Thursday, July 22, 2010

A look at Nassim's response to this blog


Contents:
An apology


Introduction

There's been a lot of talk about Nassim Haramein's physics on this blog over the past few months. I'm intending to wrap up the saga with this little post. Wish me luck.




There are six previous posts: an introduction, the original article questioning his legitimacy as a scientist, observations of his approach to mathematics, a detailed look at his current flagship physics paper, a collection of extracts from grossly misleading presentations, and a more personal article about why I started writing all this in the first place. Number seven seems like a good place to end.

I've focused throughout on Haramein's physics. Why physics? Because he claims to be doing serious science, and his institution claims to be revolutionising our physical understanding of the world. If his physics is as awful as I'm saying it is, then that is a very serious bit of misselling.

If fancy physics isn't your cup of tea, there's no shortage of blatant examples of misunderstanding of basic physics that you might get more sense out of. I'd encourage anyone to sit down with their cup of tea and investigate these things further.

If you don't mind a bit of physics with your cupcakes and you're interested in his Schwarzschild Proton theory (that the strong force is actually a gravitational interaction between black holes), then you might be interested to know that if you ask a few simple questions of it, his theory falls completely apart.

Or does it...?


Nassim's response


In this video, Haramein presents his killer reasoning against those who claim to disprove his theories of the universe:



Ok, ok, sorry. I'm not taking this seriously enough...

That's not really Haramein. (Although...) No. You're right. It isn't.

Let's start again.


Nassim's response – take 2

Haramein has now taken on some of the claims that I've made, and has devoted a part of his website to responding at length to the criticisms that I've raised. [Edit, May '13: Haramein has, after nearly three years, decided to remove his response to criticism of his work from his website, as well as virtually all information on what his institution actually does or has been doing for the last two decades. But that's ok - we still have working links...]

I'm happy to spotlight his response here in order to encourage debate. I'm also happy to host any kind of critical debate here, provided it's not offensive and empty. (In contrast, Haramein doesn't encourage debate or provide links to any criticisms about his work, and any kind of critical comment on his blog, no matter how reasonable, will not pass moderation.)

Haramein's response has come as a great source of delight to those who really want to see me getting a good kicking for speaking out against this inspiring and creative new thinker of our time. There do seem to be many such people. Happy days for them!

Nassim's response to my original article is called "Letter to Dr. Bob-a-thon",

So, what to make of all this. To summarise, his rhetoric is great! The bits of physics he's thrown in look really impressive! If the aim is to wow the fans and seal their contempt for me, he's done an excellent job.

But has he actually addressed the criticisms that I've raised? Surely, somewhere in all that work, he must have? Help me out here if you think I'm missing something, but I really don't think he has. I'll illustrate some of the ways he's misused physics in his defence later on.

If you disagree – if you can find any single point in there that convinces you that any of my criticisms of his physics aren't completely valid – then I'd really love to hear from you. It would be great if we could keep it to the physics. I know it won't happen, but it would be great if it did.

Meanwhile, as you can see for yourself, he has had fun doing what he does best – inventing things to entertain his fans, and telling them what they want to hear. He presents this new, conveniently fictionalised version of me to his followers as "an important study for anyone who is interested in my work."

I'm apparently to be seen as someone who "proclaims himself and his institution the beholder of the truth and the only truth as if the standard model was complete and a done deal." I'm also a "reactionary defending the status quo", indulging in "personal attacks, character assassinations and name-calling."

I haven't mentioned the standard model, so I don't know where that came from. I'd never proclaim it as a done deal, and neither would any physicist.
Which one of us has an institution with an ideology to defend against legitimate questions? I don't have one.
Which of us is engaging in immature name-calling? Here's a clue: in Haramein's first response, he twists my silly pseudonym into a derogatory term that he's sourced from that well-respected reference work Urban Dictionary, and uses it as the title of his article. Someone should have pointed out that that's kinda puerile :)

Irony aside, I'm curious as to what name-calling he might be referring to on my part. I can sympathise if he doesn't like the words fraud or fake or pseudoscientist. I did present an extensive exposition of the discrepancies between the claims he makes for his work and the pitiable content of it, however, so they were very natural terms to use. Inescapable, even. Not names.

As for character attacks, I can't prevent him from feeling attacked if he's attached to his ideas. That's fairly standard among pseudoscientists. The thing is, I don't think I've even mentioned his character, except to point out that his integrity is called into question by the claims that he makes.

And I don't even like Status Quo.

But he's right to complain that I don't give him the respect that he feels entitled to. He makes it known that he is deeply offended, which is fair enough. My aim was always to discuss his ideas for what they are, not for what he thinks they are, so his sense of entitlement never really entered into it. It's just one of those things – if you spout nonsense in public instead of doing science, sooner or later people will start saying "hang on, but that's nonsense" rather than treating you as a scientist.

He also makes it very clear that I'm a mediocre mind and that he is a brilliant thinker – in fact he repeatedly compares himself to Einstein. If he has such a high view of himself, it's odd that he should be so upset by the unimaginative challenges of some obscure mediocre blogger. But there we are.

What we do agree on is that one of us must be very closed-minded and deeply attached to his own view of the world.

I do rather like my view of the world, I admit. I've worked quite hard for it. But I also love the fact that people and situations can, and very often do, challenge it and open my mind to greater things. It's just that I resist changing it when presented with nonsense that conflicts with straightforward observations of nature. I've given his approach a lot of consideration – but it is what it is.

I think I've thought through his ideas quite thoroughly though, if you'll excuse the tongue-twister. Far more than I really ought to have; and certainly far more than I intend to in the future.



Ok, ok, enough already, show me the physics

If you're fed up of all these arguments going around in circles, you're not the only one. Let's cut to the chase.

My criticisms rest on the fact that he claims to be doing serious science and revolutionising physics, but his physics theories are nothing more than naive, misleading, and blatantly incorrect ideas. If this is true (and it still is), then all the rhetoric in the world won't save him from being called a fraud.

Let's take the two most straightforward and significant criticisms of the Schwarzschild Proton.

1. His theory gives the mass of the proton as 885 million tonnes when it's straightforward to measure that it's 1.67 trillionths of a trillionth of a gram.

2. His theory predicts a force between the protons in a nucleus of 7.49 x 10^47 dynes, which is also many many orders of magnitude larger than what is measured.

These particular conclusions of his theory are all so unambiguously and blatantly wrong, and by such an enormous amount, that I did for a while believe that he wouldn't seriously attempt to defend them. But he has.


1 The discrepancy of the mass of the proton

Haramein discusses the problem of the mass of the proton on this page, about half way down. He starts off by suggesting that I made a basic error in confusing mass and weight, which is untrue – weighing gases to establish their mass is fairly sensible. He then talks about how the source of mass is still a mystery in the standard model, and somehow ends up on the quantization of spacetime... all of which has absolutely no bearing whatever on the very simple and straightforward fact that if something has a mass of nearly a billion tonnes, it ought to be heavy.

He then tells us that "in the final copy of The Schwarzschild Proton we calculate the mass dilation resulting from a proton rotating near relativistic speeds and find that at a velocity of 10^-39 slower than C, the proton exhibits the mass of a Schwarzschild entity."

Mass dilation is a consequence of special relativity that makes objects moving close to the speed of light appear more massive than they would be at rest. I doubt that this will help him explain why they appear so light to us.

This new idea would imply that we'd experience these Schwarzschild protons as 10^39 times heavier in a bound state than as a free proton! A bound state of two protons (and/or neutrons, one would assume – deuterium, for example) would have a mass of 10^39 times heavier than a single proton.

Needless to say, none of this is remotely like what is observed in the real world. He really hasn't thought it through very well.


(He then goes on to say fabulous things like "On the cosmological level, this highly turbulent structure of horizons where velocities approach c may be the source of matter creation through sheering of the spacetime manifold itself at the quantum level which predicts a continuous matter creation model at black hole horizons..." and links to a whole load of string theory papers. All meaningless in this context, and seemingly irrelevant to anything that Haramein has ever suggested. The blatant discrepancy between his theory and the real world remains. Still, if the desired effect is "whoa, hit me with that far-out shit, you like totally pwned that status quo dude, man", then I give it top marks and a gold star.)


Haramein returns to discuss this discrepancy in this document, about 40% of the way down, first by claiming that the Standard Model fudges the mass of the proton by renormalisation. I want to say a quick few words about this complex idea, at the risk of giving you something of a caricature of what's actually involved...

Renormalisation is an aspect of the mathematical treatment of quantum field theories that can either be used very well or rather badly. When used well, the results it predicts are either independent of the finite cut (the "fudge" as Haramein calls it) or if not, the effects of the physics above and below the cut are treated seperately and combined in the final analysis, and a physical rationale for the value of the cut is predicted by the theory itself. This is now such a well-understood process, it can't really be described as a fudge. The prime example is the entire standard model, which has driven forwards the last four decades of highly successful particle physics research, and in particular renormalised QED, the most accurate theory that mankind has ever produced.

When it's used 'badly', the results are highly dependent on the cut, and the user imposes some "correct" scale on the theory from outside, and then asserts that the results of the calculation have some actual measurable physical significance. That surely is a fudge. (I find it unconvincing, though I'm hardly an expert.) I'm not aware of any observations that have ever been made that validates this kind of use of the theory. I'm thinking in particular of the fetish for ascribing values to the energy of the vacuum. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nassim Haramein, the man who denounces the fudgelessly renormalised Standard Model, makes prominent use of one of these fudged renormalisation results at the start of his Schwarzschild Proton paper by quoting a vacuum energy density as if it has a physical significance.

More irony.

It's true that the standard model doesn't predict the mass of the proton – at least not without first knowing the masses of quarks. It's true that it bases its predictions on a renormalisation process that some see (or let's be honest, some saw several decades ago) as controversial. But does any of this excuse Haramein's theory from the requirement that it should make some sense and relate to the real world? Sorry, but no.

The thing about the measured mass of the proton is that it's always equal to the measured mass of the proton. It's an exceptionally precisely known and unerringly consistent value, and whether or not the standard model predicts it, all theories of physics have to use it. The whole point of science is that it is attempting to reflect nature. As Carl Sagan puts it, "Whatever is inconsistent with the facts, no matter how fond of it we are, must be discarded or revised."

We're still left with the fact that Haramein's theory offers no results that are supported by experiment (aside from those that would follow from the original assumptions anyway), and a whole bunch of conclusions that are inconsistent with the facts by many, many orders of magnitude.



2. The discrepancy of the force between protons

There is another enormous difference between the measured force between two protons and the 'stupidly big' figure in his paper.

Haramein says, "It matters little how 'stupidly big' something is. What matters is if the numbers derived are logical, plausible, consistent with the theory involved, and point to at least useful and/or, ideally, testable results." True words indeed! The numbers Haramein gives in his Schwarzschild Proton paper aren't remotely plausible. Furthermore they can be very easily 'tested', i.e. compared directly to the real world, without using any fancy physics at all, as I will illustrate.

He addresses the discrepancy here, about 90% of the way down. He points out that he has already explained it in his paper using the centrifugal force, and he berates me for not having read it. As it happens, I did read it (the paper is only a few pages long, after all). I didn't bother to discuss it because it doesn't change anything.

In the Newtonian classical mechanics that Haramein has employed, in a rotating reference frame, gravity has an inverse square dependence on separation, whereas centrifugal forces follow an inverse cube dependence. (The only assumption needed for this is that any external angular impulse must be negligible in comparison to the angular momentum of the system, which will certainly be true here.) This means that at some definite separation they will balance – as Haramein correctly points out – but for any displacement from that definite separation there will be a net restoring force. The system is forced back to equilibrium. This is why gravitational orbits are stable.

What does this mean for the Schwarzschild Proton? The forces are balanced at 2.64fm separation; if they were pulled even to 2.65fm apart, the restoring force would already be 0.37% of the full gravitational force, which is 2.83 x 10^45 dynes. Which is stupidly big. By which I mean big enough to make it utterly impossible – it's already many many orders of magnitude greater than any force we could hope to create or observe on Earth.

Looking at it in terms of energy gives us a better way of comparing the numbers directly with the real world.

We can calculate the amount of energy required to separate two protons. For a classical circular orbit, it's half the magnitude of the gravitational potential energy (the rest is provided by the kinetic energy of the orbiting body). In this case, the answer is 1.98 x 10^28 Joules (try it yourself).
This is an astronomical figure, and it would be stupid to suggest this was the amount of energy to split a single nucleus – it's more than half of the amount of energy it would take to remove the Moon from its orbit around the Earth.

Compare this to Haramein's assertion that the "balance between the centrifugal force and the centripetal force is extremely fragile and any disturbing entity would easily knock it out of equilibrium." The work of a brilliant thinker of our time, or utter idiotic nonsense? Go figure.
For the actual, measured, maximum value for the energy required to separate two protons, consider the nucleus with the highest proton separation energy, Helium-4. Subtract the mass of this nucleus from the combined masses of a proton and a tritium nucleus, and multiply by c². The maximum energy required to remove a proton is 3.2 x 10^-12 Joules. For most nuclei, the figure is much lower than this.

Once again, Haramein is around 40 orders of magnitude from reality as a result of using gravity instead of the strong force. Have I used any dodgy physics theories here? These are fairly straightforward observations.

3. Other things that are fundamentally flawed or straightforwardly wrong

I raised many other fundamental issues with his theories, for example his claim that there is an event horizon around a proton (a region from which no light or particles can emerge, especially if this event horizon is somehow immune to rapid decay as protons clearly are). This is contradicted by the fact that we can clearly observe the proton's internal structure. Haramein hasn't responded to this at all.
There's so much in his response that there's no way I could try to deal with it all. There's actually lots of quotes from and links to quite good physics that have been mixed in there that I wouldn't argue with... but very little if any of them are relevant to any of the claims that he's been making. (And in the majority of cases they really don't imply the kind of things that he tries to make them imply. He even includes a quote "the effects of gravity can safely be ignored on a small scale, such as the atomic one" from an article that was supposedly providing a rationale for his black hole obsession. Wake up, research dudes! Get with the cherry-pickin' program!)

All in all, despite the magnitude of the work that has gone into this by Haramein and his staff, I don't believe that he's provided one reasonable argument that contradicts any of the flaws in his physics that I've highlighted in my earlier posts.

I'd like to know if you think otherwise.

As I said earlier, if you can find any single point in Haramein's response that convinces you that any of my criticisms of his physics are unfounded – then I'd really love to know what it is, and why you find it convincing. It would be great if we could keep it to the physics. I know it won't happen, but it would be great if it did. Let's face it, it doesn't matter how upset his groupies get, it's the dodgy physics and Haramein's utterly disproportionate claims for his research that are in question here.

If anything interesting comes up from the physics discussion in the comments or by email, I'll include it in my post, and I'll gladly amend the blog if I've said anything incorrect.

Haramein and his fans may be glad to know that I don't intend to write about him any more. And I'll stay anonymous, so they can continue to mythologise me to their hearts' content.

An apology to Mr Haramein

Before I finish, though, I do – in all seriousness – want to apologise for one thing that I have said. Not because I'm worried about legal consequences or anything like that, but because I think I've been unfair.

I did use the word "manipulative", and also words such as "lying" or "deceitful", to describe Haramein's approach to presenting physics. Not very often, but even once is too much. These words clearly imply that he is deliberately setting out to mislead, and I can't possibly know that. While I think the term "misleading" is entirely appropriate, I will accept his objection that it is unfair of me to assume any such thing about his motivations.

It's perfectly plausible that Haramein does have such an inflated sense of his work that he believes that he's doing serious science research, leading a revolution in physics, answering age-old mysteries about the pyramids, solving crop-circles, receiving and interpreting communications from aliens that fly in and out of volcanos and sunspots, proving that there are complex tetrahedral geometries in everything in the universe that generate paranormal phenomena, finding the secret connections that link them all with hidden subtexts within the Bible, and so on and so on; and perhaps he truly believes that he's on the verge of transforming the world into a haven of free energy and understanding and that any minute now the scientific community will wake up to his truth and recognise his contribution. He may well also believe that he didn't invent the fictionalised version of me that he presented. Who knows what he believes.

It's plausible, though I admit to finding it difficult to understand. How is it possible for a view like that, however sweet and innocent an ideal it might come from, to survive contact with the real world for so many years? Perhaps this could be admirable in some way.

Maybe it's understandable if you set out early in life with a drive to communicate some view of the world that feels good and gives people what they want to hear; and if you then find yourself with thousands of fans who admire you for it and allow you to make a living from it and see you as their hope and their light, then I guess you could be forgiven for mistaking it all for reality. I'm sure there are plenty of precedents.

What's hard to believe is that it could be possible to maintain these kinds of delusions without some conscious act of sustained wilful ignorance as to what's actually out there, especially if he's involved in actually trying to carry out research. But perhaps he is somehow capable of this in all innocence. So I'll let it go.

For this reason I've agreed to remove all instances of the offending words from the main body of my blog, and this disclaimer can be seen as a retraction of any use of these words elsewhere by me. He may well be a really lovely character, as I said in my original post nearly six months ago. My criticism, as I keep saying, concerns the content of his science, and the disparity between this and the claims that he makes for it. Not his intentions in doing so.

Misleading it certainly is. He succeeds in pulling the wool over so many of his followers' eyes, whether he intends to or not. His impressive ability to sustain this level of ignorance for so many years will never qualify as a reasonable excuse for making a living by misleading people into seeing him as an authority.

Luckily for us, we can continue to discuss his incompetence as a scientist and to question his integrity without resorting to any assumptions about what in the name of arse is going on inside his head.

I do hope that settles the matter to Mr Haramein's satisfaction.

472 comments:

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Whosjohnny said...

@Bob...

Opposite attract, similar repel. Protons are positively charged - how do you explain protons sticking together inside the nucleus? The creation of Strong Force is a BS concept even to a layman. You can’t just force SF into existence as an AFTER THOUGHT. Quarks using Color Force is another example.

Even the most basic definition of “ISOLATED SYSTEM” cannot exist – our dictionary admits it; the foundation of The Scientific Process is flawed (not able to account for ALL unseen and unknown variables). In the 1940’s, RCA spent millions to look for correlation of solar patterns to radio transmission and what they find out was planetary alignment affecting the sun which affects earth’s atmosphere; it defy any known physics at the time because supposedly the largest body of mass should have the greatest effect; the origin of this hyper-dimensional torque came from the outer planets (less mass but with high spin velocity) not the sun (much more mass).

There is a basic premise known as Occam’s razor, which is a principle that generally recommends selecting from among competing hypotheses the one that makes the fewest new assumptions. The amazing thing about Nassim is his ideas are so wildly simple, even a 9 year old can understand. Computer binary foundations of ON (1) and OFF (0) are so elegantly simple - yet it can create the most complex and near infinite permutations of programs and possibilities. I see a pattern of simplicity to create complexity, don’t you? Aren’t you glad Spanish Inquisition no longer is with us? Otherwise, we might kill Nassim by accident and realize how wrong we were 25 years from now.

The status quo is built to enslave and brain wash us – organized religions, educational system, the medical system, consumerism built upon revenue not sustainability, the monetary system built upon interest and debt that can never be repaid and other systems to suppress our spirituality and awareness. I actually PREFER a renegade like Albert Einstein, Nassim Haramein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and many others. They all left mainstream to pursue “the passion of their heart” armed with only their imagination and steadfast vision; they’re ridiculed but their vision did not waver. I see something similar in Nassim. He flicked them off with a big fat finger (not literally of course); he never waste his imaginative potential, constantly questioning and acquisition of broad-spectrum of knowledge, way beyond traditional science because he intuitively knows ALL IS ULTIMATELY ONE; so ancient ruins and megalith stone structures, religious symbols from different parts of the world ALL contributed to the study of science. John Muir once said, “Power of imagination makes us infinite”. You cannot prove Nassim will be wrong forever in the eyes of mainstream science because it hasn’t happen yet – he may be an outcast today but may turn out to be a hero in history books for all of humanity during a critical period of transition. If you study history – especially in the field of science, Nassim has Las Vegas odds stacked in his favor. Great spirits don’t just encounter”teeny weeny” opposition from mediocre minds, they ALWAYS encounter “VIOLENT” opposition. If I see “teeny weeny” resistance, then I’ll be worried; because I see “VIOLENT”, then I know history WILL BE CHANGED because “VIOLENT” opposition is a sign of BIRTH PAIN as in the coming of a new age.

Problem is in the current process of science itself. Whereas it is upheld as THE SACRED WAY to arrive at the truth, in fact – that sacred way IS the reason we FAIL to make breakthroughs in Unified Field Theory because of all the confinement and restrictions it imposes. It’s Archaic.

Without the “heart” factor, one cannot understand my argument. The “heart” is central to all wisdom and understanding, merging science and spirituality into one.

Although I address this to Bob, I did not write it in hope to change his views – but for others to bring balance who may not see the whole picture.

HEART is the secret to ALL.

Bob said...

Hi Whoisjohnny

I don't know where this idea that the strong force was just invented as an afterthought came from. Perhaps you could tell me where you came across it.

Would you also say that gravity was invented as an afterthought because things appear to keep falling down?

Gravity isn't invented. It is a force that is very clearly be observed to act on things. It's a blatantly obvious part of life for anyone who regularly encounters objects in a gravitational field. As you know. It's universal, and it's there to be investigated in detail by anyone who cares to.

