Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Memes of Penrose - 2

Two years ago on this date we posted about one of the more honest scientists on the planet.

Oh, did I mention that his honesty is controversial?

Goes with the territory, as was pointed out by the Toxins of Power blog a while back.

Anyway, here is the text of that post:

Clearly this blog is perceived by some to be radical when it comes to criticism of scientific viewpoints, whether those viewpoints are establishment viewpoints or rebel scientists' viewpoints.

When a theory does not pass the fundamental smell test this blog is likely to point it out if there is enough time to do a post on that subject.

Today I want to show that this blog has fairly mild criticisms compared to some of the criticisms leveled by world renowned scientists.

Before we begin let's remember that medical science, mental science, political science, and physics are all called science.

First offered for your perusal is the world famous Roger Penrose:
Quantum mechanics is an incredible theory that explains all sorts of things that couldn’t be explained before, starting with the stability of atoms. But when you accept the weirdness of quantum mechanics [in the macro world], you have to give up the idea of space-time as we know it from Einstein. The greatest weirdness here is that it [quantum mechanics] doesn’t make sense. If you follow the rules, you come up with something that just isn’t right.
(Discover). The Ecocosmology Blog calls out for a movement toward a new physics free from the blind faith Penrose talks about.

We criticize the flailing space programs of the nations of earth because they use eons old propellants while they cling to bad habits. But this blog's criticism is mild compared to the castigation some writers offer:
Bluntly, we're not going to get there by rocket ship.

The long and the short of what I'm trying to get across is quite simply that, in the absence of technology indistinguishable from magic — magic tech that, furthermore, does things that from today's perspective appear to play fast and loose with the laws of physics — interstellar travel for human beings is near-as-dammit a non-starter.
(Antipope). Meanwhile the rear view mirror debate about whether or not creationism or evolution best explains where we came from rages on as evolutionary scientists send mixed messages while backing down from relying on biological evolution to solve the cosmic problems humanity faces.

We have seemed radical I am sure when we point out what would be considered madness if an individual did what nations do sometimes. See for example "Etiology of Social Dementia" or "100 Years of Psycho Therapy - Take Cover" to mention two.

But some highly respected scientists consider the same subjects, offering criticism that would seem to be as severe as this blog ever is:
A recent paper by the biologist Janis L Dickinson, published in the journal Ecology and Society, proposes that constant news and discussion about global warming makes it difficult for people to repress thoughts of death, and that they might respond to the terrifying prospect of climate breakdown in ways that strengthen their character armour but diminish our chances of survival. There is already experimental evidence suggesting that some people respond to reminders of death by increasing consumption. Dickinson proposes that growing evidence of climate change might boost this tendency, as well as raising antagonism towards scientists and environmentalists. Our message, after all, presents a lethal threat to the central immortality project of Western society: perpetual economic growth, supported by an ideology of entitlement and exceptionalism.
(Monbiot). I have offered the notion that a reason we deny impending death or catastrophe can be a matter of capacity rather than moral turpitude, or a matter of self deceit of the physical crisis kind of the type people go through when they are freezing to death.

But I always call for the better essences within us to arise to the occasion by working together, even to the point of asking science and religion to work together.


  1. There is a growing volume of scientific dissent over the present paradigm, and I will provide some interesting links for those so interested in further study:

    Lots to read and ponder over. For those who haven't seen the above links - I hope you enjoy.

  2. The fear of death thing mentioned by Monbiot is countered by this: Link