How do you convince a skeptic?

  • Perhaps you are forgetting that the fact that cold fusion is difficult to replicate has no scientific significance. It is not relevant to whether the effect is real or not. There is no rule that something difficult to replicate might not be real. Many other experiments are much harder to replicate, with lower s/n ratios, but everyone believes them. The top quark is an example. If scientists would evaluate cold fusion strictly on the merits of the experiments -- s/n ratios, replications and so on -- while ignoring irrelevant issues such as the fact that it is difficult to replicate, they would all believe it is real.

    Did I say something that prompted this comment? I am not forgetting the fact that difficulty in replication is not relevant to whether the effect is real or not. I agree with that statement. What it has to do with anything

    I actually said is beyond me.


    Pretty much your entire comment deals with the unfair treatment of CF researchers and the topic in general. I am not arguing otherwise. I also have never played any role in it. So why are you arguing with me about it? The real question - at least the one that interests me - is what should/can be done about it? People like me who are here for the most part to rubberneck at the Rossi trainwreck have no role whatsoever to play in the fate of cold fusion.

  • Physicists also oppose it because it calls into question their theories.

    ***I think the theoretical physicists are hungry for some new breakthrough to crunch on. I can't remember where I read it somewhere, but there were something like 500 papers submitted to explain some physical artifact, with some being very outlandish physics. It turned out to be a measurement error. These guys are hungry for some raw theory meat.

  • Doubtful. It is too straightforward to demonstrate and replicate. Commercial applications are a different story apparently (I don't know much about that).


    ***So, to reconstruct the hypothetical: If HTSC had been attacked the way cold fusion was AND it was as difficult to demonstrate & replicate, I doubt many people today would believe it exists. Do you go along with the hypothetical now?

  • I've never heard anyone claim Swartz is a fraud -- only that he doesn't measure correctly and is missing some source of error.

    missing some source of error?

    What source of error would THAT be? Like Jed has stated upthread and elsewhere, you can't just PRETEND there's an artifact, you have to be very SPECIFIC about what the artifact is that would cause that source of error.



    edit:


    Swartz seems to be arguing against the fraud claim in this legal document

    https://e-foia.uspto.gov/Foia/…fd2012012622-09-28-2016-1



  • This is quite frustrating. My comment was not about what would convince me, yet some here seem to have morphed the discussion to that.


    My comment was that the characteristics of the Rossi Lugano (in particular) and Ferrara (less so) tests (if believed) were quite exceptional, and I have not seen posted here anything equivalent. This is nothing to do with "what would convince me". It is however relevant to how people at that time evaluated Rossi. He claimed stand-out LENR results and that was why many people at that time were hopeful that he had indeed made some breakthrough - or possivly stumbled on a commercialisation of a Focardi breakthrough.


    It is also true, as others have said here, Alan, Jed, etc do not need to be concerned with what internet posters do or do not believe.

  • I'll tell you how to convince all skeptics - or force them to admit the reality of LENR.


    First, develop a high powered LENR system utilizing the know how that's already floating around the community.


    Secondly, test the heck out of it - again and again. Once you know it's repeatable and that you can trigger the reactions pretty much at will, then start changing individual parameters to learn what's important and what's not. Importantly, perform experiments testing the SAME materials, components, and fuels from DIFFERENT sources (the more commonly available the better) to make sure they will still allow for the same POWERFUL effect to be reproduced.


    Thirdly, start working on how to make your system simpler, cheaper, and faster to build.


    Fourthly, design an experiment that will show the massive excess heat in an obvious way. A few things to do: use multiple control reactors, use various instruments to measure temperature, flow rate, or power consumption. Think about how skeptics will attack every little detail and make it impossible for them to criticize your measurements. For example, if they think that your thermocouples are wrong use analog thermometers as well in addition to other techniques to measure temperature. When it comes to flow rate, don't simply use a flow meter in the circuit but utilize a basin with a known quantity of water for the input and measure the output in another basin. From the start, assume they are going to claim that you've screwed everything up.


    Fifth, prepare absolutely detailed plans with every last bit of your knowledge that could help replicators to be distributed when your demonstration takes place. Make sure you list every possible parameter and make clear warnings about the areas in which varying from the plan could result in failure. Treat potential replicators like brain dead idiots and explain everything step by step.


    The problem is that almost no one wants to do the above.

  • 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.

    What would be your goal, IO, since Jed keyed up on you for 3 threads so far about your anti-science approach?



    How many times has the Pons-Fleischmann Anomalous Heating Event been replicated in peer reviewed journals?


