How do you convince a skeptic?

  • Which scandalous reasons are you referring to?


    These ones.


    In conclusion, not only the misrepresentation of experimental times in Figure 8 (1) is undeniable, but it's very hard to imagine how it could have happened by accident. Even much harder is to realize how it is possible that it could have passed a peer-review (3), the writing and scrutiny of a paper entirely dedicated to this false claim (4) and dozens of years during which the myth of the Heat After Death based on that fake figure was believed and celebrated by the LENR community (5).


    And don't start playing coy about this, your inference of fraud is very clear. And total nonsense.

  • Please provide some quotes from me that make up bullshit about reproducibility and say things about professors who published critiques point out errors. Go ahead and try. Show me some examples where I make up one thing after another, without a shred of evidence.


    You misunderstand. This is science. If you cannot provide a reference to a paper by a scientist that shows a technical error, or if you yourself cannot point to an error, then you have nothing. You have no valid reason to doubt cold fusion, and you have no business taking part in discussion or holding any opinion, positive or negative. In a scientific discussion, only technical issues have any meaning, or any role. They are the only valid criteria. The kinds of things you point to, such as popularity, are off the table.


    It has to be a specific error, described in such a way the others can confirm or falsify the scientist's claim. A vague assertion that "there must be an error somewhere but we don't know where it is" is not science. It is not falsifiable. It cannot be tested. If you cannot point to a specific error described in a paper (or if you yourself cannot come up with one) then you are not engaged in a scientific debate.


    If you want to discuss the public image of cold fusion, or the history, or the mindset of some skeptics, then you can introduce the kinds of things you bring up. But these have absolutely nothing to do with whether the experiments are valid, or whether the heat is real, or the effect is reproducible -- or any other technical issue.


    Let me be a little more specific. Seven of twenty wrote:


    It's due to unconvincing performance as seen by non-enthusiasts.


    That statement cannot be tested. You have to say WHICH non-enthusiasts you have in mind, and you have to specify WHY they find the results unconvincing. For example, you have to say: "Dr. X of the University of Y says the results are unconvincing for thus-and-such reasons, spelled out in his paper the journal of XYZ." Without that specific information, the rest of us have no idea who you are talking about, or what these people have said. We can't debate whether these people are right or wrong. We don't know whether you misinterpreted what these people said. You are saying that someone somewhere is unconvinced for some reason. That is so vague, it is meaningless. My point is, you and s-o-20 have never given us anything more specific than this.

  • In this paper, McKubre points out the need for a device that can demonstrate the feasibility of LENR as a useful power source. Without such a demo, even if you accept the existence of LENR, you may conclude that it has no more practical importance than something like muon-catalyzed fusion. . . .

    I think this is the crux of the problem that IO is talking about.


    That is a political problem. It is a public relations problem. Not scientific in any sense. In science, results must be judged real or not solely on the basis of signal-to-noise ratios and replications. Whether the effect might become practical or whether it will ever be useful or not should play absolutely no role in judging the validity of the claim. That's the only rational approach. It is also the only practical approach that might lead to practical applications, because -- and this is very important! -- nearly every phenomenon discovered by people has started out being impractical and useless. Think about the first discovery of electricity, probably from electric eels. Later static electricity. Or the fact that electric jolts caused frog's legs to move. Even the electromagnet was useless at first. It was many years before it could be applied to the telegraph or generator. The first detection of radioactivity did not result in a practical energy source until 50 years later, and that took billions of dollars in the Manhattan Project.


    It took many years of development before things like lasers or the MRI effect could be made into practical technology. Semiconductors began around 1920, but little progress was made toward a practical device until the late 1940s.


    The only major discovery in modern history that was almost immediately useful was the x-ray. That's the only one I can think of, anyway. There have been many minor discoveries that were soon useful.



    The field is filled with papers describing promising ideas that then vanish or stall at levels that prevent them from becoming practical or even demonstrable power sources.



