Moulton Lava

Moultonic Musings

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Location: New England, United States

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Excuse me sir, but exactly how did you falsify the Null Hypothesis?

This is a story about a strange field of research called Cold Fusion, and my encounters with two individuals working in the field.

In case you don't recall, a Cold Fusion cell is a small electrolytic cell (like a cell in your car battery) that uses heavy water as the electrolyte and two precious metals (palladium and platinum) as the cathode (negative terminal) and anode (positive terminal) respectively.

The theory is that when you apply electric current to the cell, the deuterons (the nuclei of the heavy isotope of hydrogen) are driven to the surface of the palladium cathode, where some of them fuse to make helium and release energy. Fusion of hydrogen into helium takes place in stars (like our sun) and in hydrogen bombs.

Most mainstream scientists don't believe any nuclear fusion is taking place in Cold Fusion cells, and they note that there is no theoretical model to support the claim that any nuclear fusion is at work in these cells.

Much Ado About Scoffing
There is a curious chap named Abd Ul-Rahman Lomax, who I met online (at Wikipedia Review), who is into Cold Fusion. He is a true believer, proponent, and enthusiast who also wants to peddle kits to hobbyists who want to build Cold Fusion cells in their kitchen.

Abd has struck up a relationship with one of the few diehard professionals still working on Cold Fusion Research. Down in Santa Fe NM, a chap named Edmund Storms is the Branch Manager (and sole employee) of KivaLabs. Storms has been involved in Cold Fusion Research since its inception. He, too, is a true believer, proponent, and enthusiast.

Recently, Storms published one of his occasional papers surveying the state of Cold Fusion Research to date. Having nothing better to do for a week, I offered to contribute a review of this paper as part of a little project that Abd was setting up on Wikiversity.

I ended up corresponding with Storms (via E-Mail) and learned quite a bit about the story of his 21-year journey through the field of Cold Fusion Research.

He feels that his efforts to demonstrate Cold Fusion are largely unseen and unappreciated, and he expresses significant levels of frustration, vexation, disappointment, anger, bitterness, and disdain at mainstream scientists and government agencies who have withdrawn confidence in (and support for) research in his field.

Storms expresses high levels of personal confidence that he is on the right track, and he exhibits high levels of hope and determination to achieve success at demonstrating Cold Fusion, which he sincerely believes to be real, and not a misconception arising from any failure to rigorously adhere to the protocols of the scientific method in the course of his experimental work.

My extensive interview of Edmund Storms (mostly in E-Mail) has provided me with an unexpected opportunity to examine how emotions such as confidence, surprise, confusion, perplexity, anger, disappointment, hope, and determination arise in the course of a difficult learning journey.

It appears to me that the emotions he expresses and the beliefs he espouses jibe with and illustrate the mathematical model of emotions and learning that I have been working on for the past 25 years.

I was curious to understand how Storms could look at the data from the many experiments and come to one conclusion (that CF is real) while others look at the same studies and come to the opposite conclusion.

It quickly became clear that Storms and I have substantial differences in how we construe and apply the protocols of the scientific method. Specifically, we have notable differences in how we envision the use of the Null Hypothesis and Control Groups.

In a typical experiment, the Null Hypothesis is that nothing unexpected is happening. The Experimental Hypothesis is that something new and interesting is happening, in accordance with a new theory or model that is being developed and tested.

I asked Storms how he falsified the Null Hypothesis, as well as other mundane hypotheses not involving any new and otherwise unexplained observations.

To my surprise, he told me that they don't use the Null Hypothesis Method in Chemistry. He told me that's only used in Physics. Basically, he simply assumed the Null Hypothesis was false, and set out to prove that Cold Fusion is real. Here is a typical quote from Storms on the point:

"As I keep saying, the Null Hypothesis idea does not work in chemistry or in Cold Fusion. All kinds of possibilities are eliminated based on experience and knowledge of chemistry up front and without much effort." --Edmund Storms, E-Mail, December 4, 2010

Then I asked him about other hypotheses, including the effect of any impurities or contaminants in the heavy water (such as residual radioactive substances that would have been present if the heavy water were reclaimed from decommissioned heavy water nuclear plants).

