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An indictment of scientific process


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"The Cosmologists" 1985

 

Andrea Rossi and Defkalion, claiming as much as 20 units of energy created for every one unit of input. Indeed, a possibly unlikely - but a very interesting subject, worthy of scrutiny if only for the potential impact such a phenomenon might have on our society.

While in process writing about this, one for my blog commentary, the other for the DailyKos.com, I came to realize that this subject needed desperately to segue into a much larger, darker and more insidious story.

 

During my attempts to collect information on the subject of energy catalyzers, I was somewhat surprised at the distinct lack of interest in scientific quarters, and it has gradually dawned on me to what degree the so-called empirical science forums, such as physicsforums.com and scienceforums.net have ossified. This realization began when I went looking for research information on Andrea Rossi and Defkalion at these forums and found discontinued threads.

Emailing a PhysicsForum.com moderator, I asked him why all LENR posts seem to be abruptly terminated, he responded,

 

"The current consensus among the Mentors is that Cold Fusion needs to be demonstrated and documented in mainstream peer-reviewed scientific journal articles before it can be discussed on the PF."

 

"...needs to be demonstrated..."? Is that not the whole point of scientific discovery? If this was 1902, would one not be allowed to discuss the possibility of powered flight? (Achieved by two men working in a bicycle garage.) Determining what is possible and what is not, is a messy business, it is the meat of scientific debate. Is a shutting down of discourse not an appeasing abdication to this tenant? Is this turning away anything less than scientific cowardice?

It is almost like watching a replay of the 18th century French Academy of Sciences encouraging collectors to rid themselves of their meteorites, because rocks falling from the sky was 'nonsense'.

 

Getting back to Andrea Rossi or Defkalion, what piques my curiosity is that here are two entities who were momentarily coordinating, then separate, but both still aggressively pursuing the same purpose. When charlatans and the delusional break up, it usually ends up with one denouncing other as a pursuer of quackery. That is not happening. There is something in this present interaction which amplifies my suspension of disbelief and causes me to sit up and take notice. I want to know more, and see what intelligent people are thinking about the subject of energy catalyzers.

 

Let's say for a moment that Defkalion's announcement to allow independent scientific institutions to test their generator yields a positive result. What an indictment of the present process! What does that say about the present state of our science method?

 

I present to you an example of ongoing science folly: Forty years of the supposedly 'scientific' approach, using the 'rational' tools of exploration in the pursuance of controlled hot fusion. Other than the subsidizing of 'scientists' who have been feeding off of the Department of Energy teat to the tune of countless billions of dollars, what has this 'research' yielded? What ratio of sustained units of energy can they claim to have created?

Going back to the root of controlled hot fusion research, you will find a divergence between plasma physicists and 'fusion' physicists. Essentially, fusion physicists cut loose and convinced the Dept. of Energy that they could build a fusion reactor in short order. Then they discovered that super-heated matter does not obey the laws of gasses as expected; it was a forth state of matter, a plasma.

Instead of going back to fundamentals, they started messing around with magnets, attempting to 'trap' the plasma. It was like blind men attempting to build a cage for an animal they had never seen. However, the funding was so good and there was careers to be made. The entire venture became an unscientific, expensive, decades-long boondoggle that goes on to this day. Such an abomination can only proceed through the muzzling of rational objections and protests. Unfortunately, replications of this kind of deception have become par for the course in the scientific community. Careers at stake. Money, Prestige, Power.

Meanwhile, plasma scientists, specialists who actually attempt to observe plasma behavior became for the most part sidelined, which is a pity when it is this branch of inquiry that should have been pursued way back from the beginning.

 

A little background history:

It is a common misconception that the Gutenberg Press made its greatest historical impact due to the publishing of the Bible in the common tongue, rather than Latin, and it is true that this caused much upheaval and plotted the course of history.