    No, it isn't. Very few papers predict that the technique might be developed into a practical device. Fleischmann, McKubre, Storms and everyone else I have spoken with or worked with said that the experiments they were doing could never result in a practical device. They said the experiment might lead to a discovery or more knowledge of the phonomenon, and that, in turn, might lead to practical device. Fleischmann told me he thought the Toyota project to scale up his Pd-D electrochemical experiments was a bad idea that would go nowhere.

  • To quote - very loosely - our colleague Russ George. 'Cold Fusion is a natural phenomenon, and nature doesn't do things using five-nines raw materials'.


    On the other hand, transistors would never have worked without 5-nines raw materials, and the zone-refining technique. That's why transistors do not exist in nature.

  • And don't start playing coy about this, your inference of fraud is very clear. And total nonsense.


    I'm not coy about what I wrote and I didn't use the f-word. I carefully chose each word and every sentence is transparent:

    or at least nobody here has denied it until now;


    Of course, it's very hard for me. You proposed an explanation based on "typographic errors, possibly introduced by somebody hoping to discredit the work". Well, it remains very hard to me to imagine how it could have happened and how it has been possible that the same identical "typographic errors" was repeated in at least 3 others of the most cited and referenced LENR documents, issued along a period of 17 years.


    But, I admit it could be a limit of mine. I'm keen to consider any other possible reasonable and viable explanation of both the error and/or its possible accidental nature.


    In any case, the existence of the error on Figure 8, that is implicitly confirmed also by your "typographic errors" hypothesis,


    (1) FP's experiments discussion

  • You don't convince a skeptic.


    So if someone is not a "skeptic" then what is the alternative - a "believer"? Lets all hand out labels and have a fight. Or alternatively we could look at the evidence and discuss.


    No, it isn't. Very few papers predict that the technique might be developed into a practical device. Fleischmann, McKubre, Storms and everyone else I have spoken with or worked with said that the experiments they were doing could never result in a practical device. They said the experiment might lead to a discovery or more knowledge of the phonomenon, and that, in turn, might lead to practical device. Fleischmann told me he thought the Toyota project to scale up his Pd-D electrochemical experiments was a bad idea that would go nowhere.


    Well that's a bummer, and me invested in IH via Woodford. Why did nobody tell me earlier?

    Clearly many would have a different opinion.

    Bill Gates, Darden and other investors are not throwing money at something they think is only a scientific curiosity.

    Alan and many other researchers clearly think there is promise for a significant breakthrough.


    As a layman I do not "know" that LENR is real but I hope it is. Energy is a key area that requires urgent progess. If LENR is real and scalable and controllable then it will change the world in huge ways, which makes it interesting, its just that the rest of the world has not realized yet.


    Even if the chances are low LENR is still worth supporting. After all the chances of practical, controlled fusion are not proven, but billions of dollars are being chucked at it, and probably rightly so given the future energy needs of the planet.

  • So if someone is not a "skeptic" then what is the alternative - a "believer"?


    Yeah, I think we need to define, and name some categories, so we know who our friends and enemies are. Seems to me we have 3 categories here:


    1. Believes LENR exists. Fully supports more public awareness, and increased funding of LENR research by government, and the private sector.

    2. Think LENR is probably bogus, but feel there is enough evidence ("smoke" is probably the better word) to justify further research, but only at existing levels and funding (DOE's 2004 position).

    3. Does not believe LENR exists. It is a pseudoscience, and if that damn button Shane put up really worked, would be happy to push it right now, and be done with this CF crap once and for all.


    So maybe:


    1. Believer

    2. Skeptic

    3.Pseudoskeptic

  • 1. Believer (I believe! The scources tells me, that this is the truth)

    2. Aknostic (I can't decide! I can't proof or disproof, the sources I observed leads me to be uncertain, more obersavation is needed)

    3. Atheist (I do not blieve! The sources I observed tells me, it's not true)


    And there are also the opened minds, that says:

    There are always changes, let's see what the future will bring.

    Some are armchair watchers, other's grap their tools and go to work.


    Let's stay open minded!

    To get more knowledge!


    "Alle sagten: Es geht nicht. Da kam einer, der das nicht wusste und tat es einfach."

