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Online Comics => Escape From Terra => Topic started by: Sio on October 30, 2009, 11:14:38 am

Title: Delphi?
Post by: Sio on October 30, 2009, 11:14:38 am
Sorry, but Delphi was not the name of the oracular person in the Temple of Apollo, but the name of the LOCATION at which the Temple had been placed, and the town nearby.  Her nametag should have read "Pythia", not "Delphi".   A plaque on the wall should have had a map with "Delphi" marked with a big arrow saying "You Are Here!"  The Delphic Oracle was more properly referred to as "The Oracle AT Delphi", or  "The Oracle OF Delphi".  She was not *named* Delphi.

And yes, I do believe that someone as scholarly and pedantic as Reggie would know that.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Scott on October 30, 2009, 12:51:26 pm
The name tag was supposed to say, "Sibyl," who was one of the known Oracles. Lee goofed and I didn't catch the mistake before the page went up. It's been fixed now.
 ;D
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Stig Hemmer on November 01, 2009, 08:39:39 pm
It has been conjectured that the Oracles at Delphi were hallucinating because of gases coming from underground.  These hallucinations were then interpreted as prophecies.

I think this is leading to the revelation that there are halluciogenic gases in the air in this base too.  Since the base has a lot higher pressure than outside, there is no way any underground gases will emerge inside the base.

I suspect either a student prank gone wrong, or fungus growing in the air system.

One unresolved problem though is why two students transcribed the same music...
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Azure Priest on November 02, 2009, 10:06:27 am
they were transcribing the sounds of the wind reacting with the satellite towers. I also suspect that the gases are being released by some wind triggered/ powered device.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Karadan on November 02, 2009, 10:37:48 am
Time for a triumphant return to the scientific community... sans pants.

I like the 'gas pushed into the station by wind' theory, but is there really enough atmo on mars to have wind?  And even more so, if wind is pushing stuff into the station, then the station should generally be pushing all its air out when the wind is low.

I wonder if it might be a leak of one of the environmental systems, or perhaps a leak that is letting air out so it is oxygen deprivation that is causing all this.

Also, was the guy who went outside without a suit on ever found?  If not that is still a big mystery because he should have died fairly quickly and been found near the station.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Fnord on November 02, 2009, 11:12:46 am
"Sibyl" ... cute name ...

What did she name the other one?

 ;)
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: SandySandfort on November 02, 2009, 02:56:24 pm
I like the 'gas pushed into the station by wind' theory, but is there really enough atmo on mars to have wind? 

Yes, there is plenty of wind on Mars, up to and including dust devils.

And even more so, if wind is pushing stuff into the station, then the station should generally be pushing all its air out when the wind is low.

Correct.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: SandySandfort on November 02, 2009, 02:58:01 pm
"Sibyl" ... cute name ...

What did she name the other one?

 ;)

She is rather symmetrical, so how about Lybis?
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Brugle on November 02, 2009, 05:21:45 pm
there is plenty of wind on Mars, up to and including dust devils.

I like the idea that dust devils on Mars (and Earth!) are electrical discharge phenomena, and thus are not indicative of atmospheric density.  (One reference of many is http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=zg70y10m .)

But if you say that Martian winds are enough to make noticeable noise (in a quiet environment), I'll buy it.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: SandySandfort on November 02, 2009, 08:37:50 pm
But if you say that Martian winds are enough to make noticeable noise (in a quiet environment), I'll buy it.

Sound does not carry very far on Mars. However, if the wind were causing anything attached to the station habitat to vibrate, then the sound would not have to travel through the air at all to be heard.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Sio on November 03, 2009, 08:00:15 am
Again, the Oracle at Delphi was not the Sibyl -- though there WERE oracular women who were referred to as the Sibyls, they were *distinct* from the Delphic Oracles at the Temple of Apollo.  There WAS a Sibyl at Delphi, but she was NOT the Delphic Oracle. From Wikipedia: The Delphic Sibyl was not involved in the operation of the Delphic Oracle and should be considered distinct from the Pythia, the priestess of Apollo, also known as the "Oracle at Delphi."

Hence my original suggestion that the nametag should have read "Pythia".  (Nor was I was not making a reference to Battlestar Galactica.)
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Azure Priest on November 03, 2009, 08:26:59 am
there is plenty of wind on Mars, up to and including dust devils.

I like the idea that dust devils on Mars (and Earth!) are electrical discharge phenomena, and thus are not indicative of atmospheric density.  (One reference of many is http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=zg70y10m .)

But if you say that Martian winds are enough to make noticeable noise (in a quiet environment), I'll buy it.


Mars is basically a planet wide Sahara Desert. NASA's probes have documented sand dunes, underground ice "aquafers" and even sandstorms so massive that they're planet wide and last for weeks. Needless to say, this is very rough on the equipment. And I'm not saying that the wind "pushes" things into the station, but rather that it either activates or powers some device that releases the hallucinogenic agent. Such a device is relatively easy to build. Just have a pressurized tank attached to a valve, when the wind blows, the valve opens. When the wind stops blowing, the valve shuts. Such a device attached to an inconvenient or inconspicuous part of the ventilation system could be VERY hard to track down, let alone remove. The device could even be far more complex and camouflaged, sending relay signals through the electrical wiring of the station between the surface wind sensor and the actual "source" of the agent, having the device release the agent only upon a very particular series of sounds, "the music," or any number of methods far too lengthy to mention.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: gdp on November 06, 2009, 09:20:31 am
there is plenty of wind on Mars, up to and including dust devils.