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Gutenberg Press

 

However, what is not largely recognized is the thousands of technical pamphlets that started to appear: "How to Thatch a Roof", "How to build a brick wall", "How to make a pair of shoes". All these technical subjects had until that moment been exclusive domain of the many secretive guilds that flourished, creating an artificial scarcity of information and knowledge. Mere decades after the invention of the Gutenberg Press, the dissemination of knowledge had destroyed the bulk of these exclusive guilds. If a graph could demonstrate a timeline of technological innovation, we would observe a rapid upswing, a flourishing of innovation that has only started to level off in our century. It is appropriate to say that over the past centuries, the general public was playing catch-up, absorbing the basic technical know-how that was locked away by the secretive elements of society that wished to benefit at the expense of their own species.

 

We have now reached a new paradigm. With the advent of the Web, history is about to repeat itself. This time, rather than a Technical Revolution, it is a Revolution of the Epiphany, a revolution where empirical realizations and insights are open to scrutiny no longer the exclusive domain of a secluded scientific guild, a social institution which has to date managed to hide behind a cloak of costly and inaccessible journals that in essence exclude the general public.

 

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Word-Wide-Web

This state of affairs must surely come to an end. It must evolve into a system where scientific journals are free and accessible to the public, where ideas must stand on their observational merit, rather than highly questionable speculations founded upon a false edifice where one long-bankrupt preface totters precariously upon another.

It is foolish not to include the general public for, as the Gutenberg Press has proved, the general public is a major source of innovation and discovery.

Such a point of view is presently viewed with much disdain by many the science elite, to the great disadvantage of our civilization. It is a mindset seems to believe that scientists spontaneously generate like magic, as if they were not actually part the general public.

 

Where does such blinkered narrow-mindedness lead?

The shunning of Pons and Fleischman Cold Fusion for publishing directly to the public media was a the price they paid. How dare they illuminate their admittedly questionable findings to the great unwashed public, this homogeneous mass that is only fixated on sensational fiction and film stars?

The science mindset buried Pons and Fleischman Cold Fusion for twenty years, and anyone pursuing this subject was ostracized side-lined and ejected from what can only be described science priesthood. Funds for research on cold fusion dried up, research was discouraged.

 

Is it any wonder then, that any innovation in this realm that might turn up, emerges from shoe-string garage pioneers stumbling upon something they don't quite understand in an almost alchemic fashion?

 

 

Once more, back to then articles I was researching on Andrea Rossi and Defkalion.

This is stating the obvious, but if Andrea Rossi and Defkalion's energy generators are for real, the World will never look the same. The impact of unlimited, pollution-free energy cannot be underestimated - and the byproduct of which, would be a shamed and discredited science community.

Many aspects of the scientific community has become an inflexible, and is beginning to cost our species dearly. There must be change. If not the phenomenon of Andrea Rossi and Defkalion, it will only be a matter of time before some other innovation out of the blue will smash this fraying, defunct paradigm.

 

I do not relish a scenario in which those dark forces of superstition and religious imposition, continuously battering at the door of scientific empiricism were to find entry. Such a pity then, if the breach is effortlessly brought about by the opening of the door from the inside.

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It must evolve into a system where scientific journals are free and accessible to the public, where ideas must stand on their observational merit, rather than highly questionable speculations founded upon a false edifice where one long-bankrupt preface totters precariously upon another.

 

Scientific journals are facing a hard time at the moment and many need to address the models they use. With things like the arXiv getting hold of papers in maths and physics has become much more open. In fact the arXiv seems to be the main place to get papers, even those published in journals, for a lot of physicists and mathematicians.

 

I expect more and more journals will attempt to be open-access, but where does this leave their business model? Some journals ask the authors to pay for their submissions to be included. However, in my opinion, this is okay if you have reasonable funding and not good if you don't. I submit to journals that do not have an author fee, but I always place my work on the arXiv.

 

In principle I think you are right on this one. All research paid for by public money should be open and easily accessible to everyone.

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Emailing a PhysicsForum.com moderator, I asked him why all LENR posts seem to be abruptly terminated, he responded,

 

"The current consensus among the Mentors is that Cold Fusion needs to be demonstrated and documented in mainstream peer-reviewed scientific journal articles before it can be discussed on the PF."

