Chris Langan’s defense to his CTMU theory

By on April 9, 2011

Below is Chris Langan’s response to my criticism of his CTMU theory, I have posted his response in the interest of fairness.  My criticism can be found here.  The following post in no way represents the opinions of our blog.  I invite the reader to read the entire transaction of events and judge for himself/herself:

How tiresome … another “criticism of the CTMU” that says absolutely nothing about the CTMU.

I was hoping for at least one of two pleasant surprises: that you (Tom Beasley) would manage to grow up a little before sounding off again, so to speak, or that you would at least try to critique my theory in something resembling an honest and meaningful way. Unfortunately, you’ve proven to be a complete disappointment on both counts.

When I offered you a chance to have me read and respond to your CTMU criticism, I was doing you a favor for which you are technically unqualified and of which you are plainly undeserving. Unfortunately for both you and your readers, you’ve wasted this golden opportunity by using it to demonstrate how many bad assumptions, snide innuendos, non sequiturs, and red herrings you can cram into one misbegotten web page without actually writing anything worth reading.

Let me cite some examples.

You complain that I “somewhat attempted to trick you” by “challenging you and you alone … with great flourish, to debunk my nonsensical CTMU theory …” The fact of the matter is that I would never have bothered to respond to a low-profile, patently confused novice blogger like you had you not claimed, with gratuitous “flourishes” of your own including ad hominem jabs and oblique arguments from authority, that you *could* debunk my theory. Of course, as we now see all too clearly, your claim was utter nonsense. Once you’d made it, any unpleasantness to follow came permanently to rest on you alone.

You crow that I “lament your power” when in fact, I don’t think that you have any power, and I suspect that your reluctance to accept your own impotence may be a large part of your problem. (By the way, my issue with your page layout was analogous to “fairness in advertising” – you were denigrating me and my theory on the front page of your blog while relegating my response to a back page, thus shamelessly promoting yourself and your blog at my expense.)

Then you turn around and accuse me of “responding to a relatively obscure blog … for the primary purpose of publicity” when I was merely answering a vacuous and bad-smelling eructation liberally seasoned with aimless carping (your hit piece). What you should have written was “…for the primary purpose of countering and correcting unsolicited *negative* publicity by Tom Beasley”. There’s a difference there, and as long as you’re pretending to be a writer, you might as well get around to learning it.

Another writing tip: you want to be careful about ironic incongruities. As you may not have noticed, the word “sesquipedalian” is self-descriptive; that is, it is sesquipedalian. Much the same can be said for “obfuscated”, a word that most people probably don’t understand. So it’s a little absurd, isn’t it, to pose as a champion of “common language” while explicitly deploring “sesquipedalian, obfuscated language [that] is an intentional inoculation against healthy discourse”? That’s a bit like deploring sloth and obesity between soap opera commercials while inhaling chocolate bonbons as your exercise videos gather dust atop your television.

As for your statements regarding the CTMU, they remind me of (bad) amateur film criticism. You wave your hands, make sweeping pronouncements about style and motivation, and circumvent any and all specific points of content while injecting your personal biases and assumptions and smugly appealing to those of your readers, which you seem to think are identical to your own (if they are, then your readers are in serious trouble). The few statements which convey your impression of what the theory actually says are almost completely erroneous. They no more admit of a productive response than would a summary demand that one explain how quantum mechanics proves that the earth is flat. That’s not what the theory says, and we can’t pretend otherwise.

In the final analysis, your critique leaves us with nothing more than we already knew: that in your personal highly uninformed opinion, my language is convoluted, my motives are dubious, my ideas are without substance, and that I define or develop concepts like dualism, consciousness, and soul in ways that don’t suit you. (As one of your commentators has already noted, you’ve managed to get the dualism part completely backwards.) In other words, you have told us a very great deal about the opinions, linguistic preferences, and conceptual limitations of Tom Beasley, but again, absolutely nothing at all about the CTMU.

Finally, perhaps realizing that you should have delivered somewhat more in the way of substance, you sum it all up as follows:

“If reality is its own designer, why would one then be required to use a theological explanation for the designer? If the universe designed itself, why must it be a spiritual explanation? Langan’s assertion that the intelligent designer is reality itself seems to lead only to the conclusion that if what he were saying were true, that the designer is inherently a naturalistic phenomenon and by no means a spiritual one. Even if his work were sound, the many conclusions he draws from his work are unfounded.”

One is not axiomatically “required” to produce a “theological explanation for the designer”. The point is that any designer-like entity which can actually be shown to exist by logical reasoning about the structure of reality must be objectively analyzed, and its key properties identified and properly interpreted. Where the properties of this entity can be shown to align with certain key properties intuitively attributed to God, the existence of the entity obviously implies the existence of God. The natural theological ramifications – note the intentional coupling of “natural” and “theological” – can then be developed from the given properties.

But as that may be a little hard for you to fathom, the easy take-home message is just this: such an entity can indeed be shown, with logical certainty, to exist. Hence, God exists. And unfortunately for one Tom Beasley, the logical properties of this entity do not bode well for the ultimate consequences of the current antics and convictions of Tom Beasley.

As this clearly exhausts your present level of comprehension, it will have to do for now. I need scarcely add that I sincerely hope, for the sake of you and anyone who respects your views, that you one day manage to expand your powers of comprehension. (Hint: All you really need do is point your mind in the general direction of truth and then open it up a little … and of course, open up an English dictionary when you fail to understand what others are saying.)

Until then, I’m afraid that I have more urgent and worthwhile things to do than further contribute to this hostile and opinionated blog. Now good day.

Discussion

Andy

Having read both Beasley’s criticism and your rebuttal, here is my takeaway.
Beasley seems light on specific criticism to your work. However, the few specific criticisms present go to question fundamental assumptions that you are making. Therefore even one of these criticisms being correct leads to large problems. You seem to ignore these in your response, instead choosing to say things akin to “Just because you say it doesn’t make it true”, when the same can be said for your work as well, and indeed Beasley does say something like this. But if your argument can be boiled down to “I think I’m right and I think you’re wrong,” and you can’t even quote your own work to SHOW why one is right and one is wrong, it speaks to the strength of the work itself.

Additionally, you spend quite a lot of time assuming you are intellectually superior, which may be true as a generality, but must be proved on a situational basis, which you have not done here. Your theory could be the most brilliant ever discovered. Indeed if god were proven to exist, it would likely be the greatest discovery in history. If you are able to prove god in less than 60 pages, but nobody can understand it, then the proof is useless from a practicality standpoint. Why not flesh it out in 1000 pages, holding the readers hand from point to point. This will serve a two-fold purpose. Firstly, elaboration will ensure points are not misinterpreted. Secondly, increased understanding could lead to enlightenment of all mankind.

