Thursday, October 3, 2013

NASA's Stuart Robbins: The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Part II

In Part II of his attack post on my appearance on Coast to Coast AM, Stuart next turns his attention to my alleged belief in “Astrology and auras and crystals and consciousness.” But mostly, he focuses on Astrology and my discussion of the work of John Nelson for RCA in the mid-1950’s:

Chart by john Nelson showing a typical "negative configuration" of the planets from his study.

“Anyway, there are several short quips about astrology in the C2C interview, so it’s a bit hard to pull out a true gem. I’ve chosen the one at 37:55 in hour 2:
George Noory: “I mean, you’re even a believer in astrology now, aren’t you?”

Mike Bara: “Yeah. well you know again, that goes back – that goes back to the Hyperdimensional physics because the idea is that the planets are generating energy, which is traveling through these higher dimensions, and it is like this wave after wave of energy affecting us here on this planet. And, uh, there’s lots of, uh, interesting cases, there’s lots of experiments that show that-that this is really the case. That the planets and their positions relative to the Earth do have an effect, not just on physical instruments here, but actually on the way we think. And our consciousness.”

 As an example – “the best example” – he tells a story of John Nelson in the 1950s who tried to find out why short-wave radio signals went wonky sometimes. Bara claims that he (Nelson) found a correlation with planetary positions and activity on the sun which Bara says is evidence for this: When the astrology for the planets said good things should happen, the sun was quiet, and then the opposite was the case. If you do a Google search for this (as I just did), you will find this study reported on astrology sites and … yeah, Richard Hoagland’s site in an article written by Bara. A bit more digging and you can actually find a PDF of the article Nelson wrote which was NOT in a peer-reviewed journal, but it was in a technical memo for RCA. The abstract clearly does state that Bara is not misrepresenting the basic findings from Nelson:

 “An examination of shortwave radio propagation conditions over the North Atlantic for a five-year period, and the relative position of the planets in the solar system, discloses some very interesting correlations. As a result of such correlations, certain planetary relationships are deduced to have specific effect on radio propagation through their influence upon the sun. Further investigation is required to fully explore the effect of planet positions on radio propagation in order that the highly important field of radio weather forecasting may be properly developed.”
First off, I’d like to congratulate Stuart on admitting that I did NOT misrepresent the facts of the Nelson paper, considering how many times he’s accused me of that before. But then he goes on to make his usual errors of fact in the form of four points:
 “There are several important things to note here. First, this was not peer-reviewed meaning that there was no external unbiased rigorous check of his work.”

OK #1, the idea that the peer review publication process is an “unbiased rigorous check” of published research results is laughable. Ask any scientist (Van Flandern, Halton Arp, Pons and Fleischmann, Alfred Wegener and Luis Alvarez come to mind) who has ever published anything controversial about the “impartiality” of the peer review process. It is a joke. The peer review process is used primarily to exclude Ideas and test results which challenge the established scientific orthodoxy, of which Stuart is a stalwart defender. That is why papers about the artificiality hypothesis of Cydonia have had to be published in technical journals rather than mainstream physics journals. The possibility is simply excluded from consideration by the NASA crowd, without even a cursory review of the evidence.

Second, “peer review” is not and never has been a requirement of the scientific method. There’s nothing in any accepted definition of the scientific method which says anything about it. It is an invention of the tenured scientific-materialist class, designed to keep anyone and any idea which is outside their accepted canon from being considered or studied by mainstream science or seen by the public in general.

So, given that, it is safe to say that Stuart is admitting that Nelson’s conclusions – that the positions of the planets have an effect on solar output and that these “configurations” correlate with astrological “aspects” – remains un-refuted more than 50 years after his study was published. If Nelson was wrong, Stuart, then why haven’t any of your vaunted “peer reviewed” journals shown him to be wrong?

“Second, correlation does not equal causation.”

Again this is standard stuff from the Debunkers Handbook 101. The causation is the unacknowledged “fifth force” in the universe, which is known as dynamic torsion. I write about it extensively in The Choice. Had you actually read that book Stuart, rather than simply attack the idea as presented in a promotional radio interview, you’d know that. Unsurprisingly, you don’t. Do some research.

