Model Science Predicts More Model Scientists!

News Flash!

Today, at Ivory Castle Western California, Scientists have discovered that the use of models in science has advanced not only the course and rapidity of human discovery and the acceleration of more grant velocity of funding, but in fact also has lead to the creation of more model scientists! Thanks to recent advances in the use of computers for all sorts of investigations where actual field work is onerous, the process lengthy and difficult, and the effort involved greatly exceeds the value of any potential discovery, there has been a great reduction in the need for such wasted effort; as the models eliminate all such needs. Now, thanks to the new iResearch Assistant program from Apple Computer: Scientists are 87.4% more productive at turning publications into further grant requests and with a 56.3% greater success rate, recent model runs report. Furthermore, in an unexpected additional discovery, the use of the model to predict its own adoption rate has confirmed that there is now a 86.9% increase in Model Scientists in the next 2 decades.

This startling discovery, found after 4 hours of exhausting model operation, is all the more astounding given that we just last month demonstrated that 75.1% of all current publications were already the result of computer models. (It is unclear at this time how we can have 86.9% increase when we already have 75.1%; however, we are certain that after additional funding is secured, further model simulations will answer this vexing question. The fate of Science itself hangs in the balance, so we are hopeful that an expedited request will be favorably received.)

One thing is clear: There will be a very large increase in the use of iReasearch Assistant in the coming years, despited the reported availability of iResearcher Pro in an early release form in Paris. We have in planning a month long expedition to Paris, centered about this approaching spring, to asses this recent development. A paper on those results will be presented in the fall, once appropriate model configuration achieved such that it can determine the consensus truth, and so as to produce a suitable paper. It may be that the use of this new iResearcher Pro model software is what was predicted in our last run of iResearch Assistant. Only extensive field work in the streets of Paris, especially at night, will enable us to determine for certain. (Due to this, we will be unavailable prior to noon most days.)

At the present time, we can only surmise how these developments will impact patterns of research, investigation, and field work. But we are certain that, with adequate funding, the frontiers of human understanding can be pushed ever forward. The model of Human Understanding 2.3 release has given a 97.5% confidence interval in the composite of the last 9 runs.

In conclusion, the clear understanding today is that the present use of Model Science predicts much more Model Scientist in future years, due to the greatly enhanced productivity of papers per unit of understanding gained (in some cases, asymptotically approaching infinity!) and the great increase in grants and funding per unit of actual human labor required. The labor savings alone assures that in the not too distant future, almost all science will be done with models and providing much higher levels of truthiness.


I was looking at this map of present disease outbreaks:

And noticed a disease I’d never heard of before: Schmallenberg

Doing a quick search on the name, up pops a BBC article about this “new disease”… Seems that it’s a disease of sheep and may be spread by ‘midges’. It is named for the town in Germany where it was first discovered.

Now, last I looked, Germany could be fairly cold. Sometimes even colder than The UK. Yet the article was talking about how this disease was spreading to the UK due to warming caused by, you guessed it, “Climate Change”… Reading further, the article says they don’t really know how it is spread, but that programming a model of midges with projections of temperature rises can yield an alarming rise in personal research importance….

Climate change is raising the risk of diseases such as Schmallenberg in the UK and northern Europe, say scientists.

Schmallenberg virus affects sheep and cattle, and is probably carried by midges. It was identified in Germany last year, and in the UK in January.

Until 1990, Europe’s midge-borne viral diseases were found only in Spain and Portugal; but two have emerged within the last six years in northern Europe.

Experts say the path of Schmallenberg is currently impossible to predict.

Schmallenberg virus – named after the German town where it was first identified – causes fever and diarrhoea in adult animals, but they recover.

However, infection during a critical stage of pregnancy leads to lambs and calves being born with deformation of limbs, spine or brain. Many are stillborn.

Currently it has been found on 83 farms in the UK, mainly in the southeast.

Unpredictable future

The next few months will almost certainly see the birth of more affected lambs and calves resulting from infections their mothers picked up last year, as farms progressively further north go through the calving season.

But after that, it could “burn itself out” or become a regular threat – or anywhere in between, according to leading scientists speaking at a briefing in London.

“There are these two scenarios,” said Matthew Baylis from the Institute of Infection and Global Health at Liverpool University.

“The key question is whether the virus will be picked up by the vector (midges) from the calves and lambs that will be born later in the spring, after the midge season starts.”

If that happens, he said, more cows and sheep will be infected, with problems emerging next year when they give birth.

But the path is very hard to predict as so little is known about a virus that was only identified a few months ago.

“There is the possibility it will simply die out, but I think that would be too good to be true,” said Peter Mertens from the Institute for Animal Health in Surrey.

“There’s a lot of virus about, and I think it’s quite likely it won’t simply go away in one year.

“Is Culicoides (the midge) the only means of spread, or is there something else on a local level – fecal-oral spread, or aerosol (airborne) spread?

“We don’t know.”

So a new virus shows up in Germany. They have no clue how it is actually spread. They don’t know for sure what the vector might be. They admit to not knowing at all how it might play out.

