Thursday, July 22, 2010

A look at Nassim's response to this blog

An apology


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.


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T Man said...

thx Bob!
I just stumbled upon the video from Nassim:
and was very intriged about his theories - then i went researching about them - came across your blog - now im at peace. peer review at its best :D

T Man said...

p.s. excuse my english (its not my first language) :)

Anonymous said...

I just came across one of Nassim Haramein's videos on YouTube last night. I'm curious if there is anything to what he is saying, so I go Google his name to research further. I find a disappointingly misnamed website called Rationalwiki which claims he has been debunked, and providing a link to your blog as proof of the debunking. But I find your arguments lacking any sources or citations backing up any of your claims as to what is known and factual. For one example: "when it's straightforward to measure that it's 1.67 trillionths of a trillionth of a gram." How am I to know this statement is true if you do not provide a source backing it up? Have you personally measured a proton? And if not, then where did you learn this fact? And why do you believe it? (be assured it is a "belief", if it's not learned by first hand experience) Without sources to back up your knowledge all we really have is a case of she said/he said. If you really want to properly debunk someone else's assertions then you must provide properly sourced facts (that can be verified).

Otherwise you're just another nutcase spouting off his own dogma.

This is a challenge to you to rise above your dogmatic arguments and act like a real scientist. And if you can't be bothered to do the research and back up your facts, then why are you even wasting your time writing this crap? To amuse your other dogmatic followers?

Bob said...


"For one example: "when it's straightforward to measure that it's 1.67 trillionths of a trillionth of a gram." How am I to know this statement is true if you do not provide a source backing it up?"

A proton is one of the constituents of an atom, no? And you're made of atoms? Do you think that every atom you are made of weighs 885 million tons?

If you want to know the mass of a proton and how it has been measured, you can find out by finding out for yourself. Or asking someone who understands some science, preferably without being abusive. It isn't dogma, it doesn't originate from a textbook.

Of all the facts I've used, it has to be the easiest one for anyone with an ounce of a brain to investigate for themselves.

If you want to think every proton in every atom in your body weighs 885 millions tons and not notice how blatantly silly this is, then that's wonderful for you, you go right ahead. I'm not out to convert anyone.

The joy of finding out things for yourself is open to anyone who cares to investigate and wants to challenge themselves, and closed to those who don't. It's kinda cute how that works, isn't it.

Anonymous said...

Hence, you have debunked nothing. By not sourcing your facts you prove nothing. And I see this all the time on the internet. Ask for citations and we're told to go look it up for ourselves. For some reason the reader is expected to do all the work to prove the writer is being factual. Tell me did you get through college writing papers with no citations? Just a little note at the end telling the professor he can go look up the facts for himself? As a teacher do you accept papers that are unsourced? Or homework that doesn't show how the student arrived at their answers?

Now, of course, it's your blog and you're free to write whatever you want however you want. Just remember, the whole world is a classroom, from birth to death, and everyone who comes across your work will be grading and judging you.

I did not asserting any belief in Haramein's theory, your lack of citations does nothing to prove or disprove his theory, all it does prove is you have no actual interest in teaching others why he is wrong and that all you really care about is engaging in literary masturbation. "In everyday usage, the mass of an object is often referred to as its weight though these are in fact different concepts and quantities. In scientific contexts, mass refers loosely to the amount of "matter" in an object (though "matter" may be difficult to define), whereas weight refers to the force experienced by an object due to gravity."

You do seem to be using the terms mass and weight interchangeably. So on the one hand "matter may be difficult to define", and on the other hand the source for the effect known as "gravity" seems equally difficult to pin down.

It seems like Haramein's theory hinges on

So yes, I can look up every thing he references in his theory, but if I'm going to have to do all the work myself then what value do you or your blog bring to the conversation?

Just a whole bunch of self-important literary masturbation.

See I have no beliefs or dogma to defend, you ridiculing Haramein's theory has no impact on me. I constantly ask "How do you know what you know?" I ask it of myself and I ask it of anyone who seeks to share knowledge with me. I do tend to put more value on knowledge that is experienced first hand as opposed to data that is just regurgitated from second hand sources. But I am also aware that first hand experience can and probably is framed by preconceived notions.

I've wasted enough of my time here, it is obvious you have no interest in sharing verified knowledge. Have fun getting your rocks off.

Bob said...

Here's a recent (2008) precision determination of the proton mass. They find it to be 1.007 276 466 95 atomic mass units. Which is 1.67 trillionths of a trillionth of a gram.

There's no way providing a source on the determination of the mass of the proton will convince someone who's already so pathetically and idiotically malevolent towards what they think I'm saying.

If you value first-hand experience, and you give a shit, you can go to a physics department and find someone who can show you how to build your own mass spectrometer with your own hands and measure the proton mass for yourself.

These things are open to everyone. Or you can speak to any of the thousands of people who have done exactly this. Or you can look in books that reference experiments by people who have done exactly this. Or you can look on Wikipedia and follow their references. Or you can just take it from me. Or you could be indifferent to the mass of the proton. Or you could just be a pointlessly argumentative twat. All of these options are available to you.

Anonymous said...


I was one of those people that were "wowed" by Haramein's theories. I have to admit, though, since I did not feel that his answers were getting me any further, I had to move on to different people with different information (including Marko Rodin who I also recently dismissed). I am not a scientist, but I try to read as much as I can about science, physics, and mathematics, I'm still very ignorant of many topics in this field, but I'm a bit of a dreamer...

That being said, I came to view Haramein's material with awe and a surreal view of the universe. His work, along with the work of many other scientists and pseudo-scientists, have begun to paint an interesting picture of reality that no one else seems to share with me.

I would like to suggest that everyone must start somewhere. As Stephen Hawking put it; "On The Shoulders of Giants". Nassim's ideas could, indeed, have the potential to be revolutionary, but at this moment are incomplete. I would also suggest that current classical mathematics appears to be somewhat obsolete and is fading into antiquity as the emergence of the quantum sciences and metaphysics takes hold in mainstream science. I believe that a new mathematics must be invented to explain new phenomenae, just as ideas changed in classical history when people realised that the world is not flat.

I would end by saying that all ideas must be nurtured until they are disproved, wether by mainstream, self-educated, or pseudo, scientists. Like I said earlier, there are many great ideas, but we need to constantly evolve our language with our evolution of understanding in order to truly see where all this information is taking the human civilisation.

Thank for your time.

-Peter Muttenthaler -

Bob said...

Haramein's ideas are easily disproved. That's the point.

Also he is clueless about the science that has been carried out already and the evidence we already have. No serious scientist makes claims with zero regard for the observations that have been made in the real world. No serious scientist misunderstands and misrepresents every bit of "mainstream science" they talk about.

