Countering the “Open Minded” Review of Terrence Witt’s Book

Addendum: Hey, looks like someone listened to my plight! ^_^ (check the comment section) Oh, and I have got to tell you one more classic woo physics from this book. Get this, energy=s*m^2 according to the book, not energy=kg*m^2/s^2. Looks like Mr. Witt just failed middle school physics. (Remember? Kinetic energy=1/2*mass*velocity^2, which makes kg*m^2/s^2, or potential=mass*gravitational acceleration*height gives the same result.) Ohh, and rubbing salt to the injury: another comment from a physicist.

Oh boy, here it comes, with people promulgating “open mindedness,” as if being open minded always leads to intelligent decision. Well, theories sure ain’t intelligent if they are internally inconsistent and well, not real. And so, here comes, from my comment in one of my posted reviews of “Our Undiscovered Universe.” It is boring and insipid, so be ready, and also be ready for a very long rant:

Here is an open-minded review of Null Physics. Eveyone in the scientific community seems very upset over the book. Some readers have even spent their valuable time tracking down Mr. Witt online and posing reviews every time they see his name. I wonder why? Is it because Witt has discovered something important they don’t want the world to read about? Dr. Morse’s review is very fair. Every review should bring out the positives and the negatives. He also does not use the word “crackpot.” I’ve never featured out what a crackpot is anyway.

He also has some very interesting points about James Randi on his web site as well.

Sara

OUR UNDISCOVERED UNIVERSE BY TERENCE WITT

BOOK REVIEW BY MELVIN L MORSE MD FAAP

SPIRITUALSCIENTIFIC.COM

Just when you thought you were starting to understand quantum physics, here comes Terence Witt with Our Undiscovered Universe in which he challenges virtually all the accepted assumptions underlying our current perception of reality. Terence Witt’s Universe is infinite, timeless (no beginning and no end), with no Big Bang, no accelerating galaxies away from the center, and no sub-sub atomic particles such as quarks. Instead, he postulates that the Universe consists of nothing! This is why he calls his theory “Null Physics”. But not just empty space, not that kind of nothing. Terence Witt’s view of the Universe is that is consists entirely of curved space, gravity, and energy forming a complex balance of matter and anti-matter, energy and dark energy, all adding up to nothing at all.

I love this sort of book as it forces scientists to re-examine their most cherished assumptions. As a physician-consciousness researcher, I have used the quantum non-local reality physical reality model as the best fit to understand our current scientific concepts of consciousness. However, Witt’s book forces all of us to re-examine everything that we believe to be real. I am not qualified to do the math needed to critically evaluate his book, but my best guess is that ultimately he will be proven wrong. He is so thoughtful and thought provoking, however, that the book is well worth it for the hours of discussion it has provoked between me, my wife, and friends.

It is clear, well organized and simply written. It is often funny. You don’t need to be a mathematician to understand his basic concepts. He presents a broad comprehensive theory of reality which incorporates subatomic reality, ordinary reality, and the latest understandings of astronomy and cosmology. He has great lines such as describing modern physicists as being so astonished by their experimental findings that they have become “infused with a hysterical mysticism”.

He does a great job of summarizing the basic principles of quantum physics in one of the best and succinct presentations I have read for the non-physicist. He accurately points out the many flaws in the current scientific model and he nicely outlines the mainstream understanding of the difficulties in creating a coherent unified theory of reality given the constraints of the current paradigm. Let’s face it, there is plenty of room within modern theoretical physics for Witt’s Null Physics, given that many no longer feel the Big Bang is a viable theory and mainstream physicists state the Universe is made mostly of “dark energy” and “dark matter” and that we have no idea what they are.

His critics are legion, yet mainly consist of anonymous chat room “experts” and graduate level physicists who have not read his book. The substance of their criticism consists mainly of repetitively chanting “crack pot, crack pot” over and over again. Sort of a Lord of Flies meets the Internet gone really really bad. As Harold Bloom points out in The Lucifer Principle, “the most insubstantial things we call ideas . .can lead to the basest cruelties.” I have reviewed the websites of Witt’s critics and understand their concerns. These primarily young men are in the process of establishing themselves within their fields. It takes a sense of confidence and maturity to read Witt’s book which most people are going to completely disagree with. By challenging our basic beliefs, Witt forces a healthy re-examination of the fundamental assumptions of modern physics and a greater understanding of whatever model of reality we ultimately end up with.

