## 20190313

### Another regressive outrage--negative gravity

PSI Blog 20190313 Another regressive outrage--negative gravity

Thanks to Jesse for this news article showing how math assumptions control regressive speculation:
 He writes:

“Too good. These mathemagicians never give up. Negative gravity.....what’s next?”

https://nypost.com/2018/12/06/this-theory-may-explain-why-95-of-the-universe-is-missing/amp/?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral

In response to what's next, Piotr writes:

“I'm betting on negative & infinite dimensions.”

The "scientific" paper is published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

## 20190306

### An Open Response to Johanna Miller’s Column: Sorry Crackpots

PSI Blog 20190306 An Open Response to Johanna Miller’s Column--Sorry Crackpots

Guest Blog by Steven B. Bryant

An Open Response to Johanna Miller’s Column: ‘Sorry, Crackpots’

On February 1, 2019, Johanna L. Miller, an editor of Physics Today, published an article entitled “Sorry, Crackpots: A Physics Today editor explains why we’re never going to publish your cockamamie theories”. As an independent researcher, one Ms. Miller would improperly label as a crackpot, I believe that her position dangerously stifles scientific advancement and innovation. To illustrate my point, I show how bias and name calling prevents us from having a serious scientific conversation.

Let's begin with statements with which everyone should agree:
1. The average (or arithmetic mean), ξ, of two expressions s and can be found using the equation: ξ = 0.5*(s + t). It can also be found using an equivalent equation: ξ = t - 0.5 *(t - s). If you use the second equation but fail to recognize it as an average, this does not enable it to take on new magical properties.
2. Mathematically, a circle (2D) or sphere (3D) is axiomatically defined as, the set of all points in a Euclidean plane (2D) or space (3D) that are a constant distance from a common center. If you find at least two points that belong to the same set and those points are not the same distance from a common center, then the shape is not a circle or a sphere.
3. If given the distance equation, distance=time*velocity, you can solve for any variable if the other two are known. However, you cannot use this equation to determine a velocity if you replace distance with grams, volume, cycles, or shoe size.
Now, let's create some statements with which few people should agree. I'll call these statements elements of a crackpot test:
1. On a sheet of paper. Draw a circle, an oval, a straight line, and a squiggle. Convince yourself that each of the shapes is a circle.
2. Convince yourself that each of the following equations are equivalent and will properly find the velocity of a moving object: velocity = grams/time; velocity = cycles/time; velocity = volume/time, and velocity = shoe size / time.
3. Imagine a train approaches you with a bright light on top of the locomotive. You know the wavelength, x', of the light. You measure the light's wavelength as the train approaches and again as it moves away from you as, s = x'c/(c + v) and t = x'c/(c - v). Find the average Doppler equation, ξ. Convince yourself that the average Doppler shift is the train’s spatial position.
Now for the test question: If someone builds a “cockamamie theory” (Ms. Miller's words, not mine) based on at least one of the above statements, would you label them as a crackpot and dismiss their theory?

Before you answer the question, recognize that a key theme of the scientific process is independent validation. To this end, review Einstein’s 1905 paper, On the Electrodynamics of Moving Systems, and Michelson and Morley’s paper discussing their interferometer experiment and see if you can find each of the anomalies (above). Why do I ask that you find it yourself? Because when you do, it's no longer about someone telling you what they've found. Instead, finding them independently allows us to come to the table as peers and engage in a scientific conversation rather than an emotional argument. Even if we disagree on whether a finding is "right" or "wrong", we're discussing the same finding.

Ideally, you've independently found each anomaly mentioned above. But, if you’re struggling to see the problems in the original works, you can (optionally) review an academic poster presentation that I delivered in February 2019 (see: https://goo.gl/8kaF3N ). However, I still encourage you to review the original works and confirm each finding yourself.

Returning to the test question: If you answered yes (and you've done the research mentioned above), not only have you dismissed Einstein’s theory of relativity as a “cockamamie theory”, you’ve labeled Einstein as a “crackpot”.  This is why name calling is so dangerous. While I believe relativity is invalid, I would never use such terms to describe Einstein or his work. It is this type of labeling and name calling that turns a scientific conversation into an emotional argument; at which point serious discourse no longer occurs.