The only people who have any interest at all in taking him seriously are people like yourself, who may well be perfectly intelligent, but have no familiarity at all with what scientists have been doing for the past few hundred years and are more interested in their preconceptions (how it "appears" to them) than in taking the trouble to develop any depth of understanding.

If you want to take him seriously and choose appearances over depth, that is of course fine. Similarly, if you want to listen to Tamil poetry and decide for yourself what it means based on whatever you and some friends who don't speak the language feel it should mean, then that's fine too. I just think it would be a little bit silly to argue with Tamil speakers about it, that's all. Especially if you were to call them closed-minded for not agreeing with you.

By the way, quantum science relies entirely on classical mathematics. When people talk about things they don't understand, sooner or later they end up talking shite. It's just something to be aware of.

Best wishes.

Damian said...

sir. u close minded. u will die and still not get it. Ur science, ur facts, ur terms...that is all you contemplate. I can't guarantee that...but after spending 2 hours of my life reading your blog, I can safely and calmly say that even if you try to work around it and get a grip of it, you too have a big ego that hates monumental change. ANd by the way, your renormalisation bs is just that. Renormalisation is a silly thing to begin with! Quantum physics is falling apart. People know this. And for the Haramein haters, a simple letter I want to share:
bye bye haters. I will never be back here.

Bob said...

Hey, Damian!

You must be right, of course. It's all in my little closed mind. Renormalisation and quantum physics are all wrong. Millions of people continue to rely on quantum physics to generate technological advances such as computers, but you're right, computers and the internet are impossible and don't exist, and neither do the people who make them.

Thanks for helping me understand. I should listen more to people who make opinionated assertions without explaining anything and then disappear mysteriously into the void of superiority. This is clearly the future for civilisation. Thank you.

P.S. Here's how physics really works.

Robert Edwards said...

Hi Bob, this is Rob, thank you for the blog about Nassim. I study a little of quantum physics and unified field theory. It is most important for the human race to understand the true relationship between the two, it's obvious to me that Nassim Haremein is trying really hard to achieve this goal, so why dont you try to help him ?

Bob said...

Hi Rob. If it's "obvious" to you that Nassim Haramein is trying really hard to achieve this goal, then it's "obvious" to anyone who understands any quantum physics and field theory that your study isn't going too well. I'm sorry about that.

To study, you have to learn to let go of the very human tendency to want reality to conform to how you think it should be. Scientific study is about devoting yourself to viewing the world on its own terms.

Try not to evaluate your progress by how right it feels... instead, evaluate it by whether or not you can use what you've learned to reliably predict the outcomes of things that are observable in the world.

If you're really interested in studying those subjects, then I'll be happy to discuss/debate them with you.

And, as I've always said, if you think I've got anything wrong or said anything unfair, please let me know exactly what it is and why and I'd be happy to discuss that too.

Dean said...

Hey Bob,

I consider myself an amateur in the topic of advanced theoretical physics, but at the same time I have a great interest in the subject and have tried to keep up to date on the latest theories throughout the recent years.

Recently, I have read both The Schwarzschild Proton and Quantum Gravity and the Holographic Mass. I have also stumbled across your blog, and read both your initial criticism of his work as well as your follow-up post to his response. I have come to the conclusion that...


Lol. Just kidding. I did mention I was an amateur, right?

Anyway, being unable to entirely sate my curiosity myself, I was wondering if you would care to comment on the following, taken from a news article on his website (link below):

"On the 20th of December, 2012 Haramein registered Quantum Gravity and the Holographic Mass at the library of congress and initiated the peer review process. The manuscript contained a prediction of what the exact radius of the proton should be, if the CODATA value (the standard for measurements) of the mass of the proton was utilized in his equation. That value turned out to be very close (0.00063×10^-13cm) from a measurement done in 2010 by an international team of physicists who shocked the world of physics by demonstrating that the proton radius was some 4% smaller than predicted by the standard model."


"During the peer review proceedings, on January 25th 2013, an announcement from a team of physicists utilizing the Paul Scherrer Institute’s proton accelerator reported a more precise measurement of the proton radius. The measurement was now within 0.00036×10^-13cm of Haramein’s predicted value for the proton charge radius. Therefore Haramein’s theory did predict a proton charge radius that experiments are approaching with higher and higher resolution. It should be noted that Haramein’s prediction is within one standard deviation of the experiment or within the experimental margin of error. Therefore Haramein’s prediction may be the exact value considering that his approach yields the exact value for cosmological objects as well."

The article contains links to the mentioned experimental results, published in the scientific journal Nature.

Bob said...

Hi Dean

Thanks for your thoughts.

Regarding Haramein's paper, you'll find that the people who peer reviewed it and published it are these guys.

The equations in his paper are worth looking at. They're much more straightforward than they're made to appear. If you take the view that the words are all meaningless pretentious shite (which they are) and skip over them, you'll find that all he's doing is taking a very small number of common physical constants, and multiplying and dividing them in various combinations, throwing in some random factors of 2 and pi when it suits. None of it has anything to do with charge, or anything that measures charge, so the only way of asserting that it's a charge radius is by numerology.

One of the constants involved is the mass of the proton (Haramein now ignores the mass of the proton from his previous paper, which was 855 million tonnes, and uses the measured one). There are only so many combinations of basic physical constants that give a radius from the mass of the proton, and naturally they've all been common knowledge for nearly a century. What Haramein has calculated is the reduced Compton wavelength of the proton, multiplied by 4. Here it is on Wolfram Alpha.

People are very good at spotting meaningless similarities and thinking it's profound, provided they haven't learned any actual physics. Here's someone who did exactly the same thing, and who has helpfully posted their result on a physics forum for us all to see, and been duly torn to pieces.

As you might imagine, when Haramein announced this paper to the world, I wasn't particularly impressed :-)

The physics community has continued to ignore him, because he's a fruitloop and they're interested in physics. His followers still think he's the next Einstein. Nothing much is changing.

My standard suggestion to people who quote the Nature article (if they think Haramein's work has anything to do with it) is to encourage them to write to the physicists who measured the charge radius of the proton and ask them their opinion of Haramein's paper. Or to write to any one of the many physicists who are working on the theory or experimental side of the charge radius measurement. Anyone who can use a search engine can find and email them. A link to Haramein's paper, noting that it claims to relate to their work, along with a simple question along the lines of "is this paper (a) promising physics, (b) unpromising physics, or (c) pretentious gibberish?" would be worth a try. I'd love to know if anyone has actually tried this!

Let me know if you've any other questions.
All the best

Anonymous said...

great stuff, need more people like you Bob to show up frauds with clear backed up evidence. really enjoyed this blog.

Rick Russell said...

i missed the debate... shit. i wish i felt a little more settled after all this time... still don't know what to believe. sheesh. wish i was smarter! perhaps wiser would do.

thanks to all contributors!

Anonymous said...

I recently discovered Haramein and thought I would look for some credentials to back his claims. Fortunately, I stumbled upon this blog.

