Exposing PseudoAstronomy

January 16, 2013

Podcast Episode 61: Special Pleading with Large Impacts


A complaint I’ve heard is that the invoking of giant asteroid impacts to explain some odd solar system features (Venus upside-down, Uranus on its side, etc.) is just special pleading and as crazy if not more so than the pseudoscience ideas, like Velikovsky. While I obviously have my own opinion about Velikovsky in particular, I wanted to take an episode to talk about why giant impacts are used to explain some things, and whether we have a real reason to do so or if it’s just our own way of making stuff up.

There isn’t a new puzzler, though the one from last episode – send in your favorite planetary pareidolia – is still going on.

1 Comment »

  1. This Episode is very educative, like a lecture; thank you very much, Professor.
    The history of the solar system is very fascinating, and i understand that we don’t know everything about our solar system, but we use observations and the knowledge we have on the history and dynamics of it to explain what we don’t know for the moment, until we find a better explanation. Very logical.
    I read on The CosmoQuest Forum (thank you, Nereid) often about Occam’s Razor in situations where there is possible scientific explanation and speculations and conspiracy theories; can i say that the Occam’s Razor is used here?

    Comment by Jennifer — January 17, 2013 @ 2:56 am | Reply


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