Monthly Archives: August 2015

Many woos, both magical believers and (pseudo)religious ones, are INFJ, or INFP, according to the MBTI Personality Test.

Earlier today I wrote a blog post, in which I focused the woo-personality.

I mentioned that according to a personality test called Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Test many woos tend to end up -or should I instead perhaos write come out – as INFJs.

This four-letter combination INFJ is one of the 16 possible personaliity outcomes in the MBTI test. 

This test is based on C.G. Jung’s theory of psychological type. It shows/reports your preferences on four scales.

Each scale represents two opposite preferences.

The four letters are said to make up your personality type, which in turn can help you understand yourself and your interactions with others.

If you want more detailed information, read about the eight letters used in the MBTI test, and their sixteen possible 4-letter-combinations, here: .

Or here: .

If you already know what personality type you are, read more here: 

Like I said in the earlier blog post, many woos get this 4-letter combination: INFJ. 

An INFJ person often seeks meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. He – or more common she – wants to understand what motivates people. They are often also insightful about others. They act conscientiously and are committed to their firm values. 

Typically, they develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. The see themselves as chosen ones, i.e. they experience that they have been granted to look into other dimensions and realities. 

Therefore they tend to dislike skeptics and others who don’t share their view of what life is and what the “destiny” of humankind is (according to the hiddenly plan that once was implemented by the Cosmic Intelligence, God or what you prefer toll call that force and power. 

INFJs are usually strongly committed to fulfill what they consider their Cosmic Intelligence once decided for them and their life journey. Therefore they act in an organized way and are decisive in implementing their vision(s).  For INFJs the destination of their life journey tend to be more important than the journey itself (cf. the concept of karma). 

Just a few – between 2 and 3 – percent of the population are INFJs. 

The same goes for those with an INFP-personality. Just 2-3 percent of the population are

INFPs constitute the other big woo-ish personality group in the MBTI test,  Usually they are described as Idealistic and known for their loyalty to their sacrosanct values and to people who play an important role for them in their lives.

They strive to make their own “external” life congruent with their “internal” (i.e. inner and more or less sacrosanct) life values. 

Other people often describe INFPs as curious, open-minded people, wanting to explore all kinds of life’s (and afterlife’s) possibilities, Like other sectarian people they act politely as long as they don’t feel being under attack (they often wish each other “Peace & Love” when meeting and upon leaving). 

In their lives they are constantly striving and trying to reach their life goals (often they feel or experience that those life goals have been given them by a kind of HCA (Hidden Causal Agent) a.k.a. the “Cosmic Intelligence”; they dislike and even avoid using the word “God” when talking of this HCA that rules ther life. Most of the time, INFPs aim at fulfilling their own life potential. That’s why the life journey itself seems to be so important to them, sometimes often more significant than the life goals themselves. 

If their sacrosanct life values are threatened, for instance by a skeptic or an afterlife denier, the INFPs quickly kiss goodbye to their “Peace & Love”-greetings and try instead to diminish and denigrate their opponents. 

BTW, that’s probably why I am hated by so many woos. both the magical and (pseudo)religious ones. Just a little more than a week ago one religious woo, believing in Allah, told me he wanted to cut my throat off in order to stop my blasphemous way of debating religious issues. 


Filed under Delusions, Gods, Personality Tests, Psychology, Religion, Woo, Woo-Personality

About Woos, Woo-Personality, H.I.S.S., ASPs, HSPs, the Enteric Brain, and our Immune System.

Ever heard of David Ritchey? He wrote a book – entitled “The H.I.S.S. of the A.S.P. Understanding the Anomalously Sensitive Person” – that was was published in 2003.

That’s a whole book about the woo-personality or, rather, about people inclined, and highly willing, to believe in magical and (pseudo)religious mass delusional woo-bullshit.

Click this link, , and you can see what topics and subjects are discussed and analyzed in David Ritchey’s intriguing book about woos – or, as he prefers to call them, schizotypals. This link is about the content in the 14 chapters of the book. 

For example, in chapter 4 you can read about biological predispositions toward sensitivities. The reader learns about phenomena like anomalous cerebral laterality, left-handedness, biochemical factors behind the schizotypal personality syndrome and so on. 

