Forbes Article on Why We Fool Ourselves Hoping for “Impossiblilites” Like E-Cat, EM Drive,

An article titled “The EM Drive, NASA’s ‘Impossible Engine,’ Highlights Our Greatest Failing” written by astrophysicist Ethan Siegel has been published on the Forbes website which seems to be an attempt to dampen the hopes and expectations of people who think that we might be on the cusp of technological breakthroughs that shatter old scientific paradigms.

You can read the article here:

Siegel mentions in the article cold fusion, E-Cat, EM drive, perpetual motion, zero-point energy as examples of claims that he considers to be “extrordinary unlikely” (he won’t say impossible) that they will pan out in reality. His perspective is that whenever anyone claims to have found a way to overcome the known laws of physics there are only two possibilities: the claimant is either deluded or fraudulent.

He states:

Our greatest failing is that we, ourselves, simply do not have the resources and capacities to become experts in everything, and yet we do not trust those who have done exactly that. The EM Drive, the e-Cat, and all sorts of other “scientific impossibilities” will continue to excite our passions and imaginations so long as we fail to appreciate and respect the enterprise of science itself, and the scientists who legitimately practice it. Until that day comes, you can either be skeptical, or you can fool yourself to your heart’s content. But if you choose the latter option, heed the warning that Richard Feynman put out more than a generation ago:

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.

Personally, I don’t think it is required that we need to have encyclopedic knowledge of the current canon of science to evaluate certain claims rationally. My own feeling here is that we must use our best judgment, clearest thinking and common sense when presented with claims that lie outside the mainstream of science. Certainly, I believe we should be cautious about unusual claims, but not automatically dismissive — and I do expect that as time goes on there will be surprising discoveries made that show that all accepted science accumulated to date is incomplete, and technologies that were previously considered to be impossible will become accepted as normal and routine aspects of our lives.

  • I would say, refering to recent document by L Forsley about peer reviewed articles, that even Ethan Siegel if not deeply biased, would simply be convinced by the pile of evidence, using good old scientific method, without any modification.

    Moreover his position for someone with wider scientific knowledge that he have, is fully absurd.
    LENr evidences are based on very old and solid experimental science, on thermodynamic, and the reason to doubt is recent theory introduced a century ago.
    Experience show that old science last longer than young theory.

    Add to that the absurdity to use free-space and twobody assumptions for a problem happening inside a metal, and it simply show how most people, especially intelligent, are desperate to believe in theory, not to be endangered by anomalies.

  • Bernie Koppenhofer

    What is the purpose of this article? A distinguished physicist tells us not to
    expect any new discoveries: Here are the
    10 biggest breakthroughs in physics over the past 25 years.

  • georgehants

    I cannot express more my joy at reading Admin;s last paragraph of his personal view.
    I am jealous that he like GreenWin can express himself in such clear prose.
    My more direct and illiterate attempts to say what he has, look like angry rants in comparison.
    But then I speak from the heart.
    Admin, your comment in my humble opinion states exactly what I have been trying to say for many years.
    Hopefully, some may listen.

  • All I read into this article is Ethan begging on his knees for anyone to send him a Cold Fusion Reactor he can test.

    I do not know much on the EM Drive people and their tech, but maybe we should consider to join forces with them on this one?

  • Barbierir

    It’s funny that self proclaimed defenders of the scientific method are the first who fail to apply it with such articles

    • Agaricus

      Educated ‘scientists’ have been desperately trying to protect their sacred ‘knowledge bases’ for centuries, every time someone came along with something that ‘defied the laws of physics’:

      Rail travel at high speed is not possible, because passengers would die of asphyxia.” Dr. Dionysius Lardner (1793 – 1859)

      Flight by machines heavier than air is unpractical (sic) and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.” – Simon Newcomb

      …etc. There is a great collection at the link below, to which Dr Siegel’s quotation is likely to join in due course.

      • Barbierir

        I my opinion the problem is that many scientists (as most people in general) aren’t educated to recognize their own cognitive biases. Also most facts of life and science aren’t always clearly black or white but mostly are grey and with many possible interpretations, yet people don’t like to admit that they don’t know enough, they prefer to say something sure even when it shouldn’t be the case. So it happens that the scientific method gets abused and bended depending on personal whims instead of being applied consistently.

        • Zephir

          IMO this is all intentional.

          The cold fusion competes the research of energy production/conversion/transport and storage, from nuclear fission over solar cells to batteries.

          Nearly every scientist today is engaged in competitive research and therefore he has very good reason for to ignore the cold fusion (and another overunity findings) as a single man.

          The acceptation of single alternative finding would start a whole social avalanche. Because if one effect will be proven possible, then the other ones should be researched as well. So that these people cannot accept any finding at all cost.

          • Pekka Janhunen

            I nitpick a bit: if LENR energy comes from nuclear binding energy as most people think, it is not “overunity”. But I agree with your main point.

