Great Site!

Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 01:07:18 EDT
Subject: Great Site!

Dear HolySmoke:

Wonderful to see a new face (to me anyway) in the skeptical crowd. Your site is well constructed and its content lively and up-to-date.

I've yet to check out all your internal links, but just finished reading the Letters section. While most letters are, in my opinion, fairly "categorized" (ie, "Bizarre", "Concerned", etc), one notably exception is "I Like Being a Fool Sometimes", by Michael Gordon. Far from "erudite", it falls squarely in the "bizzare" column. Let's take a quick look at it again...

>To declare all "spiritual" or metaphysical phenomena
>fraudulent, and the practitioners frauds, and the
>believers fools; is itself fraudulent, since it is
>impossible to know this with certainty.

>To call me a fool for knowing what I know for sure, is to
>reflect foolishness back on the accuser for claiming to
>know things that cannot be known.

Is Michael saying it's "impossible" to know metaphyical phenomena with "certaintly"? Is he claiming that such phenomena "cannot be known" or not? He seems to have his feet firmly planted on both sides of the fence.

>Over the many years of my life, I have kept a journal,
>and have accumulated a small number of "miracles". They
>can be categorized according to the degree of specificity
>and "serendipity" (luck); which is useful to separate the
>element of luck (which certainly exists), from the element
>of "mind power" (as one of my atheist friends proposes).

I'd love to see this "list" of miracles and how they are categorized. Who did the categorizing? What does "luck certainly exists" mean? If it certainly exists, A concrete definition of "luck" would be appreciated. How are the elements of "luck" and "mind power" seperated? Sounds fascinating.

>I have in this collection one instance of absolutely
>certain precognitive vision, with a witness, from the time
>I was stationed in Iceland in the Navy. I do not believe
>in predestination, such visions are, to me, warnings of
>what can happen, but these warnings would be pointless if
>the instance could not be avoided. In my case, I described
>the event that my roommate would be subjected to, and I
>told him that when I said "stop" he was to do so,
>instantly and without hesitation, or we would not proceed
>on the adventure. Iceland is quite naturally dangerous,
>but no reason to not go on adventures (in fact, Iceland is
>THE place to go for adventure!).

I have uncanny "visions" that rival Michael's, if not exceeding them. You, the reader, are my "witness" and Michael himself can be the judge.

1) Michael knew beforehand that he and his friend would be travelling to this dangerous ice slope.

2) Michael could not have "fulfilled" this precognitive vision / warning had the friend refused to obey the "stop" command, since otherwise "we would not proceed on the adverture". Had the friend refused, Michael would not have consider this an example of "absolutely certain precognitive vision". I hope he has a better one.

3) Michael commanded his friend to "stop!" several times during the course of this advernture, until Michael, and Michael alone, judged the peril to have been successfully avoided.

4) Michael purposefully set off in the direction of known perils, rather than avoiding them. Additionally, he neglected volumes of winter safety procedures. The Navy has reason to be proud. (It doesn't matter if this adventure took place during "work hours" or not).

5) Michael did not state to the friend on what day, week, month or year this vision would be fulfilled.

>At one point on the adventure, I saw him doing exactly
>what I had seen him proceed to do in vision, and I called
>out to him to stop, and he did so. Had he taken one more
>step, he would have started sliding on the ice down into
>Gullfoss (shaped somewhat like Niagara Falls).

6) Michael headed towards Gullffoss, a geological formation in Iceland "shaped somewhat like the Niagra Falls". I've never been to the Niagra Falls but "see" it in my mind as an awe-inspiring waterfall of thunderous proportions. Were I to venture there, I "envision" myself admiring its beauty while keeping ( as well as travel companions) at a safe, respectable distance. Were I to venture to Gullfoss, I "envision" being doubly cautious. Maybe it's just me.

>The slope of the ice could not be seen because of the
>overcast sky, and it was extremely slippery from mist
>(that is also why we were playing on it, it was fun and

7) Michael should discontinue his "up-close and personal" tours of the slippery, overcast ice-slopes of Gullfoss. His number of friends would quickly dwindle.

>I was wearing crampons and could walk safely on the ice.
>One step more would have put him on a slippery slope of
>about 30 percent grade. This I saw before we went, and
>this I explained to him before we went.

8) Michael envisioned his friend sliding helpless down the ice chutes of Gullfoss to a bone-shattering death. Despite the clear and present danger, compounded of course by previous visions, Michael orders his friend to continue "having fun" while Michael himself quietly dons crampoons. Self-fulfilling prophecy in the making?

