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Friday, November 11, 2005

Beaker Breaking News

Steven E. Jones, the quack BYU physics professor, who brought us Cold Fusion version 1.1 (Pons and Fleischmann introduced v.1), has started down another goose-stepping path. Now he believes that bombs toppled the WTC on 9/11.

Forget that he never demonstrated the over-the-top and over-optimistic energy positive outcome as did his Utah-based cold fusion colleagues, Jones still benefited from the cold fusion hysteria of the late 80's. As I recall, he never downplayed the practical realities of the science of "Cold Fusion", instead preferring to engage in a high-profile fight with Pons for funding at their respective Utah universities.

Even though Jones latest theory may make some sense, his track record clearly shows that we can't afford to trust him. A number of scientists in the early 90's wasted both lots of effort and funding money -- money arguably better spent on other more incremental projects.

He made one big mistake already by committing a large sin of omission. We really should not buy anything this guy has to say. I bet that he doesn't want to get scooped on this bombing theory like he did by the Pons and Fleischmann characters. Too bad that he doesn't realize that getting scooped becomes irrelevant when the theory won't pan out in the end.

File under Pile higher.Deeper.

The coming meme on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as reported by the sanctimonious, pretentious, and unctuous radio douche-spigot Spew Spewitt:
ANWR is a national security issue. In a time of war, the actual production from ANWR is not as improtant as taking the steps necessary to get the oil to a position where it would be available to us if we were to need it because of supply disruption or, worse, a catastrophic attack on our facilities for importing oil.
Too late Spew Spigot, shut your damn tap off and face up to your shameful agenda-driven disingenuousness. You have not lifted one finger to point out oil depletion issues until now. But we know the drill you guys follow. First his corporatist buddies start to feel the heat, then Spew puts his douche-nozzle in full blast for their benefit.

Same thing with Spewitt's favorite mutual crotch-sniffing attorney buddy AssMissile:
In a slap at the party's conservative base, the leadership agreed to cave in to the environmentalist lobby on ANWR oil drilling, an absolutely inexcusable move in a time of high oil prices.
As I first reported last year, in the entire existence of PowerLine, you find nary a mention of oil depletion, at least, until now.
In a slap at the party's conservative base, the leadership agreed to cave in to the environmentalist lobby on ANWR oil drilling, an absolutely inexcusable move in a time of high oil prices.

Like Steven E. Jones, do not give these characters a second chance. They blew it badly the first time and if we follow any policy directions that they will try to force down the throat of their right-wing followers, we will just dig ourselves a deeper hole. And on top of a big mound of Juris.Dung, to boot.


Professor Blogger JMS said...

I'm sorry to hear Jones is associated with the Cold Fusion set.

As for the WTC, I've always felt it odd that building 7 fell down so fast, without so much as a sneeze. And if seven was demolished, there is nothing to stop one from examining the destruction of the other two. (The one's people remember.)

7:54 PM  
Professor Blogger @whut said...

Yeah, the smaller building, how odd that would fall.

BTW, I sent the Mike Malloy radio show this here post and he read some of it on the air!

8:17 PM  
Professor Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get it.
Becuase he was wrong about "cold fusion", and fought for funding for his research, we should IGNORE the completetly reasonable questions he is asking about the WTC collapse?
I don't think this post is sarcastic, but I seriously don't understand why we should discount the questions being asked by a physicist about the physical events of 9-11.
Please, clear up my confusion, because I normally enjoy reading your blog, but this seems a bit reactionary.

8:48 AM  
Professor Blogger @whut said...

In my reactionary mode, I don't give scientists second chances, especially when they blow their first chance in a very high profile way. This is a commonly held code of honor among engineers and scientists. And one that doesn't translate well to the world of politics, c.f. Michael Brown and the Bush cronies. Second, third, fourth, etc., chances are the rule there.

10:26 AM  
Professor Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHT said :

"This is a commonly held code of honor among engineers and scientists"

As a fellow engineer I understand what you are saying, as far as application is concerned. One failed bridge = your last chance. But as far as inquiry is concerned? No, I don't think so. Bark up as many wrong trees as you'd like, investigate every spurious effect you can find, entertain every departure from official explanation. Hell, that might even be the definition of science.

I appreciate your acknowledgement that you were being reactionary, but I am still finding it hard to understand.

Nick B. (anonymous from 8:38am)

11:20 AM  
Professor Blogger @whut said...

But Jones is talking about getting another peer-reviewed paper out. The last time he tried that look what happened:

Indeed, the journal Physical Review C recently declined to publish new fusion findings by Jones because the cited experiment did not work every time.

"They wanted 100 percent reproducibility, rather than evidence of statistical significance," said Jones. "That's a criterion I haven't seen applied elsewhere, a knee-jerk reaction that probably stems back to the 1989 flap."

Maybe so, but some scientists say cold fusion research must necessarily meet the highest standards, if only to rise above past hyperbole and over-inflated expectations. That means published results in the most prestigious peer-reviewed journals.

Bob Park of the American Physical Society put it more bluntly. He'll believe in cold fusion, he said, "when it passes the Kmart test."

My point is that a scientist with a much less tainted reputation would do much better when presenting a paper refuting the conventional wisdom around WTC.

And keep an eye on what Bob Park has to say; he writes a weekly column for the American Physical Society and comments about all the questionable scientific findings of the day.

12:13 PM  
Professor Anonymous Anonymous said...

the controlled demolition theory fits the evidence much more closely than the official theory.

i would not judge this paper according to its author, rather according to its substance.

remember that hitler believed that you could tell a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe anyone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously".

in this case, they did something so outrageous that very few people would even dignify the notion that they had done it. some people are coming around, though. it took me three years to even begin to consider the inside job theory, but now i would say that it is true with a probability of more than 90%.

9:47 AM  

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