Complementary Physics

 Posted by on December 11, 2010  Add comments
Dec 112010
 

I’ve been reading about all this healing stuff using crystals and water that can remember what was dissolved in it, and waving your hands about, and I had a thought.  If we can have complementary medicine, why not apply it to the really fundamental sciences – physics and chemistry? The ones that ask the really hard questions: what is stuff, and how does stuff work?

Of course, in the day-to-day life of most people, possibly the most tangible example of physics in action comes when the thermometer drops, as it did in the past week.  I’m cold.

Indeed you are, and the reason for it is because you have lost too much heat, which is energy, but since we’re now in the complementary area, we wont say energy any more.  We’ll say energies.  That’s a lot more touchy-feely and it has a better ring of mysticism about it, even though it means nothing.

Never mind.  Energies it is.

We will also assume, because we’re into complementarity, that energies prefer to flow in certain pathways.  And we’ll assume that these pathways have nodes.  Nexuses.  Interconnections of energy flows.  In other words, meaningless shit.

Obviously, since we’re in the area of complementary science, we won’t bother to come up with any evidence for our ideas, but that’s what’s so nice about this field.  You can make up whatever nonsense you want as long as you say things like energies.

Where am I going with this?  Ah, that’s the beauty of the whole thing.  As you know, the Greens have announced that the economy can be saved by getting people to insulate attics, and Eamon Ryan, the Minister For Word-Slurring has mumbled as much on the national TV and radio.

I’m going to approach Eamon with an idea before his party finally self-destructs in a gigantic hissy-fit, some time in January.  I’ll get in under the wire with this idea and I feel sure the Greens will back it to the hilt, because it will revolutionise everything.

Energy crystals.

Who knew?

Energy crystals, placed all around your house by an alternative physicist.  Instead of measuring heat-loss, the alternative scientist will emote into the aura of your house and get a feeling for where the energies want to escape.  Then he’ll place the crystals in just the right place to channel your house’s energies back inside, keeping you toasty warm for another while.  He will establish the correct location for the crystals by chanting and astral projection.

This means that you won’t have to waste money insulating your house.  It will save the country a fortune.

I’m not finished.

The alternative scientists working in the vast underground cavern of the Bockschloss have finally perfected the technique of ecopuncture.

By dressing in just the right kaftans and dancing naked under a carefully-guarded secret phase of the moon, it will be possible for our complementary scientists to insert needles in the bricks of your house in exactly the right locations to interrupt the energy-flows before they leave your home forever and redirect them back into your living room.  This is achieved by a harmonious conjunction of complementarities, in a revolutionary technique we call spectralarity (c).

Anyone questioning this revolutionary technique will be sued for defamation.

________________

Also on Bock, in the interests of fairmess, since we’ve been talking about pseudoscience, let’s have some horseshit from the humanities: Bock Bullshit Awards,  Post-modernism Generator

  59 Responses to “Complementary Physics”

Comments (59)
  1.  

  2.  

    Does it follow from this and Gödel’s theorems that if you kick any structure in the right place, it’ll fall asunder? Perhaps this could be applied to some of the unfinished buildings currently decorating the Irish countryside.

  3.  

    I have to confess, Mr Kropotnikus, that Gödel’s theorems had entirely escaped me, and now you have forced me to go and look up something I don’t want to think about.

  4.  

    Don’t worry. It’s kind of the mathematical version of Murphy’s Law.

  5.  

    I know. I looked them up and they make sense. The theorems would only be false if we were all infallible.

  6.  

    Jesus, Bock, you still haven’t really copped on to the right complementary attitude! Who said you had to look up anything? My God, man, that would mean doing serious research, checking facts, possibly even leaving yourself open to falsification! That won’t do at all! What you do is simply claim that it’s all based on Gödel’s theorems and, should anyone try to dispute this, simply tell them that they haven’t understood the deeper gnostic meaning of Mr. Gödel’s work …

  7.  

    You’re right. I’m still learning the language of alternative pseudoscience.

  8.  

    Okay now Bock, what’re you at? Are you lampooning ‘New Age’ mysticism and championing science? Or are you lampooning the Green party and championing…What are you championing? This post sounds like: ‘down with the Green party and down with Homeopathy and crystals’ Tell me please, in what way are they related to each other exactly?
    The Green party may be a political joke but surely the entire premise for their existence, i.e ‘there is no more important issue than keeping the planet habitable’ -is a scientific one? I don’t get it. Who are you slagging off here, and why?

  9.  

    I’m slagging off the Greens because I want to destroy the planet.

  10.  

    logical

  11.  

    Will these energycrystals be available on your merchandise page anytime soon. Great little earner.

  12.  

