Of all the songs I ever heard, the one I hate the most is Imagine by John Lennon. I think the music is pretty, but the words express exactly the opposite of everything I believe.
I don’t feel like analyzing the whole song right now. But I will just point out a little of the irony.
The lyrics recommend that everyone should give away all their possessions and live in peace. John Lennon thought the whole world could get along — billions of people — and yet the four Beatles weren’t able to get along.
And I very much doubt that any of the Beatles gave all their money away. Even if they gave some to charity, I’m sure they kept enough to make sure they would always have a comfortable life.
I could say a lot more about why I hate that song. It’s stupid, and it’s wrong in every way, and it’s a naive expression of communism, a political/economic system which has failed, sometimes horribly, every time it was tried.
Well John Lennon was never expected to be a political/financial genius. But I know a lot of people who are crazy about that song and see nothing wrong with it.
We were trying to figure out the size of God, but the comments were closed. So I want to continue here.
My estimate, based on the scriptures, is that God is at least 12 hundred feet tall.
I also want to say something about the comments about having children. It is true that the instinct for taking care of children can be even stronger than the instinct to survive. But that is NOT because of Christianity. The survival of most mammal and bird species depends on the selfless devotion of parents.
The ideal of parental love has become a central image of Christianity — the virgin mother and her infant Jesus.
It’s kind of funny to me, since Jesus never even mentions his mother in the gospels, except to tell her to leave him alone. He really had no family values at all.
But the ideal of selfless motherly love is important in Christianity, since it is a religion of selflessness and devotion. So that is why I guess the other commenters kept bringing it up.
Did God put us on earth mainly so we can learn to experience the kind of selfless love that parents, especially mothers, usually feel? I think that could be one reason, but there are many other things we can learn in this life.
Isn’t it possible that we are also here to learn and create and express ourselves artistically? I value love of course but I value other things also.
I can understand why mothers would say there is nothing more important than motherly love, and it’s our whole reason for existence. But they are forgetting that different people care about different things. Men love their children, of course, but they usually also care about other things.
It wasn’t an unpopular teenage loser living in his mother’s basement. It was a straight A medical student. It wasn’t an assault weapon, or even a gun. It was a bomb made of kitchen appliances and stuff you can buy at a hardware store.
After the school shooting, my Facebook page was covered with liberals ranting about gun control and psychological profiling. The idea was that preventing angry young men from buying guns, and making sure they are drugged into apathy, would keep school children safe.
People like to feel they can do something to prevent these horrors. That is understandable. But I don’t believe you can. They don’t happen often, but they will happen. This world is never going to be safe.
All modern Americans are taught not to believe in magic. Our magicians are entertainers who do fake magic. We are told that believing in real magic is primitive superstition, and we are mucher smarter than that now.
But actually, magic is religion and religion is magic. It is that way now, and it always was.
What magic mostly involves, as far as I know, is trying to influence the world with words — magic spells and incantations. And liquids — magic potions. And animal sacrifices, usually involving blood.
Ok, well just look at our most popular American religion — Christianity. Praying is trying to influence the world by using words, just like magic spells. Jesus was the ultimate blood sacrifice, for Christians. The ancient Israelites performed blood sacrifices (animals, not human, but human sacrifice has been very popular in other ancient religions).
And the Catholics have Holy Water, their magic potion.
Am I trying to say that modern religions are bogus because they are really just magic? No, I am trying to say that magic is real.
I don’t want to make this a long post. But I want to say that, in alternative science, the idea of words and liguids having power is not ridiculous at all.
As just one example (there are many, and alternative science has a long history): One of the scientists who discovered the HIV virus, Montagnier, now does research on the memory of water: http://iopscience.iop.org/1742-6596/306/1/012007.
Montagnier is a “real” scientist, not one of the fringey alternative scientists.
I have a lot more to say about this.
Modern science and modern religion have both renounced magic. But magic is real, and real scientists are beginning to figure that out.
We do not know why it happened — I mean the school shooting the other day. There were some articles describing Lanza as being kind of strange — he was a very smart nerd who belonged to the technology club. He lived in his mother’s basement and played violent computer games. He wore different clothes than the other kids, and always carried a black briefcase.
And all this was said in a way that seemed to imply “Well no surprise he murdered 27 people — he looked and acted strange!”
I was shocked by the murders, of course, but I was also shocked by this reaction. Unpopular nerd playing violent computer games — well OF COURSE he went on a killing spree.
Can you see that there is absolutely no logic whatsoever in that line of thinking? And it’s outrageous, and insulting to every person who wasn’t the most popular kid in school.
