I often urge my audiences to subscribe to Scientific American. When I add that it’s really a humor magazine, the room will generally erupt in laughter so most people don’t hear my explanation of why I find the magazine so amusing. Scientific American actually is funny, but in a tragic sort of way: more and more, popular science literature is full of articles about enigmas that scientists still cannot solve, the sad reconfirming of facts that they hate, and quirky investigations into nothing much that they must know will lead nowhere. Even that revered old saw of mainstream science, the replicable experiment, appears to have fallen victim to the sloppy despair of a profession by now so deep in crisis that more than two-thirds of scientific researchers cannot replicate other scientists’ experiments.
The cause of this growing malaise remains the fundamental scientific dogma of materialism that was put into place by scientific gatekeepers a century ago and to this day is enforced. Of course, anything based on a dogma has essentially become a religion, with all the need to enforce orthodoxy and to ignore contrary information that any faith-based system implies. To this day, no one who wishes to pursue a scientific career in any western university, or be published in a western peer-reviewed journal, can dream of investigating anything that might hint that reality is not matter-based; and this remains true despite the fact that quantum physicists have known for three-quarters of a century that, as the great Max Planck frankly put it, “There is no matter as such.” He said in 1931, ”I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
Consciousness is by definition not material, but yet those who hope to have careers in science must to this day eschew the investigation of consciousness as anything but an artifact of our brains. They can only conclude that there is something about matter that must inevitably give rise to consciousness. This dogma-based scientific requirement that matter must be primary was proven to be wrong almost a century ago, which is the reason why modern scientific inquiry has by now become so sadly hilarious.
One current example of the flatly non-scientific ends to which all of this must lead was published just last month (I swear!) and cited in Victor and Wendy Zammit’s wonderful Friday Afterlife Report. The article they cite,“Large Hadron Collider Disproves the Existence of Ghosts,” is such a marvel of foolishness that I cannot encapsulate all its nuttiness here. I urge you to read it for yourself. Its core argument is made by a British particle physicist named Brian Cox who asserts that, “We are not here to debate the existence of ghosts because they don’t exist… I would say if there’s some kind of substance that’s driving our bodies, making my arms move and legs move, then it must interact with the particles out of which our bodies are made. And seeing as we’ve made high precision measurements of the ways that particles interact, then my assertion is there can be no such thing as an energy source that’s driving our bodies.”
Media personality and scientific apologist Neil deGrasse Tyson, on the panel where this statement was made, was heard to marvel, “If I understand what you just declared, you just asserted that CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, disproved the existence of ghosts.”
Some of the un-serious attempts that have been made to explain away ghostly phenomena are then cited, but as with all such debunker literature, no attempt is made to examine “ghosts” as an objective phenomenon. Rather, the standard (and telling) false assumption is made that whatever is not scientific must be religious, and that as scientists we are battling the forces of ignorance. First, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN is touted as a triumph of international cooperation, where ten thousand scientists from a hundred different countries work together in blissful harmony. But “(r)eligion and science haven’t exactly gotten along over the centuries. And controversies between the two have flared up from time to time. Yet, it seems confidence in science and its principles, at least in the US, has been relatively constant from the middle of the 20th century, up until the last couple of decades or so” when “… science is once again under scrutiny by segments of the population. Evolution, climate change, and even vaccines have been skewered by skeptics.” Oh, those evil religious forces of darkness! “Even the new dean of Harvard Medical School, George Q. Daley, warned in a recent Washington Post interview, that we are moving into a pre-Enlightenment era, where ideology molds reality rather than facts. This announcement about ghosts and CERN may act as a driving wedge, forcing these two camps even further apart.”
What we are watching here is nothing more useful than a battle between two alternative belief-systems. And since religions and materialism are equally narrow and erroneous ways of seeking to understand the world, there is nothing positive to come from their posturing at one another as if a reality not restricted by dogmas did not exist. And still, the march of folly goes on! Despite all the advances that have been made in the past fifty years by those who have been studying reality without the handicap of any dogma, that scientific need to enforce materialism has blocked any organized study of what might exist beyond materialism’s edges. So yet another sad milestone has been reached. The man who first cryogenically froze a human being in the hope that the man’s body could be resurrected one day has reached the age of eighty. And now he plans to freeze himself as well.
We know that this cannot go on forever. I give it another ten years at most. Once good electronic communication with those that we used to think were dead is in common use by the public at large, both of these sets of false belief-systems that still between them enforce human ignorance will be shamed into following lay researchers into investigating the by now obvious fact that what we think of as human consciousness is the source of everything. And meanwhile, there are some encouraging signs that the bravest and the best among mainstream scientists are finding ways to seek the non-material truth without being banished. Dr. Donald D. Hoffman’s eventual, inevitable Nobel Prize is going to be well deserved.