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mircus2003
2002-Sep-16, 05:09 PM
Just wondering about the background of any of you guys. I'm just a nobody, with no experience in this area at all, so I don't have anything to say about this Planet X stuff. What bothers me though is that nobody knows any of you, and yet you have so much to say about this subject. It is very easy to ridicule somebody, who spent years researching and working hard. My problem is that I know all the names of people who support the Planet X theory, but I don't know any names of people who are against it, and what is their background. Who do I believe??? I'm kinda confused. Should I start building shelter?... Is government behind all this?... Is this all huge conspiracy?... Maybe even you are behind this not knowing that you are. Enlighten me, so I can NOT to believe all this garbage, too.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Sep-16, 05:27 PM
Here is all you need to know: Who am I? (http://www.badastronomy.com/info/whois.html)

As for me, I've only recently arrived here, about 50,000 years ago, with the missus. Our kids are now grown up--our son is 49,004, our daughter is 49,001. She's 7'3" and green, just like her mom. Our son looks like me.

HankSolo
2002-Sep-16, 05:30 PM
... and living on the vine next to you?

sts60
2002-Sep-16, 05:46 PM
mircus2003,

I suggest you read the Planet X pages posted by the BA, which contain good explanations of why there is no such "pole-shifting" object coming our way in 2003. It really comes down to the physics, not anybody's credentials. Mr. Hazelwood's object cannot exist as described, and you can work out the science for yourself if so inclined. We'll help, if you ask.

That said, I must submit that the credentials are not irrelevant. People who do not believe in the various PX/Nibiru claims of Hazelwood, Nancy Leider, et al, tend (at least on this board) to be scientists, engineers, and other types who have taken the time to look at the evidence presented for such arguments. We point telescopes. We crunch numbers. We look for weak links in the arguments. Is this not appropriate in evaluating such extraordinary claims?

On the other hand, Mr. Hazelwood and Ms. Lieder have repeatedly demonstrated fundamental ignorance of some of the most basic physics and astronomy involved. They insult and/or ban anyone who questions them. They alter claims retroactively (Lieder), claim that natural laws don't apply (Hazelwood), and in general assert that anyone who points out fallacies in their arguments is a government stooge or dupe. Mr. Hazelwood has also asserted that those who point out his mistates were also responsible for the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks. Do you think this adds to his general credibility?

However, if you do not care to read up on or further evaluate the physical arguments, the easiest way to evaluate the PX/Nibiru claims is... wait and see what happens or doesn't happen! And wait and see whose story changes.

Kaptain K
2002-Sep-16, 06:10 PM
Welcome to the board. I don't know if it helps, but you are not alone. Even those of us who have been here from the "gitgo" have no way of knowing whether to trust (or even believe) the postings of somebody until they have posted a few times so we can get a feel for who they are, their education and where they stand. There are several regulars here with postgrad degrees. There are also some utter loons. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. Read the posts with an open mind (but not so open that your brain falls out /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif ) and decide for yourself.
As for me - I am an educated layman (3 1/2 years of college - physics major) with a life long interest in astronomy.

HankSolo
2002-Sep-16, 07:39 PM
Well, I'm just a regular New Yorker, and we always tell the truth /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

I don't have formal training in any scientific field (as many here will attest to), and I have a more common-sense or homespun type of approach. I do believe science will ultimately explain things, but I don't assume that science is currently right about everything, and that's the stuff that interests me the most.

I've always been interested in philosophy and science, while being an agnostic. Can't force myself to believe in a particular religion, but at the same time, can't dismiss the beliefs of billions of people. It wasn't until I read Sitchin's books that everything started coming together for me, and things started to finally make sense for me. As I have said previously, it all comes down to what you will allow. If you allow visitations by ET's in the past and present to be possible (and I do), then how can Sitchin's writings be dismissed? It explains so much in a logical way. The only leap-of-faith is that his interpretations of Sumerian cuneiform texts are accurate. If they are, then the Sumerians knew much, much, more than our present assumptions allow them to. How did they know? They tell us how.

Scientific skepticism is cool. I wouldn't mind being proven wrong, because that would settle the issue for me. I recommend starting by reading Sitchin's The 12th Planet, and then letting these people take a whack at debunking it. Whether it's 2003 or not, the whole idea of Nibiru started with that book. Maybe I should say it "renewed interest" since the Sumerians knew about Nibiru 6000 years ago... Like I've said many times before, if Sitchin is making this up, then he must be the greatest fiction writer ever... so either way you're in for a treat!

