The Skeptic's Guide to The Universe

Monday, August 2, 2010



On the Larry King Live Show October 30, 2009 there was a episode that had Dan Aykroyd and Joan Rivers as guests and this was due to Halloween being the next day. The ghost hunters and “experts” on the show were The Atlantic Paranormal Society founders Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson who have a show on the syfy channel called Ghost Hunters and Mary T Browne who recently wrote Five Rules of Thought: How to Use the Power of Your Mind to Get What You Want. Brown claims to be a “psychic” and counselor. I would be curious as to where she has her certification to be a counselor. Anyway, these so called persons in touch with the great beyond use terms and say words and phrases that seem to have the appearance of authority yet really are nothing but pure nonsense statements.i
Here are some of the examples of their statements; this is from the transcript taken from the CNN website. I am going to focus on a few of the more blatant examples of there none statements.
Browne make this statement as a matter of fact, “Well, I would assume that the house has a ghost energy, because often, electricity is affected. It's an energy. It's a vibration.”
Where to begin with just this one totally meaningless statement. First, If there were ghosts, why would one assume there was a ghost if one had not been to the house to examine it? Brown was just shown a video clip of a electric cord coming out of an outlet. This is as good as U.S. SEN Bill Frist making a diagnosis of Terri Schiavo by looking at a video tapes of her. So this part means nothing. She then says that often electricity is affected. She makes no reference to what that means or why or how or what else could be affected or what could possibly do that without being a ghost to begin with.
The she makes two statements of nonsense, “It's an energy. It's a vibration.” Well I guess one could say that electricity is an energy, but what does that have to do with anything that is being discussed about the video you just saw? However, MS Browne doesn't have the most elementary understanding of wave theory. A vibration is not an energy but a transmission of energy that is propagated over a medium. Such as a wave of water, a wave of light, a wave of a flag these are all examples of wave energy being transmitted over the medium but they are not equal to a energy in the context MS Brown is using it. What Ms Brown has down is used words in such a broad and meaningless way as to make her sound authoritative yet really only be nothing more than smoke and mirrors performer.
With Larry's second guest the TAPS people, who I happen to meet a few their associates in Ponca City, OK October 23, 2009 when there was a screening of the original Lon Chaney version of Phantom of the Opera from 1925. The Insight Paranormal team was there to promote their show to have the gullible pay $5 to hear the Ghost lesson and then pay $20 more to go on an actual “investigation” of The Poncan Theater. [Space is limited] When I saw the name TAPS and what the subject was about, my anagram for TAPS became “This Ain't Paranormal Stuff”.
The none statements about ghosts this group made was by Wilson when Larry King asked him what a Ghost is, “A ghost can be anything from a dead person, residual energy trapped in from a traumatic event trapped in some object in the house. It can be psychological issues.
It can be, some even say, a fold in space-time.”
With Wilson's statement he again turns to words that seem to be saying something but really he is using terms that have nothing to do with what he is talking about. A ghost may be a “dead person”, how? How is residual energy a ghost and what is this residual energy anyway? How does this energy become trapped? How is the medical condition of psychological issues become a ghost? When an explanation is given it should answer more question than it answers, or at least answering something.
Again, saying a few words that seem to have some sort of weight to them yet really reveal nothing is worse than simply say the answer, “I don't know.”
There was of course a full show but I am including the transcript in the link so anyone is free to look over the words and see if I am really taking the two small statements out of context.
I wanted to include this type of supernatural belief because I wanted to make sure that the idea of all imaginary concepts are false and nothing has yet to show evidence of a supernatural in any way shape or form. Included with this spook idea are also the believers of Bigfoot, The Bermuda Triangle, UFO-aliens, Homeopathy, Lock Ness monster, crop circles, tarot cards, palm readings, legend of Atlantis, psychics, mystics, astrology, Knights Templar legends and so on and so forth. Too this end, I find the wonder of reality and the joy of remembering my loved ones as I was with them better than to think of them being tortured or force to deal with these god's forced to praise them eternally. Which seems as much of a hell as the one that is described by the adherents.



The “God has always been there” fallacy is one that believers commonly use when dealing with how The Universe began. It is easy when dealing with factual disciplines such as science and mathematics, where one cannot just create an answer out of thin air, as some religious apologist do, to be able to questions areas of science that are not able or have not yet been able to reach a resolution of a question. One such question is, If The Universe was started in the Big Bang, Where did the Big Bang come from?
This question can likewise be turned upon a creationist or to other supernatural believers to ask, Where did your god come from. The most common answer is the unfalsifiable one. “God has always been.” This again like proving origins of life, one cannot show empirical data that will show this statement of fact. It is merely an attempt to show that they can develop an answer that cannot be disproved.
However, if this were true, then why through the expanse of space and time, no evidence for the supernatural nature of this god is present anywhere. If a deity could with the knowledge of such vast amounts of knowledge could create a universe of such unattainable time and distances, why is it so hard for that deity to show itself in the calm period after it created that universe?
When I was a child I loved the visit to the discount store and going down the toy isle without my Mother with me to see what fascinating things they had there. I loved the toys that where showing an impossible world. Toys such as the view master and Stretch Armstrong and the beautiful kaleidescope. The toys of imagination are there to entice the mind for what ever may come for the next generation. How long does a child read the comic books of youth or the girl keep to the Barbie aisle for make up even though the joy it provides her. This is a common display of the influence of childhood not being an overwhelming influence on the person as they grow older but a constant influence upon children and society as they reach certain ages.
Going back in my own youth I thought the television shows of Carol Burnett, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Sonny and Cher, Flip Wilson, Red Skelton and even The Monty Python Show, which I only saw in PBS in America in the mid 70s, though they reflected a more true example of reality. And to be honest the comedy of that time spoke much more truth than the religious indoctrination in my world view did and still does. The display of how the reflection of the world is through entertainment seems to fail the adherents of devout belief and they either fight against it or embrace it to be modified to merge with their own supernatural view.
The most compelling evidence adherents can offer is the “end result” of “creation” and the non-answer of faith. The adherents certainly have a sound argument that a skeptic cannot disprove. But just as they have a sound argument that skeptics cannot disprove their god, they cannot prove the existence of said deity without reverting to their fictional and contrived texts. Skeptics have the natural laws and evaluate physical evidence in context of those natural laws. But having these laws of nature are more than sufficient in the defense of the Big Bang and evolution and to dispel the idea of a supernatural cause for any effect as most religions would claim in their creation stories.

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