Dr. John Brandenburg – Plasma physicist gives inside look at outsourced UFO research |325|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Do any of those images convince you - bearing in mind that that place has been cherry picked from the entire Martian landscape!

    David
     
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  2. gabriel

    gabriel New

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    In the days I used to follow Ufology more closely, there was no limit to the theories that hung on the flimsiest of possibilities, or people ready to subscribe to them. It resembled fan fiction more than anything else, an endless riff on a single idea. Patsies and disinformation weren't necessary, ufologists were more than capable of producing the stuff for themselves.

    I concluded that it was impossible to reach a firm conclusion on the data because the signal to noise ratio made it unreadable. The atmosphere was so febrile that even suggesting such a thing made one part of the machinery of disinformation. Not so much a rabbit hole as a fully furnished burrow.
     
  3. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    I've just read all of an article here:

    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/saving-science

    (h/t Judith Curry, who discusses extracts of the article here: https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/22/dan-sarewitz-on-saving-science/).

    It's a penetrating analysis of what's wrong with science today. There are a number of lessons to be learnt, but one that may apply in this discussion could be characterised as pareidolia in the sense of seeing patterns in data and drawing unwarranted inferences from that, which end up as part of consensual or non-consensual "reality". In either case, sometimes it's not a case of which is correct and which incorrect, but more that patterns are what creates our sense of reality. Science has been increasingly tending to focus not on useful technological outcomes, but rather on the search for world views that scientists pursue en masse just because they can and that's the way they can get on in their chosen profession. It's all a big game pursuant to the aim not of generating useful results, but of propping up the scientific establishment, and thereby their egos.

    In this, I think Brandenburg is as much at fault as those with more conventional views: it's just that his views happen to be in the minority. Conventional or unconventional is besides the point; for all we know, both points of view may be utter bollocks -- excuse the French -- which is why I find myself adopting a completely agnostic stance.

    One faction sees one kind of pattern, and another, another. The conventionalists may talk in terms of the origin of Xe-129 being a result of supernova explosions, but are we actually sure that "supernovae" can be explained in terms of the current scientific consensus? Are they nuclear explosions, or the result of events in a plasma universe that have some characteristics we think of as being caused by nuclear explosions? Same with the Sun, really; we can detect or infer nuclear events associated with it, but that doesn't mean it primarily exists as a nuclear generator; rather, nuclear reactions may be occurring in the high temperatures caused by plasma behaviour, which could be the primary driver of nuclear reactions that are secondary and incidental.

    One point in the article that comes across strongly is that the idea that scientists, in a free and unfettered way, should explore science, out of which will drop useful technology. Which in turn is deemed to warrant our accepting the virtual infallibility of scientists, thereby stoking up their egos. Fact is, the more we've allowed them to do that, the more they've gotten themselves lost in an orgy of pareidolic speculation.

    On the other hand, the primary way to make progress is to pursue tightly-focussed objectives: find a vaccine for this, build a vehicle that can do that, find a way to develop agriculture in presently barren areas, and so on. Out of that, the need for basic research in these areas quite naturally emerges. But at the moment, we're drowning in huge masses of data in which any number of patterns can be found; forever searching for links with existing, consensually accepted patterns, which if one looks hard enough, are sure to be found.

    Most scientists can readily accept the pareidolia in patterns observed on the Martian surface, but are somewhat blind to the possible (if not probable) pareidolia involved in such things as CAGW, the HIV-AIDS link, the current cosmological model, and so on.

    Here's one dictionary definition of pareidolia:

    pareidolia
    /ˌpæraɪˈdəʊlɪə/
    noun

    1. the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features

    Word Origin

    C20: from para- + eidolon

    para-

    Word Origin

    1. a prefix appearing in loanwords from Greek, most often attached to verbs and verbal derivatives, with the meanings “at or to one side of, beside, side by side” (parabola; paragraph; parallel; paralysis), “beyond, past, by” (paradox; paragogue); by extension from these senses, this prefix came to designate objects or activities auxiliary to or derivative of that denoted by the base word ( parody; paronomasia), and hence abnormal or defective ( paranoia), a sense now common in modern scientific coinages (parageusia; paralexia).

    eidolon

    [ahy-doh-luh n]

    Word Origin

    noun, plural eidola

    [ahy-doh-luh, eidolons.

    1. a phantom; apparition.
     
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  4. Small Dog

    Small Dog New

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    I wish Ron Hubbard was still around to comment on this theory.
     
  5. E.Flowers

    E.Flowers New

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    Did not buy the face on Mars back when it was blurry and most certainly don't buy it now. There are far better examples on Earth (Google Matcahuasi, for example) and it doesn't even look like a weathered carved relief, I see no artistic intention in any of its so-called features, nothing that implies artificiality.

    UFOlogy needs to shake these kinds of ideas off if they ever expect to be taken seriously. I have seen people (usually open to weirder paranormal things than I am) dismiss the entire field as mythology, which serves to show how it is perceived despite having some competent researchers within it (a minority, greatly overshadowed by the media friendly Dale Gribble-like "researchers").
     
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  6. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    I was deliberately non-commital. Anything I say gives others something to oppose, if I leave it open, then people are opposed only by their own ideas. Maybe I'm behaving like a weary parent of a wayward teenager ;)
     
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  7. Kamarling

    Kamarling Member

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    Persisting with my observation about the lack of an ocean on Mars for the past 3.5 Billion years, this article appeared in the last few days.

     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
  8. manjit

    manjit New

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    Wow, this was an odd one for me personally. I'm a huge fan of both Alex's and Gordon's podcasts, and whilst I enjoyed listening to this interview, I was left feeling quite uneasy and disappointed in so many ways by the end of it. Lots & lots of great comments in this thread which cover many of my own thoughts & questions & I wonder if there's any point commenting too, but I can't help it!

