Monday, September 15, 2008

Whooooo Hoooooo!

Most of our non-regular hits come for CW's aircraft posts. But recently, we're getting a spate of LHC hits. I was quite amused to see that this site is #1 on Google for the search "wagner plaga credentials". Just doing our little part to de-crazy the Internet.

For those of you coming here for that information, who might balk at reading my whole massive missive "Mixed Nuts" (as if the title doesn't already give you a clue), my answer in a nutshell is":

Walter Wagner - none whatsoever. His highest Physics training is an undergraduate minor in Physics.

Rainer Plaga - none whatsoever in particle physics, a Ph.D. in astrophysics with a few prior indications that the man is not living in the same reality we are, also indicated by the fact that he is no longer employed as a phsyicist...

Here are my opinions on a few other characters involved in the LHC lawsuit charade, just as a free bonus:

Otto Rossler - well past his prime in his areas of expertise in Biochemistry and Chaos, now well into the former-real-scientist-turned-crank territory that was so ably mapped by Linus Pauling in his Vitamin C days. Except that Rossler in his prime was nowhere near the caliber of Pauling.

Luis Sancho - A nut, pure and simple. Sometime writer, fulltime idiot.

Raj Baldeev - This is NOT the Raj Baldeev who is a Director at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research. This is an 81 year old astrologer* of the same name.

James Tankersly / Tankerson
- used ot have a bio up at his website, which I can no longer find. A software engineer who listed his physics credentials as "one year of undergraduate physics".

That's pretty much it, for the "scientists" who have "concerns" about th Large Hadron Collider.

*If you beieve in astrology, there is only one way I can help you become a rational human being - take a list of all the astrological predictions for the coming year in January 2009. On December 31, 2009, check them off to see if a) any prediction was really specific enough to be verified, and b) match those that can against reality. I'll eat my hat if the percentage for any astrologer is much greater than 50% - which is the rate expected by chance for the yes / no questions. If you come away from that still believing in astrology, you can rest assured that you are one of the people I am referring to when I say that the gene pool needs some chlorine.


Eric said...

You're enormously optimistic if you think getting an astrology-follower to check predictions will cure them. There's a semi-famous James Randi stunt (he's not the only one who's done it) where he tried getting someone to do that with a personalized horoscope and then "discovered" he'd "accidentally" passed along his horoscope by "mistake"; naturally, the second set was even more accurate--when Randi "discovered" that this was supposed to be his secretary's horoscope, oops, the subject hung up on him.

There are a lot of psychological explanations for this, or you can just go with what what the way The Boss put it: "...still at the end of every hard earned day people find some reason to believe..."

Eric said...

"[W]ith what the way..."? No, I am literate, really, thank you. I only play an idiot on TV. And in public. And on the internet. And... and nevermind, okay? Forget about it....

John the Scientist said...

Well, I wasn't expecting anyone to be swayed by that. If you've made it to adulthood and still believe in astrology, there's no helping you, in most cases. It was just a way for me to be rude and call someone of freaking idiot in public and have the evidence to back it up. :p

Heinlein once said that the way he measured the worth of an intellectual was by asking if they believed in astrology.

Nathan said...

de-crazy the internet?

You silly deluded man.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole subject of the LHC and the kooks who think it will create a black hole and eat the solar system is really interesting and entertaining. I want to see the LHC do something really unexpected and dramatic and fun, like detect chronitons or anti-gravitons :)