CORR: Reposted from April 6, 2006, Lucas Recap

April 6, 2006 at 12:00 am | Posted in Journal of Anti-Science meetings | 1 Comment

There were over 100 people there. I don’t know a specific number, but it was definitely over 100. There were a few of my classmates there, but they left before the questions and answers segment, leaving Dr. Van Stipdonk and I as the only 2 people there who were not completely scientifically illiterate.

That’s the way I like it. However, the format was different. While Dr. Lucas misrepresented basic geology, and nuclear chemistry, and claimed to make a super duper physics equation that solves everything, something which Einstein was working fervorously on before he died, the Theory of Everything. Because of the format I did not interject sanity until after the misrepresentation of science, long after it was already accepted as gospel by the audience. I will not make this mistake again.

As soon as it was question time, I asked him to go back to his first slide, where he had a list of laws and theories, which include such classics as the Theory of Relativity, the Laws of Motion, and the Laws of Thermodynamics. He made a statement that all of these theories are being replaced. What he implied was that evil atheist scientists are finally being caught and made to tell the truth.

I said that science is composed of working models that are refined when needed and asked, “So, you’re saying that none of these theories are valid because they’re still being worked on?”

His response was, “They’re not valid because they don’t allow for the existence of God.” He then tried to cover that slip up with, “They just don’t fit the data.”

Most simple point here is that you can’t consider a supreme being when conducting a scientific investigation because you can not control for it. The existence of God is irrelevant to science. Nor can science prove or disprove the existence of God, because natural science only studies the natural world, also known as the universe. Nor does science really care. You won’t find any reputable scientific journal that weighs the existence of God in any of its conclusions.

Dr. Lucas said what I wanted him to say. To state his purpose, which wasn’t science. However, I don’t think the crowd understood its meaning.

Continuing down this road in an attempt to tie a conspiracy that “they” (who were never clearly defined but constantly referred to. I assume them to be publishers and scientists) have been protecting these laws to continue funding and keep down Christians and God, Dr. Lucas made a statement that Isaac Newton did not know what mass was.

My response was, “Wasn’t that the first paragraph of Principia Mathematica?”

Dr. Lucas answered with a fuzzy wiggler that kept him safe. I didn’t challenge though I made a mistake in not telling the crowd to read the first paragraph of probably the greatest scientific work in history. I am however hoping they will have a mind to do it on their own.

Here quoted is the first paragraph of Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton (translated from Latin, though not by me):

Definitions.

Definition 1: The quantity of matter is the measure of the same, arising from its density and bulk conjunctly.

Thus air of a double density, in a double space, is quadruple in quantity; in a triple space, sextuple in quantity. The same thing is to be understood of snow, and fine dust or powders, that are condensed by compression or liquefication; and of all bodies that are by any causes whatever differently condensed. I have no regard in this place to a medium, if any such there is, that freely pervades the interstices between the parts of bodies. It is this quantity that I mean hereafter everywhere under the name of body or mass, And the same is known by the weight of each body; for it is proportional to the weight, as I have found by experiments on pendulums, very accurately made, which shall be shewn hereafter.

So apparently not only did Isaac Newton know what mass was, he actually defined it in the first paragraph of what is the most important work in the history of the world.

I let him go in hopes that those in the audience would consult their copy of Principia Mathematica.

Dr. Van Stipdonk, my ally apparently to the end in this madness, then asked Dr. Lucas to demonstrate the use of his unified theory. Dr. Lucas claimed it was too difficult to show here. So Dr. Van Stipdonk moved to another major topic of the misrepresentation, the Robert Gentry situation.

Robert Gentry worked on radiohalos at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and is a Young Earth Creationist (YEC). A YEC is a person who believes the Earth is only about 6,010 years old, the age that fits with the Bible. This age is given by the Biblical scholarship of James Ussher. It’s the most extreme type of creationist to be, especially when the YEC is a scientist who misapplies science to prove it. 3 of Gentry’s articles were published in each Science and Nature, which are each at the apex of scientific publications. Here is a link to a Robert Gentry interview where he talks about his relationship with Oak Ridge and mentions his visit to Wichita State University.

Long story short, while researching radiohalos he came to the unqualified position that the rapid decay of “primordial” polonium-214, which has the very short half-life of 164 microseconds, proves that the granite it was found in was formed in less than 3 seconds, implying an instantaneous creation of the Earth.

Gentry however did not prove that his rock would provide a primordial source because he did not know where he got it (he didn’t get it himself) and he refused to do the geology because it contradicts his beliefs as a YEC.