In exactly the same way, the strong nuclear force isn't invented. It is a force that is very clearly observed to act on things. It's a blatantly obvious part of life for anyone who regularly works with objects at the nuclear scale. It's universal, and it's there to be investigated in detail by anyone who cares to.

There are plenty of things that we don't yet fully understand about gravity, and plenty we don't yet fully understand about the strong force. But many many thousands of people have taken the trouble to investigate it, from as many angles as they can, in order to find out as much as they can about what it's actually like.

In the 60s and 70s it started to become clear that the strong force appears to act exactly like an SU(3) gauge-invariant interaction in Hilbert space. This is a theory called QCD, and it's now been accepted as the standard theory of the strong force.

Who's to say whether it's true or not? Is it some kind of dogma? This is a genuine and important question. The answer is very clear, though. You're free to contest it or investigate it for yourself.

Let's put it this way. Every breakthrough in nuclear and particle physics has made use of this theory in some form or another. And there have been thousands. With QCD, scientists can design and build accelerators and detectors that allow them to see right inside protons and neutrons, to explore the worlds within the nucleus and to understand the high energy universe, to make detailed accurate prediction after detailed accurate prediction.

If you decide that QCD is made up so you're going to ignore it, then you can do nothing: the fascinating world of the nucleus would be closed to you.

It's the same as if you don't choose not to believe that Antarctica exists. It's up to you; but you'll never get to the South Pole.

You're perfectly free to choose not to believe that Antarctica exists. You can try to convince people who've actually been there if you like, but they probably wouldn't appreciate it. Perhaps you'd then complain that they're enslaving us all with their dogma because they won't accept your alternative view. But I don't understand why anyone would choose to do that, when you could just find out about the people who have been to Antarctica, what they've learned, what pictures they've taken, and how many others have verified it to be true.

Similarly, I don't understand why anyone would choose to believe that the strong force is made up as an afterthought, when you could just find out what it's like from any of the thousands of people who use it every day.

Does that make sense?

Bob said...

What I'm trying to say is that the strong force is not an afterthought. It's something we can very clearly see acting.

That is how science works. People look at things, to see what they're like. It's nothing complicated. And it's certainly not just some made-up orthodoxy that's force-fed to school children - that would be a gruesome picture.

I know I've only addressed the first few lines of your comment. I'm happy to discuss as much of it as you'd like, so long as you're willing to accept me as a human being rather than a caricature. That means not casting me as someone who doesn't approach life with a passionate inquisitiveness - I do. If you knew me, you'd know that. You don't know me. It means not associating me with the unspiritual, or the violent, or the heartless, or the anti-intuitive, or the visionless, because I am none of those things. If you knew me, you'd know that. You don't know me.

I will assume that you believe in accepting a fellow human being as a fellow human being, rather than hanging onto prejudices about them. And I'll assume that you believe that it's a good thing to get to know the universe on its own terms too, to listen to what it's telling us. Does that sound fair?

If that sounds fair, then let's talk. Let me know what you think.

Anonymous said...

Something I always say about Nassim is that if 99% of everything he says is bullshit, then that 1% of what he says is true is the most incredible thing I've ever heard. Many of you who criticize Nassim's physics as flawed seem to neglect that the message Nassim promotes is generally one that promotes the development of Free Energy technology, the application of simple scientific facts (e.g. we are composed of atoms that are 99.999% space) to conceptualizing the nature of human existence, integral science, philosophy, and religion, as well as an emphasis on curiosity and service. Additionally, his theories around religious history are thought-provoking. People on this thread have already stated that at least Nassim is provoking people to question our current scientific and religious paradigms. And this is exactly why I love Nassim. He is not claiming to know the truth, but he definitely gets worked up and ridiculously enthusiastic about the story he's pieced together. He's not trying to hurt anyone. And people get a lot out of his lectures and programs, so don't assume that charging people for an education in his perspective is malicious or detrimental to society.

Bob said...

Hi Anonymous.

I haven't neglected Haramein's promotion of free energy technology - see here, for example.

And yes, some small percentage of the facts that he's picked up from popular science books may actually manage to make it into his talks without being twisted out of recognition.

I've said all along that if it floats your boat to have someone just say loads of stuff and pretend that it's scientific research into the nature of our universe, and you simply don't care whether or not any of it is true, then he's probably for you.

Some people genuinely are seeking truth about the wonderful universe in which they find themselves, and it matters to them if they're being misled. Others are satisfied with stories by the smiley guy who tells them what they want to hear and makes them go 'woo' and feel spiritual.

So long as people in the first camp are aware of what Haramein is doing, I'm cool with that. The second camp aren't going to take any notice of me anyway.

Bob said...

Incidentally, the 99.999% factoid isn't really true either. Aside from not having enough 9s on it (there should be 13 of them after the decimal) it's also a gross oversimplification. Strictly speaking, there isn't any empty space in any atom: the electron and nuclear wavefunctions fill them completely.

But it's one of those things that people like to say, including some scientists when talking (rather loosely) to the public.

Yuvraj said...

"Nassim haramein" theory is truly genius work. Future of physics will definitely evolve from this theory.

Bob said...

Let's see how definite you are. I'll give you £1,000 if it happens, you give me £1,000 if it doesn't.

How shall we define the event? 100 references to his name or his equations in peer-reviewed scientific journals by 2030? Articles taking his theory seriously as physics in 10 physics or science magazines with circulation of over 10,000? You care to suggest a definition?

Anyone else want to play?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. Like all of the pseudo-scientists I've stumbled across so far, Nassim does not allow comments on his blog - clearly, he doesn't want discussion, or the actual free and honest evolution of science. He wants to prove a certain point that he had in mind before he started to contort reality to suit it.

I respect you for keeping an open blog and an open mind. You were not the one to start the character attacks - you just wanted a good discussion. He pointed his finger to distract his followers from the simple and reasonable points you had made.

When I first saw his videos a few years ago, it was clear enough to me that he was trying to reach New Age conclusions through the manipulation of science. At the time, there were no critical reviews of him on the net, but one of my room mates was into New Age esoterica, and I immediately realized that he was playing that up.

New Age worries me, because they don't see themselves as a religion - they are as determined as Muslims or any other devout religious people that they are not in a group, but that they are on the one true path. So they shoot down criticism as close mindedness against revolutionary thinking. But is it revolutionary? Or are they a group of eager followers, ripe for being led even farther astray. Time will tell.

Best regards, and thanks for the thoughtful posts.

Bob said...

Thanks. You're right - the New Age don't see themselves as a religion. They consider themselves open-minded, rational and compassionate, in contrast to religions or cults.

When you try questioning their beliefs, their self-view becomes quite comical. It's a fascinating collective self-deception, it really is.

I don't mind them until they start doing things like claiming that they have access to scientific insights which are clearly untrue, and people start falling for it. I think that's pretty scary.

Anonymous said...

you would like to read this also. There are instances where science should listen and work on what not scientiest are saying if that sounds reasonable. have you even tried thinking in the direction what Nassim has said or have just started our argument thinking he is outright fraud
http://vethathirifoundation.org/?q=node/11

Bob said...

"have you even tried thinking in the direction what Nassim has said or have just started our argument thinking he is outright fraud" - Of course I have. I don't see any point in making an argument by assuming the conclusion.

Your suggestion that we should listen and work with what people are saying before jumping to conclusions is good advice. You could try it yourself.

A theory that is too precious to compare to we see in the real world is not a theory of physics, I'm sure you'd agree. The whole point of a physics theory is that it has some relevance to the universe in which we find ourselves.

In this post I took Haramein's flagship theory by the hand, precisely as he presented it, in all its detail, and introduced it gently to the universe in which we live. The poor thing collapsed and died within seconds.

Try it for yourself.

And in this post you can see dozens of instances of him getting just about everything he tries to talk about factually wrong, right down to the most basic laws of nature.

It's not what you'd expect from someone who claims to have revolutionary new insights into physics.

But do let me know if you have any reason to dispute any of the points I've raised...

Anonymous said...

this blog has revealed itself to be a fractal! The irony...

We all see what we want to see. Full stop. The whole notion of reality is elusive - hamlet summed it up ' i can band myself in a nutshell and regard myself king of infinite space ' ; )

Bob said...

We see what we want to see if that's all we can be bothered to do.

If we care enough about the world to find out what it's actually like, we go and find out what it's actually like.

Take your pick.

Anonymous said...

hmm the international financial system - is that based in/on any reality we all agree on? If you look under the hood you find a lot of funky mathematics.....

Bob said...

The choice is ours whether we want our view of it to be dominated by opinion, prejudice, first impressions and hearsay, or whether we want to be honest about what we don't know and to take the trouble to find out more.

Funky mathematics can help predict and exploit things in limited situations. A wise economist will make it their business to understand when it can and should be applied, and when it can't and shouldn't.

There's no mathematics that will accurately predict long-term behaviour of chaotic systems, and there's no mathematics that will help people with compromised ethics and twisted value systems.

And you could say there's been something of a shortage of wise economists.

None of that is an excuse for not bothering to learn how things work, though. I think we'd have a better world if we were all more informed and less vulnerable to accepting opinions as if they're facts; not the other way around.

Anonymous said...

Of course i agree with you. You post a rational arguement. The question is the nature of the facts themselves and how we interpret them...

If I engage mind and do the maths etc - its flawed.
If I let go and feel through my heart - its correct.

Here is unfolds the essential paradox. Its nothing new.

However, we are beginning to see that the former is flawed, for it organises and thus divides. The latter, which we truly crave, enriches, joins and solves...

People who meditate regularly and people who don't are divided quite naturally by the reality they perceive.

The truth is that deep meditation sinks us into a reality that smiles - wryly - at our epistemology, for it reveals only singularity... how we each express that and at what level, well - thats the dance. Beautiful.

nutshells ; )

Bob said...

"If I engage mind and do the maths etc - its flawed.
If I let go and feel through my heart - its correct."


That's not a paradox - it's straightforwardly untrue.

No offense to your heart, which I'm sure is a fine thing, but it's not going to lead you to the laws of physics. And it probably won't help you spot someone who's bullshitting about the laws of physics either.

It will lead you to select the things you have a preference for, based on your own feelings rather than understanding of what's out there. Which is nice in some ways ... but it's also the meaning of the word prejudice.

All wars and conflicts are started by those who follow their own gut responses to what is sacred and meaningful and how they prefer to interpret what other people do.

Ok, these are probably not the people who meditate... but I know plenty of meditators, and some of them stick to their own prejudices and are blind to them.

Meditation is only powerfully transformative if we have the courage to question every view that we have. Including our views about meditation. It won't solve the problems of the world unless we continually look beyond our gut feelings and try to accept all the ways in which the world is not the way we think it is. It's a courageous and difficult task.

In my view, settling with our current feelings and enjoying the play of experience is only half of what it means to be human. We also need to question everything, rationally and non-rationally; and to take delight whenever we find that we were wrong. The universe is almost always more rich and complex and wonderful than we ever imagined.

Look in, of course, but look out as well. It's amazing out there. And like any good friend, to truly know how amazing it you need to make the effort to get to know its history and what makes it tick. If you don't, all you have is an inner idea, an inner feeling, of it.

If you've ever had someone treat you according to their own story of who they think you are rather than taking any notice of the real you out there, you'll understand how unsatisfactory that can be.

Look in, but look out too.

That's my thinking anyway :-)

Anonymous said...

I just had to comment on this,..

Please stay with me for a while and read it through. So for the beginning of the point i will be trying to make let's assume Nassims new Proton mass to be valid. Let's just assume for the sake of argument,...

Going from there we would encounter several problem not even part of quantum physics but normal ones. And i am not talking about the fact that the matter in Black Holes is assumed to be Neutrons, Protons with their Electrons collapsed onto them and into each other to achieve that type of dense mass,... I would even grant him the possibillity of his Black holes still having an electric charge a polarity. The problem he would face would still be there. Such a charge is either powerfull enough to repell other protons or each atom would over time inevitably collapse into a single black hole. Nassim tried i think to avoid this by stating those masses to be rotating each other at near light speed wich might even work for a while for only two protons but a system of let's say 26 protons circling each other without having a single centre of mass becomes somthing of a mind teaser don't you think? But Iron is way to easy still let's try this with Uranium and 92 wildly swirling protons.

The next point is and that would a given since he called his protons black holes, Neutrons would not be repelled, we are allready ignoring that Protons would probaly within any short amount of time collapse but Neutrons have an even harder times there don't they?

At this time i think it seems obvious that Nassims choice of words is wrong and thing would have gone over much smother with the other Physicists if he had had the sense not to use the word Black Hole but just made his Protons heavy,... Why? Well in the definition of a Black Hole no matter what amount of energy or mass you pour into it it is going to stay there. Black Holes a general rule do not repel. And while there is still a theoretical possibillity to split a cluster of 92 swirling Protons the Neutrons in such an Uranium Atom would have merged into a single Black Hole with no chance of seperating them into two new cores. We however know that to be possible wich would indicate the interior of an Atom not to be anything like a Black Hole.

Anonymous said...

Furthermore we know it to be possible for two rotaing Black holes to share a single but misshapen eventhorizon so any heavy element build like Nassim says would inevitably have due to interaction of gravitational forces have warped event horizons beyond the "rim" of their individual protons ( we still assume that that might miraculously be possible) those eventhorizons would trap anything creating over time a more massive center just by feeding on radiation we however know the mass of elements to be rather constant.

Splitting such a swirling system would be hard redistributing the neutrons would be close to impossible but what about the energy involved? We know that increasing the distance between two objekt is somethign that does consume energy. Where would the observed energy release of Splitting any Atom heavier then Iron (i think this was the border correct me if i am wrong) come from? Classic science says it to be rootet in the difference of overcoming the strong atomic force and riding out the electric repelling when splitting something or overcoming the repeling and riding out the strong force when fusing (i know that is overly simplyfied but for this argument and Nassims audience it should do). By claiming there not to be a strong force but just gravity where would that energy come from? Without bothering to do the Math now there are just two forces and adding them will provide a tendency for matter to behave, allways in all distances changing that tendency will consume energy harnessing it would be possible but there would be a tendency still and either fusion or splitting the atom would not yield any energy but consume it. It is only the play of three different forces that even allows this.

But we are still considering Nassims argument while we take a look at elektrons. Elecrtons which are the reason we do see things. In short Light hits an Atom giving power to the Elecron that will either just become faster or to fast and drop back into a lower orbit by releasing Light of its own (this is true for any number of radiations but i'll stay with visible light here) This is the reason why we don't only see Stars that emit light of their own but objekts that would not radiate energy unless absorbing and releasing it in form of heat and light and so on. Given the increased mass of a Proton Nassim proposes how much lighter or in a how much higher orbit would an Electron have to be to not to instantly collapse onto it's core?

Anonymous said...

Well Nassim did not make his Electron any lighter so we would have to assume them to be on a higher orbit thereby increasing the effektive size of any given atom by just that measure. without adding speed/orbit to those Electrons or again increasing their power to repell this seems to be the only option, jet we do know by some degree of certainty the size of atoms we know electrons to be there because we can see how they react to energy we even know how much energy it takes to lift an electron into a higher orbit or to completly remove it from the atom, given that we know it's mass a mass Nassim never changed, we also know the mass of the atomic core which is different to what Nassim proposed.

And as a Bonus just to deliver the Kiss of death to his Theory. As observed in space rotational systems over time will find a single direction or if you will the angular momentum will allways tend to end in a disc like shape. But we started this mindgame with wildly but miraculously stably swirling Protons and we will try to end Nassims theory there. We start with two protons and just shoot in a cuple more without having them collide,.. for whatever reason we get lucky and none of our new contributions ever did nor ever would collide with the others,... We do have a stable core it's size however is determined by the angular momentum of it's parts. How fast was each new part when we shot it in what relative direction did it have? What would stop us lucky as we are to take a second core we created this way and to throw that in ? I Guess by now most Physicists are stomping their feet because this would be Fusion and rather hard to do but again,... Withou a third force and gravity in it's place,..

Fusion would be nothing all you had to do was strip an Atom of it's electrons (easy) and throw in a few protons,...

That is not how the real world behaves because there might even be accidental fusion when you gather some static dressing in the morning (ok that is overexagerated but still ;) )



PS: If it were possible to have multiple equal masses rotating each other in a stable manner and a system only operating on gravity and (the odd every now and then )electromagenetic charge why would stars form? If a cloud of masses freely rotating each other was the most likly and stable result that would be the way the universe would look like after all it started out that way and some billion years to simmer down,... Without a Third force all matter would behave like the universe and it would do so on every scale. the periodic table would be useless,...

Stefan

Bob said...

Yup - we know all of those things, many of them we can observe directly, and all of them are completely at odds with Haramein's fraudulent gibberish.

The thing is, Haramein has lots of people who don't know any of those things and don't want to know any of those things, and he knows how to ensure that they're never curious enough to bother to look. All he has to do is encourage prejudice against mainstream science, and people will dismiss everything scientific and everyone who stands up for it without a second thought.

So what then?

Anonymous said...

Well either one gives up and starts collecting pretty rocks and seashells for the next big step in society we are about to make, or we add some fun facts like:

I takes a Sun about the size twice of ours to even start black hole compression these Suns are made of "Stuff" while Black Hole is just a word for an area in Space where "Stuff" get's "lost". Calling a Proton a Black Hole is sort of wrong,... Protons still are Stuff we know that,..
Please giggle when you get that ;)

John said...

Hey Bob,

I must applaud you for continuing to stay so active on your blog responses for so long. I began reading through you and NH's exchange a few hours ago and had no idea the posts would continue to as recent as a few weeks ago. Again, bravo.

The reason I came across your blot is because I have a intelligent group of buddies in thier late 20's who have completely dove head first into these ideologies. In fact, money is being spent on safe houses and canned goods. One friend in particular, who I'm very close to, is so passionate about it our last few encounters have ended from confrontation.

What I was hoping is that you could shed some light on a few things. First, without getting into NH's physics theories, is it fair to dismiss and debunk all of his ideas?

Through your research have you seen no evidence whatsoever of changes in energy within pyramids or china's preparation of a city above the clouds (excuse me if you haven't hears that one yet). He is a smart guy and I want to work towards a logical conversation even to entertain his ideas, I was just hoping you could tell me if there could be a sliver of possibility to any of NH's ideas or is it fair to dismiss his conversation and hope for the best.

BTW, this is an absolute cop out on my part. He consistently asks me to do the research, which from what it seems includes hours and hours of YouTube. I really don't have that time and figured it would be easier to reach out to someone whose more familiar with his work. Excuse my lazyness.

If you don't see this comment, a happy new year and holiday to you as well.

Bob said...

Changes in energy of pyramids? Cities above the clouds? Whoa.

Look, everyone who knows anything about human psychology, or anything about the history of cultural myths and stories, knows perfectly well that there have always been people who just love to invent silly things like this. And there have always been people who find stories like these too compelling not to believe. And there have always been people who have enough of a messiah complex that they see their life's mission as being to save the world in these stories. It's where they choose to live, and they expect everyone around them to live there too.

There will always be people like this.

And good for them. They make the world a richer and more exciting place!

There are people who just say stuff. A story comes to them, in a dream or a vision, they like it, they share it. They don't think too much about whether it's true or not - they're not bothered about all that.

And then there are people who cling. They hear an idea that resonates with them, they decide that it's true, and they just cling to it. They can't help it. It becomes part of their identity. If anyone disputes it, it feels to them as if they've been personally attacked.

I'm sure you know people like this.

There are also people who go to the trouble of finding things out themselves; of developing ideas and testing them, of establishing what sources of information are reliable and only making pronouncements or predictions if they have established the truth of an idea by many routes and personally investigated as many alternative views as possible. They won't make up silly stories, because it's not in their nature. Their drive is the yearning for reality, not the yearning for stories.

How do we know, when we hear an idea, whether it's just fabricated by a compulsive story-teller, or whether it's actually come from someone who is dedicated to finding things out as they really are, and is prepared to actively test their idea against plausible alternatives?

I think the first step is to be fully aware of this variety of tendencies in the human character, and to be fully aware of our own yearning for stories to become attached to.

If we want to live by stories, then fine. That's not for me. I want to know what's really going on. And if someone makes a claim - especially if it's one that sounds very much like the kind of story someone would make up and others would spread - then I want to know what it's based on. If it's based on nothing, then the natural human yearning for stories is by far the most plausible source.

The natural human yearning for stories is woefully underestimated. In my opinion. They are generated absolutely everywhere, and they are mistaken for the real world far too often. Expecially in the New Age movement - many of whom are unable or unwilling to recognise that there's even a difference! Which is kinda sweet, but also kinda pathetic.

Haramein makes stuff up, takes stuff from conspiracy theorists, weaves it in with a few completely mangled and misunderstood ideas from popular science, throws in a few pretty pictures, uses every cheesy trick to wow his audience, and people think it must have some truth in it.

The truth it has is the timeless truth that humans are natural story-tellers. The truth it completely ignores, dismisses and cynically rejects is the truth that humans are now extraordinarily capable of finding things out about the real world. Real things. Beautiful things. Things which lead to true predictions and reliable concepts. Concepts that people trust with their lives every day. That have led to technology that millions if not billions of people base their lifestyles on. Real stuff.

(cont...)

Bob said...

(cont from above...)

