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In a way Randi is a genius. Maybe a genius without a conscious but never the less I understand he did not even graduate from high school and apparently he has made a pretty good living debunking everything. TV loves him and I read somewhere that Johnny Carson had him on his show 31 times. As a con man he deserves an A but I think I will let Victor give him a grade for his moral values.

Thanks for the post Michael. But why do I get the strange feeling that this discovery will get far less press than the "debunking" of Fleischmann and Pons?

>apparently he has made a pretty good living debunking everything

Well, I don't know. He has lost a lot of money defending himself against a variety of lawsuits. I really don't think he's in it for the money. I think he's quite sincere in his beliefs, but the way I read him, he's the sort of person who sees things in black and white, with little or no gray area, and who absolutely has to be right.

"I think he's quite sincere in his beliefs, but the way I read him, he's the sort of person who sees things in black and white, with little or no gray area, and who absolutely has to be right."

i think that sum up the most of the skeptics/atheists that i know or read about.

by reading the comments left by readers of that article, you can see that many people are still stuck up 1 & 2 of the stage of acceptance.

a hostile bunch, they are.

I love how someone like Randi, with zero scientific credentials whatsoever, is taken so seriously by skeptics on a subject as complex as cold fusion. Or perhaps it's just because people with such a strong confirmation bias need to have their opinions validated by someone.

In fact, ever notice how closed-minded skeptics rarely have their own opinions on the subjects they speak about, but always cite someone else's writing or work as a buttress? This is in stark comparison to Michael's lengthy (and impressive) writings trying to make sense of quantum mechanics. At least you're willing to think for yourself, MP.

I think I read somewhere that Randi felt duped as a child with a magic show or Christianity and he has sworn never to be duped again. In the article the pathology of skepticism the author found this to be true of many ultra skeptics.

Also being an ultra skeptic is one way of getting lots of attention by others that think like you. My communication with one ultra skeptic highly suggests she loves the attention she gets from these skeptical organizations and their members.

I suspect that with ultra skeptics this significant emotional event in their lives has caused them to overcompensate and this affects their ability to be open to new ideas, but with many scientists I suspect they are just trying to protect their existing materialistic paradigm.

We humans love to congregate with other humans that think like us without realizing that mode of being in this world probably gives us the least chance of learning new paradigms or challenging our existing ones.

Challenging our existing cherished beliefs appears to be a very painful process. Just bring up politics or religion within a group discussion or on a blog site and watch the emotional reactions unfold.

The sonofusion investigation is fascinating as well. The Indian scientist targeted has recently emphasized how the university investigations of his work have had many positive aspects now ignored by other scientists. He thinks it's political because sonofusion is potentially a source of clean energy.

I know that sonofusion works because it's the basis of "sonic bloom" the product discovered by Dan Carlson. The ultrasound of birds resonates the stomata of planets and the heat transforms the nutrients in the sun-created morning dew.

Alchemy works the same way -- ultrasound can be heard within the brain and this creates great heat which ionizes the chemicals, finally creating electromagnetic fields that travel outside the body and even bend spacetime.

I've enjoyed some of Randi's work in the past, but was disillusioned when I read his put-down of religious relics, as it reflected a sloppy indifference to facts. He had supposedly seen, years ago, a site where there were the relics of a saint, and observed monks or nuns carrying a bolt of new cloth to fashion into relics. He assumed that because it was new cloth, and the saint was long dead, he was watching a fraud being perpetrated. He did not bother to learn that there are secondary relics, that is, relics honored not because they were the bones or clothing of a saint, but simply because they came into contact with something from the saint. Thus, it's perfectly legitimate to take a fresh piece of white cloth and press it against a scrap of material from a saint's robe and distribute it as a relic. (Relics cannot be sold, under Catholic law.) You can laugh at the practice if you choose, but you cannot say with honesty that it fraudulent, simply because the relic is freshly made. The point is that his disdain was not based upon facts, but upon incorrect assumptions which he then passed on to thousands of readers. How often does he do this in more complex areas of inquiry?

