Comments on old posts disabled (with an aside about plasma cosmology)

Fairly frequently I get an e-mail message letting me know that there's a new comment, a screed from somebody who is put off by my telling the world the truth about the nature of Plasma Cosmology in my post How I Know Plasma Cosmology Is Wrong. This is an ancient post, and the truth is that I don't really have the time or inclination to engage with the true believers on the matter; this is why I haven't been approving those comments. (They weren't ones I wanted to let pass without comment.) However, rather than just disable comments on that post, I realized it made sense to disbale comments on all old posts that I wasn't going to engage on any more.

I left all posts from 2012 still able to comment. It's kind of depressing how few there are.

By the way, in case you thought you were missing something, the comments on the "Plasma Cosmology" that I didn't approve for the most part made one of two points:

  • I was unprofssional and behaving badly by calling Plasma Cosmology a crackpot theory. Why can't I just engage the theory on its own merits? My tone was perhaps a little bit to dickish; I'll apologize to Phil Plait, at least, if not to the actual plasma cosmologists themselves. Because, the actual truth is that Plasma Cosmology is a crackpot fringe theory, and to call it anything else would be little different from saying that creationism or intelligent design are "viable scientific alternatives" to evolution. The widespread acceptance of standard cosmology is not because those of us in the mainstream are too afraid to look at the evidence and speak out against the unthinking consensus. The widespread acceptance of standard cosmology is because there is a lot of evidence for it, and there's not evidence for the alternative proposed by the plasma cosmologists.
  • There is no good evidence for the Big Bang model, Dark Matter, etc. These statements are just flatly incorrect. There is a tremendous amount of evidence for dark matter. I have covered that elsewhere, and a casual browse through Ethan Siegel's blog, among several others, can give you an introduction to all of that. (Humorously, the "bullet cluster" is one thing that can be identified as the "smoking gun", but it's just one piece of evidence amongst a large number of pieces of evidnece.) As for the Big Bang itself, I point you to my podcast at 365 Days of Astronomy from last year entitled On the success of Big Bang Cosmology.

22 responses so far

  • Marion Delgado says:

    Plasma Cosmology is for WIMPS who can't handle the TRUTH of the IRON SUN hypothesis. Note that that's a scientific hypothesis while your elitist theories are just that, only theories.

    Ian Plimer was right. Also, Einstein was wrong (there is an ether) and Darwin (2nd law of thermo-dynamics) and climate is wrong (adiabatic rate). There.

    You must be brain-damaged from too many vaccines!

    I WIN!!!!!!

    p.s. if evolution was true and climate was true, there would not still be snow monkeys! It's people like you that faked the moon landing.

  • rknop says:

    Wow, you do win the itnertubze. That was, like, the metastasization, or at least the grand unification, of the crank-science internet message board comment... and so concise, too!

  • Apparently your entire irrational attitude toward empirical physics is based either upon just plain ignorance of fact, or willful ignorance and intentional misrepresentation, one or the other. Which one?

    Plasma redshift is one of THE most important "predictions" of PC/EU theory, and it's already been demonstrated it lab.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0030402608000089
    http://vixra.org/pdf/1105.0010v1.pdf

    While the proposed redshift mechanisms of PC theory have actually been demonstrated in the lab, claims about 'space expansion' have never been empirically demonstrated on Earth, now will they EVER be demonstrated empirically on Earth. The mainstream doesn't even "explain" anything in the first place since 96 percent of mainstream theory amounts to placeholder terms for what amounts to human ignorance.

    The more that uniformed so called "professionals" like yourself continue to misinform the public, the more you erode any remaining confidence in mainstream theory. Thanks for demonstrating just how ignorant the mainstream really is about actual empirical physics. Keep it up the wonder work, you're just making yourself look like an idiot.

  • Oh wait, why did I bother correcting your factual mistakes anyway?

    You'll probably just remove those plasma redshift links that I provided and my response to your nonsense because you don't have the time to deal with the empirical facts. You're apparently too busy writing absolute garbage in your blogs to bother with any actual fact checking related to plasma redshift and PC theory. Why then would I think you'll actually bother acknowledging any facts about plasma redshift in the lab, or any empirical facts related to actual PC theory?

    Oh well, at least I tried to set you straight, not that you really care about the empirical facts. Don't worry though, you can always remove my responses since it's your blog.

  • rknop says:

    Michael -- have you stopped beating your wife? I can answer the question about as easily as you can answer that question....