Further, Nelson’s study consisted of hundreds of observations over 5 years. Please enlighten me as to how many times an observation has to be made before it moves from “correlation” to “causation?” All he is doing here is setting a personal and undefined standard, which allows him to dismiss the observations, no matter how many times they’ve been made. “Correlation does not equal causation” isn’t a scientific argument, it’s a t-shirt slogan.

Third, this was a single study, and even if 100% true and valid, it has not been replicated by anyone else that I have been able to find (I searched for about a half hour).

As usual, this 3rd point is also incorrect. As I pointed out in The Choice (a book Stuart hasn’t actually read but feels justified in criticizing), there is in fact at least one paper that supports the Nelson data quite solidly:

“In 2008, the Astronomical Society of Australia published a paper by three astronomers titled “Does a Spin–Orbit Coupling Between the Sun and the Jovian Planets Govern the Solar Cycle?  The paper claimed that they had found a link between the rotation of the equatorial region of the Sun and the Sun’s orbital rotation around the barycenter of the solar system (think of it as the center of gravity). They went on to state that “this synchronization is indicative of a spin–orbit coupling mechanism operating between the Jovian planets and the Sun.” In plain English that means that there was some kind of synchronization or symbiotic relationship between the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn which was actually driving the sunspot cycles.”
Now again, there is absolutely nothing in the conventional view of physics which can account for such a relationship. They even acknowledge as much in in the abstract (summary) of their paper:  “However, we are unable to suggest a plausible underlying physical cause for the coupling…”

In other words, this paper, published in 2008, agreed 100% with Nelson that the positions of the planets effected the Sun’s energetic output (reflected in the sunspot cycle). The authors went on to say “However, we are unable to suggest a plausible underlying physical cause for the coupling…” That of course is because in order to be published in the “peer review” world, they are restricted to the politically acceptable “laws of physics,” and certainly can’t suggest anything exotic like dynamic torsion and Hyperdimensional physics.

So the fact is there is at least one paper out there (which I easily found in waaaaaay less than 30 minutes) which confirms Nelson’s basic premise: That the Sun’s energetic output is dictated by the astronomical (if not astrological) configurations of the planets.
And just for fun, you might want to read up on this confirmation as well, from a HAM radio operator:
As to Nelson, he was pretty much unequivocal in his statement about his own findings in 1974:
"In summation, after more than 25 years of research in this field of solar system science, I can say without equivocation that there is very strong evidence that the planets, when in certain predictable arrangements, do cause changes to take place in those solar radiations that control our ionosphere.  I have no solid theory to explain what I have observed, but the similarity between an electric generator with its carefully placed magnets and the sun with its ever-changing planets is intriguing.  In the generator, the magnets are fixed and produce a constant electrical current.  If we consider that the planets are magnets and the sun is the armature, we have a considerable similarity to the generator.  However, in this case, the magnets are moving.  For this reason, the electrical-magnetic stability of the solar system varies widely.  This is what one would expect."
John H. Nelson, Cosmic Patterns, 1974

Wrong again, Stuart.

Fourth, it has not been used to actually make predictions, which all testable hypotheses must.”

Again, this is a laughably fallacious argument. The results of Nelson’s 5-year study contain an inherent set of predictions; specifically, the results themselves. The simple existence of the results and Nelson’s conclusions “…certain planetary relationships are deduced to have specific effect on radio propagation through their influence upon the sun,” are themselves predictions, making Nelson’s work easily testable. All that remains is for some intrepid astronomer or radio physicist – like say Stuart – to apply for a research grant to repeat Nelson’s work. After nearly 60 years, no one has except for the HAM radio operator noted above and the Australian team. And that speaks volumes about their confidence in overturning his results.
In short Stuart, your claim that Nelson’s work is not testable is false. If he’s wrong, then prove him wrong. I will wait with baited breath as you do so. Otherwise, the work, the results, the conclusions and the supporting Australian paper stand on their own merits, and I am completely justified in citing them in my book and on the radio.
So either prove Nelson wrong, or STFU.
Stuart then goes on to make a fifth point about astrology, but it has anything to do with Nelson’s study or my main point about it in The Choice. What we are left with is 4 main points by Stuart attacking Nelson’s work, all of which I have now shown to be false, misleading or simply his opinion.

