"I don't understand why people would ask anyone to waste their time answering pseudo-skeptics" -- David Smith on the Thunderbolts.info forumsPoor Dave Smith of Thunderbolts just doesn't seem to get it...again (see Whines of the Electric Universe...).
This whine was part of the thread titled "Multi-point EU critique: can these points be addressed?"
which contained nothing of substance. I thought for a while something of interest might appear in this thread, but in the over two months since it was posted, it is more a collection of excuses of how real scientific standards do not apply to Electric Universe (EU) 'science'.
Maybe some EUers are willing to 'waste their time' because if EU is so much better a theory of the space environment, as Dave and other EU 'theorists' claim, it should be used in planning and developing active missions into interplanetary space. After all, Electric Sun models predict a radically different environment for interplanetary space than the standard solar models.
Perhaps Dave is afraid that someone might start to wonder about that...
Flunking Peer Review
To summarize, here's the articles in question in the original Thunderbolts thread, a review of the five papers published in a Special Issue of the peer-reviewed (?) Bentham Open Astronomy Journal. These reviews were assembled by Nereid and myself.
- Electric Universe: Peer-Review Exercise 1. Editorial: Some Initial Thoughts on Plasma Cosmology by Jeremy Dunning-Davies
- Electric Universe: Peer Review Exercise 2. On Gravity-centric Cosmology and the Implications of a Universe Awash with Plasma by David B. Smith
- Electric Universe: Peer Review Exercise 3. Electric Currents Key to Magnetic Phenomena by Donald E. Scott
- Electric Universe: Peer Review Exercise 4. Laboratory Modeling of Meteorite Impact Craters by Z-pinch Plasma by C. J. Ransom
- Electric Universe: Peer Review Exercies 5. Toward a Real Cosmology in the 21st Century by Wallace W. Thornhill
Legitimate scientists are expected to respond to peer-review reports if they want to be published. Peer review is intended to catch the really blatant mistakes. It is not perfect, but it catches a lot of problems (see Why Don't Rebuttals Appear in the Scientific Literature?). As is easy to see in these EU review exercises, there are major errors in the EU papers that would have been identified by almost anyone competent in astronomy. But EU 'theorists' and supporters repeatedly ignore these facts.
There is certainly some doubt about the peer-review quality at the Bentham journals, which I am not the first to point:
- June 10, 2009: Hoax exposes incompetence or worse at a Bentham OA journal. Bentham's peer review process couldn't even distinguish a paper composed of pure nonsense.
- September 11, 2009: Criticism of OA publisher Bentham. It appears the only criteria for successful peer review at Bentham journals is the check must clear.
EU's Blatant Disregard for the Integrity of Space Assets and the Lives of Astronauts
But it's bad enough that EU science does not match the observations. EU ignorance in the solar system environment places billions of dollars in satellite assets and the lives of astronauts at risk as I have documented in my recent "Death by Electric Unverse" series.
- Death by Electric Universe. I. EU's Unsolvable Problem
- Death by Electric Universe. II. The Solar Capacitor Model
- Death by Electric Universe. III. EU Excuses
- Death by Electric Universe. IV. The Z-Pinch (Solar Resistor) Model
EU supporters generate nothing but excuses when it comes to determining the important quantities that satellite engineers need so they can build satellites that can survive the environment. Gee, mainstream solar theory does a pretty good job with this (see NOAA: Space Weather Forecasting).
What is EU's excuse?
I have asked many TECHNICAL QUESTIONS of EU theorists which they repeatedly refuse to answer.
Is the preservation of EU theorists' egos more important than the safety and integrity of billions of dollars in space assets, or the lives of astronauts?
The actions of EU theorists suggests that they think so!
Time for EU to Put Up or Shut Up
The underlying theme of many sites like Thunderbolts.info and others is that the propagators of pseudo-science know more about the space environment than those who must design, build, and operate satellites in the space.
So if the EU 'theorists' are so clever, and repeatedly lecture everyone about how they are engineers and they BUILD things, then why aren't they building and operating satellites?
There was a time when access to space was difficult, and expensive, such that pretty much only governments could afford to provide that access. Claims like the Electric Sun and similar nonsense could be propagated with claims of government coverups, etc.
But times have changed…
Private access to space is now available, and not that expensive. The EU excuses are starting to wear a little thin…
- ArduSat: a real satellite mission that you can be a part of
- Chimera: A Low Cost Solution to Small Satellite Space Access
- and many others...
