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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Nov > Nov 6

Re: Science 17P/Holmes Comet & Denial

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2007 16:10:58 -0000
Archived: Tue, 06 Nov 2007 07:26:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Science 17P/Holmes Comet & Denial

>From: Vincent Boudreau <vincentboudreau.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sun, 04 Nov 2007 22:59:20 -0500 (EST)
>Subject: Re: Science 17P/Holmes Comet & Denial

>>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2007 17:32:38 -0000
>>Subject: Re: Science 17P/Holmes Comet & Denial

>>>From: Vincent Boudreau <vincentboudreau.nul>
>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Fri, 02 Nov 2007 23:17:48 -0400 (EDT)
>>>Subject: Science 17P/Holmes Comet & Denial

>Martin and List,

>There is no need to be so rude . . .  I do not understand
>why you wish to be so deliberately insulting . . . Jeez,
>take a deep breath. Why the unnecessary roughness?


All this shock and affront because you are told that you are
talking "nonsense". It happens often on this List. If you want
to avoid the risk then either don't post nonsense or don't post
at all. By all means countercharge, that's what the forum is
for. But do so with good sense. At the moment you are trying to
put out your own fire by dowsing it with petrol.

You claim now that you "simply" meant to convey surprise that
the comet had not become a front-page popular media story, you
intended no criticism of the scientific response:

>You got this all wrong. I never said astronomers were taking no
>notice or showing no interest.

>I simply pointed out that, considering the magnitude, the
>importance and the "uniqueness" of the present phenomenon, I
>surprised that there was little if any mass media coverage of
>the event.

This is utterly disingenuous, as anyone can see.

The title of this thread is yours and advertises "Science" in
"denial". Your post expanded on this theme:

"It seems like science is turning its back on one of the
greatest astronomical events ever. There is no speculation, no
questions asked, no 'day dreaming', no analysis done."

You drew a direct comparison between "this attitude" of "denial"
and the "rejection" of UFO evidence - by "scientists", not by
the mass media.


>>>A unique astronomical event is occurring actually. It is
>>>baffling scientists: the 17P/Holmes Comet.

>>Well, it isn't quite unique. The same periodic comet did a
>>similar thing in the year of its discovery, 1892. In fact it did
>>it _twice_ that time. Erratic magnitude estimates were also
>>recorded during the 1899 return. A number of other comets have
>>shown similar outbursts, but the scale of this one is said to
>>be greater than any seen for about a century.

You apparently object to my "rudeness" in pointing out
explicitly what you now claim you meant implicitly all along,
that the event is not actually unique:

>Merriam-Webster: unique - third use: _unusual_. _Strange_ is
>also considered a synonym.

So when you said "unique" you reasonably assumed that we would
all know you meant Merriam-Webster's obscure third-rank usage?
This is mere obfuscation. Even if bastardization of "unique" to
mean merely "unusual" has become a vernacular mis-usage
sufficiently common to require mention in your dictionary, we
all know what _you_ meant by describing the comet outburst as
"unique" and "baffling scientists".

You did _not_ mean anything as lame as: "Comet 17/P Holmes is
undergoing one of its unusual outbursts, as some comets do from
time to time, and this one's a doozy - by the way there is still
room for argument as to exactly what the cause of these
outbursts is."

No, you meant what you said: "One of the greatest [baffling]
astronomical events ever". (and don't bother with this tired
"Oh, so you're telepathic - how do you know what I was
thinking?" defence. If we weren't supposed to infer your meaning
from your words what the heck use were they?).

And when you said

>>>There is no satisfactory explanation for the event.

you didn't mean that there was still legitimate debate as to
which mechanism best explains these events, you meant that
"Science" is confounded by it and forced into "denial" of it:

>. . . How could one explain that a 2 inch ice
>cube (5 cm) would be vaporized to a cubic space of 1.6 by 1.6
>by1.6 miles?

I addressed this already, the size and brightness of the cloud
is interesting and puzzling at first sight but not so puzzling
when you think it through (I'd take this opportuntiy to add BTW
that the apparent problem is made worse here by your mistake of
asuming the 1% of nucleus material is spread throughout the
cubic volume - it isn't, it's an expanding shell from a brief
ejection event so the density is much closer to being a function
of the surface area of the sphere than the volume). I agreed

>>there is no definite, proven explanation for the event and
>>like it.

But pointed out

>>There are sensible theories, though.

But your sarcastic grumbling response to that was

>It would have been interesting for you to state just a couple,

(I did, but you're not really listening)

which reveals again that when you say there is "no satisfactory
explanation" _you_ mean that a baffled "Science" is all at sea
with (as you now put it) "no clue about what is really
happening" and so scared of its ignorance as to be in "denial"
of this comfort-threatening interloper, as what else could
explain the absence of a front-page media sensation even while
preliminary telescopic observations were still being made.


>As for sensible theories, I hinted that the difficulty to
>pinpoint a scientific explanation made astronomers in general
>shy of talking about it in public.

No. Stop it, Vincent. You didn't "hint" that astronomers are
"shy" of getting quoted because the exact physics of cometary
outbursts isn't clearly understood yet - that would have been
close to the obvious truth and would have placed control of the
media agenda where it lies, with the media themselves, making
them responsible for failing to promote an insufficiently sexy
story ("Astronomers Continue to Observe Some Dust Around Remote
Comet - Results Uncertain" - yawn). No, you've _asserted_boldly_
that because Science has failed to secure front-page headlines
about the "Baffling Mystery of Comet Holmes" (or whatever) then
Science is in collective denial of one of the "greatest
astronomical events ever", and you liken this to what you
describe as Science's "looking for excuses" to reject UFOs.

I'll expect further evasion, but I'm really not interested in
playing along any more.

Martin Shough

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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