I was pretty young when I first learned that science could make mistakes; I grew up next door to a child whose mother took Thalidomide during pregnancy. When I was 14, our family doctor prescribed "diet pills" for me: methamphetamines. They nearly destroyed my health forever. In later years, I learned from the news-magazine show, 20/20, that the recommended treatment my grandfather had received for high blood pressure, provided by the Veteran's Administration, was actually what killed him. These are just a few highlights of a lifetime of experiences with doctors and other medical professionals who actually got things wrong about 75% of the time, and the remaining 25% that they got right was non-critical. In all critical situations, had I listened to my doctor's advice for myself or my children, there would have been serious negative consequences.
This is a disheartening perspective, certainly, but there it is: doctors are not trained to help you live a healthy life, they are trained by pharmaceutical company funded medical schools to support the drug economy. I once heard that in ancient China, medical practitioners were required to advertise over their doors how many of their patients had died. Obviously, they became highly motivated to find out what really worked because nobody would consult them if their advice and potions weren't beneficial. It would be nice if our civilization instituted a similar system.
But, in a way, we do have such a system: social networks. The only problem is, a very large majority of people in our society will not believe 500 people who tell them that something really works because they have tried it in opposition to a single doctor who says "that's not recommended by the medical associations." This kind of person who follows the "constituted authorities" rather than empirical evidence is referred to by psychologist Bob Altemeyer as "The Authoritarian Follower" personality type. It is thanks to this type of person that even pure psychopaths in power can get away with the most egregious crimes in all fields of endeavor, from medicine to law, from industry to politics. The Authoritarian Follower believes that those in authority have the right to live by their own rules, and lying, cheating, stealing and murder in high places can thus be tolerated with a shrug of the shoulders. They will also willingly engage themselves in the same lying, cheating, stealing and murder if it is presented to them as necessary to protect their status quo.
Corruption of Science. Putting those two words together in a conversation won't raise any eyebrows nowadays what with all the news reports of scientists in bed with big corporations cooking their data, Climategate, suppression of NASA scientists, not to mention the long history of BIG mistakes made by science that have led to horrible suffering for given segments of humanity. Everybody understands in a general way that scientists, like any group of people, have members who are less than ethical, or even downright rapacious. But I would like to suggest that the corruption of science is a deeper and wider problem than most people suspect; that it is a rot that pervades our entire Western culture and is, in fact, the root of all the evils to which we have fallen heir in the past several centuries. Further, I'd like to suggest that the Corruption of Science is due to the fact that it has been taken over by psychopathy with the support of the Authoritarian Follower personality type.
In the last issue of The Dot Connector Magazine in my article "The Golden Age, Psychopathy and the Sixth Extinction," I cited some brain research that shows how the brains of the Authoritarian Follower personality type (as described by Bob Altemeyer) might operate and how this type is as well represented in the sciences as among religious people. I also theorized a bit about the origins of the conflict consisting in two different types of human beings: those possessing a certain spiritual potential (probably due to genetics, though the genetics were morphologically influenced by non-material factors) and thus capable of conceiving and operating within a spiritual ideological structure, and those who lack this capacity - also probably due to genetics - and thus forever constrained within a materialistic structure no matter how powerful and elegant the computing power of their physical brain.
I also noted in the same article the curious fact that, at the same time that the U.S. media was hyping "Satanic Ritual Abuse" and the books on alien abductions were flying off the shelves of bookstores, that same media was pushing the Evolution line just as vigorously. It's not that the Theory of Evolution is totally wrong, it's that it has been applied to "all-that-is" as though it were a fundamental Theory of Everything, which it is not!
The theory of evolution is like any other theory: it has a restricted domain of application. Beyond this domain, which is at present only roughly known, the theory may well be useless or wrong and it often gives ridiculous answers. It is much like the theory of relativity - which is useful as long as we forget about quantum effects. There are quantum effects that are incompatible with the theory of relativity and these problems were known to such as Einstein and Dirac. While Einstein was unhappy with quantum theory, Dirac, on the other hand, was not quite happy with the theory of relativity: he was trying to revive the old aether theory.
