Tag Archive: sceptic


Sheldrake’s 10 Dogmas


Here are Rupert Sheldrake’s 10 dogmas as discussed in this TED talk that has supposedly been banned so the internet says (My Drive or Mega link – Mega link cannot be used in Chrome).

1 Nature is mechanical.
2 Matter is unconscious.
3 Laws of nature are fixed.
4 Total amount of matter and energy doesn’t change.
5 Nature has no purpose, evolution has no purpose.
6 Biological heredity is material, everything is in your genes.
7 Memories are stored inside your brain.
8 Your mind is inside your head.
9 Psychic phenomena are impossible.
10 Mechanistic medicine is the only medicine that works.

There is an arrogance in science that scientific knowledge precedes any social application. This arrogance is in some ways natural in that decisions on action should be based on well understood knowledge but this arrogance is also fostered by an academic system that encourages it amongst those they educate. But it can be argued that this is far from the case. When a justification for action or policy is needed there is always an academic with such a justification, a theory, a model. It is more than likely that there are always academics with diverse opinions and the powers-that-be simply choose the one most suited.

However climate science must show the scientists that science does not direct. Across the board science has warned about human impact on the environment but governments have ignored this impact in certain areas. Back in the 80s when people became more conscious of the environment householders changed their practices, whilst there is still some room for improvement this change has had limited impact on the environment. Yet the environmental impact has worsened because of industrial pollution. Because governments are not in charge and because industry would lose too many profits the Koch brothers amongst others have funded climate denial. This is clear evidence that finance directs scientific study.

So how does this arrogance and financial direction fit in with Sheldrake’s dogmas? To understand that it is necessary to recognise that science is part of the establishment, and if it is part of the establishment then it is part of our conditioning. As such any sensible sceptic has got to be questioning science’s dogmas as Sheldrake is doing. Question conditioning, question science; arrogance certainly fits in with that as the arrogant don’t question themselves. And as the establishment is a 1%-system there will be connections between finance and science.

It is however most important to see the conditioning role of science. There is the science that is not religion based on Bacon’s dichotomy. This can be seen in dogmas 1,2,3,5,6,8,9 which if questioned would start to examine religious beliefs such as Unity, human experiences that are beyond the routine, and far far more as if they were knowledge. Probably based on my own bias I look at this list and see a connection between the dogmas and profits. Specifically 1 and 10 which accept a mechanistic view, and this mechanistic view is easily converted to the established profit-making machine. Dogma 10 is also the lynchpin of sbm which I have discussed here. Within these dogmas I see a mechanistic limitation of the human capacity, we are far more than any mechanistic explanation – reminds me of Fritjof Capra’s “Turning Point”. But if we recognise that we are far more, then we are less likely to accept our roles as wage-slaves.

One way of describing being free from conditioning is pure scepticism, previously I have used pure enquiry – to me there is no difference. However I do not see sceptics such as sbm as pure sceptics. I described them as one-way sceptics, sceptics whose process is to support a version of science that would not question Sheldrake’s 10 dogmas. Emotionally I could describe the sbm as the church of dogma 10.

Once there is an acceptance of conditioning there is not an acceptance of Natural Law (Idappaccayata). Whilst I know Buddhadasa would not accept conditioning as Natural I need to be more informed to better explain why!!!! Sheldrake has dogmas 1,3,5 about Nature effectively bringing in a version of Idappaccayata but how far?

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

Natural Law

Buddhadasa calls Natural Law Idappaccayata (first talk of 8), this is really what I am talking about – idappaccayata. It becomes a feeling, a sense, an understanding of what is natural. He then goes on to talk about paticcasamuppada as natural law, and again I don’t have a problem with that. Whilst natural law is objective it almost feels as if it is a subjective thing. And this of course is a problem.

Let me try to be clearer by contrasting natural law with science. To my mind natural law and science ought to be the same. I discussed Bacon’s dichotomy for taxonomy that later turned into science and religion. Prior to Bacon what was considered natural law was also seen as knowledge.

Now the divisions between science and religion have been cemented by business. It suits BigPharma not to have various “natural cures” as healing because such healing cannot be patented and therefore cannot be profited from. Why are those natural cures “natural law”? Basically paticcasamuppada is about causes and conditions. Let’s examine a cause and condition. The chi is blocked on a meridian and unblocking that meridian with an acupuncture needle leads to healing. Now the evidence (see quote below) supports this causes and conditions approach to healing through acupuncture. I suggest this healing follows a natural law that science does not accept because it cannot measure chi.

Homeopathy I know much less about but its basic principle if to give a little of what you don’t want and the body builds up an immunity. Again I am limited on this but isn’t that what vaccines are about? Science supports them against an internet-based movement. What is the difference between homeopathy and vaccines? BigPharma.

