“Disembodied spirits” are part of Ken Wheeler’s metaphysical mythology on the immortal soul. Find out why his efforts to convince viewers to believe in spooks don’t have a ghost of a chance.
People have believed in ghosts since time immemorial. Intuitively, we all seem to feel as if we have a dual nature.
We clearly have a physical body, but we sense that the part of us that thinks and perceives is separate from that. As a result, we’re inclined to speculate that we have a spirit, or soul.
Philosophers call this view “dualism.” Most of us have the impression that we are, as Rene Descartes put it, “ghosts in the machine,” or “spirits in the material world.” as the band The Police famously sang.
“Ghosts in the Machine” or “Spirits in the Material World”
It’s not an enormous leap of logic to assume that our spirits could roam the earth without our bodies. Why couldn’t a spirit decide to remain on Earth after we die instead of moving on to the Great Beyond?
There are two problems with this view about hauntings. First, most ghost stories entail ghosts doing physically impossible things, and second, as scientific paranormal investigator Benjamin Radford explains, whenever scientists apply the scientific method to look for ghosts, they never find any facts or evidence to confirm reported apparitions.
Unsurprisingly, Ken Wheeler vehemently disputes this view. He not only insists that ghosts must exist, but claims to have seen a ghost and to have felt the chilling effect of specters multiple times.
Claims Dreams Prove Soul Can Create Its Own Body
The Angry Photographer bases these extraordinary claims largely on the fact that we all have dreams. According to him, since we can see, hear and feel things in our dreams, that proves that our soul can create its own body at will.
As we all know, all of our sensory perceptions take place in our brains. So, it’s a logical fallacy that an unconscious brain would need to create some sort of ethereal body in which to roam about in its dreams.
The Theoria Apophasis host gets around these kinds of objections by appealing to metaphysics. He dodges any need to provide a realistic explanation for what he prefers to call “disembodied beings” by declaring that metaphysical entities are by nature not demonstrable.
Rationalizes Belief in Ghosts with Radio Analogy
Ken Wheeler also rationalizes his belief in disembodied beings based on an old saw, his “not perfect but nearly perfect” radio analogy. We also debunk the radio analogy in two other ways under Buddhist Souls – Why Ken’s Wrong and Metaphysics – Why Ken’s Wrong.
Here, we’ll examine the logical fallacy of this radio analogy from another point of view. According to the Angry Photographer, the consubstantial union of our body and soul corresponds to a radio broadcast being the combined result of the signal and the receiver.
He seems to have appropriated the term “consubstantial” from Christian theology. The word comes from the Greek word homoousios, which applies only to the Trinity and not to everyday people or their ghosts.
Radio Signal Carries On Even if Radio Breaks Down
Leaving semantics aside, the YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis points out that the radio signal carries on even if the radio breaks down. He infers from this that our soul carries on after we die.
The difficulty with this analogy in this context is that without a receiver, the signal is imperceptible to us. There’s no way for us to perceive the broadcast without our receiver.
So, by analogy, since we can’t perceive immaterial, metaphysical things, there’s no way for us to experience a disembodied spirit. By Ken Wheeler’s own logic, they’re not physically demonstrable.
“Arguments by Similarities Are Imposters” – Plato
Analogies are not logical proofs. As the Angry Photographer’s hero Plato put it, “Arguments that make their point by means of similarities are impostors, and, unless you are on your guard against them, will quite readily deceive you.”
Cherry-picking from various fringe televisions programs, Ken Wheeler points to so-called ghost-hunting technology as further evidence for disembodied spirits. He concedes that some of the fake experts using this equipment on TV are hoaxers, but maintains that, overall, the gadgetry provides undeniable proof that ghosts exist.
Scientists say these results are merely unexpected noise, images, or signals, but Kentucky Ken dismisses modern science as a vast conspiracy. Even so, there are simpler explanations for these so-called “traces” than disembodied spirits.
Simpler Explanations that Cover All the Facts
The Angry Photographer’s reference to dreams doesn’t miss the mark entirely. There is a connection between the experience of perceiving a ghost and dreaming.
There’s a fairly common medical condition called “sleep paralysis.” It happens when our brains mishandle how we fall asleep or wake up.
When we have our most vivid dreams, our bodies become paralyzed to keep us from sleepwalking or kicking our mates. Some of us wake up while we’re still paralyzed.
Sleep Paralysis Causes Hallucinations
When this happens, it feels like”dreaming with your eyes open,” neuroscientist Baland Jalal told Science News. This accounts for most cases of hallucinations, including perceiving disembodied spirits.
As David Smailes et al found in a 2019 study, we can also have hallucinations for other reasons, even without doing drugs. Maybe you’ve felt your phone vibrating when it wasn’t, or heard someone call your name when there was nobody there.