    I heard recently…

    Question: “What do you call alternative medicine that has been proved to work?”

    Answer: “Medicine.”

  13.  

    There is no ” Altenative Medicine ” just medicine that works and medicine that does`nt

  14.  

    I often wondered why ambulance drivers didn’t carry a set of crystals–in case of an emergency energy misalignment.

  15.  

    Bock everything has to be scientificaly proven then ehh.I would be interested to hear your explanation of traditional Chinese treatments such as acupuncture etc.

  16.  

    What’s wrong with testing the efficacy of a treatment, William?

  17.  

    irate Chemist where did I say there was anything wrong with testing the efficacy of a treatment ?.In fact I would be all for it.But just because science cannot explain something is not proof that it does not exist.Science does know everything and all real scientists will have no problem admitting that.

  18.  

    the above should read science does not know everything.lol what a difference leaving out one small word can make.By the way the editing facility o this site does not seem to work.

  19.  

    Ah, that brings to mind the most powerful remedy of all: The Placebo. Can we bottle it and sell it?

  20.  

    Bock everything has to be scientificaly proven then ehh

    Did you mean shown to work objectively using scientific methods, or something else?

    But just because science cannot explain something is not proof that it does not exist.Science does know everything and all real scientists will have no problem admitting that.

    You don’t say……

  21.  

    True, Kropotnikus. The greater the intervention–the greater the effect.

  22.  

    William —

    just because science cannot explain something is not proof that it does not exist

    That comment contains a logical falllacy.

    If science can’t explain a physical phenomenon, it has no explanation. That means there’s no sense or meaning to it. In that case, you’re talking about magic and we’re left with no basis for a rational discussion.

  23.  

    So is acupuncture magic then in your opinion?

  24.  

    I heard recently…

    Question: “What do you call alternative medicine that has been proved to work?”

    Answer: “Medicine.”

    This is a debased form of an original idea and quote by Sir James George Frazer, author of “The Golden Bough” – a precursor to Joseph Campbell.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_George_Frazer

    “His most famous work, The Golden Bough (1890), documents and details similar magical and religious beliefs across the globe. Frazer posited that human belief progressed through three stages: primitive magic, replaced by religion, in turn replaced by science.”

    His quote, which seems to be the origin for the medicine one you mention, is:

    “It is therefore a truism, almost a tautology, to say that all magic is necessarily false and barren; for were it ever to become true and fruitful, it would no longer be magic but science.”

    which was reformulated by Arthur C. Clarke as

    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

    Frazer’s Golden Bough became, of course, an inspiration for much of the late 19th century / early 20th century mysticism of the Golden Dawn, which included such worthies as W.B. Yeats and Alesteir Crowley.

    Crowley, incidentally, didn’t seem to believe in the physical effects of magick – regarding it as a psychological technique. His Pasadena based follower, rocket scientist Jack Parsons (one of the founders of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Aerojet company) did believe in physical magick, on one occasion apparently (((STRESS ON APPARENTLY))) conjuring up a storm to strike down L. Ron Hubbard (who had made off with Parson’s life’s savings, and mistress).

    Read “Strange Angel” by George Pendel, for more.

    amazon.com/Strange-Angel-Otherworldly-Scientist-Whiteside/dp/015100997X

    Thanks for the Godel Kropotnikus; just what I need. Into the file with the Copenhagen Interpretation, Quantum Entanglement, and Bell’s Theorem. Filed under: MINDFUCK.

  25.  

    Willaim — I have heard there’s some evidence that acupuncture works. If that’s the case, then of course it isn’t magic. However, that doesn’t seem to be what you meant earlier when you said “just because science cannot explain something is not proof that it does not exist”. How about answering the point that things with no explanation are nothing more than magic?

  26.  

    acupuncture has no scientific explanation but you admit it works.That both contradicts your definition of magic and clarifies the statement that I made.

  27.  

    William — If it works, it has an explanation.

  28.  

    semantics, semantics….I think the point I made is pretty clear.

  29.  

    William — I don’t believe you made any point at all. An observable phenomenon can always be studied and understood. Something that has no explanation is simply mumbo-jumbo. You stated that acupuncture is effective (for certain things, I presume), and I explained to you that if it has observable effects then it has a physical explanation. That isn’t semantics. That’s simply a fact.

  30.  

    my point was because science cannot explain something does not mean it cannot be.What may seem magic today may be scientific fact tomorrow.People once believed all manner of things to be magic that science can now explain.And in the future more things will be explained as science progresses that might be regarded as “magic” today.

  31.  

    Science isn’t a thing. Science is simply another word for clear thinking, and if rational thought can observe no evidence that something works, then we have no basis to believe in it. If we start believing in things for which we have no rational basis, then we might as well go back to worshipping the sun-god.

