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View Full Version : Van Flandern turns debunker



ToSeek
2002-May-06, 05:58 PM
Viewpoint articles (http://www.metaresearch.org/home/Viewpoint/Meta-in-News.asp)

I particularly like this sentence:



And those largest telescopes are fully booked with work that does not include routine checks to make sure that all the solar systemís moons are still in place.


Some conspiracists seem to think that the absence of such checks is highly suspicious.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-May-06, 06:11 PM
He's no dummy.

"Even more common is an ad hoc patch to the idea being tested to accommodate the outcome. Naturally, such a patch completely invalidates the test, and requires some independent test with new data. But all too commonly, the result of the original test is cited as evidence supporting the patched idea. Such is the state of mainstream science today."

But it's not malicious. It's just...too complex. The first "measurements" of the viscosity of the deep mantle were done by assuming that the relative sealevel fall evident in the north was due to rebound from the vast glacial sheets. A simple calculation showed a fairly low viscosity.

In the late sixties, a researcher pointed out that the equations actually had two solutions, and one solution had a much higher viscosity. A test of the old hypothesis by correlating the present gravity anomaly with the ancient ice sheets barely rejected the new hypothesis--but they had to ignore the excess equatorial bulge to do that. Subsequent measurements actually would improve the correlation to where it would pass, but that study is still cited as support for the low viscosity, and the issue still drags on, thirty years later.

Chip
2002-May-06, 07:08 PM
Yes, it's complex but the essence is simpler. These fellows can't seem to get it through their heads that science is, and has always been trial & error.
"We think it should be "A" (based on tests, observation, research...) so we test for "A". Nature often throws a curve. The results say "B". Error can be good. We learn. (If it involves theories and reveals new things.) Error is not so good if it results in failed hardware, space probes that crash, etcetera.)

GrapesOfWrath
2002-May-06, 07:44 PM
On 2002-05-06 15:08, Chip wrote:
Error is not so good if it results in failed hardware, space probes that crash, etcetera.)


That's Engineering's fault.

Wiley
2002-May-06, 11:09 PM
On 2002-05-06 15:44, GrapesOfWrath wrote:


On 2002-05-06 15:08, Chip wrote:
Error is not so good if it results in failed hardware, space probes that crash, etcetera.)


That's Engineering's fault.


Spoken like a true scientist.

-Wiley the "She can't take anymore, Cap'n" engineer