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'[OT:] Wet Mars'
2004\03\02@193223 by Russell McMahon

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Data from Mars rover gives strong evidence that area was consistently wet in
the past.

   http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=13758

(Remembering, as always, that "strong evidence" and fact are often
correlated but not equal.)

Note that the Moon's south polar ice, which at one stage was so evident that
people would have bet their house on the evidence, is now more rationally
discussed.

Mars has also provided "strong evidence" for subterranean ice deposits,
mainly in its south polar regions, but these have not as yet been proven.
There are also many photos available which appear to show erosion channels
from very large water flows in the immediate past down the sides of valleys
where (apparently) sub-surface water has flown out of the water table when
it reached a rift. Surface water on Mars would currently boil away almost
instantly so such flows would be most spectacular to see.

Assignment: Pore  over countless available Mars photos for evidence of such
a flow in progress. Report back when you find one.

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2004\03\03@054025 by Mike

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a quote from the untagged thread:

If something flowed it was liquid water. The alternative fluid
is liquid CO2 and that's far far less likely. Water cannot exist
stably on the present martian surface as a liquid but it should
be able to exist subsurface as a solid.
<end quote>

Slept through chemistry?

CO2 (as in dry ice) sublimes from solid to liquid. There ain't
no liquid CO2. That fizzy stuff in your Shirley Temple is CO2
dissolved in water.

Mike

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2004\03\03@092148 by Gustaf J. Barkstrom

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> If something flowed it was liquid water. The alternative fluid is
> liquid CO2
> and that's far far less likely. Water cannot exist stably on the present
> martian surface as a liquid but it should be able to exist subsurface as >
a solid.

Again, I didn't say it WASN'T water flowing, I said there's no liquid water
NOW, at this year, flowing.  Certainly, whatever flowed was most likely
water, but it doesn't matter; it's not flowing NOW.

> Nuclear steam rockets anyone :-)

Robert Heinlein may want to straddle a nuclear fission device, but I don't
want to be anywhere near THAT candle when it lights off. ;-)

Gustaf

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2004\03\03@092353 by Russell McMahon

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> a quote from the untagged thread:
>
> If something flowed it was liquid water. The alternative fluid
> is liquid CO2 and that's far far less likely. Water cannot exist
> stably on the present martian surface as a liquid but it should
> be able to exist subsurface as a solid.
> <end quote>

> Slept through chemistry?

Nope - just more aware  of reality than those who think what we see here is
all there is :-)

> CO2 (as in dry ice) sublimes from solid to liquid. There ain't
> no liquid CO2. That fizzy stuff in your Shirley Temple is CO2
> dissolved in water.

I'll repeat my reply from another post.

On earth at atmospheric pressure - yes.
CO2 solid "sublimes" directly to gas.
Whether you get liquid CO2 depends on pressure and temperature.
Take a CO2 cylinder for eg a soft drink dispenser ("Soda Flow" in this
country) and shake it. The liquid you hear / sense is liquid CO2 at around
800 psi.

Mars is even less likely to support liquid CO2 - as I noted in the phrase
"and that's far far less likely".


   RM

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2004\03\03@140510 by Russell McMahon

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> > If something flowed it was liquid water.
...
> > Water cannot exist stably on the present
> > martian surface as a liquid but it should be able to exist subsurface as
> > a solid.

> Again, I didn't say it WASN'T water flowing, I said there's no liquid
water
> NOW, at this year, flowing.  Certainly, whatever flowed was most likely
> water, but it doesn't matter; it's not flowing NOW.

Best current scientific guess (all of science is a "guess") says that there
is water flowing now.

Did you read the references that say that, as of January this year (about 6
weeks ago) scientists believe that they have "probably" detected substantial
amounts of exposed water ice on the Martian surface? eg


http://www.usatoday.com/news/science/2004-01-23-europe-mars_x.htm

but see below.

IF this is in fact what they believe it to be then some of this is going to
melt occasionally.

Also, if this is true then there is even more likely to be subsurface ice
which melts and forms a water table which flows underground. When this meets
a valley edge (especially in highly permeable strata) the underground flow
would suddenly become a surface flow down the valley face. The water would
run boiling down the valley wall and evaporate in very short order, but it
would flow and could leave channels. This is the mechanism proposed for the
formation of the many observed channels.