Again, he simply assumed the fuels were free of impurities or contaminants that could account for any of the observed effects in the Cold Fusion cells.

I pointed out that in his survey of the literature, at least two experimenters had assayed the impurities found in both ordinary water and heavy water. Both kinds of water had impurity levels corresponding to the levels of the effects attributed to Cold Fusion. Notably the heavy water was found to have Xenon in it. Xenon is an inert gas of high atomic weight. It comes just above Radon in the Periodic Table. It occurred to me that if Xenon were found in samples of heavy water, wouldn't that suggest Radon might also have been present? Radon decays in a matter of weeks to Lead and Helium, both of which were found in these assays. How do they explain the Lead, and the other trace heavy metals? Storms says the hypothesis is that they are the result of alchemical transmutation, in which the nuclei of the metals in the cathode and anode absorb deuterons and change into other elements.

I asked him why he did not consider the hypothesis that these heavy elements were the residue of impurities in the electrolyte (that being the mundane Null Hypothesis). Again he said that they don't use the Null Hypothesis, and that he assumed the fuels were pure and free from any contaminants that could account for the residues found in the cells.

My tentative conclusion is that Storms adopts a variant of the Scientific Method that is at odds with the method of Hypothesis Testing that I am familiar with, and his departure from the Scientific Method (as I construe it) accounts for the discrepancy between his beliefs and the beliefs of the skeptics who are not convinced that Cold Fusion is real.

Falsifying the Null Hypothesis
For the past week, I've continued my correspondence in E-Mail at some length with Edmund Storms, and I now have a pretty good bead on him. I've found out where he differs from me in the way he construes the protocols of the scientific method, and how he differs from me in the tools for thought that he relies on when carrying out his work.

The question that I couldn't get a straight answer to was, "How did you falsify the Null Hypothesis?"

At first I got a lot of hand-waving, along with a variety of disdainful and dismissive remarks like: "That's a "silly" question, a "dumb" question, a "trivial" question, that reveals the person asking it is is "ignorant of science."

I pressed him on it, and finally obtained this succinct quote from Storms:

"As I keep saying, the Null Hypothesis idea does not work in chemistry or in Cold Fusion. All kinds of possibilities are eliminated based on experience and knowledge of chemistry up front and without much effort." —Edmund Storms, E-Mail, December 4, 2010

In a nutshell, he discarded the Null Hypothesis at the outset and never looked back. Thereafter he systematically ignored or dismissed evidence for the Null Hypothesis and systematically began collecting and compiling evidence to support the CF hypothesis.

Another clue came in E-Mail when he expressed disdain for my reliance on "fuzzy logic." From that clue, I discovered he was evidently relying on Aristotle's Law of the Excluded Middle, that if something is false, then its inverse must necessarily be true, and vice versa. Since he assumed the Null Hypothesis to be false, then (by Aristotle's Law of the Excluded Middle), another explanation must necessarily be true, and that explanation, he maintains, is Cold Fusion.

But there is no satisfactory theory for a mechanism of Cold Fusion that jibes with what we know about Atomic Physics.

How can he conduct experiments without working from a technical theory that offers any insight into what's presumably going on?

And this is the next big difference I discovered in my correspondence with Storms. I routinely rely on Model-Based Reasoning, using scientifically reliable models constructed in accordance with the protocols of the scientific method. If I don't have a reliable model about something, I don't really have a good way to think about it, because I can't reliably anticipate what's going to happen if I tweak things this way or that.

It became clear that Storms could not be relying on Model-Based Reasoning, as he agrees that no one has a satisfactory model to work from, so the question arises, what tools for thought is he relying on, in lieu of Model-Based Reasoning?

Here, I get very fuzzy responses from Storms, that he simply knows things from long observation and experience.

