Golden Ratio – Why Ken’s Wrong

The Golden Ratio is a quirky number about which mathematicians have noticed all kinds of fun facts. Find out why Ken Wheeler takes these random anomalies to extremes to defend his unfounded, bizarre convictions about metaphysics.

Ever since the days of Pythagorus, philosophers and mathematicians have been fascinated by a number called the Golden Ratio, or phi (φ). It plays a role in the dimensions of the regular pentagon, the so-called Golden Rectangle, and some patterns we see in nature like leaf spirals.

Phi (φ) is a ratio with an irrational number and a Greek letter, somewhat like pi (π) and its value is 1.61803…. Whereas π is the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter, φ is a bit trickier to explain. Imagine a line divided into two unequal segments.

The Golden Ratio, φ, is the number where the relationship between the the longer segment and the shorter segment is the same as the relationship between the overall length of the line and the longer segment. Here’s a diagram to clarify.

Only Ratio that Meets These Conditions is Phi (φ)

Or, in terms of algebra, a+b/a = a/b = φ by definition. The ratio that meets these conditions is φ, or 1.618033…

Ken Wheeler has stumbled across φ’s properties in a 4th century book attributed to Iamblicus and translated by Robin Waterfield entitled The Theology of Arithmetic. Without crediting Waterfield, Wheeler decrees that “Phi is the ratio and relationship of the Monad to its increasingly phenomenal self-image in emanation.”

Translating that jargon into English, the Angry Photographer claims that φ is the “divine proportionality” connecting his sacred One with our everyday lives. Waterfield translated this notion from ancient followers of Pythagorus, although today we view these beliefs as naive superstitions.

φ Does Have Some Cool Properties

Admittedly, φ does have some cool properties. For example, Φ2 = 2.618…, which is exactly φ+1. Another fun fact about φ is that 1/ φ = 0.618…, or exactly φ-1.

The superstitious fascination with φ is easier to grasp if we use exponents. Looked at in that way,

Φ-1 = 1/Φ = φ-1
Φ= 1
Φ= Φ
Φ= Φ+1

Anomalous Relationship between φ and 1 Feels Meaningful

This anomalous relationship between φ and 1 feels meaningful and even mystical to many people, especially those who are into concepts like monism, the worship of the number one. Pythagorus, Euclid, and presocratic Ancient Greek mathematicians were aware of the Golden Ratio, but their conclusions about it vary widely.

That doesn’t prevent Ken Wheeler from jumping to his own conclusions. He’s fond of saying that “1 is to φ as φ is to 1.” He then asserts without evidence that there’s a kind of φ hierarchy that goes:
Φ-3 Primordial Agnosis
Φ-2 Psyche/Tou/Pantos
Φ-1 Eidos/Matter/Mimesis
Φ Being
Φ2 Nous/Unity/Indefinite Dyad
Φ3. Totality/Excess/Pan/Pentagram

Although the Angry Photographer claims to have derived this sequence from “the Pythagoreans”, we’ll see below that the historical Pythagorus’ system is quite different and much simpler.

Arithmetic Anomaly Called the Fibonacci Sequence

This fascination with Φ isn’t the Theoria Apophasis producer’s only foray into numerological sophistry. For example, he often expounds on another interesting arithmetic anomaly called the Fibonacci sequence.

The mathematician Fibonacci came up with a numerical sequence where we add two whole numbers together and then the next two and so on. So, for example, starting at the beginning: 0+1=1, 1+1=2, 1+2=3 and 2+3=5…. So, ignoring zero, the first five numbers of the Fibonacci Sequence are 1,1,2,3,5… etc. Ken Wheeler views this interesting mathematical quirk as both ancient and mystical.

According to the Angry Photographer, the first two ones correspond to classical notions of principle and attribute. The 2 and the 3 represent matter and magnitude, while 5 represents ontos or “being.”

No Evidence Pythagorus or Euclid Knew Fibonacci Sequence

The trouble is that Fibonacci first published his observation in 1202 CE. Pythagorus, whom Ken Wheeler claims revered the Fibonacci Sequence, died in 495 BCE, while Euclid died in 270 BCE.

There’s no evidence that Pythagorus or Euclid had ever heard of the Fibonacci Sequence. There’s certainly no proof that the founders of western geometry thought it was important metaphysically.

Even so, there’s another spooky bit of woo we can discuss. If you take each number in the Fibonacci sequence, multiply it by φ and round it off, you get the next number in the sequence.

Pattern Not Due to Any Metaphysical Properties of φ

For example, 3φ ≈ 5, 5φ ≈ 8, etc… Spookier still, the further along we go in the Fibonacci sequence, the closer the ratios get to φ. For example, when we get up to 610φ ≈ 987, the ratio closes to 1.6180327868852, or 99.9% of φ.

Spooky or not, this pattern isn’t due to any supernatural properties of φ. In basic mathematics, any quadratic equation with variables and coefficients like this follows a similar pattern, whether or not it contains the ratio φ.

Later scholars have disproven almost all of the numerology derived from the Golden Ratio as superstition. The Fibonacci sequence and φ are intriguing anomalies, but they don’t mean anything important.

Claims to Have Deduced a Mystical Formula of His Own

Despite all this, Ken Wheeler has mysteriously deduced a mathematical expression of his own that involves the Golden Ratio. His mystical formula is 1/Φ-3

Readers may be forgiven if they haven’t worked with negative exponents since high school and find this expression confusing. That’s what the Angry Photographer is counting on.

The more mathematically inclined will realize that the Angry Photographer’s formula is convoluted and needs to be simplified. 1/Φ-3 is simply Φ3, or 1.618033. x 1.618033 x 1.618033 = 4.23606…another insignificant irrational number.

Claims to Have Derived His Formula from Plato’s Republic

Ken Wheeler claims to have derived his formula from a passage in Plato’s Republic. In the dialog, Socrates and his friend Glaucon are discussing a line divided into unequal segments. However, it’s one of Socrates’ obscure analogies, and they’re talking about the difference between opinion and knowledge, not geometry or metaphysics.

Nevertheless, the Angry Photographer somehow infers that Socrates is asking him to divide the sections a second time based on the Golden Ratio, creating four line segments. From these segments, he arbitrarily creates the sequence Φ, 1, 1, 1/Φ so that if we add these four numbers together, we get 1.618…+ 1 + 1 + 0.618 = 4.236…, his supposedly mystical Φ3, which he again disguises as 1/Φ-3.

The host of Theoria Apophasis goes on to explain “But 1/Φ-3 is not a mere number, rather the expression of the One against itself and manifestation in the most perfect and divine Logos; the proportions of perfection itself as recognized by the immortals. This secret of incommensurability is the deepest arcana of the ancients! Worldly minds cannot penetrate this importance, but wise minds can.”

Irony of Ken Wheeler Denouncing “Occult Nonsense”

Don’t try to make sense of the previous paragraph, it’s another example of Ken Wheeler’s infamous word salad. When he says that “worldly minds” can’t grasp the significance of his point, he’s really saying that he can’t prove his claim.

However, that isn’t the end of the Angry Photographer’s bizarre approach to arithmetic. He goes on to apply his notions to geometry as well.

In his Pythagorus, Plato and the Golden Ratio, the Angry Photographer puts his fascination with φ to work in a kind of autodidact trigonometry. Most of us think of right angled triangles as Pythagorean, but the Theoria Apophasis creator mistakenly refers to an isosceles triangle with angles of 108˚, 36˚, and 36˚ as a Pythagorean triangle.

Mistakenly Calls Isosceles Triangle Pythagorean Triangle

He writes, “There is only one coherent geometric form which encompasses the four sectors of the Divided line analogy of φ, 1, 1, 1/φ, and that is the Pythagorean triangle below. This is the very same proportional representation for Plato’s cave where the φ Beings below are proportional (logos) to the Nous above and the Monad on high. As seen in the figure, the vertical encompasses the visible realm, and the periphery the noetic.”

If the verbal explanation above seems impenetrable, no doubt the diagram he mentions will clarify everything.

Diagram Depicts Triangle With Sides 1, 1 and φ

Then again, maybe not. What we have here is a triangle with proportions 1, 1 and φ. Ken Wheeler has marked the height as 1/φ or 0.618033… which would be freaky if true because his φ, 1, 1, 1/φ sequence from the divided line repeats itself out of nowhere.

However, applying the genuine Pythagorean Theorem of h2 = a2 + b2 or a ruler, we find the height of a triangle with these dimensions equals 0.588, and not the 0.618 (1/φ) the Angry Photographer needs to complete his mystical progression. Once again, he’s fudging the figures to fit his pet theories.

Also, the Theoria Apophasis creator is wrong when he claims “There is only one coherent geometric form which encompasses the four sectors of the Divided line analogy of φ, 1, 1, 1/φ,” Any isosceles triangle has the same characteristics. Here’s one example.

Wrongly Says “Only One Geometric Form” with φ, 1, 1, 1/φ

It’s a different isosceles triangle ABC with two sides of length 1 and a base of length X. The angles are 72˚, 72˚ and 36˚.

If we bisect angle A, we get another line segment AD of length X. Eerily, the isosceles triangle ACD has exactly the same proportions as triangle ABC. The magic of φ strikes again!

Now, we can get even spookier. The ratio of AB to BD is φ, and so is the ratio of BD to CD. Now, AB = 1, BC = 1, and X = 1/φ, = φ -1. So, this triangle has an equal claim to follow Ken Wheeler’s “mystical sequence” φ, 1, 1, 1/φ.

We Can Derive Angry Photographer’s Triangle from This One

We can go from spookier to spookiest by pointing out that AD creates another triangle ABD, which turns out to be the Angry Photographer’s earlier so-called “Pythagorean Triangle” with angles 36˚, 36˚ and 108˚ turned on its side. Not only is there more than “only one coherent geometric form” with these properties, but we can derive the Theoria Apophasis host’s triangle from the others. Mind you, none of this has any practical or symbolic significance whatsoever.

Ken Wheeler goes on to claim that his obscure triangle is the basis for something called the Pythagorean Tetractys. It’s not. Although the Pythagorean Tetractys is often depicted as a triangle, its proportions don’t involve the number φ. 

The Pythagorean Tetractys is simply the sequence 1+2+3+4 = 10. Scholars sometimes drew it like this.

Pythagorean Tectractys is the Sequence 1+2+3+4=10

Each row of dots represents one number in the sequence (1,2,3, 4) and if you count all the dots, there are ten. This, and not Ken Wheeler’s diagram, is a Pythagorean Tetractys.

Since we’re on the topic, Pythagorus used each level in the Tectractys to represent a realm of being. One, the monad, represents the unity or the good.

Two, the dyad, is the realm of the gods, while three, the triad, is the level of the eternal ideas, like Plato’s ideals. Four, the tetrad, is our everyday world. None of this relates to the Angry Photographer’s interpretation of the Tetractys or his hierarchy of the exponential values of φ shown above.

Wrongly Claims Pentagram is “Triangle in Triplicate”

Ken Wheeler’s bizarre notions then leap to yet another level. He claims, wrongly, that a Pythagorean pentagram consists of his “primary triangle composed in triplicate.” It doesn’t.

To draw a pentagram, we begin with an upside down, regular pentagon (one that has five equal sides and five equal angles).

Then we attach five identical triangles, one to each side of the pentagon.

Five Triangles and They’re Not the Same Shape

As readers can see, the five triangles are not the same obtuse isoceles shape as the Angry Photographer’s “coherent geometric form.” They’re acute isoceles triangles, like the second triangle (ABC) above.

If you have the patience to look at a pentagram long enough, you’ll begin to notice that the original forms also combine into larger, obtuse triangles. However, after some study, we can find five obtuse triangles, not the “triplicate” claimed by the Theoria Apophasis host.

Artists Incorporate Golden Ratio in Pentagrams

It’s true that artists incorporate the Golden Ratio into their drawings of the pentagram. Again, it’s hard to describe how they do that with words, so here’s another colour-coded diagram.

The coloured line segments incorporate the Golden Ratio like this:

Red/Green = Green/Blue = Blue/Magenta = φ

Nothing to Do with So-Called “Pythagorean Tetractys”

This is how artists throughout history have applied the Golden Ratio to the pentagram. It has nothing to do with Kentucky Ken’s so-called “Pythagorean Tetractys.”

How do any of the Theoria Apophasis creator’s notions unlock the mysteries of the Universe? Your guess is as good as anyone’s. All of this kind of “sacred geometry” usually falls within the “occult nonsense” Ken Wheeler condemns at his corner book shop.

Although the Angry Photographer is a glaring example, we’re all subject to the same kind of selective perception. If we could objectively examine every one of our beliefs, we’d all find some inconsistencies.

Dismisses “Occult Nonsense” Yet Endorses Numerology

While we denounce some beliefs as foolish superstitions, we may still cling to other, equally naive notions. In the case of the Theoria Apophasis producer, he dismisses such pseudoscience as crystal healing, astrology and the flat earth movement.

Yet, in the same breath, the Angry Photographer will defend his beliefs in such “occult nonsense” as ghosts, demons, UFOs, and, in this case, numerology. The double standard by which he reaches his verdicts on supernatural dogma stems from his fanatical devotion to the discredited notion of perennialism.

In a sense, the Angry Photographer is a victim of an all too common human foible. Even so, he’s so arrogant and fanatical that’s it’s all but impossible to care.

Ken’s Evidence
Pythagorus, Plato, and the Golden Ratio
The Theology of Arithmetic
Misconceptions About the Golden Ratio
Metaphysics
What is the Fibonacci Sequence?
The Golden Ratio
Mathematics of Phi: The Golden Number
Metaphysics – Why Ken’s Wrong
Magnetism – Why Ken’s Wrong

Simplicity – Why Ken’s Wrong

Simplicity is almost an object of worship for Ken Wheeler. Find out why his insistence that “Mother Nature is a hippy chick” confuses simplicity with being simplistic.

Simplicity plays a surprisingly significant role in the philosophy of science. As a rule, if we have to choose between two explanations for a phenomenon, scholars agree that the simplest explanation that covers all the facts is the better one.

This is a time-honoured principle dating back at least to Aristotle and probably even earlier. Aristotle famously said, “We may assume the superiority ceteris paribus of the demonstration which derives from fewer postulates or hypotheses.”

Probably the most famous proponent of this dictum was William of Ockham. He argued that, “Entities are not to be multiplied without necessity.” We call this precept Occam’s Razor because it reminds us to cut out any redundant ideas when we work to explain an observation.

“Nature is Pleased with Simplicity” – Newton

More modern philosophers concurred. Isaac Newton believed that, “Nature is pleased with simplicity, and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.” In general, the simplest explanation is the preferred answer to questions about natural law.

Kentucky Ken pushes hard for this concept. As he puts it, “Mother Nature is a hippy chick with dreadlocks, hairy armpits, a hemp skirt, and muddy feet.”

Borrowing ideas from the ancient philosopher Plotinus and the perennialists, the Angry Photographer subscribes to the principle of oneness, the view that everything in the universe is ultimately a single entity. There may be many emanations from the One, but in essence, they are all mere modalities of one unified cosmos.

Most Philosophers Have Rejected Oneness

Most philosophers have rejected the idea of oneness over the centuries. Aristotle was a pluralist rather then a monist about his famous categories, denying that there is any higher category or unity beyond things like substance, quantity and quality. 

Or, as Bertrand Russell put it, “I share the common-sense belief that there are many separate things; I do not regard the apparent multiplicity of the world as consisting merely in phases and unreal divisions of a single indivisible Reality.”

Russell’s Cambridge colleague G.E. Moore explained that oneness, “is inconsistent with something that appears to be an evident datum of experience, namely, that there is a plurality of things. We shall assume that a plurality of material things exists.”

Right About Simplicity For the Wrong Reasons

So, as on other subjects, the YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis is right about the simplicity principle, but for the wrong reasons. We should prefer the simplest explanation that covers all the facts, but that isn’t a license to adopt a simplistic, melting-pot worldview of arbitrary unity.

Ken Wheeler’s insistence on oneness leads him to assume without evidence that there is only one force of nature. According to him, gravity, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force, and the weak nuclear force are all merely modalities of one essential entity – the ether. The YouTuber Planarwalk debunks his ether claims here.

As readers will have realized, this argument contains an ironic paradox. To reconcile what scientists have shown are four distinct forces into one, the Angry Photographer is forced to resort to arguing for the existence of the ether – a disproven, superfluous entity, while demanding simplicity.

Resorts to Superfluous Entity While Demanding Simplicity

As we’ve explained in detail under Field Theory – Why Ken’s Wrong, Michelson and Morley found that the luminiferous ether does not exist in 1887. This has been confirmed dozens of times up to the present day by other scientists using more sophisticated instruments and methods.

So, in the name of simplicity, the creator of Theoria Apophasis insists on adding a disproven concept to established scientific models that already provide full explanations of natural forces. How does this align with his infatuation with his simple-minded hippy chick?

One might expect this self-declared virtuoso of facts, logic and wisdom to be at least somewhat troubled by this blatant, fundamental contradiction in his metaphysics. If he is, he never lets on.

“His Mind is Made Up, Don’t Confuse Him with Facts”

On one level, we have to admire Ken Wheeler. It takes hubris to argue for the existence of a disproven and unnecessary entity in the name of simplicity. As the old saying goes, “His mind is made up, don’t confuse him with facts.”

Philosopher Alan Baker explains how Einstein correctly applied the simplicity principle to address Michelson and Morley’s findings. “Einstein’s development of Special Relativity—and its impact on the hypothesis of the existence of the electromagnetic ether—is one of the episodes most often cited (by both philosophers and scientists) as an example of Occam’s Razor in action.

The ether is by hypothesis a fixed medium and reference frame for the propagation of light (and other electromagnetic waves). The Special Theory of Relativity includes the radical postulate that the speed of a light ray through a vacuum is constant relative to an observer no matter what the state of motion of the observer. Given this assumption, the notion of a universal reference frame is incoherent. Hence Special Relativity implies that the ether does not exist.”

“Special Relativity Implies the Ether Does Not Exist”

If the Angry Photographer genuinely valued simple and elegant explanations for natural phenomena, he’d eagerly accept that there’s no such thing as the ether. Like Einstein, he’d take that reality into account and seek explanations that didn’t reify a falsified concept to account for phenomena.

The Theoria Apophasis producer expresses a particular disdain for Einstein. He rejects the Theory of Relativity, not to mention Quantum Mechanics, as unduly complex, counterintuitive and illogical.

Unlike Ken Wheeler, Einstein properly embraced the principle of simplicity. As he put it, “The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest possible number of empirical facts by logical deductions from the smallest possible number of hypotheses or axioms.”

Evades Equations “Mother Nature Doesn’t Use a Calculator”

The genius of Einstein was to explain space, time, matter and gravity in just ten equations. The Angry Photographer dismisses Einstein as a “woolly-haired crackpot” while evading questions about Einstein’s Field Equations with the phrase “Mother Nature doesn’t use a calculator.”

It appears that the Theoria Apophasis creator is reluctant to critique the Field Equations because he doesn’t understand them. Even so, he feels qualified to dismiss them out of hand as “ludicrous.”

Refutes His Own Argument by Adding Superfluous Concepts

The Angry Photographer refutes his own argument by adding superfluous concepts such as the ether, the dielectric and counter space to established scientific models. He does this solely to rationalize his obsession with oneness, which he has derived from motivated reasoning rather than his cherished facts, logic and wisdom.

Ken Wheeler hasn’t learned to distinguish between simplicity and being simplistic. Only a simpleton could peddle such convoluted notions as explanations for the world around us while spouting “simplicity is divinity.” And yet, he persists.

Ken’s Evidence
Mother Nature’s Primer – Simplicity is Divinity
Simplicity
Monism
Metaphysics – Why Ken’s Wrong
Magnetism – Why Ken’s Wrong
Gravity – Why Ken’s Wrong

Gravity – Why Ken’s Wrong

Gravity affects us at every moment, yet we find it hard to explain. Find out why Ken Wheeler’s explanation of gravity contradicts empirical evidence and relies on imaginary, disproven concepts like the ether.

Like light, gravity is one of those phenomena Einstein had in mind when he said, “A fish is the last thing to discover water.” We’re subject to gravity every moment of our lives and our minds and bodies are attuned to the way gravity works. Yet it’s remarkably hard to define and understand.

Aristotle claimed that heavy objects fall faster than light objects. As with all of the classical natural philosophers, it never occurred to him to confirm his idea by dropping two objects.

Galileo did that, and he showed that all objects fall at the same rate regardless of mass. Isaac Newton was the classic case of the genius “seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.”

We Can Still Use Newton’s Theory of Gravity

Seeing an apple fall from a tree inspired Newton to think about why things fall down toward the Earth. That thought process led to a model of gravity that we can still use to this day for most kinds of motion.

Newton’s law of gravity wasn’t perfect, though. For example, it didn’t describe Mercury’s orbit around the Sun accurately.

Einstein’s theory of General Relativity published in 1915 provided a more precise explanation. His field equations showed that matter curves the fabric of space itself, causing what we experience as gravity.

Einstein Showed Matter Curves Fabric of Space

General Relativity also has its limits. Physicists can’t reconcile General Relativity’s model with the principles of Quantum Mechanics. They’re working on that, but with mixed results so far.

The goal now is to develop a quantum theory of gravity as a step toward a Theory of Everything that reconciles the four forces of nature – electromagnetism, gravity, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force.

Along comes Ken Wheeler to boldly decree that gravity is not a force. The Angry Photographer doesn’t deny that “the phenomenon exists.” By that, he concedes that even he isn’t dishonest and arrogant enough to argue that if you drop a stone, it doesn’t fall downward to the ground.

Needs to Fall Back on His Old Friend the Ether

He’s even willing to admit that Einstein was correct in saying that gravity is equivalent to acceleration. However, as with waves, the YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis insists that “acceleration isn’t what something is, but what something does.”

Newton explained gravity as mutual acceleration of two masses toward one another based on their relative mass. According to Ken Wheeler, Newton, who’s been called the most intelligent person who ever lived, was misguided in his understanding of gravity.

The Angry Photographer has an eccentric notion of the nature of matter. For reasons that will become clear below, the YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis needs to fall back on his old friend the ether to preserve his cherished worldview. The YouTuber Planarwalk debunks his views on the ether here.

“Matter Is High-Energy Light Inducing Current In the Ether”

Ken Wheeler claims that, “All matter, be it simplex or compounded, is ultra high-energy light and as such ultra high-energy dielectric dynamos that necessitatively induce current in the ether.”

He’s wrong, of course. Light consists of photons, which have both wavelike and particle-like properties. Matter consists of atoms, which contain protons, neutrons, and electrons. Light is not matter and vice versa.

Ken Wheeler claims that all fields are disturbances in the ether, like waves in a pond. However, he differentiates gravity from light and magnetism, insisting that “gravity is not an autonomous field modality” and also not “point source mutual mass acceleration.”

“Mutual Mass Acceleration Toward Counterspace”

In his document entitled Fields, the Angry Photographer defines gravity as “mutual mass acceleration toward counterspace. So-called gravity is non-discharging dielectric centripetal torsion dissipation (=toroidal rarefaction, i.e. magnetism).”

The Angry Photographer explains elsewhere that, “A field by definition is an ether perturbation modality; the dielectric being the ether under stress & torsion, the magnetic being the dielectric under the state of loss of energy/inertia to the medium (or field) system.”

As explained in detail under Field Theory – Why Ken’s Wrong, science has shown that there is no such thing as the ether. Michelson and Morley disproved its existence in 1887. Scientists have confirmed their findings as recently as 2015 using improved instruments and methods.

“Lowest Pressure Mediation of the Ether Torsion”

The Theoria Apophasis creator is fully aware of this and yet he persists. According to him, gravity is “mutual mass acceleration toward the lowest pressure mediation of the ether torsion between the two objects.”

Torsion refers to motion where one or more forces twist one end of something while its other end is fixed. You can’t twist a substance that’s not there. Beyond that, the Angry Photographer fails to explain what force causes this twisting action to begin with.

The Angry Photographer elaborates, saying that, “Matter as such being ultra high-energy light mutually accelerates towards the lowest null pressure in counter space.”


Impenetrable and Unnecessary Jargon

This is another example of Ken Wheeler’s impenetrable and unnecessary jargon. So let’s break down the core phrase, “mutually accelerates towards the lowest null pressure point in counter space.”

Everyone can agree that gravity is mutual mass acceleration, but the Angry Photographer goes off the rails when he mentions “the lowest null pressure point.” As with torsion, logically, something that doesn’t exist also can’t vary in pressure.

Inspired by his hero Tesla, the producer of Theoria Apophasis also denies Einstein’s model in which the Universe curves according to the mass it contains. He insists that since space has no properties, there’s nothing to bend.

“Illogical Absurdity Birthed by Atomists and Relativists”

Ken Wheeler further expounds, “This illogical absurdity was birthed by Atomists & Relativists as a necessary resultant to create a new medium after the dismissal of the Natural-Order of the only actual medium of Nature, that being the ether.” Regardless of who “birthed” the idea or what their motives may have been, astronomers have proven the curvature of space empirically many times.

The first was in 1919, when the Astronomer Royal, Frank Dyson, dispatched a team that verified Einstein’s finding that matter curves space. Taking advantage of a total solar eclipse, they measured the light paths of background stars, confirming that starlight follows the space curvature caused by the Sun’s mass.

The most recent confirmation of space curvature came when NASA launched its Gravity Probe B in 2004. In 2011, researchers at Stanford University analyzed the satellite’s data and verified that Earth’s mass warps the space around it, causing gravity.

Empirical Evidence of Matter Curving Fabric of Space

So, space curves. Conceivably, one could debate the causes of that curvature, but the empirical evidence of matter curving the fabric of space is well established.

Ken Wheeler accuses modern science of concept reification. By that, he means that Einstein and other physicists confuse abstract concepts like space, time, matter and energy for phenomena that are “really real.”

Yet, the Angry Photographer fails to take into account that his own terms like ether, torsion, pressure, and counter space are also concepts. The difference is that conventional scientists derive their concepts from experiments while the Theoria Apophasis creator merely makes them up as he goes along.

Black Holes Are Fascinating Examples of Gravity at Work

Astronomy’s black holes are some of the most fascinating examples of gravity at work. They’re a region in the fabric of spacetime where gravity is so strong that nothing, including the photons that make up light, can escape.

Black holes form when extremely massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycles. These enormous stars get so dense when they die that their gravity contorts spacetime to the point where they create a black hole.

Black holes can then expand by absorbing more stars or merging with other black holes. Most galaxies, including ours, have a supermassive black hole at their centre.

Has to Concoct His Own Explanation for Black Holes

Since all of this contradicts Ken Wheeler’s worldview, he’s had to concoct his own explanation for the black hole phenomenon. He defines a black hole as, “Ultra-high energy super-mass with no magnitude.”

He goes on to claim that, “Dielectric acceleration has overthrown magnetism’s ability to keep this super-mass in the mass-visible universe…A black hole in simple, is an Aether-torsion ‘faucet’ emitting enormous amounts of hydrogen, or ultra-high energy light.”

As always, all of this is nonsense. Magnetism has nothing to do with an object’s mass. There’s no such thing as the ether, and hydrogen isn’t some kind of light, nor does it form from light.

If All You Have Is the Ether, Everything Looks Like a Magnet

Kentucky Ken is fond of saying that “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” In his own case, all he seems to have is the ether, so to him everything looks like a magnet.

Gravity is a fundamental concept in science, and it’s important that the public understands it correctly. Ken Wheeler’s bizarre notions are false and unfounded. It would be disastrous if his 250,000 followers on YouTube were to believe his fantasies about the ether and his perverse worldview in which matter becomes light and gravity becomes magnetism.

Ken’s Evidence
Gravity Is Not a Force
Fields
Newton’s Theory of Gravity
Einsteins’ Theory of Gravitation
NASA Gravity B Probe
Field Theory – Why Ken’s Wrong
Magnetism – Why Ken’s Wrong
Metaphysics – Why Ken’s Wrong

Nikola Tesla – Why Ken’s Wrong

Nikola Tesla is someone to whose authority Ken Wheeler constantly appeals. Find out how the inventor of alternating current became just as erratic and eccentric as the Angry Photographer in later life and was no longer a credible source.

There’s no denying that Nikola Tesla was a genius. Although he’s somewhat less well known than Thomas Edison, for whom he once worked, Tesla’s contribution to electrical engineering was at least as important.

Ken Wheeler seems to have enormous respect and admiration for Tesla as a physicist and inventor. When he quotes Tesla in his videos, he intones like a clergyman about to quote from the most hallowed of scriptures.

The Angry Photographer’s respect doesn’t always extend to acknowledging Tesla for ideas for which Ken Wheeler enjoys taking credit. Even so, the creator behind Theoria Apophasis often appeals to Tesla’s authority when pushing odd notions that deviate from the expert consensus of mainstream science.

Greatest Contribution Was Inventing Alternating Current

Tesla’s greatest contribution to our modern lives was inventing alternating current (AC) in 1891. Any time we plug any device into a wall socket or flip a light switch, we should spare a thought for Tesla.

Unlike the direct current (DC) we get from battery power, AC power changes direction roughly 60 times per second. This provides a steadier supply of electricity that doesn’t overpower electrical outlets. We have Tesla’s AC power to thank for the massive power grids on which our modern society depends.

Nikola Tesla also invented the AC induction motor and licensed it to Westinghouse. It became the basis of Westinghouse’s polyphase power distribution system, and the deal made Tesla extremely wealthy for a time.

Did His Best Work as a Young Man

Unfortunately, like many geniuses, Tesla did his best work when he was a young man. In later life, he became increasingly erratic, and his ideas wandered off into fringe areas of pseudoscience and “woo.”

Tesla’s downfall began when he built an enormous structure on Long Island called the Wardenclyffe Tower. He intended to use Wardenclyffe to outpace Marconi’s ability to transmit transatlantic radio signals and even to distribute wireless electrical power.

The operation dragged on, and investors lost faith in the project, with some even calling it a hoax. Wardenclyffe ground to a halt in 1905. Tesla’s royalty money from Westinghouse ran out and he suffered a mental breakdown.

Suffered a Mental Breakdown

The mortgage holder foreclosed on the property in 1915. Having seized the property, he decided to demolish the tower nobody wanted to buy. He did this using explosives to mark the Fourth of July in 1917.

From then on, the bankrupt Tesla started checking into one hotel after another. He’d leave an unpaid bill behind every time he changed locations.

Despite his intellectual brilliance, Tesla became set in his ways. He refused to believe several groundbreaking discoveries from the early 20th century. This left the formerly celebrated scientist lost and left behind in the modern world he had helped to create.

Denied that Protons, Neutrons and Electrons Could Exist

When Ken Wheeler cites Tesla, it’s invariably to ideas that Tesla espoused during those later, oddball years. For example, like the Angry Photographer, Tesla refused to accept that subatomic particles like protons, neutrons and electrons could exist.

Also like the Theoria Apophasis creator, the mercurial, older Tesla was particularly hostile toward Albert Einstein. Ironically, Einstein gained renown in what historians call his “Miracle Year. “

He earned his PhD, showed how Brownian Motion works in atoms, explained the photoelectric effect, published Special Relativity, and proved that E=Mc2, all in 1905. That was the year in which Tesla suffered his breakdown.

“A Long-Haired Crank, Einstein by Name”

Tesla composed a poem about Einstein that went like this:

“Too bad, Sir Isaac, they dimmed your renown,
And turned your great science upside down.
Now a long-haired crank, Einstein by name,
Puts on your high teaching all the blame.
Says: matter and force are transmutable,
And wrong the laws you thought immutable.”

Ken Wheeler delights in mentioning that “long-haired crank” description of Einstein at every opportunity. Tesla was very fastidious about his appearance, but he’d become a much bigger crank than Einstein at this point.

The Angry Photographer also never misses a chance to quote Tesla’s description of the Theory of Relativity as “a beggar wrapped in purple whom ignorant people take for a king.” Michelson and Morley had discovered that the ether didn’t exist, and Heinrich Hertz had proven that electromagnetic waves propagate in a vacuum.

“Beggar Wrapped in Purple Whom People Take for a King”

Yet Tesla continued to stubbornly insist that Hertz had found “nothing else but effects of longitudinal waves in a gaseous medium, that is to say, waves, propagated by alternate compression and expansion. He had observed waves in the ether much of the nature of sound waves in the air.”

The Theoria Apophasis creator often cites this quote, but conspicuously leaves out the word “gaseous.” Tesla argued that space is not a vacuum, but instead “all space is filled with a gaseous substance.”

Tesla even believed that sound would be able to travel through the ether in outer space, and much faster. Of course, we now know that space is a virtual vacuum, containing no such gas and that, “in space, no one can hear you scream.” Much to the chagrin of both Tesla and Ken Wheeler, there’s no such thing as the ether. We explain this in detail under Field Theory – Why Ken’s Wrong, and the YouTuber Planarwalk debunks Ken Wheeler’s ether claims here.

“All Space Is Filled with a Gaseous Substance”

The aging inventor also stubbornly denied Einstein’s realization that the speed of light is fixed in all frames of reference, while “time is suspect.” Ken Wheeler often points to this in support of his own claims that light doesn’t travel at a fixed speed, but rather is merely a wave in the ether.

Tesla insisted that he had measured cosmic rays travelling fifty times faster than the speed of light as far back as 1896. He didn’t, of course; that would have been impossible.

In 1915, Einstein published his theory of General Relativity. His field equations showed that the presence of matter warps the fabric of space itself, causing gravity.

General Relativity – Matter Warps the Fabric of Space Itself

A team dispatched by Frank Dyson, the Astronomer Royal, confirmed this during the total solar eclipse of 1919. With the midday sun blocked, the teams could measure the sun’s gravity warping the path of the light from background stars.

Tesla firmly rejected the idea that space could curve. He said, “I hold that space cannot be curved, for the simple reason that it can have no properties. Of properties we can only speak when dealing with matter filling the space.

“To say that in the presence of large bodies space becomes curved is equivalent to stating that something can act upon nothing. I, for one, refuse to subscribe to such a view.”

NASA’s Gravity Probe B Confirmed General Relativity in 2011

In 2004, NASA launched Gravity Probe B to test Einstein’s theories with greater accuracy. Researchers from Stanford University analyzed data from the satellite in 2011. They verified yet again that General Relativity accurately predicts the curvature of space due to the presence of matter.

Despite this, Ken Wheeler continues to deny that matter curves space. He’s also very fond of repeating Tesla’s odd distinction without a difference between properties and attributes, even though the two words are synonyms.

The increasingly mad scientist even denied Einstein’s foundational equation E=mc2. Tesla denied the equation’s implication that nuclear forces could release enormous amounts of energy.

Tesla Denied Einstein’s Foundational Equation E=mc2

He said, “as to atomic energy, my experimental observations have shown that the process of disintegration is not accompanied by a liberation of such energy as might be expected from the present theories.” In a later interview, he claimed “I shattered atoms again and again. But no appreciable energy was released.”

On his 75th birthday, Tesla claimed to be on the verge of releasing a theory that would supersede Einstein’s entire body of work. He told Time Magazine he had developed “An explanation based upon pure mathematics of certain things which Professor Einstein has also attempted to explain.