          • Zephir

            Yep, I’m just consider it together here from psychosocial perspective.

            The cold fusion is dismissed with establishment from 1922 year, i.e. nearly as long as the true overunity findings of Tesla and others (scalar waves, magnetic motors, etc..). If the mainstream physicists will be proven ignorant in the matter of cold fusion finding, they will be called to account also for ignorance of another ones.

          • Agaricus

            We seem to need some new language, as second-hand terms such as overunity and COP aren’t really able to describe the parameters of new energy sources. I think this language set will evolve as knowledge of LENR/cold fusion is gradually accepted and explored outside of the few hundreds (thousands?) currently involved in (or following) the story.

  • Zephir

    This is just a plain nonsense.

    We already have thousands of articles, often from quite serious and ubiased researchers (NASA, etc), which demonstrate overunity effects, production of particles and transmutation products.

    Even if the Andrea Rossi would be completely wrong, this evidence is simply unbeatable already. The fact, that these articles are all ignored with mainstream physics serves as an unbeatable ignorance of establishment instead. Never in human history the mainstream science was so ignorant and decadent – even the opponents of Galielo argued his findings seriously.

    We should draw the consequences from this behavior of scientists for future.

    • Jarea

      Well said!

    • Pekka Janhunen

      As another example of scientific nonsense, I refer to a recent Nasa press release “NASA Mission Reveals Speed of Solar Wind Stripping Martian Atmosphere”, . After reading the press release, one may get an impression that solar wind erosion made Mars dry and with thin atmosphere. However, such conclusion cannot be found in the underlying papers, and in fact, the reported Martian atmospheric escape rate of 100 grams per second is far insufficient to do it because it corresponds to a mere 10 cm global layer of water over 5 billion years, and the corresponding rate for Earth is of the same order of magnitude anyway.

      For some reason, it seems to be a diehard urban legend (continuously repeated by science journalists, NASA and some scientists) that the geomagnetic field would somehow explain why Earth is living and wet while Mars is dry and dead. For some strange and in my opinion irrational reason, such tale seems to appeal to people (and science funders?) more than the simple explanation (which is supported by data) that Mars is dry because it’s cold, and that the atmosphere is thin because a good part of CO2 lies frozen on the southern pole and possibly elsewhere.

      It is a sign of degeneration of science, unfortunately, that this kind of falsification of results can take place in broad daylight, without usually any one of the scientists who did the actual research protesting “hey, we didn’t say that”. In principle they are only responsible for the papers they wrote, but fixing major misunderstandings is part of a scientist’s duty as well, I think.

      • Agaricus

        It’s possible that more than a few scientists do object to distortion of their work by ‘interpreters’ such as science journalists, but that editors simply ignore such input as it might get in the way of a good sensationalist story. They (scientists) would have few other avenues through which to issue corrections.

        Many other groups with an axe to grind (the IPCC and drug manufacturers spring to mind, but there are many others) also seem happy to routinely cherry-pick and distort research findings for their own purposes. As this rot extends into every aspect of science reporting, and is often driven by agendas, it is probably too late to do much about it, other than to regard all such scientific pronouncements as provisional at best.

        • Pekka Janhunen

          I don’t think the rot goes everywhere. What I pointed out above is the major case in my field. Most things where I’m able to check the facts are popularised correctly. Still, the situation is bad enough.

          • Agaricus

            Pekka, you obviously haven’t heard the BBC/Met Office’s coverage of ‘global warming’ over the last few years!

    • right, Galileo controversy is not the horific anti-science story, but a very complex political battle between the pope and “Liberal” forces.

      (similarity with AGW is clear).

      The horrific denial of LENR remind me more the very long (>125years) battle to prove germs cause disease, and hygiene helps to protect.

      The first victim was Oliver Gordon de Aberdeen, then Oliver Wendell Holmes, then the famous and tragic hero: Semmelweis, then the fierce InfoWarrior: Pasteur

      “Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian doctor who practised in 19th century Vienna, is widely believed to be the father of modern infection control. He earned this accolade when he showed that puerperal sepsis was contagious and that it could be prevented with adequate hand hygiene. In fact, such ideas had circulated in the medical world for at least a century before Semmelweis’ work. Moreover, it is well documented that Alexander Gordon, an obstetrician working in Aberdeen, UK, was the fi rst to prove the contagious nature of puerperal sepsis. He also advocated the need for good hygiene for its prevention in a thesis published in 1795. This work described an epidemic of puerperal sepsis that began in Aberdeen in 1789. Gordon’s thesis was reprinted three times in Edinburgh, Philadelphia, and London over the next 55 years, suggesting that Semmelweis (1847) could well have known of his work. Like Semmelweis, Gordon was persecuted for his findings.”

      Michael chrihton made an article on that question, about consensus and summarize the “germ denial”.

      “In past centuries, the greatest killer of women was fever following childbirth. One woman in six died of this fever.

      In 1795, Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen suggested that the fevers were infectious processes, and he was able to cure them. The consensus said no.