One part of the puzzle that scientists have put together is the influence of climate change on the risks of midge-borne viral diseases.

A higher temperature means an increase in the number of midges, and that they feed more often. It also allows the virus to develop faster.

Using weather and climate models
as well as information on the biology of viruses and midges, Prof Baylis’s research group showed that recent climatic change in northern Europe has significantly increased the risk of viral midge-borne diseases.

“Temperature changes in Europe which to most of us have felt relatively small have in our model led to a large increase
in the risk of viral midge-borne diseases,” he said.

The modelling results, he said, reflected what has actually happened across the continent.

“Culicoides infections were first detected in Europe in the 1920s, but only in Spain and Portugal and on the eastern borders, around Turkey,” he said.

“Then in 1998 we saw cases in Italy. Bluetongue then emerged in northern Europe in 2006/7, and now we have Schmallenberg.”

The modelling suggests other similar diseases should be expected in future, said Prof Mertens, adding: “The doors are open.”

Yet Another publication of the form “Given these conclusions what assumptions can we draw?”

So they start from the assumptions that heat will give more disease, then run models that predict more heat, and golly, The Computer Says there will be more disease.

This is just such crap. Fantasy masquerading as science.

How about doing some field work to find the actual vectors and demonstrate the virus in them? How about looking at the midge populations MEASURED over time? Perhaps some historical work to show past midge infestations? (Any records from the MWP or the Roman Optimum?) Perhaps even looking at the midge range in other continents to see if they have historically had greater cold tolerance than expected? Or if housing animals in heated barns has let the midge survive in modern farms? Or how about this; check to see if there is a foreign midge introduced into Europe. Or doing some contagion tests with midge free sheep to see if the ASSUMPTION of midge as vector is even warranted? You know, actual Science…

Doing a web search on ‘midge cold tolerance’ turned up a slew of papers about the Antarctic Midge, so at a first blush it looks to me like there is little problem with midges living in cold places.

There are so many interesting and useful bits of Science that could have been done, or at least proposed. There are two genuine mysteries here to be explored (what is this disease, and its limits, its evolutionary history? what is actually happening with disease vectors on European sheep farms?) yet it’s all tossed out with a wave of the Computer Model and the Global Warming Scare Story.

I would like to think of some more suitable term, but I can’t. Only one word shouts at me. They are: Idiots. Publishing propaganda and pretending it has meaning.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in AGW and Weather News Events, AGW Science and Background, Science Bits and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Model Science Predicts More Model Scientists!

  1. R. de Haan says:

    “Only one word shouts at me. They are: Idiots. Publishing propaganda and pretending it has meaning.”

    They are idiots all right, I won’t dispute that, neither will I dispute the fact that their worl is plain propaganda but it’s propaganda that serves a clear agenda that under pressure of a sane minority goes more extreme by the day.

    Eugenics back from the scrap yard of failed doctrines

    Eventually they are digger their own grave.

  2. adolfogiurfa says:

    However “secrecy” and “conspiracy” no matter if true, it is a children’s game, it is childish it´s the game of the fool and it goes nowhere.

  3. adrianvance says:

    “Model science” is not science it is statistics. Medicine is not science; it is the practice of an art employing the consequences of statistical studies, i.e. finding that which works and that which does not. The “scientific method” is very specific and many of these fields do not qualify as science and their practitioners are not scientists. Engineers, for example, do not make that mistake.

    The Two Minute Conservative at for political analysis, science and humor. Daily on Kindle.

  4. Jason Calley says:

    “It is unclear at this time how we can have 86.9% increase when we already have 75.1%”

    No problem at all! The scientists calculated such a large increase by working at 110% of their highest capacity!

  5. adolfogiurfa says:

    Fortunately knowledge is as material as anything else and it cannot be divided infinitely. Like a cake being cut: There are not pieces for every fool out there. Sorry!
    Of course they can model, imagine that they can model. My advice would be: Get a mirror and look at yourselves: Make a model and delete the original!

  6. I agree, adolfogiurfa.

    E.M., is there any chance you can recover the material I typed before my web browser froze?

  7. @Oliver K. Manual

    I think it had something to do with mistakes in science regarding neutron repulsion and the Sun. Forgive me, my friend, but it seems to me that almost every post you make tends to lead to that same conclusion. True or not, the presentation of the same material over and over tends to generate the impression that you don’t have other things to say about the current topic, which is unfortunate — you deserve better than that.

    Perhaps you can code a single-line link back to your website, and put in a descriptive title to the material you’ve presented in literally hundreds of comments. It would not only save you a lot of trouble, but it would encourage people to read more carefully what you have to say — and not expect you to simply be trying to make an awkward link between the topic du jour and your series of video presentations about the Sun.

    I wish you well, and look forward particularly to your on-point contributions, sir.

    Speaking of the topic at hand, nice post. And amusing. One of the things not talked about much is how models are constructed. They are built, run (with many assumptions), tweaked to get the output to look more like what was desired from the beginning (the modeler’s perception of “reality”), then tweaked more. Depending upon the complexity, these things will have been run thousands to millions of times before a result is produced that is announced, with much fanfare, as “look what the model predicts!”

