Distinguishing non-belief and disbelief... on skepticism...

  • An interesting article about real skepticism, which requires to separate non-belief and disbelief...
    It clearly applies to our domain.


    http://fabiusmaximus.com/2012/12/01/skepticism-46382/
    which cite mostly
    http://rr0.org/time/1/9/8/7/Ze…aliesInScience/index.html



    citing



    Nothing new in fact, at least for me. that is common sense, even if it is complex, complex like reality.

  • Marcello Truzzi wanted to believe in paranormal. That's why he launched the term pseudoskeptisism.


    I fear he might have done it for purely objective reasons and that is a crying shame.


    Anyways, I don't find it surprising, that the term become fashionable amongst promoters of woo, who nowadays use is systematically to dismiss any critical skepticism.


    Together with Kuhnian delusion about scientific revolutions, the legacy of Truzzi surely facilitates the trait of believing in miracles.


    Whatever, I don't find philosophy a lot of help in understanding reality, though pondering philosophical questions can be very entertaining indeed. We just need to remember, that mother nature could not care less what we think is entertaining.

  • A very common tactic of conspiracy theorist is to attack the claimant and not the claim.
    What is said here is just common sense (I hope it is for readers).


    As some have probably noticed my perception is evolving on the controversy as I follow other controversies and the development of conspiracy theories, as much as the battle to defend consensus against dissenters of good or bad kind.


    I will be clear: there is no innocent in that affair.


    Most skeptics today are well described by this article, from 1909, and applies to today maybe because there is a cycle (LENR, Emdrive, abuse of darkmatter/energy, abuse of consensus science and big science, abuse of peer review).
    Skeptic of LENR today behave like the 9/11 or Paris terror debunker, as much as Azov deniers.


    On the other side, like in many scientific domain who are more "fashion", there are bad experiments, and more than that there are "pet-theories" which blind good experimenters.


    At first sight about LENR I've seen a battle between theory and evidences.
    The problems is in fact more intractable as I've found that you cannot make a good experiment without a theory to test (Popper vision), or a theory to give optimization direction (Airbus vision).


    Finally the problem is well described by this article as people unable to suspend their disbelief, or their belief, in theory.
    As an engineer I'm used with unknown, as a finance risk computer of unknown unknown, and as an electronicien with "phi" boolean values...
    I see theories as variables that change frequently, like the specification of my client, or as spring fashion. Of course there is structure behind, but LENR for me is coherent (joke) with the current trend toward multi-body and coherent frontier of QM, as we develop in nanotechnology, semiconductors, superconduction.

  • Alain: What evidence do you have that my arguments here rest on "disbelief" rather than "not belief"? I think your implication that they do is unsound.


    There follows a more technical elaboration (but I realise this is both incomplete, and will be irrelevant to most readers anyway).


    Kuhn's writings are non-mathematical and he has a philosophical dislike of induction. (Actually many mathematicians have also had this).


    Induction is the reasoning process, dealing with uncertainty, on which science rests. So if you don't accept it you deny science. Which is OK, philosophically!


    The only mathematically and physically consistent way to quantify induction is Bayesian probability theory, in which we have prior and posterior probabilities that represent "degrees of belief".


    Once you have this framework, at least in principle, you can as a scientist have rational levels of belief that change with evidence.


    This moves induction from the realm of philosophy to the realm of maths and science: in which precise statements can sometimes be made and the machinery for making precise statements is well established.


    Getting to the point. The LENR hypothesis has a very low prior probability (in the absence of experimental evidence) as does any new physical hypothesis. (I'm being kind here - I'm not convinced there is a clear "LENR hypothesis" in any scientific sense).


    "Not believing" (don't know the experiment proposition is true) is indeed different from disbelieving (know the experiment proposition is false).


    But in this case "Not believing" makes no change to the prior probability. And disbelieving makes a very small insignificant negative change.


    You'd have to make some more complex argument for not believing to have some positive effect - and I would then show you why (as a matter of probability theory, and assumptions you'd need to make to substantiate it) this is unsound. (This is the bit where Alain would be correct to say more must be said, and incorrect to dismiss me because "I am obviously wrong". In fact the matter, at this level of generality, needs some care. I'm quite prepared to go into it in more detail if anyone is interested).


