Archive for August, 2012

Cut-Down Antigravity

August 26, 2012

Readers will not be surprised to learn that Ron’s new friend is a 24ct crackpot, being a valued member of ‘Crackpot Central’ (aka the Natural Philosophy Alliance),  and claims to have evidential proof of perpetual motion and ‘inertial propulsion’ (aka propellentless propulsion or antigravity).  The latter was, in fact, the genesis of his toy:

“Jeffrey Cook demonstrates a model inertial propulsion device that he’s developed and describes it’s method of propulsion, which is based on research into physics and magnetism undertaken by Cook over the last few years. Cook has developed a lightweight electromagnetic “launcher” that pushes a small, plastic vehicle out a ramp at high-speed, and hopes to market it as a science-toy. Functionally, this inertial propulsion prototype utilizes Neodymium magnets in a strong plastic case that Cook has reinforced to ensure the magnets cannot be removed to ensure the safety of children using it.” (Free Energy News).

Ah yes, magnets are so dangerous because of all of that stored energy within them: we must protect the children from them, lol. Here’s an idea, why not replace the magnets with springs?  Cook has his own theory to explain his supposed evidence, of course. How convenient. We marvel again to see that Ron is not a member of the NPA.

Note to investors: it might be better to avoid backing the toy until there is a granted patent in place.


The Queen and Ron

August 24, 2012

Ron’s plot to meet the Queen, and tell her about perpetual motion machines, might seem far-fetched to some: but we are more worldly-wise and know that crackpots and conmen have a far greater probability of meeting ‘the great and good’ than do scientists. As Ron keeps reminding us, modern rulers are descended from mindless thugs who originally seized power by force and are therefore not genetically selected for intelligence. The obvious example of the exploitation of royal stupidity is Rasputin and the last Russian royal family. However, even non-royal rulers are susceptible to pseudoscientific fraud: for example,  Hitler and the Reagans consulted astrologers before acting. Even Margaret ‘I am a scientist’ Thatcher was falling under the spell of an Indian mystic just before she was deposed.  In the UK, the pseudoscience of homoeopathy is kept afloat almost entirely thanks to the Queen’s belief in it. There are several hospitals in the UK which are entirely devoted to homoeopathic treatments, and have the royal blessing.  Charlie is said to have used ‘lunar’ methods to grow plants (when not talking to them). So, overall, we think that the Queen would love to hear about Ron’s work with perpetual motion, and perhaps also about his dalliance with very alternative cancer-cures. We bet that Ron’s theory could explain homoeopathy for her, if he but set his mind to it; after all, it seems to be able to explain everything else (including the soul, according to Ron’s friend, Michael).

Ron’s Poor Education

August 19, 2012

Ron continually boasts about the quality of his Welsh, but his English clearly leaves much to be desired: not all of his persistent mispellings can be attributed to dyslexia. We have been waiting (lying in wait?) for years to see whether a glaring spelling mistake on the AIAS homepage would be corrected. It wasn’t; which speaks volumes about the general level of education of the AIAS members. Now Ron has repeated the error in a blog heading. The word is spelt ‘COMPARATIVE’, Ron, not comparitive. It will be interesting to see whether Ron now corrects his mispellings – thus bowing to our superior command of English – or instead insists that his spelling is correct, contrary to every dictionary, just as he insists that his theory is correct – contrary to all reason. One of our members recalls that he had the same problem with another opinionated crackpot, Professor Eric Laithwaite, many years ago. Laithwaite insisted that a certain fictitious force was called ‘Coreolis’; contrary to all biographies of G.G.Coriolis. Over to you, Ron.

One Can Tell When Ron is Lying …

August 19, 2012

… because his fingers move over his keyboard.

“The force law of Einsteinian general relativity (EGR) does not give a precessing ellipse. The correct force law is given in Eq. (9). This was effectively pointed out to Einstein on Dec. 22nd. 1915 by Schwarzschild. It seems that citation of Einstein has taken place ever since without reading his work. Careful analysis shows that it is erroneous. There is no way in which any scientist of integrity can accept obviously erroneous work.”

