Monday, August 12, 2013

Oh THAT'S what Richard C, Hoagland is constantly hinting at!

I just read the latest of Richard C, Hoagland's 'papers' on the and learned something new. No, I didn't learn anything REAL, just something I had not quite understood before about Richard C, Hoagland's claims:

For over twenty years, The Enterprise Mission has pursued an extraordinary scientific and political hypothesis ....

That the Earth orbits the Sun, not as "the only lush oasis amid a host of lifeless other worlds ..." but as, potentially, the lone planetary survivor of a long-forgotten ancient solar system epoch, shaped by "an extraordinarily advanced, Type II ET Civilization[his link] -- which, after literally remaking this entire planetary system ... collapsed in a catastrophic, ancient War--
Leaving only scattered, arcane clues behind to its existence -- including, some evidence suggests, the human race itself ....

Wow! That is so so so NOT a scientific hypothesis!!! To be a scientific hypothesis, there must be a phenomenon that needs explanation. In the early phase of the scientific method, one must determine which explanation is most reasonable. Occam's razor, anyone? Let us suppose that what we are trying to explain is the Face on Mars, which seems most likely a natural geologic feature of our solar system's fourth planet... ;)

Photo: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems (2001)

Despite Mr. Hoagland's claims to the contrary, the 'Face' on Mars and other formations do NOT present clear and compelling evidence of intelligent construction which would bring one to question 'who' built it. Mr. Hoagland can point to the mathematical relationships between features on the fourth planet, but what he has presented is really meaningless and cannot be construed as evidence of anything. (Wow, I didn't even read that part of Hoagland's paper before I mentioned this... I guess we can see where he's going)

Now Mr. Hoagland thinks he has found more extraterrestrial arcology on Mars.  Richard C, Hoagland has posited that the following feature is, in fact, a construction on Mars.

Photo: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona (MRO HiRISE, 2007)

When one examines this photo, it is easy to see an approximately regular form, but if you look at surrounding geologic forms, they also appear to have fairly sharp corners. That might be a clue that this, too, could be a natural landform.

What we really see in Richard C, Hoagland's fanciful ideas is not a scientific hypothesis because he has yet to find a feature which we can feel very confident is not a natural landform. The fact of a hypothesis should be arising from some unexplained phenomena, but there is nothing to explain, except if the question is "what forces have acted upon this object to make it as we see it today", in which case the question is one for astrogeologists. The question is, emphatically, NOT whether our planet is the lone survivor of a long-forgotten ancient, extraordinarily advanced space-faring society, the remnants of an interplanetary war. :D

At least that's how I see it!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stunning confirmation

Okay, this post will be little more than a brief mention of a few issues I have with Mr. Richard C. Hoagland's "stunning confirmation" of torsion fields (aetheric fields, hyperdimensional physics) through his "experiment" with a 30+ year old wristwatch hooked up to his laptop computer (if you think my characterization is incorrect, read this). In the most recent article on the Enterprise Mission website, an unidentified author (possibly Robin) runs through the most recent experimental confirmation of Hoagland's torsion field theory (*cough, cough*). :)

As Expat points out, Hoagland failed to get the proper permit to conduct his "experiment" on his recent trip to Mexico at Chichen Itza. Expat explains for the less worldly that such a permit very closely resembles a 500 peso "donation" (about $39). That being said, I'm not sure that it would have made much of a difference because there is no means of distinguishing experimental results that would tend to confirm Hoagland's hyperdimensional physics hypothesis. It turns out that Mr. Hoagland has never released baseline results that are not supposed to reflect unusual torsion/aetheric amplification (by a mountain, Coral Castle, Tikal). How are we to know that the results that Mr. Hoagland points to as confirmation is anything other than normal "noise" from his old wristwatch? :D

That being said, if one looks at the experimental results from Mr. Hoagland's three "stunning confirmations", it seems odd that they do not seem to have the same results. View these pictures of the results for Coral Castle, Pyramid of the Sun, Tikal and the Annular Eclipse to see what I mean. Mr. Hoagland really needs to show us what his device would read when it's not strongly affected by hyperdimensional torsion fields. Expat has gone into this discussion, including suggesting an experimental protocol to make sure that the results that Mr. Hoagland presents are actually showing something. My bigger issue is that Mr. Hoagland does not even have any apparent "field theory", so his "predictions" are usually along the lines that one would find something odd, rather than saying that his watch will specifically either speed up or slow down under certain defined conditions. Then there's just the fact that his experimental apparatus is probably not sophisticated enough to get decent results (old watch plugged into his laptop...). :S

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Face on Mars Farce

Sorry for the delay in this post. I am actually working on another post, which goes more into Richard C. Hoagland's HYPERDIMENSIONAL PHYSICS stuff, but I have gotten a bit bogged down in the minutia of its elements, so I will probably have to break up the subject into a few chunks. I was inspired by Dr. Stuart Robbins to go into my own views on The Face on Mars. Here it goes:

The Cydonia monument complex first came into the sites of indepedent researchers, including Richard C. Hoagland, NOT because of the many suspiciously building-like landforms (try none), but solely due to the so-called "Face on Mars". I considered not discussing The Face on Mars at all, but I realized that I have a few insights, even if I am not an astronomer, like Dr. Phil Plait (his blog) or Dr. Stuart Robbins (his blog and his podcast).

