Monday, July 6, 2015

PseudoScience and Models

With the recent Electric Universe 'conference' in Phoenix AZ, I just had to do a little browse over to the Thunderbolts forum to see if there were any interesting threads related to it.

While not directly related to the conference, there was one interesting recent thread, started by user Metryq, that died a quick death.

Thunderbolts Forum: Space Sim with EU?
There are many space sim/planetarium apps to choose from. Some are "Earth-bound" while others allow one to tour the Solar system, or farther. Many of these apps are like interactive textbooks, delivering only the mainstream view of astronomy.

Some apps, like Celestia (which seems to have fallen out of development), permit mods and add-ons and interactive lessons. Is anyone aware of an app that includes EU material, or perhaps a multi-platform app that would accept an EU mod/lessons? Thunderbolts is promoting EU extremely well, but a space sim might be one more avenue to explore.
The short answer for Metryq is that there are many simulations involving electric fields in space. 

But those simulations just don't demonstrate what Electric Universe supporters claim they would show.  Because if they did, this could have been done a LONG time ago.  Computing power is more than up to the task of doing this. 

Many of the papers on REAL electric effects in space I've documented elsewhere on this blog.
These papers reference known electrical effects in space that are incorporated into simulations that provide important information for the planning of future space missions, such as these
which are also referenced in the Thunderbolts forum:
NONE of these NASA simulations use the gigantic electric arcs and currents claimed to exist by Electric Universe supporters, yet these models work perfectly well in planning the level of protection needed for un-crewed and crewed space missions.  Funny that none of the Electric Universe fans seem capable of comprehending why that might be...

Now many of these simulations are not that difficult to write.  I wrote my first gravitational n-body simulation back in 1979 on an Apple II computer (Wikipedia) using AppleSoft Basic.  All it requires is a good understanding of the necessary mathematics and physics, and access to a sufficiently powerful programming language.  In terms of programming languages, C and C++ are good if you want the better speed of compiled languages.  Python now has extensive scientific libraries and graphical support and is my language of choice when speed is not critical.

I've written numerous other simulations since then.  More recently, I've written some 2-D plasma simulations and even an n-body particle code that combines gravity and electromagnetic forces.
Sample from from one of my 2-D plasma simulations of a ring Birkeland current in a magnetic field flowing perpendicular to the plane of the image.

Modeling of plasmas is routine today, and many can be done without access to supercomputers.  Consider the aspects of plasma modeling I've documented, many of which are now part of standard applications:
So why aren't there similar simulations for Electric Universe models?

If the Electric Universe 'theorists' were as smart as they want their fans to believe, they would have been able to demonstrate this YEARS ago, yet the only models that looked even encouraging, failed many other tests (see Scott Rebuttal. II. The Peratt Galaxy Model vs. the Cosmic Microwave Background).

The bottom line is these simulation programs don't exist because Electric Universe claims of gigantic currents powering stars and galaxies and etching canyons and craters on planets just doesn't work.

General list of failures of Electric Universe models.


Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that you are so certain of yourself. Obviously you see things through the lens of what you were taught. Why wouldn't you? You probably paid well into six figures for your "education". Ahem. Institutionalized scientific theory becomes much like the 1960s dystopian Planet of the Apes movies where there were keepers of the faith. In large part, you paid to become a priest within a religion. Of course, the ego will chafe at that but it is true. Do you honestly believe that all of the cobbled together theories that are shoe-horned into working together, have so many made up fudge factors and cannot actually account for 97% of the universe unless it makes up the most massive of fudge factors, dark matter, are actually true? I'm not throwing out all of physics but you "preach" from a level of arrogance that can only be recognized as ignorance. I'm certainly not stating the EU is completely accurate or even mostly accurate. I'm just pointing out your palpable hypocrisy.

What drives a person to create a blog titled "Dealing with Creationism in Astronomy"? Do you actually know yourself and what is driving you? It's the ego's primary intent of control. That's the only reason you care about what others think enough to actually mock them. Your beliefs are really no different than theirs. Beliefs are self-created tyrannies. Why can't you just accept that you don't know half as much as you think and neither do creationists and leave it at that rather than attack their beliefs as somehow inferior to your own ignorance? Do you see how anti-scientific (search for truth which includes reconciliation) you are?