Strictly speaking, these minor misperceptions are also mild forms of hallucinations. We all have them, and we’re all vulnerable to more elaborate figments of the imagination.
Impose Explanations Onto Our Misperceptions
Our first instinct when we hallucinate is to trust our senses. So, we tend to impose explanations like ghost stories onto our misperceptions rather than realizing that we’re imagining things.
Andrews and Tyson found in a 2019 study that the more intelligent we are, the less likely we are to believe in paranormal phenomena like ghosts. For example, university students with high grades are less likely to believe in ghosts than their peers. Readers can draw their own conclusions from this data.
Ken Wheeler’s fascination with ghosts stems from his ongoing preoccupation with the reality of his own death. As Tolstoy wrote, “a person who is afraid of death is one who has not lived his life properly and has broken the law of life.”
Reassuring Himself He’s Not Really Going to Die
Being able to perceive ghosts comforts the Angry Photographer because it proves that we have an immortal soul. That comforting belief enables him to reassure himself that he’s not really going to die. As he’s fond of saying, “what makes you think that you are that which dies?”
To that end, the YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis incorporates his pseudoscientific claims into his explanation for disembodied spirits. He explains that ghosts reside in the “dielectric realm of counter space.”
Counter space is a Ken Wheeler jargon phrase. It’s not a scientific or metaphysical term, and it originated with an esoteric fringe philosopher and fake expert named Rudolf Steiner before essentially dying out due to lack of evidence.
Michelson Morley Experiment Proved Ether Doesn’t Exist
In the mind of the YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis, counter space is loosely commingled with the ether. As we explain under Field Theory – Why Ken’s Wrong, back in 1887, the Michelson Morley experiment proved conclusively that the ether doesn’t exist. Charles Proteus Steinmetz, who Kentucky Ken calls one of the “gods” of field theory, called the ether hypothesis a “mistake.” Since the ether doesn’t exist, neither does counter space as the YouTuber Planarwalk has demonstrated.
Despite this, Ken Wheeler asserts that his disembodied spirits generate ethereal bodies consisting of a “counter spatial anode” due to “torsional induction.” He seems to have cooked up this conjecture from the electrical engineering term “cold cathode.”
According to the Angry Photographer, when the current flows, as the anode warms, so the cathode cools. That’s not what engineers mean by a cold cathode.
Temperature of Cathode Has Nothing to Do With Anode
Some cathodes are heated and some aren’t, leading to the terms hot cathode and cold cathode. The temperature of the cathode has nothing to do with the temperature of the anode.
Also, both anodes and cathodes function because of the flow of electron particles. The Theoria Apophasis host claims electrons don’t exist.
Setting an impossible standard of proof, the Theoria Apophasis creator ridicules ghost chasers who say poltergeists drain their gear’s batteries. Apparently, disembodied spirits have their own circuitry and can’t draw current from nearby devices. If only he recognized the gaping holes in his own odd claims.
Claims to Have Had Near Death Experiences
Ken Wheeler’s peculiar notions go beyond believing he’s seen a a ghost. He also claims to have had several near-death experiences. Having engaged in extreme sports like skydiving and cave diving, he reports having come so close to death that his spirit left his body.
As we know from people who drink too much or have brain injuries or dementia, if an experience isn’t encoded in our physical brains, we can’t recall it later. So, the Angry Photographer couldn’t recall any so-called “experience” he may have had while his spirit was detached from his body, just as people are unable to recall supposed “past lives.”
The YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis also claims to have experienced “remote viewing,” being able to observe something outside one’s field of view or at a great distance. Once again, anything his spirit might have observed while no longer tethered to the body wouldn’t be recorded in his brain, making it impossible to remember.
Mocks New Age Beliefs, Can’t Explain His Own Odd Ideas
It’s hilarious that Kentucky Ken mocks belief in vampires, crystals, Bigfoot and unicorns. He refuses to be part of what he considers the “occult” or “new age” conspiracies, yet he can’t explain how his own odd, paranormal, lunatic fringe notions make more sense than other superstitions.
Ken Wheeler is entitled to believe anything he likes about his supposed “disembodied spirits.” Yet, that doesn’t give him a license to concoct occult nonsense to rationalize his spectral suppositions.
The Angry Photographer should stick to his story that we can’t prove metaphysical claims with facts. His pseudoscientific bafflegab doesn’t have a ghost of a chance of convincing anybody.
The Metaphysics of Disembodied Beings
The Science of Ghosts
The Science (and Non-Science) of Ghosts
Metaphysics – Why Ken’s Wrong
Buddhist Souls – Why Ken’s Wrong
Field Theory – Why Ken’s Wrong
Counterspace Word Salad