Seems I have gained a reputation of sorts by pointing to water dowsing, Prof. Gerry Pollack’s research on the peculiar properties of water, especially EZ water, and for views expressed here, as editor of AIG News. It seems one geoscience professional has not renewed his/her AIG membership because my inferred intellectual eccentricities expressed here and occasionally as a published op-ed or rejoinder in AIG News has profaned his/her beliefs. (And I also wonder if my well documented scepticism of anthropogenic global warming is a relevant factor? Are they are finally rid of Hissink, not for his impolite climate opinions but for his other heresies?)
Not to mind, but it’s clear that I am on the nose of the politically correct in the environmental milieu, and this pleases me greatly. Mind you not renewing one’s AIG membership also means one cannot easily present oneself as a “competent” person in terms of the JORC code for public announcements, so impetuous resignations from the AIG organisation may have unintended consequences to one’s professional utility.
And I suppose having some empathy for Velikovsky’s ideas puts one beyond the scientific pale as well, but then, when it comes to the scientific method, who is actually being unscientific, my critics or me?
One reason I have empathy for Velikovsky’s ideas is from a very unsettling experience I had during 1988 when I commissioned an aboriginal heritage survey in the Ord River Valley at Kununurra, Western Australia. I adopted a ‘hands-off’ policy and allowed the consulting anthropologist a free hand to conduct the survey. At the end of his survey he appeared in my office in Kununurra and announced he was bearing good and bad news, (A hackneyed cliche if there ever was one). The good news was that the areas where we wanted to conduct alluvial drilling for diamonds on the Ivanhoe plain was not a problem, but there was an outcrop of quartz on Packsaddle Plain which was a no go area. This was fine with me as the company was looking for diamonds, and a diamond source which quartz veins are anything but was thus not a problem heritage-wise.
And then Will Christensen, the anthropologist, had a jaw-dropper, his as well as mine. He told me that he was told by the local aboriginal people to tell me that one particular spot, known as Malawan, is where the barramundi dived into the ground, and to emerge 150 km to the south at the, now famous, AK1 Argyle diamond deposit. (At the time I was not aware of the Barramundi legend associated with the Argyle diamond mine). What Will and the local aboriginals did not know was that at that particular location my consultant geophysicist David Isles identified a magnetic anomaly from the airborne survey I had commissioned a few months earlier. He asked me what I thought it could be and I ventured the guess, based on the kimberlite indicator minerals downstream in the Ord River, that it might be a kimberlite, the principal primary source of diamonds. The local people knew I was looking for diamonds, and here I was faced with a totally spontaneous offer of help by the aboriginal people to locate another diamond pipe. This incident stunned my consulting anthropologist. Unfortunately the aboriginal industry, the ‘white trash’ as they are colloquially known, soon put a stop to any exploration of that location by abusing the procedures of the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act by visiting a Section 18 on me. Such is life in the mineral exploration industry. To this day exploration of this location is not warranted as there are too many bureaucratic impediments.
But the conundrum I had was figuring out how nomadic tribal aborigines could possibly know of a geological phenomenon dated some 1100 millions years old, the approximate age of the AK1 diamond intrusion 150km south of Kununurra. This fact was further substantiated by other anecdotes from mining contractors in the WA Goldfields who mentioned that local aborigines seemed to have knowledge of geological features 1 million years or older. And then later on I learnt from Wooleen pastoral station that the local Bunaba people asserted that the rainbow serpent created the Murchison River and then travelled eastwards. Evolutionary theory does not permit these observations by humans, so is the theory right or the observations right? And Wolfe Creek crater has another aboriginal legend associated with it concerning the rainbow serpent and the morning star.
Scientifically these are primary observations of geological phenomena by unsophisticated nomadic tribal aborigines, and despite the fact that these observations are ancient and handed down orally by tradition, they are none the less first hand observations by humans and hence data. The problem for many in the geoscience area is that these observations contradict the existing paradigm of geological uniformitarianism and evolution, and hence are, in grand Lyellian manner, dismissed as myth and the product of over-excited brains of primitive humans. Primitive humans? Only if you believe in creation from which life evolved from primitive forms to end in complex superior forms we observe today. While many in the sciences eschew any semblance of creationist thought, it is pretty clear that if you believe in the astronomical Big Bang Theory, then, like it or not, you are a creationist, with the only distinction between Big Bang creationism and fundamentalist creationism is that the former is a more liberal version of the more fundamentalist one. (This statement will have to upset the Big Banging secular humanists among us :-))
It is also clear that a society based on the mores of the Judaean-Christian milieu has to have a science that is compatible with those mores. And secular humanists, with their belief in the big bang and subsequent evolution, are really no different to the religious they often despise, for both are victims of the logical fallacy of authority, one in their pseudoscientific dogma, the other in theological dogma, where faith always trumps evidence.
