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Bad Astronomy Vs Good Science. Debunking Phil Plait

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posted on Jun, 4 2009 @ 11:44 PM
Let's look at this water thing a little more-

By the 1980s, however, new discoveries began to force changes in the language of comets. The theorized surface water proved far more difficult to find than anyone had imagined. In 1986, visits to Halley’s comet by the European Giotto and Russian Vega probes failed to locate surface water and raised the distinct possibility that the nucleus might not be ejecting water into space. A feature story in the journal Nature following the encounter acknowledged that, “…only indirect and sometimes ambiguous evidence of water has been found; indeed, some facts seem to contradict this hypothesis”.

The flyby of Comet Borrelly by the Deep Space 1 craft in 2001 “detected no frozen water on its surface”, according to a NASA release. "The spectrum suggests that the surface is hot and dry. It is surprising that we saw no traces of water ice," said the lead investigator Dr. Laurence Soderblom.

Then, in January 2004, the Stardust spacecraft passed by Comet Wild 2, identifying a dozen jets of material exploding from the nucleus. The craft plowed through surprisingly dense pockets of dust swirling around the comet, but investigators were astonished that they could not find even a trace of water on the surface, despite the energetic activity.

By the time of “Deep Impact” on July 4, 2005, comet theory had fragmented into mutually contradictory hypotheses—a comet was a dirty snowball, an icy dirtball, a gravel pile, a rubble heap, or an easily-fragmented fluffball.

NASA’s recent report on the Deep Impact mission suggests that investigators found a smattering of water ice on the surface of comet Tempel 1. The problem is that, to account for the water supposedly being “exhaled” by Tempel 1, the investigators needed 200 times more exposed water- ice than they could find.

Fact - not enough water has been found.

Now is it really sublimating water ice?

More than two decades ago, Fred Whipple noted that the inner coma of a comet is a “chemical factory” and that the complex reactions within the coma can leave scientists “confused”. It is not clear “whether the materials we detect come unchanged directly from the nucleus or were manufactured near the surface”, he said.

Statement From the originator of the snowball theory.
I made a similar statement and you ridiculed it, now here it is from the originator of your beloved theory.

To solve the dilemma, scientists turned to modeling the possible chemical reactions with the help of supercomputers and spectroscopic observations, beginning with the assumption that volatiles “boil off” the surface via solar heating. From that starting point a theory passed into rigid beliefs and unwarranted statements of “fact”. As the space age has demonstrated so poignantly, the hardened beliefs did not give way even when later visits to comets not only failed to verify the assumptions, but produced a litany of surprises.

We see a perfect example of hardened beliefs that do not give way to evidence right here on this thread.

No one should be permitted to state as fact the idea that large volumes of “water” fill the comas of comets. The scientific instruments do not see water. What they see as the most abundant companion of cometary dust is the “hydroxyl” radical, OH.

They do not see water as we know it, very misleading.

In considering the source of OH, the theorists possess a deficient toolkit. Standard theory has little to work with other than photolysis, the process by which light absorption can break a molecule down into its separate building blocks. But conventional theorists, already “knowing” that the coma is a product of water boiling off the nucleus, concluded with equal confidence that the coma’s water has been broken down by the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation, forming the hydroxyl radical (OH) along with atomic hydrogen and oxygen. By this reasoning, the abundance of OH in a comet nucleus becomes a direct pointer to the abundance of water held by the nucleus.

So the distinction between fact and theory is quickly blurred. A superabundant “leftover” of the hypothesized conversion of water into OH is hydrogen. But in truth, it is not easy to produce hydrogen though any process other than electrolysis. And there is a suspicious absence of adequate experimental work to verify that the photolysis assumed by cometologists is actually feasible on the scale their “explanation” requires.

A much different vantage point on the water question is possible. The unsolved mysteries of the comet will find direct answers in an electrical exchange—the transaction between a negatively charged comet nucleus and the Sun.

In fact there are many avenues for generating OH if you allow for electric discharge and “sputtering” by protons to remove silicates, carbonates, and other rock minerals, together with organic molecules, from the comet’s surface. Electrical sputtering technology is well established in industrial applications, but is far from the minds of astronomers as they consider the mysteries of the comet.

Meanwhile, the surprises continue, and the electric theorists remind us again that surprises are the key to discovery: the findings that have most astonished astronomers are high energy events—extreme ultraviolet light emissions, x-ray emissions, million degree temperatures, supersonic jets, explosive and unpredictable outbursts even beyond the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn, the violent break-up of comets (including the surprising speed at which the parts sometimes separate), and the complete disintegration of comet nuclei millions of miles from the Sun. The very things that comet researchers did not anticipate are the predictable effects of an electric comet.

