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On 3/7/2003 at 11:43 AM, fafalone said:

From http://chronicle.com/free/v49/i21/21b02001.htm

 

Something is probably bull if:

 

1. The discoverer pitches the claim directly to the media. The integrity of science rests on the willingness of scientists to expose new ideas and findings to the scrutiny of other scientists. Thus, scientists expect their colleagues to reveal new findings to them initially. An attempt to bypass peer review by taking a new result directly to the media, and thence to the public, suggests that the work is unlikely to stand up to close examination by other scientists.

 

One notorious example is the claim made in 1989 by two chemists from the University of Utah, B. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, that they had discovered cold fusion -- a way to produce nuclear fusion without expensive equipment. Scientists did not learn of the claim until they read reports of a news conference. Moreover, the announcement dealt largely with the economic potential of the discovery and was devoid of the sort of details that might have enabled other scientists to judge the strength of the claim or to repeat the experiment. (Ian Wilmut's announcement that he had successfully cloned a sheep was just as public as Pons and Fleischmann's claim, but in the case of cloning, abundant scientific details allowed scientists to judge the work's validity.)

 

Some scientific claims avoid even the scrutiny of reporters by appearing in paid commercial advertisements. A health-food company marketed a dietary supplement called Vitamin O in full-page newspaper ads. Vitamin O turned out to be ordinary saltwater.

 

2. The discoverer says that a powerful establishment is trying to suppress his or her work. The idea is that the establishment will presumably stop at nothing to suppress discoveries that might shift the balance of wealth and power in society. Often, the discoverer describes mainstream science as part of a larger conspiracy that includes industry and government. Claims that the oil companies are frustrating the invention of an automobile that runs on water, for instance, are a sure sign that the idea of such a car is baloney. In the case of cold fusion, Pons and Fleischmann blamed their cold reception on physicists who were protecting their own research in hot fusion.

 

3. The scientific effect involved is always at the very limit of detection. Alas, there is never a clear photograph of a flying saucer, or the Loch Ness monster. All scientific measurements must contend with some level of background noise or statistical fluctuation. But if the signal-to-noise ratio cannot be improved, even in principle, the effect is probably not real and the work is not science.

 

Thousands of published papers in para-psychology, for example, claim to report verified instances of telepathy, psychokinesis, or precognition. But those effects show up only in tortured analyses of statistics. The researchers can find no way to boost the signal, which suggests that it isn't really there.

 

4. Evidence for a discovery is anecdotal. If modern science has learned anything in the past century, it is to distrust anecdotal evidence. Because anecdotes have a very strong emotional impact, they serve to keep superstitious beliefs alive in an age of science. The most important discovery of modern medicine is not vaccines or antibiotics, it is the randomized double-blind test, by means of which we know what works and what doesn't. Contrary to the saying, "data" is not the plural of "anecdote."

 

5. The discoverer says a belief is credible because it has endured for centuries. There is a persistent myth that hundreds or even thousands of years ago, long before anyone knew that blood circulates throughout the body, or that germs cause disease, our ancestors possessed miraculous remedies that modern science cannot understand. Much of what is termed "alternative medicine" is part of that myth.

 

Ancient folk wisdom, rediscovered or repackaged, is unlikely to match the output of modern scientific laboratories.

 

6. The discoverer has worked in isolation. The image of a lone genius who struggles in secrecy in an attic laboratory and ends up making a revolutionary breakthrough is a staple of Hollywood's science-fiction films, but it is hard to find examples in real life. Scientific breakthroughs nowadays are almost always syntheses of the work of many scientists.

 

7. The discoverer must propose new laws of nature to explain an observation. A new law of nature, invoked to explain some extraordinary result, must not conflict with what is already known. If we must change existing laws of nature or propose new laws to account for an observation, it is almost certainly wrong.

Many of your points are valid. However, many are standard Royal Society armchair recitals of current beliefs which are the same as ancient beliefs. 

I noted that you did not mention Benjamin Franklin, the other side of the coin, the man who started science on earth. A man whose inventions were better in many ways than even Tesla's inventions due to a basic understanding of the universe. The Royal society laughed at old Benjamin Franklin for thirty minutes, as his letter about static electricity and lightning being the same was read by a friend who knew of Benjamin Franklin's working lightning rods. They claimed he was spouting off. They challenged him to fly a kite in an electrical storm, and he did it easily, as can any Universal scientist today. But when the Myth Busters attempted it almost three hundred years later, they claimed that Benjamin Franklin could not have done so, and universities agreed. That would be sad if it were not criminal. Benjamin Franklin realized that only electricity stops electricity. No insulator can protect you without first charging in a ramping voltage. It took decades before Benjamin Franklin received the Copley award from the Royal Society, its highest award. 
Universities have since reversed their decision about single-particle electricity and have gone back to Du Fay's two-particle theory of electricity; Du Fay's theory had children going to bell towers to ward off lightning. Knowledge is no longer what universities are about. Today ARC (Anode, Rectified, Cathode) has been skewed by University's announced decision to change Benjamin Franklins exact markings to total lunacy. So before you write off people, you need to look at the government that owned science totally after World War Two. And what they have gotten you to believe that is easily debunked if you wish to face it. Most do not. 

