Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Setterfield Again...

(I was informed earlier this week that Setterfield had posted an additional revision to his work dealing with some of my complaints. Unfortunately, his site currently appears to be offline. Since this post has been sitting for several months now, waiting for these updates, I've decided to go ahead and post this material and revise as necessary when Setterfield's site returns.)

Some months ago, I wrote a couple of posts following up on some activity by creationist Barry Setterfield.
In December, I was informed that Setterfield had responded to my posts, ANSWER TO TOM BRIDGMAN – Part 1. More recently, I was informed that Setterfield had also responded to some of the work by my occasional collaborator, physicist Jerry Jellision, Response concerning Jellison's criticisms,

A Professional Nitpick

Note Setterfield still doesn't link to my site, while I link to his. Is he afraid to let his readers compare what I'm saying to what he wants to claim I'm saying? For example:
Setterfield: “Then he states he is criticizing a recently published paper of mine, “Reviewing a Plasma Universe with Zero Point Energy.“ He seems to be implying the following graphs are part of the Plasma paper. They are not.”
I explicitly state these are my plots of Setterfield's data, relevant only because Setterfield includes a very selective set of data in his paper, showing you the data he wants you to see.
Me: “For example, my Figures 1 & 2 below are plots of measurements of the speed of light (points with error bars) compared with plots of the various models for a changing speed of light which Setterfield has proposed over the years (lines). The data plotted here are collected from Setterfield's own site”.
I even include a link to Setterfield's site with the data tables I used. This is the custom among professional scientists. Raw data and data selection criteria are regarded as freely available for use with proper credit. From this data, a researcher can produce or reproduce any graphic they desire. I have had the practice of reproducing graphics from raw data or formulae rather than copying the graphic itself. This provides a cross-check on the work. Reproducibility is important in science.

However, I then became rather annoyed as I noticed that Setterfield lifted graphs I had generated without even giving me proper credit. He didn't even include a link to my site where he obtained them!

That is very unprofessional (and un-Christian) behavior, violating the Code of Conduct in many professional societies and can be a cause for disciplinary action in academic organizations. He could have generated his own equivalent plot without using my graphic or just had a link to my site. I may start watermarking my graphics.

My main site is under Creative Commons. I have no problem with others reusing my material for non-profit educational uses provided proper credit is given, at the very least a link to the web page containing the info.

Setterfield's Mysterious Data Points

Next there was this, in describing a new graphic, with yet another subset of data:
Setterfield: “The observations done at Pulkovo were all performed on the same equipment over a period of more than a century, and many were done by the same observers.”
The more I examined this statement, the stranger it got. Note that the actual data values in Setterfield's graph runs from about 1740 to 1940, about 200 years.

Is Setterfield saying that this observatory didn't update their equipment for 200 years!? In 1940 they were using the same equipment as in 1740?! Are we to believe that 200 year old equipment, or even 100 year old equipment, is as precise as the day it was built? I find that extremely unlikely. I'm also very curious about the life expectancy of some of these 'same observers'. At best, a scientific career might last about 50 years.

But even funnier is that I eventually searched for the observatory's web site, where they clearly indicate they opened in 1839!
Pulkovo Observatory Web Site
Pulkovo Observatory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So who actually made those observations back in the 1700s!?

Setterfield's Mysterious 'Oscillation'

Note that I include the many different c-decay function fits which Setterfield's derived from the exact same data. Yet Setterfield can't seem to settle down on any firm variation of the speed of light with time.
Setterfield: “In actual fact it is a sign that we want to see exactly where the data are leading before any definitive form for the universal oscillation is proposed.”
and

Setterfield: “We have just pointed out that the precise form of the oscillation has not yet been determined, so that Bridgman’s curves, which have been gratuitously imposed on the data, have nothing to do with any model currently under consideration.”
That this oscillation is undetermined seems to have been true for quite some time now, as I make note of it in my 2001 analysis of Setterfield's work. If such an oscillation in the data were real, it should be easy to make a reasonable approximation to produce it. I even attempt to identify this oscillation in my 2006 update.

Hopefully I'll get to access Setterfield's latest update soon!

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