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Astronomer rips into Richard Hoagland's Mars fantasies.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jack Briggs, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Like many, many others, I've long been offended and angered by Richard Hoagland's ongoing pseudoscience about a "face" on Mars and the elaborate fantasies he continues to embellish, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    Now an astronomer is taking Hoagland's silly claims apart. Read all about it here.
     
  2. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Very interesting Jack,

    In addition to Plait's debunking, the article shifts to Greenberg ripping him pretty badly.

    A companion (Europa) here at Greenberg's site:
    http://www.math.washington.edu/~greenber/Europa.html


    His (Hoagland) claims and backpeddling on Europa appear more intriguing than his idiotic Mars babble.

    Where can one view this Icarus Paper?
     
  3. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Jack

    dont be offended. there is a long tradition going back further than the canals on mars. it keeps interest up; hence funding of programs. if people want to believe the face of elvis is on mars...whats the harm?
    if only we could find the beatles faces........
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Phil Plait's site is a great resource. For those who aren't familiar with him, he is an astronomer who among other things has worked with Hubble, and he's set up this site as well as written a book to help correct a lot of misunderstandings about science. His movie reviews are quite interesting.

    He's also spent a lot of time debunking the moon-hoax theories. Check this page for some of the links. He really shows how dangerous people can be with too little understanding of basic science.
     
  5. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    One of the things that really annoys me when people work against such nonsense is the criticism that people who do so are somehow pathetic for “having nothing better to do”. I ran into exactly this sort of attitude when the subject of the great James Randi came up in a debate with a subjectivist. His attitude was that no one should care if people swallow such ideas, and that people such as Randi are somehow wasting their time. Quite the contrary, critical thinking is more important than ever.
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    What's funny in a pathetic sort of way is how, when Mars Global Surveyor imaged the so-called face with its higher-resolution cameras and from a better vantage point than the Viking orbiters and revealing the object to be nothing more than a windswept mesa surrounded by rock outcroppings, Hoagland started crying "foul" and claimed that NASA was "witholding" the "real" images.

    Hey, man, that's Hoagland's livelihood NASA is messing with! Keep science outta this!
     
  7. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    But wasn't it NASA that provided the images that gave rise to the whole "face" idea in the first place? Hoagland is contradicting himself here.
     
  8. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Maybe we should start using the term "Junk Science" in reference to things like that.

    I like that term; it fits so well.
     
  9. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    Jack, if that offends, you must get offended a lot! It's on the fringes and you really have to search it out to hear Hoagland's Hokum. As a writer, the weird and crazy is my bread and butter, but even I find Hoagland a bit "out there."
     
  10. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Bringing this back up because I stumbled upon Phil Plait's site while reasearching the so-called "Planet X" (if you think Hoagland's a pest, try Nancy Leider...)

    Isn't Astronomy a fascinating enough subject without the "embellishments" added by these conpeople?
     
  11. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    As is every science. Why people need to dream up BS when reality is more fascinating than most can imagine is beyond me.
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    The whole matter of pseudoscience isn't helped when one considers the nature of programming on television as well as the tendency of this country with regards to political correctness, politicians courting votes, educators, and even the very institutions of education and dispensation of medical trust.

    Channels such as TLC, HBO, or Discovery or a host of others frequently have very popular segments dealing with the predictions of Nostradamus, UFO's, hauntings, alternative cures for cancer, and it's never preceded by a patent disclaimer. Rather it's presented in the guise of 'what's the gov't hiding' or discoveries by people who appear quite rational. To that I add the infomercials by people like Dr. Guerro (WTF is he anyways) whose scientific studies have supposedly shown that the acidic/alkaline nature of the human body is responsible for all illnesses. Of course, the product he's shilling is the cure. Psychic hotlines and the Q-Ray which is still being advertised further perpetrate the theft of reason let alone dollars from the public. I hold people like Oprah Winfrey (John Edwards the psychic...Shirley McClain and her crystals), Larry King (Sylvia Brown), The Animal Channel (The Pet Psychic), shows that have psychics that can find all these missing persons, and the like in particular contempt. To not a small degree they are partially responsibility for the advent of anti-science and the darkness that clouds the world.
    To be politically correct, hotel chains offer feng-shui meeting rooms and locations to promote positive vibrations. Politicians in California look to pass laws incorporating feng-shui practices into the design of future buildings. Large, swimming in cash, vitamin businesses contribute heavily to politicians favorably disposed to not passing laws requiring any sort demonstrable proof of their product's effectiveness.
    Institutions such as Harvard Medical School actually have courses in alternative medicine. Stuff my grandfather and his knew all too well as quackery. However, that's an offensive term and lord knows, there are people looking for an amendment to the constitution that will include in those inalienable rights one that's the right to not be offended.
    Local Hospitals offer reikii and other services. Not covered by insurance, but given that chiropracters and accupuncture managed to find a way in, is it only a matter of time? Supermarkets and drugstores sell homeopathic preparations and so do the pet stores.
    Not all beliefs deserve the time of day but if you can find a way to wrap a belief up in religion, you're pretty much guaranteed immunity and the freedom to spread its noxiousness to whomever will listen and preferably contribute.
    Please excuse my tirade. I now have to go work on my swing. I've got this new method you see [​IMG] If I can only find my special Joe Boo figurine.
     
  13. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Nice rant, Chu (or is that your last name? Gai then?). [​IMG]
     
  14. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Thanks Jack--I can't add much to what the rest of you have already written.
     
  15. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    No intelligent life on Mars?? You Eathlings are making me very angry!! Now I will have to destroy you.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Making it law is bizarre. If someone wants to incorporate feng-shui practice into their home or office, that's their own free will, but law?

    I have to say, I'm still on the fence when it comes to feng shui. I've heard of many instances where feng shui allegedly did wonders for a business, and the results did show up. Conversely, in a fashionable area here, there's a row of shops which all have done well over the years, save for one particular unit which has seen a never-ending string of different tenants, all of whom had miserable business. Given that location cannot be the reason for failure (the shops next door did fine), one has to wonder if other forces are at work -- of course, maybe the landlord has just had the misfortune of letting to a string of tenants with lousy business sense or business models...
     

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