That's why no one is commenting on your blog. You aren't credible. You are just an attack dog for a belief system. It's probably also why you will delete this comment. Because it seems apparent that you really don't care about the truth. You care about defending your belief system which is that the mounts of inconsistentencies and theories of cosmology are often humorous and ridiculous.

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

To Anonymous,

That little rant might have made you feel better, but it changed no facts of science. This is a common attack with pseudo-scientists and their fans when they don't have facts to back up their claims.

The science that I was 'taught', classical mechanics and gravitation, relativistic mechanics, quantum mechanics, radiation transport, etc. is the same science that made possible everything from microprocessor electronics, the Global Positioning System, supersonic aircraft, and lasers to spacecraft cruising to the outer reaches of the solar system. It's also the same science that suggests the mass of the universe is dominated by some type of vacuum energy and a particle that interacts only via gravitation, and tells us that increasing atmospheric CO2 dominantly due to human activities, is altering Earth's climate.

Honest science admits when it doesn't know and has a mechanism for finding out. Real science has the advantage that theories must produce numerical predictions that we can match to real measurements. Some of the successes of this standard: Theory Vs. Experiment. II

Pseudoscience just claims to know and then denies or evades any of the far more severe problems in their own 'theories' (see particularly Death by Electric Universe).

Science is not a 'cafeteria plan' where you get to pick and choose those theories that you like.

Nature does not care what you like. Consider all the people who 'support' different theories than you. What evidence makes your personal preference (belief) better than theirs?

Real science must generate numerical predictions which can be compared to observational or experimental measurements.

'Belief' has no such standard.

Anonymous said...

Baaahahaaa! Blather. I love your hand waving and use of big words to try to intimidate me. I'm sure that works quite well with the average joe. By the way, that is pure ego. And it is clearly driven by the ego's intent of control. I can tell quite clearly that you are a control freak. That's why you have this blog. And it's why you belittle others. That won't work with me, buster. I have degrees in mathematics and electrical engineering. And, as far as your microprocessor remark, I used to be a microprocessor designer for IBM's supercomputer group. And, mind you, that science has nothing to do with the theoretical drivel you are pushing. So, I think we can refrain from trying to impress me with your deceits.

The reality is mainstream theoretical physics and the standard model are an utter mess. But you not only reside in that prison your ego has created, you actually helped build it. ie, You actually paid to create it. You are so closed-minded to the realities before you that you cannot actually see them. Typical of institutionalization whether that is science or religion or politics or whatnot. Literally over the last half a century thousands of examples, discoveries and experiments have laid question to, if not outright refudiation of, (a perfect bastardized word to describe your nonsensical religious belief systems) many assumptions of mainstream theoretical physics. Yet, there is always some backward curve fitting that explains unexpected results or new discoveries that don't fit into existing theories. But, in actuality what is happening is the establishment orthodoxy and religion you support are just curve fitting unexpected results into religious orthodoxy. That's no different than the anthropogenic global warming crowd. Or, any mainstream religious orthodoxy.

Your voodoo science is collapsing right now. I have no need to "argue" with you about theoretical facts, or contradictions in terms, that you are so certain to be real. The universe will expose your hypocrisy and ignorance soon enough. Mainstream theoretical physics and its view of the universe will certainly collapse in the next decade or two as new discoveries continue to simply blow up your flat earth theories.

By the way, you don't even know what ego is. Ego is the perception of the self and all of the foibles and delusions that come with it. That includes self-delusions and self-deceits. You think rationalism and reason are the highest level of awareness or achievement of the human mind. So, you place your faith in the religion of scientific theories like 95+% of the universe can't be found so it must be dark matter. The reality is the highest level of awareness of the human mind is not the state of reason but the state of love. For, when humanity can actually achieve this state of mind, all of our illusions of self will disappear. And so will all of the hatred and separateness that it creates. The same hatred and separateness you revel in by mocking others who don't share your theoretical belief systems.

Your arrogance is palpable. Scientific rationalism is in the midst of a major crisis and large parts of scientific rationalism are headed for collapse. You have no respect for that which you (the ego) doesn't understand or cannot perceive through the illusion of matter.

You are going to look pretty f*cking stupid when that belief system collapses and you are left holding the bag. But, your arrogance is so deep that you'll never see it coming until it hits you in the face. The Buddhists have a name for people like you. And, they have been breaking down the ego for thousands of years so you might take note of your arrogance.

Good luck. You'll need it.

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

To Anonymous, part 1

The commenter claims to have been an electrical engineer. Of course, that does not necessarily give them expertise in other fields.