The data point to tribal peoples, whether in Australia or elsewhere, having doctrinally impermissible knowledge of geological phenomena, and the scientific method is to explain them. But the religious mind, conditioned by its dogmas, reacts to observational novelty by, often acute, cognitive dissonance, and always rejects any data that contradicts the liturgy of its authority. Hence, in order for Charles Lyell to have his cake and also to eat it, Lyell described the Old Testament as ‘literature”, not historical narratives, and thus rendered the obviously catastrophic events described by our ancestors as myths or over-imaginative fabrications.
(The problem humanity faces these days is that science has become the new religion and manned by a state-sanctioned priesthood with its lay followers in the private sector. Those who call themselves scientists are generally not, but are highly skilled priests who believe they can foresee the future. Forseeing the future is simply prophecy or religion, not science).
The only problem I sense with the heresies I publish here is retribution by the usual suspects, though I should think myself lucky we don’t burn heretics on the stake any more. Or do we? After all the Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti taught that all physical violence is always preceded by intellectual violence, and that it’s this intellectual violence that needs to be solved, not so much the physical one. Non-violence to others is the core of Libertarianism, except, of course, in defense of one’s person or property.
Another aphorism Krishnamurti made was that truth is arrived at by eliminating what it isn’t, a process that Karl Popper would have described as falsifying the hypothesis, and hence the scientific method. Once you assert that A is M, then a religious mind confronted with A is P rejects A is P because of the prior A is M. The scientific mind would, on discovering A is P, realise that A is M is false. Krishnamurti’s point was that by eliminating what a thing isn’t, you should end up discovering what it is, and which is thus the scientific method of thinking.
As for water dowsing, I know it works because I use it. And it seems to have been verified by German scientists and published online and in the peer reviewed literature, but there is an alternative disproof published here. Gerry Pollack’s discoveries, or rediscoveries actually, of the fourth phase of water, can lead to new possibilities of explaining dowsing. My guess is that water dowsing is based on the possibility that moving ground water would be principally Pollack EZ water due to the environmental radiation of heat (IR) that the water flows through. If so, then being EZ water it would also be electrically negative in charge, and moving electrical charges generate magnetic fields that a sensitive water dowser might pickup. I would also expect a dowser not to be able to locate stationary water such as perched deposits. The theory is that it’s got to be flowing or moving water. These ideas would logically fall into Rupert Sheldrake’s area of research, but then Sheldrake is also on the nose by the scientific establishment, so I suppose scientific eccentricity will continue to be punished by the usual methods and expressing a respect for water dowsing will remain a heresy.
But apparently the muse in the previous paragraph is regarded by some as a heresy and thus sufficient reason for the profaned to resign from the AIG, since clearly I haven’t been dismissed from the position of Editor. It is good that the unscientific leave the various scientific professional societies, and If I can cause more to resign, all the better for real science, not the pseudo type that is forced on us by the political progressives.
Oh, just in case I haven’t been explicit, the following list should be borne in mind when interpreting my writings here.
1. I don’t believe in creation, liberal or literal.
2. I don’t believe in the Big Bang theory
3. I don’t believe in anthropogenic global climate change.
4. I don’t believe in dark matter, dark energy, and astronomical black holes.
5. I don’t believe in magnetic reconnection.
6. I don’t believe in miracles.
7. I don’t believe in geological uniformitarianism or biological evolution.
8. I don’t believe in physical materialism.
9. I don’t believe in a divine deity but this also means I don’t assert the existence or absence of such a deity.
So what do I believe in?
Not much at all, actually, but I do believe, for the moment until data forces me to change my mind, that consciousness is continuously forming physical reality in the here and now – or as Dr. Amit Goswami puts it, in monistic idealism. I do not believe consciousness is an epiphenomenon of the brain, but what we usually describe as consciousness is actually the ego that is produced by the brain in the process of thinking. Karl H. Pribram has done much research on this but it flies in the face of the scientific materialism, which only the religious can believe in, so follow the url at your peril! You might start to learn how to think!
So, a religious mind is informed by dogma and rejects any and all that contradicts that dogma. The scientific mind, however, is informed by evidence and empirical fact, and is willing to change its beliefs if the evidence is irresistible.
Update: And 10. I don’t believe in Plate Tectonics, so I must be the compleat heretic.