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.

Monday, September 16, 2013

God particle jewelry

It's simultaneously amusing and frustrating to see the woo-woos trying to incorporate the latest scientific findings into their wooism.

Back in the 19th and early 20th centuries, for example, there was a great deal of babbling about "etheric bodies" -- basically, their conception of the soul, which could project through time and space and which survived the physical body after death.  The "etheric body" was, supposedly, made of "ether," the mysterious substance suggested by scientists as the medium through which light waves propagated in the depths of space.

Because, after all, if the "etheric body" is made of "ether," then if the scientists say that the "ether" exists, the "etheric body" must, too.  Right?

Of course right.

But then the Michelson-Morley experiment and Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity demonstrated conclusively that the "ether" didn't exist, and unfortunately, the woo-woos of the time didn't use the reverse logic, and conclude that souls didn't, either.  They just changed the name to "astral body" and kept right on blathering.

Bait-and-switch, that's the ticket.

The master of this technique these days is the inimitable Diane Tessman, who uses scientific words incorrectly so often that someone should design a drinking game based on her writings.  (It is not recommended that you take a shot whenever she uses the word "quantum," however.  I'd prefer not to have any of my readers end up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning.)

Yesterday, though, I ran into the pinnacle, the epitome, the crowning glory of this technique.  If you know of a better one, I don't want to hear about it, because this one caused so many faceplants that I'm already going to have to go to school this morning with an icepack strapped to my forehead.

Most of you probably have heard of the Higgs boson, an elementary particle whose existence was proposed by Peter Higgs way back in 1964 as the manifestation of the Higgs field, which permeates space, interacting with matter and giving it the property of mass.  Higgs, now age 84, was fortunate enough to live to see his theory vindicated.  In March of 2013 an experiment in CERN generated traces of a high-energy particle that most physicists believe was the Higgs.

Unfortunately, twenty years earlier, physicist Leon Lederman had given the elusive particle the nickname "the God Particle" -- apparently because his publisher wouldn't let him use his first choice for a nickname, which was "the goddamned particle."

But far be it from the woo-woos to let an objection like "it's just the nickname, for cryin' in the sink!" stand in their way.  Because now we have someone is selling jewelry made from ball bearings pilfered from CERN...

... and claiming that they are infused with God Particles, and that wearing it will bring you divine guidance.

Here's the pitch:
The God Particle, which was recently discovered by our colleagues in CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory, forever the Holy Grail of particle physics and nuclear research. The God particle is regarded as one of the fundamental forces of the cosmos. Many religious philosophers believe it constitutes the very ground of being, while others assert that it is the fabric of creation upon which the tapestry of the universe is woven. There are some who refer to the God particle as the clay of existence, whereas the Shaivites of India know it as Brahman and regard it quite reverently as sacred supreme Consciousness.

We still don't know if one of these theories is true, or maybe they all are. What we do know is that you are on the verge of a once in a lifetime opportunity of letting this infinite power into your life.

You deserve God's help, you deserve God's particle.
So these people apparently pilfered bits of scrap from CERN -- although frankly, they could just as well be steel ball bearings they picked up from Home Depot for $0.99 each, there's no way to tell for certain -- and made them into jewelry.

And are selling them for two hundred bucks each.

But the bullshit doesn't end there.  Oh, no.  These people are way more sophisticated than those "etheric body" yokels from the 19th century.  Read on, and be amazed:
Samples from the parts exposed to the surge of energy which showed substantial evidence of having the God Particle were sent to the leading universities and research centers in the world.

According to preliminary evidence found thus far by researches in the medical field, the energy of the God Particle has some amazing effects on migraine prevention, on treating different kinds of skin conditions, up to a surprising improvement among those who ailing from sexual dysfunction disorders. All those among a long list of other medical conditions.

The effects of the God Particle is also tested in the field of mental health and in this field the patients are also getting some surprising improvements in a wide range of medical cases, for example treating phobias and depressions of different kinds.

One of the theories being researched by the scientists is that the God Particle doesn't really cure the listed conditions but provides the human body with the energy needed to normalize and cure itself.

All those researches are performed in scientific methods demanding them to comply with a strict criteria before publication.

Therefore all the above should not be taken as a scientific fact, but should only be understood the way it is, a positive influence of material exposed to the God Particle on treating and preventing a wide range of medical problems.

The results of the researches are still censored. But there is an increasing assumption in the scientific community that in the future, when it becomes less expensive to produce the particle, it will completely change the face of modern medicine.
I especially love the penultimate paragraph, which to my ears reads like the woo-woo alternative-medicine's "Not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose human illness" that appears in microscopic print on things like herbal remedies.

And how did these folks come by chunks of one of the most famous pieces of scientific apparatus in the world, you might ask?
We are a part of a maintenance team in CERN. Among our responsibilities is to replace some of the worn out parts inside the collider.

We notices that something amazing was happening to many people during those days, and when we were summoned for tests by the research groups we realized that we were not the only ones who felt that way.

When the moment came to replace some of the parts around the center of the collision, we felt that we cannot dispose this material as waste. Instead, we started collecting the remaining bearings from the section which is under our responsibility. This material was exposed to the most powerful energy.

After the remaining bearings are collected, we remove them from the compound and later from the country, back to our countries of origin. Initially we gave small spheres which came from the collected bearings to our relatives and friends. In a short period of time the spheres started to leave their mark, and along with great responses we were flooded with requests from other acquaintances who heard about the amazing experience.
Which is either an outright lie, or else illegal, since profiting off of materials taken secretly from a scientific research facility is usually considered theft.  Of course, given that they are also making fraudulent claims about what said ball bearings can do, there are so many ethical angles from which you could attack this website that I almost wouldn't know where to begin.

So I think, instead, that I'm just going to stop here and leave it up to your consideration.  For one thing, in doing the research for this post, I did such a colossal headdesk that I think I jarred a Higgs boson loose from my skull, and my etheric body needs some time to recover before I go to work.


  1. Wow. Typically it's at least somewhat difficult to tell whether someone believes their brand of gobbeldygook, but in this instance it's quite clear.

    Testing the particle that gives mass to matter for it's ...medical properties?

    I almost admire their hubris. Such outright fabrication. Just... wow.

  2. I've got some really potent snake oil for sale! Please, step right up to Dr. Mysterio's Wooden Wagon of Wellness, but... please don't get too close - the wood is from the ancient and rare Taurus Fimus tree - I wouldn't want you to get a splinter.