 

"...needs to be demonstrated..."? Is that not the whole point of scientific discovery?

 

I find nothing unreasonable about that stance. Discovery takes place in the lab, not on an internet discussion board. If it has not been demonstrated and documented via legitimate publication, what is there to discuss?

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Let's say for a moment that Defkalion's announcement to allow independent scientific institutions to test their generator yields a positive result. What an indictment of the present process! What does that say about the present state of our science method?

 

 

 

It says that it works.

 

Once independently tested if proven it becomes mainstream science.

 

Testable, repeatable results is what science is based on

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"...needs to be demonstrated..."? Is that not the whole point of scientific discovery? If this was 1902, would one not be allowed to discuss the possibility of powered flight? (Achieved by two men working in a bicycle garage.)

But, powered flight was demonstrated. The Wright brothers actually flew a powered aircraft. That was the demonstration.

 

Actually, powered flight was not the subject of theoretical physics, it was a matter of engineering. It was known that if you had a small and light enough engine, you could create powered flight (birds were a demonstration of that principal).

 

So it had been previously demonstrated that powered flight was possible (just go look at birds flying, that is powered flight). All that was needed was the engineering know-how to create an engine small and light enough to power an aircraft.

 

Thus this was not a scientific debate, but and engineering debate, and the Wright brothers were engineers (bicycle mechanics by trade), not scientists. So it was clearly not a scientific question at all, thus your argument here is invalid.

 

I present to you an example of ongoing science folly: Forty years of the supposedly 'scientific' approach, using the 'rational' tools of exploration in the pursuance of controlled hot fusion. Other than the subsidizing of 'scientists' who have been feeding off of the Department of Energy teat to the tune of countless billions of dollars, what has this 'research' yielded? What ratio of sustained units of energy can they claim to have created?

Hot fusion has been demonstrated. The Sun is a direct example of hot fusion in action. Thus the scientific debate over whether or not hot fusion exists is not under debate.

 

The question is: can we design a machine that produces more energy that it consumes using hot fusion?

 

This is an engineering question not a scientific question.

 

Again, you are using an example of an engineering question to prove a point about scientific questions. It is comparing apples to oranges. Your argument does not hold.

 

Going back to the root of controlled hot fusion research, you will find a divergence between plasma physicists and 'fusion' physicists. Essentially, fusion physicists cut loose and convinced the Dept. of Energy that they could build a fusion reactor in short order. Then they discovered that super-heated matter does not obey the laws of gasses as expected; it was a forth state of matter, a plasma.

Instead of going back to fundamentals, they started messing around with magnets, attempting to 'trap' the plasma. It was like blind men attempting to build a cage for an animal they had never seen. However, the funding was so good and there was careers to be made. The entire venture became an unscientific, expensive, decades-long boondoggle that goes on to this day. Such an abomination can only proceed through the muzzling of rational objections and protests. Unfortunately, replications of this kind of deception have become par for the course in the scientific community. Careers at stake. Money, Prestige, Power.

Right from the start of the fusion reactor research they have known that the result of fusion is a plasma. Plasmas are an electrically charged soup of protons and electrons. It has also long been known that charged moving particles are controllable by magnetic fields (the old cathode ray tube TVs used this exact principal to control a stream of electrons to hit the screen and excite coloured phosphor pixels).

 

This means that your statement: "It was like blind men attempting to build a cage for an animal they had never seen." is completely and utterly wrong. They had seen the "animal" they had built cages for it and knew exactly what they were doing with the design.

 

The problem was and engineering one: The energy cost of creating the magnetic "cage" (in fusion technology they call it a "magnetic bottle") was greater than the energy they could extract from the fusion.

 

There were techniques that they could use that they could create energy out of fusion (called a magneto-hydrodynamic generator), but they were inefficient at producing the large amount of energy needed for industrial and commercial power production (basically it cost more money to produce the power than existing methods).

