That Motherboard article about the Electric Universe Theory...

Last month I responded to Sarah Scoles' Twitter request for people who knew or were interested about the Electric Universe theory. She sent me a few questions which I responded via e-mail, thanked me for my contribution and told me she would send me a link to the article once it was posted; which she didn't.

Fast forward to last night --after I had completely forgotten about the matter-- when Kat was kind enough to send me a bunch of article links for usage on the news briefs, and among those was Sarah's article, which turned out to be way too skeptic-sided and negative for my taste. In it, she writes:

“I believe history has showed us again and again that many novel ideas which were initially met with skepticism or angry rejection eventually gain more adherents and momentum until they end up as part of the orthodox corpus of scientific knowledge,” said Miguel, who encountered EU in his work as a contributor to the website The Daily Grail, which explores “the fringes of science and history.”

And, to some extent, he’s right. The idea that Earth goes around the Sun, and not the other way around, was once considered heretical. Before revolutionary ideas become revolutionary, they simply sound fringe.

But the problem is that most fringe ideas don’t turn out to be revolutionary. They just turn out to be wrong. And equating pseudoscience, or even just bad science, with solid science isn’t just unorthodox. It can be dangerous.

Climate change denial slows the cleanup of the planet. Anti-vaccination movements give kids measles. GMO hysteria makes it harder for starving kids to get nutrient-rich rice. The Electric Universe theory doesn’t seem to be hurting anyone at the moment, but wouldn’t it be better for the Thunderbolts to expend their energy understanding good science? Or at least be as suspicious of EU as they are of “the astronomy establishment.”

Whoa. So from having an interest in something like the EU, you're a defacto Antivaxxer and Climate Change denialist? How did that happen??

Thing is, on my answers I made sure to indicate to Sarah that I do not 'believe' in the EU theory, the same way I don't 'believe' in UFOs, PSI abilities, paranormal phenomena or all the other things we discuss at the Grail. Why? Simply because I don't *like* to use the word belief when discussing such things. I'm trying as best I can to subscribe to RAW's Maybe logic.

So, since I can't comment on the Motherboard's article because they don't happen to have a comment section --guys, do you even Internet??-- here it is the original transcript of the questions Sarah asked me, and the answers I provided:

1. When did you first encounter Electric Universe Theory?
A: I'm a regular contributor on the news website The Daily Grail (http://www.dailygrail.com/) , which --as our motto says-- deals with "exploring the fringes of science and history," adding a very apropos "Caveat Lector" as a warning to our readers.

I joined TDG in 2007, so I guess I first encountered the EU theory not long after that. One of our former news administrators, Kat, used to link posts from the thunderbolts.info website quite regularly. This is how I got introduced to this idea.

Mind you, I've never read the book Thunderbolts of the Gods, nor have I watched the 2005 documentary of the same name

2. What did you initially find interesting about it that made you want to check it out?
A: As a 'Grailer' (member of The Daily Grail) I'm personally interested in all sorts of alternative theories and topics that tend to be shunned by 'mainstream Science', like for example the UFO phenomenon and the non-locality of consciousness. I realize that in some respects that would equate me in the eyes of many people as being no different from Creationists, Flat-Earth supporters or even Holocaust deniers --all of which I'm adamantly against, may I add-- but I believe History has showed us again and again that many novel ideas which were initially met with skepticism or angry rejection, eventually gain more adherents and 'momentum' until they end up as part of the orthodox corpus of scientific knowledge.

Currently I feel there aspects of our theories re. the origin of the Universe which seem to be conflictive; take for example the concepts of dark matter and dark energy, which were proposed to solve the problem of the lack of visible matter in the observable Universe, as well as its accelerated rate of inflation. These solutions look rather like 'patches' meant to keep together the prevalent cosmological theories in concordance with scientific observation.

It seems that people are attracted to the EU theory because it offers a more 'elegant' solution to what astronomers are detecting with their instruments.

3. Are you active in any of the online communities (like the Thunderbolts)? If so, have you formed friendships or benefited from forum discussions (or anything else kind of social)?
A: No, I'm not an active member in that particular community.

4. As you learned more about the Electric Universe, what aspects of it appealed to you most?
A: Like I stated earlier, I'm not particularly knowledgeable in the EU theory, and I personally don't think they will end up being right in EVERYTHING they posit. However, there are a few things which I find rather interesting, like the idea that the current orography on the surface of Mars may be the result of formidable electric 'arcs' instead of less dramatic geological processes. I'm also interested in how they interpret ancient legends as the result of previous civilizations observing astronomical displays caused by these ginormous electric discharges.