Details of General Relativity are picked-over on a daily basis by scientists. Ron’s claim that it is accepted in a rote manner is just typical of the sort of lie that pseudoscientists always try to foist on a scientifically ignorant general public. Elsewhere, Ron has claimed only that GR gives the wrong (4th-power) disturbing force (thus undermining his own claim above) rather than the observed (3rd-power) force. We have ourselves shown recently that this objection is fictitious.  What does Ron know of integrity? He is an epitome, however, of erroneous work.

” Accurate scientometrology shows that the great majority now rejects Einstein’s general relativity.”

The word is ‘SCIENTOMETRICS’, Ron, and the real concept  is much more sophisticated than merely counting hits on websites. As we have pointed out, Ron’s own evidence fails to identify any meaningful referring sites. And who knows who might be using the keyboards at apparently reputable organisations: has he never heard of Ludwig Plutonium – an insane janitor who used to sneak in and use university computers? Where is this ‘great majority’? Why does it not bombard us with pro-Ron rhetoric?

” It has been kept alive by a small group of dogmatists. Computer algebra has been used to show that the incorrect force law of EGR produces a very complicated orbit that is not an ellipse at all. The EGR’s own lagrangian methods wer [sic] eused [sic]  in the computer algebra. So that is teh [sic] end of teh [sic] matter.”

Quite, condemned out of his own mouth: computer algebra is not spell-check – it cannot detect errors in the submitted model. And where are these complicated orbits in Nature? Pssst, dear reader, Ron and Kerry won’t know this (being incredibly ignorant of physics) but computer algebra (sic) has shown that Newtonian gravitation permits the existence of orbits that make Ron’s erroneous ones look quite unimaginative.

“No amont of dogma can change algebra.”

True. That is why Ron is losing the argument.

“Readers are invited to check eq. (10) for themselves. We will make Dr. Horst Eckardt’s code available to them if they like.”

Hmm, put the same incorrect information into the same program and expect a different result? That is Ron’s concept of science, in a rotten nutshell.

” This is just one out of many refutations of EGR in the special issue.”

All of the issues are ‘special’! How many real journals have to be filled 90% by the editor and a few friends?

“The papers of the issue have been intensively studied for well over a year off without a single objection.”

The Occam’s Razor explanation would be that they are not being read by anyone who cares.

“I advise students that there is no point in going into a subject that is not science at all. I woudl [sic] advise gong [sic] into engineering or medicine, or perhaps chemistry.”

We advise students to study, under expert guidance,  the claims made by crackpots such as Ron. Bringing down supposedly great men has always been an incentive to students, and they will find much intellectual satisfaction in seeing how the habits of Baconian science protect against ludicrous error … provided that one adheres to them.

” Professionals in all these subjects have long been critical of the dogmatic attitudes of some physicists.”

Very true: the more that one distances oneself from physics, the more one falls into the clutches of error and pseudoscience. Take biologists, for instance, they used to use telepathy to explain observations which they could not understand. Nowadays, the flaky ones use pseudoscientific versions of quantum-mechanical concepts for that purpose.

Can Ron be Serious?

August 19, 2012

He rants, day after day, about his huge following and about the large numbers of hits on his sites but  … then he discloses exactly where the referrals are coming from ( ); thus first shooting himself in the foot and then putting it in his mouth! Have you, dear reader, ever studied this list? One could turn it into a game: trying to find a sensible referring site. One can ignore those that contain the keywords, ‘searl’  and ‘cheniere’, as being related to Ron’s conman chums, Searl and Beardon. And what should one make of sites that contain the keywords, ‘casino’, ‘poker’ and ‘credit’? It is perhaps better to throw a (seventh) veil over the sites which contain the keywords, ‘pussy’,  ‘sex’ and ‘f**k’. Can readers find any supposedly reputable referring sites? NB: we do not consider New Scientist to be reputable (since it put a crackpot antigravity machine on its cover) and, in spite of its sensible title, the Journal of Nuclear Physics is, sad to say, yet another loony publication.


Guess Who Quiz – Solution

August 16, 2012

The answer, which nobody guessed correctly was of course: Thomas Jefferson Jackson See. Our description was a paraphrasing of the Wiki article on him, and it was amazing to find how closely it might have been thought to be describing someone entirely different. On the other hand, anti-relativists are two-a-penny … and always have been.

