Nonsense disguised as Science
The still widespread (but waning) respect for academic degrees
tempt some scientists to try to profit from pseudo scientific rubbish.
One particular case is considered here.
On the occasion of the 5th Chert Workshop (2006) at the
Naturkunde-Museum Chemnitz, I had warned against two graduated
physicists who had turned charlatans in the early 90s. They applied
which could not easily be recognized as empty talk by the average
citizen and even misled some scientists into accepting it, with the aim
to set up business on the basis of void promises or of fears especially
raised for this purpose.
One of the two, Hartmut Müller, has got a prison term of more than 4
years in 2012, an accomplice killed himself
Zeitung 11.2.2012). The other one still enjoys the benevolence of the
director of the museum and of the administration in Chemnitz despite of
my repeated warnings against the physicist turned charlatan.
on the contributions by H.-D.
published in "Veröffentlichungen des
(originally in German)
No fear of earth
healers, whose success is based on the belief in their abilities, are
encountered in any cultural tradition. Some people are eager to
pay for the advice to move the bed out of the reach of earth
rays, even if there are no such, and feel better afterwards, thereby
subconciously suppressing the haunting thought of having spent the
money in vain.
Nowadays, this and similar options are turned into
business ideas also by jobless scientists. Their academic degree and
fumbling with measuring equipment make them appear trustworthy. On this
esoterics of several shades can prosper in the disguise of science. As
they can be sure that the average citizen is not able to see through,
they excite fear of non-existent dangers and abuse the still high
esteem of science among the populace for their personal profit.
An example for such activity are the three contributions
by Dr. habil. Hans-Dieter
Langer on trees damaged
by radiation, published at the
Chemnitz. The damage is allegedly due to rays coming off the ground.
It is not easy to counteract
the business based on cheating fearful people if all is legal
which is not expressly forbidden. Also it is hard to prove that a
non-existing danger is really not there. It is easier, with the help of
some knowledge in physics, to declare the clever
cheats' arguments absurd.
Langer's pompous strings of words,
as "physical-radiaesthetic structures with 24h- fluctuation
range" und "polygonally touching closely stacked multiple array of
neutron modes" (Veröff. Mus. Naturk.
Chemnitz, Band 21) can raise the suspicion of intentional delusion even
with people not versed in physics.
explanation of the alleged narrow neutron beams can easily be refuted:
According to Langer
the neutrons are guided upward by multiple grazing reflection between
parallel crack faces in the rock, similar as light between two mirrors.
This is worth considering. A face serves as a mirror only if its
roughness is smaller than the size of the impinging object or the
wavelength of the incident wave. Since the neutron is 105
times smaller than the atoms of the mirror, it cannot be reflected like
a ball at a wall. What remains to be considered is a posssible
reflection as a wave. The wavelength related to every particle is
simply obtained from Planck's
constant divided by the momentum of the particle. The average velocity
of the neutrons could not be smaller than the thermal velocity related
to the temperature of the rock, which provides
a lower boundary for the average momentum. This implies an upper
boundary for the average wavelength of 10-8cm,
which is so small that the neutron wave would not be reflected at the
fracture face in the rock but would be scattered into all directions.
Hence the formation of neutron beams along faults is impossible.
The most simple refutation of Langer's
neutron folly consists in the following: The thorough worldwide
monitoring of radioactivity would have discovered the questionable
concentrated neutron beams in Nature long before Langer
discovered the neutron susceptibility of trees in his "World's First
Neutron Garden" near Chemnitz.
Finally it can be stated that Langer's publications
are absurd and only suitable for promoting his business exploiting the
fear of radiation.
Rößler still sells old issues with pseudo
scientific rubbish. He justifies this with the intention to nurture a
multitude of opinions at the museum
and with the freedom of opinon guaranteed by the constitution. Contrary
to his declared aim to launch a discussion on esoterics, he stubbornly
refuses to publish
the above comment in "Veröffentlichungen des Museums für
Naturkunde Chemnitz" under the pretense that it is an individual
opinion for which there is no right of publication.
A multitude of opinions, including esoterics, nurtured at a Museum of
History is not a bright idea since it promotes arbitrariness and is
contrary to science.
Concerning the sponsoring of esoterics disguised as science,
following statement has been issued by the parliament of Saxony:
"This dispute can only be pursued within the realm of science and
hence is subjected to the Basic Constitutional Law and the Constitution
the fraudulent nonsense is elevated to science, and since there is a
constitutional guarantee for the freedom of science, there is the same
for nonsense in the disguise of science. Such attitude has led to the
inacceptable situation that several professional scientists, who are supposed
to expand and spread knowledge and therefore are
paid by the public, evidently tolerate the
promotion of pseudo-scientific rubbish at
Chemnitz. So it is easy for the cheats to raise fear of the harmless
natural radiation among the populace in order to exploit it for their