I like the idea that dust devils on Mars (and Earth!) are electrical discharge phenomena, and thus are not indicative of atmospheric density.  (One reference of many is http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=zg70y10m .)

But if you say that Martian winds are enough to make noticeable noise (in a quiet environment), I'll buy it.


Martian surface air-density is about two orders of magnitude less than terrestrial, but typical martian wind-speeds average over an order of magnitude higher due to the thin atmosphere and the large temperature contrasts between dayside and nightside, and between equator and poles. Since dynamic wind pressure scales as the density times the square of the wind-speed, martian dynamic wind-pressures are therefore comparable to terrestrial dynamic wind-pressures, the thinner air notwithstanding.

Furthermore, wind-power scales as the density times the cube of the wind speed. So on Mars, the higher average wind-speed more than compensates for the thinner air.

Also, the sound emitted when wind blows past something is closely related to the von Karman vortex shedding rate, which depends only on the Reynolds Number of the flow. Reynolds Number depends on the wind-speed, the diameter of the object, and the kinematic viscosity of the air, but not directly on the air density. (Kinematic viscosity depends primarily on air temperature, not density, and the wind speed and object size are obviously independent of density.) Sound will not propagate nearly as effectively through the thinner air, of course, but the vortex shedding will set guywires and structures vibrating in reaction, and those vibrations will be transmitted through the guywires and structures to the interior air of any lifesupport habitat they are physically attached to.

As for "holoscience.com," the most charitable thing I can say about them is that most of their nonsense contains so little physics or science of any type and so much wild-eyed arm-waving speculation and conspiracy theory as to be "Not even wrong." While dust-devils do develop static charges distributions due to triboelectric (friction) charge separation (similar to scuffing your feet across a carpet), these static charge densities are a side-effect of dust-devils, not their cause. While the mutual static repulsion of like-charged near-surface dust particles do appear to make it somewhat easier to lift them into the main body of the vortex (see e.g. http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2006GL026284.shtml), the electrical forces within a dust-devil vortex are self-limiting and much weaker than the aerodynamic forces (see e.g.  http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2005JE002618.shtml).
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Brugle on November 06, 2009, 05:30:44 pm
As for "holoscience.com," the most charitable thing I can say about them is that most of their nonsense contains so little physics or science of any type and so much wild-eyed arm-waving speculation and conspiracy theory as to be "Not even wrong."

Keeping to the current EFT theme, I could be charitable and assume that you wrote that after a long period of complete sensory deprivation.  But I won't.

Are you serious?  I recognize that you disagree with Wallace Thornhill's conclusions, but did you find anything to justify those accusations?  (Other than "speculation", of course.  The discussion of a theory will contain everything from core principles through obvious applications to speculations, and electric universe theory is no different.)

I've been aware of electric universe theory for quite a few years, and have seen theorists make quite a few specific predictions about what would be observed when spacecraft approached planets, moons, and comets.  Some were firm: EU (before): X will be seen; NASA (after): We saw X and were completely surprised!  Some not so firm: EU (before): A might be seen, B might be seen, C might be seen; NASA (after) We saw A and were completely surprised, we saw B, we did not see C.  One was particularly clear-cut: after a hot spot was observed at Saturn's south pole (at the time sunlit), mainstream scientists suggested that there would be a cold spot at Saturn's north pole (at the time not sunlit) while EU scientists predicted that there would be a hot spot there; when the north pole was observed, there was a hot spot.

these static charge densities are a side-effect of dust-devils, not their cause

As far as I know, nobody suggests that static charges cause dust devils.  In most cases of interest to plasma scientists, neither electrostatic (no current) nor magnetohydrodynamic (no charge separation) assumptions are valid.  There are other complications: for example, a small amount of dust can significantly change the behavior of a slightly ionized gas.  Therefore, experiments are crucial to understanding plasma.  Fortunately, plasma effects scale over many orders of magnitude.

The question of whether electric currents through the atmosphere are required to form dust devils, tornadoes, and waterspouts may eventually be settled by observation.  Until then, some people may take your assertion as evidence, but scientists wouldn't.
Title: Re: Electric Universe "Theory,"
Post by: gdp on November 07, 2009, 08:04:07 pm
Unfortunately for partisans of Thornhill's "Electric Universe Theory," the so-called "Electric Universe" is not in fact a "theory" as Physicists use that term, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory#Theories_in_physics) since it does not provide a quantitative mathematical framework that explains the full body of empirical data while not predicting anything that is already empirically falsified. (Thornhill's "theory" is completely non-mathematical, and has been falsified on a plethora of its alleged "predictions.") Nor is Thornhill's "Electric Universe" even "scientific," since Thornhill does not make use of the Scientific Method, (http://phyun5.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics7/Notes_www/node6.html#SECTION02121000000000000000) but instead uses the methods of Historical and Literary Criticism and polemic rhetoric.

Let us examine a fairly typical paper by Thornhill, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Aug. 2007, Volume: 35, Issue: 4, Part 1, Page(s): 832-844; (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=4287093) the paper's content is notable for a number of points:

1.) A complete and total lack of any mathematics.

2.) All claims in the paper are qualitative, not quantitative. In the rare cases where numbers do appear, they are asserted or quoted, not calculated.

3.) The paper is a rambling collection of anecdotal instances, ad hoc claims, and special pleadings, with no central organizing principle or hypothesis.

4.) All "explanations" are at best phenomenological analogies of the logically fallacious form "A visually resembles B, therefore A is B," or  ad hoc additional hypotheses, or (and at worst), false-dichotomy assertions that "conventional theory cannot explain phenomenon X, so therefore the author's unconventional theory must instead be correct."