David Ritchey is fond of mapping woo-ish temperament types. He often refers to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, according to which many woos and magical believers are INFJs, i.e.Introverted and/or Intuitive Persons dependent on their Feelings (Emotions) when it comes to making Judgments (Decisions).In chapter 8 David Ritchey analyzes some common cognitive dysfunctions and malfunctions among woos, for instance the big prevalence of language and learning disorders among woos (many of them are dyslexic and/or dyscalculic).

Chapter 9 is about emotions and emotionality. The emotional acuity of the woo-personality can also be called HSP, meaning Highly Sensitive Person(ality). And HSP is strongly positively correlated to ASP (Anomalously Sensitive Personality/Persons).

Among ASPs altered states of consciousness (ASCs) are prevalent (at least relatively speaking). The same goes for dissociative disorders. And, of course, hallucinations and delusions are frequently experienced by an ASP.


Now click this link, , and you can read a short summary of David Ritchey’s findings about personality traits and characteristics in people having a typical woo-personality. 

Ritchey calls attention to the following six findings:

#1. Various factors including Biology (“nature”), Trauma and Abuse (“nurture”) and Temperament Type Preferences (“personality”) can predispose an individual to be an Anomalously Sensitive Person (ASP).

#2. If an individual is anomalously sensitive in one realm (the “Physiological,” for example), s/he is very likely to be anomalously sensitive in the other realms (“Cognitive,” “Emotional,” “Altered States of Consciousness” and “Transpersonal Experiences”) as well.

#3. The Anomalously Sensitive Person is likely to: be female, be hypopigmented (blond hair/blue eyes), be Non-Right-Handed (left-handed or ambidextrous), be artists, be born as one of a set of twins/triplets/etc. and have an other-than-conventionally heterosexual sexual orientation.

#4. The Anomalously Sensitive Person is likely to: have an Introverted (rather than Extraverted) Orientation, have a preference for an Intuitive (rather than Sensate) mode of Perceiving and have a preference for a Feeling (rather than Thinking) mode of Judging.

#5. The Anomalously Sensitive Person is likely to: have unusually sensitive immune systems, be highly reactive/responsive to sensory stimuli, exhibit learning/attention styles that differ from the norm, be very attuned to the emotions of both themselves and others, be especially facile at accessing Altered States of Consciousness and to frequently have Transpersonal (“metaphysical,” “paranormal,” “psychic”) Experiences.

#6. The HISS data support the position of those negativists who hold that anomalous sensitivity is indicative of temporo-limbic epilepsy. The HISS data also support the position of those positivists who hold that anomalous sensitivity is indicative of kundalini arousal. The HISS data also support those who have no position and hold that anomalous sensitivity is indicative of anomalous sensitivity.

I came to think of David Ritchey’s woo-typology study when I just a little while ago read this article, . entitled “Microbes and the mind: Who’s pulling the strings?”. 

Neuroscientifically Challenged is a blog I strongly recommend for those of you who are interested in how both functional and dysfunctional/malfunctional brains work.
The blog article I received today from Neuroscientifically Challenged is about how microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and parasites are able to influence the neurobiology and behavior of their hosts (in this case humans). Researchers have pretty long been aware of a powerful connection between the gut, or gastrointestinal tract, and the brain;
This connection is called the gut-brain axis.
This powerful connection explains why strong emotions can have a great impact on the functioning of the gastrointestinal system – and vice versa.
In mammal bodies there are probably hundreds of millions of neurons OUTSIDE the brain and and the central nervous system (CNS).  This kind of  “external” neuronal structure has been dubbed the enteric nervous system (ENS).

Such neurons can be found around the heart but mostly, of course, in the walls of the gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus to anus (so who knows, maybe there is, after all, at least some veracity of the saw “He must be thinking with his ass”?).

Anyhow, the connections between the brain and the enteric nervous system are extensive, and the two can communicate through neuronal, endocrine, and immune system signaling.

And that’s why I came to think of David Ricthey and his book. Ricthey found that the Anomalously Sensitive Person (ASP) is likely to: have unusually sensitive immune systems, They often suffer from directly autoimmune diseases and so-called autoimmune-related disorders.

Therefore it shouldn’t come as any surprise that for woos (i.e. HSPs, ASPs) diagnoses like Fibromyalgia and. Chronic Fatigue are relatively common.

