Posts Tagged ‘debunk’

Creationist Dirty Tricks: Censorship on YouTube

20 June 2009

For the past year or so, various YouTube channels have been the target of a campaign of censorship by Creationists. THis campaign has consisted of the following:

  • filing false DMCA claims. Filing a false DMCA -wherein an person oo organization claims ownership of a video that they do not really own – is considered perjury and is illegal and the filer can face civil and criminal charges in a court of law;
  • False flagging. YouTube has a flagging feature which allows users to mark a video as potentially unsuitable for minors to watch or could be a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service. In theory, a YT moderator is supposed to actually look at the video to confirm this, but due to the large number of videos on the site, it appears that YT simply takes the flaggers’ word for it and marks the video without confirming its content. This has become common knowledge and is an often-used tactic;
  • Down-rating comments. ThHis involves marking a videos comments with a “thumbs-down”. This used to involve marking only the comments that supported the video, but it is far easier to simply mark them all, so the person doing this doesn’t have to read the hundreds or thousands of comments that are posted;
  • Marking comments as Spam. If comment rating is disabled, in order to protect them from the previous tactic, then a user can mark a comment as Spam. With enough marks, the comment is hidden from view, unless some one clicks on Reply. Due to the amount of time it takes to do this, many people might not take that step;
  • Votebotting. This involves using a computer program to rate a video with One Star ratings, in order to prevent the video from appearing in search engines on YouTube. You simply run the program and it goes to each video several times, each time giving it a One Star rating. Supposedly, only registered users can rate a video, but there seems to be a glitch in YT’s system that does allow such programs to function without hinderance. As a result, even though a video may have only a few hundred views, it could still have thousands of One Star ratings. This has become the favored tactic of creationists in their fight against the pro-science (i.e. the side that explains the Theory of Evolution and debunks creationists’ claims) due to the total lack of legal consequences and YouTube’s lack of self-policing, as well as YouTube’s apparent lack of concern that this is even happening.

When YT users, such as Thunderf00t, posted videos calling for viewers to directyl contact YT to complain about the above tactics being used against their channels, YouTube would either ignore the complaints or would retaliate against the channel by suspending them or even closing their account permanently.

As such, the pro-science and atheist channels on YouTube have been censored and harassed with little or nothing they could do in response.

Few Christians have publicly condemned the above tactics being used, as it seeems to make their propagandizing on YT easier by eliminating the opposing side.

As pointed-out by YouTube user cdk007, this camapign of censorship only proves that creationists have no argument against evolution that can stand-up to scientific scrutiny and they must resort to dirty tricks in order to try to win the argument.

However, instead of “winning”, the usage of the above tactics and the failure of the general Christian community on YouTube to condemn them only shows that they have lost the debate and have nothing to bring to the table.

Here is a list of some of the hardest-hit channels on YouTube. feel free to watch their videos and subscribe, if you like:

Thunderf00t
AronRa
Potholer54

DonExodus2
ExtantDodo
AndromedasWake

dprjones
FFreeThinker
djarm67
ThetaOmega
JaguarJ0nes
ZOMGitsCriss
C0ct0pusPrime

These are just a few of the many channels hit by the censorship campaign. You will find links to other channels through them. You can also find a more complete list at the League of Reason webforum.

It seems that creationists have realized that they have no argument against science. So, they have decided to try to silence the opposing side through a cowardly censorship campaign.

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The Healthcare Public Option: Truth vs Lies

17 June 2009

TheYoungTurks is a liberal-leaning news channel on YouTube. They report on a lot of stories that are relevent to political discourse in the USA and around the world. They also report on Hollywood and celebrity news, along with a few stories that feature “who’s more attractive”-type stories. Altogether, it is a very enetertaining channel to subscribe to, although I think that conservative may not like them too much.

Their main website can be found here

http://www.theyoungturks.com/

Here are two of their most recent reports on a national healthvare system being proposed for the USA

The Truth

The Lies

Overall, I think the Young Turks channel is one of the most fun and informative channels that I subscribe to on YouTube.

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Desertphile Debunking HHO Scammers

14 June 2009

YouTube user Desertphile has devoted considerable time to debunking the claims of people who claim that they can use HHO/water-power to run their cars.

If you do a search of “HHO” in his videos, you’ll find more than 40 videos of him debunking the claims of people who claim to be able to run their cars on water, HHO or who use some sort of phony “gasoline-saving” device, which really don’t work. He has even put out a challenge for anyone who claims to be able to get increased miles per gallon with their homemade device. Few such people have accepted his challenge and those who do usually include additional requirements that he fulfill. However, since it was Desertphile who issued the challenge, anyone who accepts has to adhere to the rules he has setdown. Additionally, he has challnged any of these inventors to have their devices tested by a US government-run facility or even by the James Randi Educational Foundation. So far, none have taken him up on it.

