I don’t have anything to say today, or this year, better than what David Berlinski said two years ago in a speech introducing The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions. The wit, the precision, and the audacity is amazing. “Most of science is not falsifiable. I never understood Karl Popper“. Wow! Disputing Karl Popper?!! Listen to the impassioned young man arguing against him during the Q and A. Berlinski says falisifiability is”simply too simple a concept to treat of the delicacy and interconnectredness or the articulation of a scientific theory”. Is the young man right? Is Berlinksi playing Artful Dodger? Is he being serious?
Watch this man, Dr. James Tour. The origin of life: we haven’t a clue. We have no idea how to build the simplest bacterium. So all the stories you have hear about early experiments putting an electric charge through simple chemicals in a flask are total bullshit (the Miller-Urey experiement in 1952) in that nothing further has flowed from those experiments. And there exists a collaboration between bullshit science and the media that leads other scientists who do not know what they are talking about to assume that “science” has answered the question of the origin of life when it has not.
Tour has written extensively on his viewpoint that all scientific studies to date are wholly inadequate to account for life. In multiple essays in the Inference: International Review of Science, Tour argues from a chemical perspective that the molecules needed for life – nucleotides, carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids – are too complex to have been formed by probabilistic chance and the methods to assemble those structures into a cell are unknown. Ultimately, he believes that on matters of life’s origin, which is the genesis for all evolution, that scientists are “utterly clueless”. Though he remains open to the possibility that future research will afford an explanation.
Sabine Hossenfelder is a German nuclear physicist who bears a distinct relationship to a dominatrix. I am strangely attracted to her. I feel the need for domination and discipline. She stars in a stand-up physics blog called Backreation. In this episode, she takes exception to those who think science is a kind of Ten Commandments. She draws a very sharp distinction between faith or belief on the one hand, and what science can ever show. I wish more people abided by this distinction. Normally her language is more polite than in this episode. Science is a matter of fact. It does not tell us what to do. Science does not know the direction in which we should go.
Manhattan Contrarian profiles one of the most dreadful fanatics I have ever met, John Holdren, Obama’s science advisor. I was once subjected to his presence in a room of thirty people. I can assure you that he is as close to an exterminationist as you can get, though it is couched in suitably ecological terms of overpopulation. Co-author with the Ehrlichs of anti-human drivel.
The point is, in the new Biden/Harris administration, “Science is back”, so shut your trap and fall into line, skeptics. As the Manhattan Contrarian ends his piece:
“Or, to put it another way, “science is back”! De-develop the United States? Forced population control? A “planetary regime” to control all “resources”? The “science” requires it! All the “smart” people from Harvard know that. You can understand why Holdren is excited about a Biden presidency. Are you?”
Conrad Black was right when he said the US population will have a bad case of buyer’s remorse, quickly, in the new regime.
I am sure you will want to know this. Violent cosmic events have produced the material for your flesh and bones. In the future we will have graphs showing what dark energy is (if it exists) and what black holes produce (if anything, besides gravity waves).
For myself I do not think that any currently accepted view of the universe – Big Bang, cosmic inflation, dark matter, dark energy, string theory – will survive the next century intact. I say this not because I have doubts or special insights about the contemporary theoretical picture, but because we have gone through several revolutions of cosmology since the 1400s, and we will go through more.
The shortest definition of materialism is that it holds that everything in the universe is matter and its motions. Hence for materialists, the “hard problem” is to explain the existence of consciousness. Whereas,for what are called “idealists”, the hard problem is the existence of matter. Does it have existence independently of mind? Then there are those who think that mind and matter both exist, independently of one another.
