Life Energy?

July 24, 2010

If things like Tia Chi give any benefit to your life energy or whatever, you have to explain what that benefit is. If there is a benefit, it must manifest in some physical way, or how else would we know there is a benefit. There MUST be some effect. If must be detectable in some way.

If there is an effect, you also need to explain how that effect is different than normal exercise, or getting a massage. Doesn’t jogging everyday help my body as much as Tia Chi, does stretching and getting a massage relive stress the same.

If there is no difference, then why do we need the concept of life energy. If jogging is the same Tia Chi, then isn’t it more likely that Tia Chi is just exercise, not that it invokes some magical wellness.

If there is a difference, you also need to make sure that difference isn’t just the placebo effect. Like, people think they feel better after Tia Chi because they think spiritual exercise must be better than regular exercise.

If it isn’t placebo, then there must be some measured effect. Again, this effect should manifest itself in some way. This way must be detectable. Meaning we should be able to stimulate the life energy, and get results.

Despite being around for thousands of years, no one actually seems to be able to say what the life energy is or does. We don’t know if it actually exists.

Ask yourself this: How would you know the difference between life energy existing, and you just wanting it to exist?

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The Power of Prayer

September 5, 2009

kevinFor this post, in order to discuss what I want to about prayer, I’ll have to dive into personal life a little bit.  At the end of July, of this year, I woke up one morning with an extreme and sharp pain in my side.  I decided to go to the hospital to find out what was wrong with me and a mass was discovered on my liver.

Instantly, from many people I knew, the “pray” word started being thrown around: “We’ll keep you in out prayers,” “We’re praying for you,” “I pray that you’ll be alright,” etc.  Next, I will go into a time-line of what what was happening to me, what people were praying for, and what the reality was.

Read the rest of this entry »


On the topic of other skeptic/science blogs.

October 8, 2008

I’m fairly new to the skeptic movement having only really come into it in the last year or so. In that time I’ve come across many a blog, which seems to be the medium of choice for skeptical expression, and I just wanted to note my opinions on those I read often.

The Neurologica Blog:

Hosted by Dr. Steven Novella, president of The New England Skeptical Society and who is also the blogs sole contributor. This is by far my favorite blog. Dr. Novella is eloguent, motivated, and one of the most intelligent people I know of. He confronts and surmounts near flawlessly every claim I’ve seen him counter. His back and forth with Michael Egnor on the duality (or lack thereof) of the human mind was one of the most stimulating things I’ve ever read. I’ve read almost every post, and done research on a lot of them. His points are well thought out, well organized and well presented. A daily must read for any skeptic.

Pharyngula

Hosted by ScienceBlogs and contributed to by the now infamous PZ Meyers. This blog is a pretty good read, especially when PZ is posting one of his articles on peer reviewed research. Reading him discuss evolution is always a treat. Atheism also takes the front page often at Pharyngula, and mostly its good stuff. The eucharist scandal was at first interesting but dragged on for far too long. The nonsense posts have increased as of late and so I mostly scan through his stuff. A pretty good read most of the time.

Bad Astronomy

Hosted by Discovery magazine and contributed to by the new JREF president Phil Plait. Plait is a professional astronomer and does great work in describing the forces at play in space. His video posts with squishy brain suns and candy planets have been some of the most informative and yet entertaining things I’ve seen. A truly motivated skeptic with a great personality and a love for space that is near unrivaled I’d bet. His talks on debunking the moon hoax are a must watch for any skeptic. His posts are most often science, especially space, and skeptic related. Even if he was not the president of the JREF this would be a must read for any skeptic, but especially for those who find themselves looking up at night, dreaming.

The Rogues Gallery

Hosted by The Skeptics Guide to the Universe and contributed to by the podcast members, plus a couple of others. I really like this blog because of its diversity. On any given day you might get an article about technology or therapeutic touch. The writing is pretty good and the skeptics are top notch. A good read.

The Long Run Blog

Hosted by WordPress, founded by Jon Blumenfeld and Brett Spurr, The Long Run Blog is one of my favorite additions to the skeptic world. It seeks to bring skepticism to the crazy world of finance and it does a great job of it. Jon’s descriptions about how the federal reserve actually works is what got me good and hooked into this blog. His departure has not gone unnoticed, but the blog remains strong. Brett’s posts on social security acutally works and his debunking of some common myths were great stuff, and Karl Mamer’s posts on scams have been fun and informative. The coverage of the credit crisis has been refreshing because of their well informed positions, which are realistic and well thought out. If you have any interest in finance, this is a definite.

Respectful Insolence

Hosted by ScienceBlogs and contributed to by a cancer surgeon going under the nom de plume Orac. Next to The Neuroligica Blog this might be my favorite. Often posting on peer reviewed research, and battling pseudo-science where ever he sees it Orac presents clear and concise arguments. His defense of vaccines against the non-scientfic claims being thrust at them has been fantastic. His posts are often filled with well researched and well cited information. He ventures into politics now and then, but mostly where it meets science or medicine. I find Orac to be both informative and entertaining. Don’t miss out on this one.

SkepChick

The post rate has gone through the roof at Skepchick and mostly they aren’t of any worth anymore. Still, there are great people that frequent the site and if you’re looking for something on the lighter side of intellectual blather this is a good site to peruse. Rebecca Watson, SGU member and founder of SkepChick is funny, witty and a great skeptic. I try to keep an eye out for posts on SkepChick that are longer because they usually represent the kind of content that I enjoy. Not a bad site, just not for me as much anymore.

Science Based Medicine

Founded by Dr. Steven Novella, co-edited by Dr. David Gorski, and contributed to by a slew of talented professional MD’s. This is another site from which I read every post, even the crazy long multi-parters from Kimball Atwood. The topics cover all forms of medicine, with much time spent debunking alternative medicine,  as well as philosophical claims about proper medical practice and the business of medicine.  The coverage of chelation treatment for autism was great, and Dr. Gorski’s essay on the dangerous interactions between medicine and marketing is necessary reading. For those interested in medicine, and a scientific and skeptical approach to its applications this is all required reading.


Atheist vs Agnostic: A second helping

September 29, 2008

I think the difference in the terms lies in the falsifiability of the claim to which the terms are being applied. For gods, I am an atheist to every god that has been defined in such a way that the deity has impact on the material world. I have seen no evidence for any of these claims, and much against.

As for the gods that are inherently unfalsifiable, the gods of personal feeling, the gods I have so often seen faith retreat to when the hard questions are asked. To those gods I remain agnostic.

For clarity I’ll point out that I’m quite certain a god who has impact on the material world, but whose methods of impact are the same as those which nature uses is in fact an unfalsifiable god.