    The fact that the model made all those other (now discarded) predictions is ignored.

    In the world of finance, and in many areas of science, such models can still be very useful: they have been shown to work, or to work well enough. But making this process more transparent will allow other modelers to see what the selection biases have done to the end results, and to ask much better questions.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  8. My comment was not about neutron repulsion, but the current demise of science is the result of ignoring reality and using models as the basis for policies.

    Let me try typing this in reverse order, to the point where my computer froze.


    a. Cause and effect control the physical world – not world leaders and their armies of government scientists working with computer models of reality.

    b. On admitting complete powerlessness over everything that is controlled by cause-and-effect, they may enter the spiritual world and discover why spiritual truths are repeatedly verified:

    b. Spiritual laws control reality and the physical world.

    Observations like these – showing either inflow or ejection of elements from neutron stars,

    Illustrate the need for leaders of NAS, NASA and DOE to answer simple questions like this in public: “Is element #1 (hydrogen) the fuel or the waste product from the energy source that sustains life on Earth?”

    Click to access Question_Bolden_Chu_Ciscerone.pdf

  9. dearieme says:

    We had midges hovering over our lawn on a warm day in February. In Cambridgeshire!

  10. dearieme says:

    But they hadn’t brought any sheep with them.

  11. adolfogiurfa says:

    @EM & Oliver Manuel: Neutrons, being so, but so neutral, are really boring.

  12. Not nearly as exciting as the places research funds are being poured to distract us from reality: “Quarks,” “Higgs Bosons,” “God particles,” “Dark energy,” “Dark matter,” etc., ad infinitum.

  13. E.M.Smith says:


    Until you hit “post comment” it’s only on your computer. Sometimes I can get the “back” and then “forward” buttons in my browser to cause a ‘reload’. but otherwise it’s just gone… Sorry.

    For long text, or when on a ‘flakey’ connection or machine, I’ll do my typing in a text doc that I save to disk. Once done, I paste it into the “post comment” window…

    Hope that is of some benefit…

  14. Jason Calley says:

    Dilbert discovers the Higgs boson:

  15. dougieh says:

    Hi E.M.
    noticed the
    “Schmallenberg virus could spread to sheep across the UK
    Scientists blame climate change for spread of newly discovered virus, which causes deformed and stillborn lambs”

    dodgy story in the Guardian last week, where to be fair Professor Baylis turned up in the comments to qualify his statement (but still model based “i.e., driving a model of disease risk using state of the art climate data, and finding good agreement between observation and prediction.”

    but in the end agree with your “Publishing propaganda and pretending it has meaning” by the BBC/MSM.

    ps. Damian Carrington is head of “providing much higher levels of truthiness” at the Guardian :-)

    pps. dearieme – they flocked here.

  16. sandy mcclintock says:

    As a modeller since the late 60s, perhaps I just have a ‘old-timers’ perspective.
    In my experience, models helped me identify which variables were important and which were not. (i.e. finding the parameters to which outcomes were most sensitive)
    This had two benefits:-
    1 It lets one see which sensitive parameters need to be critically examined and quantified more accurately. (i.e. where is my research effort likely to lead to better understanding)
    2 It lets one simplify the story and thereby focus on the main drivers and ignore those variables that cloud the issue. I would try to distil a very simple intuitive explanation of what was driving a particular model.

  17. Larry Geiger says:

    Yay, yay, yippee kiyay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Your font is back. I’m not sure what was going on with the minute, tiny font that was being displayed recently but things look REALLY good today. Yippee!

  18. @Larry

    Ouch. I didn’t see the change — you don’t suppose it was aimed just at you, do you? Sort of a Geiger-counter attack? ];-)

    WordPress does experience odd twitches from time to time — especially the home base, “” version. Still worthwhile, generally.

    With my own vision impairments, the Ctrl-plus and Ctrl-minus keys are certainly useful.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  19. Mark Miller says:

    “Model science” is an unfortunate name for this. My own conception about science is that models which are tested by observation/experimentation are of critical importance to it. Newton’s formula for gravitational motion is a model. Einstein’s theory of general relativity is a model. The difference between them and this stuff is they were tested and found to have very high degrees of accuracy under specific conditions. Computer models can help scientists as investigative tools, to check their own thinking about their theories and what they’ve observed. What this story is about is an abuse of these models.

    One thing I’d add, given the tendency for this abuse to go on nowadays, is scientists need to be cognizant of the fact that computers impose their own limitations on model results. For example, for some problems, an analog computer will be more accurate than a digital one. Many years ago I fancied doing a theoretical investigation of a theory about how our solar system formed. I tried to construct my own gravitational particle model, and discovered a limitation of digital computers to investigate this: A digital computer works with discrete values, but the problem constraints demand that an object’s motion changes continuously. The way such a computer operates demands a “first it’s here, then it’s there” model of motion, which is not realistic to this problem. The only way to compensate for it is to make the time factor on the motion very small, but even that introduces some error. Looking back on it, I think an analog computer would’ve enabled a scientist to construct a more accurate model. My model ended up having other things about it that disqualified it from being realistic. For example, I just had everything moving in 2D space. I ended up using it as a plaything, just something interesting to look at. In one run, I ended up with a spontaneous, stable system (though no central sun). Interesting, but of little use to scientific investigation.

