“I know Hoagland, and I also know that quite a few items in his bio are fiction: namely his references to working for NASA, working with Sagan, and talking at Ames. I would not want to stoop to "debate" with him. My interests are in science, not pseudoscience.”
Interim Director, NASA Lunar Science Institute
Senior Scientist, NASA Astrobiology Institute
Cell phone 408 621 0237
Now, everybody is entitled to their opinion (and we all know what opinions are like, don’t we Dave?), but as usual, NASA does not respond with any substantive arguments on the evidence we present, they simply go to personal attacks as a reflexive response. As I put it in Dark Mission, mentioning Hoagland’s name around NASA elicits a reaction akin to what you get when you place a crucifix in front of vampire. After 30 years of this, you would think that NASA would have a better counter argument then simple name calling or easily rebutted mendacities.
You would think.
But that’s only if you buy their arguments that our work is “pseudoscience.”
As usual, Richard has better things to do than rebut such non-arguments, and frankly, so do I, but since this is my blog more than his I guess it falls to me to point out the obvious.
Let’s start with the “substance” of Morrison’s diatribe.
“I know Hoagland…” This is actually the only thing in Morrison’s response which is true. They do know each other, from over 30 years ago when Hoagland was covering NASA for CBS and the early years of the Voyager missions at JPL. A decent start, Dave.
“…and I also know that quite a few items in his bio are fiction…” Oh really? Do tell!
“…namely his references to working for NASA, working with Sagan, and talking at Ames.”
Okay, let’s take these “fictions” one by one, shall we? According to you, Dave, Richard never worked for NASA. I’m sure it benefits tossers like you tell people this, in the hopes of damaging Richard’s credibility or making yourselves look good, but it doesn’t really work as an argument for one simple reason: It’s a lie.
Here is Richard’s actual badge from his days working as a consultant at Goddard. You may notice it has a NASA logo emblazoned on it and says “NASA” about 87 times. It also says “GSFC,” which stands for “Goddard Space Flight Center. Last time I checked, that was a NASA facility. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?
And yes, despite the 70’s porn-star ‘stache, I can testify that absolutely is a picture of my co-author. I’d recognize him anywhere.
How unfortunate for you Dave that he kept his old badge all these years. I wonder if it would still get him in the door?
It’s interesting you can “know” his claim of working for NASA is “fiction” when it’s quite obvious it is not. I wonder how many other things you think you “know” that you will turn out to be utterly clueless about?
Let’s find out.
Next, you claim that it is also fiction that he ever “working [ed] with Sagan.” Again, you haven’t quite got the story straight, Dave. Let’s see what Carl has to say about the whole thing.
Sagan says in his paper “A Message from Earth,” by Carl Sagan, Linda Salzman Sagan and Frank Drake, that the idea for the Pioneer plaque came from Hoagland and Eric Burgess. In fact the exact quote is:
"... the initial suggestion to include some message aboard Pioneer 10 was made by Eric Burgess and Richard Hoagland ..."
-- Carl Sagan, SCIENCE, 175 (1972) 881.
This paper can be found in any university journal library. A scan of the appropriate page can be found here.
Now, I suppose somebody as desperate (or ill informed) as you are Dave might try to argue that this somehow doesn’t constitute “working together,” but please. If the idea for one of Carl’s most significant accomplishments came from Hoagy, I think most reasonable people (this excludes expat and JimO) would beg to differ with you. And of course, Carl and Richard knew each other much better than that, having several conversations about Cydonia and the Face in various public forums, and they even spent time vacationing together on various science cruises in the 1970’s that were witnessed by hundreds of people.
And lest we forget, Carl saw fit to include a gratuitous money shot of Hoagland in his own Biography Channel Obit episode.
Now, as to the last part, that Richard never talked at Ames (meaning the NASA Ames Research Center in California), well, you’re sort of half right. He never did.
Of course, he’s never claimed he did, either. Ever. Anywhere. So no wonder you don’t think it’s true.
He did however speak at NASA-Lewis. That’s in Ohio, and it’s now called NASA-Glenn. Maybe you’ve heard of it?
It’s really hard for me to figure out how it can be “fiction” that he claimed he spoke at Ames, when he never made any such claim. But I realize you just work for NASA, and logic isn’t really a strong suit for you guys…
So that’s 3 for 3 that you have flat wrong Dave. It’s too bad that you then use your comedy of errors to justify hiding behind your desk instead of debating the issues.
“I would not want to stoop to ‘debate’ with him. My interests are in science, not pseudoscience.”
Translation: “He’s shredded waaaaay smarter guys than me on national TV before. I think I’ll just call him a name and then take my ball and run home. I don’t want to get anywhere near a substantive debate with this guy.”
Pretty smart move here Dave.
Really, Morrison displays the sort of institutional ignorance that permeates NASA at all levels. I could go on, but he’s not really worth my time. I shall pillory him no further.
I do have to say though, being called a “pseudoscientist” by a representative of a science agency that hasn’t noticed that Mars has obvious Tidal Bulges and continues to foist the junk science alarmist bilge of global arming on the public is pretty ripe. They even have to resort to falsifying the data to bolster their idiocy.
It would be kind of romantic to think that this was all part of some big conspiracy on NASA’s part to keep us out of the headlines, but that gives far too much credit to the likes of Morrison, IMO. I tend to think he’s just a garden variety useful idiot that parrots what he thinks he knows about us, while happily taking a salary from the most discredited government agency on the planet (and, given the state of our current government, that’s saying something).
Or, to paraphrase Ronaldus Maximus,
“It’s not that our NASA loving shills are ignorant, it’s just that they “know” so much that isn’t so.”
And yeah, I guess I did pillory him some more. But let’s face it, he was low hanging fruit…