Well if ESP cannot be accepted by the closed-minded skeptics life after death certainly won't be. I am happy that cold-fusion is getting the attention it deserves in the dailytech for once. You would think that this proof of cold fusion may change the closed-minded skeptics opinions and make them rethink their worldview well sadly I don't think that's going to happen.

I was arguing today on facebook a group that says evolution is not theory but scientific fact I pointed to the alternative science website by richard milton the skeptic says this

Kevin Schillo (UCF) wrote
at 9:19pm
"The idea of catastrophism -- rapid formation of rocks -- is anathema to conventional geology. Yet there is mounting evidence for catastrophic processes. Examples include the young age and rapid building of the world's mountain chains in historical times; the gigantic extent of certain rock formations, requiring singular, acute causes; and the occurrence of extinctions on a massive scale of terrestrial -- not marine -- creatures."

Here the author demonstrates a lack of understanding of the history of mass extinctions, geology, and the very idea of global catastrophes. Catastrophic events such as volcanic eruptions and meteor impacts are an integral part in our understanding of the history of the earth and life.
Message - Report

Kevin Schillo (UCF) wrote
at 9:16pm
Yeah, it's really well written.

"The only mechanism in neoDarwinism for introducing novelty of form is genetic mutation. Yet advantageous or beneficial spontaneous genetic mutation remains no more than a hypothetical necessity to the neo-Darwinist theory.

No one has ever observed a spontaneous inheritable genetic mutation that resulted in a changed physical characteristic, aside, that is, from a small group of well-known and usually fatal genetic defects. Because noone has ever observed such an event, noone really knows whether they occur at all and, if so, how often. Because deleterious mutations are known to occur, Darwinists appeal to the statistics of large numbers. If deleterious mutations can occur, then given enough time beneficial mutations must occur.

This fundamental part of the neoDarwinist theory remains unsupported by evidence or experiment."

That right there is an outright lie.
Message - Report

Leo MacDonald wrote
at 8:51pm
Here is a well critque of evolution- it seems to that anyone who puts out a critique of evolution by casting doubt on it is always considered to be a secret creationist in the hiding.http://www.alternativescience.com/shattering-the-myths-of-darwinism-contents.htm

You have to define the term "evolution." If you're talking about common descent, then that is a pretty well supported theory (yes, there are some problems with common descent, but there are problems with every scientific theory). If you're talking about the Darwinian mechanism, then the only thing it explains is microevolution (even here, it only provides a superficial explanation).

I'm glad you brought this up because I think Darwinism is a reason why ESP and other "paranormal" phenomena are dismissed by the scientific community. The whole point of Darwinism is to reduce biological organisms to a series of chemical accidents. The implication of this theory is that we're mere bystanders on a cosmic stage so we should not really have any intimate relationship with the universe. If the scientific establishment even acknowledged that some "paranormal" phenomena might be real, then it would have to question a lot of sacred cows like Darwinism.

Great essay, thanx.
Here's something that I believe is attributed to another SciFi greats, Robert Heinlein (his centennary is this year)Logic is a way of proving that what didn't happen yesterday can't happen tomorrow.
Those are words you can live by, as long as they're spelled in some media that's nutritious.

Greetings. I am the librarian at LENR-CANR.org. This site features a bibliography of over 3,000 cold fusion papers, and the full text from over 500 papers.

I had a remarkable exchange of e-mail with James Randi regarding cold fusion. In the end, he made two assertions:

1. He himself is not qualified to judge whether a cold fusion device is working or not.

2. He does not believe in scientific method, and he does not trust the authority of mainstream, peer-reviewed journals, or the technical judgment of people such a the top researchers at Amoco and the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Government of India.

Below are extracts from the last message I sent him, plus his response.

Regarding the assertions made here, I know little about ESP research, and I cannot judge whether ESP exists or not, but I do not think it resembles cold fusion. Cold fusion is a relatively simple physics experiment that uses mainly 19th century techniques, and compared to ESP it is more reproducible, and the signal to noise ratio is higher.