I don't believe in the 2003 date. It's more like 3440AD per Sitchin's timetable. That doesn't mean that I won't think about running for safer ground if all of a sudden we find Nibiru nearby! Too much water around NYC and Long Island.

The debunking I continue to read is about the return of Nibiru/PlanetX in 2003, and the BA and people on this site do it as well as anyone. But read for yourself and come to your own conclusion.

Russ
2002-Sep-16, 08:16 PM
Hi:

I'm an engineer by profession and an amature astronomer by avocation. I took an amature astronomy course in college that hooked me on the subject. I've read everything I could get my hands on since. I have a fine library of astronomy books. I subscribe to Scientific American, Astronomy and Sky & Telescope. I frequent many astronomy web sites, though this is my favorite.

You ask how you tell who's telling the truth about Planet X. Numbers! The people who can cite orbital dynamics in provable, repetable math. This would include Phil Plait; The Bad Astronomer, Sten Odenwald of Ask The Space Scientist, Brian Marsden of the Center for Letters & Telegrams @ MIT (can't remember the official name), there are dozens within easy reach.

In short, look for people that will not make money from selling you "Pole Inversion" insurance, bomb/comet/astroid impact shelters, books about planetary disasters, or anything for that matter, that has an enthusiasticly panting pitch about buying now before supplies run out.

I am an avowed coward and if I thought there was the slightest chance of any of this Planet X ** being true, I'd be out building my survival shelter right now.

I'd go on but I need to run out to rent an excavator and a cement mixer. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

xriso
2002-Sep-17, 07:18 PM
On 2002-09-16 15:39, HankSolo wrote:

As I have said previously, it all comes down to what you will allow. If you allow visitations by ET's in the past and present to be possible (and I do), then how can Sitchin's writings be dismissed?


That's the thing. Most scientists don't believe in ET visitations either (though many believe that ETI is "out there" - way out there). A very large majority of UFO sightings are actually identifiable as natural or college-student phenomena, and there's no spooky X-Files-ish conspiracy to hide evidence.

Jim
2002-Sep-17, 08:32 PM
Asimov's Corollary: "If a scientific heresy is ignored or denounced by the general public, there is a chance it may be right. If a scientific heresy is emotionally supported by the general public, it is almost certainly wrong."

"It is not so much that I have confidence in scientists being right, but that I have so much in nonscientists being wrong....It is those who support ideas for emotional reasons only who can't change."
(from 1977 essay "Asimov's Corollary")

Who to believe? Well, scientific credentials help, but lots of scientists have been wrong about lots of things.

Maybe the best way is to determine why someone supports an idea or concept. If their support is based on emotion or a single source (even if repeated many times)and their arguments are basically generalized arm-waving, be very careful. If they can provide substantive supporting evidence... multiple independent sources, empirical data, well-based math, something that can be examined without emotion... they just may have a point.

Also try Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit:
http://www.skeptics.com.au/journal/baloney.htm

Added:
If you click on the little Profile note card under each post, you can see what the member chose to say about him/herself. Mine pretty much covers it.
_________________
<font color=000099>Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.</font>
Isaac Asimov

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Jim on 2002-09-18 08:45 ]</font>

Doctor J
2002-Sep-17, 08:56 PM
I feel it is only fair to tell about ourselves...though I would love to know more about Nancy Leider's life before 1995..

I am a history PhD.,1998 from Emory University. I live and work in Washington DC, as a writer for a local consulting firm that does work on education in Africa. I have a long standing interest in science, space and astronomy, from the time I was young (which was a long time ago indeed) and learned to use my first telescope, and could actually see the rings of Saturn and Orion's Nebula close up.

Hope that helps!

beskeptical
2002-Sep-21, 10:25 AM
I think it's as important to know how to sort through various claims directly rather than only going by what others have to say. Don't just look at the board here, look at the rest of the site. Also, the internet has an endless variety of information sources.

If I need to know about things that I don't have expertise on, I look to others who do. But if I have time, or if it's very important, then I take the time to become familiar with the facts more directly.

If you want to know who to believe about Planet X or Nibiru, take the time to learn just a few basics about astronomy. Not a college degree, but just a little about cosmology, (the beginning of the Universe), a little about the solar system and the Galaxy, a little about the instruments used to study astronomy. After all, if you think Planet X has the least bit chance of being true, it's supposed to wreck the planet, so it would be worth a little effort to learn more.