      In 1843, Oliver Wendell Holmes claimed puerperal fever was contagious, and presented compelling evidence. The consensus said no.

      In 1849, Semmelweis demonstrated that sanitary techniques virtually eliminated puerperal fever in hospitals under his management. The consensus said he was a Jew, medical authorities ignored him, and dismissed Semmelweis from his post. There was in fact no agreement on puerperal fever until the start of the twentieth century. Thus the consensus took one hundred and twenty five years to arrive at the right conclusion despite the efforts of the prominent “skeptics” around the world, skeptics who were demeaned and ignored. And despite the constant, ongoing deaths of women.

      this consensus was maintained like cold fusion, because of a theory, and of the lack of alternative explanation . it disapeared when Paster was able to give an evidence a kid of 5 could understand (while Semmelweis very clear statistics were much more solid, but kid of 5 could not understand).

      There is a similar but less tragic example, Wegener theory:

      “Probably every schoolchild notices that South America and Africa seem to fit together rather snugly, and Alfred Wegener proposed, in 1912, that the continents had in fact drifted apart. The consensus sneered at continental drift for fifty years. The theory was most vigorously denied by the great names of geology-until 1961, when it began to seem as if the sea floors were spreading. The result: it took the consensus fifty years to acknowledge what any schoolchild notices.”

      It was rejected also because of theory and lack of alternative theory, in a very Kuhnian way.

      Crichton give a different example of scientific denial, which is more linked with political and religious reason : pelagra

      “There is no shortage of other examples. In the 1920s in America, tens of thousands of people, mostly poor, were dying of a disease called pellagra. The consensus of scientists said it was infectious, and what was necessary was to find the “pellagra germ.” The US government asked a brilliant young investigator, Dr. Joseph Goldberger, to find the cause. Goldberger concluded that diet was the crucial factor. The consensus remained wedded to the germ theory rather than face the obligation that disease is a moral and ethical issue.

      Goldberger demonstrated that he could induce the disease through diet. He demonstrated that the disease was not infectious by injecting the blood of a pellagra patient into himself, and his assistant. They and other volunteers swabbed their noses with swabs from pellagra patients, and swallowed capsules containing scabs from pellagra rashes in what were called “Goldberger’s filth parties.” Nobody contracted pellagra.

      The consensus continued to disagree with him. There was, in addition, a social factor-southern States disliked the idea of poor diet as the cause, because it meant that social reform was required. They continued to deny it until the 1920s. Result-despite a twentieth century epidemic, the consensus took years to see the light.””

      we should not , like Crichton mix the two reason to deny a reality :
      – the Kuhnian denial, caused by absence of alternative working theory to a beloved theory. Germs, Wegener, LENR, meteorites,
      – the Political denial, linked to “vested ideological” interest, when admitting reality would break an ideology/theory built to make a supremacy look “rational”, as religion do to make them “moral”… Race theories, Lysenkoism, inheritability of poverty, and some new consensus.

  • MWerner

    I for one am happy that Eathan has stepped forward to accept the scorn for the establishment. Hardly anyone remembers those that voiced similar opinions 25 years ago. I hope he has his thick skin ready for next spring:-)

  • Gerard McEk

    What Siegel is saying, is that according to the present laws of physics the EM drive and the Ecat are impossible. As for the EM drive I am a bit cautious, because of the very small force that it may give. But for LENR? There is so much overwhelming evidence by many respectable scientists. I am sure that Siegel knows everything about condensed matter science, otherwise he should have kept his comment for himself. So if he knows everything about that, why is he ignoring the thousands of published reports of which many are peer reviewed and repeated in other labs? Why does he just point to the so called ‘fraudulent’ Rossi to prove his right? I believe that Siegel either has a different agenda, or he should be going back to school and start studying physics and condensed matter science again. I hope he does this study open minded and with the same skepticism as he appeares to have now and that he does not accept any theory before every anomaly in that field is covered by that theory. Maybe then we can make a step forward in science.

    • Pekka Janhunen

      The EM-drive explicitly breaks momentum conservation, while LENR doesn’t manifestly break any fundamental law. Coincidentally or not, there is ample experimental evidence for LENR, while there is still insufficient experimental evidence for the EM-drive.

      I would be surprised if the E-cat didn’t and the EM-drive did work. But time will tell.

      • Gerard McEk

        ‘Ample experimental evidence for LENR? Please read this Pekka:

        • Pekka Janhunen

          I did read it. Why?

          • Gerard McEk

            Hmmm. You obviously do not accept this overview report as sufficient from scientific point of view. You are playing devils advocate… I guess you want to say that no articles exist in peer reviewed journals.
            You are right, there aren’t.
            As long as science will only accept what is in accordance with the existing laws and ignores all anomalies for those laws, then that’s ostrich science, in fact it is no science at all, it is self deception!

