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Posts Tagged ‘secular religion’

Anthropogenic Climate Change is a Form of Secular Apocalypticism: 5

August 1, 2019 5 comments

In the previous post of this series, I made the observation that belief in anthropogenic climate change has considerable similarities with Christianity, especially its catholic variant. I would do so far as to say that belief in man-made climate change is the secular version of Catholicism. And this raises the inevitable question- why hasn’t the urge to believe in a secular version of religious beliefs taken other forms? Well.. actually, they have and belief in man-made climate change is simply the latest secular religion to have arisen from the ruins of traditional religious beliefs. To understand what I am talking about, let us briefly explore the nature of belief or more precisely, what separates belief from reason.

In the previous post of this series, I made the point that you almost never meet people who deny the existence of gravity, electricity or microbial theory of infectious diseases- and the reason for that is very straightforward. Every major part of our current theories about these examples and many more can be tested very easily and in a reproducible manner. You do not have to believe a priest.. I mean “credentialed expert” to appreciate that gravity exists or electricity flows through the wires in your home, workplace or vehicle. Similarly, you do not have to believe anybody as a precondition for taking an antibiotic to kill microbes and cure some infection. More importantly, we can understand why things did not work, if they didn’t as expected.

For example, a light not turning on after flicking the switch is due to power failure, mechanical issues with switch/ wiring or the light source suffering a malfunction. It is trivial to identify and fix the problem and the theory remains internally self-consistent. Similarly, a prescribed antibiotic not working is always due to either incorrect identification of microorganism, development of resistance or the drug being unable to reach certain tissues. Each of these situations can be tested for and addressed with alternative strategies while maintaining internal self-consistency of hypothesis. This is not the case with religious-type belief systems.

Consider for example, answers to questions such as why innocent or “good” people suffer or die while assholes thrive. Depending on the religion, you will get vastly different and contradictory answers. Even worse, they are based in a mutually incompatible worldviews. Contrast that to the measurement of electric voltage and current, speed, distance, weight etc. Even if two people are using entirely different instruments and units for making their measurement, their answers have identical patterns. 110 hp is always more than 100 hp and 82 kW is always more than 74.6 kW.

Then there is the issue of attribution or cause and effect. Almost nobody is going to make claims that electromagnetic fields caused by household wiring will affect.. say.. the efficacy of antibiotics prescribed for a sore throat. In contrast to that, believers in traditional and secular religions keep inventing new connections and conditionalities to explain phenomenon which could not otherwise be explained by their worldview. Sometimes they make up connections to bolster their own faith in dogma. This is especially common for believers in secular religions such as capitalism and “man-made climate change”, who will often concoct non-existent connections between events or simply fabricate them. But that, still, does not answer why “man-made climate change” has become a popular secular religion among certain sections of society in western countries.

To better understand what makes this secular religion popular among certain segments of the population in western countries, you have to travel back in history to the 1970s. This was the decade when environmentalism first became something more just good public policy. Most people tend to remember that decade for its sexual liberation, hilariously bad fashions, disco music and “stagflation”. However that decade is much for important for another reason. Plainly stated, it was the first decade in over a century when the white west started to realize that its dominance over the rest of world was destined to fade and die out. But what would make people start thinking like that, even if it was at a subconscious level?

The simple answer is.. a series of global events and changes which continue to this day. There was the defeat of USA in Vietnam, 1973 oil crisis, China acquiring thermonuclear weapons and ICBMs, the almost total decolonization of Africa, growth of Japanese automobile and electronic industries and many other events which signaled that western domination of world was coming to an end. The 1970s also saw the end of the three decades of high economic growth throughout the west. But so what.. some may say. How does this translate into the start of public support for environmentalism. Surely there were other reasons for this change in attitudes.

Well.. that is partially correct. Post-WW2 increase in living standards of average people all over the west did make many of them unwilling to accept previously “normal” levels of environmental damage around the areas where they lived and worked. To understand what I am saying, have a look at candid photographs of any western cities prior to 1945. The short version is that even cities in North America, were much uglier, dirtier and polluted that today. European cities were way worse. Indeed, many cities with heavy industry had levels of pollution which make equivalent cities in China today seem much cleaner by comparison.