So, Ms. Miller, please join me in changing the tone of the conversation. Let's agree to stop the grade school name calling because labeling someone as a crackpot does nothing but perpetuate a culture of bias and discrimination. Let's also agree to stop hiding behind the excuse of peer reviews when editors, many of whom share your biases, have no intention of publishing works that disagree or challenge their beliefs - no matter how well-argued and researched that work might be. Name calling and exclusion were (ineffective) tools we used as kids on a playground when we didn't know any better. But as mature scientists, we owe it to ourselves and to the broader community to find more effective ways of handling crucial conversations. Fortunately, I've met many scientists who are quite open to exploring material that challenges their beliefs. We can use them as role models.

Scientific innovation and discovery advance best when we examine what others have to say and remain open to reexamining our most deeply held beliefs. I think it would be a huge benefit to the scientific community if more journals were open to publishing well-researched, critical submissions that challenge our understanding. Ms. Miller, will you please join me in moving the conversation from the playground to places more appropriate for serious scientific discussions?

Steven B. Bryant is a futurist, researcher, and author who investigates the innovative application and strategic implications of science and technology on society and business. He is the author of DISRUPTIVE: Rewriting the rules of physics, which is a thought–provoking book that shows where relativity fails and introduces Modern Mechanics, a unified model of motion that fundamentally changes how we view modern physics. DISRUPTIVE is available at Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and other booksellers!

## 20190301

### Video review of my Blog on regressive name calling

PSI Blog 20190301 Video review of my Blog on regressive name calling

David de Hilster, president of the Chappell Natural Philosophy Society, gives a spirited and detailed analysis of the attack on critics of relativity and the Big Bang Theory:

## 20190227

### Defending the Big Bang paradigm by name calling

PSI Blog 20190227 Defending the Big Bang paradigm by name calling

Readers are familiar with the durable marriage between the Big Bang Theory and relativity. Without Einstein’s massless light particle and its perpetual motion the universal expansion interpretation and the BBT would be toast. Anyone who objects to the absurdity must be denigrated and any suggestions for change must be rejected out of hand.

In what eventually will be a classical opinion piece, the editor of Physics Today, published by the American Physical Society, summed up the situation:

The editor mentions letters from those “who believe they’ve arrived at some startling new insight heretofore unknown to the professional physics community, often about how the work of Albert Einstein was all wrong.”

And goes on to restate a familiar defense of the great man:

“If some error were to come to light in, say, the theory of general relativity, the discovery would almost certainly be based on a similarly sophisticated level of understanding. The theory has withstood all the tests experimenters have thrown at it. What’s more, every measurement by GPS device requires a general relativistic correction to account for the slightly different speeds of clocks on satellites and on Earth’s surface. If it somehow turned out that the theory was nevertheless flawed, and the accuracy of GPS was all just a coincidence, that would be a big deal.”

Astute readers know that much of relativity (except for the E=mc2 equation borrowed from Maxwell) involves Einsteinisms (predictions right for the wrong reasons). GPS does not use General Relativity Theory.[1] It does require a correction for altitude. In Aether Deceleration Theory I explain the altitude effect as a result of increasing aether pressure and decreasing aether density with distance from Earth.[2] Like the atmosphere, entrained, decelerated aether forms a halo around Earth. This is the physical reason for what is claimed to be curved empty space in relativity. Not only is the increase in aether pressure responsible for gravitation, but it also causes clocks to run faster.[3] Again, in General Relativity Theory, these effects were claimed by Einstein to be a result of curved empty space and time dilation. Because light velocity is a function of aetherial pressure, the waves from any source are stretched out slightly. Each detection of the resulting so-called “gravitational redshift” is claimed as a confirmation of relativity and the magical “space-time curvature” and “time dilation.” Einstein was right—but for the wrong reason.

Readers also know there are over 9,000 dissidents opposed to various claims of relativity and its birthright, the Big Bang Theory.[4] I know of no other discipline having such great opposition from so many angles. True, most of the suggested reforms are no better than relativity itself. It would be overwhelming for the editor of a news magazine like Physics Today to choose among them. It is much easier to assume “Einstein is always right.” Any mention of him in a less than favorable light gets the circular file.

[1] Hatch, Ronald R., 1995, Relativity and GPS, 3rd Natural Philosophy Alliance Conference: Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, p. 1-26 [https://go.glennborchardt.com/Hatch-GPS].