  • Ascoli,


    I heavily edited your post, and will do so again if necessary. If you persist, I will take it to a ban. This is like your 4th warning? You have more lives than a cat.


    Not only is it wrong to make these baseless accusations, but we do get feedback from researchers in the field...including the old guard, who find your constant personal attacks offensive. There is just no reason for that here.


    Stick to the science you are very good at, and stop with the ad-homs/conspiracies, and you are perfectly welcome here.

  • Jed, once again you are flinging straw man arguments at me. I asked you for examples of the various things you accuse me of saying and you ignore me and accuse me of even more of them. You seem to think that you can conjure up a stereotype skeptic profile and apply it to anyone you feel like criticizing. For a guy who complains that people don’t read things, you don’t pay attention to anything people say except for the tiny nuggests that suit your agenda.


    I really don’t have anything to say about cold fusion either positive or negative. Your delusion that I am busy criticizing researchers, papers, results, and so on is exactly that: a delusion. What I do have to say is that many of its foremost proponents are irrational and dishonest in what they say to people who don’t suit their fancy.

  • 1. Believes LENR exists. Fully supports more public awareness, and increased funding of LENR research by government, and the private sector.


    One more point needed Shane!


    4) People that know how to get the LENR effect (s) --> people that know LENR exists. This is different from believing in Pink unicorns!


    You can create a second category for peoples believing (knowing how to build it) in a LENR based machine that generates a useful amount of excess energy.


    I guess people who might know it will keep quiet until the can really do it...

  • bang99 is far closer to reality than Shane. Certainly none of Shane’s 3 category describes my own position and anybody who says otherwise is just making up shit to suit their biases. Of course, Jed insists that it is impossible to be agnostic about LENR. That is because he thinks he is in charge of what other people can think.


  • Now it is getting complicated. We have IO, who is a "skeptic"...with an attitude, so we can make him a sub category of #2 (sorry for the pun IO). Now we have multiple levels of believers? LOLs.


    Just having fun Wyttenbach. Yes, I have read many first hand accounts of those who KNOW LENR exists, because they have seen it first hand. Their "eureka moment", and I can tell you have your own story to tell one day...as did Martin last week.


  • I think that these definitions mix up the factual/scientific and the human/social levels.


    For the first level, the definitions should be much shorter:

    - Believer; a person who believes that the CF/LENR phenomena do exist;

    - Skeptic: a person who doubts that CF/LENR phenomena exist, but who recognizes some credibility to the relative claims;

    - Unbeliever or naysayer: a person who don't believe the CF/LENR claims or believe that they are impossible. ("Pseudoskeptic" is an unsuitable word for naming these people, unless they proclaim themselves to be skeptic. But in any case this is more a "name calling" than a mutually accepted definition.)


    As for the human/social level, which goes from urging more public funding down to the "red button", the situation is much more articulated. It could be even possible that an unbeliever deems opportune to keep alive an illusion just for socio-political or strategic reasons. In any case, this level goes beyond the scope of this specific thread, which is more devoted to the scientific reality of the LENR phenomena and to the suitable ways to minimize the number of persons still in doubt.

  • All I was trying to do was build something that could power a field of mach building and RC Aircraft for night time combat simulation Something that could power glow powder mixed with fiberglass skin. 11 day from the patent approval i'm still in court waiting. seems like only umm..10 years now~ what story I could tell.

  • Stick to the science you are very good at, and stop with the ad-homs/conspiracies, and you are perfectly welcome here.


    Sticking to the science is what I'm doing. Ad-homs and conspiracies are evoked by others, often in reply to my factual remarks.


    I'm just doing what believers ask the unbelievers to do:

    You misunderstand. This is science. If you cannot provide a reference to a paper by a scientist that shows a technical error, or if you yourself cannot point to an error, then you have nothing. You have no valid reason to doubt cold fusion, and you have no business taking part in discussion or holding any opinion, positive or negative. In a scientific discussion, only technical issues have any meaning, or any role. They are the only valid criteria. The kinds of things you point to, such as popularity, are off the table.