While the hopeful creative being in me wanted his claims to be true, Bob's eloquent debunking reveals that once more, someone who uses communication as a means of sharing ideas instead of seeking the guidance of peers and fellow scientific figures to find a means of applying his "new theory" to the structure of physics.

Many have thanked you, but I felt that I should do so personally even if you have jumped off this topic for many years now. It feels good to find information with sources that I can rely on.

Keep up the critical thinking!

James B

Anonymous said...

*that once more, someone has used*

sorry for the typo.

James B

Bob said...

Thanks James :)

CHARE said...

Patrick Muller you are without a doubt a utter and complete buffoon.. I have only one comment about your moronic ramblings about Mr. Bob, intellectually there's not much separating you from Haramein and my discovery after reading your comments "They walk among us and God Helps us". I sincerely hope you are not in a position of authority or responsible for educating others...

CHARE said...

There's an old saying .... "Tell yourself a lie often enough and you'll begin to believe it's the truth. Clearly that is what has evolved and transpired in the mind of Mr. Haramein Nassim. perpetuated by his followers. I can recall two other individuals right off the top of my head that succeeded in brainwashing the masses, in both cases the mass population wasat its most vulnerable state, one involved spiked Kool-Aid and the other involved a war and an attempt at ethnic cleansing, there's many other examples through out history... To see how utterly gullible we are and die of starvation for answers to the "theory of it all" just look at 1999 when planes were expected to fall out of the sky, the end of the world blah blah blah.. One individual reported spending his life savings in stockpiled goods. Then again as we got closer to the Mayan Calendar end date-and the cycle of precession, 5th epoch... There were reports of individuals buying decommissioned missile silos and spending a fortune to convert them to underground permanent habitats.. This guy is just another crank like soooo many before him and to come... Don't imesh yourself too much with his nonsense, sometimes if you ignore them, they do eventually go away...

Matt said...

Hola, let me chime in here regarding NH's most recent paper, which can be read and downloaded here:

Bob, if the calculations in this paper, and the underlying theories behind it are legitimate, then the implications for physics, technology, and our understanding of the world would be significant. What I would like to have happen is for one or (preferably) more accredited physicists to publicly review NH's work in an attempt to validate/repudiate it point by point. Such a review would be written in the language of physics, and would have all of the relevant calculations and references. At this point, your response to this paper has basically been the following:

"The equations in his paper are worth looking at. They're much more straightforward than they're made to appear. If you take the view that the words are all meaningless pretentious shite (which they are) and skip over them, you'll find that all he's doing is taking a very small number of common physical constants, and multiplying and dividing them in various combinations, throwing in some random factors of 2 and pi when it suits. None of it has anything to do with charge, or anything that measures charge, so the only way of asserting that it's a charge radius is by numerology."

This is unsatisfactory, to say the least. Myself and many others want to know if NH's work is legit or not, without spending years upon years of dedicated study in the field of physics. I applaud your efforts, but you have not demonstrated that you have the in-depth background and understanding in physics to convince me. Your arguments seem to expose youself as a layman, like the rest of us. Again, look at NH's paper.

Perhaps you could use your influence, regarding your blog's high rating in search engines on the subject and the fact that you have garnered a response from NH, to call for a public review among physicists of NH's theories. You must tire of hacking at this, so why not try to find out more precisely to what extent this guy is on or off track?

In the pursuit of truth,

Bob said...

Hi Matt

Thanks for linking to Haramein's paper. One thing I've been careful to say on here, many times, is that I am not the kind of person who would comment on someone's work without having looked very carefully into it. I am very familiar with the content of this particular paper, and I'd be willing to discuss any of it in detail if you were interested.

Let me be very clear, though. There is nothing legitimate about any of it. The content is pretentious, naïve and incompetent, and there is no prospect of it being taken seriously by any part of the scientific community. This is not because it is different, or because it doesn't suit pre-existing ideas, or anything like that - it's because the scientific community are very capable of recognising when someone is talking crap. This is a fundamental skill that their work, their research and their open-mindedness vitally depends on.

I appreciate that Haramein's paper looks very impressive to some people who are not trained in science. And I can understand where you're coming from if you feel that the only satisfactory response to Haramein's paper is to treat it as if it were serious science.

But I hope you can understand my position. I can see very clearly that it is fake, that it has no content. This is an honest assessment based on thorough understanding, not prejudice or opinion or intuition. I have looked very carefully at it, and there is nothing scientific to say about it, not matter how deep one looks.

I have not "hacked" at it. Physics doesn't work that way, and neither do I. The extent to which this guy is on or off track is that he shows no interest in being anywhere near the track so long as he can make himself appear to be on it in the eyes of his followers.

There's no need for you to rely on my assessment, of course. I don't ask for your trust. I encourage you to ask as many well-credentialed scientific minds as possible. The scientific community is huge and varied, and very human, and you will find a wide variety of opinions and predispositions and attitudes to new ideas among them.

If you struggle to find anyone with any depth of understanding and experience in science who will treat Haramein's work as if it has any scientific merit, then you will have your answer.

Good luck with your pursuit of truth. Anyone who is in pursuit of truth is alright by me.

Anonymous said...

Come on anonymous get it together! the guy is a cultist pure and simple! defrauding the weak and vulnerable with that well know and documented mixture of charm, charisma, and insanity that sociopaths including Jesus and Tom Cruise have been using to lead their followers off cliffs ever since man first figured out how to avoid going out to hunt by suckering his brothers into doing it for him. Scratch a lie find a thief........

Anonymous said...

It's 2014 Sept. Now ..whatcha gotta say bro? His accomplice Raunchier ,wow, impressive.
Further number crunching on the proton recently asserts Nassim's predictions, using only geometry. That of the prediction value. closer than the margin of error requires, is valid, (correct me if wrong plz), making this theory,just based off the numbers only, pretty impressive.
I'll keep vigilance on classical/quantum mechanics with respect to standard model. That said, what is compelling my investigation as the story continues, with Ms. Rauscher, is all that uncanny insight and deft clarity afforded by such wisdom.
Nissim is an affable fellow who happened upon a great mind that brought his vision to fruition
While having my ear to the ground I can still see up.
Good luck fixing Your standard model bro

Bob said...

Um, can you give me any uncanny insight into wtf you're talking about please?

Yep, September 2014, and we're still waiting for a single person to stand up for any part of the content of Nassim Haramein's ideas about physics. Would love it if you could do that. Over to you, my friend!

FYI, it may be that this comment addresses your claim. It's in response to some questions by someone called "Curious" earlier on the same day, which you can see if you scroll up a little. He/she was curious about "Haramaen's claims that his predictions have been confirmed by The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)", claims which can easily be shown to be outright lies. Happy to discuss any aspect of this in detail if you're interested.

Anonymous said...

