A list of this year’s most high-profile retractions and controversies in science
By Tia Ghose | December 19, 2011
Law of Biogenesis, anybody? Somebody has imposed a religious viewpoint and replaced IF with HOW! Since the Law of Biogenesis has proved that there are no "building blocks of life" that are available, capable materials to "morph" into living things and there is no evidence to indicate that it can ever happen, the mission statement of an Astrobiologist might as well be Alchemist or Psychic.
At first, one might not think that their field of expertise might be relevant to Astrobiology. Indeed, with Astrobiology's cosmic perspective, they could well see their interests as being somewhat distant from such an expansive endeavor. Dive into even the most superficial description of Astrobiology and you'll soon see that not only are a vast array of scientific and engineering disciplines involved, but that the intersection points between these disciplines are often novel.
Novel as in fiction novel? Edgar Rice Burroughs made a pretty good living by writing about extra-terrestrial life. In fact all sorts of fiction writers have done this to their advantage. But even Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein knew they were writing FICTION!!! I hope you can GROK this concept?
As Albert Einstein once said, "the universe is stranger than we can imagine". None the less, armed with this caveat, Astrobiologists should never stop trying to imagine how the universe works - nor shy away from attempting to understand their personal place amidst its splendor and mystery.
You can be an astrobiologist simply by deciding that you are one."
(end of excerpt)
Let's look at that last quote again?
"You can be an astrobiologist simply by deciding that you are one." - The Astrobiology Web
(The Astrobiology Web is endorsed by the National Space Society)
Okay, I am an Astrobiologist!
The site just gave me permission to decide that I am an Astrobiologist and I do hereby accept! I promise to reveal any life I find on any other planets without delay! Kindly send me a grant of about $350,000 so I can get an office and staff put together? That should get me started and I'll revisit further grant monies after the first quarter if that is okay?
Meanwhile, I can begin by telling you where Terrestrial life came from...the Creator God. He is quite willing to divulge a great deal of information about what and when and where and why the Universe is. The how is the hard part, but since we are finite and bound by three dimensions we would need to be both infinite and transcendent in relationship to the Universe to make a Universe and apparently a great deal of the even understanding the how would require an infinitely brilliant mind to grasp. Anybody have one of those? Nope, not me! But if I could get NASA to comprehend that God created life I could save us all a LOT more than $350,000! Easily ten times that much.
Yes, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard came a long way from writing pulp fiction for magazines with names like The Green God but it was books like Fear and Final Blackout that put him in the public eye during the late 1930's and the 1940's.
Biblio's website is a source of the following information:
"The debut of Dianetics
In May 1950, Hubbard published a book describing the self-improvement technique of Dianetics, titled "The Modern Science of Mental Health." With Dianetics, Hubbard introduced the concept of "auditing," a two-person question-and-answer therapy that focused on painful memories. According to Hubbard, dianetic auditing could eliminate emotional problems, cure physical illnesses, and increase intelligence. In his introduction to Dianetics, Hubbard declared that "the creation of dianetics is a milestone for man comparable to his discovery of fire and superior to his inventions of the wheel and arch."
Unable to elicit interest from mainstream publishers or medical professionals, Hubbard turned to the legendary science fiction editor John W. Campbell, who had for years published Hubbard's science fiction stories. Beginning in late 1949, Campbell publicized Dianetics in the pages of Astounding Science Fiction. The science fiction community was divided about the merits of Hubbard's claims. Campbell's star author Isaac Asimov criticised Dianetics' unscientific aspects, and veteran author Jack Williamson described Dianetics as "a lunatic revision of Freudian psychology" that "had the look of a wonderfully rewarding scam." But Campbell and novelist A. E. van Vogt enthusiastically embraced Dianetics: Campbell became Hubbard's treasurer, and van Vogt-convinced his wife's health had been transformed for the better by auditing-interrupted his writing career to run the first Los Angeles Dianetics center.