Most rules and regulations passed in first three decades after WW2 were about reducing or eliminating real and harmful pollution such as dumping the chemical industry waste products iton local water bodies, eliminating use of coal as domestic heating fuel, removing lead compounds from paint and gasoline, banning carcinogenic dyes and especially problematic chemicals used in agriculture etc. In other words, most environmental laws and regulations passed until mid-1970s addressed real and quantifiable problems. Then something started changing..

Beginning in the mid-1970s, the environmental movement in west was increasingly about ‘conservation’ aka maintaining some mythical status quo. The sharper ones among you might recognize that going back to some mythical utopia which nobody has seen is an important characteristic of many traditional and secular religions. Are you starting to see why slogans such as lowering atmospheric CO2 to 280 ppm (allegedly pre-industrial age levels) has far more in common with “returning to the garden of Eden” or “going back to the gold standard” than anything rooted in science. But wait, there is more.

Another defining feature of religious beliefs is that its leaders and priests hold themselves to very different standards than their followers. Have you noticed that “celebrities” and rich people who express strong support for reducing carbon emissions of others always travel in private airplanes, get chauffeured in limousines and live in huge houses. I mean.. if they seriously believed what they claim to, wouldn’t they change their own lifestyles to better conform to their beliefs. Then again, religion (traditional and secular) has always been the domain of hypocrites and scam artists. There is a reason why fornication by priests in the catholic church was a huge problem until they started the whole chastity scam. From then on, the church started attracting closeted gays and kid-fuckers instead of hypocritical straight men.

Since this post is already over 1000 words, I will stop here. In the next part, we will go into more detail about the quasi-religious dimensions of the modern environmental movement. We will also talk about the large amount of poorly suppressed racial resentment driving this movement.

What do you think? Comments?

Anthropogenic Climate Change is a Form of Secular Apocalypticism: 4

July 21, 2019 10 comments

In the previous two parts (link 1 and link 2) of this series, I wrote about multiple and independent lines of paleontological and geological evidence for Earth being significantly warmer during the period between between 34 to 2.6 million years, even though atmospheric CO2 levels during the relevant geological epochs were about the same as today. This fact is more noteworthy as major continents were fairly close to their current locations during that period, especially between the Mid-Miocene (14 M years ago) and end of Pliocene (2.6 M years ago). Furthermore, solar output during that period was almost identical to what we have today. In other words, changes in the levels of atmospheric CO2 is NOT a good hypothesis for why Earth cooled during the Pleistocene (starting 2.58 M years ago). Changes in ocean circulation due to formation of the Isthmus of Panama around that time provides a far better explanation for global cooling during that period.

While I will get back to more paleontological and geological evidence against prevailing beliefs about anthropogenic climate change in later parts of this series, let us look at this whole issue from a different yet complementary angle. As mentioned in the first post in this series, I would have preferred to start that series by talking about the psychological, religious and yes.. racial reasons why people in certain countries desperately want to believe in the bullshit narrative of anthropogenic climate change. So let me begin this part by talking about the similarities between belief in man-made global warming or “climate change” and Christianity, especially its Catholic variant. As early as 2003, Micheal Crichton openly talked about the considerable similarities between belief in man-made climate change and traditional religions. Heck, he even wrote a novel based on that premise. I am now going to take that idea further, much further.

The first and most obvious red flag that belief in man-made climate change (MCC) is a religion masquerading as science comes from the label its followers use to describe those who refuse to share their belief system. If you label somebody as a “denier” you are talking about a religion or ideology NOT science. Let me explain that point a bit further. Have you ever heard of “gravity deniers” who claim that gravity does not exist? Why not? Ever heard of people who “deny” that antibiotics can cure diseases caused by microorganism sensitive to them? Again.. why not? How people who believe that internal combustion engines, electricity, computers etc are not real? Note that I intentionally choose examples where lay people do not understand the details of how all those things work, and yet.. there are hardly any deniers when it comes to those topics.

It all comes down to whether something can be measured independently and reproducibly. While we cannot see gravity, we can measure it very accurately as well as observe it effects. Effects of antibiotics on microbes can be measured and ascertained in vitro (petri-dish type tests) and in vivo (live animals, including humans). Similarly, you can drive a car, turn on the light and read this article on your computer. In other words, it is not even necessary to convince people about the reality of these things. Now you know why you haven’t met somebody trying to convince you that the sky is blue, ice is cold to touch or fire is hot. It is simply not necessary. But haven’t there been examples throughout history where people used to believe something different from what they do now? And what finally changed their minds?

