A story for those that believe the “Science is settled” or “Scientific consensus” nonsense

So in the age where some claim science knows it all, comes another story of how much we really still don’t know. Here is the entire article, because it bears reading:

Over the past whole year, there’s been a lot of excitement about the electromagnetic propulsion drive, also known as EM Drive – a logically impossible engine that’s challenged almost everyone’s prospects by continuing to stand up to experimental study. The EM drive is so thrilling because it yields enormous amounts of propulsion that could hypothetically blast us to Mars in only 70 days, without the need for dense and costly rocket fuel. Instead, it’s actually propelled forward by microwaves bouncing back and forth inside a sealed off chamber, and this is what makes the EM drive so powerful, and at the same time so debatable.

As effective as this kind of propulsion may sound, it challenges one of the essential concepts of physics – the conservation of momentum, which states that for anything to be propelled forward, some kind of propellant must be pushed out in the opposite direction. For that reason, the drive was generally laughed at and overlooked when it was designed by English scientist Roger Shawyer in the early 2000s. But a few years later, a group of Chinese researchers decided to construct their own version, and to everyone’s amazement, it really worked. Then an American inventor did the something just like that, and convinced NASA’s Eagleworks Laboratories, supervised by Harold ‘Sonny’ White, to give it a try. And they admitted that it actually works. Now Martin Tajmar, a well-known professor and chairman for Space Systems at Dresden University of Technology in Germany, has worked with his own EM Drive, and has once again revealed that it produces thrust – although for reasons he can’t clarify yet.

Tajmar offered his outcomes at the 2015 American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Propulsion and Energy Forum and Exposition in Florida on 27th of July, and you can read his entire paper here. He has a long history of experimentally testing (and exposing) revolutionary propulsion systems, so his outcomes are a big deal for those looking for outside confirmation of the EM Drive.

Most importantly, his system produced a parallel amount of thrust as was initially forecast by Shawyer, which is more than a few thousand times greater than a typical photon rocket.

So where does all of this leave us with the EM Drive? While it’s fun to speculate about just how revolutionary it could be for humanity, what we really need now are results published in a peer-reviewed journal – which is something that Shawyer claims he is just a few months away from doing, as David Hambling reports for Wired.

So it might turn out that we need to modify some of our laws of physics in order to clarify how the drive actually works. But if that opens up the opportunity of human travel throughout the entire Solar System – and, more significantly, beyond – then it’s a sacrifice we’re certainly willing to make.

Emphasis mine. There are many out there that claim that the laws of physics are well known and defined but as this article clearly illustrates – and believe me, there are countless other examples like this out there that you never hear about – we have still got a ton of crap that we not only don’t understand, but more importantly, think we understand, yet actually may be or are, totally wrong about.

Nothing is settled. Anyone that tells you that is a fucking moron and dangerous. Our working knowledge of the universe is in its infancy. Even basic things we take for granted might be incorrect as this article shows. And the universe is far more complex than most people can even imagine. Remember that the next time some moron with a poli-sci, failed theology, or gender studies degree tells you that we have scientific consensus or that the science is settled so they can push a political agenda. And yes, corporate bias could taint science, but nothing taints it as bad as government driven bias.

Comments are closed.

  1. Christopher

    It’s pretty well-accepted that nothing in science is 100% certain.  It’s about relying on currently-available evidence:

    Skeptics often claim that the science of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is not “settled”. But to the extent that this statement is true it is trivial, and to the extent that it is important it is false. No science is ever “settled”; science deals in probabilities, not certainties. When the probability of something approaches 100%, then we can regard the science, colloquially, as “settled”.

    https://www.skepticalscience.com/settled-science.htm

    I generally do agree that people like Al Gore are fear-mongering alarmists (based on what I have seen, at least), but it’s important to understand the distinction between celebrity/media AGW preachers and those who actually understand the science (you’ll typically see the most reliable reporting on this subject from journalists who actually have science degrees).  Here’s a good video on how the media covers this subject compared to what the science actually says (along with those who actually study it):

    And a little something on scientific consensus:

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  2. AlexInCT *

    Seriously, Alex?

    For someone that works supposedly in the field of science, I find your ability to have faith in a lot of nonsense one of the more troubling things about where we are headed Hal. What’s your motivation? You getting grant money from these people? Cause otherwise, I can’t see why you think me pointing out that we should shun the idiots that claim they hold the high ground because they have scientific consensus or their science is settled is something not to be taken seriously. Politicized science, especially when it is the collectivists behind it, is bad for humanity.

