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Saying is Believing by Mel Acheson

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by JParker, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. JParker

    JParker Well-Known Member

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    http://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2013/02/18/saying-is-believing/ [​IMG]
     
  2. BrianW

    BrianW Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I'll bite, though I suspect I'll regret it later.
    I know the point is made later to suggest a preference for EU, and that the two positions are not actually equivalent, but insinuating that matters of science are subject to such relativism is a bit insulting. If that's the case, you might as well assert that science is no better or worse than ancient Greek and Roman mythology in explaining nature. (The sun rises and sets because it is carried on Apollo's chariot -- as good a scientific theory as any, given absence of empirical data at the time.) There's more to science than "He Said / She Said". Science is more than just observing a new phenomenon of nature and coming up with an explanation that "feels the most right". It's not a democratic process, and it must be utterly and completely severed from our instinct, our intuition, and any "gut feeling" we might bring to the process.
    (Emphasis is mine.) This is wrong on two counts: 1. Neutron stars and black holes were absolutely NOT invented to explain high-energy radiation observed in the cosmos. They were unexpectedly predicted by the mathematics of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity well before we had the ability to make such observations. At the time, scientists thought both were too outlandish to exist, and that the theory must be wrong to allow such anomalies. As you pointed out yourself in another thread, Einstein himself rejected the notion that our universe could support the existence of black holes (though he did warm to neutron stars fairly quickly). Only in subsequent observations of the cosmos did we see evidence of their existence. Scientists absolutely did NOT apply a "stroke of 'mystical math'" in order to produce an end result, namely neutron stars and black holes. Rather, they took equations developed to describe the behavior of space-time, and neutron stars and black holes unexpectedly dropped out into their laps. 2. Asserting that the math that leads to the prediction of neutron stars and black holes is "unmoored from any empirical anchor" is simply wrong. The math supporting General Relativity (which originally predicted neutron stars and black holes) has been vindicated empirically at every opportunity. As long as EU theory continues to reject the math that underlies physics, it is truly little more than ancient Greek mythology in its attempt to explain nature, but without the thundering gods. But that's not even the worst of it. The worst part is the author's obvious bias to accept notions that simply "feel right" over notions that arise from "mystical math". Real scientists are keenly aware of the degree to which our intuition can and will mislead us. That's why the Scientific Method exists. The Standard Model, originally set forth to explain known particles and their behavior, kept (mathematically, of all things) predicting the existence of more and more particles, each more ridiculous and outlandish than the previous. Intuition told scientists of the day that the universe couldn't accommodate so many particles, and that they were "mere artifacts" of the theory to be ignored. Today, almost all of the particles predicted by the Standard Model have been discovered empirically, including the supremely exotic Higgs boson. Mr. Acheson reveals his bias for intuition over math in the way he refers to "supernatural" concentrations of gravitational force and infinite density of matter, as if to suggest that such a thing should be rejected out of hand for its ridiculousness. His preference for a lexicon of promises is guided -- mistakenly -- by his bias for what he feels must be the way the universe works. He says he prefers a lexicon of promises, but the promises he embraces are empty as long as he continues to believe that physics and math can be extricated from one another. I prefer to go where the data leads. I'll embrace the math over intuition any day.
     
  3. JParker

    JParker Well-Known Member

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    Your response is well taken; nevertheless, Mr. Acheson's article isn't easy reading. Let me address a single point: "Magnetic reconnection", which is referenced in the essay. Can one not say the Longitudinal reconnection is causing climate change? Perhaps I'll regret stating that but one should consider the below peer reviewed paper. Perhaps mathematically it's an impeccable idea; the physics is invalid. See here: http://www.thunderbolts.info/thunderblogs/archives/descott08/021608_reinventing_the_wheel.htm
    http://electric-cosmos.org/IEEE-TransPlasmaSci-Scott-Aug2007.pdf See also here: https://sites.google.com/site/cosmologyquest/the-editor-s-musings/scientific-censorship-of-wikipedia-magnetic-reconnection Mathematics is a tool, a means to an end. But thank you for your thoughtful remarks. :)
     
