How do you convince a skeptic?

  • Perhaps you have not spent any time on Frank Acland's forum? Or 22Passi? Plenty of enthusiasts there for homeopathy, alien probes, psychic and paranormal phenomena, and many other weird things. At least there was when I used to browse those back around 2012 - 2015.

    You made that up. BTW: what are these "alien probes"?

  • I recall reading critiques a few years ago. Not sure where the links appeared that I saw. Possibly Vortex. I suspect both McKubre and Shanahan know where those are if Jed Rothwell doesn't.

    I have read countless critiques. But none of them have any merit. They violate elementary laws of physics and common sense. There are many right here, such as Huxley's assertion that the steam from a boiling cell can push macroscopic droplets up the walls and out, enough to change the heat balance measurably. Anyone who has seen a boiling cell knows that is not true. Anyone who estimates the force of steam in cell of this geometry will see it is orders of magnitude too small for that. And anyone who done a calibration or used an ordinary test tube to test this hypothesis will see the energy balance is zero. All researchers calibrate.

    If you are talking about opinions on the internet, on Vortex, or here, then there are thousands of them. That is not what I meant. I meant a formal paper in a journal or at least a magazine that meets minimal standards of a scientific publication. Not mere handwaving that anyone can see is wrong.

    Shanahan has published formal papers, as did Morrison. However, both were crackpots and their hypotheses were even more outlandish than Huxley's. You can read them at and see for yourself. Or if think their work has merit, then you too are a confirmed crackpot! See:

  • Jed,

    If these “multitudes” of experiments, all showing excess heat and/or elemental transmutation ALL showed the SAME results then the critique would be difficult, BUT,

    as these experiments all show different results, even when running the same experiment, SOMETHING had to change in the experiment, do you agree?

    This is not a high school debate class, we are not arguing about politics and religion, this is science, there is an answer, it must be found to bring LENR out of the shadows and until it is found, it will most likely be considered junk science.

    Constantly citing experiments that always get different results seems counter productive to your argument.

    If no experiment was ever replicated:

    Same Bill if Materials

    Same build instructions

    Same testing procedures/protocols

    Same results

    Then was any experiment actually successful?

  • Unfair generalization, and something the earliest CF opponents resorted to (guilt by association with crackpots) for lack of anything scientifically substantial to nothing new. Yawn. When you say something like that, it tells me you are just spoiling for a fight, as I already suspected.

    First of all, I am not an LENR opponent. I’m not even sure what that is, but it isn’t me. You don’t get to play the “if you ain’t fer us, you’re agin us” card. That is nonsense. No Shane. I am spoiling to get out of a fight that Jed keeps wanting to have. He attributes all sorts of negative statements about LENR to me that I have never made and then demands that I stop making them. If he would just stop with this straw man bullshit, I would be happy to drop the whole discussion. As for the allusion to crackpots being highly visible in the community, yawn all you like, but I will stand by that with great confidence. There are a fair number of them around. To anyone mystified by the assertion, I would paraphrase the old saw: if you don’t know who the asshole in the room is, then it is you.

  • Quote

    BTW: what are these "alien probes"?

    Like Jed said, trust me, you don't want to know where those probes supposedly go.


    You made that up.

    Not a bit of it. You may have to go back a ways. Remember the George Hants character? (I think that's the right last name) Read some of those posts. And nobody argued with the person.

  • There is n interesting video in French about Bayesian logic for the zetetician skeptic…3d-4049-95be-5f919be25498

    it correct some bias , but finally it explains why people can safely have different opinions, depending on their known data and initial probabilities.

    I think the difference in opinion between usual plasma/particle physicist, chemist, and engineers like me is related to the data we have, the confidence we have in various experimental facts and theories, the epistemological story or out domains.

    Particle physics is a respected domain, having greatly succeed in its predictions since the 50s, with low competence thus trusts in calorimetry, and looking at LENR they find no neutrons, cannot even consider collective effects at nucleus scale, and consider their theory is bullet proof. They don't understand well the methods used for calorimetry and He4 analysis, and can safely assume there is an unknown error...

    Chemist have longer trust in calorimetry, seen bullet proof for 2 centuries, and looking at many small details in experiment descriptions consider some of the best LENR experiment are bullet proof. Having seen many changes in theory, in QM, derivation of QM in practical chemistry, problem with approximations of QM in chemistry, knowledge of material science discoveries, they consider that QM "practices" (hidden assumptions, not necessarily core mathematics) have to be adapted, as usual. Looking at He4/Heat correlations, analyzing the details, they can judge if contamination is well controlled, and be even more convinced there is something nuclear (ie, not their fault), happening.

    Engineers trained in semiconductors like me, with a knowledge of pas innovations from greek electricity, to transistors, Branly coherer, superconductions, know that science is evolving, that theories, and even more the way we use them to solve engineering problems, is moving fast. BEC theory, the unexpected problem of doping in semiconductor, and metallurgy, and LENR, is well-known. Problem of collective effects is just logical, as it seems a trend in modern science and technology.

    We trust chemist, physicist in their respective domain, but we know they have a huge ego on theory, thus we trust their results not their judgments.

    A farmer will probably be very conservative on his domain, but could be too much trusting one of the 3 population above, as he has seen huge progress in science, with deep effect on his practice...

    When we accepted evidences, we in fact use some implicit trust, and we do some Bayesian analysis, comparing the weight of evidences in our perspective, and the weight of past evidences supporting the opposite point, in our perspective too.