Commenter: "I used to be a microprocessor designer for IBM's supercomputer group. And, mind you, that science has nothing to do with the theoretical drivel you are pushing. So, I think we can refrain from trying to impress me with your deceits. "

Really? I'm 'pushing' the same quantum mechanics that made microelectronics and many solid-state technologies possible (Wikipedia Category: Quantum Electronics). It's the same quantum mechanics that allows us to predict the structure of atoms, molecules and their spectra which are used to identify properties every where from Earth to the distant cosmos. It's the same quantum mechanics that tells us the infrared absorption levels of CO2, and that some of those levels work very efficiently for laser action (a fact noted by those who confirmed laser action in CO2).

In that case, I suppose the commenter should know research in microprocessors isn't done by 'wishing it so' for new designs or even incremental improvements. There are some well-defined mathematics that is used to guide new CPU product development so time and money isn't wasted on dead ends.

The commenter complains about modern science being in a state of crisis, but ignores the fact that science is ALWAYS about solving leading-edge problems that have not been solved, and hence is almost ALWAYS in a state of crisis. The scientists studying electromagnetism a hundred years ago mapped the results so well, it is now part of engineering practice, even though there are still a few mysteries at the limits (see Those Crazy Scientific Theories, or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Infinities…)

Perhaps the commenter is complaining about Dark Matter and/or Dark Energy for this claimed 'crisis' in science? Science has a LONG history of identifying properties indirectly in laboratories, or even distant space, and then determining enough of the properties by those means to identify the cause by more direct means. Sometimes takes a long time between recognition of the initial anomaly, and its resolution, some of which I have documented in Theory Vs. Experiment. II

To be continued...

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

Response to Anonymous, part 2

The commenter conveniently ignores the crises in physics around the year 1900, when science was dealing with problems which were even more catastrophic in their implications. The problems then were not just visible in the distant cosmos, but in laboratories as well..
- ultraviolet catastrophe (wikipedia) - according to Maxwell's equations, just lighting a match would generate a fatal amount of gamma radiation.
- collapse of the Rutherford atomic model (wikipedia) in microseconds according to Maxwell's equations
- why did newtonian mechanics and electromagnetism obey different transformations between coordinate systems (Galilean vs. Lorentz invariance)?
- for 19 years, the known components of atoms made up only HALF the measured mass of most atoms. It turned out to be a particle a little more difficult for the technology to detect, which we called the neutron (wikipedia).

If anything, this was REAL existential crisis for physics, yet physics survived, developing relativity, and quantum mechanics, which made modern solid-state electronics possible.

Is the education requirements of electrical engineers so poor that they ignore these important aspects of the history of their own field?

Notice that the commenter is criticizing mainstream science, but presents no alternative, most likely because they know that if they did, I would insist that they back up their claims with TESTABLE PREDICTIONS, for example, like many of the issues I present in Challenges for Electric Universe 'Theorists'....

And if they can't present testable predictions, then it is they who are promoting a faith-based pseudo-science.

As for the claims that *I* am the ego-centric one, I've already responded to such comments in Pseudoscience and the Ego-Centric Universe.

sjastro said...

Anonymous's behaviour is a typical reaction of someone who holds a deep seated resentment against anyone who has a level of comprehension that exceeds his/her own.

The standard line of mainstream science being a religion or belief system is specifically aimed at demeaning the abilities of those make a career out of science and/or display understanding that is beyond Anonymous.

Anonymous should explain how Quantum Electrodynamics has played no role in microprocessor design. Of course the reality is Anonymous doesn't know what Quantum Electrodynamics is, in which case his comments on the subject are pure ignorance.

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

To sjastro,

The Anonymous response is disturbing on a number of levels.

If Anonymous actually has an engineering background and formerly worked with microprocessor design, is their education so incomplete that they don't understand the history of their own field?

I know there have been some engineering schools pushing to drop the physics requirements because so many engineers just apply the same rote equations over and over to building bridges or designing amplifiers. Perhaps Anonymous graduated from that school of thought?

Yet, engineers working in space flight must understand the underlying physics so they can realize where some of their rote equations may no longer apply and they can figure out how the system will behave in a radically different environment. Many of the engineers I know are also physicists because they are designing instruments that have never been built before, operating in environments where some of the understanding may be very different and the rote equations may no longer apply. An engineer from the 'rote equations' school would have a difficult time being professionally successful in that environment.

