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Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science
« on: November 03, 2007, 07:51:13 PM »
Having read today in an ever so earnest piece the global warming has caused a declining rate of circumcision in an area of Africa, I figured it was time to start a topic where rank foolishness cloaked in the gauze of pseudo "science" is exposed. This piece inaugurates the topic.


November 02, 2007
'Global Warming' as Pathological Science

By James Lewis
Trofimko Lysenko is not a household name; but it should be, because he was the model for all the Politically Correct "science" in the last hundred years. Lysenko was Stalin's favorite agricultural "scientist," peddling the myth that crops could be just trained into growing bigger and better. You didn't have to breed better plants over generations, as farmers have been doing for ages. It was a fantasy of the all-powerful Soviet State. Lysenko sold Stalin on that fraud in plant genetics, and Stalin told Soviet scientists to fall into line --- in spite of the fact that nobody really believed it. Hundreds of thousands of peasants starved during Stalin's famines, in good part because of fraudulent science.

There is such a thing as pathological science. Science becomes unhealthy when its only real question ---  "what is true?" --- is sabotaged by vested interests, by ideological Commissars, or even by grant-swinging scientists. Today's Global Warming campaign is endangering real, honest science. Global Warming superstition has become an international power grab, and good science suffers as a result.

Freeman Dyson, one of the great physicists alive today, put it plainly enough in his autobiography:
"...all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. ... I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. ... They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in."
When the scientific establishment starts to peddle fraud, we get corrupt science. The Boomer Left came to power in the 1970s harboring a real hatred toward science. They called it "post-modernism," and "deconstructionism" --- and we saw all kinds of damage as a result. Scientific American magazine went so far as to  hire a post-modern "journalist" to write for it. John Horgan became famous for writing a book called The End of Science, but never seemed to learn much about real science. It was a shameful episode.   

The explosive spread of AIDS occurred when the known evidence about HIV transmission among Gay men was suppressed by the media. The medical science establishment did not speak up. HIV is most easily transmitted through anal intercourse, because the anus bleeds far more easily than the vagina. So one Gay man simply passes blood products straight on to the next.  Sexually transmitted plagues have been studied scientifically ever since syphilis arose several centuries ago. We know how to limit their spread, but many Gay men have died as a result of political suppression of scientific medicine. The spread of AIDS was partly a self-inflicted wound.

Pathological science kills people and ruins lives. Such fake science is still peddled by the PC establishment in Europe and America. Global Warming is only the most recent case. Rachel Carson's screed against DDT caused malaria to re-emerge in Africa, killing hundreds of thousands of human beings.  Those human-caused disasters have never been discussed honestly in the media, and rarely if ever in science journals. The DDT scandal is still suppressed.

In Britain, much of the alarmism about Mad Cow disease was never justified scientifically. It was pure, math-model-driven science fiction, just like Global Warming. But it was pushed very vigorously by the British science establishment, which has never confessed to its errors, and is therefore likely to make the same ones again. In politicized science, public hysteria actually builds careers; in real science, it tends to ruin careers. Years after the Brits realized that Mad Cow was a false alarm, the French admitted that Oui, Messieurs, we had ze Mad Cow, naturally, but we are not hysterique, comprenez vous?  Besides, cow brains are a great delicacy, and one only lives once. Vive la France!  Right across the Channel in Britain, farmers were required by law to destroy and bury hundreds of thousands of sheep and cows. It was an economic disaster, and all because of wildly alarmist science.

Britain is even more vulnerable to politicized science than we are, because medicine is controlled by the Left. That is a huge chunk of all science in the age of biomedicine.  But the British Medical Journal and even the venerable Lancet are no longer reliable sources. Their political agenda sticks out like a sore thumb. It was The Lancet that published a plainly fraudulent "survey" of Iraqi civilian casualties a few years ago --- the only "survey" ever taken in the middle of a shooting war. As if you can go around shell-shocked neighborhoods with your little clipboard and expect people to tell the truth about their dead and wounded: Saddam taught Iraqis to lie about such things, just to survive, and the internecine fighting of the last several years did not help. The whole farce was just unbelievable, but the prestigious Lancet put the fake survey into the public domain, just as if it were real science.  It was a classic agitprop move, worthy of Stalin and Lysenko. But it was not worthy of one the great scientific journals. Many scientists will never trust it again.