  20. R. de Haan says:

    Progress made by mankind:
    Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics and Model Science

  21. tckev says:

    But here is 10 things that over the years the models have *proved*

    1. In the 1970s, Ehrlich told us that food was a thing of the past.
    2. In 1988, Hansen told us that Manhattan was a thing of the past
    3. In 2000, the UK Met Office told us that snow was a thing of the past
    4. In 2000, Hansen told us that the Dust Bowl was a thing of the past
    5. In 2000, Mann told us that the MWP was a thing of the past
    6. In 2000, Mann told us that tree rings were a thing of the past
    7. In 2008, the top Norwegian polar expert told us that Arctic ice was a thing of the past
    8. In 2008, the Australian BOM told us that rain was a thing of the past in Australia
    9. In 2009, the top Canadian expert told us that multi-year Arctic ice was a thing of the past
    10. In 2011 we learned that rain was a thing of the past in the western US

    Also the BBC own opinion proves that it is the best world class broadcaster.

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry Geiger:

    There was a discussion of this on WUWT. It was a bug from a change of Google Ads that only hit IE-8 (so I didn’t notice as I use free and more functional browsers ;-)

    @Sandy Mcclintock:

    I usually sum that up as “Models inform our ignorance”. They tell you were to look in more detail and what bits you’ve not got quite right yet. We did plastic modeling for years at Apple (with the Cray) and bout 9 out of 10 it gave a perfect mold first time. Other times it would have a ‘brain fart’ and we’d need to fix some bit (but learned something about where weld lines or scorches were not quite modeled right…) Following runs would look for, for example, faster fluid flow or better fill pressures to get the fix right in one cut. (At several $Tens-of-thosands to fix a die, or $1/4 million for a new one, you better bet we liked the models and the much better investigative / predictive results. BUT they are not reality and not to be blindly trusted…)

    @Mark Miller:

    Computer models also have a host of subtle ‘bugs and mis-features’ in them… It’s very hard to get a truly random number, for example. Most attempts give numbers with a random distribution but a repeatable start point…. There are a variety of pernicious rounding and truncating ‘issues’ (especially in FORTRAN ….) and variable typing has it’s own impacts. Then there are overflow and underflow problems… nothing like “very big” suddenly turning into “very little” when it was supposed to be a bit bigger (or that data codling problem where some negative temperatures are being coded as positive due to a missing M ) Oh, and conversion from base ten data to base 2 representations and back can induce subtle biases in some sensitive cases.

    I was blessed with a very clever FORTRAN teacher in my first programming class. The problem set was cleverly designed to induce us to make all sorts of subtle errors, and then discover them. I still remember the “make a random number generator” problem and issues…. and the “underflow” where did that big number come from surprise ;-) ALL computer modelers need that kind of instruction… It was taught in the Engineering Department and directed at folks designing human occupied structures, machines, etc… Being “off by one” was not an option…

    @R. de Haan:

    I think you are on to something…


    What I love is the complete lack of comparing their ‘proofs’ to reality and having an “Oh Dear” moment…

    Almost makes me think it is deliberate…

    @Jason Calley:

    GRIN :-)


    I’m from farm country and just expected more “grounding” from something about sheep and diseases…. Sigh…


    I think I need to learn more about midges… they seem to be more common that I’d thought… then again, we don’t have a lot of bugs in California. Too dry.

  23. omanuel says:

    @Keith DeHavelle says:
    13 March 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Thanks for your comment. You are right. I am extremely frustrated: I saw this disaster coming for decades (since the early 1970s) and didn’t recognize what was happening until Climategate emails and documents were released in Nov 2009.

    Through my research advisor, P. K. Kuroda, I can now trace our demise back in time to secret, fear-driven agreements made between Kissinger, Zhou En-Lai, Chairman Mao, Brezhnev and Nixon in 1971: Self-centered fears of nuclear annihilation because:
    _a.) Hiroshima was evaporated on 6 Aug 1945, and
    _b.) The Cuban Missile crisis in late Oct 1962:

    Click to access Climategate_Roots.pdf

    Even before those secret agreements were made, leaders of the US scientific community blocked normal channels of publication for information on the nuclear forces in bombs and reactors that create and destroy chemical elements [P. K. Kuroda, “On the nuclear physical stability of the uranium minerals,” Journal of Chemical Physics 25, 781 (1956); “On the infinite multiplication constant and the age of the uranium minerals,” Journal of Chemical Physics 25, 1256 (1956); “The Oklo phenomenon,” Naturwissenschaften 70, 536-539 (1983)]. or

    I am driven, perhaps by a deep sense of guilt, to solve this problem before departing life:
    1. From childhood I was as self-centered and arrogant as any of the politicians and scientists that sold our country “down the drain” for personal gain.
    2. Probably Professor Kuroda picked me to be his student in 1960 and carry the message because he knew I would not be easily “shut up.”
    3. Deep insecurities drove me to succeed, as they do many “successful” personalities, until about 1996 when I realized that I am totally powerless over everything controlled by cause-and-effect. That allowed me to grasp the great benevolent reality outside my ego cage.

