The Skeptics Wink and Nod.

Here is an informative little video by a guy named Steve Mould who does a lot of “science” videos on youtube.  Its all (ostensibly) about how simple little processes can make “meaningful” structures from stochastic processes-and he uses magnetic shaped little parts to show this.  Its a popular channeled followed by millions, and is often referenced by other famous people in the science community-and his fans love it.

And hey, it does show how meaningful structures CAN form from random processes.  Right?  So you can learn from this.  Wink, wink.  Nod, nod. And all the skeptics will know exactly what he is really saying.  Cause we are all part of the clique that knows this language-the language of the skeptic propagandist.  I mean, he almost hides it, the real message, it is just under the surface, and the less skeptically aware, the casualist, might even miss it.  The casualist might not learn as much about Steve Mould and what he is trying to say here-but the skeptic knows.  “See, atheism is true! Spread the word!” Steve has given the wink. The same wink used by DeGrasse Tyson, and Sean Carroll, Lawrence Krauss, Brian Greene, and on and on.  You know the one.

And for 95% of his viewers, whether they know it or not, they got his message.  I mean, look, its plain as day, right?  He just showed you, that is certainly a meaningful structure that arose from random processes, isn’t it?  Its defintely meaningful, its a, a, a , well, it’s shape that, we have a, a  name for…that’s kind of…anyway, defintely random, I mean other than the magnets and the precut shapes, and the little ball with nothing else inside, and the shaking only until its just right then stopping kind of way…That’s random kind of right???

But there are 5% percent of his viewers that spotted his little wink and nod, and said, hold on a second.  If you want us to believe that your little explanation about how simply life can form from nonsense without a plan, how blind exactly do you want us to be?  95%, they are hooked, you got them (Ryan StallardThere are so many creationist videos this obliterates. Especially 4:18.). But some likeGhryst VanGhod helpfully point out: “this is incorrect. the kinesin travels along fibres within the cell and takes the various molecules exactly where they need to be, they are not randomly “jumbling around in solution”. https://youtu.be/gbycQf1TbM0  ” and then you get to see a video that tells you just a few more of the things that are ACTUALLY happening which are even more amazing if you weren’t already skeptical (the real kind).

And if you go through some more of the comments you will notice a few more (real) skeptics, not the wink and nod kind, and you will start to notice why the wink nod propogandist skeptics everywhere you look in modern culture are a very puposefully designed cancer on knowledge and thought.

1,212 thoughts on “The Skeptics Wink and Nod.

  1. OMagain:
    CharlieM: To demonstrate a similar process take a salt solution and let it evaporate. You will see the salt crystals forming but there was no visible salt to begin with. Just because it could not be seen does not mean that it wasn’t there all along.

    OMagain: OK so now demonstrate that process for “life essence” or whatever.

    No? Then it’s not a “similar process” at all is it?

    You just have to look at the process of aging and organismic senescence to see the effects of the withdrawal of the formative forces. To study processes of growth and decay, the budding of vegetation in spring and the withering of autumn leaves, is to study the effects of the vibrations of formative forces coursing through the world.

  2. CharlieM: To study processes of growth and decay, the budding of vegetation in spring and the withering of autumn leaves, is to study the effects of the vibrations of formative forces coursing through the world.

    Morphogenetic fields.

  3. Corneel:
    CharlieM: In quantum field theory has come along and now matter as we know it is to be thought of as fundamentally fluctuations of fields. This is moving in the direction of the idea of the formative etheric field.

    Corneel: So after all your insistence that photons are merely mathematical expressions, you are now equating your “etheric field” to the quantum fields from theoretical physics?

    That sure makes my day.

    What we are visually aware of are the effects of the interplay of light and darkness. Photons are quantitative entities defined in mathematical terms.

    I didn’t equate quantum fields with etheric fields. I said physics is moving in the direction of recognizing the formative field aspect of reality.