If you want a logical conversation about cities in the clouds or the consciousness changes of 2012, this is where to start:

Humans just love a good story. Life is never exciting enough for them - they always want more. Science is too hard, and they don't want the boffins to be the ones who know stuff (even though they're the ones who put in all the years of effort to find stuff out).

The most important thing to know about humans is that we love to make stuff up, and we don't always know when we're doing it.

Science, as Feynman said, is what we do to keep from lying to ourselves.

And the ideas and realisations that science has brought the world is, I would argue, far, far more wonderful than the silly stories humans invent. Because science is what the Universe is doing. And, though we may not want to believe it, the Universe is bigger and better than what's going on in someone's head.

I think we should listen to it more.

muzuzuzus said...

Yes we live by stories--us humans. true. And some of them--like the patriarchal stories have become very very destructive and toxic for all life. But the BIG danger you fail to understand Bob, is that your denial that you now are living by stories is a big part OF the danger face. In other words the stories you believe you have evolved from have become unconscious and act OUT via scientism and its technology!

Bob said...

Here's a good example:

Either:
(a) muzuzuzus, despite having never met me, has access to my inner thoughts, and knows what I understand and what I fail to understand, and also my belief system, probably better than I do myself. He even knows the content of my unconscious mind! He has considered the various alternatives to his claim (such as the possibility that I might actually be aware of this thing that I have just explained in detail). He is able and willing to consider many views that don't fit his preconceptions, and holds back until he's confident that his is the single most plausible view. Only then does he makes his assertion;

Or:
(b) muzuzuzus just says stuff.

Please muz, don't start off on another long contrarian garble.
Either learn to think clearly and critically and carefully, or learn to shut up.

Cheez Miss said...

hi, i saw this blog because I saw Nassim Haramein on youtube and found his talk on sacred geometry and unified field very very interesting - and more spiritual than it is about physics - maybe because I really dont know much about physics & i do meditate and get an experiential sense of his "ALL is one" idea.

it did strike me as odd that he got me interested to listen to him despite him talking about "physics" without me knowing much about it - particularly his language is not peppered with scientific jargon so I didnt feel intimidated and was open to know more of what he's saying.

But his talk on sun anomalies, sun gods in youtube - http://youtu.be/pZiic3ZIj2w - at 12:15 someone asked if the video he was showing is an animation--- and Nassim said "Yeah." and explained it was a program that gave an accurate representation as according to available data NASA gives out. But a second after, another person asked if the video was "An actual footage" and he said "Thats actual footage, this is NOT an animation."

That just ticked me as WEIRD. and then i saw thispost of yours where you noticed how he says what people wanted to hear.

Berlev said...

I am just starting to research this guy Nassim Haramein, and at this point, i don't have to understand if his math is correct to get his overall message, something that you haven't mentioned at all.

And one thing i also feel you misrepresent is "scientific fact". In Science facts are only true until they are proven otherwise, there are no such thing as abselute facts in science, you of all should know that.

Berlev said...

@Cheez Miss:

I saw the link you talked about, and you are mistaken about the part you brought out, when the woman asks, he has changed the slide to another picture, and that is what the woman is referring to.

I invite you to watch this lecture, which i found interesting: http://youtu.be/0Y5bXdx5UrE

I would also know what you "bob" think about the subject Nassim, calls "the vacuum catastrophe", when talking about the planck distance and the number of vibrations you can put in a cubic cm?

Cheez Miss said...

@Berlev actually the camera does not show the slide when the woman asked the question so that was my error too -- maybe thats what happens when i watch vids at 2inthemorning (philippine time). yes thats the vid which got me interested in what hes saying -- im still watching his other vids -- very very interesting indeed!

Bob said...

Hi Cheez Miss

Thanks for your comments. I haven't seen the video you linked to. If you've any questions about it, I'll check it out.

But there's no doubt he just says stuff for his audience, whether or not it's true, and whether or not it's about something he understands. He just says whatever he likes. And nobody seems to question it.

My suggestion is that you should question it. Accepting someone's stories because you like them is a dangerous and rather silly way to live. But hey, enjoy them as stories - that's fine.

Bob said...

Hi Berlev,

You seem to be trying to point out something that I'm getting wrong, which is always something I'm interested in. I'm very open to being corrected, and I'm very happy to look in depth at any criticisms you have of the content and implications of what I've said in these posts. As I've said many times, if any of it is incorrect, I do want to know, and I'll gladly change it. And I mean it.

What I'm far less interested in is being told I'm wrong for no real reason by people who aren't interested in the content of what I've actually said, or what I'm trying to say. People seem to like doing that, but I really don't see the point in that.

So I'm very much hoping you're the first type and not the second.

Now that's out of the way, I'll respond briefly to what you've said, and we can discuss in more depth if you have more to say.

1. I haven't talked about his overall message because this is a criticism of his claimed use of science. He makes it clear that these claims form the foundations of his overall message and that they lend weight, credence and authority to it.

Why would I be interested in a message based entirely on claims that I can see are grossly misunderstood or demonstrably false?

2. Yes, I know that about science and I have never suggested otherwise. I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Are you referring to something specific?

3. I have lots of thoughts about the "vacuum catastrophe". The main one is that it isn't any kind of a problem in any modern quantum field theory used in physics, and hasn't been for many decades. There's a lot more I can say about this, but I'm not sure what you're getting at. Please say more.

If you can stick to the three points you've raised, I'd appreciate that. I appreciate you may want to raise other objections, but I want to know if there's depth to the ones you've already raised first. Hope that's ok.

Cheez Miss said...

"Accepting someone's stories because you like them is a dangerous and rather silly way to live."

yep -- i agree with this.

ye - - his stories are very very fascinating, indeed!

being openly skeptical is healthier i think.

Berlev said...

1(Overall message) - What i meant by overall message was(what i took from it anyways) the message that humanity has to stand together as one to move on. I guess i could say that im not doubting his thoughts on what is best for the human race, in that it seems he genuinely want's to promote "peace and love".

2(Scientific fact) - Well when readind you posts i noticed you talked alot about Facts, which is fine, but i got the sense that you seemed to think, that because something is accepted in the scientific community as fact, it becomes a universal fact, and not even debatable. Looking at this from a philosophical point of view, there is only one thing that is abselutely certain, and that is that we are experiencing beings, everything else can be doubted.

3(Vacuum Density/catastrohpe) - Well im simply interested in the subject, because Nassim claims that it is officially accepted that one cubic centimeter of space has way more density than the entire existing/known mass of the universe, is this true?

And if i might add a 4'th question, i'd like to ask about the big bang theory that he brings up:

"To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction". - if the big bang happened like the theory states, then there'd have to be another force compressing all the matter until it the force of the "matter" reached a certain point, topping that force. Also it would have had to be alot of mass added in an instant for the universe to expand, and still expand today with such force. And would that mean that the universe is gonna contract someday when the original "force"(if it exists) takes over again?

To my knowledge science has not yet aswered this basic physics fact

Berlev said...

I don't know if any of you have seen this, but it is a short very well explained video about "Open mindedness". I completely support his logic


http://youtu.be/T69TOuqaqXI

Bob said...

Ok, cool.

1. Stand together in peace and love, yes of course :-)

I just don't agree with his method of starting a movement of people who shout down the scientists who do the work of carefully looking at and listening to nature, dismissing their findings and replacing it with fabricated guff. The people whose life is spent actually investigating nature would never - and should never - accept such a thing. So it's surely no way to bring us all together.

2. No, I don't think that. Not at all. As I just said.

3. No, absolutely not true.

4. No there wouldn't.

Berlev said...

Ok lol, i didn't feel like the last ones were particularily elaborate, but maybe that is my fault for not being specific enough, i thought you knew which of Nassim's claims i was talking about.

For example this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&list=PLC220916CB9716E6D&v=0Y5bXdx5UrE#t=2331s

Can you explain to me where he goes wrong? Which of his claims are invalid?

And to your answer of my 4'th question, im not exactly sure what part you are answering? Are you saying that To every action there isn't always an equal and opposite reaction?

Bob said...

Ok... fair questions. I'll answer properly tomorrow if I get a moment...

Cheez Miss said...

what do you think of Thomas Campbell's talk on teh connection of Science and Spirituality http://www.youtube.com/user/ubikmonroe#p/c/33D0DF1421A7A222

Cheez Miss said...

Thomas Campbell is a physicist who once worked for NASA

Berlev said...

@Cheez Miss

Exactly, i think this is a subject that should be looked at seriously, because a real scientist(i my mind) is a person who accepts that there is a lot that he/she does not, and will never know.

@Bob What about this guy Thomas Campbell, he is not just somebody:

http://youtu.be/KvHcUXFLKKQ

Jeff said...

@Berlev IMO BoB is a person that is obviously a very serious physicist from the info I've gotten so far. Bob is great at restating facts and great physics that have been handed down to him via school, textbooks, and probably some research. IMO it seems to be his lifes work. What I beleive is that BoB REALLY dosen't like the fact that Nassim has no "proper" education and has come up with alot of ideas that seem to be gaining some headway in the mainstream scientific community while skiing, scuba diving and climbing while Bob seems to have worked very hard thru the proper chains of academia. I beleive Bob has singled out Nassim for this very reason and this is why his likes to point to seemingly trivial errors in his paper when I'm sure he knows that there are widley accepted papers that have a MUCH greater discrepencies but have also have been overlooked for numerous reasons. IMO people that bury themselves in their studies without having outside expierences have zero chance of making any significant contribution to the advancement of ANY science. On the flip side, a free spirit like Nassim has little chance of the same things without being well grounded in the "accepted academic arena". I beleive Nassim is now working towards reaching those sources of great teachings and with his insight has a truley unbiased, undiluted understanding of the real problems of todays theoretical problems. I think there will be great collaborations with some "well knowns" and Nassim that will truley shed a better light on the shadow casts by people like Bob and others. I would like Bob to identify himself so that the world may look at his lifes work, which I'm sure has a QM backround, point out some inconsistancies in the models he teaches because there are quit a few, then call him a fraud across the internet. IMO bob would handle it with 1/10 the class Nassim has and still find time to do his lifes work. Come on out Bob. The world wants to know the owner of this highy educated, critically acclaimed mind. Very respectfully...Jeff

Bob said...

Jeff, you're inventing your own version of me again, listening to your prejudices instead of hearing what I've said. It's dumb. Don't do it.

As I keep saying, Haramein relies entirely on this kind of prejudice, and it's perfect for people who prefer to make their own version of reality instead of looking at what's out there. If you're going to be like that, he's all yours, you'll get on fine in his fairyland.

Like almost every other person who comes on here to criticise me, you're unable to find a single bloody thing that I've said which you have any reason to dispute, and you're unable to find a single bloody thing Haramein has said which you have any reason to suggest is physics. All you're giving out is bigotted little opinions. Give it a rest.

Bob said...

Cheez Miss,

Yes, I like Thomas Campbell. I have a great deal of respect for people honestly seeking their spiritual paths. And that includes those who are attracted to Haramein's ideas too - which is why I wrote these blog posts to begin with.

I think there are lots of fine people out there, honestly seeking the meaning of life or curious about the nature of the Universe, who are drawn to people like Haramein, and most of them are decent, intelligent and inspired human beings, with a respect for the scientific ideal and a respect for genuine spiritual development.

That's why I thought there would be plenty of people out there who'd appreciate if I explained why Haramein is not one of those genuinely seeking to bring together science and spirituality, and why he's not who he says he is.

As I've done. And I've given my explanations and my reasons, I don't need to go over them again. Just read them.

Thomas Campbell, by contrast, actually understands the physics that he talks about. It's not pretentious, he's not trying to look like something that he's not. And the science he presents isn't blatantly false.

Whether his spiritual vision and story appeals to you is a personal matter, and I believe he treats people with respect in that way. He doesn't present his science as if it's part of his vision: he presents the science honestly, as it is, as science.

He can do that, because he knows what he's talking about.

Bob said...

If you like the interface between science and spirituality, you might also be interested in this talk by Peter Russell on consciousness, physics and Eastern mysticism, or this one by Jnanavaca on Buddhism and quantum physics.

One last thing... just because someone can call themselves a physicist and can say they've worked at NASA, that doesn't make them honest and it doesn't mean they won't talk pretentiously about things they don't understand. So I don't think it's a great idea to play the "he worked at NASA" card as if it means he's right. The world doesn't work like that, unfortunately.

My advice would be go with what you know, use some skepticism before getting drawn too far in, and don't overestimate your intuition when it comes to spotting the fakes. A skilled rhetorician (like Haramein) can get past people's defences and make people believe he's the real deal. It's not a new or remarkable skill in the human race - the world has always had its share of these sorts of people.

Good luck out there :)

Bob said...

Berlev,

You said: "i thought you knew which of Nassim's claims i was talking about. For example this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&list=PLC220916CB9716E6D&v=0Y5bXdx5UrE#t=2331s

Can you explain to me where he goes wrong? Which of his claims are invalid?"


I'm not sure how much I can explain to you... quantum field theory is not the kind of thing I could explain to someone who isn't already highly trained in quantum mechanics and classical field theories. Sorry. I can only ask you to take my word for it (which I never really like doing), and maybe investigate for yourself.

Does quantum field theory need renormalising to get rid of terms in the vacuum energy which are "formally infinite"? Kind of.

QFTs need renormalising anyway. Renormalisation is the process of relating the mathematical parameters of a quantum field theory with the physical quantities of the real world. A QFT is simply meaningless without it. As far as I know, that applies to any QFT. It certainly applies to every QFT I have come across.

Is it done because the equations give infinities and the physicists don't like them? Of course not. Haramein is being a complete buffoon here, it's pathetic. Renormalisation would be necessary even if the equations didn't give infinities.

Of course, after renormalisation, any theory which predicts measurable, physical quantities to be infinite cannot be correct. If something can be measured, it is not infinite. It would be stupid to have a theory that describes it as infinite.

One of the most important things that Haramein has failed to grasp in his decades of being a self-described physicist is that the point of a theory in physics is to be faithful to the world we observe. When he tries to imply that there's some sort of cover-up or denial among physicists for not accepting the infinities in the equations of QFT as being real physical quantities, that's just really silly.

Not sure what else to say about that.

When a field theory is renormalised, a renormalisation scale is used. The renormalisation scale is troublesome, because it's not usually predicted by the theory itself - it usually represents some energy scale at which the QFT can be considered to break down. It's a scale beyond the theory.

If we know what's beyond the theory, then we can find a useful renormalisation scale, and use that to get very accurate results.

If not, then sometimes physicists resort to using the Planck scale, which you can think of as a tiny tiny length (that's how Haramein presents it). Why? Because all physicists know that modern QFTs are not viable theories at the Planck scale.

But this scale is trillions of times beyond anything we've ever probed. Our current QFTs might break down way before the Planck scale!

If we use the Planck scale in a QFT calculation to get a numerical value that we claim is physical, then we are claiming that our current QFT is perfectly viable down to a trillionth of the scale we can currently probe, and at trillions of times the energy of current accelerators. Do we have any reason to claim this? Of course we don't.

Does Haramein even have a clue that this is what he's doing (when he looks at the energy in a cubic centimetre of space)? Nope. Not a clue.

No physicist alive would say the things he's saying there. It's just not true.

Bob said...

(cont'd from above...)

Of course there are popular science books that use the Planck scale to try to introduce some of the technical difficulties with QFT... but it's a teaching aid. It's a way of showing a student that there are problems with a naïve way of thinking about things, and it's supposed to motivate them to learn QFT properly. Unfortunately poor Haramein, who doesn't believe that he has to bother to learn anything properly anyway, has mistaken this for an actual fundamental flaw in QFT, and then uses it to ridicule physics.

You can imagine how this will look to anyone who understands QFT. It's a bit like someone laughing at the idea of division because mathematicians don't know how to divide 2 by 3. It just makes him look like a tit.


"And to your answer of my 4'th question, im not exactly sure what part you are answering? Are you saying that To every action there isn't always an equal and opposite reaction?"

Yes.

What do you mean by "action"? The law of physics you're referring to is Newton's third law. Look it up. It's about forces. If you push a wall forwards, the wall pushes you backwards. Equal and opposite.

If you explode a firework in the sky, for every part thrown to the left there will be an equal and opposite momentum thrown to the right.

An explosion is nothing but expansion. There's no equal and opposite contraction. There's no need at all - the equals and opposites (left/right; up/down; forwards/backwards) are all present in the expansion.

They're all there in a contraction too.

This is a law of physics that most people encounter at school (though not many people remember it into adulthood). When Haramein makes it so obvious that he can't even grasp this, the people who insist that he's the new Einstein really do look rather silly.

Cheez Miss said...

thanks Bob! learned a lot from you. will check those links on science & spirituality.
and ye -- thats what i got from some of Nassim's video -- there's a pattern where it is as if physicists were wrong all along or that he's doing something right & other physicists are not -- or that he has-- it seems -- some axe to grind with other physicists and that we should all rally behind him -- that got me to go hmmmm....why is that necessary to do anyway? if you're doing something you feel strongly about then go do it but why is there a need to discredit what others are doing. still, what hes putting out there is fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob,
I read the paper that Nassim wrote and you said that his proton weighed in million tonnes, but I never found that in his paper, unless you say that gm= tonnes. Maybe I missed it, please tell me where he wrote that.

Bob said...

He says 8.85 x 10^14 gm, which means 885 million million grams (because a hundred million million has 14 zeroes).

A million grams is a tonne, so it's 885 million tonnes.

Jeff said...

I'm continuing me research on alternate unified theories and I came across an article the goes very much against the mainstream theories. It's a short article and I was hoping to get your views on it. It's at www.holoscience.com and the article is titled "A Noble Prize for the Dark Side." Alot of the info was shocking to me to say the least and I've started a correspondence with the administrator who also has views on Haramein. Thanx again.

Bob said...

Hi Jeff.

I looked at the page you linked to, and it's full of the usual naïvety, not even interesting new thinking. Do you have any actual reason to favour it over real science, or is it just prettier in some way?

Jeff said...

I actually don't know enough to favor it or reject it's ideas. I've just been looking for reasons why the quantum crew can't find a unifying theory after 100 years of searching so I've been looking to other sources for answers. I've started with quantum phisicist's because they're the smartest right? If you don't beleive me just ask one. Anyway after a short correspondence with Prof Tegmark (M.I.T), who was so nice as to induldge me, I've just been looking for alternate views. He gave me other avenues to look into instead of just dissmissing other possible solutions as psuedosciences or new-age hippy crap which he could have easily done as one of the leading string theorists. I'm just looking for theories that can be observed and tested which I thought was the basis of scientific discovery. Not just eloquent equations that "look pretty" on paper just to get published or sell a book. What was thoughtful of him is that he suggested other opinions on a unified theory and invited me to research it further instead of just saying, "This is what I think and here's the math to prove it." Very refreshing and suprisingly open-minded.

Bob said...

I can see how my rejection of "the electric universe" theory that you linked to could look like "dismissing other possible solutions as pseudosciences or new-age hippy crap", which seems closed-minded.

If I told you that my shoe size is 8 (that's a UK shoe size, I don't know where you're from), then you might believe me or you might not. If someone was trying to assert that my shoe size was 12, then would you call me closed-minded if I rejected what they were saying?

I happen to know that my shoe size is 8. It's a verifiable fact, which if you needed to know you could, in principle, determine for yourself. There's no excuse for insisting that we should be open to the idea of it being 12.

If I dismiss the theory that my shoe size is 12, that is not out of closed-mindedness. In fact, it would be closed-minded if I ignored the extremely clear evidence available to me that my shoe size is not 12.

Open-mindedness doesn't mean anything goes. Not to me, anyway. That would be a pretty useless "brain-falls-out" version of open-mindedness.

Likewise, when I reject "the electric universe" theory as pseudoscience, that is not closed-mindedness. It would be closed-minded of me to ignore the fact that I can see perfectly well that it's bullshit. And it is.

I can say with full confidence that if you've corresponded with Prof Tegmark (who is certainly capable of seeing that "the electric universe" theory is bullshit), that he will not have recommended that to you as "another avenue". It would be closed-minded of him if he ignored everything that was blatantly wrong, naïve or confused about that theory and recommended it to others to look at.

Do you see what I'm saying?

Am I dismissing other possible solutions as new age hippy crap? No. I'm very happy if you're looking into other possible solutions. This is the very essence of science.

However if I know something is not a possible solution, but is new age hippy crap, then I will call it new age hippy crap.

I don't see why I should pretend something is a possible solution if I can see perfectly well that it's bullshit. And if you chose to study it in detail and/or enlist the help of others who have more insight into these things, you could come to see perfectly well that it's bullshit too.

If you want to follow it up, be my guest. If you want to believe the theory that my shoe size is 12 when I can see perfectly well that it's 8, be my guest. Just try not to go around accusing other people of closed-mindedness for knowing when something is wrong.

If you'd like to look for an alternative theory, that is a wonderful thing. Most physicists would advise strongly that you first learn to understand why the theories we have already work as well as they do, before trying to find one that works better. If you don't want to do that, that's ok, so long as you acknowledge that any claims by you about what mainstream physics can or cannot do would then be dishonest. That ought to go without saying, don't you think?

I very much encourage you to get out there and research other theories, and to question and check out everything I'm saying. That is excellent. If you're just going to make accusations from a standpoint of ignorance, that just makes you a fool. You don't need to stoop to that. And it won't help you. If you want to know what closed-mindedness means, it's right there.

Bob said...