    These four documents summarize our demise and the benevolent reality that surrounds and sustains us as natural parts of this great dynamic, evolving universe:
    1. “Deep historical roots of the global climate scandal” (needs update)

    Click to access Climategate_Roots.pdf

    2. “Is the universe expanding?” J. Cosmology 13, 4187-4190 (2011).
    3. “Origin and Evolution of Life Constraints on the Solar Model”, 
    J. Modern Physics 2, 587‐594 (2011)  
    4. “Neutron repulsion,” The Apeiron J., in press (2012)

    Click to access Neutron_repulsion.pdf

  24. E.M.Smith says:


    The audience here is mostly dominated by ‘regulars’ so having a bit beyond ‘the usual’ would be a good thing. But, with that said, it was the repetition that finally got me thinking about it and led to the “Ah Hah!” moment (after reading yet more of the articles) that just maybe our Sun was a neutron star. So I’m not ‘vexed” with a repetition some times…

    It had always bothered me that we were supposedly created by a condensed cloud of supernova debris, yet our local area was mostly swep clear ( i.e. not in a ‘stellar nursery’ nebula). Where was that supernova? ( I’d wondered on and off…) That problem is solved (along with several others) if the sun is the nova remnant…

    Then a few more months of repetition and I had the “Oh Yeah!” that hiding how it works matters to putting ‘fusion power’ as the always 50 years away ‘someday dream’ solution that never gets closer.

    So I’m generally OK with your “style”… But would find it interesting if some times you put up your favorite cookie recipe or what you thought of “pills vs a day at the beach” as an ‘escape from pressures’ or even the best way you found to get an early start on the garden ;-) It’s fine to have a passion, but a little seasoning can make a more interesting dish ;-)

    FWIW, one of the things I find odd is that neutrons can be slowed way down and piped out of a research reactor with a PVC pipe (via ‘making a hole in the water’ with the pipe). The idea of a ‘hose full of neutrons’ just makes me want to giggle…. So some idea what they do, then, (other than soak into one kind of U and make another kind…) might be interesting. Can I make a bottle of neutrons and extract energy from their decay? Hmmm…..

    I’m also stuck at the point where a Proton or a Proton/Neutron pair is bound to a metal ion. I’m pretty sure that’s how the cold fusion things works. Bond length is less than the outer electron shell diameter; so I think that puts the H or D in the middle of the electron cloud… Under electrostatic pressure (ie high volts on it) how close is it? Close enough for an excited wave function to have some percentage “randomly” end up close enough to the metal nucleus to be absorbed? I suspect you could work out the probability that in a mass of 1 gram, some number of Ni ions would be expected to turn to Cu based on just that delocalizing probability… (then we all get to hand wave about why heat / electric force from more charge would speed it up…)

    In short: I think you’ve “got skills” that you could use to put some interesting other bits in postings too…

    ( As another idea: I’ve often thought that matter is just condensed photons. So, how many photons would it take to make a neutron? And if not high energy gammas, how much? A flashlight running for a month? ( We’ll leave gluing the photons together for another day ;-)

    Inquiring minds want to know ;-)

    Hmmm…… maybe being embedded in the electron cloud, the P absorbs an electron to become a very slow N and gets captured by the nucleus, where some percentage re-emit a slow electron again? Or is the energy just always going for a too energetic Beta and Gama?

    How hard is it get an E into a P to make an N? I donno, but I bet you do…

  25. R. de Haan says:

    omanuel says:
    14 March 2012 at 9:59 am

    Oliver, I have two questions.
    1. do you mind if I tshare your comment here and repost it at some climate science blogs I visit in Europe?
    2. are you prepared to answer any questions that could result from those postings?

    I send you the blogs as soon I have your posting published.

  26. Pascvaks says:

    Who is the bigger fool? The tailors who make invisable sets of kingly, queenly, princely, princessly, noble, and common peasent clothes that cost a fortune? Or the kings, queens, princes, princesses, nobles, and common peasents who pay a fortune, put them on, and prance around in public like they’re the cat’s meow? Me thinks me knows the answers but I’m deathly afraid to tell ye’all, I think it prudent to go along and buy me a set for Sunday too; my Momma didn’t raise no fool.

    PS: We’ve narrowed it down to something in the water, something in the air, something we eat, something we wear (or don’t), something we watch, something we listen to, something we feel, something we smell, and/or something think. New model research suggests it’s likely all of these and then some. (I still think it’s all them Mexican Cherry Tomatoes; they are so gooooooooooood!;-)

  27. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “How hard is it get an E into a P to make an N? I donno, but I bet you do…”

    I am only a lowly autodidact, but the process you describe is called, I think, “K capture.” Imagine an electron sitting down in the lowest orbital with its specific quantized momentum. If you hit the electron with an ultraviolet photon carrying an equal momentum you can — sometimes and insert handwaving here — stop it in its tracks and have it drop down to join with a proton. Do it for lithium and you make helium.