I have written peer reviewed articles with theoretical physicists, and I showed the book to them. They hemmed and hawed, and muttered ridiculous, and yet ended with a healthy respect for what Witt is trying to accomplish. One internationally recognized theoretical physicist told me that “he is totally wrong, really doesn’t get it at all. However, if he is right, he is on the right track, I would work on his math, some of it needs complete revisions, but for a first effort, not bad, not bad at all.” It is telling that he declined me to allow his name to be used, given the controversy the book has created. Scientific American has recently decided to refuse Witt’s advertisements for his book, a sad commentary of the power of the current Scientific Fundamentalist movement (see side bar). No one wants to offend them or they too will have to suffer an Internet onslaught of chanting science drones.

As a scientist who challenged the medical model of consciousness by documenting the near death experiences of children, I will always have a soft spot for intelligent outsiders who dare to take on the scientific status quo. My theories of consciousness are now well accepted enough that they have been replicated by other scientists, and published in the American Medical Association Medical Journals, the Lancet, and the New England Journal of Medicine. The United Nations recently launched a multi-medical center study of near death experiences, yet 25 years ago I was also dismissed as a crackpot.

Ultimately, I am not sure if Mr. Witt’s theories will stand the test of time. It is not my field, and stranger things have happened in the history of science. However, I do know I learned a lot from reading his book, and it stimulated me to rethink my own theories of reality.

 The response to the first question is that people spend time tracking down “crackpots” (which are basically people who insists that they have discovered something cool, but they actually made stuff up) is because there are people who don’t know about these stuffs who might fall for it, and have the wrong understanding of the universe, because it is getting too much publicity for something that gives nothing to the understanding of physics, it gives the wrong impression of what science does, the wrong impression being making up stuff, and because it has horribly bad physics and math overall. Now, with that publicity, that bad science creates an impression as if the scientists don’t understand anything, and they are making stuff up. Well, they don’t understand everything, okay? BUT, they do understand something about this universe, and they sure as hell aren’t making stuff up.

Now, to the review. The mere moment you read the heading, you can tell it will be bad. After all, the mere moment you stick spiritual with scientific, you know… Correction, I know (I don’t know you enough, sorry ^_^) that something fishy and unscientific is going on. I mean, c’mon, science and spirituality? Since when have science ever supported the idea of the supernatural? For every mystery ever solved by science, they turned out not to be magical. Now, the first paragraph begins with some gibberish that makes me go “wut?” Seriously, not only does that sound made up, and have no observational validity to them at all, it doesn’t freaking make sense either. For not only are the forces not balanced at all (there are almost no antimatter in this universe, since they have been destroyed very early in the universe’s birth), it is treating the universe as if it were a giant number line that cancels itself and causes… nothingness? I don’t even understand what it is suggesting.

Now, the second paragraph goes with the book challenging a scientist’s perception on the universe. True, it does, but there are no evidence for it at all! Scientists, whose job hold evidence in utmost importance, could consider the idea,but not accept it. If someone would give clear, rigorous evidence (with no made up stuff), the rest of the physicists would change their mind, along with the rest of the public. Alas, not only does it have no evidence for it, it contradicts what has already been observed, like hydrogen’s emission spectrum (check out the reviews I linked). Now, it is okay if a theory totally changes the view of the way the universe works, but part of the results have to be a close approximation of what was previously known. For example, even though Einstein’s theories changed how we viewed motion, at speeds much more lower than the speed of light, it coincides with Newton’s theories very well, though Einstein’s theories are more precise. Note, also, how Einstein’s crazy theories are based on previous knowledge, like Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism. Now, the third paragraph has scientists being amazed by the experimental results as “infused with hysterical mysticism.” What, is it so wrong to be astonished by the results? How could you not be astonished when the experiment shows not only is the universe much more bizarre and wonderful than we have previously thought, but that it matches the predicted results for a gazillion decimal places? Seriously, they do! (go and look at Richard Feynman’s lecture on quantum electrodynamics)