  4. DNA_Jock:

    Sheldrake: “To date, there is no plausible evidence to suggest that genes mediate the formation of organs and tissues or have any direct influence on the morphology of developing organisms.”

    DNA_Jock to Phoodoo: Are you willing to attempt a defense of that obviously false statement?
    Morphogenetic fields are a concept in developmental biology that has been around for a long time. Thanks in large part to the work on drosophila, we no longer talk about them as an abstract concept, because we understand how they work.

    I think your belief that genes create form is wrong. Research as in your link just demonstrates how organisms use their genes to create their form. Genes are not the manipulators, they are being manipulated in so many coordinated ways in order to provide the raw materials for building and maintaining form. A fruit fly will only grow a leg where its antenna should be if its genes have been interfered with.

  5. phoodoo: Who has better credentials, you or Sheldrake? Oh OK, you no longer care about credentials. What a relief. Want to talk about cigarette cancer studies since you are in a mood to deflect?

    Gee, phoodoo, you brought up cigarette cancer studies in a lame attempt to deflect from your inability to defend Sheldrake’s flawed research. You also thought that the cigarette cancer studies were funded by pharmaceutical companies, which is pretty funny if you think about it. I’ve never been a fan of credentials… when I joked that Sheldrake had a science Ph.D. from Cambridge, was a fellow at Clare College, and taught at Harvard, but was still wrong, you didn’t pick up on how strangely specific I was re his credentials. There was a reason for that.

    No? OK, so K E Thorp is another crank. What about Mark Levin, is he a crank too ?

    Well, K E Thorp wrote that

    To date, there is no plausible evidence to suggest that genes mediate the formation of organs and tissues or have any direct influence on the morphology of developing organisms.

    he might want to check out the work by Eric Wieschaus, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, and Ed Lewis. He could start with the 1995 Nobel Prize lectures. He’s a radiologist with one publication: if we are playing the credential game…
    Michael Levin seems like a pretty smart guy, doing great work on morphogenetic fields. Strange that he wrote a 3,000 word review of morphogenetic fields, and never mentioned Sheldrake or his goofy ideas.
    People were discussing morphogenetic fields before Sheldrake was born, they’ll be discussing them after he’s dead, and his ‘morphic resonance’ idea has had zero impact outside of motivating some truly terrible ESP research.

  6. CharlieM: I didn’t equate quantum fields with etheric fields. I said physics is moving in the direction of recognizing the formative field aspect of reality.

    Because theoretical physicists also use the word “field” or did you spot some deeper resemblance?

    My money is on the first BTW. The word “field” appears to be nearly as potent a woo magnet as “quantum”.

  7. CharlieM: I think your belief that genes create form is wrong. Research as in your link just demonstrates how organisms use their genes to create their form.

    I think you are wrong, Charlie but I can bring evidence to support my claim. You began as a fertilized ovum. Half your genes came from your biological father. Human sperm only contribute genes – nothing else. Yet there tends to be resemblance from father to child.

  8. CharlieM,

    To demonstrate a similar process take a salt solution and let it evaporate

    Nope, not interested in a ‘similar process’, I’m looking for a demo of your mechanism doing what simply putting the components in proximity cannot.

  9. phoodoo:
    P: Are perceptions physical?
    Me: Yes.
    P: Have we found out what they weigh?

    Now, I knew there was a risk of equivocation – my money was on ‘physical is distinct from mental’ – but I didn’t anticipate ‘physical things have weight’!

  10. CharlieM: A fruit fly will only grow a leg where its antenna should be if its genes have been interfered with.

    That’s not really correct. The homeobox (hox) genes, via the protein switches they code for, are pivotal in embryological development. How hox genes work has mainly been worked out by using mutated genes. But the subject is now immense. See Wikipedia for a summary.

  11. CharlieM,

    Hmmm. This has left the rails somewhat. You asked me to agree with you that ‘process’ sits above matter. But what shoves things about in living cells are the properties of matter.

  12. Allan Miller: he properties of matter.

    That they assemble to make life?

    That if you shake things in a bottle morphogenetic fields emerge?

    That chemicals have teleology if you wait long enough?

    That a code can appear that has no design whatsoever?

    That if you shake things long enough it can talk and understand itself?

    These are the properties of matter?

  13. Allan Miller: Now, I knew there was a risk of equivocation – my money was on ‘physical is distinct from mental’ – but I didn’t anticipate ‘physical things have weight’!

    So perceptions have no weight. They can’t be seen. Can’t be heard. Can’t be identified. They can’t be recreated. And no one knows what they are.

    How do we decide they are physical then? Because they must be or materialism is a joke?

  14. phoodoo: So perceptions have no weight.

    Perceptions don’t really exist. Perception is a process, not a bunch of things. Perhaps I should add that it is a physical process.

    Yes, people talk about perceptions as if they existed. But that makes them abstractions.

  15. Neil Rickert: Perceptions don’t really exist.Perception is a process, not a bunch of things.Perhaps I should add that it is a physical process.

    And a process that consumes energy.

  16. Neil Rickert: Perceptions don’t really exist.

    Well, that’s another viewpoint. Different than Allan’s apparently.

    So if perceptions don’t really exist, if people believe their perceptions exist, people are wrong?

  17. phoodoo,

    I do not claim to be a universal arbiter of what is right and what is wrong. I doubt that such a universal arbiter exists.

    People have different opinions and often disagree.

  18. Neil Rickert,

    Of course. I am asking your opinion. That’s one way to determine if one’s own opinion has flaws. That is the purpose of most discourse.

  19. phoodoo: So perceptions have no weight. They can’t be seen. Can’t be heard. Can’t be identified. They can’t be recreated. And no one knows what they are.

    Bit like your designer then. Yet you are quite insistent that exists.

    phoodoo: How do we decide they are physical then? Because they must be or materialism is a joke?

    Well, Intelligent Design is already a joke.

  20. phoodoo: Of course. I am asking your opinion. That’s one way to determine if one’s own opinion has flaws. That is the purpose of most discourse.

    Then why is it you never give your opinion on things?

    Ah, it must be because you already know your opinion is correct and there is no need to test it.

    At least, that’s how you act anyway.

  21. Alan Fox:
    CharlieM: To demonstrate a similar process take a salt solution and let it evaporate. You will see the salt crystals forming but there was no visible salt to begin with. Just because it could not be seen does not mean that it wasn’t there all along.

    Alan Fox: This is so nineteenth century. Your incredulity is not universal.

    ETA Just wondering, would Charlie like to tell me how many sodium and chlorine atoms constitute a molecule of salt?

    This brings up a problem that needs to be thought about. The salt which is dissolved in the water is dissociated. So is it still there? If salt is recognized by its taste then it does seem to be there in some form.

    Here the philosopher William Seager gives an account of the “parts project” in which it is attempted to show that wholes are explainable in terms of the parts they consist of. The parts project even survived the arrival of Maxwell’s theory of dynamic fields.

    But then along came quantum mechanics which is a headache for any reductionist thinking. Seager quotes Hans Primas:

    Modern quantum mechanics put an end to atomism and hence to reductionism: The so-called ‘elementary particles’ (such as electrons, quarks, or gluons) are patterns of reality, not building blocks of reality. They are not primary, but arise as secondary manifestations, for example as field excitations, in the same sense as solitons are localized excitations of water, and not building blocks of water…

    According to quantum theory the material world is a whole, a whole which is not made out of independently existing parts. As a rule, separated subsystems of a quantum system do not exist

    As Seager says, “most philosophers, scientists and even physicists struggle to come to grips with the idea that the world in not constructed from fundamental micro-objects”. A consequence of the parts project was the problem of trying to understand emergence. This resulted in two opposing views, inherence versus origination. Are complex entities entirely novel or are they somehow latent in the base of parts?

