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parallaxicality
2006-Sep-05, 07:38 AM
I know. Easier done than said, right? But I don't have the precise math. A while ago I was chatting with a hippie chick who was trying to convince me of one of Velikovsky's theories. She claimed that the Great Red Spot was the mark left on Jupiter by its expulsion of Venus. I've always wondered how much energy it would take to expel something the mass of Venus (4.8685×1024kg) at Jupiter's escape velocity (~60 km/s), and what the application of that energy would do to Jupiter. Could someone do the math for me? Thanks.

gwiz
2006-Sep-05, 08:23 AM
Sorry to be so vague, but it was many years ago. Some astronomer said that he always knew Velikovsky's astronomy was rubbish, but he was impressed by the historical research. That was until he met a historian who thought Veliovsky's astronomy was impressive, but the history was rubbish, of course.

astromark
2006-Sep-05, 08:37 AM
The problem with Velikovsky is the same as mention Nostrodamus...
Its instantly reconsider as complete and utter rubbish. Without the slightest evidence to support it. Why would any one want to give credence to these characters by asking questions as if they were assumptions with some credible fact. They are not.
The very proposal of humanity having witnessed such a cosmic event would sagest that it had to have happened while we lived here. . - - -

Maha Vailo
2006-Sep-05, 08:42 AM
A lengthy debuking (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-velikovsky.html) of Velikovsky's writings, courtesy of the talk.origins archive. I think there are some calculations in there.

- Maha "worlds in derision" Vailo

Maksutov
2006-Sep-05, 09:33 AM
The problem with Velikovsky can be summed up briefly. He had a number of conclusions that he wished to demonstrate as likely, and then proceeded to select (or make up) data which substantiated those conclusions.

Hardly the scientific method.

Given his non-scientific approach, that his magnum opus happened to have "Worlds in Collision" as its title is coincidence re current understanding of the origins of and current activities in the solar system. His ideas about "worlds in collision" are light years away from what actually happened in our star system. His attempts to force orbital mechanics to match biblical accounts are pathetic. There is no objective evidence to support any of his claims.

His works should stay in the pseudoscientific dustbin.

:rolleyes:

antoniseb
2006-Sep-05, 12:12 PM
I've always wondered how much energy it would take to expel something the mass of Venus (4.8685×1024kg) at Jupiter's escape velocity (~60 km/s), and what the application of that energy would do to Jupiter.

My understanding is that V didn't make any assumptions about the actual mass of Venus. I think his presumption was that gravity is a minor force in the actual mechanics of the Solar System. This is discussed pretty heavily in the ATM section in the many closed threads about the Electric Universe.

iantresman
2006-Sep-05, 04:22 PM
Calculating the escape velocity and energy required to blast Venus from jupiter and into orbit also won't necessarily help either. All it can tell us, is that it might not have happened that way.

I believe that the escape velocity from Jupiter is 59 km/sec. But as Velikvosky wrote in his reply to Carl Sagan, from this value, other amounts need to be subtracted:

The rotational speed of Jupiter at the latitude of the disruptive effect -- on the equator the speed is ca. 13 km/sec., and at the 20° south latitude where the Red Spot is centered, somewhat less.

The difference between the present -- resultant -- rotational speed of Jupiter and the speed that it had before fission (the conservation of angular momentum requires that Jupiter slowed its rotation upon ejecting Venus).

The difference in km/sec. between the 100% escape velocity that determines an orbit extending to infinity (and out of the solar system) and 71% of it which is the minimum necessary to carry the escaping object on an elliptical orbit.

So that brings us down to an escape velocity of about (59 - 13) x 0.71 = 33km/sec. I think others have estimated the total energy to be about 1040 ergs (about 1033 joules).

It seems unlikely that his amount of energy could be generated spontaneous from Jupiter itself, and so a third body would need to have been involved.

Velikovsky himself also noted that R. A. Lyttleton, had proposed a mechanism whereby a gaseous or liquid planet may loose a mass by fissioning,[Ref (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?1960MNRAS.121..551L)], but that begs a different set of questions.

So I don't think you can disprove Vekovsky's assertion. Recall that a number of people attempted to demonstrate that powered flight was impossible (Prof. Simon Newcombe demonstrated mathematically that it was "utterly impossible", and Scientific Amercan refused to send a reporter to see the Wright Brothers, because they "knew" it was impossible).

Regards,
Ian Tresman

Celestial Mechanic
2006-Sep-05, 05:32 PM
[Snip!] She claimed that the Great Red Spot was the mark left on Jupiter by its expulsion of Venus. [Snip!]
Curiously enough, we now have a new red spot, nicknamed "Junior" that has formed within the last few years. Ask her what planet was ejected then. With countless telescopes pointed at Jupiter at practically every hour except near solar conjunction, someone would have noticed something. Ask her about this. Maybe the light will go on. :)

R.A.F.
2006-Sep-05, 05:40 PM
So I don't think you can disprove Vekovsky's assertion.

My opinion? Why bother when Velikovsky has been demonstrated wrong in so many different ways...fact is science doesn't have to prove him wrong, Velikovsky has to prove himself right.


Recall that a number of people attempted to demonstrate that powered flight was impossible (Prof. Simon Newcombe demonstrated mathematically that it was "utterly impossible", and Scientific Amercan refused to send a reporter to see the Wright Brothers, because they "knew" it was impossible).

Do you want to know what IS impossible??? Velikovsky's claim that "comet" Venus' close approach to Earth was able to stop the Earth's rotation. Not only that, but "comet Venus" made a return close approach to "re-start" it's rotation...

Scientific American's opinion (at the time) of the Wright Bros. is completely irrelevant, and I am surprised that you would even attempt using that "as if" it meant something.

