Pharyngula

Any physics-minded people at Virginia Tech who would like to deal with some crackpots coming to your campus? There is a talk at Virginia Tech this Friday by Bill Lucas on his claimed biblical model for the structure of atoms. It looks like very weird stuff.

CAMPUS BIBLE FELLOWSHIP

INVITES YOUR ORGANIZATION MEMBERS
TO A
CREATION SEMINAR on the

“EXPANDING EARTH: EVIDENCE FOR BIBLICAL CREATION”

PRESENTED BY

DR. BILL LUCAS, B.S., M.S., PH.D in Theoretical Physics

TO BE HELD ON

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2008
AT 7 P.M.
IN SQUIRES STUDENT CENTER, ROOM #341

The presentation in is the form of a PowerPoint using many pictures to explain the new theory of gravity that supports a Biblical view of creation.

There will be opportunity following the presentation for questions and answers.

If you would like to check out the organization that Dr. Lucas works with, you can go to the website: www.commonsensescience.org

You really have to check out that Common Sense Science site — it’s very glib. They claim to have a new model for the structure of matter that involves spinning rings; nowhere do they explain what problems this model solves. I know, I’m not a physicist, so how would I know this isn’t really an exciting and revolutionary new idea? Well, there’s a couple of clues. First and foremost, it claims to be a new idea in physics, but there’s no math anywhere. That is very surprising.

Second, when you rummage around, you won’t find any scientific rationale for anything…but you will find repeated assertions that the model is compatible with Judeo-Christian beliefs. That’s an awfully feeble excuse.

And finally, if you expect their links page to give you some useful external sources to check against, think again. The only external sites mentioned are places like Answers in Genesis, the Institute for Creation Research, the Creation Research Society, etc. You will not find any credible physics at any of those sites — actually, you won’t find any science of any kind.

And of course, the flier is the clincher. This will be a preachin’ fraud who will try to bedazzle the audience with pseudoscience.

If any of you go, let me know what he says! There could be real entertainment value here. You might also want to get in touch with Freethinkers at Virginia Tech; they’re trying to coordinate some kind of response.

Comments

  1. #1 qedpro
    September 18, 2008

    where in god’s name did he get his PhD from and how much did it cost?

  2. #2 qedpro
    September 18, 2008

    OMFG,
    this is what he claims to have done

    based on the universal force being identified from the Bible as the Divine force. From the universal force alone Bill was able to describe many aspects of the creation, the mechanism causing Noah’s flood, what happened to all the water after the flood, and what caused the division of the continents 101 years later.

  3. #3 Owlmirror
    September 18, 2008

    This might explain why there is no math:

    The current models are mathematical models and consist of equations. Although these models are more successful, they contain many assumptions, internal inconsistencies, and violations of proven laws.

    [ From http://www.commonsensescience.org/electron_models.html ]

    So there you go. Mathematical models are, y’know, internally inconsistent and in violation of proven laws.

  4. #4 Bob of QF
    September 18, 2008

    Re #1:

    Obviously, from Diplomas-R-Us.

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    (for an extra $9.99 we can even put YOUR NAME on it in matching font!)

    And, it is ACCREDITED, TOO. (accreditation is from our sister company, Accreditations-R-Us. Accreditation is extra. Shipping not included. Accreditation may not be recognized in all states. Void where prohibited. )

    Act Now! Offer is Limited!

  5. #5 Owlmirror
    September 18, 2008

    Oh, wait. There’s more. (There always is, isn’t there?)

    But the electron, proton, and neutron all have measured amounts of spin (angular momentum) and magnetic moment. These features can only exist because the particles have a finite, non-zero size. So, a self-contradiction of the common theory is evident: On one hand, the particles are said to be point-like; on the other hand, they are known to have a finite size (needed to have a spin, magnetic moment and the distribution of charge referenced in the next paragraph). This inconsistency in modern science is incompatible with a Judeo-Christian world view of consistency where expediency is rejected and contradictions are never allowed.

    [ From http://www.commonsensescience.org/contradictions.html ]

  6. #6 Shadow
    September 18, 2008

    the new theory of gravity

    He – he – he –

    Life imitates joke! *Gasp* And I’m laughing so hard my throat is closing up.

  7. #7 luisFP
    September 18, 2008

    Boring site, 3 speakers!!!! and the video presentations require a money donation, pathetic…. another religious-money-making-con. I would not waste my time visiting again, the one minute I lost is enough.

  8. #8 Owlmirror
    September 18, 2008

    The resume for “Charles W. (Bill) Lucas, Jr., BS, MS, Ph.D.” says that he received his degree from:

    Ph.D., Theoretical Physics, College of William and Mary (1972).

    hm.

  9. #9 IasonOuabache
    September 18, 2008
  10. #10 William A
    September 18, 2008

    A presentation!? In the form of a PowerPoint!? Count me in!

  11. #11 stormen_per
    September 18, 2008

    I like the fact that they point out that the power point contains “many pictures”. But then I guess they’re trying to get the right audience.

  12. #12 Brent Hawkins
    September 18, 2008

    PZ you might be a better authority on this, but don’t people stop attaching undergrad and masters degrees to their name after they get their phds?

    Maybe the extra letters after his name add cred

  13. #13 BobC
    September 18, 2008

    Evidence for Bible Magic presented by DR. BILL LUCAS, B.S., M.S., PH.D in Theoretical Physics.

    Which Bible college did this retard graduate from?

  14. #14 catta
    September 18, 2008

    Not only PowerPoint… PowerPoint with many pictures. Nothing is more convincing than a combination of PowerPoint and pictures, especially in Physics.
    How deluded do you have to be to take your crackpot theory to a campus where actual scientists might hear you? Either the guy is utterly convinced that he’s on to something, or those pictures are really remarkable. I’m guessing it’s the former.

  15. #15 Owlmirror
    September 18, 2008

    Here’s an interesting blog post I found on Lucas:

    http://silkworm.wordpress.com/2006/06/16/the-return-of-lucas-recap-corr-june-15-2006/

    Excellent.

    CLASSIC CRACKPOT

  16. #16 Hugo
    September 18, 2008

    I think “Dr. Bill Lucas, B.S” sums it all up very nicely.

  17. #17 BobC
    September 18, 2008

    I just noticed the question I asked in #13 was already answered in #8: College of William and Mary.

    They must be very proud to have a graduate who is promoting the idea that everything is magic.

  18. #18 Erica
    September 18, 2008

    “PRESENTED BY DR. BILL LUCAS, B.S., M.S., PH.D in Theoretical Physics”

    Sound like they need to emphasize the B.S. *smirk*

  19. #19 sara
    September 18, 2008

    Oh, no! It reminds of when I was working for a guy who turned out to be a ufologist, alchemist, and electro-gravity enthusiast . . . That he wrote “theory of everything” sort of papers with no equations (just a lot triangle/pyramid schematics) was a warning sign which I had to ignore in my desperation for income at that time. He was obsessed with Tesla, and he wanted me to “capture the energy in the atmosphere” somehow in a process that was supposed to involve me, a huge Corona ball, and a storm . . . Anyway, at least he was not a Creationist!

  20. #20 God
    September 18, 2008

    My friend goes to Virginia Tech…FACE PALM…. And hes a litteralist christian…..more Face Palm. So Biology wasnt enough? They now want to change my beloved physics. Oh this just got personal.

  21. #21 Your Mighty Overload Ph.D
    September 18, 2008

    In stylistic issues alone, this guy fails. You should either have “Dr” at the front or “Ph.D” (note the small H) at the end, but not both.

    Anyhow, since he has a new model of how physics works, I should think the physics department staff at V-tech, and probably a few other local universities would want to attend. Oh, I DO hope the Freethinkers write and let all the faculty know….

