To : David Rice Received: 13 Oct 94 10:56 Subj: Re: DIFFERENT KINDS OF SCIENCE = Quoting D

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From: George Rudzinski Posted: 10 Oct 94 05:24 To : David Rice Received: 13 Oct 94 10:56 Subj: Re: DIFFERENT KINDS OF SCIENCE -=> Quoting David Rice to John Brawley <=- JB> Gentry's reported facts do support his conclusions, but to JB> do so, he has to _ignore_ a few things. Hence _all_ the JB> facts do not support him, but the extensive science (good JB> science) of his laboratory work never showed up the JB> alternative hypothesis he was ignoring. DR> DR> One thing I consider mandatory in "good science" is applying DR> Ockham's (spelling various?) Razor. The alternative conclusion DR> was simpler and explained the observed. DR> DR> I have -NOT- read Gentry's book, so I don't know enough to say DR> that he fail to follow scientific methodology. David, Read the paper "The Geology of Gentry's 'Tiny Myster'" by Jeffrey Wakefield in the Journal Geological Education, 1988 V.36 pp 161-174. It shows that Gentry claimed that there was no parent source of radioactive materials in the area where he collected his samples. Wakefield shows that two of Gentry's collecting cites were working uranium mines at one time. In my mind that blows a big hole in his methodology. Not to mention it was flat out lying. My understanding DR> of the issue is that P218 decays far faster than possible to DR> make "halos" in mica, and yet we observe mica. It is also my DR> understanding that Gentry said that only a god could account DR> for this observation--- he multiplied entities beyond what was DR> required. If he had considered R222 causing the "halos," the DR> requirement for the gods vanishes, and no multiplication of DR> entities were required to explain the observed. DR> DR> Is my understanding wrong? Or too superficial? Well radon without a source would be pretty miraculous as well. But he has a source he just doesn't mention it. JB> [cuts] Well, I have to give him the credit he does deserve JB> (even if it's not much), and recommend that you actually read JB> _Creation's_Tiny_Mystery_ and/or his actual published papers. DR> DR> I would like to very much. I do not wish to give money to the DR> ICR for the "privilage" however. Gentry has his own publishing company. It is available for $13.95 from Earth Science Associates (gag), Box 12067, Knoxville, TN 37912. Of course if you aren't interested in funding the ICR I doubt you would wish to fund Gentry, I sure don't. I prefer funding what DR> I consider "real" science and scientific publications. I have a DR> great deal of books written by evolutionary scientists, and I DR> have borrowed/stolen/photocopied books and pamphlets by many DR> Creationists. And I've been hunting for Creation's Tiny Mystery in libraries and used book stores for quite some time. JB> [large cuts] I'd say "glaring mistake" or "lied to himself" JB> rather than "lied." DR> DR> From my slight reading on the subject, I would agree that he had DR> very likely not deliberately deceived others--- just that it was DR> and is a possibility. Not if Wakefield is correct, and since Gentry refused to submit an article to JGE but instead requested including an add for his book. I lean toward deliberate deception. george From: George Rudzinski Posted: 10 Oct 94 05:32 To : David Rice Received: 13 Oct 94 10:56 Subj: Re: DIFFERENT KINDS OF SCIENCE -=> Quoting David Rice to John Brawley <=- JB> As yet, however, paper publishing in the formal scientific JB> literature is a ways off, so Gentry's knowledge of me (if JB> any) comes from that one contact, and from other people JB> (like Lane) sending him copies of my stuff. DR> DR> Do you think Mr Gentry's vested interest is too great to admit DR> he made a mistake? David, Absolutely. Either that or the guy has flipped. After all, he has written a book and has DR> made claims that have been reproduced in Creationist literature. DR> I suppose he may also have gone on Creationist lecture circuits. DR> Would admitting a mistake damage him irrepairably? A great many DR> scientists acknowledge mistakes they have made. JB> Wakefield, interestingly enough, had _never_seen_ an actual JB> point-source pleochroic halo until I sent him some of my JB> biotite samples a couple of years ago. He "added" nothing, JB> because he's not well-versed in the _physics_ of the halos JB> themselves. Wakefield's work and mine are complementary; JB> they do not overlap. Wakefield's speciality is the _geology_ JB> of the sources of Gentry's samples, which I totally ignore. JB> My speciality is the physics of the halos themselves, from JB> _wherever_ they come from. My "authority" for this comes from JB> myself personally gathering the samples with my very own JB> physical hands, and from my microscope and micro-technique JB> being the equivalent of Gentry's. DR> It doesn't matter if the refutation comes from Jose the plumber, DR> if it is accurate. You don't know how close that is to the truth. At the time Wakefield published the paper he was a fireman and amateur geologist. He has since gone on to get his degree. The problem is gaining access to present the DR> refutation. Getting a journal's editor drunk helps, I hear. Or collaborating with someone that has been published. JB> (My mom was a biology JB> teacher; I was examining pond scum under high-powered JB> microscopes while still an adolescent. Microscopes and me JB> go back a long ways....