Personally I’m a fan of (good) LENR theories. Many will say they are at the current state of understanding neither necessary nor sufficient. True. But when scientists have a mass of contradictory experimental evidence theory (or hypothesis) of a more or less tenuous sort is what helps them to make sense of it. The interplay between new hypothesis and new experiment, with each driving the other, is the cycle that drives scientific progress. The lack of hypotheses with any traction is properly one of the things that makes most scientists view the LENR experimental corpus as likely not indicating anything real. Anomalies are normal, because mistakes happen – both systemic and individual. Anomalies with an interesting pattern that drives a hypothesis in some detail are much more worthwhile and the tentative hypotheses which match the patterns matter even when they are likely only part-true if that.
Abd here, recently, suggested Takahashi’s TSC theory (use this paper as a way into 4D/TSC theory, his central idea) as an interesting possibility. I agree. It ticks the above boxes as trying to explain patterns in evidence and making predictions. So I’ll first summarise what it is, and then relate this to the title.
Continue reading “LENR theories, the good, the bad, and the ugly”
Second of the series of posts I promised on the He/excess heat correlation debate, as noted by Shanahan and Lomax. And this one is a little bit more interesting. Still, I’m going to examine the many issues here one by one, so if you expect a complete summary of the evidence from this post or the ones that follow you will be disappointed.
[Quoting Shanahan in italics] On the other hand, the energy/helium ratio does not have this problem. The independent errors in the He and power measurements are unlikely to combine and create a consistent value for this ratio unless the helium and energy both resulted from the same nuclear reaction.
Yes. Very unlikely, in fact. On the order of one chance in a million, or more.
As I have noted the value is not consistent, thus the quoted statement is nonsense.
The value is consistent within experimental error.
There is much more of interest in these comments than might first appear.
Continue reading “Let’s just remove the outliers”
First of a sequence of comments on Lomax’s recent blog here on Shanahan’s review of Storms posted in LENR Forum.
Ah, Shahanan, obsessed with proof, lost science somewhere back. Science is about evidence, and testing evidence, not proof, and when our personal reactions colour how we weigh evidence, we can find ourselves way out on a limb. I’m interested in evidence supporting funding for research, and it is not necessary that anything be “proven,” but we do look at game theory and probabilities, etc.
I agree with Lomax’s second statement here. Science is exactly about weighing evidence. And I understand the explicitly acknowledged bias: Lomax wants more research in this area. I disagree with the statement that “Shanahan is obsessed with proof”. It would be accurate to say that Shanahan, both implicitly and explicitly, is looking for a much higher standard of evidence than Lomax. There is no proof in science but when evidence reaches an amount that overwhelms prior probabilities we think something is probably true. 99.99% and we call it proof. The numbers are arbitrary – some would set the bar to 99.9999% but this does not matter much because of the exponential way that probabilities combine.
Let us see in detail how this works. Continue reading “Minds open brains not falling out?”