Neither of those two diseases (diagnoses) are genuine autoimmune disorders, strictly speaking, but they have both a marked and pronounced connection to many (other) autoimmune diseases that are categorized as genuine and are therefore associated with a dysfunctional/malfunctional immune system

Other directly or indirectly autoimmune-related diseases/disorders that seem to be more common than statistically expected among woo people are different types of personality disorders (for instance Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizotypal Personality Disorder, Latent schizophrenic Personality Disorder etc.), mood affecting disorders (such as depression, GAD, OCD OCHD, Tourette’s Syndrome and so on) and Attention Deficit Disorders (like ADD or ADHD).

Woos also often seem to be diagnosed with more specific disorders/diseases like Urticaria, Vitiligo, Psoriasis, Porphyria, IBS, Celiac disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, Narcolepsy, Sleep Paralysis, Lyme disease,Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, Endometriosis, and Alopecia areata.

Please note that most of these correlations are just anecdotal so far. This research area is still to be referred to as a “terra incognita”.

If you want more information about this kind of correlations, have a look at; . By clicking that link, you can see an abbreviated version of David Ritchey’s so-called  H.I.S.S. Questionnaire (with almost 100 questions to be answered by the respondent).

H.I.S.S. stands for Holistic Inventory of Stimulus Sensitivities.

A not so emotionally laden example of hypersensitivity is hyperacusis or hyperacusia.

That diagnosis means an abnormal acuteness of hearing due to increased irritability of the neural mechanism of your auditive sense. The disorder is characterized by a more or less strong intolerance for ordinary sound levels. For instance, you can get temporary “crazy” just because your neighbor decided to start his lawn mower at 8 a.m. or even earlier, on a Sunday morning.

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“I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.”

My blog is normally not a blog for lovers of the fine arts (a.k.a. les beaux arts, les belles arts).

But my cyber friend clanton1934 has written an essay so full of both knowledge and wisdom, that I simply have to reblog it on my own blog.

Dont forget to also have a look at my comment to clanton1934’s blog post.

Why? Because I think my comment summarizes the content of clanton1934’s essay pretty well.

So instead of quoting from the essay I here copy what i wrote in my own comment:

Dear clanton1934!
Thank you so much for sharing your memories!
This blog post of yours was really worth reading – and rereading. Not to say pondering – and repondering.
A friend of mine teaches History at a pre-universuty level here in Sweden, and I’m going to send him copy of this eminent and sagacious blog post.
At the same time I’ll enclose four Wikipedia articles for my teacher friend:
1) ;
2) ;
3); and
4) .

Those four bits of information, mentioned by you en passant, were totally new to me. Of course we Europeans had our own equivalences or analogies of those things you bring up in your essay, but never before have I heard or read anything about how such things were dealt with in the U.S.
Historical events usually seem to be treated with a narrowness that is almost frightening. We know, at best, what happened, but then only from our own narrow outlook and close-minded perspective(s).
Your wonderful article, clanton1934, also makes me remember and interesting detail from my own history books here in Sweden.
Sweden was, for centuries, often at war with its neighbor Denmark, and one of the Danish kings from those war times was called Christian “the Tyrant” in the Swedish history books. But in Danish history books that same king had the epithet “the Good and Caretaking”.
So don’t try to tell that perspective(s) and open-mindedness doesn’t matter, clanton 1934. :o)

As a matter of fact, I believe that we need to look at the course of (historical) events from more than one possible perspective.
I also think – or at least hope – that the web, the internet, allows us to do just that. Thereby hopefully leading to a better understanding of each other, i.e. less tendency to begin throwing stones or even more dangerous things at each other, and more acceptance of each other’s needs and wants.
Conclusion (if I may call it so): If you want a more peaceful world, invest in education. Better educated people means better understanding of each other’s traditions, caprices and intellectual vices – which hopefully may lead to more forgiveness and considerateness (i.e. morality coming from within ourselves, NOT from a punishing or rewarding imaginary divine entity friend called God or so).
BTW, You quote the Persian poet, astronomer and mathematician Omar Khayyám (read more about him here: ). Do you remember our conversation the last weekend, clanton1934? We discussed the the topic why so many pshysicians and mathematicians are fond of – and often also good at – music, poetry, painting and other “beaux arts” (fine arts).
In this beautifully written essay you’ve demonstrated, clanton1934, that you yourself are an artist practicing different aspects of “les belles arts” in a highly enjoyable way, both for yourself and your readers/followers.
In short, clanton1934, your aesthetic intelligence is extremely high. Maybe I’m the first one here on your blog to admit and applaud that fact. But I’m sure that you’ve must have heard that same kind of praise many times IRL. Otherwise I suspect you happen to live in a town inhabited only by uneducated morons.