Pathological science has erupted most often in the last hundred years in the field of education, where "whole-word reading" fraud undermined the reading abilities of whole generations of American kids. Young adults can no longer tell the difference between "it's" and "its," even though their grandparents learned it in grammar school. The field of education is gullible and fad-prone, and is very unhealthy as a result. That's why new teachers are taught to peddle PC --- ideology is all they have.

Pathological science has erupted in fields like psychology and medicine, but not often in the hard sciences. In physics, Cold Fusion claims were discredited very quickly. Now, Global Warming is a fraud simply because climatology is not a hard science. That's what Freeman Dyson, who knows what physics can do, meant by saying that the models "do not begin to describe the real world that we live in."

The climate is not "just basic physics," as some people claim. Basic physics is great for understanding CO2 in lab jars and planets in space, but it has no complete accounting for a wooden kitchen chair, because wood is far too complex a material. Nobody has a complete physical understanding of wood --- there are too many different cellular layers, molecules, and unknown interactions, all produced by a genetic code that is just beginning to be understood. We only know the genomes for a few plants, and we don't know how their genes are expressed in cells and proteins.  So forget about applying basic physics and chemistry to kitchen chairs. Plants and trees are hypercomplex, like the climate.

Modern science fraud seems to come from the Left, which makes it especially weird because the Left claims to be all in favor of science. Marxism itself was a scientific fraud, of course. In 1848 Marx and Engels claimed to have a "scientific" (wissenschaftlich) theory of history. They predicted that communism would first arise in England, because it was the most advanced capitalist nation. (Not) They predicted that centralized planning would work. (Not) They predicted that the peasants and workers would dedicate their lives to the Socialist State, and stop caring about themselves and their families. (Not).  They predicted that sovietization would lead to greater economic performance. (Not). And then, when seventy years of Soviet, Chinese, Eastern European, and North Korean history showed Marx's predictions to be wrong, wrong and wrong again, they still claimed to be "scientific." That's pathological science --- fraud masquerading as science.

(Current Marxists are more anti-scientific, because they've finally figured out that the facts don't support them, but they still haven't given up their fantasy life. Millenarian cults never give up, even when the facts go against them.)

Scientists love to cite the historic "martyrs of science" --- like Galileo Galilei, a great genius who was forced late in life to recant his views on the solar system by Pope Leo X. Or Giordano Bruno, who was actually burned at the stake.   But the scientific establishment itself can be easily seduced by power, just like the Church was in Galileo's time.  Science is just done by human beings. So we get plainly political editorials in magazines like Scientific American and Science. They jumped on Global Warming superstition before the facts were in.

Last year MIT Professor Richard Lindzen published an amazing expose in the Wall Street Journal editorial Page. It is called "Climate of Fear: Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silence."  Why are real scientists not speaking up enough against the Global Warming fraud? Well, some have been fired from their jobs, and others are keeping their heads down:
"In Europe, Henk Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently losing climate-research funding for raising questions."
If scientists were totally honest, they would memorialize Trofimko Lysenko just like they celebrate Galileo. In some ways, Lysenko's name should be as well-known as Galileo, as a stern warning of what can so easily go wrong.  There are wonderful scientists, who must be honest, or they will fail. And then there are some corrupt scientists who are not honest. It's really that simple. Scientists can be demagogues, too. We should not pretend that all are what they should be. They're not. Fortunately, healthy science has all kinds of built-in checks and balances. Pathological science circumvents those.

Some scientists rationalize this corruption of their vocation by saying that people can lie for a good cause. The record shows otherwise. Fraudulent science and science journalism has led to AIDS going out of control; to DDT being banned and malaria gaining a new lease on life in Africa; to decades of famines in Russia; to children being badly mis-educated on such basics as reading and arithmetic;  to end endless slew of unjustified health scares, like Mad Cow;  and to a worldwide Leftist campaign cynically aiming to gain international power and enormous sums of money, based on a simple, unscientific  fraud.

When the truth-tellers in society begin to sell out and tell lies for some ideological goal, people end up dying.

James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/11/global_warming_as_pathological.html at November 03, 2007

2
Politics & Religion / Energy Politics & Science
« on: December 05, 2006, 07:24:45 AM »
If hydrocarbons are renewable- then is "Peak Oil" a fraud?
by Joel Bainerman

Are hydrocarbons "renewable"- and if so- what does such a conclusion mean for the future of the world's oil and natural gas supplies?