It is my understanding that Ayurveda is a natural-based medicine – follows natural laws. I think naturopathy and Ayurveda are connected, so I suggest naturopathy follows natural law.

Apart from acupuncture none of the above can I give serious commitment to as I just don’t know. What I am seeking is an understanding of natural law in a context other than spiritual. As yet I don’t have one.

This has not really gone anywhere – apart from the usual acupuncture. Idappaccayata is natural law based on causes and conditions. I am seeking an understanding of the conditioning point so it must be connected. But this blogpost has little more than contention.

Below:- In the study of acupuncture trials, 252 of 1085 abstracts met the inclusion criteria. Research conducted in certain countries was uniformly favorable to acupuncture; all trials originating in China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were positive, as were 10 out of 11 of those published in Russia/USSR. In studies that examined interventions other than acupuncture, 405 of 1100 abstracts met the inclusion criteria. Of trials published in England, 75% gave the test treatment as superior to control. The results for China, Japan, Russia/USSR, and Taiwan were 99%, 89%, 97%, and 95%, respectively. No trial published in China or Russia/USSR found a test treatment to be ineffective. From here. Note the one-way sceptic conclusion that the evidence is so overwhelming it must be biassed – without consideration of their own bias.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

Investigating cancer research


As a sceptic I wish to investigate cancer and cancer research, if ever there was an area of medicine in which sound scepticism and ensuing investigation with unbiased integrity was needed it is cancer research.

On the one hand there is radiation treatment and chemotherapy. Doctors who use such treatments claim that the science supports them. However the results of such treatments produce such tremendously awful side effects, many people question whether the treatments are worth it. These treatments kill healthy and cancer cells, and the doctors who use the treatments are apologetic but say there is nothing else.

Here is the problem there are people who claim there is something else. There is a huge bank of anecdotal evidence that various treatments have worked. Such treatments include

Macrobiotics
Gerson
Burszynski
Cannabis
Laetrile
Simoncini and Sodium Bicarbonate

and more ….

Not only this but some of these treatments especially Gerson and Burszynski claim they have carefully documented scientific evidence to support their treatments. Yet despite people donating huge amounts of money to cancer research charities these alternative treatments are not investigated.

As a sceptic I do not accept any conditioned conclusions. With regards to the existing practices I have many questions, and these revolve around the current cancer treatment practices. I have the feeling that many oncologists accept chemotherapy because there is nothing better. But what about research into this decision? Are the side effects more harmful than the benefits of the treatment?

As far as I know there are different chemotherapy drugs used for different types of cancer, are these known and established? Is it known that such a drug will work on such a cancer for all the various stages? When does such a drug not work?

Are there cancers in which there is no treatment?

What appears to be happening to me is that mainstream medicine does not have any choices and chooses chemo. This is not a scientific approach unless there is evidence to support the chemicals in all situations.

The real problem that exists with evaluation of existing cancer treatments is the control of the research process that BigPharma has. As a sceptic it seems reasonable to ask the above questions, and from a neutral perspective all humans would like verified answers. Critics of the situation claim that BigPharma inhibits any research that would reduce the use of their drugs. As a sceptic I want those questions answered. I do not see sceptics such as the SBM even asking the questions. It should also be noted here the control that medical insurance has on the choice of treatment, chemo is accepted by insurance; here BigPharma and the finance industry are hand-in-hand.

From a different perspective what about the alternative treatments? SBM and similar science sceptics dismiss them as not even worth investigating. Yet there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence where claims that each of these treatments has “cured cancer”. As a sceptic I want such anecdotes investigated. It is not sufficient to dismiss such evidence because it does not fit the existing recovery model – which appear to many simply to be chemo or not.

As a sceptic I want such “evidence” investigated in an unbiassed way. There is a “huge” amount of anecdotal evidence that could contribute to legitimate scientific knowledge. To me this is what a sceptic should be asking for not taking a partisan side that only supports the status quo. Especially as such a status quo has got to be influenced by the power and influence of BigFood, BigPharma and finance.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

Sceptic

I am an unashamed sceptic. I ought to feel empathy with sites such as science-based medicine (SBM) but I don’t because all that I observe is bias. It is important to place this bias in a context, and that comes back to my scepticism. I am sceptical of all knowledge that arises out of human conditioning.

Our human conditioning arises as attachment to the 5 khandas and such attachment leads to suffering. But within this suffering lies a political and economic system that is geared towards war and wage-slavery and accumulation of wealth to the 1%. Within this overview there is power and influence that cascades down throughout all the institutions and transactions within our society. This influence is not always immediate. There is not a member of the 1% tasked with engineering our education system yet our education system churns out wage-slaves generation after generation.