AND FINALLY: Even if you don’t like my “summary” of clanton1934’s beautiful essay, please don’t care a fig for my own brief “résumé”. Read the original essay! Clanton 1934 is a man of extremely high aesthetic intelligence. So just relax and enjoy what he’s got to tell his blog readers/blog followers.

Charles Clanton Rogers


My peer group, too young to be considered “The Greatest Generation” and born before the “Baby Boomers”, we entered adulthood with only modest bruises from The Great Depression and The Second World War. I have vivid memories of both, but I was still in elementary school when The Japanese General surrendered his sword to General Douglas MacArthur on the decks of th USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, September 2, 1945. It is estimated that fifty to sixty million human beings were killed in that war which was two and a half per cent of the world’s population. My Uncle, Bourley Clanton, the crown jewel of my grandmother’s life was precisely the U.S. Army’s most desirable age in 1941 and he served in The Pacific through out the entire war, My grandmother had a “blue star” flag permanently in her front window and she had a military regulation size American…

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Feeling sad today? Then have a look at Rosa Rubicondior: The Wit and Wisdom of Deepak!

Rosa Rubicondior: The Wit and Wisdom of Deepak!.

This is hilarious reading. Thank you, Rosa! You made my day!

A QUOTE: It has been said by some that the thoughts and tweets of Deepak Chopra are indistinguishable from a set of profound sounding words put together in a random order, particularly the tweets tagged with “#cosmisconciousness” [sic!]. This site aims to test that claim! Each “quote” is generated from a list of words that can be found in Deepak Chopra’s Twitter stream randomly stuck together in a sentence.

Why not take the test yourself?

See if you can pick out the genuine Deepak Chopra quotes taken at random from his twitter feed, from the randomly generated fictional Deepak Chopra quotes from this site.

Enjoy sentences like: A compassionate heart, tapping into the inner ocean of unconditional acceptance, flows in waves of love.

Oh yeah! Peace & Love upon that. 

What about this one: Each one of us is created with an inherent light within – a light made up of limitless spiritual power.

Oh yes! Halleluiah! Amen to that.


Filed under Blogs I follow, Consciousness, Humorous reading, Science vs. pseudoscience, Soul, Woo

What is a delusion? What does DSM-5 say about delusions? PLUS Dumb & delusional views of what atheism is.

In the DSM-5 (Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders), delusions are defined and described in this way:

Delusions are fixed beliefs that are not amenable to change in light of conflicting evidence. Their content may include a variety of themes (e.g. persecutory, referential, somatic, religious, grandiose).

Delusions are deemed bizarre if they are clearly implausible and not understandable to same-culture peers and do not derive from ordinary life experiences. 
The distinction between a delusion and a strongly held idea is sometimes difficult to make and depends in part on the degree of conviction with which the belief is held despite clear or reasonable contradictory evidence regarding its veracity.
The last sentence in my quote above is important in more than one way. What that paragraph says is, that if a delusion is shared by many people, then that type of delusion should not be called delusional.
Is it logical to reason in that way? If it is (but I disagree strongly), then we must highlight the the size of all religious groups worshipping one or more special gods. And also take into consideration how unique or common the used religious rituals in a religious group are.
Those difficuties – this dilemma – are discussed here: 1) . And 2) here: . And 3) here: .
Here’s a quote from the blog “Why evolution is true” (see link #2 above), where Jerry Coyne carries the DSM-5 statement to its extremes by concluding: 
If 80% of the population suddenly became schizophrenic, would that no longer be seen as a mental disorder because it’s common?

And Jerry Coyne continues: 

What is important, I think, is not the frequency of a “disorder” — whether it deviates from the “norm” — but whether it inhibits one’s well-being or leads to behaviors that interrupt one’s life and rest on distorted views of reality (e.g., obsessive-compulsive disorder).  The fact is that if, say, evangelical Christianity were the sole religion in the world, and was seen in only 2% of the population, the DSM would classify it as a delusional disorder. [But not in today’s world.]