    I think the answer lies in accepting or not accepting the fundamental nature of space and the flow of time. The relationship between the temporal and the eternal. Space and time are relative. But is there any evidence of an absolute, unrestricted by these relativities? On this I’m sure we disagree.

  22. Corneel:
    Allan Miller: Ah, if it’s demos we’re after, let’s see yours. Show these components not ‘just happening’ to come together, but nonetheless coming together.

    CharlieM: You will see the salt crystals forming but there was no visible salt to begin with. Just because it could not be seen does not mean that it wasn’t there all along.

    Corneel: So your demonstration of the formative fields is you telling us that the formative fields cannot be observed at all?

    I didn’t say that they cannot be observed. I implied that they cannot be perceived by any of the five senses. Have you ever perceived a quark?

    Corneel: Incidentally, are you aware of this sophisticated method of detecting salt in solution by exploiting the fact that salty water has a very characteristic taste?

    And that is the only way that salt is ever tasted. Before it can be perceived by taste it must be in solution. Saliva performs that function if salt crystals are placed on the tongue.

    I specified vision in my analogy for a reason.

  23. Alan Fox:
    phoodoo,

    And?

    The connection between “morphogenetic fields” and “morphic resonance” is…

    ?

    Sheldrake in his book, “Science and Spiritual Practices”, explains how while doing biological research at Cambridge he “became interested in biological fields, or morphogenetic fields, or form shaping fields, a concept first proposed in the 1920s” :

    He began thinking about how morphogenetic fields might be inherited. So his idea of morphic resonance followed directly from his work on morphogenetic fields and particularly on his research on the plant hormone auxin.

  24. phoodoo:
    CharlieM: To study processes of growth and decay, the budding of vegetation in spring and the withering of autumn leaves, is to study the effects of the vibrations of formative forces coursing through the world.

    phoodoo: Morphogenetic fields.

    Wash your mouth out with soap and water! On second thoughts make that a salt solution. 🙂

  25. Corneel:
    CharlieM: I didn’t equate quantum fields with etheric fields. I said physics is moving in the direction of recognizing the formative field aspect of reality.

    Corneel: Because theoretical physicists also use the word “field” or did you spot some deeper resemblance?

    My money is on the first BTW. The word “field” appears to be nearly as potent a woo magnet as “quantum”.

    If it can’t be seen, touched, heard, smelled or tasted it must be woo, right? 🙂

  26. Alan Fox:
    CharlieM: I think your belief that genes create form is wrong. Research as in your link just demonstrates how organisms use their genes to create their form.

    Alan Fox: I think you are wrong, Charlie but I can bring evidence to support my claim. You began as a fertilized ovum. Half your genes came from your biological father. Human sperm only contribute genes – nothing else. Yet there tends to be resemblance from father to child.

    You say that there was nothing else besides the father’s genes. But I propose that the sperm that entered the egg arrived with a very potent formative field. You dismiss this field just because it isn’t amenable to the senses. “I cannot see it so it doesn’t exist”.The sperm is a hive of activity so at the very least it will have electromagnetic fields in its makeup.

  27. CharlieM: If it can’t be seen, touched, heard, smelled or tasted it must be woo, right?

    I usually go by “If there is no support whatsoever something exists, it doesn’t exist.”
    Formative fields fit the bill, yes.

  28. CharlieM: The salt which is dissolved in the water is dissociated. So is it still there? If salt is recognized by its taste then it does seem to be there in some form.

    I think you mean dissolved; dissociation is more usually referring to mental states. Water is an excellent solvent due to its oxygen atom getting a bigger share of electrons than the two hydrogen atoms allowing water molecules to loosely bond to each other (hydrogen bonds). They also surround other charged atoms and molecules forming solvation cells. Salt crystals are a perfectly repeating cubic structure of sodium ions and chloride ions but in aqueous solution sodium and chloride ions charge draws water molecules that balance the charge and allow ions to mix into the water rather than stay locked in the salt crystal. A perfect crystal of salt is one giant molecule. But we taste salt when it is in aqueous solution. When we touch a salt crystal with our tongue, some immediately dissolves and that is what our taste buds react to, the ions in solution in our saliva.

