Lord Kelvin and the Hubris of Scientism

True or not, the story of the annual Royal Society dinner in the year 1900 is now famous. At that summer gathering of the most respected and confident scientists of the turn of the century, the esteemed Lord Kelvin stated that science had pretty much solved all that we needed to know. Since Isaac Newton, we had devised a scientific worldview that did a great job explaining our surroundings. Astronomy, medicine, biology, and physics were all advancing and taking us out of the world of superstition. The genius of science and rationalism was well on the way to creating technologies that would reduce our physical suffering and move us into the contemporary era.  Things were good and the confidence was well deserved. Alas, all was not completely settled in this dinner speech. Lord Kelvin conceded that there were still just two little clouds of uncertainty remaining. Trifles, really.

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A Procession of the Damned

A Procession of the What?

A procession of the damned, that’s what.

In the words of Charles Fort:

By the damned, I mean the excluded.

We shall have a procession of data that Science has excluded.

The ultra-respectable, but the condemned, anyway. But they’ll march.”

This blog is a plain language and accessible review of some of the truly revolutionary ideas currently being recognized by academics and public intellectuals that help to explain generally overlooked or unstudied human experiences. We give understandable context to an array of “edge” topics like anomalous religious experiences, consciousness, chaos and ritual magic, UFO abduction claims, DMT visions, and the like. These events, generally not seriously studied and, at times, even ridiculed in the past one hundred years, can no longer simply be brushed aside. We seek to treat the experiences with respect while also starting to build a worldview that fits these types of incidents while remaining true to sound intellectual standards and a slimmed-down vocabulary taken from the history of philosophy. In short, there is solid evidence that weird things happen, we seek to build them into a worldview that doesn’t ignore science and reason while simultaneously doesn’t succumb to popular unquestioned assumptions about the nature of our universe. We pursue a metaphysics and epistemology of high strangeness.

The blog is loaded with intriguing anecdotes, scientific findings, and weird (but verified) stories that cause us to reconsider what is real. It borrows heavily from Jeff Kripal, Diana Walsh Pasulka, Jacques Valle, Charles Fort, Dean Radin, Gordon White, Graham Hancock, and Russel Targ.