All of which depends on whether the material which some scientists are sure
is surface water ice actually is.

FWIW - the amount of water believed to have been observed previously using
indirect methods (rather than the direct methods below) is so substantial as
to suggest the formation of small ocean size water bodies if it melted and
the atmospheric conditions permitted it to remain liquid on the surface.
(This would require planet wide temperature rise and very substantial
increases in the atmospheric pressure. Both things unlikely to be seen in
the next few millennia with even aggressive terraforming activity, but not
impossible). (See Kim Stanley Robinson's utterly and incomparably superb Red
Mars / Blue Mars / Green Mars series for a superb discussion of (as well as
many other things) considerations for achieving this goal).

Repeating my quick Google strikes:

Thermal imaging pictures of what is BELIEVED to be exposed water
ice now.

       http://www.mars-ice.org/

BBC version of same - easier to view / skim

       http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2013114.stm

Mars surface ice reports, 23 January 2004

       http://www.usatoday.com/news/science/2004-01-23-europe-mars_x.htm

The language used is that of scientists who "know" that they are seeing
exposed surface water ice (and may be wrong) but are using scientifically
conservative language.



       RM

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2004\03\03@194217 by Gustaf J. Barkstrom

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Russell,

Cool references.  I always thought of science as a process, not a guess.
I am most likely to believe in probability/improbability, and not likely to
believe in much else.  I think training in physics did that to me. :)
Scientifically conservative language appeals to me, and such terms as
"terraforming" do not, but that's me. :-)

Gustaf

> The language used is that of scientists who "know" that they are seeing
> exposed surface water ice (and may be wrong) but are using scientifically
> conservative language.
>
>
>
>         RM

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2004\03\03@212501 by Russell McMahon

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> Cool references.

Google is your friend ! :-)

> I always thought of science as a process, not a guess.

It's a process with "guessing" as a fundamental element.
The "Scientific Method" is

- Observe "facts" / "reality"
- Make a calculated guess as to a model that explains what you see.
- Make a falsifiable* prediction from your model of how reality should
behave.
- Create an experiment that tests your prediction.
- Observe results (which is step 1) & start again.

* falsifiable prediction - one that an experiment can be devised for which
may disprove the model if the model is false. If predictions are non
falsifiable then they are useless. (eg The passage of near earth asteroids
causes dandruff. Effect is not related to their mass.)

All other ways of doing science aren't science. But there are many people
who will tell you that what they do is science when it's not done as above.
This subject falls into the "holy war" realm.

Too many "scientific facts" that we accept as holy writ pay lip service to
the above process but actually cheat and cut corners to keep the favourite
theories alive. The flames from the above will already be hot enough without
me having to name any such as evolution, global warming (both sides of
argument), etc so I won't mention any at all :-)

Another problem is that people insist that subjects that do not FULLY allow
of treatment as above have no place for consideration scientifically. If
such things have measurable outcomes then they can be dealt with in some
manner and pretending they are not there at all is ludicrous. It's one thing
to leave a large hole that you acknowledge that you are unable to venture
into (such as eg Copenhagen model of quantum mechanics which demands that
what happens "in between" is not only unknowable but is a meaningless
question) and instead pulling the edge s of the hole together and insisting
that its not there at all so you can walk across from one side to the other
without any problems. OK - lest say it clearly if eg God DOES exist then
saying that such things are outside the realms of Science is fine, if you
really feel so. But instead saying that the existence of anything (object,
force, property etc) MUST have come from some prior state etc by fully
explicable means because it exists and there's no other way, is to cauterise
parts of your brain. eg "Life on earth as we see it now MUST have evolved
from inanimate matter because we are here and it was there so it MUST have
been possible for it to happen, mustn't it". It may very well be that there
is a findable path from any apparent cause to any apparent effect but it is
unwise and intellectually dishonest to be dogmatic that 'tis always so.

At an (apparently) more sensible level, we hobble ourselves by feeling eg
that anti-gravity devices are ridiculous when the cosmologists are coming up
with a new material / force / ??? a month trying to explain how the universe
hangs together. There seems to be a very very very large amount of
anti-gravity happening "out there" based on latest theories. It's entirely
possible that we may never see anti-gravity effects demonstrable under our
control. (Never MAY be a long time). It may very well be that this is all a
figment of the cosmologists attempts to explain away what they are seeing in
acceptable terms (eg progressively falling light speed does marvels for some
theories but can produce universes which are dangerously young and therefore
unacceptable).