  4. BrianW

    BrianW Well-Known Member

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    I agree that math is a tool to be used to achieve an end, but I don't see the point of its use if it isn't trusted. I wanted to address your initial discussion of magnetic field lines, but I declined in order to focus on my primary point. However, you and your ilk have characterized "traditional" scientists as believing that magnetic field lines actually exist. Nothing could be further from the truth. Field lines are simply a tool useful both for visualization and as a basis for mathematical analysis. This is an inference on my part since you don't state it explicitly, but you seem to believe that because magnetic fields and electric currents are inextricably linked, there must somehow be an electric current at every point in space a magnetic field can be detected. I also infer this from this quote:
    This just isn't the case. Electric currents give rise to magnetic fields that extend way beyond the location of the actual electrical current, just as gravitational fields extend way beyond the mass that gives rise to them. The Right-Hand Rule is just a tool to help determine field direction, and an arbitrary one at that. It's not meant to depict actual helical currents that wrap around field lines. (We could have just as easily selected the left hand and reversed the convention.) There is no electrical current spiraling around magnetic field lines. As for the person you cited who was banned from making modifications to a Wikipedia page, I'm not sure what your point was. He vandalized the page by adding his own non-peer-reviewed opinion on the matter, then accused the curators of vandalism when they removed it. He called the primary contributors liars and confesses to antagonistic behavior. Honestly, I don't know what else could have been done with him but to ban him. I'm all for avoiding scientific censorship, but we also can't open our textbooks to every crank with a pet junk-science theory to promote. (Hypothetically speaking.) Also, all this talk about not reinventing the wheel is in sharp contrast to what EU actually does.
    Or it could just be an inertial shock wave. Why reinvent the wheel?
     
  5. JParker

    JParker Well-Known Member

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    Ilk...am I? Brian, I'm glad you enjoy South Park; however, we have mutually exclusive views, that are simply incompatible. We can agree not to agree. And actually I didn't read the soap opera with the Wikipedia, I did find the discussion on the topic interesting but you don't address Don Scott's published paper. Readers who are happy having faith that once upon a time there was nothing, then it exploded, but somehow black holes that don't just suck they blow are at the center of every galaxy -- all these silly, I think, ideas, are free to believe and have faith. I don't believe EU theory will be the penultimate explanation. However, I believe there is electricity in space and the concepts provided, as Mel discussed, are superior explanations. Here's a recent post: http://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2013/02/21/jet-streams-2/
    http://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2012/08/16/a-blind-man-in-a-dark-room-looking-for-a-black-hole-that-isnt-there-2/ And here's a video: In The Paradigm Shift Dilemma By Nelson Hultberg, he points out:
    http://thedailybell.com/28720/Nelson-Hultberg-The-Paradigm-Shift-Dilemma [​IMG] Cheers!
     
  6. BrianW

    BrianW Well-Known Member

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    From the article in your first link:
    I'm sorry, but this is just ridiculous. What Mr. Crothers says of black holes here can be said of the escape velocity of Earth, or any object with a gravity field strong enough to be measured. (Will a rock traveling at Earth's escape velocity escape Earth's grasp? Or won't it?) He's unable to do a proper (and very simple) boundary condition analysis, and he mistakes his analytic failure as a reason to reject the existence of black holes. The entire article is rife with this kind of error. On another note, I'm very sorry that you've decided to play the Intellectual Egoism card. At no time in this discussion have I cited my own or anyone else's intellect as an authority that should be heeded. All along the way, I've cited the Scientific Method and mathematical analysis as my authority. It is these two tools (and I say this very emphatically) that prevent intellectualism from influencing the progress of science -- just one of many things that separates science from, say, Communism. Also, I would add that it does not logically follow that someone making the claim of having his theory excluded from traditional regard on the basis of elitism, necessarily has a theory worth regarding.
     
  7. JParker

    JParker Well-Known Member

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    http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0503095
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0806.1176
     
  8. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    http://dealingwithcreationisminastronomy.blogspot.com/2012/05/electric-universe-peer-review-exercise.html
     
  9. JParker

    JParker Well-Known Member

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    See: Scott's Reply to Tom Bridgman: http://electric-cosmos.org/RebutTB.pdf EXCERPT:
    & http://www.sjcrothers.plasmaresources.com/Bridgman.html Excerpt:
     
  10. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Yes, ignore all physics research in favor of "electrical science." All of modern cosmology is conclusively debunked by an article in an obscure electronics magazine. Here's the NY Times on the "researcher" cited in the Crothers article: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/19/us/ripples-in-ohio-from-ad-on-the-big-bang.html
    Comedy gold!
     