And finally, here’s an interesting quote from the newspaper The Guardian (see link #3 above):
The general idea [in the fifth edition of DSM seems to be] that delusions represent a problem with how you believe – that is, a problem with forming and changing beliefs – not a problem with what you believe. In other words, simply believing something strange or unusual should not be considered a problem but having “stuck” beliefs that are completely impervious to reality suggests something is mentally awry.
No longer are psychiatrists asked to decide whether the patient has “a false belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everyone else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary”. A wordy and unhelpful definition that has so many logical holes you could drive a herd of unicorns through it.
I have to stop writing here and make a facepalm – or two. How in this world (or in afterlife) is it possible to define delusions in that manner? Isn’t it obvious that both the WHAT and the HOW questions are, at least in many ways, equally important when it comes to defining a delusion? 
WHAT you believe in has consequences for the way you lead your life.
But so has the answers of the questions concerning HOW you yourself (or your cult leader) decide and motivate how your thought paradigm should/must affect your life and be interpreted.
HOW you explain to yourself (cf. the concept of self-deception) and others the consequences (of WHAT you believe) can really be delusional. So why shouldn’t that aspect matter? Of course the life you lead could be delusional irrespective of how many people there are to believe in the same woo magical or religious bullshit.
In order to finish this blog post in a less serious and more humorous way I add this link:
Click that link, and you can read about what religious true believers think of atheism and atheists.  I’m not sure all the 100 questions asked to atheists are the dumbest ever. But many of them are really dumb – in a delusional and almost hysterically funny way. *now time for another facepalm; hope you’ll join me by doing the same*

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Explanatory Theories of Religion And Religious Thoughts (by Cris Campbell)

Have a look at  Explanatory Theories of Religion ( ). I found that article on Cris Campbell’s blog. 

There are many explanatory and evolutionary theories of how magical and religious thoughts (and different religions) emerged among our ancestors.
In this reblogged article we can read about Cris Campbell’s take on that topic. 

Cris holds advanced degrees in anthropology, philosophy, and law. He’s apparently very interested in the origin of magical and religious thoughts. And he obviously knows a lot – and I really mean a great deal; he’s a scholar! –  about the many hypotheses and theories that try to explain how it became possible for our ancestors to invent divine spiritual beings of different kinds.

His blog readers get a very good resume of how this “religification process” may have looked like. Here are some quotes taken from Cris Campbell’s blog article:

This is not, of course, a simple question and no single theory provides a definitive answer. Since 1990 (i.e., the beginning of the modern era of evolutionary theorizing about religion), scholars have proposed so many different varieties of “cognitive byproduct” and “social adaptive” theories that simply surveying, sorting, and analyzing them is a considerable challenge. Synthesizing them is an even greater challenge and, given their differing premises, may be impossible.

Seeking clarity, last year I decided to conduct an intensive review of all previous theories (i.e., those predating 1990) that could variously be characterized as: (1) explanatory, (2) developmental, and/or (3) evolutionary. The latter category can be confusing because many scholars working within a post-Darwinian evolutionary paradigm tend to conflate biological withcultural evolution. Such scholars may also prefer non-Darwinian explanations, but they are still working within an evolutionary or developmental paradigm. When this occurs, I refer to them as “evolutionist.”

My richly rewarding review resulted in a great deal of writing, most of which has appeared here in scattered posts over the past year. Now that the review is nearly finished, I want to gather all those posts and links on a single page. The theorists are listed mostly in chronological order of their appearance. I chose this arrangement not just for convenience. One thing I discovered is that the scholars working within the developmental-evolutionist tradition were fully aware of previous work and were responding to their predecessors or contemporaries. If you read these scholars’ original works in serial order, you will find yourself eavesdropping on a brilliant conversation that lasted for well over 100 years.

BTW, here’s an interesting TED Talk video: .

The speaker is Yuval Noah Harari, author of the book “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”. For a short review of that book, have a look at  

Harari suggests that our ancestors became “human” when they acquired the ability to think in symbolic “terms”, i.e. to create imaginary realities and not only accept the physically real reality. 

As an atheist I especially like Harari’s take on money and gods. Suggest to a chimp that if he gives me one of his bananas, I’ll give him some paper money in return, and the chimp would, maybe, wonder if you’ve gone insane.