So I turned the question around. I asked him what dispelled his skepticism and turned him into a believer. His response was simply to tell me to read his book, where he lays out all the evidence to support the theory that Cold Fusion is real.

I kept looking for some singular observation that converted him from a skeptic into a believer. Where were the "Aha!" moments when things became clear?

And, astonishingly, he said there weren't any. Gradually, over the years, his doubts just slowly melted away, like an exponential decay.

How could that be? Simple. He stopped looking at evidence for the Null Hypothesis, and interpreted all "relevant" evidence as support for CF. Any possible evidence going the other way was "not relevant" and not worthy of his time to figure out what was wrong with it. Evidence that he once noted as surprising or challenging to address, he now blithely dismisses as probably a misreading of the meaning of the data. And he quietly ignores it, thereafter.

This led him to concoct a number of fantastic reasons and non-standard methods to reject stubborn evidence or analysis that didn't concord with CF. The most fantastic concoction was adding alchemical transmutation to CF, a development that I was previously unaware of and astonished to find in the CF literature.

Again, I asked, "How did you falsify the Null Hypothesis regarding the presence of the heavy element anions cations that you are now explaining by alchemical transmutation?"

And that's where things got weird. Of course he didn't falsify it, he simply assumed that all the evidence must necessarily be interpreted to fit his preferred theory, that CF is real.

I posited, for example, that the heavy element cations, found at trace levels, were simply trace impurities in the fuel. He insisted the fuel was free of impurities. Then, when I pointed to the specs from the suppliers, listing the purest grades of heavy water to have roughly 1 ppm of otherwise unanalyzed miscellaneous impurities, he conceded there were impurities, but he insisted they made no contribution to the observed effects.

I worked out, as an exercise, that 2 parts per trillion of dissolved Radon gas in the heavy water sufficed to account for the excess heat, Helium and residue of Lead found in the cells. He countered that there could not be any Radon in the heavy water, because the stuff is radioactive, and if there were any Radon, you'd "quickly die." I frankly didn't believe that, but I didn't yet have the knowledge to rebut it.

In the most recent E-Mail, when he maintained that one would die from heavy water, I asked what the coroner would put down as the cause of death. Storms replied, "Poisoning from drinking heavy water," pointing out that you can get sick from drinking 100 mL of the stuff.

So I looked it up.

From one site: "Heavy water toxicity manifests itself when about 50% of the water in the body has been replaced by D2O. Prolonged heavy water consumption can cause death." The stuff costs $300 per liter, and one would need to consume (and not pee out) at least 40 liters of heavy water, at a cost of $12,000, just to get into the ball park of toxicity. But I'm not drinking the stuff. Nor am I bathing in it. There are even musings of a murder mystery based on administering heavy water to an invalid. Surprisingly enough the numbers were run by a guy I happen to know. He got the same answer I came up with.

Anyway, Storms conveniently forgot that it was Radon contaminants at a few parts per trillion that I was reckoning, not personally drinking a few gallons of the stuff.

Bottom line, the guy is apparently self-deluded, not a source of reliable information, not a very good scientist, and otherwise exemplary of what's wrong with our system of science education in this country.

Watch for me to make this my annoying new mantra: "Excuse me, but exactly how did you falsify the Null Hypothesis?"


Blogger James Salsman said...

How does radon contamination produce excess heat?

40 times $300 is $12,000, not $1,200. Interesting you say your friend got the same answer as you when you don't have that right.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Oops. He said it would take about 50 kg at $300/kg, but he didn't multiply it out. I'll fix my sloppy multiplication.

As to Radon-222, it decays with a half life of just under 4 days to Lead-210 (which then hangs around for the better part of a century before it decays on down to Lead-206).

As Rn-222 decays to Pb-210, it yields three alpha particles (Helium atoms) and some gamma rays. That's where the heat comes from.

The heat from the decay of one Rn-220 atom is almost the same as one would expect from fusion of two Deuterium atoms into a single Helium (25 Mev).

10:52 PM  
Blogger James Salsman said...