    JedRothwell

    Verified User

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    Aug 18th 2017

    +2

    #461


    interested observer wrote:

    I can assure you that my comments on this forum are not moving science in any direction, nor are they intended to, nor could they.


    Then why do you make these comments? What is the point? This is a science-oriented forum. If you comments contribute nothing to science, and if -- as you say -- you have not read the papers and you know nothing about the subject, why do you muddy the waters with ignorant, baseless assertions?




    Suppose you were to visit a forum devoted to Italian Opera. Imagine you express strong opinions about a performance of La Traviata. Following that, you say: "By the way, I have never seen this performance. Actually, I have never seen any Italian opera I don't speak a word of Italian and I have no interest in music." That would be inappropriate, wouldn't it? It would be idiotic. The people at the forum would say: "Then what are you doing here?!? Why do you have an opinion about something you know nothing about?"




    Why do you think it is okay to do that there?


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    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    How many times has the Pons-Fleischmann Anomalous Heating Event been replicated in peer reviewed journals?




    interested observer wrote:

    How's the air up on that high horse?



    Jed:

    I suggest you address the issue. Why are you expressing strong opinions about a technical subject you know nothing about? You agree that you know nothing, and you are contributing nothing. You just said that!




    What are you trying to accomplish? Are you hoping to impress people?




    ....




    But, when the discussion turns to a technical issue in a specific experiment described in a particular paper, such as the role of the resistance heater in McKubre's calorimeter, if you have not read that paper, and you have no idea what that that resistance heater is for, then you should not express an opinion. You should certainly not make bold, general assertions about the entire field. Anyone who has read the literature can see you have no idea what you are talking about. For example, this statement of yours is completely off the wall:

    "I think the existence of LENR - to extent that there is even a well-formed definition of the phenomenon - is still an open question."




    As I said, I could give a 20-minute lecture off the top of my head describing the well-formed definition of cold fusion. Anyone who has read the literature can do this. This is not an open question at all. Granted, the experts do not all agree on every aspect of their well-formed definitions, but there is a lot of common ground.




    If you were to say: "I do not agree with the well-formed definition" then we would ask: "Why not? What aspects of it do you disagree with? What experimental evidence do you point to?" You are saying there isn't any definition. That's chaotic nonsense. Mind-boggling nonsense. It is like saying there is no theory of special relativity, so Einstein was wrong.


    ....


    Your recent comments dissed & dismissed yourself more effectively than I can. You yourself boldly told us that you know nothing and you contribute nothing. You said that your comments, "are not moving science in any direction, nor are they intended to, nor could they." Yes! Right. We agree. So, naturally, you should shut up. Right?




    Why do you continue to comment about technical issues? Why on earth do you say things about the "well-formed definition of cold fusion" when you have no clue what that definition is, and no interest in learning about it?


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  • Who would you tell?

    Making calls to the "proper" you will hear nothing but crickets, Or go by P&F push and shove.

    Forums and video really don't get you anywhere.

    The only way I can think of to get resources needed to test and release information would be to set up the media with some sort of FAKE event to draw them in and force them to report on a on going scenario by feed them all the details.

  • How to convince skeptics


    Develop a lab rate experiment (LRE), possible to replicate by anyone with normal skill, where the results are clearly not explicable by non-LENR physics.

    The lab-rate experiment can include small "special sauce" black box units, as long as these are easily testable for non-LENR physics by people using their own eqpt and test methodology

    Ask one or more reputable labs in reputable Unis to test these units as follows:


    1. get one or more academic in said lab interested, willing to explore your case

    2. get demonstrable results from said academic with the LRE that academic agrees are extraordinary and cannot be explained by non-LENR physics

    3. based on the extraordinariness of the LRE results get more academics in said lab to check experiment for validity, get them to agree results are extraordinary

    4. get group of academics in lab to co-publish a well-written (some of them will be able to write well enough, and together they can close obvious loopholes in procedure) purely experimental paper summarising the results and claiming an anomaly - without mentioning LENR


    Alan will no doubt be familiar with process, or something like it.


    it is most likely to fail at step 2. or 3.


    It is of course important that these academics have no previous strong views about or experience with LENR.

  • Develop a lab rate experiment (LRE), possible to replicate by anyone with normal skill, where the results are clearly not explicable by non-LENR physics.


    How to stop the cat from catching mice: tie a bell on the cat. AGAIN let me point out that if we could what you suggest, we would do it. No one needs to tell researchers this is a good idea. The problem is, no one knows how to do it. To learn how to do it, we must do a lot more research. To do research, we need money, lab space, and help from others. We have none of this.