Reading your comment again, you're not actually explicitly accusing me of closed-mindedness or of rejecting possible solutions as pseudoscience. So perhaps you didn't mean that. It seems reasonable to read your comment as an implicit accusation, but I'm open to the fact that you weren't saying that, in which case I apologise.

Either way, I wish you luck with your research. And if you don't believe someone who's telling you a theory is wrong, then of course you don't have to. Find out for yourself - that's the only way, in the end.

All I'm saying is don't accuse someone of closed-mindedness before you've established why they've rejected it, because sometimes there really are extremely sound reasons.

Jeff said...

Take it easy....I don't see anywhere in my statement where called you close-minded. I don't see anywhere in my statement where I accuse you of anything. If you assume that because I thought Tegmark's response to me was open-minded, then that means your responses are close minded, then my apology. It was not my intent to refer to YOUR mindedness in any light. Sheesh...talk about ego. Lol.

Bob said...

I just said that. But given that you've explicitly accused me in previous comments, it seemed pretty reasonable.

"What I beleive is that BoB REALLY dosen't like the fact that Nassim has no "proper" education"
"I beleive Bob has singled out Nassim for this very reason and this is why his likes to point to seemingly trivial errors in his paper"
"I think there will be great collaborations with some 'well knowns' and Nassim that will truley shed a better light on the shadow casts by people like Bob and others"


These are personal accusations, and they're also bullshit. It didn't seem like much of a leap to infer something similar in your comment - which incidentally you have left on a discussion of my response to Haramein's ideas.

If you now want to start saying I'm inventing all of this because of my ego, that's fine. Shitty, but fine. I've certainly had worse.

I was actually trying to respond in a helpful way to the points you raised.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that his way of thinking is necessarily wrong by all aspects, but it most certainly bastardizes science. He may be correct in his hypotheses, but by the doctrine of science, he is most certainly incorrect, as elaborated on by Bob. When his so called "science" deviates from the scientific method, it ceases to be science at all,and it is this that deligitimizes his argument, more so than anything to do with the proposed ideas. If the ideas had been presented as something other than science, then they would not face such scrutiny from myself, along with the scientific community.

Bob said...

That's true. And that then raises the question of whether it's possible to make claims about protons or black holes or vacuum energy or fractals or the topology of spacetime without presenting them as science. These are scientific concepts.

Telling people that a proton is a mini black hole without presenting it as science is a bit like saying "I'm not a mathematician, but I want you to know that 5+2=9."

Perhaps that's an improvement on "I'm a mathematician, 5+2=7 is a mistake, our future galactic society will be based on 5+2=9."

They both seem pretty daft to me.

cherarole said...

Think of all the energy we could have if we all stopped arguing! What an existance. It's definitely adrenaline producing, but ultimately exhausting. AND the ultimately sought "you're right, by Golly!" is ultimately disappointing, because the act of being "right" won't change a thing. Id rather skydive, personally for those kind of rushes. Atleast Id know I was still alive whwn I landed. How about some good ole fashioned question asking. If we had ultimate power, what would we use it for? We seem to think we're so mature in that realm, but are we? Current technology is targeted at the material world, and actually proving to be pretty destructive to that world. What if we were to direct our imagination instead to an existance where the confines of the material world can be transcended. This is the ultimate goal of physics, no? But why? Does anyone have agood answer to that? It seems like it would be a good answer to have clearly in mind as we all go about seeking that power. Also, my idea of what that power could be used for might be totally different than yours and that guy over there has a totally different ideal...times several other billions. So, in our current way of thinking and mutual, but changeable belief that only one of us or the group that agrees with us and has the most guns have to fight over who's in charge of what the technology is used for. How fucking miserable!!!!!!! I want a technology where I can live in a multiple individual environment where we all have access to this ultimate power AND we can all modify that reality to our own personal liking AND exist simultaneously in a coherrent field with each other! We're pretty much doing that already, anyway, minus the realization we don't t have to fight over it. My point is, we might consider broadening our imagination of what's possible before we can really get to how we're going to do it.

Bob said...

Those are good questions, for people who like that kind of thing.

I'm not really sure why you'd come to a blog where a discussion is going on that you're not interested in, just to start arguing about why you're not interested in it. Especially with an opening line like that...

cherarole said...

By Golly, you're right! Thanks for setting me straight, my friend and best to you!

Bob said...

:-)

muzuzuzus said...

"What if we were to direct our imagination instead to an existance where the confines of the material world can be transcended."

I personally dont want that. I LOVE the material world. it is so weird all the belief systems who seem to want to transcend it or put-it-right. What I want is technology with intelligence---that ALLOWS me to LIVE in the material world. most of us do not know what this feels like, because we are taught to fear, and degrade 'the material' world, and not understand this amazing word in an ecstatic way, and playful way, and sustainable way.

james Blanchette said...

Hi Ya Bob
just a side note about E=MC2

you may have heard that Cern ran some tests and had a particle going about 6 k faster than the speed of light
giant debate about that now
if the speed of light is not a constant hmmm puts that in doubt

anyways hope you have been doing well

Atticus Finch said...

Good work, Bob. Your output is prodigieous. I feel lazy and bloated...and ashamed. My plan of letting the children play in traffic to learn consequences has been shown to be reckless and irresponsible. I apologize. I will get out of my comfy chair, go outside, and play with them in the fresh air.

Humblly,

Anonymous said...

Hello Bob,

I had no idea who this guy was three hours ago and friend posted one of his videos on Facebook declaring that his information is the correct information about the universe and the rest of the world has been told a lie.

I am no physicist, but I have read articles for years and his explanation of the earth and sun spiraling seemed a little too simplified. So I did my own searching a found his explanation loosely based on someone else s theory of ether as the catalyst for planet rotation, I mean spiral around the sun.

I went on line a found the theory he was talking about. After reading the real theory it made more sense and I understand why it has not been proven.

My problem with what I saw was the assertion he had accurate information to share. The person that posted it follows another cult figure named Bhagwan, a man who claims the earth will stop rotating in 2012 and only those enlightened will act as a conduit to enlighten the rest of the world..

Oh well, I wish more people found these guys entertaining and not change their lives to follow their teachings..

I very much enjoyed you blog.. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

Bob said...

Thanks for your thoughts.

I think one thing you've said sums the whole thing up perfectly:

"My problem with what I saw was the assertion he had accurate information to share"

Absolutely right. There's nothing wrong with presenting ideas that go against the norm, or against mainstream science. We like that. Be creative, be imaginative, the sky is the limit!

It's the pretence that's the problem, and the pretentiousness.

He makes all sorts of absurd claims, but some are more serious than others.

If someone with no scientific capacity at all says "trust me, I'm a scientist" and continually tells us that they're on the verge of a breakthrough in free energy research in order to get funding, for example, that's pretty serious fraud as I see it.

Unfortunately it's not illegal, which leaves innocent and gullible folks unprotected.

I think the majority of his followers just get off on the fantasy world he spins, which is fine. They're hardly the sort of people who are likely try to put his "science" to use or to rely on it in any way, which is what science is for. That wouldn't go well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to debunkt his. You've done a service to all!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I think your blog is great. To be honest I was very interested in the work of Nassim, however I admit that most of what he spoke about I didnt understand at all, but it sounded good and felt right and that is the angle he plays from with people - new age science - fits with the spirituality movement and UFOs? which I do find strange. I was going to suggest if you teach Physics and Maths it would be great to open up a blog to help people like me get to grips with just the basics - or if you can suggest where to start? I dont think Nassim knows what he is talking about and I agree with your blog and reasons for doing it - we need more people like you exposing the many frauds of our time. So any thoughts of the Basics lessons here on your blog??

Bob said...

Thanks :-)

There are plenty of great resources to learn physics and maths on the web. A great place to start is the two courses Classical Mechanics and Electromagnetism by Walter Lewin (you can watch his trailer first).

There's also all the physics and maths at the Khan Academy, though there's so much stuff there it's hard to know where to begin... it depends entirely on what you're aspiring to understand and what scientific tools you already have in your toolbox.

If you want to really understand physics - by which I mean be able to question the whole of mainstream physics and test it out for yourself - that's a lot of work. The only way to understand is to play around with the concepts yourself and tackle problems in detail. Lots and lots and lots of them.

If you don't want all the rigour, but do want to get some feel of what the universe is like, watch Cosmos, watch the two Wonders series (Brian Cox)...

Tomas Matejka said...

If you ask why scientists have not accepted his theory.. it could be simple. Wouldn't tax payers want their money back then? They built LHC for some billions and for what? Crop circles are telling us more than this super-expensive roller.
Similar story .. why there is no official government public statement about UFO if there are thousands and thousands of pilots, soldiers, officers, former government ministers and guys and people telling that there is UFO in the sky? Similar reasons? Who controls the money, controls the world. Who controls the world controls what the truth is and what is not...

Tomas Matejka said...

If an equation does not make sense ... substitute with "dark matter"???

Sorry, but that's not serious scince for me. Soon or later mainstream scientists will have to reconcile with the fact that not everything can be measured by the ruler..

Bob said...

Tomas, I'm sure your experience of reading some stuff and hearing other people do talks and deciding what makes sense to you puts you in the perfect position to judge the painstaking observations and careful reasoning and varied debate among the world's scientific community over the last few centuries.

What the world needs is more opinionated people with no understanding of the subjects they're talking about.

For too long have we looked up to people who bother to go to the effort of finding things out about the world by experience and hard-won technical competence. Now is the time for the prejudiced buffoons to rise and show what they're made of.

You go for it.

Anonymous said...

To bob,

Nassim totally debunked you dude, you lost. You tried and failed. His response to your senseless ramblings absolutely put ALL of your nonsense to rest but wait.....your still going!? You will never learn. I thought you would after that comprehensive reply from Nassim but you just can't see it. No, you won't see it. Don't reply to me, your a waste of space-time.

P.S,

Bob said...

Thanks Anonymous.

I'm sure Haramein will be proud of the work that you've done here, spreading mindfulness, understanding, harmony and respect.

Haramein sure has some top quality thinkers on his side. Very classy.

CM said...

Hey Bob,

First off I can't thank you enough from the bottom of my scientific heart for your patience, persistence and vision and sharing it with all who have found your blog. I have always had a keen interest in physics yet I did not persue it for a career. Like a previous poster, NH, reignited my interest by the possibility of a UFT and even though I was confused by the discrepency between my current understanding and how his theories related to current accepted practices I gave him the benefit of the doubt and later read his paper and found some (not near the amount or the depth of which you explained so eloquently-btw). But I really would like to applaud your sense of calling a black hole a black hole (lol, probably not the best metaphor) and not getting frustrated by the lack of scientific debate. The blog was quite entertaining as those who know absolutely almost nothing (besides misusing or misunderstanding concepts) but time and time again after many character assassinations, no one person has even discussed real challenges to your very clear and concise rebuttals to NH work.

I would love some more suggestions for intermediate texts that I can get my hands on.

Once again many thanks for your efforts and sticking the real science.

Best Regards,

CM

Bob said...

Thanks CM.

Re "intermediate texts", what are you interested in and where are you starting from?

CM said...

Hey Bob,

Im starting from probably a first year university students level and I'm interested in everything from quantum mechanics, string theory and general relativity as all of the books that I've read focused on overviews and explanations of those. I know these are broad topics but ive really enjoyed what ive learned so far. Have you written a textbook yet? :) . I've done the entire khan academy course material in physics and am really hungry to get my hands on some juicer material. I've been working hard to get my math up to speed, but I would admit my ability isn't any further than my understanding of physics in general.

I hope that paints a general picture of where I'm at, thanks for your time.

CM

Bob said...

Hi CM. Wow, you want to know everything.

I think you'd love the Susskind theoretical physics course. It's all there. The whole thing can be watched on YouTube, which is good for getting a taste, but if you've got some hard-drive space it's worth downloading each entire series to iTunesU (use the iTunes links on the Wiki page).

Definitely start at the beginning, even if it's familiar material, because he presents basic ideas in a more sophisticated way that will be valuable later on. I've been through every series, taking detailed notes and trying calculations as I went. It was extremely useful. A great set of lectures.

Of course there's only one way to understand physics, and that is to tackle problems. You can think you've got something, but you soon find out where all the gaps are in your understanding when you try a question in a textbook. To cover all of Susskind's theoretical physics courses with textbook support you'd need at least twenty separate books.

It's a big job, to do it properly.

You'll see what it is you need as you go. Here is a list of classic textbooks on the different subjects, and here is a good place to look for theoretical physics resources.

My general rule is to go and look at a book in a shop. If, when I look through it in the shop, I understand the first chapters and like how they're explained, but I don't understand the last chapters, then it's going to be a good book.

For maths, get yourself a Riley, Hobson and Bence, take the chapters one at a time when you need them, and do lots of the exercises.

Have fun :)

Anonymous said...

bob, you are amazing.

i had not even heard of this nassim guy before an hour ago, when i saw his name mentioned in a reader review on amazon, so i looked him up in a search engine, and your site was in the first 10 or so results, so i opened it up along with a couple of the other results (even though there was a little grey norton symbol with a question mark next to your result, indicating that your site was unknown to the site advisor thing or whatever it's called).

anyway, i skimmed part of your blog before i read anything else on nassim, and i am so glad i did.

you seem so sensible and intelligent, verbose and exact, enthusiastic and imaginative.

(also a bit obsessed with the debunking of this nassim character, but it's a valuable service.)

i think i have a little crush. ;-)

no, but seriously.

and i think you are also in the UK? :-)

---
my "physics for poets" course professor at university also gave me goosebumps, and it was just because the knowledge was so interesting, as he paced up and down the steps of the lecture theatre with one of his trouser legs all hitched up and caught in the top of his sock. :-)

i remember that he handed us all out Fig Newtons (an american biscuit) at the exam, and i don't remember any of the math(s) even though they were drastically watered down for the "for poets" course.

i must really write him and thank him for being such an enjoyable professor. he would never remember me, it was long ago and there were 200 students in the class. one of the best bits of the american university system is how 4-year undergraduates can take classes like that, which have nothing to do with their "major" subject.

i also took Ballroom Dancing from the sports science department (it was a massive university which had a couple hundred departments) and a classmate in that class was the nephew of the dalai lama, but he never danced with me. he only danced with the sorority girls.

anyway, i feel that i have veered off tangent; but back to you bob, i think you are lovely, and your smartness and loquaciousness has me tingling.

which is nice to experience unexpectedly.

good wishes, and long may you be so motivated and engaging.

Anonymous said...

Um, I hope that my previous comment didn't post 3 times - this Blogger comments system is pants.

Also, I added 'smartness' as an afterthought to the loquaciousness, just so you'd know that I am attracted to you for your mind as well as for your... um, well, mind..., and I then forgot to change 'has' to 'have'.

May I also just say that I was required by the university to take THREE courses from the physical education side of things, and I took 2 circuit training classes (weight machines) and the 1 ballroom dancing class, and that choice had nothing to do with any current tv show dancing hysteria, but because my best female friend at the time begged me to take the class with her, so I did. As it happened, there were about 20 women and 4 men in the class (yeah, I know, who wouldn't keep to the sorority chicks in that kind of set-up?), so I had to dance with my best friend and usually was forced by the teacher to do the male steps, so I never learned how to ballroom dance.

I do know how to capitalize, and I am bi-lingual with quotation marks, and I'm not as much of an airhead as I may have appeared (blame the bob-tingles, plus the antihistamine I'm taking because of the tree pollen assault of my neighbourhood this week).

Since first commenting, I have clicked on the blog's "about me" page and the photo there doesn't give much away... I expect that it's for vanity's sake that you have partially cloaked in darkness the physicist's trouser-caught-in-top-of-sock calf situation with one of your legs. Bless.

Anonymous said...

I've watched Nassim's presentations online and a lot of the concepts he talks about are similar to ideas I had when I brought home a photographical astronomy book from the library as a young child.

I remember my thoughts after the first glance of the macro-cosmos. Infinity seemed almost immediately so obvious to me. It seemed precisely self-evident right at that point in time; that there could not possibly be an end to the universe. That perhaps it ended right where it began.

Scientifically, it is really simple logic. If there are micro bacteria living in my stomach that can live out an entire lifetime in a couple seconds, then from the perspective of that organism, time is but a fractal in nature to what I experience. And within that micro bacteria, their lives another micro-bacteria of a lower fractal scale whose life span would be measured in micro-seconds perhaps of my time. And so the fractal continues to infinity.

Scientifically, there cannot exist a truth because every action has an equal and opposite re-action. Meaning if something is believed to be true, then it must also be believed to be untrue; the opposite "HAS" to also be true. Therefore if something is believed to be massless, it must also be believed have infinite mass. Otherwise it is like a north pole of a magnet with no south pole.

Bob said...

Hello Anonymous 1 and Anonymous 2.

Anon 2, you say "Scientifically, it is really simple logic" and follow it with silliness. I can see that when you imagine bacteria inside a stomach, you imagine even tinier ones inside them. But don't you realise that people actually look at these things, and that's not what they're like?

If your "logic" is all you're capable of imagining, and you can't see how that could be wrong and you don't see the value in actually going and finding out, then you'll be stuck with the childish pictures in your head for the rest of your life.

It saddens me that people settle for things like that and can't be bothered to find things out for themselves.

It ain't fractal.

Reality is so much richer than the pictures in your head. Let go of them, and explore it.

"Scientifically, there cannot exist a truth because every action has an equal and opposite re-action." – Look, if you jump out of a tenth floor window, the truth is that you drop. You don't also go up, because of some "equal and opposite" formula that you're incapable of seeing past. You drop.

Sometimes I think the only way to deal with people who don't believe in objective reality is to drop them out of a tenth floor window. You can take your conviction that "the opposite HAS to be true" with you to the ground, which you will hit in 2.4 seconds at 53mph.

Anon 1, you're a chatty one. Physics for poets, eh? And Ballroom Dancing for sports scientists? They don't do things like that in UK universities. Intriguing.

Thanks for your appreciation of the site.

In my defence, if I sound obsessive it's only because after I wrote one little thing, people have kept leaving comments and asking questions and I've just kept responding. For some reason the comments have carried on coming for two years. I couldn't give two hoots about Haramein – I've just been enjoying interacting with people who are genuinely seeking truth in different ways, even if some of them are a few eggs short of a basket. They're an interesting bunch.

Also, I'm not sporting some strange physicist dress-code in the pic – the trousers are in the socks because I was out on the hills, which usually involves walking through lots of mud. Because that's my idea of a good time! :) Not the mud, but the views and the fresh air and the freedom of the hills.

Anonymous said...

From the perspective of Bob the observer, Bob is absolutely right about everything that he's said on this entire forum that he believes to be absolutely true. It is futile to dispute anything Bob's said because it originates from the sole context and perspective of Bob the observer.

You are right Bob. You are always right.

Sorry to have conveyed such utter rubbish to you. Sorry to be so ignorant of the way things "actually" are.

I'm sorry that I have caused you to be so sad by my shear ignorance of your reality.

Bob said...

My reality?

In your reality, what would happen to you if you jumped out of a tenth floor window? You'd go up because the opposite HAS to be true? You'd descend into a fractal universe because everything is a fractal?

My friend, I am no solipsist. I don't have a personal reality. What I or anyone else 'believes to be absolutely true' has no bearing on anything that's been discussed here.

You can be one of those people who think the Universe should respect the things they believe, or you can be one who treats the Universe with respect and takes the trouble to investigate and see what it's like. The choice is yours.

If you do the former and claim that you're being 'scientific' and 'logical', then I suspect you may find yourself being ridiculed by more than just me. Still, let me know how you get on.

Anonymous said...

If I abandoned all my preconceptions about reality and jumped off the ledge of a 4 foot drop, which I have done many times before, it would appear that the ground has risen up to me and come in to an equal and opposite reaction with my body. And since science is based on "only" what is observable, that would be the only scientific explanation available because I cannot observe myself from the perspective of the earth. However, If i was to imbed a camera on the ground looking towards the ledge, it would be observible after the fact that the man that stepped off is in fact travelling down towards the earth. Since we have yet to find a fixed point in the universe, it would be impossible to come up with anything but a "model" of what is going on based on a specific point of observation. And so the model that you are describing is being observed from the perspective of the ground and is correct. If you want to call it a truth then you cannot also disprove the measurements taken by the observer stepping off the ledge that conclude that the earth is rising towards the man.

I am not disagreeing with you. You are correct. And the opposing model is also correct. They are both relative. Neither can be absolutely proven to be more correct than the other though the way we model it, for convenience and other reasons, tends towards the earth being a fixed point in the universe which we almost all agree is not the case. Everything depends on the point of observation.
From the perspective of someone standing in China, my body would be measuredly moving upwards when I step off the ledge.

And if we look at the model where the earth's gravity is acting upon me then what is the equal and opposite force that my body is acting upon the earth with? According to the laws of physics it can only be gravity vs anti-gravity. Equal and opposite. Who can prove which object is exerting gravity and which object is exerting anti-gravity?

Are you gravitating towards ridiculing my posts or am i gravitating towards having my posts ridiculed? I think both are correct because I began writing with the expectation that you would ridicule what I type on your forum. It's quite obvious that that is the purpose of your forum and I have volunteered to be ridiculed. If I am the principal and you are the agent, then who's doing the ridiculing if the acts of the agent are the acts of the principal? From the perspective of me, it's the principal - meaning i'm ridiculing myself. At least according to the law of principal and agent given the evidence that I knowingly posted a writ to a forum setup for the express purpose of "debunking" which litterally means to "ridicule".