The question is critical due to the enormous amount of coverage the issue of "Peak Oil" is receiving from the mainstream press. If the supply of hydrocarbons is renewable- then the contrary to the conventional wisdom being touted throughout the mainstream press today- the world is NOT running out of oil.

Unbeknownst to Westerners, there have actually been for quite some time now two competing theories concerning the origins of petroleum. One theory claims that oil is an organic 'fossil fuel' deposited in finite quantities near the planet's surface. The other theory claims that oil is continuously generated by natural processes in the Earth's magma.

One of the world's leading advocates for the theory that hydrocarbons are renewable is Dr. Thomas Gold who contends that oil is not a limited resource, and that oil, natural gas and coal, are not so-called “fossil fuels.”

In his book, The Deep Hot Biosphere: The Myth of Fossil Fuels, he explains that dinosaurs and plants and the fossils from those living beings are not the origin of oil and natural gas, but rather generated from a chemical substance in the crust of the Earth.

Dr. Gold: "Astronomers have been able to find that hydrocarbons, as oil, gas and coal are called, occur on many other planetary bodies. They are a common substance in the universe. You find it in the kind of gas clouds that made systems like our solar system. You find large quantities of hydrocarbons in them. Is it reasonable to think that our little Earth, one of the planets, contains oil and gas for reasons that are all its own and that these other bodies have it because it was built into them when they were born? That question makes a lot of sense. After all, they didn’t have dinosaurs and ferns on Jupiter to produce oil and gas?"

He continues: "Human skull fossils have been found in anthracite coal in Pennsylvania. The official theory of the development of coal will not accept that reality, since human beings were not around when anthracite coal was formed. Coal was formed millions of years ago. However, you cannot mistake the fact that these are human fossils."

"The coal we dig is hard, brittle stuff. It was once a liquid, because we find embedded in the middle of a six-foot seam of coal such things as a delicate wing of some animal or a leaf of a plant. They are undestroyed, absolutely preserved; with every cell in that fossil filled with exactly the same coal as all the coal on the outside. A hard, brittle coal is not going to get into each cell of a delicate leaf without destroying it. So obviously that stuff was a thin liquid at one time which gradually hardened."

Gold claims that the only thing we find now on the Earth that would do that is petroleum, which gradually becomes stiffer and harder. That is the only logical explanation for the origin of coal. So the fact that coal contains fossils does not prove that it is a fossil fuel; it proves exactly the opposite. Those fossils found in coal prove that coal is not made from those fossils. Where then does the carbon base come from that produces all of this?

Says Dr. Gold: "Petroleum and coal were made from materials in which heavy hydrocarbons were common components. We know that because the meteorites are the sort of debris left over from the formations of the planets and those contain carbon in unoxidized form as hydrocarbons as oil and coal-like particles. We find that in one large class of meteorites and we find that equally on many of the other planetary bodies in the solar system. So it’s pretty clear that when the Earth formed it contained a lot of carbon material built into it."

Dr. Gold's ideas would lead us to believe that there is so much natural gas in the earth that it is causing earthquakes in trying to escape from the Earth. If you’ll drill deep enough anywhere, you will find natural gas. It may not be in commercial quantities every time, but more than likely it will be.

Is the oil and gas industry reconsidering things in light of his work?

Absolutely not.

"In many other countries they are listening to me: in Russia on a very large scale, and in China also. It is just Western Europe and the United States that are so stuck in the mud that they can’t look at anything else."

What do the Russians know that the West don't?
The roots of Dr. Gold's theories are in Russia where scientists since the end World War II have been researching what is referred to as the "Modern Russian-Ukrainian Theory of Deep, Abiotic Petroleum Origins."

Although the theory was first expounded upon by Professor Nikolai Kudryavtsev in 1951 it is not the work of any one single man but has been developed by hundreds of scientists in the (now former) U.S.S.R..

The theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins is not a vague, qualitative hypothesis, but stands as a rigorous analytic theory within the mainstream of the modern physical sciences. In this respect, the modern theory differs fundamentally not only from the previous hypothesis of a biological origin of petroleum but also from all traditional geological hypotheses.