  11. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of lexicons, somebody needs to learn the difference between "egoism" and "egotism". :)
     
  12. JParker

    JParker Well-Known Member

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    Open Astronomy Journal's Special Issue was simply to introduce people to the fact that alternative ideas existed regarding many astronomical/cosmological topics. The alternative ideas attempt to explain astronomical/cosmological phenomena especially those unexplained by conventional theory. Part of the purpose was to open up a truly open minded debate where ALL views are heard. After all, some conventionally accepted explanations are wrong (specifically, the accepted black hole entropy expression) and, in other cases, conventional theory is simply unable to offer an explanation. Note also the generality of the accusations posted here. If any of the readers here have genuine scientific points to make, including Mr. Silverman, then make them specific so that sensible debate can ensue and sensible answers be produced. In fact, if any readers have genuine scientific objections, write them up as real scientific papers and submit them to a journal; I'm sure the Open Astronomy Journal for one would view such submissions sympathetically. Submission guidelines are here. http://www.benthamscience.com/open/toaaj/MSandI.htm
    And a recent article here: http://www.benthamscience.com/open/toaaj/articles/V004/SI0162TOAAJ/191TOAAJ.pdf Home page here: http://www.benthamscience.com/open/toaaj/index.htm Cheers! :)
     
  13. BrianW

    BrianW Well-Known Member

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    OW! My IRONY GLAND!
    Again, this is ironic (or just plain disingenuous) since you were the first in the discussion to abandon scientific discourse and fall back to your position of last resort by playing the "Intellectual Egoism" card.
    If you think anyone here is going to submit a paper to a scientific journal, then you are on the wrong forum. If, on the other hand, you are well aware that nobody here has any intention of submitting a scientific paper to a peer-reviewed journal, and you're trying to leverage that knowledge to make people on this forum feel like they aren't entitled to discuss cosmology or to challenge your ideas, then I call bullshit. Either discuss the science, or don't. Your transparent attempts to manipulate us into submission won't gain any traction here.
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Brian, you have my support completely. But as I said on a similar thread (and really, do we need to have 30 different threads for the pseudo-science to be spread around in?) there is no way this is going to end well. You can't argue with people who believe in this bunk because their logic runs in circles and is powered by faith and a need to feel special because they believe in something controversial...
     
  15. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    I lost all respect for the Open Astronomy Journal when they rejected my meticulously researched paper on the Flying Spaghetti Monster. James, if you'd read the page that I linked (not to mention the actual astronomer in the NY Times article that I quoted above), you would have found a lengthy series of genuine, scientific debunkings of the claims made by the EU crew.
     
  16. JParker

    JParker Well-Known Member

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    I posted links to the highly technical refutations of Bridgeman by both Crothers and Scott. If there has been a credible challenge to Crothers mathematics and his response and the same for Scott, I've no knowledge of it. The fact remains that:
    Read the original paper here: http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/9905030
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/9905030v1.pdf I see no credible challenge posted here other than for whatever reasons, the theories presented challenge your beliefs, faith, aesthetic preferences, livelihood, whatever. And I'm entirely fine with that. But I disagree with your contention; there is electricity in space, there is plasma, not "hot gas". See also: http://bigbangneverhappened.org/wiki.htm http://bigbangneverhappened.org/p13.htm
     
  17. BrianW

    BrianW Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Sam, but I'm going in for another go. If I tug on the rope three times, pull me out. Posting links to articles without any discussion isn't really a discussion, now is it?
    I beg to differ. Dr. Bridgeman raised legitimate questions about (just one example) what drives and maintains the charge separation that is necessary to power this electric universe of yours. This (among many others) is a valid scientific question that needs to be answered before EU can be taken seriously. The rebuttals you referenced, instead of addressing these technical shortcomings, focused on claims of censorship, vilification, and other appeals via "victim-mentality" arguments. (Despite what you might think, "reductio ad ubsurdium" is not a scientific principle that strengthens anyone's argument in a technical discussion.) I've brought up the fact that Crothers doesn't seem to grasp that the escape velocity of a black hole is the speed of light only at the event horizon, and that there is no contradiction (as he claims) in what mainstream scientists have said about the ability of light to escape or evade capture. This is such a simple concept that until it's addressed, I can't take anything Crothers says seriously. Scott, instead of relying on actual science, refers to black holes and neutron stars as "fairie dust entities", which is not a technically compelling argument. Until Scott is willing or able to defend his assertions with more than disparagement of mainstream physics, I can't take anything he says seriously, either. Sorry, but the only one here who isn't participating in a scientific discussion is you. (And Scott. And Crothers.)
     
