Saturday, 12 December 2009

The equation of Creation

This is a link on the so called "Equation of Creation" purportedly linking the Hydrogen Fine Transmission line (Hlf), Pi and the speed of light (measured in 'Thoms') to some strange "Omega Constant" (0.0123456789). This is the equation:

Hlf.π/Ω = C

For the rest of this post I'm going to attempt to disassemble the paper defending this equation.

The main thing that sticks out in reading this paper is that the author seems determined to prove he can do multiplication, it is littered with "if you multiply a by b you get c" I'm not sure if this is an attempt to sound scientific or what but its very irritating show's nothing.

Anyway onto the 'science': I'm going to work through this section by section skipping over a lot of stuff but trying to pick out the main points.

The paper starts out with some odd justification of "I'm a scientist and even I believe it" kind and then goes on to justification of the use of Hlf, as you can see from the wiki link yes this is an important frequency. Light at the Hlf frequency will penetrate interstellar dust etc yes SETI search on it (along with many other frequencies) so what there are lots of frequencies that are searched for all sorts of reasons. Hlf has some half hearted justification that if you wanted to  send a message to humanity you would use a frequency that we are looking on but that's about it. The justification for the inclusion of pi is that it has been suggested that Intelligent life might transmit at a frequency of pi*Hlf as there are no natural sources at this frequency and pi is a number that almost any advanced civilisation should recognise.

My first major issue with this is omega, this is an arbitrary number, 1/81 is roughly the ratio of masses of the Earth to the Moon

5.9736*10^24 Kg - Earth
7.3477*10^22 Kg - Moon
R = 81.298
1/R = 0.012300425594

but not anywhere near acurately enough to justify 10 significant figures and the claim that 0.0123456789 is attached to the Earth and the Moon, it just isn't. Additionally what is the obsession with 10 significant figures with all measurements, apparently other than this one. Having 10 significant figures on your estimate if you can only measure to 5.

The next section "Where is the science?" contains one of the more comic statements, apparently π/Ω gives a value in milliThoms, reading ahead a thom is also known as a megalithic yard. now fogive me but pi is a ratio, omega is an arbitrary number possibly a ratio of masses either way a ratio of ratios is just another number, not a distance.

Now while a frequency multiplied with a wavelength gives a speed I've yet to see any evidence that we have a wavelength with which to multiply. Anyway the rest of this section is mainly "wow our numbers give us the speed of light in an arbitrary unit how cool is that?!" as well as pointing out that this value of the Thom scales the hydrogen line to the speed of light, well whoop you can solve an equation!

Next section the mysterious 'Thom' is explained: originally it started out as a unit used in stone circles, the fact that a length that is roughly one standard human's pace was used throughout many many stone circles isn't that amazing is it? If I had the time (maybe later) I would see how accurate this number is, given that 0.8297 gives us fractions of millimetres I will be VERY surprised to see if there is evidence for this.

Anyway there is an "exact" method to calculate the Thom so don't worry - it's 1/366th  of the transit of Venus across the horizon. This section finishes with how it turns Atheists into Creationists and other such voodoo as well as how there is still more! yes, the Thom relates the circumferences of the Sun, Earth and Moon!

To relate the circumferences you multiply the full value of the Thom (0.829417864 metres) by some number (to get a second arc), then 360 (to get an degree arc) then finally by 366 to get the full circle. Now this is the first actual error I've found, but I'm pretty certain there are 360 degrees to a full circle as well as 360 arc seconds to a degree. For example using 366 Thoms to get a second then 360 and 366 to get the full circle you get 39,997.98kms, not bad given the Earth circumference is between 40,000kms and 40,008kms, using the standard number of degrees in a circle you get 39,342Kms not so good given that any number has been used. Further examples and their accuracy are given for the Moon and the Sun.

Using arbitrary numbers to get reasonably close to an actual number is not much of a skill or much of a challenge, especially when you are moving from values of an order 1 to order hundreds of thousands. The claim that:
As a side note, the values 100 and 40,000 used above in calculations of circumference, are not arbitrary numbers, but are very significant values in the large volume of research about the message embedded in the characteristics of the Solar system
is rubbish as well - until I see that evidence they are arbitrary numbers that help you get close to your goal value.