       Russell "all models are wrong, some models are useful" McMahon

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2004\03\03@230419 by Gustaf J. Barkstrom

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Russell,

> Google is your friend ! :-)

Never a truer thing has been said! :-)

>         Russell "all models are wrong, some models are useful" McMahon

Ooooh, good line. :-)  My favorite debate on that one is creation vs.
evolution.  Both are "models", both are wrong, but evolution is at least
useful (sometimes).

Gustaf

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2004\03\04@023213 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> The "Scientific Method" is
>
> - Observe "facts" / "reality"
> - Make a calculated guess as to a model that explains what you see.
> - Make a falsifiable* prediction from your model of how reality should
> behave.
> - Create an experiment that tests your prediction.
> - Observe results (which is step 1) & start again.

One 'nice' result: math in all its forms (algebra, statistics, geometry,
calculus, etc) is definitely *not* science according to this definition
(because - by itself - it has no implications in reality).

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\03\04@050827 by Howard Winter

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Russell,

On Thu, 4 Mar 2004 15:23:10 +1300, Russell McMahon wrote:
>...<
> (eg progressively falling light speed does marvels for some
> theories but can produce universes which are dangerously young and therefore
> unacceptable)

Something has always puzzled me about light - if Einstein is right, how can it exhibit Doppler shift?  As I
understand it, the latter is due to the wave arriving at the receiver at a different speed from that with
which it left the transmitter, but if the speed of light is constant to the observer, how can it "slow down"
to give red-shift?

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\03\04@051449 by Russell McMahon

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> >         Russell "all models are wrong, some models are useful" McMahon
>
> Ooooh, good line. :-)  My favorite debate on that one is creation vs.
> evolution.  Both are "models", both are wrong, but evolution is at least
> useful (sometimes).

Following that line will get this thread proscribed rather rapidly :-).
Lets make a NON-RELIGIOUS point about creation as a theory that shows that
failure to consider such a theory useful is a sign of scientific ignorance.

I suspect that both "models" *as they are usually presented* are lacking.
But to imply as you do that creation is never a useful model seems strange
to me. For instance, even if you believe (wrongly :-) ) that there is no
creating God, to reject a creation model as useless, blinds you to possible
reality without involving religion. You would reasonably expect that Crick &
Watson (the celebrated 2 of the 4 "discoverers" of the structure of DNA) to
be high on the list of those who have a reasonable idea of what it would
take to evolve life as we know it now from non-life. Both are strongly
religious - ie they are both rabid frothing at the mouth Atheists. Crick (I
think it was) wrote a whole book expounding his theory that life on earth
could not possibly have evolved locally (not enough time, excessive
complexity, too much information etc) and MUST have been purposefully seeded
by aliens. To stop people carting you off to the loony bin or back to area
51 this theory is dressed up with the title "directed panspermia". (I have
doubts about the theory in C's version - I don't reject it utterly. Thinking
about the alien(s) liable to have been  involved can be interesting :-) ). .
Watson has on a number of occasions indicated his approval of his partner's
theory. This is a creationist model. While you may feel that it is a
ridiculous one, it is nearly certain that you are nowhere as well qualified
to judge whether this is so as Crick & Watson are. That being the case, your
implication that a creationist model is not sometimes useful is opposed by
C&W.

What I personally find ridiculous is that both Crick & Watson (or anyone
else) would seriously propose a directed panspermia model but also be
violently a-theist in their views. Agnostic maybe (even though agnosticism
is not a stable position).

Equally ridiculous is that people would ridicule and reject such a model
while slavishly accepting the house of cards that top researchers believe is
left if this model is rejected. (To spell it out - C&W say evolution is not
the answer. Why should YOU disbelieve them.).

Please give me a minute or two to find my flame shields.



       Russell McMahon

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       Don't make Him regret it.