You are right always. I'm just struggling with myself here. Nothing more.

Thanks for the rediculous service.

Bob said...

The objective reality is that if you jumped out of a tenth floor window onto concrete, your velocity in relation to the ground would increase in the direction of the ground, and you would meet the ground at a relative velocity of 53mph in a time of 2.4 seconds.

But don't take my word for it. Try it for yourself, with your various points of view and see what happens.

Some things are equal and opposite, but that doesn't mean that all things are equal and opposite.

Some things have an approximately fractal structure, but that doesn't mean that everything is fractal.

Some things are cherry tomatoes, but that doesn't mean that everything is a cherry tomato.

Ok?

I don't know what to say about people who claim to be more aware of my motivations that I am myself, despite never even having met me. It beggars belief, really.

Anonymous said...

Throwing things that challenge you out the window of a 10 story building is only a band aid for the real pain that you are afraid to look at my friend.

I do not know you but i do know that People do not put this kind of energy into ridiculing others or advise people repeatedly to jump out windows of 10 story buildings because they have a big healthy heart.

For the record, I do not want you to jump out the window of a 10 story building for any reason. And I'm not asking you to face the pain you are avoiding. I just want you to know that I don't wish I'll will towards you. In fact I love you.

Bob said...

You're entitled to perceive what's going on here in ways that suit your views, if you'd rather do that than actually make the effort to understand.

You're entitled to invent motivations and feelings for other people that they don't have, to suit your views, if you'd rather do that than ask.

You're entitled to believe that I actually want to throw you out of a window if you like! You're even entitled to believe that you're challenging my views, if that's how you like to see yourself.

Calling it love is is pretty twisted though. Where I come from, love is based on understanding, listening, patience, and a depth of knowing someone. Arrogantly announcing to someone else what you've decided they feel and believe, and telling them why they do things, is pretty much exactly the opposite of that.

If at any point you'd like to have a conversation that doesn't revolve around you asserting the fantasies in your head as if they're facts, then I'm right there. If that really is your only mode of conversation then please take it somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

it's the chatty, probably-cute one here ['anonymous commenter number one' sounds so nondescript ;-)]

who provided a welcome flirtatious break from your total obsession with that swiss dude who is obviously nuts.

actually, i had no idea that in your profile picture that your trousers were in your socks - this is not visible (on my monitor, anyway).

i was just jokingly comparing you to my former physics professor (and his nerdy/sweet disregard for his appearance) and acting as if it were simply to be assumed that one of your trouser legs would be caught up in a sock, because that's probably the kind of look that tingle-provoking, intelligent physicists insouciantly sport.

"physics for poets" was indeed the official title of that course i mentioned, and it was an introductory class "for non-science majors", by which my university meant students who were not studying a "hard" science.

i took a bit of offence at being called a "non-science major" because i studied psychology which at that particular institution is totally taught as a normal science and is even nowadays within the "department of brain sciences", and these guys were all experimental and dry, let me tell you - no mamby-pamby waffly pseudo-mythologizing talk-therapy collective-consciousness stuff allowed there, no-siree.

these sorts of "for the non-science major" courses were light on the math but heavy on the history and concepts. (if one considers "light on the math" to be requiring the student to write out from memory on the final exam the calculations/whatnot for fission, which actually i got 100% right on the exam. miraculously.)

i could have been a perpetual student (well, i sort of have been anyway).

there is so much value in a broad education.

i like hiking/walking a lot too. i perhaps don't like mud and dirt as much as you, and i'm no rock-climber or fell runner or whatever, but i feel very drawn to the british countryside (as a non-native who basically grew up in flat cornfields with only tornadoes for variety) and i do little 6-10-mile day-hikes relatively often.

i've never met a british guy called bob, they are all rob, no?

is bob just a nom-de-plume/de-guerre?

what's the -athon about? it's probably an in-joke.

i like your liking of stars and treetops and mountains and stuff.

in a "poetry-for-physicists" (for the non-humanities major) vein, here's a poem for you that has come to mind just now.

---
Moving Forward
by Rainer Maria Rilke

The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were opening out.
It seems that things are more like me now,
that I can see farther into paintings.
I feel closer to what language can't reach.
With my senses, as with birds, I climb
into the windy heaven, out of the oak,
in the ponds broken off from the sky
my falling sinks, as if standing on fishes.
---

nantucketsunrise
at hotmail

Anonymous said...

okay, sherlock (addressing myself),
there is a huge amount of information to be gleaned in the first 5 posts of this blog (from2006)! :-)
but i had expected that, anyway, i really had.

bobbbbbb, feel totally free to delete my comments from your site! please do.
they bear no relation to the swiss-cheesy-full-of-holes-misguided-mystic, your topic at hand.
but i hope they brought a smile to you.
and if you have a really cute, awfully smart, very thoughtful and nice and unique single male friend (or a brother or even a dad - as long as he's properly single, and had you when he was 14, naturally), then keep me in mind. :-) seriously. i find it very hard to meet like-minded folks, as a foreigner and a mildly-oddball female who is not in a university setting.

auf weiderlesen x

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right and thanks again for the ridicule.

I'm just asserting fantasies in my head. You are right. I can't argue with that.

And i am not just pure objective reality completely devoid of imagination. You are absolutely right. Good for you!

And my recipe for love is far too simplistic to be attainable by any means. I should adopt one that's more sophisticated so I can avoid granting it unless the world can comply with my rules for granting it. I'd be far better off being at war with everyone who i cant agree with. You are right. What would be the point of loving someone that doesn't meet my expectations? How would they ever fit my mold for them? Is that my recipe for loving myself? I wonder...

I'm sorry I couldn't live up to your expectations. And since you haven't even considered anything I've written in any sort of exchange other then ridicule, I'll not write any more. Though I am finding this outlet to be a great mirror for myself.

I'm obviously not interested in the least of having a conversation about physics. You are right. Nothing I have said has any relevance to science or physics or the likes. And there's no room for silly imagination and mindfulness in physics. You are right.

Thanks,

Anonymous

Bob said...

"there's no room for silly imagination and mindfulness in physics" – You really haven't met many physicists, have you.

It's all about a love of the imagination. But if all you love is the contents of your head, guess what? It's not physics, it's fiction. Fiction is great, but fiction pretending to be physics is misleading.

Physics is the application of imagination to the observable phenomena of the universe. If you like that kind of thing. If you couldn't give a crap about the observable phenomena of the universe because you've already decided what you believe, that's fine too.

Bob said...

Hi again Nantucketsunrise

Thanks for the Rilke, that's great stuff. Glad you dropped by to say hello. You might have spotted that I'm not much into talking about myself :)

Good luck out there anyway. It's most likely the rest of the world that's oddball. At least, that's how I like to think of it!

srak said...

Having no serious scientific background, I was pretty excited by his videos. I wondered why his views had not been more recognized.

While I still like some of the very basic aspects of his teachings, I am glad that I researched, and came across this blog. I watched the entire eight hour speech. Maybe I should have done some yard work instead.

Patrick was right. Your blog is full of impolite undertones, that aren't necessary. Nevertheless, I appreciate the work that you did here, so that I don't have to keep watching Nassim's videos.

Marius S. B. said...

Now, I'm no physicist or thinker of any kind; but your argument of his calculations of the mass of a proton struck me as a bit odd.

I was under the impression of his calculations not representing the actual measurable weight (as in, he's not saying a proton is literally as heavy as the entire universe), but rather that he was using volume as a unit indicating the ratio of a physical quantity relative to a specified or implied reference level. Much like how the decibel system works.

Would you care to elaborate on this?

Bob said...

Thanks srak :)

Hi Marius... sorry, I don't know what you mean.

Marius S. B. said...

Okay! Basically, I'm saying that saying when he's using 10^55 as a measurement matching both the universe and a proton, he's not saying the universe and a proton contain the same amount of mass but rather he's using it as a ratio relative to some other measurement.

In this case I would think the ratio between vacuum vs. mass. In other words, a proton has as the same percentage of vacuum relative to it's total mass as the universe does.

Does this make any sense?

Bob said...

"a proton has as the same percentage of vacuum relative to it's total mass as the universe does."

Sorry, but "percentage of vacuum" doesn't mean anything, and neither does "ratio between vacuum vs. mass", but let's see if we can home in on what you mean.

Ratios and percentages always involve one quantity divided by another with the same units.

What quantities are you thinking of? For example, "quantity of bananas" could mean "number of bananas" or "mass of bananas (in kg)" or "volume of bananas (in cubic metres)". Same for apples. Then you have three choices for ratio of apples to bananas, depending on what you mean.

But ratio of bananas to sunlight wouldn't make a lot of sense unless you could quantify sunlight in the same terms as bananas, which would be tricky. Hope that makes sense...

Marius S. B. said...

Wait, of course "percentage of vacuum" is means something.

If you take a 1m^3 cube of air and an equally proportioned cube of iron, the iron is a lot more dense. That is because the atoms in iron is a lot tighter together than in air.

This means that since the size is the same, there is more vacuum between the atoms in the aircube than there is between the atoms of the ironcube, and then also less atoms in the aircube than in the ironcube.

Essentially, this means that the percentage of vacuum in a volume is completely measurable. Because you can't deny that the amount of empty space in a solid is less than that of a gas provided both materials cover an equally sized space (a 1m^3 cube).

Thus, the ratio between actual physical mass (or atoms) within that cube and the empty space can indeed be called the percentage of vacuum.

Bob said...

If you take a cubic metre full of ping pong balls and compare it to a cubic metre with a few ping pong balls flying around in it, then you can say the second one has more space in it. You're comparing iron and air in the same way.

You're right that iron is more dense. You're right that the atoms in iron are packed more tightly. But in this case it doesn't mean there is more vacuum between them, because atoms don't have a definite measurable volume.

Unlike a ping pong ball, they don't have a surface. There isn't an 'inside' that is 'atom' and an 'outside' that is 'vacuum'.

"you can't deny that the amount of empty space in a solid is less than that of a gas"

Well, I would deny it as follows.

And please take me at my word that I am not being argumentative or obscure here, I'm honestly trying to explain as clearly as I can something that may feel counterintuitive about nature.

Both the solid and the gas are made of atoms, which are nuclei surrounded by electrons. The electrons range over a certain average volume under normal circumstances, but they are point particles and have no volume of their own. The nuclei are tightly packed collections of protons and neutrons; and each proton and neutron is a tightly packed collection of quarks and gluons. The quarks and gluons roam over a certain average volume under normal circumstances, but they are point particles and have no volume of their own.

Therefore the total amount of volume occupied by matter in the solid is the same as it is in the gas. Zero.

So are they both 100% empty space? Obviously not. Is the amount of empty space a true measurable quantity in a substance? I suggest that it is not.

If you disagree, I'd be interested in how you'd go about defining 'the amount of empty space in a substance'.


Now let me give a similar example to yours.

Lionel Messi earns more than I do. This means his income contains a larger amount of money. Therefore, by your logic, my income contains more nothing. It follows that the percentage of nothing in my income is higher than it is in his income.

What is the percentage of nothing in my income?

It should be clear in this example that it's not something that can be defined. It's the same for the percentage of vacuum. Your intuition may tell you otherwise, but human intuition is notoriously unreliable when it comes to the behaviour of nature on scales far smaller or far larger than our own.

Marius S. B. said...

Hmm, that does make sense in a way but I'm having a hard time believing "point particles" actually exist and isn't just a temporary name for the smallest particle we've found. Now, I know this is a highly speculative argument but there is something in Nassim's argument of how we at first called Cell's the smallest particle, then we called an atom the smallest particle, and now we've found quarks too. Because in in all of those cases we also believed that there couldn't be something even smaller inside of those particles we found.

I do see a flaw in your example as well. Because you define empty space as "nothing."
Because the way I see it, how can "nothing" exist? How can there ever be an area that has absolutely nothing in it? I mean, what happens if you touch nothing? Does your finger disappear? Do you fill a void? Is nothing simply a floating black area, since it can't emit any light photons? The concept of absolutely nothing just seems impossible to me.

Isn't it possible that just like air atoms are too small to see with the human eye, the "nothing" between atoms are just some other ludicrously tiny particles too small to be observed by current technology? After all, if there's nothing between atoms this means they're just floating completely on their own. How is it possible to gravity just suddenly shuts off as soon as we go to microscopic levels? In this case, this means what's between atoms is something. Meaning that just like the air in a cube filled with ping pong balls, vacuum in a cube of iron is something measurable.

I'm sure these are questions that have been asked many times, maybe you've even asked them yourself. Though have science actually answered them? Is there actually an explanation or solid evidence of the existence of nothing and how it works? Or did you somewhere along the way just accept the popular definitions and vouch for the existence of nothing?

The way I see it, the second we say "this is what we've discovered and that's how it is, even if it doesn't make perfect sense" instead of always questioning things and digging deeper; science becomes just another religion where people are supposed to blindly believe what someone has written, claiming it to be the truth.

Bob said...

It's true that we don't know point particles "actually exist", but all of the fundamental particles we know of consistently appear to be point particles, in every experiment and at every level of detail that we can see. Which is a great deal of detail.

They may have some size that's smaller than we can see, but it won't make a great deal of difference to what I was saying.

I do see a flaw in your example as well. Because you define empty space as "nothing."

I don't. It isn't. So I'm with you on that.

What I was saying is that the "quantity of vacuum" in something isn't a definable or measurable quantity.

"Isn't it possible that just like air atoms are too small to see with the human eye, the "nothing" between atoms are just some other ludicrously tiny particles too small to be observed by current technology?"

We know a great deal about the vacuum. What is "in" the vacuum depends very much on how it is observed. Quantum field theory describes the vacuum in great detail and with astonishing accuracy, and it's extremely abstract and difficult to explain. You can look it up if you like. You'll probably find people happy to talk about virtual particles popping in and out of existence... but remember that these are all analogies, they're all limited in some sense. There's a lot more to it.

The vacuum is complicated.

" Is there actually an explanation or solid evidence of the existence of nothing and how it works?"

Yes.

"How is it possible to gravity just suddenly shuts off as soon as we go to microscopic levels?"

It doesn't shut off. But it's far too weak to have any measurable effect. The effect of gravity, as you know, is only noticeable when very large objects are involved.

"the second we say "this is what we've discovered and that's how it is, even if it doesn't make perfect sense" instead of always questioning things and digging deeper; science becomes just another religion"

That's true, I agree. Science doesn't ever work like that. When scientists do that (which some do, sometimes, because they're human beings and it's hard not to), then they're not doing science.

Bob said...

The job of science is to generate models of nature, using concepts and reasoning. For example, the idea of a "point particle" is a model. The concepts involved are defined in great detail in quantum field theory, so that we all know exactly what we mean, because we all know that we can't rely on intuition. We're certainly not wedded to it – there are always lots of alternative models around, and there are always scientists studying them in different ways.

It's just that the people who use quantum field theory are able to explain, predict, discover, create and explore deep within the heart of matter, and to build machines that allow us to discern what is going on.

And the people who don't use quantum field theory aren't.

It's as simple as that.

Do we know that QFT is right? No. Are scientists all over the world trying to come up with alternatives that will be just as reliable and faithful to everything we observe? You bet they are. Have they found any? No.

So here's what physicists believe: they believe that it would be foolish to ignore QFT, because whenever QFT says nature will do something, nature does exactly that. For that reason, we think QFT must contain a great deal of truth and insight into what is really going on. Nobody says it must be the last word, but it's the best we've got by a million miles.

And it has been for at least three or four decades.

At some point, perhaps QFT will start to get certain types of things wrong. Whatever those things are, we have seen no sign of them yet. But when it does, you can guarantee that there will be a lot of interest.

Until then, given that I've seen what QFT can do, the only sensible course for me is to base my view of reality on QFT, rather than any of the alternative models of reality that I know don't predict or reflect what nature does.

If anyone wants to assert alternative theories, they're very welcome. But they must know what they're up against. Haramein hasn't the first clue what he's up against, because he's an incompetent egotistical buffoon. But he does tell a good story, and people like that.

Marius S. B. said...

Well, I can easily see that QFT is trustworthy, if somewhat unfinished. As you say, it is undeniably not the final answer; but it is the best we got. In my field of expertise, I've trained myself to be a very critical thinker. So I still see it as a possibility for the vacuum to hold something specific and not abstract (because I only believe thoughts can be abstract, not matter. Which makes sense, since all we know of matter derives from thought). Thus, in someway there should be a way to define or measure vacuum.

Let's pretend our micro-cosmos is actually a little universe. Maybe those little particles who pop in and out of existence are stars that live and die (because at that size time goes stupendously much faster than it does for us), seeing as stars and their explosions are the biggest things we know of, so they'd naturally be so in that universe as well. Even with our great level of detail, there could always be even smaller things like that. We won't know unless we find a way to look even deeper!

In those small cosmoses, maybe gravity doesn't make atoms fall the same way the planets in our universe doesn't fall. They're floating in space, because our space does have SOMETHING in it, even if it's not much. Maybe the same is true about atoms and their floating in vacuum. The way I see it, vacuum isn't definable -- yet.

I'm not discrediting QFT for being unimaginative and too fixed though. I do agree that it's foolish to ignore it, I just see no reason to ever not question it! With my skeptical view at the constants of forms and models, I still haven't really gotten the concept of "quantity of vacuum" being definable disproved to me; so I won't write of Nassim just yet. Though right or not, I will have to say that he is awfully pretentious.

You're probably onto something about stories too, because in my career telling a good story is alpha and omega to success. So I'm naturally drawn to a good one. I'm still conflicted as to whether I'll accept that anything which openly defies QFT goes out of line, though. Because I like a refreshing new perspective, even if it seems very wrong. After all, everything seems wrong at first glance in this field.

Bob said...

"I only believe thoughts can be abstract, not matter. Which makes sense, since all we know of matter derives from thought. Thus, in someway there should be a way to define or measure vacuum."

It's our theories of matter that are abstract, not the matter itself. What's there is just what's there.

By abstract, all I mean is that conceptually they are very far removed from the concepts that are familiar to us in daily life. Daily life is entirely centred around human perception, which we know is incredibly limited. It should be fairly obvious that if we investigate nature far from human perception, our intuitive concepts are unlikely to work for it. In fact, it would be really weird if they did. So I'm afraid the 'abstract' nature of the concepts we use for these things is inevitable.

We can define and measure certain things about it, but not the things we might think. It simply doesn't have the kinds of properties we're familiar with. If you adopt the idea that it 'should' then, like most 'shoulds' in life, it will hold you back.

If you want to question QFT, or get behind ideas that "openly defy" it, that's great. I'd just say try not to confuse skepticism about a theory with not bothering to understand it. That's the mistake all pseudoscientists make.

After all, if there were all sorts of alternative ideas going around about the price of beer in Norway, it'd be a bit daft to just take a view on it that openly defies the people who live there and drink beer. If you want to know, go there and find out; or build trust with people who do, and find out from them. Defying their ideas and giving credence to opposing views instead of finding out for yourself is not open-minded. It's just really silly.

Marius S. B. said...

All very true, though frankly there's no one to tell us the absolute truth of these things, unlike the case with beer in Norway (don't know if you were lucky or found out somehow, but that's actually where I live). We always have to speculate to some degree.

I don't really understand QFT fully, so from my eyes many other theories seem credible. I only enjoy Nassim's video because he at points backs up some thoughts I've had myself both recently and early in life. If he simply goes against QFT, then I won't write him off. If what you're saying is that he's trying to back up his claims with QFT, but his usage of QFT is wrong then maybe he IS just a story-teller.

Either way, it doesn't really matter that much to me. I was anyway just curious about you saying he was saying a proton weighed 800-and some million tons, because it seemed improbable to openly display such a huge miscalculation for someone who's obviously not entirely unlearned.

Bob said...

Ha! No, I didn't know you were from Norway! That's a funny coincidence.

Yes, we always have to speculate to some degree, but there are still facts that are undeniable to anyone who physically works with particles and with the vacuum at a deep fundamental level. Those people know what particles do, they know what the vacuum does. They know that QFT is faithful to the world they physically work with every day. That's not speculation, that's straight observation.

If someone has a theory but doesn't care to check it with them, then it's the opposite of open-minded to even call it a theory. It's just a story.

Better theories may come along, but let me put it this way. If an alternative theory doesn't explain all of QFT's successes, then there's no chance it will replace QFT.

Relativity and quantum mechanics had to explain why Newton was right about almost everything seen before 1900. They managed it. QFT had to explain why quantum mechanics and relativity was right about so many things. It managed it. (Apart from extreme gravity... it can't deal with that.)

String theory knows that it has to explain why QFT works, otherwise it's a dead theory. String theorists think it will one day explain all of QFT and the extreme gravity that general relativity can deal with... I doubt it. But they know that that's what they have to do.

It's an interesting process.

It's always a shame when someone uses their own ignorance of it to deny it, and then accuses others of closed-mindedness. That's not what you're doing... but it's what Haramein and a lot of other people do. They rely entirely on the ignorance of their audience, and they actively discourage people from learning.

"If he simply goes against QFT, then I won't write him off. If what you're saying is that he's trying to back up his claims with QFT, but his usage of QFT is wrong then maybe he IS just a story-teller. "

You'll see him give quotes about QFT in his talks. He uses some of them to back up his ideas (such as the suggestion that the vacuum has an energy density determined by the Planck scale), and he uses other ones to ridicule (such as the description of an isolated system or of renormalisation). Whichever suits him, it seems.

