“Voodoo Science – The Road from Foolishness to Fraud” is the title of a book by Robert Park, (in at least 2000) a Professor of Physics in Maryland/USA. The book came out in the year 2000, thus one will not get it from a bookshop any more, but I shall return it on coming Monday (23.09.2013) to Helsinki City Library.
The book is good and very recommendable reading, especially for a 9/11 Truther like me. Because: By a whole string of examples concerning, e.g., a number of suggestions for a perpetuum mobile, the political discussion about manned space flight, cold fusion energy, the X-ray laser which was part of Reagan’s SDI, and still more, he is vividly describing how the public discussion (and also the discussion within the government) tends to go, why it can drag on and on even if the idea being discussed is obviously incompatible with well-established laws of nature, and what the factors are which make such waste of time, money and effort possible.
One such factor is that those ideas tend to have a strong appeal to the fantasy of the public (just imagine if one could use however much energy without ever having to pay for it again because it is provided by a perpetuum mobile! – a very understandable appeal considering how much people have to pay at present). Another factor is the ignorance of journalists about science in combination with their tendency to treat such claims as stories of “human interest” (type “honest American inventor having to fight an arrogant science establishment” – with all honest American non-scientists tending to take the side of that good guy against those arrogant guys, which will produce really good sales …). A third factor is that also politicians tend to be at least so ignorant about science that they do not dare to rely on it without very clear opinions from several established experts of the respective fields.
Of these factors, the one concerning the presentation of scientific nonsense as a case of “human interest” may not be very strong in the Finnish mainstream media, but the other factors are very obviously there. As the non-discussion about 9/11 has shown with glaring obviousness! The walls of a building which has not even been hit by an airplane come down at near-free fall speed along the line of biggest resistance (= a physical impossibility), and there is in Finland exactly one established journalist who is outing himself as somebody who doubts the official report about the event (nor is there seemingly ANY established journalist in the German mainstream papers who would voice any doubt)! A professor of physics gets at least 7 other active researchers to put their names under an article which concludes that dust samples from Manhattan seem to contain traces of nanothermite (= a material which is very fit to demolish steel constructions without much noise, and which is only accessible to the military and official services like CIA and similar), and the media “react” with deafening silence … . Altogether, journalists have the choice to give scientific ignorance or political cowardice (or both) as the reason for this – and considering what I learned from a case in which I was myself involved, and also considering what it would mean for a journalist’s career if s/he would be unable to obtain a visa for the USA or Israel, it seems to me that political cowardice is the more probable reason.
From the book still one especially juicy detail: On page 106, concluding a story in which official US support for a perpetuum mobile was finally denied, Park writes as follows:”The great irony is that it was not the towering authority of the First Law of Thermodynamics that brought down the Energy Machine. Aside from Senator Glenn, it’s not clear that anyone on the Committee ever quite understood what the conservation-of-energy argument was all about. Most members of Congress, after all, are lawyers. What lawyers can recognize a mile away is a conflict of interest. Congress had been spared the embarrassment of legislating a patent for “an unlimited source of energy.” …”. The conflict of interest in this case was that the inventor was basing his claim on the positive assessment of his invention by a former commissioner of patents of whom he had already been a customer (i.e. the “expert” was an interested part in the whole business).
Now please consider this reasoning that the expert opinion of an interested part cannot be trusted. THIS IN IN FACT A CONSPIRACY THEORY! And we know what a reputation conspiracy theories have nowadays … . But only since 9/11. Before that they were quite acceptable … .
As I already said in the beginning: This is a very worthwhile book which I warmly recommend.