment as cancer inducing. Lipton of course offers no explanation for how this might work, and of course proposes no evidence for this. For him, the mystical powers of analogy is enough.

Those who claim that these teachings are part of mainstream science apparently think that if they can find an article which seems to support some part of this (like for example that cells can bee affected by stress) then this must mean the rest of what Lipton says is true too. I won’t bother pointing out how stupid that is.

To those who think I don’t have the right to speak about this because I am not a scientist, I offer you the conclusion of a recent commenter @Mona, who is a biologist (and her claim to be certainly matches up with her IP & other data):

I was given a book by Bruce Lipton and found it completely bananas.

That’s it. There’s no need to take it any further than that.

Posted by Yakaru