There are a few issues that I want to touch on about The Face: (a) the context of The Face in Cydonia (i.e., what is and isn't in Cydonia), (b) a few claims about The Face and (c) why I don't believe The Face is likely to be a construction.

The Cydonia Complex

As I pointed out in my previous post "Hoagland's Martian Missive", Mr. Richard C. Hoagland's mathematical relationship model of the Cydonia region is unconvincing because its landmarks seem entirely arbitrary and may sometimes be absent. I believe that the simplest explanation for this is that there is no "complex", per se, just a bunch of landforms that have come into existence through natural processes. :S

Photo: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

As one can see from the area surrounding what Hoagland calls the D&M "pyramid", that feature is clearly not outside the norm for natural landforms in that region. This should be perfectly clear from the photo I presented in my previous post (which I re-present above). Just as an aside, does anybody see "Mr. Kitty" mesa? It's just to the right of my compass. See, I can find images that don't exist in the topography, too! :D

There are bound to be the occasional "interesting" geometric relationship between various landforms on a planet. What I would find more interesting and compelling is if there is a clear repeating pattern with regular geometry. What we see in the "Hoagland-Torun" model is a number of haphazard geometric relationships. There are two big problems with this, as far as I can see: (a) you can choose to include or exclude any landform that you want and (b) there are many angular relationships that are allowed. These both greatly increase your odds of hitting "something wonderful", in Hoagland's words. ;)

The Face or The Faces?

As I mentioned in my previous post, the idea of The Face has evolved somewhat over time for Mr. Hoagland. It used to be a human face, pure and simple and eerily reminiscent of the enigmatic face of the Sphinx in Egypt. Here is the famous "catbox" image of The Face. That will come in useful to Mr. Kitty. (Update: Expat points out the image is not the catbox. The joke stands. That's really the only reason I referred to the catbox anyway.) :D

Photo: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems (2001)

The Face has gotten a lot more problematic as an explanation for what the feature in Cydonia is. There is a big issue that The Face is not bilaterally symmetrical, which means that, if you were to construct two photos by mirroring the left and right side of The Face, respectively, the two photos would not look the same, whereas a human face would, more or less. :-)

Photo: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems (2001) [modified by me]

Richard C. Hoagland responded to this problem by moving the goalposts. Instead, he has pointed to artwork on Earth that depicts a "face" that is half man and half animal on the left and right sides an seems to suggest that is what The Face depicts. :0

The Face is NOT a face

I do not buy into the idea that The Face is a face, nor a construction. The Face does not look like a face, despite the early claims that there was an eyeball, a nostril, a tear, pupil, teeth (HT: Dr. Robbins). It escapes me why an advanced alien civilization (that is presumably human or extremely anthropomorphic) would produce a large-scale artwork representing a person (on at least half of The Face) and leave out the eyeball and made a very indistinct representation. One might say that there was considerable erosion, but I doubt it could wipe out all the detail on such a monumental-sized head. The same could go for the other side, whatever creature it represents. ;)

But I also find it difficult to accept that such a construction would be made on a desolate part of Mars without signs of a civilization surrounding it. There is nothing in the landscape surrounding the Face on Cydonia that screams, "I'm a building." The City, as Hoagland calls it, looks like it's a natural rock formation, as does the D&M pyramid. It seems odd to postulate an advanced society, even transient, that would use natural rock not only for monumental constructions, similar to Mt. Rushmore, but also for the housing that would be needed for any labor force that is based in Cydonia. And if you use the "maybe they lived on spacecraft" argument, one would have to wonder why they would go the the trouble of building The Face when Cydonia would have been little more than a temporary encampment.

Mr. Hoagland is fun

Whatever criticisms I may have of Mr. Richard C. Hoagland, he is interesting. I am usually interested in hearing him speak because he has at least a basic understanding of some science. He espouses plenty of strange ideas, himself, but occasionally is the voice of reason, compared with many interesting people who get involved with UFOs, conspiracies, etc. :D

I enjoy Mr. Hoagland's work, even as I find some of his evidence and hypotheses suspect. At the same time, there is a danger when people get taken in by any mistaken ideas. I urge anyone who follows conspiracies or "alternative" science (pseudoscience) to always be on guard and don't take the claims seriously. The chances of outlandish claims to be true are really quite low.