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Thread: Current theory is no scientifically "better than" plasma cosmology.

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    Current theory is no scientifically "better than" plasma cosmology.

    Nereid has suggested a couple of times that I start a truly "ATM" idea of my own to defend. I have finally thought of the ATM topic that I would personally like to defend.

    IMO, current theory is no scientifically "better than" plasma cosmology as outlined by Hannes Alfv'en. IMO current (gravity centric) theory is based on a number of untestable assumptions and unexplained forces, and therefore current theory leaves large aspects of the nature of the universe completely "unexplained" (quite literally "dark"). In fact GR centric concepts of space require that the physical universe we see only makes up a small percentage of the whole physical universe.

    Plasma cosmology as Alfv'en described it does not require "dark" anything to describe the movements of objects and the movements of plasmas in space. His theories simply require the presence of current flows and plasma flows in space. We already know that the universe is predominantly made of plasma and we have documented the existence of Birkeland currents in space. We can watch plasma flow out from the solar surface and watch it accelerate as it approaches the sun's solar sheath. Plasma flows and current flows are know to exist in space.

    Furthermore Alfven's work and Alfven's theories are based on a lifelong study of the behaviors of plasma in space. More importantly however, his theories are based upon the careful study of the behaviors of plasmas here on earth in a real life laboratory setting where his ideas and theories could be verified by true "scientific tests", not "pure observation" from a distance. IMO plasma cosmology provides a natural bridge from a "GR/Empty Vacuum of Space" mindset that predominates today, toward a more balanced and informed approach to cosmology that includes and recognizes the role of the flow of plasmas and the flow of current in the behaviors of movements of objects in the physical universe.
    Last edited by ManInTheMirror; 2007-Jan-09 at 09:03 PM.

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    So let's start with your definition of 'scientifically better than' (sbt), and your criteria for making judgements wrt sbt - could you summarise them please?

    As we are in BAUT, please concentrate on astronomy and cosmology; I am particularly interesting to learn what your definitions and criteria are wrt purely astronomical observations (i.e. obtained solely by detection of electromagnetic radiation and (possibly) cosmic rays). For avoidance of doubt, this scope statement excludes in situ data collected by space probes such as Voyager 1 and Cluster.

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    How about this: In another thread you said that you accept that there is plenty of evidence for the expansion of spacetime. That is a general relativistic concept. How does the expansion of spacetime figure in plasma cosmology, where I presume you do not accept the validity of general relativity?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    So let's start with your definition of 'scientifically better than' (sbt), and your criteria for making judgements wrt sbt - could you summarise them please?
    Fair enough. Let's start with some basics that are generic scientific debate issues and that apply to all discussions in all areas of science:

    http://www.csun.edu/~dgw61315/fallacies.html

    No arguments can begin with a logical fallacy. Therefore, from a logical and scientific point of view, we are obligated to reject all theories that begin with statements like:

    It is profoundly impossible for my "insert statement of choice" to not exist, if we assume the validity of the accelerated expansion of the universe, for the simple reason that "insert statement of choice", by definition, the cause of that effect.
    Circular arguments won't qualify as "science", only "psuedo-science".

    The term "better than" also relates to the verification of a theory via true (actual) "scientific tests", meaning ideas are tested "actively" in "controlled" conditions. In this case Alfv'en was able to test all of his theoretical mathematical models related to plasma flow with observations of plasma in *controlled laboratory conditions*.

    In addition, I will agree to use all the "posted rules" as outlined in this forum that are used to gauge the validity of ATM idea to compare both ideas side by side in an equal and fair manner, without giving the mainstream position a "free pass". Each side must present their case. Each side must present evidence. Both ideas begin on equal footing. I accept that gravity exists and can influence the movement of matter. I accept that current flows exist in space and can affect the movements of matter. Beyond this, each claim will need to be verified "scientifically" in some manner, and no claim that begins with a logical fallacy will be deemed "scientifically acceptable".

    As we are in BAUT, please concentrate on astronomy and cosmology; I am particularly interesting to learn what your definitions and criteria are wrt purely astronomical observations (i.e. obtained solely by detection of electromagnetic radiation and (possibly) cosmic rays). For avoidance of doubt, this scope statement excludes in situ data collected by space probes such as Voyager 1 and Cluster.
    I'm not sure yet. I will have to consider the answer to that particular question to be related to the issue and concept that is being presented. In other words if Alfv'en claims that current flow is directly involved in the movements of plasma in spacetime, then I will expect to see evidence of the existence of current flows in spacetime, and I will expect to see evidence that current flow can affect the movements of plasma and matter. Any truly "extraordinary" claims will require extraordinary evidence.