    It has to be a specific error, described in such a way the others can confirm or falsify the scientist's claim. ...


    The problem is that when a technical error is shown and the other L-F members are asked to recognize it or to explain why it is not an error at all, nobody answers anymore. You asked me to show you an F&P error (1). I have shown you what is IMO a blatant and crucial error (2-3). What is your answer? Do you recognize it is an error or can you explain why it is not?


    The only argument you have raised against the factual remarks I've raised for some months is based on the scientific reputation of F&P (4). All right for me, an "appeal to authority" is a valid scientific argument, because it is usually adopted, with a high rate of success, to preliminary filter out the claims worth of attention. But if you play the "appeal to authority" card, you put at stake that same authority. The only way to reply to such a move is to dispute the validity of this authority and this can be done only by ascertain the true cause of any possible mistake committed by those deemed to be reliable by authority.


    So, if nobody here - which is the most important and visited forum on LENR - is able to deny the presence of the serious error on Figure 8 of the ICCF3 paper, the next legitimate question is how it could have happened, and how it is possible that it was not detected and corrected in the subsequent occasions when the same figure was used to demonstrate the reality of the HAD phenomenon.


    What is not scientific about this reasoning?


    (1) FP's experiments discussion

    (2) FP's experiments discussion

    (3) FP's experiments discussion

    (4) FP's experiments discussion

  • those supporting LENR hypothesis are not necessarily more believer than skeptics are.

    I see a range


    1. Believer in LENR, whatever are the new evidences, trying to rationalize contrary evidences, instead of integrating them. (guess who I think about on what, not LENR but a Fiasco)
    2. Convinced, beyond a reasonable doubt, because of experimental results accumulated, despite past experiments in mainstream science, but ready to change opinion, probably with pain. Have to find the mechanism, to get reliable evidences that even convinced opponents cannot deny. (NB: this is my position today)
    3. Positive, estimating without total confidence, it is probably (very? some?) true, because of coherent evidences of fair quality, and possible hole in mainstream position... Sure research is to be done, even if it leads to deceiving results, and finding the mechanism is required to convince everybody.
    4. Unsure of anything, troubled by contrary evidences, like past scientific results having driven current maintream theories, and contrary LENR evidences... Hard to judge something impossible supported by undeniable evidences. Sure, need to search to have an answer, finding the artifact, or the mechanism. (I know some people not far from there; some ready to talk with me).
    5. Negative, estimating it is probably errors and misconducts because of possible holes in experiments, and good confidence in mainstream results until now. Sure, need to search to close the question definitively, finding the artifact and the tricks, that is still missing for most experiments. Artifact may even lead to applications (NB: this was my position in 1993).
    6. Convinced, beyond a reasonable doubt, that each LENR experiment is an error, or a fraud, but ready to change opinion, probably with pain. Research is probably a waste of time, but that is the game of Science. Maybe we could learn something from that BS experments... it happened before . (This is my position on Rossi, but not with my money).
    7. Believer in non-LENR, sure whatever is shown that it is wrong, trusting without any question nor verification, that mainstream position is right on LENR. Don't search. (guess who I think about on what)
  • AlainCo : good job. Much more nuance than the previous formulations. I think your category 4 comes in several forms. If one is not inclined to comprehensively study the literature (a cardinal sin according to some), then one can come to this very undecided viewpoint as a result of possibly extraneous factors. The nonsense generated by Rossi and other scam artists (e,g, Defkalion) muddies the water. The fact that “serial believers” (i.e. those who accept every pseudoscience claim as legitimate) are loudly on the LENR bandwagon doesn’t help either. Given this noise background, it is difficult to read enough into the signals. Couple that with the parochial and belligerent attitude of the pro-LENR crowd, it isn’t surprising that someone would have the attitude that there is not much reason to delve to deeply into this topic. That’s the scientific side of it. From the human interest side, on the other side, it is compellingly fascinating. If I may make a brief political aside, my exposure to the Rossi affair for the past seven years has given me real insights into the morass of American politics over the past couple of years.