On the other hand, if you want to know how to tell who to believe, look at what astronomer's have accomplished: the Hubble telescope; space travel; landing on the Moon, Mars and on an asteroid; the International Space Station; all the satellites that make communication function on this planet; things like that. These are the folks that say Planet X is nonsense.

Look at the accomplishments of the folks who believe Planet X is coming. They have supposedly interpreted some ancient writings. They claim to have figured this out when no one else has. They have written books and have web sites. What else have they done with their special skills? Certainly, they haven't gained the respect such as figures like Stephen Hawking and other well known astronomers and physicists.

RichField
2002-Sep-21, 02:35 PM
Hello all, been reading here for a while and thought I could add something.

In my experience consistency is typically on the side of truth. That is, it is very difficult to tell the same lie consistently, especially when parts of that lie are proved to be wrong.

For example, I have read claims that Planet X is a comet, a brown dwarf, and a red planet to name a few. Clearly these are three distinctly different objects that the claimant's "higher sources" should be able to differentiate. Further, even the numbers they present do not agree from one source to the next. In calculations one has to look at the assumptions made. If two people make different assumptions their results may be different but still valid to some extent. However, these are differences in stated facts, such as the mass of the alleged planet. (5, 25, 100 times Earth's mass)

In contrast, responses from the scientific minded in this group and others are quite consistent. They cite specific laws and principals in their arguments and calculations and reach the same conclusions given the same assumptions. In this case, that there is no giant celestial body approaching the earth in 2003. More specifically one that matches any of the characteristics described on the PX sites.

Dismissing claims such as these out of hand is not an indication of the scientific community's close-mindedness. Quite the opposite is true. However, in engineering (and other fields I'm sure) there is an invaluable process called approximation. If my car gets 30 mpg and has a 15 gallon tank, I don't need to carry calculations out to 10 decimal places, or even on a piece of paper to tell you that I can't make it to CA (from the east coast) on a single tank of gas.

I think that's about enough for now. It's been very interesting reading and I hope to be able to contribute more in the future.

Espritch
2002-Sep-22, 05:42 AM
The only leap- of-faith is that his interpretations of Sumerian cuneiform texts are accurate.

But that's actually a rather big leap. There are a lot of people who study Sumerian cuneiform. As far as I know, Stichin is the only one to interpret it the way he does. So either all of those other Sumer scholars are wrong or Stichin is. If Stichin is correct then his must be a truely towering intellect to see what all those other scholars missed. If he is wrong, then he is just another crank. I personally am not a Sumer scholar so I can't weigh in on the subject based on any extensive knowledge of Sumerian culture, writing, or language. But I have observed that as a rule, towering intellects are quite rare while cranks are quite common. So as a bet, I'd have to go with the theory that Stichin in just another crank.

Remember the first rule of skepticism: the more extraordinary the claim, the greater the evidence required. Stichin is offering us Nibaru, extraterrestrial gods, and a host of other extraordiary things based entirely on an interpretation of ancient texts that nobody else in his field agrees with. That doesn't quite meet my criteria for "extraordinary evidence".

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Sep-22, 10:18 AM
On 2002-09-17 16:56, Doctor J wrote:
I feel it is only fair to tell about ourselves...
And there is always Megan's guestbook (http://www.jump.net/~rmal/BAusers.htm), from the old BABB.

David Hall
2002-Sep-22, 02:34 PM
On 2002-09-22 01:42, Espritch wrote:

But that's actually a rather big leap.

Well said, Espritch. Well said.

Not only that, but Sitchin must also be so far ahead of all the other interpreters that even after showing them his "true" interpretations they still can't see where they were going wrong. He must have an almost god-like ability to know what the Sumerians were really thinking, and all the other Sumerian scholars must have mud in their brains.

Or maybe he's just a crank who's seeing things that aren't really there.

sts60
2002-Sep-23, 02:43 PM
In my experience consistency is typically on the side of truth. That is, it is very difficult to tell the same lie consistently, especially when parts of that lie are proved to be wrong.


Welcome to BABB, RichField!

Good post, and you are right about how hard it is to lie consistently. The trick to the Big Lie, though, is not consistency of claim but consistency of being loud and repetitive, no matter how often errors are pointed out. (In fact, you can even incorporate the corrections into the Lie; just repeat them, or selected parts, as your own.)

Say it loud enough, and often enough, and people *will* believe you. A technique used quite well by the Zetatalk/Planet X/moon hoax/ etc. crowd. That is bad enough, but rather more damage is done by Big Lies such as "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." Ugh.