5.) Citation preference is given to older papers in which the empirical and theoretical results were less well established, rather than more recent papers in which results are more firmly established, creating a false impression that "the establishment's" body of theory is less well supported than it actually is.

6.) Claims supporting the author's thesis are cherry-picked --- frequently by quoting them out of context --- as are claims alleging "problems" with "the establishment's" body of theory --- again, frequently by quoting them out of context.

7.) Empirical evidences clearly falsifying the author's thesis and claims are ignored --- regardless of how many times these fatal flaws that have falsified the author's thesis have been previously pointed out to him.

The above are not characteristics of a solid, empirically well-supported paper in the Physical Sciences; they are instead characteristics of pseudoscientific crankery. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crank_%28person%29)
Title: Re: Electric Universe "Theory,"
Post by: quadibloc on November 08, 2009, 01:27:03 am
Let us examine a fairly typical paper by Thornhill, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Aug. 2007, Volume: 35, Issue: 4, Part 1, Page(s): 832-844; (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=4287093) the paper's content is notable for a number of points:

I am strongly inclined to agree with you, although if you are correct, this would imply that the refereeing standards of IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science have a problem. Of course, checking that a paper's citations actually provide a balanced representation of the existing literature may be too much to ask.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: deliberatus on November 08, 2009, 08:39:45 am
Not the point.
This is represented as a manifestation of Reggi's subconscious mind; therefore it is trying to communicate to the conscious using the knowledge and symbols available to it. While technically incorrect, it is perfectly suited FOR HIS MIND, as it is a mnemonic device to help retrieve to conscious thought all he kno9ws about the oracle, and out best guess at how it worked- gas induced hallucinations triggering the opening of the doors of the mind.

FOR HIM, it is the perfect expression to trigger full recall, which is it's intended purpose by the subconscious mind. For him only. This is a psychic event, not a history pop quiz.
Title: Re: Electric Universe "Theory,"
Post by: gdp on November 08, 2009, 09:38:30 am
Let us examine a fairly typical paper by Thornhill, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Aug. 2007, Volume: 35, Issue: 4, Part 1, Page(s): 832-844; (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/freeabs_all.jsp?arnumber=4287093) the paper's content is notable for a number of points:

I am strongly inclined to agree with you, although if you are correct, this would imply that the refereeing standards of IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science have a problem.

The paper in question appeared in a "conference proceedings" issue, the "Special Issue on Space and Cosmic Plasmas." (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/tocresult.jsp?isnumber=4287017&isYear=2007) Refereeing standards for conferences are necessarily much more lax than peer-reviewed publications, since to be approved for a conference one only submits an abstract not a full paper, and publication in the proceedings is virtually guaranteed merely by virtue of presenting the paper at the conference. (Hence, the relatively lower value of conference papers relative to peer-reviewed journal papers.)

Fold in the fact that the conference organizers and issue editors in question were themselves "Plasma Cosmologists" (i.e., "Electric Universe" partisans), and one might no longer be surprised by the refereeing standards used to vet that particular issue...

Quote
Of course, checking that a paper's citations actually provide a balanced representation of the existing literature may be too much to ask.

Admittedly, that does require that one be quite familiar with the available literature, and have a more than general knowledge of the field in question (which I am, and do, being a Ph.D. Physicist with postgraduate training in Astrophysics, and an Electrical Engineering undergraduate background --- not that "argument from authority" proves anything... :))
Title: Re: Electric Universe "Theory,"
Post by: Brugle on November 09, 2009, 08:59:03 pm
the so-called "Electric Universe" is not in fact a "theory" as Physicists use that term, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory#Theories_in_physics) since it does not provide a quantitative mathematical framework that explains the full body of empirical data while not predicting anything that is already empirically falsified.
It seems that your definition of "theory" would exclude anything that isn't a GUT.  No matter--I don't want to quibble over definitions.  If you'd rather substitute "hypothesis" wherever I use theory, go right ahead.

I'll continue to use ordinary language.  For example, I call the idea that comets are composed of ices and dust and maybe rocks the dirty snowball theory (or the snowy dirtball theory), and I also consider it to be a part of mainstream solar system creation theory.

Thornhill's "theory" ... has been falsified on a plethora of its alleged "predictions."
Another bald assertion.  Please, tell us an EU "prediction" which has been falsified.

I have heard of several purported falsifications of some aspect of EU.  All appeared to not understand what EU theory is.  One modeled a plasma current using electrostatics!  I hope that your example shows a better understanding of basic physics.

Nor is Thornhill's "Electric Universe" even "scientific," since Thornhill does not make use of the Scientific Method, (http://phyun5.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics7/Notes_www/node6.html#SECTION02121000000000000000) but instead uses the methods of Historical and Literary Criticism and polemic rhetoric.
Bullshit.  Any theory which makes specific, falsifiable predictions is scientific.  If it has been falsified (as you maintain), then it is scientific!

For example, if it could be shown that there are no electric currents between the sun and the earth, then a major part of EU theory would be falsified.

For another example, I expect that eventually we'll learn much more about comets.  If comet effects are due to sublimating ices, then that part of EU theory would be falsified.  Similarly, if comet effects are due to plasma currents, then that part of mainstream theory would be falsified.  (Both could be falsified.)  From the observations of various comets from spacecraft, I consider the EU theory of comets to be far more likely to be (eventually) proven true.

4.) All "explanations" are at best phenomenological analogies of the logically fallacious form "A visually resembles B, therefore A is B," or  ad hoc additional hypotheses, or (and at worst), false-dichotomy assertions that "conventional theory cannot explain phenomenon X, so therefore the author's unconventional theory must instead be correct."
That could be considered a pretty good summary of mainstream practice.

