Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Blinded By Brain-Only Dogma and Michael Shermer Copy-cat?

I saw a link to this piece at RawStory, reposted from Medical Daily,  about a perfectly normal man who went to the doctors with leg problems and, through medical examination, was found to be "missing" between 50 and 75% of the normal material of the brain.  The piece notes that the man who holds down a job and has an otherwise normal life has a "slightly below normal IQ".  Which, considering the obvious stupidity of many holding PhDs in science and the humanities with all of their brain there, signifies nothing.

It being the materialist-fundamentalist RawStory and the rest of the Anglo-American media the most obvious conclusion that this and a considerable number of other such cases raise is not raised, that these examples in real life call into serious question all of the conventional assertions about the "brain-only" ideology of minds, what they are, where they come from, etc.  Which is especially odd because the first link in the piece is to an abstract of a paper about such brains of people treated successfully for hydrocephalus, which contains this sentence.   "The articles argue that, albeit unlikely, the scope of explanations must not exclude extracorporeal information storage."  That "albeit unlikely"hedge is remarkable, in itself, because the more of these cases that come up, the more that the entire "brain only" model is confronted with its basic contradictions and problems, the more it looks as if "extracorporeal information storage" and perhaps generation may be more likely than the current materialist ideological "brain science".    Materialist, "brain-only" brains are looking like a more unlikely explanation of our minds all the time.

At this point I will report that no materialist has yet taken on the challenge I issued of explaining how the "brain only brain" could make the correct physical "idea-structure" on which the entire materialist model of the brain relies before that idea could be present in the brain which, until it made the idea-structure, would not contain that idea.   The longer that and associated questions go unanswered by materialists the more unlikely their ideological model of our minds would seem to be.   And, frankly, after thinking about that question for the past several months, I don't think there is any way to do it. Certainly not without those psychic faculties - yes, I said it, psychic faculties - that the atheists just hate with all of their minds, and strengths and not without those continually accurately working at a far, far higher rate of success than is reported from any controlled experiment looking into the presence of those faculties.  With no purely materialist explanation of how the brain could know things before it knew them, in materialist terms, normal life as we continually experience it would require those abilities to function in a practically perfect manner thousands of times a day in each of us and in every animal that successfully sustains itself in life.

All of the materialist attempts to dispose of our minds as non-physical entities rest on such things as misrepresentations of the life of  Phineas Gage to the most rigid and even angry assertion of baseless and even irrational rules for talking about such things.   In the past half century the atheists who began that effort have imposed their ideology on the culture to such an extent that people in the media, in academia are afraid to talk about the most obvious problems with their loony ideas, even when, as in discussing such cases, those problems assert themselves most obviously and necessarily.  To talk about the "plasticity" of brains without an explanation of just what is supposedly molded by such brains, ideas, and how those are supposed to be constructed in such brains,  is fast turning into another promissory note of materialism.   If the materialist model of the brain is what materialism rests on, and I don't see how it can be true without minds, ideas, cultural institutions, ideologies, etc. being physical structures in the physical brain, then this could be the breaking point of materialism, once and for all.  If materialists don't take up these challenges, they are left with the sleazy tactics and methods of PR that I've been pointing out in discussing their masthead, the dishonest, sleazy, bottom of the show-biz barrel, James Randi.  And with him and his position in what passes as intellectual culture these days, the wreck that materialism, atheism has made of western culture has its most appropriate emblem.


I will also point out this article I came across yesterday in Scientific American by another rather sleazy fixture of our culture on atheism,  Michael Shermer, who tries to steal the term "pseudo-skepticism" and turn it to his own self-interested ends.   Considering that Michael Shermers whole career as a public person rests on his own pseudo-skeptical advocacy and promotion,  including his association with the king of the pseudo-skeptics, James Randi, it's pretty outrageous that he can get away with something like that at Scientific American.   The decadence that materialism consists of has become so ubiquitous that the sciences media is saturated with it.

He begins his piece this way.

What do tobacco, food additives, chemical flame retardants and carbon emissions all have in common? The industries associated with them and their ill effects have been remarkably consistent and disturbingly effective at planting doubt in the mind of the public in the teeth of scientific evidence. Call it pseudoskepticism.

 I pointed out two years  before he wrote that piece that the tobacco, oil, gas and other extraction industries have used the tactics of the Randi - style pseudo-skeptics to create skepticism about genuine science.

The media, when it writes about parapsychology lazily consults such "experts" as James Randi and the writings of Martin Gardner and other "Skeptics" because they know that anything else will invite attacks by the "Skeptics".  The role that laziness and cowardice has in maintaining the taboo of looking at the serious research into this is a pressing issue.  It is that the oil and other extraction industries use exactly the same tactics as the "Skepticism" industry that makes this even more important than a mere interest in honesty and telling the truth.  The industrial attack on legitimate research was pioneered by the "Skeptics".

The "Skepticism" industry really is an industry, providing many of the big names in the effort an income and fame.  In some cases, such as the extremely sleazy James Randi, it has made him the recipient of a small fortune and a reputation entirely unsupported by his record.  I will be writing on that record in the future. 

Considering that part of my 2013 series about James Randi mentioned the incident in which he and Michael Shermer told aspiring pseudo-skeptics that all they needed to do to become experts was to declare themselves experts - and I'm pretty confident it's an idea I've been expressing for longer than that -, I believe that Michael Shermer may well have been aware of what I said about him and his fellow pseudo-skeptics back then.  I'd like to know how far back he said anything like that.   That he, of all people, would use the term pseudo-skeptic is audacious in its hypocrisy.

The term "pseudo-skeptic" was certainly not invented by me.  Marcello Truzzi wrote extensively on pseudo-skepticism in describing the like of Michael Shermer, James Randi, Martin Gardner, Penn Jillette and other, lesser known people who ply the same trade to lesser notice.  Truzzi, as some of you may remember, had been in on the founding of CSICOP, the most famous of the pseudo-skeptical groups.  He was kicked out of it early because he wanted to practice real skepticism, looking at real claims with the methods and tools of science and academic research.  Only the pseudo-skeptics aren't about that, they are often entirely incompetent in those methods, relying on show biz and old fashioned intimidation.  I haven't had time to research whether or not Truzzi ever wrote anything about Michael Shermer, but Shermer is definitely a pseudo-skeptic, one of its more successful hucksters, likely in the running to succeed Randi when he finally finds out he was wrong about pretty much everything.

I think a good deal of their success is due to many of the people in the media and other college graduates with an inadequate preparation in science and even just plain logical thought being cowed through their ignorance into accepting what anyone with a phony label marked "Science" says.   They don't want to admit that some of those emperors don't have any clothes on even when it's obvious.  Something I also wrote about a few years back.

Update:   This link to a later version of the post dealing with what is known of the life of Phineas Gage after his accident is the one I should have given, it gives more information and why I think the materialists misrepresented his life to support their ideology.

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