The same thing goes for gods and heavens. If you pay tithes to your church, your priest/minister promises you that he’ll do all he can to help you entering Heaven through its Pearly Gates.

A chimp would NEVER buy that concept, that imaginary and creative symbolic idea.

Neither would I.

But many fellow religious True Believer humans seem to accept that kind of deal without any hesitation at all.

How about you? 


Filed under Atheism, Blogs I follow, Consciousness, Delusions, Evolution, Gods, Neuroscience, Religion, Science, Soul, Theological bullshit

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Rosa Rubicondior has written and published a book entitled The Light of Reason: And Other Atheist Writing.

Rosa Rubicondior: So I’ve Written This Book….
At last!

In response to numerous requests, Rosa Rubicondior has finally produced an ebook, based on a selection of her Atheism and Science blogs. The inspiring title is “The Light Of Reason: And Other Atheist Writing”.

I’m darn sure this ebook will enlighten many atheists’s lives.

The articles are arranged into four sections, each dealing with a different aspect of Atheism and science and the interface between science and religion.

Those sections are:

#1: Religion and Atheism, which looks at the reasons why Atheism is the position of choice for critical thinkers and people who allow the evidence to determine their beliefs and who suspend judgement in the absence of evidence.

#2: Evolution and Other Science, which deals with aspects of science which normally feature in creationist and other religious apologetics and about which most creationists are ignorant or at least feign ignorance.
#3: Religious Apologetics, dealing with the common apologetic fallacies (and believe me, there are plenty of them to be ridiculed.
#4: Silly Bible, exposing the utter nonsense and implausibility of the stories found throughout the Bible.
I guess section #4 will become my personal favorite part of Rosa’s ebook since the Bible (a.k.a. the Holy Scripture) is really a silly book, with lots of even more stupid narratives – like the talking (and maybe lisping) and upright walking Serpent in the Garden of Eden. 
Hey, hold the horses! Wait a sec. An upright walking Snake? Yes, obviously it must have been that way; i.e. after the Fall God seemingly felt revengeful (although what happened in the Garden of Eden couldn’t have come as a surprise to Him) and therefore commanded all snakes from now on to become crawling reptiles on the ground. Otherwise it’s very hard to understand and accept what can be read in Genesis 3:14: And the LORD God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; on your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life:” 
(Hence, before that the snakes weren’t crawling on the ground.)  
Back now to Rosa’s ebook. There is no plot to follow in it, so so the table of contents each article can be read independently of the others. 
Click the link above to get more information about Rosa Rubicondior’s ebook. 
I haven’t yet bought Rosa’s ebook, so the table of contents is unknown to me. But I’m pretty sure this article will be included, .
The Kindle version of Rosa’s ebook consists of 747 (!) pages, so you’ll get a lot of knowledge for a small amount of money. Don’t hesitate to buy it. I bet your atheist life will be much funnier to live afterwards, because Rosa Rubicondior is an unusually “divinely” gifted writer.

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Life is Still Inexplicable – Subjective Versus Objective Characterizations

I just reblogged ONE of clanton1934’s many interesting and intriguing blog post about life and its meaning (if there is any at all).

Now it’s time for me to reblog another of clanton1934’s blog articles. I choose this one because the two fit so well together.

Here’s a quote from this second (by me) reblogged article:

In my view, these objective observations and descriptions do not, however, explain: what is the source and nature of the force which drives the biochemistry and biological systems forward in spite of the natural characteristics of disorder and chaos. Lacking objective answers to this question, we are in the subjective arena. Some scientists believe these replicative forces toward complex structure and function, are the products of an enormous number of random encounters of non-living chemicals over extremely long periods of time.


Several prominent scientist insist that “evolution” does not mean “improvement”. Dawkins proposes that Darwin’s “descent with modification” is explained by random errors in DNA replication with some products having greater survivability than others. In this explanation, we humans are not an improving, higher form of life, just different from our deep ancestors, with, perhaps greater, on average, better survivability . These scientists deny a teleonomic character.

Pross disagrees and believes that both the structure and the behavior of all living things lead to an unambiguous and unavoidable conclusion— living things have an ‘agenda’ (Pross’ word). Living things act on their own behalf. The Pross “agenda”, I believe is an idea which should be in the subjective arena and not in Pross’ objective analysis..