The theory of evolution is based on assumptions. Those who try to make the theory of evolution the answer to all questions about life, the universe and everything, tend to forget that some of these assumptions may be questionable or wrong. At the foundation of the theory of evolution there are "the laws of chance". But where do the laws of chance come from? And why do they apply to our world? These are important questions, but evolution theorists will dismiss them as "metaphysical". Yet these questions are no more metaphysical than other questions that evolutionists claim to have answers for.
Why are there any laws at all? Did they come also by chance? Dedicated evolutionists will try to hide behind the anthropic principle, where the "laws of chance" create uncountable universes and we "just happen" to be in one that has the "theory of evolution" created within it to explain it all. An honest scientist cannot be happy with such a useless pseudo-explanation. Where does the order in the Universe come from and how? There are different ways of answering this question, yet to be able to attack such problems science needs to go beyond the purely materialistic paradigm. Some scientists attempt to do this and are usually brought back into line rather harshly by the troops of Authoritarian Followers under the direction of their psychopathic masters.
Even if we take the theory of evolution in the domain it seems to apply to, we still have problems. Probabilities are subjective. They are based on models that are partly arbitrary. We estimate some probability to be next to zero one day, and then, the next day, we learn that under certain circumstances this probability becomes close to one. Or the converse happens. In short: the theory of evolution is useful as long as it is useful. It's a tool to be used in certain ways, under certain, rather narrow circumstances, and it isn't a very sophisticated one either.
In short, Big Bang/Evolution theories have to be taken on faith - a LOT of faith - and are therefore more a religion than anything else.
Which brings us to the problem of religions that are not pretending to be other than what they are. Discussions about science and/or religion are generally framed in terms of arguments that favor the reliability - or "truth" - of one or the other. That is the wrong context. The passion and polemics that come into play when the two are juxtaposed one against the other reveals to us something fundamental about both positions: the depth and strength with which individuals identify themselves with either position. That, in itself, exposes the "religious" nature of both positions because, after all, the word "religion" is derived from the word "ligare" which means "to bind together" - generally very tightly - as our ligaments bind our muscles to our bones. The bones are the basic structure on which the flesh is laid down, but none of it would have any definite shape or serve any functional purpose without the binding power of the ligaments. A person can be thin, fat, tall, short, and a multitude of variations which have little to do with the bone structure itself, the only constant being that the flesh is bound to the bones by the ligaments.
Just so, the flesh of our idea bodies are built on certain skeletal foundations and long observation has convinced me that it is not the foundation that is either "scientific" or "religious" but something else that is far more interesting and subtle: an ideological state. Let me try to explain.
Wikipedia tells us that "ideology" is:
[...] a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things [...], as in common sense [...] and several philosophical tendencies [...], or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society (a "received consciousness" or product of socialization). [...] Ideologies are systems of abstract thought applied to public matters and thus make this concept central to politics. Implicitly every political tendency entails an ideology whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought. It is how society sees things.There appear to be two fundamental "skeleton types" on which the flesh of our idea structures are grown and to which they are attached with all the permanence of ligaments attaching flesh to bones, and it cannot be so easily disposed of as labeling it "religious" or "scientific". One of them is well understood within our culture: "Materialism". But what is the other? Well, oddly enough there isn't a well-defined alternative commonly understood in our world today. Wikipedia (again), informs us that:
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions. [...] The philosophical alternatives to materialism are dualism and idealism.The only alternatives are dualism and idealism?! Well, when you look a bit deeper you find that there are some other options such as Pluralism and Monism. In the end, when you've finished frying your brain reading all the philosophical arguments, you come back to the realization that there are actually just TWO basic positions: those who think that matter is somehow the root and branch of existence and that consciousness is just a by-product of sensations of atoms jostling one another (so to say), and those who think that consciousness (not personal consciousness, but Cosmic Consciousness) is the fundamental Oneness from which all else springs or emanates, including matter. Interestingly, you can find fanatical adherents of religion building their religious beliefs on a very materialistic ideology while you can also find brilliant scientists - pure experimentalists - among those who are convinced that consciousness, i.e. spirit, is somehow the fundamental element of all that exists. That's really it. Bake it, fry it, or boil it down, it ends up as one of these two basic views which we can, I think, define for our purposes as Material vs. Spiritual - using the term "spiritual" as a convention to stand in for pre-existent Cosmic Consciousness.