Of course, if electric sputtering is occurring on a comet’s surface, it is not just another surprise; it is a challenge to all conventional assumptions about water in the comas of comets. Since OH abundance is virtually the only basis for common statements about cometary water, it is essential that the question remain open long enough to allow for consideration of the water issue from another vantage point.

Deep Impact - Where's the water? 1
Deep Impact - Where's the water? 2
Deep Impact - Where's the water? 3

posted on Jun, 5 2009 @ 08:19 PM
OK guys,

Can we start anew and perhaps move away from the EU and and Standard Theory. I really don't think we are going to reach a concensus on that one tonight.

It was never the intention of the thread to debate Standard Theory v Electric Universe. Or my intention to see fellow researchers at odd's with each other.

There is clearly a huge gulf between the two sides.

To be honest this thread is not at all like I though it would be. I though there would have been a lot of people expressing views of what was said about whatchamecallhim or somethin like that any-way; but apparently we may not speak about anyone. And That's Word of God..

Peace to You All


posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 02:02 PM

Originally posted by squiz

When you learn to quit tossing up strawmen, then I'll give your questions consideration. A question based on the foundation of a strawman argument is not worth responding to.

Water below the surface is nothing but speculation.

BS! The impact plume of comet tempel 1 proved water ice below the surface, along with plenty of other volatiles. That's why every single one of your uncited articles talks about the strawman of SURFACE water, because they have to ignore the evidence of subsurface water ice to try to prop up their theory. Once again, EU is all about ignoring any alternative explanations and just pretending like contradicting evidence doesn't exist. You're an expert at that.

[edit on 7-6-2009 by ngchunter]

posted on Jun, 8 2009 @ 09:14 AM
reply to post by daz__

I'm not sure this is what you had in mind but here are some of my thoughts on Bad Astronomy Vs Good Science.

Originally posted by daz__
man's history seem's to be all about war and who is right and who is wrong. Perhaps it is a deficency in our language that holds us back.

This is a point that I seem to keep coming back to no matter what subject I am on. What is being presented as an accepted theory far too often makes no sense sometimes to the point of begging to be labeled a conspiracy. Knowledge has been lost over time and I don't mean misplaced or forgotten but rather bad information has been taught in its place. The idea that the planets are spheres orbiting the Sun is nothing new, however the Ptolemy geocentric model is.

A term I learned from another forum is "against the mainstream" (or ATM) which classifies those who are opposed to "mainstream" science and therefore open for ridicule. So the two choices are either you agree with the mainstream or your ATM. It didn't take me long to realize that neither side would amount to anything productive no matter how well intended they started off. In my opinion this looks just like a disinformation trap, one that I have been in many times.

It's some of the responses to certain questions that catch my attention, it's almost as if we unintentionally create obstacles impeding any resolve. A question was asked on another forum if life (micro or macro-biological) could naturally survive a journey to Earth from another planet. The first reply was ,"Absolutely not!" This seemed an odd response to a question where the answer is not yet known. Although it seems unlikely that life could survive such a journey the answer is in no way absolute.

A question I have had for many years on the origin of rotation is ,"Why do planets rotate?" The first line from Ask An Astronomer is, "There is no force that causes the planets to rotate." This makes no sense, it goes on to explain the conservation of angular momentum and blames rotation on the interstellar cloud that formed the planets and from there points to the big bang. The way I understand it is energy that is conserved in a mass is called momentum making the term 'conservation of momentum' redundant in any form. Even if an interstellar cloud could somehow pop into an accretion disk what causes countless dust and gas particles to rotate as a single unit for there to be angular motion to conserve?

I began to see this as an epistemic impedence or a resistance to the flow of knowledge and for reasons I don't understand it seems to be a natural occurrence perhaps even a cycling event.

posted on Jun, 8 2009 @ 09:34 AM
reply to post by Devino

The warping of spacetime caused by the Sun keeps planets in our solar system orbiting. Unless they're nearly tidally locked, like Mercury, rotation would be another likely outcome. I agree with you though, that is a lot of conservation of angular momentum to have occurred with the BB.

[edit on 8-6-2009 by elfie]

posted on Jun, 8 2009 @ 07:44 PM
reply to post by ngchunter

Well, I'll respect Daz's wishes and end this, because to correct you further would only mean posting more of the same.
The answers to your arguments can already be found here for those who understand.
Only thing left to say is "The hypocrisy is truly Stunning"

Sorry Daz.

posted on Jun, 8 2009 @ 09:54 PM

Originally posted by elfie
The warping of space-time caused by the Sun keeps planets in our solar system orbiting.

