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Memories of the 28th Century


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I have observed that while most people choose purely (or mostly) mental constructs as the objects of their religious type thinking to believe without evidence, and there is an advantage in opting for the non-physical, because there is discernable evidence that might show you are wrong, and one can think without the restrictions of rules of logical and evidence. But people have put forth many things that simply are not true and claimed that they were scientifically true, even though there is physical, measurable evidence that points toward a different conclusion. Some of the things that I was thinking about are: the "science of dianetics" that is central to Scientology, Wilhelm Reich's "orgone energy", and so-called ďanthropogenic climate changeĒ (AKA anthropogenic global warming). They claim to be scientific, but the evidence is either absent or pointing at something quite different. I don't like to even think about Scientology, and I have pointed out the errors in anthropogenic climate change often enough, but orgone energy came to my attention again recently.

Reich alleged a number of things as evidence for orgone energy, but in every case the evidence was misinterpreted or sometimes just dreamed up. Recently I again encountered someone who believes in the validity of Wilhelm Reichís ideas called orgonomy, orgone energy, etc. Wilhelm Reich was a somewhat interesting man who was thoroughly discredited in the 1950ís. He was a psychoanalyst, and people who go into that field usually do so to figure out whatís wrong with themselves. But Reich branched out into what appears to be fantasy; you will have to read about it, because it quickly becomes mush to me when I reads it, unless I think that he misinterpreted real phenomena related to static electricity, and even then it isnít interesting. In recent years some people have invested substantial amounts of money into what Reich called "cloudbusters" for use in weather control. It appears that those devices may inject hydroxyl radicals (or ions) into clouds, and static electricity is connected to lightening and starting rain. But this is just one example.

It is a pity that people dream up such screwy ideas, but one of the relevant characteristics of human thinking is the skill of find patterns. People will notice patterns wherever they exist and in many places where they do not exist. The same skills and basic information that are required for Astronomy first created Astrology, and the two were not separate until a few hundred years ago. Sir Isaac Newton was an astrologer in addition to being a scientist, and I donít believe that he saw a contradiction in that, and it brought in good money. From what I have read, Wilhelm Reich was a perfectly good psychoanalyst before he dreamed up orgonomy, and from what I understand he saw no contradiction. L. Ron Hubbard was a successful science fiction writer before he started a religion, and he had told fellow writers about the intention years before he did it. More recently people who seem to be perfectly sincere and intelligent have created a pseudoscience that has human activity causing climate change, and apparently they donít see the contradictions there, and some of them predicted the coming ice age before they switched to warming.

Itís probably analogous to people who develop systems of gambling on random events. Even when the events are completely random, some people find patterns in them, and some of them make substantial amounts of money at it.

Take a look at the article (linked below) about pseudo-sciences. Most of them I had never heard of before seeing that article, but it is interesting that there is a kernel of fact somewhere the idea.

There are matched pairs of sciences and pseudo-sciences in addition to orgonomy and static electricity. There are Alchemy and Chemistry. Alchemy was a metaphysical discipline involving changing materials and non-physical things. Chemistry grew out of it as a system for making materials that people wanted more of then existed in nature.

More recently Evolution was established as a scientific discipline, and later as a reaction against it, Creationism was dreamed up. But it can also be looked at the other way around: The Bible told how the Gods created the entire universe and Darwin came up with a good explanation of how they made the different kinds of animals and plants.

Some people don't see them as contrasting, but Climatology has existed for a considerable amount of time, and a few decades ago people pushing the conspiracy theory of anthropogenic climate change (global warming) came along with a collection of assumptions and results that contrast dramatically with Climatology.

The Ancient Greek dramatists created for each tragic trilogy a Satyr play in which the same characters would mock the serious play. Alas, ďthe only satyr play to survive in its entirety is Euripides' Cyclops, based on Odysseus' encounter with the cyclops, Polyphemus.Ē I wonder if the pseudo-sciences are analogous with satyr plays. But in many cases the later development of a real, factual science shows the development of human knowledge.

A parallel between science and fiction that I find interesting is that parallel universes were developed in fiction before Hugh Everett III came out with his wave interpretation of Quantum Theory (Universal Wave Theory, see link below).

The list of pseudo-sciences is worth looking at. Some of the things listed are taken as perfectly serious scientific disciplines, while others are just jokes, at least as far as I am concerned.

I could have done a brief inquiry into why people are inclined to believe things for which there is no evidence, but that would be too much of a tar baby. However, I started looking into this for a work of fiction, and pseudo-sciences provide plenty of room for fiction, and they show how small the difference between fact and fiction is.

Artificial atmospheric ionization
Pseudo sciences
Systematic attempts to recreate proofs of orgone energy as Reich described his experiments.
Satyr plays
Everett's Interpretation


  1. Zuidadewenti's Avatar
    Science and technology is a double-edged sword. Today more and more people are aware of the threat the development of science and technology will pose to the development of human society. The anthropologist Hu Jiaqi gives the unique opinion on the development of science and technology. Welcome to join us and discuss it.