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Christopher "Tanoro" Gray is a web programmer and science advocate especially concerned with resource management technologies, biology, and artificial intelligence. He is a student of epistemology and philosophy as well as an Atheist competent in Christian theology.
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Anti-science Alchemist Tries to Hi-jack the Resource Based Economy
Posted by: Tanoro - Apr 25, 2012 6:03PM

A friend of mine on Facebook posted something that got my attention. At first, it looks like a newspaper with "Resource Based Economy" in the title. I was wondering if someone was actually organizing a real newspaper to promote this economic direction.

Get your copy of Resource Based Economy Journal Published by People 4 Social Sustainability (www.sustainablecoop.org)

At first, I questioned how useful this would be with all the websites and blogs floating around already. We already have the TZM blog crammed with RBE content. Youtube videos are flooding out everyday. The Venus Project is doing the same thing. Do we need a newpaper publisher, or even another news website at this point?

Then I took a closer look. What is that second item under the title? It says, "Alchemy." Now, I'm very skeptical. What is this about? I checked the website for the People 4 Social Sustainability. What I found there must have been the biggest load of non-sensical crap I have encountered all week.

People 4 Social Sustainability (P.S.S.) is in no way affiliated with either The Zeitgeist Movement or The Venus Project. What we put forward is a completely different model of "The Resource Based Economy" That is earth based and works with Alchemy applied towards solving social problems. We do not adhere to science that denies the spiritual realms of human existance.

Firstly, I'm not going to criticize for not being affiliated with the organizations actually promoting this direction. Nobody owns the idea. However, trying to blend an evidence-based science/technology concept like the Resource Based Economy with a disproven mythology like alchemy is hypocritical absurdity of the highest order made worse by a blunderingly ignorant promotion against the scientific method. Alchemy was an old science itself in past centuries, promoted by figures such as Sir Isaac Newton, consisting of a few theories including vitalism and phlogiston theory. Both theories have been disproven, which bumped us out of the realms of alchemy and into modern chemistry.

After reading a bit on the website, which looks like a boredom project for the weekend HTML enthusiast, I find that the author has a problem with science because science doesn't acknowledge the existence of the spiritual.

Science looks at reality as nothing more than a physical observable world and it denies anything beyond this. Alchemy, on the other hand, looks at reality as soluble, dissolvable, and more than meets the eye. For the scientist reality ends at what can be tested or measured; yet for the alchemist reality doesn't have a true beginning or ending. In Alchemy everything is a cyclical process that is viewed as a constant evolutionary spiral of causality. In Science everything is strictly linear, is constantly moving in a straight line, or set of is and isn't.

This is just plain wrong. Science is a tool for gaining information from the natural world. It doesn't reject the notion that something else may be out there. The problem with the unknown is that you can't get information out of it until it's known. Accusing science of rejecting anything, apart from that which has been flatly disproven (i.e. alchemy), is simply dishonest. What the author really means is that science stops making claims where the evidence stops confirming it, but alchemy continues making claims without evidence if need be. The rest is just symbolic mumbo jumbo of no real substance.

There was something else I noticed on the website that struck me as interesting.

What is the Alchemic Method?

The Alchemic Method can be summed up in the following.

Equivalent Exchange – Break down, dissect, and pick apart the subject or thing you’re working on. What are all of its parts and how does the subject relate in different settings or contexts to everything else around it? What interconnects it to other things?

This term, "Equivalent Exchange," is one I recognize. Suddenly, this is starting to make sense. First, let me provide a little personal history. I was raised in a southern baptist home. I joined the military at 17-years-old and left home. While stationed in Florida, I discovered Paganism. I was a pagan right up until the late 2000s when I began reading about science and epistemology, the processes that help us determine what propositions are justifiable as knowledge as oppose to unjustifiable claptrap. I became an atheist then. One of the things that characterizes a pagan is the love of books that discuss ancient mythologies and magics, alchemy being one of them. As you can imagine, I've got dozens of books on the subject and I occasionally still read them today, but with much more skepticism. I even have books on alchemy, some I have read cover to cover. Some such books, like The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie, are very complicated and read like a medical book. However, nowhere will you ever find the term, "equivalent  exchange" in any of them.

So, where did this term originate? Well, I'm also an anime fan. The term, as far as I am aware, originated with the Hiromu Arakawa anime series, Full Metal Alchemist. At this point, I am going to back away slowly and presume I am dealing with an anime fanatic who is having a bit of trouble separating fantasy from reality.

Fortunately, the friend who originally posted this was not aware of this and happily removed the post when I drew attention to the nature of its origin.

This blog is an editorial and contains only the opinions of the author. The author claims no expertise on most topics of discussion and this blog is not to be cited as an alternative for properly vetted journalism or scientific sources.

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