Velikovsky is just plain WRONG and there is nothing that can "sugar-coat" that fact!

aurora
2006-Sep-05, 06:36 PM
I suppose one other piece of evidence, if you needed any, would be that the chemical composition of Venus is totally unlike Jupiter.

parallaxicality
2006-Sep-05, 06:39 PM
Curiously enough, we now have a new red spot, nicknamed "Junior" that has formed within the last few years. Ask her what planet was ejected then. With countless telescopes pointed at Jupiter at practically every hour except near solar conjunction, someone would have noticed something. Ask her about this. Maybe the light will go on. :)

I doubt I'll see her again; still, I always seem to bump into "Velicovskites" at odd moments in my life; it never hurts to be armed. What really gets me about her assertions is that the Great Red Spot is an anticyclone; the exact opposite of a hole.

So, 1033 joules. By my rough calculations, that 238 x 1017 megatons. How many megatons was Shoemaker-Levy 9?

iantresman
2006-Sep-06, 12:28 AM
My opinion? Why bother when Velikovsky has been demonstrated wrong in so many different ways...fact is science doesn't have to prove him wrong, Velikovsky has to prove himself right.

Absolutely right, but that wasn't the original question.


Do you want to know what IS impossible??? Velikovsky's claim that "comet" Venus' close approach to Earth was able to stop the Earth's rotation. Not only that, but "comet Venus" made a return close approach to "re-start" it's rotation...

Absolutely right, which is a good thing that Velikovsky did not say so.



Scientific American's opinion (at the time) of the Wright Bros. is completely irrelevant, and I am surprised that you would even attempt using that "as if" it meant something.

No, it demonstrates clearly that you can't necessarily "disprove" something by just jotting down some maths.



Velikovsky is just plain WRONG and there is nothing that can "sugar-coat" that fact!

He successfully predicted radio noises from Jupter, that Venus would be hot, and have retrograde rotation, that the Lunar rocks will reveal remanent magnetism, and many other successes.

So he wasn't just plain wrong, though I would agree that he was wrong in many instances, such as the ejection of Venus from Jupiter.

Regards,
Ian Tresman

iantresman
2006-Sep-06, 12:31 AM
I suppose one other piece of evidence, if you needed any, would be that the chemical composition of Venus is totally unlike Jupiter.

Couldn't the same thing be said of the Earth's Moon, which some theories suggest originated from the Earth?

Indeed, if the sun and planets originated from the same accretion disk...

Regards,
Ian Tresman

Nereid
2006-Sep-06, 01:50 AM
If you address only the 'Venus came from Jupiter' aspect, and have a patient audience, then you could outline some of the interlocking pieces of modern astronomy that lead to the conclusion that there was no such expulsion, in the last million years or so.

Unfortunately, if your audience has an attention span of the same OOM as a political soundbite is long (about 30 seconds?), then you may be reduced to one-liners, and that means knowing which button to press (perhaps "Velikovsky got it wrong for the same reason that you don't go jumping out the window of 20 storey buildings, expecting to fly", or "If you made an artillery shell from ice cream, without the chocolate on the outside, and fired it in a cannon, do you think it would make it intact out the barrel?"; no doubt many BAUT members could come up with much better examples).

Here in BAUT we could discuss just how accurate any of the one-liners is.

captain swoop
2006-Sep-06, 02:02 AM
On what did he base his predictions?

I was always taught I had to show my 'working out' otherwise the answer was meaningless, I could have just guessed.

R.A.F.
2006-Sep-06, 02:30 AM
Absolutely right, but that wasn't the original question.

No it wasn't, but it's certainly not off topic to discuss Velikovsky's wrongness, is it??


Absolutely right, which is a good thing that Velikovsky did not say so.

Simply googling "Velikovsky and Venus" results in a number of pages that disagree with you....for instance (http://www.halexandria.org/dward233.htm)...


In his highly controversial book, Worlds in Collision, Velikovsky propounded the startling and subsequently highly controversial theory that the earth encountered a near collision with the planet Venus, and that in this near collision, the presence of Venus affected the rotation of the Earth in such a manner as to result in the apparent observation of the sun and moon standing still. Velikovsky did not, however, attempt to explain the physical mechanism which would allow Venus to temporarily stop or slow the rotation of the Earth.


He successfully predicted radio noises from Jupter, that Venus would be hot, and have retrograde rotation, that the Lunar rocks will reveal remanent magnetism, and many other successes.

Show us the mechanism he used to arrive at his conclusions...or do "lucky guesses" count as scientific investigation...

...and since you mentioned it, why don't you list all of the "many other successes" for us please.


So he wasn't just plain wrong, though I would agree that he was wrong in many instances, such as the ejection of Venus from Jupiter.

If Velikovsky can't demonstrate by reason how he arrived at his conclusions, then his "ideas" (even if accidentially correct) have just as much merit as a broken watch that is "correct" twice a day.

Van Rijn
2006-Sep-06, 05:15 AM
I know. Easier done than said, right? But I don't have the precise math. A while ago I was chatting with a hippie chick who was trying to convince me of one of Velikovsky's theories. She claimed that the Great Red Spot was the mark left on Jupiter by its expulsion of Venus. I've always wondered how much energy it would take to expel something the mass of Venus (4.8685×1024kg) at Jupiter's escape velocity (~60 km/s), and what the application of that energy would do to Jupiter. Could someone do the math for me? Thanks.