Hi again,
I'm curious Bob have you ever asked Elizabeth A. Rauscher what she thinks? Have you ever posted an e-mail or anything like that to her asking for some clarification on what NH has done/doing? Ms. Rauscher is listed as a contributor on several key papers yet you don't include her in a proper debunking. I'm all ears or eyes at this point, as it were.
Here is a paper ..seems it is legit bro because it builds incrementally on previous work by some of the great minds of yesteryear.
I love research and great debates as well!

Bob said...

I've never spoken to Elizabeth Rauscher, no. I'm not really interested in who is involved in all of this, I'm interested in the content.

I've read the paper. It's a sort-of-reasonable-looking piece of speculative theoretical physics (though apparently not reasonable-looking enough to find a reputable publisher). It's nothing like anything that I've ever seen Haramein talk about, and it doesn't support any of the daft claims that he makes about physics. It doesn't have any connection to anything on this blog.

I don't really care how Haramein's name got onto her papers, or how Rauscher's name got onto his. It's a misleading practice, perhaps, but it's not uncommon.

Again, if you have anything to say about the content of the claims that Haramein makes, I'd like to hear that.

Anonymous said...

Hi again, This from a web site....
A bold prediction about the charge radius of the proton is at the basis of Haramein’s Connected Universe theory. His prediction has been recently verified by the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, where scientists actually measured it and confirmed Haramein’s supposition.
Interesting I find that indeed the prediction was followed by result. As for this theory to absorb all that the Standard Model is and reflect all that is correct about the SM I'm looking into that. I will say that the SM has had how many years in revolving/edited conformation? Yes... so you may have to wait a bit until the work can be completed so that we may successfully remove Nassim's idea to the trash bin
Until there is someone really looking into this and finding facts supporting or tearing asunder this theory I'll add this spin into my ongoing research for a better 'Standard Model'
*cheers* bro

Anonymous said...

Hi again,
Now I'm really curious. Have you talked to or debated with Nassim? Done any investigation of the math or physics as a result of the papers he's presented? Have you, or can you, find documented, (and), any credited research group fully disqualifying the succession of papers that culminate in the final paper of Nassim's talking about Quantum Gravity and the Holographic Mass?
Personally I have not found such papers yet. I am continuing to look further and hope if you can direct me to such new research papers you will Bob.
I thank you in advance for your efforts.
Sir, I find your abilities an excellent example of the continuing process of higher learning.
*cheers* bro

Anonymous said...

HEllo again :)
May I have your interpretation, (thoughts), on Juan Maldacena and Leonard Susskind's work please? These two guys seem ok to me with what is going on in researching this avenue of thought.
I stand at your ready, sir.
*cheers* bro

Bob said...

As I said before, Haramein's prediction has not been verified by the Paul Scherrer Institute. That is a lie. Nobody at PSI has ever said a word about Haramein or his prediction. Nobody in the peer-reviewed literature on the proton charge radius has said a word about Haramein or his pretend science.

It's a lie. Haramein is lying. Don't just take at face value what people tell you, even if they seem nice and seem to have lots of fans. Look into it.

You wonder why there is nobody in the scientific community looking into Haramein's work? There's a very simple answer... it's because people in the scientific community do science, and Haramein's work is not science. There are no scientific papers about it because it's bullshit.

He makes it look like science (to people who don't understand science), and he pretends it is science, but it is a lie.

Ask around. There are lots of scientists who you can easily contact if you go to the website of any serious university physics department, or any published physics researcher. Ask them. Ask the guys at the Paul Scherrer Institute.

Have I talked to him? Yes. Have I investigated his math/physics claims? Yes, e.g. here, here and here. Did I publish any of it as research papers? No, because Haramein's work is not science. Scientific research is about science.

Perhaps someone could publish a psychological research paper about why people like Haramein lie about what they do and why so many people fall for it, but that's not my field.

"May I have your interpretation, (thoughts), on Juan Maldacena and Leonard Susskind's work please?" - Maldacena and Susskind are great theoretical physicists, among the most influential of the last few decades.

If you want an honest, brilliant, approachable review of the whole broad sweep of theoretical physics, you can't do much better than Susskind's online lectures. If you're reasonably familiar with basic calculus and algebra, they're an excellent way to approach and understand theoretical physics. If not then it will just look like whiteboards full of squiggles. :) Some of it might still be entertaining though...

Richard Lloyd said...

I wish I could put this thing to bed but in order to be able to be confident in my assessment of this man's super majestic mistakes that have gone viral even though he's fixed some of it, finally using the word helical, but the most annoying thing in the whole set of videos is when there are boxes containing white written words embedded over the video. The first one I remember seeing treats us like kindergartners because it says quite literally:

"Can You Say the Word VORTEX?".

Yes, I can, and if you can do a headstand I can demonstrate a vortex to you so they show know exactly what you don't know yet – a quality of understanding that you currently lack. If, and I will repeat that; IF Nassan is brave enough to follow my instructions he will experience a vortex for himself.

I would first clean and disinfect it and then ask him to do a headstand with his head pointed down into the bottom of a Toilet. When he got stable in this Asana (the root from which we get the English word 'ASS'), Called Sirshasana (in Sanskrit), then I would give him a personal demonstration of the actions involved in a vortex.

Very simply, with Nassan in a headstand in a toilet I would push the FLUSH lever, which would create a Vortex passing around his head and if the hole was big enough, it would cause his entire body to follow his head down through the toilet and into the sewer, which since I live in New York City I can certainly consider the main sewer lines to play the role of The Black Hole of the city. The forces he would feel pulling his head downwards would not be helical but would be the actions of an authentic vortex.

Shall we write him a well documented and well publicized challenge? I mean Houdini would've done it, and Mr. Blaine would certainly do it – I can and have done it just for a giggle, so let's see what Mr. Vortex says in response to that?

PhxMarkER said...

He's debunking because he is at a loss to explain any of the unsolved problems in physics, just like many mainstreamers. Years have gone by and no one has answers besides Nassim Haramein.

Bob said...

"No one has answers besides Nassim Haramein" - that's a classic :)

ZTM said...

Eh... Bob... your attitude is really negative... =/

I think you may have a few critical points to debate but most of your writing is just emotional ranting, and if I was Mr. Haramein I would not waste my time with you any more, because you're not a respectful person, and such a personal attacking rant is not a professional one. You're not helpful. What you do is berating, and galling, such is not a spirit of wisdom or knowledge or instruction. Teachers do not lord it over others their intelligence and power that is what a thug does. So thuggishness does not win my approval for anyone who is truly intelligent. You seem to need to feel you are smarter than him and everyone else, dominate people, which probably means you're most defiantly not anyone anybody should listen to.

So thumbs down for ya here buddy. Try again.

Bob said...

Hi ZTM - thank you for your comment, which is not at all an emotional rant, or disrespectful or berating or negative or judgmental, because someone like you would never do that.