    My attitude towards empirical physics is rational. Indeed, it should give you pause that the vast majority of people who've seriously thought about cosmology believe that my understanding of cosmology is more compelling than yours. No, majority does not make right in science, but when that many smart people all think the same thing, it means that the bar for proving them wrong is high indeed.

    Take a look at this page, "Errors in Tired Light Cosmology":

    http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/tiredlit.htm

    The cosmological evidence supports and entirely fits the picture of an expanding universe. It does not fit the "tired light" plasma cosmology picture. Most of us know this; that's why we view plasma cosmology as a fringe crackpot line of pseudoscience.

  • Michael Mozina says:

    No, your attitude toward empirical physics is NOT rational.

    Here's what you erroneous and egotistically said 5 years ago:

    "Non-cosmological redshifts are a crank theory in astronomy that a scary fringe element keeps whinging on about."

    Not only isn't plasma redshift a "crank theory", it's a "key prediction" of PC/EU theory that has actually been demonstrated in the lab since you first wrote that ridiculously false statement.

    Now that such plasma redshift observations have been observed it the lab, your irrational crank/crackpot claim is shown to be complete complete nonsense. In fact it has now been demonstrated to be a bald faced LIE that you're still peddling on the internet 2 full YEARS after it's been OBSERVED in the lab. How can you even live with yourself? You call yourself a "professional" scientist yet you don't even keep up with current information, nor have you kept up with recent *VERIFIED* predictions of PC/EU theory. Some "professional" you are. I'd be ashamed of what I wrote if I were you.

    http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Brynjolfsson_A/0/1/0/all/0/1

    Whether you're honest enough to admit it, every single redshift observation has been explained and addressed in PC/EU theory. You never once mentioned that fact. You can't and won't cite any serious flaws in ARI's work either. You've eitehr intentionally or unintentionally misinformed your readers. You've also been anything BUT rational in your attitude toward empirical physics. If you were "rational" you'd be man enough to admit your mistakes and you'd correct them RIGHT NOW. Make no mistake, PC/EU theory is a pure form of empirical physics. Whatever "beef" you have with plasma physics, it's definitely not rational and it's definitely not true.

    Whatever "preferences" you might have for mainstream theory, your statements about PC/EU theory are demonstrably false, and a real "professional" would admit that. Will you, or won't you admit your mistakes?

  • Michael Mozina says:

    "The cosmological evidence supports and entirely fits the picture of an expanding universe. It does not fit the "tired light" plasma cosmology picture. Most of us know this; that's why we view plasma cosmology as a fringe crackpot line of pseudoscience."

    http://arxiv.org/find/astro-ph/1/au:+Brynjolfsson_A/0/1/0/all/0/1

    Until and unless you can cite serious flaws in Ari Brynojofsson's work, your statements are ALL FALSE. Where's the flaw in his work?

  • rknop says:

    What are the serious flaws in **the whole rest of everybody who publishes about cosmology**? You're not providing that, and yet you're demanding that I go through and find the details the a well known plasma cosmologist proponent, or else somehow everything I'm saying is wrong.

    The observations in the Chen paper are not very obviously connected with what Plasma Cosmologists are talking about. That vixra.org paper you pointed to tried to make the connection, but it's very tenuous. One might just as well point to the failure so far to create a sustainable and continued nuclear fusion reaction on the Earth as evidence that the Sun can't be powered by nuclear fusion. The connection just isn't there.

    I'm sorry, but no matter how much you use all caps, you're not going to get what you're looking for out of me. You want me to repudiate the strongly-supported-by-evidence paradigm of cosmology in favor of a fringe theory that most find wanting. Your all caps assertion of truth are far weaker than my pointing to the **entire body of the astronomical literature**. There's a *reason* why the Big Bang model is what the mainstream accepts. Again, the burden of proof is on you, not me.

    • Michael Mozina says:

      "What are the serious flaws in **the whole rest of everybody who publishes about cosmology**? "

      Who else published false crap about PC/EU theory on the web? If you aren't going to take the time to actually educate yourself to a theory *before* you start trashing it, what credibility do you have?

      I handed you more than the Chen paper. I handed you a *second paper* by Ashmore that shows you exactly how it's related to cosmology theories. Care to actually deal with it? Denial of the fact won't change the fact that Ashmore AND Ari both demonstrate that your statement are absolutely false. Every single redshift observation has been explained and dealt with in PC/EU theory. More importantly however the observation of plasma redshift has already been confirmed in the lab, so your comment about it being a "crank" idea is just pure BS.

