Response to Robert Park’s Seven Warning Signs of Pseudoscientific Claims

The following is a guest post submitted to E-Cat World by Hank Mills.

I read a post here which cited seven warning signs of that a claim might be pseudoscientific outlined by Robert Park in a 2003 Chronicle of Higher Education article. Park, author of Voodoo Science, is historically one of the biggest critics of cold fusion and other exotic sources of energy. In my opinion, these seven signs are NOT evidence of a hoax, and are actually signs of someone working creatively to develop a technology despite the opposition that could be faced from the mainstream scientific community.

“1.Discoverers make their claims directly to the popular media, rather than to fellow scientists.”

RESPONSE: When most other scientists would instantly dismiss the technology, it can make sense to first make the claims to the popular media. The mainstream scientific community has turned into a cult, and their ritualistic “peer review process” has turned into one of their most dreadful tools of suppression. The general public can be skeptical, but it is likely that some of them will be open minded to the work you are doing. Also, by going to the general scientific community first you can avoid giving the enemy (the cultist in the scientific community) the chance to get a heads up on what you are doing, so they can make up a plan to suppress your efforts. For example, in 1989 the MIT scientists (who were vested in hot fusion research) who were given the responsibility to determine if cold fusion were real, actually had a wake for the death of cold fusion before their testing was done. This is a clear example of them being willing to violate the scientific method for their own benefit. Instead of recusing themselves to begin with for being biased (because if cold fusion was proven to be real they could lose billions of dollars in funding) or at least trying to be impartial, they condemned cold fusion as a hoax before they were even finished with their experiments.

“2.Discoverers claim that a conspiracy has tried to suppress the discovery.”

RESPONSE: Not all claims of suppression are real. However, some claims of suppression are indeed real. Cold fusion technology was suppressed from the start by MIT scientists, hot fusion proponents, and others. Also, individuals like Robert Park have devoted their careers to discrediting anyone with revolutionary ideas that do not fit into the box of mainstream science. Instead of supporting cold fusion research and other breakthrough discoveries, he has been one of the individuals that have contributed to those technologies being suppressed.

“3.The claimed effect appears so weak that observers can hardly distinguish it from noise. No amount of further work increases the signal.”

RESPONSE: This can be true with some technologies. It is even true for some forms of cold fusion. However, now there are cold fusion technologies that produce huge amounts of excess power, such as Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat. Also, there are many conventional technologies that require extreme precision. For example, scientists have to work very hard to determine if billion dollar hot fusion technologies have achieved a COP over 1. So far, as far as I am aware, they have not.

If hot fusion experiments that cannot produce a COP of over 1 despite getting billions of dollars in funding, why should cold fusion be treated so badly and be given no funding? Cold fusion research can be performed for 1/100th the cost or less of hot fusion. So if hot fusion is expensive and yields no practical results, why should a cheap form of fusion THAT HAS YIELDED RESULTS be dismissed?

The answer is simple. There are biased hot fusion scientists that want to keep their funding, keep their jobs, and do not want their careers to end. So they try to dismiss cold fusion so the status quo can continue.

“4.Anecdotal evidence is used to back up the claim.”

RESPONSE: If anecdotal evidence exists for their claim why should it not be used to back it up, along with whatever other evidence exists? Obviously, researchers should strive to present hard evidence stronger than just anecdotal evidence, but to claim that presenting anecdotal evidence is a sign of a hoax is ridiculous. In many fields of science all evidence is presented, including anecdotal evidence.

5.True believers cite ancient traditions in support of the new claim.

RESPONSE: I have not came across this too often. I do hear researchers quoting Nikola Tesla’s statements about free energy, but I think it is a good thing to review what has been said by those people who have CHANGED THE WORLD with their inventions.

6.The discoverer or discoverers work in isolation from the mainstream scientific community.

RESPONSE: When the scientific community as a whole would try to deny them funding, mock them, attack them, criticize them, and try to suppress their work it would be a good thing for them to work in isolation. That way, they can develop useful products and when they are ready they can launch them. Why let the mainstream scientific community get in the way of progress?

RESPONSE — 7.The discovery, if true, would require a change in the understanding of the fundamental laws of nature.

Why do we think we understand the fundamental laws of nature? We have only been studying the laws of nature for a few hundred years, and it is very possible we are very wrong about them. For all we know, our “laws of physics” could be very wrong! The idea that we understand even a fraction of how the universe works after only a few hundred years is arrogant.

Hank Mills