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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Apr > Apr 5

Re: Printy 'Science' & Kecksberg

From: David Rudiak <drudiak.nul>
Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2012 09:36:49 -0700
Archived: Thu, 05 Apr 2012 08:25:31 -0400
Subject: Re: Printy 'Science' & Kecksberg


>From: Vincent Boudreau <vincentboudreau.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2012 04:57:18 -0400
>Subject: Re: Printy 'Science' & Kecksberg

>>From: David Rudiak <drudiak.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2012 14:36:21 -0700
>>Subject: Printy 'Science' & Kecksberg

>>>[was: Debunkers Irrational Uninformed And Ignorant]

>>>UFO Debunkers: Irrational, Uninformed And Ignorant
>>>Stanton T Friedman
>>>In early February, 2012, Andre Skondras, who distributes many
>>>interesting UFO articles on the internet, carried a 15 page 2008
>>>article by Tim Printy entitled The UFO Disclosure Myth; I am a
>>>primary target of the last portion of the article. I also found
>>>his paper My Skeptical Opinion about UFOs. Clearly he is a
>>>debunker not a skeptic. He seems to know very little though he
>>>has strong opinions.

>>Ah yes, Tim Printy, the Sarah Palin of Ufology, indeed
>>irrational, uniformed, and ignorant. He thinks he knows much
>>more than he really does, claims to be the defender of "science"
>>But like a lot of debunkers, he is more of a science wannabe who
>>thinks he knows what "science" is about, but hasn't a clue about
>>true scientific argumentation. Printy never really had any
>>formal scientific education. Unlike Stan or me, or many others
>>in this crazy field, Printy has zero college science degrees.
>>Just remember that whenever you read Printy ranting about how
>>sancrosanct "science" is and how supposedly pseudoscientific
>>Ufologists like Stan or me are.

<snip>

>With all due respect, you seem to confuse academic credits and
>scientific credibility.

>Science is an attitude, a way of thinking, As it has been long
>demonstrated, science is not necessarily what scientists do.

>What scientists do, most of the time, is uncritically parroting
>their establishment in order to gain position and research
>grants.

<snip>

>One can argue that all scientists are not like that.
>I'll grant you that much.

>But, most of the time, at the end of the day, it is first about
>party line, then big money. The party line comes first.

Printy got all huffy and attacked me for daring to criticize a
"science" paper he and other pseudo-skeptics use to debunk the
Kecksburg incident, a 1967 article in the J. of the Royal
Astronomical Society of Canada. (JRASC)

But I've read hundreds and hundreds of science papers and this
was not a very good one, with a lot of flawed methodology and
hidden assumptions. One thing you learn reading science papers
is to examine the "methods" section very carefully, because if
the methods are flawed or based on weak assumptions, the results
are often questionable. Another thing you learn reading science
papers is that mistakes or bad assumptions are quite common.
Scientists are not the perfect gods Printy treats them as. No
paper is above criticism, in fact in real science circles,
fellow scientists often severely criticize the flaws in the work
of others.

In this case the authors were claiming a highly precise
quantitative result (a singular fireball trajectory), with
absolutely no error analysis. They shouldn't have gotten away
with that if the referees were doing their jobs properly. But
Canada is a small country, I doubt there were more than a few
dozen professional astronomers total in the whole country, and
they probably all knew one another quite well. Thus their
research grants and tenure depend on the good-will of the other
astronomers. This can create a "good old boy" system of
patronage where the referees might have been unwilling to
criticize or send the paper back for needed revision. So maybe
the party line at work, as you say.

But I think even non-scientists realize there is no such thing
as perfect measurement. Yet Printy was practically hysterical
that I criticized the lack of error analysis or demonstrated
that extremely tiny errors in their measurements could have
created a drastically different trajectory, including many
consistent with the fireball heading in the direction of
Kecksburg.

There were two other very odd things with the JRASC paper. It
was "Part I" of a two-part article, they referenced "Part II"
that was to follow which dealt with the 66 eyewitness reports
that had been collected, yet "Part II" was never published. So
to get into a conspiratorial mindset, the question is why not?
Did the eyewitness reports conflict with the "perfect", non-
Kecksburg trajectory of "Part I" and was therefore suppressed?
Or was something much more boring at work, like the authors of
"Part II" never finishing their paper as planned?

Finally, they do mention the duration estimates of all the
eyewitnesses as being mostly 3 to 4 seconds, but then used a
bizarre duration "average" of only two witnesses (did you know
the "average" of 1 sec plus 4 sec equals "2" seconds?) to get a
typical meteor speed, instead of using the real, much longer
duration of all the eyewitnesses, which would have resulted in a
much lower speed like than expected of a re-entering space
object.

So again, was there some sort of cover-up at work here? They
couldn't have thought that using wildly different duration
estimates of only two witnesses would be better than averaging
all 66 data points. But that wouldn't have given a meteor speed,
but something much slower. And maybe they couldn't accept that,
or they realized the implications (reentering space object) and
decided or were directed to suppress that information.

I will of course be accused of conspiracy theory, but 'non-
conspiratorial' mindsets then have the burden to explain such a
botched analysis and elimination of critical data.

So Vince, maybe you are right. In the end it wasn't about
following the real facts to their logical conclusion, which is
what science is supposed to be about, but toeing the party line.


David Rudiak



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