I’ll be the first to admit I am no scientist, although I did spend 20 years with one, amid scintillating breakfast conversations on topics like zinc and copper sediment in the Fraser River estuary. (Does that count at all?) Far brighter minds than mine, however, tell us what real scientists have often pondered: people believe an awful lot of “science” that isn’t scientific at all. Take the recent Reuters report from Russia that showed:
- 32% of Russians surveyed believed the Earth is the centre of the solar system
- 55% believed that all radioactivity is man-made
- 29% believed that the first humans lived when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth
Study author Dr. Olga Kamenchuk wrote:
“It’s really quite amazing – it speaks of the low levels of education in the country.”
Well, it either speaks of their impoverished education, or it speaks of the universal willingness to believe what other (non-scientist) people tell us. It helps to explain why believers in the Law of Attraction (LOA) claim that their beliefs are actually based on pure science: the physics of quantum mechanics.
My own loose, and I do mean loose, grasp on this science is that it’s the branch of physics that interprets physical phenomena occurring on a very small scale (like the motion of electrons). Confusion around this science inevitably brings the opportunity for profit.
As Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University Dr. Neil Farber writes:
“The law of attraction is the belief that the universe creates and provides for you that which your thoughts are focused on. It is believed by many to be a universal law by which “Like always attracts like.” The results of positive thoughts are always positive consequences. The same holds true for negative thoughts, always leading to bad outcomes.
“But the LOA is much more than generalizations: Thinking about red Lamborghinis will bring you red Lamborghinis—always. To the believers, questioning the validity of the LOA is akin to heresy and blasphemy; it creates religious fervor. To the uninitiated, it may seem silly to discuss even the possibility that such a law could exist.
Dr. Farber has created a terrific list of 14 reasons that the Law of Attraction doesn’t exist. Read it here.