THHuxleynew - I will comment on your comments in an out-of-order fashion.
“I'm never sure why in this case people claiming excess heat as they do jump on nuclear, unless for example the He4 evidence were to become real.”
When apparent excess heat signals are integrated over the extended times that they have been seen to persist, the total ‘energy’ supposedly released exceeds what could rationally be obtained via chemical reactions computed using generous assumptions. That means that only nuclear energies have sufficient size to account for the observed signals, assuming they are accurate. But if they are not accurate, then the CF researchers are just integrating error, and the numbers are meaningless. This is what the CCS idea strikes at. It shows us how we can get an apparent excess energy signal (that can be integrated as above) when none is actually present. Once the pattern was established initially by F&P, others have just followed their lead.
“I feel when there is such an attempt at science it should be treated with respect even if totally misguided, and badly done, as long as participants themselves behave properly.”
I agree, and assert this is what I have done over the years, but the CF community has reacted inappropriately as I’ve explained elsewhere in this thread and forum as well as other places, i.e., they have NOT behaved properly. (In fact, I assert that their failure to participate in the normal scientific process of critical review qualifies them as pathological scientists.) So what do you think the rest of us should do when they behave improperly?
“The lack of substance in the refutal [refutation] of your ideas as shown in the ten author paper is clear: they have not followed up on detailed points, and made a number of serious mistakes in characterising your argument. That this continues informally is a shame.“
That this continues informally (and formally) is also the prime indicator of pathological science.
“I can't say that your argument covers all or even most of the claimed electrolytic cell excess heat results. But, I can't say it does not cover these either.”
To my knowledge there are no examples of a CF researcher properly considering the impact of calibration constant variation on their results (via, for example, error propagation) and I have followed this field since 1995. When it is possible to estimate calibration equation parameters and operating conditions from the publications, I have found no case that contradicts my theses. It is now 2017, and they are still doing the same thing. Again, this is a pathological science indicator. Once I showed how a ‘trivial’ CCS could wipe out a 780mW ‘excess heat’ signal, it became incumbent upon researchers to evaluate that possibility in their experiments, including revisiting the ones that predated my 2002 publication (which was actually known to the field in late 2000). That that has not happened illustrates pathological denial of criticisms. That conclusion is reinforced by the abortive attempt by the 10 authors to ‘pull a fast one’ on the rest of the science community.
Discovering a systematic error that applies to a whole field of research is always a painful thing. But pretending there is no error doesn’t make it go away.
“Were I an LENR researcher placing any reliance on these claims the first thing I'd want to do would be to examine your arguments carefully and see what they apply to.”
That would be ‘normal’ science at work.
“Your extending this to a polemic on not trusting LENR researchers is uncalled-for. Though I guess normal on this Forum!”
As I have stated above, I have found no LENR researcher who is appropriately participating in the scientific process. I have observed lots of results and reports that could well be explained by ‘mundane chemistry and physics’, but never are. It seems to me that the people publishing in this field have given up the ideal promoted by Feynman in his famous quote:
“You should not fool the laymen when you're talking as a scientist... . I'm talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you're maybe wrong, [an integrity] that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.”
If you have a case where you think we should trust some particular CF researcher, would you share the example please? (Also, note that I am speaking about published authors who claim to have found excess heat or other evidence of CF. There are many people who have attempted replications of those claims but have failed to do so. Excluding the initial work of the 1989-1992(ish) time frame, I believe those researchers to have done good work, but of course failing to replicate can always mean you just did the experiments wrong. The early work was hampered by lack of details and a belief that replication could be done ‘quick and easy’.)
“Whether anyone is right, or wrong, the only proper approach here is to evaluate specific actions of specific people, not to generalise. After a lot of such evaluation you might come to a conclusion that the whole collection of anomalies on which a set of LENR people depend has been well explained in ways that those people refuse to consider. The best way to show LENR ideas right or wrong would be to continue to take them seriously and be interested in them, and follow through the evidence.”
One generalizes when one has sufficient detailed data to do so. To my knowledge to date, all CF research involving calorimetry assumes a one dimensional model (i.e. homogeneous) of the system is adequate, even when it is _known_ that the system is non-uniform. Further, to date there are extremely limited numbers of cases where those claiming to have detected 4He as a reaction product will cite the laboratory air 4He concentration. In the few cases where they do, the room and experiment numbers are disconnected and can’t be used to decide if leaks were present. Beyond heat and helium, there is usually an insufficient body of information available for drawing solid conclusions. But even there one can find logic errors that have been promulgated trough the field. A specific example: Ed Storms did a study to try to discount the idea promoted by Gary Taubes that tritium was spiked into some samples and then reported as CF proof. Ed claims in his paper that he disproved the spike idea, when in fact he disproved only one possible spiking method, the simplest imaginable, a single one-time spike. It is a logical error to imply that _all_ spiking was disproven. I could go on with more specific examples, but my point is that I believe I have done what you say, and I now feel I have a body of information sufficient to accurately generalize.
It really can be summed up quite simply by saying that there is insufficient consideration of final error levels, which leads the CF researchers to conclude noise is signal. As I said, if you have a case where this is not true, let me know. Maybe I missed something, and I’d like to try to live up to the expectation expressed in the Feynman quote above.
“You have to some extent done this, and to some extent been stopped by those making claims refusing to consider the arguments against: so a shame to fall at the last hurdle. “
I believe I have done so to a major extent. I have established or adopted basic criteria to judge the quality of the reported work, and I’ve found none that meet the standard. And this standard is not some ‘pathological’ bar that can never be jumped. It is simply evaluating the error in a reasonable way. Claiming that recombination is not a problem by measuring an ~10% _excess_ of collected water in an F&P-type experiment when a 2-3% error in calibration constants can zero out the signal is not acceptable error analysis. Refusing to provide calibration equations and operating conditions used in the power calculations is not an acceptable way to claim excess heat. Etc. ,etc.
The argument is never finished in science, and tomorrow, someone may show a true, unexpected excess heat. But if so, they must meet the objective criteria established to judge the validity of their claim. Being ‘out of the noise’ is one of them, and so far, no one has done this after 28 years.
I don’t think I am ‘falling at the last hurdle’. I think I have simply pointed out the hurdles the CFers are running around instead of jumping.