Cold Fusion Wikipedia Battleground Nov. 2014

"I've no idea what this is all about, but you certainly do not have my agreement to the proposition that CF is considered to be pathological science by the mainstream scientific community. The fact that papers on the subject have been published by regular peer-reviewed journals disproves the proposition. This whole business has the air of a coup and smells distinctly nasty." —Brian Josephson (talk) 11:33, 29 July 2014 (UTC) - end quote Nobel Prize Winner Brian Josephson Spars in Cold Fusion Wiki War 2014

I immeasurably utilize Wikipedia, therefore I love and at times despise Wiki... as most cold fusioneers do. The following link is to Wiki Cold Fusion (talk) page, Nov 2014. The Wiki battleground of Cold Fusion/LENR is of such intricate proportions that it's considered anomalous and difficult to theorize upon.


Future social historians of both Wikipedia and Scientific Discovery will remain engaged in this sort of analysis for years and years.

Why has the Cold Fusion Wiki War been so heated for so long?

Battleground Nov 2014

Moving on from RFC [edit]

The two-part RFC has now been closed. Cold fusion, or reports of cold fusion, may be said to be considered to be pathological science by the mainstream scientific community. Cold fusion may also be categorized in Category 2 as defined by the ArbCom in WP:ARBPS, areas that are generally considered to be pseudoscience but have a following. Any edits that differ with those conclusions are against consensus, and so are disruptive. Any questions that do not contain sufficient to be answered, or any edit requests that do not contain sufficient detail to be understood, may be ignored, but, if persistent, are disruptive editing, and can be dealt with by Arbitration Enforcement.


Now that the RFC has been closed and consensus is established, I will be requesting that this talk page, but not the article page, be unprotected, to allow comments by unregistered editors. However, any disruptive editing of this talk page (which has happened more than once) will either result in its semi-protection again, or in Arbitration Enforcement, or both.

Now that the RFC has been closed, we can move on.

Robert McClenon (talk) 16:34, 26 July 2014 (UTC)


I've no idea what this is all about, but you certainly do not have my agreement to the proposition that CF is considered to be pathological science by the mainstream scientific community. The fact that papers on the subject have been published by regular peer-reviewed journals disproves the proposition. This whole business has the air of a coup and smells distinctly nasty. —Brian Josephson (talk) 11:33, 29 July 2014 (UTC)


__________Certainly RFC could have lasted longer than the default duration (30 days) and not necessarily needed an explicit closure. In cases with obvious lack of consensus like this an explicit closure that just count votes and not !votes is not needed.— (talk) 18:59, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

__________N-rays and polywater were also published in peer-reviewed journals. Perpetual motion machines are still occasionally patented (see… to 1999). Being published means next-to-nothing. It is the scientific consensus that is derived through discussion of such publications that brings validity, and when the cold fusion researchers deliberately misunderstand critics and refuse to answer them, they prove they are pathological scientists. Invoking conspiracy theories doesn't help either. Kirk shanahan (talk) 12:21, 29 July 2014 (UTC)


Those mentioned topics have been falsified quite rapidly.— (talk) 10:08, 7 August 2014 (UTC)

__________Which doesn't change the fact that pseudoscience got published before, and probably will again. Kirk shanahan (talk) 11:42, 12 August 2014 (UTC)


__________Once falsified, the topics disproved like poliwater have never been investigated and published.— (talk) 19:05, 6 September 2014 (UTC)


Does this mean that ANY addition to the article supporting the proposition that Cold Fusion is real, and that its investigation is legitimate, if controversial, science, is against the "consensus" and will be regarded as disruptive? Alanf777 (talk) 18:25, 30 July 2014 (UTC)


__________I think that additions to article should be based on reviews articles in journals.— (talk) 12:58, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

__________It depends on what sources support the statement, and how the statement is presented. Compare these two statements:

  • "Cold fusion is real, and most scientists agree with this" (link to the self-published website of a supporter)
  • "According to historian of science X, cold fusion is currently not considered real by scientists because of Y and Z. But it should be considered real because of R and T." (cite to a scholar book, the author is a guy who specialized in history of physics and has good reviews)

Enric Naval (talk) 16:19, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

__________In the latter case, the opinion of historian of science X may be cited with the reference to reasons R and T as the opinion of historian of science X. All statements made in the voice of Wikipedia should be avoided, regardless of what side they are on, because Wikipedia's job is to present the divided voice of mainstream science. Reliable quotes are permitted in the voices of their authors, not of Wikipedia. Quotes that give undue weight to the idea that cold fusion is mainstream should be avoided. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:16, 2 August 2014 (UTC)