  32.  

    People did once worship the sun and thought that an eclipse was the gods angry with them.They did observe something working.It was not what they observed that was wrong, but their interpretation of it.And regarding “scientific” medicine a lot of that has also been proven to be nothing more than “magic” because of incorrect interpretation of its effect.

  33.  

    William — Can you explain why anyone would believe something for which there is no evidence? That’s a deliberately narrow question. It doesn’t refer to acupuncture or anything else in particular, so don’t take it as an attack on your favourite complementary medicine, whatever that might be.

    Just explain, in general, why anyone should believe in something for which there is no evidence.

  34.  

    Bock…there may be no scientific evidence at least at present for something..so in that sense yes you are correct.But an individual may have a positive effect from something so at least in their personal experience there is evidence.I agree that a lot of things for instance in complementary medicine are quackery but certainly not all.Same for conventional medicine.Same in every other field.And good to keep an open mind on some things as the evidence may yet be found.By and large I agree with you but hope you can see my point of view even if I am not very good at putting it into words

  35.  

    Or I will put it this way…a scientist with a closed mind is not a real scientist.

  36.  

    William — A person who believes things without evidence is not thinking.

  37.  

    Bock if we were talking about leprechauns goblins or the world being only 2000 years old I would be in 100% agreement with you.All I am saying is there are some things that are not proven beyond all doubt one way or the other and I would leave them open.Science is not always correct either.Just take the out of Africa theory for modern humans origin long seen as solid fact.But given recent DNA discoveries it may not be 100% accurate either.Science is only as accurate as its latest findings.

  38.  

    William — Scientific practice never assumes it is 100% correct. Anyone who thought such a thing would not be a scientist. However, in order to work with an idea, there has to be at least some evidence in support of it. I don’t know why anyone would pursue a notion for which there is no evidence at all. Do you?

  39.  

    Some beliefs are plainly ridiculous and could not be.Others are very marginal with a slim possibility of being proven correct while some others seem to based on reality but incredibly difficult to prove.As you asked about beliefs with absolutely no basis of any kind,well then I agree with you on that.

  40.  

    If something is based in reality, it will be possible to observe it in a careful and detached way. If observation proves impossible, it is not based in reality, but in somebody’s fantasy.

    Incidentally, did you get a chance yet to read the link to the Cochrane Colaboration provided by Irate Chemist?

    The Cochrane Library is one of the most respected sources for medical information in the world, so we need not worry about their bona fides.

  41.  

    No matter how this subject is debated, There will never be a conclusion, Those who opt for the inclusion of Alternative / Complimentary treatment will continue to do so, Based largely on their own experiences as opposed to any Scientific evidence, And vice versa, Those who opt for Allopathic treatment will do so, Maybe in spite of side effects etc.
    There has to be a connection between proven Scientific treatment and basic commonsense, Allopathic Medicine, Whereas backed up by Science and research, Time and time again fails the patient in practice.
    The isolated treatment of individuals organs, Treated in isolation of other organs and the patient as a ” Whole ” is in practice a failed theory.

    ” I don’t know why anyone would pursue a notion for which there is no evidence ”
    That statement @ 39 by Bock indicates that people in search of allieviation of symptoms will not independently look for their own level of ” Evidence ” and remain ” Dependent ” on Scientific evidence that by the time such ” Evidence ” has filtered through to the ” Doctors Surgery ” It will be delivered in its purest and most ethical form.

    There are truths and lies on both sides of the coin of the dispensing of Medicine, Whether it is backed up by Scientific evidence or not.

  42.  

    Norma — If I might point out, the post isn’t really about medicine. That just happened to come into the discussion.

  43.  

    Did ye know that even some questions got the better of the scientific mind of Galileo and in the end he thanked the guy who put the stars in the sky. :)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg0AntKH6ss

    Interesting trials on acupuncture. Results seem very varied and difficult to come to a conclusive answer.
    “In the previous version of this review, evidence in support of acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis was considered promising but insufficient. Now, with 12 additional trials, there is consistent evidence that acupuncture provides additional benefit to treatment of acute migraine attacks only or to routine care. There is no evidence for an effect of ‘true’ acupuncture over sham interventions, though this is difficult to interpret,”
    http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab001218.html

    Also I don’t see mention of actual physical precise phenomenon being observed, but rather the reported effects from the trial patients. What I take from that – If it works for one person, doesn’t for others.. regardless of a scientific trial’s conclusion, I’ll believe the person’s experience.

  44.  

    Bock What what I have read of that link it seems quite vague neither totally endorsing acupuncture or dismissing it .However I do not need anybody telling me if acupuncture works or not….it does.You say “if something is based on reality,it will be possible to observe it in a careful and detached way”.Well then I will take you back to your own post on light orbs.