Carl Sagan had an extended discussion on this in "Broca's Brain." I found a small part of it quoted (so I didn't have to ! :) ) here:

http://www.holysmoke.org/cretins/velikov.htm

On this particular issue:

Further, the mass of Venus is more than 5 x 10^27 grams. The total kinetic energy required to propel Venus from Jupiter's escape velocity is about 10^41 ergs, which is equivalent to all the energy radiated by the Sun in one year and 100 million times more powerful than the largest solar flare ever observed. V wants us to believe that an ejection event occured on Jupiter that was vastly more powerful than anything on the Sun.

Of course, that's just the start of the problem. There's the additional energy we could expect (which would melt Venus), the velocity of Venus (it would have to be in narrow parameters), the composition of Venus (which is quite different from Jupiter's primary constituants), how it would manage to get into a circular orbit and do so instantly (for this type of event, a few thousand years is an instant), and so on and so forth.

Van Rijn
2006-Sep-06, 06:41 AM
Couldn't the same thing be said of the Earth's Moon, which some theories suggest originated from the Earth?


No, the composition of the moon is quite similar to that of the earth's mantle. And there is the method and the timescale of the origination. A coorbiting Mars sized planetesimal striking the proto-earth several billions of years ago, creating massive debris that would have taken megayears to settle down is far different than magic planetary billiard balls that show no evidence a few thousand years later.

Van Rijn
2006-Sep-06, 06:55 AM
On what did he base his predictions?

I was always taught I had to show my 'working out' otherwise the answer was meaningless, I could have just guessed.

That's a good point. Most of his predictions were just flat wrong, a few were sort of right for the wrong reasons, some predictions had precedent. On the hot Venus issue, Sagan noted that Rupert Wildt wrote a paper for the Astrophysical Journal in 1940 and calculated that the temperature would be 400K (roughly boiling water temperature) because of a C02 atmosphere. According to Sagan, Velikovsky never mentioned Wildt, though it was obvious that he was very familiar with Astrophysical Journal.

As a side note, Poul Anderson wrote a story called "The Big Rain" in 1954 that was based on a Venus with a hot CO2 atmosphere similar to what Wildt was arguing for. It wasn't the Velikovsky Venus.

As for Velikovsky, he argued that Venus was hot due to close passes of Earth, Mars, and the sun (not his argument for a recent ejection from Jupiter, which would seem to be the most obvious cause of heating).

By the way, Velikovsky also argued that Mars was hot. Whups.

LayMan
2006-Sep-06, 08:11 AM
I doubt I'll see her again; still, I always seem to bump into "Velicovskites" at odd moments in my life; it never hurts to be armed. What really gets me about her assertions is that the Great Red Spot is an anticyclone; the exact opposite of a hole.

So, 1033 joules. By my rough calculations, that 238 x 1017 megatons. How many megatons was Shoemaker-Levy 9?

Hi,

According to this site (http://www.isc.tamu.edu/~astro/sl9/cometfaq2.html), the first fragment (about 1 to 2 km in diameter) hit Jupiter with "the kinetic energy equivalent to about 225,000 megatons of TNT"... That's 225 x 103 megatons. And this fragment (according to the same source) was travelling at roughly 60 km/sec...
If you're right about the mass of Venus (4.8685×1024kg), then I could be wrong, but I'd hate to think what kind of energy would be needed to eject something as immmense as the planet Venus from the surface of Jupiter, if even such an incredible speed for such a minute mass was apparently insufficient to escape its gravitational trap...

But according to me, that's not even the point: the average orbital speed of Venus = 35.020 km/s. In order for it to have surpassed the escaping velocity of Jupiter (which apparently = 60km/s), its initial speed must have been higher than 60 km/s. If you then were to claim that Venus subsequently traveled into it's present orbit closer to the Sun, its initial speed would have even increased to more than that by the gravitational pull of the Sun. Consequently, the 'proposed' orbital speed of Venus would be far too high to maintain its current orbit (I think). Since we know that Venus is were it is, I believe Velikovski is wrong. Velikovski-believers might try to rescue themself by stating that Venus may have been slowed down somewhat by its passage along Mars and Earth, but I think that would be a false argument: any decrease in Venus' speed by the opposing gravity would have been preceded by a more or less equivalent increase due to the same gravitational effects... And as for the influence of the Sun, again I may be wrong (Lord knows I've been that already), but I think the Sun is only able to stabilize or 'balance' the initial speed. I mean, if the Sun was actually slowing down orbital speeds at such a rate, all planets would have crashed into it billions of years ago, in the early ages of the solar system.

jlhredshift
2006-Sep-06, 02:25 PM
Show us the mechanism he used to arrive at his conclusions...or do "lucky guesses" count as scientific investigation....

Obviously not; but there is always a small chance that a "lucky geuss" could lead to a scientific investigation that would find a "mechanism".


If Velikovsky can't demonstrate by reason how he arrived at his conclusions, then his "ideas" (even if accidentially correct) have just as much merit as a broken watch that is "correct" twice a day.

This is true, but I feel overly harsh. The positive effect was to bring science to the forefront of public debate and caused an interest in science for many of the lay public that would not have been interested before the Velikovsky affair. Who knows how many people were stimulated to a career in science by the debate and questions that were raised.

Doctor Immanuel Velikovsky was born in Russia and immigrated, eventually, to the US. In April of 1950 “Worlds in Collision” was published by McMillan as a non fiction book, without peer review. This runaway bestseller, number one on the New York Times bestseller list, created a firestorm in the scientific community at a time when TV was not a fixture in American’s homes, the “red” scare was in full bloom, Korea was a war, geologists were fighting religious catastrophism while pure Lyellian viewpoint of geologic history could not properly explain what was found in the geologic record; (Gould would eventually describe the real process as “punctuated equilibrium”); General Relativity was still being debated, particle physics and astrophysics were rapidly evolving, and funding for non-military science was difficult. Harlow Shapely forced McMillan to transfer publishing rights to Doubleday; who did not make their money on textbooks; and got the publisher fired. With Doubleday, Velikovsky published many more books, earned a living, and continued to feed the firestorm. Eventually Carl Sagan took up the banner of the scientific community to publicly debunk Velikovsky, including a roast in Seattle in 1972. There were of course Velikovsky supporters who supported him at the peril of their scientific careers, and Einstein was cautioned as to maintaining his friendship with Velikovsky.

