Big Milk says that the moon is not made of cheese — using logical fallacies

shill gambit

I just spent several days telling you about logical fallacies, let’s take a look at the argument that the moon is made of cheese. It’s kind of simple, instead of arguing about the evidence, the science denier will try to tell me that I shill for Big Pharma when I discuss the settled science of vaccine safety and effectiveness. Or I shill for Big Agriculture when I say that GMOs are safe or that glyphosate does not cause cancer.

So here is an imaginary (or is it?) conversation between myself and a member of the Moon Denier Society who claims that the moon landings were a hoax and that the moon is made of cheese. Apparently, I am a shill for Big Milk. I’m sure if I wrote that almond milk is bad for the environment, I received significant compensation from Big Milk. Fair disclosure, nope.

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Psychics Say Apollo 16 Astronauts Found Alien Ship

Psychics Say Apollo 16 Astronauts Found Alien Ship : Discovery News.

In light of the bad movie out on DVD recently, Apollo 18, which tells the story about a secret Apollo 18 mission to the moon which encountered aliens on the far side of the moon.  Typical of these movies, there is a tiny bit of truth to the story because Harrison Schmitt , a Harvard trained geologist (and only civilian to walk on the moon) wanted Apollo 17 or 18 to land on the dark side of the moon to study it.

So these psychics, using a pseudoscientific technique of remote viewing, have stated that they see alien artifacts on the moon.  And they claim that the astronauts from Apollo 16 saw those same artifacts.  I think I’m not quite convinced.

What is remote viewing?  It’s a paranormal technique that uses extrasensory perception (ESP) to find impressions about distant or just unseen subjects.  In a wild waste of money, the United States military spent about $20 million in the 90’s to study remote viewing in the Stargate Project–no I do not invent these names, just because it’s a popular science fiction TV show (that I like).  (If you have the time, please read the link to the project, because it’s an article in a military intelligence journal that breaks the bounds of military decorum with sarcasm and snark).

Remote viewing is considered a pseudoscience for many reasons:

  • It violates the basic principles of physics, such as the speed of light (it’s a constant in the universe) and causality, that is, how does the image get transmitted across time and space.
  • It violates the basic principles of neurology, in that there are no fields of energy that can carry information into the brain (other than those of the five basic senses).
  • It violates the basic principles of current knowledge of the moon, because we have amazing detailed images of the moon (it’s not that far away) and we see nothing including the so called shipwreck.
Moreover, the Apollo 16 astronauts say nothing about seeing this.  Imagine that there are 1000 people who might know what was or was not seen.  I cannot picture that being kept secret for 40 years, because people talk, they always talk.
Ray Villard makes a valid request to remote viewer proponents.  If they’re so good at it, do something to help science.

For any readers who think I’m being scientifically elitist, narrow-minded or protective, I’m presenting one simple challenge. Will somebody please remote view the icy dwarf planet Pluto for me from a close-up distance?

You must draw a map of both hemispheres that has detailed information about the coordinates and sizes of major features: impact basins, crater fields, ice flows, outcrops, tectonics rifts, cryovolcanoes, whatever — even crashed spaceships.

The best pictures of Pluto to date, from the Hubble Space Telescope, only show variations in color and reflectivity across Pluto’s surface, but not topography.

I’ll leave the details to the remote viewers, who by their claims can supposedly do a better job than Hubble or any other spacecraft. (But, still, no peeking at the Hubble pictures!)

Remember the basic point of debunking pseudoscience:  extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.  Bring us evidence.  Not to be snarky, but I’m not exactly going to hold my breath.