Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Repeat offenders

If there's anyone I owe a debt of gratitude to, here at Skeptophilia headquarters, it's the woo-woo frequent flyers.  Where would I be without Dirk Vander Ploeg's pronouncements about psychic telepathic alien Bigfoots, and how Lord of the Rings was actually a historical document?  Or Alfred Lambremont Webre's claims that President Obama has visited Mars, and that the US government has already developed long-distance space and time travel?  Or Diane Tessman's missives to the world about the Celestial Convergence, which she claims are the musings of a super-intelligent alien named Tibus?

None of the repeat offenders, however, has provided me with quite so much wonderful material as Alex Collier, the Canadian woo-woo extraordinaire who claimed last year that the Earth was about to be attacked by the Borg (apparently they changed their Collective Mind), and also that there was a huge alien/human war in the 1930s, which none of us know about because during the war we were summarily catapulted through a rip in the space/time continuum into another timeline, and now we have to get back, which will be difficult without the assistance of Geordi LaForge.

Well, once again we have evidence that Collier has been using his Netflix membership to watch old episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, because now he's claiming that we're being bombarded by "alien orbs" whose pilots are "demonic hyperdimensional entities" who have "artificially engineered... our current space-time continuum." (Source)

As evidence, Collier produces a scrolling set of images, the majority of which are photographs of the sky with fuzzy spots of light.  One, however, is just baffling, and shows Adam and Eve (or possibly another naked couple, it's hard to be certain) being sternly lectured by something that looks like a figure from a painting by Picasso.  I suppose this represents something profound, but I'm damned if I can figure out what.

In any case, Collier says that there have been large numbers of sightings lately of UFOs in groups of three, and this is highly significant, because three is such a special number, having a great deal of emphasis in the woo-woo world because of its inherent magic, and also because it's the most convenient way to get from two to four.  The "Pagan Gnostics," Collier said, believed in the Archons, who were "demonic interdimensional and artificial life forms who appeared in threes," and after all, we know what authoritative sources on science the Pagan Gnostics are.  "To hell with Einstein," you frequently hear physicists say.  "Let's find out what the Pagan Gnostics have to say about the General Theory of Relativity."

Of course, Collier doesn't just use "Pagan Gnostics" as sources; he also calls upon that trifecta of credibility, Alex Jones, David Icke, and Jesse Ventura.  Yup, I'm convinced.

The best part of the whole article, however, and in my mind the kind of thing that places Collier in a higher tier of woo-woo than the other recidivists mentioned above, is when he starts going into why the number three is so significant:
(N)umerous researchers have presented that “3” has been a recurring theme in a path of apocalyptical destruction.  A distinctive pattern of disasters, has occurred on days, months or years which are either perfectly dividable by “3” or when divided by three produce a perfectly recurring decimal of “3”, ie 646.333333.

Fukushima occurred on 3/11; hence ‘3’.

The War on Terrorism was launched on 9/11, henceforth 9 divided by three equals ‘3’.

“Battle Los Angeles” was a movie on an alien invasion which also precisely coincided by the very day that Fukushima occurred -- 3/11.

World War I began in 1914, which is perfectly dividable by “3”.

World War II began in 1939, which results in a repeated decimal of “3”, I.e. 646.33333

If we conclude that “3” is a significant number in apocalyptical events including World War, we therefore need to look at dates in which “3” become a prominent theme.

As a result, 15 June 2012, or “6/15” becomes at least a candidate for an apocalyptical event, and would represent a “Day of Symmetry” for the archon mind; and 2012 also produces a recurring decimal of “.666” which is the “Number of the Beast”.
When I read all of this, I was torn between laughing and crying -- and of course, you've already seen what the problem is.  If you take any number and divide it by 3, a third of them will divide evenly, and a third of them will leave a repeating decimal .333....  And the remaining third will leave a repeating decimal of .666...., the "Number of the Beast."  So any date that Collier picks will work!

That, of course, is the difficulty with woo-woos in general, isn't it?  They have a totally different definition of the word "evidence" than the rest of us do.  Couple that with a general disdain for the kind of rigorous self-questioning that is the hallmark of good science -- are the correlations we see relevant?  Do they indicate a causation?  If so, what is the correct model to explain that causation? -- and you have a recipe for egregious bullshit.  And, now that the "Information Age" has arrived, they have a more effective venue for disseminating their views to the world than ever before.

Of course, one has to hope that the same mechanisms that allow quick transfer of idiotic nonsense like Collier's aforementioned numerological musings can also act to spread reliable information.  The key is to train people to recognize the difference, so they don't get suckered by wingnuts, hoaxers, liars, and charlatans... which is about as powerful an argument for teaching critical thinking in public schools as any I can come up with.

1 comment:

  1. The Expendables 2

    "This time, they really are..."

    Coming to a Holiday Inn near you.

    Featuring an all-star cast:
    Alex Jones
    David Icke
    Alex Collier
    Diane Tessman
    Jesse Ventura
    Dirk Vander Ploeg
    Alfred Lambremont Webre'