__________It seems reasonable that statements in Wikipedia voice should be avoided. Selection of quotes however isn't a clear cut issue and it can easily be abused. There is no consensus in reliable sources about CF status as fringe or not and Wikipedia should reflect this lack of consensus in sources.— (talk) 10:03, 7 August 2014 (UTC)


I would think this article needs to be revisited as pseudoscience:…


— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:59, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

__________The entire point of the discussion above was that we shouldn't change the article every time some blogger comes up with a new screed claiming that this time it's real and not just a scam. That website post is more obvious pseudoscience. For example, on page 28 we find the sentence "In the SIMS analysis the 7Li content was only 7.9% and in the ICP-MS analysis it was 42.5%." What would any rational scientist think after measuring the same physical property with two methods and finding that these two measurements contradict each other by far, far more than the accuracy they expect? I'd expect them to investigate to find out how one or both of those contradictory measurements is flawed, or to otherwise explain the discrepancy. These authors reported this obvious contradiction but instead of science their very next sentence is, "This result is remarkable since it shows that the burning process in E-Cat indeed changes the fuel at the nuclear level, i.e. nuclear reactions have taken place." —Noren (talk) 14:40, 11 October 2014 (UTC)


__________Oh, and I noticed that the authors of that 'independent' report thank Industrial Heat LLC (USA) for financial support. That's the company who owns the patent rights to the E-Cat.Noren (talk) 14:46, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

__________That doesn't violate independence, companies pay people to independently to verify stuff all the time. Its practically the norm in everything from pharmaceuticals to engineering. If you had any experience with SIMS or ICP-MS (which i do) you might know that they don't work in the same way (measurement affects results in some cases). The difference between SIMS and ICP-MS measurement here could actually help explain whats going on.
The important point was that both were lower than originally, even if different samples had slightly different results (grains that were in different places in the reactor interior). My point really is that you shouldn't be so quick to judge someone's findings unless you are an expert in the field. Thats why we source stuff and don't just use OR.Insertcleverphrasehere (talk) 14:50, 19 October 2014 (UTC)


__________Indeed the mass spectrometry analysis is very sensitive to the skills of the analist.— (talk) 23:24, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

__________I wouldn't like to say whether there is anything to the LENR claims, but I do think that the downright condemnatory tone of this article clashes with the ecstatic, advert-like tone of the write-ups on other renewable energy topics. We know that other renewables promoters have made some serious exaggerations of the performance of their products, possibly more serious exaggerations than some claims made for LENR.
If claims of neutron radiation were unfounded, then disproven claims that for example 'wind power will be continuous because the wind always blows somewhere' should be given the identical condemnatory treatment. There is after all no such thing as 'quack science' -there is just accurate science which precisely describes the behaviour of a system, and inaccurate science which does not. The fact one sounds more plausible than the other does not exclude either from scrutiny as inaccurate science.


Whilst we are told that we may not quote claims for success with LENR made by organizations with vested interests, there seem to be no compunctions whatsoever about basing claims for other renewables on self-quotes from their sellers and promoters. Witness for example the header of the renewable energy page, pulled straight from REN21, and filled with unverified claims for the products listed.

There would seem to be a strong editorial bias here, something which is supposed to be a no-no on Wikipedia. Let's keep things on a level footing.—Anteaus (talk) 09:56, 22 October 2014 (UTC)


__________The very short response I could make is just a link to WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS—the mere existence of some other articles which handle a topic badly doesn't mean that we should corrupt this article to match. (That said, I think you overstate the issues with renewable energy.) Still, if you want to compare apples and oranges anyway, I'd say that the most fundamental difference is that there is no doubt about the existence of working wind turbines and photovoltaic panels. The underlying physical principles are well-understood, thoroughly-tested, and extensively and credibly published and patented. Individuals, corporations, and national governments can buy and build these devices and structures from numerous commercial entities, and get real, measurable amounts of electricity from them.
The arguments about whether and how to deploy renewable energy technologies variously involve political and philosophical questions, economic questions, balancing environmental concerns, and engineering/efficiency issues. You can argue that a wind-turbine salesman is scamming you by underestimating the lifetime of his turbine or its maintenance requirements. You can argue that the wind-turbine salesman is scamming you by overstating the performance of his turbines under particular local wind conditions, or even by underestimating the number of likely bird strikes. But nobody – well, no reasonable person, and certainly no scientist – can credibly argue that wind is an imaginary phenomenon resulting from the salesman's wishful thinking, selective observations, and imagination. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 13:31, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

__________Windmills have existed since the Middle Ages, or earlier. In 1952, fusion was used to blow a hole in an island. Both undoubtedly exist. There are nevertheless doubts as to whether fusion can be perfomed in a test tube, and there are doubts as to whether wind turbines can replace fossil fuel power stations. Interestingly, the issue of intermittency figures in both. LENR experimenters do not seem to be able to achieve repeatable or consistent results.
Presently, we do not know why that is. By contrast, the intermittency of wind is well understood by meteorological scientists, and if they had been asked about this aspect they would no doubt have pointed out the errors in the assumption that geographically wide-scale deployment would eliminate the intermittency of wind energy.


