Anyone ever check out the Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU)?

One of the smartest men in the world is Chris Langan apparently, and he developed this theory and wrote a book that is now on my reading list. Anyone on ThinkAtheist ever look into this work?

(By the way, please do not join this thread to argue about who the smartest person in the world is. If you want to discuss that, please just start another discussion.)

Anyway, here's an interview with Chris:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ak5Lr3qkW0

Strangely, he is a professional bouncer (weird!).

Views: 291

Tags: god, intelligence, smartest

Comment by Erock68la on June 2, 2014 at 11:22pm
Comment by Gallup's Mirror on June 3, 2014 at 10:52am

One of the smartest men in the world is Chris Langan 

A reporter called Langan, a nightclub bouncer with a high school education, "the smartest man in America" because Langan's IQ is "somewhere between 190 and 210." He's a college dropout with no scholarly work published in any peer-reviewed scientific periodical.

For added perspective, Lagan (along with William Lane Craig) was a fellow at The International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design (ISCID), which promoted intelligent design, rejected evolution and had the stated purpose to "reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions".

The ISCID published Langan's incomprehensible CTMU screed-- presumably because no proper scientific journal would-- about which Langan states:

"CTMU shows that reality possesses a complex property akin to self-awareness. That is, just as the mind is real, reality is in some respects like a mind. But when we attempt to answer the obvious question "whose mind?", the answer turns out to be a mathematical and scientific definition of God. This implies that we all exist in what can be called "the Mind of God", and that our individual minds are parts of God's Mind. They are not as powerful as God's Mind, for they are only parts thereof; yet, they are directly connected to the greatest source of knowledge and power that exists. This connection of our minds to the Mind of God, which is like the connection of parts to a whole, is what we sometimes call the soul or spirit, and it is the most crucial and essential part of being human."

On the "scientific and mathematical" aspects of CTMU, we have the following comments (as provided by Erock68la above) from a Stanford-educated scientist with a PhD in particle theory:

"[Langan’s problem is that] his CTMU masterpiece consists largely of undefined jargon, not known to real experts and not explained by Langan himself. That is the sure sign of a crackpot. The other problem is that those of us who have some real expertise in some of the fields about which he pontificates find his musings to be nonsense. I have a Ph.D. from Stanford in elementary particle theory: I know a great deal about quantum mechanics. I also am co-patentholder on several patents that apply information theory to various problems in computer and communication systems. Quantum physics and information theory are two of the subjects Langan appeals to in his CTMU work. Part of the point is to make it sound as if you would recognize the profundity of his writing if only you understood all of the technical background as he does. Well, in those two fields, I do understand the technical background, and his use of those subjects is a sham: it only seems impressive to people who are as ignorant of those subjects as Langan is."

Lagan is a poor man's Deepak Chopra. A quasi-religious apologist selling mystical woo-woo wrapped in nonsensical pseudoscientific jargon.

Comment by kris feenstra on June 3, 2014 at 3:23pm

I've only read tiny portions of his writing, but the limited excerpts I have read don't compel me to invest any time into it. My concern is I would end up reading a long written work describing a model which may very well be internally consistent, yet rests on shaky premises or lacks the necessary external support to connect it to reality. It's a suspicion, perhaps even prejudicial, but I'm not actually interested in discrediting his work; I'm just explaining why I'm reluctant to spend time on it.

Comment by Unseen on June 3, 2014 at 3:30pm

Many crackpots are above average in intelligence. This gives them the ability to confuse people raising objections as well as to delude themselves that they are on to something.

Comment by Pope Beanie on June 3, 2014 at 8:27pm

Someday such crackpotism will be its own category of science fiction, including e.g. scientology, while real science continues to rapidly make progress and realize concrete (i.e. not mushy) predictions.

But I do think the idea (full disclosure: in my blog) of fecund universes (Cosmological Natural Selection/CNS) may be worth discussing for many years or centuries to come.

Comment by James Cox on June 3, 2014 at 9:26pm

Can you imagine the work Einstein might have completed if he had also been a bouncer? The mind it hurts with the thought...

Comment by James Cox on June 3, 2014 at 9:30pm

This begins to sound like my early ramblings before I gots me some education.

If 'god' created the universe, and the only 'material' in existence was 'god', surely the universe is made up of 'god'. Happily this is as far as I got before the male mysteries intervened.

For what its worth....  

Comment by Andy Hoke on June 3, 2014 at 10:05pm

@ Erock68la

I read the comments on the physics blog you referenced.

Langan's CTMU appears to be based on an 'information' basis of reality. I don't claim to be on the level of any of these guys, but the notion that we are all part of the same informational identity may have legs.

I may be romantic, but the notion that we are all part of the same universal mind or body does in fact appeal to me. 'Oneness' resonates with me personally.

Comment by Unseen on June 3, 2014 at 11:41pm

If mind and body are one, then no body, no mind. And of course, that's the way it is.

Comment by Andy Hoke on June 4, 2014 at 4:30am

I cannot dismiss the idea that body is illusion when one considers the 'Ship of Theseus' tale.

As many already know, the ship of Theseus was a first century thought experiment. If every physical part of something is slowly replaced over time (as was the ship of Theseus circa 1st century), is it actually still the same thing?

A simpler version is 'my grandfather's axe. 'This is my grandfather's axe. I just gave it a new handle, and my father replaced the metal head some years ago, but this is my grandfather's axe.' Similarly, every cell in your body (which was originally, and shall eventually be, stardust) is replaced every few years.

Langan (con-artist or not) posits that information itself is a more fundamental construct than what is popularly called physical reality.

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