Wednesday, June 12, 2013

#593: Michael A. Cremo

A.k.a. Drutakarma Drasa

Benjamin Creme is Scottish but so magnificently insane that you need to check him out. Michael A Cremo seems to try his best not to be overshadowed by said amazing Scotsman. Cremo, a hinduist, is a “vedic creationist”, hardcore proponent of woo, and even more intensely hardcore conspiracy theorist. His most famous book is Forbidden Archaeology (written with Richard Thompson, to be covered later), which promotes his rather idiosyncratic take on creationism: humans (homo sapiens) have lived on earth, unchanged, for billions and billions of years. Of course, given the existence of that branch of scientific inquirey called “archaeology”, Cremo & Thompson’s claim requires a conspiracy. And indeed, we get one – Cremo and Thompson pull it out over 900 pages of what amounts to nonsense and feebly helpless ignorance of geology, archaeology, or evolution, instead pushing an impressive array of pseudo-archaeological and fraudulent “fossil” evidence of the kind that is so stupid that even your stock creationist may stop referring to it after a while because it’s too silly (says a bit). It is discussed here. The abridged version of their book, The Hidden History of the Human Race, is reviewed here.

The general idea, which researchers presumably happily cover up while cashing their fat research grant checks, is that “[w]e did not evolve up from matter; instead we devolved, or came down, from the realm of pure consciousness, spirit.” Cremo suggests that before we ask “where did human beings come from?” we should ask “[w]hat is a human being?” His answer is that it is a combination of matter, mind, and consciousness (or spirit). Which is an assertion displaying little understanding of matter, mind, consciousness, or evidence. At least he predicts that his book will be ridiculed (a sudden dim flash of insight there) since all great ideas always are, despite the demonstrable fact that great ideas have, contrary to popular belief, no more than exceedingly rarely (perhaps never) had to go through a period of ridicule before they have been accepted. Cremo explicitly admits that his governing strategy is confirmation bias here (“[w]hen operating from a different metaphysical perspective, I seem to see the evidence in a different light … was surprised to find there was so much evidence that is consistent with the Puranas”).

Cremo has no scientific education (his credentials are discussed here), and his associate membership of the Bhaktivedanta (“specializing in history and philosophy of science”), the scientific research branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, doesn’t count.

He has, however, appeared on TV –  More precisely in Charlton Heston’s legendary “The Mysterious Origins of Man”.

Diagnosis: Confirmation bias is not rigorous testing or evaluation of hypotheses, but Cremo would never know the difference. His screeds are of the kind that to a rational mind reads as well when the font is set to wingdings. 

1 comment:

  1. I'll bet you are one of those people who believe the universe is a Perpetual Motion Machine like Hawking and his gang of delusionary thinkers are trying to do. Or I bet you think Potassium and Sodium ions actually generate the electricity of the Autonomic Nervous System. If the academic community was not so busy telling lies to support their deluded thinking maybe they could see more than their projections in physics and other 'speculative' sciences like psychology.