Actually, since the nineteenth century, knowledgeable physicists, chemists, thermodynamicists, and chemical engineers have regarded with grave reservations (if not outright disdain) the suggestion that highly reduced hydrocarbon molecules of high free enthalpy (the constituents of crude oil) might somehow evolve spontaneously from highly oxidized biogenic molecules of low free enthalpy. Beginning in 1964, Soviet scientists carried out extensive theoretical statistical thermodynamic analysis which established explicitly that the hypothesis of evolution of hydrocarbon molecules (except methane) from biogenic ones in the temperature and pressure regime of the Earth's near-surface crust was glaringly in violation of the second law of thermodynamics.

The theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins is presently applied extensively throughout the former U.S.S.R. as the guiding perspective for petroleum exploration and development projects. There are presently more than 80 oil and gas fields in the Caspian district alone which were explored and developed by applying the perspective of the modern theory and which produce from the crystalline basement rock.

Similarly, such exploration in the western Siberia cratonic-rift sedimentary basin has developed 90 petroleum fields of which 80 produce either partly or entirely from the crystalline basement. The exploration and discoveries of the 11 major and 1 giant fields on the northern flank of the Dneiper-Donets basin have already been noted. There are presently deep drilling exploration projects under way in Azerbaijan, Tatarstan, and Asian Siberia directed to testing potential oil and gas reservoirs in the crystalline basement.

Is "Peak Oil" a fraud?
So why is the western media being inundated with notions of the world running out of oil?

One could point a finger at the multinational oil companies and their vested interest in having the price of a barrel of oil rise substantially- to justify further exploration expenses- and of course- to bolster their bottom line.

Says Dr. J.F. Kenney, a long-time research on the origins of hydrocarbons:

"For almost a century, various predictions have been made that the human race was imminently going to run out of available petroleum. The passing of time has proven all those predictions to have been utterly wrong. It is pointed out here how all such predictions have depended fundamentally upon an archaic hypothesis from the 18th century that petroleum somehow (miraculously) evolved from biological detritus, and was accordingly limited in abundance."

That hypothesis has been replaced during the past forty years by the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of abyssal, abiotic petroleum origins which has established that petroleum is a primordial material erupted from great depth. Therefore, according to Kenney, petroleum abundances are limited by little more than the quantities of its constituents as were incorporated into the Earth at the time of its formation.

As far back as 1757, in his address at the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, Academician Mikhailo V. Lomonosov, stated:

"Rock oil originates as tiny bodies of animals buried in the sediments which, under the influence of increased temperature and pressure acting during an unimaginably long period of time, transform into rock oil [petroleum , or crude oil]"

More than 200 years later, Professor Emmanuil Chekaliuk told the conference on Petroleum and Petroleum Geology in Moscow that:

"Statistical thermodynamic analysis has established clearly that hydrocarbon molecules which comprise petroleum require very high pressures for their spontaneous formation, comparable to the pressures required for the same of diamond. In that sense, hydrocarbon molecules are the high-pressure polymorphs of the reduced carbon system as is diamond of elemental carbon. Any notion which might suggest that hydrocarbon molecules spontaneously evolve in the regimes of temperature and pressure characterized by the near-surface of the Earth, which are the regimes of methane creation and hydrocarbon destruction, does not even deserve consideration."

Contrarily, the statistics of the international petroleum industry establish that, far from diminishing, the net known recoverable reserves of petroleum have been growing steadily for the past fifty years. Those statistics show that, for every year since about 1946, the international petroleum industry has discovered at least five new tons of recoverable oil for every three which have been consumed.

As Professor P. Odell of the London School of Economics has put it, instead of "running out of oil," the human race by every measure seems to be "running into oil".

Says Dr. Kenney: "There stands no reason to worry about, and even less to plan for, any predicted demise of the petroleum industry based upon a vanishing of petroleum reserves. On the contrary, these considerations compel additional investment and development in the technology and skills of deep drilling, of deep seismic measurement and interpretation, of the reservoir properties of crystalline rock, and of the associated completion and production practices which should be applied in such non-traditional reservoirs"

If Kenney is correct, not only are any predictions that the world is "running out of oil" invalid, so also are suggestions that the petroleum exploration and production industry is a "mature" or "declining" one.

The impact on the planet of the conclusions of this debate
Much research remains to be done on "alternative" theories of the how much hydrocarbons are left in the world- unfortunately- those entities most able to do this research- the western multinational oil conglomerates- have the least interest in arriving at any conclusion other than those that are part of the "Peak Oil" stream of thought. Today the mainstream press has accepted as a given that the world has only a finite amount of oil and natural gas- and thus any decision taken on how to deal with the world's future needs are based on these conclusions. If they are erroneous- then the world is about to embark on a plan to provide for its energy needs for the coming century based on a false notion.