[2] Borchardt, Glenn, 2017, Infinite Universe Theory: Berkeley, California, Progressive Science Institute, p. 242 [http://go.glennborchardt.com/IUTebook].

[3] Borchardt, Glenn, 2018, The Physical Cause of Gravitation: viXra:1806.0165.

[4] de Climont, Jean, 2018, The worldwide list of alternative theories and critics [http://go.glennborchardt.com/declimont16dissidentlist].

## 20190220

### What is the cosmological redshift?

PSI Blog 20190220 What is the cosmological redshift?

I explained this many times, but apparently did not do a very good job of it, because the question still appears to be on the table.

As mentioned in Infinite Universe Theory[1], there are many types of redshift found in astronomy. Here, we are concerned only with the one responsible for the erroneous idea that the universe is expanding. Light from all sources loses energy as a function of distance (Figure 1). Note that the dimmest sources, farthest away, have the highest redshifts (Figure 2). The cosmological redshift also is termed the “Hubble redshift” for the astronomer who first discovered it.

The velocity of a particle or wave is determined strictly by the medium through which it travels. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that perpetual motion is impossible. No microcosm or motion can go on its own from point A to point B without losing energy. You can observe this when standing under active electrical transmission lines. The hum you hear is indicative of the energy losses that are inevitable during the transmission.

Figure 2. Typical redshift vs. distance plots calculated as erroneously assumed recessional speeds. This is part of an animation prepared by the Institute for Astrophysics and Space Science, Western Kentucky University.[3]

With the velocity of the waves being controlled by the aether medium, the Second Law losses must show up as increases in wavelength. This is the “tired light” effect favored by Hubble in his opposition to the expanding universe interpretation commonly misattributed to him.

The current view, however, was adopted from Einstein. I have termed it his “Untired Light Theory.[4]” The theory requires eight ad hocs, highlighted by the assumption that light is a massless particle traveling through perfectly empty space. The hypothesized light travels from galaxy to eyeball with no loss of energy. Amazingly, regressives still appear to accept this illogic without question. It is responsible for the Big Bang Theory and many of the associated absurdities so prevalent in mainstream journals today.

[1] Borchardt, Glenn, 2017, Infinite Universe Theory: Berkeley, California, Progressive Science Institute, 349 p. [http://go.glennborchardt.com/IUTebook].
[2] http://go.glennborchardt.com/Wikiredshift. Georg Wiora (Dr. Schorsch) created this image from the original JPG. Derivative work:Kes47 (File:Redshift.png) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5), GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons.] [Figure 53 in IUT.]
[3] [Figure 11 in IUT.]
[4]   Ibid. p. 53.

## 20190213

### Why is there something rather than nothing redux?

PSI Blog 20190213 Why is there something rather than nothing redux?

Here is a heads up from George Coyne:

Glenn:  This BBC article titled “Why is there something rather than nothing?” sums up the orthodox view in physics and cosmology.  In that article, they say:

“Their admittedly controversial answer is that the entire universe, from the fireball of the Big Bang to the star-studded cosmos we now inhabit, popped into existence from nothing at all. It had to happen, they say, because "nothing" is inherently unstable.”

I prefer your answer to this question, which is the universe exists because "nothing" would not be a possible alternative.

The author also writes:

"Linde offers a simple but mind-bending answer. He thinks universes have always been springing into existence, and that this process will continue forever.  When a new universe stops inflating, says Linde, it is still surrounded by space that is continuing to inflate. That inflating space can spawn more universes, with yet more inflating space around them. So once inflation starts it should make an endless cascade of universes, which Linde calls eternal inflation. Our universe may be just one grain of sand on an endless beach."

For many years you have logically and properly contested this idea. You may want to rationally critique the many dubious concepts in the article:

[GB: Thanks for the easy one George. At least these regressives are consistent. Remember “nothing,” that is, “perfectly empty space” is an idealization. Like all idealizations, it cannot possibly exist. It is one of the ideal end members of the “empty space-solid matter” continuum. The empty space idea, however, has been a favorite of religious idealists for millennia. Despite claiming to be an atheist, Einstein was one of these. That is where he got his “there is no aether” and the empty space needed for his erroneous theory that light was a particle that therefore could travel from galaxy to eyeball without losing energy.