And it’s dangerous, because people could lose their rights and freedoms, all because someone decided they were a little “odd” and therefore potentially a threat to society.
I saw posts on facebook saying that this type of kid should be diagnosed and showered with love and hugs, and that will prevent him from going beserk.
Well, for one thing, not every misfit wants to be showered with love and hugs. Being a little different is not a disease.
And there is no evidence whatsoever that I ever heard of that, if a person actually were a potential mass murderer, love and hugs would cure them.
We DO NOT KNOW why these things happen, and we don’t know how to prevent them.
I am concerned that now parents and teachers will be start rounding up all kids who are too different, or too smart, or too strange, and send them for psychiatric “treatment.” And psychiatric treatment now days means brain-numbing drugs.
I was walking through town today (Sunday) and a woman offered to give me a ride home. I said no thanks, I have a car, I’m just taking a walk. But then I went back and asked how she knew where I live. She said she sees me walking, walking, walking, all the time. I explained that I only walk a half hour before work on week days, which really is not much. I asked if she thought I was a crazy homeless person, just because she sees me walking. I said I have been walking, and doing yoga, all my life and that is probably the reason I am not sick and on drugs, like practically everyone else my age.
(I don’t usually do this, must have been in a weird mood today).
So she replied that the drugs must be doing something right, because we are living longer than ever now. She said there are lots of people in their 90s now, and there never were before.
I said first of all, there were always people in their 90s. And if you ask someone in their 90s you may very well find out they don’t go to doctors or take drugs. I said we are not being kept alive past age 40 thanks to the drugs, that is just propaganda from the drug companies, to make us think we need them.
I tried to explain that average lifespan has increased, mostly because young children are not dying anymore, thanks to antibiotics and vaccines. I tried to explain how the drug companies misuse the statistics to make us think we would all drop dead at 40 if not for them.
She waited patiently for me to give up and leave. If she didn’t think I was a homeless crazy before, she was sure of it after my lecture.
But I am so tired of hearing the same old myth.
Steven Novella, who writes a skeptic’s blog, has discovered a sinister conspiracy. The Creations have joined forces and organized and they are infiltrating our universities and scientific publications. Scary!
“… they want to change society and the nature of science itself. They want to inject supernaturalism into the process of science, so that it can be made to support their world-view and religious beliefs. They cannot do this honestly, so they do it deceptively. They are also well-funded and tireless.”
Oh my godless! The Creationists are coming and we must find a way to stop them!
Oh the pseudo-skeptics are gonna hate this. Luc Montagnier won a Nobel prize for his HIV research, but now he studies memory in water. The same thing that Benveniste was studying when his career was destroyed by Amazing Randi. New Scientist just published this story. It requires a subscription but I found it somewhere and am posting it here. And there is this story at http://news.techworld.com/personal-tech/3256631/dna-molecules-can-teleport-nobel-prize-winner-claims.
So was Benveniste right after all, as I always thought? Montagnier is demonstrating weird quantum effects at normal temperatures and time frames. The pseudo-skeptics are always laughing about quantum woo, but I don’t think they will laugh very much about this.
Scorn over claim of teleported DNA
• 12 January 2011 by Andy Coghlan
• Magazine issue 2795. Subscribe and save
• For similar stories, visit the Quantum World Topic Guide
Editorial: “Why we have to teleport disbelief”
A Nobel prizewinner is reporting that DNA can be generated from its teleported “quantum imprint”
A STORM of scepticism has greeted experimental results emerging from the lab of a Nobel laureate which, if confirmed, would shake the foundations of several fields of science. “If the results are correct,” says theoretical chemist Jeff Reimers of the University of Sydney, Australia, “these would be the most significant experiments performed in the past 90 years, demanding re-evaluation of the whole conceptual framework of modern chemistry.”
Luc Montagnier, who shared the Nobel prize for medicine in 2008 for his part in establishing that HIV causes AIDS, says he has evidence that DNA can send spooky electromagnetic imprints of itself into distant cells and fluids. If that wasn’t heretical enough, he also suggests that enzymes can mistake the ghostly imprints for real DNA, and faithfully copy them to produce the real thing. In effect this would amount to a kind of quantum teleportation of the DNA.
Many researchers contacted for comment by New Scientist reacted with disbelief. Gary Schuster, who studies DNA conductance effects at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, compared it to “pathological science”. Jacqueline Barton, who does similar work at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, was equally sceptical. “There aren’t a lot of data given, and I don’t buy the explanation,” she says. One blogger has suggested Montagnier should be awarded an IgNobel prize.