In my opinion the distress in the scientific community was that they had to spend a tremendous amount of time and resources answering questions about material that was thought to be against the mainstream and rubbish; I’ve heard that phrase somewhere before, and at a time when science was struggling to evolve into a well funded enterprise of human endeavor. Here it is fifty six years later and the subject still comes up. What impact has the Velikovsky affair had on science? In my opinion it has tightened the constraints on what a researcher may investigate; i.e. request funding for and get; without jeopardizing his or her career. Some research freedom has been lost and in my opinion progress has been slowed down to some small degree, but we are more certain of our knowledge. In the perpetual environment of scarce resources this is probably the safest way to go. But, I still have hope for a “lucky guess” leading to an order of magnitude advance.

iantresman
2006-Sep-06, 02:52 PM
Simply googling "Velikovsky and Venus" results in a number of pages that disagree with you....for instance (http://www.halexandria.org/dward233.htm)...

I stand corrected. Referring to Worlds in Collision in the section "The Most Incredible Story":


"A departure of the earth from its regular rotation is thinkable, but only in the very improbable event that our planet should meet another heavenly body of sufficient mass to disrupt the eternal path of our world. [..] The problem before us is one of mechanics. [..] Would not a sudden stop by the earth, rotating at a little over one thousand miles an hour at its equator, mean a complete destruction of the world? Since the world survived, there must have been a mechanism to cushion the slowing down of terrestrial rotation, if it really occurred, or another escape for the energy of motion besides transformation into heat, or both. Or if rotation persisted undisturbed, the terrestrial axis may have tilted in the presence of a strong magnetic field, so that the sun appeared to lose for hours its diurnal movement"

On the one hand, he considers stoppage of the Earth's rotation, on the other hand, he considers just a change in the Earth's "regular rotation". So I was wrong to suggest that Velikovsky did not consider the stoppage of the Earth's rotation, but equally, it is inaccurate to suggest that Velikovsky suggested only the stoppage of the Earth's rotation.


Show us the mechanism he used to arrive at his conclusions...or do "lucky guesses" count as scientific investigation...

If Velikovsky can't demonstrate by reason how he arrived at his conclusions, then his "ideas" (even if accidentially correct) have just as much merit as a broken watch that is "correct" twice a day.

Velikovsky bases his reasoning on the mytho-historical record, which in turn led him to believe that electricity and magnetism played a more significant role in the Solar System.

Regards,
Ian Tresman

iantresman
2006-Sep-06, 03:19 PM
As for Velikovsky, he argued that Venus was hot due to close passes of Earth, Mars, and the sun (not his argument for a recent ejection from Jupiter, which would seem to be the most obvious cause of heating).

Velikovsky wrote:

"Venus experienced in quick succession its birth and expulsion under violent conditions; an existence as a comet on an ellipse which approached the sun closely; two encounters with the earth accompanied by discharges of potentials between these two bodies and with a thermal effect caused by conversion of momentum into heat; a number of contacts with Mars and probably also with Jupiter. Since all this happened between the third and the first millennia before the present era, the core of the planet Venus must still be hot." (Worlds in Collision, Epilogue: The Gases of Venus)

Regards,
Ian Tresman

Nereid
2006-Sep-06, 03:20 PM
Obviously not; but there is always a small chance that a "lucky geuss" could lead to a scientific investigation that would find a "mechanism".



This is true, but I feel overly harsh. The positive effect was to bring science to the forefront of public debate and caused an interest in science for many of the lay public that would not have been interested before the Velikovsky affair. Who knows how many people were stimulated to a career in science by the debate and questions that were raised.

Doctor Immanuel Velikovsky was born in Russia and immigrated, eventually, to the US. In April of 1950 “Worlds in Collision” was published by McMillan as a non fiction book, without peer review. This runaway bestseller, number one on the New York Times bestseller list, created a firestorm in the scientific community at a time when TV was not a fixture in American’s homes, the “red” scare was in full bloom, Korea was a war, geologists were fighting religious catastrophism while pure Lyellian viewpoint of geologic history could not properly explain what was found in the geologic record; (Gould would eventually describe the real process as “punctuated equilibrium”); General Relativity was still being debated, particle physics and astrophysics were rapidly evolving, and funding for non-military science was difficult. Harlow Shapely forced McMillan to transfer publishing rights to Doubleday; who did not make their money on textbooks; and got the publisher fired. With Doubleday, Velikovsky published many more books, earned a living, and continued to feed the firestorm. Eventually Carl Sagan took up the banner of the scientific community to publicly debunk Velikovsky, including a roast in Seattle in 1972. There were of course Velikovsky supporters who supported him at the peril of their scientific careers, and Einstein was cautioned as to maintaining his friendship with Velikovsky.

In my opinion the distress in the scientific community was that they had to spend a tremendous amount of time and resources answering questions about material that was thought to be against the mainstream and rubbish; I’ve heard that phrase somewhere before, and at a time when science was struggling to evolve into a well funded enterprise of human endeavor. Here it is fifty six years later and the subject still comes up. What impact has the Velikovsky affair had on science? In my opinion it has tightened the constraints on what a researcher may investigate; i.e. request funding for and get; without jeopardizing his or her career. Some research freedom has been lost and in my opinion progress has been slowed down to some small degree, but we are more certain of our knowledge. In the perpetual environment of scarce resources this is probably the safest way to go. But, I still have hope for a “lucky guess” leading to an order of magnitude advance.I would like to comment on just one small aspect of 'research freedom', 'progress has been slowed', and 'tightened constraints'.