  45.  

    I’ll deal with the last point first. I never used the term light orbs. That post asked for people to provide the appropriate scientific reference for something I observed.

    If you say acupuncture works, you must specify what it works for. For example, I presume it can’t fix a broken leg.

  46.  

    Am I yet again ” diverting ” off the main point if I pick up on Williams point about ” Light orbs ” ? I saw them You saw them, No explanation………..yet.
    But we still saw them ?
    To travel the theory of ” Scientific ” explanation, We would have to deny we saw them ?

  47.  

    Ones own body repairs a broken leg with the aid of a stability device, Provided one’s own body is up to the task.

  48.  

    No we would not. The scientific approach is to ask what it was and if necessary put in the research to find out.

  49.  

    I never thought about them again until you brought them up, I still don’t know, There is a remote possibility that it was some extraordinairy chemical brain activity not induced by external forces as you were a kid and I was a puritan.

  50.  

    I didn’t bring it up. William did.

  51.  

    Bock in reply to your question on what acupuncture can cure.Here is what it done for me…for years I suffered from crippling lower back pain,it would come on roughly every 3-4 months and last a few weeks.I went to doctors here paid the 50 euros a time then paid the exorbitant prices at the chemist for every kind of tablets and creams.All a total waste of time and money.When I was afflicted again by this condition while in the far East I went for a course of acupuncture.That was several years ago and I have not suffered with the condition since.

  52.  

    I meant the first time you brought it up.
    Like Wiliam, I travelled the Acupuncture route to allieviate lower back pain as I had badly fractured my lower spine when I was younger, I had reached a point where I had to get out of bed hands first, Doctors, Consultants told me I would have to live with it and try not to overdo painkillers.
    The initial treatment was from a GP in Switzerland who had taken time out to study Acupuncture as a compliment to his GP practice, It took several treatments but I have never had a pain there since.

  53.  

    Here is a history of the last 200yrs in 4 minutes

    Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes – The Joy of Stats – BBC Four

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo&feature=player_embedded

    Achieved thorough the science and technology of Western Christian Civilization which was based upon the balance between Faith and Reason

    –the next 50 yrs may be very different–the ” green movement” is in fact now a polytheistic religion and opens the door to all sorts of nonsense which is based upon emotion and a culture of death and superstition.
    EG, DDT would save millions of lives lost to malaria each years–but the greens block it
    Modern ,safe, small nuclear power stations could solve our energy needs and boost the GDP–but the greens block it
    There was a very strong ” green ” movement in Germany in the 1930s, they idolized the forests, nature and the culture of death, as applied to humans–and they came to power

  54.  

    An interesting, challenging and controversial paper Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. Check it out.

    1) Scientists are human and subject to human failings such as wishful thinking, confirmation bias, wanting to please the paymaster, etc. Nevertheless, scientists do have at their disposal the tools and the training for sorting through data dispassionately. Just like the rest of us, though, they have to work hard at applying these consistently.

    2) Nevertheless, the only logical premise on which to judge any truth claim is that truth is consistent with itself, and the only yardstick we have for judging between competing theories is externally verifiable data (or evidence).

    3) Personal experience counts strongly for many people as evidence – and clearly there is a powerfully emotional basis for this. However, if even scientists are prone to the errors listed at 1) above, then certainly all of the rest of us could do with a dose of scepticism, especially about those things we most wish to be true and about those things we most unquestioningly believe are true.

    4) Science, as practiced by flawed humans may be flawed, but it is the only “way of seeing” that we have yet developed that allows us to evaluate truth claims by measuring their consistency with reality, rather than with our pre-conceived ideas, and made up philosophies. But it is so difficult to eradicate bias that we must keep at it with pick and shovel.

  55.  

    While folding the time-space continuum has been a hobby of mine for some time; there are those who say I’ve a wild imagination because they believe it’s impossible. I’ve noticed however that each time I forget to unfold the blasted thing Fianna Fáil get back into government. The last two occasions of drink induced forgetfulness produced the anomalous PDs and Greens; apologies guys, I really must do better. So BOCK, do you have these energies for sale with your XL sized t-shirts? Could be just what I need to keep me better aligned and probiotically-inner focused for error free folding.

  56.  

    Unstranger — Folding the space-time continuum seems like quite a big job. I don’t know how you find the time or the space.

  57.  

    Jesus, can the t-shirts really do that? I must get me one of them. :)

  58.  

    Nah, all that sciencey stuff is too hard. I’ll stick with the crystals and the orgone accumulator.

    And you know that global warming – well it’s bloody freezing here.

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