  22. #22 SoMG
    September 18, 2008

    Hey OwlMirror, great screen name. I grew up reading Till Eulenspiegel. (Not good for my career.)

  23. #23 Pony
    September 18, 2008

    PZ Myers wrote: “And finally, if you expect their links page to give you some useful external sources to check against, think again. ”

    I think you meant “inspect”.

  24. #24 Donovan
    September 18, 2008

    My sister-in-law is a prof. at Virginia Tech. I think I’ll go give her a call. She’s a Catholic, but even she will probably get a laugh from this guy.

  25. #25 Your Mighty Overload
    September 18, 2008

    Oh, and I hope they video the disembowelment of Dr Lucas too.

    Thinking of it, he probably got his PhD from the same place as the fraudster Kent Hovind. I wonder how Kent is doing in jail? I reckon he’s gonna come out of there a real hard ass – PZ, you’d better watch out!!

  26. #26 Pony
    September 18, 2008

    Bastard bastard bastard. I realised my mistake as soon as I hit send. Now I look foolish, and can’t delete it.

    ^
    *Is foolish*

  27. #27 Your Mighty Overload
    September 18, 2008

    Pony,

    Why would you suggest PZ made an error, expect is a fine word to use. When I read a scientific paper I EXPECT the bibliography to cite relevant papers.

    I expect when I inspect.

  28. #28 Bride of Shrek OM
    September 18, 2008

    I just tried to cut and paste that flier into a word doc so I could email it to one of my friends and ended up with the error message “the document you tried to create could not opended because of problems with the contents”.

    ha, ha, ha..dude just got pwned by Microsoft.

  29. #29 Your Mighty Overload
    September 18, 2008

    Pony,

    Why would you suggest PZ made an error, expect is a fine word to use? When I read a scientific paper I EXPECT the bibliography to cite relevant papers.

    I expect when I inspect.

  30. #30 Bride of Shrek OM
    September 18, 2008

    um.. that should “could not be opened” @ # 28

    ..The presence of the KOT on this blog is rubbing off.

    ..damn you Rev…damn your eyes
    *falls to knees clutching head and looking at the heavens*

  31. #31 darkkodiak
    September 18, 2008

    Wow, I was wondering when these nut jobs would stick their hands in another field of science but Physics of all places. However, I don’t mind that though because I would love to see people like Stephen Hawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Michio Kaku, or Neil Degrasse Tyson(my fav) rip these guys apart in Physics.

  32. #32 Pony
    September 18, 2008

    I know, Overload, my brain is trying to sabotage me. I blame my day at work. (I was in the sun all afternoon.)

  33. #33 Your Mighty Overload
    September 18, 2008

    Pony, well, I know the feeling – my username was going to be “your might overlord”, but it was late, and I rather liked the mutation…

  34. #34 Sigmund
    September 18, 2008

    So they are focusing on physics now?
    I’m almost glad, after all why should it just be us biologists that have to put up with their inanity.
    Teach the controversy in physics class too.
    Pi = 3!
    There’s no stars further away than 6000 light years!
    The basics laws of thermodynamics occasionally don’t apply to matter!

  35. #35 Cafeeine
    September 18, 2008

    They claim to have a new model for the structure of matter that involves spinning rings;

    Well, if it is creationism related, are we surprised that there are involved in spin?

  36. #36 secularguy
    September 18, 2008

    “DR. BILL LUCAS, B.S., M.S., PH.D in Theoretical Physics”

    and I am Adm. Will Halsey, Lieutenant, Captain, and Admiral, in the Theoretical Navy.

  37. #37 secularguy
    September 18, 2008

    uh, make that … and Admiral, in the Imaginary Starfleet.

  38. #38 Wowbagger
    September 18, 2008

    Ah, I’ve spotted the error on the flier. They forgot to add GradDip in Advanced Cognitive Dissonance.

  39. #39 Aramael
    September 18, 2008

    Many pictures, and spinning rings. If he’s talking about pictures of rings around Uranus, consider me a convert.

  40. #40 negentropyeater
    September 18, 2008

    Why does Virginia Tech allow to give this crackpot such a platform ?

    This would not happen in most European universities I know of.

  41. #41 Luis
    September 18, 2008

    “Dr Bill Lucas, BS, MS, PhD”.

    We all know (or should know) that MS stands for More of the Same, and PhD does for Piled Higher and Deeper. Hardly ever more appropriate.

  42. #42 LC
    September 18, 2008

    I kind of like the fact that, in 2008, this guy thinks “a PowerPoint” is s come-on.

  43. #43 Cujo359
    September 18, 2008

    I think we should be encouraging Dr. Lucas in his endeavors. If they just got rid of all that math stuff, physics would be so much more accessible.

  44. #44 Valis
    September 18, 2008

    OT

    In other news: Google is to change its policy on adverts about abortion following a legal challenge from a Christian pressure group.

    “Following the review we have decided to amend our policy, creating a level playing field and enabling religious associations to place ads on abortion in a factual way.”

    “religious” and “factual” in the same sentence? I don’t think so…

    On the same site: Study into near-death experiences

    Kenny? Are you out there Kenny?

  45. #45 secularguy
    September 18, 2008

    (#9) Posted by: IasonOuabache | September 18, 2008 2:26 AM

    Here’s an interesting blog post I found on Lucas:
    http://silkworm.wordpress.com/2006/06/16/the-return-of-lucas-recap-corr-june-15-2006/

    According to which, Lucas is a “confirmed PhD in physics from William & Mary,”

    Puzzling … was he once sane?

  46. #46 Steve
    September 18, 2008

    Just from reading the stuff above, my guess is that the guy is going to do something like the Final Theory (an idiotic book written by an idiotic engineer somewhere):
    Instead of gravity, everything is actually expanding.
    This expansion is increasing, so it just feels like gravity. Because of this expansion, there was once enough water to cover the earth, but now there isn’t.
    Also, the continents are breaking up because the size of the earth is increasing. (The guy who wrote Final Theory wasn’t that idiotic).

    Since the rate of expansion is obviously so great that this is ridiculous, I think – if he has advanced his idiocy – that he will suggest that different things expand at different rates.

    Anyway, that’s what you physicists in VA should be prepared for. If anyone has any questions, there are people more qualified than me to answer them – I dropped out of physics when my professor told me that as a result of my experiment, the cat might be alive or dead, but either way I was going to hell. 🙂

  47. #47 Rey Fox
    September 18, 2008

    “If any of you go, let me know what he says!”

    And ask lots and lots of questions.

    “Why does Virginia Tech allow to give this crackpot such a platform ?”

    I imagine the university doesn’t feel inclined to get in the way of who one of their student organization invites to speak. Besides, it will be a learning experience, at least if the real physicists and physics students show up.

  48. #48 alex
    September 18, 2008

    it’s aways nice when they show off their list of qualifications, cos y’know, after (sometimes during) education, anyone can go mad. it happens to the best of us.

  49. #49 BluesBassist
    September 18, 2008

    Why does Virginia Tech allow to give this crackpot such a platform ?

    This would not happen in most European universities I know of.

    This talk is apparently sponsored by a religious student organization which has procured a room in the student center. (I’m a Virginia Tech alumnus.) These facilities are available to all student organizations provided they follow proper procedures. Religious groups will naturally sponsor religious sermons (which this is), and the university does not forbid such events (nor should they) based on content, however silly they might be.

    This is not an academic seminar being hosted by the university physics department. I hope and expect the local physics community will ridicule these people for presenting pseudoscience dressed in a thin veneer of physics jargon.

  50. #50 Valis
    September 18, 2008

    Some quotes from the NDE article:

    To test this, the researchers have set up special shelving in resuscitation areas. The shelves hold pictures – but they’re visible only from the ceiling.