Now, the fourth paragraph says how easily Witt explains all of these stuffs. Well, Witt has been a naughty boy, for many of the things he explains are just wrong (again, read the reviews). For example, he claims neutrons are made of a proton and electron— Wrong. A neutron and proton are made of three quarks each. When a quark in a neutron changes, due to radioactive decay, it releases energy and electron, and that change of a single quark makes it a proton (or at least that is how I understand it, if any real physicists are around, can you correct me? ^_^). Anyways, what is the point of explaining something easily when what you are explaining is wrong? No point. He later goes on in the sixth paragraph saying how some theoretical physicists went on having respect for Witt despite him being totally wrong. Somehow, this guy seems to imply that other physicists respecting Witt makes Witt a little righter (I know this word doesn’t exist, K?). Also, Witt does need a crash course in science and math. Not only does he make stuff up, which is utterly illegal if you are trying to find out what reality is like, but he screws up in math big time. In math, he again make up some bogus concept and treat infinity like a number. Now, I will repeat this three times, just to drill it in your brain: infinityisnotanumber, infinityisnotanumber, infinityisnotanumber. Get it? You just can’t make up stuff about infinity just like that, considering  it has been built upon by centuries of studies. Also, he seems to dislike quantum mechanics, according to the reviews. Well, I don’t fault him on that. Some of the bizarre concepts of quantum mechanics include probabilistic motion and position.

Now, I want to go over one super annoying thing in this whole review: he is creating a false controversy. Indeed, it is not a controversy at all, and the only controversy here is Witt versus all the 99% of other decent physicists. (note the word decent) Controversy in the public sphere doesn’t consist of controversy either. The public can argue however they want, but in the end, no matter how much you blab around, reality remains the same. He also attempts something funny, which is to create the imaginary “scientific fundamentalism.” How fundamentalist of the stupid scientists to claim something wrong based on evidence and previous knowledge! They should submit every single freaking idea that looks sophisticated that may or may not work! Also, he just dismisses the chat room “experts” and graduate students just like that. Maybe, I don’t know, there is a possibility *gasp* that they might know more about physics than Terrence Witt? Inconcievable, I will just faint. Also, I already posted two reviews by real physicists, and their veredict? The book is EPIC FAIL.

Now (getting tired of this starting word? me too 😦 ), this is an opinion thing on the whole thing.  Frankly, it is an ultimate act of arrogance to claim to know something that someone else has studied for years, and have been built upon for generations without any evidence whatsoever that they are right, especially if that person himself has not a spectacular background on it. Even Einstein started out as a noob, and had to work his way up, but this guy think that he can make stuffs up, and get the scientific spotlight just by publishing a pop sci book? What happened to scientific journals? Does he even think that all the other scientists are conspiring against him, or does he fear unconsciously that he is wrong? For if he believes there are enough evidence to publish it in a journal, he should just publish it. And what is so wrong about being wrong? We are all wrong a lot of time in our life, and if you said something that you thought was right, and it was proved wrong, you should just admit it.  

His penultimate (it doesn’t start with now! ^_^) paragraph says “I will always have a soft spot for intelligent outsiders who dare to take on the scientific status quo.” That is fine and dandy, but what is the point of  an intelligent person daring to take on the scientific status quo if that person is wrong? Just saying, I mean really, all it will do is send knowledge backwards. Finally, he says that “I am not sure if Mr. Witt’s theories will stand the test of time.” He is right, but a very minimal type of right, for it has not stood up at all for even a second. The mere moment the book was released, so many things were already wrong with what we already knew that it wasn’t even worth considering, and it still isn’t. In the end, the reader of this book ends up learning nothing about the process of science and what it has discovered.

So, with this rant, I leave Mr. Witt a Chinese fortune cookie advice: Don’t make stuff up, for it is not scientific.

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5 Responses to Countering the “Open Minded” Review of Terrence Witt’s Book

  1. miller says:

    Hello!
    Sara posted the exact same comment, verbatim, on my Null Physics post too.
    http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/2008/02/null-physics-non-physics.html?showComment=1230752220000#c6409135454314907488
    I found your post by googling the Morse review.

    Obviously, this quote is sheer projection.

    “Some readers have even spent their valuable time tracking down Mr. Witt online and posing reviews every time they see his name.”

    And Morse’s review misses the point. Extraordinary claims are not at all impressive unless there’s evidence for them.

  2. ibyea says:

    Seriously? That makes the quote very ironic.

  3. Reality Check says:

    Sara may be the Sara Lien who is the Public Relations Director at BRIO BOOKS. They are the ones running Terence Witt’s ad campaign.

  4. Ian Fisk says:

    Sara is also multi-posting another review by Kirkus Discoveries which just happens to be a paid (by the author) review site! I hope that Terence Witt got a good deal for a review consisting of a couple os sentences and a paragraph.

  5. […] you say? Well, I got sent a spam in my debunking of “Our Undiscovered Universe” post which […]

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