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Old May 31 2013, 11:10 PM   #19
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Re: Strange Dark Matter Theory

Metryq wrote: View Post
I figured as much: resort to ad hominem. I'm guessing you haven't read the book or any of the other work on plasma cosmology since you are quoting only a few items from the description of Scott's book. Instead, refuse to "look through the telescope" and the heresy will go away.
If it shows a hint of actually having anything to it, someone looking to make a name for themselves will work on it and try and turn it into a workable theory that connects with experiment. A cursory glance at "plasma cosmology" appears to reveal that it's unconvincing when it runs into the data from WMAP and Planck.

It's got to convincingly reproduce, rather than replace what has been observed (as Newtonian mechanics emerges from relativity, etc) and it doesn't appear plasma cosmology advocates have many answers there. Given that science is skeptical by nature, it's on them to convince their peers that there's something there worth working on them. If it can't stand up to peer review, then chances are it's junk. I've seen it happen many times before.

Metryq wrote: View Post
Science is supposed to be different from politics and religion, but many people have trouble shifting gears. And I'm not here to "convert" anyone. Or perhaps you prefer the word of "authority" figures over observational and experimental evidence. In that case, you should look up the work of Stephen J. Crothers. He's not a plasma physicist, but a mathematician, and he pokes holes in all the "mainstream" ideas, such as black holes and the like—most of which turn out to be mistaken notions pumped up by other physicists.
I've received numerous crackpot theories from various would-be "maverick" Nobel laureates, and a surprising amount of them are light on math (which never really adds up) and heavy on the rant, like so:

Crothers wrote:
During the course of these events I attempted to engage in discussion so-called "experts" in General relativity. Amongst them were included all the members of the International Committee for General Relativity and Gravitation. Of the latter I managed to engage M.H.A. MacCallum in some discussion. MacCallum was from the outset rude and condescending, and inept. Go here for his first letter (with some later ones appended). I replied here. He next provided some incorrect argument as to why I was wrong and the usual relativists right. Go here for this laughable document. I replied here. After MacCallum, the gloves came off. Anyone who was rude or otherwise behaved as a smart-arse I responded to bluntly. And I still do, since I refuse to turn cheeks, having discovered that the majority of people understand only the power of money and the persuasiveness of force. So if it's a fight they want then it's a fight they'll get. Pasty-faced softies however, cloistered away in universities are not much of a challenge; but there are so many of them, like cane toads in the breeding season. And so I now make no bones about how I view blokes who, like K. Thorne and Ned Wright, prance about with long pony tails and matching sandals, or wear earings and otherwise dress and behave like girls (most "male" physicsts nowadays).
tl;dr: he failed his PhD and blames everyone but himself for this. The theory is less about pushing forward knowledge, and more about revenge on academia for a perceived slight.

If he'd had been any cop at it, he'd have gotten a doctorate by demonstrating the potential veracity of his ideas or he would have had the sense to look over the math early enough to think "Wow, this is junk" and find a more profitable avenue of study. Learning to do that is what a PhD is about, and getting one is proof that you can do this well.

Metryq wrote: View Post
Or you might look up the work of Nobel prize winner Hannes Alfvén, a controversial yet highly respected figure in astrophysics. His books are not for the layperson, which should be more convincing for you. Lots of math.
Or iguana can spend his time on his own ideas and his own career.

Metryq wrote: View Post
By all means, do not even bother to read Scott's book or anything outside the mainstream. If it's not extremely esoteric and accepted by the "big names" in astrophysics, then it must be worthless. (The assumption being that alternative theories are all proposed by armchair quarterbacks, and not degreed scientists with many years in the field. Most of these "mavericks" started their careers as orthodox as the next guy, but something made them change their minds. Why should that be worth a listen?)
Most "mavericks" start out fine and then get hooked on some idea they lack the critical faculty to work out is bunkum and then go on to turn the frustration they feel at their pet theory not working into a crusade with them as the lone hero fighting against a "corrupt establishment" that is "oppressing" them.

Occasionally someone comes up with an interesting idea that's not been widely heard of before, but it never comes from lunatics who froth about physically fighting "men who dress like girls" over not getting their ideas accepted, like the Crothers bloke you dug up. "You don't accept my ideas, ergo you are a girly man I will punch" is not really acceptable discourse in any line of work, let alone academia.

The iguana speaks truth and wisdom when he says it's idiotic.
"Goverment, keep yore hands of my medicare" - the Tea Party in one sentence.
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