Or maybe you will find that you are incorrect. Have you ever legitimately considered that as a possibility, or have years of being told how smart you are made you believe that every thought you have must be correct, otherwise why would someone so smart have had the thought in the first place?

Brian

I consider myself a layman. I understand the CTMU. To attempt to reproduce all the points here would not help anyone. You need to go to the source and read. That’s all.

Dear Mr. Chris,
I don’t care about any of the crap on this website — but I can tell you are a bully.
Sincerely,
Brennan

Jason

I totally agree with Andy. Why not show these steps more plainly?

I couldn’t get passed “teleric feedback” in the CTMU in terms of understanding how that conclusion was made. “Teleric Feedback” was meaning a system that is self-directed. I don’t understand how to get from a system that Darwin explains and seems to make sense because there doesn’t need to be any purpose for it to be in existence, no direction just works or doesn’t and lives or dies based on that for the next generation. “Teleric Feedback” means “self-directed” does it not? Meaning the system is self-defining. Its assuming the system some how has an idea of itself? What about all the species that have died out? Did they decide to just die out on purpose and why did other species decide to live? That is a dumb example maybe. Not sure how that makes sense but I’m not a smart person I suppose.

Brian

The term in question is actually “telic feedback”. See page 6: http://www.megafoundation.org/CTMU/Articles/Langan_CTMU_092902.pdf.

Aaron

Sorry, Chris, but CTMU isn’t worth a hill of beans.

If you’re going to defend your ideas by effectively saying “I think it, therefore it is true,” then you’re not going to prove anything.

Esoteric notions such as “key properties intuitively attributed to God” provide no more basis for support than my claim that I really, really believe there’s a teapot circling the earth.

Brian

Aaron, where does the CTMU say (or has Chris said in his response) “I think it therefore it is true”? Also, the claim that there are “key properties that are intuitively attributed to God” is not a controversial claim. It’s the old chestnut that God is typically conceived of by mankind as omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient.

Andy

Key properties intuitively attributed to god have been growing smaller and smaller over time as scientific knowledge increases. “Intuitively” here actually means we don’t know and nothing intuitively fits. The explanation of god is invoked specifically because intuition fails.

Brian

What do you mean they’ve been “growing smaller”? Is is that they’ve lost currency amongst believers as scientific knowledge increases? If it is this, then I think you’ll find that the properties intuitively attributed to God haven’t been affected by science as science (not pseudo science) does not (currently) purport to make claims about God, and because, by definition, even if science had said something to say that was of moment to this issue, evidence would not have ramifications for *believers* because God is a matter of faith for them and not evidence.

Saying that the “explanation of God” is invoked because “intuition fails” presupposes an explanatory role for intuition that nobody has claimed for it. Intuition is not supplanted by explanation. Nor has intuition failed, as I’ve shown in the first part of this response. Hence, your claims to this effect remain highly suspect.

Moreover, your definition of “intuitively” is circular because it invokes the word “intuitive”, and is convoluted because it’s not clear what is meant to “fit” with what.

Andy

When I say intuition fails, I mean it fails to explain. Which is why intuition and God can so comfortably go hand in hand.

People who attribute things “intuitively” to God suddenly stop “intuitively” making those attributions as soon as science explains it to them. Essentially a claim of an intuitive attribution to god is a claim about god. It is then upon science to fail to disprove it or not. In that manner, god is constantly being affected by science.

The rest of your post is actually quite unnecessary. You could have just asked me to clarify.

Brian

Can you give an example of where science has provided an explanation that has supplanted peoples’ intuitive ascriptions to God, please?

Andy

Biodiversity.

Tom Coward

Brian: Formerly intuitively attributed to god: god is the direct cause of thunder and lightning. Scientific discovery: lightning is the discharge of naturally occurring electricity in the atmosphere; thunder is the sound caused by lightning passing through air. Result: religion no longer attributes god as the direct cause of thunder and lightning.

Repeat as necessary until god is gone.

Brian

I don’t think anyone ever directly attributed the cause of lightning to God – Zeus maybe, but Zeus is not, nor was he ever considered to be the same as, God.

What’s more, there is still actually a considerable amount of debate as to how lightning is initially formed. So for you, Tom, the ham-fisted scientific explanations of lightning’s initial formation might have supplanted the intuitive ascription of lightning to God (which never actually happened, but is really just a strawman that facilitates a denigration of theistic perspectives in general), but that’s, ironically, due to your faith in science. And science could never truly supplant the role of God because of some fundamental assumptions that the scientific method makes; assumptions which inhibit its capacity to ever make “absolute truth claims”. But I assume that you’ll probably disagree with this point, so I’m not going to iterate the problems with the scientific method here. There’s loads of interesting writing on the topic that I’m sure you could find, though.

Brian

The example of biodiversity also fails, not only because you’re relying on Darwinism that has a whole host of problems that are peculiar to it, but also because of the problems with the scientific method that I alluded to above.

Andy

You could have just said in your first post that you disregard accepted scientific theories and the scientific method. That’s all I need to know. Sorry for wasting your time.

Brian

Don’t apologise, I find it really interesting. I don’t actually disregard accepted scientific methods, I just don’t consider them to be perfect and hence don’t consider them to have a definitive say over what reality is like.

John

Langan wrote: “One is not axiomatically “required” to produce a “theological explanation for the designer”. The point is that any designer-like entity which can actually be shown to exist by logical reasoning about the structure of reality must be objectively analyzed, and its key properties identified and properly interpreted. Where the properties of this entity can be shown to align with certain key properties intuitively attributed to God, the existence of the entity obviously implies the existence of God. The natural theological ramifications – note the intentional coupling of “natural” and “theological” – can then be developed from the given properties.”

St. Anselm rolls in his grave. This is basically a paraphrased rendition of the ontological argument, and I’m sorry Mr. Langan, but tautology does not belong in either science or rational discourse.

Jason

“and I’m sorry Mr. Langan, but tautology does not belong in either science or rational discourse.”

LOL. Considering the fact that every axiom and theorem of 2-valued logic is a tautology, you’re saying that logic has no place in either science or rational discourse. While this might be to your advantage, those disciplines would certainly suffer from its absence.

George Micco

The CTMU is a marvel. I sorry that so many people jump to criticize it without reading it the dozen or so times it takes for even very smart people to maybe grasp it! I wish Stephen Hawking would read it! Maybe it might punch a hole or two in his positivistic hubris as exemplified by such statements as “whenever people bring up Schrodinger’s cat, I generally reach for my revolver.” –so extreme is his negation of the value of subjectivity and thereby ANY intentionality operating within reality. I can’t thank Chris enough for the labor he put into this thing. It opens marvelous vistas of thought and possibility. Reality is not just some endless series of enormous turds that come into existence because there’s such a thing as gravity (who’s existence apparently doesn’t need to be questioned causally) with some of these turds by mere chance being huge enough in space and time to support intelligent life who will be fooled into thinking there’s something special about their universe and themselves. The CTMU goes beyond the multiverse and M-Theory’s conceptual dismissal of the anthropic principle and refutation of there being any significance the the remarkable concinnity of the universe. And, anyway, how can Hawking pronounce (dictate) that philosophy is dead and the suggest that m-Theory is the most likely candidate for a comprehensive and exhaustive theory of everything; M-Theory IS philosophy!–being as it chief flaw is its not being amenable to empirical demonstration and proof. Chris, thank you.

