The Art of Objectivity With the E-Cat

The following post was submitted by E-Cat World reader Billy Jackson.

“While it’s true that at least 99% of revolutionary announcements from the fringes of science are just as bogus as they seem, we cannot dismiss every one of them without investigation. If we do, then we’ll certainly take our place among the ranks of scoffers who accidentally helped delay numbers of major scientific discoveries throughout history. Beware, for many discoveries such as powered flight and drifting continents today only appear sane and acceptable because we have such powerful hindsight. These same advancements were seen as obviously a bunch of disgusting lunatic garbage during the years they were first discovered.

“In science, pursuing revolutionary advancements can be like searching for diamonds hidden in sewage. It’s a shame that the realms of questionable ideas contain “diamonds” of great value. This makes the judging crazy theories far more difficult. If crazy discoveries were always bogus, then we’d have good reason to reject them without investigation. However, since the diamonds exist, we must distrust our first impressions. Sometimes the “obvious” craziness turns out to be a genuine cutting-edge discovery. As with the little child questioning the emperor’s clothing, sometimes the entire scientific community is misguided and incompetent. Sometimes only the lone voice of the maverick scientist is telling the truth.”

William Beaty 2002

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”

The E-cat has inflamed our passions, ignited our imaginations, and challenged our preconceptions. I quote the above by William Beaty for a simple reason. It holds a lesson for us to take to heart. The E-cat and Andrea Rossi have either inspired you with possible visions of the future, or left a bitter taste in your mouth. Is it yet another fringe crackpot rearing its ugly head to deceive us all with the next wonder device? Or is it the first step into a new energy future?.

While its fate is yet undecided. We all eagerly await the much anticipated report on its authenticity. It has, without a doubt, raised much debate both here at E-Cat World and elsewhere. As tempers flare, or when emotional tirades trample anyone that disagrees, and condescension threatens the quality of our discourse from both sides, we must remind ourselves to remain objective.

The E-Cat will not be proven or disproven with emotional vitriol spewed at each other with our minds closed. It is astounding to me that the inventor, Andrea Rossi, seems to take criticism and challenges to his device and self better than the fans and opponents.

Science isn’t emotional. The E-Cat does not care if you believe, have faith, are inspired, detest, condemn, or disdain its existence. It simply is or is not. As the evidence compiles on one side or the other of this debate, we must learn to temper our expectations to match the realities of this invention and its possibilities, while not allowing our preconceived ideas of what we think we know to color our ability to challenge the accepted.

My challenge to both sides of our community is this. Challenge your preconceptions, but remain objective. leave the emotional diatribe at home. Challenge what you know you know, examine what you think you know, and be prepared to explore the possibilities of what you don’t know.

“Concepts which have proved useful for ordering things easily assume so great an authority over us, that we forget their terrestrial origin and accept them as unalterable facts. They then become labeled as ‘conceptual necessities,’ etc. The road of scientific progress is frequently blocked for long periods by such errors.” — Albert Einstein