Rob Knop of the Galactic Interactions blog posted a comment about Dr. Dixon's talk, bringing up the topics of creationism, intelligent design, and plasma cosmology. It did not take long for an Electric Universe (EU)/Plasma Cosmology (PC) supporter, posting under the handle 'HannesAlfven' to join the party (I suspect this is the same long-winded 'HannesAlfven' that I describe in Electric Universe Apologetics, or, With Friends Like These...)
We see that this person adopts many of the same strategies of many pseudo-scientific claims, repeating the same old arguments and never acknowledging that many have already been demonstrated as incorrect (RationalWiki: Gish Gallop).
1) 'HannesAlfven': "Electric universe and plasma cosmology should be recognized as legitimate scientific controversies..."
Like the Intelligent Design movement, they want to "Teach the 'Controversy'" As noted in the previous encounter (see Electric Universe Apologetics, or, With Friends Like These...), they want to integrate their claims into classrooms, and THEN they'll work out the severe problems with their 'theories'. But if they want to be considered legitimate science, they must play by same rules as legitimate science and solve their big problems first (many of which have been documented in this blog).
2) 'HannesAlfven' wants students to make their own decisions, not rely on rote memorization.
Again, this is commonly argued by ID creationists. Dixon mentions this idea, but from the perspective of using the bad science as a teaching opportunity. I've adopted this view as well (see Why We Should Teach About Creationism in Science Classes). For EU, let students apply Maxwell's equations to an electric sun model and see how compares it to data. EU 'theorists' have never done this, or at least they don't ADMIT that they've done it. I have, and the results were dismal failures for Electric Sun models. I suspect 'HannesAlfven' knows these facts but chooses to avoid addressing them, instead repeating the same old arguments (i.e. rote-memorization).
3) Consider this exchange of 'HannesAlfven' responding to Rob:
It's absolutely vital that when people make statements like ...
Rob later responded with a link to my EU Challenges page. The examples 'HannesAlfven' claims he wants are readily available. I have documented many here with specific examples. A number of the examples have direct application to satellite and human space flight which EU supporters continually evade/ignore. Notice that 'HannesAlfven' avoids these issues of ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS, by trying to move his claims out into the distant cosmos (CMB, dark matter) when EUs own theories have plenty of failed predictions in a region where we have spacecraft patrolling (YouTube: Sentinels of the Heliosphere). This is the classic evasion mechanism used by creationists to make sure their problems are sufficiently far out in space (or back in time) to be difficult to address with more direct measurements."Er, no. They're fringe theories, what predictions they've made have not been supported by observations."... that the statements be made with respect to examples. If I made such a statement about a conventional theory, clearly it would be too vague to be considered a claim if I left it to the reader's imagination to fill in the blanks.
4) 'HannesAlfven' spews a lot of words, but never once addresses the real experimental failures of EU theorists documented by myself and others before me. To use one of the quotes he invokes:
'HannesAlfven' quoting Neal Gabler of the New York Times
Ideas aren’t just intellectual playthings. They have practical effects.As demonstrated above, 'HannesAlfven' and EU 'theorists' have repeatedly evaded the practical effects of their claims.
5) 'HannesAlfven' invokes claims of ancient evidence for their theories, falling into the mythology.
I love the response by poster 'chgoliz':
"Mythology is simply religion with no living adherents."And EU supporters constantly whine when I compare them to creationists...(see The Electric Universe & Creationism).
6) 'HannesAlfven' invokes Halton Arp's discordant redshifts.
Arp's entire thesis hinged on the idea that apparent close associations of low and high redshift objects was too low probability to be attributed to chance. I recently had an entire series of posts illustrating how basic 3-D geometry and perspective effects radically increased the probability of alignments and invalidated all of Arp's claims. This had been recognized back in 1975 and never acknowledged by Arp, or his supporters (see Discordant Redshifts: A Post-Mortem).
7) 'HannesAlfven' complaints about the use of ideal MHD.
I have yet to find the use of ideal MHD in realistic plasma applications. This basic case of 'frozen-in' flux is limited to introductory problems for non specialists and used primarily because it is a good first-approximation in many practical examples.
Have we received any algorithms to estimate the particle energy and flux of the solar wind and solar energetic events so vital to the safety of astronauts and sending spacecraft into previously unexplored regions of the solar system (see Death by Electric Universe. Radiation Exposure Revisited)?
All we get is the same old rote excuses.
EU wants to be treated like a science yet they repeat the same excuses and 'evidence' like a religious creed (see The Electric Universe & Creationism). EU has more in common with a religious or political movement than a science, more in common with Intelligent Design (Wikipedia) or Deutsche Physik (Wikipedia) than science, even relying on many of the same 'flaws' in mainstream science that were/are claimed by the advocates of these earlier pseudo-sciences.
So much for the 'originality' and 'creativity' of Electric Universe ideas.