Pross uses an analogy of an automobile without an engine (pre-life) and a car with an engine (life) to describe the replicating entity. “The entity with an energy-gathering capability is now like a car with an engine— it can go uphill too. That means that a replicating system with an energy-gathering capability would appear to have an agenda. It would seem to be acting purposefully, as it would no longer need to be confined to the downhill thermodynamic path, which we interpret as objective behaviour, but rather the path toward systems of greater organization and function, which could involve the equivalent of rolling some way uphill.”

This analogy does not answer the question: where did the “engine” come from and what makes the engine run?

Charles Clanton Rogers


Review: Addy Pross, What is Life (1)

“TV’s  Talking-heads” frequently start their position statement: “I’m not a scientist but….” Then they proceed to inform you, in the manner of a peddler, that he is “right” and you are “wrong”. This is the ageless Zero-Sum Game:(2)  “I win – you lose!” 

Unlike those  sellers, this author is  a scientist and a physician.  What is  unfortunate in this “pseudo-debate”,  looking at both sides of the biological controversy –those from the faith-based discussants  and those employing observations  and reasoning, – each is playing the tired and ancient game: Zero-Sum.  

In my view, neither side needs to defeat the other in order to win, with what they are defending. My view is that just as oxygen and nitrogen can occupy the same space, the subjective (faith-based) and theobjective (science-based) are not mutually exclusive. In my view, an intelligent…

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Life is a Journey

Some people sport what I’d prefer to call encyclopedic knowledge. They remind me of polymaths.

And yet they are so humble, so non-egotistic.. They really lack inflated ideas of their own importance and “omnipotence”.

The fact is these polymaths usually know so much that they are able to explore and investigate Nature (and its “sibling” Life) on their own.

During their explorations they strive to build bridges between all the different branches of knowledge that, in a holistic view, constitute Nature and Life.

Knowledge used in that way leads to – and causes – wisdom.

I want do define that word/concept as “the quality of having enough knowledge and life experiences to make good and empathetic judgments, and to give coherent and sensible good advice to people in need of a helping hand.

The other day I came into contact with a blogger called Charles Rogers (a.k.a. clanton1934). His knowledge is of the encyclopedic kind. And his blog is full of both knowledge and wisdom.

That’s why I’m going to reblog two of his blog posts here on my own blog. He definitely is worth following and, of course, being read. He is absolutely worth being listened to.

Here’s a quote from his blog post: Clanton1934 calls it a “Conclusion”. Personally i’d prefer to call it Clanton1934’s credo or statement of belief(s). Anyhow, it’s very nice and inspiring to read:


A parting question: Consider this: the greatest scientists who share Dawkin’s and Hoffman’s solely mechanistic, random-chaos view of the origin of life, have manifested in their encyclopedic study and meticulous manuscript authoring, an enormous motivative force driving their work. This force is not objective. Is not this the inexplicable subjective force of life which science can not explain (but some deny)?

Addy Pross’ conclusion serves to give us sound attitude: “Each individual is part of a nuclear family, which, in turn, is part of an extended family, which is part of a local community, which is part of larger groups of the human organization. The survival of the community requires far more than the individual. Reproductively speaking, individuals are incomplete. Biologically speaking, our individuality is actually non-existent.” That’s why a new pregnancy catches our attention. That powerful and compulsive news resonates with our fundamental selves.

“Just as importantly, we are also emotionally incomplete. Various psychological elements also connect us to the network. We obsessively need to be with others. We think of ourselves as individuals, but we are really just components of a network. Our “lifeboat” is not just many individuals, but an ever-expanding living network. The irrepressible force of life leaves no stone unturned in seeking ways to extend the invaluable larger life of which we are the stewards. We obsessively need to be with others. We think we are separate, but we are one. We think of ourselves as individuals, but we are really just components of a network.”

Life has a purpose; the purpose is the process; the process is the product.

Charles Clanton Rogers

Freedom_train_in_ga7THE FREEDOM TRAIN 1947  “Life is a journey, not a destination” (1)

Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted.” (2)

I have had an epiphany about Life. Now I see Life is a Process. The purpose is the process; the process is the product.

