Heinrich Hertz and the failures of natural science

Today Google is celebrating the 155th birthday of Heinrich Hertz. Never mind that the poor fellow is dead (!).

According to the Christian Scientist Monitor, Hertz (no relation to Heinrich Himmler, who did not like Hertz very much) is responsible for revealing the “invisible world.” Devoted (really devoted) readers of this blog will recall that I’ve taken on this so-called invisible world here, and blown the lid off Harvard’s covering up its unreality here. Recently, of course, Tulane professor John Armstrong has shown that advocates of the invisible world (under the technobabble “electromagnetism”) use phony math. In that post’s comment thread, mathematician Greg Friedman agrees, going further in saying that “the entire subject is a fiction.”

So – why are we celebrating this Hertz character? He has done more damage to science education in the English-speaking world than I care to imagine.

In fact, it hertz me to imagine.

Colin Allen and Robert Lurz confirm my trans-brain hypothesis

Indiana University cognitive scientist Colin Allen and CUNY consultant Robert Lurz have conducted several studies on how animals perceive the minds of others.

In the autobiographical essay, Allen notes what in Animal Studies has been called the “logical problem”: brain reading is logically equivalent to body reading. This is a mystery for “scientists,” who are theologically devoted to a brain/body distinction (=dualism). At their Brooklyn College Neuroscience lab, Allen and Lurz have desperately attempted to construct experiments to separate the two, but Allen concedes in the article, first, that the experiments are so complex that it is “not possible” for humans to fully comprehend them; and second, that even if humans could fully comprehend them, the experiments wouldn’t “eliminate… every alternative [body] reading hypothesis.”

I am the first to say: No kidding! But of course, as I’ve been saying for literally years (click on the “brains studies tag, below), your brain is everywhere, e.i. it is your body. Recall the diagram in my original post.

In light of the recent failure of fringe research, however, I’ll diagram how this is supposed to work, then diagram my explanatorily superior model.

Exhibit A: Medieval mind/body dualist view of animal perception (Allen, Lurz, Laura Sanders)

Exhibit B: Correct “Trans-brain” view of animal perception (CTBVoAP) (me, Godfrey-Smith, Reid, Loftus, New York Times)

As you can see, the second diagram posits the more elegant theory. For one thing, it follows Occam’s Razor in only positing one type of thing (what I call “singlism”). Second, and more importantly, it doesn’t posit mysterious, occult faculties by which perception can pass through certain parts of the body. Also, I’ve taken account of the fact that, in dogs at least, there is more than one perceptual mechanism – both eyes and nose, the latter of which seems curiously absent in Allen and Lurz’s work.

Tulane maths professor John Armstrong pwns electromagnetism

I have recently commented on the paradox of alleged electricity in water-based babies here.

Well, an attack on electricity has come from another – and unlikely! – source. Tulane professor John Armstrong, who is already noted for making scientists own up to their deceptions, has recently pointed out the abject state of science education on electricity and magnets.

Be sure to also note in the comment thread the insightful remark of Texan Christian University mathematics professor Greg Friedman, who points out that the “entire subject is a fiction.” I’ve been saying this for what will – by mathematical induction – eventually be a decade.

I’ve been away from blogging for a while, but it’s good to see that my work has begun to reverberate even in academia.

Laura Sanders flagrantly ignores my discoveries

Recently, the Orwellian think tank “Science News” has hosted a series of essays on so-called “consciousness” by Laura Sanders, whose Brain Studies credentials consist in nothing more than degrees in earth and library sciences. The series threatens to have three parts, the first two already vomited – here and here.

The essence of Sander’s view is that all thinking goes on within the skull; furthermore, the thinking is fostered and constituted by electricity. On the medieval skull-centric view, note that I offered a refutation back in 2008. If you recall, my thesis (a distant cousin of the “Extended Brain” thesis of neuro-physicist David Chalmers) is that your brain is “everywhere.” Recall that my primary evidence came from the nature of pain, with a healthy dose of Occam’s Razor. Since then, of course, my “trans-brain” view has been endorsed by the New York Times, has enjoyed historical precedent, and has been empirically verified in other mammals.

So much for Sanders’ antiquated view of the brain’s location. Now what about the electricity allegedly surging throughout our bodies? Given what we otherwise know about the human body, this is actually impossible. Small children, as is well known, have the mushiest of skulls. This is because, as Europeans have shown, their bodies are mostly water. Now consider the fact that, among people who drop electric appliances into their bathtubs, the leading cause of death is electrocution. Since babies are so full of water – and since they generally have more active brains than adults, which is why they are so good at learning languages – then if they were full of electricity, they would be perpetually self-electrocuting. However, to the chagrin of the Social Security Administration, babies live to adulthood (and beyond) with alarming frequency. If Sanders doesn’t address this in part 3, then her charlatanism will be all the more apparent.