Jamie

“Another writing tip: you want to be careful about ironic incongruities. . . “sesquipedalian, obfuscated language [that] is an intentional inoculation against healthy discourse”. . .”

Yeah, er, you missed the “to emulate him” bit, Chris. The irony was intentional; he was taking the piss out of you. Quite how you can fail to realise that, yet be intelligent enough to logically prove the existence of god is quite beyond me.

Anonymous

As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I am willing to take on anyone who comments on this blog in debate about the CTMU, and I hold a pro-CTMU stance. However, judging by the lack of responses my offer has received, I am beginning to think that not very many people commenting here actually care about the contents of the CTMU or about a possible refutation of their criticisms. Please shoot.

David Scott

My parents are white Europeans but i grew up in The Sudan. I was never introduced to religion, nor was I educated by a school. I grew up playing with animals and african children. I was white, everyone else was black. I tryed to make sense of why. One day I found a group beetle larvae. The majority were dark, but there were a few light ones. I worked out from an early age, without studying genetics or natural selection, that there is variation in a group of organisms,,,,,and the only way these varitions could be successful and carry on, is if there is some use in nature, or some advantage to being different. I thus concluded that i must be adapted for cool, low sun level environments. It also explained why I got sunburnt and my friends didn’t seem to. When I moved to New Zealand, i went to school and naturally studied science…..i then went to Auckland University and studied science, simply to make sure my observations and ideas made sense. Aparantly Darwin realised the same things over a decade before me. I was very happy that I hadn’t got it all wrong, I haven’t bothered to finish my Bsc yet (only doing stage 1 & 2) because I have wanted to design motorcycles since i saw one at age 5. I now design custom motorcycles. In other words, i independantly worked out why there is variation and why nature appeared to be “designed”. The notion of a god or designer is simply driven from a fear of death and a sense of loss. I guess it’s natural for people to seek all sorts of ideas for comfort, but it doesn’t make it true. It’s sad I wish there was a spiritual aspect to life….but there really isn’t. If we did have a “soul”, we would have memories before birth…..but we don’t…..therefore all death is, is exactly what we had before birth. Nothing, and no comprehension of it. If there was a overall defining power to the universe, it wouldn’t be so complex to explain. Atheism is stupid, but based on the truth. Faith or creationism is stupid but based on peoples fears. Atheism is stupid because…..if you are correct and know you are, why spend your life and thoughts on something you know is true, trying to convince the brainwashed. It’s like trying to push jelly uphill with a rake. Creationism or ID is stupid because it’s wrong. If it was all obvious to an uneducated kid like me, just making observations about the world around him, why can’t full grown adult minds get it? it simple. At the end of your lives, you wont have wished you spent more time thinking about evolution vs creationism…….you’ll wish you had bought that motorcycle and felt the wind in your hair……and if you die doing it……so be it……..you’re going to die anyway. Stupid nerds.

Anonymous

I find the quest for absolute truth far more exhilirating than I could find any motorcycle ride. And the CTMU, far from being complex, is a relatively simple model considering its aim.

A lack of memory is a lack of cohesion between cognitive states. All a lack of memory of the time before one’s birth shows is that one’s mentation was essentially different at the time, which is not at all surprising.

Topology Dude

I would love to see a written debate between Chris Langan and Dr. Gene Ray, about the CTMU vs the Time Cube.

Anonymous

That would be silly considering that Gene Ray has not shown himself to be willing or capable of accepting anything other than his completely illogical model. Also, which aspects of topology interest you?

Godeler

This response was atrociously fallacious, appending the already appalling ego of Mr. Langan with various ad hominem and tu quoque attacks on Mr. Beasley. In addition to vague platitudes about not understanding, only one specific point of substance was ever addressed, and this addressed poorly. To quote Mr. Langan:

One is not axiomatically “required” to produce a “theological explanation for the designer”. The point is that any designer-like entity which can actually be shown to exist by logical reasoning about the structure of reality must be objectively analyzed, and its key properties identified and properly interpreted. Where the properties of this entity can be shown to align with certain key properties intuitively attributed to God, the existence of the entity obviously implies the existence of God.

This argument is logically fallacious, because it overreaches what, if anything, is actually demonstrated by the CTMU. To make the point clear, I will repeat Mr. Langan’s quote replacing a few key words to make the fallacy easier to spot.

One is not axiomatically “required” to produce a “cryptozoological explanation for the unicorn”. The point is that any unicorn-like entity which can actually be shown to exist by logical reasoning and empirical observation of the structure of reality must be objectively analyzed, and its key properties identified and properly interpreted. Where the properties of this entity can be shown to align with certain key properties intuitively attributed to the unicorn, the existence of the entity obviously implies the existence of unicorn.

By applying this logic, along with what we know of horses, we can conclude that since horses exist, and since they exhibit key properties of the unicorn (quadruped, hooved mammal, herbivore, etc.), unicorns must exist. The point here is that in order to demonstrate the existence of some object, one must show that an object with ALL of the relevant properties exists, and not merely some of them, however key they might be. Moreover, one cannot assume beforehand that such a being exists, as that defeats the entire purpose of a proof. This flaw permeates every logical argument for the existence of God I’ve ever heard: it tries to demonstrate the existence of something far more basic than the Christian God, and then its proponents assert that they’ve proven the existence of that specific god, despite the fact that what they’ve actually proven, if their argument worked at all, is the existence of a deistic or pantheistic god.

Kevin K.

Chris,

I’ve been a fan of the CTMU for nearly a decade now. The only thing I find more impressive than your penetrating insights and unique and beautiful vision of a self-creating, self-processing reality is your capacity to sustain the endless onslaught of unfounded criticism from dilettantes and malcontents. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous

Godeler,

Firstly, Langan never claimed to have proven the existence of the Christian God, in the sense of the Bible’s God, capable of making the orders of the Bible’s God, in the same manner as the Bible’s God. However, the God whose existence Langan has proven is not quite the God of any other existing religious viewpoint except on an extremely general scale. The scale which I’m talking about is best demonstrated by an example. Deism is merely the belief that the existence of a creator can be derived rationally. Obviously Langan *is* a deist in this sense, but there is another belief that is common among deists while not inherently a part of deism. This is the belief that the Creator does not interfere with His Creation. Langan’s God differs from the gods of many deists in this respect, as Langan’s God inheres in every aspect of His Creation, and thus affects it with His every action.

