Friday, August 26, 2022

#2560: Moses Turkle Bility

Each December, RealClearScience goes through the worst examples of fraud, woo, and bullshit in the world of science over the preceding year. In 2020, a notable entry was a paper published in Science of the Total Environment with the impressively technobabble-laden title “Can Traditional Chinese Medicine provide insights into controlling the COVID-19 pandemic: Serpentinization-induced lithospheric long-wavelength magnetic anomalies in Proterozoic bedrocks in a weakened geomagnetic field mediate the aberrant transformation of biogenic molecules in COVID-19 via magnetic catalysis”. Now, this is the sort of title you would expect on blogs, but this particular example – shorter version “Jade Amulets Can Prevent COVID-19” – was signed Dr. Moses Turkle Bility, an Assistant Professor in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh. Most commentators immediately suspected a prank, perhaps to test whether Science of the Total Environment was a journal with minimal academic standards (it evidently isn’t). The pseudo-jargon-stuffed gobbledygook is precisely what one expect from an elaborate hoax, and the contents of the article follow the title’s example with some incoherent stream-of-consciousness ranting that would make hardened Timecube fans blush. However, it turns out Bility was quite serious.


Yes, Bility really does think that COVID-19 is related to magnetic fields, and that jade amulets can potentially prevent the disease through magic. He also denies the germ theory of disease in favor of some pseudogeology and handwavy appeals to geomagnetic fields. Oh, and nowhere did he actually test whether jade amulets do anything. There is a decent summary of the science involved here.


Experts dismissed the paper as the laughable nonsense it is, but when Bility was politely challenged about it, he was immediately defensive and claimed racism was at the root of the objections: “I am not surprised that this article has elicited angry responses [as a matter of fact, it primarily elicited laughter]. Clearly the idea that a black scientist can provide a paradigm shifting idea offends a lot of individuals [...] You neither understand quantum physics nor spin chemistry; you are making a hasting [sic] decision based on your knowledge of the classical theories that dominate the biological sciences,” wrote Bility. The article has since been “temporarily removed” from the journal.


Bility’s co-authors were not particularly happy about being affiliated with the paper, and Bility admitted thatthe inclusion of the co-authors in this manuscript was an error in my (Moses Bility) judgment.” It would, one thinks, be a relatively easily avoidable error.


Bility apparently has several other, novel preprints out there, too, including


-       Stonehenge as a public health intervention device for preventing lithospheric magnetic field-induced emerging diseases and megadeath during periods of severely weaken geomagnetic field

-       The spatiotemporal relationship between geomagnetic perturbations and Ebola Viral Disease outbreaks and civil strife in Equatorial Africa: A reexamination of the interpretation of clay burning by Iron Age African tribes during severe geomagnetic perturbations

-       Are rises in the Lithosphere-Magnetic Field in the United States, interacting with vaping aerosols-iron in lungs, the tipping point for the outbreak of vaping-associated acute lung injury?


There is also “The theory of everything: Reconciliation of quantum theory and gravitation via redefinition of the concept time in a non-discrete compressible fluid model of the physical universe with interactions governed by the framework of the Wheeler-Feynman-Cramer-Mead transactional (handshake) theory”, in which he suggests that “the structure and dynamics of the social-political polarization of The United States in the late 1960s to the late 1970s is symmetrical to the structure and dynamics of the lithosphere-magnetic field polarization of The United States in the late 1960s to the late”, and therefore – apparently related to “polarized ‘brain’ electromagnetic interactions (brain activity) in high-risk decision making” – that “the symmetrical relationship between the social-political polarization and magnetic field polarization of the lithosphere demonstrate that humans exist as a demarcated compressible fluid with “quantum” electromagnetic interactions (human interactions) govern by the framework of the Wheeler-Feynman-Cramer-Mead transactional (quantum handshake) theory.” Betcha you haven’t seen that hypothesis in published research before.


Oh, yes. He has even written a book, Equilibrium Theory: Unification of Newtonian Physics and General Relativity using the wave equation.


Diagnosis: In fairness, Moses Turkle Bility is mostly a colorful fellow, and even though he didn’t intend to do it, his efforts might actually work to identify journals with poor academic standards or insufficiently rigorous peer reviewing. It is, on the other hand, hard to imagine his ideas initialized any sort of denialist movement worth taking seriously (a cult may be conceivable). That’s something, we suppose.


  1. The term "Crackpot" is especially appropriate in this case!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I await the inevitable "Big Pharma is way worse" comment from your brain-dead troll-in-residence.

    1. Arguing with you NightTrain is a waste of time. It's like explaining "truth" to a corpse!

    2. And there you are, as predictable as a post-burrito fart! Just as gaseous too.

    3. And another thing: get your own material!

      I am, of course, joking. It's ridiculous to assume you're capable of an original thought.

    4. Here's an original thought and one I think Moses would agree with: A trip to Stonehenge is just as effective in preventing covid 19 as the vax!! When you think about it you should come to the same conclusion!

    5. Yeah, all those "scientists" and "doctors" are all liars, while you and your gurus just can NOT say or do anything wrong!
      (For those reading my post, you can tell I'm being really sarcastic.)

      I got the Pfister 2-part vaccine, and you know how many times I got Covid? None.

      BP8 has no idea what he's trying to say, and has been suckered completely by quacks like Wakefield, and zealots like Robert Kennedy Jr.

    6. You know how many times I got covid without talking the vaccine? NONE! You need to take your argument to Joe Bidin. The vax didn't work for him!

    7. I don't believe what you say, since it's nearly word for word what is being broadcast on Russian State Television. Meanwhile, your gurus are laughing at you and your cronies all the way to the bank.

    8. You don't believe Biden got covid after getting the vaccine, even though he admitted it? You need to go get another booster!

  4. "...a paradigm-shifting idea..." he says.

    🤣 BS!

    No, it is not, it's just idiotic postmodern babbling.

  5. It's pretty obvious the man is mentally ill.