But then Anonymous also described themselves as a *former* engineer. Retired? Or otherwise dismissed?

Some engineers leave the field because after getting the degree, they find they cannot perform in a corporate or laboratory environment. Their background may be too limited to actually solve the problems they must address professionally. Many go into these fields like medical doctors, thinking it is an easy way to earn lots of money.

However, we also hear this 'former' term bandied about by a number of engineers promoting various crank science, creationism, etc. A few of the engineers I've known, electrical and otherwise, were dismissed from their positions when their more woo-woo ideas began to interfere with them doing their jobs, the joke being they had 'sniffed too much soldering flux'.

Many of the latter construct elaborate narratives of how they are 'geniuses' rejected by mainstream.

BigHipp said...

I have become interested in the EU theories, and also curious as to why they are not more widely adopted as some of the tenets of the theory seem very plausible to me, which brings me here.

What are the gigantic electric arcs and currents that claimed to exist by Electric universe supporters that must be taken into account when planning the level of protection needed for un-crewed and crewed space missions? From my understandings so far the only arcing takes place when two bodies of significantly different charge come into close enough proximity that a discharge occurs between them. The spacecraft we have designed approach the bodies they are sent to observe at velocities low enough for their charge to slowly come into equilibrium to the environment, hence no arcing. There is an instance where the deep impact mission impacted comet temple one and a bright flash occurred, followed by a lesser flash. This was unpredicted by the mission scientists, but was predicted by Wal Thornhill as being an electric discharge (arc) occurring between temple 1 and the impactor as it approached the comet two quickly for charge equalization to take place. Wal did not run a simulation or model to make this prediction though, which I think you are arguing is necessary to establish a theory as being worth consideration.

Also, are you aware of any mathematical models that can model the effect of an arc discharge on a surface similar what is seen in this video? . We know that the electrical arcing is creating the formations seen in this video, and therefore this phenomena is real. If it is possible to mathematically model real things, has this been modeled before? According to the electric universe theorists, the phenomena associated with electrical effects can be scaled many orders of magnitude in size. So if we had a model/simulation that showed what was occurring in this video, than supposedly it could be scaled up to planetary levels to demonstrate those same phenomena at a planetary/solar system level.

W.T."Tom" Bridgman said...

To BigHipp:

I’ve explored any of comet claims you mention over a number of posts
Electric Comets: Failures of the Electric Comet Model
and some more recent specific claims
Electric Comets II. Of Water & Ice
Electric Comets III: Mass vs. Charge
Electric Comets: More Failures of the Electric Comet Model

Problems with claims of cratering by electric means is discussed here: Electric Universe: Peer Review Exercise 4 (Laboratory Modeling of Meteorite Impact Craters by Z-pinch Plasma by C. J. Ransom)
Has an Electric Universe (EU) theorist published the current-voltage requirements for producing a large crater on the Moon or Mars? I have yet to find one. Where is the cosmos have we detected an electric arc of sufficient power to excavate a single crater, much less a planet-full of craters?

Mainstream science does know about electric fields in space
365 Days of Astronomy: The Electric Universe
The REAL Electric Universe
Many of these have been successfully modeled by mainstream scientists, but they are nowhere near the physical scale, or intensity, to act as a driver for any EU claims. Consider NASA Mission Reveals Speed of Solar Wind Stripping Martian Atmosphere
Yet Electric Universe supporters often use reports about these electric fields as evidence of their more bizarre claims.

It’s always ‘someone else’ that has to do the modeling needed for testing EU. Except when someone does do some modeling (like myself) and find that it generates results inconsistent (and I mean GROSSLY inconsistent) with other observations and measurements, EU supporters cry ‘foul!’ and claim that the person doing the modeling has made some ambiguous, unspecifiable error. EU supporters want the credit without actually doing any work.

Big summaries of Electric Universe failures
Electric Cosmos: Predictions
Challenges for Electric Universe 'Theorists'...

Another popular EU excuse is they could do the work if they had NASA’s budget. The problem is the great majority of NASA’s budget goes to building hardware and operations. Modeling the space environment for determining how the hardware needs to be built is actually one of the least expensive components. Myself, and others at NASA often use computational tools that are freely available and run on commodity computers available inexpensively.

The REAL effort is the expertise, which is what EU ‘theorists’ seem to actually lack. This means that all their claims of ‘successful’ predictions are actually at the level of a tabloid psychic.