It is the second time when I was contacted by someone who seems to be a fan of Nassim Haramein. Who is that? Another surfer dude in Hawaii, a self-taught supergenius, we are told, who will give us unlimited free energy according to the green optimists (no, there has never been anything remotely rational about the environmentalists), who has an impressive website called The Resonance Project, who will unify the mankind, and do tons of other wonderful things.
In fact, when you search for YouTube videos with him, you seem to get over 75,000 hits, videos that cover not only his unified theory, physics and spirituality, the pyramids and orion belt, but also everything else that some folks could find deep and important.
The people who believe that there's something – anything – in this stuff (it's a relatively small group, because of the small number of viewers per video, but they're real cultists, because of the number of videos) must feel happy all the time, perhaps probably because they're permanently high.
I just can't possibly get it. I can't understand how someone may overlook that this is a continuous stream of complete nonsense occasionally interrupted with isolated words taken from the physics jargon. Some aspects of it are unoriginal. This Gentleman will give us a perpetual-motion machine of the first kind, we're promised, and he's not the first one.
But for example, the trailer above – which is a trailer for a documentary about a paper called Quantum Gravity and the Holographic Mass that he managed to publish somewhere (in a junk journal whose name tries to sound like Physical Review; imagine: a documentary about a single paper) – combines mundane things about the spin (the spin is everywhere in Nature, indeed: but what exactly does he claim to have learned about it? Do his fans ever ask simple questions like that?) with some remarks about quantum mechanics, holography, anything.
And sometimes you're pushed towards a punch line after which you want to explode in laughter and some of you even may explode. For example, he says that all the miracles may be done with the help of the most fundamental particle in the world. There is a pause for you to think what is the most fundamental particle according to this chap: the Higgs boson, the graviton, the photon, the neutralino, or something completely new? After the pause, you're told the answer:
It's the proton!
Holy cow. The proton is the messiest and non-fundamental particle that has ever been called "elementary" by people in the 20th century. It's a bound state of 3 valence quarks glued together with so much glue and excess kinetic and potential energy that the 3 quarks only add about two percent to the rest mass of the proton. The rest is mess, gluons, quark-antiquark pairs, and so on.
Moreover, and this fact is of course related to the compositeness, the proton isn't unique at all. It has all the siblings in the multiplets – the neutron is the closest relative which belongs to the same isospin doublet (=couple) with the proton. One may extend the doublet to an \(uds\) baryon octet (=eight elements). More generally, all strongly interacting particles – hadrons – are proton's relatives and there are hundreds of them.
The proton is the most stable hadron but this stability is just a result of many unimportant coincidences and accidental inequalities satisfied by the masses of the objects etc. The neutron decays to the proton and other things (electron plus antineutrino) simply because it just happens to be a bit heavier, enough to decay. If the neutron were a bit lighter, it could be the other way around: the proton could decay to a neutron, a positron, and a neutrino.
Haramein's idea that the proton is fundamental is reflected in various papers he wrote, e.g. one about the Schwarzschild proton that offers some preposterous claims about the proton's being a black hole or something like that. (Just to be sure, a proton has an extremely low density relatively to what is required for small black holes. The black hole of the proton mass would have to be more than 20 orders of magnitude smaller than the proton.)
People believing these things – perhaps including Haramein himself – must have no clue whatsoever about the difference between things and concepts that are fundamental according to the modern scientific arguments and those that are not (or those that are extremely far from it). I am inclined to think that this inability to distinguish is the root of all the spiritual misinterpretations of physics and any religious cult that claims to be compatible with modern physics.
For millennia, people would talk about anthropomorphic gods. They were fundamental in the scheme of things. Well, science was going in a very different direction. Fundamental things in the Universe can't resemble humans because humans are extremely far from being fundamental themselves. They're demonstrably composed of smaller co-operating parts – at many hierarchically arranged levels – that just teamed up to create many composite objects. Organisms are among them, all organisms are relatives of each other, and humans are probably more skillful than others due to many other accidents and random mutations and happy coincidences in their history. The difference isn't truly "fundamental" in the sense of "totally qualitative". A human may be skillful or smart but it's just nothing else than a slightly improved monkey.
The incorrect notion that humans are "fundamental" was the basis of religions for quite some time and people are already familiar with the fact that science surely claims otherwise. But the claim that the proton, for example, is fundamental is "original". People should have known that the proton isn't fundamental for almost 40 years as well. Similar findings are clearly not widespread yet – even (and perhaps especially?) among the people who claim that "physics" (they mean Haramein's physics in this case) has changed their lives. What these people see behind the word "physics" has simply nothing to do with the actual physics and its results obtained by the scientific method. They believe that the key content of physics is a secret occult art they don't have to fully understand – it's being discovered by shamans with special, almost supernatural skills such as Mr Haramein.
You might say that this gap is just a property of a crazy cult. But it's not. To a certain extent, perhaps a smaller extent, all the people reading and believing the mass media belong to a similar cult. When you uncritically read the articles about physics in the media, especially the truly theoretical or fundamental physics or some socially sensitive fields such as the atmospheric physics, you will be filled with an amazing amount of totally nonsensical gibberish while the legitimate, interesting, and sometimes groundbreaking science will remain almost invisible.
The problem isn't just in the frequency. The nonsensical and downright wrong and childishly wrong statements are generally presented with a much higher level of enthusiasm which is why they probably have the capacity to send a higher number of new people on the wrong track. The ultimate underlying reason is that the average people – and journalists are average people – represent just a subset of the relatively stupid monkeys. There's no easy fix.
Bonus, via Preposterous Universe: Neil deGrasse "Mike" Tyson is defending manned spaceflights by yelling at Lawrence Krauss and attempting to break Brian Greene's mouth into thousands of tiny pieces. Rest of debate: this piece is at 32:50 here. (Warning: lots of cheap tendentious crap about climate change and women's being 50% of the science community is voiced there.)
One more comment. Stephen Hawking decided to boycott an Israeli presidential conference although his spokesman tried to claim that health concerns were the reason why he won't come. It's very unfortunate for Hawking to fight against this country which is one of the world's main science powerhouses – if not the strongest one (per capita, among comparably large areas or segments of the population).