In these hard economic times, it isn’t surprising that some unscrupulous people will come out of the woodwork with inventions thay claim to have designed and built, offering people the chance to save precious dollars on gasoline. What people who fall for this scam often fail to realize is that  even if the device works, which they don’t – they will have to drive for weeks or months, expending hundreds of gallons of gasoline, before they device pays for itself and they can finally begin saving money.

I’m no engineer, so I have a hard time understanding much of what Desertphile explains in his videos debunking these scammers. However, he does his best to explain it to such an extent that I can see the points he is bringing-up and understand, basically, what he is talking about.

Essentially, his points boildown to this: if these devices really worked, then trucking firms and local governments would be buying them up in order to save what little money they have. This is especially true of truckers, who have to save as much money as possible in shipping goods across the states and across the country. This is one reason why truckers drive for extended periods of time, often at the risk of their own lives. If truckers could save money by using these devices, then truckers could get more sleep and the safety of the job would be increased.

All these inventors would have to do is take their devices to a government testing facility, get the results and show them to anyone and everyone who is looking into saving money on gasoline. SInce they refuse to have their devices tested, they usually settle for selling their junk on late-night infomercials or via a YouTube video.

Desertphile is one of my favorite YouTubers. He pulls no punches in his condemnation of frauds and scams. This includes his comments regarding Scientology, creationism, HHO, censorship issues and other things.

Four of my favorite videos are of him cooking various things with chilli peppers.

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“9/11 Truth” Conspiracies Debunked, Part Four

12 June 2009

I received several replies to previous entries from “Terry Conspiracy” -who I suspect of being Alex Jones or some one who knows him, since he keeps trying to plug Jones’ website in his replies, even though I delete that part – and his replies consist of a mixture of personal insults directed at me, as well as repeats of previous 9/11 Truther misinformation.

Rather than allow him to dominate the reply section of my blog, much the same way as Colloidal Silver proponents tried to do when I wrote about that, I’m going to reply to some of his points here.

It is obvious to me that Terry has never taken the time to watch any of the videos I have linked to in previous entries. It is apparent that he is fully convinced of a conspiracy and will not entertain even the possibility that he is wrong.

 

    Thermite and Thermate 

 

Nano Thermite: the “scientific paper” which is mentioned by 9/11 conspiracists is actually a Open Access website, which bills itself as a scientific journal. The very fact that this “scientific paper” has not been quoted in any other science journal doesn’t bode well for its accuracy. The OA journal, mentioned in a previous blog, is never quoted by other science journals. In the scientific community, if your paper doesn’t get read, it has no value. If it doesn’t get quoted by other researchers, it is pointless to publish there in the first place. The big hue and cry over this paper is that it tells conspiracists what they want to hear. Never mind all the scientists and engineers who present findings to the contrary, this one paper is all they want to hear about. Thermite was used by the cleanup crews to remove the large metal pieces of the structures that could not be removed as a whole pice. The claim that thermite brought the towers down is not backed-up by survivors, who would have seen thermite burning, as well as the large amount of smoke.

Thermate residue: okay, thermite-theorists say that residue from thermite was found on-site, ergo thermite was used. It goes like this: if A, B, C, and D are all components of X, then X was definitely present. This may be true only if A,B,C and D could come from no other source. Let’s go through what the components of thermite would be and see if there could have been other sources from the WTC site.

Thermate ingrediants and their likely sources from WTC:

  1. iron: found in paint and electronic devices;
  2. sulphur: the third most common construction material in the WTC was gypsum-based drywall, which is 18.62% sulphur.
  3. aluminum: WTC facade, the 767s and vehicles;
  4. potassium: used in concrete;
  5. manganese: used in structural steel, paint, batteries and ceramics;
  6. flourine: used in Freon and 200,000 lbs of Freon cooled the WTC complex, which was the largest air-conditioning system in the USA;
  7. titanium: used in paper and paint, which were very common at the WTC. Both 767s used in the attacks were 2% titanium and WTC7 was clad in polished steel and titanium;

So, all seven items from this list were already common at the WTC site prior to the attacks.

About 2 billion pounds of dust covered Lower Manhatten after 9/11. Steven Jones, one of the authors of the “study” estimated that it would have taken 1000 pounds of thermate to bring down each tower, for a total of 3000 pounds of thermate. Since thermate is 2% sulphur. that means 60 pounds of sulphur would be used. Based on Jones’ estimates, the WTC dust would have consisted of 0.000003% sulphur. But, USGC tests showed that the dust consisted of 5.4% sulphur. Where did all that extra sulphur come from?