  18. JParker

    JParker Well-Known Member

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    You are responding to an excerpt of Scott's rebuttal, which I quoted, and was not technical; there is nothing of the sort of "victim-mentality" in his 15 pages, that is false. In fact, the entire rebuttal of Bridgeman is technical, you have to read it in its entirety. Both Scott's and Crothers' expertise is superior to mine, and I quote them. I see you do not refute the contention of the original paper by Schwarzschild that "Schwarzschild's actual solution forbids black holes" because you cannot, Q.E.D. From Scott:
    Doesn't sound like a victim to me; he sounds rather justifiably irritated. 15 pages are here: http://electric-cosmos.org/RebutTB.pdf Lerner's Focus Fusion is here: http://focusfusion.org/ What, are you against viable fusion research because it is from and due to the work a Plasma Cosmologist? Well, fracking has its appeal..
     
  19. BrianW

    BrianW Well-Known Member

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    I read Crothers' entire paper. Like I said above, it is rife with errors simple enough for a high school physics student to catch. It's bunk. To any extent I mischaracterized Scott's paper, I apologize. I read only as much of that one as I could stand. You're right about these papers not being easy reading, but not for the reasons you think.
    Since you called me out, I'll address your points. The only authority I've cited is the Scientific Method. At no time, ever, have I argued on the basis of any man-made authority. You and your ilk, on the other hand, openly call mainstream scientists liars and conspirators on nothing but the basis of your own intellectual conclusions that black holes (and such) can't possibly exist. The only one here suffering from intellectual egotism is you.
    Scientists (and skeptics) will consider -- and be convinced of -- absolutely anything. All it takes is evidence.
    Real scientists know that our eyes (and our intellect, intuition, and gut) do, in fact, lie to us. All the time. Things in nature are not necessarily what they appear to be. Bridgeman noted this several times in his five rebuttals, that EU proponents repeatedly fall victim to the "X looks like Y, so X must be Y" trap. If you're relying on your eyes to that extent, you're not going to get very far in your understanding of nature.
    This is just preposterous. Only a paranoid lunatic would posit that this is the way science is done.
    These things are well understood, and significant technological breakthroughs owe their existence to this understanding. You never responded to my criticism that EU proponents seem to think that there is necessarily an electrical current everywhere in space a magnetic field can be detected. Unless you refute or explain that, I will continue to believe that it is EU proponents who don't understand the basic relationship between electricity and magnetism.
    Well, if that's not the pot calling the kettle black. Again, since you called me out specifically, I assume you lump me in with the vituperative pseudo-skeptics with a monetary interest in some conspiracy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not a dime of my income depends on science grants, on professorships, or on convincing others that black holes exist. My only interest in science is in the extent to which it can reveal how the universe works. I'm not sure what ground you expect to gain by insulting the very people you intend to sway. I'm not sure how you expect to be so insulting and maintain that you are the one being talked down to. Do you really think behaving this way helps your cause?
     
  20. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    When the premise is such obvious nonsense, why should we bother with the rest? If someone told you that the Earth is flat and that he has the equations to back it up, would you take him at his word? (When educated people seriously argued that topic, airplanes were a thousand years in the future.) Anyone with the slightest knowledge of Big Bang Theory knows quite well that the Big Bang is exactly the opposite of what he describes here -- it's an origin hypothesis derived from current observations; not current hypotheses derived from a theoretical origin. It's like claiming that Melissa Rauch could not possibly have looked super hot yesterday because today we observe Bernadette in a frumpy outfit.
    The Big Bang is not "something emerg[ing] from nothing." A singularity of near-infinite density is, in fact, the very antithesis of "nothing."
     

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