    In other words, all the rules of contemporary science apply here equally to both current theory and plasma cosmology theory. The concept of burden of proof applies. Any explanation of a phenomenon seen at a distance should include some kind of "evidence" to support the claim, and preferably some sort of proof of concept. Any theory used to explain the movements of objects in space should be presented as precisely and scientifically as possible, and should include a scientifically well qualified and scientifically well quantified argument.
    Last edited by ManInTheMirror; 2007-Jan-09 at 10:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Thompson View Post
    How about this: In another thread you said that you accept that there is plenty of evidence for the expansion of spacetime. That is a general relativistic concept. How does the expansion of spacetime figure in plasma cosmology, where I presume you do not accept the validity of general relativity?
    Actually Tim I certainly do accept the theory of GR, and in fact I insist that any attempted disproof for GR or QM or particle physics be set aside for debate in some other thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInTheMirror View Post
    The term "better than" also relates to the verification of a theory via true (actual) "scientific tests", meaning ideas are tested "actively" in "controlled" conditions. In this case Alfv'en was able to test all of his theoretical mathematical models related to plasma flow with observations of plasma in *controlled laboratory conditions*.
    Oh, very clever. So you just defined away all astronomical observations. It's darn tough to test the behavior of a star or a galaxy or a quasar in *controlled laboratory conditions*. So do you think many kids would want to play a game with a little boy who demands that he can make up the rules so that he necessarily wins?

    But back to your claim. Tell me this: How can "observations of plasma in *controlled laboratory conditions*" be concluded to have any application in a region that is somewhere on the order of 1020 larger than the controlled laboratory?
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cougar View Post
    But back to your claim. Tell me this: How can "observations of plasma in *controlled laboratory conditions*" be concluded to have any application in a region that is somewhere on the order of 1020 larger than the controlled laboratory?

    Simulation and observation?

    Small picture of the large scale structure.
    http://www.bathsheba.com/crystal/largescale/

    You can go to this site for Sloan survey VRML map.
    http://www-hpcc.astro.washington.edu...e/picture.html

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    Lightbulb Dark Matter

    Quote Originally Posted by ManInTheMirror View Post
    No arguments can begin with a logical fallacy. Therefore, from a logical and scientific point of view, we are obligated to reject all theories that begin with statements like:

    It is profoundly impossible for my "insert statement of choice" to not exist, if we assume the validity of the accelerated expansion of the universe, for the simple reason that "insert statement of choice", by definition, the cause of that effect.
    There is no logical fallacy in the block that you quote, and it is definitely not circular. This is just a "red herring" that distracts from the real point of the discussion.

    Since you accept general relativity, and since general relativity is the basis of modern cosmology (dominated by gravity on very large scales), there is an obvious problem with the idea that current theory is no scientifically better than plasma cosmology (dominated by plasma physics on very large scales). So let's try to find something specific.

    Zwicky first proposed the existence of what we now call "dark matter", back in the 1930's. He did it by applying the virial theorem to the motions of galaxies in clusters, and showing that the luminous mass was not enough to produce the gravity required to hold the cluster together. This is a part of cosmology dominated by gravity. What is the equally valid plasma cosmology solution to this problem?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInTheMirror View Post
    [snip]

    The term "better than" also relates to the verification of a theory via true (actual) "scientific tests", meaning ideas are tested "actively" in "controlled" conditions. In this case Alfv'en was able to test all of his theoretical mathematical models related to plasma flow with observations of plasma in *controlled laboratory conditions*.

    [snip]
    I'll get back to the rest of your post in a while*; for now, a question about this part.

    In terms of your criterion (for "better than"), to what extent does the work:

    a) done by Hulse and Taylor (which earned them a Nobel) constitute "verification of a theory via true (actual) "scientific tests""?

    b) leading to the identification of certain emission lines, from certain nebulae, as (a) 'forbidden transition(s)' of an oxygen ion (constitute ...)?

    c) leading to the conclusion that Sirius B is a "white dwarf" {insert mass, radius, temperature, etc parameters here, including +/- estimates} (constitute ...)?

    d) leading to validation of standard solar models {including densities, pressures, and nuclear reaction rates} (constitute ...)?