 

Again, this is an engineering problem, not a scientific one.

 

In all of the above, the questions were not scientific. The science was demonstrated and it was because the science was demonstrated that the engineers could ask the engineering questions.

 

In fact, it would be impossible to ask the engineering questions unless the scientific question of demonstration has already been answered.

 

However, when it comes to Cold Fusion or Over Unity (free energy) devices, the effects have not been demonstrated. This means that you are arguing that because the engineering questions related to these examples have not been answered ( but where the scientific demonstration had previously been confirmed), that the scientific deomnstration of cold fusion and over unity devices should be taken as true despite them not being scientifically demonstrated.

 

IF Cold Fusion could be as reliable demonstrated as Hot Fusion was at the time the engineering question of Hot fusion reactor research began, then you might have a case. However, as it stands, there is no reliable evidence that cold fusion exists.

 

it might exists, and scientists are not against that. What they are against is claims that it exists with no reliable evidence that it does.

 

Just because one person does an experiment that they think was cold fusion is not enough. What is needed is is other people are able to reproduce the experiment and get the same results. This has never occurred for cold fusion - ever.

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Going back to the root of controlled hot fusion research, you will find a divergence between plasma physicists and 'fusion' physicists. Essentially, fusion physicists cut loose and convinced the Dept. of Energy that they could build a fusion reactor in short order. Then they discovered that super-heated matter does not obey the laws of gasses as expected; it was a forth state of matter, a plasma.

Instead of going back to fundamentals, they started messing around with magnets, attempting to 'trap' the plasma. It was like blind men attempting to build a cage for an animal they had never seen. However, the funding was so good and there was careers to be made. The entire venture became an unscientific, expensive, decades-long boondoggle that goes on to this day. Such an abomination can only proceed through the muzzling of rational objections and protests. Unfortunately, replications of this kind of deception have become par for the course in the scientific community. Careers at stake. Money, Prestige, Power.

Meanwhile, plasma scientists, specialists who actually attempt to observe plasma behavior became for the most part sidelined, which is a pity when it is this branch of inquiry that should have been pursued way back from the beginning.

I find the conspiratorial tone here interesting, and I'm sure the chairman of our physics department -- a successful plasma physicist -- would be amused. Part of the point of fusion research is that you don't know what plasma behavior is important to study unless you try it.

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Actually, powered flight was not the subject of theoretical physics, it was a matter of engineering.

Yes, apparently with designing the propeller as one of the Wright Brothers' most puzzling problems. Propellers that worked well on their workbench behaved much differently in flight. The dynamics would change as the airplane began moving through the air. They eventually realized that a propeller was basically a wing, and that twisted blades gave enough thrust to propel their airplane.

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I was somewhat surprised at the distinct lack of interest in scientific quarters, and it has gradually dawned on me to what degree the so-called empirical science forums, such as physicsforums.com and scienceforums.net have ossified.

Oh, please.

 

Every internet forum has its own set of rules regarding what kinds of discussions are allowed and what to do with those who break the rules. They're allowed to do that; it's called freedom of speech. Freedom of speech applies to the owner of the website. It does not apply to the site's participants. Sites that allow complete freedom of speech tend not to hang around for very long. Spammers inevitably clog such sites with ads for Viagra and such. There are always going to be rules.

 

There's a wide spectrum of internet forums that address issues of science and technology. Some such as Physics StackExchange, Engineering Tips, and the PhysicsForums that you mentioned cut things off at established science. Their rationale is that science and technology are hard enough subjects as is even without crackpots coming in a completely muddying the waters. Others (I'm not going to name any names; you can find them) are so beholden to the healing powers of crystals, what those nasty aliens will do next, or why the government and industry are conspiring against free energy devices that they don't tolerate anyone who questions whether their emperor is wearing any clothes. This site, scienceforums.net, sits somewhere between those extremes.

 

 

This state of affairs must surely come to an end. It must evolve into a system where scientific journals are free and accessible to the public, where ideas must stand on their observational merit, rather than highly questionable speculations founded upon a false edifice where one long-bankrupt preface totters precariously upon another.