Similar reasoning shows that Langan’s God is not equal to the God of many pantheists. In pantheism, Nature and God are viewed as identical; more specifically, the pantheistic God is not (as Wikipedia puts it) “personal, anthropomorphic or [a] creator god”. Langan’s God, while not personal or anthropomorphic, certainly a creator god, and this sets Him apart from the pantheistic God.

Secondly, the key word in Langan’s statement is literally the word “key”. Something that is shown to share, to quote Langan, “certain key properties” with a god or all gods, may well be referred to as God given that these properties are in fact as important as emphasized. To use your unicorn example, if the properties of a certain species are an equine build, a horn, a goat’s beard, an affinity for females, etc., we *have* found the legendary unicorn.

I hope this clears up the state of affairs regarding the CTMU.

zach

I think anonymous is actually Langan lol

Anonymous

I’m not Langan, as anyone with access to my IP address (e.g. Tom) can testify. Not only am I not Langan, but I do not even know Langan, aside from minor encounters I’ve had with him in forums and the like.

Anonymous

So, now that that’s settled, does anyone here actually want to debate the CTMU?

Schoen

Okay, noone is addressing the actual argument, CTMU might be interesting philosophically, but what predictions can we make about the universe with it?

Also, Chris Langen assumes that a god can be rationally derived, a premise that is accepted by very, very few intelligent people

To clarify, as to not seem as the above is an argument from authority, I see no proof for the aforementioned assumed premise

*Personally, I think Langen is an asshole with an inflated ego who has done nothing useful with his life, prove me wrong pretentious prick, those who actually move the world make some contribution to humanity, not just useless philosophical theories based on idiotic premises

Anonymous

“Okay, noone is addressing the actual argument, CTMU might be interesting philosophically, but what predictions can we make about the universe with it?”

The CTMU is rational theory, not an empirical one. This places it in the realm of mathematical theories, specifically logical theories, and distinguishes it from solely empirical theories of the kind that are often found in (e.g.) physics. Asking for predictions from the CTMU is like asking for predictions from sentential logic; it is in fact a reality-theoretic extension of sentential logic. Thus, the way to falsify the CTMU is to rationally prove that the reasoning that leads to it is false. Having said that, the CTMU does say several things about the realms of cosmology and artificial intelligence that may interest you. For example, it says that the universe is “conspanding” not expanding, which (informally) means that the contents of the universe are shrinking with respect to it. For more details, I recommend Langan’s 2002 paper on the CTMU, which can easily be found online (for example, here: http://www.megafoundation.org/CTMU/Articles/Langan_CTMU_092902.pdf).

“Also, Chris Langen assumes that a god can be rationally derived, a premise that is accepted by very, very few intelligent people

To clarify, as to not seem as the above is an argument from authority, I see no proof for the aforementioned assumed premise”

I’ll deal with this qualm as quickly as possible by quoting Langan.

“There are several ways that we can be logically certain that the being called “reality” or “the universe” is sentient.

1. *We’re* sentient. Because we live in the medium known as “reality”, and because any attribute supported by a medium exists throughout the medium in the form of potential (to be objectively actualized), sentience implicitly exists in reality.

2. Despite the principle of locality – the existence of separate locales and local systems within the universe – the universe is globally consistent. The aspect of a system which reflexively enforces global consistency is necessarily globally coherent, and that which is coherently reflexive (self-active, self-referential) is, in effect, “sentient”.

3. Because, by definition, there is nothing outside of reality that is sufficiently real to recognize the existence of reality, reality must distributively recognize its own existence; every time one object interacts with another within it, the objects “recognize” each other as things with which to interact. But that means that reality is distributively self-aware.

Now, given the absolute logical certainty that the universe is sentient (self-aware) – a certainty that nobody can possibly refute, as we see from the inevitability of 1-3 above – can we characterize its “will”?

Yes. First, what is will? That function of a sentient entity which forms intent prior to actualization. So by definition, the “will” of the universe is that function which determines how the universe will configure itself “in advance” of actualization. In cosmological terms, this function is just that which determines, among other things, the laws of mathematics and physics embodied by reality.

Such a function must, after all, exist. For without it, there would be no reason, from one moment to the next, why the laws of physics should not spontaneously change into one of the infinite number of other nomologies that might have arisen. Concisely, this function is defined as that reflexive mapping which effects the nomological character and stability of reality. The “will of the universe”, AKA the “will of God”, AKA teleology, is the name of this function, which we have just concretely defined.

Does the universe “feel” its volition as do we? Well, let’s see. What the universe feels properly includes what *we* feel, plus much more (because we are merely parts of it). The universe therefore “feels” teleology far more powerfully than a mere human being “feels” an act of human will. The mechanism of its “feeling”? Well, there are a lot of those, including every human being, every animal, every plant, and every alien microbe on every planet in every star system in every galaxy in the cosmos. As you can well imagine, the impressions that get channeled to the universe through all of these “sense receptors” add up to very powerful sensations indeed.

In fact, these are the sensations that feed back to teleology to tell the universe how to self-actualize in the “optimal” way…i.e., so that it ends up with the “best feeling” possible. They have already told the universe how to configure the laws of math and physics; for more specific elements of configuration, the universe relies on US. Every decision we make, including our every act of will, we make on behalf of the universe. That’s why we should always make the very best decisions we can.”

Now I’ll go back to replying to what you wrote.

“*Personally, I think Langen is an asshole with an inflated ego who has done nothing useful with his life, prove me wrong pretentious prick, those who actually move the world make some contribution to humanity, not just useless philosophical theories based on idiotic premises”

You should probably mind your civility when it comes to theories instead of insulting both their creator(s) and the people who present them to you. One doesn’t need to use derogatory terms like “asshole” and “prick” to prove one’s point.

Michael

The most intelligent person in the world can play linguistic games proving the truth of anything so long as he or she makes the proper assumptions. This seems to be what Langan has done. The test comes in the ability make the fewest assumptions, justify the rest of the assumptions, and demonstrate their accuracy in counter-critiques. Rather than defend his assumptions, Langan asserts such things as intuitive properties of a deity. Why does Langan make faulty assumptions? He can’t divorce himself of his prior beliefs to objectively consider the existence of a deity and perhaps because he personally needs them.

Regardless, this is the promise I make to every theist. If you open your eyes, even for a second, you’ll never want to close them again.

Anonymous

“The most intelligent person in the world can play linguistic games proving the truth of anything so long as he or she makes the proper assumptions.”

That which relies on false assumptions is not a valid proof.

“This seems to be what Langan has done. The test comes in the ability make the fewest assumptions, justify the rest of the assumptions, and demonstrate their accuracy in counter-critiques.”