For example, let's say a mainstream scientist analyzes a channel on a planet or moon.  It visually resembles a riverbed or a collapsed lava tube.  Since accepted theory denies that there has ever been rivers on that planet or moon, the scientist concludes that the channel is likely to be a collapsed lava tube.

Of course, an EU scientist would do similar things, starting with observing that the channel visually resembles a riverbed or a collapsed lava tube or an electric discharge channel.  Various features of the channel would be analyzed.  If some features are inconsistent with it being a riverbed or collapsed lava tube, and if no features are inconsistent with it being an electric discharge channel, then the scientist concludes that the channel is likely to be an electric discharge channel.

There may be other explanations that neither scientist considers.  We are fallible!

The above are not characteristics of a solid, empirically well-supported paper in the Physical Sciences;

I understand that you have to prepare papers that will be published.  Also, if you are funded by grants then proposals must be written in whatever is the accepted style.  If it takes lots of mathematics and citations of the proper authorities, then in your position I'd do the same and put my career first.

However, I'm not in your position, so I can focus on other things, such as truth.  I would certainly prefer a quantitative prediction, but I consider an accurate qualitative prediction to be superior to any inaccurate prediction.

Early last century, Kristian Birkeland published his theory that auroras were caused by electric currents between the Sun and the Earth.  For decades, this was ridiculed by mainstream scientists, especially Sydney Chapman, who apparently had a mathematically elegant theory of aurora creation within Earth's magnetosphere (and who apparently refused to examine data from plasma experiments).  Even after currents around the Earth (sometimes called "radiation belts") that supported Birkeland's ideas were detected by satellites, some scientists didn't accept that currents flowed between the Sun and the Earth.  (EU scientists did, of course.)  It was just a few years ago that those currents (sometimes called "flux ropes") were confirmed.  Even though Chapman was wrong, I suspect that new physics students at that time did better in their careers if they accepted Chapman's mathematical models (or at least pretended to).

Similarly, I don't know if the mainstream theorist who predicted that there would be a cold spot at Saturn's north pole (as mentioned in reply #13) used a highly mathematical model that would be acceptable in a mainstream physics journal, and I don't care.  What interests me is that that theorist was wrong and the EU theorist was right.
Title: Re: Electric Universe "Theory,"
Post by: quadibloc on November 10, 2009, 03:50:26 am
Similarly, I don't know if the mainstream theorist who predicted that there would be a cold spot at Saturn's north pole (as mentioned in reply #13) used a highly mathematical model that would be acceptable in a mainstream physics journal, and I don't care.  What interests me is that that theorist was wrong and the EU theorist was right.

Certainly that seems to make sense. However, Velikovsky was right about Venus being hotter than scientists of the day expected. Science is a way of finding the truth, not just a body of facts: and sometimes someone who isn't really looking for the truth can get lucky.

While successful predictions are at the heart of the scientific method, and scientists have indeed on occasion rejected out of hand new ideas that clashed with preconceived notions, one successful prediction does not make it reasonable for people to accept as likely to be true a theory that does not appear to have been constructed with respect for all the facts.
Title: Re: Electric Universe "Theory,"
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on November 10, 2009, 11:24:02 am
Science is a way of finding the truth, not just a body of facts: and sometimes someone who isn't really looking for the truth can get lucky.

I must respectfully disagree.  Science is not about finding the "truth" per se; it is about finding useful models of observable phenomena (models when so applied or ["mapped" are theories)  where "useful" here means that results predicted by the given model map sufficiently close to the actual observable phenomena as to have some value to the one applying the model/theory.

In short, science does not find truth; it finds arbitrarily useful approximations to truth.

I should probably add that the developed models are in fact the "mathematics"  gdp referred to; however part of the scientific method (and hence is "science") occurs prior to the (mathematical) formalization of the developed model, which Brugle points out.

Note that I do not make any judgments as to the fitness of the "Electric Universe" hypothesis.
Title: Re: Electric Universe "Theory,"
Post by: SandySandfort on November 10, 2009, 11:57:53 am
... science does not find truth; it finds arbitrarily useful approximations to truth.

I agree, but I think it is best to steer away from the often ambiguous, and always emotional, word "truth." I prefer say science is an approximation of reality (or apparent reality to those solipsists, quantum-subjectivists and Matrix fans among us).   ;)
Title: Re: Electric Universe "Theory,"
Post by: NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on November 10, 2009, 12:28:18 pm
... science does not find truth; it finds arbitrarily useful approximations to truth.

I agree, but I think it is best to steer away from the often ambiguous, and always emotional, word "truth." I prefer say science is an approximation of reality (or apparent reality to those solipsists, quantum-subjectivists and Matrix fans among us).   ;)

Actually, that's my preferred terminology as well; I didn't want to introduce a new (and equally confusing) term, however.

FWIW, my complete epistemology consists of "'truth' is that which conforms to reality,"  thus shifting the entire issue into the realm of metaphysics.
Title: Re: Electric Universe "Theory,"
Post by: Brugle on November 10, 2009, 02:04:14 pm
... science does not find truth; it finds arbitrarily useful approximations to truth.

I agree, but I think it is best to steer away from the often ambiguous, and always emotional, word "truth." I prefer say science is an approximation of reality (or apparent reality to those solipsists, quantum-subjectivists and Matrix fans among us).   ;)

I agree with you both.  When I said that I focused on truth, I didn't mean to imply that I expected to find it with 100% certainty, just that understanding reality (the best that I can) is my goal.