The last part, "highly questionable speculations founded upon a false edifice" is a very apt description of cold fusion.

 

As for the first part, "This state of affairs must surely come to an end. It must evolve into a system where scientific journals are free and accessible to the public", Why? What value is there in this? I certainly do like that many scientific articles now are freely available on the web, but does that personal value-added to me equate to a value-added to science? It is a bit of a stretch.

 

There is a value added to science: This information is freely available to scientists, too. It's available to them even when they're at home or on vacation. A good number of scientists rarely, if ever, leave their work at work. The work from home, they work while they are on vacation, they even work while they're in the midst of a nasty divorce because they weren't paying enough attention to their spouse.

 

One big problem with open access journals is who pays for it? Usually it is the authors of the articles. Example: PLoS Biology is a very high impact, open access journal run by a not-for-profit organization. This open access comes at a price, a very high price. The not-for-profit PLoS charges $2900 to the authors of an article published in PLoS Biology.

 

 

It is foolish not to include the general public for, as the Gutenberg Press has proved, the general public is a major source of innovation and discovery.

Baloney. The scientific value added to science by allowing public access to scientific journals is zero. The days when an uneducated lone wolf could add anything of value to science started vanishing a couple hundred years ago. It is vanishingly small now. I challenge you to name one "major source of innovation and discovery" in the field of physics in the last 150 years. Not Michael Faraday. Although not formally educated, he was very much an insider. Not Albert Einstein, either. He was formally educated, and patent offices hire PhDs precisely because of that education.

 

That said, there is a value added to society by allowing public access to scientific journals. We the taxpayers paid for a lot of the underlying research and we paid for a lot of the "free" peer review of the articles. We should have access to it because we funded it. But we aren't going to add value to the scientific process.

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I find nothing unreasonable about that stance. Discovery takes place in the lab, not on an internet discussion board. If it has not been demonstrated and documented via legitimate publication, what is there to discuss?

 

By that reasoning and for the sake of argument, if this board was around in 1960, before sonar maps of the ocean bottom were made, would that mean we could not discuss Alfred Wegener's theory of plate tectonics? If this was the year before Man landed on the Moon, would we not be able to discuss the Moon Landing?

I acknowledge that the moderators are charged with the difficult task of keeping postings within a tolerable level of empirical reasoning, but - with respect - I would suggest that in the light of the considerable information I find posted on level-headed sites pertaining to recent events in unconventional energy-producing processes, the censorship is crossing the grey line and leaves the scienceforum open to the charge of narrow-mindedness.

 

It bothers me, for I delight in the many other less controversial subjects that are discussed here - but will I be coming to this forum looking for opinions by astute minds discussing controversial up-to-the-minute ideas in science? Within the present ethic framework, probably not.

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By that reasoning and for the sake of argument, if this board was around in 1960, before sonar maps of the ocean bottom were made, would that mean we could not discuss Alfred Wegener's theory of plate tectonics? If this was the year before Man landed on the Moon, would we not be able to discuss the Moon Landing?

I acknowledge that the moderators are charged with the difficult task of keeping postings within a tolerable level of empirical reasoning, but - with respect - I would suggest that in the light of the considerable information I find posted on level-headed sites pertaining to recent events in unconventional energy-producing processes, the censorship is crossing the grey line and leaves the scienceforum open to the charge of narrow-mindedness.

You should check out our Speculations Forum Rules, then. We don't forbid speculation on new topics or discussion of unproven theories. What we require is that the speculation lead to testable predictions. If we were around before the acceptance of plate tectonics, we could certainly discuss it, as long as we kept in mind what observations would be needed to validate the theory and what observations would falsify it.

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The scientific value added to science by allowing public access to scientific journals is zero.

The historical parallel that jumps out from reading your comment, is something on par with a Catholic priest objecting to the Bible being translated from Latin to the common language. What do these unwashed masses need to read this for, when they have us to interpret Holy Scripture? What value could that possibly have?