The nonrepeatability of LENR results has been attributed to poor experimental technique, although there does not seem to be any concrete proof of this attribution. If this nonrepeatability can be understood and resolved, then LENR may possibly be a viable energy source. By contrast, we know that the intermittency of wind (and solar PV) is a fundamental property, and cannot be resolved. Wind energy marketers have responded by claiming that advanced energy storage technologies will resolve the intermittency -A claim for which there is no more scientific basis than the claim of test-tube fusion, since the touted energy storage technologies do not yet exist, and may never exist.

It might be added that failure to successfully repeat an experiment does not constitute disproof of the original result. That amounts to argument by way of ineptitude - 'Because I cannot do this, it follows that nobody else can.' Possible reasons for the failed replications have been discussed elsewhere -Contaminated cathodes through reusing old palladium, rushing to meet publication deadlines, etc.


Anyway, I digress. The key point here is not whether other poor articles exist, but that a consistent policy ought to exist with regard to cyclic references, that is, quoting from an organization's PR material when that same organization has most likely paid you to write the WP article. As suggested above this practice is not always bad, but in some circumstances where heavy WP:PROMOTION is involved, it is reprehensible.—Anteaus (talk) 19:06, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

__________Okay, we'll agree to leave aside your rather dubious analogies and stick to your "key point"—can you identify the articles where there are editors with a conflict of interest, and go through the appropriate processes to clean them up? If editors with a clear COI have been editing renewable energy articles in a misleading, deceptive, or otherwise-suboptimal manner, then that's a potentially-serious problem in those articles, and something that you should definitely raise on their talk respective talk pages and the relevant noticeboards. Nothing you have said suggests to me that it would be a good idea to puff this article up with pro-cold-fusion material from fringe proponents.TenOfAllTrades(talk) 20:11, 22 October 2014 (UTC)


__________Nobody is suggesting that the 'magnet motor brigade' be let loose in here. However, to take just one example, this list seems fairly convincing. I guess it could be fake, and the way to find that out would be to ask a few members if they gave their permission to be included. I'm sure you are aware that NASA has published articles on the subject, suggesting that it merits further research.
BTW I have in the past suggested that independent citations be required for claims made of renewable energy technologies. Doing so doesn't seem to achieve much. —Anteaus (talk) 17:15, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

__________Again, the place to discuss problems with other articles is on the talk pages of those articles. Encouraging the importation of poor practices from other areas here is a non-starter.
Name-dropping for the sake of name-dropping from that list (or any other) is a dubious approach. For almost any fringe position it is possible to find a scientist who will endorse some portion or another of it; saying "Wow! There's two PowerPoint slides' worth of scientists who endorse this (or at least some part of it)!" is just another way of writing "There are hundreds or thousands of scientists who aren't terribly impressed." This type of tactic has been regularly use to give a false impression of the scientific view of topics like creationism and climate-change denial; it's also a recurring problem when news outlets always present – and give equal time and credence to – one expert from each 'side' of an issue, regardless of how the topic is actually treated within the scientific community.; not a good approach here either.
At this point, since you haven't actually been suggesting specific article edits and it seems unlikely that any plausible ones will be forthcoming, I'm going to disengage; I don't have the time to get sucked into endless back-and-forth for the sake of back-and-forth.TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:13, 23 October 2014 (UTC)


__________Yes, well, I think you've shown your hand with the invocation of climate change denial. There is no point in attempting any kind of rational discussion where that odious paradigm dictates what may be said, and what might be heresy. Nor of offering any real science for the article. Bye. —Anteaus (talk) 22:38, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

__________I don't know if I would consider a list of names something crediting a claim like, "Hundreds or thousands of scientists don't believe in x y or z." It's dubious only in that there would need to be some kind of source for each scientist to which the list refers. I want to call attention to the perception of false attention. Obviously we can't really use names as a source for something being believed, but what's the real point there? Aren't we wanting to use articles or research for that? The name might come in way of the author who wrote whatever it is we're reffering, but having a list of names doesn't really say much, even if a slide says they "endorse" it. If it's a provable theory that is in discussion, whether or not people believe in it or endorse it will matter. Here's 30 scientists who endorse gravity. That doesn't mean there's hundreds who don't. Maybe a little farfetched, sure, but you get where my angle is. The articles and sources are above all the most important for any article, and not who is represented in the spearheading of a belief or operation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chewbakadog (talkcontribs) 22:51, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

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