    Dr Parnia and medical colleagues will analyse the brain activity of 1,500 heart attack survivors, and see whether they can recall the images in the pictures.

    I can save them the trouble, that would be “no”.

  51. #51 Emmet Caulfield
    September 18, 2008

    Puzzling … was he once sane?

    He got his PhD in 1972. 36 years is long enough for severe mental decline.

  52. #52 secularguy
    September 18, 2008

    “He got his PhD in 1972. 36 years is long enough for severe mental decline.”

    “ridicule these people for presenting pseudoscience”

    I hope ridicule will be in the proper direction, which is towards the CAMPUS BIBLE FELLOWSHIP rather than the poor Dr. Lucas.

  53. #53 negentropyeater
    September 18, 2008

    Religious groups will naturally sponsor religious sermons (which this is), and the university does not forbid such events (nor should they) based on content, however silly they might be.

    Still wondering why relgious groups are allowed to use state or govt. funded university facilities to give their sermons. But I guess in America, separation of church and state means integration of church and state, so everything is possible.

  54. #54 secularguy
    September 18, 2008

    “wondering why religious groups are allowed to use state or govt. funded university facilities to give their sermons.”

    You could see it as just another social activity for students, which is not discriminated against. Like knitting. ?

  55. #55 Marc Abian
    September 18, 2008

    The university didn’t invite him, a society did, and they have every right to. We even had the privilege to get a talk from Harun Yahra (sp?) thanks to the forward thinking muslim society in our college last year.

  56. #56 Matt Penfold
    September 18, 2008

    Still wondering why relgious groups are allowed to use state or govt. funded university facilities to give their sermons. But I guess in America, separation of church and state means integration of church and state, so everything is possible.

    I am not sure of the specifics in this case, but in the US there seems to be this strange rule that if a publicly funded organisation such as a university, library or museum makes its facilities available to outside groups it cannot then refuse to allow certain groups access even of those groups are pushing a message totally at odds with the organisation.

    I cannot imagine the same happening in either France or the UK. The idea the Natural History Museum in London would agree to rent its facilities to a bunch of creationists is bizarre, but I could see it allowing pro-science groups to hold lecturers.

  57. #57 938 MeV
    September 18, 2008

    Oh, joy! His atom has accelerating electric charge with no radiation. I guess all of E&M must be wrong too!

  58. #58 negentropyeater
    September 18, 2008

    You could see it as just another social activity for students, which is not discriminated against. Like knitting. ?

    Strange, never realised that knitting was about spreading obviously false claims about reality.

    The university didn’t invite him, a society did, and they have every right to.

    Sure, and why do they have to use the university facilities for this ? Can’t they go and rent a meeting room in a hotel or some conference center ?

  59. #59 secularguy
    September 18, 2008

    “Strange, never realised that knitting was about spreading obviously false claims about reality.”

    I agree with you about this.

  60. #60 negentropyeater
    September 18, 2008

    I thought the supreme court had already interpreted the 1st amendment establishment clause (see Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet 1994) so as to restrict the promotion of any partcular religion by state or federal governments.

    So isn’t the state of Virginia, by allowing this religious presentation to take place within one of its facilities, clearly doing the opposite ?

    Can’t these religious organisations give their sermons outside of state funded universities ?

  61. #61 Robster, FCD
    September 18, 2008

    Only because I know she will read the comments on a VT thread…

    HI KATE!

  62. #62 Matt Penfold
    September 18, 2008

    I thought the supreme court had already interpreted the 1st amendment establishment clause (see Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet 1994) so as to restrict the promotion of any partcular religion by state or federal governments.

    So isn’t the state of Virginia, by allowing this religious presentation to take place within one of its facilities, clearly doing the opposite ?

    I think the argument is that as long as they do not restrict access to only certain religious groups they are OK legally.

    Can’t these religious organisations give their sermons outside of state funded universities ?

    Sounds reasonable to me. However as I said upthread it seems US law does not allow public universities to restrict access to their facilities even by groups who’s messages are in conflict with the aims of universities.

  63. #63 Luger Otter Robinson
    September 18, 2008

    I always worry when someone advertises that (s)he has a PhD. All that it means, is that that person knew an incredibly lot about very little, perhaps a very long time ago. It’s what the person has done since then that’s important. Oh well, he is promising PowerPoint. That should make it good. Even Ken Ham promises PowerPoint.

  64. #64 negentropyeater
    September 18, 2008

    I think the argument is that as long as they do not restrict access to only certain religious groups they are OK legally.

    Which confirms my conclusion that the 1st amendment is a completely worthless and outdated text, when the interpretation “the state should not promote any particular religion” translates in practice into “the state should promote any religion that wishes to be promoted”.

  65. #65 Ellid
    September 18, 2008

    Remember that Virginia Tech is an engineering school, and a lot of creationists seem to have been trained as engineers. Also remember that Blacksburg is smack in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains, which is a hotbed of fundamentalism. I’m not at all surprised that this lecture is taking place.

  66. #66 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 18, 2008

    The university didn’t invite him, a society did, and they have every right to. We even had the privilege to get a talk from Harun Yahra (sp?) thanks to the forward thinking muslim society in our college last year.

    forward thinking…. *snicker

  67. #67 Nerd of Redhead
    September 18, 2008

    The use of all those titles is impress people with words from Authority(TM). In Europe, such a string of titles, degrees, and honors is frequently used. In the US, he should either use the honorific Dr. or just follow his name with PhD. And we know how true academics think: call me PZ.

  68. #68 John Pieret
    September 18, 2008

    Lordy!

    I just had a Teddy Holden flashback!

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/egg-earth.html

  69. #69 philosoraptor
    September 18, 2008

    Any fellow physicists around here, have a look at the first slide on Silkworm’s site:

    http://silkworm.wordpress.com/2006/06/16/the-return-of-lucas-recap-corr-june-15-2006/

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but does he have an (R^2 – ( V^2/c^2)*sin^2(theta)) in the denominator of his ‘Force’ equation? It looks like V is velocity and R is radius. I hope he fixed that, because the units don’t even work out right. metres^2 – unitless? (As you can tell by MY units, I’m north of the 49th).

  70. #70 Diego
    September 18, 2008

    But wait, he’s got PowerPoint– and PICTURES! So it must be good science.

  71. #71 Sastra
    September 18, 2008

    sara #19 wrote:

    It reminds of when I was working for a guy who turned out to be a ufologist, alchemist, and electro-gravity enthusiast . . . He was obsessed with Tesla, and he wanted me to “capture the energy in the atmosphere” somehow in a process that was supposed to involve me, a huge Corona ball, and a storm . . .

    Cool. What kind of outfit did he want you to wear during the procedure? I hope it involved a tall helmet or crown of some kind. And boots. And a short skirt.

    I love that this guy’s site is called “Common Sense Science.” I just reread Alan Cromer’s book Uncommon Sense: The heretical nature of science, where he argues that science is not “common sense” at all. The abstract, objective kind of thinking required in order to do science doesn’t come easily to individuals and doesn’t develop naturally in cultures, because it cuts against the way people naturally tend to think. Science doesn’t draw from our folk intuitions.

    I like physics without the math. It’s so Aristotle. Perhaps some creationist will come in to explain that “To frame our argument against modern physics requires us to have an understanding of certain values critical to ancient persons.”

  72. #72 philosoraptor
    September 18, 2008

    I like physics without the math. It’s so Aristotle. Perhaps some creationist will come in to explain that “To frame our argument against modern physics requires us to have an understanding of certain values critical to ancient persons.”

    On a related note, I admit to being shocked by the Common Sense Science titling. I think it’s safe to say that modern physics has turned out nothing close to common sense. Further, isn’t a return to ‘common sense’ a typical right-wing political battle cry? Whenever I see that term, I just cringe. Bullsh*t is sure to follow.