“My conclusions in certain respects differ from and to that extent tend to disprove the Einstein Theory. My explanations of natural phenomena are not so involved as his. They are simpler, and when I am ready to make a full announcement it will be seen that I have proved my conclusions.”

Mother Nature Under No Obligation to Seem Simple

Like Tesla, Ken Wheeler often appeals to simplicity to justify his pseudoscience. Of course, Mother Nature is under no obligation to seem simple or logical to Ken Wheeler or even to Nikola Tesla.

Tesla’s “conclusions” were never released and nothing in Tesla’s personal papers remotely resembled what he promised Time Magazine. The claim seems to have been nothing more than a publicity stunt.

Ken Wheeler subscribes to another bizarre pseudoscientific concept called “scalar field theory.” It’s a set of quack ideas propagated by a modern day charlatan named Thomas E. Bearden.


Quack Ideas Progagated by Charlatan Thomas E. Bearden

In his document entitled Fields, the Angry Photographer defines the term “scalar” as “Trans-luminal sub-matter. Measured in volts per-seconds. No transverse component, longitudinal torsion-energy. Powerful and destructive energy-dissipation force-captivation of the Aether.”

This notion of scalar energy has its roots in some of the peculiar notions Tesla came up with in his late seventies. He claimed to have harnessed a new form of energy not derived from conventional electromagnetic waves.

Believers in scalar fields claim that their energy source differs from conventional electromagnetic waves. Their enormous power allegedly derives from the fact that they have no transverse waves and no net directionality, which focuses the field’s intensity. If that sounds like word salad to you, you’re absolutely right.

Supposedly Unleashes Unimaginable Amounts of Power

This scalar energy supposedly unleashes unimaginable amounts of power. Tesla claimed, “My apparatus projects particles which may be relatively large or of microscopic dimensions, enabling us to convey to a small area at a great distance trillions of times more energy than is possible with rays of any kind, Many thousands of horsepower can thus be transmitted by a stream thinner than a hair, so that nothing can resist”

This all-powerful death ray never materialized, and it isn’t mentioned in Tesla’s papers either. Despite this, conspiracy theorists, including Ken Wheeler, claim that the Russians stole the technology at some point.

Rumour mongers assert that Tesla’s sketchy invention was the basis for the notorious Russian weather ray. Attackers also allegedly used scalar energy to shoot down the space shuttle Columbia, or so the story goes.

Tesla Came to a Humilating and Tragic End

Nikola Tesla eventually came to a humiliating and tragic end, dying alone and deeply in debt in one of those unpaid hotel rooms. A chamber maid discovered his remains days later. Westinghouse covered his bill.

On a brighter note, more than 2,000 people attended his funeral, also funded and organized by Westinghouse. They felt they owed it to him for his early work.

Summing up, Ken Wheeler is wrong to appeal to Tesla’s “authority” to support his dubious notions about science. The Angry Photographer regularly shouts at his critics, “Do you think you’re smarter than Nikola Tesla? Well, you’re not!”

We Don’t Have to Be Smarter than Tesla, Just Born Later

We don’t have to be smarter than Nikola Tesla to understand his misconceptions and mental decline. We just have to have been born later.

The aging Tesla is an ironic role model for Kentucky Ken. In later life, Nikola Tesla was behind the times, stubborn, opinionated, egotistical, arrogant, and ultimately dead wrong.

The only difference between the two men is that Tesla made a revolutionary contribution to society in his youth, while Ken Wheeler has no accomplishments to which he can point.

Sad but true.

Ken’s Evidence:
NIKOLA TESLA on the secret of LIGHT & what it is. The ETHER
Fields
The Rise and Fall of Nikola Tesla and His Tower
Tesla versus Einstein
Magnetism – Why Ken’s Wrong
Light – Why Ken’s Wrong
Field Theory – Why Ken’s Wrong

Field Theory – Why Ken’s Wrong

Field Theory underpins all of Ken Wheeler’s odd claims about magnetism, electricity, light and metaphysics. Find out how his delusions about fields negate every claim he makes and why he’s no expert in this or any other field.

Electromagnetic fields surround us all the time. Although they vary in size and shape, they pervade the entire Universe.

Anyone who’s ever used a compass has benefitted from an electromagnetic field. Light bulbs are another everyday example.

Whenever we screw in a light bulb, it creates an electrical field. When we switch on the light, the flow of electrons in the current creates a magnetic field. The combination produces a local electromagnetic field that emits visible light.

Scientists Have No Problem Defining a Field

One accusation that Ken Wheeler hurls at legitimate scientists is that “they can’t even define what a field is.” Although he says this in virtually every video he posts, he never seems to base this criticism of scientists specializing in field theory on any facts or evidence.

The truth is that scientists have no problem defining a field. Here’s the standard definition that field theory uses, “A region of space in which a given effect (such as magnetism) exists, e.g. a magnetic field, a gravitational field”

That seems remarkably clear. For example, if you have a magnet, a magnetometer can detect a region surrounding the magnet affected by magnetism. That’s a magnetic field.

Types of Field – Magnetic, Gravitational, Electric, Radiation

Field theory addresses four main types of field: magnetic, electric, gravitational and radiation. These correspond to the forces of nature: electromagnetism, gravity, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force.

So, a field is a defined space influenced by a force of nature. Ken Wheeler is simply wrong when he claims that field theory can’t define a field. He has lifted this false claim from the discredited electricity theorist Eric Dollard, although he rarely cites him. Ironically, when the Theoria Apophasis host met Dollard, Dollard rebuffed him.

Scientists routinely confront the Angry Photographer with their clearly stated definition of a field. His retort is to claim that this definition may describe a field, but it doesn’t explain what a field is.

Claims “There Can’t Be a Mechanism for Field Mechanics”

At one point, Kentucky Ken made the bizarre statement that “there can’t be a mechanism for field mechanics.” He declines to spell out how any form of mechanics could function without a mechanism.

When pressed to “explain” what a field is himself, the YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis calls it an “ether perturbation modality.” The YouTuber Planarwalk provides a critique of that notion here. Ether perturbation modality is one of Ken Wheeler’s trademark jargon phrases, so let’s break it down, starting with the long, but unscientific heritage of the term “ether.”

Metaphysical speculation about the ether has a long history. It dates back at least to the time of Plato.

Plato Imagined Ether as “Shining Realm of the Gods”

Plato imagined the ether as the shining realm of the gods “which God used in the delineation of the Universe.” Aristotle thought of the ether as a fifth element along with fire, water, earth and air.

He went on to say that the ether had none of the qualities of the other elements. It wasn’t hot, wet, dry or cold. It was unchanging, moved in circles, and had no contrary motion.

When Christiaan Huygens discovered that light had wavelike properties in 1678, that seemed to confirm the ether’s existence. Scientists were only familiar with mechanical waves at that time, so they assumed that light waves needed a medium in which to propagate, the way surf needs water and sound needs air.

They called this concept the luminiferous ether. It grew even more popular in the 19th century as scientists studied the wavelike nature of electromagnetic forces. For example, James Clerk Maxwell made a number of groundbreaking discoveries involving electricity and magnetism.

Maxwell strongly believed in the ether, and he developed the famous Maxwell equations based on that understanding. Scientists and engineers still rely on his equations today, although they’ve had to modify them to allow for Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

Ken Wheeler’s attraction to the leading field theorists of this period is stronger than the world’s most powerful magnet. He constantly invokes the names of Faraday, Maxwell, Heaviside, Steinmetz, and Tesla, often referring to them as “gods.”

Michelson and Morley Experiment to Detect Ether

These scientists and their peers wanted to confirm the ether’s existence and find out more about its characteristics. From April to July 1887, two of them, Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley, conducted an experiment to try to detect the luminiferous ether.

At the time, scientists believed that the Earth moved relative to, or through, the ether. This meant that there should be some sort of ether wind, similar to air resistance against a car as the Earth passed through the ether.

To try to detect the ether wind, Michelson and Morley built a device called an interferometer. It had a set of mirrors and two perpendicular arms  with overall lengths 11 metres long.

Hoped To Show Changes in Speed of Light

The device directed light down each arm. They hoped to show that the light travelling in the same direction as the Earth through the ether went faster than light going perpendicular to that motion.

Their experiment has been called “the most famous failed experiment in history.” Michelson and Morley found that light travelled at the same speed no matter what direction the interferometer went.

Despite attempts to salvage the notion of the ether, such as so-called “ether dragging” by the Earth as it revolved around the Sun, the Michelson-Morley experiment unintentionally proved the ether doesn’t exist. This has now been formally confirmed 33 times by experiments using increasingly sophisticated tools and techniques.

Experiment Unintentionally Proved Ether Doesn’t Exist

Ken Wheeler doesn’t seem to grasp, or refuses to accept that, unlike surf or sound, forces like electromagnetism and gravity don’t need a medium through which to travel. Since we know the ether doesn’t exist, we also know that there can’t be any disturbances or perturbations in it.

In his document entitled Fields, the Angry Photographer defines the ether as, “Inertia ‘in’ counterspace. All fields are Aether perturbation modalities. Pure non-Cartesian potential.”

Explaining modalities, Ken Wheeler claims they’re analogous to ice, water and steam being the same substance. Yet, the Angry Photographer never lays out the categories of these ether modalities, nor does he successfully link them to real life phenomena we can observe like light, magnetism, gravity or radiation.

In some cases, Kentucky Ken informs us that the ether has no physical characteristics. Yet, he explains the fixed speed of light by claiming that the ether has a “rest inertia,” which, if true, would be a physical characteristic of his imaginary medium.

Similarly, the Angry Photographer insists that the ether is not a composite of anything else. This is a way out of having to explain the make-up of his make-believe medium.

He then goes on to say the ether has a “spacial-temporal” component. Something with components is a composite by definition.

Attempts to Use Field Theory Notions to Explain Lightning

The Theoria Apophasis creator attempts to use his demonstrably false notions about field theory to explain lightning. Science shows that lightning results from convection inside clouds.

The warm water droplets rise and the cold ice crystals descend, causing friction. The friction generates static electricity. The top of the cloud develops a positive charge and the colder bottom of the cloud slowly builds up a negative charge.

When the negative charge becomes strong enough, the cloud releases a current of electricity. Most of the time, the current stays inside the cloud or travels to a nearby cloud.

Lightning Current Flows Between the Cloud and Ground

However, sometimes the current flows between the cloud and the ground and we see a bolt of lightning strike. Depending on their respective charges, the current may flow from the cloud to the ground or from the ground to the cloud, but it always flows vertically.

Ken Wheeler has his own eccentric explanation that he’s derived from the bizarre claims of Electric Universe crank, Eric Dollard. According to the Angry Photographer, lightning is “a lateral desaturation of the impulse current into counter space.”

Once again we need to sort through the word salad to explain why his claim is incorrect. We’ve all seen, and science shows, that lightning travels vertically through the air between a cloud and the ground, so it’s clearly not lateral.

Air Is an Insulator – Can’t Become Saturated with Current

Air is an electrical insulator, so it can’t become saturated with current. Since there’s no such thing as the ether, we also can’t be observing ether saturation.

The YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis uses the terms counter space, sub-space, zero-space, and the ether interchangeably. Since none of these phenomena are real, the current can’t be flowing into any of them, including counter space, as the Angry Photographer tries to assert.

Despite his own interchangable use of flawed terminology, the Theoria Apophasis creator complains that standard field theory relies on what he calls “concept reification.” By this he means that the conventional definition of a field confuses concepts with things that are “really real.”

Attacks “Concept Reification” – His Own Concepts are Invalid

Ken Wheeler has a point here, albeit an insignificant one. The idea of space is a concept, and so is the idea of a region. For that matter, so is the idea of a point within a region that’s subject to a force. Even force itself is a concept. As we know, concepts, models and theories are the building blocks of science, including field theory.