In that line, I didn't mean to imply that considering evidence is simple.  It appears to me that a Bayesian approach is best, but I don't know much about the details.

Science is a way of finding the truth,

I'd define science as investigation of reality in whatever ways are likely to be accurate.  If the methods you define as being scientific include all of those and only those that help understanding, then our definitions are effectively the same.  But if you want to say that certain investigations are not science, regardless of whether those investigations improve our understanding of reality, then that's fine with me.  (For example, some people might consider investigating history to not be science.)  As I said before, I don't want to quibble over definitions.

Velikovsky was right about Venus being hotter than scientists of the day expected. ... one successful prediction

Velikovsky made multiple specific predictions which were pooh-poohed by mainstream scientists and later confirmed.  Of course, any finite number of correct predictions could be due to luck.

It's been a long time since I read Velikovsky and writings on his theories.  (I did hear him speak once--he had a thick accent which I found difficult to understand--it was a waste of time.)  The basis of his prediction of Venus's temperature, that humans appeared to have seen Venus with a much different visual appearance than is seen today, implying energetic events that would leave residual heat, is certainly contrary to mainstream theory but is not, as far as I know (which isn't very far), contradicted by any evidence.  Of course, Velikovsky proposed much more: that Venus was ejected from Jupiter, that those events occurred in historical times, that Venus interacted with Earth and caused events mentioned in various ancient documents (biblical and otherwise), and probably others.  From what I remember, people who've studied Velikovsky's theories consider him to have been wrong about some of those additional details, but there was much I didn't read (and I expect that additional evidence has been gathered in the meantime).

The other part of Velikovsky's theories that I consider interesting is that some of the dating of early historial cultures, accepted by mainstream theory, is likely to off by hundreds of years.  I wouldn't be surprised if some of the specific details of Velikovsky's redating were rejected by later investigators.  But evidence for historical questions is sometimes not available.  We can get lots more evidence about comets (given enough effort and time), but maybe not about ancient Egypt.
Title: Re: Electric Universe "Theory,"
Post by: quadibloc on November 11, 2009, 04:05:37 am
Velikovsky made multiple specific predictions which were pooh-poohed by mainstream scientists and later confirmed.  Of course, any finite number of correct predictions could be due to luck.

It's been a long time since I read Velikovsky and writings on his theories.  (I did hear him speak once--he had a thick accent which I found difficult to understand--it was a waste of time.)  The basis of his prediction of Venus's temperature, that humans appeared to have seen Venus with a much different visual appearance than is seen today, implying energetic events that would leave residual heat, is certainly contrary to mainstream theory but is not, as far as I know (which isn't very far), contradicted by any evidence.  Of course, Velikovsky proposed much more: that Venus was ejected from Jupiter, that those events occurred in historical times, that Venus interacted with Earth and caused events mentioned in various ancient documents (biblical and otherwise), and probably others.  From what I remember, people who've studied Velikovsky's theories consider him to have been wrong about some of those additional details, but there was much I didn't read (and I expect that additional evidence has been gathered in the meantime).

Venus being ejected from Jupiter wasn't just a detail; events like that were the basis of Velikovsky's theory, and the reason why he predicted a hot Venus.

Well-established scientific laws, that have made successful predictions and been tested by experiment, make it absurd that electrostatic charges on the planets could build up to a level that would take precedence over gravity. The temperature of Venus can be accounted for by a much more reasonable cause than cosmic billiards - the greenhouse effect operating in Venus' thick carbon dioxide atmosphere.
Title: Re: Electric Universe "Theory,"
Post by: Brugle on November 11, 2009, 03:01:08 pm
I didn't want to get into a discussion of Velikovsky's theories.  For what it's worth (approximately zero) I'd guess that much of what Velikovsky theorized was wrong.  Anyway...

Venus being ejected from Jupiter wasn't just a detail; events like that were the basis of Velikovsky's theory

I assume that this isn't a quibble over definitions.  I consider the basis for his theories to be the evidence that he presented.  As I understand it, the most fundamental part of Velikovsky's theories is that there were catastrophes so widespread that they were experienced by people all over Earth.  This idea is expanded in two main parts.

One, that at least some of the catastrophes occurred within the past several thousand years and can be identified in the historical and archaeological records of various cultures.  From those recorded events, the chronologies of different cultures can be synchronized.  Finally (in terms of how one idea depends on another, not on the order that he presented the ideas), he proposed specific changes to some dating accepted by mainstream theory.

Two, that the catastrophes were caused by astronomical objects interacting with Earth.  At least some of the interactions were electromagnetic.  Finally, he proposed that one such object (I think it was the first that he discussed--it's been a long time) came from Jupiter and that it eventually became Venus.

There are connections between the two parts, but I think they are independent enough to be considered separately.

Let's look at it another way.  Say that somehow we learn exactly what happened.  Consider two scenarios, both of which assume that Velikovsky's prediction about the heat of Venus was dumb luck.

One scenario is that Venus did come from Jupiter, but that nothing else about Velikovsky's ideas is true.  Venus did not interact with earth, people did not observe Venus's birth and evolution, astronomical objects did not pass close to Earth, the catastrophes Velikovsky considered were local, his redating is wrong, etc.  Velikovsky's theories are completely falsified--even though the prediction that Venus came from Jupiter happened to be true, the evidence he used to make the prediction did not actually support it.

Another scenario is that no significant astronomical object came from Jupiter and Venus never came close to Earth, but that everything else about Velikovsky's ideas is true.  Some other astronomical object(s) came close to Earth and caused global catastrophes, people all over Earth saw them, some occurred in historical times and caused the specific effects mentioned, Velikovsky's redating is entirely correct, etc.  Velikovsky's theories would be considered to be essentially correct, and his incorrect identification of an object as Venus and incorrect theory of its origin would be minor details.

and the reason why he predicted a hot Venus

Of course it is.  That was his story.