  73. #73 Scott M.
    September 18, 2008

    Friends,

    For those interested, to the best of my knowledge, the organized response is being done via e-mail through the Yahoo! group FreeatVT. The links for it can be found below.

    Group Email Addresses
    Related Link: http://www.freeatvt.org/
    Post message: freeatvt-discussion@yahoogroups.com
    Subscribe: freeatvt-discussion-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
    Unsubscribe: freeatvt-discussion-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
    List owner: freeatvt-discussion-owner@yahoogroups.com

  74. #74 h.archeoflatulensis
    September 18, 2008

    Jeez… picky, picky.

    If Gene Ray, sole Authority on the Harmonic Time Cube, can appear at MIT, why should Virginia Tech be deprived?

  75. #75 James
    September 18, 2008

    Again the Onion predates fact. I’m scared, again.

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/39512

    First the RIAA, now this…

    James

  76. #76 VTStudentperson
    September 18, 2008

    I am a Virginia Tech junior physics major, and strangely I haven’t heard any real people in the department wanting to go to this and bother the guy. I plan to go with a friend or two, but most are leaving for the weekend.

    He is apparently presenting the same ideas he has been for the past 2 years or more which has gotten him slapped around considerably. There are far too many christian groups on campus, and they tend to bring crazies, but never the crazies than anyone has heard about, which makes finding previous cases difficult.

    Anyone have any rebuttles of his “work” on the webs?

  77. #77 Emmet Caulfield
    September 18, 2008

    The use of all those titles is impress people with words from Authority(TM).

    In this case, that’s probably true.

    In Europe, such a string of titles, degrees, and honors is frequently used.

    It varies considerably from place to place and from generation to generation. In Germany, at one time (I’ve no idea if this is still true), a construction like “Herr Professor Doktor Schmidt”, or somesuch, would’ve been common, but the analogous construction is now entirely obsolete in Sweden and unheard of in Ireland or the UK.

    And we know how true academics think: call me PZ.

    Not unless “true academic” is defined to mean “prefers being addressed by personal name”. I’ve seen no evidence that “being down-to-earth” is correlated with academic prowess. One can come from a culture which is somewhat “stiff” relative to the US, be a wee bit pompous, or simply believe that you’ve earned the right to wear your academic qualifications on your sleeve, and still be a “true academic” (under any reasonable interpretation).

  78. #78 BMcP
    September 18, 2008

    When I first read “CSS Theory”, I thought “Cascading Style Sheets?” 🙂

    Expanding earth? Are they serious? I thought that was an idea that was regulated to quaint silly fantasies along with Atlantis and aliens building the Pyramids.

  79. #79 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 18, 2008

    When I first read “CSS Theory”, I thought “Cascading Style Sheets?” 🙂

    Heh. Me too. What I get for being a computer nerd.

  80. #80 defectiverobot
    September 18, 2008

    But…but…he he has a B.S., an M.S., and a PhD! How could he be wrong?

  81. #81 Michelle
    September 18, 2008

    Question:
    WTF is “Theoretical physics”? Is it just me or that sounds like massive BS?

  82. #82 The Chemist
    September 18, 2008

    @PZ,

    You really should start using the rel=”nofollow” tags when you link to kook websites. Otherwise you help upgrade their pagerank in google. Especially because this is such a high traffic blog.

    ——-

    At the risk of pulling a Godwin:

    First they came for the biologists,
    and I said nothing, because I was not a biologist,
    Then they came for the geologists,
    and I said nothing, because I was not a geologist,
    Then they came for the physicists,
    and I said nothing, because I was a chemist.
    Then they came for me,
    and by that time there was no one left to speak up.

    Sometimes I feel that people from different scientific fields don’t feel as compelled to defend evolution in the public sphere as much as they could.

    That said, supported student organizations can bring whoever they want in, because any student organization is eligible for support from the university. This would include atheist groups.

  83. #83 secularguy
    September 18, 2008

    You really should start using the rel=”nofollow” tags

    It is done automatically for all(?) links in comments

  84. #84 Canuck
    September 18, 2008

    Holy Hadron Colliders!! Where do these wingnuts come from? I too wonder how someone could get a PhD in Physics and actually believe this nonsense. Yet another data point in the massive evidence that religion turns the mind into low functioning mush.

    I hope some real physicists attend this lecture and when there is a question period (and the will be one, unless he takes a page out of the Bush town hall meeting book) systematically destroy his proposed ooga booga.

  85. #86 secularguy
    September 18, 2008
  86. #87 philosoraptor
    September 18, 2008

    Update: Having looked over more of his ‘equations’, it only gets worse. For him to claim to be a theoretical physicist, these glaring equation errors seems to be a rather large issue.

  87. #88 Prof MTH
    September 18, 2008

    It seems that we are seeing more and more PhD holders coming out of the creationist closet. Now why is that? Possible explanations:

    1. ICR and CRS offer tons of funding to try and “prove” creationism.
    2. A brownshirt tactic to bolster the idea that there really is a controversy that must be taught.

  88. #89 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 18, 2008

    PhD holders

    While this guy got his from a reputable institution, many of those PhDs are from diploma mills.

  89. #90 jonny
    September 18, 2008

    you crack pots that look to PZ as your god are complete FOOLS!

  90. #91 MikeD
    September 18, 2008

    This could be a very dangerous situation. Pictures … of spinning rings?

    “Look closely at the rings. See how they spin? All you can see are the rings. Look deeply into the rings. You will believe everything I say…”

  91. #92 Jesus is Truth - John 14:6
    September 18, 2008

    you people are so blind- just an FYI Dr. Henry Morris who founded ICR – the Institute for Creation Research taught at Virginia Tech for many years. All the PHD’s from ICR come from small religious colleges like BERKELY, Texas A & M, more than one from the former little bible college HARVARD.

  92. #93 Jonathan
    September 18, 2008

    Wow, thank you PZ Myers! I am a Senior in Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech and I’ve been so busy with interviews/homework etc that I must have missed these flyers!

    I doubt my iPod microphone will work well but it is worth a shot. What better way to spend my Friday nights then enjoying a nice comedy.

  93. #94 Jason
    September 18, 2008

    Michelle:
    Theoretical Physics is an actual field. Stephen Hawking is a theoretical physicist.

  94. #95 Sceptical Chymist
    September 18, 2008

    Spinning Rings! That sounds like that French Dude’s vortices to me. This nutcase is just putting Descartes before the horse.

  95. #96 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 18, 2008

    you people are so blind- just an FYI Dr. Henry Morris who founded ICR – the Institute for Creation Research taught at Virginia Tech for many years. All the PHD’s from ICR come from small religious colleges like BERKELY, Texas A & M, more than one from the former little bible college HARVARD.

    In which case it makes it doubly sad that people make it through these institutions and still prefer faith based nonsense over actual evidence based science.

    Shame on them.

  96. #97 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 18, 2008

    you crack pots that look to PZ as your god are complete FOOLS!

    I agree, anyone who looks to PZ as a god is a complete fool.

    Good thing you are unlikely to find anyone here that does that.

  97. #98 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 18, 2008

    Oh and Dr. Morris’ PhD was in Hydraulic Engineering.

  98. #99 MikeD
    September 18, 2008

    Here’s a preview of what Doc Lucas presents, as of 2006:

    http://silkworm.wordpress.com/2006/06/16/the-return-of-lucas-recap-corr-june-15-2006/

    There are also some ongoing links from the main page of the blog whcih relate to Doc Lucas.

    http://silkworm.wordpress.com/

  99. #100 Spare Jesus
    September 18, 2008

    Common Sense “Science”. Really?
    How about multiple gods with different creation methods?
    Judeo-Christian worldview =fairytale based worldview
    Scientific worldview = reality based worldview

  100. #101 David Marjanovi?, OM
    September 18, 2008

    In Germany, at one time (I’ve no idea if this is still true), a construction like “Herr Professor Doktor Schmidt”, or somesuch, would’ve been common, but the analogous construction is now entirely obsolete in Sweden and unheard of in Ireland or the UK.