The Angry Photographer fails to grasps that his own idiosyncratic terms – ether, counter space, sub-space, zero-space, perturbation and modality are also merely concepts. Worse, they’re concepts that science has proven to be invalid and demonstrably false.

The Theoria Apophasis creator explains the complete lack of any evidence whatsoever for the ether by claiming that “the ether, definitionally, cannot be anything.” What this claim means, in terms of logic, is that ether, definitionally, doesn’t exist.

His Notion of a Field Underpins All His Other Claims

Kentucky Ken’s peculiar conception of field theory wouldn’t be an issue except that he claims to be the world’s foremost authority on the subject. His notion of a field being a disturbance in the ether underpins all of his claims about magnetism, electricity, light and metaphysics.

The Angry Photographer’s so-called “explanations” of these phenomena turn out to be a house of cards. His whole body of work stands or falls on the accuracy of his understanding of field theory.

As we can see, the ether doesn’t exist, so it can’t have perturbations. Further, the Theoria Apophasis host can’t accurately link his purported modalities to real world phenomena or explain a common occurence like lightning.

Wrong About Every Scientific Claim He’s Ever Made

Since Ken Wheeler is wrong about field theory, he’s wrong about every scientific and metaphysical claim he’s ever made. When we pull the Angry Photographer’s field theory block out of his pseudoscientific Jenga stack, his whole body of work suddenly falls to the floor.

Let’s face it, science, metaphysics, and especially field theory aren’t Ken Wheeler’s forte. He should probably focus on some other field.

Ken’s Evidence

Field Theory: What is a Field
Field Theory
Magnetic Field Definition
Electric Field Definition
Gravitation Field Definition
Radiation Field Definition

Light – Why Ken’s Wrong

Light has been difficult to explain over the course of the history of science. Find out why Ken Wheeler’s ideas about light, if anyone took them seriously, would set modern science back by at least two centuries.

Einstein said that a fish is the last thing to discover water. We humans are visual animals, and a similar thing has happened to us with what lets us see – light. We’ve had a remarkably hard time understanding its nature.

Christian Huygens discovered that light has wavelike properties in 1678. At the time, the only waves with which people were familiar were ocean and sound waves.

These are called mechanical waves because they come from physical disturbances in a medium like water or air. Mechanical waves also need their medium to travel or propagate.

Assumed that Light Waves Needed a Medium

Throughout the 18th century, scientists assumed that light waves needed a medium as well. Even though they couldn’t perceive or measure it, they assumed that light waves were perturbations in a hypothetical medium they called the luminiferous ether.

Then, in 1801, Thomas Young published his famous paper, On the Theory of Light and Colours. It showed that light could generate interference patterns similar to waves in the water.

He followed those findings up in 1803 with an experiment that demonstrated these interference effects. It was the forerunner to the now famous double slit experiment which shows that light has both wavelike and particle-like properties.

Michelson-Morley Experiment Proved Ether Doesn’t Exist

As we explain under Field Theory – Why Ken’s Wrong, the Michelson-Morley experiment proved the luminiferous ether doesn’t exist in 1887. The YouTuber Planarwalk also debunks Ken Wheeler’s ideas about the ether here.

Einstein explained that, “If the Michelson–Morley experiment had not brought us into serious embarrassment, no one would have regarded the relativity theory as a (halfway) redemption.”

Understanding that light waves don’t need a medium led to our modern understanding of electromagnetic waves. The two most successful scientific theories in history, Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, are both built on this foundation.

In His Mind, Waves Don’t Exist in and of Themselves

Enter Ken Wheeler. The Angry Photographer insists, in the face of all this evidence, that the ether exists. In his mind, waves don’t exist in and of themselves. He claims that “waves are what something does, not what something is.”

The YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis has a strong aversion to academics, and especially to scientists. He reserves his deepest derision for anybody with a PhD and for peer reviewed periodicals.

It’s odd for a self-declared “hard-core platonist” to take this position, given that Plato founded the world’s first academic institution known, appropriately enough, as the Academy.

Falsely Claims Scientists “Can’t Even Define What Light Is”

One of the accusations that Ken Wheeler hurls at scientists is his claim that “they can’t even define what light is.” Of course, this is pure nonsense.

Physicists define light as “Energy in the form of electromagnetic waves of any wavelength that travel in a vacuum with a speed of 299,792,458 metres per second. Specifically, such radiation that is visible to the human eye i.e. within the range of 400 nanometers to 700 nanometers.”

That seems pretty clear. It’s also evident from the definition that light travels through a vacuum, i.e. it doesn’t need a medium though which to propagate.

Can’t Grasp Mechanical Versus Electromagnetic Waves

Yet, for whatever reason, the YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis can’t seem to get his head around the difference between a mechanical wave and an electromagnetic wave. He insists that light is what he calls an “ether perturbation modality.”

Once again, that phrase is a mouthful. It’s also meaningless for three reasons. First, we’ve seen empirical evidence conclusively proving there’s no ether. Second, Ken Wheeler doesn’t explain the process by which perturbations arise in his hypothetical medium.

Finally, the Angry Photographer doesn’t explain the various categories into which his so-called modalities fall. He argues that the modalities are like ice, water and steam.

Never Explains “Ether Perturbation Modalities”

Yet, the the Theoria Apophasis creator never explains the specific modalities that correspond to matter’s solid, liquid and gaseous states. Further, he doesn’t link these modalities to the actual phenomena we experience, like visible light.

In his document Fields Ken Wheeler offers his own, idiosyncratic definition of light. He calls it, “Coaxial energy circuit of the Aether-medium. Longitudinal rarefactions and compressions of dielectric pulses, accompanied by transverse cyclic magnetic & electric (magnetism & dielectric) spatiotemporal manifestation.”

Since there is no “aether-medium,” there’s no point in deciphering the rest of this word salad. Suffice it so say, that light is not coaxial and there’s no such thing as dielectric pulses.

Denies Light’s Speed is Constant in All Frames of Reference

The Theoria Apophasis creator denies the universally accepted principle that the speed of light is constant in all frames of reference. He also refuses to accept the existence of photons.

According to Ken Wheeler, light has a maximum speed because of the hysteresis or impedence of the ether. Hysteresis and impedence are two entirely different phenomena.

Hysteresis refers to the way a physical system’s history affects its motion. For example, hysteresis is the reason a rubber band stretches more when we load it with weights than it snaps back when we unload those weights from it.

Hysterisis or Impedance Don’t Explain Speed of Light

Impededance, on the other hand, is the resistance of a material to the flow of electromagnetic or mechanical or waves through it. Wires have some level of electrical impedance to waves of current and our bodies have some acoustical impedance to ultrasound waves, for example.

This doesn’t come close to explaining why light waves travel at the same speed regardless of our frame of reference. For example, the speed of waves in a lake would be subject to the resistance of water as a medium.

Even so, if our boat travels into the waves, their speed impedes our speed. In relative terms, those waves are travelling faster toward us.

Speed of Water Waves Depends on Boat’s Relative Motion

If our boat runs before the waves, their speed enhances our speed. Relative to our boat, those waves are going slower than if our boat was anchored.

If we steer our boat in between two waves, they have no effect on our speed. From a relative point of view, their speed is fixed.

None of that happens with light. Whether we’re moving toward it, away from it or across it, its speed remains constant in every frame of reference.

Speed of Light Constant Regardless of Speed or Direction

This counterintuitve fact about light is the whole point of special relativity and quantum mechanics. Ken Wheeler can’t explain electromagnetic waves by resorting to concepts that only apply to mechanical waves.

Ever since scientists have studied light they’ve noticed that in some ways it behaves as a wave, as Christian Huygens found, and in other ways it acts like it’s made of particles, as Isaac Newton showed.

Both ideas have gone in and out of style as science gathered more information. However, when Einstein explained the photoelectric effect, it became clear that light was made up of the particles we now call photons. That’s how Einstein won the Nobel Prize.

Photoelectric Effect Shows Light is Made of Particles

The photoelectric effect also showed that when photons strike certain kinds of metal, those metals emit electrons. These observations gradually led to the field of Quantum Mechanics.

So, light has a dual nature. It has wavelike properties and particle-like properties at the same time. None of these established scientific facts sit well with Ken Wheeler. For one thing, he wrongly claims that the idea that light has two properties is a logical contradiction. It’s not. All sorts of phenomena have multiple properties.

In any event, scientists have photographed actual electrons behaving like waves and particles at the same time. They captured the image while monitoring an instance of the photoelectric effect. Here is that photograph.

Bizarre Notions About Spatial Coherence of Laser Light

The Angry Photographer also expresses some bizarre notions about the spatially coherent phenomenon we call laser light. LASER stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.

He calls lasers “point source light.” This is just as fanciful and demonstrably false as his claim that magnets are “point source objects.” They’re both lame justifications for his disproven notion of the ether.

The YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis insists that the coherence of laser light comes from laser devices using what he calls a “spacial filter.” He claims a laser device’s aperture and not light wave amplification explains laser coherence.

Every Flashlight With a Lens Would Generate Laser Light

It doesn’t. If that was true, every flashlight with a lens would generate laser light. We all know that’s not the case.

Laser devices produce coherent light by emitting stimulated electrons, which in turn emit new photons via the photoelectric effect. This is unacceptable in Ken Wheeler’s worldview because he insists that neither electrons nor photons exist.

Ken Wheeler also rejects quantum mechanics and Special Relativity because he associates these models with a group of pre-socratic philosophers called the atomists. This may sound innocent enough, but for Ken Wheeler, an atomist is one of the worst things one can be.

Atomist is One of the Worst Things One Can Be

Kentucky Ken considers himself to be a neoplatonist. The platonists were idealists, and therefore arch rivals of the atomists who tended to be materialists.

What does that have to do with modern physics? Nothing whatsoever. Yet, the Theoria Apophasis host has decided that Relativity = Quantum Mechanics = Atomism = Materialism = Atheism = Nihilism = Evil.

This is a logical leap of epic proportions. It also leads Ken Wheeler down a rabbit hole in which modern science is irredeemably diabolical.

Clings to Ether Like an Exorcist to a Silver Cross

To combat what he sees as a demonic doctrine, the Angry Photographer clings to the notion of the ether like an exorcist to his silver cross. He views the history of science as a comic book heroic struggle between ethereal angels and atomic demons.

In reality, there’s no historical, philosophical, scientific or logical connection between ancient atomists like Democritus or Epicurus and modern particle physicists like Max Planck or Richard Feynman.

There’s also no connection between Relativity or Quantum Mechanics and anybody’s morality. For what it’s worth, Max Planck, the founder of Quantum Mechanics, was a lifelong, devout Lutheran and not one of Ken Wheeler’s nefarious nihilists – not that nihilists are evil.

Fights Modern Understanding of Light Tooth and Nail

Yet, somehow, these bizarre non-sequiturs between science and ethics lead the Angry Photographer to fight our modern understanding of the nature of light tooth and nail. As with many of his other misconceptions, Ken Wheeler is more to be pitied than censured for these infantile notions. His fondness for the Latin motto lux et veritas couldn’t be more ironic.

Who knows, if more knowledgable people continue to correct him about these fallacies, one day he may come to see the light.

Ken’s Evidence
Secret of Light and Easily Refuting Atomists on Light
Fields
Light As A Wave
Light As A Particle
Michelson-Morley Experiment
Quantum Electrodynamics
Magnetism – Why Ken’s Wrong

Meditation – Why Ken’s Wrong

Meditation is one of Ken Wheeler’s biggest pet peeves. Find out how the Angry Photographer uses mistranslation to rationalize his personal distaste for mindfulness and the relaxation response.

The practice of meditation seems to be as old as humanity itself. There’s even some evidence that Neanderthals engaged in some form of mindfulness exercise. Humans have viewed meditation as a path to spiritual enlightenment for at least 5,000 years.

