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Scientific revelation still fails to convert the masses

By Brian Holden - posted Wednesday, 5 October 2011

On July 16, 1945 at 5 minutes and 29 seconds after 5 am, energy was released in a form that had never appeared on this planet in its 4500 million year existence. It was a spectacular show of magic that no shaman in his wildest dreams could picture.

Who are these people who can achieve this? Surely every adult human inhabitant on this planet would be in awe of their knowledge? Surely even the religious would have suspected that for man to know how the universe works was the Creator's intention? Surely all non-religious would support the seeking of knowledge for its own sake? But it has not turned out that way.


Image taken from DamnCoolPics

The failure of pure science to win over the mind of the man-in-the-street is due to his caring less about evidence than he does about shoring up existing beliefs in which he has an emotional investment. We all experience this to various degrees in the poor decisions we make in our finances and in our relationships.

Science-think is obsessed with evidence. The fruits of this thinking sends space probes hundreds of millions of kilometers from this planet - and which then send pictures of what was out there back to Earth. But, to the masses, science-think is not impressive enough. Just as impressive would be the 'evidence' that the house down the street is haunted.

How far have we moved on from when Huckleberry Finn believed that he could cure his persistent problem with warts by dragging a dead cat across a cemetery at midnight? Scoffing at old superstitions does not raise one above Huck's level if strong beliefs based on no hard evidence are still held. The situation we are now in is that as the established churches fall on hard times, the fantasies of the mind-body-spirit gurus have become the winning philosophy.

The seductive appeal of the paranormal

In every large shopping centre there is a shop issuing forth the aroma of sandalwood. These are the pit stops for the New Agers. These people revere good health, peace, animal rights and the conservation of nature. It would be a much nicer world if they were in the majority. My problem with them is that by steering the gullible towards pseudoscience, they are steering them away from the facts.


Old concepts such as astrology and reincarnation and newer concepts such as out-of-body experiences when critically ill and exaggerated claims relating to mind-body medicine are included in the grab-bag of New Age beliefs. It seems that what science rejects has immediate New Age appeal.

It is new in that it is filling the spiritual void in those who have moved away from the religion of their youth. It is the modern Western version of the indigenous spirit world mixed in with Eastern philosophies. As symbols are the language of emotion, there are aromas, primordial sounds, psychedelic art etcetera to substitute for the symbols of flickering candles, organ music and stained glass windows in church.

This new enlightenment is claimed to be built on facts which science lacks the courage to acknowledge or has yet to discover. In other words; if you want to believe it, then believe it.

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About the Author

Brian Holden has been retired since 1988. He advises that if you can keep physically and mentally active, retirement can be the best time of your life.

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