In fact, every conclusion at which Langan arrives is derived from the inarguable existence of our perception.

“Rather than defend his assumptions, Langan asserts such things as intuitive properties of a deity.”

Langan’s deity fits certain criteria, yes, but Langan makes no assumptions.

“Why does Langan make faulty assumptions? He can’t divorce himself of his prior beliefs to objectively consider the existence of a deity and perhaps because he personally needs them.”

Apparently not given the actual state of affairs regarding his so-called “faulty assumptions”.

“Regardless, this is the promise I make to every theist. If you open your eyes, even for a second, you’ll never want to close them again.”

Langan has done this.

If you wish to continue this debate, you should find specific things in the CTMU with which you disagree; I recommend looking through Langan’s 2002 paper and providing me with quotations with which you disagree, if you find any. You should also provide me with the reason(s) you take issue with the statements expressed in the aforementioned quotations.

Michael

I’ve read the CTMU, number one, and watch your 3 part interview on YouTube. You make an interesting remark about brain size being related to intelligence, or rather head size, since your head is rather large by comparison. I say the remark is “interesting” because it’s blatantly false. So much so had you bothered to read any biology, anatomy or human evolution book in your entire life you would’ve come across this. However you said you “thought” this, which ought to at least lead you to another interesting thought: thoughts are often wrong.

The CTMU is a glorified logic paper. Watch me do one. Dogs can fly. All cats are dogs. Therefore all cats can fly. Perfectly logical, perfectly wrong. Theories require proof, not words. While IQ may result in the ability to make very thoroughly logical statements, no matter how complex, evidence is the next step.

You talked at one point about eugenics, which basically amounted to Lamarkism, which is very logical. Lamarkism was onto something. I say “was” because when the proof and evidence train rolled into town it failed.

The CTMU made no predictions, therefore it’s no theory, just words. It’s rhetorical tautology, which is mental equivalent of masturbation.

I have a theory about bird evolution. Unlike your theory it makes a prediction about the morphology of ancestral bird fossils and is based on ones that already exist. If my prediction fails, so goes my theory.

Oddly enough, I can’t disprove the CTMU. Though I can’t disprove flying cosmos teacups either.

Anonymous

“I’ve read the CTMU, number one, and watch your 3 part interview on YouTube. You make an interesting remark about brain size being related to intelligence, or rather head size, since your head is rather large by comparison. I say the remark is ‘interesting’ because it’s blatantly false. So much so had you bothered to read any biology, anatomy or human evolution book in your entire life you would’ve come across this. However you said you ‘thought’ this, which ought to at least lead you to another interesting thought: thoughts are often wrong.”

First of all, I am not Langan. Second of all, if you listen to that interview closely, you’ll hear that Langan originally referred to what he was talking about as “cranial capacity”, which in fact does correlate with intelligence, though obviously not perfectly. Of course, musings are musings, and these ones say nothing about the CTMU. Third of all, Errol Morris’s interview with Langan should hardly be used to investigate Langan’s views given that the interview was highly edited and that it is, to employ litotes, not in Morris’s best interest to make his subjects look good.

“The CTMU is a glorified logic paper. Watch me do one. Dogs can fly. All cats are dogs. Therefore all cats can fly. Perfectly logical, perfectly wrong. Theories require proof, not words. While IQ may result in the ability to make very thoroughly logical statements, no matter how complex, evidence is the next step.”

The problem with your reasoning is that its conclusion relies on the faulty assumptions (a) that all cats are dogs and (b) that dogs can fly. It is thoroughly irrational to base an argument on faulty assumptions. In fact, Langan’s CTMU is based entirely on the undeniable fact of the existence of our perception.

“You talked at one point about eugenics, which basically amounted to Lamarkism, which is very logical. Lamarkism was onto something. I say “was” because when the proof and evidence train rolled into town it failed.”

To be fair, Langan referred to it as “anti-dysgenics”. He clarified this position further online.

“Medical and genetic technology are now sufficiently advanced to detect, and may soon be adequate to correct, many hereditary diseases before they can be propagated. Applying this technology for the universal benefit of unborn children is a no-brainer, morally and otherwise. One could only marvel at the ethical reasoning of someone who believes that available screening technology should be ignored so that unborn children can be sentenced to lifelong hereditary diseases in the very process of conception.”

However, you’ll have to offer a more specific criticism if you want a more specific response.

“The CTMU made no predictions, therefore it’s no theory, just words. It’s rhetorical tautology, which is mental equivalent of masturbation.”

First of all, note that the word “theory” can be used outside of a scientific context to refer to any idea that anyone has about any aspect of reality, regardless of whether the idea is correct. Second of all, the CTMU, like two-valued logic itself, arguably predicts much of the necessary behaviour of reality. It is thus subject to rational refutation. If you can find a specific flaw of logic in the CTMU, you have successfully refuted it.

“I have a theory about bird evolution. Unlike your theory it makes a prediction about the morphology of ancestral bird fossils and is based on ones that already exist. If my prediction fails, so goes my theory.”

How would one go about truly falsifying this theory? One can’t simply dig up all the bird fossils in the world and check them to see if they fit your theory.

“Oddly enough, I can’t disprove the CTMU. Though I can’t disprove flying cosmos teacups either.”

As far as you know, the CTMU is either incorrect, in which case you simply don’t have the ability or knowledge to refute it, or it is correct, in which case it is impossible to refute it. You’re admitting to a lose-lose scenario.

James

That we can conceive of something does not make it real.

Such a shame – all this quite impressive rhetoric and intellectual banter and yet it is not convincing at all to the layman, and given its acceptance in the scientific realm it’s not convincing to intellectuals either.

Those who want to believe in God will say it proves it, those who do not will say it proves nothing. In the end it proves all conceivable gods might exist, and as such shows that none do, another fine apologetic exercise.

Anonymous

“Those who want to believe in God will say it proves it, those who do not will say it proves nothing. In the end it proves all conceivable gods might exist, and as such shows that none do, another fine apologetic exercise.”

This is not what the CTMU does.

Buldermar

“Such a shame – all this quite impressive rhetoric and intellectual banter and yet it is not convincing at all to the layman, and given its acceptance in the scientific realm it’s not convincing to intellectuals either.”

What is convincing to you if not a theory with, at least to your knowledge, not one underlying assumption?

If you deny this, find one, or your statement will be just that; an assumption.

Oliver

Brian, you said that you understand CTMU. I have tried on a few different occasions to read it, and quite frankly due to a lack of time/reading comprehension, I haven’t grasped it yet. I just want to know, does the theory address the existence of a Devil or Hell?

