Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Woo-woo news briefs

Things are hopping down here at Worldwide Wacko Watch, and this week we have three stories sent to me by faithful readers of Skeptophilia.

First, we have a story regarding a theoretical physicist, Henry Sapp, who claims that there is nothing incompatible between quantum mechanics and ghosts.  Here's a quote from his writing on the subject:
I do not see any compelling theoretical reason why this idea could not be reconciled with the precepts of quantum mechanics. Such an elaboration of quantum mechanics would both allow our conscious efforts to influence our own bodily actions, and also allow certain purported phenomena such as “possession”, “mediumship”, and “reincarnation” to be reconciled with the basic precepts of contemporary physics.
Hmmm.  Okay.  As far as I can tell, this is a little like saying that there is nothing incompatible between organic chemistry and federal tax law.  It's a true statement, but it doesn't really tell you anything.  Quantum mechanics has nothing whatsoever to say about "survival of the spirit," being that it is about the behavior of matter and energy at the submicroscopic scale.  Being a theoretical physicist, you'd think he'd know this.  As for the rest of the woo-woo world, I really wish they'd give the whole quantum mechanics thing a rest, as I've seen it used to support crystal healing, telepathy, and homeopathy, usually accompanied by some statement that "quantum theory shows that reality isn't like we think it is" and therefore we should all accept whatever bizarre version of reality is currently on display.  They really need to find a new subject to attribute all of their mystical stuff to.  I suggest organic chemistry.

Then we've got a story that there is a direct relationship between the number of UFO sightings and global warming, and that the increase in global temperatures is causing aliens to visit us in progressively greater numbers.  The author of this article speculates that the aliens are coming here with good intentions, to warn us that our behavior is destroying our biosphere, and that we should take heed and stop burning fossil fuels and so on.

You'd think, being superpowerful aliens who can come here in spacecrafts, that if that was their message they would be a little more direct about it, rather than just flying "silver orbs" around and hoping that we'd look up and say, "Wow, did you just see that big silver orb zoom across the sky!  It's an alien spacecraft!  I'm going to run out and buy a Prius right now!"  You'd think that they'd just tie a big banner to the back of one of their orbs that said, "Hey, Earth people!  Stop burning fossil fuels!  We mean it!"

You'd be wrong, evidently.  It's the same thing as with all the crop circles; they're supposed to be alien communiqu├ęs, but if so they're pretty obscure ones.

Last, speaking of aliens, we have a report from a guy named Paul Schroeder that he's had reptilian aliens visit him while he was taking a shower.

By his own description, Schroeder once was a confirmed atheist but he changed his tune when he saw aliens float him out of his bed, because apparently he was convinced that the aliens were trying to steal his soul and for that to be true he had to have a soul in the first place.  Since his abduction, he's had a variety of contacts with aliens of several races, including "Grays," "Darks," and "Reptilians."  It's a member of the last-mentioned species that came and joined him in the shower.

He said he knew something was wrong when the shower, instead of energizing him, was "draining him."  Showers are supposed to be an "ethereal cleansing," and not just get the grease and dirt off, but wash all the schmutz off your aura or something.  And evidently this one wasn't doing the trick.  Then, suddenly, he felt a burning sensation on his skin, and had "sudden, unprovoked sexual urges and negative ideations," and he knew there was an alien with him in the shower.

For the record, I'm not making any of this up.

Then, suddenly, the alien was able to draw enough energy from him and from the shower, not to mention from all of the unprovoked sexual urges that were happening, and it materialized!  "It stood under five feet upright, had catlike slit eyes, and closely resembled a scaled monitor lizard, in both aspect and facial structure," Schroeder writes.  "That reptilian viewed me with its head tilted, cocked sideways, birdlike; it had piercingly studied me with an alert intelligence that had radiated curiosity.  After just a few seconds, the creature vanished."

Schroeder is worried that now the alien has seen him naked, it will be stalking him, which seems a little conceited, frankly.  "Post abduction, alien abductee predation is done both through implant energy drains and by inserting alien astral attachments, within the layered human psyche towards a goal of eventual possession," he writes.  "These bizarre beings, highly technological and equally interdimensional and intergalactic, use us as we ride horses."

Right.  That's believable.  Implant drains and aliens as spirit equestrians.  This is only slightly less ludicrous than the guy who wanted to transmute base metals into gold using the Philosopher's Stone he'd made from his own urine.

In any case, there you have it.  Quantum mechanics and soul survival, global warming and UFOs, and alien soul-suckers in the shower.  I hope you've found this week's News In Brief enlightening, and trust that you'll continue to send me links to webpages by wingnuts.  As usual, our motto here is: All the News That's Fit to Guffaw At.

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