But, say Venus came from Saturn instead of Jupiter--that would still predict it to be hot.  Even if Venus didn't start off hot, the interactions proposed would be highly energetic, and (depending on the specifics) might either heat Venus's surface considerably or disrupt the planet's surface allowing interior heat to escape.

Please understand that I'm not suggesting that any of these explanations are likely to be accurate, just that we don't know enough to be sure.

Well-established scientific laws, that have made successful predictions and been tested by experiment, make it absurd that electrostatic charges on the planets could build up to a level that would take precedence over gravity.

As I've suggested before, modeling electromagnetic effects in plasma using electrostatics is silly, as silly as modeling Earth weather assuming that all water in the atmosphere is gaseous.

Do your "well-established scientific laws" explain X-rays from comets?  Mainstream scientists were surprised.  X-rays are not commonly observed coming from ices sublimating in an electrically neutral environment, but are commonly observed coming from electric discharges in plasma.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: GeoModder on November 11, 2009, 03:37:09 pm
Hi all. First post here.

A quick response on the EU topic at hand, more specifically on the notion that the planet Venus would/could originally come from Jupiter or Venus.
I'd say that's unlikely because of the density/composition differences between Venus and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Venus is the planet that comes closest (besides Mercury but that's another story) to Earth in density. While the composition of most of Jupiter's and Saturn moons is a mixture of rock and ice, Venus about completely lacks the latter (in form of water then).
I know that water in any form couldn't have survived on Venus under current conditions, but IF it by any chance came from the outer part of the Solar System, and IF it's current orbit only happened in historical times it's water simply couldn't have evaporated in such a short timespan (in the order of thousands of years instead of billions of years).
Next to that, Venus' orbit around the sun is the second-closest that comes to a circle instead of an ellipsoid from all the planets. It takes an unlikely regular 'slingshot' from whatever gas giant to push a heavy planet like Venus in a quite close to circular orbit around the sun.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Brugle on November 11, 2009, 06:17:08 pm
Hi GeoModder.  :)

Let's not confuse EU theory with Velikovsky's ideas.  While many EU scientists appreciate Velikovsky, I'm pretty sure that they consider much of what he proposed to be wrong.  (Similarly, psychologists who reject Freud's specific theories can appreciate Freud.)  The idea that Venus came from Jupiter in historical times is from Velikovsky and is not part of any EU theory that I know.

By the way, the only discussions I remember reading about Venus's orbit being quickly circularized assumed that it was done by electromagnetic effects, not by gravitational effects (slingshot or otherwise).  But a) I'm sure there were similar discussions which I never heard about, and b) my memory isn't too hot.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Sean Roach on November 11, 2009, 07:38:29 pm
So.  What does everyone say?  Burn the heretic?  Or make him wear a funny hat?
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: SandySandfort on November 11, 2009, 09:54:08 pm
So.  What does everyone say?  Burn the heretic?  Or make him wear a funny hat?

What if he already wears a funny hat?
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Brugle on November 12, 2009, 10:16:22 am
So.  What does everyone say?  Burn the heretic?  Or make him wear a funny hat?

What if he already wears a funny hat?

I don't like hats, but if that's the rule on this site...
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: quadibloc on November 12, 2009, 07:39:19 pm
So.  What does everyone say?  Burn the heretic?  Or make him wear a funny hat?

I'm not trying to hurt another person because he takes seriously a scientific theory that I suspect (based only on general rules of judging credibility, not studying the specific issue itself) is unsound.

My goal isn't to hurt, shame, or ridicule someone else. I'm trying, instead, to provide the "heretic", and anyone else who would benefit, with some common-sense knowledge of what to look out for so as not to get fooled.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Sean Roach on November 12, 2009, 08:46:40 pm
I was just saying the argument was getting increasingly religious.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: quadibloc on November 12, 2009, 11:12:39 pm
Anyways, i think it's sort of cute that Reggie has apparently discovered a greenhouse gas (I presume, to help warm and terraform Mars) that is also hallucinogenic.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Sean Roach on November 12, 2009, 11:18:30 pm
I was thinking it was a source of carbon to be exploited.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Azure Priest on November 13, 2009, 07:33:39 am
Mars does indeed have Carbon Dioxide and Methane ICE at the poles. There is also strong evidence large current or previously existent sources of water and water ice. Any attempt at colonization of Mars must be careful not to unleash microscopic life forms (bacteria, fungi, etc) that were merely dormant and not DEAD and to which the settlers are not likely to have resistance or immunity.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: GeoModder on November 13, 2009, 08:59:00 am
Let's not confuse EU theory with Velikovsky's ideas.  While many EU scientists appreciate Velikovsky, I'm pretty sure that they consider much of what he proposed to be wrong.  (Similarly, psychologists who reject Freud's specific theories can appreciate Freud.)  The idea that Venus came from Jupiter in historical times is from Velikovsky and is not part of any EU theory that I know.

Appearantly I mixed the two. Sorry 'bout that.

Any attempt at colonization of Mars must be careful not to unleash microscopic life forms (bacteria, fungi, etc) that were merely dormant and not DEAD and to which the settlers are not likely to have resistance or immunity.

