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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.

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The Ego (or ‘Self’) is an Illusion — Free Will Must Be Too

November 23, 2018

This is one topic I usually avoid discussing or even thinking about. I decided, however, to write some thoughts about it, after reading an excellent blogpost written by John Freestone — whom regular readers here will know as @lettersquash. John sums up the main viewpoints on this ridiculously abstract and fiddly topic, discusses the relative merits of each, and makes the case that the only reasonable conclusion to draw is that there is no such thing as free will. (And anyone wondering why I avoid the topic need only read the comments — where John patiently debates a philosophical believer in free will.)

I recommend reading John’s article before deciding whether or not to read my semi-coherent digressions here!

This post will necessarily involve wandering about through numerous topics, some of which don’t often seem to be covered in this debate. I will argue that asking “is there free will?” is a bad way to approach human consciousness. Subjective experience as well as neuroscience strongly suggest that the ‘self’ as a psychological entity is an illusion. As far as I can see, this fact precludes the idea of free will for human individuals altogether. Who or what has it?

Below I will discuss how what we think of as our self can be investigated using introspection or meditative awareness, and found to be an illusion. Then I will turn to what neuroscience says about the same issue: in particular, the extraordinary ‘split-brain’ studies for which psychologist Roger Sperry won a Nobel Prize.

The Subjective Case for No Self & No Free Will

For there to be any meaningful free will, there would have to be some particular thing in the brain that both does the doing and knows it’s doing it too. But despite centuries of searching, it’s never been found. The record of millennia of Buddhist meditation would suggest it was only a set of needless and erroneous assumptions that made us look in the first place.

Ultimately,  when one looks in, all we notice is that there is awareness, and there is a body. The way I conceive of meditation is that I can watch the body kind of ‘from the inside’ (thanks to the kinesthetic sense, aka proprioception). The next step is becoming aware of thoughts as they bubble up carry me away from the awareness of my body. The practice of meditation often consists in letting the thoughts go and then returning to a relaxed, non-judgmental awareness of the body. Watching the body is in itself fairly easy. Letting go of the thoughts is a bit harder — they are tempting and seductive. At some point, one can also become aware of the the emotions. These are kind of a glue that stick the thoughts together and impel them onwards. (Where thoughts are seductive, emotions just use brute force to close down meditative awareness and introspection. It’s harder to let go of these, but one can learn to deal with them better.)

Getting out of the state of unawareness long enough to observe one’s inner workings with meditative awareness is, as any meditator should admit, not easy. It can feel strange and unsettling at first. Suddenly there’s awareness of one’s own body, maybe a bit like noticing a stranger’s body up close, sitting there, breathing, and heart-beating. Who the heck is that? What is it? The usual orientation-points of familiar or reassuring thoughts disappear; the usual comfort of identity (the internalised opinions of others) is gone too. There’s just this vulnerable, soft body.

Letting go of the imagined visual image of the body, and simply feeling what sensations are there can feel like there’s really no body there at all, just a few pressure points pressing on a chair or floor. Then there’s the awareness itself, like a dark room with only a little light there — the inner eye needs time to adjust… And it’s boring! Don’t look in there! Why bother? It’s more interesting outside where the lights are on and all those interesting, stupid, or sexy people are….

And the volume control on one’s thoughts suddenly seems to have been turned up. Behind this wall of inner dialogue, hides everything that one avoided dealing with or couldn’t cope with: fears, sorrow and anger at how one has been treated; anger at compromises one made while hoping to be loved. It’s all there — hopeless defeat: a terror, or at least a right royal pain in the arse. And perhaps a deep desire to indignantly clutch it all to yourself, hoping that some saviour will finally rescue you from your misery — as you so fully deserve. (I’m writing about my own quirks and cop-outs here of course, but I don’t think I’m the only one!)

Worst of all is the feeling of being of utterly, inescapably alone. Moments of great danger or imminent death can force one to face up to this abyss of aloneness, but meditation can take you there too. (Meditation teachers don’t usually mention this journey to Holy-Fucksville in their advertising material, and probably don’t know about it either, but it’s there. Luckily, for most people, including all meditators, our defense mechanisms are usually well enough developed and maintained to defend against the opening of this door.)

Learning to detach from the mad circus that constantly bubbles up into consciousness, and to simply be aware, is what meditation is all about. At some point, pure ‘awareness of awareness’ can kick in for a while. This awareness of awareness seems to be a ‘natural state’. But absorption in one’s actions, thoughts, and emotions drives one away from it, resulting in a state of unawareness. Meditation is an artificial technique to try to return to it.

Yes, in everyday life I don’t mind thinking or saying ‘I will stand up’; and when I stand, having the feeling that I ‘did’ it. I can even have a feeling of the “I” that did it: that this “I” is in there somewhere. But as soon as I sit down and calmly return to simple meditative awareness, it’s gone. 