But Which Way Will It Tip?
In an attempt to raise their appearance of legitimacy, EU supporters often try to get more mainstream researchers to speak at their conferences or write blurbs for their book covers. This has often proven more embarrassing for the mainstream researcher as EU supporters try to stretch the endorsement beyond what the endorser intended or expected.
Recent attempts by EU advocates at a higher profile, such as Don Scott's visit to GSFC, are showing signs of backfiring. The space community has begun to recognize that EU's alleged mission of increasing the understanding of electric fields in space is really a cover for a more destructive pseudo-science. While I've heard rumors (see comments in Electric Universe Fantasies & Heliopause Electrons) about what James Ryder, former VP of LMSAL, said at the 2012 EU conference (see speakers list), the abstract and all other evidence points to a perfectly legitimate talk about mainstream science from IBEX and the new questions raised by some of the results. I've found nothing to indicate that Ryder said anything about the IBEX results that actually supported EU claims such as the Sun being powered by external electric currents (see The IBEX Challenge for the Electric Sun).
Consider the bold title of their 2013 conference: Electric Universe: The Tipping Point
I suspect the tipping will be against EU theorists as their claims become more widely recognized as a threat to the integrity of space flight.
Dave and EU 'theorists' never address the facts that I have documented (see 365 Days of Astronomy: The Electric Universe) of many the cosmic environments where astronomers have found, or have considered, actions of electric fields. Acknowledging this fact would expose a major part of their thesis, their claim that astronomers ignore electric fields, is a lie. Yet they continually note modern astronomy references about electric fields claiming success while ignoring the fact that many references in the papers EU promotes reference much of the older work which I have noted.
EU's 'theorists' still treat Maxwell's equations as mystic writing rather than tools. Notice they present Maxwells equations in their "The Essential Guide to the Electric Universe", but not ONCE do they actually apply them to a single one of their proposed models where they connect a measurement of one physical quantity (say current), to the field strength (electric or magnetic). At best, they only illustrate connections in more mainstream models.
EU Has Much to Whine About…
I can understand Dave's frustration. He's picked a really bad position, considering that none of those EU 'theorists' have done anything in space, and it's coming back to bite them. He sees no way to save face against people who really DO space for a living and have to KNOW about it. It begins to look like EU's entire business model is built around selling books and 'conferences' by wrapping their own fairy tails around public domain NASA images.
With all the REAL FAILURES of EU claims I've documented, Dave has no choice but to harp on the creationism aspect of my blog because dealing with the real space science aspects are a guaranteed loser for him and EU. The expansion of topics I want to cover is why I renamed the main site 'Crank Astronomy', so he won't have that excuse much longer.
Dave's whine about me comparing them to creationists does not grant EU a 'free pass' when it comes to dealing with their claims that risk billions of dollars in space assets and the lives of astronauts.
Speaking of connections between EU and creationism, wasn't creationist Barry Setterfield a participant at EUs big 2012 shindig in Las Vegas? (see presenters list)
I have many times outlined what EU 'theorists' must do to stop my complaints - present their theories in forms that can generate actual numbers to compare against real measurements. Yet they continue to evade, make excuses, and repeat the same claims that have been proven wrong many times over. Is it that they are not competent to do this (in which case their claims are made up) or do they know their claims are garbage and are desperately trying to keep their own supporters from asking them the hard questions? They did evade the original purpose of the thread on their own forum - to address the points made by myself and others.
So EU theorists have no resort but to fall back on the cult-like strategy of discouraging their supporters from interacting with others who might know about space flight from professional experience.
My predictions for EU's Future
What will EU 'theorists' change in the future, in an attempt to keep themselves feeling relevant and evade the real world implications of their claims? Here's my speculations:
- They will adopt a more creationist-like solution to their problems by moving their predictions further out in space and further back in time. This will mean dropping the externally-powered Electric Sun claims and moving more towards Plasma Cosmology - which has already failed.
- Continuing the move 'back to the past', they will place more emphasis on interpretations of ancient writings and drawings.
- They will probably continue to scream 'success' whenever a mission reports anything about electric currents or electric fields in space, despite the long history and knowledge of the topic ( see 365 Days of Astronomy: The Electric Universe).
- They will concentrate on more bizarre 'reinterpretations' of existing models, such as "Electric Gravity" and similar strangeness.