Research geochemist Michael Lewan of the U.S.Geological Survey in Denver, is one of the most knowledgeable advocates of the opposing theory, that petroleum is a "fossil fuel". Yet even Lewan admits:

"I don't think anybody has ever doubted that there is an inorganic source of hydrocarbons. The key question is, 'Do they exist in commercial quantities?'"

We might never know the answer to that question because both sides of this debate are not being heard by the general public. If the Russians have accepted the theory that hydrocarbons are renewable- and over time they will become the leading exporters of oil and gas worldwide- this fact alone requires these alternative theories of how fossil fuels are created- is required.

It behooves western governments to begin taking these alternative theories seriously- and design future energy policies based on possibility that they are correct. Whatever strategies for meeting the world's ferocious appetite for energy are devised today- will impact the planet for decades to come.

In this issue- we simply can't afford to be wrong.

Joel Bainerman

Joel Bainerman has been a writer on economic and Middle East issues since 1983. His published archive can be viewed on his website at www.joelbainerman.com

His new online, multi-lingual alternative newsmagazine for Europeans can be viewed at www.theotherside.org.uk


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Politics & Religion / Resources and Helpful Links
« on: March 18, 2005, 02:24:23 PM »
As I browse around the 'net I often find interesting and helpful links. Figured I'd start a topic where such info could be posted. For instance, found a quick easy source for biographical data at the following URL:

http://www.nndb.com/

4
Politics & Religion / Geo Political matters
« on: December 10, 2004, 09:27:43 AM »
Russia seems to be at a free market/command driven economy crossroads, with things trending toward command driven. Crafty has posted some pieces about the related Ukrainian election. My sense is that we are at a pivotal moment in Russian relations, with the current climate there having a flavor of 1930's Germany. Also seems to me there is a deafening silence out of China as this geopolitical game unfolds.

This out of today's Investor's Business Daily:

Wrong Answer


INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

Russia: Not that long ago, we were rather bullish on the country. That hope has faded. The nation of 144 million has skidded off its once-promising path.

He's not Russia's George Washington. Or even its Vaclav Havel, the writer who led the Czech Republic's escape from its rotting Bolshevik prison. But President Vladimir Putin is no Vladimir Lenin, either.

Which is why we're confounded ? and not a little disappointed ? to see the new Russia starting to act a little too much like the old one from which Soviet expansionism was steered. Putin's KGB background aside, the country seemed to hold real promise.

Three years ago, for example, Putin looked for all the world like a free-market reformer, talking about a privatization of the pension system. He also seemed sincere in wanting to leave behind a closed society and move toward a European openness.

"Russia needs only one thing to develop normally," Putin said while visiting Crawford High School in Texas with President Bush in November 2001. "We need normal standards, conditions and relations with all the leading economies of the world, and primarily with the United States."

Early on, Putin showed a commitment to unshackle the Russian economy. He aligned himself with the late Anatoly Sobchak, then a tough anti-communist and market-leaning mayor of St. Petersburg, and German Gref, his minister of economic development and trade, who prefers markets over central control and planning.

More important, Putin had then, as he has now, a known free-market reformer as chief economic adviser: Andrei Illarionov.

But the Putin of today is dropping a heavy hand on the private sector. VimpelCom, the country's second-biggest cell phone operator, is the latest victim, having been slapped on Wednesday with a tax bill totaling $157 million.


Recall that it was a crushing tax bill from Moscow ? at least $20 billion and perhaps as much as $27 billion ? that forced the breakup of Yukos, Russia's biggest oil company.

Yukos' chief was sent to a gulag, and his company will have been essentially nationalized once the state-owned gas company Gazprom ends up owning it, as expected.

No wonder Exxon Mobil CEO Lee Raymond this week expressed concern about Russia's business and investment climate.

Theories vary on why Yukos and VimpelCom were targeted. Perhaps they were hit with big tax bills for legitimate reasons. But it looks like they have been declared enemies of the state because their executives backed Putin's rivals or criticized the government.

That's no way to liberalize an economy and invigorate a lethargic nation. If Putin is interested in polishing his legacy, he needs to listen more to his chief economic adviser than to the voice of Lenin that he must be hearing. The last 80 years clearly show which one has the right answers.

http://www.investors.com/editorial/issues.asp

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