Orbital ATK Antares Rocket Returns to Flight (Full Video)

antares waits on padThe Orbital ATK Antares rocket returned to flight on October 17th with a launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. I was on-site to witness and document the event for Science Strike Force as part of the NASASocial program. The attached video is one of the results.

The launch was actually scheduled for the previous evening, but an underperforming ground cable (not part of the Antares rocket) led to a 24 hour delay as the problem was addressed.

The Antares was the same rocket that suffered catastrophic failure two years ago, so this was a significant day for Orbital ATK. We congratulate them on this flawless launch!

The Antares rocket propelled the Cygnus spacecraft filled with over 5,000 pounds of supplies and scientific experiments into orbit to meet with the ISS as part of the Commercial Resupply Services agreement with NASA. Read more Orbital ATK Antares Rocket Returns to Flight (Full Video)

Science Strike Force Rep to Attend Launch

UPDATE 10/11/2016

Launch has been rescheduled for Sunday, October 16 due to unfavorable weather. SSF/SDHoS coverage of the event will begin on Saturday, October 15.

More information: Click HERE.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A representative of Science Denier Hall of Shame/Science Strike Force will be attending a NASA Social event for the launch of Orbital ATK Antares Rocket at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

“NASA commercial cargo provider Orbital ATK is scheduled to launch its sixth mission to the International Space Station at 9:13 p.m. EDT Thursday, Oct. 13.”

– NASA (More information on the launch can be found here on NASA’s website.)

Coverage of the event will start on Wednesday, October 12th.

What is the NASA Social program?651351main_nasasociallogo
NASA Social is a program to provide opportunities for NASA’s social media followers to learn and share information about NASA’s missions, people, and programs. NASA Social is the next evolution in the agency’s social media efforts. Formerly called NASA Tweetup, NASA Social program includes both special in-person events and social media credentials for individuals who share the news in a significant way. This program has brought thousands of people together for unique social media experiences of exploration and discovery.

-NASA website (More information on this program HERE.)

Please join us for live updates and video feed throughout and following the event on Facebook ( SDHoS Facebook Page ), Twitter ( https://twitter.com/Woo_Debunker ), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sci_strike/ ), Periscope ( @Woo_Debunker ) and G+ ( Science Denier Hall of Shame Community ).

 

 

Why Do Conspiracy Theories Exist?

CblEh0QUEAA77EXFirst, let us dispense with the idea that ‘no conspiracies exist’.
Of course they exist. This is part of the darker nature of humans.
We have a tendency to organize ourselves into groups that give us some sort of advantage. Further, if secrecy also contributes to the advantage, that’s all that’s needed… A genuine conspiracy is born.

Fortunately for us, humans are also a species that interprets the word ‘secret’ to mean ‘wait until it makes you look good to others to disclose this information, then blab it to everyone, wait ’til they have kids, then tell them too’.

The probability of any conspiracy remaining secret is inversely proportional to the number of people aware of it. Wasn’t that one of the lines in the theme song to the TV show ‘Dexter’? “Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead”

Now, let’s get into what makes an invented (fictional) conspiracy so attractive.

THE ATTRACTION
The primary attractive force of a conspiracy theory is the feeling of superiority it grants the believer. No one can deny that being aware of ‘secret knowledge’ makes one special.

Once an idea has taken hold, confirmation bias (a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions) often leads to an almost religious attachment.

From this point, it’s only a small step to believing that you and a small group are actually the underdog, fighting for the freedoms of humanity.

HOW CAN WE TELL IF THERE’S A CONSPIRACY?

The surest way to get a good idea of whether or not a conspiracy is afoot is to ask yourself  ‘Who would benefit from such a conspiracy, and how would they benefit?’

If no answer can be found for either or both of these questions, it might be time to put on your skeptic hat.

ABOUT THE ‘THEORY’ PART

But how can we tell if it’s a ‘theory’, in the scientific sense, or an ‘I’ve got a theory’ (translation: something I just pulled out of my… um… hat) type of theory?

TWO JIGSAW PUZZLES
Analogy time… Let’s look at both a scientific theory and a conspiracy theory as if they were two completed jigsaw puzzles. Standing back and looking at them each, you see that each shows a completed picture. Further, you notice that all the holes are filled; there are no missing puzzle pieces. From these two facts, one might assume that either scenario is as valid as the other.

HOWEVER
It’s not until one looks at the individual pieces and the connections between them that the differences become apparent.
In a scientific theory ‘jigsaw puzzle’, each piece, in addition to being true, MUST fit exactly with all other pieces.
In a conspiracy theory ‘jigsaw puzzle’, there is no such rule, and most untrue conspiracy theories suffer from this flaw.
Each puzzle piece does, in fact, hold a small section of the complete picture, and answers a specific objection as to the accuracy of the overall theory, but you’ll notice that most of the pieces have been forced together even when they are not compatible.

EXAMPLE FROM FLATLAND:
What follows is an example from flat earth ‘theory’, since that was a recent topic of interest. The same could be demonstrated using any conspiracy theory.

Puzzle Piece #1
Q: What makes day and night?
A: The sun moves in a circular path over our heads like a spotlight.

Puzzle Piece #2
Q: Why don’t we see the sun at night, then? Since the earth is flat, there would be nothing in the way.
A: Perspective. Things get smaller as they are farther away.

Puzzle Piece #3
Q: Why does the sun look bigger at sunset?
A: Due to the magnification effect of the atmosphere.

From just these three examples, one can see that ‘the puzzle pieces don’t fit together. Answer #2 and Answer #3 are contradictory. Further, Answer #3 makes Answer #1 impossible.
See how the puzzle pieces don’t fit together?
These are the types of discrepancies to look for when deciding if any newly-proposed theory is valid or even possible.