In the early 21st century, we have never had it so good.

Not only are extraordinarily powerful tools available, essentially free, to vastly more people than there were scientists, who ever lived1; not only is essentially all the data gathered by all the modern astronomical observatories available, essentially free, to vastly more people than all the astronomers who ever lived2; not only are essentially all the peer-reviewed papers in astronomy available, essentially free, to (well you get the idea); but the details of the underlying scientific theories - in all their intricacies, math, development, and so on - are too.

Further, should you choose to do so, you could likely arrange your life so as to live comfortably, with plenty of time to devote to your own, independent research3.

Finally, the investment of time needed to acquire the skills and knowledge to be able to 'do' modern research (especially the math, and physics, for astronomy) is modest (in terms of a lifetime). And the acquisition of such need not cost much, in money.

Certainly, the full scope of research that one can do, as an independent, using only data in the public domain, is less than what one can do with CERN or INTEGRAL at your personal disposal ... but not much.

So, one Nereid conclusion is that there are likely very, very few "“lucky guess[es]” leading to an order of magnitude advance" that have been missed.

Another way to think about this: to do mathematics, do you need a VLT? Do you need a full-time job (as a mathematician)? Sure, for some problems, access to good computing facilities is essential, as is access to the relevant papers and journals. But what is stopping any independent (mathematical) researcher from solving the P vs NP problem (http://www.claymath.org/millennium/P_vs_NP/) (via a "lucky guess" or otherwise)?

The situation, today, with regard to astronomy is, IMO, essentially the same4.

1 How many scientists have ever lived? Say a million, say 10 million. How many people own (or have access to) a PC? What is the cost of tools such as spreadsheets, Mathematica (and competitors), database software, in relation to the cost of the PC?
2 All you need is a high speed internet connection; both groups (people with access and astronomers) are subsets of 1
3 Of course, this is not an option for the majority of people, today; possibly not even a majority of the ~1 billion or so who live in 'advanced' economies, or the 'middle classes' in other economies. However, the number who could make this choice is still far, far greater than the number of scientists who have ever lived.
4 For those of us lucky enough to live in an 'advanced' economy, or to be in the 'middle classes' in other economies.

iantresman
2006-Sep-06, 03:25 PM
By the way, Velikovsky also argued that Mars was hot. Whups.

Velikovsky wrote:

Due to the eccentricity of Mars' orbit, the insolation at aphelion is much smaller than at perihelion (the ratio being about 5:6), and in the southern hemisphere the summer is much hotter but much shorter than in the northern hemisphere. Because of the greater mean distance of Mars from the sun, it is supposed to receive less than half the light and warmth per unit of area that the earth receives; and for this reason its temperature must be some 65°C. below that of the earth, and never above freezing. Th e mean temperature of a year on the equatorial latitudes of Mars must be similar to that of the polar regions of the earth. (My emphasis. Worlds in Collision, Epilogue: The Thermal Balance of Mars)

Wikipedia gives the mean surface temperature of the Earth as 14 °C (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth), and that of Mars as −63 °C (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars) (ie. 77 °C below that the Earth).

Regards,
Ian Tresman

jlhredshift
2006-Sep-06, 03:45 PM
So, one Nereid conclusion is that there are likely very, very few "“lucky guess[es]” leading to an order of magnitude advance" that have been missed.


I agree with your analysis. As to the above quote, I am hoping for "one" in my lifetime. It just makes the history (my favorite endeavor) even more fun.

Celestial Mechanic
2006-Sep-06, 04:36 PM
[Snip!] Velikovsky bases his reasoning on the mytho-historical record, which in turn led him to believe that electricity and magnetism played a more significant role in the Solar System.
And that is the problem with Velikovsky. His speculations are all based on mythology. Mythology is not admissible in a court of law and it is not admissible in the court of science either. :naughty:

I'll say this, though: to his credit, Velikovsky never consulted any carpets. :lol:

Celestial Mechanic
2006-Sep-06, 04:43 PM
Velikovsky wrote:
... core of the planet Venus must still be hot.Surprise, surprise, surprise! The core of the Earth is also quite hot, in fact, hotter than the surface of the Sun, IIRC. What an amazing insight! Who but Velikovsky could have even imagined such a thing!

jlhredshift
2006-Sep-06, 04:50 PM
I would like to point out a couple of examples of what I mean by constraints in science, one before Velikovsky and one after. The stellar mathematician Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar upon presenting his work on electron degeneracy to Eddington was in essence told to not publish, because, it was not mainstream. When he did publish it secured his place in the history of science. Yet, when Halton Arp produced a paper of observations of high redshift quasars and a statisical analysis of their positional relationship to low redshift "host" galaxies it was the same Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, as a referee, that did not recomend publication because, though, Arp's non mainstream theory of galaxy ejection of matter was not contained in the paper, it did support it. Therefore, in my opinion, Chandra was guilty of the same "sin" as Eddington. Even Chrandra did not critisize the observations or the math of Arp, just what it represented as data in favor of Arp's theory. Now, subsequently, with better telescopes we were able to resolve what were then point sources into galactic disks with huge central bulges, discounting Arp's theory. But, Chandra did not know that. Chandra was attempting to suppress data because of what it implied. Let's hope that that does not occur today.

