1997: Abhorrent Ideas in Science

1997 William Beaty


Life forms not dependent on sunlight (chemosynthetic life, deep ocean vents, deep bacteria underground – The energy of all life derives from the sun. It’s a kind of natural law, no organism violates it. If the top ten miles of Earth’s crust was full of bacteria, we would have discovered this long ago.
Flying machines – Scientists have declared the pursuit of the flying machine to be a fool’s errand. Dr. S. Newcomb has shown them to be impossible. If one could be built, it would illustrate that the scientists are the fools, and the crazy dreamers were right all along.
Spacecraft, humans traveling to the moon – Disgusting fantasy, only escapist believers in science-fiction accept that such things are possible. Hitler is raining down spacecraft-bombs upon London? Don’t be an idiot. What will he do next, shoot us with Buck Rogers ray guns?
Perceptrons are important – Minski and Papert proved that neural netowrks are of no value, since 2-layer networks have severe limitations. We should all stop getting excited about them… and get excited about Minski’s and Papert’s AI work instead. Pay no attention to the THREE-layer networks, they just distract us from pursuit of proper AI theory.
Childhood Sexual Abuse – Medical researchers are familiar with childhood spontaneous bruising syndrome, and the tendency for children in certain families to break their own bones. Parents beating up their children, then lying about it? Unthinkable! It doesn’t occur! Or if it does, it must be extremely rare, and only happens for an incredibly tiny percentage of violently insane parents.
Black holes – Chandrasekhar’s ideas about “black holes” are garbage, Sir Arthur Eddington said so. Who are you going to believe, some young upstart? Why would a reputable and famous physicist like Dr. Eddington attack these ideas unless they were bad?
Ions (Ahrrenius) – ??? chemists couldn’t have missed this
X-rays – Lord Kelvin has declared that X-rays are bunk. Modern physicists could not have missed such an important phenomenon. If X-rays are real, then it makes the experts look like fools.
Margulis’ cooperation in evolution – Cooperation violates Evolutionary law, read my lips, Evolution is COM-PE-TI-TION ONLY, organisms do not cooperate. Haven’t you ever heard about, “nature red in tooth and claw”? Animals never help each other out, communities of organizms do not create evolutionary niches, and symbiosis is an extremely rare phenomena.
Cellular endosymbiosis – Suggests that thousands of biologists overlooked a major, totally obvious fact. Endosymbiosis violates Evolutionary law, suggests that cooperation rather than competition is the norm.
Plate tectonics – Geologists know that continents don’t move, and that mountains are thrust upwards only when accumulations of oceanic silt pushes the adjacent crust downwards. If “plate tectonics” is real, all geologists are wrong, it makes all geologists look like ignorant nonscientists. Look, one person supports “plate tectonics”, hundreds say that it’s trash, it is inconceivable that Wegener is right. Who does this “Wegener” person think he is, to say that he is right and hundreds of reputable geologists are wrong?
Permanent magnet levitation – Physicists know that stable levitation using permanent magnets is impossible, it violates the Earnshaw Theorem. Only an uneducated person would pursue this field. Spinning the levitated magnet cannot work, it is provably unstable.
Amorphous Semiconductors – Everyone knows that transistors and diodes require ultrapure, near-perfect crystal lattices for operation. The whole science of solid state electronics is based upon this. Ovshinski and his non-crystalline semiconductors are ridiculous, nobody should listen to this lunatic.