    What is the point of making suggestions that we do impossible things? As long as we are making impossible suggestions, let me offer an elegant and foolproof one. Let's make a time machine, go 100 years into the future, find out if cold fusion works, and if it does, bring back the secret.

  • This is quite frustrating. My comment was not about what would convince me, yet some here seem to have morphed the discussion to that.


    Okay, so your comment is about what would convince others. You are saying we must demonstrate that which we cannot demonstrate. The goal must remain just beyond the possible, like trying to reach the end of a rainbow. If researchers demonstrate 5 W, 10 W are demanded. If they demonstrate 20 to 100 W, the demand rises to 1 kW. (The ever-in-motion goalposts, or "Mary Yugo" standard.) Also, we must ignore conventional experimental criteria such as signal to noise ratios and control experiments, and we must concentrate on the "COP," pretending it has scientific significance and pretending it is not sometimes infinite.



    My comment was that the characteristics of the Rossi Lugano (in particular) and Ferrara (less so) tests (if believed) were quite exceptional, and I have not seen posted here anything equivalent.


    They were somewhat exceptional, at much higher power than other cold fusion experiments. Also, the Lugano was the wrong incandescent color for the claimed power level, so I assume it must have been wrong.



    This is nothing to do with "what would convince me".


    Nothing will convince you. You have rejected McKubre, Miles, Storms and hundreds of other mainstream replications, even though you cannot give any reasons for rejecting them, and you cannot point to any papers describing errors in their work. Your judgment of this field is grounded in emotion, not rationality, and not science.

  • How to stop the cat from catching mice: tie a bell on the cat. AGAIN let me point out that if we could what you suggest, we would do it. No one needs to tell researchers this is a good idea. The problem is, no one knows how to do it. To learn how to do it, we must do a lot more research. To do research, we need money, lab space, and help from others. We have none of this.


    What is the point of making suggestions that we do impossible things? As long as we are making impossible suggestions, let me offer an elegant and foolproof one. Let's make a time machine, go 100 years into the future, find out if cold fusion works, and if it does, bring back the secret.


    Well: Alan (for example) has here claimed, I believe, that he has a replicable experiment that generates gammas when it should not. That would, if so, be an LRE.


    If the historic experiments, as you have many times claimed, are replicable, many of them would be decent LREs.

    If nothing is replicable, then the LENR hypothesis remains badly supported by experimental evidence. Since it is not well supported by a theory either, it would not convince anyone.


    You perhaps will claim that although individual experiments are not LREs, because they do not always work due to uncontrolled unknowns, the FPHE is replicated (by different experiments).


    I understand that but a LRE could be posed in a stochastic form: prepare this and with 20% probability an anomaly will be observed. That is good enough for an LRE, because the experiment repeated (with different materials perhaps) 20X gives a high probability of success.


    If the experiments generate anomalies less consistently than this the issue is that the unknown unknowns could as well be experimental issues as physics issues. I know you don't agree, and think that these experiments are safe enough. Which is perhaps where we have differing standards. I would not trust any hypothesis only supported by things that sometimes happened where the controlling factor could neither be bounded by some probability of operation nor related to some observable.


    That actually gives me one other thing I'd accept. An LRE that had a known decent bounding probability of working, given some observable and normal physics condition on the prepared experimental material. (Has to be normal physics otherwise we get "it works if it works"). Such a normal physics condition could be examined and no doubt optimised.


    So: that is what I believe a skeptic would accept, and I also believe that without it most physicists would on reflection view any hypothesis as unproven for or against but more likely to be experimental error(s) than new physics. While they would admit that this is not necessarily correct, they would say it is the best call.

    When the initial non-LRE anomalies are new, and no-one has tried to replicate, there would be much more interest, and attempts at replication. That also is what most would consider fair because it takes time to find an LRE from an initial serendipitous single observation. LENR is not at that stage because of many many attempts at replication.


    It is open to some (e.g. you and many here) to argue that the balance between increased replicability and effort spent to make replicable, for LENR, shows that there is some new physics effect. For me it is the other way round because there have been so many apparent positives that on further study prove negative, or unreproducible even in a stochastic fashion (which is the same). High quality experiments show results less convincing than low quality ones: demonstrating that many of these results are indeed experimental error. And so on.

    That overall situation is what makes me highly pessimistic about LENR, though still interested since there remain unexplained anomalies and those, if replicable now, are always worth attention. That is why I look at the well reported experimental results with great interest but also a skeptical frame of mind.