Nereid
2006-Sep-06, 05:14 PM
I would like to point out a couple of examples of what I mean by constraints in science, one before Velikovsky and one after. The stellar mathematician Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar upon presenting his work on electron degeneracy to Eddington was in essence told to not publish, because, it was not mainstream. When he did publish it secured his place in the history of science. Yet, when Halton Arp produced a paper of observations of high redshift quasars and a statisical analysis of their positional relationship to low redshift "host" galaxies it was the same Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, as a referee, that did not recomend publication because, though, Arp's non mainstream theory of galaxy ejection of matter was not contained in the paper, it did support it. Therefore, in my opinion, Chandra was guilty of the same "sin" as Eddington. Even Chrandra did not critisize the observations or the math of Arp, just what it represented as data in favor of Arp's theory. Now, subsequently, with better telescopes we were able to resolve what were then point sources into galactic disks with huge central bulges, discounting Arp's theory. But, Chandra did not know that. Chandra was attempting to suppress data because of what it implied. Let's hope that that does not occur today.Of one thing you can be very, very sure - that things like this happen all the time!

Why? Because scientists are not saints; there are generous, kind, encouraging, supportive, {insert your favourite positive adjectives here} scientists; and there are jealous, mean, mocking, arrogant, back-stabbing, {insert your favourite negative adjectives here} ones. In choosing science as a career, you are not suddenly immune from the slings and arrows of outrageous research directors, co-workers, journal editors, or even administrative assistants (not to mention TAs and RAs), of the kinds which mere mortals have to suffer in careers in teaching, banking, government service, farming, sanitation engineering, or any other 'real world' job!

Kaptain K
2006-Sep-06, 05:22 PM
...or do "lucky guesses" count as scientific investigation...
*Cough, cough* Richard C. Hoagland *Cough, cough*

jlhredshift
2006-Sep-06, 05:28 PM
Of one thing you can be very, very sure - that things like this happen all the time!

Why? Because scientists are not saints; there are generous, kind, encouraging, supportive, {insert your favourite positive adjectives here} scientists; and there are jealous, mean, mocking, arrogant, back-stabbing, {insert your favourite negative adjectives here} ones. In choosing science as a career, you are not suddenly immune from the slings and arrows of outrageous research directors, co-workers, journal editors, or even administrative assistants (not to mention TAs and RAs), of the kinds which mere mortals have to suffer in careers in teaching, banking, government service, farming, sanitation engineering, or any other 'real world' job!

And this my friends, what Nereid has said, is my point. Could there be a lucky guess that has been suppressed? When I say "keep an open mind", this fact about human nature is always lurking in the back of my mind. I personally have been accused of ignoring the data because I wish to keep an open mind while at the same time acknowledging the accuracy of the data. We always have more to learn.

antoniseb
2006-Sep-06, 05:28 PM
Chandra was attempting to suppress data because of what it implied.
It seems like quite a leap to say Chandra was suppressing data because of what it implied. It strikes me that he was suppressing opinion because it didn't make sense. From what you have written above, Chandra should have had no right to use his judgement about anyone else's non-mainstream ideas because he owed one giant favor to the world. That's not a terribly fair burden to put on Chandra.

jlhredshift
2006-Sep-06, 05:39 PM
It seems like quite a leap to say Chandra was suppressing data because of what it implied. It strikes me that he was suppressing opinion because it didn't make sense. From what you have written above, Chandra should have had no right to use his judgement about anyone else's non-mainstream ideas because he owed one giant favor to the world. That's not a terribly fair burden to put on Chandra.

Arp's paper was as devoid of theory as he could make it, because he understood that there was no way he would be published if he included it. However, this is only my opinion of Chandra. And, I will keep an open mind about it and I reserve the right to change my mind.

Nereid
2006-Sep-06, 05:47 PM
And this my friends, what Nereid has said, is my point. Could there be a lucky guess that has been suppressed? When I say "keep an open mind", this fact about human nature is always lurking in the back of my mind. I personally have been accused of ignoring the data because I wish to keep an open mind while at the same time acknowledging the accuracy of the data. We always have more to learn.Could Newton have discovered quantum mechanics? Could some Chinese scholar, 3000 years ago, have discovered Kepler's laws? Could Zwicky have written MOND?

While it may be fun to speculate, it has little to do with science.

If in studying the history of science you focus on the engine room - theory development - then it would seem that, today, the worst that could happen is 'something good' takes a decade or so longer, and may emerge in a much messier state, than it could otherwise have done.

On the observational side, my point earlier is that whatever the state of astronomy a hundred, or even fifty, years ago, the chances of a "lucky guess" observation going unnoticed today are vanishingly small.

At the level of the individuals involved, it may seem inefficient, unjust, or whatever*; wrt the science, 'suppression' is a myth.

*And I personally have no time or sympathy for "woe is me" stories - if you don't like your boss/job/review/whatever, do something about it. Even worse is the "if only {insert your downtrodden hero's name here} had been allowed to {insert your favourite 'missed opportunity' here" nonsense. Well excuse me, but how many African, Indian, Chinese, ... Einsteins were there, who never got to discover GR because they didn't get a chance to go to school?

jlhredshift
2006-Sep-06, 06:01 PM
Could Newton have discovered quantum mechanics? Could some Chinese scholar, 3000 years ago, have discovered Kepler's laws? Could Zwicky have written MOND?

While it may be fun to speculate, it has little to do with science.

If in studying the history of science you focus on the engine room - theory development - then it would seem that, today, the worst that could happen is 'something good' takes a decade or so longer, and may emerge in a much messier state, than it could otherwise have done.

On the observational side, my point earlier is that whatever the state of astronomy a hundred, or even fifty, years ago, the chances of a "lucky guess" observation going unnoticed today are vanishingly small.

At the level of the individuals involved, it may seem inefficient, unjust, or whatever*; wrt the science, 'suppression' is a myth.

