JedRothwell so in the case of Huizenga, do you think the denial explanation makes sense?
I met him and talked with him on 2 or 3 occasions. Both of us were courteous. I could not tell what motivated him, or what he truly believed. I wasn't going to ask him, "do you actually believe what you wrote?"
I assume he meant what he said. I suppose he sincerely thought that theory overrules experiments. That is a strange thing for a scientist to believe, but as they say, "there's naught so queer as folk." In his book, Huizenga concluded that:
"5. If the reported intensity of nuclear products is orders of magnitude less than the claimed
excess heat, then the excess heat is not due to a nuclear reaction process.
6. Furthermore, if the claimed excess heat exceeds that possible by other conventional
processes (chemical, mechanical, etc.), one must conclude that an error has been made in
measuring excess heat."
Quoted by Beaudette and on p. 39:
I tend to take statements at face value. I believe that people generally tell the truth as they see it. Huizenga had no reason to hide his beliefs. I agree with Maya Angelou, "When people show you who they are, believe them the first time."
I think he sincerely believed because his beliefs were so appalling. "One must conclude that an error has been made . . ." Can you imagine saying that!?! If I thought that, I would be embarrassed to say it. It reminds me of the joke about a man who cannot be blackmailed because the things you would blackmail him with he brags about.
I suspect that Robert Park was not sincere. I suspect he did not believe what he said. Huizenga, Morrison and Hoffman seemed sincere. Huizenga was very smart and extremely knowledgeable. The latter two were among the most stupid people I have ever met. They were probably accomplished and very good at the physics they specialized in. I wouldn't know. But their takes on ordinary physics, basic logic, and common sense was astonishingly stupid. Mind boggling. Morrison really did not know the difference between power and energy. He wasn't kidding, or trying to fool people. (See https://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Fleischmanreplytothe.pdf) Hoffman actually thought that Ontario Hydro sold used reactor moderator water on the consumer market. The people at Ontario Hydro were not amused to hear that. They pointed out that it is about 100 million times too radioactive. (I think that was the number. I can look it up.)
Unlike most other skeptics, those three spent a lot of time studying cold fusion. They knew a lot about it. But someone who does not know the difference between power and energy will never understand the fundamentals of cold fusion. Or thermodynamics, calorimetry, heat pumps, or -- I suppose -- how a thermos bottle knows to keep a hot drink hot and a cold drink cold.