Exposing PseudoAstronomy

September 3, 2008

Introduction

Filed under: introduction — Stuart Robbins @ 7:25 pm
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Welcome to my blog.  This first post is to explain the purpose of this blog.  Over the past several months, I have grown more interested in the “skeptical” movement and I have started to pay more attention to the very pseudo-scientific claims that are made by many people regarding astronomy-related stuff.  A lot of people don’t really pay much attention to it because many claims really are fairly silly – such as the flat-Earth society claims, those of the hollow Earth group, or advanced cities on the moon or Mars.

But some claims are more insidious and – in my opinion – deserve to be addressed and refuted.  For example, there are many Creationist claims that deal with astronomy that are just outright lies or deceit – such as the claim by the ICR (Institute for Creation Research) that the solar neutrino problem is still a problem, or that new information about secondary craters completely destroys everything we know about a lunar timeline.

And then there are some of the more interesting things like hoaxes.  Is NASA hiding evidence of life on Mars?  Or did we really go to the moon with Apollo astronauts?  (By the way, the answers are “no” and “yes” to those.)

I really haven’t found an outlet that addresses all of these things in one place other than – to some extent – Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy website and blog.  However, he discusses many many more things on his blog than just pseudo-science, and I want this to be fairly focused.

Throughout the coming posts, I plan on addressing everything I mentioned above with real science.  In other words, what evidenced-based research has discovered as opposed to fantastical claims, speculation, or faith.  My intent is to not resort to ad hominem attacks by bashing anyone’s character because, while they may be fun, they really don’t accomplish anything.  I also don’t plan on bashing religious beliefs of any kind – those are called “faith” for a reason.  However, when people make scientific claims based upon religion, then I will address them because it is something that is testable, falsifiable, and within the realm of science.

If any readers of this blog (hi Mom, hi Dad) come across any claims that they want me to address, go ahead and e-mail me!

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3 Comments »

  1. Welcome to the astronomy blogosphere (first time I’ve used that word, probably the last time, too). Your blog is looking pretty interesting. I plan to come back to read often. I talk a little bit about the same kind of things, but I generally want to keep to straight science reporting. But I will occasionally write the a slightly irritated post about the anti-science attitude of many creationists. My favourite argument is that science is useless and means nothing. I’ve heard this from several creationists. I hope they enjoy using the God created internet with their God created computers powered by God created electricity. Wow, God’s invented so many things! But anyway, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far. Looking forward to more!

    Comment by earthandbeyond — September 4, 2008 @ 10:51 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks! I decided not to do science/astronomy reporting because there are so many other people who do that. Now, if mainstream media were to make a mistake, I would probably talk about it. The problem as I see it is that the majority of people just shrug off the really fringe stuff as not even worth their time. While I somewhat agree, I disagree more.

    I don’t really intend this to be a rant against Creationism, though my first two posts somewhat are. I think that at least my next post will be something non-religious, just to prove that I’m not completely going to rant about religious-based scientific claims.

    Let me know if you have suggestions on tone/content!

    Comment by astrostu206265 — September 4, 2008 @ 11:38 pm | Reply

  3. I would say keep writing as you have been. Your blog will develop a life of its own, and your writing will adapt.

    I don’t have anything against Creationism or religion, they can believe what they want, and I’ll respect that. But any attacks on common sense or science without a rational argument I will fight against. Personally, I want religion and science to be separate. They have completely different approaches, and really aren’t related to each other. However, there are a few who think that they are in conflict with each other, when they don’t need to be. I’m interested in fact, proof, evidence, and pretty pictures from other planets :)

    Comment by earthandbeyond — September 5, 2008 @ 12:00 am | Reply


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