Ancient Jewish practitioners of the Kabbalah used meditation techniques as did Christian mystics all the way back to the time of Christ, including the Desert Fathers and Mothers, Francis of Assisi, Ignatius Loyola, Teresa of Avila, and John of the Cross, among many others.

The Sufi sect of Islam also engaged in meditative practices, as described by the mystical poet known as Rumi. Ancient Greek philosophers including Plato and Plotinus also practiced various forms of meditation exercises.

Very Odd Aversion to the Practice of Meditation

For someone who purports to be a world-class expert on metaphysics and spirituality, Ken Wheeler has a very odd aversion to the practice of meditation. He claims to have nothing against it in terms of its health benefits, but he denies that meditation plays any role in original Greek, Hindu or Buddhist metaphysical teachings

Although he pays lip service to meditation’s benefits for stress relief, the Angry Photographer spends a great deal of time and energy ridiculing the practice. He compares it to the use of sedatives, for example.

He even goes so far as to make an analogy between meditation and having a lobotomy. He depicts the meditator as akin to a lobotomized patient in an adult diaper living in an institution and spending their days watching the Cartoon Channel.

Depicts Meditators as Lobotomized Patients in Adult Diapers

Of course, the physical and mental health benefits of meditation are well established. Medical practitioners use the terms “mindfulness” and “relaxation response” when they prescribe secular forms of meditation for patients dealing with anxiety, hypertension and similar conditions.

Despite childishly ridiculing them, Ken Wheeler claims not to take issue with doctors prescribing mindfulness techniques to relieve stress. Instead, he condemns the use of meditation as a spiritual practice.

The Theoria Apophasis creator insists that meditation as we know it today played no role in the metaphysical disciplines of the ancient world. As usual, he offers no specific evidence to support this extraordinary claim.

Falsely Claims Meditation Not Used In Ancient World

Ken Wheeler derives most of his metaphysical ideas from a school of thought known as perennialism. Perrenialists believe that there is one true, underlying metaphysical system which the founders of all world religions drew upon in diverse ways.

Of course, Kentucky Ken pronounces himself an expert on the doctrine of this perennial philosophy. As far as he’s concerned, everyone around the world who practices spiritual meditation is misguided.

We can trace Ken Wheeler’s favourite classical sources to debunk his suppositions. Since he tends to relate most to the neoplatonists, let’s start with their founder, Plotinus.

His Own Classical Sources Debunk His Meditation Claims

“It was a going forth from the self, a simplifying, a renunciation, a reach towards contact and at the same time a repose, a meditation towards adjustment. This is the only seeing of what lies within the holies: to look otherwise is to fail.” (Plotinus, Sixth Ennead, Ninth Tractate)

Someone sure seems to be using meditation as a spiritual practice there! Plotinus also shares his vision of how the gods occupy themselves.

He depicts them tranqilly reflecting on “their own being and of all that lies within the contemplation of Intellect. Those of them whose dwelling is in the heavens, are ever in this meditation.” (Plotinus, Fifth Ennead, Eighth Tractate)

“Lifting Himself Often, by the Ways of Meditation”

We can also turn to Plotinus’ biographer, Porphyry. He describes Plotinus like this. “God-like  and lifting himself often, by the ways of meditation and by the methods Plato teaches in the Banquet, to the first and all-transcendent God ” (On the Life of Plotinus)

Since we’re addressing the neoplatonists, we may as well consider the source. Plato himself encouraged meditation, writing:

“He who properly uses meditations of this kind, being always initiated in perfect mysteries, alone acquires perfection.” (The Phaedrus)

“This State of the Soul is Called Wisdom”

Plato also wrote, “Turning rather towards the main ocean of the beautiful, one may by contemplation on this bring forth in all their splendour many fair fruits of discourse and meditation in a plenteous crop of philosophy.” (The Symposium)

The Angry Photographer maintains that the word “meditation” comes from “Melete,” the name of the Greek Muse of study. It doesn’t.

“Meditate” is Latin, not Greek. It derives from the Latin word “mederi,” which means “to remedy.”

“Meditate” is Latin, Not Greek

Mederi morphed into “meditari,” and then into “meditatio.” It has nothing to do with practice, or rites, or rituals, or anything else along those lines.

Although the practice of meditation is more of an eastern discipline, there’s no question that spiritual seekers also used comparable techniques in Ancient Greece and Medieval Europe.

We can move on to Ken Wheeler’s other two favourite sources, Ancient India’s Upanishads and Buddhism’s Nikayas. The Angry Photographer stubbornly contends that neither the Hindu nor the Buddhist tradition entails any form of meditation.

No Expert on Eastern Religions Supports His Hypothesis

If that claim seems contrary to your understanding, you’re not alone. No qualified expert on eastern religions supports this idiosyncratic hypothesis.

Ken Wheeler claims to be a master translator of the ancient Indian language, Pali. As such, he claims that the Pali word conventionally translated as “meditation” (Jhana) actually means “to burn.” The correct Pali verb for “to burn” is adipatti.

The Angry Photographer goes on to insist that when the Eastern scriptures refer to jhana, they mean a “burning away” of false ideas and impressions. Here again, he’s trying to shoehorn his idiosyncratic notion of negation, or the process of elimination, into Hindu and Buddhist thought.

Shoehorns His Notions About Negation into Eastern Thought

The Theoria Apophasis creator again resorts to his “needle in a haystack” analogy. In his view, the way to find the truth is to burn away all the falsehoods. The easy way to find the needle would be to set fire to the haystack

As we note in Retroduction – Why Ken’s Wrong, it seems awfully wasteful to destroy $100 worth of hay to find a ten cent needle. Ken Wheeler seems to be unaware of the Latin proverb “negatio probat nihil” – “negation proves nothing.”

Debunking His Claims on Eastern Meditation Even Easier

Debunking these claims about meditation in eastern metaphysics is even easier than refuting Ken Wheeler’s assertions about Plotinus. For example, here’s a 4,000 year-old seal from the Indus River Valley Civilization that predates even Hinduism. It clearly depicts a person meditating.

Here’s a passage from the Upanishads, the oldest known religious scriptures on Earth. “Through the power of meditation, Brahman swells. From that, food is born. From food arises life (prāna), then mind, the elements, the worlds and, through action, immortality.” Mundaka Upanishad 1:8

It’s hard to see how Ken Wheeler maintains that original Hinduism didn’t believe in the power of meditation in the face of that verse. As you can see, substituting the word “fire” in that context makes the text meaningless.

The same goes for Buddhism. The Angry Photographer insists that Buddha introduced no significant changes to the Vedic religions practiced in Ancient India in his day, which for him means no meditation.

Buddha Had Epiphany While Meditating – Began Ministry

This is just as easy to disprove as the other examples. By all accounts, Buddha began his ministry after having an epiphany while meditating under a bo tree.

Here’s a verse from the most ancient Buddhist scripture, the Nikayas. “Meditate, monks, do not be negligent, or else you will regret it later. This is our instruction to you.” Buddha AN 7:70; IV 136-39

Changing “meditate” to “burn” in that passage would make no sense whatsoever. Ken Wheeler uses his minimal, self-taught knowledge of Pali as a way to subvert the intended meaning of ancient texts and support his various, peculiar metaphysical speculations.

Insists Buddha Discouraged Breath-Based Meditation

The Angry Photographer also insists that Buddha didn’t encourage any form of breath-based meditation. He claims that references to breath in Buddhist scriptures are metaphorical references to the spirit.

Yet, here’s how Buddha taught his followers to meditate. “A monk sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, straightened his body, and established mindfulness in front of him, just mindful he breathes in, mindful he breathes out.”

That doesn’t seem like metaphorical language, and it definitely has nothing to do with burning anything. It sounds like the practical instructions anyone who’s tried mindfulness to trigger the relaxation response instantly recognizes.

Buddhist Proverb Applies Perfectly to Ken Wheeler

There’s a Buddhist proverb that applies perfectly to Ken Wheeler. It goes like this.

“Meditation and thought is the path to eternity; talking too much is one path to death. Those who meditate and spend much time thinking never die; those who do not have faith and speak many empty words – they look dead.”

As we can see throughout this site, the Angry Photographer uses far too many words. Since most of them are either made-up jargon or used incorrectly, he definitely speaks “many empty words.”

Uses Mistranslation to Subvert Meaning of Ancient Texts

Speaking of empty words, it’s a bit unfair to the producer of Theoria Apophasis to utterly deny any connection between the Pali word jhana and the English word “to burn.” Where he goes off the rails on this point is that he fails to grasp the difference between formal and informal word definitions. He seems to be unfamiliar with the concept of nirutti, or Buddhist etymology.

The Angry Photographer doesn’t cite a source for his “to burn” claim. He may have misunderstood Buddhist scholar Buddhaghosa, who explained that the formal root word for jhana is jhayati – thought, contemplation, or mindfulness. He went on to point out that jhana resembles jhapeti – which does mean the noun “fire,” as distinct from the verb “to burn” (adipatti).

Buddhaghosa makes it clear that jhana’s genuine root word is “thought.” “Fire” is more of a teaching tool to encourage Buddhists to eliminate the distractions the Buddha called the “five hindrances.” It’s an analogy; Buddhaghosa doesn’t mean it as formal etymology and he definitely isn’t saying that jhana means fire or burning as opposed to meditation.

Entitled to Opinion but Not to Change Historical Facts

Ken Wheeler is entitled to hold any opinion he likes on meditation. He’s fond of saying, “People are entitled to their opinions but people are never entitled to have their own truth.” As with other topics, condemned by his own words, he’s not entitled to change historical facts.

Aldous Huxley was a leading voice of the philosophy the Angry Photographer claims to endorse. In his book The Perennial Philosophy, he wrote about Buddhism, “To give a plausible answer to these questions in terms of anatta is so difficult that we are forced to abandon the doctrine.”

Rather than simply accept that his views conflict with what the Buddha taught, as Huxley did, the Theoria Apophasis creator feels the need to twist the Buddha’s beliefs to conform with his own.

Meditation Played Central Role in Metaphysics for Millennia

As we all know, meditation has played a central role in mysticism, metaphysics and spirituality in all faith traditions from time immemorial. The Angry Photographer’s statements to the contrary are demonstrably false.

It’s a pity that Ken Wheeler doesn’t support meditation. It seems that taking up mindfulness to induce the relaxation response would do him a world of good in terms of anger management.

Ken’s Evidence

Meditation Is? Seriously
Complete Works of Plotinus
The Principal Upanishads
In the Buddha’s Words
Etymology of Jhana
Retroduction – Why Ken’s Wrong
Metaphysics – Why Ken’s Wrong

Water – Why Ken’s Wrong

Water enables all life on Earth. Find out how Ken Wheeler takes this simple and obvious observation and twists it into bizarre claims that would pose a public nuisance if anyone were to believe them.

As we all know, water is essential to life. We can live for a month or two without food, but we can’t go more than a day or two without water.

Our bodies are about 60% water. That percentage can be as high as 90% for some organisms.

Water also has unusual properties. It’s the only substance we can easily find as solid, liquid and gas all over our planet. Water in its solid form is less dense than in liquid form, which is a good thing because otherwise, there would be thick blocks of ice all over the ocean floor.

Views on Water Fall Into Two Categories – Obvious and False

Ken Wheeler raises the subject of water in his videos quite frequently. Without saying so, and without fully grasping them, he has commandeered his odd claims about water’s spiritual significance from the ancient philosopher Thales of Miletus.

His views on water fall into two categories. Most of what the Theoria Apophasis creator says about water is blatantly obvious. The rest of his water pronouncements are demonstrably false.

His most central claim about water is that it’s “the antenna of the consubstantiality of spirit and matter.” As usual with the Angry Photographer, that’s a mouthful, so let’s break his assertion down.

“Antenna of the Consubstantiality of Spirit and Matter”

We’ll start with water molecules. As we know, water consists of two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom.