>My children sometimes try to manipulate me. They fail
>most of the time, and from a deterministic point of view,
>there is no way for the child to prove that she has a

9) "No way to prove it"? A child could prove it the very same way an adult would prove it! And what does manipulation have to do with "proving" something?

>He could be a "clone" without natural parents at all.

10) "Without natural parents at all"? Must be a new development in biology I didn't hear about. If the parents of a clone aren't "natural", what would they be?

>hHe cannot produce parental miracles on demand, she can
>only ask for parental miracles (behold, a bottle
>miraculously appears merely by waving hands and saying
>"baba!" but it is not reliable; many times it does not

11) "Parental miracles"? Are those miracles only a parent can perform?. "A bottle miraculously appears by waving hands.... many times it does not work"? You're saying "some times" it does work?! If this is from the baby's perspective, the term "miracle" is being used inappropriately.

Keep a 2nd diary and do this: wave your hands and say "baba!" to spontaneously elicit a bottle. Repeat procedure as often as necessary, recording each attempt. On each successful attempt, place the bottle in a safe place. After the very 1 first success, call Scientific American.

>I will agree, tentatively, that if we have a
>"meta-parent", it will be extraordinarily
>difficult to prove using our rather limited three-
>dimensional electromagnetic matrix.

13) What's less "limited" than the "3D electromagnetic matrix" (whatever that means)? The words "rather limited", implies something is, or could be, "less" limited... Name it and win a Nobel Prize.

>Are you familiar with the Heisenburg Uncertainty
>Principle? I'm sure you must be; you can know the
>velocity, or position, of a particle, but not both. The
>corrollary is what I find more interesting; the act of
>measuring the particle alters it. Measuring anything must
>draw energy from the thing being measured. Neutrinos
>cannot be detected since they go zooming through
>EVERYTHING. That's an oversimplification, there is a
>neutrino detector in operation and I think they may have
>finally detected one.

14) I pray Micheal doesn't teach science. The Uncertainty Princple has NOTHING to do with "uncertainty". Look up it up. Measure light particles (photons) and alter them. Measure water particles and you alter them. The act of measuring ANY particle alters it. No scientist under the sun would deny that. What's your point?

>I have a hypothesis, that the human brain is, among other
>things, extremely sensitive to chaos phenomena. That is to
>say, a hugely parallel processor synchronized to the alpha

15) I have a hypothesis, too. The human brain is extremely sensitive to positively-charged, xylotic hyperspheric gravirite protomolecules. Probably with left spin and semi-outward micropull. You with me? You disagree?

What is "chaos phenomena"? What does "synchronzed to the alpha rhythm" mean? What's an "alpha rhythm" for that matter?

>Imagine the effect the slightest perturbation would have
>on the alpha wavefront; by the time the wave washed to the
>far side of the brain, the perturbation would take the
>form of a pattern, or gestalt. The serial data rate is
>extremely slow, but the parallel data transfer capability
>of the scheme is enormous. The high degree of parallelism
>would, to a serial sensor or detector, be seen as pure

16) What is an "alpha wavefront"? In what part of the brain does this "Gestalt" form? What part of the brain handles "serial data"? What part handles "parallel transfer"? Please quantify "extremely slow" and "enormous" as used here. Solid claims have solid supporting evidence. Name some of the sources.

>In the Navy, secret communications are ensured using
>electronic communications if a "Gray code"
>is used (same number of bits always on and off, just
>different bits). Obviously, the greater the number
>of bits, the more "white" becomes the noise.

17) I'll take your word for it.

>Even if it were possible to produce an electromagnetic
>"God detector", the high degree of parallelism I
>believe existing would always appear as pure noise of
>probably long wavelength. Indeed, it might well be
>holographic; a pattern of waves that has no coherency
>at all except when resolved in the cerebral cortex, with
>the alpha wave being the resolver.

18) Holographic waves? Waves without coherence? Please elaborate. Pure poetry to me. Also describe the process by which "alpha waves" in the cortex "resolve" such waves, and how such waves could "detect" God.

>Hypothetical, but certainly more interesting than
>supposing there is no God, no miracles, no nothing but
>aggregations of matter-energy that arrogate to themselves
>to suppose they know something of the universe.

19) Ask yourself if these aggregations of matter-energy "suppose they know something of the universe" each time you flip the light switch on. Next time your air-conditioner breaks down, try fixing it yourself.

Ever Build your own spaceshuttle, spacesuit and command center? Fix a broken space telescope lately? No? NASA did, and seemed to require quite a bit of knowledge of the universe to do so. What gives? Was it luck? Magic? An illusion?

Come on, HolySmoke, let's get with it.

Paul Hutchinson