And we all know what opinions are like, don’t we Stuart?
Bara/Science - 2, Stuart/Debunkery - 0

UPDATE 10/16/2013 - My colleague and co-author on Dark Mission, Richard C. Hoagland, has found yet another paper published in Stuart's precious peer-reviewed journals that supports Nelson and Hyperdimensional physics. The paper, submitted to the Cornell University Library on 16 Sep 2013, shows that there is a definite connection between the Sun's roughly 11-year sunspot cycle and the planets, most notably Jupiter, which has an 11.8 year orbit around the Sun.
The monthly average sunspot number reveals the existence of three peaks around 11 years (red) [11], which are all associated to planetary tides (blue). Tidal periods (P) of single and combined planets by Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, Earth, Mercury fit to planetary frequencies around 11 years. Note, in this work tidal timing is a proxy for gravitational lensing by the same planet(s). Courtesy, Nicola Scafetta (2013).
As an article about the paper in the  put it:
"The Sun’s 11-year cycle is one of science’s greatest mysteries. Astronomers have watched in fascination for centuries as the number of sunspots increases and decreases over a regular cycle of almost exactly 11 years.
More recently, they’ve discovered that at the same time, the Sun’s visible light luminosity changes by about 10^-3 while its x-ray luminosity changes by a factor of hundred.
Nobody knows why this happens but various scientists have pointed to the remarkable correlation between the solar cycle and the orbital periods of the planets. In particular, Jupiter takes 11.8 years to orbit the Sun and there are a number of other tidal resonances of around 11 years associated with Saturn, Venus, Earth and Mercury.
The problem, of course, is that the tidal forces associated with the planets are tiny. Consequently, astronomers have concluded that they can have little or no effect on the Sun."
What the article means by "tidal forces" is of course gravity. Unlike the Australian paper cited above, the new paper then goes on to try and assign a cause to this effect. Unfortunately, because like all mainstream scientists they are stuck in the "closed system" Cosmological paradigm, the cause they chose to assign is the absurd concept of "Dark Matter." If they deviate from the Standard Model paradigm and venture into the Hyperdimensional realms, they won't get published. They simply invoked Dark Matter/Energy because it is the only politically acceptable mechanism in mainstream scientific circles.
But that does nothing to detract from the really groundbreaking part of the paper, which is the acknowledgement that the planets influence the energetic output of the Sun. This agrees with both Nelson and the Australian paper in acknowledging that such a link exists. The only remaining debate is exactly how they do this.
The authors -- again constricted by the rules of what is acceptable science in the mainstream circles Stuart inhabits -- argue that there must be some kind of never before observed "dark particle" flow between the planets and the Sun:
"...there is nothing else one could imagine beyond the assumed flows of dark particles, which may settle such an oscillatory behaviour for the Sun being identical with the combined planetary orbital rhythm," they state.
But even the article itself raises doubts about the "Dark Particle" explanation: "That’s an interesting but highly speculative idea and these guys will be acutely aware of its shortcomings. For example, nobody has conclusively seen dark matter let alone understood how it might interact with the Sun to change its luminosity."
Of course, readers of The Choice can easily imagine a such mechanism. It's called Dynamic Torsion, and has a long and well established experimental history in the papers of DePalma, Kozyrev and others. Dynamic Torsion is a spiraling, directional force that propagates through the Hyperdimensional Aether, the existence of which was recently reinforced by the supposed confirmation of the so-called Higgs Boson.
What this all means is the Nelson's study is further supported by new research papers, and Stuart's position is even weaker than I first asserted. But is that really a surprise to anyone?
-- MB


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