Has modern physics overtaken philosophy?

"And modern physics says that too ..."

Pseudosciences
What do esoteric and physics have in common? Nothing - until one day the esotericists suddenly started trying to prove their methods with physics.
The effect of so-called healing stones is often explained pseudophysically with vibrations.

Originally it was reserved for a select few. But in the meantime the secret doctrine of esotericism has grown into an industry worth billions, which seems to have a solution for every ailment and need. Whether you want to talk to the deceased or angels, protect yourself from harmful electrosmog or give your pet more energy - there is nothing that is not possible with esotericism. And if you want to know from the meanwhile numerous practitioners how and why the therapy works exactly, then physics is often sought to justify the esoteric concepts.

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Terms such as quantum medicine, bioresonance or magnetic field therapy are used, which are strongly reminiscent of the terminology of physics - and that actually seems to be on purpose. Professor Erhard Wielandt, for example, reports on this in his blog, who studied physics in Tübingen and Berlin and worked, among other things, at the geophysical institute at the University of Karlsruhe. Most recently, until his retirement, he was professor and director at the Institute for Geophysics in Stuttgart. Wielandt writes that a dowser once told him that nowadays an esotericist has no choice but to express himself scientifically in order to be taken seriously at all. From this the physicist concludes that the esotericists - at least in the case of this dowser - are aware that the scientific terms are not appropriate everywhere, but that the esotericists still use them to achieve that they are trusted - supposedly only to achieve the best for the client.

Alternative sciences

This phenomenon has a name. One speaks of parasciences or also of pseudosciences. These have developed in parallel to today's established sciences, but their theories and practice are based, according to the Society for the Scientific Investigation of Para sciences e. V. (GWUP) largely based on illusory thinking. Nevertheless, there is an obsessive attempt to scientifically underpin the practices of the parasciences and pseudosciences - and that of all things with physics. "It's paradoxical," writes physicist and GWUP member Florian Aigner in the Austrian news magazine Profil. «Esotericists, whose business model is based on ignoring the findings of natural science, refer to a scientific theory. It is as if atheists were looking for confirmation of their ideological theses in the Bible. Or as if a vegetarian association wanted to recruit members with free schnitzel. " The esotericists are particularly impressed by quantum physics because, in their opinion, it can be used to explain many esoteric phenomena. The Austrian-born scientist and author Fritjof Capra finally spanned the arc between Western rationality and Far Eastern philosophy with works such as “The Tao of Physics” (1975) or “Wendezeit” (1983). He became a pioneer of the so-called New Age movement, in which the combination of quantum physics and mysticism became popular.

Everything is mixed up

The New Age movement emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. The special thing about it was that it began to mix all kinds of esotericism, such as magic, alchemy, astrology and card reading, with established sciences, i.e. with psychology, religious studies, evolution, the laws of causality and, as already mentioned, with physics , especially with quantum physics. At the same time, so-called alternative medicine also took off, including homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and naturopathy, which in turn was associated with traditional medicine.

The interesting thing is that to this day this movement is not only supported by scientific laypeople, but also by academics. Fritjof Capra, who fueled the movement with his books, is a physicist. The physicist Erhard Wielandt explains in his blog that academics who support para-sciences would usually organize themselves in associations that have a scientific-sounding name. They would hold their own meetings and publish their own magazines, which were written in their own technical language. It is, explains the 80-year-old - quoting the US physicist Richard Feynman, who has also dealt with para-science - everything exactly as in established science. The only difference is that no result can ever be reproduced by outsiders.

It is against the law

Despite the cloak of science, esotericism has not succeeded to this day in scientifically or medically substantiating its esoteric views and practices. The reason is quite simple, as the doctor, scientist and science author Thomas Grüter notes in an article: “Most of the alleged effects contradict the laws of natural science. They are not inexplicable, they are impossible. Laws of nature can neither be broken nor circumvented. " The only thing that has been proven so far is a certain placebo effect in homeopathy. But anything beyond that is ultimately a question of belief.

It is up to you whether you want to believe in it and make use of esotericism or not. What upsets the GWUP, however, is that the esotericists want to use physics of all things to prove the suitability of their practices. However, it is only logical that the esotericists made this choice - for two reasons: On the one hand, physics enjoys a high level of credibility and trust due to its history. On the other hand, it is difficult to understand for most people. “Therefore, a non-physicist may be inclined not only to believe a claim made by esotericists, but even to regard it as scientifically proven if it is presented with the addition“ and modern physics also says it ”, the organization writes on its website.

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