But can they heal my irony gland?

The entire universe in blog form
July 30 2007 9:41 AM

But can they heal my irony gland?

This MSNBC article (via Fark; original Reuters article here) is so full of head-exploding irony it should come with a warning.

Proceed at your own risk.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  


Synopsis: a group calling itself Invincible America Assembly has claimed responsibility for the record high Dow Jones of last week (and say they will guarantee it'll hit 17,000 this year thanks to them, too) and for North Korea shutting down their nuclear reactor projects.

How do they do this? Why, by meditation, of course!

Now, we know through about a billion studies that things like this have absolutely no affect whatsoever on the outside world, and that these people are deluding themselves. If you disagree, then I suggest you take a moment and educate yourself on these things (try the Skeptic Dictionary, for example, specifically here and here) before complaining in the comments.

Back now? Good. Now listen to the irony-gland-detonating comments by John Hagelin, the head meditating guy:

"This is not praying for peace, this is not sending out positive thoughts for peace," Roth said. "This is diving deep into one's own consciousness."

It's not prayer, see? We're sitting around, thinking about stuff, and doing nothing positive, pro-active, or actually physical, but it's not prayer.


Then he says this, which is the keeper, the biggie, the one that will melt your brain:

"We have control over things we didn't have control over before. That's the progress of science," Hagelin said.


Yup. I couldn't even type that quotation out, and now I need yet another irony gland transplant. You'd think I'd have learned by now.

Well, I'm glad they've taken credit for those two good things since June 2006, when they started praying meditating. But they may have forgotten about the roughly 1500 soldiers who have died in Iraq since then (the number of whom per month, curiously, seems to have risen steadily since June 2006), the firing of 30,000 people from Ford factories in January, the 1000 people killed by earthquakes around the world, the stock market setback in March (and the recent 500 point tumble -- the worst in 5 years -- at the same time this article on meditation was released), and, oh, a few other things that have gone sour since last June. I'm sure you can think of others.

That people would make such ridiculous and patently false claims is not surprising; what's sad is that Reuters would choose to write it up (and MSNBC print it) with absolutely no skeptical information.


And the final proof that these guys are full of it? The fact that I'm so angry at them!

Need I say it?



Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Do the Celebrities Whose Nude Photos Were Stolen Have a Case Against Apple?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company


How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

Scotland Is Inspiring Secessionists Across America

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 18 2014 1:34 PM Americans Fault Obama for Giving Them Exactly the Anti-ISIS Strategy They Want
Sept. 18 2014 2:18 PM The NFL Is Not a Nonprofit So why does it get to act like one?
Sept. 18 2014 2:00 PM On the Death of My Homophobic Dog I named him Liberace, but I couldn’t have chosen a less appropriate namesake for this coarse, emotionally withholding Norwich terrier.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 12:03 PM The NFL Opines on “the Role of the Female”
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Everyday That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 2:03 PM Ryan Adams’ New Song Is a Reminder That He’s One of His Generation’s Best Songwriters
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 1:24 PM Can the Celebrities Whose Photos Were Stolen Really Sue Apple? It may be harder to prove “harm” than it seems.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 18 2014 7:30 AM Red and Green Ghosts Haunt the Stormy Night
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.