    It’s still usual in Germany and Austria, but that’s because lots of people believe that the title of doctor is part of the name. (In Germany it actually isn’t. No idea about Austria.)

    However, almost nobody would add the title of master, except to stress that that title was won in a different field than the other one which later led to the titles of doctor and professor. And the title of bachelor was only introduced two years ago.

    And we know how true academics think: call me PZ.

    While it’s slowly spreading, this is still first and foremost an American phenomenon.

  101. #102 Jason
    September 18, 2008

    PROTIP: Nothing about theoretical physics is “common sense”.

    This is just another stab to undermine actual science.

  102. #103 Tantalus Prime
    September 18, 2008

    I know it says a new theory of gravity, but if it is at all related to the expanding earth hypothesis, it is nothing new. The expanding earth hypothesis has been around for at least a century. As far as I can tell it still held some credence until plate tectonics came along.

    Just like many creationists, he isn’t introducing new theories; he’s just resurrecting the old ones.

  103. #104 GunOfSod
    September 18, 2008

    For a person to be able construct a theoretical model like this, requires the type of disconnect with reality that I am unable to comprehend.

    The sheer number of illogical leaps, lies and concious attempts at obfustication he has used in order to justify his mythology, defies my imagination.

    I don’t understand how these people can operate at any type of functioning level within society. He’s not even wrong.

  104. #105 bernard quatermass
    September 18, 2008

    So in essence it’s a bunch of wasp-eating, crazed, crusty, delusional desert-dwelling “prophets” against Ernest Rutherford, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Wolfgang Pauli, Paul Dirac, Erwin Schrodinger, Richard Feynman, and a host of other scientists.

    Hmmmmmm …

    (Dreadfully pregnant and long pause)

    Aieee, however shall I decide which to believe??!!

  105. #106 Steven Dunlap
    September 18, 2008

    I found a cite for his dissertation on Proquest:

    LUCAS, CHARLES WILLIAM, JR. 1974. A DIRECT-REACTION MULTIPLE-SCATTERING PION-NUCLEUS OPTICAL MODEL POTENTIAL. Ph.D. diss., The College of William and Mary. In Dissertations & Theses: Full Text [database on-line]; available from http://0-www.proquest.com.library.ggu.edu:80/ (publication number AAT 7422287; accessed September 18, 2008).

    The descriptor states “Nuclear physics” not “theoretical physics.” I am unable to access even an abstract of this online. I’ll see what else I can dig up.

    Generally, a 30+ year old dissertation does not mean as much as some would like to think. The policy of “publish or perish” exists for good reason. One must keep up with developments in the field in order to publish. If you do not keep up with your field, your expertise falls out of date and no longer has the relevance and/or accurate needed to hold a claim to having authority in that field. Which is not to say that all Ph.D.s who do not publish are dullards. Just consider the “age” of the information (among many factors) when assessing its accuracy, relevance or usefulness for a given purpose.

  106. #107 Prof MTH
    September 18, 2008

    ATTENTION STEVEN DUNLAP:

    Did you go to undergrad in Rock Hill, SC?

  107. #108 Steven Dunlap
    September 18, 2008

    Savor the irony of my typo in that last post. Meant to write “accuracy” not “accurate.” Oops.

  108. #109 Stephen
    September 18, 2008

    Jebus, I’m currently a physics grad student at W&M, where this crackpot claims to have gotten his Ph.D. I’ll have to do some investigating…It really is a reputable program, and I’m ashamed of this asshat.

  109. #110 Steven Dunlap
    September 18, 2008

    Posted by: Prof MTH | September 18, 2008 10:06 AM

    ATTENTION STEVEN DUNLAP:
    Did you go to undergrad in Rock Hill, SC?

    No. That would be some other Steven Dunlap. I completed my undergrad degree in New Jersey. Then an MS from the (now defunct) Library School of Columbia University in NYC.

  110. #111 Harknights
    September 18, 2008

    I liked this better when I read it in Atlas Shrugged.

  111. #112 llewelly
    September 18, 2008

    To those wondering how Bill Lucas got a Ph. D. from William and Mary – recall Kurt Wise, who earned his Ph. D. at Harvartd, under the supervision of Stephen J. Gould.
    It’s difficult, but possible, to seperate one’s beliefs from the way one performs one’s work – at least for the length of time necessary to get a Ph. D.

  112. #113 Stephen
    September 18, 2008

    I have an inkling who his Ph.D. advisor was, I’ll go down to the physics library stacks today and see what i can dig up. I can’t stress enough that W&M IS a good school for physics and skeptics, as evidenced by my presence.

  113. #114 Steven Dunlap
    September 18, 2008

    Posted by: llewelly | September 18, 2008 10:15 AM

    To those wondering how Bill Lucas got a Ph. D. from William and Mary – recall Kurt Wise, who earned his Ph. D. at Harvartd, under the supervision of Stephen J. Gould.
    It’s difficult, but possible, to seperate one’s beliefs from the way one performs one’s work – at least for the length of time necessary to get a Ph. D.

    There is also the question of intellectual honesty. Dig around the wonderful world of Google and you will find creationists who brag about “giving the answers they [real scientists] expected” on tests without truly believing them. Memorizing stuff you do not believe then parroting it back does not make for an education. Sadly, for many (most?) fields a Ph.D. requires so much focus on such a tiny part of the field of study that a person can complete an adequate thesis without the larger implications of their non-scientific thinking getting in the way. We can only observe and measure behavior, we can not observe what’s going on in a given person’s head.

    Put another way, you could rote memorize a long series of Chinese characters without understanding their meaning. Then you could write them down in the presence of a Chinese literate person, thereby fooling him into thinking that you understand Chinese. But ultimately, with more scrutiny, he’ll figure out eventually that you can only write that one paragraph.

    It’s the with more scrutiny part that’s important.

  114. #115 Benjamin Franklin
    September 18, 2008

    Fear not!

    Ben Stein is already on the case.

    EXPELLED II: NO COMMON SENSE ALLOWED

    Ben travels the world to find out why degreed physicists with actual BS, MS, and PHDs are being mocked and scorned at Christian Campus meetings all across the country.

    Stein: “I’m not saying that Maxwellism was the only cause for the Holocaust, but obviously the evil particle concepts of Social Maxwellism were a progenetor of Nazi actions as well as Planned Parenthood.”

    Also featured in the film will be a guest appearance by world famous mathematician Dr. David Berlinski, PhD, PhD, who is interviewed laying on his lounge chaise which has been specifically moved from his apartment in the oldest building in Paris to the entrance gate of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. Berlinski uses the metaphor of the ring of the collider as proof that Dr Lucas’s ring molecule structure is in accordance with Judeo-Christian teachings.

    This full length feature is scheduled to open on 4,000 screens early next year according to AssProd Mark Mathis, who said: “It’s also got a great soundtrack, all your favorites, including The Beatles. We found out that we can use any music we want!”

  115. #116 VTStudent
    September 18, 2008

    I wish they would bring Ken Ham over as a guest speaker, that would really and truly make my Friday evening the best. I have not yet had the honor to listening to him speak live.

    Question: Is it impolite to break into laughter at the presentation? I’m not sure if I’ll be able to detect sarcasm or joking so I’m not sure if I should laugh or not…. I mean he COULD be doing stand up comedy.

  116. #117 James F
    September 18, 2008

    #92

    And they’ve failed to provide evidence for their claims in any peer-reviewed scientific research paper. Regardless of their background, what they’re doing is not science.

