July 27, 2013

Space, the finite frontier

I feel like making some funny comments on subjects of extreme skepticism.

Moon landing: There are some videos that make it look like the Apollo program landed men on the moon. Is there really proof of it?

Rocks supposedly returned from the moon don’t count as proof, because NASA also claims they collected moon rocks that fell as meteorites on the Earth. (In 1966-67, Wernher Von Braun took a trip to Antarctic, where he may have participated in collecting some of those alleged moon rocks, but a hoax theory doesn’t require that his expedition collected all the moon rocks, or any of them.) An alleged moon rock was found to be a piece of petrified wood in 2009. The rock had been given to former prime minister of the Netherlands Willem Drees in 1969, by ambassador J. William Middendorf during a visit by the Apollo 11 crew on their tour after the first alleged moon landing. Questioned about it, Middendorf told the Dutch public broadcasting network NOS that the rock had been given to him by the U.S. State Department. (Source: USA Today, Dutch museum discovers moon rock is really petrified wood)

Reflections of lasers from the moon don’t count as proof, because before the Apollo manned missions allegedly placed laser reflectors on the moon, there were already observatories measuring laser reflections from the moon. A laser was used for moon reflections as early as 1962, by MIT, in a project called Luna See. In 2009, the lunar laser ranging program was discontinued. NASA could have simply chosen the locations for landings where they would claim to have placed reflectors at points that they had already found had good natural reflection.

The original tapes of the first alleged moon landing in their original format are missing. Taped over. The blueprints of the alleged lunar landing craft are missing. I’m sorry, but if any organization claims to have done something as incredible as landing a man on the moon, they’d better keep good records of it, or believing them isn’t a scientific historical belief.

Clues Forum: Built around a 9-11 conspiracy theory called September Clues, Clues Forum is one of the most extremely skeptical or disbelieving sites on the Internet. Maybe I should call it a site about belief in a maximum of conspiracies that news and history are fake, which is a different thing from being purely skeptical. Pure skeptics who are extreme would claim that they don’t know whether each news item and historical event was fake or real. Clues Forum on the other hand, does some of what they call “research,” which consists of posting some photos and asking questions about apparent anomalies in the photos that lead to suspicions of fakery, then concludes that their case for fakery has been proved and proceeds to ban “shills” meaning anyone who persists in disagreeing with their conclusion on a particular topic after that. I haven’t tried posting there, because I’m not that kind of “researcher” or debater, but the forum leads to some great entertainment, both for disbelievers of everything and for mockers of disbelievers elsewhere.

One of the latest areas of activity at Clues Forum is questioning everything about astronomy, because they’ve already discredited all claims of manned space missions and probably any satellites too. So one of their top “researchers” has been busy lately trying to overthrow the Copernican system, making charts of his system in which the sun orbits around the Earth, and the Earth makes only a relatively small circle each year. That complicates the solar system and theories of gravity, because in the theory, Mercury and Venus and other planets than the Earth still orbit the sun, while the sun and moon orbit the Earth. The cool thing about the theory though is that nearby stars would be reachable if the outer planets are reachable, because their parallax indicates much less distance if the Earth is actually moving much less than in conventional astronomy.

Cosmic microwave background: Now that we have the news that there’s B-mode polarization in the cosmic microwave background, and understanding that far-fetched theories that try to explain the origin of the universe itself are probably just mythology, in any culture, there’s a need for a better explanation of what this cosmic microwave background really is. The simple theory of microwave background is that it’s blackbody radiation indicating the background temperature of interstellar space. Big Bang theorists haven’t provided anything that actually replaces that theory of the CMB, they still sometimes even themselves call it the “temperature” of the universe, they just want you to imagine it as a temperature that started with the Big Bang and has been cooling ever since because of the imaginary expansion of space.

The B-mode polarization is a variation of less than 1 part in 10 million of the total CMB. Plasmas emit polarized radiation. The conventional Big Bang theorists put their plasma billions of light years away, in the imaginary hot and dense early universe. It could just as well be much closer and cooler.

Maybe future interstellar travelers will journey past the outer planets, then through the cosmic microwave background, then pass some quasars, then reach other stars, all within a few months traveling at less than light speed.