5. Why do you prefer EU to traditional modern physics?
A: Again, I'm not rejecting traditional modern physics in favor of the EU. One thing I've learned in my years on The Daily Grail is to avoid the polar opposites of an argument, and embrace the 'excluded middle' ;)

I find some elements of the EU interesting, believe they have a point in affirming astronomers and cosmologists should consider the effects of electric forces when creating their computer models, instead of just nuclear reactions and gravity, and I want to see what happens with the EU theory as the years go by. Will it forever remain labeled as a 'pseudoscience' or will it gain more support from the mainstream? We shall see :)
______________________________

I feel Sarah was too focused on painting the 'EU believers' with too-broad of a brush, to bother with my nuanced adherence to the 'excluded middle'. Those general characterizations is why younger generations are shunning away from mainstream media, but sadly even the more popular websites seem not to be immune to such vices. Oh well...

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Nostradamus's picture
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You just cannot trust people these days!

As a long time grailer, TDG has not let me down in anyway, distorted my views, and treads the middle path very well. The main contributors offer a great variety of subjects and views, so long may this continue.

Keep up the good work RPJ!

Nostra

red pill junkie's picture
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Thanks, Nostra. It's long-time members like you who make all the effort worth-while ;)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
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Kainen's picture
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Could not agree more (with Nostradamus)!
I had to sign in to figure out how long I've been coming here... Love the dailygrail and wouldn't change it :)

red pill junkie's picture
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So glad you're still keeping in touch. It's the community formed around TDG what makes it a great site :)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
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Charles Pope's picture
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RPJ,

After you suggested we do a Grimerica podcast on mythology and cosmology, I've been thinking about this topic again quite a bit.

In Velikovsky's time the subject of extra-terrestrials and UFO sightings was certainly not unknown, but already something of a taboo for academics. The fundamental error of Velikovsky was not that myths encode cosmology, but that early man directly witnessed the cosmological events described in myth. This cannot have been the case.

The correct premise (IMO) is that the myths contain cosmology that was imparted/revealed rather than observed. The apparent validity of the myths as cosmology has caused me personally to make a total 180 flip in my belief/bias regarding alien/UFO involvement on this planet. If the myths prove to be accurate, then it can only mean that the cosmology of our solar system and galaxy had been worked out for us (not by us), and likely came from a alien race that had analyzed countless other solar systems. On the other hand, our scientists haven't even fully explored one solar system yet!

It's ironic that Sitchin came along and proposed that aliens had in fact visited Earth, but repeated the conclusion of Velikovsky that mythological events had occurred relatively recently. Perhaps the onset of the latest alien visitation was fairly recent (starting around the time of Cro-Magnon's appearance). However, these aliens/droids/whatever brought with them highly advanced models of cosmology, which were imprinted upon mankind in abstract (rather than scientific) form.

red pill junkie's picture
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The correct premise (IMO) is that the myths contain cosmology that was imparted/revealed rather than observed. The apparent validity of the myths as cosmology has caused me personally to make a total 180 flip in my belief/bias regarding alien/UFO involvement on this planet. If the myths prove to be accurate, then it can only mean that the cosmology of our solar system and galaxy had been worked out for us (not by us), and likely came from a alien race that had analyzed countless other solar systems. On the other hand, our scientists haven't even fully explored one solar system yet!

I'm open to that possibility, but I think the Sitchin and Tsoukalos fans out there should ALSO consider other methods of revelation. I remember listening to a podcast interview with Aubrey Marcus about one of his Ayahuasca experiences, and how he received a 'vision' of the Universe as something like the beating of a giant heart: Expanding and contracting infinitely, which would mean there was no single Big Bang event, the same way a living heart doesn't just beat once during the lifetime of an organism.

So, my point is there seem to be MANY avenues to gain insight into things that are bigger than the average lifespan of a human being. Science has proved to be a powerful tool into gaining such insights, but we would be naive in thinking it's the ONLY one, and that our ancestors didn't have access to other tools.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
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Charles Pope's picture
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The clincher for me is the strong superstitions associated with the so-called divine types and patterns expressed in myth.