  117. #118 SimonG
    September 18, 2008

    Originally quoted in OwlMirror’s post, #5:

    This inconsistency in modern science is incompatible with a Judeo-Christian world view of consistency where expediency is rejected and contradictions are never allowed.

    Does this mean that the Bible is forbidden in the Judeo-Christian world view?
    Perhaps he’s just using novel and creative defintions of “consistency” and “contradictions”.

  118. #119 The Chemist
    September 18, 2008

    @Secular Guy,

    It’s not the comments I’m talking about. It’s the main post. Check the source (in firefox: Ctrl+U)

  119. #120 Scott D.
    September 18, 2008

    Unfortunately I have other plans for the evening, but i’ll let some physicist friends know.

    Every so often the BSU, CCC, and similar groups bring in speakers. We had Kent Hovand here about a year before he went to jail.

  120. #121 Iain Walker
    September 18, 2008

    Emmet Caulfield (#51):

    He got his PhD in 1972. 36 years is long enough for severe mental decline.

    And by way of slightly off-topic illustration, Anthony Flew springs to mind.

  121. #122 ice9
    September 18, 2008

    I did NOT go to VA Tech. No. No no. I did not. And if I did, I got my degree in English.

    ice

  122. #123 Badger3k
    September 18, 2008

    Without having read that, wasn’t the expanding earth thing an old crackpot theory. Either something to do with matter falling to earth (which should have made the earth as big as jupiter if the universe is billions of years old, so the story goes – I think that the earth is gaining small amounts of mass through space debris, IIRC, just not as much as they claim), or something else – damn, can’t remember. Maybe it was just the first one. Maybe all the Jeebons are losing cohesion with all this gay marriage, and the earth is expanding into a gas giant, and only going back to the One True Faith (patent pending) can save the planet! Won’t you donate today?

  123. #124 Nick Gotts
    September 18, 2008

    Dr. Morris’ PhD was in Hydraulic Engineering. – Rev BigDumbChimp

    I still wouldn’t trust him to unblock my sink!

  124. #125 Stephen
    September 18, 2008

    Okay, here’s my investigative report – Lucas didn’t graduate in ’72, but on May 17 1974. His advisor is still in the department, although not the person I thought it would be. His advisor isn’t wacky, as far as I can tell. I’ll go ask him for the skinny later today.

  125. #126 SLC
    September 18, 2008

    Re llewelly

    And Jonathan Wells got a PhD from U. C. Berkeley.

    Re Benjamin Franklin

    Dr. Berlinski is not a mathematician. His PhD, from Princeton no less, is in philosophy. I have seen no evidence that he has ever published an article in a peer reviewed mathematical journal.

    Re Jesus is Truth

    Hey fuckface, it’s spelled Berkeley.

  126. #127 jonathan
    September 18, 2008

    Here’s a wonderful “explanation” I nabbed. This isn’t “tin hat” science; it goes so far off the crackpot scale that it can’t be measured.

    Energy. The Grant Unification Theory (GUT)

    This new model has the potential for a Grant Unification Theory of the universe. The Common Sense Science team feels they will be able to understand what causes gravity based upon this model.

    Two forms of energy:

    1. Energy = waves (electromagnetic)

    Gen. 1:3 “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

    2. Energy with charge = matter [atoms] (electromagnetic waves with a charge of negative or positive to hold the atom together)

    Gen. 1:4 “And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”

    The basis of all physical objects in the universe is electromagnetism (electricity and magnetism)

    The Bohr Model of the Atom

    The Bohr Model has 3 assumptions known to be wrong.

    Relativity and Quantum Theory, based on the Bohr Model, cannot give a true picture of God’s Creation.

    Relativity and Quantum Theory, deny design and a creator God.

    The New Model of the Atom (Lucas/Bergman)

    The New Model (Lucas/Bergman) has a cause and effect basis.

    It reduces all forces in the universe to two:

    1. Electricity

    2. Magnetism

    Major discoveries that will help spread the Gospel can result from this new Model of the Atom

  127. #128 Benjamin Franklin
    September 18, 2008

    SLC @ #126 said

    Re Benjamin Franklin

    Dr. Berlinski is not a mathematician.

    I consider Berlinski to be a pompous jackoff, but he considers himself to be a mathematician. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University and was later a postdoctoral fellow in mathematics and molecular biology at Columbia University. He has taught philosophy, mathematics, and English at Stanford, Rutgers, the City University of New York, the University of Washington, the University of Puget Sound, San Jose State University, the University of Santa Clara, the University of San Francisco, and San Francisco State University.

    He has also taught mathematics at the Universit de Paris.

    Whatever he is, he sure can’t seem to keep a job!

    Nevertheless, one must consider this matter closed, because no less of an authority than the Discovery Institute, in an article reprinted from the Calgary Herald that refers to Berlinski as “a mathematician and microbiologist skeptical of both Darwinism and ID.”

    http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&program=DI%20Main%20Page%20-%20News&id=2919

    Now, how can you argue with the Discovery Institute Center for Science and Culture?

    Have you no science?
    Have you no culture?

    I accept your apology.

  128. #129 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 18, 2008

    Dr. Morris’ PhD was in Hydraulic Engineering. – Rev BigDumbChimp

    I still wouldn’t trust him to unblock my sink!

    Do you think he’d propose using a micro water canopy above your sink that suddenly lets loose to flood your sink and clear any blockages?

  129. #130 Benjamin Franklin
    September 18, 2008

    I put one of those canopies downstairs, forgot about it for about a month and a third, then I go downstairs and what do you think?

    A god damned flood in my basement!

    And to top it off, I see an old guy, naked, sleeping on the floor.

    So I says to him “Hey Noah!, Man, get yourself some PJ’s and get the fuck out of my basement!”

    By the way – here is a shameless plug for my new blog-

    The Feeble Lance of Reason.
    http://feeblelance.blogspot.com/

  130. #131 Pyrrhonic
    September 18, 2008

    “Common Sense Science”–what a name. Where did the idea come from that in order to be true something needs to be easily comprehensible (this is why the phrase “common sense” is dragged out here)? Why are people so unable to deal with contradictions and the difficulty of thinking? In revising our elementary and secondary school curricula, how can we teach people to make difficulty a starting point for thinking and not an occasion to shut down?

  131. #132 bootsy
    September 18, 2008

    Hey guys, longtime lurker here. The only time I’ve heard of the expanding earth bulls**t is that comic book legend Neal Adams (Spiderman, other Marvel and DC stuff) subscribes to it.

    One thing is that I cannot find, in any of his mind-numbing posts on the subject, is any reason the expanding earth helps out our friends’ favorite imaginary friend. From Neal Adams:

    There is no subduction. No plates subduct. Subduction is unscientific and untrue, the ramifications of which are world shaking. And… the Earth grows! (You may have heard this before, so I caution you. This is not your father’s Earth expanding theory.) Earth is growing, not expanding, and therein lies the past-error who’s answer lies in physics and not geology. Still here we mainly talk geology.

    Maybe “theologians” think that anytime a piece of established science is challenged by a crackpot, Jesus pops up like a whack-a-mole.

  132. #133 bootsy
    September 18, 2008

    Hey guys, longtime lurker here. The only time I’ve heard of the expanding earth bulls**t is that comic book legend Neal Adams (Spiderman, other Marvel and DC stuff) subscribes to it.

    One thing is that I cannot find, in any of his mind-numbing posts on the subject, is any reason the expanding earth helps out our friends’ favorite imaginary friend. From Neal Adams:

    There is no subduction. No plates subduct. Subduction is unscientific and untrue, the ramifications of which are world shaking. And… the Earth grows! (You may have heard this before, so I caution you. This is not your father’s Earth expanding theory.) Earth is growing, not expanding, and therein lies the past-error who’s answer lies in physics and not geology. Still here we mainly talk geology.