Yet the results can’t be dismissed out of hand. “The experimental methods used appear comprehensive,” says Reimers. So what have Montagnier and his team actually found?
Full details of the experiments are not yet available, but the basic set-up is as follows. Two adjacent but physically separate test tubes were placed within a copper coil and subjected to a very weak extremely low frequency electromagnetic field of 7 hertz. The apparatus was isolated from Earth’s natural magnetic field to stop it interfering with the experiment. One tube contained a fragment of DNA around 100 bases long; the second tube contained pure water.
After 16 to 18 hours, both samples were independently subjected to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a method routinely used to amplify traces of DNA by using enzymes to make many copies of the original material. The gene fragment was apparently recovered from both tubes, even though one should have contained just water (see diagram).
DNA was only recovered if the original solution of DNA – whose concentration has not been revealed – had been subjected to several dilution cycles before being placed in the magnetic field. In each cycle it was diluted 10-fold, and “ghost” DNA was only recovered after between seven and 12 dilutions of the original. It was not found at the ultra-high dilutions used in homeopathy.
Physicists in Montagnier’s team suggest that DNA emits low-frequency electromagnetic waves which imprint the structure of the molecule onto the water. This structure, they claim, is preserved and amplified through quantum coherence effects, and because it mimics the shape of the original DNA, the enzymes in the PCR process mistake it for DNA itself, and somehow use it as a template to make DNA matching that which “sent” the signal (arxiv.org/abs/1012.5166).
“The biological experiments do seem intriguing, and I wouldn’t dismiss them,” says Greg Scholes of the University of Toronto in Canada, who last year demonstrated that quantum effects occur in plants. Yet according to Klaus Gerwert, who studies interactions between water and biomolecules at the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, “It is hard to understand how the information can be stored within water over a timescale longer than picoseconds.”
It is hard to understand how the information can be stored in water for more than picoseconds
“The structure would be destroyed instantly,” agrees Felix Franks, a retired academic chemist in London who has studied water for many years. Franks was involved as a peer reviewer in the debunking of a controversial study in 1988 which claimed that water had a memory (see “How ‘ghost molecules’ were exorcised”). “Water has no ‘memory’,” he says now. “You can’t make an imprint in it and recover it later.”
Despite the scepticism over Montagnier’s explanation, the consensus was that the results deserve to be investigated further. Montagnier’s colleague, theoretical physicist Giuseppe Vitiello of the University of Salerno in Italy, is confident that the result is reliable. “I would exclude that it’s contamination,” he says. “It’s very important that other groups repeat it.”
In a paper last year (Interdisciplinary Sciences: Computational Life Sciences, DOI: 10.1007/s12539-009-0036-7), Montagnier described how he discovered the apparent ability of DNA fragments and entire bacteria both to produce weak electromagnetic fields and to “regenerate” themselves in previously uninfected cells. Montagnier strained a solution of the bacterium Mycoplasma pirum through a filter with pores small enough to prevent the bacteria penetrating. The filtered water emitted the same frequency of electromagnetic signal as the bacteria themselves. He says he has evidence that many species of bacteria and many viruses give out the electromagnetic signals, as do some diseased human cells.
Montagnier says that the full details of his latest experiments will not be disclosed until the paper is accepted for publication. “Surely you are aware that investigators do not reveal the detailed content of their experimental work before its first appearance in peer-reviewed journals,” he says.
How ‘ghost molecules’ were exorcised
The latest findings by Luc Montagnier evoke long-discredited work by the French researcher Jacques Benveniste. In a paper in Nature (vol 333, p 816) in 1988 he claimed to show that water had a “memory”, and that the activity of human antibodies was retained in solutions so dilute that they couldn’t possibly contain any antibody molecules (New Scientist, 14 July 1988, p 39).
Faced with widespread scepticism over the paper, including from the chemist Felix Franks who had advised against publication, Nature recruited magician James Randi and chemist and “fraudbuster” Walter Stewart of the US National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, to investigate Benveniste’s methods. They found his result to be “a delusion”, based on a flawed design. In 1991, Benveniste repeated his experiment under double-blind conditions, but not to the satisfaction of referees at Nature and Science. Two years later came the final indignity when he was suspended for damaging the image of his institute. He died in October 2004.
That’s not to say that quantum effects must be absent from biological systems. Quantum effects have been proposed in both plants and birds. Montagnier and his colleagues are hoping that their paper won’t suffer the same fate as Benveniste’s.