    ETA I should add that the way water molecules loosely bond to large molecules such as proteins and nucleic acids is absolutely key to understanding biochemistry.

  29. CharlieM: If it can’t be seen, touched, heard, smelled or tasted it must be woo, right?

    Many physical phenomena are only observed indirectly. Gravity is an obvious example. We can in theory measure the effect of telepathy but the results are consistent in indicating there is no effect.

  30. CharlieM: If it can’t be seen, touched, heard, smelled or tasted it must be woo, right? 🙂

    About that:

    CharlieM: But I propose that the sperm that entered the egg arrived with a very potent formative field. You dismiss this field just because it isn’t amenable to the senses. “I cannot see it so it doesn’t exist”.The sperm is a hive of activity so at the very least it will have electromagnetic fields in its makeup.

    We can “see” electromagnetic fields already. Birds can even see them directly.

    But look tell you what, this “formative field” presumably has it’s rules that it follows? One of them seems to be “follow egg in space and time” right? So, can we start to do experiments?

    Does the “formative field” diminish if we divide the cells in the egg into two groups? Can we “fool” the “formative field” by bringing a bigger cluster of man-made cells that resemble the egg in some way so that it attaches itself to that instead? Will man made eggs from a 3d printer or other mechanism that is not organic not have this field and so not develop as expected despite being identical to a “real” egg?

    Etc etc.

    In other words, propose something novel that flows from “formative fields” that comes from nothing else. Then test it!

  31. Alan Fox:
    CharlieM: The salt which is dissolved in the water is dissociated. So is it still there? If salt is recognized by its taste then it does seem to be there in some form.

    Alan Fox: I think you mean dissolved; dissociation is more usually referring to mental states

    Define dissociation

    Dissociation
    An ionic crystal lattice breaks apart when it is dissolved in water. Dissociation is the separation of ions that occurs when a solid ionic compound dissolves. It is important to be able to write dissociation equations.

  32. Allan Miller:
    CharlieM: To demonstrate a similar process take a salt solution and let it evaporate

    Allan Miller: Nope, not interested in a ‘similar process’, I’m looking for a demo of your mechanism doing what simply putting the components in proximity cannot

    When building organs and other bodily structures there is nothing simple about “putting the components in proximity”.

    Phoodoo brought Michael Levin to our attention and Alan Fox pointed us in the direction of his lab. He is doing some really interesting work on creatures such as planarians and their bodily regeneration in relation to electromagnetic fields and DNA.

    In order for me to hit the space bar with my index finger, how many of the molecules within my body had to be placed in close proximity to each other? In the neurons, in the muscles, in the blood cells, all over the place. Do these multiple attractions of individual molecules explain this action?

  33. Alan Fox:
    CharlieM: A fruit fly will only grow a leg where its antenna should be if its genes have been interfered with.

    Alan Fox: That’s not really correct. The homeobox (hox) genes, via the protein switches they code for, are pivotal in embryological development. How hox genes work has mainly been worked out by using mutated genes. But the subject is now immense. See Wikipedia for a summary.

    How does a leg manage to grow in place of an antenna without disturbing homeobox genes?

    The whole is reflected in the parts. Very many somatic cells have the potential to be the foundation for recreating the whole body given the right conditions. And it’s not just in the DNA as Levin’s work has demonstrated.

  34. Allan Miller: CharlieM,

    Hmmm. This has left the rails somewhat. You asked me to agree with you that ‘process’ sits above matter. But what shoves things about in living cells are the properties of matter.

    What do you think about the notion that matter is just fluctuations in the quantum field?

  35. Trying again:
    What exactly is the connection between quantum fields, formative fields and morphogenetic fields apart from the fact that they all have the word “field” in them?

    CharlieM: What do you think about the notion that matter is just fluctuations in the quantum field?