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2004\03\04@053603 by Russell McMahon

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> > The "Scientific Method" is
> >
> > - Observe "facts" / "reality"
> > - Make a calculated guess as to a model that explains what you see.
> > - Make a falsifiable* prediction from your model of how reality should
> > behave.
> > - Create an experiment that tests your prediction.
> > - Observe results (which is step 1) & start again.


> One 'nice' result: math in all its forms (algebra, statistics, geometry,
> calculus, etc) is definitely *not* science according to this definition
> (because - by itself - it has no implications in reality).

Yes. Maths is a page description language :-)
I once heard somebody say it was the language that God speaks but I strongly
think not. Maths is an attempt to describe processes so that we can attempt
to understand them.



       RM

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2004\03\04@053604 by Russell McMahon

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> > (eg progressively falling light speed does marvels for some
> > theories but can produce universes which are dangerously young and
therefore
> > unacceptable)
>
> Something has always puzzled me about light - if Einstein is right, how
can it exhibit Doppler shift?  As I
> understand it, the latter is due to the wave arriving at the receiver at a
different speed from that with
> which it left the transmitter, but if the speed of light is constant to
the observer, how can it "slow down"
> to give red-shift?

Doppler shift of light is lights' way of complaining that it is not allowed
to change speed. Its *wavelength* changes but its velocity remains the same.

With a wave propagating through a medium a change in source or destination
velocity for a constant frequency source results in a change in apparent
frequency to the receiver. In that case "the medium is the message" (or part
of it) and both speed and frequency can be legitimately considered to have
changed. Electromagnetic energy transfer is mediumless (if you believe
Michelson & Morley and a few zillion other scientists). Some still disagree.
Some even claim that contrary results were obtained by other experimenters
using M&M's  original apparatus over thousands of repeat tests.
Producing an M&M interferometer setup requires extremely precise surveying
accuracy over a substantial distance and therefore cost. I'm told (perhaps
incorrectly?) that it is not possible to get funding to repeat the
experiment nowadays as the result is known so the experiment would, of
course, be pointless. They may well be correct.



           Russell McMahon

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2004\03\04@054431 by Wouter van Ooijen

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[trying to walk the small road between being rude to some convictions
and being so general that nothing usefull is said]

> Agnostic maybe (even though agnosticism is not a stable position).

As a convinced agnost I am not so sure about that :)

IMHO agnostic means that I see no reasonable way (scientific or other)
to decide whether (a) god(s) exist. Hence I will happily oppose both
- religious guys who claim to have proof that god exists
- anti-religious guys who claim to have proof that god does not exists

In both cases 'proof' does not include internal / personal proof. There
is no way I can comment on someone else's internal certainties.

The only guys I can agree with are the ones who say that the 'does god
exist?' question has no scientific meaning. Note: this does not imply
that the question has no meaning at all, just no scientific meaning (in
Popper's interpretation).

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\03\04@062047 by Russell McMahon

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Would happily comment on some of the other material but it strays too far
into the verboten areas.
This part seems non-religious enough that it's liable to be allowed as a
valid subject -

> The only guys I can agree with are the ones who say that the 'does god
> exist?' question has no scientific meaning. Note: this does not imply
> that the question has no meaning at all, just no scientific meaning (in
> Popper's interpretation).

Science says that there are things in the God realm which Science is
unqualified to comment on. That's entirely acceptable. What science doesn't
have to say (indeed shouldn't think it can say) is that God related
matters -

- can never result in outcomes which are measurable by science.

- must be completely ignored when attempting to work towards an
understanding of something.

The 2nd point is vital. I covered this in passing in a recent post. It is
not scientific to say that everything MUST be able to be explicable by
science. It is reasonable to say that all things in the physical realm MAY
be explicable by science. The existence of God (or not) does not invalidate
science. Therefore science must not demand that all things must be
scientifically coherent and consistent. Quantum mechanics is one field where
it is acceptable (to most) for utterly inexplicable things to occur. There
is largely no scientific objection to this. (The ghost of Einstein does
still wail from the battlements about spooky interaction at a distance and
about QM in general.)

A problem is that some of the less scientifically rigorous disciplines tend
to DEMAND, as a matter of holy cant, that they must be able to provide all
the answers. It may be that in their sphere they can - but it is
illegitimate to demand that they must. Evolution is one such theory that now
demands that it be called fact and that its acolytes blindly believe in its
certain ability to be complete, despite the fact that is arguable whether it
qualifies as science under Popper's definition.

And, re personal proof: You indeed cannot comment definitively on other's
internal proofs - but you can listen to them and observe them and then take
what steps may come to seem appropriate to allow "things" to work on your
own internal proofs. These you can comment on definitively.



       Russell McMahon

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2004\03\04@070103 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> This part seems non-religious enough that it's liable to be
> allowed as a valid subject

Let's keep it that way - it is still interesting.

> Science says that there are things in the God realm which Science is
> unqualified to comment on.

Actually science says that there are scentences that have no
meaning/interpretation within science. Nothing more. But this is not a
consequence of using the word 'God'.

> What science doesn't
> have to say (indeed shouldn't think it can say) is that God related
> matters -
> - can never result in outcomes which are measurable by science.

If a god-related (whatever that means) scentence is falsifiable (has
consequences which might be proven false) then the scentence does have a
scientific meaning/interpretation/significance.

> - must be completely ignored when attempting to work towards an
> understanding of something.

IMHO science does not claim (or should no claim) to understand. It
predicts, nothing more. There isn't even a scientific (falsifiable)
interpretation of 'understanding' (which diffirs from 'predicting').

> Evolution is one such theory that now
> demands that it be called fact and that its acolytes blindly
> believe in its certain ability to be complete, despite the fact that
is
> arguable whether it qualifies as science under Popper's definition.

IMHO a scientific theory should never claim to be 'a fact'. It is just
'not yet falisfied dispite significant effort to do so'. Outside science
one may tend to rely on such a theory being a fact, but that has nothing
to do with science istelf.

> And, re personal proof: You indeed cannot comment
> definitively on other's
> internal proofs - but you can listen to them and observe them
> and then take
> what steps may come to seem appropriate to allow "things" to
> work on your
> own internal proofs. These you can comment on definitively.

Of course, but neither the other persons internal beliefs/proofs nor
mine are open to unambiguous third-party verification. Hence not
scientifically meaningfull. Just like hope, love, happiness (which all
are very meaningfull to me) are not scientifically meaningfull (except
in some chemical form, which is much less meaningfull to me!).

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\03\04@073250 by Jinx

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> The only guys I can agree with are the ones who say that the
> 'does god exist?'

He does in my Deleted Items

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2004\03\04@083849 by Gustaf J. Barkstrom

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Russel,

Oh boy.  I see that my argument implies that, but let me say that I'm not
here to get the thread removed, get you or myself removed, or anything like
that.  This is not the place to argue these topics (IMHO).

Gustaf

> {Original Message removed}

2004\03\04@101356 by Joseph Bobek

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The speed of light is not constant, the speed of light in a vacuum is.
Light, just as all electromagnetic waves, has a speed that is related to
the electric and magnetic permeability of the medium that they are
traveling through.  For example.  Light travels slower through glass than
air, although, not really by that much.  A better example would be to say
something like FM Waves (which travel at the speed of light in a vacuum)
travel slower in magnetic materials than they do in air.

JoE

On Thu, 4 Mar 2004, Howard Winter wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\03\04@170913 by Russell McMahon

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> > Science says that there are things in the God realm which Science is
> > unqualified to comment on.
>
> Actually science says that there are scentences that have no
> meaning/interpretation within science. Nothing more. But this is not a
> consequence of using the word 'God'.

Agree. But God related things form a subset of such.

> > What science doesn't
> > have to say (indeed shouldn't think it can say) is that God related
> > matters must be completely ignored when attempting to work towards an
> > understanding of something.

> IMHO science does not claim (or should no claim) to understand. It
> predicts, nothing more. There isn't even a scientific (falsifiable)
> interpretation of 'understanding' (which diffirs from 'predicting').

OK - my terminology was sloppy.
The important point was that the argument "we know that Y must have arisen
from X, as Y exists and there is no other choice ...." is not a
scientifically supportable one. Science legitimately says "Let's propose
means by which Y may have arisen from X and then propose falsifiable
experiments to test this model." Substitute eg "Life as we know it" for Y
and "nothing whatsoever" for X as an example.

> > Evolution is one such theory that now
> > demands that it be called fact and that its acolytes blindly
> > believe in its certain ability to be complete, despite the fact that
> > is arguable whether it qualifies as science under Popper's definition.