(*g*)) DR> DR> I threw away my microscope the instant I looked at my lunch DR> with it--- I DO NOT want to see all the tiny beings that go DR> with my lunch! :-) Ignorance -is- bliss. Gee I think it's kind of neat knowing they are there while you eat your lunch. I suppose you don't want to know about the little critter that lives in the roots of your eyelashes either? george From: George Rudzinski Posted: 10 Oct 94 05:43 To : David Rice Received: 13 Oct 94 10:56 Subj: Re: DIFFERENT KINDS OF SCIENCE -=> Quoting David Rice to John Brawley <=- JB> Apart from this, I have never contacted Gentry, although I JB> did try to do so when I passed through Tennessee on the way JB> to the Spruce Pine pegmatite fields of North Carolina. I JB> intent to formally notify him if and when some form of my JB> paper gets into peer-reviewed print, in enough time for him JB> to respond in the same journal if he wishes, and I'd like JB> him to know that. DR> DR> The journal would have the common courtesy to do this for you. DR> It would make much more interesting reading, and sever the DR> scientific community better. I'd like to hear what Mr Gentry DR> would have to say. David, Your wish is my command. "Editor's note: Shortly before this issue of JGE went to press, R.V. Gentry called and requested that the following message be published along with Wakefield's article. 'Gentry's response to Wakefield's material is given in the second edition (1988) of his book, Creation's Tiny Mystery, available ...'" Journal of Geological Education, 1988, V. 36 p. 173. If Gentry thinks John's paper is a big enough threat to his ideas, and I certainly believe it is, you are going to probably have to buy the third edition (2049?) depending on when John gets to publishing. Hell of a way to do science on Gentry's part. george From: John Brawley Posted: 10 Oct 94 15:55 To : David Rice Received: 13 Oct 94 10:57 Subj: DIFFERENT KINDS OF SCIENCE On (07 Oct 94) David Rice wrote to John Brawley... >JB> Not so. The bare-bones essence of Gentry's idea on the >DR> My impression was that the facts did NOT support his JB> They do and they don't. DR> Teriffic. I wanna "Yeah" or "Nope," not both! :-) (*grin*) JB> Gentry's reported facts do support his conclusions, but to JB> do so, he has to _ignore_ a few things. Hence _all_ the DR> One thing I consider mandatory in "good science" is applying DR> Ockham's (spelling various?) Razor. The alternative conclusion DR> was simpler and explained the observed. Well, yes and no.... (*'nuther grin*) The Radon222 explanation isn't "simpler," in the sense of number of suppositions needed to even _see_ the hypothesis, and nothing imaginable is simpler than "God did it." (*grin*) Of course, "God did it" doesn't _explain_ anything.... DR> I have -NOT- read Gentry's book, so I don't know enough to say DR> that he fail to follow scientific methodology. My understanding It's a tough call. IMHO, Gentry is _unique_ among creationists, having applied excellent scientific methodology to the obtaining of the data he needed, to a high degree of scientific precision, and having published these _scientific_ data in peer-reviewed journals of the stature of SCIENCE and NATURE. It's also somewhat unique to see a person gather reams of accurate scientific information about a specific, physically unambiguous phenomenon, and then come up with a really wild conclusion from the huge pile of data gathered. (Gentry and his "polonium" halos are obviously one of my dearest subjects.) DR> of the issue is that P218 decays far faster than possible to DR> make "halos" in mica, and yet we observe mica. It is also my Yes. ("...and yet we observe [halos in the?] mica.") It should be seen that _if_ one could manually place a one-or- two-micron particle of 218Po into the mica suddenly, it would make a halo. (Gad.... Sorry.... I'm hearing in my head one of the sixties' songs---a Jefferson Airplane tune: "...shares a little joke with the world somehow.... sounded like he'd make a _halo_, when I heard his laughter floatin'; it's all for fun, you know: he said he just let Go....") DR> understanding that Gentry said that only a god could account DR> for this observation--- he multiplied entities beyond what was DR> required. If he had considered R222 causing the "halos," the DR> requirement for the gods vanishes, and no multiplication of DR> entities were required to explain the observed. Exactly. Gentry preconcluded his hypothesis, based on a religious suspicion that he was "right" about the halos. DR> Is my understanding wrong? Or too superficial? Depends on how deeply you want to go. For an extensive in- depth researching of Gentry's hypothesis, it's superficial, yes, but you seem to have the essence of it. JB> [cuts] Well, I have to give him the credit he does deserve JB> (even if it's not much), and recommend that you actually read JB> _Creation's_Tiny_Mystery_ and/or his actual published papers. DR> I would like to very much. I do not wish to give money to the DR> ICR for the "privilage" however. I prefer funding what ICR's not involved. (I'm told they actually don't like what Gentry's done.) Another peculiarity here: _Creation's_Tiny_Mystery_ is an obviously creationist book, but buried in it is probably the most extensive _scientific_ (in the true meaning of the word) compendium of data on biotite, fluorite, cordierite and 'coalified wood' point- source pleochroic halos available in the geological and mineralogical literature. It's really odd, to be able to use the scientific data out of a creationist book, with little doubt about its accuracy and validity, while wading through creationist blatherings in other sections of the book. In the main, if you are to study point-source pleochroic halos, Gentry is the sceintific reference of choice (along with the previous researchers' papers that Gentry cites). It's most odd to recommend a _creationist_ book for a _scientific_ study, but IMHO Gentry's book is the easiest-to- understand and most complete overview of the tiny field of pleochroic halos extant. DR> I consider "real" science and scientific publications. I have a DR> great deal of books written by evolutionary scientists, and I DR> have borrowed/stolen/photocopied books and pamphlets by many DR> Creationists. Gentry reprints the texts of most, if not all, of his papers that were published by SCIENCE, NATURE, Geophysical Review Letters, and others, in _C_T_M_. JB> [large cuts] I'd say "glaring mistake" or "lied to himself" JB> rather than "lied." DR> From my slight reading on the subject, I would agree that he had DR> very likely not deliberately deceived others--- just that it was DR> and is a possibility. My contention/concern is that he chose a It's a fact. He deceived _me_, where he says that "polonium" halos are not found near any other sources of radioactivity, a thing that my own research flatly denies. Now, maybe he didn't mean it the way I saw it, but it did mislead me, and I found that out real quick, from looking at square _yards_ of mica (in little pieces, of course) from several sources. DR> unlikely conclusion in what I suspect was a self-serving way: DR> before he could blame the "halos" on gods, I think a scientist DR> would need to produce the gods. Well, Gentry's a _creation_ scientist, of course.... (*bigfatgrin*) J B InterNet: john.brawley@p1.f9.n8012.z86.toadnet.org NETmail: Fido=1:100/435.1 Toad=86:8102/9.1 Family=8:3006/28.1 From: John Brawley Posted: 11 Oct 94 13:09 To : David Rice Received: 14 Oct 94 22:42 Subj: DIFFERENT KINDS OF SCIENCE On (07 Oct 94) David Rice wrote to John Brawley... JB> literature is a ways off, so Gentry's knowledge of me (if DR> Do you think Mr Gentry's vested interest is too great to admit DR> he made a mistake? After all, he has written a book and has I do, but I have zero evidence to support that. I just suspect _any_ creationist's ability to gravitate to an uncreationistic position. They tend to move only as far as the slightly ambiguous "theistic evolution" stance, and if they're adamantine Bible-driven Genesis-literal creationists, as Gentry appears to be, they're about as movable as the earth without Archimedes' lever and fulcrum. DR> Would admitting a mistake damage him irrepairably? A great many DR> scientists acknowledge mistakes they have made. Who knows? It depends on his mental balance. He's apparently never been a materialistic ("naturalistic") scientist, but instead has seemingly always managed to do science in a separate compartment from his religion, at least until his creationism became common knowledge and science work got hard to find. Science tends not to trust creationists.... JB> Wakefield, interestingly enough, had _never_seen_ an actual JB> point-source pleochroic halo until I sent him some of my DR> It doesn't matter if the refutation comes from Jose the plumber, DR> if it is accurate. The problem is gaining access to present the DR> refutation. Getting a journal's editor drunk helps, I hear. I'm not real worried about it. Apparently my work constitutes a "material contribution" to the field, and with pleochroic halos being such a _miniscule_ part of the field of mineralogy, my work is so minor in a scientific sense that it will get itself published simply because it's unique enough that nobody else has bothered with it. JB> (My mom was a biology JB> teacher; I was examining pond scum under high-powered JB> microscopes while still an adolescent. Microscopes and me JB> go back a long ways....(*g*)) DR> I threw away my microscope the instant I looked at my lunch DR> with it--- I DO NOT want to see all the tiny beings that go DR> with my lunch! :-) Ignorance -is- bliss. *ROFL!