      I already did my part. I provided you with evidence that your statements are false. I can only show you where you made your mistakes. Only you have can 'fix' them if you so choose. If you choose to ignore that information however, it simply makes you a bald faced liar. Your call.

      • rknop says:

        Who else published false crap about PC/EU theory on the web? If you aren't going to take the time to actually educate yourself to a theory *before* you start trashing it, what credibility do you have?

        Er... the "false crap" about PC/EU theory is posted by the proponents.

        But, that's not what I was talking about. I was talking about the actual scientific literature -- you know, all the cosmologists working on it who have shown data that fit in detail to the predictions of the Big Bang model, be it expanding Universe seen in local cepehid variables or supernovae out to redshifts of 1.7, be it in the cosmic microwave background, be it in simulations of structure formation from dark matter matching locally observed galaxy distributions, be it in rations of light elements compared to precise numerical predictions of Big Bang cosmology.... The entire body of cosmology includes a lot of observations and evidence for the model that we're working on. It takes more than you writing in all caps about a lab experiment that showed a plasma effect to throw all of that out.

  • rknop says:

    Ok, you want something that Brynjolfsson gets vastly wrong? In his paper from 2006 (arXiv:astro-ph/0602500v1) he argues that the time dilation evidence in Goldhaber et al. 2001 (ApJ 522:359) is misinterpreted. In that paper, we saw that the width of supernovae increased by (1+z), exactly the time dilation factor expected from standard cosmology. Brynjolfsson is arguing that really it should be s(1+z), and what's more because of Malmquist bias, at higher redshifts s should be higher, so therefore we shouldn't see the (1+z) factor.

    Only he's wrong. First of all, in the Goldhaber paper, he explicitly includes a stretch correction. But, even beyond that, we do not see s tightly coupled with (1+z). At both low and high redshift, we see a range of stretches. For example, see this paper: Knop et al., 2003, ApJ, 598, 102. In particular, look at Figure 13, which is also reproduced here. Notice that there is a range of s values at both low and high redshift, represented by open and filled circles. Notice in particular there are open circles with high s values, things that Brynjolfsson says aren't supposed to be there. What's more, the stretch-luminosity correlation, while present, is fairly weak; that means that the size of the bias is not going to be as huge as Brynjolfsson needs it to be.

    His entire argument dismissing the cosmological redshift evidence is based on a false premise.

    • rknop says:

      (Indeed, if you read some of the supernova papers, you can see estimates about the size of the effects of Malmquist Bias. Byrnjolfsson is waving it like a magic wand, but it simply is not casting the spell that he wants it to.)

  • Michael Mozina says:

    Unlike you, I actually prefer to do a bit of research before putting my foot in my mouth. I'll have to actually take some time and read your links before I'll comment on your objections to Ari's work, but....

    You still have one GIANT problem Rob. Plasma redshift is real and observed in the lab. It's been documented and OBSERVED in the lab. You claims about plasma redshift theories being a "crank" theory have been shown in the alb to be utter BS regardless of what you think of Ari's work. The lab work on plasma redshift says just the opposite of what you first claimed 5 years ago. Plasma redshift is not only not a 'crank' idea, its probably THE most important "prediction" of PC/EU theory, *and* that prediction been verified in the lab! You're still up an empirical plasma redshift creek without a paddle. Care to deal with that reality yet?

    Your theories made ZERO predictions related to plasma redshift whereas PC/EU theory DOES make such predictions, *and* they've been confirmed in the lab. You're still peddling misinformation and you've still done nothing about it. When can I expect you to personally rectify that problem?

  • rknop says:

    I'm going to stop this discussion here, as it would just be feeding the trolls to continue. You're quite disconnected from reality. So what if the Big Bang model makes ZERO predictions about plasma redshift? It also makes zero predictions about the price of tea in China. Meanwhile, it makes a vast quantity of predictions about astronomical observations, many of which have been observed. And, "Tired Light" makes predictions about astronomical observations which have been shown to be *wrong*. The page I linked to above summarizes this:

    http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/tiredlit.htm

    That provides, very concisely, the summary of why plasma redshifts or "Tired Light" cannot explain cosmological redshifts. The discussion is over; hanging on to the Tired Light model for cosmological redshifts despite its glaring flaws is the peddling of misinformation.

  • Michael Mozina says:

    FYI, an actual cited page, a cited paragraph and a cited sentence/formula would be extremely helpful in helping me track down your core objection to Ari's papers on on plasma redshift.