Radon concentration in indoor air is typically 3 picocuries per liter. That's about 10^(-13) watts of Rn-222 decay. Where do you suppose experiments could get trillions of times as much radon?

1:11 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

It's an excellent question, and one I've been trying to understand.

Cold Fusion experiments use heavy water, D20, in which virtually all the Hydrogen atoms have been replaced by Deuterium. In ordinary water, about one Deuterium atom is present for every 6400 atoms of Hydrogen.

One of the experiments that Storms discusses in his reviews of important research in the field is that of Mizuno, which appears here in the Journal of New Energy and also here as a separate conference report. Mizuno is one of the few researchers I could find who disclosed the source of his D20. On page 32, Mizuno writes, "Heavy water was supplied by Showa Denko, Ltd. It is 99.75% pure and includes 0.077 micro Ci/dm³ of tritium. The heavy water was purified once in a quartz glass distiller." Mizuno reports finding copious substances in the cells, including Xenon. Mizuno notes that he and at least three other teams have reported finding "anomalous foreign substances" in "drastically unnatural isotope ratios."

Were these anomalous substances created in the cells by alchemical transmutation during the experiment, or were they already present in the 99.75% pure heavy water obtained from Showa Denko? What, (besides 0.077 micro Ci/L of Tritium) was in those 2500 ppm of unassayed impurities?

You ask where one could get trillions of pico curies of Rn decay. It's a fair question. Can you tell me where one could get 0.077 micro Ci/L of Tritium in 99.75% pure heavy water supplied by Showa Denko? If I knew the answer to that question, I might have the answer to where the Xenon and all other anomalous anions came from, as well as a clue to whether Rn might have originally been in the fuel along with the Xe.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Why radon contamination is irrelevant to excess heat/helium, even though radon would produce helium and alpha/beta radiation that would produce heat and helium correlated, the reason for the suggest.

If radon is present in sufficient quantities to produce heat, say a 1 degree rise in a certain time, it would produce 1000 times as much heat 38 days earlier, and almost all D20 used will have been sealed in packages before then. It would vaporize promptly, unless the time was very long, i.e., not enough to affect the experiment 38 days later.

If radioactive contamination of materials were the source of the heat, the heat would not vary with current density nor with loading ratio, both of which are well-established, and the heat/He ratio would be about 8 MeV, compared to 25 +/- 5 MeV, which is the experimental value from reviewing many studies. The radiation itself, coming from the heavy water, would be readily observable, again not matching observation.

Enough? These reasons are why no knowledgeable skeptic has suggested radioactive contamination as an explanation.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Hey, James, long time no revert war. How about dropping me a line? I've got some suggestions.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

It's a good explanation for the deposition of all those species of cations plated onto the cathode. It's a much more plausible explanation than alchemical transmutation, as proposed by Storms.

When one finds Pb and other metals plated onto the cathode, with anomalous isotopic ratios, one immediately suspects that the heavy water procured from Showa Denko and other vendors probably came from reprocessing plants associated with heavy water nuclear reactors. Where else would you expect to find heavy water contaminated with so many species?

3:48 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Do the math. The Radon math was atrocious.

Cold fusion is "alchemy," or transmutation of elements,because it produces helium from deuterium, and the evidence for that is solid, fully demonstrated, replicable and replicated, and quantitative. Fusion, if it takes place, makes huge energies available locally, thus what would be even more surprising would be if there was *no* transmutation. There is, nevertheless, very little compared to the helium. You are seizing on a detail; you are also attributing to Storms what he hasn't claimed. Much of what has been claimed as transmutation is probably contamination, and he covers this in detail. But you don't care, because your goal isn't to understand the science here, it is to claim that others don't understand science. It's become completely transparent.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Is that your hypothesis?

12:10 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

No, it's a collection of observations. Observations can be in error, to be sure, but they are properly reported as-is, in discussion.

Broken record.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Then are those your observations upon which you are forming your corresponding hypotheses?

11:05 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Hypotheses come after observations? Since when? After all, as is well-known, if the sentence is first, then the verdict, surely the verdict comes before the hypothesis and the hypothesis before the observations.