As I pointed out in "The Golden Age, Psychopathy and the Sixth Extinction," I actually think that these two fundamental states in human beings are the result of genetics - possibly a mixing of Neanderthal genes with modern humans, producing numerous personality pathologies including psychopathy and the Authoritarian Personality. What seems to be clear and frightening is that such types have taken over science. Such individuals do not make the best scientists - probably not even good ones - but psychologist Andrew Lobaczewski explains how this can happen - because he witnessed it himself in Communist Poland and described the process in his seminal work, Political Ponerology.
Lobaczewski describes a country under the domination of pathological individuals as a Pathocracy. A pathocracy obviously cannot develop when science is laboring for the advantages of the masses of working people in a society; it can only develop when science is carefully managed economically and politically to serve the ends of control of said masses. This obviously requires, as a first step, the corruption of those sciences that could expose the pathocracy for what it is: psychology, psychopathology, psychiatry and medicine.
Any possibility of psychopathology being accurately described and systems of diagnosis established must be skillfully thwarted and diverted. For pathological people at the top of the heap, this is a question of "to be or not to be." They understand well that if the "constituted authorities" of science and religion were to expose them, there would be an unstoppable demand: "off with their heads." Thus, as Lobaczewski points out, a purposeful and conscious system of control, terror and diversion is set to work to monitor scientific publications. Scientists with great talent and ability may become objects of blackmail and malicious control by authorities with little to no talent or abilities. The scientific "peer review" system is exactly this. Peer Review, in and of itself, is not a bad thing; it is the anonymity of it that opens the door to corruption. Scientists should be required to stand in the clear light of day, as individuals with names and faces, saying exactly where they disagree with the findings of a scientific paper or criticizing elements of its methodology. In that way, we'd eliminate the Stasi-like secret thought police vetoing the publication of a paper which simply runs counter to the dogmas of our polity, or which took aim at one of the sacred cows of the reviewer.
In the early stages, the operation has to be conducted in such a way that it does not come to the attention of the public. However, after pathology takes over power, that becomes less of an issue since, as noted above, the Authoritarian Follower feels that it is right and just for the leaders to lie, cheat, steal and murder simply because they ARE the authorities.
Sometimes good scientists are silenced and eliminated without a sound, and others are forced to give up their careers or move to other countries. Germany experienced a significant "brain drain" upon the Nazis' rise to power, and for years, excellent scientists were defecting from totalitarian Communist countries with staggering regularity. In recent years, many European countries have lost their best thinkers due to lack of fair financial support and, always and ever, when the best thinkers are gone, the country begins to make mistake after mistake and its destruction becomes inevitable.
In order to get their control scientists into position, a pathocratic system has to find people who are at least capable of completing their studies - though very often degrees are obtained via cheating or applying pressures from different angles to the issuing authorities. Once they have acquired degrees, such pathological individuals are rewarded with high positions where they have control over what is or is not considered "acceptable science." These faux scientists have the power to control who gets degrees, who gets published, who gets tenure, and so forth. On a very mundane level, many of them, being mediocre scientists themselves, are governed by self-interest and jealousy against more talented researchers.
As noted, controls in the psychological sciences are particularly malicious and treacherous. This opens the field up to individuals who are pathological themselves and only enter the field because they seek power and control over others (one of the defining features of psychopathology). These types are, by nature, inclined toward "serving the dark side". In former times, when merit-based systems were still in place, psychopathology would have been weeded out; but in today's world where the system has been corrupted to better fit the needs of the pathological individual, the numbers of those in high positions and with higher degrees, have increased dramatically.
The problems for those scientists who enter the various fields for the right reasons are tragic, and the results for humanity at large are disastrous. Since they are under-educated, mis-educated, or dis-educated, young scientists find themselves to be helpless in the face of humanity's problems. Some of them realize this, realize that more and more accurate knowledge is needed, and they strike out on their own. But doing so in the face of the scientific thought police can carry a heavy price-tag and not all of them have the constitution for it; many decent scientists just toe the line and hope to live to retirement so they can pursue what is really important and still manage to keep a roof over their head and eat.