Enter Hubble’s discovery that light from distant galaxies was redshifted. There are many ways this could happen, but regressives grabbed onto the Doppler Shift as the reason for that. Magically, everything in the cosmos supposedly was going away from us (species egocentrism anyone?). The alternative was some sort of “tired light effect,” which commonly befalls classical particles after their initial acceleration. That is what happens to a football or baseball after it is thrown. Only former patent officer Einstein could be the first to claim perpetual motion and get away with it. The result, of course, was the “expanding universe” interpretation that became the foundation of the Big Bang Theory.

Now, the folks you quote are reformists trying to handle data implying the universe is much larger than the one containing the 2 trillion galaxies we observe (e.g., see the previous two PSI Blogs and Kashlinsky[1]). Still, they dare not immediately abandon the cosmogonic expanding universe idea, so they invent “multiverses” or “parallel universes.” Each explodes out of empty space just like the “nothingness” through which Einstein’s light is assumed to travel. As mentioned, “empty space,” that is, “nothingness” is dear to the hearts of religious folks raised on the ubiquitous propaganda that the universe had a beginning.

All this is an excellent example of why the switch to Infinite Universe Theory will amount to the Last Cosmological Revolution. The radical switch from the assumption of finity to the assumption of infinity is a one-time, momentous event for humanity. Either there is empty space, nothingness, and possibility of nonexistence or there is not. Once the empty space notion is gone, the expanding universe notion will be gone too. The Big Bang Theory and cosmogony will meet their timely deaths.]

[1] Kashlinsky, A., Atrio-Barandela, F., Ebeling, H., Edge, A., and Kocevski, D., 2010, A New Measurement of the Bulk Flow of X-Ray Luminous Clusters of Galaxies: The Astrophysical Journal Letters, v. 712, no. 1, p. L81-L85. [doi:10.1088/2041-8205/712/1/L81].

## 20190206

### “Still more light found at the ‘end of the universe’” gets a video

PSI Blog 20190206 “Still more light found at the ‘end of the universe’” gets a video

Thanks to David de Hilster who just did a wonderful video on my previous blog:

You might want to subscribe to his YouTube channel on which he often critically reviews the “junk science” in support of cosmogony these days.

“The new version of Hubble's deep image. In dark grey is the new light that has been found around the galaxies in this field. That light corresponds to the brightness of more than 100 billion suns. Credit: A. S. Borlaff and others, 2019.” (Courtesy Mike Wall, Space.com).[1]

Below I give the complete list of authors. The article is 34 pages and obviously took a lot of work. Note also that the authors are from Spain, Denmark, and France—not the U.S. The paper cited is the latest breakthrough in cosmology, having been published on 20190121. Although it provides only a minor dig against cosmogony, it has not received much publicity in the U.S. Does this mean that the U.S. support for the Big Bang Theory is causing it to lose its preeminence in cosmology?

[1] Borlaff, Alejandro, Trujillo, Ignacio, Román, Javier, Beckman, John E., Eliche-Moral, M. Carmen, Infante-Sáinz, Raúl, Lumbreras-Calle, Alejandro, de Almagro, Rodrigo Takuro Sato Martín, Gómez-Guijarro, Carlos, Cebrián, María, Dorta, Antonio, Cardiel, Nicolás, Akhlaghi, Mohammad, and Martínez-Lombilla, Cristina, 2019, The missing light of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field: Astronomy and Astrophysics, v. 621, no. A133, p. 1-34.

## 20190130

### Still more light found at the “end of the universe”

PSI Blog 20190130 Still more light found at the “end of the universe”

The observable “end of the universe” is the farthest we can see with our present telescopes, with the Hubble Space Telescope the current far-out leader. In “Infinite Universe Theory” I included this photo, pointing out that the spiral galaxies at a distance of 13.2 billion light years were no different than our own Milky Way, which is 13.7 billion years old:

IUT, Figure 9. Close-up of a small portion of the HUDF [Hubble Ultra Deep Field]. Note that these objects are various colors. Most are not red as implied by the misnomer “cosmological redshift.” Color is determined by frequency, not wavelength. Credit: NASA.

Of course, the Big Bang Theory claims that we should see younger and younger objects the farther we look out into space:

IUT, Figure 7. NASA’s official view of what the Big Bang universe should look like (seriously). Credit: NASA.