If you have a deep understanding of a phenomenon, then you are free to play with that phenomenon. If you only have a "broad understand" (such as that imparted to Adapa), then you become a slave to ritual. You know something works, but you don't know why it works. So, you mechanically and religiously adhere to a process. The superstitious behavior of the ancient royal family indicates that they were functioning in this latter mode. It's not the kind of behavior we would expect from people who were getting useful knowledge from the spirit domain.

Granted, the royal family actively sought to communicate with "spirits", and even if they prohibited commoners from trying to do the same thing. Exactly what was accomplished by this practice is difficult to say. We do however have ancient statements to the effect that the gods had once interacted with the ruling family in a physical, literal sense. At some point humans were left to their own devices, or so it would seem.

Gwedd's picture
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I am one who happens to believe that the EU theory is a much more accurate system than that taught by mainstream astrophysicists.

Having spent more than 50 years in and around electrical engineering and systems, the EU theory is a MUCH more solid and reasonable explanation than gravity/nuclear/whatever. It is easy to grasp and makes so much more sense, without having to jump through so many mathematical hoops and constant revisions to bring everything together.

But apparently, according to reportards and mediots, I'm a nutter. Whatever. At least I can come to TDG and enjoy thought-provoking and otherwise stimulating articles and ideas. You all get a HUGE thank you from me for keeping the lights on.

Respects,
Gwedd

Rick MG's picture
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GMO hysteria makes it harder for starving kids to get nutrient-rich rice.

Uh, no, that would be unfair food and wealth distribution. Oh, and food waste. But don't let the facts get in the way of your cool story, Sarah.

Rice is already "nutrient-rich." People have been living on it for thousands of years. Perhaps she meant corporate-rich? Because that's all GMO will be achieving.

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

emlong's picture
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GMO makes it harder for people to avoid getting cancer.

red pill junkie's picture
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Yeah, I think equating the EU theory with Climate Change skepticism is a bit too much. There's an inherent moral judgment present throughout the article IMO.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
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emlong's picture
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Me personally - I've always been partial to the "hydraulic universe" idea which considers the aether to be a fluid.

red pill junkie's picture
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...to the Chelonian Universe Theory:

It's turtles all the way down.

:P

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
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emlong's picture
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Prostrate yourself before the Universal Turtle whose shell is the very shell of creation:

See video

trswartz's picture
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It is obvious that Sarah Scole already had her mind made up on which direction she was going to take with her article. Any serious attempts by anyone to give the EU theory a fair look was going to end up disappointed no matter what they said. Her quote, "But the problem is that most fringe ideas don’t turn out to be revolutionary. They just turn out to be wrong. And equating pseudoscience, or even just bad science, with solid science isn’t just unorthodox. It can be dangerous." is frustrating to read considering all the "fringe" ideas over the centuries that turned out to be correct. Unfortunately her article was nothing more than a hatchet job with no real attempt to legitimately examine the theory except to portray its proponents as tin foil hat wearing nut-jobs. Scole simply took the easy route, a sure sign of bad journalism 101.

Greg H.'s picture
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I agree with RPJ completelty - a very biased take, seemingly with an agenda by Sarah...

"Climate change denial slows the cleanup of the planet." -- No, greed slows the cleanup of the planet. Watch the documentary "Cowspiracy" and the documentary "Gasland". Further, environmentalism/climate change, etc. have been coopted for partisan political agendas at this point...

"Anti-vaccination movements give kids measles." Maybe contributes to breakouts, as does unregulated illegal immigration into the U.S. and so many other factors. Just another example of dumbing down a complex subject to support an agenda driven POV...

"GMO hysteria makes it harder for starving kids to get nutrient-rich rice." -- This one is pure hyperbole bereft of and contradictory to facts, designed to manipulate emotion only. This is not journalism or balanced in any manner...

RPJ wrote: "Simply because I don't *like* to use the word belief when discussing such things." -- Agree completely. When I do use the word belief/believe, I make note to include that I "choose" to believe, and then support my statement with some anecdotal evidence or sources material for explanation of my current position. However I prefer to use the term: "open-minded skepticism."

Thanks RPJ for commenting on this article, when I read it yesterday, I was so turned off by the tone, I didn't even finish it...

Greg H.

red pill junkie's picture
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I felt compelled to do so, not only because I resented the misrepresentation, but ALSO because in some small measure I was at that moment a spokesperson for the whole Grailer community. I wanted to show her that, unlike most sites which deal in 'fringe' subjects, here at The Grail we make the effort to stay centered.

