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The Electric Universe(?)

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The Electric Universe(?)
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Blog of ReasonHelperUser avatarPosts: 240Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:28 pmLocation: League of Reason

Post The Electric Universe(?)

Discussion thread for the blog entry "The Electric Universe(?)" by SchrodingersFinch.

Permalink: http://blog.theleagueofreason.co.uk/science/382/
Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:02 pm
AndromedasWakeLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 598Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:38 pmLocation: Captain's Chair, League HQ Gender: Cake

Post Re: The Electric Universe(?)

Great post SF. I will be sure to give my thoughts on it brielfy during the BlogTV show tomorrow. :)
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(( "We are 'star-stuff'. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." - Carl Sagan | Music! | Twitter - [ AndromedasWake | SiriusStargazer ] ))
Sat Jul 11, 2009 3:48 pm
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PulsarUser avatarPosts: 872Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:52 pmLocation: Belgium

Post Re: The Electric Universe(?)

I've come across these "Electric Universe" guys before. Their "theory" is complete and utter garbage, and it has nothing to do with plasma cosmology, although they're pretending that it does.

Plasma cosmology was developed in the 1960s by a minority of scientists as an alternative to big bang cosmology. Although the role of electromagnetic forces in galaxies is still the subject of interesting research, the implications of plasma cosmology on the largest scales have now been debunked by the big bang theory (unlike plasma cosmology, the BBT explains the cosmic background, the abundance of elements, structure formation, gravitational lensing, etc), and only a few desperate guys like Eric Lerner keep whining about it.

But 'The Electric Universe' is something else altogether. It's pure pseudoscience, and its authors are deceptively trying to associate themselves with plasma cosmology, which was at least based on legitimate science. One of their main websites is
http://www.holoscience.com/, and it's just horrible. It's based on books like 'The Electric Universe' by Dave Talbott and Wallace Thornhill. Of course the authors are not scientists at all. Dave Talbott writes mainly about mythology (how ironic), and while Thornhill has a BA in physics, his entire professional career was in computer systems management and he has no publishing credits in physics.

From what I read, they seem to advocate an "electric sun" hypothesis, which is just bonkers. Some people took the time to debunk it, like here: http://www.tim-thompson.com/electric-sun.html. They also try to discredit the big bang model, with age-old quotes from Arp (debunked decades ago) and Hoyle (idem. Ironically, Hoyle was the father of stellar nucleosynthesis, which is in contradiction with their electric sun hypothesis...). The rest of the site is filled with strawmen arguments (e.g. about black holes), claims with zero evidence, and outward lies. Plus their tone is disgusting: personal incredulence, condescending, appeal to ridicule and a martyr complex: the "conspiracy of the established scientific world to lie to the public, waste our tax money and dismiss critics". Anything to sell their book.

Because unfortunately, there's always a audience for this crap. People like cover-up stories, and underdogs against "the established authority". It's the physics equivalent of intelligent design, and it's extremely frustrating that we have to put up with these propagandic lies.

/rant
I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. - Robert McCloskey

Science doesn’t know everything … religion doesn’t know ANYTHING.
Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:43 pm
e2iPiUser avatarPosts: 648Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:40 amLocation: Deltax Deltap>~h/(4 pi) Gender: Cake

Post Re: The Electric Universe(?)

Here is a good rule of thumb, as soon as you see these or similar words:

Conspiracy of the scientific community.

You are dealing with horseshit. Scientists are sharks! No group of scientists would ever conspire to conceal a potentially ground-breaking discovery. Let's examine the scenario:

Scientists 1:
OOH, look at this, this changes the entire framework of physics! It explains those anoying anomolies that crept up in the old theory and explains current observations perfectly! We have repeatable, emperical evidence and falsifiable predictions.

Scientists 2:
Cool, now let's keep quiet about it to fool the public.

Scientists 1:
WTF?

Scientists 2:
Yeah, yeah, it'll be great. Keep the public ignorant! And we won't have to rewrite all those textbooks!

Scientists 1:
Ah, yeah, sure, whatever you say.

Scientists 1 then proceeds to submit his findings to every relevant journal in the world, his results are tested and repeated by scientists all over the world and a few of his predictions turn out to be right on the money.
He humbly collects his Nobel Prize and has his name forever spoken in the same breath as Newton and Einstein.

I know which choice *I* would make. I know which choice every scientists I've ever know would make. I don't understand why this is so difficult to grasp for some people.

-1
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
-George Bernard Shaw
Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:14 pm
CnidariousUser avatarPosts: 96Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 1:28 amLocation: Deep fore, 500 Feet Below the surface.

