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Thunderbolts Forum • View topic - Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

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Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby davesmith_au » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:20 am

October 22, 2010 ~ Dave Smith

Whilst a degree of well-informed skepticism is essential in the assessment of any scientific theory, pseudoskepticism has become rife on the internet, and in the popular media. It is practiced by many who pass themselves off as the voice of authority on a given topic, when in fact they are self-appointed 'debunkers' of anything which challenges their own, often limited, views.
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Re: Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby MrAmsterdam » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:20 am

Hello Dave,

It was really helpful to place the discussion the right context and framework...it cleared things up.

Thanks!
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Re: Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby davesmith_au » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:44 pm

Thanks T. I remember back when Bridgman first had a go at Don Scott's TES. Don was quite happy to ignore him, and quite rightly so in my book, but in the end so many people were bugging him about it, that he offered his rebuttal.

People don't seem to think critically about what they're reading. They see something like Bridgman's blog and think he has some good points. It's not until you break down what he is really saying, that you realize he's not "debunked" anything, he just sets up strawmen which he then burns. Anyone can do that, it takes no scholarly skill whatsoever.

Nereid is no better, she just keeps harping on about peer-review. Once you give her some peer-review, she says it is not relevant. Give her something relevant, and she says that publication is not sound. Give her something sound, and she says no-one's cited it... there's no making her happy. But in the whole fiasco, she doesn't offer anything of substance.

I have little time to address those who show no genuine attempt at a rational discussion.

Cheers, Dave.
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Re: Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby nick c » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:51 pm

Hi Dave,
Well said. Bridgman's attempt to equate the Electric Universe with creationism via 'guilt by association' is mind boggling.

Stephen Crothers has some comments that tie in nicely with your piece:
http://www.sjcrothers.plasmaresources.com/Bridgman.html

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Re: Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby StevenJay » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:03 am

It's all about perception.
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Re: Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby mharratsc » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:26 am

Last edited by mharratsc on Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby MrAmsterdam » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:36 am

Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -Nikola Tesla -1934
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Re: Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby jjohnson » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:51 am

Mr A is spot on - there are many good people at work in various astronomical and physics programs who may not be cheerleaders for EU in public, but who nonetheless understand much of its relevance and use plasma and electrodynamics every day in their work. I've brought this out before, particularly in the solar and radioastronomy disciplines.

The Space Science Institute is a not-for-profit corporation with a variety of roles, one of which is education. Their web site is at http://www.spacescience.org/index.php .

Click on their Education section (the green tab at the top), then on Project Websites,and then on Space Weather Center; or here:
http://www.spaceweathercenter.org/
Notice that this part sports a NASA logo, National Science Foundation logo and SSI logo. Fairly mainstream, right? Have a looky-lou at what they have to say about Amazing Plasmas.

There's some hope, despite the Bridgemans lurking around.

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Re: Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby terry the censor » Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:39 am

> [S][A] One of the problems with Electric Universe (EU) claims is they seem incapable of producing mathematical models that can be used by other researchers to compare the predictions of their theories to other observations and experiments...

You give slender evidence that this statement is wrong. Fine -- it could be wrong. However, the statement is not a strawman argument or ad hominim attack. The writer is merely describing what he has observed. He might be wrong, but that's not necessarily indicative of fallacious argumentation. It's baffling that you would think so.

I had to stop reading after that point.
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Re: Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby nick c » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:36 am

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Re: Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby MrAmsterdam » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:59 am

Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. -Nikola Tesla -1934
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Re: Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby davesmith_au » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:42 pm

"Those who fail to think outside the square will always be confined within it" - Dave Smith 2007
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Re: Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby Nereid » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:12 pm

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Re: Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby MrAmsterdam » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:26 am

Hello Nereid and welcome,

Before you start, could you give your opinion about Mr Smith's article (click on the link in the first message)?

I would like to know if you consider the EU theory as creationism.

Thanks,

T
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Re: Dealing with Pseudoskepticism in Astronomy...

Unread postby Nereid » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:51 am

Thanks for the welcome, Mr Amsterdam.

Mr Smith, in that article, comes across as very sincere and as having some well-formed and well-expressed opinions.

I'm afraid I can't answer your second question, in part because I do not really know what EU theory is. However, at one level, the two seem unrelated, because there appear to be no links in any EU material I have read between the ideas (called EU ones) expressed and the Christian Bible, which is what I understand creationism to be based on (at one level anyway).

If I may, can I ask you a question?

What did you mean by "before you start"? I mean, my first post in this forum contains two questions to davesmith_au (Dave Smith), about comments he made about what I, Nereid, have apparently written; I can't really start anything until he has responded, can I?

Or do you see it differently?
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