Thursday, December 29, 2011

Don't believe what you read

Research allegedly discovered that most people fear public speaking more than they fear death. Wouldn't you expect a pre public speaking suicide syndrome?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Quotes From the Honest Guru

Even those who do not believe in God, can undergo the religious experience that those who believe in God strive for.

Is there anybody out there?


Isn't it amazing how much more we know now, only ten years after this video was made?

Quotes From the Honest Guru: Truth

We have been evolved to survive, not to seek truth; hence the vogue for self denial and delusion.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why astrology is not scientific, while astronomy is?

This post is a continuation from:  Refuting a scientific theory: the theory of ether

As we have seen in the previous blogs, testability is the heart and soul of any scientific theory. However, as crucial as it might be, it is never sufficient to test a theory against the observations that led to its creation. A scientific theory must predict unknown facts that can only be confirmed by fresh observations.

As a simple example let's assume that after you had tasted sugar, you concluded that white, small-grained powders are sweet. The unscientific way would be to use sugar as a proof for your theory. The scientific way, on the other hand, would be to seek other white, small-grained powders and taste them. If you stayed alive after your experiment, you would have to admit that your theory was wrong. You will have to find another explanation for the sweetness of sugar.

If anything the theory predicts is proven wrong, the theory is incorrect. This potential refutability is a powerful criterion that distinguishes science from pseudoscience. Nowhere it is as clear as in the case of astronomy with astrology.

For thousands of years astrologers had been using the apparent movement of the sun, moon, and the five known extraterrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) to foretell earthly events. Once a sixth planet, Uranus, was discovered in 1781, astrologers added the new planet to their charts and continued with their foretelling as before, without asking whether astrology is still valid with the new planet, or why they had not foretold the existence of the new planet.

Astronomers, on the other hand, were fervidly forecasting the orbit of Uranus. Their calculations, however, based on Newton's theory of gravity, did not match the observed path of planet. There were two potential explanations: either the theory of gravity was wrong, or that the gravity of an unknown heavenly object, farther from Uranus, was responsible for the deviation. Using the same law of gravity, astronomers foretasted where the body that distorts Uranus' orbit should be. And they were right. In 1846, as predicted, they discovered a new planet, Neptune.

Just as discrepancies in the orbit of Uranus had led to the search for Neptune, irregularities in the orbit of Neptune, and to a lesser extent in the orbits of Uranus and Saturn, had led scientists to suspect the existence of a ninth planet. Once more, it was theoretical calculations that led to the discovery of Pluto in 1930. Their calculations were confirmed, and so was the theory of Gravity -- at least until the next observation.
To be continued ...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Unspiritual Yoga

For thousands of years, the moves of martial arts, Yoga, and similar disciplines have been transferred, free of charge, from teacher to student, directly or via scripts. But no more. Bikram, the founder of Bikram Yoga, sues one of his ex-student for $1m for teaching a Bikram yoga sequence without paying royalties.

Farewell Yora spirituality; welcome materiality.