Psychokinesis – Minds can affect matter? You must be joking. Anyone who believes in psychokinesis is either deluded by wishful thinking or is the victim of hoaxers. PEAR lab results say differently? Um. Uh… They’ve obviously made mistakes. Even the professionals can be sucked in by Pathological Science. (…and Pathological Skepticism does not exist!)
Cold Fusion – Small-time chemists succeed where billions of dollars of hot-fusion funding and many hundreds of top fusion physicists have failed. Such things simply do not happen! Mallove claims that MIT altered data to hide positive results? If he suspects that collegues are out to suppress CF results, he must be a delusional paranoid. In Academia, nobody ever tries to suppress dissenting viewpoints.
Antigravity – Violates Newton’s laws, general relativity. Matter attracts matter, never repels. Podkletnov finds evidence for “gravity shielding” in rotating, suddenly-halted superconductors? Disgusting! An obvious hoax. It is right that Tampere University quickly shut down his lab and ejected him when he tried to publicize his discovery. And it was NOT INTELLECTUAL SUPPRESSION!
Ancient trans-ocean contact – Ancient peoples voyaged across the Pacific, and traded across the Atlantic? Don’t be absurd. Egyptian mummies are found to be filled with tobacco and cocaine? An obvious fraud, and whoever performed the work should be fired from their position. Roman jars are found underwater off Brazil? It didn’t happen, so don’t study it. We’re rejecting facts which don’t fit with our beliefs? No we aren’t, because all scientists are objective, and they know which data are fraudulent. I bet a Sociologist told you that stuff about beliefs. All Sociologists are obviously jealous of the physical sciences, and want to tear them down. Everyone knows this.
Giant Ground Sloths in the Amazon – There are no large quadrupeds left to discover. Dr. David Oren says he has evidence such as feces and clawed trees? He is an obvious crank, the last ground sloth went extinct over 8,000 years ago. We won’t believe in this so-called “Mapinguari” even if he captures one for a zoo. After all, even people running zoos can be taken in by a clever hoaxer.
Placebo-effect healing – Suggests that millions of modern physicians have ignored a treatment which gives 30% to 50% cure rate. Suggests that there is a connection between healing and the mind. Modern science is not familiar with any such connection, millions of researchers could not have missed something so important, therefor it does not exist.
Chemical transmutation – Suggests that mystical superstitious Alchemists know things that modern advanced chemists have missed.
Small comet bombardment of Earth – Suggests that scientists in all of these fields have been totally blind to a very important phenomena: geo, atmos, astro.
Magnetic effects on chem/bio – Implies that those thousands of doctors who over many decades have ridiculed magnetic healing devices, are wrong, and the “Quack researchers” have been right all along. Implies that an important effect (DC magnetism affecting nerves) was discovered by amateurs and intentionally ignored by the professionals.
Hypnotism – It’s grotesque Mesmerism, a simple parlor trick intended to delude the gullible. The “hypnotic state” does not exist.
Instantaneous meteor sounds These sounds are impossible. The speed of sound is slow, and it takes seconds, if not minutes, for the acoustic waves to reach our ears. If people report that they hear sounds which are simultaneous with meteors, then those people are crazy or liars. And the same is true for Auroral noises!
Acupuncture – Acupuncture is based on “chi” energy and nonexistant “meridians” in the body. How could science have missed such important phenomena? If Acupuncture actually works, there must be some other explanation, like endorphin stimulation or something.


Perpetual motion machines – Violates conservation of energy, suggests that some crackpot inventors have discovered energy sources that scientists missed.
Maxwell’s demon – Violates entropy law, suggests “heat death of the universe” is a flawed idea
Telepathy – Violates 1/(r^2) law
Precognition – Violates causation
Hyperdiluted drugs – Suggests that Homeopathy is right, western medicine is wrong. Western science is never wrong. Suggests that CSICOP wrongly destroyed Benveniste ‘s career, a concept to horrible to even contemplate. Skeptics know the difference between real and fradulent science before they even inspect the evidence!
Creationism – Suggests that fundamentalist Christians are right. Suggests that neo-Darwinist Evolutionary Theory is flawed. No it’s not!
Ancient humans (100,000BC yrs) – Suggests that professional anthropologists are staggeringly wrong about the prehistory of human beings
Energy from water – Physicists could not have missed such an important phenomena
Astrology – Scientists label it as superstition. If astrology really works, then it suggests that superstitions are real.
Life after death, soul travel – Obviously the product of wishful thinking. It isn’t true, therefor we are right to reject any evidence to the contrary.
Star Trek Transporter – Disgusting science fiction fantasy
Star Trek Warp Engines – Even more disgusting! Any Quantum Mechanic who believes that warp engines are possible should be pitched out of the QM Union!
Worldwide plants beneficially affect weather (Gaia hypothesis) – Surely you’re joking. Biologists could not have missed it. If it were important, then the experts would already be studying it.
Non-bio petroleum – If petroleum doesn’t come from old rotted plants, then we petroleum scientists might as well burn all the textbooks, give back our wages to the oil companies, then go off and kill ourselves.
– The US Navy succeeded in making metal transparent, and accidentally causing teleportation? This is so stupid that we will not even lower ourselves to debunk it.
Science constantly makes huge, embarrasing mistakes, scientists suppress new ideas – Large numbers of scientists cannot possibly be wrong. Consensus decisions in Science just HAVE to be totally trustworthy, otherwise there’s a chance that modern science is seriously flawed; that science is rife with false beliefs which are based upon “group-think” rather than upon evidence.
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