Lucky for the public back then the Gutenberg Press came into being.

 

Lucky for the present public the Internet/Web has come into being. I can only assume from your statement above, that the thought of original empirical ideas emerging from the public in general must make you feel very uncomfortable.

 

What we require is that the speculation lead to testable predictions.

That is sensible. By that definition, since Praxen Defkalion Green Technologies are going to allow Independent Testing on Hyperion Reactors* the forum would allow the issue to be discussed?

 

Before any assumptions are made, I must stress that I have no other interest in this subject than frank curiosity, and I find it hard to believe that something that may have such potential impact, must not presently be discussed on this forum.

 

*I have included another article here, the additional information refers to the recent date of Defkalion's statement.

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By that reasoning and for the sake of argument, if this board was around in 1960, before sonar maps of the ocean bottom were made, would that mean we could not discuss Alfred Wegener's theory of plate tectonics? If this was the year before Man landed on the Moon, would we not be able to discuss the Moon Landing?

This forum does allow speculative posts. Just take a look at the speculations section. At some point those who maintain the site will demand that those speculators put up or shut up. That is their right; they own the site. We don't. Other forums do not allow speculative posts at all. That too is their right. It is those who own a web site who get to decide what is allowed and what isn't.

 

Regarding the nonsense you just posted, right now on this forum there is an active discussion on whether it would be ethical to terraform a planet orbiting a star that will explode a couple of million years later. That discussion is quite OK here even though we don't know how to go to other stars or know how to terraform planets.

 

 

The historical parallel that jumps out from reading your comment, is something on par with a Catholic priest objecting to the Bible being translated from Latin to the common language. What do these unwashed masses need to read this for, when they have us to interpret Holy Scripture? What value could that possibly have?

Lucky for the public back then the Gutenberg Press came into being.

 

Lucky for the present public the Internet/Web has come into being. I can only assume from your statement above, that the thought of original empirical ideas emerging from the public in general must make you feel very uncomfortable.

Oh please. Enough with the over the top, oh woe is me rhetoric.

 

If you don't like this discussion forum, or some other one, start your own discussion forum. It's easy. Do that and you'll get to set the rules, but you'll also have to pay the bills.

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By that reasoning and for the sake of argument, if this board was around in 1960, before sonar maps of the ocean bottom were made, would that mean we could not discuss Alfred Wegener's theory of plate tectonics? If this was the year before Man landed on the Moon, would we not be able to discuss the Moon Landing?

 

You would have to speculate about plate tectonics, and no, you couldn't talk about a moon landing that hadn't yet taken place. You would be limited to talking about how one might go about doing it.

 

The historical parallel that jumps out from reading your comment, is something on par with a Catholic priest objecting to the Bible being translated from Latin to the common language. What do these unwashed masses need to read this for, when they have us to interpret Holy Scripture? What value could that possibly have?

Lucky for the public back then the Gutenberg Press came into being.

 

Scientific journals are the equivalent of the Bible written in Latin. Making them available to the lay populace will have a negligible effect, because they do not speak the language used to write the articles.

 

Lucky for the present public the Internet/Web has come into being. I can only assume from your statement above, that the thought of original empirical ideas emerging from the public in general must make you feel very uncomfortable.

 

Original empirical ideas would be nice. Unfortunately, we don't get any. We get ideas based on mis- or lack of understanding of science principles and/or extant research results, with predictable results.

 

That is sensible. By that definition, since Praxen Defkalion Green Technologies are going to allow Independent Testing on Hyperion Reactors the forum would allow the issue to be discussed?

(url snipped)

 

Yes, but not here. In the Speculations forum: http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/63869-gfellows-fusion-thread/

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Scientific journals are the equivalent of the Bible written in Latin. Making them available to the lay populace will have a negligible effect, because they do not speak the language used to write the articles.

