Saturday, February 23, 2008

BS alert!!!

Dear people...

When I read things as I am about to link to I can only shake my head with chagrin. For if people could not swallow BS in such potent doses people would have to cut it smaller and weaker for anyone to bite down.

If you feel like cutting a swath of brain cells down in their prime simply click here.

It's almost too perfect not to throw a shout out to cectic's latest comic.

If you don't want to read it that's fine the gist is that a bunch of 'scientists' supposedly built some random number generators and then had 'people off the street' come in and concentrate on shifting the patterns.

The article goes on to explain how putting these 'random number generators' all over the world that weird inexplicable spikes happen during momentous events including the death of princess diana and september 11th.

What the article fails to mention is any explanation of how the devices were built, what technology they use and how non-existant human mental powers could have any effect on them whatsoever.

The whole thing smacks of nonsensical pseudoscience, it's fucking chain-letter material at best. Here's a few problems with the article from a critical thinking stand point.

1) The biggest red flag is that the premise of the article is that there's a device capable of sensing the future. Sub-BS it does so by tapping into the non-existant group conscious of OTHER HUMAN BEINGS.
2) The work stems from a lone scientist. The guy is obviously working with subpar equipment and personnel if he doesn't even have a team or a lab or anything.
3) Random number generation is best done using computer algorithms. While they are not truly random (you'd need a quantum computer for that) that can get pretty close.
4) The human brain is a vehicle of information processing. As far as every other relevant scientific discipline can tell it works strictly in standalone mode. Sure people with brains communicate but its totally indirect. Compared to networked computers trying to talk to another brain is like typing up a report, printing it out and then physically handing it to the other brain who then scans it in, crunches the data and in turn spits out pages back (in terms of speed anyways)
5) There is no 'greater consciousness' that humans share or tap into. As a species I am sure we have a lot of redundant pathways and similar structures that allow people to understand and share culture even as we are able to absorb it when no other species can. Chimps can to a much smaller degree but that's another discussion.
6) Belief in this article requires belief in esp, shared consciousness for the human race, devices susceptible to esp and humanity's innate ability to sense catastrophe before it happens.

I'll go no further except to point out that this article fails a prime naturalistic bullshit test. Namely if we apply the standard given to humans to any other mammal it will produce absurdly sad results.

Here's a taste of the article but I have replaced all the people with monkeys.

"Dr John Hartwell, working at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, was the first to uncover evidence that [monkeys] could sense the future. In the mid 1970s he hooked [monkeys] up to hospital EEG machines so that he could study their brainwave patterns. When these [monkeys] were shown emotionally charged cartoons, characteristic patterns flickered through their brainwaves. Strangely, these patterns began to emerge a few seconds before [monkeys] actually saw the pictures.

But it was to be another 15 years before anyone else took this work further. Dean Radin,
[a monkey] working in America, connected [monkeys] up to a machine that measured [monkey] skin's resistance to electricity. This is known to fluctuate in tandem with [monkey's] moods, indeed, it's this principle that underlies many lie detectors. Radin repeated Dr Hall's work whilst measuring skin resistance. Again, [monkeys] began reacting a few seconds before they were shown the pictures. This was clearly impossible, or so he thought, so he kept on repeating the experiments and getting the same results."

Sound a little far fetched? Well we share a common ancestor who's to say chimps never developed language because they're all communing on a higher plane of existence than mere physical distractions.

Suck it, pseudoscience. We're not fooled!!

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