Yeah, that explanation worked for me until I thought it through with a little help from ATS. The problem with the space-time warp idea is that space is considered empty or at least void of any other force that effect planetary motions, besides collisions. If this is true then how can empty space be warped or curved or, for that matter, how can a void expand?

The idea is a warp in space-time around the Sun, like a large bowl, that causes planets to gravitate around as if they were circling a drain. The problem with this idea is that it uses gravity to explain the force of gravity. Why do planets roll around in this large warped space-bowl? In the end we are left with the original question unanswered.

Gravity is a force that can be measured, no mystery there except for its origin, but I fail to understand how this predictable omnidirectional force causes accretion disks to form resulting in solar and galactic planes. I understand the effects of centripetal and centrifugal forces on rigid bodies from which the forming of an accretion disk can be observed. What I don't understand is how this applies to bodies not physically connected like huge interstellar gas clouds or galaxies.

Furthermore, how can an angular force from a single event so long ago effect the motions of the planets causing them to all rotate and orbit in the same direction? The exceptions being the rotations of Venus and Uranus, explained as possibly due to a catastrophic event, Pluto, which is thought to be a captured extra-solar object, and the orbits of various comets/asteroids.

Our solar plane (the plane of the ecliptic) is inclined to the galactic plane of the Milky Way by about 65 degrees, with Earth's axial tilt of 23.5 degrees makes it appear to be almost a 90 degree tilt. From what I have read we are orbiting the Milky Way in a clockwise direction, retrograde-or maybe that makes us in retrograde motion.

Mainstream science goes along way in their efforts to come up with different ways to say what amounts to the same thing, "We don't know." This is the same answer my science teacher gave me to the question, "what causes gravity", back in school and one that opened my eyes.

posted on Jun, 9 2009 @ 03:23 PM

Originally posted by Devino
Gravity is a force that can be measured, no mystery there except for its origin, but I fail to understand how this predictable omnidirectional force causes accretion disks to form resulting in solar and galactic planes.

Conservation of angular momentum as the dust cloud contracts. Particles at the equator of rotation are therefore less likely to fall into the proto-sun than particles at the poles, resulting in an accumulation of material along the plane of the proto-sun's rotation, and indeed this is what we see.

Furthermore, how can an angular force from a single event so long ago effect the motions of the planets causing them to all rotate and orbit in the same direction?

It's still explained by the conservation of angular momentum; unless something incredibly powerful acts to change things, they will always be orbiting in the same direction.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 06:23 AM
Phil Plait is such a ditz. I heard him debate Rogan and he claimed Bush was a creationist as opposed to Clinton who was not . Hello Phil, didn't Bill go to church every Sunday with his BIBLE. The book where it tells you that YOU PHIL PLAIT WERE MADE BY GOD WITH INTENTION . what a ditz.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 07:55 AM
I used to watch Phil Plait's "Bad Universe". I found his presentation and content well presented as the edutainment most TV viewers will watch. I never considered him to be an expert on any of the science he was explaining but he delivered enough information for the average person to get a fair idea of how the universe works.
We actually turned his show into a drinking game.
Every time he said "Holey Ocolopolis" or whatever the phrase was, we would drink.
Try it some time. I makes his show even more entertaining.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 02:44 PM
Wow, another thread necro'd.

I have the utmost respect for Phil, he's good at exposing cranks and their nonsense. We need people like him.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 06:27 PM
reply to post by Devino

I do not like "professional" debunker, I even dislike them more than "professional" ufologists... but I do like proper salt of the earth debunker and on subjects that I do know (or think I do) I may dabble in debunking myself if the preposition being made is too offensive to public good... well just like you own remark...

I consider the act of debunking adding nothing to a debate

I gladly would debunk that statement as false, I suppose that what you intended to state is that most debunker do not add to the debate...

I would agree with it it is easy to state that something is false without proper justification, it does not require any effort, even stating that something is true simply by the effort of having faith in it has a greater value because the believer does not only give importance to the subject but often has put some effort into some convoluted to rationalize his faith/belief.

In any case if you discard false debunkers (that simply are nay sayers), all debunkers if working do bring something to the table work to balance non conformism. Most speculators or theorizers live in the gray space known as the outside of the box, without debunkers some of those explorers would probably be lost into that void as it becomes easy to lose contact with reality. In the end it all falls to the value of ideas and any ideas are worth something to someone...

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