Everything it its proper sequence, Barry.

Sometimes experimental scientists report observations with no hypothesis to explain them at all. Obviously, these have a deficient comprehension of the scientific method, which should always start with a killer model. Then we assume the evidence to prove it. Right?

Observations are just confusing, they should be banned.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Surely you're joking, Mr. Lomax.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Joke? Moi?

11:34 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Since we're doing Lewis Carroll schtick, here's my contribution to a whimsical dialogue:

Barry asks, "Have you taken leave of your senses? Are you out of your mind?"

Abd confesses, "I come to seizure, Barry, not to praise. Hrmmm?"

Barry wonders, "Would you care for a pack of cards?"

10:43 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Weak, Barry. Change your medication? Where's your muse? On vacation? The Captcha is "suremed." Heh! I recommend low-dose methylphenidate.

But to your question:

Barry asks, "Have you taken leave of your senses? Are you out of your mind?"

I flee the mind for the senses, which are closer to Him.

So, yes, I'm sometimes "out of my mind." Thank God! Now, where were we?

4:09 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

We were engaged in Abductive Reasoning and Preposterous Flights of Fancy.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

"The heat from the decay of one Rn-220 atom is almost the same as one would expect from fusion of two Deuterium atoms into a single Helium (25 Mev)."

I pointed out above, Barry, that this is off by a factor of three, because the experimental value is not total energy, but energy/helium nucleus, and the radon chain leaves three alphas and some betas in the main sequence. Are you going to admit that or show contrary evidence?

Further, I've pointed out that the ability of radon contamination to raise temperature one degree per unit time at a point, say during a CF experiment, would allow us to infer that the same contaminated D2O would raise temperature of the liquid by a thousand degrees per unit time 38 days earlier, well within the storage time for D2O, normally, before being used.

Are you capable of agreeing that this is conclusive "falsification of the null hypothesis," or at least this one? Can you understand that anyone familiar with radon would immediately know this and not even consider radon contamination as a reasonable explanation for heat/helium and thus not mention it in a paper?

These are basic facts and simple analysis, if we can't agree here, forget about agreeing on more complex issues!

the Captcha is now "dulityl," which I interpret as the first "dulity," a duty that is due for us, by the nature of our creation, to respect truth, wherever it comes from.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Ah, yes, abductive reasoning. Thanks for that, by the way, I'd never noticed it before. I like it.

The fusion hypothesis is, indeed, abductive reasoning. We know that there is a reaction product, helium. We have a huge number of reports of excess heat in palladium deuteride. The excess heat and helium are correlated, when both are measured, at 25 +/- 5 MeV. The known value for d-d fusion is 23.8 MeV, but the laws of thermodynamics and the conservation of mass/energy require that any reaction starting with deuterium and ending with helium, no matter what the mechanism, will show that energy release, though some mechanisms would dump part of the energy as gamma rays or neutrons, for example, which would escape the experimental apparatus and not be measured as heat. However, such radiation, when seen at all in cold fusion experiments, is at extremely low levels.

Abduction leads us to postulate that the reaction is fusion, but this doesn't specify mechanism. The original workers thought that this must be d-d fusion, because it was the only reaction they already knew about.

Bayesian analysis is used in abductive reasoning, and that analysis has sometimes been done with this work.

I suggest we look at each element in this chain of reasoning. I asserted some "facts" above that you might challenge, we can look at the evidence.

Abductive reasoning is necessary when not all the facts are known, when there are hidden processes not yet understood. Combined with Bayesian analysis, it can allow us to estimate the probability that the experimental evidence could be explained by coincidence, rather than common causation. When this probability is low enough, we routinely accept the hypothesis as a working one. Mechanism isn't a part of this, necessarily. We want to know mechanism, sure.

But if the guy is dead and has an ice pick in his heart, we might easily assume murder, without knowing who did it and why. There is a legal doctrine, though, that if someone was alone in the room with him at the time it happened, that person may be presumed responsible; it's rebuttable. But the explanation better be good!