Whether he takes the quote positively or negatively, he always misrepresents it and always misunderstands it. Extremely badly. Like someone pretending to review a novel when they've read the back cover but haven't opened the book.

He does use concepts from QFT (pretentiously), and it is utterly wrong.

"it seemed improbable to openly display such a huge miscalculation for someone who's obviously not entirely unlearned."

Yes. In fact some people have argued that it's such a dumbass mistake, he can't possible have made it. There must be something deeper going on.

But he did. And there isn't.

Nice to talk with you anyway. :) I've never been to Norway - I've always thought it looks like a fabulous place, with some stunning natural beauty.

I have my own theory about the beer there: I think it will be more expensive than in the UK, and I imagine it could the kind of beer that some people might serve with a slice of lemon. I don't want a slice of lemon in my beer, but I think I'd like it anyway. I hope to test this theory one day.

Marius S. B. said...

I see. That's a disappointing of him.
Well, it was nice talking to you too!

Also, I'll leave the mystery of Norwegian beer unmentioned, so you can test the theory some day instead of hearing the answer from me! =)

Macky said...

Hey Bob,

If you were able to stick to a professional assessment of the situation I'd have been a lot happier. As it is you are hypocrite who's ego comes before clear dissection of the information.

I think you'd have done well if you hadn't asked us to 'keep it to the physics' (twice) and then proceeded to do the opposite. Your use of underhand comments and indirect connotation through web pages linked to Nassim's name indicate that you have an emotional reaction to this topic which has probably clouded your assessment of it.

Now, apologies for not keeping to the physics, but I have a point to make about an area of your reasoning. You say that science should reflect nature, but you also say:

"Both the solid and the gas are made of atoms, which are nuclei surrounded by electrons. The electrons range over a certain average volume under normal circumstances, but they are point particles and have no volume of their own. The nuclei are tightly packed collections of protons and neutrons; and each proton and neutron is a tightly packed collection of quarks and gluons. The quarks and gluons roam over a certain average volume under normal circumstances, but they are point particles and have no volume of their own."

...which I interpret as 'the most basic particles of the the universe that we are aware of occupy no space' How does that theory/observation match nature?

Bob said...

Thanks for dropping by to call me names. How about we stay clear of that.

To respond to your question,

"...which I interpret as 'the most basic particles of the the universe that we are aware of occupy no space' How does that theory/observation match nature?"

I was attempting to explain why the volume of empty space in a substance is not a meaningful concept.

Point particles have no volume, because the theories of point-like particles are the only ones that give results that agree with nature, and because no matter how closely they are observed, no size can be seen; yet at the same time their wavefunctions fill the whole of the volume available to them.

It sounds paradoxical because what many people want is a coherent explanation that doesn't involve a technical quantum mechanical description of what's going on. They want one that involves concepts like "the space occupied by a particle" that we can intuitively picture.

Unfortunately, as we know, no such explanation exists. These are quantum mechanical systems.

Macky said...

Well I've been as blunt as you yourself with the tone of your critique of Mr Haramein's person and his work, although I doubt very much you've had any consideration for the human being you've so harshly attacked on a personal level.

My point, perfectly illustrated by your reply, is that things aren't what they seem, and so we shouldn't be too hasty in trying to shoot someone down in flames for having ideas outside of the box. You ridicule some of Mr Haramein's theories but then also happily accept that theories that you adhere to are paradoxical in nature.

BTW I've just read his reply to you in his article http://theresonanceproject.org/schwarzschild-proton-manifesto (please forgive the lack of HTML ability). I can't believe you're still appearing in public after that, you've got balls if nothing else. Mr Haramein trumps you firstly in regards to professionalism, but mostly due to the fact that he is a decent person, and you, in comparison, couldn't even pull off an apology without it becoming a string of insults directed at Mr Haramein, on a personal level.

"I did use the word "manipulative", and also words such as "lying" or "deceitful", to describe Haramein's approach to presenting physics. Not very often, but even once is too much. These words clearly imply that he is deliberately setting out to mislead, and I can't possibly know that...

...Luckily for us, we can continue to discuss his incompetence as a scientist and to question his integrity without resorting to any assumptions about what in the name of arse is going on inside his head.

I do hope that settles the matter to Mr Haramein's satisfaction."

It seems to me that he's got more integrity in his 'arse' than you'll ever have.

In the light of such comments how can you in all fairness ask that I refrain from name calling? In fact after reading his response how can you not see what a decent man he is, and how are you not ashamed of yourself to the core for treating him with such spite?

Bob said...

My goodness. Luckily I don't feel the need to take responsibility for the things you imagine about me, or the emotions and motivations you're making up for me.

I actually haven't called him or you any names, or said anything about his person. I've never met his person, so what would I know. I've presented my reasons in great detail as to why all his scientific claims and pretentions are bogus, and according to my grasp of the English language goes that makes him a scientific fraud. That's not name-calling.

You have every right to disagree or fabricate silliness about me, but it'd be far more interesting if you actually wanted to talk about the substance of what I or Haramein have asserted.

So please let me know if you have any specific reason to support a single one of Haramein's scientific claims, or a specific reason to dispute a single one of the many reasons I've presented for his claims being false.

You said one thing: "You ridicule some of Mr Haramein's theories but then also happily accept that theories that you adhere to are paradoxical in nature"

Yes, I do ridicule his theories, because they're ridiculous and rather idiotic. Not because I haven't bothered to understand what he's saying... I do understand it. I'm not the kind of person who would pass judgement on things that I don't understand.

The theories I adhere to are not paradoxical in nature. They appear paradoxical until you understand them. If you understand quantum mechanics enough to discuss the nature of matter at the particle level, then let's discuss it. If you're pre-judging it on the basis of ignorance, then let's not. Your prejudices don't interest me – I want to know what you understand and why, not what random uninformed opinions you happen to have.

With regard to his preaching-to-the-choir P.R. response, I say to you again what I said in the blog post here, and what I've said to everyone who's raised it:

"If you can find any single point in Haramein's response that convinces you that any of my criticisms of his physics are unfounded – then I'd really love to know what it is, and why you find it convincing."

If you'd rather keep on insulting and inventing emotions and motivations for me, then go ahead, and please excuse me if I don't see fit to respond. You're free to dream away about your fantasy version of my innermost thoughts if you don't have anything of any substance to say.

Adam said...

This should go on Reddit if it's not already there....I know way too many people who believe this guy's work is legit....I have some education in the material involved but my main recourse was the obvious incongruity in his speech and body mannerisms....he knows he's full of it and the signs are there to read, your blog is now my go to when sweet gullible friends of mine need a knowledgable but kind person to refute his claims...thanks again Bob, as I say...you are my hero (or one of them)

Bob said...

Thanks Adam :-)

julian walker said...

so glad to find you - looking forward to poring over your critique of the "thinking" new age person's pseudoscience charlatan!

how do i follow your blog? i don't see a sign up or rss button...

Bob said...

Thanks. People who like to think of themselves as "thinking" persons, perhaps :-)

RSS feed is here.

Ray said...

Wow Bob, Looks like you have your own little cult going here.

I am a thinking person, I find Nassim's work intriguing.

I hope your life is long and satisfying. Playing the foil is not an easy job, and oft falls to those who have suffered. May you find joy in your foily-ness.

PS- there's more to life/knowledge/learning than scientific method. The biggest advances in science will come when scientists realize they have lost sight of the essence of discovery, and allow their hearts to once again become part of the equation.

Bob said...

Thanks for your input, Ray, and for inventing your own version of me (as have so many others with a similarly dismal level of awareness).

Surely a "thinking person" would be interested in whether or not someone actually held or expressed the view that scientific method is the whole of life, before lecturing them about why it isn't.

Of course I don't see the scientific method as the whole of life. Because I'm not an idiot. I've never said I do; I've said many times that I don't.

The reason I'm making reference to the scientific method in my discussion of Haramein's claims to be doing science is very simple. It's because he's claiming, falsely and pretentiously, to be doing science.

I value understanding, care and honesty more highly than prejudice, opinions and pretence. I still find it upsetting to come across so many people who don't.

Haramein's fans are bound to have a preference for prejudice, opinion and pretence, because that is all he brings to his stories. It still amazes me, though. When it comes to investigating what this world is like and how it works, and the matter of paying attention and taking care over how facts are established, Haramein's fans really just don't give a shit. They've got their opinions and they're sticking to them.

It's such a good world, too. One worth exploring, one worth investigating and learning about honestly, and one worth paying attention to.

Ray said...

I guess I was making some assumptions about you, and now that I am on the other side of that, it's not very fun. Sorry.

This conversation is so polarized I'm not sure we can actually communicate in an impartial way, or, should I say that I can anyway.

I have several friends who I engage with in conversations like this all the time, but without knowing more of you than this blog, it's hard to keep perspective.

I suppose I could have a dismal level of awareness in the big scheme of things. Still, I agree about the world, it is a good one.

You seem intelligent, and well spoken. I wish we had met in different circumstances.

Joy and happiness to you sir. Good day.

Bob said...

Hi Ray,

I wouldn't take issue with you as a person based on a single comment. If you have things to say other than uninformed opinions then I'd genuinely like to hear them.

I'd be particularly interested if you can point to anything specific in Haramein's ideas that you think relates to the world we're in, and what it is about it that suggests to you that it is honest research and not just a bunch of stories that he's made up.

Especially if you have reason to disagree with anything I've said.

I know it's nice to be intrigued or inspired by something, but if it's just made up stories then it's a little empty, isn't it? There's a huge amount of fascinating work done to understand and communicate about nature and the universe, that is done by honest people and isn't made up. It seems such a shame when fraudsters draw people in.

Ray said...

So here's the deal Bob- I don't really know that much about NH's work, and I'm not a physicist so I'm not interested in proving or disproving the statements that he's making. As I said in my first post, I am interested in Nassim's work. And it's because it feels correct. It has potential in that it is the work of a man looking at and dreaming about ways to solve problems that define our current existence as one of scarcity. The solutions that he posits are creative, and the concept of a full universe rather than an empty one feels intuitively correct to me.

As to my "uninformed" opinions, that's a matter of perspective. You seem like an arrogant prick, but I'm sure there's more to you than that.

Regarding whether NH's work is honest, well that is the crux of this whole blog. I personally have not met the man. From the couple of videos I have seen him in I can't really say much about his character.

Whether or not his math is applicable in your "real world", I hardly think you have sufficient evidence to guess at his motives, or to render an accurate picture of his character.

Also, what's wrong with stories? Everything you think you know is a story you tell yourself. All the knowledge and wisdom of the ages started as a story.

Bob said...

Help me out, Ray. I don't see a deal, just lots more opinions.

You don't need to put the real world in quotes, or assign it to me. I'm not making stuff up.

One example.

Haramein has 'theories' about protons. Everyone who works with materials at the subatomic scale agrees that protons are real. Do you not believe that thousands of people work with them every day?

His dreamy ideas may fit with your preferences and your ideas about of creativity, but don't you care whether there's any truth in them?

What differentiates science from pseudoscience is the ability and willingness to to try one's utmost to prove them wrong, using the touchstone of nature and the creative application of reasoning, before announcing them to the world. No true scientist wants to risk announcing something that's easily shown to be false.

If Haramein or any of his followers cared about whether or not his ideas had any relation to the protons he is describing, all they'd have to do is to communicate with ANY of the thousands of hands-on materials researchers, nuclear researchers, particle physicists, astronomers, plasma researchers, ... and find direct ways of compare the things in his head to the things in the world.

NONE of them will go near him. They're the people working at the front line, directly with the physical material he's pretending to talk about. They can SEE he's full of crap.

Haramein, and his followers, yourself included, do not work with these materials. They pick and choose the laws of nature based on their preferences. In fact, it's positively essential that they AVOID going anywhere near any work with nature's physical matter at the submicroscopic scale, so that they can stay utterly ignorant about them. Otherwise they'd join the millions who have direct experience of the things Haramein pretends to talk about and who know that he's full of crap.

That's how I know you're not coming from a place of experience, and that's why I know I'm justified in calling you uninformed.

If you want to see creativity, go to a physics laboratory and see how people go about observing, measuring, working with and developing materials using the properties of actual protons, and investigating the submicroscopic nature of the world we all share. It's extremely demanding and tricky work, and it requires the most brilliant imaginations.

Alternatively, if you couldn't give a crap about that, then cling to the idiotic story-teller whose ideas appeal to your preferences, and maintaining a barrier of mistrust with regard to everyone who devotes their life to actually looking nature full in the face, exploring, creating, listening, understanding and sharing what they find. Stick with the guy who tells stories, gives no reasons, does no experiments, and has no support from or creative contact with anyone who does because he's such a cartoon character cliché of a fake. If that's how you want to live. I'm sure you'll be very happy.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Bob. All I can say is I salute your patience. I would've lost it a long time ago if I were in your position. And, man, you should just let these idiots believe whatever they want and stop wasting your time trying to fight humankind's most persistent illness (id est: stupidity).
And to all the imbeciles who are defending this fraud, I don't insult you because you are ignorant. We all ignore many things. I insult you because you are a bunch of lazy fuckers who just want to speak whatever comes to your mind and won't take the time to actually study nature. Until you overcome your lazyness, your opinion is worth nothing.
In any case, time will prove this liar wrong.

Ray said...

To say I'm a follower based the couple of videos I've watched is leading.

I'm curious. What are your thoughts on the work of Nicola Tesla?

Bob said...

Ok, not follower then – supporter, defender, apologist, whatever.

Your response is to pull me up on one word, try to change the subject, and ignore everything else I said?

Ray said...

I won't argue your points because I don't really disagree with you. I trust that you know what you claim to know, and that you are much more qualified to pass judgement on the technical accuracy of the math involved in NH's work. I'm a trusting person.

That being said, I still find his concepts interesting. I do not feel the need to discredit him, or to call him a liar or any other defamatory name, and I don't totally understand why you do.

I assume you have attended a prestigious university, as that is the only type of person with whom I have encountered this unreasonable need to vilify ambiguity and defame any that claim discovery without using the proper methods or taking the appropriately cautious tone.

So what if he's wrong? His work is still interesting. This blog is interesting, though it seems to me to be grossly narrow in scope and imagination. I can still enjoy reading it, and engaging with you in this discussion.

I said "your 'real world'" because I do not think we share the same world. You seem to believe there is only one actual true world, and I am suspicious of this.

I live my life with great confidence in things you would probably call superstitions or anecdotal, or untested, or uncertified. I am indeed one of the wild "uninformed" and assumed unintelligent, ignorant, lazy or stupid people in YOUR "real world". But in my world, I am something all together different.

I asked you about Tesla not to change the subject, but to get a better feel for your views and the way you apply them. Tesla, like NH, was also ridiculed, defamed, ostracised. I'm wondering, with this topic added into our conversation, if you would see yourself in Tesla's time, calling him a liar and a fraud because you didn't understand his work, which he did mostly in his head.

Bob said...

I don't "feel a need to discredit" anyone.

I've written what I thought would be helpful to anyone who was curious about whether Haramein's claims about the universe stand up to scrutiny.

When people have asked about it in the comments, I've answered. When people have turned up with false claims of their own, I've countered them.

I don't really know why you'd take issue with this. You're basically taking issues with your own straw men.

I don't deny that anyone should find his work interesting either. I didn't call you any of those names, or assume them.

And no, I wouldn't call Tesla a liar or a fraud. He was a great physicist. He wasn't right about everything, because he was human. But he wasn't a pretentious and self-publicising buffoon like Haramein, he was a brilliant and honest seeker after truth. The comparison is pretty odious.

As I've said many times, if Haramein expressed ideas I didn't understand, then I wouldn't comment on it. That would be prejudice.

His attempts at science are perfectly understandable to anyone with a rudimentary science education. I really wish people who think he's revolutionary realised this. It's basic textbook stuff, twisted to fit his brand image. It's not obscure, it's very transparent.

It can interest you if you like. It doesn't interest me any more than someone asserting that my home town was painted pink for christmas would interest me. Someone else might like the idea, but I know it's not painted pink for christmas because I can just go and look. If that person keeps asserting that it's painted pink for christmas, then they're not someone I'd recommend other people to trust. That's all.

Perhaps in 'your real world' my home town is painted pink for christmas, and anyone who says it isn't is deeply suspicious and unreasonable. Sounds great.

Quartermaine' s World said...

Book title, 'Not Even Wrong' by Peter Woit, well-known physicist, say it all. Just looked at this today for the first time; takes 5 seconds to know Haramein is bogus.

I shouldn't waste any more time on him if I were you.

Bob said...

Hopefully it's reasonably obvious that I'm not spending any time on him, but on responding to the concerns of people who might not immediately realise that he's bogus.

Dismissing bogus work is one thing; dismissing every person who can't immediately see that it's bogus is pretty low.

Anonymous said...

Jeeze Sheldon give it a rest already. Go play with Amy.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Doctor....your acting like a child, you dont know how world works, you dont know how to fix it, you are just a common Zombie, like most of the ppl, but times are changing,,,,you need to wake up!!!! WAKE UP WAKE UP and see your Ignorance!!!

I would call you Dr.Ignorance not BOB, chek out the site called truththeory.org and do some reserch over there,

Debunker...lol you make me laught!

Bob said...

Bless.

Anonymous said...

Your rebuttals are jabbery insidious insults that don't even cohere in contrast to what he's saying at all. There's a difference between critiquing and degrading. I don't see the true reason to invalidate a man's beliefs, because everything you say if just YOUR own belief and reality. Just trying to say, could be a little more considerate. For there to be a falsity, there must be truth in the first place to become corrupt or ivalid. Try to look at how he's right and talk to him about that, I think that would be way better of a thing to do Then spend hours of your time writing and nattering about all the faults of a man trying to help others understand life and give a great peice of the puzzle to the continuum of life.

Bob said...

Physics isn't anyone's particular reality, it's the study of the shared, objective aspect of the world we collectively inhabit. You must be thinking of something else.

My concern is understanding. I take great care never to judge something that I don't fully understand, because that's the definition of prejudice and I believe prejudice is the source of almost everything that is wrong in this world.

I'm very open to discussion. If you're coming from a place of opinionated ignorance and you just don't like the fact that I've criticised someone you feel some sort of tribal allegiance to, then I couldn't give a crap what you think, obviously.

But if you have anything of substance to say – any reason to disagree with anything in particular that I've said or any reason to suggest that Haramein has ever contributed anything to science that's not based entirely on misunderstandings and fantasised nonsense - then let's talk about it.

I'm always interested to hear if there's reason to think I'm on the wrong track.

Hamsayogi said...

Dear Bob,

Thanks for taking so much of your precious time to investigating Nassim's research. I'm both a person with a scientific background as well as a meditation background. I appreciate attempts to describe eastern philosophy in scientific terms, but not if it's faulty science which therefore disgraces the philosophy, the way religion has disgraced spirituality in the last 2000 years. His ideas are attractive but I'm admittedly too dumb and ignorant about physics to be able to parse their legitimacy at all, so I reserve judgment and defer to greater minds. I was wondering if there are any debates with or responses from mainstream, established and well-regarded physicists about Nassim's work? Also, have you come across any attempt at proving his theories or showing any practical application? These were the benchmarks for example by which Einstein's work was accepted, aside from publication in prestigious peer-reviewed journals.

Kind regards,
Dan Kogan

Bob said...

Hi Hamsayogi. Thanks for your questions.

I was wondering if there are any debates with or responses from mainstream, established and well-regarded physicists about Nassim's work?

No, there aren't, and there aren't likely to be, because:

(a) Nassim's work is not physics;

(b) Any professional physicist would be capable of recognising a fake as unsophisticated as Haramein almost immediately, even if some of the public cannot;

(c) physicists are very much aware that there is nothing to gain and much to lose through debating with them in public.

Fake scientists like Haramein don't have anything to say that would be of interest to a physicist, and they tend not to be interested in hearing anything that goes against the fantasy that they're attached to. Their concern is to play to their audiences, and to win them over using rhetoric. That has nothing to do with science. You may hear some words that sound like science, but the language is that of politics or advertising: the goal is to keep the audience loyal.

"have you come across any attempt at proving his theories or showing any practical application?"

When a theory is so easy for any physicist to prove false, why would anyone attempt to do anything with it?

Surely Haramein should be responsible for trying to get something to work from his ideas. He never has, despite attracting large amounts of funding, and he's never interested anyone capable of getting anything to work either, in over a decade of publicising his work. Why is that?

You might ask why don't all his followers notice that he has nothing at all of any substance to say, and go in search of truth elsewhere?

Like you, I also have a background of meditation and reflection – I was deeply involved with a Buddhist movement for over a decade. If I may, I'd like to suggest an answer that you might appreciate from the point of view of a spiritual practice, which is also something any good physicist will be aware of.

I believe the answer is attachment.

People hear a story, it gives them a good feeling, they want to keep that feeling, so they follow the person who provides it; they reify the source of the feeling - meaning they consider it to be reality itself - and they push away anyone who threatens this.

It's very human, and very understandable, and I have a great deal of sympathy with it. In the end, though, it's attachment to one's own preferences, which is entirely ego-centric, and it is a very powerful force that blinds people from investigating any aspect of reality away from their preferences.

This is what Haramein sells, and in buying it, people block themselves from further and deeper searching.