          • Pekka Janhunen

            Maybe there is some misunderstanding. I wrote that there is ample (plenty of) experimental evidence for LENR. Did I use the wrong word…no I don’t think so.

          • Gerard McEk

            Yes my fault, sorry. I confused ample with the Dutch word ‘amper’, which means exactly the oposite.

  • GreenWin

    Forbes’ downward trend began four years ago when they bailed out of Manhattan for Jersey City. Last year the magazine was sold to Hong Kong-based investor group Integrated Whale Media Investments. Unhappily the new partners are deadbeats and Forbes recently dragged the Whale into Delaware Court to demand money. This “experts” story may simply reflect the sour grapes and chaos happening at the once-successful business magazine.

  • Zephir

    Ironically enough, just the mainstream physicists are, who is looking (and spending lotta tax payers money) for various evidence of “fifth force”, “worm holes”, “extradimensions” or myriads of “dark matter particles”. But at the moment, when they have straightforward experimental system, how to test their theories (like the EMDrive), they suddenly become ignorant.

    IMO this form of stupidity is stupidity squared, because the scientists also dismiss the experimental evidence of their very own insights during it.

  • Zephir

    IMO the supporters of cold fusion have their portion of guilt in slow acceptation of cold fusion too, because they became overly focused to replication of E-Cat technology, whereas some experimental systems are easier to replicate than others.

    For example the twenty years old Notoya/Niedra’s experiments with electrolysis at porous nickel electrode in potassium carbonate solution are very cheap and they exhibit well measurable thermal or radioactivity effects. Reiko Notoya demonstrated it publicly at ICCF conference in 1996 already.

    If someone would manufacture a cheap and accessible DIY kits (electrolysers) for replication of cold fusion effects, then the mainstream physics would get much more difficult position in dismissing of cold fusion phenomena, because every hobbyist or school could attempt for their replication.

    • GreenWin

      Agree Zeph. The SPAWAR codeposition experiments, the Blacklight hydrino experiments, ENEA electrolysis experiments yield anomalous heat and (some) nuclear products. Though not at the commercial levels of Rossi. There has been a blind pursuit of Rossi – knowing even that he has exceptional resources hidden behind the curtain.

      • Zephir

        IMO he has any secret, but the inability of community replicators to repeat even the trivial Parkhomov kitchen experiments without reactor ruptures speaks for itself. Whereas the available sources of cold fusion literature describe much simpler experiments than that.

  • AdrianAshfield

    Siegel wrote: “The reality is that those “maverick geniuses” we mentioned earlier — Einstein, Edison, Tesla, Faraday and Newton – all trained for years or decades to reach the frontiers of their field before making progress; they were experts, not outsiders.”

    Wikipedia writes:

    In school, the young Edison’s mind often wandered, and his teacher, the Reverend Engle, was overheard calling him “addled”. This ended Edison’s three months of official schooling.

    Although Faraday received little formal education, he was one of the most influential scientists in history.

    It seems, like many group-think physicists, Siegel relies on a combination of faulty memory and misplaced arrogance from his own education that fixed “science” in what he was taught as a lad.
    He has done considerable harm to LENR by what he wrote in Wikipedia and here, about the E-Cat. He has strongly implied that Andrea Rossi is a fraud, ignoring the evidence of his success.

    • Agaricus

      Another insight into the thinking of this type of individual: – he (Siegel) considers himself to be supremely educated and the fruition of years of research and continued learning, ergo, these individuals who all made great contributions to science (as has Siegel in his own mind), MUST therefore have all been finely educated and similarly immersed in established science.

      He is so certain that it couldn’t be otherwise that he commits his junk thoughts to paper without even bothering to do a quick check on Google.

      • GreenWin

        Indeed. A cosmologist from Florida. Why the clown costume? Fabrication of current employment? Ignorance of evidence? Dr. Freud might suggest an “inferiority complex.” Or maybe he’s a PTB patsy, like Lee Harvey Oswald.

    • Jarea

      It is nice to see how clear facts can disprove his comments about what is a good physicist. All gatekeepers of holy science new religion book must learn about humble, ethic about their bias in science and of course about real scientific method, where agendas, conflicts of interest (money or friends) are below the most important science input: EVIDENCE

  • georgehants

    Important enough for this page, I think
    Now the holy scientific Dogma of cause and effect falls apart.
    “Now we find that not just physical properties, but also causal relations themselves can be undefined.”
    “Quantum theory … has shaken our understanding of reality by telling us that
    physical systems may not have well-defined properties,” the study’s
    co-author, Cyril Branciard at CNRS and the Universite Grenoble Alpes, told
    “Now we find that not just physical properties, but also causal
    relations (or causal orders) themselves can be undefined, and can be put
    in some kind of superposition—a phenomenon that had not been observed
    experimentally until very recently.”

    • Pekka Janhunen

      I’m not familiar with all nuances of quantum language, but I have thought that ordinary summation of Feynman diagrams already manifests summation of different histories which effectively means that causal relations were “undefined”.