    *Suffice it to say that it seems you have a view of what constitutes science that is at least somewhat inconsistent with what most astronomers (astrophysicists, cosmologists) actually do!

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    It is profoundly impossible for my magic wand to not exist, if we assume the validity of observation "x", for the simple reason that my magic wand is, by definition, the cause of that effect.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Thompson View Post
    There is no logical fallacy in the block that you quote, and it is definitely not circular. This is just a "red herring" that distracts from the real point of the discussion.
    I must say Tim, it concerns me a great deal that you still cannot see the circular nature of this sentence even after I provided you with my magic wand analogy, and the invisible cheeseburger analogy, and after all the efforts I have made to point out the logical fallacies in this sentence. It makes me very suspicious about validity of the "science" this industry is promoting when a guy of your obvious scientific caliber has a tough time recognizing logical fallacies and circular arguments in the premise that is being presented.

    This is no "red herring" Tim, it's a scientific principle on which I will not and cannot compromise. No scientific argument can begin with a logical fallacy. Period. That is true in any area of science, and it is true in any sort of debate. You cannot assume that the idea you are presenting is true and is responsible for the observation in question until you have already established as fact that the observation in question is due to the idea you are presenting. You simply assumed your premise just like I did with my magic wand. That is not acceptable Tim. Until you can show me how your dark energy is superior to my magic wand, I will have to consider any "phrase" inserted into the quotes to be "pseudo-science", not science.

    Since you accept general relativity, and since general relativity is the basis of modern cosmology (dominated by gravity on very large scales), there is an obvious problem with the idea that current theory is no scientifically better than plasma cosmology (dominated by plasma physics on very large scales).
    How would my mere acceptance of the concept of gravity somehow make current theory "superior" to plasma cosmology? Plasma cosmology recognizes the role of mass in the movements of the universe. It simply doesn't try to define all the movements and configurations of matter *solely* in terms of gravity.

    So let's try to find something specific.

    Zwicky first proposed the existence of what we now call "dark matter", back in the 1930's. He did it by applying the virial theorem to the motions of galaxies in clusters, and showing that the luminous mass was not enough to produce the gravity required to hold the cluster together.
    In other words, a purely "gravity centric" approach doesn't even begin to adequately account for the movements we observe in space. A new approach is needed.

    This is a part of cosmology dominated by gravity. What is the equally valid plasma cosmology solution to this problem?
    The solution is current flow and plasma physics as Alfv'en outlined it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInTheMirror View Post
    Fair enough. Let's start with some basics that are generic scientific debate issues and that apply to all discussions in all areas of science:

    http://www.csun.edu/~dgw61315/fallacies.html

    No arguments can begin with a logical fallacy. Therefore, from a logical and scientific point of view, we are obligated to reject all theories that begin with statements like:
    It is profoundly impossible for my "insert statement of choice" to not exist, if we assume the validity of the accelerated expansion of the universe, for the simple reason that "insert statement of choice", by definition, the cause of that effect.
    Circular arguments won't qualify as "science", only "psuedo-science".

    [snip]
    I'm quite at a loss here, MITM, so I do hope you can sort this out.

    At one level, I think you have, with your definition of "logical fallacy", rejected every theory in science, and (possibly) all of mathematics as well.

    Why? Because all scientific theories, logically, begin with assumptions (a.k.a. 'postulates'). Further, all scientific theories include, implicitly or explicitly, something to connect 'arguments' (your term) with 'reality' ... and that connection is, I think, at least partly self-referential ... and so, in one reading of your criterion, 'circular'.

    Can you please clarify? Specifically, please show how, in terms of your stated criterion, the foundations of science (or, if you prefer, all sciences) are not tautological (a.k.a. circular arguments)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    I'm quite at a loss here, MITM, so I do hope you can sort this out.

    At one level, I think you have, with your definition of "logical fallacy", rejected every theory in science, and (possibly) all of mathematics as well.

    Why? Because all scientific theories, logically, begin with assumptions (a.k.a. 'postulates'). Further, all scientific theories include, implicitly or explicitly, something to connect 'arguments' (your term) with 'reality' ... and that connection is, I think, at least partly self-referential ... and so, in one reading of your criterion, 'circular'.

