Basic Skepticism

Where it comes to leaving the rat race, there are many people who will seek to part your money from yourself. They promise that you will be able to use their automated systems to get rich quick or that their expensive workshops will provide you with the “rich” mindset that makes it effortless to attract the millions that you seek.

They may clothe themselves in New Age spirituality, but the mindset is that of American consumerism, desire-buy-buy-buy. They may have success stories, but they never told you how many have tried and failed with their systems.

Falling prey to dubious marketers can be prevented if we improve our basic skepticism.  A common mistake is for people to invoke and favor supernatural reasons for something that can have a simple physical reason. Some common examples below:

1) Orbs are not spiritual beings, but simply dust particles reflecting your camera’s flash back towards the camera. The “faces” we sometimes see in the orbs are our brain’s overzealous effort to find patterns in random data. The fact that orbs are optical effects can be proven by using a flashlight separated a good distance away from the camera. No orbs will ever be recorded.

2) Floaters, who look like white dots floating in the blue sky) are not spirit particles. They are caused by small bits of harmless tissue in floating in the fluid of our eyeballs. Looking at a clear blue sky (or even a white wall) allows us to perceive them more easily.

3) Applied Kinesiology (muscle testing) is not an objective manner to obtain information. Since both the tester and test subject know about the substances or premises that they are testing, the test is subjected to subconscious psychological effects. For instance, the tester may push a bit harder or softer depending on the item being tested. To disprove this, ensure that that both tester and test subject do not know the contents of the items being tested. The effect will disappear and the results are no better than chance.

4) Homeopathy is an alternative health concept gaining in popularity. While my scientific understanding says that homeopathic remedies are merely placebos since they are essentially contain only sugar crystals, I have a scientifically-minded friend who firmly believes in the effectiveness of such therapies in treating his child with autism. Given a choice between a potentially dubious placebo such as homeopathy and a drug / vitamin / mineral that will cause the same effect, I will choose the more reliable item.

5) Water responding to emotions, such as in Dr. Masaru Emoto’s experiment, can be easily debunked. Simply perform the experiments of loving or hateful words as suggested, but let someone who does not know the type of “energy” in the water to do the classification. There are so many possible facets of crystals in frozen water that one can easily choose the “suitable” type of crystal formation to photograph if one has the label in mind.