    For those who think I'm being technical here - substitute "common sense done precisely" for "probability theory".


    Kuhn is fundamentally anti-science because he rejects the idea that all scientific theories can in principle have more or less correspondence with reality in a way that is universally agreed. (I'm not saying that all theories, at all times, have such agreement. Merely that it is possible in principle, and generally the case for the various historical theories in physics).

  • Alain said:

    Quote


    A very common tactic of conspiracy theorist is to attack the claimant and not the claim.


    What is said here is just common sense (I hope it is for readers).As some have probably noticed my perception is evolving on the controversy as I follow other controversies and the development of conspiracy theories, as much as the battle to defend consensus against dissenters of good or bad kind.


    I will be clear: there is no innocent in that affair.Most skeptics today are well described by this article, from 1909, and applies to today maybe because there is a cycle (LENR, Emdrive, abuse of darkmatter/energy, abuse of consensus science and big science, abuse of peer review).Skeptic of LENR today behave like the 9/11 or Paris terror debunker, as much as Azov deniers.


    I agree with both the highlighted statements, and conclude that Alain's argument here looks superficially like a conspiracy theory.


    It is ironic, because I think Alain is arguing that skeptical arguments are themselves a conspiracy theory - but the way he does it here is by making what he himself argues is a conspiracy theory, or at least one that attacks the claimant not the claim.


    Note that here I'm not attacking Alain. I'm saying this specific claim of his is obviously inconsistent.


    Whatever "most skeptics" do or don't do, the only valid way to counter skeptical arguments is to show why they are wrong. Not to attack skeptics as a group.

  • Alain,


    One of the reasons I post here is that I admire your principled advocacy of the freedom to put forward ideas. It is in great contrast to ECW. I also accept that your personal attitude to this question is one of questioning, in which you are open to debate.


    I agree much of the argument here is about the nature of certainty, and there can be disagreement on this. Thus Oystla on another thread has many certainties I don't share.


    However, that won't stop me from saying what I think is true, defending those statements when they are challenged, or correcting myself and agreeing I've made a mistake (as we all do sometimes).

  • Alain, you say:

    Quote

    I see theories as variables that change frequently, like the specification of my client, or as spring fashion.


    The word “theory” has many meanings, here are some of them:


    hypothesis, thesis, conjecture, supposition, speculation, postulation, postulate, proposition, premise, surmise, assumption, presumption, presupposition, notion, guess, hunch, feeling, suspicion; opinion, view, belief, thinking, thought(s), judgement, contention


    Yes, certainly there could be a lot of short term changes in many of the things that these words represent. But I think that in this forum it is reasonable that the word “theory” should signify a physical theory. A physical theory can be expressed in words but it is of little value until it is cast into a mathematical form that expresses the theory as a connection between measurable entities.


    To be generally accepted a new theory must prove its mettle by producing data that agree with the outcome of repeatable experiments.To avoid confusion a speculation that is not yet proven should be called “conjecture” not “theory”. Failure to make that distinction may easily lead you astray.


    With this distinction physical theories are much less variable than the skirt length.

  • It seems the problems Thomas is that you hide your huge bias behind nice words.


    It is clear you deny evidence, and judge anything that theory have not already explained as impossible, to the point you take as possible incredible conspiracy theory.


    It is not an irony that I say that current LENR pseudo-skeptics behave like conspiracy theorist.
    It is absolutely clear form the structure of critics, and the way evidence are treated, excuses are found for anything challenging the belief.


    The world is gray, and the fact that skeptic are not at all sensible to the mass of evidences available, is the typical symptom of extremism.
    LENR evidences are not perfect, they are complex like reality, like material science.
    Some experiments are good, some are bad.
    Some evidence are scientific, some are circumstantial.
    Some evidence can only be considered in groups, but if considered in groups they are undeniable.
    Some evidence are convincing because of correlation.
    Because of that someone stupid or dishonest can miss the current level of the network of evidences available.


    I cannot imagine you are incompetent to the point of not understanding material science, calorimetry, epistemology, probability. It is clear you are just defending a position, with more talent than average.


    Did you even sincerely considered you could be wrong.
    I did, and evidences bring me back to the complex road of, "it is real but what a mess".


    Write a peer reviewed paper, and let it be challenged by competent experts with arguments.