* DR> [Note: I do not know if it is Doctor Gentry or Mister Gentry, DR> so I used "Mr." No disparity of title was meant or implied.] It is "Doctor" ("D.Sc, Hon."). I use "Dr." because it's properly correct, whether or not it means what it usually means in academic circles. J B InterNet: john.brawley@p1.f9.n8012.z86.toadnet.org NETmail: Fido=1:100/435.1 Toad=86:8102/9.1 Family=8:3006/28.1 From: John Brawley Posted: 11 Oct 94 13:24 To : David Rice Received: 14 Oct 94 22:42 Subj: DIFFERENT KINDS OF SCIENCE On (07 Oct 94) David Rice wrote to John Brawley... JB> He does prevaricate a bit in his book, where he implies JB> that halos are found "far from" other radioactive sources DR> :-) At least he's a Creation scientist doing science. I bet the DR> ICR would like a hundred more of him. They doubtless would, but they don't use even him much. They in fact historically have expressed doubts about him. His stuff is _way_ too hard for the target audience (the grassroots common person) to understand. It's a nifty little piece of religious/scientific interpretation, to be sure, and appears on first blush (without digging _real_ deep, as I did) to be "airtight," but it requires an audience to know a mess of nuclear physics in order to have any effect. They (the ICR) can say, "Dr. Gentry's work on pleochroic halos in mica proves sudden creation" if they want, but the audience wouldn't understand _why_ it "proves" this without an extensive education in real, hard science. It's my thought that the ICR does not _want_ its audiences to get an education in "real, hard science".... (*grin*) DR> If I were a scientist doing research and came to an incorrect DR> conclusion, I'd want to hear about it, either privately or in DR> a peer-reviewed journal. In a small way, your not sending your DR> paper to Mr Gentry is doing him a disservice. If the truth does DR> not interest him, he'll dismiss the paper anyhow. I guess that could be said, but then, if Gentry were a professional scientist and not a creationist, I'd probably have communicated with him before now. My work on Gentry's halos is scientific only because that's how I did it. It wasn't a scientific discussion that generated my interest, it was a religious (creationism) discussion. Hence I don't see it as a scientific matter between me and Gentry; I see it as a matter in creationism between me and anybody/everybody else who _uses_ Gentry's hypothesis to support their creationist position. In other words, there are almost two separate things going on here: 1) Gentry's hypothesis, my examination of it, and creationism-arguing, and 2) the almost entirely separate possibility that by examining the claim I may have "by default" generated some decent useful _science_. The two aren't as easily linked as you imply (at least, they're not so linked in my mind). I will do the "right scientific thing" when and if I get to that point with the paper's publishability and with more study I intend to do before I get there, but the "right scientific thing" doesn't apply to my sending Gentry a copy of my paper since that is entirely a creationism conflict, and creationism isn't science. (Do I feel guilty? I don't _think_ I feel guilty....) I don't feel the need to notify another researcher until I'm about ready to publish. You know many scientists (even amateurs like me) who let the opposition know their data until just before they publish? Read up on the battle between Ting, at Brookhaven, and the team at SLAC, over the discovery of "the resonance at 3.1 GeV" (the 'J,' or 'psi' particle). The two teams were looking at the same energy range, but the SPEAR accelerator at SLAC wasn't looking in exactly the right place, although it could be tuned to it in a matter of a few hours. Ting had already found the resonance, and wanted to keep it secret because he _knew_ the SPEAR ring could be tuned right onto it. There wasn't a lot of communication between the two teams, needless to say, because Ting wanted the credit for the discovery, and he wasn't ready to publish, and he knew he'd have to publish _immediately_ if the team at SLAC got a whiff of the information that there was a new resonance at 3.1 Giga- eletron-Volts. (Ting and the other guy eventually shared a Nobel Prize for the discovery.) JB> (I wrote him, asking for the source (mine, whatever) of his JB> "polonium halos in _GRANITE_" and he responded by sending me DR> He obviously misstook your request or mixed up your request DR> with someone else's. The same thing happened to me when I wrote DR> to Hal Lindsey after he claimed that the creator of the XEROX DR> copier was "given" the idea and complete plans on making the DR> device by Satan while he, the creator, was sleeping. I asked DR> Mr Lindsey for the source of his claim, and he sent back to DR> me a tape of Mike Warnke. :-) How bizarre! I don't think Gentry mixed up the requests. I have his letter still. I think he was testing me for anti-creation sentiments. JB> Apart from this, I have never contacted Gentry, although I JB> did try to do so when I passed through Tennessee on the way DR> The journal would have the common courtesy to do this for you. DR> It would make much more interesting reading, and sever the DR> scientific community better. I'd like to hear what Mr Gentry DR> would have to say. Probably. When it happens, we'll see. J B InterNet: john.brawley@p1.f9.n8012.z86.toadnet.org NETmail: Fido=1:100/435.1 Toad=86:8102/9.1 Family=8:3006/28.1 ... If God is real, we will not find Him 'outside' of reality.

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