    Can you please clarify? Specifically, please show how, in terms of your stated criterion, the foundations of science (or, if you prefer, all sciences) are not tautological (a.k.a. circular arguments)?
    I believe that I can clarify things for you. A "postulate" is a singular concept that must be supported by valid scientific "evidence". For instance I might posit that my magic wands exist, but this is an "extraordinary" claim. I therefore must provide "extraordinary" evidence that my magic wand exists. If I try to use the movement of distant objects as "evidence" that my magic wand exists, it becomes beholden upon me to not only demonstrate that my magic wand exists, but that it can furthermore move the distant objects in question. I have now created two different postulates, and I become beholden to demonstrate both things with valid scientific evidence.

    What I cannot do is point to the movement of the objects in question and claim that the movement of the distant objects is caused by my magic wand because the movement in question is by definition the cause of that effect. This is where my argument becomes "circular" in nature. Neither postulate has been demonstrated.

    Does that clarify the issue?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInTheMirror View Post
    I believe that I can clarify things for you. A "postulate" is a singular concept that must be supported by valid scientific "evidence". For instance I might posit that my magic wands exist, but this is an "extraordinary" claim. I therefore must provide "extraordinary" evidence that my magic wand exists. If I try to use the movement of distant objects as "evidence" that my magic wand exists, it becomes beholden upon me to not only demonstrate that my magic wand exists, but that it can furthermore move the distant objects in question. I have now created two different postulates, and I become beholden to demonstrate both things with valid scientific evidence.

    What I cannot do is point to the movement of the objects in question and claim that the movement of the distant objects is caused by my magic wand because the movement in question is by definition the cause of that effect. This is where my argument becomes "circular" in nature. Neither postulate has been demonstrated.

    Does that clarify the issue?
    I wanted to note where this issue directly ties back into "plasma cosmology" as outlined by Alfven. Alfven claims that EM fields and current flow exist in reality, and that EM fields and current flow are responsible for some of the movements we see in distant objects.

    Unlike my magic wand theory, there is valid scientific evidence from many fields of science that EM fields and current flow exist in reality. There is no "extraordinary" claim in that statement. He furthermore posits that the "cause" of the movements in question are related to these forces. It then becomes beholden on the plasma cosmologist to demonstrate that EM fields and current flows exist in "spacetime", inside our solar system and if possible outside our solar system as well. It must also be demonstrated that these forces can cause the movements of plasma. Birkeland currents have already been documented inside of our solar system, and the acceleration of plasma as it approaches the solar sheath would support the idea that Birkeland currents exist outside of the solar system. Alfven's work with plasma physics in the lab demonstrates that EM fields and current flow can cause the movements of plasma. Both points have been satisfied.

    Plasma cosmology "theory", unlike my magic wand theory, has scientific support from many areas of science, it has been lab tested, and it has support from direct observations from space. From a scientific perspective, it is far "better than" my magic wand theory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInTheMirror View Post
    I believe that I can clarify things for you. A "postulate" is a singular concept that must be supported by valid scientific "evidence". For instance I might posit that my magic wands exist, but this is an "extraordinary" claim. I therefore must provide "extraordinary" evidence that my magic wand exists. If I try to use the movement of distant objects as "evidence" that my magic wand exists, it becomes beholden upon me to not only demonstrate that my magic wand exists, but that it can furthermore move the distant objects in question. I have now created two different postulates, and I become beholden to demonstrate both things with valid scientific evidence.

    What I cannot do is point to the movement of the objects in question and claim that the movement of the distant objects is caused by my magic wand because the movement in question is by definition the cause of that effect. This is where my argument becomes "circular" in nature. Neither postulate has been demonstrated.

    Does that clarify the issue?
    (Emphasis added) This is very confusing. We have evidence of an effect. Are you saying that the effect is "by definition" also the cause, or are you saying that you have evidence for a specific cause?

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    It is profoundly impossible for my magic wand to not exist, if we assume the validity of observation "x", for the simple reason that my magic wand is, by definition, the cause of that effect.
    Try this Van. Try isolating the logical fallacy in the sentence above.

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    We've been through that already. This is your argument, please answer my question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInTheMirror View Post
    I believe that I can clarify things for you. A "postulate" is a singular concept that must be supported by valid scientific "evidence". For instance I might posit that my magic wands exist, but this is an "extraordinary" claim. I therefore must provide "extraordinary" evidence that my magic wand exists. If I try to use the movement of distant objects as "evidence" that my magic wand exists, it becomes beholden upon me to not only demonstrate that my magic wand exists, but that it can furthermore move the distant objects in question. I have now created two different postulates, and I become beholden to demonstrate both things with valid scientific evidence.
    I think all you have done here is establish, by fiat, a privileged set of postulates ... or merely pushed the testing one level back.