    The 4 critical papers against F&P are already debunked, add your one.

  • Mass of evidence?


    We do not need a mass of shitty evidence, it only starts to stink. One good piece of evidence would be enough for starters. The problem is, that we do not have it!


    Yes, it is not ironic Alain thinks the skeptics behave like conspiracy theorists. It is sad he thinks anything that we say in forums really matters. If LENR is real and usable, then it is. No amount of denial will be able to cover that up.

  • Quote

    We do not need a mass of shitty evidence, it only starts to stink.


    Tyy, this type of accidents easily happen when you translate from Finnish to English.


    What you really mean is something like this, I think:

    Quote

    Substandard LENR reports spread more darkness than light.

  • H-G


    I am sure you mean to be funny in some weird way that escapes me, but I do not translate Finnish to English. I have been very capable to think and write in English for at least 40 years now.


    But there seems to be a caveat with these smart devices, which seem to think they know better what you are trying to say. Maybe it is good. Auto correction forces me to read everything at least three times before hitting that submit button.

  • Quote from Tyy: “We do not need a mass of shitty evidence, it only starts to stink.”


    Again, objective or subjective? Sorry again no prizes.


    OK. Give me ONE good piece of LENR evidence and we can discuss about it and see if we can dig some non-shittyness out of it.


    I don't think you can do that. The reason is, that all LENR evidence is anecdotal. That is the reason you need a stinking, steaming mass of it. Maybe that is the source of the excess heat!


    Researchers of paranormal resort to same sort of thinking: there is no conclusive evidence and not a single experiment that can be reliably repeated. But all these experiments must be true, because there are so many of them!

  • Tyy, why not try this one:


    Authors: professor Focardi, Gabbani, Montalbano, Piantelli and Veronesi.
    Paper Title: "Large excess heat production in Ni-H systems"
    Published in the Peer reviewed Italian physics Journal "Nuovo Cimento" in 1998.


    I have not found any criticism (Peer reviewed or not) of this paper. The authors also made a paper in 1994, which was critizied by physcists at CERN. CERN was not able to trigger any excess heat, they saw only excess heat during loading of hydrogen.


    I've read their paper and it's clear they did not try any trigger mechanism to "turn on" the Ni-H LENR, as specifyed by the later Focardi paper mentioned here.
    So they concluded no excess heat other than during Hydrogen absorption in lattice.


    One of the remaining mysteries is what excactly is the trigger mechanism. It's more than pure heat. In the 1998 Focardi et. al paper some trigger mechanisms is mentioned.


    And the Reasons why I think this paper is strong evidence of anomalous heat in Ni-H systems are:


    1. Power input and excess output in the 10's of watts, not milliwatt regions, i.e. Easier to measure outside error margins
    2. Simplicity of their system. No complicated calculations or complicated calibrations required. The calibrations show what temperatures to Expect for certain input heat power, regardless If heat comes from electrical or possible LENR
    3. Two parallell cells to increase confidence of results.
    4. Thermometer registrering total heat, regardless of it's origin (heater or LENR)
    5. Small variations in room temperature would not affect the results, because of the high power regions.
    6. The long test period of excess heat (280 - 320 days), securing accuracy and confidence of results. Indicates longevity of the LENR reactions, as also later Ni-H cells have shown.
    7. Excess heat of 70 watts at less than 100 watts input. Easy to read from calibration curve - far beyond any possible calibration errors.
    8. For cell B a new calibration curve when Nickel is in "excited state" shows clearly higher temperature even for the temperature sensor placed the furthest away from the core.


    There are also similarities with F&P wet cells with Palladium cathodes, that is worth noting:
    - need to load the core material with hydrogen ( Faster than F&P, may be same time span as with CO-deposition of Pd Wet cells)
    - The difference between cell A and B also indicate that this is a surface phenomenon, same as indicated for F&P wet cells with Palladium.


    And how can we scale this up and get more energy? Well, why not try more surface area, i.e. Nickel Powder.....ooops someone is allready onto that one ;-)


    And with 900 000 KJ of excess energy you could heat 2,7 m3 of water from 10 degC to 90 degC....some serious amounts of excess energy.


    Paper reference :
    http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/FocardiSlargeexces.pdf