 

Negligible - perhaps, but not null. In the realm of science, the web has indeed opened a can or worms in that huge numbers of intelligent individuals are in the process of absorbing many ideas gleaned from the natural world. True, many become overwhelmed by the mystery and loose themselves in dead-end non-empirical machinations - but many will not, and they are coming your way. For this reason, it is important that forums such as this be cautiously receptive to new ideas, rather than uncompromisingly combative in nature. Being discouraging will only send them elsewhere, and everyone will be the looser.

 

Original empirical ideas would be nice. Unfortunately, we don't get any. We get ideas based on mis- or lack of understanding of science principles and/or extant research results, with predictable results.

Hope ought to spring eternal. Moments of empirical insight backed up by observation and/or repeatable laboratory evidence are indeed very, very rare and may only be expected to appear over great time spans. However, if the flower is not open, the bee cannot pollinate.

As moderators, your job is an unenviable one, as you have to sift the straw for the needle. But sift you must - otherwise there is no discovery, only repetition.

 

Pertaining to my wish for discussion to be allowed on said topic, you write:

 

Yes, but not here. In the Speculations forum: http://www.sciencefo...-fusion-thread/

 

Thank you, swansont, I appreciate that very much and will go there now - and apologize to all in this thread if I came across too harshly. In many ways, text can be a terrible conveyor of good will.

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Negligible - perhaps, but not null. In the realm of science, the web has indeed opened a can or worms in that huge numbers of intelligent individuals are in the process of absorbing many ideas gleaned from the natural world. True, many become overwhelmed by the mystery and loose themselves in dead-end non-empirical machinations - but many will not, and they are coming your way. For this reason, it is important that forums such as this be cautiously receptive to new ideas, rather than uncompromisingly combative in nature. Being discouraging will only send them elsewhere, and everyone will be the looser.

 

Actual science is combative in nature, and is uncompromising. It is incumbent upon the presenter to show that his or her science is valid, and that experiments are properly done.

 

Hope ought to spring eternal. Moments of empirical insight backed up by observation and/or repeatable laboratory evidence are indeed very, very rare and may only be expected to appear over great time spans. However, if the flower is not open, the bee cannot pollinate.

As moderators, your job is an unenviable one, as you have to sift the straw for the needle. But sift you must - otherwise there is no discovery, only repetition.

 

And meanwhile, time spent doing the sifting is time not doing productive science. And much of the sifting is pointing out shortcomings in (1) terminology, because the lay person hasn't learned the vocabulary of science, (2) transactional knowledge, because the layperson doesn't have the foundations in science, and (3) knowledge of the breadth and depth of experiment, because they haven't spent the time to become aware of what experiments have worked and what has failed.

 

How can you possibly characterize the current state of affairs as "no discovery"? That's just being disingenuous.

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How can you possibly characterize the current state of affairs as "no discovery"? That's just being disingenuous.

 

I wrote "...otherwise there is no discovery ..."

 

'Otherwise' is the operative word.

 

I find the conspiratorial tone here interesting,

No conspiratorial tone intended. It is a case of natural human behavior, nothing more.

 

and I'm sure the chairman of our physics department -- a successful plasma physicist -- would be amused. Part of the point of fusion research is that you don't know what plasma behavior is important to study unless you try it.

No disagreement there.

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I wrote "...otherwise there is no discovery ..."

 

'Otherwise' is the operative word.

 

Indeed. "But sift you must - otherwise there is no discovery, only repetition." Meaning that if we don't sift through the ramblings of neophytes, there is no discovery, and the established scientists are merely repeating themselves. Rubbish. That is not the system that we have.

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Indeed. "But sift you must - otherwise there is no discovery, only repetition." Meaning that if we don't sift through the ramblings of neophytes, there is no discovery, and the established scientists are merely repeating themselves.

Most great discoverers have walked the walk and put in the time, but at their moment of realization they stand before that which they can barely grasp. At that moment of epiphany they too are rambling neophytes.

 

Rubbish. That is not the system that we have.

The 'system' is the clumsy and inadequate structure with which the discoverers attempt to illuminate their fellow man. Sadly, many mistake it for the insight itself.

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