HankSolo
2002-Sep-23, 04:24 PM
Sitchin is recognized as one of the few "expert" interpreters of Sumerian cuneiform. His interpretations agree most of the time with the mainstream interpretations. Where he has a difference is in the interpretations of certain words. And they are key words because it changes the whole story. And when Ezekiel describes his eye-witness encounter in the bible, and how the angels came from the sky in fiery circles-within-circles, raising a great din in the desert sand as they passed, there's no linguistic interpretation necessary. What the heck was he talking about? Either it's an outright lie, or he's describing technology that shouldn't exist at the time.

So is the bible an outright lie? Or is it based on facts? It's agreed that the old testament is a heavily condensed and edited version of the Sumerian texts. And the Sumerians got their knowledge from the Anunnaki, or so they say.

It's funny how we now take for granted all the firsts of civilization that originated in Sumer. The list is endless, from court systems to government to astronomy to mathematics to marriage, yet we dismiss them when they tell us their history and how they acquired their knowledge. It's almost like mainstream scholars pick and choose what they want to accept so that it fits into conventional theories, and discard the rest as mythology. What Sitchin does is sift through the mythology "pile" and piece together Sumerian history from their point of view, not the scholars point of view. And that is what cannot be debunked, at least not until 3400AD.

Forget 2003PX, that's a hoax with no basis other than the psychic claims of Nancy Leider. That's different than Sitchin's Nibiru, and he has spent a good deal of his life researching many ancient civilizations and the scientific basis of the bible. Sitchin says a 2003 passing is a hoax, and what better source do we have about Nibiru than Sitchin himself? Debunking 2003PX does not debunk Sitchin.

Espritch
2002-Sep-24, 01:12 AM
What Sitchin does is sift through the mythology "pile" and piece together Sumerian history from their point of view, not the scholars point of view.

I doubt Stichin has any clearer a view into the minds of ancient Sumerians than any other 20'th century Sumeria scholar. What Stichin did was sift through the mythology "pile" and use it to create a mythology "pile" of his own, just as lacking in credible evidence as the mythologies he barrowed from.

Peter B
2002-Sep-24, 08:18 AM
On 2002-09-16 13:09, mircus2003 wrote:
Just wondering about the background of any of you guys. I'm just a nobody, with no experience in this area at all, so I don't have anything to say about this Planet X stuff. What bothers me though is that nobody knows any of you, and yet you have so much to say about this subject. It is very easy to ridicule somebody, who spent years researching and working hard. My problem is that I know all the names of people who support the Planet X theory, but I don't know any names of people who are against it, and what is their background. Who do I believe??? I'm kinda confused. Should I start building shelter?... Is government behind all this?... Is this all huge conspiracy?... Maybe even you are behind this not knowing that you are. Enlighten me, so I can NOT to believe all this garbage, too.


Hi mircus.

Imagine you wanted to buy a new car, and you didn't know much about cars (which is a pretty good description of me!). You think you should ask for some advice.

Now you have some good friends who know a bit about cars. But there's also this guy one of your friends knows who works in the automotive repair industry.

Who do you think would be able to give you the best advice? Your friends, who may want to help you, but don't actually know much more than you. Or the guy who works in the business.

You can't equate being well known with being well qualified. Or, to put it another way, being not well known doesn't mean you don't know what you're talking about.

People like the Bad Astronomer mightn't have a high profile, but astronomy is their job. They're looking out at the skies regularly. They do the maths to work out orbits. They interpret the data they receive. And they share information. In short, if there's anything out there to spot, they'll spot it, and they'll report it.

Also, if Nibiru is as easy to spot as some people are suggesting, why hasn't any amateur astronomer spotted anything. They're always finding previously undetected comets, so I hope you don't think all the world's *amateur* astronomers are in on some conspiracy as well...!

Incidentally, I'm no astronomer. I'm a public servant with basically a secondary school education, and an amateur interest in science and history.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Peter B on 2002-09-24 04:21 ]</font>

Peter B
2002-Sep-26, 01:45 AM
Oh yeah. Something else occurred to me.

When looking at pages on the Internet, check out the links they provide. Does the page link to pages which hold the opposite view?

I'm more likely to trust pages which are willing to link to opponents - it's a sign that they trust the viewer to look at both sides and make a judgement. Or, to put it another way, they're not afraid of the evidence of their opponents.

Those sites which make no reference to opponents often give the impression that there is no alternative view to theirs, and this is often not the case. That in turn gives the impression that they don't trust viewers enough to let them know that their opponents exist or what they say.