You're right that Haramein shouldn't waste his time with my blog. He is concerned with salesmanship, story-telling and adulation, whereas I'm interested in physics, honesty and an open discussion of the process of understanding the universe.

Seems like stating the obvious, but Haramein isn't a student of mine (I strongly believe in encouraging students), he is a fraudster (I strongly believe in discouraging fraudsters).

I'm sure you will find you can grasp the difference, given a little encouragement.

Anonymous said...

I think old Nass made a mistake calling himself a physicist , he clearly isn't , I would consider him more a spiritualist
Reality is different for everyone , the universe is infinite as are the experiences and perceptions within it
No one really understands the concept .
I doubt they ever will

Bob said...

"Reality is different for everyone" - that's a cute idea, but if you think about it, it's also a slightly silly one. The assertion that nothing in reality is absolutely true is itself an absolutist assertion about reality. It contradicts itself.

Reality is a slippery idea.

How about this instead:

Perceptions of reality are different for everyone. Perceptions are a part of reality.

There is more to reality than how we perceive. A good deal of reality is shared by all of us as inhabitants of the same Universe, not merely personal.

(Science is a language and a set of models and tools and methods for investigating those parts that are shared, that are not different for everyone. If someone abuses that language in order to tap into the kudos that the scientific process has, that is fraudulent. No question about that.)

PhxMarkER said...

Bob, have you ever considered taking a personal development course with some real live experiences with fellow human beings?

Bob said...

Not sure how to take your question, PhxMarkER. "A personal development course with real live experiences with fellow human beings" sounds like a fairly good description of life.

Perhaps you're asking me if I've considered getting a life? :)

(Your earlier comments were kind of trying to sell Haramein's idiot courses - I don't fancy those.)

Anonymous said...

Got a friend / engineer who sometimes has episodes where his hat is on too tight. He's having one now and is about to run off to "work" for Nassim's "institute". Nassim is as fraudulent as global waming crowd is but when a guy's hat is on too tight there is no convincing them.

Bob said...

Give me a Haramein fan over a global warming denier any day. I know whose understanding of the laws of physics I'd put more trust in.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU JESUS LORD I am SO glad to finally read something about Nassim Haramein that makes SENSE! I'm glad I'm not the only one who recognizes how he doesn't really say anything, just tries to lose people and go over their head while saying nothing with any content if you happen to actually have a vocabulary large enough to know what the words he's saying mean.

Conor said...

I read this dialogue a few times and mulled it over for a while before commenting. There are still some parts of the debate that are very technical and somewhat over my head (or beyond my attention span), even on a second read. But going on the bits that I do understand (combined with gut feeling and a memory how much more fun it was when I was younger, when there was no such thing as an idea about the future that too crazy - especially where science was concerned), I'm gonna give it to Haramein in this round, and I'll explain why.

As I understand it, your main issue, especially now that you have withdrawn the charge of fraud, is the observation that the Schwartzchild proton would have to have a mass of 800 million tonnes. I can see that this is the case, and it definitely raises eyebrows, but in the spirit of creative, imaginative enquiry invoked in my first paragraph, I do not find this idea too crazy. For me, the breakthroughs suggested by the Schwartzchild theory, such as resolving the strong force, combined with his other interesting speculations in his response to you, easily outweigh the problems that would be created - at our current level of understanding - by such a massively heavy proton. In my mind, this is enough reason to encourage the development of this idea.

In fact, it seems plausible that a black hole proton might behave a little oddly where mass is concerned, in a way that would not previously have been considered when measuring the proton mass, and which might affect the measured result. Especially if the papers he links to, suggesting that the mass of a black hole may depend on where you are in relationship to it when the measurement is performed, have merit.

So I'll continue to watch this develop with interest, but thank you for providing a counterargument to test Haramein's ideas against. Few people have engaged with his ideas to this extent - most of the criticism is light on content and heavy on condescension - so I appreciate your taking it seriously enough to help out people like me that are making independent inquiries into fringe ideas.

I'm still looking for someone who presents a similarly in-depth critique of his big picture ideas rather than at the level of fine detail. Details are notoriously slippery, and we forget that coherence of narrative is also a compelling element. How much of our universe can be explained by "what goes up, must come down"? An idea so simply and elegantly expressed a child can understand it, yet containing so many complexities.

I'm not suggesting Haramein's ideas are as perfectly formed as that, but there is a detectable trace of that appeal in his arguments. After years of indecipherable string theory I think there's an appetite in the public for scientific theories that speak easier to our intuitive side, the part of us that instantly grasps the full meaning of that simple six word poem about gravity (and virtually everything else).

So that might explain the general enthusiasm for Haramein's work, and I can't deny that I sympathise with that myself. But mainly, I find myself supporting his work because I believe that science, at its best, is about coming up with crazy ideas and testing them rigorously in the spirit of relentless and unbounded inquiry. I was taken with this quote of Niels Bohr to Wolfgang Pauli, which seems to sum up what I mean: "We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct."

Bob said...

Hi Conor and thanks for sharing your well formulated thoughts.

"As I understand it, your main issue, especially now that you have withdrawn the charge of fraud, is the observation that the Schwartzchild proton would have to have a mass of 800 million tonnes." - I haven't stopped calling Haramein a fraud. He is absolutely a fraud.

I did state on this post that I shouldn't really have called him a liar. But since then I have seen what he has produced in the intervening five years, and I've seen how he attempts to steer attention away from honest questions, and he's made it clear that he knows his work is indefensible when the conversation is about physics. I would have no hesitation in calling him a liar.

Of course I appreciate that the things I've seen clearly may not be clear to anyone else, and I appreciate that you shouldn't just trust my view, so you may well feel you've no reason to agree with me there. That's understandable.

Is my main issue the observation that the Schwartzschild proton would have to have a mass of 800 million tonnes? No, not at all, that's just one of hundreds and hundreds of things. It isn't my main issue, though it was certainly one of the easiest to highlight at the time, so it stands out.

In fact, if you look on here, right there under the headline mass, you'll see that I brought it up and gave it (provisionally) the benefit of the doubt within one paragraph, and moved on. I agree with you - if someone proposes something radical, the right thing to do is run with it and see where it goes.

"For me, the breakthroughs suggested by the Schwartzchild theory, such as resolving the strong force..." - he hasn't "resolved the strong force". Sorry. He hasn't gone remotely near the strong force. It's all pretence. Please, ask any particle physicist, don't just fall for his propaganda.

You're right that "the coherence of narrative is a compelling element" - but we need to make a distinction here. It's a compelling element for persuading people to agree with you. It is absolutely not a compelling element for establishing which set of ideas is a reliable and faithful reflection of nature. The former is politics, the latter is science. Haramein is a politician, he tells stories, wins followers and he measures his success and makes his living by his popularity. What's more, his popularity is exclusively among people who have little or no familiarity with science.

