Paul, I wrote that I wasn’t going to discuss with you again, but since you’ve addressed your comment to me by name…
No, I’m not going to look into yet another “issue”. I must have looked into dozens of “issues” that you’ve raised, and you’ve been wrong about every one of them that depends on a scientific matter. In fact most of them aren’t even issues at all; remember the “special fuses of a type used in controlled demolition” that turned out to be perfectly ordinary mains electricity fuses, as I confirmed with a link the manufacturer’s catalogue (Littelfuse)? Remember Dane Wigington’s water cascade that appeared to levitate but was actually a demonstration of the stroboscopic effect? But you never, ever accept the point. You merely drop the subject and move on to another, sometimes with an excuse. The discussions are entirely unproductive.
I hoped that by reading Bad Science you would discover that the essence of scientific arguments is that they are based on reasoning about physical evidence. Goldacre is meticulous about that; he never relies on anyone’s qualifications or professional reputation. Instead he always examines their claims by considering evidence. However, you keep returning to arguments based on superficial plausibility concocted from a few cherry-picked phrases, supported by motives you impute to official institutions – these are the characteristics of what is called conspiracy theory. Not +a+ conspiracy theory. A type of reasoning called conspiracy theory, like harmonic theory or statistical theory.
Governments and corporations do many evil things, but they also do good things, neutral things, misguided things and stupid things too. And they have no monopoly on deception; our world is rife with scammers, charlatans, and ideologically misguided zealots, most of whom will spin plausible but misleading yarns to advance their objectives or as cover stories for former wrongs. So it gets us nowhere to say “so-and-so is opposed by the government, they’re demonising him therefore he must be right”.
So the only discussion I think would be worth having is about the methods we should use to determine the accuracy of any given claim. We could pick one specific claim, and stick to that subject until we reach a conclusion. Instead of trying to convince me, you should try to understand my reasons for the position I hold.
This is why I concocted my “diesel engine over-unity alternator scam” story; I know that you have sufficient technical understanding of engines to know that I was spouting nonsense. On that subject, you don’t need to resort to “Professor so-and-so says that diesels do work by burning fuel with air”. Instead, you can go straight to reasoning about the evidence; “but if the fuel in the tank runs out, the engine will stop”, and that’s that, my over-unity motor disguised as an alternator claim is blown out of the water, no matter how many PhDs I have, and no matter how evil General Motors are or what ridiculous suggestions have appeared in their sales literature.
So if you’re willing, I’ll discuss methods of reasoning with you.