    In particular, you seem to have created two classes of 'scientific "evidence"' - that which you assert exists independently of any (scientific) theory (and so 'valid' by definition), and that which is 'valid' because the theories upon which it critically depends have passed your (arbitrary?) test.

    But maybe I simply misunderstand, so let me ask a question: what are the criteria for determining which 'scientific "evidence"' is 'valid' and which is not? Or perhaps the question concerns your criteria for 'supported by'?
    What I cannot do is point to the movement of the objects in question and claim that the movement of the distant objects is caused by my magic wand because the movement in question is by definition the cause of that effect. This is where my argument becomes "circular" in nature. Neither postulate has been demonstrated.

    Does that clarify the issue?
    No; as I said, it merely seems to push the issue one step back - the circularity in logic, under your explanation, arises from your need to have a (scientific) theory to judge the validity of any 'evidence', which is then used to validate (another) scientific theory! How do you break the circle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    I think all you have done here is establish, by fiat, a privileged set of postulates ... or merely pushed the testing one level back.
    Quite the contrary. I'm ensuring that all ideas be backed up with a little sweat equity science. That hardly seems like much to ask for. In fact, I'm being careful to apply standard scientific principles whenever and wherever possible, and I am attempting to test all theories based on standard scientific principles used in every area of science. Alfven didn't "push back" anything. He demonstrated that current flows and EM fields could move plasma. He explained the math involved, and he tested his theories in real life scientific "tests" to ensure that his mathematical models corresponded well to what he expected to observe. That's is sweat equity science Nereid, just as I would expect from any scientist on any topic.

    In particular, you seem to have created two classes of 'scientific "evidence"' - that which you assert exists independently of any (scientific) theory (and so 'valid' by definition),
    There is a profound and obvious difference between postulating the notion that current flows and EM fields move plasma vs. claiming that my magic wand moved the plasma. EM fields have been studied here on earth in very controlled and precise ways, including their effects on plasma. Alfven even wrote the book on the mathematical modeling of EM fields on plasma. There is qualitative and quantitative support for the idea.

    Contrast that now with my magic wand theory. My magic wand has never been studied by anyone here on earth, no mathematical models have been offered to explain how my magic wand affects the movements of plasma, so my magic wand theory cannot possibly be considered in the same league as Alfven's plasma cosmology theory. There is no favoritism here Nereid, just a respect for the time tested ways of separating science from "pseudo-science".

    and that which is 'valid' because the theories upon which it critically depends have passed your (arbitrary?) test.
    What was "arbitrary" about the testing that Alfven did to demonstrate that EM fields affect the movements of plasma? I don't understand your definition of "arbitrary". I'm willing to accept any "test" of the concept, as long as it can be tested and shown to affect plasma.

    No step was "pushed back" in Alfven's explanation thus far, so I'm unclear why you would feel that anything is being "pushed back". I'm simply requiring that all scientific "tests" be true scientific tests, and that no arguments begin with logical fallacies. That is not arbitrary in any way, nor is it "pushing" anything "back". I don't quite grasp where you are coming from on that issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInTheMirror View Post
    Doesn't answer my question. You said:

    What I cannot do is point to the movement of the objects in question and claim that the movement of the distant objects is caused by my magic wand because the movement in question is by definition the cause of that effect.

    (emphasis added)

    To repeat:

    So, are you saying that the effect is also the cause, or are you saying you have evidence for a specific cause? After all, you seem to be saying that the movement is, by definition, the cause of the movement.

    Or did you write something you didn't intend?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInTheMirror View Post
    There is a profound and obvious difference between postulating the notion that current flows and EM fields move plasma vs. claiming that my magic wand moved the plasma. EM fields have been studied here on earth in very controlled and precise ways, including their effects on plasma. Alfven even wrote the book on the mathematical modeling of EM fields on plasma. There is qualitative and quantitative support for the idea.