      • georgehants

        Pekka, it would seem that whereas Feynman diagrams are simply very good Math for basing QM theories on. just as wave mechanics and matrix mechanics before them, In this report the words “a phenomenon that had not been observed experimentally until very recently.”
        I do believe that Experiment outclasses theory and certainly opinion.

        • GreenWin

          Two pennies: IF we are indeed living in a simulated universe, then causality, energy and matter are all undefined. The computing power to create such a simulation would need be q-bit based, making all data superpositional until rendered.

          • georgehants

            Morning GreenWin, Two cents: IF the universe is simulated, or more to my liking created, then the Quantum is well on the way to confirming (as Seth says) that it is we ourselves that are manipulating the “program”.
            We probably differ in that, I don’t blame the programmers for our failures to create a fair happy World.
            I believe that all the materials etc. are supplied for us to use in whichever way we choose.
            So far the Ancient Greeks made a good start, (with obvious reservations) but three millennia later we have if anything moved backwards, except for technology that the Greeks where already well advanced in before the collapse.
            Those creators must be pulling their hair out and at times falling about laughing at the complete inability for us to learn anything, I think.

  • GordonDocherty

    “anyone claims to have found a way to overcome the known laws of physics”

    would these be the “perfect” laws derived from general relativity or the “perfect” laws derived from quantum mechanics ?

    Of course, the law-makers know everything.

    Or, maybe a bit of humility is in order…

    It is understandable that after having dedicated half a lifetime to trying to find a “fundamental truth” common to and underlying a whole set of complex mathematical universes, it is very hard, both emotionally and intellectually, to admit that what you have been “uncovering” may not be the fundamental truth after all, but simply aspects of a common set of assumptions and models that now need revisiting and modifying, as experiments reveal new not aspects not previously captured in those models and assumptions.

    Put another way, building a roof, no matter how glorious, risks being pointless if that roof does not fit with the walls and foundations which it is to adorn.

    At the start of the 20th century, as experimental physics reached a plateau, theory took over as the tool by which “new truths” could be discovered (or, perhaps more accurately, new imaginary worlds created). Now that experimental physics is again surging ahead, it is only natural that many of the many imaginary worlds of the 20th century – these castles built so painstakingly in the air – will crumble round the edges, or even come crashing to the ground.

    In physics, as in science in general, experiment must always trump theory, even though we all know it hurts sometimes… I guess it is just part of growing up.

    • Agaricus

      It’s rare that individuals of this mindset ever grow up – they just become irrelevant or die. Planck’s truism about scientific progress seems to be a constant in academia.

  • Jarea

    I hope there will be consequences but nowadays the people forget too fast and don´t take the appropriate feedback notes to avoid future problems.
    I hope science will be more fact based. Just back to the roots of the provided evidence and instead of rejecting papers for breaking the current status quo, they should just demand more evidence, review and be patient avoiding comments about things that are not disproved yet (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.)

    Normally, they talk about the burden of proof which is on the one who propose a change on the status quo. And i say ok, but if you have to wait for the extra evidence, it doesn´t mean you have to tell and confirm everybody that this doesn’t work. That is not science and in fact, it blocks every new discovery. That kind of behavior can stop and discourage any new scientist with a new idea to continue with that until the evidence is provided.

    • GreenWin

      Siegel will join the list of denier cranks along with Koonin, Huizenga, Taubs and hot fusionists. Modern day flat earthers.

  • Dr. Mike

    I certainly disagree with Siegel’s statement on cold fusion and the E-cat:

    “Cold fusion — and hence, devices like the e-Cat — are almost certainly
    hoaxes due to their violation of the known laws (and well-studied
    phenomena) of electromagnetic and nuclear physics that have been
    established and are understood.”

    The physics of metal lattices operating under unusual conditions (palladium with a high loading factor of deuterium or a Ni lattice at high temperature in the presence of hydrogen and lithium, and perhaps some EM field) are not understood because they have not yet been fully studied (not to imply that anything can be “fully” studied).

    Frank makes a good point in his last paragraph that really anyone can make his/her own decisions on the validity of claims that are outside those considered to be mainstream science. I would also add that anyone that has done any scientific research can look at the results and methodology of another experimenter and decide if the data and results are valid based on the way the experiment was run.

  • AdrianAshfield

    Columbus got the credit but it really wasn’t justified. Others had been there before him and from customs records it looks like even early British fisherman knew about the cod off Newfoundland. long before Columbus, but kept it secret.

  • Oystein Lande

    Could not resist, just Had to make the following comment on the Forbes site 😉

    “If you thought that science was certain – well, that is just an error on your part.”
    ― Richard Feynman
    The arrogant attitude illustrated by mr Siegel is a repetitive pattern shown by many physicists. They think we have reached the end of Science, or the end of Physics for that matter. And years later it was discovered that, no, the discovery was real, and no, it Did NOT violate any laws of physics after all, as proven by the theory that conformed to the precious laws of physics. And these physcists do not see any reason to investigate fields like cold fusion, beceause they KNOW it is impossible. And other more open minded physcists dear to take the step to investigate, become convinced, and lose their careers believing in “ghosts”, and later they become vindicated as deardevils and pioneers that where ahead of their time.”