  • Well: Alan (for example) has here claimed, I believe, that he has a replicable experiment that generates gammas when it should not. That would, if so, be an LRE.

    ***

    THHuxleynew wrote:

    Develop a lab rate experiment (LRE),

    Would that be Lab RAT Experiment?



    If the historic experiments, as you have many times claimed, are replicable, many of them would be decent LREs.

    ***The Pons Fleischmann Anomalous Heat Effect (PFAHE) has been replicated about 153 times in peer reviewed journals by the top ~100 or so electrochemists of the day. So the claim is not only is it replicABLE, but repliCATED.




    If nothing is replicable, then the LENR hypothesis remains badly supported by experimental evidence.

    ***Just where do you get the idea after being exposed to 153 peer reviewed replications that it isn't replicable?



    Since it is not well supported by a theory either

    ***There's TONS of theory papers. Just like there are TONS of theory papers on the observation that gravity exists. But there is no universally accepted THEORY of Gravity. No one seems to criticize physics for having an effect that is "not well supported by a theory".


    , it would not convince anyone.

    ***There it is. The moving of the goal posts, as usual.

  • You perhaps will claim that although individual experiments are not LREs, because they do not always work due to uncontrolled unknowns, the FPHE is replicated (by different experiments).

    I understand that but

    ***No, I don't think you really DO understand that.



    a LRE could be posed in a stochastic form: prepare this and with 20% probability an anomaly will be observed. That is good enough for an LRE, because the experiment repeated (with different materials perhaps) 20X gives a high probability of success. If the experiments generate anomalies less consistently than this the issue is that the unknown unknowns could as well be experimental issues as physics issues. I know you don't agree, and think that these experiments are safe enough. Which is perhaps where we have differing standards. I would not trust any hypothesis only supported by things that sometimes happened where the controlling factor could neither be bounded by some probability of operation nor related to some observable.

    ***Here the lurkers will note that, once again, THH likes to regress into tldr (Too Long, Didn't Read) argumentation. By his standard being proposed, Dolly the Sheep does not exist.




    That actually gives me one other thing I'd accept. An LRE that had a known decent bounding probability of working,

    ***Moving the goal posts. Again.



    given some observable and normal physics condition on the prepared experimental material. (Has to be normal physics otherwise we get "it works if it works"). Such a normal physics condition could be examined and no doubt optimised.

    ***My professor worked in a lightning lab. He was often quoted saying "it works if it works". All kinds of parameters are weighing in on the probability of failure, and this is certainly "normal physics". Yet no one would question the findings of Mr. Professor Lightning.



    So: that is what I believe a skeptic would accept,

    ***Just change that there writin' to "hyperskeptic" and we all would agree with ya.



    and I also believe that without it most physicists would on reflection view any hypothesis as unproven

    ***Here's one of the areas where you're going off into the weeds. The PFAHE was replicated by the top 100 ELECTROCHEMISTS of the day, who regularly use calorimetry and electrolysis cells in their endeavors. There was trouble getting the physicists to follow good procedure because they almost NEVER use calorimetry & electrolysis in their everyday investigations. If we got the electrochemists to come on over to a physics lab and question the Higgs Boson findings based on their usage of the equipment and their lack of humility, everyone would see the problem here.



    for or against but more likely to be experimental error(s) than new physics. While they would admit that this is not necessarily correct, they would say it is the best call.

    ***This points to P&F's biggest mistake, to expect their physicist brethren across the aisle to act in a gentlemenly fashion. They should never have used the word 'nuclear", they should simply have held their ground saying it's a superduper resonating chemical effect and if the nuklear boys wanna help us with a few quizzical findings, they're more than welcome to do so.





    When the initial non-LRE anomalies are new,

    ***After all that tldr argumentation, we see THH wandering down the usual Humpty Dumpty rabbit hole, where he has defined the terms and uses language the way he thinks it should sound, ignoring the simple 153 replicated facts on the ground.


    and no-one has tried to replicate,

    ***Humpty Dumpty, ignoring 153 facts on the ground.


    there would be much more interest, and attempts at replication.

    ***There have already been 153 replications. The electrochemists decided they wanted to eat and have a career rather than get hounded out of their positions. It was politics, not science.



    That also is what most would consider fair because it takes time to find an LRE from an initial serendipitous single observation.

    ***Humpty Dumpty bullshit conclusion.



    LENR is not at that stage because of many many attempts at replication.

    ***No, LENR:is not at the stage because of politics.