So far, there is no evidence to support that conjecture. Instead, the presence of the “elderly galaxies” in IUT Figure 9 above falsifies the theory. Now, Borlaff and others[1] have done a computer analysis of the Hubble photos, coming up with this:

“The new version of Hubble's deep image. In dark grey is the new light that has been found around the galaxies in this field. That light corresponds to the brightness of more than 100 billion suns. Credit: A. S. Borlaff and others, 2019.” (Courtesy Mike Wall, Space.com).

Once again, it looks like there is more to the universe than previously recognized. In Infinite Universe Theory (p. 289), I predicted that “Improvements in instrumentation soon will result in the discovery of cosmological objects older than 13.8 billion years.” That is the currently accepted “age of the universe.” IUT Figure 7 will be severely tested when the Webb telescope replaces the Hubble after March 2021. Will that put the kibosh on the BBT? Unlikely. Cosmogonists no doubt will invent some new ad hocs to rescue the theory one more time. Readers might remember that my prediction is that the BBT will not be discarded until 2050.

[1] Borlaff and others, 2019, The missing light of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, v. 621, p. A133.

## 20190123

### Nikola Tesla and the Correct Scientific Worldview

PSI Blog 20190123 Nikola Tesla and the Correct Scientific Worldview

From George Coyne:

Glenn, these two quotes from Nikola Tesla indicate that he had a similar scientific worldview as you. The Wikipedia entry on Tesla states: Tesla was generally antagonistic towards theories about the conversion of matter into energy. He was also critical of Einstein's theory of relativity saying:

“I hold that space cannot be curved, for the simple reason that it can have no properties. It might as well be said that God has properties. He has not, but only attributes and these are of our own making. Of properties we can only speak when dealing with matter filling the space. To say that in the presence of large bodies space becomes curved is equivalent to stating that something can act upon nothing. I, for one, refuse to subscribe to such a view.

"To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end" and "what we call 'soul' or 'spirit,' is nothing more than the sum of the functionings of the body. When this functioning ceases, the 'soul' or the 'spirit' ceases likewise." [GB: Amen]

[GB: George, thanks so much for the heads up. This shows nicely that we are all heading toward the same conclusions in science. The universe is the final arbiter, regardless of what we say about it. Humanity is continually under the “sifting and winnowing” of ideas and the destruction of the unfittest. Einstein’s idealism eventually will fall by the wayside along with the religious notions responsible for his popularity.

Readers will remember that “perfectly empty space” is one end member of the “empty space-solid matter continuum.” Both empty space and solid matter are only ideas. Such idealizations do not and cannot exist. Reality always is something in between. The “empty space” idea may help us find a seat in the auditorium, but, thankfully, it does not describe a reality in which there is no oxygen allowing us to survive the performance.

In addition to the vacuous “curved empty space” idea Einstein assumed intergalactic space to be perfectly empty. This enabled his imaginary photons to travel from galaxy to eyeball without losing energy, contradicting the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Nothing travels from point A to point B without losing energy. The idea that light could avoid that natural phenomenon is responsible for the ridiculous hypothesis that the universe is expanding.]

## 20190116

### Open-Access Plan in Europe Bans Publishing in Paywalled Journals

PSI Blog 20190116 Open-Access Plan in Europe Bans Publishing in Paywalled Journals

One of the irritating characteristics of the establishment is its tendency to profit from the tax dollars we contribute to scientific research. True, publishing used to be extremely expensive. No longer. Even though publishers now contribute little to the process, they still want their money. Peer reviewers check for errors—for free, authors do the formatting—for free, and “publishers” provide the website amenable to downloading—for money. If you do not have a subscription or belong to an institution that has one, you have to pay around \$35 for a digital copy of a single journal article.

If you are an independent researcher or belong to a struggling institution in a developing country, you are out of luck.

All this flies in the face of a basic scientific principle: Scientific knowledge is the property of all humanity and should be available to all. Enter the “Open Access” movement, which is trying to make this principle a reality. As a result, an increasing number of scientific papers are now available as free digital versions. Unfortunately, authors often have to pay thousands of dollars to make a paper available as Open Access.