(cont'd below)

Bob said...

Neils Bohr wouldn't have called his theory crazy. He would have said that it isn't a theory, it's just some gibberish designed to look like science to non-science-speakers.

"I'm gonna give it to Haramein this time round" - you can settle for going with your intuition, as most human beings are naturally drawn to doing, or you can keep challenging your intuition. There has never been a successful physicist who has settled for his intuition (your Bohr-Pauli dialogue illustrates this very nicely.)

Don't forget: there are people who work with protons every day, who work at the cutting edge of experiment, technology or theory, and who need to be open to crazy new ideas to stay at the top of their game. Some of the most brilliant, creative minds are among them. They need to work with the physical realities of protons all the time, and they need real ideas. Ask them about Haramein and they will all tell you the same thing. His work is fake, it is not science. Try it. Scientists are easy to find and to contact.

Haramein doesn't work with protons - his job is to tell stories and become popular with other people who don't work with protons. Why get your ideas about protons from someone like that, and ignore the vast proton physics community? It doesn't make sense.

That would be my suggestion.

Let me know if you have any specific questions or disagreements.

axel s said...

Hey Bob,

I really like your work. I just want to make a rather silly remark on a comment you made above (14 december 2014).

As a mathematician (and previously student of some philosophy and logic), I am a bit confused by the reasoning in your statement regarding the "reality is different for everyone" quote, which you deconstruct logically as "nothing in reality is absolutely true" which you claim to be absolutist and self-contradictory.

However I think that a more sound and plausible deconstruction of this particular sentence would be as a negation of "reality is the same for everyone", which would be something along the lines of "there are things in reality that differ from person to person".

If reality is defined on a personal level to include their perception of the world, this is in fact very much in agreement with what you stated just below, so no contradictions here. You and the poster agreed all along on this particular thing!

Once more, I really like these blogposts. Keep up the good work and don't let the haters get to you.


Bob said...

Hi axel s,

Well spotted. I had taken the statement "reality is different for everyone" to mean "all of reality is different for everyone" rather than "some of reality is different for everyone". There's quite a big difference there!

It isn't clear to me which is implied. I'll upgrade the original statement to meaningless rather than self-contradictory :)

Anonymous said...

When Nassim says that the mass of proton is that large amount, is he not suggesting that you are in effect getting the mass of ALL protons? Likewise with the force required to separate. I took his explanation to mean that basically, we decode this world into all sorts of physical objects when we see them (which we take to mean that one atom, or proton, or whatever, is only that one and only exists in one physical location
..but in "reality" we are just observing the same single unit (proton atom etc) which is just being interpreted as many different ones, due to our individual perspective we are "decoding" it from (seeing it- by turning an interference pattern in the holographic fabric or whatever you'd call it, into a three dimensional object). If this explanation doesn't make sense, I'm not a scientist, just fascinated with stuff like this and looking for the truth- the real one, where ever that may be. Thanks!

Bob said...

If you treat Haramein's ideas as poetry, then you will make them mean whatever fits the story that you want to be true. This is normal human psychology.

For anyone looking for the truth, I would say that the most important thing to be aware of is the powerful human desire for self-deception. It's so easy for us to search for stories that satisfy us, and much harder to put that aside and search for truth about the universe on its own terms.

In Haramein's paper, he isn't referring to the mass of all protons, he's referring to a single one. But let's pretend he is referring to all protons. The mass he gives, 885 million tons, is about the same as the world's largest concrete dam. It's big, but it's nothing like the mass of all the protons in the universe. The universe is bigger than that.

If you're honest and diligent in searching for the truth behind Haramein's work, you'll find that every approach leads to the same conclusion. He's bullshitting.

Anonymous said...

If we are open minded, I think we shouldn't judge people what they think of themselves. The best thing that we can do is to listen as to what NH's ideas and check if there is validity. Always remember that if you know something and that you really understand it, you can explain it in really simple terms.

Bob said...

Hi Anonymous - yes, I'm completely in favour of being open-minded. My suggestion is that if there is a huge amount of compelling evidence that Haramein's ideas are false, then it is not open-minded to ignore these and carry on as if his ideas are valid just because you want them to be.

There is a huge amount of compelling evidence that Haramein's ideas are false. I have given a number of examples in these pages. Some of the simplest ones can be found here.

I agree that the best thing we can do is to listen to his ideas and check if there is validity. We should always do that. I have always done that. That is the point of these blog posts.

"Always remember that if you know something and that you really understand it, you can explain it in really simple terms." - This, I think, is based on something that Einstein said. I agree with the spirit of it, but I also think it is one of the most misused of all his quotes. Einstein's greatest contribution to science, if you remember, is the general theory of relativity, one of the most beautiful, most powerful and most reliable scientific ideas the world has ever seen. There are many thousands of people in the world who understand this theory very deeply indeed. Does that mean they can explain it to you in really simple terms? I don't think so. It relies on some extremely sophisticated mathematics.

The universe is complex, beautiful and elegant. If you have a theory about the universe that is reliable and faithful to the actual nature of the universe, it will need to embody that complexity as well as the beauty and the elegance. Science has to work on the universe's terms, not on our terms. If we decide to reject every idea that isn't simple enough for our taste, we are doing the universe a deep disservice, and we are missing the point.

Worse still: if we are inclined to accept an idea just because it strikes us simple and nice, we are definitely missing the point!

One of my favourite quotes from Einstein is "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

Anonymous said...

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.
...interesting paragraph. You could argue mainstream scientists would also be forgiven for going with the paradigm, supporting established research and funding, tenure programs, publications etc. In fact, you would need that and incredibly expensive equipment just to prove your basic tenant about the mass of the proton. You see, its always difficult for outsiders to agree with provable tenants without supporting infrastructure. The fact that i agree with you doesn't change this. However, remember what actually urged humans, personally, spiritually, as well as financially, to conduct and build research programs. Haramein should be encouraged just enough to conduct his own research without impediment, until such (unlikely) time he can present a rational theory which is testable and in accord with reality in mainstream science's eyes. End of Rant.

Bob said...

Except that's bollocks. Science is (to state the blatantly obvious) not based on attracting fans by impressing them with empty claims.

I know you're wanting to make a point about a kind of emperor's new clothes effect in academia, and I don't dispute that there's always an element of risk that this is in the mix somewhere, but come on. If those are valid concerns, then giving encouragement to liars and charlatans to pose as scientists is a f***ing stupid response.

Anonymous said...

Part 1 of 2.

Mr. Bob! Mr. Bob! Mr. Bob!