Usual Quality of Evidence

August 16, 2012

Variable Nuclear Decay Rates (August 16, 2012)  This looks interesting, at present we are on the semi-classical level, where the weak and strong nuclear forces are introduced in a minimal prescription. I will continue along these lines for UFT225.”

Hmm, something fishy here (as usual): the download says that the paper in question was presented at the 2011 Moriond conference. However, none of the paper’s authors is listed among the participants and there is no sign that the paper was presented  there. Further cause for concern is that the lead author is Peter A Sturrock, a self-confessed ufologist and founder of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, one of the oldest and most pernicious of the crackpot rags set up specifically to service the publishing needs of the lunatic fringe.

Guess Who? Quiz

August 15, 2012

A person of high potential who ended a colorful life with no real accomplishment in physics. Renowned for a career marked by being fired from two academic staffs, grand egotistical claims, being ‘exiled’ to an isolated outpost, and for vitriolic attacks on relativity. He attended ***, graduating in *** with an undergraduate career that was outwardly stellar. He achieved honors distinction in nearly every subject. He was a critical player in the academic insurgency aimed at ousting *** (in favor of his mentor ***). This bitter in-fighting set the scene for a career perhaps unrivalled as an example of wasted talent. Nevertheless, with the outwardly strong credentials, he went to the University of *** where he received a Ph.D. in ***. With an European doctorate, he went to America with enviable credentials and a career of great promise. He left *** after failing to receive a promotion. He next worked at *** until he was fired for his arrogant attitude towards the staff. His arrogance and over-confidence caused problems throughout his career, in both professional relationships and erroneous scientific results arising from carelessness. He found himself increasingly at odds with others, and eventually suffered a breakdown. He published a work entitled *** in which he described his task to “brush aside the erroneous doctrines heretofore current, as one would the accumulated dust and cobwebs [sic, sounds familiar?] of ages.” A hagiographic biography appeared which was supposedly written by a publisher and amateur astronomer, but which many consider to have been written by our subject himself. This essentially destroyed any remaining credibility he had in the *** community. *** published a review of the book, poking fun at its extraordinary hyperbole, which included his dreaming that he should one day become “the greatest *** in the world”. He spent the years at *** pursuing fame as a discoverer of the laws of nature, issuing a series of publications on ***. He also wrote a series of articles about ***, which eventually served as the framework for his theory of everything, in which all forces were transmitted as ***. He also engaged in vitriolic attacks against Einstein and his theory of relativity, which the scientific community ignored. His numerous papers are in the collection of the ***.

Surely there could never be two people like this?

‘Playing’ the Hirsch Index

August 15, 2012

One can see how the Hirsch Index might perhaps be a valid measure for real scientists whose work influences a large number, of other real scientists, because of its obvious excellence and far-reaching consequences. The underlying logic fails however when it is applied to small groups of embittered and embattled pseudoscientists. Take, for example, the case of one Myron Wyn Evans. The Hirsch Index app gives an index of 11 on 1,117 citations. The flaw becomes obvious when one looks at the individual publications … and who exactly cited them. To cut a long story short: when one has excluded citations made by Ron, citations made by Ron’s gang members and citations made by Ron’s critics, one is left with just a handful of independent suckers of dubious worth. No, the Hirsch Index is ‘far too crude to handle crackpots’.

Vladimir Leonov

August 15, 2012

Our readers will not be surprised to learn that Ron’s new friend has a Searl Number of unity because, apart from anything else, section 10.7  of his book, Quantum Energetics, is titled “Quantum engines. The Searl effect”. He was already triply cursed: believer in cold fusion, believer in Searl and published by a ufologist. He really did not need the fourth strike of being linked to Ron. Lucky it’s pseudoscience, and not baseball.

Note how beautifully the Searl Number scheme assists laymen who may not know what to think about new scientific discoveries, now that there are so many pseudoscientists out there and they all have a glossy internet site and a crackpot-friendly publisher. All of  their protestations can be safely ignored as soon as one learns that they cannot even see through a scam and a conman as transparent as Searl. Philosophers, ‘sociologists of science’ and logicians may protest at such ad hominem methods,  but we see it as being an eminently sensible (and defensible) use of Bayesian probability theory.