*And I personally have no time or sympathy for "woe is me" stories - if you don't like your boss/job/review/whatever, do something about it. Even worse is the "if only {insert your downtrodden hero's name here} had been allowed to {insert your favourite 'missed opportunity' here" nonsense. Well excuse me, but how many African, Indian, Chinese, ... Einsteins were there, who never got to discover GR because they didn't get a chance to go to school?

I do not think that suppression is a goal, particulary, I just think it could happen defacto. It is hard to find humans with absolutely no agenda. I also agree we need to provide opportunities to all people on the planet, because, who knows....

Nereid
2006-Sep-06, 07:02 PM
Continuing on with some of the ideas in the last few posts ...

If the 'class assignment' is to a) come up with a list of factors that could, plausibly, affect the speed with which science 'progresses', and b) put those into an approximate rank order (affect most powerfully through to least), then surely among the factors that would be way near the top, would be universality of basic education, and equality (wrt gender, ethnic origin, etc)?

Among other important factors (what do you think?):
* 'science' as an attractive school/college/university subject
* ease of access to 'the data' and 'the tools'
* social prestige of 'doing science'
* multiplicity of institutions at which science is done - universities, research institutes (private and public), R&D departments, ...
* multiplicity of sources of funding.

Or, take some lessons from the pages of economics and business admin - reduce barriers to entry, reduce the cost of inputs, foster competition, improve the brand image, spend more on marketing, ...

At the personal level, why not consider the impact of personal interactions that are not directly related to 'professional disagreements'? Maybe (far) more golden opportunities in science have been lost because someone was caught sleeping with someone else's spouse (or offspring)? Or because someone in power exercised that power against a bright young thing who happened to be of a different class/religion/gender/caste/sexual orientation/whatever? Or perhaps it was closer to home - gave up a career in science to take over the family business/provide long term care for a close relative/feed a large family/do military service (got conscripted)/whatever?

I expect that, in doing this exercise, the 'lost opportunities' of a Chandrasekhar/Eddington or an Arp/Chandrasekhar personal disagreement or disharmony (shall we say) would be utterly unnoticable.

jlhredshift
2006-Sep-06, 07:50 PM
I expect that, in doing this exercise, the 'lost opportunities' of a Chandrasekhar/Eddington or an Arp/Chandrasekhar personal disagreement or disharmony (shall we say) would be utterly unnoticable.

I respect your opinion. I disagree on the basis that we should not do these things to each other. I also expect that if I applied the "Many Worlds", butterfly wings in Brazil, or chaos theory philosophies, that just like this board shows in its threads, we have no idea what one thread might lead to, therefore we can not project a certain outcome. You stated as much when you correctly pointed out the lost resources of third world brainpower potential. What might have been? Which small act was a nexus?

iantresman
2006-Sep-06, 09:08 PM
I expect that, in doing this exercise, the 'lost opportunities' of a Chandrasekhar/Eddington or an Arp/Chandrasekhar personal disagreement or disharmony (shall we say) would be utterly unnoticable.

If they turn out to wrong, the you are right, and vice versa. Recall that some important breakthroughs in science have been due to "outsiders" in the field,

Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790), printer, ambassador politician
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794), tax collector.
Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) Unitarian minister
William Herschel (1738-1822) musician and composer
Michael Faraday (1791-1867), book-binder apprentice
Georg Simon Ohm (1789-1854), schoolteacher
Charles Darwin (1809-1882), would-be clergyman
Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884), abbot
John Boyd Dunlop (1840-1921), vet

Regards,
Ian Tresman

Celestial Mechanic
2006-Sep-06, 09:14 PM
If they turn out to wrong, the you are right, and vice versa. Recall that some important breakthroughs in science have been due to "outsiders" in the field,

[Snip!]
John Boyd Dunlop (1840-1921), vet

Notice that with the exception of the last name on the list, which I've kept here, all of these people lived before the 20th century and all have been dead at least 80 years. What "breakthroughs" have amateurs and "outsiders" made in the last 80 years? :think:

jlhredshift
2006-Sep-06, 09:43 PM
Notice that with the exception of the last name on the list, which I've kept here, all of these people lived before the 20th century and all have been dead at least 80 years. What "breakthroughs" have amateurs and "outsiders" made in the last 80 years? :think:

Hmm...let me see oh yeah Einstein

Nereid
2006-Sep-06, 09:45 PM
I expect that, in doing this exercise, the 'lost opportunities' of a Chandrasekhar/Eddington or an Arp/Chandrasekhar personal disagreement or disharmony (shall we say) would be utterly unnoticable.If they turn out to wrong, the you are right, and vice versa. Recall that some important breakthroughs in science have been due to "outsiders" in the field,

Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790), printer, ambassador politician
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794), tax collector.
Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) Unitarian minister
William Herschel (1738-1822) musician and composer
Michael Faraday (1791-1867), book-binder apprentice
Georg Simon Ohm (1789-1854), schoolteacher
Charles Darwin (1809-1882), would-be clergyman
Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884), abbot
John Boyd Dunlop (1840-1921), vet

Regards,
Ian TresmanJust to be clear - During the period 1706 to 1921, what proportion of the world's population lived in the countries these gentlemen* spent their lives in?

What religious affiliation(s) did they have?

What classes/castes/etc did they hail from/end up in?

What ethnic group(s) did they belong to?

(etc)

Now, of the vast majority of Homo sap. individuals, who lived in this period, and who were not from those countries, members of those groups, etc, how many would have progressed science as much (or more) than the above gentlemen, if only they had done science 'on the side' too?