I will give you an F for your logical thinking. Nassim has his truth from solving the Kabbalah. (The solution to the Kabbalah is the 64 tetrahedron grid.) When you do that, you will see E.T.. If you do NOT see E.T., then you have NOT solved the Kabbalah--because there is NO WAY IN HELL that people living thousands of years ago knew about the: “The vector equilibrium is the zero staring point for happenings and nonhappenings; it is the empty theater and empty circus and empty Universe ready to accommodate any act and any audience.” And the 64 tetrahedron grid contains the vector equilibrium (i.e., the cuboctahedron). Thus, E.T. is the inescapable conclusion. Or, maybe the people who wrote, say, the BIBLE, knew about advanced physics concepts? Well, if they did, they must have gotten it from somewhere. And the Foo Dogs in The Forbidden City guard the 64 tetrahedron grid. You don’t have to believe Nassim nor his solution to the Kabbalah! You can go to China and SEE IT FOR YOURSELF!!! Now, how do you fucking explain that!? The Foo Dogs are not real. They are only in your IMAGINATION.

Well, if they are OBVIOUSLY NOT in your imagination, then you have a fucking hard time NOT believing in E.T..

And actually, E.T. is very plausible. But the scientific community CANNOT, by default, believe in E.T.. And, therefore, the scientific community CANNOT take Nassim’s ideas seriously.


Anonymous said...

Part 2 of 2.

E.T. says that free energy is real. How else did E.T. get here? The Freemasons (aka the Illuminati) know this:

The Phoenix resurrects, and rises from the ashes. Jesus raises the dead. Jesus (the center point in the cuboctahedron) and his 12 disciples (the 12 vectors in the cuboctahedron). The Holy Grail is the cup that never empties. Then you have the goose that lays golden eggs (which is a masonic tale). The Fountain of Youth. Muspelheim (32) and Niflheim (32). Yin (32) and Yang (32). The Kabbalah (64). The I Ching (64). Countless video games and movies. The story is told time and again in different clothes. The Zodiac (the 12 vectors in the cuboctahedron). The Tarot. King Arthur and the Sword in the Stone! And the chess board consists of the 64 and Yin (black) & Yang (white). The elements of the flag of South Korea = the Star Tetrahedron. The Star Tetrahedron x 8 = the 64 tetrahedron grid. The Swastika is the net of the cuboctahedron. And the Philosopher’s stone.

When the Masons walk on their chessboard floors, it is:
1. They really like chess. Or,
2. They are stepping on the truth.

When you open your eyes, you will see the Freemason’s machinations everywhere! Right, Sol Om On? Is Ra El? Mer Ka Ba?

The tale of FREE ENERGY has been told an infinite number of times. WHY? Because, imagine the scenario where E.T. actually landed on terra firma, imparted his knowledge, and then left. What world would we live in? We would live in a world where the tale of FREE ENERGY has been told an infinite number of times. Wow! One-to-one correlation! That is my kind of math. Thus, it is EVERYWHERE. It is not just all in Nassim’s head!


And E.T. says that free energy is real: It is a simple matter of ordering unavailable energy in the toroidal center (this nature does for free; hence free energy). If that is, IN FACT, possible, then, it follows logically: the vacuum of space MUST be tonnes and NOT grams, THEREFORE the center can never be drained/emptied as it orders itself. This is the Holy Grail, the womb (i.e., the cuboctahedron) of the Universal Mother. Surely, E.T. is wrong. And the scientific community is right. Right?

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.

So why are the OBSERVATIONS done by the scientific community in grams and not in tonnes? You said it yourself: renormalisation

Maybe renormalization is where YOU GO WRONG!!!???

I do not believe in Nassim because my head is not attached! I believe in WHAT I CAN SEE. And the Foo Dogs are pretty fucking REAL to me. I would like to hear ANYONE explain away that.

“The vector equilibrium is the zero staring point for happenings and nonhappenings; it is the empty theater and empty circus and empty Universe ready to accommodate any act and any audience.”--Buckminster Fuller

Fuck it! PROVE ME WRONG. Build a free energy device (aka the Ark of the Covenant). Here is how you do it:

1. Create a mini-geomagnetic field (i.e., a DUAL torus) in your garage and tap it the right way (i.e., its center).
2. That’s it.


Bob said...

Golly. I've seen some inane piles of gibberish on here before, but that's a corker :)

Cam Lowen said...

Everything I've read on this blog is really good stuff; fair, interesting, insightful. I was not familiar with Nassim until I came across the Sacred Geometry 2015 video on youtube a few days ago, where he claims at the beginning to have won paper of the year in Physics... I thought it would be good to get some more information on his qualification. After Googling him I see that he is the founder of the Resonance foundation. Earlier this year I was in Peru for a 3 weeks to stay at an ayahuasca retreat and was really put off by the way people would talk about resonance, sacred geometry, etc as though it was some kind of cult that they follow. Seeing Nassim's message it became clear that this is the pseudo-science they were basing their psychedelic philosophy. That said, I think Nassim's ideas are interesting, especially his explanations of dimensions and how infinity can exist mathematically withing a finite space. However; it is clear that he is a charlatan pushing the "Only" truth, and clearly makes a hell of a living at it. The question i suppose becomes; is he clever enough to know that he is a charlatan, or is he a sincere man who has just had people who are desperately searching for answers? I suspect it is likely a combination of both. My experience with the ayahuasca people showed me that people who claim this combination of new age philosophy and spirituality are very defensive of their views, just as a Christian person would defend that Jesus was the true and living God incarnate. What Nassim pushes is essentially the same. "I" figured out the truth, "I" know the answers, "I" know the path, "I" figured it out. This is not the type of arrogance seen in true academic, or just true genius period. In my personal quest for knowledge I try to study the great mind who have come before us and painstakingly try to keep track of who's ideas are who's and give credit appropriately. I don't see Nassim giving credit to any of the great thinkers that preceded him and enabled him to make the observations that he does. This is because it is not beneficial to the cult of personality for Nassim to acknowledge that others have contributed to his point of view. Nobody wants a leader who didn't come up with all this stuff on their own. As Terrence Mckenna said, "Nobody knows what is going on! Nobody! the best explanations are lies you can be sure of it!"

Bob said...

I think you may be right. Haramein's personality cult is big on ego and defensiveness. He and his supporters display this perpetual self-confirmation behaviour of making stratospheric claims for his own work while denying the competence and even the humanity of essentially every professional physicist, along with anyone who accepts anything from mainstream science.

It's a common pattern: make scientists the 'other', use 'mainstream' as a term of abuse, close ranks, and voila: the perfect protective bubble that no scientific argument can hope to penetrate.

To do all this, and at the same time claim a spiritual dimension - to elevate his own image even further and make his followers feel special - seems astoundingly contradictory to me.

Even more so if his lies are deliberate.

I've never understood why so many people are willing to project spirituality onto egotistical loons. Haramein certainly isn't the only one.

Unknown said...

I really appreciate you, Bob. Thank you.

Bob said...


Danny Wilten said...