    Contrast that now with my magic wand theory. My magic wand has never been studied by anyone here on earth, no mathematical models have been offered to explain how my magic wand affects the movements of plasma, so my magic wand theory cannot possibly be considered in the same league as Alfven's plasma cosmology theory. There is no favoritism here Nereid, just a respect for the time tested ways of separating science from "pseudo-science".
    I assume we're still talking about Dark Energy, in which case you agreed with all the arguments behind DE in the other thread.

    But for now, what is your definition of "magic wand"? Is it intended to represent a specific cause, or as a placeholder for "effect noted, cause currently unknown"?

    Because in the first case, there is no difference. You would be expected to present your evidence for your suggested specific cause, whether it is a (currently unsupported) EU/PC argument or a "Magic Wand" argument.

    In the second case, the EU/PC argument for a specific cause would still be unsupported, while "Magic Wand" represents the state of current knowledge.

    It seems clear that your real problem with this issue is not logic, but that for you the only acceptable answer for a cause would be EU/PC related. It isn't sufficient to say "we don't know" because you think you do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInTheMirror View Post
    [snip]

    Circular arguments won't qualify as "science", only "psuedo-science".

    In addition, I will agree to use all the "posted rules" as outlined in this forum that are used to gauge the validity of ATM idea to compare both ideas side by side in an equal and fair manner, without giving the mainstream position a "free pass". Each side must present their case. Each side must present evidence. Both ideas begin on equal footing. I accept that gravity exists and can influence the movement of matter. I accept that current flows exist in space and can affect the movements of matter. Beyond this, each claim will need to be verified "scientifically" in some manner, and no claim that begins with a logical fallacy will be deemed "scientifically acceptable".

    [snip]

    In other words, all the rules of contemporary science apply here equally to both current theory and plasma cosmology theory. The concept of burden of proof applies. Any explanation of a phenomenon seen at a distance should include some kind of "evidence" to support the claim, and preferably some sort of proof of concept. Any theory used to explain the movements of objects in space should be presented as precisely and scientifically as possible, and should include a scientifically well qualified and scientifically well quantified argument.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInTheMirror View Post
    Quite the contrary. I'm ensuring that all ideas be backed up with a little sweat equity science. That hardly seems like much to ask for. In fact, I'm being careful to apply standard scientific principles whenever and wherever possible, and I am attempting to test all theories based on standard scientific principles used in every area of science. Alfven didn't "push back" anything. He demonstrated that current flows and EM fields could move plasma. He explained the math involved, and he tested his theories in real life scientific "tests" to ensure that his mathematical models corresponded well to what he expected to observe. That's is sweat equity science Nereid, just as I would expect from any scientist on any topic.



    There is a profound and obvious difference between postulating the notion that current flows and EM fields move plasma vs. claiming that my magic wand moved the plasma. EM fields have been studied here on earth in very controlled and precise ways, including their effects on plasma. Alfven even wrote the book on the mathematical modeling of EM fields on plasma. There is qualitative and quantitative support for the idea.

    Contrast that now with my magic wand theory. My magic wand has never been studied by anyone here on earth, no mathematical models have been offered to explain how my magic wand affects the movements of plasma, so my magic wand theory cannot possibly be considered in the same league as Alfven's plasma cosmology theory. There is no favoritism here Nereid, just a respect for the time tested ways of separating science from "pseudo-science".



    What was "arbitrary" about the testing that Alfven did to demonstrate that EM fields affect the movements of plasma? I don't understand your definition of "arbitrary". I'm willing to accept any "test" of the concept, as long as it can be tested and shown to affect plasma.

    No step was "pushed back" in Alfven's explanation thus far, so I'm unclear why you would feel that anything is being "pushed back". I'm simply requiring that all scientific "tests" be true scientific tests, and that no arguments begin with logical fallacies. That is not arbitrary in any way, nor is it "pushing" anything "back". I don't quite grasp where you are coming from on that issue.
    (my bold)

    Perhaps the simplest way forward would be for you to answer my questions, about your ATM ideas, as you presented them. Here they are again:
    But maybe I simply misunderstand, so let me ask a question: what are the criteria for determining which 'scientific "evidence"' is 'valid' and which is not? Or perhaps the question concerns your criteria for 'supported by'?
    If these questions are unclear, please ask for clarification (I would be glad to provide any such, as needed).

    BTW, my questions, on your ATM idea, in post #9, remain unanswered; may I ask when you expect to answer them?

