The Electric Universe Theory is very intriguing to me for the simple fact that it’s elegant, easy to grasp and can explain many anomalies that occur in Nature.
In fact, I consider it an equal to Einstein’s Gravitic theories that is the mainstream thought today.
Do I think it’s THE theory? No, but I think it’s just as legitimate as other present astronomical are.
But there are skeptibunkers on the InnerTubes that build strawmen to attack the Electric Universe Theory by comparing it with Creationism.
The recent explosion of blogs on the internet now gives a voice to many who would otherwise be ‘nobodys’. A superficially impressive website can be built almost overnight and populated with some self-published papers and a few choice quotes, which can then be used in an attempt to gain notoriety or attention whilst attacking the views of others with whom the author, posing as a well-informed skeptic, disagrees.
One of the many signs of a pseudoskeptic is that they will often attack the person(s) holding a particular view (ad hominem), rather than the view itself. Another tactic frequently employed is to misrepresent the views of their opponents, known as building a ‘strawman’, and then to tear those views down, thus ‘burning the strawman’.
One site of note to this author is the blog of one W. T. (Tom) Bridgman, titled “Dealing With Creationism in Astronomy“. Whilst the title seems self-evident, one has to ask why it is that Bridgman has taken it upon himself to attack Electric Universe (EU) theory with such gusto as has recently been displayed on his blog, when his stated “mission” is to debunk creationism.
EU theory has nothing at all to say about Creationism, Intelligent Design, Atheism or Calethumpianism! Bridgman’s most common response to the question is that some “creationists” cite some EU materials in support of their position even though ‘Big Bang’ theory, to which Bridgman subscribes, has more to offer creationists than the EU does.
Essentially, the big bang has it that everything currently in the universe once occupied a point in space of zero volume and incredible density, and then suddenly it exploded and expanded into what we see today. The parallel with creationism is obvious.
The EU states that the universe is of unknown age and size and that a big bang event is unnecessary and not supported by empirical evidence.
The EU position that the Earth’s surface is relatively new (due to electrical scarring, which has nothing to do with the age of the planet) is used by some Young-Earth Creationists to support their own theory that the Earth is only x years old. So what? No one in the sciences can veto the right to cite their research in support of some other position on some other topic. (emphasis mine)
Bridgman’s other common assertion is that EU theorists use the same tactics as creationists, an assertion which is an attempt at “guilt by association”. A look over his site will reveal numerous accounts of him likening EU theorists to creationists. Serious researchers would do well to assess EU claims on their merits rather than dismissing them due to some alleged yet non-existent association.
Getting back to the topic of pseudoskepticism, allow me to respond to one of Bridgman’s attacks on EU theory, to see how it stacks up. The original post bears the headline “Electric Universe: Real Plasma Physicists Use Mathematical Models!” The all too simple response to that would surely be “yes, we do!”
The pertinent points to which this author offered a response are repeated and addressed below. Here I have added the abbreviations [S] (for strawman) and [A] (for ad hominem) to indicate which tactic is used in his quoted phrases.
One of the problems with Electric Universe (EU) claims is they seem incapable of producing mathematical models that can be used by other researchers to compare the predictions of their theories to other observations and experiments. …
Not true. The mathematics is all there, in the appropriate books and papers to which EU theorists frequently refer. Physics of a Plasma Universe by Anthony L. Peratt, Cosmical Electrodynamics and Cosmic Plasma by Hannes Alfvén, Gaseous Conductors by J.D. Cobine and many more besides. Bridgman conveniently ignores this fact.
The predictable response to such references is frequently that they are “too old” or irrelevant to today’s physics, and this from those who seem to have an unshakeable faith in the work of Einstein. The irony is palpable.
The article then goes on to destroy the “strawmen” that were built by Tom Bridgman, one by one.
Now I can’t pretend to understand astrophysics or any such esoteric science as such that involves mathematics that only the gods (if they exist) comprehend, but I do my best. And I know that the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland is digging deeper and deeper into these mysteries only to find bigger mysteries, no answers yet.
So I have to assume our theories about Nature aren’t quite up to snuff and we’re asking the wrong questions.
Could we be?