    How does this rescue you from yucky materialism apart from the fact that it now has the comforting word “field” in there?

  36. CharlieM: How does a leg manage to grow in place of an antenna without disturbing homeobox genes?

    Because homeobox genes are not themselves required for the correct development of legs or antennae: they just bestow a specific identity on the segments in which they are expressed. Incorrect expression of homeotic genes may switch the developmental fate of homologous structures, like antennae and legs in insects. Homology is something we learned about from your beloved Goethe: listen to your master’s voice, Charlie.

    All this you were told before. Please stop misreading theoretical physics and brush up on your developmental biology.

  37. Corneel:
    CharlieM: If it can’t be seen, touched, heard, smelled or tasted it must be woo, right?

    I usually go by “If there is no support whatsoever something exists, it doesn’t exist.”
    Formative fields fit the bill, yes.

    So do you think that quantum field theory is a load of nonsense? What about zero point energy?

    The iron filings round a magnet, the sand on a Chladni plate produce patterns. Do you just believe in these patterns in the material but not in the formative fields underlying them?

  38. CharlieM: So do you think that quantum field theory is a load of nonsense? What about zero point energy?

    I was referring to the formative forces contained by the “etheric body” in the parlance of Rudolf Steiner. I assume this corresponds closely to your use of the term.

    I see (haha) zero points of resemblance with any concepts from theoretical physics. If you do, please explain yourself.

  39. phoodoo to Neil Rickert,
    Of course.I am asking your opinion. That’s one way to determine if one’s own opinion has flaws. That is the purpose of most discourse.

    The fucking irony.

  40. CharlieM: What do you think about the notion that matter is just fluctuations in the quantum field?

    One way of looking at it. Gravity is just the warping of spacetime. But an interaction is thereby created, by 2 bodies both doing a bit of warping. Same for the electrostatic force. Zennishly, what is the force on a point charge with no nearby opposite? It takes two.

  41. Allan Miller: But an interaction is thereby created…

    Cause and effect are outdated concepts, I feel. Interactions is a better word for what happens. In the simplest case of two elementary particles colliding, both are causes, both are changed by the collision.

  42. Allan Miller: . Gravity is just the warping of spacetime.

    Somewhere in there we have to fit the Higgs boson. According to the standard model, this particle is responsible for the Higgs field, a field that causes resistance to some things that pass through it, but not others. We call that resistance “mass”, and stuff like photons are unaffected by this field. Apparently dark matter is also affected, since it has a gravational attraction, so it must have mass. So there must be some fairly direct relationship between the Higgs field and spacetime being warped, but I don’t know what it is. Anyone?

  43. Alan Fox:
    CharlieM: If it can’t be seen, touched, heard, smelled or tasted it must be woo, right?

    Alan Fox: Many physical phenomena are only observed indirectly. Gravity is an obvious example. We can in theory measure the effect of telepathy but the results are consistent in indicating there is no effect.

    What research on telepathy have you studied in order for you to make such a claim?

    The recent video Psychic Phenomena and Quantum Mechanics, by Dean Radin. presents some of his experimental work on these things. He then goes on to discuss monism in its three forms, materialistic, idealistic and neutral. He favours neutral monism and gives his reasons for doing so. He uses the metaphor of water giving rise to water vapour and to ice. (see image below).

  44. CharlieM: Sheldrake in his book, “Science and Spiritual Practices”, explains how while doing biological research at Cambridge he “became interested in biological fields, or morphogenetic fields, or form shaping fields, a concept first proposed in the 1920s” :

    He began thinking about how morphogenetic fields might be inherited. So his idea of morphic resonance followed directly from his work on morphogenetic fields and particularly on his research on the plant hormone auxin.

    Sssshhhh……..don’t tell Jock!

  45. CharlieM: What research on telepathy have you studied in order for you to make such a claim?

    On a personal level, a considerable amount. However hard I wish things to be different, the universe continues unresponsive to those wishes.

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