It is too late for your document to protect science. 

Edited by Bill McC
changed intensions to inventions
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6 minutes ago, Bill McC said:

you did not mention Benjamin Franklin

Interestingly, every. single. post you make every. single. time… does 

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1 minute ago, iNow said:

Interestingly, every. single. post you make every. single. time… does 

You probably would have had to ring the church bell during a lightning storm without him. He discussed the subtle particle of electricity that could permeate matter three hundred years ago. The man was on top of reality. Teslas fault was not giving Benjamin Franklin credit, perhaps he did not know what he had done.  

6 minutes ago, iNow said:

Interestingly, every. single. post you make every. single. time… does 

I attack the Leaning Tower of Pisa’s foundation constantly as well, whenever I see a similar foundation built or being built. 

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7 minutes ago, Bill McC said:

He discussed the subtle particle of electricity that could permeate matter three hundred years ago. The man was on top of reality.

And since he was alive all those 230+ years ago, we’ve since learned a rather significant amount in the interim.

We’ve revised and improved upon the understandable flaws in his original thinking, and we have fairly significantly broadened and amplified our understanding of the first draft knowledge he originally shared.  You may as well be discussing alchemy in chemistry threads or phrenology in neuroscience threads at this point.

Did you intend to reinforce my post about how ridiculous and predictable your posts have become? Because whether not this was your intention, this is what you have done… yet again. 

15 minutes ago, Bill McC said:

Teslas fault was not giving Benjamin Franklin credit

Yeah, that was TOTALLY it 🙄

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6 minutes ago, iNow said:

And since he was alive all those 230+ years ago, we’ve since learned a rather significant amount in the interim.

We’ve revised and improved upon the understandable flaws in his original thinking, and we have fairly significantly broadened and amplified our understanding of the first draft knowledge he originally shared.  You may as well be discussing alchemy in chemistry threads or phrenology in neuroscience threads at this point.

Did you intend to reinforce my post about how ridiculous and predictable your posts have become? Because whether not this was your intention, this is what you have done… yet again. 

 That sentence fragment marked in red is only a recitation; you did it without understanding electricity. I have worked with many experts in the electrical field, and although it is disheartening to realize that modern science took money from the government to achieve grant results that were predefined, it is what took place. Electricity today is a hot mess. There is almost no going back as you are here claiming at least an eighth-grade education, I am sure, and cannot see the total failure of institutions, especially when it comes to electricity. My eighth-grade remark does not mean that you did not spend many more years in a counterintelligence center/university. It means any eighth-grader could figure it out if they were interested in doing so. But don’t worry, most eighth-graders today will never understand electricity, so perhaps you are safe. 

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6 minutes ago, Bill McC said:

That sentence fragment marked in red is only a recitation; you did it without understanding electricity

Lol. Okay, chief. 

7 minutes ago, Bill McC said:

My eighth-grade remark does not mean that you did not spend many more years in a counterintelligence center

Lol. Okay. I agree, I guess?

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Just now, Ghideon said:

@Bill McC The topic is "Spotting Pseudoscience"; is your post meant as an exercise for other members?

On the contrary, I have found that those that march around proclaiming almighty science and the need to defend it against those that question it, have no science. They have a little formula that helps someone doing their homework or helps someone calculate some difficult to achieve result. But they do not have science. Science needs no protection, and if it has fallen, it has fallen because the people are not interested. If they are not interested, there is no science. When people are not interested in science/reality, they are suicidal and extremely dangerous individuals by actual observation. Someone with reality/science is rather calm and confident and can communicate civilly for years about a subject. While those claiming to have the only science, the holy grail of science, are quite poor at science and cannot explain their science. Others claim science proves nothing really, except that what it states today is the gospel, and they will not allow any other currently not supported "science" into view. Nor can they discuss or defend against sane challenges. So my thought is when you are ready for real science, I hope it is still there for you. There is not much left; that is why we haven't been to the moon in over half a century, even though we have unlimited funding for any good project in the U.S., As does any other country. 
 

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