    I accepted LENR first as an evident anomaly probably caused by a very tricky new artifact, with hope of unexpected applications, trusting both the evidences that seemed good, and the mainstream corpus which was successful. Now, in the perspective of semiconductor and nanotechnology engineering, it seems evident that not only LENR is real, nuclear, but also a collective QM effect... For me it is a coherent, self-evident conclusion, in line with the long trend of science and technology.

    The way it is opposed is not new, but I suspect the globalization of groupthink by US high impact journals and Ivy League universities, transmitted by state funding, citation index and funding panels, make it much more unavoidable than under Galileo time, where in fact science was less controlled, at least less centralized.

  • And it is not enough that Wyttenbach has published (and applied for a patent for) a complete descriptive theoretical framework we have found to be experimentally predictive? And that we are to take our experiments to one o best equipped laboratories anywhere so they can join the group-think too? Would you still need 'full disclosure' then?

    Patents mean nothing until the devices they describe actually work, as you well know.

    Publishing means nothing unless seriously peer reviewed (for a journal with high standards) or critiqued by serious scientists who have not bought into the novel ideas proposed.

    Of course, published material might be so wonderful that it will convert anyone capable of understanding it. If that is the case, W will be deservedly very famous soon, and feted in the theoretical physics community. Let us hope for this.

    Now: "we have found to be experimentally predictive". I will find that interesting should it be validated precisely, and should the predictions be new and significant. In other words some unexpected and low probability prediction made which is subsequently validated. Many novel theories have done this, and been validated in this way.

  • Patents mean nothing until the devices they describe actually work

    That shows you haven't read it. since it doesn't describe a device.

    Publishing means nothing unless seriously peer reviewed (for a journal with high standards) or critiqued by serious scientists who have not bought into the novel ideas proposed.

    So where do you think "one of the best equipped laboratories anywhere" is? McDonalds?

    As for publishing in a peer-reviewed journal, unless you are on the academic career ladder it is a total waste of time and effort, the acquisition of brownie points for their own sake..

  • And that we are to take our experiments to one o best equipped laboratories anywhere so they can join the group-think too?

    I'll await with interest developments Alan. Nothing thus far has made me jump with excitement - but should you be correct the whole (scientific) world will jump with excitement pretty soon. Good luck!

  • The views expressed here about peer reviewed journals are quite illuminating. I had the odious task of editing a section of a journal for a couple of years and was responsible for locating reviewers for articles. People with professional integrity often declined to review articles because they deemed them to be to far from their own area of expertise. They correctly thought it was manifestly unfair to have someone’s research judged by a person without pertinent expertise.

    I compare that experience with people here who tell everyone to read LENR papers and if they cannot identify errors or methodology problems then they should conclude that the results are valid. What utter self-serving nonsense. If you point that out, some will say that anyone can judge a well-written paper. That is incredibly ludicrous and utterly false.

    And that is why peer review is valuable despite the fact that it can be abused. If a technical paper has not been judged by qualified experts, then it has not been judged. At that point it is reader beware.

    I realize this is anathema to the local group think but I haven’t heard a believable counter argument.

  • Doesn't seem your looking around much in todays news.. Clearly you can see Republican say up and all dems say down if the agenda is hidden or not. Hidden would be money talks and wins if your income is also hidden from view~

  • Maybe I'm the only one but somehow I missed reading how your (and RG's) current work will be revealed to the general scientific community or investors/entrepreneurs.

    I have no idea. But an interesting scenario seems to be unfolding, We have had little time to formulate a strategy of our own, but outside events are shaping one for us. Investors are not at this moment part of it, in fact we have turned down several offers of funding. But that might change as things progress.

  • Less seriously;

    Sorry Jed, I don't think you are able to have a valid opinion on UFOs unless you have read every paper and book on the subject and cross checked every piece of evidence presented for UFOs.

    And in case of appealing to authority such as Feynman or De Grasse Tyson, who have disputed UFOs, then I would have to point out that these scientists are not specialists in the particular area of UFOs so their opinion is worthless. :/

    Just sayin.

    More seriously;

    Meanwhile back in the "real" world, personally I do not believe in UFOs, although I did see one once. :huh:

  • Good point ZenoOfElea and one could add that Jed won't be able to point to technical or computational errors in all papers which claim to establish the existence of UFO's therefore UFO's must be real. In addition, thousands of people have seen UFO's and hundreds say they have been abducted and/or ... uh ... probed. Many reported the identical results of such ... uh ... probings. Not only that but no less than the illustrious Harvard professor psychiatrist, the late Dr. Mack, thought many such accounts were accurate.

    Actually the parallels between Mack's views and work on UFO and alien sightings and abductions and some views of LENR are quite striking. For example:


    ... the BBC quoted Mack as saying, "I would never say, yes, there are aliens taking people. [But] I would say there is a compelling powerful phenomenon here that I can't account for in any other way, that's mysterious. Yet I can't know what it is but it seems to me that it invites a deeper, further inquiry."[9]

    Nothing wrong with any of that, of course.

  • These are good examples of how vacuous Jed’s belligerent dismisal of anyone who doesn’t bend to his will is. Of course, his other go-to is appeal to authority. Appeal to authority must be comprehensive if it is to be used at all. Jed is fond of repeating ad nauseum how the 100 top electrochemists in the world embrace the gospel of LENR. Setting aside the question of who anoints the top-100 in electrochemistry (People Magazine?), inquiring minds want to know what the other roughly 8,000 members of the Electrochemistry Society have to say. Until there is a full accounting, it is totally inappropriate to have any opinion at all. It’s only fair.