Physics is about the opposite of this. It is about letting go, and being open to nature in the way that she presents herself, however counterintuitive it may seem. If nature acts one way but our preconceived ideas or our preferences suggest something else, we either let go or we close off to nature. Physicists must let go, again and again and again. Letting go is at the very heart of good science.

Oh - as it happens, one well-regarded physicist (who has an interest in fakes and hoaxes) has indeed gone to the trouble to look into Haramein's work, and you can hear what he had to say in this audio track if you skip to 50:00 minutes in and listen, if you want to hear the view of an expert. It's the only example I know of. It's a little light-hearted, as befits the silliness of Haramein's claims.

I hope that helps answer your questions. Do say more if you disagree with anything I've suggested.

Mark A. Foster, Ph.D. said...

Excellent blog post. Nassim Haramein has created an idealist (in the ontological sense) metanarrative. Since metanarratives require no evidence, if he uses the right combinations of words, he will have little problem drawing new-agey people to him.

In any event, I never heard of a scientist with ambassadors. I have nothing against religious missionaries, but they don't belong in an academic context.

Bob said...

Thanks Mark.

You're right to say he's a religious missionary. His ideas may be a metanarrative, but many of the terms he uses are meaningless outside a scientific context so it's a very silly one.

His brand undeniably relies on the pseudo-academic gloss he puts on it himself. It's very hard to believe he could be unaware of what he's doing.

Happily, there's not much danger of him being anywhere near a genuine academic context for more than a few minutes after he's opened his mouth.

Anonymous said...

I understand, Bob, that it irritates you to have a non-physicist such as Haramein promulgate physics theories without proof and then have non-experts make claims regarding "the new physics."

NH is approaching physics with the assumption that "All is ONE," presumably because he, and probably most of his supporters, has/ve had a spiritual experience to that effect.

His work is not teeming with references to ancient aliens, archeology, ancient mathematics, the knights templar, the ark of the covenant, kabbalah, and meditation by accident. He is attempting to understand, as we all should be, who we are, why we're here, and what we may become.

Regarding physics, he realizes, as many others do, that the current theoretic models expounded in academia do not and cannot account for the spiritual experience.

I view this blog as slightly irrelevant considering that, even if NH were able to prove that the singularity is at the center of all matter, the method would likely be considered unscientific, considering the level of awareness that would be required to even perceive the proof.

The two of you are operating under completely different primary assumptions, one that science must not only be compatible with, but possibly reflect, spiritual experience, the other that science is the "systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation."

And I think his insistence that he is doing physics may be a result of a different view of what observation and experimentation consist of.

You may be right to suspect that NH is no fool and is aware of what he is doing regarding being "slightly" unscientific. But he has so much to unify, not just science.

I just spent an inordinate amount of time reading posts on this blog this afternoon and decided to provide my humble "apples and oranges" assessment of the situation vis-a-vis Bob vs. NH.

Bob said...

The reason for this blog is not because I personally disagree with him, or because I personally disapprove of the attempt to integrate spiritual experience with science.

It's because he presents his work as science and presents himself as someone carrying out scientific research. He does it not because it is true (it very clearly isn't true) but because it gives weight to his image.

He isn't attempting to unify spirituality with science. Nothing he is doing has any scientific content at all - his attempts to bring scientific concepts into his presentations are incompetent buffoonery.

Your word "slightly" is something of an understatement.

It's the fact that people (like yourself) are being misled into thinking what he is doing has any relation to science that is the problem.

When someone intentionally misleads his audience into seeing him as something that he knows he is not, to elevate his reputation in their eyes, that is fraud. In addition, he continuously reinforces anti-science prejudices in his audience, encouraging them to reject the science that they could employ to investigate the stuff he is feeding them.

Do you seriously think he is working to unify? It's very naïve, my friend. Do think again.

Bob said...

Also, if he's coming from a spiritual perspective, the example he chooses to set to his devotees is one of misleading others for the sake of fame and fortune, spreading clichés and prejudices and discouraging people from looking into perspectives other than his own. Not to mention all the self-promotion and self-glorification.

If that's his attempt at a new spirituality, it's a bit naff. It amazes me that so many people are superficial enough to fall for it.

Anonymous said...

I've just spent a good hour looking at this whole blog. Very interesting stuff. If i've got this right your upset with Nassim because his physics is dodgy.

Im not a mathematician or a physicist but a philosophy student. Im being taught that physics was,is, a branch of philosophy (natural philosophy). Basically physics is subordiate to metaphysics (in the same way that chemistry is subordinate to physics).

From our current Cartesian paradigm physics has acheived some splendid sucess but is limited to purely physical explanations to the mysteries of the universe.

Nassim Haramein ought to study philosophy and leave the physics to you.

Physicist ought to reexamine the metaphysics behind the science because fault can be found in the foundations of physics. (i.e. the notion that extention is a primary quality)

Nassim may be dodgy but his ideas are somewhat appealing.

Your response to him is understandable given the rigours of the sceintific method. My issue is with the underlying principles on which the scientific method itself depends.

Could it be that physics itself is a bit dodgy in its explanatory efficacy by virtue of its shakey foundations? Might we need a fresh meta-paradigm to re ground physics itself?

Bob said...

"Nassim Haramein ought to study philosophy and leave the physics to you." – Haramein is a buffoon. He has no more of a clue about the rational consideration of systems of thought than he has about physics. That's why it's so easy to find examples of him misunderstanding basic concepts, staying as far away from scrutiny and criticism as possible, and denigrating the academic community from his safe little perch.

He's a story-teller and a bullshitter, and his ideas appeal to some people because they like to be entertained and they want to be part of a tribe, and for some people if someone says things that feel good to them, they consider that to be evidence of truth.

Not because he's challenging the foundations of scientific thought itself.

Good grief.

If you're really a philosophy student, then I suggest you take your ideas to your tutorials and discuss them there before blurting them on the internet.

Paul L said...

Hi,
I'm somewhat confused about one thing. People refer constantly to the "charm" of Haramein. Does he not start his presentations telling us himself that he's been working on this since he was nine years old? In the last video I saw of his (it will be the last) he also opened his 'act' by telling the audience how some physics people begged him not to leave a conference so he could make another presentation. In the same video, still in the first few minutes, he regales us of his story about how he silenced a room by pointing out that the guy inflating the balloon (that common analogy for an expanding universe) does not appear in the equations! He thinks analogies need equations! He's never heard the words "analogy breaks down".

I'm sorry but all this is conceit. He's full of himself and in what way is this charming? Where you all, even you Bob, see charm I see something completely different. Or is an ego the size of the average black hole pretending its the size of a proton in some way charming?

He aint charming!

Yours is the definitive site debunking this guy. You have done enough work, provoked a response and made only one mistake*. Great work.

Spend no more time on him.

I love that mainstream physicists refuse to comment on his work. Long may it continue.

Paul

[* You put a publc apology to him on your website. This will generate the worst kind of misrepresentation when it appears as a headline on his site: "Defeated Debunker apologises sincerely to Nassim". Too awful to contemplate. And not at all necessary. Stop working on him now before you fall in love with him and have his children!]

Bob said...

Hi Paul.

'Charming' isn't an objective description of Haramein. It describes the effect he has on some people, and I think it's clear that this is what he relies on for his popularity.

Personally, I find what he does crude, ridiculous and obnoxious. I would have thought that was obvious from what I've written :)

Personally I believe he is aware that what he says is misleading and false, and that he is aware that what he does is not scientific, which would make him a deeply dishonest and manipulative individual.

Personally I believe that when he says things like describing physics people begging him to make another presentation that he is telling outright lies.

I believe I am entitled to my personal opinions, and I'm happy to express them freely.

But my blog posts aren't opinion pieces, they are factual analyses. I have no need to assert my opinions. As I said, it's not necessary to accuse him of lying and to pretend to know what is going on in his head in order to see what a fake he is and how damaging his cult can be to people. The whole thing is perfectly clear from indisputable facts alone.

So I don't think I need to care what misrepresentation of me appears on his website – his website is full of crap anyway. My 'apology' is there for anyone to see, and it's fairly clear from that what I think about what he's doing :)

I don't think I've actually spent any time on him. I've spent time writing for and to anyone with a genuine desire to know more about the wonders of the universe, but who have been unfortunately influenced by him in some way. And I'm happy to spend more time discussing honestly with them on here, because I have a lot of respect for these people. A great deal more than Haramein does.

Anonymous said...

Bub-o-tron...Do you think they give one of these to any hoaxer braging around ??

take a look at PATENT US8130893

Bob said...

US Patents are now issued to nearly a quarter of a million people each year. That's one for every thousand adults in the country. Haramein raised a ton of funds from enthralled fans and gullible investors, he's very good at talking people into doing things, and he's desperate for anything that makes him appear legitimate.

So what makes you think he couldn't find someone who'd get him a patent?

Also, um... do you think that this invention will
(a) create a black hole in the lab,
(b) generate free energy from the vacuum, or
(c) use vast quantities of mains electricity to make some glowing plasma that will impress visitors and make them go 'woo'

Spotted Marley said...

all i hear is "the earth is flat!"

Bob said...

Um... I see.

Well, if you care at all, then try to let your simplistic preconceptions quieten down so that you can take on board what's actually being said, and read it again.

(If you don't care at all, then stick to your simplistic preconceptions. It's bigotry, but hey, whatever floats your boat.)

muzuzuzus said...

"all i hear is "the earth is flat!""

Well it is from one perspective. Same is so for the feeling the sun goes round the Earth, or sinks into the sea

Bob said...

From the perspective of not having much perspective, you mean.

I think you're confusing "perspective" (which means clearly seeing what is going on) with "feeling" (which means whatever you like, regardless of what's going on).

If all you care about is whatever you like regardless of what's going on then that's bigotry, isn't it?

muzuzuzus said...

errrm no its not bigotry (that is hysterical) it is phenomenological and is a way to be able to accommodate ambiguous interpretations of reality without calling others bigots
"big·ot (bgt)
n.
One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ."

Bob said...

If you have a view such as "the Earth is flat", then I recommend opening up to a bigger perspective, for example looking at images of the Earth from space, or observing shadows at various locations around the world at the same time, or studying the geometry of triangles made from direct routes between three points on the sea, or any number of possibilities that are available to you if you cared to look.

You may choose to hang onto your view and never think about such things. That wouldn't mean reality was 'ambiguous', it would be wilful ignorance.

You may investigate such things and still hold onto your view. That wouldn't mean reality was 'ambiguous' either. It would mean you were incapable of accepting it.

If someone has the view that people of a different race or gender or sexual orientation have less value than themselves, then they also may consider a bigger perspective in which they could understand the others as full human beings with the same rights and needs and potential. They may refuse to look, or they may look and refuse to accept what is there. Either way, they're a bigot.

Ok, it's provocative to say someone with the view "the Earth is flat" is a bigot... but look at the similarities. They have much more in common with a bigot than they do to someone with their own interpretation of an ambiguous reality. They're refusing to look, or looking and refusing to accept what's there.

Is it intolerant of flat-earthers to call them bigots? I don't think so. I don't deny their humanity or their rights, I don't think they should be outlawed from promoting their ideas. But when they do, let's also allow people to expose how narrow-minded and impoverished the flat-earth view of the world is. That seems to me an appropriate and necessary response to any form of wilful ignorance, whether it's what you'd think of as bigotry or not.

It's all deeply prejudiced, at least. Pre-judice meaning coming to a view before fully and honestly investigating what is actually there. Bigotry, prejudice, they're all pretty similar under the surface.

muzuzuzus said...

I am not saying the earth is flat. I love the image of earth from space. I love roundness, and cycles. What I was saying that from an individual perspective the earth seems flat. Why does this upset you so much? Also from an individual perspective which can include your whole family to, and many more the sun does appear to rise and set. I do nhot have a problem accomodating more than one perspective. I do not have to rationally beat myself that 'no NO it is NOT rising and setting. THAT is bigotry' lol

Bob said...

Yes, I know you weren't saying the Earth was flat.

I could have worded that more clearly:

If you HAD a view such as "the Earth is flat", then I WOULD recommend opening up to a bigger perspective.

would that be better?

I assumed we were talking hypothetically.

What I'm saying is that if from an individual perspective, the Earth seems flat, it's because that's a perspective of not bothering to look outside a very tiny sphere of experience.

As I explained.

So it's only a valid perspective if you have a very limited perspective.

It doesn't upset me. I thought you might be interested in the distinction so I explained it. I'm nice like that.

I think what you're saying is that sometimes it's useful and simpler and more straightforward to use a limited perspective when you're dealing with small things. In that case I agree with you. That's not the same as considering it to be reality – it's provisional and you're aware of its limitations. That's obviously not bigotry :)

Richie Sun said...

While researching dissenting views of Haramein, I found this site. Seems you (Bob) have become quite internet famous.

If I had to choose between you or Haramein to discuss the philosophy of life, I would most certainly go with Nassim. But, If I was planning to launch a satellite to orbit a distant planet, I would certainly want to have you on my team.

Bringing spirituality and philosophy into science, IMO, doesn't ruin the sanctity of science. For us intelligent "non-scientists", we think differently and resonate with different thinkers. Nassim is one of those thinkers. The truth of it is, the study of physics is one of those areas of learning where most are uninterested pursuing it as a career path. It's generally for the most hardcore and dedicated like yourself. Anybody who has spent a better part of their life exploring the subject is vastly more educated than myself. I can't fault someone like Nassim because he has so much more knowledge about physics that I could ever grasp. And I don't doubt that he's spent countless hours, like yourself, studying in this field. I think you just need to lighten up, because nobody really cares. Kim Kardashian is on TV and BMW just came out with a new M5. For us "normal" folk, you're part of the same group of science nerds. It just comes off as infighting.

BTW, my journey brought me here as a result of my ongoing research into Sacred Geometry. I work as a graphic designer and have been recently inspired to research all aspects of Sacred Geometry and why people are so drawn to it and where it's origins come from. I also develop for web, write code and took physics classes voluntarily in art school. Thanks for listening.

Bob said...

Hi Richie Sun.

There are as many philosophies of life as there are people on the planet; that richness is a fine thing. There are many rich and deep veins of thought or spirituality or methods of emotional engagement which can be adopted for different aspects of life. So my first plea is to people who think they can see someone's entire philosophy of life by reading what they've written about physics. I'm not so arrogant as to mistake physics for life, and I'm not the kind of person who puts lays bare his entire approach to life on the internet; so please do me the favour of not mistaking what I say about physics for my entire philosophy of life just because your only contact with me is through a physics blog.

I hope that sounds reasonable to you.

Back to your comment about bringing more spirituality and philosophy into science.

One part of any philosophy of life is the way we choose to view the natural world and the vast Universe around us. It seems that there are two main ways in which we approach the world out there.

Approach A is to look deeply into nature and into the Universe from as many angles as possible, to listen very carefully to exactly what she is telling us and not to confuse that with the buzz of our own ideas and our own commentary. Approach A is to always let go of preconceptions, to dedicate ourselves to looking at the world afresh, and to communicate what we find with honesty and with a finely honed awareness of the distinction between what we have observed and what we might have inadvertently added to it from our personal views or preferences. Approach A is dedicated to going beyond preferences and views, and to see into the heart of what is there.

Approach B, on the other hand, is to go with what we feel, to trust our instincts, to decide which idea about nature is true based on whether or not we like the person telling us the idea, how that person makes us feel, whether or not their ideas excite us, whether or not it resonates with our deepest sense of what is right.

People who choose approach B are clearly not going to want much to do with approach A, because approach A requires hard work, it requires us to let go of ideas we might feel attached to, it requires us to slowly and sometimes painfully begin to embrace concepts we might not 'like' because all the evidence tells us that is how nature operates.

People who choose approach B, such as yourself, are always going to look at the careful, painstaking, difficult work of scientists and think "that story doesn't make me feel so good as my story. Those people must be very dull." As you say, we'll look like nerds, and you'll go back to your

I can appreciate why people have that view about science.

If you choose approach B, though, you are basing your view of nature and the Universe on your preferences, your feelings and your preconceptions. All I would say is don't kid yourself that you're not being self-centred. Approach B is entirely self-centred. However enlightened your philosophy might feel, choosing to view the Universe in whatever way suits you is surely as self-centred as it's possible to be.

Haramein is entirely approach B. Of course nobody would rely on him to launch a satellite. He's a story-teller, and has no clue about the Universe. He's never bothered to look. He's only interested in ideas that feel good.

If that's all you want, then Haramein is all you need.

Those of us who believe that nature is worth more than that, and who choose to listen carefully and to continuously test our ideas against reality rather than choosing a story, will want a little more than that.

Thanks for listening. I do hope you listen. And find out. The pleasures of finding out seem to pale when people get hooked on feel-good stories, but if you think there could be more to the universe than your own preferences then you can revive them. I hope you will.

Bob said...

I seem to have left a sentence unfinished :)

I meant to say stories, but you could equally well say prophets or inspirational speakers or authors or psychoactive substances or conspiracy theories...

Richie Sun said...

Thanks for the quick reply Bob. I appreciate it. A bit off topic, how do you feel about the ancient aliens theory? Ancient sites like Pumapunku and pyramids of Giza are spectacular. Do you think we've solved the puzzle of how these sites were built?

Bob said...

I don't know. I imagine people found remarkable ways of putting stones on top of each other until they made a pyramid.

I'd say find people who devote their lives to investigating the archaeology of those sites or the anthropology of those cultures, people who are employed by institutions that rely on accurate and reliable research.

And I'd say pay a lot less attention to people who get a kick out of spreading rumours, or people who make their living by selling books or lecture tours or dvds about some sensationalist idea which might sound plausible and exciting but could just be gossip.

Did your ancient Egyptians break the laws of physics? Nope. They just did something that's difficult to imagine. There have always been remarkable people, who have found ways of doing things that are difficult to imagine.

Usain Bolt can run at 27.78mph. That's unbelievable. But it doesn't mean he's an alien. He's just a remarkable person.

So personally, I'd go for the remarkable people theory. But I'd want to know what the solid researchers have found, and not the wackos who stand to gain money and fame by making people think rumours are plausible.

Geo said...

I came across this site, intially, after doing a search for his credentials. Does he have any, other than his mystical experience?

Bob said...

He doesn't have any qualifications, no. At least not in science.

I haven't ever seen him demonstrate any capacity for developing understanding based on logical deductions from observed evidence. Or any capacity for even caring about it.

Or even any capacity for accepting that such a thing exists and is different from stories.

It'd be far too much for him to acknowledge at this stage. Easier to write off the whole of the scientific establishment as deluded and call himself a radical herald of the New Physics (that he's made up).

That's his credentials: like his science, they are made up by him. Because he, like every other narcissist, is the sole source of all that is of value.

Geo said...

Bob,

There's one thing that Nassim's devotee's have missed, that by the very nature of being anonymous, you're not profiting in the very least from spending quite a bit of time debunking this joker. That means you're doing it truly in the pursuit of truth and to benefit everyone but yourself, so thank you for that.

Having said that, you are wrong about one thing. Very wrong! And that is that Nassim is charismatic and a good speaker. He's not. He's fucking annoying.

His repetitive use of the word "like" is akin to what one would expect from a 15 year old high school girl, like you know? Furthermore, his jokes are lame and only serve to soften his feel-good, probably pot-smoking audience. I saw him initially on the thrive movement movie, which starts out asking some interesting questions but then when it delves into typical NLP mind-fuck patterns, post hypnotic suggestions and massive amounts of conjecture, it began pissing me off.

I saw that Haramein was accredited with being a cosmologist so I did a search. Your site is ranked in the first page of google, so for people who actually like hearing both sides of a story, we're lucky to have someone who knows something about science and physics tell it like it is.

Thanks again! And I sincerely mean that. For all the flack you take from his mind less followers, you deserve to also get some recognition from those of us who appreciate what you've done here.

If anyone likes to get lost in new age spiritual mumbo jumbo, that kook Eckart Tolle does a better job at putting your critical mind to sleep than Nassim does, literally!

Geo said...

One more comment to those people defending Haramein because Bob has been "harsh" and "mean" in his critique of the bullshit that Haramein puts out. If you are not upset that someone is lying to you and taking you for a ride, likely for his own ego gratification, then you deserve to be lied to and ridiculed.

I would be much more harsh in my assessment if I were Bob because if there is one thing I have little patience and tolerance for it is when someone is consciously lying to me, and Haramein's whole presentation from body language to language itself is one of massive deceit, in my not-so-humble opinion.

I picked it up within a few minutes.

If feelings is all one needs to evaluate truth, like many of you feel-gooders like to claim, then my feelings on the man are as valid as yours, but mostly more valid because I haven't been fooled by him.

Bob said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Geo :)

Hopefully it's obvious that I don't personally consider him to be a good speaker. Aside from it being pretentious bollocks, it's unimaginative, clichéd and cringeworthy.

But he is charismatic, in that he's skilled in getting some people to believe he knows what he's talking about, to trust him and to fight on his behalf.

I don't even think those people need to be gullible idiots - it seems he's managed to carry some good minds along for a ride. Temporarily.

My hope is that anyone who allows themselves to question will eventually find plenty to convince them that he's fake, here and elsewhere, and leave the guy surrounded by imbeciles.

I think that's largely happened.

What's most shameful is that the ones who are so taken by the stories that they refuse to question, check, investigate, and won't hear a word against him, are often vulnerable individuals. He relies on misleading and fleecing the vulnerable, and there are always plenty of them. Sadly, no amount of information provision is ever likely to have any effect on that.