When science is corrupted, the professions that depend on science also begin to rot. When pathocrats rule, there is nowhere to go but down, and we are witnessing this in the U.S. today, as well as in all the countries that are bound to the U.S. economically or politically. When science has been corrupted, no area of social life can develop or function normally or "evolve". (Irony intended.) Bad science affects economics, culture, technology, administration, politics; literally everything. People begin to gripe and complain and threaten to revolt. This threatens the pathocrats and forces them to use even more vile methods of terror and extermination of the threats. Of course, as long as they are still the constituted authority, the Authoritarian Follower personality type in all walks of life will continue to support them so that people become deeply divided. They become the activists that participate in active indoctrination, not realizing that they are feeding a disease that is going to destroy them also. Around and around it goes; pathology progressively intrudes everywhere and the rot spreads. Crises erupt everywhere, bad decisions keep being made based on greed and power considerations, and the pathocrats never seem to learn from their mistakes. Germs are not aware that they will be burned alive or buried deep in the ground along with the body whose death they are causing.
"Pathocracy is a disease of great social movements followed by entire societies, nations, and empires. In the course of human history, it has affected social, political, and religious movements, as well as the accompanying ideologies characteristic for the time and the ethnological conditions, and turned them into caricatures of themselves. This occurs as a result of the activities of similar etiological factors in this phenomenon, namely in the form of participation by pathological agents in a pathodynamically similar process. That explains why all the pathocracies of the world are and have been so similar in their essential properties. Contemporaneous ones easily find a common language, even if the ideologies nourishing them and protecting their pathological contents from identification differ widely.As I wrote above, my heart has been broken by the realization that the best hope of the human race - Truth, beautiful Truth - has been savaged and spoiled by the very guardians of the temple: scientists themselves under the influence of a ramified network of mutual pathological conspiracies that are divorced entirely from the body of normal humanity. Why? Because as a cognitive style, science - real science - is our best hope. Karl Popper makes these important observations:
Identifying these phenomena through history and properly qualifying them according to their true nature and contents, not according to the ideology in question, which succumbed to the characteristic process of caricaturization, is a job for historians. However, the ideology must always have been socially dynamic and have contained creative elements, otherwise it would be incapable of long term nurturing and protection from human criticism of a phenomenon which is essentially pathological, nor of furnishing it the tools for implementing its expansionist goals on the outside.
The moment at which a movement has been transformed into something we can call a pathocracy as a result of the ponerogenic process is a matter of convention. The process is temporally cumulative and reaches a point of no return at some particular moment. Eventually, however, internal confrontation with the adherents of the original ideology occurs, thus finally affixing the seal of the pathocratic character of the phenomenon. Hitlerism most certainly passed this point of no return, but was prevented from all-out confrontation with the adherents of the original ideology because the Allied armies smashed its entire military might." (Political Ponerology, pp. 165-166)
... all explanatory science is incompleteable; for to be complete it would have to give an explanatory account of itself. An even stronger result is implicit in Gödel's famous theorem of the incompletability of formalized arithmetic (though to use Gödel's theorem and other mathematical incompleteness theorems in this context is to use heavy armament against a comparatively weak position). Since all physical science uses arithmetic (and since for a reductionist only science formulated in physical symbols has any reality), Gödel's incompleteness theorem renders all physical science incomplete. For the nonreductionist, who does not believe in the reducibility of all science to physically formulated science, science is incomplete anyway.And then he adds:
Not only is philosophical reductionism a mistake, but the belief that the method of reduction can achieve complete reduction is, it seems, mistaken too. We live in a world of emergent evolution; of problems whose solutions, if they are solved, beget new and deeper problems. Thus we live in a universe of emergent novelty; of novelty which, as a rule, is not completely reducible to any of the preceding stages.
"Nevertheless, the method of attempting reductions is most fruitful, not only because we learn a great deal by its partial successes, by partial reductions, but also because we learn from our partial failures, from the new problems which our failures reveal. Open problems are almost as interesting as their solutions; indeed they would be just as interesting but for the fact that almost every solution opens up in its turn a whole new world of open problems."Scientific philosophies refer to the "accidental mechanicalness" of the universe and teach us that the only meaning to life is no meaning at all. "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you may die" and then -- oblivion.