    Shortly after the official discovery of radioactivity, a French scientist, Gustav Le Bon, did a series of experiments where he took various light elements such as zinc, tin, aluminum, rubbed them with mercury and exposed them to sunlight. He claimed that the process induced radioactivity in the samples. Oddly, his books on the subject were confiscated by the FBI from libraries all over the US during the 1940s. Google Books now has them, The Evolution of Matter, and The Evolution of Forces, available Le Bon, just as a side note, wrote deeply on crowd psychology and was, I believe, an great influence on the later work of Edward Bernays.

    The science of radioactivity — especially in the lighter elements, i.e., not only the trans-uranics — has, in my opinion been strongly censored over the last century. One reason for the never ending cheap-fusion energy program has been to concentrate thinking and talent on a problem designed to not be solved, and to prevent practical and decentralized access to cheap power. Scientists, like Dr. Paul Brown of Nucell who persist in such studies end up dead.

  28. @R. de Haan says:
    14 March 2012 at 11:03 am

    I would be delighted to respond to questions. The idea of a pulsar core and an iron-rich solar interior were independently arrived at by astrophysicists/astronomers that I had not met:

    Peter Toth, “Is the Sun a pulsar?” Nature 270 (1977) 159-160.

    Carl A. Rouse, “Evidence for a small, high-Z, iron-like solar core,” Astronomy and Astrophysics 149 (1985) 65-72.

  29. Pingback: The exceptional views of Oliver K. Manuel, Professor of Nuclear Chemistry | Sullivan's Travelers

  30. adolfogiurfa says:

    Forget about that “pebbles universe” and that entanglement of endless particles of different sizes and get back to undulatory nature of everything, where waves are generated by the interaction of two opposite charges and the “medium”, That´s electricity/music at every level. Instead of a soup of letters you will have something by far simpler. Check the new paradigm and revisit Pythagoras.

  31. R. de Haan says:

    Smallenberg Virus
    Also the Netherlands and Belgium are hit by the Smalenberg Virus.
    RIVM is doing research.
    This article was translated with Google Translate from De Boerderij (The Farm)

    They already have developed a fast test to diagnose a virus infection.

  32. In response to suggestions here, I post an abbreviated research profile on
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Abbreviated Profile:

    Born in 1936, I was a high-school drop-out and an angry, arrogant atheist when I started research with Professor Paul Kazuo Kuroda at the University of Arkansas on the “Origin of the Solar System and its elements” in 1960.

    In 1972 I became uneasy about the politicalization of science, but I could not decipher the problem until Climategate emails and documents were released in Nov 2009.

    Through experiences of my research advisor during WWII (Dr. Kazuo Kuroda of the Imperial University of Tokyo), the issue was traced back to secret, fear-driven agreements by Kissinger, Zhou En-Lai, Chairman Mao, Brezhnev and Nixon in 1971 to unite nations, conceal information about nuclear energy and avoid the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation because:

    _a.) Hiroshima was vaporized on 6 Aug 1945
    _b.) The Cuban Missile crisis in late Oct 1962

    Click to access Climategate_Roots.pdf

    Even before 1971, leaders of the US scientific community blocked normal channels of communication on nuclear forces that create and destroy chemical elements in nuclear bombs and reactors [P. K. Kuroda, “On the nuclear physical stability of the uranium minerals,” J. Chem. Physics 25, 781 (1956); “On the infinite multiplication constant and the age of the uranium minerals,” J. Chem. Physics 25, 1256 (1956); (later) “The Oklo phenomenon,” Naturwissenschaften 70, 536-539 (1983)]. or

    Social and economic instabilities increased when leaders of the scientific community refused to acknowledge the issues revealed by Climategate emails and documents in late 2009. To help resolve this before departing life, I acknowledge:

    _i.) Until 1996 I was as self-centered and arrogant as any of those that traded our constitutional rights for security or profit.

    _ii.) Professor Kuroda probably picked me to be his student in 1960 and carry the message because I was so energized by insecurities, focused, and enamored with science.

    _iii.) The insecurities that drove me to succeed also wrecked havoc in my personal life until I accepted powerless over the things controlled by cause-and-effect in 1996 and grasped the great benevolent reality outside my own ego cage.

    These four documents summarize society’s demise and the benevolent reality that surrounds and sustains us as living parts of this great dynamic, evolving universe:

    1. “Deep historical roots of the global climate scandal”

    Click to access Climategate_Roots.pdf

    2. “Is the universe expanding?” J. Cosmology 13, 4187-4190 (2011).

    3. “Origin and Evolution of Life . . .”,
    J. Modern Physics 2, 587‐594 (2011)

    Click to access JMP20112600007_31445079.pdf

    4. “Neutron repulsion,” The Apeiron J., in press (2012)

    Click to access Neutron_repulsion.pdf

  33. E.M.Smith says:


    Figured out that WordPress is choking on the “periods” in that URL. Put in the unicode for a period instead and it works ( as I did in one of your links). Ampersand Poundsign 46 Semicolon (Yes, that has to be put in for each period… cut/paste is your friend ;-)

    Interesting article, btw….