The institution of science also does not have a member of the 1% in charge but because of the amount of money the 1% have their influence is extremely powerful. At the whim of a member of the 1% a university establishment could survive, and university administrators have to be conscious of this. If a university wanted to research GMO’s they know they could incur the wrath of BigFood as demonstrated by what happened to Seralini.

At the same time BigPharma has similar influence. When you look at the legal actions being conducted by the Society for SBM you can see attacks on alternative therapies. Who financially gains the most from attacks on these therapies? BigPharma. It is not necessary for BigPharma to directly step in with a wad, it is sufficient for SSBM to know that their activities will continue to be funded because what they do is in the interest of BigPharma. Scientists whose questioning leads them to investigate naturopathy from a negative standpoint know that there will be support. Scientists who would like to promote naturopathy want to investigate the benefits of naturopathy, but will not have financial support. But neither of these are science as science is supposed to be objective.

When I was doing my MEd it was a course requirement to have case studies so I interviewed 20 people who had experience in the area my dissertation was investigating – anti-racism. I chose 20 black people who were active in promoting black interest in Manchester, and drew inferences that contributed to my M Ed. This approach of case studies is termed qualitative research. My sample was biased, no random choice of people, such randomness is not a requirement of qualitative research even though it is the bedrock of quantitative research. For my dissertation to be considered part of education research I only needed to include transcripts of the case studies.

Another description of such case studies could be anecdotal evidence, it was the anecdotal evidence of these 20 people which was accepted as qualitative research. When it comes to these alternative therapies there is much anecdotal evidence that needs to be investigated. It is not sufficient for sceptics working with SBM to dismiss the anecdotes, and establish new data based on their own criteria – whether valid or not. There are case studies that need explaining and it is not sufficient to effectively call all these people liars because their anecdotes do not fit in with a particular experiment that the SBM chooses. I believe there are strong connections between naturopathy and Ayurveda, is the SBM being scientific to dismiss the centuries of practice and anecdote that makes up the Ayurvedic tradition? Because the SBM is dismissing evidence as opposed to investigating it I consider the SBM approach indicates bias, and as such must have its conclusions questioned. Statistically the SBM are biased.

I am now going to discuss acupuncture. For you to judge the validity of what I have to say I must put out there that I have regularly been to acupuncturists and believe they have helped me. If I make an experiment in which the sample is 1 and observe through a qualitative approach whether acupuncture is beneficial, acupuncture would measure better than mainstream western medicine. I would however not claim any statistical or scientific basis to this experiment I have just conducted.

I do however greatly welcome any appropriate scientific investigation into acupuncture but to do this the tools of science are limited. If we choose the laboratories and machines of western science establishments then acupuncture is unlikely to measure as successful. This is because these science methodologies have eschewed historically investigation into phenomena such as the chi which following the Bacon dichotomy has become embraced as religion. However acupuncture was an established tradition of healing long before Bacon’s sensible taxonomy was manipulated by blind academia.

For science to be statistically seen as having investigated acupuncture without bias this tradition needs to be explained as false. I think this would prove difficult. There is an understanding of the human body that is at the basis of acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture and TCM in general sees the chi as flowing through meridians (chi channels) in the human body, and if these channels become blocked then disease arises. To unblock this chi needles are placed along the meridians and this produces healing. This methodology has been understood for centuries.

At the same time another criterion of generally accepted science has been repeatedly demonstrated by acupuncture treatment, the treatment can be repeated and still work. It would be easy to design experiments that could demonstrate this. But if this were demonstrated it would be hard for acupuncture to be dismissed. Equally it would be hard to dismiss the centuries of tradition amongst more people than western medicine has treated. To refute acupuncture SBM sceptics do not involve themselves in empirical verification nor do they examine the documented nature of centuries of treatment. Instead they carry out experiments using their own methodologies that do not measure chi in any way, and then decide that acupuncture cannot be scientifically proven. This ignoring of evidence is biased, and this lack of empirical investigation is biased. So statistically the methods of SBM are again not acceptable.

The SBM characterises the sceptic movement on the internet and elsewhere. These sceptics do not investigate science itself, they don’t investigate the bias that science shows especially with regards to phenomena that fall outside of the “normal” purview of science. Yet as a sceptic that is something I would like to see investigated. Based on this cursory examination of their supposed scientific method, I have to conclude the SBM and the wider sceptic movement are not investigating with appropriate scientific rigour with regards to phenomena outside their rigid purview.

Given the influence of BigFood and BigPharma, it is a reasonable observation to see the bias of these organisations and people as being affected. I am not suggesting causality, nor direct funding, nor even a lack of integrity on the part of the members. It is simply this. What they do is support BigFood and BigPharma. Do they want to do this?

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.