His science was good though incomplete, and his interpretations were bizarre. Gentry then left Oak Ridge under what I will call here “mysterious circumstances.” The creationist/ID movement has picked this man to be their martyr, claiming he was fired because he was persecuted against for being a christian. Actually this is not what happened.

Dr. Van Stipdonk knows a bit about the Gentry situation. He was much closer to the situation than anyone else in the room because he worked in the same circles. While he was trying to get Lucas to clarify what he misrepresented he was working to make the point that if Gentry was so persecuted against and there is this huge conspiracy keeping Christians out of science, how did he get all of these articles in Science and Nature?

Before Dr. Van Stipdonk could reach the point with Dr. Lucas however, the crowd turned ugly. The fact that Dr. Van Stipdonk had reference to something being presented was perceived as a threat by those in the audience. Names were called, perhaps threats were made. Dr. Van Stipdonk was forced to give up his question and sort of asked to leave, though he didn’t. Poorly masked references were made to the rudeness of Dr. Van Stipdonk by many of the others who asked questions, which brought about laughs from the audience. I must note here that Dr. Van Stipdonk was many orders of magnitude more respectful to the speaker and the audience than I was. He is also a christian.

As a side note about why the crowd reacted this way, I later witnessed Dr. Van Stipdonk being told by Dr. Ackerman (the chair of the Psychology department at WSU and long time advocate of creation science), J. David Lehman (who is the unofficial leader of CORR), and Dr. Lucas that the problem with his questions were that they were “too dominant.” I suppose that is open to interpretation.

I feel that I was not met with this type of hostility, but from there I was ignored until the end where I offered, “I have two questions, really brief. First of all, you seem to really be going out of your way to make the point that only what is “politically correct” makes it into textbooks, outside of what is accepted in the scientific community to make it into textbooks, who would you rather do it, you and you alone or anybody at all?”

Dr. Lucas gave a long winded answer that boiled down to that he believes everything in textbooks are wrong, non-“politically correct” outsiders like him are not accepted, there’s no room made for the maverick, and the scientific community refuses to accept anything that disproves fundamental theories because of a conspiracy theory aimed at continuation of funding, which were also discussed during my first question that lead to his statement that Isaac Newton did not know what mass is.

Dr. Lucas did what I wanted him to do. He showed his paranoia and made statements that those like him everywhere are being fired and not being published.

So, I finished, “Philosophical question here Dr. Lucas. Say you go to a doctor because you have a headache, and first thing he does is cut off your leg, should he lose his medical license?”

Dr. Lucas answered by telling a story about his wife almost dying of cancer because a doctor failed to treat her because her doctor was given money for research by the NIH and needed her for a study group, and that she was later refused treatment for eating fresh fruit. This was an appeal for emotion for which he was rewarded with an ovation.

All I could say was. “Wow, that truly is bizarre Dr. Lucas. So back to my original question, you go to the doctor…”

“Yes, his medical license should be pulled.”

“Thank you doctor, I totally agree.”

His chemical equations made absolutely no sense. Based on his presentation, Dr. Lucas does not know the difference between isotope and ion by showing chemical equations that said that an atomic species will change by losing an electron. A very small point in light of many other, there’s a decay series for Uranium. Thorium (Th) is part of that series. Dr. Lucas used the symbol for Thallium (Tl), for which he called Tellurium (Te). This was his Thorium. I’m a reasonable man. I understand mistakes are made, but based on his argument and presentation this mistake should have never been made, and would not have been made by anyone who knew what they were talking about.

The geology was butchered and interpretations were simply remolded to make unqualified statements that support his desired result. It was too bad to pick apart here. He also said he’s not a geologist, although geology was a major part of his presentation.

I feel that basic errors in nuclear equations and a demonstration of a very poor understanding of basic chemistry and geology, which were not his points but sold as scientific jargon to support his points, would make any rational human being think that he did not have a clue about what he was talking about.

Unfortunately, I feel I let the crowd, which have no frame of reference for anything Dr. Lucas talked about, get away believing what he said was truth. That all of his bizarre science was valid. That scientists were evil and that there’s a giant conspiracy against Christians.

I tried and I failed but I have learned from my mistakes.

Next week, Thursday, at the RSC at WSU. 7pm. Keep them coming.

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  1. […] Lucas Recap April 6, 2006 at 12:00 am | In Defending Science |  This was originally posted here on April 6, 2006 at the “Defending Science, Scientists, and Non-Scientists” […]


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