Re: Arp

From: george murphy (
Date: Fri Jun 08 2001 - 09:36:35 EDT

  • Next message: george murphy: "Re: Griffin #4" wrote:

    > [Somebody will be grateful I removed So. Baptist from the title]
    > In a message dated 6/7/01 9:22:11 PM Mountain Daylight Time,
    > writes:
    >> A review of Arp's _Seeing Red_ may be found at:
    > A review or Arp by VanFlandern is a bit like a review of Behe by Phil
    > Johnson, or of Austin by Henry Morris. There are plenty of highly
    > respected
    > cosmologists who are open to unorthodox ideas (some of the
    > steady-state
    > universe crowd, Hawking, the guy who invented inflation, etc.). A
    > positive
    > review by one of those guys would be something to pay attention to.

            Some distinctions are needed here. Van Flandern or Arp may be
    compared fairly with Behe but not with Johnson. The first 3 have
    scientific qualifications, however wrong they may be about particular
    matters. Johnson is a lawyer.
            I've looked briefly at some of Van Flandern's material on the
    speed of gravitation on the metaresearch site
    ( as well as an article of his
    (Physics Letters A 250 (1998), 1-11) which is a shortter version of one
    of the web pieces. It looks wrong to me & seems to involve
    misinterpretations of relativity. (E.g., he quotes Eddington's _Space,
    Time and Gravitation_ on effects of propagation of gravitation at the
    speed of light but cuts the quotation short & doesn't include
    Eddington's explanation, known from classical electrodynamics, of the
    fact that a retarded force doesn't point to the retarded position of the
    source but approximately to its present position.)
            At the same time, there is nothing claiming "persecution" or any
    other crank stigmata in his paper (at least that I've seen in my brief
    look) and his Phys. Lett. paper has a concluding section expressing
    thanks for extended discussions with several "orthodox" relativists who
    continue to disagree with him. OTOH it's a little disconcerting to find
    items about the "face on Mars" on the website.
            Arp is certainly not a pseudoscientist or an incompetent
    amateur. He seems to be a competent scientist who simply refuses to be
    convinced that he has been wrong. Joe Weber & his claims of having
    detected gravitational waves is another example. In both of these cases
    there was fully aired discussion of data among scientists in the field,
    the great majority of whom concluded that the claims were wrong. As far
    as I know, Weber never played the conspiracy or persecution cards



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Dialogue"

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