Dianetics was a hit, selling 150,000 copies within a year of publication. With success, Dianetics became an object of critical scrutiny by the press and the medical establishment. In September 1950, The New York Times published a cautionary statement on the topic by the American Psychological Association that read in part, "the association calls attention to the fact that these claims are not supported by empirical evidence," and went on to recommend against use of "the techniques peculiar to Dianetics" until such time it had been validated by scientific testing. Consumer Reports, in an August 1951 assessment of Dianetics, dryly noted "one looks in vain in Dianetics for the modesty usually associated with announcement of a medical or scientific discovery," and stated that the book had become "the basis for a new cult." The article observed "in a study of L. Ron Hubbard's text, one is impressed from the very beginning by a tendency to generalization and authoritative declarations unsupported by evidence or facts." Consumer Reports warned its readers against the "possibility of serious harm resulting from the abuse of intimacies and confidences associated with the relationship between auditor and patient," an especially serious risk, they concluded, "in a cult without professional traditions."
On the heels of the book's first wave of popularity, the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation was incorporated in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Branch offices were opened in five other US cities before the end of 1950 (though most folded within a year). Hubbard soon abandoned the Foundation, denouncing a number of his former associates as communists.."
I would not be indulging in character assassination if I listed all of the accusations and charges leveled against Hubbard during his life. One would think that being controversial, contrary, deceptive and flat mean was part of his raison d'être? In any event, Hubbard eventually discovered a much better way to make money than to invent worlds and stories - he would invent an entire religion and funnel fundage from followers into his pockets! I mean, he completely outdid this Astrobiology gig!!! He would not only pretend to be using science to do something science-y like Astrobiology, he would turn it into a full religion! Darwinism is a religion but there is no head honcho in the background trying to make billions on the scam. Darwinism is largely inhabited by true believers who mean well and atheopaths who hate God more than they love truth. Such things do not make for a good con. But Hubbard knew how to pull it off! From the same site:
Main article: Scientology
In mid-1952, Hubbard expanded Dianetics into a secular philosophy which he called Scientology. Hubbard also married his third wife that year, Mary Sue Whipp, to whom he remained married for the rest of his life. With Mary Sue, Hubbard fathered four more children- Diana, Quentin Hubbard, Suzette and Arthur- over the next six years.
In December 1953, Hubbard declared Scientology a religion and the first Church of Scientology was founded in Camden, New Jersey. He moved to England at about the same time, and during the remainder of the 1950s he supervised the growing organization from an office in London. In 1959, he bought Saint Hill Manor near the Sussex town of East Grinstead, a Georgian manor house owned by the Maharajah of Jaipur. This became the world headquarters of Scientology.
Hubbard claimed to have conducted years of intensive research into the nature of human existence; to describe his findings, he developed an elaborate vocabulary with many newly coined terms. He codified a set of axioms and an "applied religious philosophy" that promised to improve the condition of the human spirit, which he called the "Thetan." The bulk of Scientology focuses on the "rehabilitation" of the thetan.
Hubbard's followers believed his "technology" gave them access to their past lives, the traumas of which led to failures in the present unless they were audited. By this time, Hubbard had introduced a biofeedback device to the auditing process, which he called a "Hubbard Electropsychometer" or "E-meter." It was invented in the 1940s by a chiropractor and Dianetics enthusiast named Volney Mathison. This machine, related to the electronic lie detectors of the time, is used by Scientologists in auditing to evaluate "mental masses" surrounding the thetan. These "masses" are claimed to impede the thetan from realizing its full potential.
Hubbard claimed a good deal of physical disease was psychosomatic, and one who, like himself, had attained the enlightened state of "clear" and become an "Operating Thetan" would be relatively disease free. According to biographers, Hubbard went to great lengths to suppress his recourse to modern medicine, attributing symptoms to attacks by malicious forces, both spiritual and earthly. Hubbard insisted humanity was imperiled by such forces, which were the result of negative memories (or "engrams") stored in the unconscious or "reactive" mind, some carried by the immortal thetans for billions of years. Thus, Hubbard claimed, the only possibility for spiritual salvation was a concerted effort to "clear the planet," that is, to bring the benefits of Scientology to all people everywhere, and attack all forces, social and spiritual, hostile to the interests of the movement.
Church members were expected to pay fixed donation rates for courses, auditing, books and E-meters, all of which proved very lucrative for the church, which purportedly paid emoluments directly to Hubbard and his family. However, Mr. Hubbard denied such emoluments many times in writing, proclaiming he never received any money from the church..."
L. Ron Hubbard's life is embroiled in controversy, as is the history of Scientology (see Scientology controversy). His son, L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. claimed in 1983 "99% of what my father ever wrote or said about himself is totally untrue."