Water Molecule showing V shape

The blue oxygen atom is in the middle and the yellow hydrogen atoms out at the edges form a v-shape. Another word for this kind of arrangement is a dipole, because the oxygen atom has the opposite charge from the two hydrogen atoms.

The word dipole comes up again in a different context. Many devices use antennas with a similar v-shape and charge. Ken Wheeler appeals to one of his gadget hoarding hobbies, ham radio, as his credential for discussing this. The most familiar, but old-fashioned, type of dipole antenna is the set of “rabbit ears” on old-school TVs.

Calls Water Molecule the “Dipole Antenna of Consciousness”

In a death-defying leap of logic, Kentucky Ken mysteriously concludes that the similarity in shape between a water molecule and a dipole aerial provides “irreducibly irrefutable” proof that water is the dipole antenna of consciousness, i.e. the connection between spirit and matter.

In support of this peculiar notion, the YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis offers a special kind of triangle of which he’s fond. It’s an isosceles triangle with the angles 108˚, 36˚ and 36˚. (Recall that the angles of a triangle always add to 180˚.) We cover this triangle in more detail under Golden Ratio – Why Ken’s Wrong.

Because of these “sacred” proportions, Ken Wheeler insists that the angle of a water molecule’s v-shape is the same 108˚ as his revered triangle. As always, he’s wrong.

Claims Water Molecule Angle is 108˚ As Usual He’s Wrong

The actual angle of the two hydrogen atoms bonded to the central oxygen atom is 104.5˚. The Angry Photographer tries to explain this away by saying he measures the “charged parameters” or the “influence region” of the molecule. He doesn’t explain what this means or how it changes the angle.

Elsewhere, he claims that an angle “of 85 degrees represents life, perfect proportionality and likewise representing the PLANE OF INERTIA of the polar water molecule.” He never reconciles this discrepancy.

In his The Perfect Harmonic Proportionality & Incommensurability of the Water Molecule, the Theoria Apophasis creator offers an array of arithmetic blunders such as 1/φ-3 = 1 = 5 = φ3. While it’s true that 1/φ-3 = φ3, neither of those two expressions equal 1 or 5, and it goes without saying that 1 does not equal 5.

Fudged Geometry and Fascination with the Golden Ratio φ

All of this fudged geometry ties back into the Angry Photographer’s fascination with the Golden Ratio, the number mathematicians call phi (φ). We’ve debunked his many other claims about φ under the post The Golden Ratio Why Ken’s Wrong.

The Theoria Apophasis creator has several other idiosyncratic views about water. Perhaps the strangest is his belief that water has a mind of its own.

Apparently Ken Wheeler once stored several jugs of distilled water on shelves in his kitchen. Two of the jugs sprang a leak and Ken had to mop up the mess.

Attributes Leak to “Water Wanting to Break from Jug”

Readers may not find this story noteworthy, and obviously it’s not. However, Ken Wheeler attributes these spills to the water wanting to “break from the prison of that jug.”

Of course, there’s a much simpler explanation that covers all of the facts. It’s called plastic failure and it can be caused by the material used, poor design, sloppy manufacturing processes or improper handling.

Readers can judge for themselves. Which seems more likely; the water somehow came to life, or the jugs were poorly made?

Motive Behind His Baseless Claim

More recently, the Angry Photographer has tipped his hand, revealing the motive behind this baseless claim. He shared with his audience that one of his properties includes a natural spring.

The Theoria Apophasis then asked viewers for suggestions about what he should do with the spring, broadly hinting that he was thinking about starting a bottled water business. The next video he made harkened back to the bizarre claims about water outlined above.

Kentucky Ken went on to use his leaky bottle anecdote to prop up an unsubstantiated claim that water dissolves plastic bottles, absorbing supposedly toxic micro plastic particles in the process. It seems his new business plan is to sell his spring water in glass bottles to differentiate his product from competitors with his odd claims providing his value proposition.

Deeply Concerned About Microwaving Water

Ken Wheeler is also deeply concerned about an anomaly that comes from microwaving water. Anyone who’s ever made instant coffee using a microwave will have noticed this.

Water heated in a microwave will foam up and sometimes overflow the cup when you add instant coffee crystals or a tea bag. This doesn’t happen if you boil the water in a kettle.

This phenomenon happens because microwave ovens induce motion in bipolar molecules like water to generate heat. The foaming from this molecular motion can be a bit of a nuisance but is otherwise completely harmless.

Microwave Foaming a Nuisance but Completely Harmless

Yet, the Angry Photographer is convinced that microwaves are causing serious public health issues. As always, he has no facts or evidence on which to base this opinion and experts fundamentally disagree.

Ken Wheeler then takes his “water as antenna” notion to even greater heights of absurdity. He insists that “every microsecond, people are being bombarded by millions and millions of frequencies.”

This is an issue, according to the Angry Photographer, because “the interlocutor for the tuning of the signal of the manifestation of consciousness is water.” Supposedly, radio signal traffic creates spiritual interference of some sort that causes mental illness. One wonders if he sports a tinfoil hat in private.

One Wonders If He Sports a Tinfoil Hat in Private

Radio signals consist of non-ionizing electromagnetic waves. The energy level per quantum in a radio wave is much too weak to affect atoms or molecules, meaning that it’s physically impossible for them to interfere with Ken Wheeler’s watery antennae.

The Theoria Apophasis presenter also claims “I’ve never drank from the tap in my life.” He tell his viewers he drinks bottled mineral water almost exclusively.

Bottled mineral water is a foolish waste of money for someone who is always crying poor and begging for donations. Disposing of all those bottles is also a genuine environmental concern.

Tap Water is “Quantitatively but Not Qualitatively Pure”

Ken Wheeler’s reasoning is that tap water passes through municipal water filtration systems. The fact that qualified staff and government inspectors rigorously test the water flowing out of these plants means nothing to him.

The Angry Photographer rationalizes this phobia by claiming that the water is “quantitatively pure” but not “qualitatively pure.” Somehow, the water is eternally defiled by contact with the septic system and we are “drinking filth” no matter what purification process it passes through afterwards.

Once again, Ken Wheeler offers no explanation or evidence in support of this “qualitative” impurity. It seems that the thought of water treatment used to remove “dirty cooties” makes him feel icky.

Claims that Tested Tap Water Has “Qualitative Impurity”

It’s odd to have so many phobias and misconceptions about something one believes is the source of all life. It’s also hard to misunderstand something as simple in principle as water, but Ken Wheeler somehow manages it.

The Angry Photographer brazenly declares that ” there’s not another YouTube video out there that will talk about this.” That’s because these ideas are preposterous and mislead viewers in terms of basic chemistry and health and safety. They’d become a serious public nuisance if anyone took them seriously.

So, it’s important for Ken Wheeler’s viewers to completely disregard everything he has to say about good old H2O Instead, go microwave some tap water, add some tea or coffee, savour it, and just let all this foolishness drift away.

Ken’s Evidence

The Many Secrets of Water
Water Properties
How Do We Draw the Dipole Moment of Water?
How to Make Coffee in the Microwave
How Microwaves Heat Your Food
Causes of Plastic Failure

Pandemic – Why Ken’s Wrong

The pandemic is a golden opportunity for Ken Wheeler to spread pseudoscientific bafflegab and science denial. Find out how the Angry Photographer has been co-opted by Neo-Nazi protest groups to spread lies about vaccination and social distancing.

The entire world has been gripped by a pandemic for the past two years. Humanity has endured more than 600 million cases of COVID-19.

Over six million people have died worldwide. This includes more than a million Americans and roughly 14,000 Australians. We’ll return to Australia below.

The good news is that health authorities have administered nearly 13 billion vaccine doses worldwide. Despite how rapidly the recent Omicron variant is spreading, public health initiatives have cut the mortality rate in half, and hospitalization rates are declining. The long-term trend is toward defeating this fatal disease outbreak.

Pandemic Measures Palpably Irritate Ken Wheeler

Pandemic measures such as social distancing, mask mandates and vaccination programs seem to palpably irritate Ken Wheeler. Of course, he’s very cagey about how he goes about attacking these vital public health initiatives.

One of his favourite ploys is to use childish code words to avoid being accused of science denial and getting kicked off of YouTube. Some of his favourites include “the coof”, “cooties”, “medical apartheid”, “face diapers” and “magic juice”

The Angry Photographer appears to view all pandemic measures as a plot to rob the public of their liberties. He equates the safety measures being enacted to eradicate the coronavirus with apartheid, second-class citizenship, and even fascism. He refers to public support for vaccination as, “evil, twisted, dark, satanic degeneracy.”

Recently Contracted COVID-19 Himself…Twice!

Ironically, the YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis recently contracted COVID-19 himself. Apparently, he visited a store without wearing a mask and was exposed to the virus by an unmasked, symptomatic employee there.

Rather than seeing a competent local doctor, Ken Wheeler sought out a Utah-based nurse practitioner named Michelle Morholt. She runs an e-commerce website she calls UBUcares.

Morholt was willing and authorized under Utah law to prescribe the unapproved, fad, anti-parasite drug ivermectin. Here’s how the Food and Drug Administration describes this medication.

“FDA Has Not Authorized of Approved Ivermectin”

“The FDA has not authorized or approved ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 in people or animals. Ivermectin has not been shown to be safe or effective for these indications.”

A few weeks passed after the Angry Photographer first contracted the coronavirus. Being a high-risk patient, he suffered severe symptoms but eventually, the disease ran its course. His recovery was in spite of taking ivermectin, not because of it.

Over the following few months, the Theoria Apophasis creator continued to dismiss and disobey pandemic public health measures. To no one’s surprise but his own, he found himself bedridden with COVID for a second time on his 50th birthday.

Claimed He Was Cured of His Second Bout with Coronavirus

Ken Wheeler claimed to have been cured of his second bout with the coronavirus after only a few days. He kept trying to put on a brave show at his YouTube Channel.

The Angry Photographer worked hard to keep up appearances. He also continued to endorse the same unapproved and ineffective ivermectin medication that Morholt prescribed off-label.

The YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis tried to attribute his “quick cure” to the anti-parasite drug. He continues to display mild COVID symptoms as his immune system struggles with the untreated disease on its own.

Convinced Himself that All Governments are Evil

Kentucky Ken continues to reject conventional treatment because he’s convinced himself that all governments are evil, without exception. He bases this conclusion on his own pet definition of something he terms “metaphysical materialism.”

The correct definition of materialism is, “a preoccupation with, or stress upon, material rather than intellectual or spiritual things.” Webster’s dictionary defines metaphysics as, “abstract philosophical studiesa study of what is outside objective experience.”

So, Ken Wheeler’s term “metaphysical materialism” is an oxymoron – a contradiction in terms. There can’t be a subject called metaphysical materialism because metaphysics by definition doesn’t deal with material things.

“Metaphysical Materialism” is an Oxymoron

The Theoria Apophasis creator uses this illogical term to define those who are obsessed with power over others. There’s already a term for this – megalomania – but the Angry Photographer seems to be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with that word.

Leaving semantics aside, Ken Wheeler insists that all the social distancing guidance we’ve received during the pandemic has come from people with a perverse desire for power over others. It seems inconceivable to him that public health authorities issued the pandemic rules to save lives.

The Angry Photographer falsely asserts that mask and vaccine mandates violate our human rights. Of course, he refers to them as “face diaper” and “magic juice” mandates, partly to mock these common sense measures, and partly to avoid his words being noticed by the algorithms at YouTube.

Calls Pandemic Guidelines “Medical Apartheid”

The Theoria Apophasis host calls these guidelines “medical apartheid.” This is patently ludicrous, since wearing a mask and getting vaccinated are choices while one’s race is not.

Now that medical experts recommend additional injections as boosters, Ken Wheeler has irrationally begun to gloat. He seems to perceive an irony since, in his mind, those who’ve had their minimum two doses of the vaccine are now second-class citizens behind those who’ve had booster shots.