  • radvar

    “when it comes to the biggest lies and hoaxes of all”…it is important to include the top item on that list, which is that “the laws of physics” provide a complete framework for everything that is possible.

    Thanks to “Set Science Free” by Rupert Sheldrake (which someone here very graciously pointed to recently, and thank YOU very much!), I’ve finally found the leverage needed to pry that #$*%! implanted dogma from my psyche.

    What a sense of liberation to be able to consider my own direct experience and intuition without having to guiltily stop and think “But there’s no mechanistic explanation for this. Maybe it’s just my mind making things up. I apologize, learned professors, for straying out of bounds.”


    Wow. Needed to get THAT out of my system. Back to the healing process…

  • Frechette

    Besserwisser is too mild a characterization. Klug Scheisser is much more appropriate.

  • Frechette

    Maybe Siegel is Mary Yugo in disguise. Just a theory.

    • Pekka Janhunen

      Maybe Siegel is a clown. Just an observation (google image search).

  • GreenWin

    “Journalism is printing what someone else doesn’t want printed. Everything else is public relations.” George Orwell

  • Ethan Siegel has no credibility. Forbes has a vested interest in the status quo. When revolutionary scientific breaththroughs occur the Orthodox scientific community is usually the last to see itcoming. Call it pride or willful ignorance its a strange psycological occurence. Scientist who ignore evidence (no matter how seemingly outlandish) are digging their own intellectual grave.

  • Guy Thomas

    It’s pretty dumb using a quote from Richard Feynman to dismiss the possibility of exotic energy tech when Richard Feynman famously said the vacuum energy in the volume of a lightbulb is enough to boil all the earth’s oceans.


    “Nuclear Fission Works Fine, But Not Fusion. Here’s Why”

    • Agaricus

      It reads like the kind of stuff my daughter puts together for her 13-year-old science students.

      • GreenWin

        It is little wonder the illiteracy rate in the USA. With guys like this author “teaching” at university it is hard to believe the students can tie a shoe.

  • GreenWin

    Competent journalist always check their facts. Ethan Siegel has failed not only his content, but his bio contains a outright falsehood. Siegel is a high school science teacher and theoretical cosmologist from College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, U Florida. While his credit at the bottom of this article claims he’s a “professor at Lewis & Clark College” – a check with Administration confirmed he was once a visiting assistant professor at Lewis and Clark, but he’s no longer working there.

    Siegel, who sports the appearance of a caped Mr. T (80s TV series) was also a science and health “curator” at San Francisco-based Trapit Inc., a commercial marketing outfit. Again, a recent check found his employee page deleted along with content he curated. So, his only writing credential is his own blog and a few items on Forbes-owned “RealClearScience” blog. A sketchy career at best?

    It is generally unfair to attack a writer’s background but in this case with so many sophomoric errors in Siegel’s article – it is appropriate IMO. With Forbes embroiled in an embarrassing financial scandal after selling the magazine to Hong Kong’s “Integrated Whale Media,” it’s been a rocky ride for Forbes.

  • Job001

    In this case Ethan Siegel’s motivations are not difficult to estimate. He apparently does a clown character “AXE COP” to financially self promote his web site, books, speaking engagements and so forth. He panders to stagnant big money biases rather than to basic science research humility as indicated with the Forbes tie-in, IMO. He expressed pride in related web hit improvements at “Starts with a Big Bang”.

    Ethan is not a material scientist but a speculative astrophysicist, IMO. Additionally, his knowledge of recent LENR advances appears abysmal with unsubstantiated statements about “laws of physics, deluded or fraudulent claims”.

    Consequently, Ethan seems to be operating with obvious “funding bias” due to being in a “self promotion” rather than an “objective experimental scientist” mode. In this case, it appears he does not know what he does not know, a very serious philosophical error typically leading to hubris.

    A scientist is not a scientist due to acclaim or title or his past, a scientist is a scientist when he can maintain the required research humility and experimental objectivity, IMO.

    ps:no references will be provided since everything noted here can easily be found.

  • Pekka Janhunen

    A reactionless or recoilless drive (I have understood that that was their claim) by definition breaks momentum conservation. If the spacecraft is in vacuum and if nothing with momentum is expelled by it, then no thrust can be produced, unless momentum conservation is broken. And breaking of momentum conservation would also imply breaking of energy conservation, because momentum and energy are components of the same energy-momentum tensor.

  • Alan DeAngelis
  • Eyedoc

    It’s actually kind of humorous, when you realize the PTB are using such a two-bit ‘scientist’ as their authority, to ‘debunk’ these future black swans .