> IMHO a scientific theory should never claim to be 'a fact'. It is just
> 'not yet falisfied dispite significant effort to do so'. Outside science
> one may tend to rely on such a theory being a fact, but that has nothing
> to do with science istelf.

And yet, the more beleagured and poorly truly-scientifically supported a
theory becomes, the more stridently it's supporters will demand that it must
be recognised as self evident truth that need not and must not be
questioned. NON-Plate Tectonics was one such model that took many decades of
chipping away at before the "now self evident truth" of Plate Tectonics
became the latest holy writ. It would take even more effort now to dislodge
Plate Tectonics than to install it.

The in many parts non-falsifiable "Macro" Evolution (as opposed to the
falsifiable models of natural selection) is a similar theory that is at the
"we demand your unquestioning belief in our holy truth" stage. Even though
some of those who may be expected to be its chiefest advocates, such as
Crick & Watson, have long ago bailed out, despite being staunch atheists and
sought "special pleading" in the form of unknown aliens, many still cling to
the unfalsifiable model and claim the cloak of science to protect their
stance.

There's no shame in something not being amenable to falsifiable modelling -
it's just the way some things are. Even if what you wish to study is a facet
of physical reality (whatever that is :-) ) it may be separated from you by
time, distance, scale or some other gap that make it essentially
inaccessible. The "shame" lies in people insisting that they can bend
science to make their study scientific. Advancing knowledge can make some
things increasingly accessible that previously weren't (eg to give a less
controversial example - studies of planets around other stars) but some
things are currently beyond the range of our best measurements and some
things always will be. Things removed in time can be some of the most
intractable. "Tail chasing" often results from attempts to extend our grasp
beyond  the reasonable. eg strata dating fossils dating strata dating fo
.... . Can you tell me how old this sample is? What starta did you find it
in? Why do you need to know that? So that we can interpret the results
correctly. Known 50 year old lava (people saw it deposited) dates as
millions of years. Samples from freshly dead animal tissues date at
thousands of years. etc.


> > And, re personal proof:
>> ... you can listen to them and observe them and then
> > take what steps may come to seem appropriate to allow
> > "things" to work on your own internal proofs...

> Of course, but neither the other persons internal beliefs/proofs nor
> mine are open to unambiguous third-party verification.

Ah - but they are.
But it has to be done one person at a time :-)
ie you may verify to *your own* satisfaction with falsifiable experiments
the 'truth' of others' personal proofs. Others cannot share your proofs -
they must in turn build their own falsifiable models (which they may borrow
from you but must personally own) and must personally test them to their own
satisfaction. I am well aware that this is not "science as we know it", but
it has similarities. Unlike true science where others may perform the
experiment and you can study their results without becoming involved,
personal models require that each person do it for themself. It may not be
science, but each can be personally satisfied with the 'proof'.



       Russell McMahon

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2004\03\05@175244 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> Something has always puzzled me about light - if Einstein is right, how
> can it exhibit Doppler shift?  As I

The energy of a light particle (photon) is h*mu where mu is frequecy in
Hx. If Einstein is right them E=m*c^2 is constant for the photon in free
space and then:

       h*mu = m*c^2

But if you move wrt. the origin c is not c-v where v is your speed (or the
speed of the origin), and:

       h*mu = m*(c-v)^2

Since h, n, c, and v are constants (you are saying you know v, aren't you
?), the only thing left to change to fix the equation is mu, but mu is the
frequency. So mu (the frequency, aka 1/wavelength, aka redshift) decreases
when the observer travels away from the source of light (or the source of
light travels away from the observer) (remember light energy is a vector
so vector addition applies between c, the speed of the photon, and v, the
speed of the source/your speed - that's how you get blueshift, or
increased frequency - by traveling towards the source).

Peter

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2004\03\05@181603 by 0xDEADBEEF

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Am Freitag, 5. März 2004 23:42 schrieben Sie:
{Quote hidden}

Here is something against Einstein (in German, google translator may help):
www.unglaublichkeiten.com/unglaublichkeiten/htmlphp/
erfindungeneinsteingotthardbarth.html

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2004\03\05@182642 by Russell McMahon

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> ... the only thing left to change to fix the equation is mu, but mu is the
> frequency. So mu (the frequency, aka 1/wavelength, aka redshift) decreases
> when the observer travels away from the source of light ...



