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, April 11, 2016

Here comes the sun

If you needed further evidence of why we need sound science education -- and what happens when we don't -- look no further than "Sun Gazing: Why I Stare At the Sun," over at the site in5d Esoteric, Metaphysical, and Spiritual Database.

And in case you're thinking, "No... that headline can't really mean what it sounds like it means," unfortunately it does.

[image courtesy of NASA]

Right out of the starting gate, we're told that all of the stuff we've been told about sun exposure causing skin cancer, skin damage, and sun blindness is wrong.  "All of these things," the author tells us, "have little to do really with the sun."

In fact, the opposite is true.  Sun exposure heals melanoma.

So then, what causes skin cancer and sun blindness?  Respectively, the answers are: toxins (of course), and...

... glasses.

Lest you think I'm making this up, here's the relevant passage:
Your skin is your largest eliminatory organ, whereby unprocessed toxins are released through the skin’s pores. Interactions between the toxins and the sun’s rays, bring about what we know of, as skin cancer. 
Skin damage, such as leathering of the skin, is caused by lack of EFA’s in the diet. Sun blindness or damage to the eyes, is caused by the use of corrective lenses. Glasses, and contact lenses both, cause an unnatural glare on the eyes, when exposed to the sun. This can cause serious damage to the eyes over time.
EFAs are never defined in the article, but I found out that it stands for "essential fatty acids," i.e., linoleic acid and alpha-linoleic acid.  So apparently if you consume enough of those, sunburn isn't a problem.

We're also told that sunscreen causes cancer.  So use sesame oil instead.  Presumably that way you'll hear a nice crackling sound as you sit in the sun, similar to chicken wings hitting the oil in a deep fat fryer.

Then we get to the main gist of the article, which suggests that we spend up to fifteen minutes a day staring at the sun.  It has to be near sunrise or sunset, though:
The practice entails looking at the rising or setting sun one time per day only during the safe hours.  No harm will come to your eyes during the morning and evening safe hours.  The safe hours are anytime within 1-hour window after sunrise or anytime within the 1-hr window before sunset.  It is scientifically proven beyond a reasonable doubt that during these times, one is free from UV and IR rays exposure, which is harmful to your eyes.
Righty-o.  It is "scientifically proven" that the sun waits for an hour after rising to switch on its ultraviolet and infrared rays, probably after it's had its second cup of coffee.

Then we're given a variety of puzzling statements and directives:
  • Food makes us commit the maximum pain to others and exploit others. 
  • You have to walk barefoot for 45 minutes for the rest of your life. 
  • The sun energy or the sunrays passing through the human eye are charging the hypothalamus tract, which is the pathway behind the retina leading to the human brain.  As the brain receives the power supply through this pathway, it is activated into a brainutor.  One of the software programs inherent in the brain will start running and we will begin to realize the changes since we will have no mental tension or worries.
  • 70 to 80% of the energy synthesized from food is taken by the brain and is used up in fueling tensions and worries.
  • The Pineal gland has certain psychic and navigational functions.  Navigational means one can fly like the birds.
  • After 6-months of sungazing you will start to have the original form of micro food, which is our sun.  Additionally, this can avoid the toxic waste that you take into your body while you eat regular food.
  • Photosynthesis, which we misunderstand, does not in fact need chlorophyll.
So science be damned, apparently.  But that won't matter to you, because after nine months of staring at the sun, "you have become a solar cooker."

And no, I did not make that statement up, either.

It's kind of funny that despite the fact that the author is unequivocal about how wonderful sun gazing is, (s)he seems to be aware that this article is 100% unadulterated horseshit.  At the beginning of the article is the following disclaimer:
PLEASE NOTE: This sungazing information is for educational purposes only. We do not recommend sungazing to anyone. If you are considering sun gazing, please research this as much as possible.
I dunno, sure as hell sounded like you were recommending it to me.  But in case we were uncertain about that point, it's reiterated at the end:
Disclaimer: The information on this web site is presented for the purpose of educational and free exchange of ideas and speech in relation to health and awareness only. It is not intended to diagnose any physical or mental condition. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice and treatment of a licensed professional. The author of this website is neither a legal counselor nor a health practitioner and makes no claims in this regard.
I'm no legal expert either, but what does the statement "After 3-6 months of sun gazing, physical diseases will start to be cured" sound like to you?

As far as I can see, you can't just give people bogus medical advice and then get away with it by saying at the end, "Please note: This bogus medical advice is not actually medical advice!"

I'd like to think that no one is gullible enough to fall for this, but you just know that there will be people who are.  Right now there are probably people out there staring at the sun in order to activate the higher vibrations of their chakras, or some such nonsense, and will spend the rest of the day walking into walls because they've burned a hole directly through their retinas.

At this point in writing this blog, I'm beginning to lose my sympathy for the people who are getting suckered.  There are laws in place to protect people from being prey of fraudulent medical advice, but at some point you just have to learn enough science to protect yourself.  There will always be charlatans out there trying to sell the newest variety of snake oil, not to mention well-intentioned people who are (to put not too fine a point on it) insane.  So arming yourself with a little bit of science is really your best bet.

That, or a good pair of sunglasses.

1 comment:

  1. Since I'm not permitted to drive without my glasses, the DMV must be trying to blind me. A conspiracy I hadn't thought about.