Post Re: The Electric Universe(?)

I found a Supporter of the Electric universe idea

in the comments here --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFHu03CKAxE
His name is Fertilizerspike. He claims amoung other things that

1. Isochrone dating is unreliable and can`t be used because its based on assumptions and the idea that radioactive decay rates
are constant.

2. That Commets are made of rock not ice.


3. that the sun is purely electrical


4. that Stellar nucleo synthesis "heliosynthesis" has been disproven.


5. that the sun is a "solid object / planet? ' which has a rocky surface.


Anyone care to take a shot at this?
Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:00 am
AndromedasWakeLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 598Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:38 pmLocation: Captain's Chair, League HQ Gender: Cake

Post Re: The Electric Universe(?)

Cnidarious wrote:I found a Supporter of the Electric universe idea

in the comments here --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFHu03CKAxE
His name is Fertilizerspike. He claims amoung other things that

1. Isochrone dating is unreliable and can`t be used because its based on assumptions and the idea that radioactive decay rates
are constant.

2. That Commets are made of rock not ice.


3. that the sun is purely electrical


4. that Stellar nucleo synthesis "heliosynthesis" has been disproven.


5. that the sun is a "solid object / planet? ' which has a rocky surface.


Anyone care to take a shot at this?

I just... don't know what to say. Comets aren't made of ice? Maybe he's misinterpreting Deep Impact's surface study of Tempel 1. The last one makes me giggle. This solid (sometimes iron) Sun hypothesis has been floating around for years, even though no such model sits comfortably with helioseismic activity, and particularly the success of helioseismic holography for predicting the arrival of sunspot groups on the near side before they're actually observed. These techniques are reliant on a specific density profile which does not include a solid surface or interior. :|

It's funny that many EU proponents claim to want to even the balance between EM and gravity in their dominance of the Universe, but this guy wants to go further. He's like an ultra-feminist... for the EM force. The sun is purely electrical? Come on...
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(( "We are 'star-stuff'. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." - Carl Sagan | Music! | Twitter - [ AndromedasWake | SiriusStargazer ] ))
Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:44 am
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sgrunterundtUser avatarPosts: 254Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:23 amLocation: Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen Gender: Tree

Post Re: The Electric Universe(?)

AndromedasWake wrote:and particularly the success of helioseismic holography for predicting the arrival of sunspot groups on the near side before they're actually seen.


Fixed. (Doesn't seismology count as observing?)
Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:28 pm
CepheiUser avatarPosts: 69Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:13 pmLocation: Norway Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: The Electric Universe(?)

Image
Does not look very solid to me.
Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:17 am
FAJAUser avatarPosts: 119Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:07 pm

Post Re: The Electric Universe(?)

Cnidarious wrote:I found a Supporter of the Electric universe idea

in the comments here --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFHu03CKAxE
His name is Fertilizerspike. He claims amoung other things that

1. Isochrone dating is unreliable and can`t be used because its based on assumptions and the idea that radioactive decay rates
are constant.


AAAARRRRRGHHHH, is this guy a creationist as well? That's an old favourite of theirs too. All you need to know about him can be summed up really by these two statements:

Your helpless dependence on "peer, review" is disappointing, to say the least, and a grave impediment to your learning.

the fact that ionizing radiation...IONIZES matter, WHAT A SHOCKER! That means, it can make isotopes


It looks like someone who claims supreme scientific knowledge doesn't know the difference between an isotope and an ion. From the tone of his posts I get the impression he's just a troll.

I'm not actually sure which "assumptions" he's referring to as he never seems to name them or provide a source, just assure people that there is evidence. As I said, I suspect he's a troll but the arguments are used by others who aren't so anyway:
1. Initial isotope ratios are not required for the isochron method so any talk of initial concentration is irrelevant
2. Dates from different isotopes with different decay mechanisms from different places, as do different methods (such as U-Pb concordia)
3. There are certain conditions that may accelerate decay (yep, properly peer reviewed as well) but all require a set of conditions that are simply impossible to replicate consistently throughout the Earth. (e.g. stripping all the electrons from Rhenium will accelerate decay http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v77/i26/p5190_1)
4. Even if the conditions were achievable they are well above the melting temperatures of the minerals analysed to produce radiometric dates, no acceleration would be recorded.

So in a nutshell there is absolutely no evidence for the noticeable acceleration of radioactive isotopes in conditions found on Earth or experienced by the meteorites we find on Earth.
"We must try to understand the beginning of the universe on the basis of science. It may be a task beyond us, but we should at least make the attempt" - Stephen Hawking, The Universe in a Nutshell
Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:24 am
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