  34. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    Hmmm…. wonder if that means we got more clouds too? And if the rate of gamma ray events varies with climate cycles?…

  35. Mark Miller says:

    Another thing I was going to say was this whole deal with midges “migrating” because of rising temperatures reminds me of a complaint that a scientist and former member of the IPCC had with the organization (at least I think that’s what it was). He talked about it in “The Great Global Warming Swindle.” There was a report released saying that mosquitos carrying malaria would “migrate north” causing epidemics as the earth warmed. The reasoning behind this was that malaria-carrying mosquitos only liked a warm climate. He said that was false, and anyone who did even a little research on malaria and mosquitos would know this. He said something to the effect that you can find malaria in the northern parts of Siberia.

    The whole idea is, “If you don’t care about it (or don’t believe any of the stuff about) being too hot because of warmer temperatures, severe weather due to warmer climate (however that’s supposed to work), or being flooded out because of rising sea levels, we’ll try to scare you with disease. Remember the black death?”


    I know a little of what you mean when you talk about converting from base 10 to base 2, and then back again. Floating point arithmetic in C used to drive me up the wall. Eventually I found out that floating-point calculations in C were estimates. I looked it up once. C, and many other languages, use an IEEE standard for floating-point values which only calculates the mantissa according to powers of 2. So my memory is it can handle fractions like 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc. just fine, but it can only estimate 1/3, 1/7, 2/3, etc.

    It was okay if I was dealing with float constants, just pure binary values. Subtle errors would creep in while doing calculations, but they were manageable so long as you didn’t need much precision. It got really bad whenever I tried to convert from a string to a double (32-bit float). To this day I don’t know why. I have a suspicion that the conversion routines were not initializing the binary values (zeroing them out) before conversion, leaving garbage bits behind. The errors were glaring. I could convert “9.0” and “3.0” (strings) to doubles using something like atof() (there were a few ways to do it), try to divide them, and get !@#$ like 2.99999997! I had to do “gymnastics” to correct this.

    I haven’t heard too much about what climate modelers have used, but a language called “R” has been mentioned. From what little I’ve read about it, I would assume it handles arithmetic calculations well. There are much larger problems with climate models than this. The computers we have (I mean in our society) are not suited to what they’re trying to model. This goes for economic models as well. I don’t know if they still talk about this in academic computer science, but they used to talk about the extreme difficulty of trying to accurately model a chaotic, non-linear system, even speculating it might be impossible with current designs. At its base, computer design hasn’t changed much in the last 40 years. The improvements we’ve gotten have just been optimizations of an old design.

    The conceit that keeps coming up WRT computer modeling is, “Since our model can predict this that or the other, we know how the system works.” I talked to one modeler who said that evolutionary algorithms were much better at making predictive climate models than the method that the majority of climate modelers are trying to use, which he said was just wrong. I have my suspicions about evolutionary algorithms. They are a kind of learning system, and they can be useful in some circumstances, but my question is, “What are they learning? Can you inquire about the theory they’ve developed?” You can’t just trust a model because, “It’s been right so far.” You have to be able to examine it. As I sometimes point out to people who trust in model predictions, even Ptolemy’s theory of epicycles appeared to work for a time. Astronomers were able to make reasonably good predictions about the positions of the Sun and planets with it. It got updated and corrected as astronomical observations got better. It was eventually discovered, after hundreds of years, because the model’s defects were becoming more and more apparent, that its conception of how the Solar System worked was way off!

  36. E.M.Smith says:

    @Mark Miller:

    Unless you do the math in base ten, and do not do a conversion to binary, there is a fundamental error of conversion that will arise. Not always, but often. Here’s the problem in ‘base 10’:

    What is 1/2? 0.5
    What is 1/3? 0.333333333333333 repeated 3 to infinity, but we don’t have infinity so it gets truncated at 0.33333333 (or whatever…)

    Multiply THAT by 3, you get 0.99999999 and always will….

    For most things, being off by a bit in the lowest order digit is not all that important. But in some things it is. Especially recursive or iterative things like models that may do the same math 10,000 times in a row. Or computer theft where you can accumulate those 0.000000001 penny lost bits into an account and grow rich… (Called “the salami technique” as if you slice it a bit thinner nobody notices…)

    An illustrative story on “learning systems”, supposedly true:

    DOD spent a lot of money to have a researcher develop a tank recognition system. He chose to use a self learning A.I. neural network approach. It worked.

    They showed it dozens of pictures of US and Russian tanks. Eventually it started getting them right 100% of the time. At one demonstration, they decided to see how little a bit of tank it took. Just a barrel? No problem. Bit of tread? No problem. Barely a scrap of plane flat side? Still worked. Finally, in desperation, they gave it a bit with just some trees in it, no “tank” parts at all. It still scores 100% HOW was it recognizing that a tank HAD BEEN in the picture, but was not cut out?

