Friday, May 14, 2010

Huffpo Lanza Template

I noticed that Dr. Lanza has a new article on The Huffington Post.  For a while I was following his articles because he writes on some topics that I find interesting.  Unfortunately, what he writes is mostly pseudo-science new age tripe but pointing out the errors in his tripe can be a lot of fun. I admit the satisfaction is sort of like setting the level of your chess program down near the bottom and then defeating it.  It can be fun the first couple of times but after a while it gets old. As a result I've only been scanning his articles lately. Looking only for outrageous errors such as proclaiming that Skinner was a proponent of the idea that animals are conscious.

However, as I skimmed through the latest article I had a feeling of deja-vu. I realized that all of Lanza's numerous articles on The Huffington Post followed a predictable pattern:
  • Ask an interesting question
  • Say some vague and unproven things about the interesting question that relate to Biocentrism
  • Make some tangential reference to the interesting question as a way to cite previous work by Dr. Lanza
  • Describe a personal emotional experience that relates to the interesting question
  • Reference books by Dr. Lanza on Biocentrism
Ask an interesting question. I will give Lanza credit he knows how to ask interesting questions. The usual form of the question is “Question? Experiments (new theory, etc.) suggest answer” Examples: Do You Only Live Once? Experiments Suggest Life Not One-Time Deal, Anything Beyond The Universe? New Theory Changes Our Destiny, Can Science Resurrect God? New Scenario Says ‘Yes’.

Say some vague and unproven things about the interesting question that relate to Biocentrism. Biocentrism is Dr. Lanza’s new theory that uses some very interesting evidence from theoretical physics to give scientific credence to traditional religious beliefs such as life.

Make some tangential reference to the interesting question as a way to cite previous work by Dr. Lanza. Lately he has taken to cite work he did with the B.F. Skinner. I find this interesting because I’ve studied a bit of psychology and Skinner is about as diametrically opposed to Lanza’s current views as its possible to get. Skinner was a hard core behaviorist. He believed that internal states such as emotions and consciousness were not appropriate subjects for scientific study. Dr. Lanza thinks the consciousness is what defines the universe, or more accurately the multiverse. I left a comment about that on Dr. Lanza's article but it was censored and deleted.

Describe a personal emotional experience that relates to the interesting question. Examples include taking a walk with his dog and seeing how the dog’s perception of the world differed from his, remembering his sister “Bubbles”, and his friend Dennis who died due to a tragic accident.

Reference books by Dr. Lanza on Biocentrism.  The end of each article usually includes a plug for one or more of Dr. Lanza's books on Biocentrism.

I think there is something more serious going on here than just another mediocre new age writer pretending to be profound. Dr. Lanza's posts and the censorship of legitimate criticism of them are part of a disturbing trend at The Huffington Post.  New age and alternative medicine advocates such as Lanza,  Gupta, and Dana Ullman are given great exposure with virtually no counter views from respected scientists.

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