    First of all, I think I counted 3 times that either Gordon, Alex or John even made a token gesture of "this is speculation". The rest of the time this speculation, and that is indeed what it is, was spoken of as if it was almost indisputable fact! (At times it got a little too much for me - John says at one point "we know there is inteliigent life out there in the universe", or some such. "Know" that, do we? Alex is portraying John as a hard nosed scientist, but he doesn't talk like one imo, he cannot even distinguish between "we think/speculate/it is probable" and "we know"!

    Look, we all enjoy speculating about this or that, I do it constantly....and I enjoy many podcasts where highly bizarre and strange phenomena is speculated over with varying hypothesis offered. But I personally got the sense this wasn't one of those podcasts where the self-knowledge/awareness that it WAS indeed JUST speculation was at the forefront of the speakers minds?

    Mars & Xe ratios? Lots of great comments & info on this thread, many, many thanks to all those who pulled that up, much appreciated (there's asteroids with a higher ratio difference than Mars?). However, I haven't looked any further into them. Why? Because, who cares, quite frankly?

    I am astonished we have here 3 highly intelligent people saying "we don't know how/there is no KNOWN natural occurrence" of this in the universe and equating this with "therefore, aliens". What? At which point did we start to imagine that we small, tiny race of semi-intelligent beings called humans had such a grand & comprehensive knowledge & experience of the universe? At one point, somebody mentions in this podcast "nowhere in the known universe has this been observed since the 1800s" or some such. Hey?! We've barely scratched the surface of the solar system, let alone the universe! Ahh, the irony of the hosts of this particular podcast suddenly believing our scientific knowledge of the universe is so vast and comprehensive ;)

    I was repeatedly reminded of this thought:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    In regards the "face on mars" and how apparently the governments know about this, and they do and they don't (?) want people to know about it?

    To get another perspective on this, please, please, please read the wonderful & essential "Stargate Conspiracy".....it is another perspective that totally adjusts the context of comments like the above from John. It DIRECTLY relates to these "face on mars" beliefs.

    http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/ufo-book-reading-recommendations.146/page-2#post-34553

    Also read Jacques Vallee's diaries - I know Gordon is very familiar with these, but I know what Jacques thought about those who believe in these ideas (he mentions the NASA photos of the face of mars IIRC) strongly just based on the data we have (extremely ambiguous, at best), and I'm pretty certain he would not agree with Gordon here?

    I'm not saying any of this isn't possible, or actually true - just that we should be very, very clear on what is speculation, and what is fact, and what is probable/likely etc.

    Finally, perhaps we should be focused on those mischievous entities implanting faces on earth first?:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. manjit

    manjit New

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    Sorry, just remembered one other thing.

    Regarding the more recent picture of the "face on mars" from another angle which appears to show it to just be a normal rocky area - in regards to this picture, Gordon apparently wants to educate us on this as to why it's not correct....then goes on to provide the reason for this; it was a "take down", apparently.

    Sorry, this doesn't really dissuade me, and shouldn't dissuade anyone else.

    What is a "take down"? And what is the evidence for believing it is a "take down"? And, again, WHAT IS A "take down"!!!??? :D

    Just saying it is a "take down", right after suggesting he's about to explain (with coherent & cogent analysis) why it's not correct, is not really informative enough imo?
     
  10. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Though I guess supernovae might be the weapons of choice for an aggressive galactic civilisation :)

    I'm rather glad I followed my hunch and didn't bother to listen to this podcast!


    I like this too, alternative science can seem like a jungle of ideas, and it is good to see Skeptiko prune the dead wood.

    David
     
  11. north

    north Member

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    I took the image from Brandenburg's site. He seems to see more there than I do.
     
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  12. north

    north Member

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  13. Kamarling

    Kamarling Member

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  14. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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    But he doesn't post any of the more detailed images in his site?
     
  15. KeithA

    KeithA New

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    Thanks for the link. I have to say I was disturbed by James Carrion's blog post (in the link you gave above) where he talks of "the humans behind the UFO wave of 1947" as if they were all human related? Does he really mean this? It would be an astounding claim as we're not just talking about the Roswell event.

    This is in light of the extensive and secret military Project Sign investigation of 1948 (of many sightings) where they concluded the objects were real and had an "extraterrestrial" origin. Their "Estimate of the Situation".

    http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc726.htm.

    So much more available on this by the deep NICAP group. One can Google "Project Sign" nicap for this.

    It wouldn't surprise me that there would be official deception going on at this time (1947) but the secret Project Sign investigation was completely beyond this particular game. And they said the objects were real.
     
  16. Kamarling

    Kamarling Member

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    Couldn't say as it isn't really a big interest of mine. I posted the link in response to another post about disinformation - for the sake of general interest. But you could add a reply to the Daily Grail comments section under the article - they are a friendly bunch.
     
  17. Alex

    Alex New

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    good stuff. I'm waiting to see what Dr. Brandenburg comes back with.
     
  18. steve001

    steve001 Member

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    That will be hard to do because the nature of this subject is like honey attracting those living in the fringe of ideas.
     
  19. malf

    malf Member

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  20. Silence

    Silence Member

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    I'm gradually going back through these older shows as a "new guy" and listened to this one. While the face on Mars and the conspiracy theories regarding Government are less interesting to me, the atmospheric chemistry component was interesting. I listened to a skeptics response to Brandenburg who attempted to tear down this Xe-129 aspect and it was actually less than convincing.

    This seems to me (as an abject chemistry novice) to be something that should have a definitive response. Either the Xe-129 ratio found in Mars atmosphere fits current scientific explanation or it doesn't.

    Alex, you'd said that Brandenburg was posed the objections/questions in this thread on the Xe-129 question. Did he fail to respond?
     

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