Some documents written by Hubbard himself suggest he regarded Scientology as a business, not a religion. In one letter dated April 10, 1953, he says calling Scientology a religion solves "a problem of practical business", and status as a religion achieves something "more equitable...with what we've got to sell". In a 1962 official policy letter, he said "Scientology 1970 is being planned on a religious organization basis throughout the world. This will not upset in any way the usual activities of any organization. It is entirely a matter for accountants and solicitors. A Reader's Digest article of May 1980 quoted Hubbard as saying in the 1940s "Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion."
(Radar says - Well, it certainly worked for Mohammed! If you take inflation into account, that is.)
One controversial aspect of Hubbard's early life revolves around his association with Jack Parsons, an aeronautics professor at Caltech and an associate of the British occultist Aleister Crowley. Hubbard and Parsons were allegedly engaged in the practice of ritual magick in 1946, including an extended set of sex magick rituals called the Babalon Working, intended to summon a goddess or "moonchild." (Among occultists today, it is widely accepted Hubbard derived a large part of 'Dianetics' from Golden Dawn occult ideas such as the Holy Guardian Angel.) The Church insists Hubbard was a US government intelligence agent on a mission to end Parsons' magickal activities and to "rescue" a girl Parsons was "using" for magical purposes. Critics dismiss these claims as after-the-fact rationalizations. Crowley recorded in his notes that he considered Hubbard a "stupid lout" who made off with Parsons' money and girlfriend in an "ordinary confidence trick." Discussions of these events can be found in the critical biographies Bare-Faced Messiah, A Piece of Blue Sky and in The Marburg Journal of Religion.
Hubbard later married the girl he claimed to have rescued, Sara Northrup. This marriage was an act of bigamy, as Hubbard had abandoned, but not divorced, his first wife and children as soon as he left the Navy (he divorced his first wife more than a year after he had remarried). Both women allege Hubbard physically abused them. He is also alleged to have once kidnapped Sara's infant, Alexis, taking her to Cuba. Later, he disowned Alexis, claiming she was actually Jack Parsons' child.
Hubbard had another son in 1954, Quentin Hubbard, who was groomed to one day replace him as the head of the Scientology. However, Quentin was deeply depressed, possibly due to his father's homophobia, and wanted to leave Scientology and become a pilot. As Scientology rejects homosexuality as a sexual perversion and views mental health professionals and the drugs they can prescribe as fraudulent and oppressive, Quentin had no avenues available to deal with his depression. Quentin attempted suicide in 1974 and then died in 1976 under mysterious circumstances that might have been a suicide or a murder..."
"Hubbard has been interpreted as both a savior (Scientologists refer to him as "The Friend of Mankind") and a con-artist. These sharply contrasting views have been a source of hostility between Hubbard supporters and critics. A California court judgement in 1984 involving Gerald Armstrong, who had been assigned the task of writing Hubbard's biography, highlights the extreme opposition of the two sides. The judgement quotes a 1970's police agency of the French Government and says it part:
"In addition to violating and abusing its own members' civil rights, the organization [Scientology] over the years with its "Fair Game" doctrine has harassed and abused those persons not in the Church whom it perceives as enemies. The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and the bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder LRH [L. Ron Hubbard]. The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background, and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile. At the same time it appears that he is charismatic and highly capable of motivating, organizing, controlling, manipulating, and inspiring his adherents." - Superior Court Judge Paul Breckinridge, Church of Scientology of California vs. Gerald Armstrong, June 20 1984.
"Fair Game" was introduced by Hubbard, and incites Scientologists to use criminal behavior, deception and exploitation of the legal system to resist "Suppressive Persons", i.e. people or groups that "actively seeks to suppress or damage Scientology or a Scientologist by Suppressive Acts". He defined it "Fair Game" as:
ENEMY — SP Order. Fair game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."
No one is quite sure if Hubbard died of some natural cause, killed himself or was murdered as his body was hastily cremated and many records normally associated with a death are missing. His will was changed right before his death. One suspects the con man wound up being conned in the end?
I am sure that there are fine scientists who are working with NASA as Astrobiologists and I am quite sorry that they are wasting their time. At least they are not being conned, as the followers of Scientology are being conned. Whether or not they are involved in an activity that is of the slightest use whatever? Based on the "work" and "research" associated with the "Arsenic Bacteria?" One would tend to say, "Not!"
By the way, if you have the bad fortune to be a Scientologist yourself? I am sorry.