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Jon Cleland Host

Duane – 
   Thanks for supplying those.  It looks like things there are pretty well laid out.
Karen wrote:

Like Ursula, I feel that life evolved all on its own.  In fact I think that carbon nitrogen hydrogen etc _tend_ to form the molecules of life. (As a result of my personal research, which I will explain in a separate post.)   As much as I support Jon and his journey, I’m amazed he (and Duane)  believe that some special guidance is needed to form anything we see (life, trees, bugs, us) from the materials we have (carbon, other atoms, sunshine) .  I believe it’s inherent in the material;  these atoms tend to bond as they do, these life molecules tend to form.

Karen, I have the same view as you and Ursula – I don’t see any evidence for, nor need for, some external guidance.  

 Evolution, for me, is a given, requires no mystical explanation, and I am somewhat shocked we are debating it.  

Me too.

Why carbon has the properties it does is another question.

Yes, but because the physics of why carbon (or any other atom) has the exact properties it does are so beyond my physics knowledge, I know that it’s pointless for me to argue the point – especially if I take a position that isn’t supported by a scientific consensus.

(It shows on my cellphone as John Cleland, then skip a line, then:  Host.)

All good – no offense taken.  (not even before, come to think of it).  Best!
Ed wrote:

Hey Jon, I appreciate you taking the time to express your reactions to some of my statements. From my perspective, I do feel a bit “attacked” here by you and Ursula too.

I don’t mean to attack you, and apologize for anything that sounds like an attack on you.  Part of this might be that I’m very busy (with a full time job, 4 young kids, finishing a solar power system at home, etc, and that might make me sound a bit short.

here are a lot of acquisitions (inquisitions?) being made about me using methods of “pseudoscience,” as if I’m being branded as a witch or something. That sort of branding of others – without taking the time to examine their arguments (such as critiquing the references that I cited) – is behavior that I would expect from someone trying to force an agenda.

But that’s exactly what’s being avoided.  No one is branding you anything.  I’ve pointed out that some of your arguments use methods of pseudoscience – which is specifically critiquing the argument and not the person.   Maybe I should go into more detail when that comes up? 

None of that really matters to me – we all have emotional or ideological “noise” that obscures our vision at times. You said that you’d like to dialog so that’s great. I always try to look past the noise…

Yes, me too, and I appreciate that.  In our case, I think that the two of us really don’t have many major differences in ideology anyway.  It’s not like I’m talking with a fundamentalist relative or something.

I did not suggest a conspiracy, for the record. I was referring to the treatment received by you, Ursula and Davidson regarding a hypothesis that I presented (I think scientists are too disorganized, independent and apolitical to be capable of conspiracy, lol!).

OK.  I agree that scientists are much too diverse, etc, to form a conspiracy.  After all, there are millions of scientists, from all different cultures, different religions, different politics, and so on.  I think I was referring to the suggestion that the “scientific establishment” is “too biased” for a given testable hypothesis to be tested.  That brings up two responses.  First, I don’t think that’s tenable based on the diversity just discussed.  Secondly, that’s a classic reason used in pseudoscience to explain why a given pseudoscience promoter isn’t publishing her or his paper on X idea.  
In other words, I’m saying that saying “the scientific establishment is biased against my ideas” is not a valid argument, and instead is a sign of pseudoscience.  As such, I’m critiquing the argument, not the person.


 You said my inquiries are a “dead end waste of your powerful mind.” Well thanks for the kind words. Would you like to comment on a specific point I made in my hypothesis? I am hearing general comments (insults?) that are not really focused on trying to understand what it was that I was attempting to communicate.  

I don’t mean to insult anyone.  I’ve attempted to point out when arguments use the same form as those in pseudoscience.  I guess I’m not sure what specific hypothesis you are putting forward to test.  Is it this one here  **  :  ?  

*****From my research, it appears that there are anomalous informational phenomena that current models are at a loss to explain.

If so, then it sounds more like a claim than a hypothesis – a claim that does’t appear to be supported.

 I was speculating – is speculation pseudoscience? To me speculation is the creative process at work – free inquiry.

Sure – but the statements – like that above – sound more like claims than speculations.  

 I believe that my earlier statements and hypotheses were fairly well framed as “notions,” “conjectures” or even “speculations.” So by my definition at least, I do not see that I am guilty of pseudoscience as you say. 

How about your statement above, about “anomalous informational phenomena”?  The “at a loss to explain” sounded to me a lot like the classic God of the Gaps argument, where one states “because X is not fully explained, therefore, my pseudoscience is correct”.  Just to suggest that an unexplained thing is evidence for a hypothesis is false.  Positive evidence is needed for support – not a mystery.  And, of course, it’s very often the case as well that the item suggested to be “unexplained” really is quite possible with current explanations.  A good example was the earlier statements that bacteria evolution is beyond the capabilities of natural selection.

I squint my eyes and look for patterns in the universe. Sometimes we see patterns that are the result of apophenia (Apophenia /æpɵˈfniə/ is the experience of perceiving patterns or connections in random or meaningless data.). Sometimes our vision is true. Time (or research) will tell. 

Yep, I agree.

I’ve been a meditator and a contemplatist for 40+ years in addition to research engineer, inventor, entrepreneur and such.  I’m multidisciplinary and very very familiar with the philosophy of science. I’m also studied in world religions ranging from humanism/UU to theosophy and shamanism. I seek to build bridges between the sciences.  You might say my views are eclectic. But heresy? Really?

Did I accuse you of heresy? 



The curious mind will not avoid “dangerous territory” because a topic is taboo or off-limits. Though crossing that line can certainly lessen one’s chances of building consensus within the scientific community (perhaps explaining the inquisitional tone that I sensed and commented on, leading you to accuse me of playing the “conspiracy card” then likening me to a quack).

No topic is taboo or off limits.  I’m fine with any topic – but not fine with common methods of pseudoscience, like “god of the gaps”, shifting the burden of proof, suggesting unfair bias against an idea as a reason for lack of progress, and so on.  I’m not saying that you used each of those, but that some of your points did sound like some of them.

 I’d like to hear what specific statements I made in my hypothesis where you want explanation or clarification, or where you see a leap of logic that you cannot follow. I wouldn’t expect you could possibly follow my logic very well without checking out some of the references I am citing – at least ones that bug you. Feel free to refute them. Hey, I might be mistaken… It’s happened before.   Smiles, Ed 

Yes, smiles.  :  ) 
Did some of the above show a leap of logic that I disagreed with?  I need to go now, but if a specific list – with reasons for concern for each one – is preferred, let me know.  
Together in the Great Work-