Patrich

I’m 19 years old, i’ve read 30 pages of it so far,
I’m not familiar with a big part of the words Chris is using, I’m from Denmark and haven’t had the chance to encounter them otherwise yet.
I’ve had to look up 10 words or so, and i find it making alot of sense.
From what i understand alot of you are annoyed by Chris saying the Universe is “self-aware” if it was not self-aware his theory would be false, due to the fact that something else had to be instead(aware), and therefore it had to be something outside our reality, which in that case would not be real and therefore non-explainable, therefore “The Universe is Self-aware” is true untill proven that something or someone is controlling it from the “outside” which again is unprovable because it is outside of what we can grasp and understand… I might not be good at explaining it, I’m just 19 years old but understanding the CTMU is something different from what i usually discuss with a friend of mine.
It is logical, beyond the words there is thoughts, if you can grasp the thoughts and see rules instead of the universe, the CTMU is merely defining reality, that in itself is hard to do but understanding it is easy,
And as Chris writes, then you CAN NOT PREDICT THE FUTURE unless you know everything,
M = R
M is Mind
R is Reality
= is the seperation…..
I’m off, cya.
Hope you stop hating and start understanding.

Dear Mr. Langan,

Artificial intelligence in the image of humans will disprove the CTMU’s conclusion and assumed premises. That being one cannot prove whether God exists, doesn’t or does AND doesn’t.

This is not to say that the CTMU is within itself illogical. The body is sound. The problem mainly lies within the idea of God in the first place and that we are special, wherein if God had a mind and thus created our universe, it is only logical to say that we are in the mind of god and thus anything within is a discernible piece of God. And therefore, our logic exists outside our universe.

This would be proven if we could step outside this reality and enter the (x)-ality and find the “Grand Designer”.

One cannot make the leap to say, because I understand what’s inside (humans and the universe), I understand what’s alternatively conclusive (what’s outside an infinite space).

I don’t understand why Chris Langan makes this claim.

Using this logic makes it just as logical to say that because I understand what’s inside our universe and it’s intelligence means that God doesn’t exist because God wouldn’t have a mind.

Chris Lagan’s image of God is based on the original idea of what God would be if he existed.

Science finishes what philosophy starts. Circular reasoning which the CTMU as a whole is is the reason it’s never going to be accepted by the scientific community. Ever.

1. God is what created us, in which has a mind and is outside our universe.

2. How do we know?

3. CTMU

4. Why believe the CTMU?

5. Because it’s absolute certainty!

6. How do we know that it’s absolute certainty?

7. Because God is our creator. He exists and has a mind.

Sorry Mr. Langan, I do actually like you very much and feel sorry for how your life turned out. The CTMU is only useful for what many consider computerized intelligence.

It is not illogical to be an atheist, religious fanatic or an agnostic. The important part is the path we take on how we come to the conclusion and how they affect our actions thereafter.

The absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth.

Sincerely,

Thoth

-Leader of the Illuminati and New World Order

I understand and agree. It all renders down to common sense.The God “entity” evolves through material existense. Time is material and can be structured or manipulated to prove what was still is or has been changed to continue to serve the entities purpose. The universe IS the “Entity.”

George

It all comes down to whether the most fundamental reality is randomness/indeterminacy or theistic/intelligent. The former spontaneously engendering an infinite number of universes with randomly constructed deterministic rules (week anthropic principle); the latter, self-creating in accordance with intelligence and self-awareness but in a manner that allows for high degrees of freedom within itself (strong anthropic principle). Stephen Hawking clearly asserts and heavily promotes the former. He is clearly a proponent of scientism and a committed atheist. I admit that I find Prof. Hawking’s scientism a little intellectually unsatisfying; perhaps mostly because he relies heavily on a Laplacian conceptualization of the universe when it suits him in asserting a deterministic series of rules that run the universe without the need for a God and he relies entirely on the anti-Laplacian science of QM to account for the creation of the universe out of nothing by pure random chance. Additionally, his assertion (really just a hunch–and a hunch that’s been made by others and is old hat by now) that the net energy of the universe is zero. I don’t know who took the time to measure all the forces and counter forces of the universe but, assuming this to be correct, that the universe is such a zero sum energetically, yet, it certainly isn’t informationally zero (to say the very least). Therefore, if the universe really is nothing but cannot be an informational nothing, then the universe is entirely informational. That being the case, it is really only mental and Langan has a real point in asking the question “whose mind?” –But this still leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Hawking is busy getting his vision of reality all over the media and he has the fame to do it. It is a very clearly and intelligently articulated vision of reality but while religious thinkers are often benignly criticized for “wishful thinking,” scientists who long for a complete theory of everything–making science the ultimate authority on all matters–are just as guilty of said wishful thinking when no such theory yet exists that enjoys any experimental or observational proof. I respect Langan’s guts (pun mildly intended) and I don’t think he’s a bully. No one in a position of defending himself against ridicule and rather cruel ad homonym attacks could rightly be called a bully. I don’t know if the CTMU is it or thatI can say that I fully comprehend it all, but it is a fascinating and remarkable intellectual work. Poe’s Eureka is considered a big metaphysical mess these days but Einstein read it and regarded it in a highly respectful, even admiring manner. Would that we could be a little more receptive and respectful to the CTMU but everyone these days seems to love crying “crank” just like they love negative gossip. It’s petty and bad intellectual discourse.

Buruk

Haha wait.. did anyone else see Christopher langan completely miss the joke about “sesquipedalian, obfuscated language [that] is an intentional inoculation against healthy discourse”. I mean Beasely litereally starts the sentence with “To emulate him,..”. That says something about the way he was reading the critique.

But as a mathematician and computer scientist, there is a super obvoius point that noone seems to point out about the CTMU. Since the greeks there have been exponentially increasing developments in Mathematics and Physics. Since the late Renaissance there have developments to computing which have absolutely blown up in the last hundred years. Since Freud’s time we have been gaining more and more knowledge about how the human brain works and the diversity of human psychologies. Especially in the last 20 years where strong Biochemical knowledge has helped increase the rate at which we are reverse engineering the brain. There have been many smart mathematicians, scientist and engineers that have made many advancements to these fields; one building on top of another (sometimes breaking down old ideas as well). Currently, we have countless teams of scientists engineers and mathematicians across the globe working on this like neuroscience, AI and fundamental physics. There are countless papers coming out everyday about remarkable feats such as how the human eye works using compressive sensing or how Michael Hasselmo and his colleagues have found multiple mathematical models for how episodic memory works in humans. The fields of logic and statistics have also joined in on this growth and we are learning how to do inference in really complicated, high dimensional data spaces and finding more and more bounds on what we can and can’t compute with a mechanical process.

Why do I say all this? Because my biggest problem with the CTMU is that its a massive “fuck you” to all the scientists who have been working on problems related to cognition and artificial intelligence in the last half century. Its a big “i don’t care about your work” to long lineage of mathematicians and statisticians who have created excellent models and inference mechanisms that we use to deal with the complexity of the computational and biological engineering that saves lives and educates, connects and entertains people.