  24. #24
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    Lightbulb cause & effect

    Quote Originally Posted by ManInTheMirror View Post
    ... You cannot assume that the idea you are presenting is true and is responsible for the observation in question until you have already established as fact that the observation in question is due to the idea you are presenting.
    I agree. So does everybody else. I never did that. Nobody else did that either. How in the world did you ever come to the conclusion that anybody, anywhere, ever said any such thing? How in the world did you ever manage to mangle my words into such a mess? I never did or said any such thing. All I ever did was to insist that any effect must logically have a cause. I have not yet had a chance to develop the idea beyond that, since I have been repeatedly told that effects cannot have causes, or so I have interpreted what you have said to me.

    All you have to do is agree that all effects have a cause and that argument is finished.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid View Post
    But maybe I simply misunderstand, so let me ask a question: what are the criteria for determining which 'scientific "evidence"' is 'valid' and which is not? Or perhaps the question concerns your criteria for 'supported by'?
    My criteria would be exactly the same criteria that would apply to any and all scientific discussions on any scientific topic. True scientific tests involve the study of something in controlled conditions, and active testing methods.

    Alfven used such standard scientific methods when testing his mathematical models with plasmas in a controlled laboratory setting. In this way he was able to verify that his mathematical models accurately represented the movements of nature and the behaviors of plasma in nature. He was able to verify that EM fields move plasma using standard scientific tests.

    No "special" criteria is afforded astronomy as it relates to "science". Standard scientific principles apply. Alfven was able to demonstrate a "qualified" (lab tested) idea and he was able to "quantify" his arguments in mathematical terms. Plasma cosmology is therefore based on a well qualified idea as well as a well quantified set of mathematical models. It therefore passes the first set of "scientific tests". There is no certainty that his theories will be 100% accurate, but they are at least well qualified and well quantified and allow for continued scientific "testing" and continued scientific mathematical modeling.

  26. #26
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    Isn't all the Man-in-the-Mirror saying, in this case, is that the difference in galactic orbits between what is observed and what Newtonian mechanics predicts cannot be objectively called 'dark matter' unless and until some attribute can be identified other than that the results are not what is predicted by Newtonian mechanics? Isn't it fair to call this discrepancy Dark Matter with the understanding that we do not know whether this means dark matter exists, or the theory is wrong?

    If MinM can provide an alternative hypothesis, that explains the rotational observed without dark matter, isn't his alternative, at least based upon this one metric, more acceptable than a space holder?

    I think there is plenty of meat in a discussion about plasma theory without beating this philosophic part of the discussion to death.
    Last edited by Jerry; 2007-Jan-11 at 05:49 PM. Reason: added editorial comment
    “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I assume we're still talking about Dark Energy, in which case you agreed with all the arguments behind DE in the other thread.
    This would be the moral equivalent of me telling you that you had already agreed with me about all the arguments behind my magic wand theory in the other thread.

    I have only agreed that a GR/Vacuum model is "broken". The current gravity centric model does not adequately explain the movements of matter in "spacetime". I did not agree with you that DE exists anymore than you agreed with me that invisible cheeseburgers were involved in the movements of the universe.

    But for now, what is your definition of "magic wand"? Is it intended to represent a specific cause, or as a placeholder for "effect noted, cause currently unknown"?
    What difference does it make what my "definition" of a magic wand is? My point Van is that the term is not "scientifically defined" anymore than your "DE" is scientifically defined.

    Because in the first case, there is no difference. You would be expected to present your evidence for your suggested specific cause, whether it is a (currently unsupported) EU/PC argument or a "Magic Wand" argument.
    Alfven presented a lot of laboratory evidence that EM fields are capable of moving plasma. He presented observational evidence of the existence of EM fields in space by noting the Birkeland currents that we observe in space, and the shapes of plasma in space. He scientifically identifies a known scientific "cause" for the movements observed in the plasma. More importantly that "cause" is fully scientifically defined and completely scientifically *lab tested*, whereas my magic wand is not defined and has not been tested in any lab. That is what separates my magic wand theory from plasma cosmology.

    In the second case, the EU/PC argument for a specific cause would still be unsupported, while "Magic Wand" represents the state of current knowledge.
    You mean magic wand represents a current state of "ignorance", not "knowledge". The basic problem with my magic wand theory Van is that nobody on planet earth can ever test it. Nobody can describe how it ties back into QM or particle physics or GR. Nobody can tell if my magic wand can actually move anything, let alone objects at a distance, so no mathematical model I might ever present could ever be "tested" in any scientific sense.

