Sunday, November 9, 2008

An "Electric Sky" response?

While conducting a few searches on Google to see if any new information on Setterfield's adoption of components of Electric cosmology was scattered elsewhere on the web, I stumbled across:
"W.T. Bridgman's Critique of The Electric Sky" on the Thunderbolts forum.

Apparently the Electric Universe (EU( forum has had some discussion of my work "The Electric Sky: Short-Circuited". Over the past approximately six months since my analysis was released, I have occasionally conducted similar searches on the search engines to see if anything substantive would show up but they had come up empty.

This is the first I've seen of this response even though it appears to be from the March-April 2008 time frame. Apparently no one on the forum felt any need to contact me directly, or indirectly, for clarification of anything in my paper. Looking at the weakness of their 'rebuttal', I can guess why. For a group that claims to be a bunch of electrical engineers, they seem incredibly ignorant of much of the physics (particularly quantum mechanics) that has driven their own field over the past 50 years. Most of their understanding of physics seems pre-1900!

Incidentally, in some of my previous searches for rebuttals to my 'Electric sky' work, I discovered two relevant posts in other forums, which predate my work and raise a number of the same issues:
In other words, my complaints are not new to the EU community. They are the SIMPLE problem issues and the EU advocates have still not addressed them in any substantial way.

First I'll examine some of the 'lighter' complaints mentioned in the forum thread.

davesmith_au asked: "He then goes on the use the term "crank" in describing Don Scott, this is an insulting ad hominem attack and there is ablolutely nothing scientific in this methodology."
I use the term 'crank' in my document seven times. I assume he is referring to page 7, where I say
"Like many creationists and other crank scientists, Dr. Scott tries to tap almost every astronomical anomaly as evidence of his claims."

Note the simile! I compare Dr. Scott to cranks and creationists based on a characteristic of their behavior. The forum poster 'M5k' gets it right when he points out
"Oh yes, that's a valid concern, because we EU advocates NEVER use a condescending tone in our posts and articles, and we are obviously all experts on the whole of astrophysics. </sarcasm>."

Note that M5k installed the sarcasm tag as part of his response, drawing attention to the fact that the EU community is far from immune to name-calling. With the foul accusations Dr. Scott makes against astronomers and astrophysicists in "Electric Sky", many pointed out in my analysis, a comparison to cranks is relatively minor, but I guess it provides Mr. Smith a convenient excuse to ignore the evidence presented.

In the generic case, I used 'Electric Universe/Plasma Cosmology (EU/PC) advocate' in many places (which sounds annoyingly Politically Correct).

davesmith_au asked: "This so-called debunker spends most of his free time fighting against creationsists, so why he has picked up on this topic is beyond me."
Mr. Smith obviously didn't read the introduction very carefully, as I state my prime reason for examining the model and claims. Beyond that, it was kind of a 'drive by debunking'. In addition to Electric Universe components being adopted by some creationists, I was also developing some additional tools to demonstrate errors in other creationist claims. I noticed that many of the tools I was developing could also be used to address EU claims. While most creationists try to hide their pseudo-science in the distant past, EU advocates make claims that have strong observational implications in the present. I added EU claims to my list because they were an easy (and relatively minor) detour on my way to other goals.

Even in some of their ads, they invoke their model's 'agreement' with ancient mythologies and evidenced in these videos on YouTube.
In that sense, they are another form of creationism, just not as well funded or organized.

davesmith_au says: "...even describes the “outer layers“ of a neutron star for goodness sake. I don't know of any other scientist who has even seen the layers of this questionable entity, let alone can describe it's outer layers like they're established, unadulterated facts."
No one has seen an atom, or electron, or proton, or any other subatomic particle either. Their reality is inferred by the ability to use these 'constructions' and mathematics to predict the outcome of everything from interactions in particle accelerators to the behavior of electrons in semiconductors. Note that the various technologies that 'see' atoms, such as scanning tunneling microscopes, are not direct viewing of atoms but inferring their presence through the changes in currents based on a quantum-mechanical model. I wonder how Mr. Smith thinks we measure the multi-million degree temperatures in experimental fusion reactors? These temperatures are high enough to ionize all known physical materials, so any material probe won't last long. Here we must also use indirect techniques, inferred from the physical properties of atoms.

The neutron-star equation of state, a 'first approximation' version of which is derived in my paper, is determined by applying many of the same physical principles used in semiconductors physics for determining the Fermi level but with electrons replaced by neutrons. This technique also integrates known principles of neutron formation and decay from nuclear physics.

In my next posts on this topic, I'll address some of the statements about the EU solar models, which I will label the "solar resistor" and "solar capacitor” models for reasons that should become apparent.

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