How Science Fails to Recognize Initial Conditions

Loser Michael Mann and winner Tim Ball.
Michael Mann (left) and Tim Ball (right). Mann’s defamation libel suit against Dr. Ball has been concluded with the lawsuit being dismissed in favor of Dr. Ball. Mann photo: Greg Grieco (CC BY 3.0).

Science relies heavily on replication—the ability to repeat phenomena given the same inputs and conditions.

If a phenomenon cannot be replicated, then one unavoidable possibility is that the initial conditions have not yet been replicated. The only other possibility is that the known conditions were not causally linked, so it’s likely the phenomenon will never be replicated. In this article, we will be looking at the former and not the latter.

When a phenomenon cannot be replicated, the researcher is not entirely aware of all the conditions necessary for the desired replication. In the realm of spiritual and paranormal research, this problem is all too common. A scientist who doesn’t believe in spirit, will only look at physical inputs and will miss the most important inputs—the only ones that can affect the physical from the outside. This should be obvious, but arrogance creates its share of blindness.

We also find some of this in the physical sciences, where researchers refuse to give up their hard data, because others might find something wrong with it. Michael Mann, the climate scientist, found this out the hard way. He had sued Dr. Tim Ball for defamation and recently lost his case. He now has to pay Dr. Ball for court costs. Part of Mann’s problem was that he did not hand over his hard data as requested by Dr. Ball. So, Mann learned a lesson that all scientists should know from the start: You need to show all of your data so other scientists can verify. That’s what other scientists are supposed to do, and they can’t do it if the one publishing can’t or won’t reveal his or her data.

That was bad enough, but the controversy with Michael Mann and Phil Jones from the Climate-Gate fiasco draws a far darker picture. Mann is a professor at Penn State; Jones was former director of the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University. Though Jones was supposedly exonerated by several investigations, and by extension, Michael Mann, each of those investigations was very suspicious. For one thing, why would investigators only ask the accused and no others? Why would the investigators only receive reading recommendations from the accused and not their opposition? This kind of biased behavior sounds more like a cover-up than an impartial investigation. And Climate-Gate had some serious allegations leveled against Phil Jones and Michael Mann. They had been accused of fudging data to receive a desired outcome. That’s not merely anti-science; that’s scientific fraud. This is perhaps why Dr. Ball said in an interview that Dr. Mann should be in the State Pen, instead of Penn State—locked up for his crimes. Was Dr. Ball justified in his accusation? Mann sued Ball, but then refused to reveal his climate data—the reason for the lawsuit. The missing data, what Ball implied was fraudulent, would help him win the lawsuit; and Mann refused.

Michael Mann is infamous for his IPCC graph called “the hockey stick,” showing very little temperature change before modern times and then a massive warming in the 20th and 21st centuries. It looked like a hockey stick on its side. Other researchers asked for Mann’s data and some asked for the data from Mann’s supposed source—the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University, UK. Phil Jones said his comment about “hiding the decline” was taken out of context. The context within his email seems clear—an intention to fudge the data to achieve a false outcome.

I’ve seen some of the Climate-Gate materials and the most damning comes from software programmer’s notes in the code. Programmers always have to add notes so that they or another programmer can know what’s going on with the code so that they don’t break the code in the future with modifications. What Phil Jones strongly implied in his email was confirmed by numerous programmer’s comments—comments of frustration that their bosses wanted to achieve a specific result, but that the data was in such a mess, the goal was somewhat difficult. Telling the truth is rarely difficult; fudging the data to tell a specific lie is always difficult.

It seems that more and more these days, scientists are claiming “privacy concerns” to hide their data. That’s not science!

This insane behavior is also found on college campuses with the student “safe spaces,” “free speech zones,” “trigger warnings,” etc.

The following video shows some of the dirty details from Climate-Gate (beginning about 20 minutes in):

These days there is entirely too much “safe space” stupidity amongst students, faculty and research scientists. “Oh, he hurt my feelings. I’m going to run home to mommy.” Or, “I want my milk and cookies.” Colleges have fallen this low, but has science really devolved into this?

Not quite, but dangerously close! The head of the Climate Research Unit, East Anglia University, UK, once made a similarly lame statement when someone asked for their data. This is the same Phil Jones we’ve already met, above. When asked for the data, Jones wrote back, saying, “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.” Which is why Phil Jones does not make a good scientist. Finding something wrong is exactly what other scientists are supposed to do. Am I repeating myself? Perhaps I am. It’s a point that does not seem to be getting through to the world-at-large.

I’m curious about the early successes in the field of cold fusion. Scientists could not replicate the effect. I’ve heard reports of spotty results that didn’t last long and mostly failures. Could something be happening on the atomic level or near that scale to be disrupting the effect? Some scientists reject the early successes as junk. Are they right? Perhaps we’ll know one day, especially if the unreasonable scientist actually does what others say is “impossible.”

The Spiritual Angle

Okay, let’s switch gears, back to the realm of spirit.

For spirit to act directly upon physical reality, it must hold a very specific viewpoint. That is part of the initial condition! In fact, this is the only constant in all miracles and answered prayers. This is the “active ingredient” that makes it all possible.

Some people stumble upon this initial condition and have trouble getting back to it. A miracle happens and the individual wonders how it was possible.

<< Pix: Sky Divers
Caption: Airmen of the 720th Special Tactics Group jump out of an airplane. 2007:1003 USAF (PD). >>

USAF parachutists jumping from plane.
Airmen of the 720th Special Tactics Group jump out of an airplane. 2007:1003 USAF (PD).

One story of a sky diver—one I’ve mentioned elsewhere, numerous times—proves how particularly tragic is this notion of initial condition. One sky diving enthusiast had the unfortunate circumstance of suffering the failure of both of his parachutes—the main and the backup. On the way down, he gave up his mortal life and put himself in the hands of God. Something in what he did touched on the initial condition of miracles. He walked away with only a few bruises and scratches.

Several days later, the same thing happened with his chutes, but he did not make it to the initial condition for a second miracle.

The initial ingredients are discussed in depth in my book The Science of Miracles. Some of them are the 4 traits of God:

  • Unconditional love,
  • Perfect responsibility,
  • Utter humility, and
  • Fearless confidence.

Another ingredient I might call “unimportance.” Though this is not really a separate trait, it’s worth mentioning, because people frequently do not associate this with “humility.” In fact, it bears mentioning that all 4 of the traits in the bulleted list, above, may well be one trait, because they act as one in practice.

When we operate as spirit, any judgment of “importance” raises the ugly specter of ego. Ego is physical, so it cannot enter the realm of spirit. And scientists frequently have big egos. I know. I’m a scientist and I have a big ego most of the time.

Another trait is that of “letting go.” Again, this is not separate from the above list, but needs to be mentioned, because many people don’t associate “letting go” with “confidence.” This “letting go” is part of the confidence that God has it taken care of. All too frequently, someone will get nervous or worry that it’s not happening, yet. See? This spoils it with “doubt.” And this is a good reason why skepticism is the wrong paradigm for science. The doubt inherent in skepticism adds a strong negative bias to the scientist’s work, and science is not supposed to be biased.

On the topic of “importance,” my earliest successes with miracles was made easy by the fact that I never considered the outcome to be of any importance. On that vector of attitude, I was entirely relaxed. This is an “important” point to keep in mind, especially on those things in life which seem “important” to us. We need to let go of importance, just as we let go of the prayer—giving it to God for Him to handle.

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