In this case, we have helium and we have the right amount of energy to call it "fusion energy," but is the fuel deuterium? Well, it's "alone in the room," so to speak. It's a place to start research!

Of course, there is also the possibility that the variables, in this case heat and helium, have some prosaic common cause. However, a lot of minds have worked on this and have come up empty. I can't think of anything! You tried radon decay, which I thought showed you were paying attention enough to realize that a correlation was known, and this would produce a correlation.

Too bad it was preposterous! And that the correlation was off by a factor of three, probably well outside reasonable error bars.

If fusion were truly known to be impossible, we'd be pretty stuck, I'd say. However, it is an error to think this was known, and I can show you that the conclusion of impossibility for any kind of fusion was defective. Easily, it can be argued that d-d fusion is impossible, but not other forms, and, indeed, there are other conceivable forms, some of which have been observed and studied. Some are only proposed. How would we know if they are possible or not?

I can tell you this, and I got this from Feynman: the math for quantum mechanics is horrific for multibody problems. Approximations are used based on assumptions, and, more or less, the assumption used in predicting fusion cross-section in palladium deuteride is that multibody interactions (more than two particles) can be neglected. I.e., a possible solution to the problem has been assumed away.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

I raised Radon contamination partly to suggest why Mizuno found Pb residues along with He, and partly to refresh myself on the mathematical tools that one must employ when working out the consequences of any hypothesis involving nuclear reactions.

The fact that Rn-220 decay (to Pb-210) releases 25 MeV was a curious coincidence. It occurred to me that this would be a good exercise for the student to run some numbers, to see what contribution one would reckon from a contaminant like Radon.

I learned a lot by running those numbers (and discussing it with you and Storms), and I'd heartily recommend it as an exercise for any student who wants to understand how one combines abduction (making guesses) with critical analysis to see where various hypotheses lead.

I no longer think that the "excess heat" comes from Rn decay, but it's still possible that the He and Pb ash from any Rn contamination might enter the cell as substances dissolved in the fuel.

My current working hypothesis on the "excess heat" is laid out here.

I noted that "excess heat" is only reported when the cell is fully loaded. But that's also the condition at which D2 gas begins to evolve and mix in the atmosphere above the electrolyte. James Salsman and I are still trying to understand how the injection of D2 gas into the atmosphere affects the energy budget and heat flow. Could this be a possible source of Shanahan's proposed CCS?

So, as far as I'm concerned, there are two interesting flights of fancy in the air. One is that D2 is the source of Shanahan's proposed CCS. The other is that micro-fractures in the Pd lattice release protonic Deuterium which then quickly bonds in a mini-explosion to form some D2 gas at the site of a micro-quake in the Pd lattice, leaving behind those little volcanic craters in the surface of the cathode.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Okay, one thing at a time:

"I no longer think that the "excess heat" comes from Rn decay, but it's still possible that the He and Pb ash from any Rn contamination might enter the cell as substances dissolved in the fuel."

Thanks for acknowledging dropping the radon hypothesis. Couldn't you have done that sooner?

Pb findings and helium are not associated; none of the contaminants or transmutation products (pick one or both nouns for each) are well-associated with helium, just as none are well-associated with excess heat.

Again, the proposal is not consistent with experimental observations. Contaminant of the "fuel" -- you mean heavy water -- with helium would not produce rising helium quantitatively correlated with heat at the critical fusion value. Sure, atmospheric helium mostly comes, if I recall correctly, from radon decay, but, then, this would be just another version of "leakage from ambient," which has been very well-addressed.

More than this, we'd need to get very specific, and Wikiversity is the best and most useful place to do that.

Abduction. Heh!

Captcha: inebra. What is this interface saying to me? I don't drink! But, as a late friend used to say, "You can get more stinkin' from thinkin' than you can from drinkin', but to feel is for real!"

He liked to talk like that. My reply to him was,

"Joe, you can get more reelin' from feelin' than you can from shpeilin', but to see is to agree!"