Scientifically speaking, for a long time matter and motion were accepted as the basis of reality and, to a great extent, continue to be. Yet, in actual fact, matter and motion are unknown quantities x and y, and are always defined by means of one another. It is an absurdity to define one unknown by means of another! What this means is that science defines matter as that which moves and motion as changes in matter. The "Big Bang" or Cosmic Firecracker theory is explained in these terms. A primal atom, (matter), of incredible density "exploded" into motion. (Where the primal atom came from, how the space it exploded into came into being, and where the impetus for this event originated, are questions that are generally ignored.) And from this event, our universe and the life within it just sort of "accidentally" happened. Man is the "amoral end of a deadly biological evolution." The mind and soul are inexplicable by-products of the struggle for survival.
To the average person, a table, a chair, an orange, is a real object. They have dimension -- three, to be exact - they are real. But are they? The physicist (and the knowledgeable layperson) knows that the object is composed of atoms. And there lies the rub! The dissected atom (quantum particles) often displays some very disturbing properties. Who has really seen matter or force? We think we see matter in motion, but physics has shown us that what we see is an illusion. When we try to focus on it, a quantum particle/wave is an infinite-dimensional entity incapable of being perceived, in that instant, as a three-dimensional body moving through space. When we look away, the quantum particle/wave acts like a wave of pure energy - invisible force.
So, just what is matter? What is this estate in which we find our existence? Does the physical run out when it becomes invisible? Obviously not as we cannot see electricity and other forces in the universe measurable only by their effect upon "matter". Do these forces run out when they become undetectable by our senses or by our instruments? Do the things we detect with the subtle mechanisms of our mind and emotions not exist simply because we cannot see or measure them?
Science hands those questions over to religion and basically, we are told to "believe what you like" in that area because science isn't in the business of describing things it cannot materially weigh or measure never mind that scientists also "believe what they like". There is a not-so-subtle implication in such a view that it really doesn't matter what a person believes anyway because, as Danish physicist Niels Bohr put it "there is no deep reality!" But having the beliefs of materialist science imposed on us in every aspect of our society has had very serious detrimental results!
For those people who have the idea that there is something "deeper," some "meaning" to life, if you want to put it that way, there is really only one place to go for answers: religion, of which there are three major ones in the world today, all of them "Monotheistic" and based, essentially, on a single religion, Judaism.
The Bible says, "In the Beginning, God created the heaven and the earth." Neither the Bible nor science has much to say about what happened before the beginning. St. Augustine was once asked the question: "What was God doing before He created the world?" The Bishop's rejoinder: "Creating Hell for those who ask that question!" put a period to such inquiries. Few have asked it since and the materialist scientists seek to ensure that they don't.
Are we, in fact, an accident of evolution in an accidental universe, on a race to nowhere except oblivion? Or, worse still, are our very minds - our belief in and desire for knowledge of higher things - our greatest illusion? Are we damned by our religion for asking such questions, or ridiculed by science for thinking that they even ought to be asked? The choice seems to be between a sick joke and a mistake.
Yet, the question must be asked: why do we live in a world in which material extinction is a real possibility? Are we truly on the edge of an abyss, losing our balance, preparing to fall into a hole so deep and dark that we shall never come out of it?
True science - not the entropic materialism that passes for science nowadays, created and imposed on humanity by pathological individuals lacking souls and conscience - does exist in potential and we desperately need to start learning and practicing it. Such a science would be open to, and able to, explore our world without prejudice, including all of the phenomena of consciousness - or spirit - that we are heir to. Camille Flammarion remarked:
"I have no hesitation in saying that he who states that spiritist phenomena are contrary to science does not know what he is talking about. Indeed, there is nothing super-natural in nature. There is only the unknown: but what was unknown yesterday becomes the truth of tomorrow".Victor Hugo, another advocate of scientific spiritualism said, "Turning a blind eye to the spiritist phenomena is turning a blind eye to the truth". We must return to Science or there is no hope. Science alone is capable of penetrating the mystery of things and giving man wings to raise him to the highest truths. We can know the Truth that will set us free!