To re-iterate: if the question on the table is (something like) "what factors most heavily influence the 'progress of science', today, and over the last century?", then very high in any ranked list of factors will be (something like) "{insert qualifying adjective here, e.g. 'decent', 'realistic'} opportunities for the vast majority of people throughout the world to have the choice 'science', as a career".

OTOH, if the question is something like "Why, despite the cornucopia of tools, data, knowledge, etc, available essentially free, has there been so little in the way of 'breakthroughs by amateurs'**, in astronomy etc, in the last twenty years or so?", and specifically, to what extent has 'institutional suppression' (however defined) played a part in the dearth, then let's put that on the table, and discuss it.

*I think they're all male; how many were 'gentle males', I cannot say.
**I don't mean observations; I'm specifically focussing on the engine of scientific development - theories.

iantresman
2006-Sep-06, 10:05 PM
Notice that with the exception of the last name on the list, which I've kept here, all of these people lived before the 20th century and all have been dead at least 80 years. What "breakthroughs" have amateurs and "outsiders" made in the last 80 years? :think:

Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955) patents clerk
Philo Farnsworth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philo_Farnsworth) (1906 – 1971) self-taught inventor
Hermann Anschutz-Kaempfe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Ansch%C3%BCtz-Kaempfe) (gyrocompass) (1872–1931) art historian
Leo Godowsky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_Mannes) (1900 - 1983) & Leopold Mannes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_Godowsky%2C_Jr.) (1899 - 1964) (Photographic film) concert violinists
Hedy Lamarr (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedy_Lamarr) (Missile guidance (1913 – 2000)) actress


Regards,
Ian Tresman

jlhredshift
2006-Sep-06, 10:21 PM
And how many people without doctorial degree working in industry have made our lives better. The Lockheed skunk works comes to mind as well as GM, Ford, GE, and all the software guys. But, define Breakthrough? I think the last real breakthrough was Einstein. But, heart transplants are right up there, though not by an amatuer.

Gillianren
2006-Sep-06, 10:22 PM
You know, everyone always cites Einstein, and they're wrong to do so. He was educated in the relevant field; according to Wikipedia, he didn't get a teaching position because he was "brash." (Whether this means he was arrogant or just kind of a jerk is not mentioned.) He wasn't actually working in his field at the time, but it's not due to lack of education but lack of employment. What's more, his educational stumbling block was liberal arts, so any mention of his failure in school isn't really relevant, either.

jlhredshift
2006-Sep-06, 10:25 PM
You know, everyone always cites Einstein, and they're wrong to do so. He was educated in the relevant field; according to Wikipedia, he didn't get a teaching position because he was "brash." (Whether this means he was arrogant or just kind of a jerk is not mentioned.) He wasn't actually working in his field at the time, but it's not due to lack of education but lack of employment. What's more, his educational stumbling block was liberal arts, so any mention of his failure in school isn't really relevant, either.

But he took it upon himself to learn the relevant mathematics to put his idea in the proper form.

Gillianren
2006-Sep-06, 11:01 PM
Yes--in school, where he got a degree.

captain swoop
2006-Sep-06, 11:10 PM
# Philo Farnsworth (1906 – 1971) self-taught inventor
# Hermann Anschutz-Kaempfe (gyrocompass) (1872–1931) art historian
# Leo Godowsky (1900 - 1983) & Leopold Mannes (1899 - 1964) (Photographic film) concert violinists
# Hedy Lamarr (Missile guidance (1913 – 2000)) actress

I would say that inventing 'things' isn't doing science!

jlhredshift
2006-Sep-07, 01:53 AM
Yes--in school, where he got a degree.

No, On his own after he got out of school. Lorentz and Minkowski

He did what you have suggested that some of the ATM's should do. He sought out the knowledge to properly set forth his ideas after he left "school".

He was outside the scientific community as he could be. It was only afterwards that photos were taken of him with J. J. Thompson and Lord Kelvin, who were definetely on the inside.

Celestial Mechanic
2006-Sep-07, 04:28 AM
But he [Einstein] took it upon himself to learn the relevant mathematics to put his idea in the proper form.
If only more of the amateurs and outsiders in the ATM camp would do the same.

TriangleMan
2006-Sep-07, 05:07 AM
I agree with captain swoop, I think people are muddling a 'science breakthrough' with 'inventing'. Inventing something does not de facto mean it is a scientific breakthrough, just an interesting invention. It is somewhat like the difference between science and engineering.

Eta C
2006-Sep-07, 01:13 PM
To argue that Einstein was an amateur is disingenuous at best. He may not have had a doctorate at the time he worked in the Patent Office, but he had received a solid education in physics and math. So what if he taught himself the math for SR? His education had provided him the ability to do so. It would have been much more difficult without his time at the ETH. Some relevant items from the Nobel Prize site (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1921/einstein-bio.html)


In 1901, the year he gained his diploma, he acquired Swiss citizenship and, as he was unable to find a teaching post, he accepted a position as technical assistant in the Swiss Patent Office. In 1905 he obtained his doctor's degree.

During his stay at the Patent Office, and in his spare time, he produced much of his remarkable work and in 1908 he was appointed Privatdozent in Berne. In 1909 he became Professor Extraordinary at Zurich, in 1911 Professor of Theoretical Physics at Prague, returning to Zurich in the following year to fill a similar post. In 1914 he was appointed Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute and Professor in the University of Berlin.

Based on this, I don't think you can call Einstein an amateur. The very prominent positions he obtained within the next 10 years point to the professional esteem he received. Given that he received his Ph.D. in 1905 one might argue that he did his great work of that year as a "grad student." One might as well call Robert Schrieffer (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1972/schrieffer-bio.html) an amateur since he was still a grad student when he worked on superconductivity with Bardeen.

By the way. My opinion of Dr. V is expressed by the esteemed Dr. P.