    • GreenWin

      Less than two-bit, seeing he fabricated current employment. Siegel and Forbes’ Chinese owners must think facts and evidence inferior to theory. This article looks a lot like skeps surrender.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    You naughty boys and girls at ECW, you should only be listening to the King’s messenger, the Pope’s bulletin and Forbes Magazine.

  • Ophelia Rump

    Another flatworlder holding a position of power in the scientific community. How unbecoming the office.

    We need to stop educating people by recitation.

    • Poetry.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      And disrupt the hive? That is disconcerting.

    • psi2u2

      The come in all fields, Ophelia. Recently more have arrived in this discussion.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    If you actually have something that doesn’t generate CO2
    (like the E-Cat), they can’t collect a carbon tax.

    The E-Cat called their bluff.

    • Albert D. Kallal

      Perhaps this is just typical dishing, but it also could be something
      far more deep. It called panic!

      And dumping speculative things like em drives etc. in the
      same group of LENR is simply a way to HIDE the distain for LENR and what it can do for mankind! This is NOT about em drives, this is ALL ABOUT LENR.

      I think this amounts to this:

      Golly, if you adopt an electric car that does not pollute
      (ignoring that most electric cars run on coal), then these social do-gooders
      cannot tell you to stop driving your car and take public transportation. It much
      like saying don’t eat better food so you can eat more food, but simply eat less
      crappy food. That way we can tell you not to eat too much food!

      This is ALL ABOUT telling you how to live, tossing on a
      guilt trip and then with a big plate of guilt they justify the CO2 tax.

      The e-cat is a HUGE blow to the socialist movement. And
      by lumping in together all the other crap like em-drive etc., then Forbes is
      just hiding the writing they see on the wall!

      The e-cat is to the environmental movement as to what
      cars were to buggy whip makers!

      The WHOLE justification of the environmental movement
      (which is a trogon socialist horse) is based on this being a socialist front.
      With the e-cat you remove the connection between energy, progress and industrial and that of polluting the environment.

      The end result is without a guilt trip, then these socialists
      cannot make you guilty for heating your home or driving your car. And ultimate
      without a guilt trip, then there are no taxes and control of the population and
      telling you what you must and must not do!

      The following quote from the UN climate panel (IPCC)
      quite much sums what this whole battle is about:

      Quote by Ottmar Edenhoffer, high level UN-IPCC official:

      “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by
      climate policy…Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate
      policy separately from the major themes of globalization…One
      has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.”

      So even the IPPC admits this is about socialist policy
      AND NOT the science!. The connection between socialist and global warming is pointed out quite nicely in this short video:

      Albert D. Kallal
      Edmonton, Alberta Canada

  • Mats002
    • Alain Samoun

      Sound good maybe LENR will become a topic in the next election…

      • GreenWin

        Great work Mats! My first thought: what a wonderful blessing it is for Mike McKubre and, in community, all CF stalwarts who have dedicated their lives to this work. Long time coming. But soon, very soon, “We shall be released.”

        • Mats002

          Yes, they deserve it so much. Rossi stands on the shoulders of the PdD CF people in the ICCF community from back in the F&P days, and so does Godes.

          The raise of Brillouin as a competitor to Rossi/IH is greatly needed, this will put some fire under the new fire.

  • GreenWin

    Following Ophelia’s comment below, a little more on Ethan Siegel and who he works for — it is surprising! Siegel writes a science blog titled, “Starts with a Bang” — belief that 14.3B years ago there was absolutely nothing, then in one nanosecond BANG! — our entire universe appeared! “Bang” is one of some 60 blogs hosted (paid for) by Adam Bly’s Seed Media Group – a privately held publisher of “Scientific Thinking” based in New York.

    There is little online to explain how this enterprise pays for the 60 odd blogs focused on science. But they all follow the consensus agenda which may explain why Siegel ignored LENR evidence, facts and data. Mr. Bly, the CEO, Editor in Chief, Publisher and overall big wig, appears to have no science background. That’s okay. As Siegel points out, Adam “simply does not have the resources and capacities to become expert in everything.”

    But an enterprising Brandeis University student Jake Crosby uncovered revealing connections between Seed Media Group and the big pharma industry. Especially with regard to vaccines and autism.

    Regardless the agenda, Bly’s Seed Media Group is the largest online aggregator of science content in the world. It is comforting to know that Bly recently sold Seed Scientific. his marketing analytics company to that font of scientific thinking…. Spotify AB, the music and video streaming company that has pissed off international recording artists, including America’s own Taylor Swift. Who says science and pop music are different??

    Suffice it to say, Mr. Siegel is but a cog in the machinery of online propaganda. Its design is to protect dogmatic science and the immutable “laws of physics.” Unfortunately for Mr. Siegel and the Seed Media starship, we hear the cries of her Chief Engineer… “Aye Captain, but the laws of physics has all gone to sheit!”

    • psi2u2

      “an enterprising Brandeis University student Jake Crosby uncovered revealing connections between Seed Media Group and the big pharma industry.”