So Bob, have you left your credentials yet so you can be evaluated? Surely you want to be fair and show Nassim that you are more than a 5th grade teacher correct? As I read your critical review, I laughed as I could feel the emotion as if from an angry child... an angry anonymous child. He out-manned you.

Thanks for the laugh,
Dr. Daniel Wilten
P.H.D. Spotting Bullshit

Bob said...

Hi Danny. I appreciate your mature and intelligent insights.

It is good to know that you are so interested in my career, and it's touching that you've put so much thought into creating a fantasy version of me that you're willing to share. Thank you.

Philip Machanick said...

How weird. I put this down to a desire to be as clever as Einstein without requiring passing high school maths.

There is nothing wrong with coming up with “nonstandard” physics theories and putting them out there for public consumption if you can’t get them past reviewers. Who knows? Everyone else could be wrong and you could be right.

It gets very suss when the purpose appears to be to build a personal self-aggrandizement business empire.

I do this stuff every now and then (e.g. and if someone can tell me where I forgot to carry the 1 or whatever is wrong with it, great. It can always turn into the start of my next SF novel. But a conspiracy theory, or turning it into a wacko business empire? That’s just nuts. Well done for showing it up for what it is.

Bob said...

Hi Philip. If you replace time by an imaginary quantity in the Lorentz factor, all you have is the Pythagoras equation for four-dimensional Euclidean space. No time, just a fourth spatial dimension that happens to be called t.

I see the attraction in choosing to make something up instead of facing general relativity, but I wouldn't recommend getting too attached to it as the best way forward :)

Mónica Sánchez Beltrán said...

at the time, bob would have burned alive Copérnico, Darwin, Pasteur, Tesla, Searl…
and NH in 2010.
today bob is bitter but not so sure about the pyre ...

Bob said...

I'm not bitter, Mónica, just bemused.

But it's ok, I've grown used to Haramein's supporters preferring their own fairy tales about me to any kind of effort to find out.

It's flattering, but rather silly.

The reality is that I've never even attempted to suggest that Haramein be silenced, never mind burned alive. All I've done is study his work in detail and share my conclusions regarding his work with others who may be interested.

But don't let me upset your fairy tale :) Haramein's work is for believers in fairy tales. They are delicate little things. I appreciate that if I don't conform to their prejudices, I must be demonised. It's only fair :/

Unknown said...

Bob -

Thanks for keeping this updated. I have been following this guy for years, and I've come to the conclusion that he is an Andy Kaufman/Sasha Baron Cohen-type comedian. One day he will come clean and even his followers will recognize that his true genius had nothing to do with science.

Eirik said...

Hi and thanks for a valuable discussion on Harameins work. As a physicist (astrophysics)it is important that it is the actual physics which is discussed, and I think you have performed that very well. I also understand one can get emotionally "involved" when Haramein do not address the obvious flaws in his model, but unfortunately I have also met similar ignorant personalities. Continue your good work !

Anonymous said...

If Mr Haramein is a serious scholar, he should submit his work to a reputable peer reviewed Physics Journal. This would invoke discussion and provide realistic feedback. Conferences are just presentations where one can posture. If he's not a fraud, submit his papers

Words are magic said...

Hi Bob,

What are your opinions on free energy theories ? Do they work and is it possible or are they as baloney as Nassim Haramein theories.

There is a whole free energy cult out there if you are aware, let me know what you think.

Bob said...

Hi Words are magic,

Yes, there are a lot of free energy scams out there.

It's very easy for people who are naturally eloquent and charismatic and good with audiences to convince hundreds or thousands of people that they're on the verge of some new technology, if only you would fund them / join their movement / go on their courses / buy their dvds / etc.

It's very hard to actually work on genuine energy technology. Often the people who are competent and honest and hard-working enough to really make progress with revolutionary new energy sources are quiet, studious, diligent, and not great social manipulators.

So who do people give money to? They give it to the frauds. I don't know what can be done about this, but I know it's incredibly serious. These cults are appealing to people who genuinely want to support new ideas, and they're getting them to invest their time, money, energy and commitment in a scam. Imagine how much good these people could do if they invested in genuine solutions instead!

Most of us know that we're degrading the future habitability of the planet at a terrifying rate. The world desperately needs as many people as possible who genuinely want to support efforts to reduce the impact of our energy use, before our climate runs too far out of control.

It's hard to overstate the harm done by scams that tap into these decent people, divert them from doing actual good and hook them into a cult.

Of course we need to be open-minded about revolutionary new technologies - they could come from anywhere. Free energy scammers will try to convince you that scientists are turning their backs and closing their minds, but this is exactly what scientists are employed not to do. The scammers tap into people's mistrust and prejudices, and it's not a pretty sight.

In the real world where scientists are human beings, it is literally the job of every professional scientist to be open to new and exciting ideas. And they love this stuff. For most of them it's exactly the reason they got into science in the first place. Energy scientists, physicists, would be ecstatic if there were any hints of free energy technology.

So if a free energy cult is not attracting interest from people in the scientific community, but is attracting fans and fame and funds from large numbers of non-scientists, you can be pretty certain that it's a scam.

Many of them also know how to publish bogus scientific papers and to make themselves look like scientists. If in doubt, go to a genuine science paper repository such as the CERN document server or INSPIRE, and you can search for articles they've published in journals that professional physicists take seriously, and find out how many other scientists have made use of their work. There are millions of articles there. (Search for Haramein and you'll find nothing. Look carefully at his work and you'll see that he uses a rather different kind of scientific publisher.)

Haramein himself has raised vast amounts of money from promises of free energy technology. As you say, there are plenty of others. The planet would be hugely better off without them.

Think of all those decent, inspired, caring, ecological, motivated citizens that they've caught in their web, feeding their ego and their bank balance for nothing. The real world needs these people back.

Carl Sagan said...

Hold on there, junior. NH just hired Patrick Stewart to narrate his newest movie. Top that. You CAN'T, because Jean-Luc Picard actually DID travel at warp speed, communicate via sub-space, create matter with replicators, deconstruct matter via transporters, and seed entire planets with life Genesis. NH knows that people believe and adore play actors, like himself. Scientific method is the old paradigm. NH represents the NEW PARADIGM of religious fervor, salesmanship, equivocation, and just saying things with enough flowery all-is-one new speak that it simply must be true.

Whenever I spend too much time with the "true believer" mindset that blindly adheres to charismatic religious evangelists, I re-listen to David Foster Wallace's Kenyon College commencement address, to be reminded of what's real and what's fake, and how to remember the difference.

Bob said...

Thanks, Carl Sagan!

You're very right. Actually it was last year, and I brought it up here.

There's no point trying to compete for attention with people whose actual job is self-promotion. Truth has always had to rely on people who can be bothered to genuinely search for it, and that's definitely not set to change.

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll check that address out.

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