Alas, promoting the Excluded Middle sometimes is nothing but an exercise in futility.

So... I'm not sure whether I'll accept another invitation to be interviewed by a journalist or not. I guess I'll have to be more careful, and demand to be shown the article before it is submitted or something.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
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@red_pill_junkie

earthling's picture
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Maybe I will be back. Who knows, but this place looks like there is a healthy debate.

So.

Climate change? whatever the cause, we have to deal with it. Now.
We can't stop it, no matter if we did it or not. If we did it, then we did it 100 years ago, and politicians that say we can stop it are liars.

Of course we all need (not just want) clean air and clean water.

The solution is not less technology, scale back everything to 1950. Tha won't work, and I think it is based on childhood memories of the generation of 1968. The solution is better technology. Cleaner and all that.

BUT, let us not rely on advertising that this and that is "clean" or "organic" or "safe". Too much dirty money in that.

As for the Electric Universe? Our current theory of how the world works has some big holes, like the dark matter and dark energy stuff. Those are accounting terms for how far off the predictions are. And we cannot observe much of the history of the universe, just a smidgen of time when the light gets here. 50 years against 15 billion or so. We are not sure.

The predictions of our current model of the universe work very well. Otherwise your cell phone would not work, and your GPS would send you off the planet. So the current model is not as wildly silly as in the Egyptian age. That doesn't mean it is "correct", it just means it is useful for making predictions.

Ok, enough ranting for now. I start the new job tomorrow. Pray for me :)

----
We are the cat.

Johannes Angelos's picture
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that Electric Universe theory states that Einstein's postulates and General Relativity are both wrong. It also states that the universe is not expanding and some mystical electric force travels faster than the speed of light. This mystical force is, of course, something which instruments detecting a single quantum leap in a very cold piece of metal somehow cannot seem to detect. It must be really subtle or from another dimension, or some such.

Also, there are some claims in the EU camp that Hannes Alfvén's plasma cosmology has a relation to EU. As we all know, this model was rendered obsolete by missing observations (radio emissions).

I am not a praying man, earthling, but godspeed!

If this is creation, I feel misplaced.

red pill junkie's picture
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The predictions of our current model of the universe work very well. Otherwise your cell phone would not work, and your GPS would send you off the planet. So the current model is not as wildly silly as in the Egyptian age. That doesn't mean it is "correct", it just means it is useful for making predictions.

Funny how you mentioned the Egyptians, since this debate reminded me of the Ptolemaic model of the solar system, and how they believed the planets were encased in giant spheres of crystal they called 'epicycles', which accounted for their strange retrograde trajectory --from our Earth-bound POV.

And, you know, that model was still pretty accurate when it was used to predict eclipses and whatnot ;)

PS: Good luck with the new job, amigo! ^____^

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
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@red_pill_junkie

Rho's picture
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Clearly this person, very much doubt it's a woman, is a Monsanto troll and a successful one as you lot have been arguing amongst eachother.

To put in my 2 cents here, i've always liked the EU theory and i remember days when describing the sun as a bole of plasma would get the establishment up in arms, meanwhile it's accepted as such.

On a separate level i've always been highly skeptical of the image projected by our 2 highly acclaimed physicists. The distracted professor (first half 20th century) and the weird disabled professor (2nd half 20th century)> These seem too 'created' for me, created to pull the wool over our eyes.

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it”. --Aristotle

red pill junkie's picture
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I like that conspiracy theory ;)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
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@red_pill_junkie

emlong's picture
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That's now too out in the open to be called a "theory." Branding is inherently trollish. Media implanted corporate trolling long predates the internet anyway.

http://naturalsociety.com/monsanto-and-o...

Inannawhimsey's picture
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14 April 2009
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rpj,

w o w, you must be having the time of your life

i'm seein yer moniker in the oddest places

(its GOOD to be odd, no?)

better watch it, soon (well, you probably already ARE, somewhere, to somebody) quoted as an AUTHORITY. Here's your Smoking Jacket & meerschaum pipe

i see the thunderbolt people SCRAMBLING to keep their theory alive, what with the discovery of GRAVITY WAVES (SILVER SURFER UP, DUDE!!!) -- lo and behold they've found at least 1 person who has issue with the results!

Who knows, maybe sometime there'll be an RPJ convention...mua ha ha

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake