Friday, January 13, 2012

Raelism vs. Science: CHEMICAL EDUCATION

In Rael's compilation book Intelligent Design (2005), the following dialogue takes place between Rael and Yahweh about chemical education:
Image from a comic version of Rael's first two books
(see FAIR USE notice in the blog's info)

"The knowledge that students need to accumulate must be enormous, and must take a very long time?"

"No. Thanks to an important scientific discovery, which in fact your scientists on Earth are beginning to consider, we can teach a student his lessons surgically. Your scientists have just discovered that if you inject the liquid from the memory of an educated rat into the brain of an uneducated rat, it will learn what the other knew."

"We can transmit information by the injection of brain memory matter, thus our children have almost no work to do. They regularly undergo injections of brain matter taken from people possessing the information necessary for instruction. Therefore, children only spend their time doing interesting things, which they decide on themselves, such as rebuilding the world in theory and fulfilling themselves in sports and the arts." (pp. 113-114)

The current understanding about memory is that it is connections (synaptic change) rather than information stored in molecules synthesized by neurons (molecular codes), such as RNA and protein molecules. Indeed, research about the possibility of transferring "memory matter" was in during the 1960s but eventually faded away by 1979.

The book, Memory and Brain (1987) has a great chapter about this in pages 11-14 [1]. No clear conclusion has been reached from these studies. Another resource for a good synopsis of this kind of research, notably that of James McConnell who in the 1950s tried feeding minced portions of trained worms to some untrained worms and found that these untrained worms acquired knowledge, can be found at the bottom of this note [2]. However, his results could not be replicated in other labs. McConnell claimed that training the worms was a matter of skilled practice (something that he had to develop over several years) and that the other scientists’ poor results were the outcomes of poor training technique and a failure to understand the worms.

In 1965, public attention turned to another scientist named Georges Ungar, who believed he had shown that memories could be chemically transferred in mammals too. It is Ungar's research that Rael refers to in his book. Research injecting trained rat brain matter into untrained rat brains produced mixed results with half of them not revealing any significant results. Research slowed down considerably during the 1970s. In the mid-70s there were even a few studies that reported how memory transfer wasn't necessary to explain significant results. In 1977, Ungar died. The unofficial journal of the era, The Worm Runner's Digest published it's last edition in 1979 after 21 years of continuous publication. The idea that neurons store memory by encoding information as RNA or protein molecules is now considered as ill-founded and has been rejected in favor of the accepted theory that memory is stored through synaptic changes brought about by cellular events common to all neurons that change.

One wonders where the "brain memory matter" is really extracted from to inject regularly into the brains of children... perhaps from the brains of biological robot clones who have to do the real studying and learning all day long? Rael says they are taken from "people" possessing the information. But, how much brain matter can be extracted safely and does that mean the donor loses his memory or gets brain damaged? Couldn't the Elohim just scan the brain and synthesize the brain matter using nanotechnology instead of performing invasive surgery to extract it? LOL

Rael doesn't talk about chemical education anymore. He talks about neural connections.

Advocatus Diaboli

[1] Squire, L. (1987) Connections or Molecular codes? in Memory and Brain. Oxford University Press US. pp. 11-14
[2] Hasanali, F. The Chemical Transfer of Memory

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