Forbes Article on Why We Fool Ourselves Hoping for “Impossiblilites” Like E-Cat, EM Drive,

An article titled “The EM Drive, NASA’s ‘Impossible Engine,’ Highlights Our Greatest Failing” written by astrophysicist Ethan Siegel has been published on the Forbes website which seems to be an attempt to dampen the hopes and expectations of people who think that we might be on the cusp of technological breakthroughs that shatter old scientific paradigms.

You can read the article here:

Siegel mentions in the article cold fusion, E-Cat, EM drive, perpetual motion, zero-point energy as examples of claims that he considers to be “extrordinary unlikely” (he won’t say impossible) that they will pan out in reality. His perspective is that whenever anyone claims to have found a way to overcome the known laws of physics there are only two possibilities: the claimant is either deluded or fraudulent.

He states:

Our greatest failing is that we, ourselves, simply do not have the resources and capacities to become experts in everything, and yet we do not trust those who have done exactly that. The EM Drive, the e-Cat, and all sorts of other “scientific impossibilities” will continue to excite our passions and imaginations so long as we fail to appreciate and respect the enterprise of science itself, and the scientists who legitimately practice it. Until that day comes, you can either be skeptical, or you can fool yourself to your heart’s content. But if you choose the latter option, heed the warning that Richard Feynman put out more than a generation ago:

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.

Personally, I don’t think it is required that we need to have encyclopedic knowledge of the current canon of science to evaluate certain claims rationally. My own feeling here is that we must use our best judgment, clearest thinking and common sense when presented with claims that lie outside the mainstream of science. Certainly, I believe we should be cautious about unusual claims, but not automatically dismissive — and I do expect that as time goes on there will be surprising discoveries made that show that all accepted science accumulated to date is incomplete, and technologies that were previously considered to be impossible will become accepted as normal and routine aspects of our lives.

  • Jarea

    I am pretty sure you was blocked because of your bad language and not your arguments. Here many contribute with new information and views and explain what can be more probable with the info we have. What we don’t want is people who tell others how stupid they are because they think there is something behind LENR and Rossis device.

  • psi2u2

    Mike, I’ll refer you to the literature on Shakespeare’s medical knowledge. There is no reason for me to waste my time trying to explain it to you. Good luck with your studies. Also, I find it interesting that both you and Mr. Reedy are now following me around the internet. Don’t you have a job to do? I thought you were the IT genius of Brunel? Is this what Brunel is paying you to do? My o my, talk about throwing bad money after bad money…..

    • headlight

      From Wikipedia: “Homeopathy (i/ˌhoʊmiˈɒpəθi/) is a system of alternative medicine created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann based on his doctrine of like cures like (similia similibus curentur), a claim that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people.”

      How could Shakespeare have been “pretty big” on a system created by an identifiable individual 180 years after his death?

      Oh, wait — that’s right. You, like all academics of your caliber, instinctively overstate your case, fudge your evidence, and think the essence of scholarship is using big words incorrectly, and post hoc rationalization. So if you need to pretend that a book owned by countless people after being originally bought by Oxford was exclusively marked by the first owner, or that he was somehow “big on homeopathy” when the term and system was invented nearly two centuries later, you state it as fact and attack anyone who points your flaws out to you.

      Good luck with your studies, Roger.

  • psi2u2

    Hi Tom, I see that you are now following me around the internet to argue on topics having nothing to do with Shakespeare. Interesting idea of how to spend your spare time. As usual, your knowledge of the history of ideas is about right for a former Sheriff’s department PR flack. Did they ever hire you back, like you said they were going to? Or are you just retired now?

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Actually, I was asking about the E-Cat but perhaps the EM Drive isn’t
    rocket science (conservation of momentum). Maybe it has more to do with the TT Brown effect (the effect the observant Brown notice when he was an “ignorant” teenager).

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Pardon me, Brown was ten when he noticed the effect in 1915.
      Fortunately we now have medications that can treat this kind of disruptive
      behavior in children so that they will be able to go on to become astrophysicists.

  • ah, need to learn physics.

    CoE is not broken if it is nuclear.
    CoM is more a problem if you ASSUME it is twobody interaction like in vaccumm or plasma.
    However it is inside a lattice.
    Superconduction show particles can act as group via strange phenomenons.

    the real law that is broken is your superiority.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    And with the E-Cat?

  • Mats002

    Beat yourself IB, You simply don’t know and add nothing about those subjects.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Which laws of physics are being defied? Pray tell.

  • psi2u2

    I am not necessarily a believer in homeopathy, but I do understand the prejudices of allopathic medicine. Even my rather good and open minded GP seems to think that chiropractic is a placebo and a sham, which it definitely is not in my experience. And if you look at the conceptual basis for homeopathy, it is closely related to the idea of vaccinations, so that provides an indication at least of probability even if the means of efficacy are unknown or seem to be in conflict with some known “law.” You might be interested to know that Shakespeare is pretty big on homeopathy, having been more inclined to the Paracelsean heresy than the Galenic orthodoxy of the Universities of his day. Even allopathic practitioners now recognize that Paracelsus was way ahead of his time; the Galenists were still blabbering about humors when he was correctly diagnosing the causes of Black Lung disease in coal miners. That just got him in trouble, as the mine owners were not happy about his diagnosis. So I put homeopathy in my category of something I should retain an open mind about.

  • psi2u2


  • Omega Z

    “the known laws of physics”
    Like, We really know all there is to know.

    If that be the case, we need to eliminate Physicists from the payroll. It is a waste of money better spent elsewhere. You know. Like engineers to build things according to “the known laws of physics”. The Physicists are no longer needed.

    I vote that Ethan Siegel be the 1st to get a pink slip if for no other reason then he believes we know all there is to know. As a Scientist, he should at the very least understand the knowledge comes from the unknown. He has lost the means to learn anything new.

  • Can’t comment at Forbes unless you signup for a Forbes account or give them personal info so will post here.

    If we didn’t test “known science” we would still be in the dark ages. So we do countless experiments and when the findings are different than what our known science tells us then we have to rethink known science. Einstein had a lot of humility concerning the things he did not know.

    Cold Fusion has undergone 26 years of experimentation. The Ecat has been tested and retested and is months away from a yearlong trial providing power to a factory. If you’re claiming the Ecat is a hoax you have to include a wide range of technicians who are in on it and Tom Darden the CEO of Industrial Heat in North Carolina’s energy park, who’s presenting the Ecat to an international audience. Quite an accusation Ethan. An open mind is a terrible thing to waste.

  • pg

    There have been so many “impossibilities” in the past that have either revolutionized the world or won nobel prizes that you’d think these kind of articles to be almost extinct.
    Oh well, we’ll laugh at it and the author when the time comes.

  • GreenWin

    Following Ophelia’s comment below, a little more on Ethan Siegel and who he works for — it is surprising! Siegel writes a science blog titled, “Starts with a Bang” — belief that 14.3B years ago there was absolutely nothing, then in one nanosecond BANG! — our entire universe appeared! “Bang” is one of some 60 blogs hosted (paid for) by Adam Bly’s Seed Media Group – a privately held publisher of “Scientific Thinking” based in New York.

    There is little online to explain how this enterprise pays for the 60 odd blogs focused on science. But they all follow the consensus agenda which may explain why Siegel ignored LENR evidence, facts and data. Mr. Bly, the CEO, Editor in Chief, Publisher and overall big wig, appears to have no science background. That’s okay. As Siegel points out, Adam “simply does not have the resources and capacities to become expert in everything.”

    But an enterprising Brandeis University student Jake Crosby uncovered revealing connections between Seed Media Group and the big pharma industry. Especially with regard to vaccines and autism.

    Regardless the agenda, Bly’s Seed Media Group is the largest online aggregator of science content in the world. It is comforting to know that Bly recently sold Seed Scientific. his marketing analytics company to that font of scientific thinking…. Spotify AB, the music and video streaming company that has pissed off international recording artists, including America’s own Taylor Swift. Who says science and pop music are different??

    Suffice it to say, Mr. Siegel is but a cog in the machinery of online propaganda. Its design is to protect dogmatic science and the immutable “laws of physics.” Unfortunately for Mr. Siegel and the Seed Media starship, we hear the cries of her Chief Engineer… “Aye Captain, but the laws of physics has all gone to sheit!”

    • psi2u2

      “an enterprising Brandeis University student Jake Crosby uncovered revealing connections between Seed Media Group and the big pharma industry.”

      Very interesting.

  • Mats002
    • Alain Samoun

      Sound good maybe LENR will become a topic in the next election…

      • GreenWin

        Great work Mats! My first thought: what a wonderful blessing it is for Mike McKubre and, in community, all CF stalwarts who have dedicated their lives to this work. Long time coming. But soon, very soon, “We shall be released.”

        • Mats002

          Yes, they deserve it so much. Rossi stands on the shoulders of the PdD CF people in the ICCF community from back in the F&P days, and so does Godes.

          The raise of Brillouin as a competitor to Rossi/IH is greatly needed, this will put some fire under the new fire.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    If you actually have something that doesn’t generate CO2
    (like the E-Cat), they can’t collect a carbon tax.

    The E-Cat called their bluff.

    • Albert D. Kallal

      Perhaps this is just typical dishing, but it also could be something
      far more deep. It called panic!

      And dumping speculative things like em drives etc. in the
      same group of LENR is simply a way to HIDE the distain for LENR and what it can do for mankind! This is NOT about em drives, this is ALL ABOUT LENR.

      I think this amounts to this:

      Golly, if you adopt an electric car that does not pollute
      (ignoring that most electric cars run on coal), then these social do-gooders
      cannot tell you to stop driving your car and take public transportation. It much
      like saying don’t eat better food so you can eat more food, but simply eat less
      crappy food. That way we can tell you not to eat too much food!

      This is ALL ABOUT telling you how to live, tossing on a
      guilt trip and then with a big plate of guilt they justify the CO2 tax.

      The e-cat is a HUGE blow to the socialist movement. And
      by lumping in together all the other crap like em-drive etc., then Forbes is
      just hiding the writing they see on the wall!

      The e-cat is to the environmental movement as to what
      cars were to buggy whip makers!

      The WHOLE justification of the environmental movement
      (which is a trogon socialist horse) is based on this being a socialist front.
      With the e-cat you remove the connection between energy, progress and industrial and that of polluting the environment.

      The end result is without a guilt trip, then these socialists
      cannot make you guilty for heating your home or driving your car. And ultimate
      without a guilt trip, then there are no taxes and control of the population and
      telling you what you must and must not do!

      The following quote from the UN climate panel (IPCC)
      quite much sums what this whole battle is about:

      Quote by Ottmar Edenhoffer, high level UN-IPCC official:

      “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by
      climate policy…Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate
      policy separately from the major themes of globalization…One
      has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.”

      So even the IPPC admits this is about socialist policy
      AND NOT the science!. The connection between socialist and global warming is pointed out quite nicely in this short video:

      Albert D. Kallal
      Edmonton, Alberta Canada