On the other hand, research performed by U.S. government employees generally is not copywrited and pdf versions of the original government press copies are becoming increasingly available. For over a decade, NIH grantees have been required to provide copies of their peer-reviewed, published works to Pub Med Central, which charges no download fee. Now, the Open Access movement is gathering steam in Europe where the usual “paywall scheme” is the target of attack:

Thanks to Wolfgang Muss for this heads-up:

Of course, that is of dubious value to those of us who challenge the absurdities of the Big Bang Theory. The guardians of the current paradigm supposedly use a “peer review” process that nonetheless allows all sorts of illogical inanities. If you do not attack the BBT directly or mention the A-word (aether), you can publish on the explosion from nothing, universal expansion, extra-Euclidean dimensions, wormholes, immaterial fields, massless particles and their perpetual motion, etc. We should not be surprised that demands for payment are critical for maintaining the cosmogonical elite that accepts such “junk science.” In this case, the peer review system has failed miserably.

Don’t get me wrong. Peer review generally adds value to almost every investigation. Adequate review can catch mistakes in logic, interpretation, and math before they mislead a wider audience. That is why we consider “predatory journals” to be so pernicious. They typically charge exorbitant fees for publication without suitable review.[1] Most researchers have never heard of these journals and they are seldom cited. Even legitimate websites have been hijacked, with unsuspecting researchers submitting payments to fraudsters and papers that will never be published.[2] With all the censorship accorded those who dare to oppose the BBT, how is anyone able to publish legitimate work?

That is a good question. The Open Access movement and the attack on pay walls are obvious products of the digital age. This will continue until all research is freely available. Don’t hold your breath. In the meantime, there are plenty of places to publish on the Internet. You can follow the guidelines for a suitable website (e.g., www.scientificphilosophy.com), or put your work on viXra (e.g., http://vixra.org/abs/1806.0165), www.ResearchGate.net , or www.Academia.edu, etc. EBooks and paperbacks now can be published for free on Amazon (https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/). All this is possible without having to deal with peer reviewers who think the universe exploded out of nothing!

BTW: A few journals encourage authors opposed to the current nonsense. You might try: General Science Journal (free) or Physics Essays (\$137 page charge for you and \$17 pay wall fee for your readers).

[1] Dadkhah, Mehdi, and Borchardt, Glenn, 2016, Guidelines for selecting journals that avoid fraudulent practices in scholarly publishing: Iranian Journal of Management Studies, v. 9, no. 3, p. 529-538. [http://ijms.ut.ac.ir/article_57540_c9dfe9455568d200e6c29a923ecdf887.pdf].

Dadkhah, M., and Borchardt, G., 2016, Victimizing Researchers by Phishing: Razavi Int J Med, v. 4, no. 3, p. e40304. [10.17795/rijm40304].

Dadkhah, Mehdi, Borchardt, Glenn, Lagzian, Mohammad, and Bianciardi, Giorgio, 2017, Academic Journals Plagued by Bogus Impact Factors: Publishing Research Quarterly, p. 1-5. [10.1007/s12109-017-9509-4].

Dadkhah, Mehdi, Borchardt, Glenn, and Maliszewski, Tomasz, 2016, Fraud in Academic Publishing: Researchers Under Cyber Attacks: The American Journal of Medicine [10.1016/j.amjmed.2016.08.030].

Dadkhah, Mehdi, Kahani, Mohsen, and Borchardt, Glenn, 2017, A Method for Improving the Integrity of Peer Review: Science and Engineering Ethics [10.1007/s11948-017-9960-9].

Dadkhah, Mehdi, Lagzian, Mohammad, and Borchardt, Glenn, 2017, Identity Theft in the Academic World Leads to Junk Science: Science and Engineering Ethics, p. 1-4. [10.1007/s11948-016-9867-x].

Dadkhah, Mehdi, Mohammad, Lagzian, and Borchardt, Glenn, 2016, Is retraction sufficient for medical papers?: Pol Arch Med Wewn, v. 126, p. 1017-1018. [10.20452/pamw.3727.].

Dadkhah, Mehdi, Mohammad, Lagzian, and Borchardt, Glenn, 2017, Questionable Papers in Citation Databases as an Issue for Literature Review: Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling, p. 1-5. [10.1007/s12079-016-0370-6].

[2] Andoohgin Shahri, Mona, Jazi, Mohammad Davarpanah, Borchardt, Glenn, and Dadkhah, Mehdi, 2017, Detecting Hijacked Journals by Using Classification Algorithms: Science and Engineering Ethics, p. 1-14. [10.1007/s11948-017-9914-2].