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  3. Technomad

    The global warming fanatics do what they do because they think “pollution” is so evil that anything at all, including lying their asses off to scare people, is a good thing if it gets people to stop “polluting.”

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  4. Hal_10000

    I don’t do anything related to global warming.  I just happened to accept when the evidence overwhelmingly supports a hypothesis, it’s likely that hypothesis is true. And when the main detractors are pseudoscientists countering the theory with cherry-picking, misrepresentation and outright lies, they might … just might be full of shit.

    And once again, Alex, you have a complete intellectual fail when it comes to understanding the difference between accepting that a scientific theory is true and accepting left-wing solutions to the problem it poses.

    Your counter? A fringe theory on the EM drive which no one has been able to reproduce “reported” by a series of crank websites designed to look like official NASA and physics websites.

    Using your logic, I should smoke a carton of cigarettes. After all, it’s just “scientific consensus” that they cause cancer. I should also jump off buildings. Gravity, after all, is just “scientific consensus”.  Or maybe I should play with radium.  That radium gives off radiation and the radiation is dangerous is “scientific consensus”.  Sometime scientific consensus is wrong.  But you have to prove it’s wrong, not just, say, “Consensus? Ha!” and then cite bunch of crank bullshit.

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  5. AlexInCT *

    Technomad,

    I am one that actually abhors pollution. I mean the real thing. I actually believe that would be a noble cause to work towards. But the problem is, my belief is not predicated on a political agenda, which is why it is being ignored.

    For example, look at all these batteries in these new crappy electric cars. Some of the most toxic chemicals had to be put together to make them. They are going to be a pain on the environment and beyond costly because their waste will be harder to deal with than nuclear waste (which would end up being far less of a hazard than this stuff will be). And let us not forget the crap burned to create the electricity they use. It is an idiotic idea to pretend we should move to use electricity unless it is generated by nuclear power which is the only seriously carbon neutral and clean way to create power. Yes I said that because we now have the ability to build reactors that because of the way they would burn fuel would generate waste that is not even dangerous, but the green industry has made sure we never get that, because abundant and cheap power was never what they strive for.

    I also despise their approach to solving problems in this area. Take MTBE, an additive the left has forced us to put in gas because it “supposedly” prevented pollution. Instead the stuff that doesn’t break down ends up in water and poisons people. This stuff makes mercury look tame. And the fact is that they KNEW this was the case even before the stuff was signed into law, but now, more than 15 years later, it is still a mandatory additive and polluting our water everywhere. The reason why it has not been pulled is because some green leftards are making money, and the other leftards don’t want to admit they got it wrong.

    These fuckers are pretending to be about saving the planet but they are not. I believe a whole bunch of them are genocidal fucks that believe in the nastiest eugenic shit you can think off. This notion of primitive man living in nature on a barely populated planet only happens if they kill some 95% of the nearly 7 billion people on the planet. They are evil monsters.

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  6. Hal_10000

    Exactly that, Alex. I agree w/ the Left on the problem, but massively disagree on the solutions.  They typically will make things worse.  Plastic bag bans make things worse.  Food miles make things worse.  Electric cars arguably make things worse.  Canada is talking about phasing out nuclear in favor of solar/wind.  There was a post from the Canadian engineers that estimated that solar/wind has <i>five times</i> the carbon emissions of nuclear.  They don’t value things that work.  It’s a religion.  They value sacrifice.

    The solution is massive investment in cutting edge technology.  No more loans to Solyndra to develop a slightly better solar cell.  Invest in basic research on breakthrough tech like nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, satellite energy, transmission technology and energy storage.  Make breakthroughs in the public sector, then hand them off to the private sector to make it actually profitable.  Massive overhaul of regulations.  Eliminate the corporate tax in favor of a carbon tax.  Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley.   We have trillions of dollars that could be made off ending carbon-based energy.  Let the capitalists do it.

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  7. AlexInCT *

    Using your logic, I should smoke a carton of cigarettes. After all, it’s just “scientific consensus” that they cause cancer. I should also jump off buildings. Gravity, after all, is just “scientific consensus”.  

    You must be fucking moron, or think the rest of us are fucking morons, to try and make cigarettes and global warming comparable items, but it is par for the course from idiots that follow this cult.

    First of all, I will tell you that my grandfather smoked filterless camels since he was 11 years old and was still smoking without any problems from it when he died at 99. His genetics allowed him to absorb levels of nicotine most humans would get sick from. My point isn’t that cigarettes can’t cause trouble for smokers, but that it depends on your genetics, and the quantity you consume. Too much of anything, including even water which is a necessity, will kill you (directly or by causing effects that kill you). You probably get cancer from eating the stuff with too much food coloring or from totally organic produce. Aging causes fucking cancer. The medical stuff out there is plentiful, and, because it more often than not follows the scientific process, is always changing.