I miss him. He was one of the first to "recognize" me, on a bus in San Francisco, probably around 1968.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

I only dropped the Radon contamination hypothesis in regards to the claims of excess heat. I still consider Radon contamination to be a likely source of the Pb-210 that Mizuno found.

The one thing that seems to be well-associated with excess heat is achieving a state of full charge, so that D2 begins to evolve in direct proportion to the (over-)charging current.

I dunno if you ever read Calvin and Hobbes, but Calvin represents a character who is given to flights of fancy. For him, his flights of fancy are more meaningful (hence more real) than so-called reality. Flights of fancy fire up the imagination, whereas an anodyne anaesthetic like alcohol numbs the senses.

Flights of fancy are a great tonic, just as long as you don't insist that your own self-energizing flights of fancy are anybody else's grounded reality.

11:32 PM  
Blogger James Salsman said...

Transmutations occur anywhere you have a source of neutrons.

Moulton, I am so angry at you right now. Do you realize how close Joshua Schroder was to discussing Hubler's loading ratio explanation for the "cold fusion community" before you had to assert your flagrant ban violation on the cold fusion talk page? Smooth move. All the herd skeptics trust him. You probably set the reconciliation another three to six months back.

6:23 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Not to worry. There is more than one way to trigger an epiphany.

How about summarizing Hubler's Loading Ratio Model on Wikiversity?

You won't have to deal with the likes of Kww there.

7:08 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Just looked up Kww's RfAr. It was his fourth attempt, passed this year. Clearly is clueless as to the older approaches and traditions, he's into the banhammer sledgehammer "no means no" approach, subtlety is completely gone. It used to be routine to leave sock Talk in place, if there was response by a legit editor, it would be struck with a note, not deleted. And certainly not revision deleted unless it was truly a problem in history. I had vicious racist slurs on my Talk page, and they were simply reverted, no revision deletion.

You should know that from your own experience. From what I saw, revision deletion was only used if you were claimed to be outing someone.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

What you are saying is that Kww is regressing back to Mafia Wars Cabal Model reminiscent of IDCab.

Notwithstanding ArbCom's finding against FeloniousMonk, Kww seems to be using the same bullying techniques (albeit for different reasons).

The questions I asked are reasonable questions that Sagredo might have asked while trying to understand the competing models in Galileo's Dialogue.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Collin said...

I've been trying to find out the truth about the LENR experiments for years, and I seem to have found an answer. Despite Lomax's protestations, the only credible explanation is radon, as suggested by CERN.

What everyone's forgetting is that the apparently successful LENR experiments are occurring in Italy. Italy has a known problem with radon contamination.

1:47 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Lomax is not a scientist (nor does he even claim to be one). A scientist, by definition, is obliged to rigorously adhere to the protocols of the scientific method.

The failure to rigorously adhere to the protocols of the scientific method (including subtle but crucial departures from those protocols) leaves one open to entertaining incorrect hypotheses, with no realistic option of conclusively falsifying it.

As you can see from my conversation with Edmund Storms, he has consciously (and admittedly) departed from the protocols of the scientific method in an astonishing and disturbing manner that frankly left me gobsmacked.

Lomax, on the other hand, doesn't even do science. Rather he has acted as a tireless (and ultimately tiresome) cheering section for Storms whilst posting "walls of text" arguing his (unscientific) position as if science were a political debate where the last debater left standing wins the argument.

Mainstream scientists eventually tire of engaging in an endless and unproductive (debate style) dialogue with the "Fusioneers" (i.e. the "true believers" like Lomax and Storms) which frankly has negligible likelihood of ever converging to the scientific ground truth.

My interest (as a science educator) was in learning how supposed scientists can fool themselves (in the manner that Feynman warned about) to end up wedded to scientifically untenable theories and hypotheses.

Time and again in LENR and Cold Fusion experiments and demonstrations, we see sophomoric departures from the rigors of the scientific method, sometimes ranging to downright fraud.

8:10 AM  

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