ABOUT THE SUPPORTING ARGUMENTS:
One of the most telling aspects of the supporting arguments for the average conspiracy theory is the following: The arguments focus mainly on dismissing individual holes in the theory.
A scientific theory is the highest order of information produced by the scientific method. It unifies a collection of natural laws, rigorously tested hypotheses and records of experimental results that could have falsified the theory had they shown results other than those predicted by the theory. It must have both explanatory and predictive powers.
A non-scientific conspiracy theory, however, starts with an assertion. This assertion will be triggered by some apparent discontinuity between ‘what we’ve been told’ and ‘what is observed’.
From this point, as a general rule, there are no testable hypotheses. Evidence that would falsify the theory is dismissed as ‘what they want you to think’. There will generally be no body of evidence and experimental results that is both unified and points to the theory as the one explanation above all others.
For the most part, ‘supporting evidence’ will be comprised of refutations of apparent holes in the theory that do not connect to all other refutations. These are referred to as point solutions, because they only address one specific point without regard to other points, objections or observations.
Many of the point solutions are only good for one step from the original objection.

Example:
Objection- On a flat earth, there could be no day and night, or, at least you’d still be able to see the sun, even if only dimly and far away.
FE Point Solution- The sun functions as a spotlight pointing directly down at the earth. It moves in a circle above the flat earth.
OK, this makes sense, as far as it goes.

But what about the next step? Objects hate moving in circles. (See ‘angular momentum‘) If the flat-earther would simply tie a bowling ball to a length of rope and swing it in a circle, this would clearly demonstrate the principle, that is, if the flat-earther was able to remain standing at all.
Then, a new point solution will be created. Perhaps it will be something like ‘There’s an invisible force that holds it to the north pole while it moves.’
The argument in support of the ‘theory’ (note that I did not use the word ‘evidence’) will be a continuous stream of assertions that are either not evidently true or evidently not true.

Science doesn’t work that way.
These are just some of the things to look for if you want to discern if a theory is valid, or if it even qualifies as a theory.

WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
Untrue conspiracy theories can be dangerous. They can cause one to withdraw from the social practices that keep nations together like voting (aaaah, it’s all rigged!) and public discussion of issues (aaaah, they’re all government shills, why bother?)
Worse, some of the more anti-science theories can limit the advancement of the human condition or even push us backward.
Need an example? Read what the Anti-Vaxxers say, then immediately go to Google Image Search and type in the single search term ‘smallpox’. Go ahead.

As always, thanks for reading.

 

Reader’s Request from Ismael Valdez: 9-11, WTC7 and BBC?

“WHY DID THE BBC ANNOUNCE WTC7 HAD COLLAPSED 30 MINUTES BEFORE ITS ACTUAL COLLAPSE??
Unless there was prior knowledge WTC7 would collapse?”
Thanks, Ismael, for submitting this great example of one of the longest lasting topics of a 9/11 conspiracy theory.
Long after the various other elements of the ‘theory’ had begun to quiet down (due to actual facts being available), the believers continue to trot out the ‘What about the BBC report predicting the collapse of WTC7?’ chant.
I have included this video that demonstrates a credible account of this event.
Anyone who subscribes to this particular conspiracy theory should ask themselves the following question:
Which is more probable?
Scenario 1: As described in the video, a combination of officials announcing the impending collapse of WTC7 combined with the confusion of the day plus the natural desire of news agencies to be first to report a significant event
OR
Scenario 2: A ‘secret’ plot that must remain ‘secret’ at all cost was in fact revealed to news agencies and their reporters, editors and anchors (who are just ordinary people, like you and me) in the hope that they’d know just how long to keep their mouths shut on each particular event
I’ll give you a hint: Pick scenario 1.
Interested in the cause of the collapse?
Here’s a nice download:
Structure Magazine explains one probable cause of the WTC 7 collapse. “Single Point of Failure: How the Loss of One Column May Have Led to the Collapse of WTC 7”
http://www.structuremag.org/…/200…/SF-WTC7-Gilsanz-Nov07.pdf
https://youtu.be/zZrlNw-31R8
Thanks again for the submission!
And thanks for reading.
– Jeff

Reader’s Request from David Paul – “Hollow earth.”

Synopsis: Basically one idea behind a hollow earth is that there is a massively empty earth populated by giants or dragons and various other types of foreign life. Another less popular idea suggests that there is actually another fully formed Sun underground as there is above at the center of our solar system and under this sun there seems to be another fully formed earth with its own life forms radically different than the ones above ground. Although those 3 ideas seem to be less popular among the community they all do seem to agree that the earth is hollow with 2 massive holes at the north and south poles.

Rebuttal: Having considered the evidence, let me explain to you all why this cannot be. The earth has a molten rock layer called the mantle. And underneath that is the outer core and finally the inner core of our earth, therefore it is a safe bet that any life that is suspected to live within the mantle is dead. The mantle basically is a slow cooker. Slowly, over many years, churning rock. This movement causes the rocks that have cooled above (the crust) to move. We call these tectonic plates. Over certain parts of the crust exist volcanos. A volcano is for all intents and purposes a direct connection to the mantle. When a combination of gases, pressure and heat build under these Volcanos, they erupt the same as if you’ve shaken a soda bottle. If the earth were hollow as claimed above then there would be no volcanos (and no cool eruptions like this “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DceHEBGVfj4“).

Another proof that the earth is not hollow, as mentioned earlier there exist tectonic plates. They move over and under one another. When they don’t pass around one another quite-s-smoothly and earth quake happens. These earthquakes are a direct result of tectonic plate movement which is a direct result of the earths mantle, slowly churning the molten rock therein.

Thanks to David Paul for bringing this to our attention!
I genuinely had no idea this idea even existed. More details coming soon!

-Arianna