Re: Open Air Space Habitats (excerpted)

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Thu, 27 Mar 1997 14:39:19 -0800 (PST)

> CSICOP are themselves about as credible as the above mentioned accused. They
> are more interested in maintaining their DOGMA (early 20th century scientific
> understanding) than in finding the truth. They have repeatedly refused to
> publish ANY papers that might suggest there are "psi" phenomona at work. For a
> scathing critique of CSICOP I suggest you read Robert Anton Wilson's "New
> Inquistion".

That particular hatchet-job, which I have indeed read, is just a sloppy
attempt at faulting CSICOP for doing what they were created to do, and not
necessarily what Wilson or others think they should do. CSICOP's mission
is to be skeptical; that's their charter. They have no interest in being
"balanced" or presenting "suggestive" evidence for psi, because there is
more than enough support for such ideas elsewhere. Their mission is to
demonstrate that every piece of so-called evidence for psi phenomena can
be adequately and more simply explained by chance and trickery. They do
quite an admirable job of that, and are a good source of info on that.

> As far as Puthoff is concerned, he has published several papers regarding ZPF
> and the Casimir effect in "Physics A" - a conservative journal if there ever
> was one.

The Casimir effect is a real observation, and demands further research and
explanation. The early explanations offered by Puthoff and others may very
well turn out to be the right ones--time will tell. But given that he has
been duped in the past, I feel quite justified in being skeptical of his
claims now.

> Regarding Flieshman and Pons, their only mistake was bad Public Relations. The
> verdict is not out yet on cold fusion - there are still too many experiments
> acheiving anomolous results and excess energy. Every so called critic of cold
> fusion I've heard so far has yet to present solid unrefutable evidence to the
> contrary.

Their mistake was not behaving like scientists at all. They called press
conferences before getting their work reviewed, and before letting anyone
else reproduce their result. To date, no one has reproduced their result.
There is no reason to suspect cold fusion isn't possible, and those who
dismiss any such attempt are indeed being hasty. But possibility doesn't
equal a repeated experiment. When someone with some scientific integrity
produces energy that way, and others can reproduce the experiment, and
it stands up to criticism, then I'll be the first in line to buy stock.

Some who have heard me before decry the act of judging ideas by their
holders instead of on their merits might well call me on it now. They
would be right in a sense: I am using the reputation of a man as a short
cut to evaluating his ideas. I plead guilty, but with some justification.
I am not exercising /final/ judgment on the ideas by their holders, only
allowing their identity to guide what evidence I spend most time on. And
I judged the men themselves on their reactions to earlier evidence, not
vice versa. Before their cold fusion debacle, I would have given no more
or less weight to the opinions of F&P than to anyone else. Now I give
less. If they reform themselves somehow, they might regain my respect.

I admire theoreticians who speculate wildly on the limits of the possible.
I admire experimentalists who verify and falsify their conjectures. What
I do not admire is men who mistake one for the other.

Lee Daniel Crocker <>  <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC