Saturday, March 28, 2009

Media Distortion Damages Science

Simon Baron-Cohen: Media distortion damages both science and journalism.

WHEN media reports state that scientist X of Y university has discovered that A is linked to B, we ought to be able to trust them. Sadly, as many researchers know, we can't.

This has three serious consequences. For starters, every time the media misreports science, it chips away at the credibility of both enterprises.


Anaconda said...

Want to see a beautiful picture? Click and behold.

Anaconda said...


Plasma surrounds the Earth and scientists are increasing their comprehension of this 'charge seperation' environment.

Progress has been made:

In my initial forays into websites dominated by conventional "modern" astronomy (Bad Astronomy, UniverseToday), the reaction to my comments was outright rejection and denial that "charge seperation' existed in space at all.

Long "battle of the comments" ensued, often in a "hot box" format where four interlocutors of the "modern" astrophysical persuasion challenged my Plasma Cosmology viewpoint.

No quarter was given by my interlocutors in their determination to stamp out my heretical viewpoint.

Denial of my most elemental claim that 'charge seperation' existed in space was their story and they were sticking to it.

Literally, weeks of back-and-forth was had over this elemental fact.

Finally, ironically, one of their own, Tom Marking, acknowledged the extistence of 'charge seperation' in space. That seemed to break the dam and my interlocutors grudgingly admitted to this most elemental fact.

(And I retired from the field.)

Later, I found this NASA educational website, where one of the chapters was captioned: Electric Currents from Space, with a subheading, Birkeland currents.

It turned out NASA had been teaching "Electric Currents from Space" since at least 2001.

The details are known to science in fine detail, see Science Master.

After this "battle" and my subsequent finding of the NASA educational website, denial of 'charge seperation' in space ceased in subsequant forays. (I didn't have benefit of knowing of NASA's website at the time of my initial foray, wish I had.)

Now, even interlocutors that previously strongly denied electromagnetism existed beyond the solar system (an academic "neutron" star expert) have come to admit that electromagnetism does exist beyond the solar system, however, (of course) they deny that it has significant dynamic impact, rather, they hold it to be a secondary result of gravitational forces.

(I retired from the field.)

But considering where the "discussion" started, progress is being made.

Next stop: Breaking down the imaginary "accretion disk" surrounding a so-called "black hole" that supposedly generates collimated jets of plasma, magnetic fields and electric currents as demonstrated by the observation & measurement of synchrotron radiation (spiralling electrons in a magnetic field).

Let the battle be joined!

Anaconda said...


W.T. "Tom" Bridgman who is author of the website: Dealing with Creationism in Astronomy, has enabled the moderation feature, seems he can't take the criticism.

Now, that isn't the reason given for enabling the moderator, rather Bridgman states: "I have some concerns that the traffic here will increase. I'm already backlogged responding to some long-winded comments. Responses to these I will now probably map into actual blog posts.

I want to deal with my current backlog of other projects, both family and blog-related, so I have enabled comment moderation on this blog. Hopefully this will keep the traffic at a manageable level."

Is that the real reason, or is it because he recieved a raft of shit (arguments counter to Bridgman's point of view) from this writer?

Admittedly, I was very tough on Bridgman, personally -- yes, I questioned his honesty and intellectual integrity.

But Bridgman bascially has stated anybody who supports Plasma Cosmology is a "crank" and repeatedly cast aspersions on those that would contradict his world-view.

I prefer a level discussion, although, I have a bad habit of refusing to take "cheap shots" lying down.

(Perhaps, I should follow Jackie Robinson's example he set during his first year in the big leagues -- don't respond, no matter what -- just play ball.)

And, frankly, with what I've delt with from interlocutors of the "modern" astrophysical persuasion, my assertion of intellectual dishonesty is backed up by their own words and deeds.

Even the post announcing the enabled moderation, itself, is an example of this intellectual dishonesty.

Bridgman's reasons for the enabled moderation are quoted, above. Are those really the reasons, or was it because he couldn't take what he's been dishing out?

Intellectual dishonesty?


You make the call.