All I am saying is that I would expect any decent model of how cognition connects to physical reality to be heavily based on or related to the plethora of developments that people have been making in mathematics, statistics, physics, computer science and cognitive science. Rather than being heavily bathed in English words. Where is the true formalism? Beasley had the decency of taking your CTMU seriously for a second to respond to it and in doing that he found many points that if were true would debunk your entire theory. I think many of them are right. Yet you respond with an arrogance that makes me sick to my stomach. I am Engineer at amazon, a company that can swarms of the smartest people int he world. And even the most senior Engineers and Scientist wouldn’t dare act like they know everything about computer science. In fact the most senior people are the most humble. This is the same with genius researchers at Universities and other companies. I have never in my years of research and industry met someone smart who would disagree with “the more you know, the more you know that you don’t know”.

Buruk

Also, to many of those who have commented here. Have your fun. But if you really want ask questions like “whether the most fundamental reality is randomness/indeterminacy or theistic/intelligent”, don’t you first have to investigate what you mean by randomness/indeterminacy? There has been an astonishing amount of work on nondeterminstic processes. Shouldn’t you mention this work if you are going to ask questions like the one above seriously? This is what makes scientist mad. You’re trying to reason about things that you haven’t learned yet and its frustrating the people who have worked hard to learn and develop these fields. Have your fun, but at the end of the day delegate your decisions to the people who have spent their adult lives doing research and engineering.

George

Buruk, take it easy. Every human being has to wrestle with these questions as best he/she can and no, not everybody is at the top of a particular field. It would be more beneficial to bring up something specific that might shed some light of lend more specificity to an idea rather than say “This is what makes scientists mad.” BTW, randomness/indeterminacy MEANS nondeterministic processes. I think that’s obvious. It seems to me that you are expressing an absolute implied bias in favor of reality as a result entirely of nondeterministic processes and you’re just saying ignorant people need to appreciate all the work that scientists have put in on this matter. In essence, you’re confining everything of value to empirical science. I really don’t wish to be disrespectful. My comment was as much a simple query as anything. I do not think it deserved such a disdainful and entirely noncunstructive rebuke. Why couldn’t you just say, nondeterministic processes have been shown to be accountable for such and such and here’s an example? But, bear in mind, we’re talking about the most fundamental of basis of reality and from whence nondeterministic processes themselves–if they are are reason for there being anything–come from. I think it’s a fair question. So, let someone who has spent his adult life doing research and engineering chime in. Why must you be so hostile and discourage the general public from thinking about these matters? Offer something then.

Dylan

I think many people here expect the CTMU to be accessible to the average mind; when in reality that is the furthest thing from the truth. The fact that people without genius IQ’s could think they could begin to understand a paper which attempts to explain the entirety of EVERYTHING that ever was and ever will be is awfully audacious. In Chris’ interview he even mentioned that the stupid person thinks he is as smarter or smarter than the smart person, and there in lies his stupidity. Do you honestly think Chris has not considered all of the arguments the people who criticize the CTMU make? Not understanding the CTMU does not make it false. Why would Chris, a man that almost certainly has 60 IQ points on you, not be able to see what you’re seeing. He is on a different plane of intellect that you will never be able to access nor do you even know exists. It must be frustrating to be Chris Langan. Like screaming in a room full of people yet no one hears you. I am fascinated by this man. While I don’t fully understand the CTMU, I understand that I don’t understand. I don’t make my understanding of a subject the standard for the truth. However, I truly wish Chris Langan would work to make the CTMU easier to understand. It’s the most interesting thing in the world, in the universe, and I would like to at least grasp it. Chris, if you’re reading this, I would be willing to be the paragon of a non-genius-IQ reader if you want to try to make it easier to understand. dylancatlow@comcast.net

@Dylan

CTMU attracts trolls like you the same as light attracts bugs.

I made a rather lengthy reply, so I put it on my own blog for size constraints and not to hog the cyberspace here. Mr. Langan or anyone else is welcome to visit and comment, and I’m not trying to solicit attention to my blog beyond it’s relevance here. No one HAS to visit or comment. I’m just trying to be pragmatic.

http://adeviceforthesoul.blogspot.com/2012/11/of-arguing-over-reality.html

@qssk

It must be really difficult to be Chris Langan. To have such high IQ and still not have the common sense to ignore the criticisms of the low-IQ people who are most likely cannot comprehend his work. For those pple who are boasting that they are from Amazon and other top-notch science/mathematical establishments please understand that there are some things you will never be able to understand since you do not have his IQ.

Unfortunately for Chris he does not know how to handle criticisms and how to handle different kinds of people. I hope he does not spend too much time or emotion on the brickbats from these low-IQ folks. Wish you all the best in your work on CTMU.

David Johnson

I could be the most creative person in the world, but I may waste all my time applying my creativity to making ketchup art on cheeseburgers. I may not think it is a waste, and the people who see my ketchup art may be impressed, but overall, it will be a waste of creativity.

You can sick all the intellectual hounds you want on mankind’s imaginary friends, but they will always come up empty. We made them up, they don’t exist. If you put all the scientist on the Manhattan Project plus Einstein on coming up with God, you still get jack.

Religion and God are such pranks.

1. Tell someone to imagine infinity.

2. Wait until they realize they can’t.

3. Tell them God is infinite and you can’t understand him.

4. That person goes and tells someone else to imagine infinity.

(repeat)

It is a prank, because it asks finite beings to comprehend the incomprehensible or believe the unbelievable. It is the sickest of all false dichotomies and washes intelligence right down the toilette.

Daniel Shawen

CTMU looks just fine to me, Chris. I find only two minor annoyances about it.

1) truth is undefined in CTMU. It is most certainly a value and not an absolute. Very, very few philosopher will this, but truth itself is entirely subjective for finite minds, even truth that is represented by any conceived or contrived mathematical symbology.

2) CTMU is missing a taxonomy of ignorance, or a statement that gives ignorance its due. What intelligence must ignore in order to be intelligent is both much larger in magnitude (infinite, in fact), and more important for making ‘intelligent’ decisions than
most things that are not ignored,

David

Hi, I intend to read through the paper at some point, providing I can salvage the necessary time. From where I stand the only problem I anticipate encountering in comprehending the CTMU is the language and some ignorance over a few subjects. That should be quite easy to address. From what I’ve come across online it looks to me like quite a few people are displeased that Langan purports to have logical proof over the existence of God. Whether you agree/disagree you should not prejudice yourself and potentially end up denying yourself truth. We ought to have the courage to at least thoroughly examine his theory (if you can’t read it I’d refrain from hasty comment), if we are to truthfully be able to determine it’s validity and the amount of truth it contains, or lack of. I think that a lot of people are upset by this theory because it supposedly provides logical proof of the existence of God, and this has lead to some unsavoury comments issued by some people who have not actually read it through.