So what have we seen? Basically it is very easy to pick arbitrary numbers and make them look roughly like other numbers. For this to be evidence of a Creator I would expect much better than 99.9% accuracy especially given the very odd selection of units and mangled maths. As well as this complaint this whole paper has two massive errors: firstly the claim that π/Ω gives a length, unless you show me what Ω measures I will think of it as a number and nothing more, secondly in the proofs that the Thomis an exact proportion of the circumference of the Moon, Sun and Earth there are only 360 degrees in a circle.

As a final point below is the "proof" that my finger made the moon as I can use the length of my finger as a starting point for maths that calculates the Moon's surface area. This proof took about 5 minutes.

eg 8*8*16*365*100 = 37,000,000Km² the surface area of the Moon, 8 is the length of my finger (in cm), 16 is the average male age for puberty and 365 is the length of a year 100 is a special number we have evidence for.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Libel reform

This (should) be a quick post, for those of you who haven't seen there is a new website that I think you should all go an look at:
it is a lobbying group that aims to improve the way libel cases are dealt with in the UK, have a read about on it have a look here for Ben Goldacre's info on it (he's one of the founders).

If you live in the UK and in any way care about science this is important, if you live elsewhere and care about science its important. If you don't care about science you should and then this is important.

Essentially our current libel laws are crap. The cost of libel in the UK is about 170 times that of mainland Europe, and the burden of proof is upon the defendant: ie when someone sues you for libel you are guilty until proven innocent.

For better (and probably correct) arguments about why you should give a fig about libel laws look around on the libel reform page as well as Ben Goldacre's blog or Jack of Kent's blog or just read up on what's happening to Simon Singh.

Please look at it and come to your own decision; this is important.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Link dump

hey guys (well ok guy)

here are a couple of links that I think people should read firstly: - transcript of 500million (I think) pager messages sent in the 24 hours surrounding 9/11 from the DC and NY areas

As a follow up to one of my earliest posts there is this report in the Guardian with the full report here.

Finally another follow up (of sorts) to this: there is a list here of "8 awesome cases of vigilantism".

The first I think was one of the most poignant things I have read in years and I'll say no more about it. I want to put up a blog posting as to my thoughts on it but at the moment im too tired and they're too conflicted so it'll happen another day - maybe.

The second was mainly for historic purposes and that it interests me.

The last is the one (surprise surprise ) that is most worrying. Aside from the standard "anonymous did it" fallacy (seriously guys the hint is in the name they're not organised they're anarchists even if they don't know it) it is a little worrying the pure psychological terror that the internet can aim at someone. Yes the people in this piece at least deserved something; but not the ire of 4chan.

Having watched the swell of a 4chan mob against someone its a sight to wonder at as well as flee from.

I wonder how many more people will find this out the bad way?

Monday, 23 November 2009

This is just cool

Howdy net!

This is going to be a very short post as I'm currently struggling to keep my eyes open (hooray for 12 hour day with 4 hours on public transport)

so I'll just leave you all with some awesome pictures

pretty pictures!


Seriously cool stuff - they should be slowly stepping up the power over the next few months.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

the FUD is coming! the FUD....

This is a quick post. I don't want it to be but currently I can't quite form up a good post about it (needs some work me thinks)

So until I get round to writing a post on it here's an interesting link.

Personally I think its FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) but it holds the promise of some interesting impending debates about the internet as well as some big problems if it does go through as written.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Step-hen free speaks!

This is more so that I can find it later but I recommend watching this:

What has the Particle Physics ever done for us?

Other than this? i.e. the internet.

While the LHC may not be about to give you a new version of the microwave a lot of the 'spin-off' tech is VERY useful (HTML, radiation imaging for medicine, modeling systems used in finance etc click here for more). More direct uses are common as well this is a report from CERN on a new experiment that's just starting up to look at how cosmic rays may affect cloud formation and climate change. There are also experiments being designed that will create x-ray lasers (XFEL, LCLS and one in japan who's name I forget)use linear electron accelerators, to create x-ray lasers that will allow us to probe matter at even deeper levels: being able to image the absorption of chemicals into a cell, for example.

Anyway that's it - just a micro-rant on "what have the particle physicists ever done for us?"