    Maybe “theologians” think that anytime a piece of established science is challenged by a crackpot, Jesus pops up like a whack-a-mole.

  133. #134 bootsy
    September 18, 2008

    sorry for the double post

  134. #135 co
    September 18, 2008

    philosoraptor: Fellow physicist here. You’re absolutely right about his extremely questionable units. Then again, he claims that our current best theories aren’t consistent with each other (did you see the rail against how Jackson—and every other physicist—writes Maxwell’s equations? He complains that they’re not consistent with Galilean relativity. To which I say, “No shit!”), so apparently he’s taking whatever liberties he can get away with.

  135. #136 TimJ
    September 18, 2008

    Well, I don’t know. I looked at his ring models for hydrogen and (I think it was) neon. Very..hmmm…well, picturesque? 🙂 Now, to continue his work he needs to use his model to derive the hydrogen spectral lines (including the hyperfine structure) and predict the scattering cross section for Rutherford scattering. I somewhat suspect we may be waiting for some time.

  136. #137 tguy
    September 18, 2008

    Let’s get this taught in schools. War-spending and economic collapse aren’t destroying America fast enough.

  137. #138 secularguy
    September 18, 2008

    The Chemist (#119)
    Oh, I see now.

    PZ,
    You really should start using the rel=”nofollow” attribute when you link to kook websites in your posts.

  138. #139 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT
    September 18, 2008

    Let’s get this taught in schools. War-spending and economic collapse aren’t destroying America fast enough.

    Yeah great comment.

    sigh

  139. #140 Dr. Pablito
    September 18, 2008

    Okay, another physicist here. These sorts of people are actually not that uncommon in physics. People with broken minds like this show up to physics meetings to try to present their latest developments in “Theory of Everything”. They submit papers to journals, send mass emails to the membership lists of professional societies. The rather surprising thing is that most of them do not have the Christian flavor. They tend to be merely suffering from delusions of grandeur, poorly integrated psychological functioning, really bad at social functioning, etc. etc. Please do not waste your time attending this person’s presentation. It will not be interesting. Likely just saddening. The people to watch out for are the fundamentalist zealots who have some amount of power and can influence things. This person does not fall into that camp.

  140. #141 a lurker
    September 18, 2008

    This ring of the atom is actually decades-old creationist crap developed by Thomas Barnes who is more famous for his claims that the Earth’s magnetic field is decaying therefore young-earth creationism. He developed these ideas in the Creation “Research” Society Quarterly articles in the 1970 and later in a book published by the ICR called Physics of the Future. The rather pompous title his a nice hint that he was a quack.

    PZ is wrong that they don’t use math. They did and by the bucket load. Maybe they don’t put it up in their web site so the physics people will actually have to get a hold of obscure reference in order to debunk them. However, I must ask: how hard would it be for someone with physics degrees to come up with B.S. equations? Not very I would imagine.

    Maybe some physics guys could get some of their “technical” works to debunk them. But in the end the most important thing to note is that these guys reject quantum mechanics, which has been extraordinarily good at explaining and predicting things. Chemists and physicists use quantum mechanics for one reason: it works. And until the “common sense” guys and predict chemical reactivity, spectra, etc. as well as quantum mechanics, I don’t see why anyone needs to take them seriously.

  141. #142 Dr. Pablito
    September 18, 2008

    @106, @109
    The title and topic of his dissertation are not crazy at all. I haven’t read the thing, of course, but it looks perfectly acceptable, if a little dated. It is likely to be a theoretical treatment of nuclear physics problems — how nuclear reactions occur and can be calculated more accurately. We don’t use that formalism much any more, because it wasn’t a promising research direction. It seems clear that this guy just went off the rails somewhere after (or before — such things happen) completing his dissertation. Again, it’s not worth the trouble to attend this fellow’s “lecture”. The campus fundamentalists have gotten involved with a crazy person because the fundamentalists mistakenly thought that he would support their agenda and bring a veneer of scientific respectability. Pathetic and sad, really.

  142. #143 Kemist
    September 18, 2008

    “We all know (or should know) that MS stands for More of the Same, and PhD does for Piled Higher and Deeper. Hardly ever more appropriate.”

    No, no, no… All of us Ph. D. graduates and/or nearly graduates know that Ph. D. stands for Permanent Head Damage.

  143. #144 thegomezsymbol
    September 18, 2008

    The site may look glib, but their grammar does not:

    “No less than twelve English translations of his poem…” [emphasis mine]

  144. #145 Ferrous Patella
    September 18, 2008

    “DR. BILL LUCAS, B.S., M.S., PH.D”

    I wonder if he has any VCR recordings or uses ATM machines or eats chili peppers (or chilies for that matter) or …

  145. #146 Ann
    September 18, 2008

    I’m completely unqualified to comment on physics, but as a technical editor, I can tell thegomezsymbol that he or she is wrong about the use of “less.” That word has been used for countable nouns since at least the time of King Alfred the Great, in about 888 (according to the Oxford English Dictionary). Check the usage entry in Merriam-Webster’s Concise Dictionary of English Usage for more information.

    Regarding physics and a descent into insanity or irrationality, I do hope that’s not a trend. One of my brilliant nevvies has just received his PhD in physics and is now doing post-doc work. “Are there some signs we should be looking for?” she asked, jokingly.

  146. #147 Kafir
    September 18, 2008

    Go to the lecture with you and your friends dressed in clown suits and tell anyone who asks “hey we heard a fellow clown will be givin a speech here and we’z just representin!”

  147. #148 Ian
    September 18, 2008

    I can’t comment much on the physics, but from a chemistry standpoint, the model of a hydrogen molecule is obviously wrong. If hydrogen really looks like that, then it should be a polar molecule, and it’s not. QED.

  148. #149 Sven DiMilo
    September 18, 2008

    Ferrous:
    I’m sure he knows his PIN number too.

  149. #150 Brodie
    September 18, 2008

    He spoke at University of Maryland last Spring. I saw the flier on the Monday after, so sadly I missed it.

  150. #151 Irene Delse
    September 18, 2008

    “the new theory of gravity that supports a Biblical view of creation”

    Intelligent falling: it’s not a gag anymore!
    http://www.idrewthis.org/d/20050516.html

    ><

  151. #152 Bouncing Bosons
    September 18, 2008

    Hah, the first sentence on the site sets the tone:

    “Common Sense Science is a body of theory regarding matter and forces that describes the physical world using geometric models, absolute time and Galilean space in a way that strives to be consistent with experimental observations and free of internal contradictions.”

    I would point out that experimental observations directly rule out absolute time and Galilean transformations in space as a possible framework to describe reality.

  152. #153 Longtime Lurker
    September 18, 2008

    We’re laughing now, but just wait until he gets his Large Jeebon Collider working!

    VTStudentperson, you MUST take a video of this assclown!

  153. #154 pcarini
    September 18, 2008

    The presentation in is the form of a PowerPoint…

    Why on Earth would you advertise this! I can’t think of a better way to scare people away from an event.

  154. #155 astronomer
    September 18, 2008

    I have personally encountered an expanding earth weirdo. He was lurking around the University of Oregon physics department, and he spotted me on the stairs carrying a book about galaxy formation. He started what first appeared to be a casual conversation about galaxy formation, but quickly evolved into an impassioned sales pitch for the expanding earth thing, based on the Neal Adams idea mentioned by previous commenters.

    His name was Charles Cagle (“physicist” according to his business card), and his website is singtech.com, where he claims to design nuclear fusion reactors, lol. I didn’t argue with him, just let him think I was naive, patiently listening, inwardly marveling at the depths of his sophistry. He totally reminded me of a pushy salesman.

