Exposing PseudoAstronomy

March 26, 2012

Podcast Episode 28: The Fake Story of Planet X, Part 2 (Gilbert Eriksen’s Wormwood)

In yet another belated episode, here’s Part 2 of the fake story of Planet X, brought to you by Gilbert Eriksen as opposed to Zecharia Sitchen. That is all.


  1. On Planet Wormwood’s Density. I looked up the density of a Brown Dwarf. A Brown Dwarf is suppose to have a mass of around 70 g / cm3.
    If Gilbert Eriksen claims a mass of around 80 times that of water for Wormwood, that is close to the mass of a Brown Dwarf.
    Brown Dwarf stars are also do have a diameter similar to Jupiter so that actually fits with his statement as well.
    Now, he probably just has no clue about what a Brown Dwarf is made from however.

    Brown dwarfs, at least around 2006, were hypothesized to have “iron rain”
    Might have been what he read to get the idea that a Brown Dwarf is made from iron.
    Sounds like a person could spin these into some kind of volcanic activity as well.

    There are also suppose to be dust orbiting around some Brown Dwarf stars so being pelted by debris does not sound implausible. There is also suppose to be jets of material (2M1207 for example) which are being ejected from stars.

    Now, I agree that we should be able to see Wormwood by now, if it existed, and there is no Wormwood or any Brown Dwarf coming into the inner solar system in 2012. Just stating that his statements could be spun to match with common scientific theories about Brown Dwarfs.

    Still enjoy your podcasts however

    Comment by Desert Fox — March 28, 2012 @ 3:47 pm | Reply

    • I’ll address this in the Feedback for April 1’s episode. Basically, my response is that technically you’re right, but the phrase you use is, “could be spun.” This is common with pseudoscience as you know – they use technical terms and will throw out a lot of things that, if you’re generous, some of it could be considered accurate.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — March 28, 2012 @ 5:42 pm | Reply

      • One further item, he could probably have used the exact description of how Brown Dwarf stars are hypothesized to be and it would have sounded just as amazing to his audience.

        I had personally not know about the iron rain until after attempting to recheck numbers to make sure that I had the density of a Brown Dwarf correct.

        Comment by Desert Fox — March 29, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

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