Then this lifeform must first be compatible with terrestrial life (in this case humans).
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Sean Roach on November 13, 2009, 09:08:09 am
Except.  I'm completely immune, (or believe myself to be), to rust, soft rot, and potato blight.
Unless those organisms developed for attacking multi-celled animals, any discoverers are likely safe.
Emphasis on likely.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Sean Roach on November 13, 2009, 09:11:00 am
Huh.  On the terraforming angle...
What about feeding that methane to the bugs, to jumpstart terraforming?
Perhaps he's talking about causing an outbreak of background bacteria to process the soil and thicken the atmosphere?
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: ObscureDragom on November 13, 2009, 12:31:35 pm
Burning Methane produces carbon dioxide,  doesn't it?  Something that can darken the sky and hold heat as well as provide a tasty treat for plant life?
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Azure Priest on November 16, 2009, 07:36:04 am
Let's not confuse EU theory with Velikovsky's ideas.  While many EU scientists appreciate Velikovsky, I'm pretty sure that they consider much of what he proposed to be wrong.  (Similarly, psychologists who reject Freud's specific theories can appreciate Freud.)  The idea that Venus came from Jupiter in historical times is from Velikovsky and is not part of any EU theory that I know.

Appearantly I mixed the two. Sorry 'bout that.

Any attempt at colonization of Mars must be careful not to unleash microscopic life forms (bacteria, fungi, etc) that were merely dormant and not DEAD and to which the settlers are not likely to have resistance or immunity.

Then this lifeform must first be compatible with terrestrial life (in this case humans).

Bacteria and fungi don't have to be "compatible" with anything. They grow wherever they find something they "like." Even in the most inhospitable environments, microscopic organisms have been found. The only constants noted are water (humans are mostly water) and something that can be metabolized. The human body has PLENTY that can be metabolized. A particular example are the spores for ANTRHAX. Spores for this pathogen have been found buried for decades, but once exposed to water and a growing medium become infectious.

The human body is under CONSTANT attack by bacteria, viruses, fungi etc. The reason we are not all extinct is that our immune system recognizes the intruders and can mount a defense, exterminating the intruder before any damage is done. If a martian fungal spore is brought out of dormancy and infects a human, that human's immune system would not recognize the intruder, would not know how to mount a defense and that human could die.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: quadibloc on November 16, 2009, 08:24:20 am
If a martian fungal spore is brought out of dormancy and infects a human, that human's immune system would not recognize the intruder, would not know how to mount a defense and that human could die.

Indeed.

It is true that many Earthly disease organisms have evolved complex relationships with their hosts. One would not expect it to be possible for a human to be infected by Martian malaria or measles - or AIDS. But when it comes to Martian mold or mildew, though, such a more complex microorganism (one unlikely to have already been brought to Earth by surviving a passage on a meteorite) could just view a human being as a big pile of sugars.

So, while the risk is very low, I take issue with Robert Zubrin's claim that the risk of back contamination from Mars is essentially nonexistent.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: GeoModder on November 16, 2009, 09:19:55 am
Bacteria and fungi don't have to be "compatible" with anything. They grow wherever they find something they "like." Even in the most inhospitable environments, microscopic organisms have been found. The only constants noted are water (humans are mostly water) and something that can be metabolized. The human body has PLENTY that can be metabolized. A particular example are the spores for ANTRHAX. Spores for this pathogen have been found buried for decades, but once exposed to water and a growing medium become infectious.

Different planet, different circumstances. For all we know the water this hypothetical martian fungi is used to is a tad too different from the water terrestrial life contains to be used as breeding ground. Not to mention all the other "hosts" terrestrial life already carries that is in some way potentially lethal for an alien (martian) intruder. This infection stuff goes both ways.

The human body is under CONSTANT attack by bacteria, viruses, fungi etc. The reason we are not all extinct is that our immune system recognizes the intruders and can mount a defense, exterminating the intruder before any damage is done. If a martian fungal spore is brought out of dormancy and infects a human, that human's immune system would not recognize the intruder, would not know how to mount a defense and that human could die.

In most cases the tiny buggers ignore humans because we're not a "privileged" host (yet). It's only once a mutation finds something appetizing in us they become dangerous.
I suppose the heisa around this Mexian flu is a good example: it's lethal in some cases/circumstances to us, but it's also a bug that took its sweet time before predating on humans if you look who is the original host of it, and how long humanity has lived with the original host.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: Azure Priest on November 17, 2009, 07:42:02 am

Bacteria and fungi don't have to be "compatible" with anything. They grow wherever they find something they "like." Even in the most inhospitable environments, microscopic organisms have been found. The only constants noted are water (humans are mostly water) and something that can be metabolized. The human body has PLENTY that can be metabolized. A particular example are the spores for ANTRHAX. Spores for this pathogen have been found buried for decades, but once exposed to water and a growing medium become infectious.
Different planet, different circumstances. For all we know the water this hypothetical martian fungi is used to is a tad too different from the water terrestrial life contains to be used as breeding ground. Not to mention all the other "hosts" terrestrial life already carries that is in some way potentially lethal for an alien (martian) intruder. This infection stuff goes both ways.

By what mechanism are you differentiating water? Water is UNIVERSALLY (H2O), ergo Mars water is the same as Earth water. The defining factor is a pathogen's virility ie how fast it multiplies or spreads. Something like say, the common cold, multiplies very slowly, and so the immune system can adapt to it. Something like EBOLA, multiplies AND spreads far too quickly for the immune system to react unless there's already some form of natural immunity. Further have you no knowledge of history? There are numerous accounts of populations bringing their native bacterial, fungal, viral parasites. Infections to which they were resistant, into a new environment and those infections react to something they "like" in the new place and wreck havok! There are also numerous occurrences of populations going to an "alien" environment and being decimated by something to which they had no resistance. Granted, it wasn't going to another planet, but the principle remains the same. In order for your "incompatible" premise to work, it would have to be something completely para-natural in origin.

Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: GeoModder on November 17, 2009, 09:49:25 am
By what mechanism are you differentiating water?

I'm talking trace elements. 'Natural' water on Earth supposedly has a different chemistry solvation (sp?) then 'natural' water on Mars. We are used on the fact that about all harmful bacteria and viruses on Earth can use the same 'kind' of water. But does that necessarily mean the same counts on another celestial body?

Water is UNIVERSALLY (H2O), ergo Mars water is the same as Earth water. The defining factor is a pathogen's virility ie how fast it multiplies or spreads. Something like say, the common cold, multiplies very slowly, and so the immune system can adapt to it. Something like EBOLA, multiplies AND spreads far too quickly for the immune system to react unless there's already some form of natural immunity. Further have you no knowledge of history? There are numerous accounts of populations bringing their native bacterial, fungal, viral parasites. Infections to which they were resistant, into a new environment and those infections react to something they "like" in the new place and wreck havok! There are also numerous occurrences of populations going to an "alien" environment and being decimated by something to which they had no resistance. Granted, it wasn't going to another planet, but the principle remains the same. In order for your "incompatible" premise to work, it would have to be something completely para-natural in origin.

I've read enough on history to know that a number of plagues occured, thank you very much. You could also wonder why not EVERY single bacteria/virus unknown to a distant human population becomes lethal once contact is somehow made. And there are numerous of those basically harmless ones. Even basic life like bacteria and viruses needs to adapt in order to cross this border to a new type of contact so to speak. In the case of the most virulent plagues like Ebola or the Pest there seems to be something in common with the prime plague carrier. In the former supposedly apes/monkeys which share about 98+% of their genetic material with humans (if that is the border these needs to cross). In the case of the Pest it was easier since this disease already feasted upon humans from another population.
Therefore I maintain that a single alien bacteria or virus dormant species isn't necesarily lethal to any human it encounters by chance.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: ObscureDragom on November 17, 2009, 06:54:55 pm
First lets explain the broad wackyness of life by pointing out the "Poles" of life.

Most Freshwater animals cannot survive in Saltwater and most Saltwater animals cannot survive in Freshwater.

Most Anaerobic life cannot exist in contact with oxygen and most Aerobic life cannot exist without oxygen.

All form of life on earth use left-handed amino acid strings and finds right-handed amino strings toxic, We assume the same is true for life based on right-handed amino strings.

Now the human body is a Freshwater, Anaerobic, left-handed amino string environment.

With every descriptor in that line the number of alien virus's, fungi and bacteria that can even try to make a human a host drops by 50%.  So we have 12.5% of all alien infectious agents left in the competition.

Now the human body is also 37.0 C, under 1 G of pressure and already teams with dozens of different forms of life.

Those descriptors are the real kickers as they reduce the number by more then 50%.  Lets just make a broad guess like 85%.   Brings us down to 0.04% of infectious agents, or 1/2,500

Now this is the number chance the infection can get in the front door.

Now it has to be able to survive any range of formidable immune responses from a fever of 41.1 C to white blood cell  absorption to rejection of tissue (mostly skin).

Assuming 50% chance of success of these measures we come to 0.005% or 1/20,000

Just not betting odds.  And I'm being kinda generous.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: JasonAW3 on November 18, 2009, 02:53:15 pm
So.  What does everyone say?  Burn the heretic?  Or make him wear a funny hat?

What if he already wears a funny hat?

I don't like hats, but if that's the rule on this site...


Hey, I'm all for funny hats, but will it fit inside his helmet as we make him dance a jaunty Irish Jig on the surface of Mars?




Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: terry_freeman on November 19, 2009, 03:55:20 am
It is an error to assume that the probability distribution of both parts of a two-valued choice is 50-50. What if there are factors which skew life toward aerobic and left-handed proteins, etc?
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: ObscureDragom on November 23, 2009, 11:12:20 pm
It is an error to assume that the probability distribution of both parts of a two-valued choice is 50-50. What if there are factors which skew life toward aerobic and left-handed proteins, etc?

First there is the useful paradox of the environment of the human body is curiously anaerobic, despite the fact humans themselves are aerobic.

Second there is the possibility of using a different element other then Oxygen, like those funky subterranean bacterial mats that get by converting Sulfur into Sulfuric Acid to power their biology.

Yes there could be such factors, and of course those factors could actually skew in the opposite direction at the same time.

By which I mean that while 90% of all life in the universe could use left-handed amino acids, it is equally likely that 90% of all life in the universe uses right-handed amino acids.

Ah, xenobiology, the one true science.
Title: Re: Delphi?
Post by: wdg3rd on November 28, 2009, 10:25:44 pm

First there is the useful paradox of the environment of the human body is curiously anaerobic, despite the fact humans themselves are aerobic.

Pretty much every life-form that survived the introduction of oxygen to Earth's atmosphere is aerobic.  It's how they survived,  The only place you can find anaerobic life-forms is around volcanic vents or in canned food (and in government labs, but that's another story)

Quote
By which I mean that while 90% of all life in the universe could use left-handed amino acids, it is equally likely that 90% of all life in the universe uses right-handed amino acids.

Actually, there is plenty of evidence that ultraviolet light (and a few other bands) tend to skew the twist of amino acids and the proteins made from them.  Other-handed life may be rare.

Quote
Ah, xenobiology, the one true science.

It's not a science unless there is mathematics to back it up.  Get a census of Jovian frogs and hydrogen-based squids (whether sentient or not) and we''ll work on turning xenobiology into a science.