Here is a true story which has given me an analogy to this epiphany:  In 1947, a very special train was assembled to contain the nation’s greatest treasures and wisdom, among which was the originals of  The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of The United States.  (3)  The Freedom Train traveled to cities across the country carrying this wisdom-treasure. The train passed through the small towns without stopping. A teacher from such a community, upon learning that these jewels of wisdom would not stop, persuaded the conductor to at least go slowly through their station in order…

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Pseudoscience and science – bullshit vs. rational thought

Don’t miss this article, Pseudoscience and science – bullshit vs. rational thought.

The blogger Skeptical Raptor gives his many (and now also my few) readers a brilliant lesson about how to spot, identify and unveil woo-ish & pseudoscientific (usually on wishful thinking based) research.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the article. describing and dissecating the “pseudoscientific research method” in detail, and thereby demonstrating to you what to look for and focus on.

Skeptical Raptor writes,

To identify pseudoscience, there are six reliable clues that shout out “pseudoscience.” Almost always, you can find all six in any pseudoscientific claim.

  1. Use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims.  Essentially, pseudoscience makes “scientific claims” that are vague and variable, rather than the precise scientific claims made with statistical analysis, usually a hallmark of the specificity associated with scientific research. Moreover, pseudoscience uses complex, implausible assumptions with their claims.
  2. Extreme reliance on confirmation rather than refutation. Pseudoscience relies upon assertions that do not allow the logical possibility that they can be shown to be false by observation or physical experiment–falsifiability. Pseudoscience also asserts claims of predictability when it has not been shown to be predictive; “scientific” claims that do not confer any predictive power are considered at best “conjectures”, or at worst “pseudoscience”.
  3. Lack of openness to testing by other experts. Pseudoscience researchers evade peer review before publicizing results, occasionally using press conferences to share their ideas. These pseudoscientists will claim that their ideas contradict the scientific consensus, so they must avoid the peer review process because that process is biased towards the established paradigms and consensus. They will also claim that their results cannot arrive from the scientific method. Thus, they get to avoid the feedback of informed colleagues.They will also appeal to the need for secrecy or proprietary knowledge when an independent review of data or methodology is requested. Of course, many agencies and institutions that fund real science research require authors to share data so it may be evaluated independently.
  4. Absence of progress. Pseudoscience usually fails to progress towards providing or even searching for additional evidence of its claims. Astrology is an example of a pseudoscientific concept that has not changed in 2000 years. Real science is constantly adding data through scientific progress.
  5. Personalization of issues. Pseudoscience is often composed of closely tied social groups, and usually includes an authoritarian personality, suppression of dissent, and groupthink. This social construct can enhance the adoption of beliefs that have no rational basis. In an attempt to confirm their beliefs, the group tends to identify their critics as enemies.Pseudoscience also make false assertions or claims of a conspiracy on the part of the scientific community to suppress results that support the pseudoscience. Finally, they attack the motives or character of anyone who questions the claims, the argumentum ad hominem.As an example, the anti-vaccine crowd has invented numerous claims about Dr. Paul Offit, one of the great researchers in vaccines, just to attack him personally. They’ve done the same with Bill Gates.
  6. Use of misleading language. They try to create scientific-sounding terms to add weight to claims and persuade non-experts to believe statements that may be false or meaningless; for example, a long-standing hoax refers to water by the rarely used formal name “dihydrogen monoxide” and describes it as the main constituent in most poisonous solutions to show how easily the general public can be misled. More often, pseudoscientists use established technical terms in idiosyncratic ways, thereby demonstrating unfamiliarity with mainstream work in the discipline.

And here’s another tip to my readers: Please visit Skeptical Raptor’s blog and use the excellent search function that is available there. Skeptical Raptor is a very prolific and clever blogger! A brave warrior not afraid of fighting pseudoscientific magical and (pseudo)religious woo-bullshit thinking (for instance the crazy antivax movement; you know the morons telling their neighbors that if God according to His special plan of creation has decided that your little girl or boy must die at an early age, then you shouldn’t try to stop the fulfilment of this divine plan by vaccinating your child against contagious and dangerous, life threatening diseases, because that would be seen as blasphemy and insubordination by Almighty God – and who wants to make God pissed off?).

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Filed under Blogs I follow, Cognitive flaws, Medicine, Science, Science vs. pseudoscience, Woo