Anonymous said...

Bob Says:"Haramein's claims about his physics, and his claims about himself as a scientist, are all entirely false."
------

Oh my dear poor Bob. You take yourself too seriously. That you believe you have the authority to proclaim what and who a scientist is, is really quite revealing.

"Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion
without the discomfort of thought."
- John F. Kennedy

Bob said...

I haven't argued from authority. If someone makes claims about nature the only authority to judge those claims is nature. Science is about looking carefully at nature and being honest about what you can deduce from what you see. There's no other authority.

Do you realise that you've ignored all of the content and the reasoning I've presented here, and only attacked your own imagined version of my beliefs and attitudes?

Do you realise you've also ignored three years of thoughtful individual responses right here on these posts, and attacked some imagined version of me who doesn't use thought?

I'm strangely flattered that people have to resort to ignorance and prejudice in order to be critical on this blog. I guess the content must be pretty sound after all.

If you ever manage to see past your imaginings through to any of the content, then let me know what you think of it.

Anonymous said...

nassim`s writes like a pedantic teenager. often there are sentences i am sure have no meaning what so ever. he is an obvious flake and when i watch his videos my left brained and convergent mind literally starts to hurt while i attempt to produce some sort of whole, cohesive thought out his relentless blathering new age jibber jabber. fractals, fibonacci, resonance, new day dawning, scientific establishment blah blah blah
my friend is attending his conference here on kauai (i am not) this weekend and one of nassim`s disciples was upset that his phone was not working. i thought nassim you k*%t!
people like me and bob -a-thon (a pejorative?) work tirelessly carrying the light of reason so you and your disciples can have things like cell phones just so you can call your empty headed smug friends and conspired against us at 2 star hotels. the irony is horrible.

muzuzuzus said...

and is your 'light of reason' aware of the cancer inducing effects of mobile phones and their masts me wonders?

Bob said...

Hi Muz, I see you're still happy to use a device born of the fruits of the discipline of modern physics in order to throw in yet another entirely bogus cliché urban myth that you have zero understanding of. Nicely done, my friend.

'Bobathon' is a name I have sometimes used online - it was something I thought Bob could be short for, just as Jon is sometimes short for Jonathon. That was all. The hyphens were introduced by Haramein, in his amusingly peurile attempt to dissipate criticism of the abuse of trust that he sells.

In a way, Haramein is great for people who can't actually hold a conversation without resorting to tribalism, prejudice or being idiotically attached to their own ignorance, and who aren't willing or able to become aware of where the limits to their understanding actually lie. There are lots of people like this out there. They'd only attach themselves to some other fraudster if Haramein wasn't there. They don't care about bothering to understand or find anything out - they're just into believing that whatever makes them go 'whoa' must be true. The ones who instantly believe they've outsmarted the whole of the scientific community because they once listened to some random dude talk some made-up shite about the cosmos. This is who Haramein is surrounded by these days.

In a way, it's all rather fitting.

muzuzuzus said...

An "urban myth"

So you missed this did you Bob, on the internet?

Mobile phones can cause brain tumours, court rules.

MAYBE you and your arrogance are perpetuating urban myths?

Bob said...

No, I didn't miss that. I read it.

I'm not being arrogant - I don't think I'm an expert. I defer to epidemiologists - the people who actually spend their lives finding out precisely what can be deduced about health effects and what can't, and who have a serious understanding of the nature of risk. But you go ahead and cherry-pick bits of news from the internet to suit your preconceptions if that's how you roll.

So is this relevant to anything?

Bob said...

Here's a link if you can resist cherry-picking and want to explore a little, get a bit of perspective and a bit of depth.

Google Scholar: mobile phones epidemiology

JJG said...

Bob, I realize this is years after your posting, but as I see you are still responding to comments on this, I thought I'd ask.

I have a friend who refuses to believe that Haramein isn't purporting real science. He states he is just espousing a model & there is no experimental proof that his model does not work.

He also says that peers have reviewed his work and agree with it, despite not being able to find any publisher of his work besides his own website.

I can show examples of that and whether he wants to accept it or not is his own prerogative. But the one come back that I have no response to is the fact that he has Elizabeth A. Rauscher as a co author. Her background at Berkley and NASA impress him and I don't know how to refute this particular point.

Bob said...

Hi JJG. I've avoided saying very much about Rauscher, as it would be speculation. But history (and the present) is teeming with well-qualified people doing very stupid things. It's very easy to find examples of well-qualified people getting involved in something false, idiotic or even fraudulent. Does your friend believe that everyone with an impressive resumé is guaranteed to be reliable? If not, then that kind of an association doesn't come close to outweighing all the very sound reasons as to why Haramein is full of shit.

I have commented on the Rauscher thing a couple of times: here and also here. I hope that helps.

In the end, of course, people will believe what they believe. Belief is not a predominantly rational part of the human make-up and beliefs in very silly things can be extremely difficult to shift, even in people with good intellectual faculties. All I can say is be patient and sympathetic. They'll come round when the depths of their subconscious is ready to let go of this stuff... not before. Until then, all you'll hear is excuses and rationalisations. It's normal for people to identify with their beliefs on a very personal level, so if you challenge what they believe they may take it very personally, and there's a danger of alienating them entirely. If you value your friendship, agree to differ, be patient, and try above all not to let that happen.

JJG said...

Thanks for the response!

've taken more of a relaxed approach. Every time I see him he spouts off that Haramein's theories are being validated and proven by experts. I've decided to just respond, "Cool, show me a credible report on that."

He usually tries to point to something from Haramein's website. When I ask for an actual news/journal/credible source, he starts the usual commentary on Nassim being put down by the man (paraphrasing). At that point I respond back about how can he be simultaneously be completely ignored by everyone who would report on this and then being validated and proven by peers?

Then the conversation usually ends. :)

Brian said...

2013 Post revival!! Great read!

Eric Meece said...

Reading through your blogs, his response, and watching his lecture, I have to come down on his side. I had already known him anyway. But it is clear that you are the one who is the most rude and defensive. He always sounds wise, while you sound small-minded. You reduce him to a money-grubbing showman, even though he has only started publishing, and I have already known of his work for 2 decades.

As he admits, the idea that protons are mini-black holes, makes you reject and ridicule his work, because they would be too "heavy" then. It appears to me that this may be misinterpreting him. What he did was assume that a Planck length inside a cubic centimeter illustrates a huge density in the vaccuum. He compares this to smaller items such as protons and larger ones like the universe, and sees a consistent pattern showing black-hole like densities at every level. He also relates how the "consistent" measurement of mass is produced by kicking it out of its actual situation.
http://youtu.be/0Y5bXdx5UrE

This illustrates the problem he and I have with scientists today; that they not only ignore living systems, but ignore the fact that philosophy and spirituality trump "objective evidence," and are more fundamental. Haramein was able to think outside of normal assumptions, and thereby question such things as the strong force (which he says was actually merely postulated to explain the facts, and is actually the gravity generated by the density of the protons). This makes a unified physics possible. His idea that expansion of the universe also implies contraction is very original, and dovetails with spiritual knowledge that says the big bang is now and ongoing. His symbolism also is consistent with my own discoveries about counter-rotating fields of spin indicated by this expansion/contraction principle, which is reflected in our own bodies, in art and music and in living things. I agree that it is really those kinds of things that really explains our reality, not searching for ultimate particles. And his principle that the density of the whole universe is found in each atom, confirms what the wisest philosophers have already said for millennia. Each particle reflects the whole. To be true, physics must adhere to and prove this principle. Haramein understands that, and you don't.

The fact is that physics still understands very little, and won't, until it becomes spirituality too. People such as you remind me of folks like "vandal" that I know; you may even be HIM! Narrow-minded and dogmatic. So is wikipedia, which also rejects telepathy. I don't know if Haramein's theories are correct, but they appear to be based on real physics, and his equations seem elegant to a great degree. Considering the degree of ignorance that science has, rejection of folks like Haramein has no basis whatever. He is adding to our view of the universe and to possible explanations for what is still very mysterious-- how it came to exist, what it is, who are we, etc. You don't know, so you have no valid basis for your arrogant, angry, fearful, resentful claims about him.

Bob said...

Hi Eric

I wrote these blog posts on Haramein to explain why some of the things he says are false. You don't have to agree, or trust me, or take any interest in what I say. It's offered to whoever might find it helpful.

I'm talking about science - by which I mean a rigorous process that requires a person to get themselves and their preconceptions out of the way and to look carefully and honestly at the universe they find themselves in.

Science is concerned with the properties that the universe has that consistently present themselves as objective. Anything outside of that scope is not science. There's no need to see that as a failing of science - it's simply not what science does. The language of science just doesn't apply to it. (If any scientist ever implies that it does, they've overstepped the mark - sometimes this happens, because scientists are human.)

I haven't made any claim on anything in this blog that is outside the scope of science. So there's no need accuse me of reducing or ignoring anything - I'm simply commenting on the things that I'm commenting on, and I'm not claiming to do anything else.

I'm interested in the nature of the universe. If you want to reduce it to taking "sides", then by all means choose the guy with the story that suits what you believe - but obviously that won't be science. That would be you fitting a version of reality to your preferences, possibly without being aware that you're doing it.

I don't mind if that's what you choose to do. But it's not my thing. You can make up whatever you like, including emotions and motivations for me that fit your story. All I can try to do is point out that you're just making it up.

I know you're genuinely interested in the nature of reality. Perhaps it's unsettling when the people in the white coats who devote their lives to careful and rigorous study of nature claim to know more about nature than the people who choose to devote their lives to their feelings and intuitions instead. But please, reflect on it a little.

Let's look at it this way. The philosophy of consciousness is a fair subject for people who devote their lives to meditation, bodywork and thought. Particle physics is carried out by people who spend their lives working with particles and thinking about the relationships between particles and the world we observe. Particle physicists don't claim that their work tells them about consciousness. If a meditator claims to have found the truth about particles and insists on ignoring the people who actually spend their lives observe particles - surely that would be arrogance, and a sign that something has gone deeply wrong. Don't you think?

FractalWoman said...

Bob and company. I have some great news that I would like to share with you. I have been working very hard over the last year or two on my fractal approach to cosmology(as you may remember) and I am happy to say that SPIE has accepted my work for publication and an oral presentation in August. Here is my acceptance letter:

Congratulations! The chairs of the upcoming "The Nature of Light: What are Photons? V" conference have accepted your paper, “ The Mandelbrot set and the fractal nature of light: the Universe and everything ,” for Oral presentation to be presented 27 August 2013. This conference is part of SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, part of the larger SPIE Optics+Photonics symposium, which will be held 25 - 29 August 2013 in San Diego, California United States.

Publication of your manuscript on the SPIE Digital Library offers worldwide access within 2 to 4 weeks after the meeting
With over 300,000 papers covering 1990 to the present, the SPIE Digital Library is the world's largest collection of research papers in optics and photonics.

I know this blog is suppose to be about Haramein and not myself, but I must admit his work did inspire me to push forward with my research into black holes within the framework of my fractal cosmology. Bob, you also inspired me to "go for peer review" and that is what I did. Next I will be targeting a Canadian journal called Physics Essays. I think I will have a good chance after my SPIE paper is published.

As far as Haramein's work goes, I know you are not a big fan of the proton black hole, but in my approach to fractal cosmology, it is allowed. Here, the small scale (proton) black holes are not gravitational black holes (which explains why using the force of gravity to model a proton black hole give a freakishly large number) but instead, are better modeled using the electrostatic force. In the fractal Universe that I am proposing, gravitational force and electrostatic force are seen as self-similar forces. In short, my fractal cosmology argues that the laws of physics are scalable and as such, the strong force within the nucleus of the atom becomes self-similar to a gravitational black hole.

This is what I will be presenting at SPIE. Wish me luck.

Bob said...

Good luck.

Having a paper accepted by SPIE conference proceedings is very nice, congratulations. Claiming it as peer-reviewed is pushing the truth a little, though, isn't it?

I don't remember suggesting you go for peer-review... I think I'd have suggested you study the basics of fractals, cosmology, black holes and the strong force before trying to write about fractals, cosmology, black holes and the strong force. I've always thought science was about going out of your way to understand nature, rather than getting people to listen to you. Perhaps that's just me...

muzuzuzus said...

Hey Fractal Woman. Congratulations. Only a bit earlier someone had posted an article about The Electric Universe' which claims all thios talk about black holes is false. For someone who is not scientific---so I won't know whether to know your telling the 'truth' or not lol--what are your thoughts about the 'Electric universe theory'---in summary?

Bob said...

Ok, let me stop y'all there. If you want to discuss other fairytale garbage theories, please get together and do it elsewhere. Electric Universe is another idiotic little cult idea cooked up by and followed by people who take no interest in studying the universe in depth, but just want to claim they're right. Science doesn't work like that, and for very good reason.

You don't get insight into Nature by making shit up. You get it by paying very close attention to Nature, and by paying very close attention to the observations that many thousands of people who have paid very close attention to Nature throughout the centuries. If you're hooked on people who make shit up, then all you'll get is made up shit.

It's not a difficult concept.

muzuzuzus said...

Oh Bob, you are gettin more fundamemtalist by the day!

Bob said...

Is it fundamentalist to say that you'll get more insight into Nature from paying very close attention to Nature and to the observations of others who have paid very close attention to Nature than you will from hanging onto the ideas of people who haven't done that?

Is that what you're saying?

If you're saying that the Electric Universe people have paid more attention to Nature than they have to their own bubble, then that would be false. That's not an extreme view, it's precisely the same view that any professional scientist who has spent their life studying the Universe in depth will give you. Even the ones that love radical theories. If you care to ask. Or to look or to listen. Rather than be opinionated.

Science is about learning, understanding, looking, listening, observing, being transformed. It isn't about your opinions. If you think that's fundamentalism, you're absurd :)

Anonymous said...

Bob, thank you for spreading the truth and taking your time to call out a false guru like him.

I heard about this guy a week ago and saw his trailer for his upcoming documentary, this first time I saw it I was interested in seeing it. After reading your thorough dissection, it's so obvious what a load of garbage it is. It's hard to believe that he is sincere

A total conman in my eyes.

Anonymous said...

I am the anonymous above. Just putting this out there for all the new age people out there who still believe Nassim after the evidence is clearly laid out in front of you, but you were too lazy to read or just didn't bother enough to comprehend (or maybe our heart chakras aren't aligned):

There are real scientific breakthroughs and then there is pseudo-science.

Then there is Nassim, which is neither, he is nothing more than an ego-inflated false guru and to call him a scientist or a physicist is an insult to every legitimate scientist in the world. I suggest you see the movie Kumarai and maybe you will learn to think for yourselves for once instead of following the latest "new age trend".

Anonymous said...

I misspelled that movie title , it's spelled Kumare, it is about a man who conducts an extremely allaborate social experiment by disguising himself as a guru and tries to see how and why so many people are so willing to follow someone who preaches eastern philosophies that have existed for thousands of years yet disguise them as being something new. He actually ends up with a dedicated group of at least 10 people who believe his word to be absolute truth when really he was doing exactly what Nassim has been doing the entire time.

Aron John said...

Hey Guys, I'm coming from a pretty funny area here to be honest. I have always been a very Scientifically centered mind not really having any interest in the spiritual side of things...until recently.
Though I do now accept that Harameins theories are more than likely a bit of BS I believe it would be stupid for us to assume that all that he speaks of is complete and utter rubbish.
Yes his mathematics leave something to be desired (I'm being nice) but he could possibly be on to something in the way he has approached the issue.
I have had an interest in physics for many years and through my own independent study I am by no means an expert, but I do see flaws in both theories and I think that using theories from the standard model to disprove NH is somewhat pointless as in all likely-hood the standard model is extremely flawed, and somewhat based on flawed mathematics and flawed predictions.
There are many many many holes in the standard model we currently have and many of the theories we take as gospel don't always 'fit' together nicely, hence why I say whatever you think of NH allow him to open your mind a little, think of it in a different way.
Though I am IN NO WAY SAYING NH IS CORRECT I think it could possibly be a good idea for physicist to take 'one step back to take two forward' when it gets to a stage where we are talking about string theory and M-theory or whatever and not even the physicists writing the papers totally understand what their talking about, is just a tad stupid in itself.
I believe it is a very compelling Idea Harramein has that we are different divisions of energy from within the vacuum a sort of radiation effect as you will.
As for protons being black holes I don't quite see that myself, but I could see us existing in some sort of holographic reality that is substantiated via the vacuums limitless energy (It is immaterial as to whether we can access that energy, now this is possibly an area we should try and look into.
For me I watched NH at first with an open mind allowed him to teach me with a free mind if you will, what I felt was his biggest downfall was the link with ancient cultures.
BUT, after some thought and research I believe that this is probably his saving feature. What I think has happened is NH has researched ancient cultures and the ancient alien theory then worked towards physics rather than as he states had a massive interest in physics then work towards the ancient world.
Why I believe the link to ancient cultures to be the only part that could be believable is because he is not the only one saying it, there are reputable people who have the same views and pure logic tends to lend itself to 'there is something' that we have not realised about the ancient world.
Whether the scientists are correct or the pseudo-scientists are correct can be massively debated both with differing amounts of fact and fiction. But, what I suspect more and more everyday is that both are so intent on disagreeing with each other that the real truth is there blatant in our faces, and ironically I think it could possibly that the pseudo-scientists have the answers but the real scientist need to prove them, but will not even try because after all pseudo-scientists are just a bunch of cranks.

Bob said...

That's all very nice... but please don't think that I've rejected Haramein through not taking his work seriously. I treated his work very seriously - in fact very generously. I took it gently by the hand and introduced it bit by bit to the observed world, and it fell completely apart.

Nothing I said used or relied on the Standard Model or anything like it. So you made that up, or got it from someone else who made it up.

There are several ways of contemplating the universe. If you dedicate yourself to being flexible-minded, to putting observations of nature first, and allowing what you find to transform you, then you're a scientist at heart.

If you start out by declaring how you believe nature should be, then you're a fantasist.

Everything you've said about your approach is about how you believe the laws of nature should be. Loosen up your preferences, my friend. Nature does not bend to them.

If you want to know what the universe is like, stop telling people how the laws of nature should fit your ideas, and go and investigate nature directly for yourself.

Please watch this video clip, and also this video clip.

Anonymous said...

Having taken the time to read almost all of this, I'm posting a quick comment bump, years later.

Regardless if the science is sound, the dream of discovery is still deservingly profound.

One day, borrowed energy with positive gain will be a reality, and so will a true unified field theory. Well, maybe, but we can dare to keep dreaming.

So take the good with the bad and never stop utilizing the appropriate scientific methods to check the facts.

Thanks for a good read. Jeremy - Colorado.

Bob said...

Thanks Jeremy! Yes, keep dreaming. Dreaming is essential :)

I think it's only a problem if you get so attached to your dream of understanding the universe that you have to wilfully ignore everything in the universe that conflicts with it. That's the vortex that Haramein's gone wayyyy down into. He won't be coming back to reality anytime soon.

Same rule applies for understanding people, too...

Pincho Paxton said...

My name is Pincho Paxton on the internet. I think that Nassim Haramein got most of his ideas from me. If you just Google Pincho Paxton, and you will find that since 2003 I have been working on a theory almost word for word the same as Nassim Haramein. I have posted it everywhere over the years. His story that he started in 2003 has such a similar read. I also moved on to the Pyramids, and a spacetime geometry which looks like Nassim Haramein's spacetime geometry. Is it a coincidence? Black holes inside atoms? My idea, my posts actually go back to 2003 on the internet. Black holes inside the sun.. my idea.

How I got my idea is the important part of knowing the full version of the physics. You need a push gravity, and that is the key.

Anyway.. if the Universe uses these physics of course most people will start to use the same idea, because everyone will end up with the real version of the Universe. The reason that I feel that he has read my work is that his wording is so similar, and his choices of subject matter follow the same pattern. From black holes in atoms to the pyramids, and all starting in 2003. How many coincidences stop being coincidences?

Bob said...

Yawn.

Anonymous said...

Left/right brain thinking is a common urban myth. Some guy made it up one day and to this day people are repeating it as though it has any basis in neurology. It doesn't.
Different parts of the brain do different things. That is not the same as saying the left hemisphere and right hemisphere are separated according to logical/intuitive or arty etc. (There's many variations of the myth). It's simply demonstrably false.

thecheechoftheages said...

(i use caps to show emphasis not to emote yelling) after watching the vids and reading the papers and reading this blog and all of your comments, i have come to this conclusion, and that is no theorist is right the first time and no theory has INDISPUTABLY been proven fact. THEORIES ARE NOT FACT and are just some ones proposed idea of how something is. with that said you MUST take into consideration that in the subject of physics EVERYTHING TO DATE IS A THEORY, even einsteins theory of relativity is surprise surprise STILL A THEORY. these days our research focus is on the quantum level and at that level our supposed "laws" of physics dont apply its not logical yet we still call them laws of physics even though we have witnessed them not apply and have yet to understand why they dont apply at the quantum level. remember what thomas edison said about his failed attempts to make a light bulb, "we now know a thousand ways not to build a light bulb." now that quote can be applied to theories as well and dont forget that. again my conclusion is that NH IS NOT 100% RIGHT NO SINGLE PERSON WILL EVER BE 100% CORRECT

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