The Angry Photographer can’t grasp that the fully vaccinated will jump at the chance to get a booster shot as soon as they can. Vaccination will continue to split society into just two groups – the scientifically literate versus the unvaccinated science deniers, including him.

Denies Efficacy of Vaccines to Eradicate Diseases

The Theoria Apophasis creator denies the possibility of eradicating COVID-19. As evidence, he cites the ongoing prevalence of the common cold and the flu.

Ken Wheeler fails to mention more fatal diseases such as Polio, Smallpox, Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rubella, Hib, Measles, Pertussis, Pneumococcal Disease, Rotavirus, Chickenpox, Diphtheria and Mumps. All of these scourges have been effectively eradicated by vaccines.

The YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis sees himself as extremely well-informed about current events. He says he has his “head on a swivel” and that he’s “an information sponge.”

Allows Inaccurate Sources to Turn His Head

The truth is, Ken Wheeler allows the most inaccurate sources imaginable to turn his head. Rather than a sponge, his mind is a leaking cesspool of disinformation.

Pandemic policies in Australia seem to particularly fascinate the Angry Photographer. He’s fallen victim to the neo-Nazi group World Wide Demonstration (WWD), who use social distancing fatigue to foment violent uprisings in many countries, especially Australia.

Gets Australian News from YouTuber Aussie Cossack

The Theoria Apophasis creator gets most of his news about Australia from a YouTuber using the handle Aussie Cossack. His real name is Simeon Boikov.

Born in Sydney and of Russian descent, Boikov is the founder of an Australian neo-Nazi paramilitary group called the Australian Cossacks. As Boikov explains, he started the group because “we have a unique opportunity to support Russia from within an enemy state,” (the enemy state being Australia).

The Australian Cossacks strongly support Vladimir Putin and maintain close ties to the Australia First Party (AFP). For example, Boikov uses their party flag as a backdrop for his videos. AFP is an alt-right fringe party whose policies are racist, anti-immigration and hyper-nationalistic.

Simeon Boikov is Extremely Well-Known to Police

Ken’s friend the Aussie Cosack is under a Firearms Prohibition Order in Australia. He’s extremely well-known to police.

Boikov deliberately stages his pandemic videos to attract attention, and they invariably contain false or misleading statements. Russia – Why Ken’s Wrong provides more background on this peculiar Australian national who seems to have completely co-opted the Angry Photographer.

Suffice it to say that, as always, Kentucky Ken has everything completely ass-backwards on the topic of the pandemic. He’s siding, perhaps unwittingly, with the fascists against the democratic representatives of the people.

Deep-Seated Resentment of Authority

Like all conspiracy theorists, the Angry Photographer displays a deep-seated resentment of authority, which translates into an irrational fear of government. In his words, “99% of global misery right now is from politicians and media doom goblins.”

In the Theoria Apophasis creator’s feverish mind, “There are two kinds of people in this world. There are people who think that the government cares about them, and there are people who think.”

Of course, this perspective is consistent with the DSM 5’s Grandiose Delusional Disorder. People with this condition falsely believe that they have some unrecognized genius and/or that they’ve made one or more important discoveries.

People Who Don’t Believe “Are People Who Don’t Think”

Apparently, people who don’t believe what the Angry Photographer believes “are people who don’t think” as viewed through his radically distorted lens. As shown throughout this site, the reverse is true.

This would all be quite harmless were it not for the fact that the Angry Photographer has over 250,000 subscribers. No doubt most of them watch out of fascination with the freak show his bizarre attitudes and behaviour provide, and many of the rest are hate watchers who can’t stand his disdain for the truth and want to keep an eye on him.

Even so, we have to assume that a fair number of these viewers are taken in by Ken Wheeler’s pseudoscience and sophomoric sophistry. That’s not such a huge deal when we’re discussing how Buddha died or what assorted dead Greeks had to say.

Going to Get People Killed, If He Hasn’t Already

In terms of the pandemic, though, it’s downright dangerous. The Theoria Apophasis creator is going to get people killed, if he hasn’t already.

Spreading rumours during a public health crisis is one of the most reprehensible things a person can do. At best it’s a nuisance and at worst, it’s a lethal threat to society.

It’s essential that people disregard Ken Wheeler when he discusses the pandemic. Lives depend on shutting this liar down.

Ken’s Evidence

Who’s behind Australia’s anti-lockdown protests? 
Worldwide Demonstration
Nobel Prize winning immunologist’s warning to Aussie protestors
World Health Organization
Russians – Why Ken’s Wrong

Retroduction – Why Ken’s Wrong

Retroduction is one of Ken Wheeler’s buzzwords. Find out how he uses this term constantly but incorrectly and also why his underlying argument is fundamentally flawed.

Retroduction is an unfamiliar word to most of us, so let’s start by defining it. It literally means “leading back or bringing back.”

In logic, C.S. Peirce defined retroduction as, “The passage of the mind from something observed or attentively considered to the representation of a state of things that may explain it.” 

In other words, we start from what we know now and work backwards to find the cause. Doctors do this all the time when they start from our symptoms and work back to which diseases may be causing them.

Start From What We Know Now and Work Backwards

Detectives do the same thing. They arrive at the scene of the crime, gather all the information they can and then work backwards to try to work out what happened and how.

The important thing to understand about retroduction is that it doesn’t usually lead to a definitive conclusion. As Peirce explains, “Its conclusion is usually regarded as a more or less likely conjecture.”

Our detective will probably think of more than one explanation for the crime scene and start investigating each of them. Our doctors usually ask us to have some tests done to narrow down the correct diagnosis.

Less Reliable and Less Useful than Deduction or Induction

So retroduction can give us one or more hypotheses or working theories to investigate further. However, unlike deduction and induction, it can’t provide a single, definitive solution to a problem.

That makes it less reliable and therefore less useful. That’s why most of us haven’t heard of it.

Ken Wheeler is very fond of using the word retroduction, possibly because so few people have heard the term before. That gives him the opportunity to sound profound and stretch the truth at the same time.

Made Up His Own Pet Definition of Retroduction

As with most of his jargon, the Theoria Apophasis creator has made up his own pet meaning for the word “retroduction.” He says that retroduction is a “methodology for transcendence,” so we can assume that it’s a vital concept to him.

Even so, it’s hard to find anything in the Angry Photographer’s work that specifically defines retroduction. This passage is about as close to a definition as exists.

“All retroduction of course is actualization. Objective negation leads to subjective synthesis.” Once again, the choice of words makes things less clear rather than, well, definitive, but the key word here is “negation.”

Wrongly Thinks that Retroduction is Process of Elimination

Ken Wheeler is under the mistaken impression that retroduction is another word for the process of elimination. All he’s really saying is that the way to define God, or the soul, or the Universe, is by ruling out what these things are not.

One analogy he uses involves the proverbial “needle in a haystack.” As the Theoria Apophasis creator puts it, “Just as a fool might, for hundreds of hours, pick thru a pile of straw (phenomena) in search of a needle (atman), the wisest of men, in mere seconds, lights a match to the phenomena (straw) which quickly burns and blows away, leaving before his feet the needle sought; and this is of course part of the expediency as core to the via negativa methodology.”

We have to wonder why any sane person would destroy a hundred dollars worth of hay to find a ten cent needle. Leaving that aside, burning the haystack is not an example of retroductive reasoning, at least as logicians define the term.

“Arguments By Means of Similarities are Imposters”

As Kentucky Ken’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.”

Retroduction would be useless in trying to find a lost object. Someone would use retroduction, for example, if they found an object and asked themselves, “How did this get here?”

A more apt analogy would be to discuss the work of a sculptor or woodcarver. These artists remove everything from the stone or the block that detracts from their vision of the intended result.

Wrong About What the Word Retroduction Means

Regardless, Ken Wheeler is wrong about what the word retroduction means. He should know better, but that’s a purely semantic argument. There’s a much bigger concern with his arguments around the process of elimination.

The Angry Photographer tends to use a lot of words interchangeably. That’s another thing that makes his videos and writings incoherent and unintelligible.

In the case of retroduction, the YouTuber incorrectly assumes that it’s synonymous with Via Negativa, a term he appropriates from the fifth century thinker Proclus without much accreditation. Related terms he spouts include objective negation, theurgy, disobjectivication, neti-neti, negative theology, and apophasis.

Negation Seems Apt Given His Negative Attitude

Yes, that’s where the title Theoria Apophasis comes from. The Greek word “apophatikon” means negation, which seems strangely apt, given the YouTuber’s negative attitude and contrarian persona.

Ken Wheeler also lifts the word “theurgy” from Proclus. Proclus believed that there were specific rites and invocations established by the gods by which humans can bring themselves closer to “the One.”

These rites fell into three levels. The first level involved changing physical phenomena, like changing the weather or healing the sick using rituals, hymns, and prayers. The second level uses similar kinds of prayers and invocations to lift the soul to the level of the gods and the divine intellect.

Claims to Practice the Highest Level of Theurgy

Not surprisingly, the Theoria Apophasis creator claims to practice the third and highest level of theurgy, which establishes unity with the One itself. A big part of the third level is negation, along with mystic silence and faith.

This claim is another of Ken Wheeler’s grandiose delusions through which he claims to receive “wisdom” from “the One.” He attributes many of his odd and demonstrably false notions to this arcane process, while dismissing new age practices as “occult nonsense” in the same breath.

The reason we know he’s nowhere close to applying advanced theurgy is that Platonists like Proclus rejected enlightenment through independent study. Plato himself taught that when learners rely solely on reading random books instead of trained teachers, “They will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.” He couldn’t have described Ken Wheeler more accurately.

“Having the Show of Wisdom Without the Reality”

The Angry Photographer occasionally turns up his nose at Sherlock Holmes, claiming that Holmes relies on mere deductive reasoning. If he had ever read the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, he’d have come across this passage.

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” This is probably the best known quotation from Sherlock Holmes, and it shows that he knew all about the process of elimination.

However, what Ken Wheeler is really talking about is called negative theology or the Via Negativa. In other words, we can discover the nature of God by thinking about all of the things that aren’t God.

Logical Problem with Using Negation in Argumentation

A related idea is neti-neti in Hindu philosophy. Neti-neti means “not this, not that.” It’s a method of finding ourselves by recognizing things that are “not self,” such as our thoughts or our feelings.

Of course, there’s a logical problem with this approach when we try to use it in the realm of argumentation like Ken Wheeler. If I say I’m not a tree and also not a car, that doesn’t say anything about me, and it certainly doesn’t prove I exist.

To be fair, scholars don’t use negative theology to convince audiences in the misguided way Ken Wheeler does. They view it as a way to gain a deeper spiritual understanding, not a cheap debating trick to win pointless arguments.

Cheap Debating Trick to Win Pointless Arguments

So, the idea of proving that something exists merely by listing off a bunch of characteristics that it doesn’t have doesn’t somehow bring it into existence. The one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater isn’t two-eyed, or hornless, or burrowing, or green, or vegan but that doesn’t make him real.

The Theoria Apophasis creator is very fond of ancient languages and mottos. Yet, he seems never to have heard the Latin phrase “negatio probat nihil” – “negation proves nothing.”

Wrong In Three Different Ways

So, when it comes to retroduction, Ken Wheeler is wrong in three different ways. He doesn’t know what the word means, he thinks he’s mastered theurgy by loitering in the library instead of listening to qualified teachers, and he doesn’t grasp why proof by negation is a logical fallacy.

However there is something we can conclude through negation. Ken Wheeler is not educated, not credible, not honest, and not objective. This is conclusive proof that he’s not worth watching or reading.

Ken’s Evidence

Commens: Digital Companion to C.S. Peirce
Negation in the Language of Theology: Some Issues
The Unknown God: Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition
Purple People Eater
Metaphysics – Why Ken’s Wrong
Magnetism – Why Ken’s Wrong