Regarding the research at the U.S. Navy, see:

http://lenr-canr.org/Collections/USNavy.htm

Documents from the Indian AEC are here:

http://lenr-canr.org/Collections/BARC.htm

- Jed Rothwell
Librarian, LENR-CANR.org

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

From: Jed Rothwell
Sent: Monday, May 29, 2006 8:32 PM
To: randi@randi.org
Subject: RE: APS versus JJAP


You wrote:

>I neither said nor implied -- not "suggested" -- cheating, even in the SRI
>Geller "tests." You are adopting a sophomoric tactic here.

Well, why else would you require "supervision"? At a National Laboratory, scientists are never "supervised" by outside observers. I cannot imagine
they would allow anything like that at the [Japanese National] Synchroron Lab. Of course they would welcome visitors from the APS [American Physical Society].


>When you select your preferred authority, you are effectively selecting
>data.

I select relevant authorities. I select the people who have performed and published peer-reviewed cold fusion experiments. Who else?!? If you can
suggest an APS member who has published a peer-reviewed critique, that would be fine, but I do not think there are any. We need to confine the discussion to legitimate scientists who have done peer-reviewed work.


>And, when it's my million dollars at stake, I insist on independent
>supervision.

In point of fact, these experiments cost $10 to $20 million or more, plus it helps to have a multi-billion dollar synchrotron beam. The Japanese National Labs and universities where this work is performed are not allowed to accept money from private individuals or foundations. So this is a moot point. (On the other hand, U.S. universities can accept grants.) However, if you would like to arrange for a serious scientific confirmation of cold fusion with people from the APS -- or any legit scientific institution -- I can assist.


>I suppose you would not?

I trust the peer-review system, and I have spent many hundreds of thousands on cold fusion research (financing experiments mainly in U.S. universities).


>I am NOT an academic, I am not bound by academic niceties . . .

They are, however. And also they are bound by strict rules about access to the Synchrotron Lab and places like that. Tourists, unqualified people and casual visitors are not allowed in.


>Please, do not assign characteristics, opinions, or statements, to me.

What am I to make of your assertion that hundreds of professional scientists require "supervision" before you will believe them? This is an extraordinary thing to say. Would you also supervise surgeons and airplane pilots?


>Let's leave it here: the million-dollar prize of the James Randi
Educational Foundation is available for
>the operation of a practical working version of the "cold fusion" claim.

A practical working version is an entirely different matter! This will take billions of dollars to develop. . . .

If you seriously want proof that cold fusion is real, I can arrange for that. No one, anywhere on earth, is now in a position to demonstrate a
practical device. Given the known difficulties, the idea is utterly absurd.


>Apply.

I do not represent a Japanese National Lab or Stanford University (which is looking for cold fusion funding). I doubt they will apply for anything from your foundation. They are working with the U.S. Navy, the Italian National Nuclear Laboratories and the French AEC, not with private individuals. If you wish to arrange expert visits and evaluations, that is possible.

Let me suggest that if you are not seriously interested in evaluating cold fusion (or having one of your experts do it) you should refrain from making statements about it, or declaring that it does not exist. (For that matter, you should not declare that it does exist.) I think you are not in a position to judge these matters. Your previous statements were not in evidence. You asserted that cold fusion does not "work" and there have been
no "eureka" moments. Professional scientists are a reserved and careful bunch, and their papers are difficult to understand, but I am sure you can
see that the sample text from Amoco was a definite, full-on shout of "EUREKA!" (by modern academic standards). [See http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Lautzenhiscoldfusion.pdf] There are hundreds more like that. These people have no doubt whatever that cold fusion is real, and I assure you, they have spent years and years checking their results. Naturally, you cannot accept their judgment simply because they are 70-year-old distinguished professors and Fellows of the U.S. Navy and the like, but you are definitely not qualified to say they are wrong.

- Jed

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Randi's response:


You persist in inventing opinions and statements for me.

This discussion is over. Back to the Ivory Tower, where you are protected and comfortable.

As for the statements that do I make, I suggest that you not read the meanderings of my untrained mind. Isaac Asimov, Richard Feynman, and Carl Sagan would have disagreed with you on that assessment, and Murray Gell-Mann will presently agree that I have a bit more than amateur status.

James Randi.

Thanks, Jed. Quite an interesting exchange.

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