    A lot of further investigation showed it had learned to recognize film grain. The USA pictures had lots of light and fine grained film. The USSR tanks were spy pictures taken in available light with fast grainy film…

    It was a Very Clever Hans, but did not know what a tank looked like ;-)

  37. Mark Miller says:


    A 1992 documentary called, “The Machine That Changed The World” talked about this very development, in the episode called, “The Thinking Machine.” If you want to cut to the chase, move the slider of the video to 43:16. Hubert Dreyfus talks about it. What he said about was that the neural net had learned to distinguish photos of a forest on a sunny day from one on a cloudy day. He didn’t say anything about the grain of the film. Maybe he got it wrong.

    Incidentally, one of the major topics in this episode is Doug Lenat’s “Cyc” project. I saw a Nova show on the Watson project at CMU last year, and they mentioned Cyc. Lenat is still working on it 20 years later. He said his system now has the intelligence of a 4-year-old child, which is a significant improvement over where it was 20 years ago.

    When I looked at AI when I was in college, I didn’t hold out much hope for symbolic AI. Its whole basis is on rules of logic and words that we invented and use to reason, but they’re not what our brain uses to develop intelligence. It seemed to me at the time that neural nets held more promise, since they’re closer to what the brain actually does than symbolic AI. The problem is, as we’ve discussed, we cannot as yet communicate and reason with these nets to get a sense of what they’re learning. All they can do is demonstrate some capability that we recognize as like that of a human, like speech, or recognizing speech, translating sentences from one language to another semi-intelligently (somewhat capturing meaning), recognizing faces, etc. One advantage with symbolic AI, demonstrated by Cyc, is it’s able to communicate very clearly what it thinks it’s learned. It’s just that the system its using to learn is very inefficient.

  38. E.M.Smith says:

    @Mark Miller:

    Maybe not wrong so much as ‘different look at the same thing’. WHEN do you use high ASA film? In dim lighting like forests under cloudy skys. Slow fine grain film used on sunny days. One describes “what it learned” in common terms, the other in a ‘technical why it can happen’ way. Same ‘reason’.

    Per Cyc: Interesting. Had not kept up on it:

  39. Mark Miller says:

    I saw this earlier this week on The News Hour on PBS. It’s encouraging in one sense, that parents and students are putting up a fight against the propaganda of CAGW in school. The slant of the story is that parents are “non-believers” in science, or are selective in their belief, and is reminiscent of the condescending treatment that fundamentalist Christians get in public school science classes re. evolution.

    They profile an AP Environmental Science teacher (I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt that she’s teaching science for at least part of her class. I don’t know any different) in CO. who complains about the resistance she’s getting from many quarters to discussing AGW.

    She said that she has students look at some data sets from NOAA and other scientific organizations, and she has them look at “models and projections, to see what they indicate.” Looking at data sets is fine, but the latter raised a red flag for me. It seems to me the curriculum is to get the students doing what climate modelers are doing, but without testing the construct of the models against observations. The segment producers and the people they interview, it seems to me, confuse this activity with “science” and “evidence.” Yes, a data set is evidence, but looking at models and projections formulated by others to “see what they indicate” is not, nor is it science.

    It seemed to me the teacher was off in her characterization of the word “theory” in science. She said out in society “theory” just means an idea, but in science it’s the equivalent of “survivor,” meaning it’s been tested and been found to have been “correct.” No, my understanding is that in science, theory means what society thinks it means. Now, whether it’s been tested, and been made robust enough with cross-checking and correction to match reality closely, confirmed by observation, is a different matter. That’s a theory worth paying attention to, using in further research, and perhaps engineering, where it could be put to practical use to correct a problem. Absent that, no, a theory even in science is just an idea, and in science there are lots of theories that get generated that turn out to not comport with reality.

    I thought it interesting to contrast this with this clip of a conversation with computer pioneer Alan Kay. He talks about the importance of how one uses abstract models vis-a-vis observation, and contrasting real science to what’s apparent to credible believers. He also gets into an issue that’s been a problem for schools for a long time, how to deal with “big science.” Schools have long tried to get around this problem using methods of teaching that don’t really teach science.

    It seems to me what’s really being confronted with this issue is the whole notion of how schools teach science. For the most part they teach it as a body of “facts” supported by models produced by “experts.” Perhaps they still do experimentation. I hope they do. The idea has long been that the experts have the right answer, and there is no dispute. What gets me, in hindsight, is that even though we did experiments in science class when I was in school years ago, our experiments were always compared against the “expert models.” Our “error” was the difference between the two. Real science doesn’t work this way, but it’s apparent that schools are still trying to use this method of instruction.

    The way they’re reacting to this issue may be the same as they’ve reacted to the idea of teaching evolution, and they may figure the solution will be the same. Maybe (they hope) someday there will be a “Scopes Trial” for CAGW where the unbelievers are defeated in spirit, if not in law. The tenor of the News Hour piece indicates people in this community of educators figure there are a bunch of ignorant parents who don’t understand “the science,” who are substituting politics for real knowledge, and they just need to find ways around the resistance, because the schools are right, and the parents are wrong, and we don’t want to turn out ignorant kids. I wish they’d look in the mirror…

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