Here is an anecdote about the philosopher-scientist Rupert Sheldrake:
“The British scientist Rupert Sheldrake told me about a talk he gave to a group of scientists who were working on animal behaviour at a prestigious British University. He was talking about his research on dogs that know when their owners are coming home, and other telepathic phenomena in domestic animals. The talk was received with a kind of polite silence. But in the following tea break all six of the senior scientists who were present at the seminar came to him one by one, and when they were sure that no one else was listening told him they had had experiences of this kind with their own animals, or that they were convinced that telepathy is a real phenomenon, but that they could not talk to their colleagues about this because they were all so straight. When Sheldrake realised that all six had told him much the same thing, he said to them, “Why don’t you guys come out? You’d all have so much more fun!” He says that when he gives a talk at a scientific institution there are nearly always scientists who approach him afterwards telling him they’ve had personal experiences that convince them of the reality of psychic or spiritual phenomena but that they can’t discuss them with their colleagues for fear of being thought weird.”
And here, in a nutshell, is the great Sheldrake explaining why science is so badly constipated by materialist assumptions. Science as a world view has come to constrict the process of open-minded inquiry, which is what science ought to be. Science is a process, not a wholly-owned subsidiary of dogmatic materialism.
Rupert Sheldrake is the British biologist who has been taking a stick to the materialist assumptions of modern science. He does so because he thinks we have conflated materialism with science – the former being a doctrine about whatever could be real with a method of inquiry for determining fact.
His point is that science is blocked because it has been in the grip of materialist doctrines, of the kind that the High Priest of materialism, the Selfish Gene theorist, Richard Dawkins, relentlessly promotes. Sheldrake holds that the universe is not limited to material forces and that it is radically evolutionary.
I have corresponded with Sheldrake on occasion, read his books, and am convinced that he is correct. Regardless, Sheldrake has maintained his composure and conducted himself with civility while being constantly savaged by zealots of materialism. It is one of his amazing strengths.
Sheldrake will not persuade materialists that a) they have a doctrine and b) that it is limiting their science. They would assert that their doctrine is in fact reality and their science is impeccable, because materialist. Speaking of intellectual phase locking.
The recent media kerfuffle about some boys from Covington high school and their supposedly awful attacks on some poor old Indian have turned around into a media catastrophe. The leftist press got everything wrong – no surprise – but was apprehended in the act, and had to back off. The entire incident will be forgotten in a week. I present this as an important reason why I try not to participate in the blogging of outrage.
In the time the entire event arose, spread, was refuted, and collapsed, I had to go to hospital for a cardiac procedure. (I am well thank you). The slight risk of actual death has a wonderfully concentrating effect on the mind. I turned to youtube videos about saw mills and cabin building. They are my way of engaging in escapist literature.
More than this, they concentrate me into practical efforts that bring exercise, accomplishment, and deep satisfaction in their wake.
The net tendency of Internet participation is to be constantly aggravated. If you are like me, it will be offended by the leftist assault on reason, history, religion, males, the white race, Christianity and morality. If you are anti-Trump, then everything happening these days will be offensive to you sensibilities. The best way to regain your poise and equanimity is to stop paying attention to the shadow play of politics.
I realize this is not what a political blog ought to say. Yet I am more concerned with my own health and sanity than I am with Trump, Trudeau or any of the dozens of points of concern, such as Brexit, Venezuala, or building pipelines in Canada. We have to remember that the reasons why we are conservatives is that most of life lies beyond and outside of politics, and it is to those wells that we go to draw our spiritual water.
I sift through lots of global warming stuff pro and con. I think this guy comes closest to my current position. Geologists, in my opinion, are much more cognizant of the long record of the planet, and way less hysterical than the “climate” scientists. Still, his view of rising oceans within the next century is alarming enough. Britt’s view is that we have stopped the Milankovich cycle in its tracks and that we are not heading into an ice age, as we ought to be by this time, but are heading to significantly greater warmth.
As he points out, the biggest friend of a colder earth was Mao Tse-tung, who kept China in poverty. And that, my friends, is the only way I know to prevent further global warming.
Whatever your reaction to Dan Britt’s science, I find his presentation to be cheerful and gloomy at the same time. Geologists are like that, because the planet has gone through so much more change than most people are aware of.