Which is puzzling :-)
ie your explanation explained what MUST happen if the assumptions are
correct BUT it still isn't intuitive to dwellers in Newtonian space.

       RM

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2004\03\05@190835 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> The speed of light is not constant, the speed of light in a vacuum is.
> Light, just as all electromagnetic waves, has a speed that is related to
> the electric and magnetic permeability of the medium that they are
> traveling through.  For example.  Light travels slower through glass
> than air, although, not really by that much.  A better example would be
> to say something like FM Waves (which travel at the speed of light in a
> vacuum) travel slower in magnetic materials than they do in air.

Actually the speed of light is the ideally highest speed attainable by any
particle known (publicly ?). To satisfy the equation E=m*c^2 with E
constant obvously m~=0. The photon satisfies this condition in a vacuum.
The lower speed of photons in other mediums than vacuum is affected by the
interaction of the photon with the mass and other forces present in the
medium. This is what causes it to 'slow down'. Basically the presence of
the medium (as opposed to the emptiness of vacuum) affects the probability
of the photon to be a particle/wave so it interacts to a certain extent
with the material (partly as a wave and partly as a particle).

Peter

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2004\03\06@114312 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> Which is puzzling :-) ie your explanation explained what MUST happen if
> the assumptions are correct BUT it still isn't intuitive to dwellers in
> Newtonian space.

Why not ? The subjectively perceived distance between regularly planted
trees on the side of a road is felt as smaller than the real distance,
when driving at some speed down the road, yes ? And hitting any one of
them will be more painful de faster you go ?

Peter

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2004\03\07@155844 by Omega Software

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At 00.42 06/03/2004 +0200, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Very interesting stuff. By the way, would a stream of electrons moving at
about 1/20th of the speed of light (which if I made my calculations right
means a wavelength of about 500 nM) produce visible, green light, when
approaching an eye or an optical sensor?

If not, why?

Greets,
Andrea

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2004\03\07@181940 by Russell McMahon

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> >Since h, n, c, and v are constants (you are saying you know v, aren't you
> >?), the only thing left to change to fix the equation is mu, but mu is
the
> >frequency.


One  may be SAYING one knows the velocity is constant, but what does one
know? :-)

Once you allow arcanery then anything can happen.
By constant velocity one probably means that, as a classical observer, that
constant distance is travelled in constant time as one observes distance and
time. If time and distance are also variable, and even a function of the
velocity that you are trying to express them in terms of then it all gets a
bit grey.

Interesting thought. At light-speed, time and distance fall to zero. All
light speed particles are timeless. All the processes they will ever undergo
occur instantaneously for them. SO - ALL photons are everywhere all at once
from their point of view, in instantaneous timeless communications with all
other photons. A photon travelling from eg the sun and another travelling
from eg Abell 1835 IR1916 (reputedly farthest known galaxy from earth) both
neither travel or arrive in time order - they just "are". All from their own
perspective of course, No wonder they're confused :-)



       RM

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2004\03\07@235916 by Jake Anderson

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i *think* there is something called a scintilating xray machine or some such
that does something simmilar to this
thy put a whole bunch of electrons into a particle accelerator and run them
up to a moderatly stupid speed then use them to illuminate crystals and the
like.
one of those places where you find scads of lead bricks around the place and
nobody is allowed to use them for normal stuff like holding doors open.

{Original Message removed}

2004\03\08@135354 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
> Very interesting stuff. By the way, would a stream of electrons moving
> at about 1/20th of the speed of light (which if I made my calculations
> right means a wavelength of about 500 nM) produce visible, green light,
> when approaching an eye or an optical sensor?

I had simplified a little ;-) An electron is not a photon, anyway.

Peter

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2004\03\08@140843 by Peter L. Peres

picon face
>Interesting thought. At light-speed, time and distance fall to zero. All
>light speed particles are timeless. All the processes they will ever
>undergo

I like to think of E=m*c^2 as an absolute system limit. To me it says that
for any control volume containing the mass m the total energy in the
control volume is m*c^2. I am not very sure that this equation holds true
for individual quanta.

Peter

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