    I understand toxicity and consumption quite well, thank you. I am not alone in that. There are countless repeatable studies, based on great medicine, that back these the case of smoking being bad for most people up. Their models and predictions bear out with great accuracy about what they hypothesize, and they don’t have to make up bullshit and hide it from others, because anyone can replicate their findings in real life. It takes a serious shitweasels, one with a despicable agenda, to state that the proven science and observations about what smoking does to the majority of people, comes from consensus. I would never make a comparison between the falsehoods committed by the cult of AGW, and man do these fuckers make up shit and lie, and something else that we can clearly prove and replicate, to bolster idiotic ideas like scientific consensus. A true comparison would be between AGW consensus and GMO is evil consensus types: it is based on emotion and very little truth or science.

    You didn’t use logic: you tried to make an appeal to emotion, by of all things pretending that the bullshit and lies produced by the AGW cultists is decent science that some luddites just will not accept, and it serves perfectly to make my point for me that there is no science going on in the AGW cult.

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  8. Technomad

    Alex,

    I think we aren’t all that far apart in our thinking.  I am no fan of real-life, honest-to-heaven pollution, but a lot of the “solutions” that the green fanatics love to yammer about are no solutions at all.

    The windmills they so loved (until they started screaming that they “crunch pretty birdies,” that is) are not built in quaint, eco-friendly villages by happy hippies.  They are the product of (oh NOES!!!) advanced technology, and not nearly as eco-friendly or as efficient as their proponents keep insisting that they are.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that the green gang (Gang Green?) love any kind of energy-production that we don’t have, up to the moment that we actually have it.  Then they start screaming and crying about it.  As for the things we do have, all they can do is fuss and find things to fret about.  We can’t have hydroelectric, even in areas where it would be easy, because of the endangered species that nobody ever heard of.  We can’t have nuclear, because nuclear power’s all icky, and everybody knows that a nuke plant is one mistake away from going BOOM!  We can’t have coal, because it’s all dirty and nasty and they have to mine it out of the ground and disrupt the ecology.  We can’t have oil because fracking causes earthquakes.

    None of these lunatics that I’ve ever dealt with had any education or background that gave them a right to an opinion on these subjects, any more than I do on the subject of Sumerian literature.  In a sane world, they’d be hauled off and dumped, naked and tool-less, into the most forbidding wildernesses I could find—Northeastern Greenland would be about right—to experience the “nay-churr” they so love.  And then the rest of us could get on with solving problems in peace.

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  9. AlexInCT *

    The solution is massive investment in cutting edge technology.  No more loans to Solyndra to develop a slightly better solar cell.  Invest in basic research on breakthrough tech like nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, satellite energy, transmission technology and energy storage. 

    What you just said is precisely why I remain convinced that AGW is a lie Hal. These people that worship at the altar of AGW, if they really believed the doomsday scenarios they are telling us are about to come from our doings, would be doing exactly this: demanding and implementing practical technological solutions. We wouldn’t be crippling our economies and sending our good manufacturing jobs to the third world, while some connected people get stinking rich on green nonsense that produce nothing of value, and allow our ever growing and abusive government to rob us of more of our freedoms.

    Instead what we get from this cult is an appeal for an increase of the nastiest and most evil form of government to throw its shadow over humanity: nanny state big government collectivism. This is about the left trying to foist another revolution on us. They constantly talk about justice, but what they really want is to be the arbiters of success. Leftists want to pick winners and losers, and in the process, punish their enemies for not recognizing the fact that the leftists are such great people.

    I have tried to have reasonable arguments with these people. After a lot of wasted time I realized that you are wasting your time doing that. The only thing that works is to fight them, tooth and nail, so you deny them this despicable and evil agenda of theirs. If we don’t we will find ourselves, sooner than later, with them sending a large number of us to extermination camps to save Gaia. They have done this over and over, under the guise of whatever critical agenda du jour they were working on. Today it is AGW. When that doesn’t get them what they want, they will invent a new problem.  My bet is food. They will turn the fact that prosperity has made people fat into another death march for everyone they dislike.

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  10. Hal_10000

    One thing I’ve noticed is that the green gang (Gang Green?) love any kind of energy-production that we don’t have, up to the moment that we actually have it.

    That’s perfectly stated.

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  11. ilovecress

    Sorry Alex, can I check.

    Are you arguing that AGW isn’t happening, or are you arguing that the lefts solutions aren’t the right ones?

    It seems like you’re conflating the two?

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