This “I”-feeling exists only in a state of unawareness. 

This state of unawareness is, however, where I usually live, dragged about by impulses and sensations. “I” either hop on board the next train of thought and tell myself I’m enjoying it… or try desperately to stop it, usually telling myself it’s not my fault I climbed aboard in the first place.

This state of unawareness is where most people live. And it’s also, I believe, the venue where the entire free will debate also takes place. In fact, meditation involves detaching from, or disidentifying from all the activities that believers in free will claim to somehow be ‘doing’ themselves. I think any experienced meditator would have noticed that the body and its nervous system is perfectly capable of amusing itself regardless of the plans its “I” might have for it.

Some, doubt, would argue that this disengagement of ‘being aware’ is in itself evidence of free will. But awareness is just something that arises: it happens — even if it’s couched in dualistic language. Consciousness doesn’t really do anything. Just as a river reflects the sky without intending to do so — there is no will involved. (This blunt assertion is not intended as a statement of fact, but a description of how it looks to me after much introspection.)

The Case from Neuroscience for No Self

Psychologist Roger Sperry conducted a spectacular set of experiments that demonstrated the non-existence of a self as conclusively as could be possible. Sam Harris, in his (excellent) book Waking Up highlighted the significance of these experiments.

Sperry studied patients who had undergone an operation whereby the neuronal connections between the right and left hemispheres of the brain are severed. (This is a treatment for extreme life-threatening epilepsy.) Remarkably, patients neither display nor report any impairments or behavioural changes. However, Sperry found that under very specific conditions, an extraordinary trait emerges.

As is popularly known, there is a fairly clear division of labour between the two hemispheres of the brain: the left is neuro-anatomically connected to the right side of the body, and is mostly responsible for speech and logical thought; the right is connected t the left side and is carries out more non-verbal and creative tasks.

In Sperry’s study, a patient would have their right eye (connected to the left brain) covered. An image of an object, for example, an egg, would then be shown to the left eye (connected to the ‘non-verbal’ right brain). Next, the image would be removed and the right eye uncovered again. 

“What did you see?” asks the experimenter; to which the subject almost answers, “I didn’t see anything.” Only the left eye, and therefore also only the ‘non-verbal’ right brain has been exposed to the picture. In someone who has not undergone the operation, the image can be communicated to the ‘verbal’ left brain and a verbal answer can be formulated. In those whose left and right brains have been separated, this communication apparently does not seem to occur.

It is at this point that the experiment turns decidedly weird. The subject is asked to reach behind a screen and detect a number of items, using their left hand (connected to the right brain). They are instructed to select from them “the item that you didn’t see”. The subject selects the egg. The experimenter asks why they have done this. Rather than being baffled, the subject usually begins to confabulate: “I had eggs for breakfast this morning”, or some such.

More specific testing, exposing on side of the brain to information or a question and not the other, can result in the two hemispheres contradicting each other, even arguing with each other. Each of these ‘modular selves’ appears entirely coherent, complete, and self-contained.

In those of us with our corpus callosum still intact, it appears that communication between the hemispheres does not so much unite the hemispheres so they can democratically reach a consensus between the various voices, as instead suppress the non-verbal silent witness under the conclusive dominance of parts with verbal capability. As Harris puts it:

Why is it that the right hemisphere is generally willing to bear silent witness to the errors and confabulations of the left? Could it be that the right hemisphere is used to it? (Waking Up, p. 73)

Anyone who is even slightly capable of introspection must already have had first hand experience of such a process as this: realising you have just not quite exactly spoken the truth. Some people (me for example) have even realised at some point in our lives that virtually word we have ever spoken falls into this category. The silent witness within the right hemisphere just gives up after a few years of being ignored and goes off to sulk in the corner.

While this may not preclude the possibility that our various autonomous ‘selves’ might themselves have free will, it does preclude the possibility that an individual person without a complete ‘self’ can have it.

There appear to be many autonomous ‘modules’ in the brain. Even if one were to argue that each of these has a ‘will’ that is ‘free’, one would still be forced to concede that the struggle among to influence behaviour must be determined by non-free neurological processes. I don’t see any way around this.

If anyone wants to argue that all these ‘selves’ have a free will, I would wish them luck, but they would need to define their terms. What would it mean to be a ‘self’ be in this case? Or in any other case, when it gets down to it?

Posted by Yakaru

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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.

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There are lots of really weird things in Berlin

August 18, 2018

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry »

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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.

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WordPress censors Jerry Coyne’s website in Pakistan

June 21, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Yakaru

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Message for James Arthur Ray

June 3, 2018

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

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

Marcy June 3, 2018