  155. #156 VTStudent
    September 18, 2008

    I wish I had a video camera!!

    Unfortunately not even my cell phone has video camera on it =(

    After the presentation I’ll ask if they have “copies” of the presentation so I can “share with my family and friends”.

  156. #157 Sphere Coupler
    September 18, 2008

    First off theoretical physics is a highly legitimate field. Many scientist are in this category,Bohr, Hawking, Einstein, Rutherford, Tesla, Schrodinger, etc.

    The original expanding earth theory was put forth by Samuel Warren Carry a geologist,1/11/1911 to 3/20/2002.

    According to NASA, Landsat data indicated the earth grew by 22 inches in 2007.

    Every day the sun shines, mass is delivered to the surface of the earth along with all planetary bodies in the solar system.The sun expels a solar wind that contains mass in the form of ions and leptons.

    I do not know what lunacy is promoted by the speaker in question,but I think it rather odd that plate tech had gained favor over EET by the religious back in the day.
    Plate tech was more favorable to the religious and still allowed continuing science to proceed.

    All of the data is not yet in,so I would not discount this theory because of a few adamant people.I haven’t wasted my time to read his theory, but if it conforms to a religous viewpoint I think this is downright screwedup.

    If there are any particle physicist who would like to comment on where the water came from, seriously and don’t give me that creationist point of view …it don’t wash.

  157. #158 Sphere Coupler
    September 18, 2008

    Pangaea and Rhodesia were imagined to make plate tech look feasible and to placate the religious

  158. #159 Max Verret
    September 18, 2008

    I’m confused about the interpretation of the Heisenberg Uncentainity Principle. I didn’t realize that Heisenberg was concluding to an idealistic universe. “There is no objective reality”, they say. I thought Heisenberg was concerned with locating particles. The closer you got to the vector of the particle, the farther you moved from the location; the closer you got to the location the farther you got from the vector. I thought the uncertainity was over how to merge the two and not whether there was anything there.

  159. #160 Sphere Coupler
    September 18, 2008

    Science has bowed to religion thru academia for far too long. If the religious can not handle the truth they will just close their minds even more. It is not fair to teach half truths to the young.How are we ever to progress if we follow the same path?

  160. #161 Clemens
    September 18, 2008

    At the very beginning of his talk he points out an “incosistency”, namely that the electron is a point particle and yet has a magnetic moment. He says that because of its angular momentum (spin) it has to have finite size.

    This is a non-sequitur. First of all, spin is not the same as angular momentum. It just is an internal degree of freedom whose mathematical description is formally equivalent to that of angular momentum degrees of freedom. Second, the classical formula for magnetic moment requires a charge distribution to have finite size. This tells nothing about quantum electrodynamics. So his “inconsistency” is merely the fact that quantum mechanics are different from classical mechanics. Big deal.

    Furthermore, I wonder if his theory describes quantum field effects such as the creation of electron-positron pairs in the vacuum, or the lamb-shift in atomic spectra…

  161. #162 philosoraptor
    September 18, 2008

    “I thought Heisenberg was concerned with locating particles. The closer you got to the vector of the particle, the farther you moved from the location; the closer you got to the location the farther you got from the vector. I thought the uncertainity was over how to merge the two and not whether there was anything there.”

    Heisenberg in words: (uncertainty in position) times (uncertainty in momentum, or, close enough, speed) = small constant value.

    Basically, you can’t know exactly where something is (position uncertainty = 0) and exactly how fast it’s going (speed uncertainty = 0), since the product of the two would not be a small constant (it would be zero). For big things, we don’t notice it.

    Morrison does the best job, I think, of explaining how Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle results from the nature of the wave function. (Geek alert): Anyone looking to learn QP could do much worse than starting with his book.

    http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Quantum-Physics-Users-Manual/dp/0137479085/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1221787374&sr=8-1

  162. #163 Billy
    September 18, 2008

    I’m lovin’ the non-sequiturs this website is bringing up. For instance, about atomic theory:

    “The atomistic view is not universally accepted, but is opposed by the Judeo-Christian worldview with its underlying assumptions, the chief of these being the Law of Cause and Effect. This law is rejected both by ancient and modern atomists who insist, wrongly, that elementary particles are subject to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, that they emit light spontaneously and move randomly, that life arose by chance and evolved into its current forms by chance processes.”

    WHOA, did you see that? It’s almost unreal.

  163. #164 JoJo
    September 18, 2008

    I think it’s safe to say that modern physics has turned out nothing close to common sense.

    I believe it was Richard Feynman who said “Common sense tells us that the speed of light is infinite and Planck’s constant is zero.”

  164. #165 Clemens
    September 18, 2008

    @164
    It really sounds like the typical Feynman. How I enjoy reading this guy.

    If a crackpot needs a field to screw with, he should not take on quantum physics. It is remarkable that the foundations of QP laid in the early 20th century remain unchanged and unchallenged an entire century after their development and that the predictions made by quantum physics are so accurate you might get scared…

  165. #166 RBH
    September 18, 2008

    A bit of trivia: Before leaving to found the Institute for Creation Research, Henry Morris was an engineering prof at Virginia Tech.

  166. #167 Aquaria
    September 19, 2008

    My grandmother only had an eighth grade education, but she was smart enough to remark on numerous occasions, “Common sense may be common, but it sure isn’t sense.”

  167. #168 Bouncing Bosons
    September 19, 2008

    Here’s a protip for any crackpots like the common sense science people. Don’t say you’ve found a better theory than quantum mechanics unless you have used your theory to calculate the hydrogen spectrum and/or the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron (the deviation of the Land g-factor from 2). Both experiment and Quantum theory (Relativistic quantum field theory in the latter case) match these to fantastic accuracy (in the latter case experiment agrees with the measured value to more than 10 significant figures). Once you’ve gotten close on either, then we’ll talk.

  168. #169 Scott D.
    September 19, 2008

    Did anyone make it, and how was the talk?

  169. #170 VTStudent
    September 19, 2008

    I was able to attend the talk, and I should soon have a copy of presentation in powerpoint format (He said he would email us the presentation if we put or email address on a paper).

    When/If I get it I will throw it on rapidshare.

  170. #171 Steven Dunlap
    September 20, 2008

    So, Heisenberg is stopped by a traffic cop

    The cop asks him, “Do you know how fast you were going?”

    Heisenberg responds, “No, but I know exactly where I am.”

  171. #172 Zetetic
    September 20, 2008

    This is an older thread now, so possibly no one will see this comment. And I apologize if someone figured this out earlier and I missed it.

    My fiance figured out that if you Google for the papers on the Common Sense Science website you will have no problem getting access to them. Apparently they don’t have things set up properly to limit access to those who have paid, so if you have a link to the paper it will allow you to see it.

    Here is a link to one of them: http://www.commonsensescience.org/pdf/articles/hydrogen.pdf

    My fiance’s comment on it: “I saw one of the papers on the structure of hydrogen… it didn’t have any math really, only saying that work done has shown that the spectra of hydrogen is predicted by it. But the show stopper was him saying that his model does not allow the hydrogen atom to be stable by itself, and only works for hydrogen molecules (H2)… so therefore it is impossible to have atomic hydrogen. It is not easy to have atomic hydrogen… but this is not in the realm of esoteric particle physics experiments. There are commercial atomic hydrogen generators for use in semiconductor processing.”

    I’m not a physicist myself, so I can’t speak to it personally. But I thought some of you might be interested in reading his papers without having to support the lunacy financially. 🙂

  172. #173 Marianne Bacon
    January 26, 2009

    to Ben Franklin:

    Your comments on Sept. 18, 2008, are outstanding. Worthy opponent!

    Planned Parenthood, and the chaise lounge — loved it.

    Your friend,
    a Berlinski lover

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