Dadkhah, Mehdi, and Borchardt, Glenn, 2016, Hijacked Journals: An Emerging Challenge for Scholarly Publishing: Aesthetic Surgery Journal, p. 1-3. [10.1093/asj/sjw026].

Dadkhah, M., and Borchardt, G., 2016, Victimizing Researchers by Phishing: Razavi Int J Med, v. 4, no. 3, p. e40304. [10.17795/rijm40304].

Dadkhah, Mehdi, Borchardt, Glenn, and Lagzian, Mohammad, 2017, Do You Ignore Information Security in Your Journal Website?: Science and Engineering Ethics, v. 23, no. 4, p. 1227-1231. [10.1007/s11948-016-9849-z].

Dadkhah, Mehdi, Mohammad, Lagzian, and Borchardt, Glenn, 2016, The Game of Hacking Academic Websites: World Digital Libraries, v. 9, no. 2, p. 131-133. [10.18329/09757597/2016/9210].

Dadkhah, Mehdi, Seno, Seyed Amin Hosseini, and Borchardt, Glenn, 2017, Current and potential cyber attacks on medical journals; guidelines for improving security: European Journal of Internal Medicine, v. 38, p. 25-29. [10.1016/j.ejim.2016.11.014].

## 20190109

### Yes, there is a war between science and religion

PSI Blog 20190109 Yes, there is a war between science and religion

By Jerry Coyne

[GB: Via "The Conversation" and its Creative Commons policy, I reprint this interesting article by Jerry Coyne, who summarizes his point of view on the science/religion debate. As readers may know, I don't entirely agree with Jerry's "Fact vs. Faith" dichotomy. As scientists, we rely on faith all the time. For instance, we have the faith (or assumption) that "there are physical causes for all effects". We could not prove that completely until we discover all the causes for all effects, which is impossible. Nonetheless, there is not a single instance in which that assumption has failed. Of course, there is a dichotomy, but it is between determinism and indeterminism, based on opposed assumptions as I put forth in "The Ten Assumptions of Science." Some folks claim that this necessity to have “faith in science” makes science a religion. That is false, because religion assumes there is a god and science does not.]

# Yes, there is a war between science and religion

Doubting Thomas needed the proof, just like a scientist, and now is a cautionary Biblical example.

As the West becomes more and more secular, and the discoveries of evolutionary biology and cosmology shrink the boundaries of faith, the claims that science and religion are compatible grow louder. If you’re a believer who doesn’t want to seem anti-science, what can you do? You must argue that your faith – or any faith – is perfectly compatible with science.

And so one sees claim after claim from believers, religious scientists, prestigious science organizations and even atheists asserting not only that science and religion are compatible, but also that they can actually help each other. This claim is called “accommodationism.”

But I argue that this is misguided: that science and religion are not only in conflict – even at “war” – but also represent incompatible ways of viewing the world.

## Opposing methods for discerning truth

The scientific method relies on observing, testing and replication to learn about the world.

My argument runs like this. I’ll construe “science” as the set of tools we use to find truth about the universe, with the understanding that these truths are provisional rather than absolute. These tools include observing nature, framing and testing hypotheses, trying your hardest to prove that your hypothesis is wrong to test your confidence that it’s right, doing experiments and above all replicating your and others’ results to increase confidence in your inference.

And I’ll define religion as does philosopher Daniel Dennett: “Social systems whose participants avow belief in a supernatural agent or agents whose approval is to be sought.” Of course many religions don’t fit that definition, but the ones whose compatibility with science is touted most often – the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam – fill the bill.

Next, realize that both religion and science rest on “truth statements” about the universe – claims about reality. The edifice of religion differs from science by additionally dealing with morality, purpose and meaning, but even those areas rest on a foundation of empirical claims. You can hardly call yourself a Christian if you don’t believe in the Resurrection of Christ, a Muslim if you don’t believe the angel Gabriel dictated the Qur’an to Muhammad, or a Mormon if you don’t believe that the angel Moroni showed Joseph Smith the golden plates that became the Book of Mormon. After all, why accept a faith’s authoritative teachings if you reject its truth claims?

Indeed, even the Bible notes this: “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”

Many theologians emphasize religion’s empirical foundations, agreeing with the physicist and Anglican priest John Polkinghorne:

“The question of truth is as central to [religion’s] concern as it is in science. Religious belief can guide one in life or strengthen one at the approach of death, but unless it is actually true it can do neither of these things and so would amount to no more than an illusory exercise in comforting fantasy.”