  • rknop says:

    If you're interested in seeing somebody take down the claims of Plasma Cosmology and the Electric Universe, having spent far more time on it than I am willing to do, I encourage everybody to take a look at Tom Bridgeman's excellent blog "Dealing With Creationism In Astronomy." Here is a link to his posts on Plasma Cosmology and the Electric Universe.

  • Michael Mozina says:

    How typical...

    Like all the EU/PC haters I've met on the internet, your beliefs about PC theory are based on a healthy dose of pure denial, a complete distortion of the facts, and an irrational FEAR of something you don't even understand. When I handed you empirical evidence of plasma redshift in the lab, you ignored it. When I showed you how that observation supports a static universe, you ignored it. When I handed you Ari's entire body of work, I got one "handwave" of an objection without so much as a single cited paper or page. Wow.

    For a "professional" your attitude really stinks to high heaven. Instead of acknowledging your mistakes, acknowledging that plasma redshift is *NOT* a crank idea, you go right on repeating the same false statements over and over and over again. Pitiful. EU/PC haters are all alike. That irrational hatred toward empirical physics WILL be the downfall of mainstream theory. The more you folks detach yourself from reality and lab results, the more your theory looks like a "dark religion" full of impotent on Earth "sky deities". Enjoy your religion, but make no mistake, it will eventually be replaced by a form of pure empirical plasma physics no matter how many lies you personally tell.

    • rknop says:

      By the way, the plasma "redshifts" shown in the Chen paper you cite, and cited by that paper from the "alt" website, have *nothing* to do with the "Tired Light" plasma redshift mechanism proposed by plasma cosmologists. In the Chen paper, it's about how lines are modified by plasma effects where those lines are emitted. Things like the Stark effect, where the *energy levels of the atoms* are modified. Meanwhile, Plasma Cosmology depends on photons travelling through space having their energy modified by interactions with free electrons. Although the term "redshift" applies in both places, the two things have nothing to do with each other. So even though you keep saying that somehow this is a proof of a key prediction of Plasma Cosmology, in fact the lab result is completely irrelevant.

      You keep harping on about how I never said anything about how that paper supposedly proves Plasma Cosmology, but I did: trying to tie that paper to plasma cosmology is like trying to use the failure to create a self-sustaining fusion reaction on Earth as evidence that stars can't be powered by fusion. In both cases, it simply doesn't make sense. You're trying to use the red skin on an apple to prove things about oranges.

  • Michael Mozina says:

    Well Rob,

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0602500v1.pdf

    Without an actual page number and paragraph to go by (you did actually cite a specific paper however, my bad), I can only assume that you're complaining about Ari's use of Guy's stretch factor adjustments to Goldhaber work. In essence you've found no real flaw in Ari's actual redshift theory, you're apparently just "ticked off" about the fact that Ari tried to 'debunk' mainstream theory on page two of that paper using Guy's stretch factor adjustments.

    Even if I granted you that it's not necessarily a valid argument on Ari's part, it doesn't really affect his theory one iota as far as I can tell. You really didn't produce a valid objection to HIS plasma redshift theory, you are evidently just miffed about his attempt to show that there are time dilation problems in mainstream theory. That's not a valid objection to his actual plasma redshift theory Rob.

    • rknop says:

      I'm sorry you didn't understand what I said. Kind of funny that you assume that it means I'm just ticked off. I told you exactly what he did wrong in his paper. I'm not going to pull out quotes to object to, because quite frankly it's not worth my time to hold your hand and show you every little place where plasma cosmology doesn't make sense.

      Also kind of funny that if it's not a valid argument that he made, it doesn't affect his theory one iota. Do you realize how out there you are?

      It's very clear that you're so convinced by your fringe theory that nothing is going to convince you otherwise. As I said before, this discussion is over; I see no point in engaging you further.

  • Michael Mozina says:

    Keep in mind Rob that no matter what you think of Ari's work, plasma redshift is real, it's been observed and documented in the lab. More importantly however, that observed plasma redshift effect was a critical and falsifiable/verifiable prediction of PC/EU theory. What you called a "crank" idea 5 years ago was in fact demonstrated in lab 2 years ago. Sooner or later Rob you'll need to come to terms with the fact that plasma redshift has been observed in the lab in real empirical experimentation and you have to actually deal with that reality, if not today, eventually.

  • rknop says:

    What I called crank was Plasma Cosmology. It still is. There's no experimental verification of that.

    I'm closing off comments on this thread. I do not have an interest in providing a forum for plasma cosmologists to rant.