    It seems clear that your real problem with this issue is not logic, but that for you the only acceptable answer for a cause would be EU/PC related. It isn't sufficient to say "we don't know" because you think you do.
    It isn't scientifically meaningful to create a "placeholder name" to represent a state of ignorance Van. That's my whole point. There is no scientific value in my magic wand label because it has no scientific meaning. Therefore my magic wand theory is not a "scientific" theory, it is a "pseudo-scientific" label, nothing more.

    The important difference between plasma cosmology and my magic wand theory is that plasma cosmology can be falsified scientifically, and tested scientifically, where that is impossible to do with my magic wand theory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Thompson View Post
    All you have to do is agree that all effects have a cause and that argument is finished.
    I will agree with you that there is a *scientific* cause behind every effect, but my magic wand is not a "scientific explanation" of the "scientific cause" behind any "effect".

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManInTheMirror View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Nereid
    But maybe I simply misunderstand, so let me ask a question: what are the criteria for determining which 'scientific "evidence"' is 'valid' and which is not? Or perhaps the question concerns your criteria for 'supported by'?
    My criteria would be exactly the same criteria that would apply to any and all scientific discussions on any scientific topic. True scientific tests involve the study of something in controlled conditions, and active testing methods.
    And what, specifically, are these criteria ("that would apply to any and all scientific discussions on any scientific topic")?

    Even more specifically, what - in some detail please - are your criteria for the specific fields of science called
    a) astrophysics?
    b) cosmology?

    Among your details, please highlight how your criteria are "exactly the same" as those used in the field of science called condensed matter physics.
    [snip]

    No "special" criteria is afforded astronomy as it relates to "science". Standard scientific principles apply. Alfven was able to demonstrate a "qualified" (lab tested) idea and he was able to "quantify" his arguments in mathematical terms. Plasma cosmology is therefore based on a well qualified idea as well as a well quantified set of mathematical models. It therefore passes the first set of "scientific tests". There is no certainty that his theories will be 100% accurate, but they are at least well qualified and well quantified and allow for continued scientific "testing" and continued scientific mathematical modeling.
    When will you be answering the questions I posted in #9?

    Here they are again, re-cast to align more closely with the part of your last post that I am quoting:

    1) AFAIK, no one has done a lab-experiment to produce and detect the gravitational waves predicted by General Relativity (if you know of any such experiment, please provide a reference). Hulse and Taylor were awarded a Nobel, for work they did on a binary pulsar - they did not directly detect any of the waves predicted by GR. To what extent is their work consistent with your "[s]tandard scientific principles"? Please show how, in detail, this work meets your criteria for validity wrt 'scientific "evidence"'.

    2) AFAIK, no one has done a lab-experiment to produce and detect the 'nebular' [OIII] line, nor any of several other such lines (if you know of any such experiment, please provide a reference). To what extent is the routine identification of this line, by astronomers, consistent with your "[s]tandard scientific principles"? Please show how, in detail, this routine identification meets your criteria for validity wrt 'scientific "evidence"'.

    3) AFAIK, no one has done a lab-experiment to produce a sample of the electron degenerate matter which Sirius B is considered to comprise (if you know of any such experiment, please provide a reference). To what extent are the conclusions concerning the nature of Sirius B (mass, radius, temperature, composition, etc), by astronomers, consistent with your "[s]tandard scientific principles"? Please show how, in detail, these conclusions meet your criteria for validity wrt 'scientific "evidence"'.

    4) AFAIK, no one has done a lab-experiment to produce macroscopic samples of matter in the states which comprise matter at various depths in the Sun (if you know of any such experiment, please provide a reference). To what extent are the parameters in the standard solar model (temperature, composition, density, reaction rates, etc, by radius), used by astronomers, consistent with your "[s]tandard scientific principles"? Please show how, in detail, these parameters meet your criteria for validity wrt 'scientific "evidence"'.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    [snip]

    I think there is plenty of meat in a discussion about plasma theory without beating this philosophic part of the discussion to death.
    That may well be so, but that's not the (ATM) claim made in the post #3!

    Further, MITM has not answered several direct, pertinent questions about the claim, as stated.

    So, unless and until MITM either retracts those (ATM) claims, or answers the direct questions on them, this so-called "philosophic part of the discussion" will continue.

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