The conflict between science and faith, then, rests on the methods they use to decide what is true, and what truths result: These are conflicts of both methodology and outcome.

In contrast to the methods of science, religion adjudicates truth not empirically, but via dogma, scripture and authority – in other words, through faith, defined in Hebrews 11 as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In science, faith without evidence is a vice, while in religion it’s a virtue. Recall what Jesus said to “doubting Thomas,” who insisted in poking his fingers into the resurrected Savior’s wounds: “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

Two ways to look at the same thing, never the twain shall meet.

And yet, without supporting evidence, Americans believe a number of religious claims: 74 percent of us believe in God, 68 percent in the divinity of Jesus, 68 percent in Heaven, 57 percent in the virgin birth, and 58 percent in the Devil and Hell. Why do they think these are true? Faith.

But different religions make different – and often conflicting – claims, and there’s no way to judge which claims are right. There are over 4,000 religions on this planet, and their “truths” are quite different. (Muslims and Jews, for instance, absolutely reject the Christian belief that Jesus was the son of God.) Indeed, new sects often arise when some believers reject what others see as true. Lutherans split over the truth of evolution, while Unitarians rejected other Protestants’ belief that Jesus was part of God.

And while science has had success after success in understanding the universe, the “method” of using faith has led to no proof of the divine. How many gods are there? What are their natures and moral creeds? Is there an afterlife? Why is there moral and physical evil? There is no one answer to any of these questions. All is mystery, for all rests on faith.

The “war” between science and religion, then, is a conflict about whether you have good reasons for believing what you do: whether you see faith as a vice or a virtue.

## Compartmentalizing realms is irrational

So how do the faithful reconcile science and religion? Often they point to the existence of religious scientists, like NIH Director Francis Collins, or to the many religious people who accept science. But I’d argue that this is compartmentalization, not compatibility, for how can you reject the divine in your laboratory but accept that the wine you sip on Sunday is the blood of Jesus?

Can divinity be at play in one setting but not another?

Others argue that in the past religion promoted science and inspired questions about the universe. But in the past every Westerner was religious, and it’s debatable whether, in the long run, the progress of science has been promoted by religion. Certainly evolutionary biology, my own field, has been held back strongly by creationism, which arises solely from religion.

What is not disputable is that today science is practiced as an atheistic discipline – and largely by atheists. There’s a huge disparity in religiosity between American scientists and Americans as a whole: 64 percent of our elite scientists are atheists or agnostics, compared to only 6 percent of the general population – more than a tenfold difference. Whether this reflects differential attraction of nonbelievers to science or science eroding belief – I suspect both factors operate – the figures are prima facie evidence for a science-religion conflict.

The most common accommodationist argument is Stephen Jay Gould’s thesis of “non-overlapping magisteria.” Religion and science, he argued, don’t conflict because: “Science tries to document the factual character of the natural world, and to develop theories that coordinate and explain these facts. Religion, on the other hand, operates in the equally important, but utterly different, realm of human purposes, meanings and values – subjects that the factual domain of science might illuminate, but can never resolve.”

This fails on both ends. First, religion certainly makes claims about “the factual character of the universe.” In fact, the biggest opponents of non-overlapping magisteria are believers and theologians, many of whom reject the idea that Abrahamic religions are “empty of any claims to historical or scientific facts.”

Nor is religion the sole bailiwick of “purposes, meanings and values,” which of course differ among faiths. There’s a long and distinguished history of philosophy and ethics – extending from Plato, Hume and Kant up to Peter Singer, Derek Parfit and John Rawls in our day – that relies on reason rather than faith as a fount of morality. All serious ethical philosophy is secular ethical philosophy.

In the end, it’s irrational to decide what’s true in your daily life using empirical evidence, but then rely on wishful-thinking and ancient superstitions to judge the “truths” undergirding your faith. This leads to a mind (no matter how scientifically renowned) at war with itself, producing the cognitive dissonance that prompts accommodationism. If you decide to have good reasons for holding any beliefs, then you must choose between faith and reason. And as facts become increasingly important for the welfare of our species and our planet, people should see faith for what it is: not a virtue but a defect.

Jerry Coyne, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago