Warning : Cheats
Nonsense disguised as Science
deutsche Version

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 scientific vocabulary 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 (Sächs. 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.

Comment
on the contributions by H.-D. Langer published in "Veröffentlichungen des Museums für Naturkunde Chemnitz"
(originally in German)

No fear of earth rays !
Miracle healers, whose success is based on the belief in their abilities, are encountered in any cultural tradition. Some people are eager to believe, 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 basis, 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 d
amaged by radiation, published at the Naturkunde-Museum  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.
Langer's 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.

Hans-Jürgen Weiss          2009

Annotation 2011:
Dr. R. 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 Natural History is not a bright idea since it promotes arbitrariness and is contrary to science.

Annotation 2012:
Concerning the sponsoring of esoterics disguised as science, the 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 of Saxony."
Therewith 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 the Naturkunde-Museum 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 fraudulent business.

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