Daniel Shawen

A philosophical treatise, even one from the likes of Chris Langan, has it limitations.

If there were a psychological test to determine the intelligence of chimpanzees, and the highest scoring chimp wrote something like this, does it really make a difference in the grand scheme of things? Decidedly not, no matter how condescending that chimp might be.

I am, like Chris, a member of mensa (or at least, Chris also qualifies). CTMU (like atheism, in the absence of a social tradition that teaches better morality) is OK, but so what? If you go to war, or if your country wages it, you are immoral, whether or not you believe in a higher power, go to church, or even take some stupid IQ test. A chimp is stilll a chimp. Neil Tyson gets a lot of credit for figuring that one out.

I believe Chris would support me in this idea. So long, warring chimps. Have a Happier New Year. Congratulate yourselves on being able to make a calendar, or an IQ test, or not being idolators if you wish.

Daniel Shawen

You wil not find superior morality in superior intellect, at least, not the way a finite mind such as ours defines it.

While it is natural to look to someone like Chris for philosophical views similar to your own, all that really CTMU says is, ideas about cognition, theory and truth all have their fallacies. None of this is anything new.

And although I am not an atheist myself, I harbor no ill will toward those without a deity as a core belief. It certainly is not necessary to any moral purpose I can think of that is relevant to the continuance or destruction of the human race. It’s just beside the point and irrelevant, like 99% of human philosophy, science or religion.

Sir Isaac Newton himself had petty counterfeiters drawn and quartered, more than 1000 years after Constantine the Great forbade such barbarity. Anyone want to argue his otherwise stellar mind was superior in morality to anyone else’s?

David

I’ve noticed that Christopher Langan has a lot of naysayers and opponents as well as some supporters. Although a question mark over their loyalty may be raised. As in are they truly understanding of his objectives or understanding of his theory or are they just surfing a wave, to be associated with the “smartest man in America”. I’ve read some who even seem to post comments as though they were old buddies..speaking almost on his behalf. But at least in this comment pages it hasn’t been too lopsided (in terms of battering and drowning out any quality). Daniel: interesting post and I hesitate a little before typing this reply. This isn’t an argumentative post, in fact I too am not an atheist. It is my understanding and belief that an individual who is actually (accurately identified as) highly intelligent will act with superior ethics as it is the smartest thing to do. I also wish to point out that people posses varying degrees of intelligence for virtually every subject conceivable, hence a person with a knack for doing well in one subject or facet of existence may in turn, appear quite the imbecile in another.

David

Just like to correct myself. I didn’t mean to refer to only these posted comments (those for and against) and incidentally if you look you can notice that some people actually have defended his theories from harsh critical commentary by others only to request he considers answering their questions directly, as if by backing him up they now merit his time and energy. Enough said..

Daniel Shawen

Chris and I aren’t “buddies” as such. I have watched most of his videos and have read CTMU over 10 years ago (after testing, qualifying and joining mensa at the age of 49). I was curious to see what the high IQ bunch had done to improve the human condition. For the most part, it does not appear that they have accomplished very much. Don’t even get me started on Ms. Vos Savant. The discussions on the forums in American mensa are rather dull witted 99% of the time, even compared to this one.

I have thought about several philosophical issues discussed in CTMU in some depth. There aren’t all than many discussions about CTMU elsewhere, and it is not taken very seriously by the philosophy or science community, as far as I can tell. Autodidacts such as Chris get that sort of treatment a lot in academic circles. Too bad. It’s their loss.

I agree with his criticism of science on many points. Science really is simply a system of observation, followed by a limited amount of conjecture (if one is wise), and then an awful lot of experimental trial and error. Unless the scientist has some talent for such work (and many do not), there literally is no guarantee that science will progress at all.

Reproducibility also has its limitations, as Chris has noted. This stance is as fallacious as any of the more notable ones, in any science.

I don’t think he mentioned the fallacy of “correlation is not causation”, which has unfortunately been with us since the 1950s medical science war on the tobacco industry. This is so much garbage. Anecdotal evidence is as valid an observation as any other, particularly when combined with reproducibility (see the slippery slope?).

Science probably does deserve less glory than it is afforded. Most of the human race selectively chooses to ignore the best science has to offer and instead prefers placebos and quackery. In the same manner, they make idolatry out of otherwise perfectly fine religious traditions.

David

I have yet to read the CTMU and my kindle is about to lose all battery life. I just wanted to suggest a link that you may or may not find some interesting reading within. I recommend you check out http://www.megagenius.com at your leisure. Must go.

Daniel Shawen

That link (‘megagenius’) looks like so much spam. IQ tests were originally fumbled together under the auspices of the Army, and really have not improved so much.

At the beginning of WWII, estimates of the lower IQs of Eastern europeans were used as an excuse to bar immigration of Jews from Germany just prior to the Holocaust.

IQ testing has done a lot of harm. Mostly it’s just an excuse to discriminate against people who deserve more credit for what they actually know and could do much more than they are ever asked, given half a chance.

Life has never worked like that. Life will try EVERY available survival strategy. Only one or just a few need to work, and the rest simply follow. Maybe people who could not design an automobile should not be allowed to purchase one. Money is no real substitute for brains.

David

I see my mistake. I should of posted a link directly to his freely available intelligence briefings which, I’ve found to make a good read (although some are currently unavailable). I’ve nothing to add about it–your choice to have a closer look or not.

Prejudice and discrimination against others is a common enough problen worldwide. That as a result of IQ testing a persons actual itelligence or one’s supposed level of intelligence has been unjustly attacked or used to bolster some unsound arguments and help to create further prejudice and discrimination against others is unsurprising. Using estimates of someone’s IQ as an excuse to commit unethical acts clearly doesn’t wash. I don’t think IQ testing is the culprit per se in the situation you cited, but merely another means for a few wicked acting men or women to justify their aims. A little education on the accuracy and validity of IQ testing would likely resolve any such disturbing trends.

Daniel Shawen

“should have” Yes, and I think I looked there once or twice also. Haven’t been able to find it again lately, though.

For more details about the origin of the IQ test and the way it impacted immigration, read Stephen Jay Gould’s book “Mismeasure of man”.

One think I don’t believe Gould mentioned, it was actually a relative (uncle?) of Anne Frank who was responsible for negatively influencing American immigration policy of Eastern european Jews at that critical time in history.

David

=)

If I find the time I’ll maybe have a read.

Emperor

Ah, Christopher Michael Langan. Love him or hate him, agree with him or disagree with him; but nobody can deny that he’s a wonderfully sharp and entertaining writer.

CML, I’ve been a fan since JoJo the Clown. Never stop what you do, my brother.

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