      Very interesting.

  • pg

    There have been so many “impossibilities” in the past that have either revolutionized the world or won nobel prizes that you’d think these kind of articles to be almost extinct.
    Oh well, we’ll laugh at it and the author when the time comes.

  • Can’t comment at Forbes unless you signup for a Forbes account or give them personal info so will post here.

    If we didn’t test “known science” we would still be in the dark ages. So we do countless experiments and when the findings are different than what our known science tells us then we have to rethink known science. Einstein had a lot of humility concerning the things he did not know.

    Cold Fusion has undergone 26 years of experimentation. The Ecat has been tested and retested and is months away from a yearlong trial providing power to a factory. If you’re claiming the Ecat is a hoax you have to include a wide range of technicians who are in on it and Tom Darden the CEO of Industrial Heat in North Carolina’s energy park, who’s presenting the Ecat to an international audience. Quite an accusation Ethan. An open mind is a terrible thing to waste.

  • Omega Z

    “the known laws of physics”
    Like, We really know all there is to know.

    If that be the case, we need to eliminate Physicists from the payroll. It is a waste of money better spent elsewhere. You know. Like engineers to build things according to “the known laws of physics”. The Physicists are no longer needed.

    I vote that Ethan Siegel be the 1st to get a pink slip if for no other reason then he believes we know all there is to know. As a Scientist, he should at the very least understand the knowledge comes from the unknown. He has lost the means to learn anything new.

  • psi2u2


  • psi2u2

    I am not necessarily a believer in homeopathy, but I do understand the prejudices of allopathic medicine. Even my rather good and open minded GP seems to think that chiropractic is a placebo and a sham, which it definitely is not in my experience. And if you look at the conceptual basis for homeopathy, it is closely related to the idea of vaccinations, so that provides an indication at least of probability even if the means of efficacy are unknown or seem to be in conflict with some known “law.” You might be interested to know that Shakespeare is pretty big on homeopathy, having been more inclined to the Paracelsean heresy than the Galenic orthodoxy of the Universities of his day. Even allopathic practitioners now recognize that Paracelsus was way ahead of his time; the Galenists were still blabbering about humors when he was correctly diagnosing the causes of Black Lung disease in coal miners. That just got him in trouble, as the mine owners were not happy about his diagnosis. So I put homeopathy in my category of something I should retain an open mind about.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Which laws of physics are being defied? Pray tell.

  • Mats002

    Beat yourself IB, You simply don’t know and add nothing about those subjects.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    And with the E-Cat?

  • ah, need to learn physics.

    CoE is not broken if it is nuclear.
    CoM is more a problem if you ASSUME it is twobody interaction like in vaccumm or plasma.
    However it is inside a lattice.
    Superconduction show particles can act as group via strange phenomenons.

    the real law that is broken is your superiority.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Actually, I was asking about the E-Cat but perhaps the EM Drive isn’t
    rocket science (conservation of momentum). Maybe it has more to do with the TT Brown effect (the effect the observant Brown notice when he was an “ignorant” teenager).

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Pardon me, Brown was ten when he noticed the effect in 1915.
      Fortunately we now have medications that can treat this kind of disruptive
      behavior in children so that they will be able to go on to become astrophysicists.

  • psi2u2

    Hi Tom, I see that you are now following me around the internet to argue on topics having nothing to do with Shakespeare. Interesting idea of how to spend your spare time. As usual, your knowledge of the history of ideas is about right for a former Sheriff’s department PR flack. Did they ever hire you back, like you said they were going to? Or are you just retired now?

  • psi2u2

    Mike, I’ll refer you to the literature on Shakespeare’s medical knowledge. There is no reason for me to waste my time trying to explain it to you. Good luck with your studies. Also, I find it interesting that both you and Mr. Reedy are now following me around the internet. Don’t you have a job to do? I thought you were the IT genius of Brunel? Is this what Brunel is paying you to do? My o my, talk about throwing bad money after bad money…..

    • headlight

      From Wikipedia: “Homeopathy (i/ˌhoʊmiˈɒpəθi/) is a system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann based on his doctrine of like cures like (similia similibus curentur), a claim that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people.”

      How could Shakespeare have been “pretty big” on a system created by an identifiable individual 180 years after his death?

      Oh, wait — that’s right. You, like all academics of your caliber, instinctively overstate your case, fudge your evidence, and think the essence of scholarship is using big words incorrectly, and post hoc rationalization. So if you need to pretend that a book owned by countless people after being originally bought by Oxford was exclusively marked by the first owner, or that he was somehow “big on homeopathy” when the term and system was invented nearly two centuries later, you state it as fact and attack anyone who points your flaws out to you.

      Good luck with your studies, Roger.

  • Jarea

    I am pretty sure you was blocked because of your bad language and not your arguments. Here many contribute with new information and views and explain what can be more probable with the info we have. What we don’t want is people who tell others how stupid they are because they think there is something behind LENR and Rossis device.