Well, here is one recent example. As some of you might remember, throughout the 1980s and well into the mid-1990s, many people did not believe that HIV caused AIDS. So how did that change? To understand that, you have to first acknowledge the two main reasons why many people in those decades were skeptical about HIV causing AIDS. The first, and minor, reason was that killing CD4 cell with HIV outside the body required almost thousand times higher viral concentrations than those measured in people suffering and dying from the disease. It took over two decades to finally understand how HIV causes death of those cells in the body at far lower levels than those required in cell cultures. And yes, the mechanisms are quite different.

But the second, and far more important, reason was that until the development and approval of second generation protease inhibitors and nucleotide analogues in the late 1990s, the prognosis for people with AIDS was really bad. Many of the first nucleoside (not nucleotide) analogues used to treat HIV were pretty toxic and lost efficacy within a year or two. Even the very first protease inhibitors approved for human use in mid-1990s had tons of side-effects and required people to take dozens of pills every single day. The prognosis of AIDS changed only after newer, less toxic and far more effective drugs became available. And guess what, the vast majority of people stopped questioning the link between HIV and AIDS. It was that easy.

Now let us apply the concepts we discussed above to the issue of belief in man-made climate change, beginning with- is it a problem? I mean.. is it really a problem if the global temperature goes up by 2-3 degrees Celsius? Based on paleontological records, the earth was far greener and productive (than today) during the Oligocene, Miocene and Pliocene (34-2.6 M years ago). In other words, a significantly larger fraction of the land surface on Earth would have been suitable for agriculture during those eras than today. More importantly, the increase in global temperature was far more pronounced in areas that are today temperate than in those which are tropical. There is also no evidence that deserts were bigger in those epochs, and considerable evidence to the contrary. To put it another way, a slightly warmer earth = more rain, greenery and much nicer climate at higher latitudes. I, for one, fail to see the problem.

But.. but.. what if it leads to a runaway greenhouse effect on Earth, like on Venus? To be pretty blunt, the sheer amount of CO2 (like 40-50x all known organic carbon) and other greenhouse gases necessary for anything even close to that would require raising the temperature of earth’s surface near the boiling point of water. See.. releasing even a fraction of that much CO2 in the atmosphere requires the inexorable chemical dissociation of carbonate minerals (chalk, limestone etc) which are currently on (or just below) the surface of land and ocean floors. Our planet would cease to inhabitable for any organisms other than some bacteria long before we reached the point of a runaway and planetwide greenhouse effect. Also, we have not reached that point in over 4.6 Billion years. And this has not been for lack of trying.

Earth’s geological history has seen multiple massive basalt flows that ended up covering areas as large as continental USA upto 3-5 miles high and lasting for a couple of million years in some cases. The sheer amount of CO2 and other gases pumped into the atmosphere during those times makes our current attempts seem incredibly puny by comparison. FYI- most volcanic gas is a mixture of H2O (water vapor) and CO2 with a decent amount of SO2. And yes, I know that some of those outflows are connected with mass extinctions. But my point still stands. It took two large basalt flows, one in China and another in Siberia (the later being as large as the continental USA and lasting for over a million years) to cause the largest mass extinction in past 540 million years. And even that was insufficient to cause a runaway greenhouse effect.

In the next part, we will go into the close similarities between Christianity and the secular religion of anthropogenic climate change. I will show you why this religion and its immediate precursor aka environmentalism only started gaining traction in the 1970s. You will see the connection between the terminal demographic decline of whites in the “west” and their eagerness to believe in this religion. You will also see the connection between the relative decline of the “west” in past two decades to the desire among its elites to convince others (especially non-whites) about MCC.

What do you think? Comments?

Existence of Dark Matter is the Astrophysical Equivalent of Belief in God

October 13, 2018 13 comments

Here is another one of those posts which I started writing a couple of years ago, but did not get around to finishing till today. Before we go any further, let me clarify a few things. The main point of this post is as follows: belief in anything that is not supported by objective evidence (which can be reproduced by others) is no different from traditional religious belief. The uncritical acceptance of ideas about “catastrophic anthropocentric global climate change” based purely on computer models and string theory based on some clever-looking mathematical equations is the equivalent of blaming storms, famines and epidemics on bearded sky dudes or guys with horns, hoofs and spiky tails- and I plan to write about my thoughts on what passes for “climate change” soon.

Now let us get back to the topic at hand, namely belief in existence of dark matter. Some of you might wonder about my reasons for opposing this idea. Do I not believe that it can exist? So let me quickly clarify that point. In my opinion, there is no reason why dark matter should not exist, in the same manner that matter exists. My problem with the idea of dark matter comes down to two aspects of it that are seldom discussed nowadays. Firstly, scientist invoke dark matter to explain the discrepancy between predictions made by their models about how the universe should behave versus how it actually behaves. This is eerily reminiscent of how people living in previous eras invoked the devil to explain everything wrong with the world that they could not explain.

Did I mention that this type of lazy thinking and attribution has a long history in science. Some of you might have read about how scientists in the 1800s thought that all empty space was filled with Luminiferous aether because their contemporary understanding of electromagnetic wave transmission did not work properly under conditions of a true vacuum. I am not implying that every scientist from those decades believed the universe was filled with this mysterious substance possessing almost magical properties. Yet their equations about propagation of electromagnetic radiation did not square with contemporary experimental data without invoking this concept. Aether met its final demise with Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity in 1905.

But what does any of this have to do with belief in the existence of Dark Matter? Well.. let us start by going back in history to see how this idea came into being. To make a long story short, it all started when astronomers and astrophysicists realized that there might be a discrepancy between mass of observable stars in a given galaxy and their movement within that particular galaxy. Of course, these early observations were full of questionable assumptions and performed using inadequate instrumentation. It was only in the 1970s that astronomers were finally able to say with a high degree of certainty that radial velocity of stars within galaxies (around its center) was far higher than calculated using the approximate mass of all stars or even hydrogen which could be visually observed or measured within each system.

Some other phenomena discovered later such as gravitational lensing of background objects by galaxy clusters, temperature distribution of hot gas in galaxies and clusters and pattern of anisotropies (unevenness) in cosmic microwave background have also been attributed to the presence of dark matter. There are, of course, alternative explanations for these effects, most of which rely on the idea that gravity does not scale like other fundamental forces in the universe. I am not going to go into all of them and their variations, suffice to say that the underlying concept holds reasonably well but many of the derivative ‘complete theories’ do not. But let us be honest about something.. conventional theories about mass, gravity and relativity are also unable to explain observations unless you invoke its Deus ex machina aka Dark Matter.

Which brings me to my second objection to belief in Dark Matter. Simply put, we have not found unambiguous proof for its existence after searching really hard for almost 40 years! And this is really weird because calculations suggest that it should be at least 6-10 times more abundant in the universe than ordinary matter. In other words, we somehow cannot find the majority of mass in the universe even after thousands of academics and their far more numerous slave laborers.. I mean postdocs and graduate students have spent tons of research money, built and operated many new instruments and spent millions of hours on trying to solve this problem. And we are still as far from finding incontrovertible evidence of dark matters, especially its composition, as the day we started down that path. Isn’t that odd?

But.. but.. you might say “wasn’t experimental evidence for existence of neutrons, neutrinos, anti-matter, controlled nuclear fission, nuclear transmutation of elements etc found years after theoretical predictions”? Well.. yes, that is quite correct but with a major caveat. Experimental evidence for all these and more successful came within a decade or so of the first solid theoretical predictions. Moreover, it occurred in an era when there were far fewer scientists and far less research money. Today we have robust and easy accessible instruments to measure them, not to mention that anti-matter emitting and transmuted radioactive elements are routinely used in diagnostic medicine and controlled nuclear fission is used to generate electricity.

So far, first person shooter video games such as Half Life 2 and really mediocre sci-fi shows such as StarGate are the only places where you can see Dark Matter. Do you realize that experimental evidence for the existence and composition of Dark Matter is as scarce as for the ‘Holy Grail’? But why is that such a bad thing, you might ask? Well.. for one, it has become a respectable dogma that justifies the existence of an entire ecosystem of priests and apprentices engaged in constant search for proof. Try getting a job in astrophysics without professing your acceptance of this hypothesis. Better still, try getting funded if you somehow manage to land a job without first expressing your sincere and continuing faith in the existence of Dark Matter.

What do you think? Comments?