Okay, if you assume that thermate was used to bring down the towers, then a good way to make that conclusion would be to find the residue of thermate in the WTC dust. This residue is only caused by the use of thermate and there would be no other way to explain its presence. The two main byproducts of thermate use are:

  1. aluminum oxide (41%)
  2. barium nitrate (29%)

What shootsdown the idea that thermate was used to bring down the towers is that neither of these elements was found either by the USGS or by Steven Jones himself. Finding aluminum is not the same as finding aluminum oxide, which has three oxygen atoms.

So, while we can find all seven component elements of thermate at the WTC site, we can easily explain their presence. However, 9/11 Truthers cannot explain the absence of the residue of thermate use at the site. If they could not find aluminum oxide and barium nitrate at the WTC site, then no thermate use occurred. It would be impossible to use thermate to bringdown the WTC towers without leaving traces of these two elements.

Lack of aluminum oxide + lack of barium nitrate = no thermate used at WTC.

Attack on the Pentagon on 9/11

I know I’m wasting my time expecting Terry to watch a video, since he obviously never has. But, you can see the actual damage caused by the 757 as it made its way to the Pentagon, which included:

  1. knocking down a lamp post, which damaged a taxi cab;
  2. knocked down another lamp pole, which fell near some trees;
  3. a third lamp pole being struck caused the light fixture to enter starboard engine intake;
  4. a fourth lightpole was struck, which caused the engine to billow smoke;
  5. a fifth lampost was struck and knocked-down; and
  6. a generator and ground structure were struck and damaged right before the plane hit the building.

All of these are outlined, along with photographs in the following video

If the Pentagon were hit by a missle, as conspiracists like to claim, then how did a missle knockdown all those lamposts, the generator and the ground structure? A missle would have bypassed all of these and simply hit the building.

Despite what 9/11 Truthers claim, there was a lot of  wreckage found at the site of the attack, including airplane debris and personal items of the passengers. Pieces of the 75 fouund after the attack included portions of the fuselage, landing gear, doors, engine parts, and the cockpit.

As far as the damage to the building, as compared to the actual size of the jet, the body of a 757 measures 12 feet, four inches wide. Measurements of the hole indicate that it is about 18 feet wide. Considering how the plane entered the building at an angle, the proportions match-up pretty well. Damage from the wings impacting the Pentagon can be seen in the video linked above.

Despite claims that the building wall is 9 feet of reinforced concrete, the exterior wall is actually only 18 inches thick at the impact site.

Conclusion

You know, I could go on all day with this. But, I don’t have the inclination or time.

Conspiracy theorists believe what they want anmd will not accept any evidence to the contrary. I would like to respond to this statement from Terry Conspiracy

spyderblog, you should retract & apologize or lose all credibility in my eyes.

Terry, in my eyes, you don’t have any credibility of any kind. You refused to watch any of the videos whose links I have provided and I think you were simply looking for a new convert to your cause. You people cherry-pick isolated items and tout them as evidence, when they really aren’t evidence.

I will not retract and I have nothing to apologize for, to you or anyone else.

Believe what you want, but I think the 9/11 “Truth” movement is losing steam and will hopefully soon be relegated along with the conspiracy theories of reptile men and fake moon landings.

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“9/11 Truth” Conspiracies Debunked, Part Three

8 June 2009

One claim to supposedly prove the views of 9/11 Truthers is that remains of nanothermite were found in the soil around Ground Zero. They support this claim by stating that a scientific paper on the subject, “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe”, was published in the Open Chemical Physics Journal, which is an Open Access online journal published by Bentham Science Publishers. It claims to be a “peer-reviewed journal” whose aim is to “provide the most complete and reliable source of information on current developments in chemical physics”.

It is interesting to note that the chief editor of this publication, Professor Marie-Paule Pileni,  resigned following the publication of the article by Danish chemist Niels Harrit.

Among her reasons was that the paper was published without notifying her and that it deals on a topic unrelated to chemical physics or physical chemistry. Stating,

“I was in fact in doubt about them before, because I had on several occasions asked about information about the journal without having heard from them. It does not appear on the list of international journals, and that is a bad sign. Now I can see that it is because it is a bad journal”, says Marie-Paule Pileni and continues:

“There are no references to the Open Chemical Physics Journal in other articles. I have two colleagues who contributed to publishing an article which was not cited anyplace either. If no one reads it, it is a bad journal, and there is not use for it”, is the harsh verdict.

One thing that lends credibility to any scientific paper is when either it or the journal in which it appears is cited in other scientific journals and Open Chemical Physics Journal is never cited in other scientific journals. A journal’s reputation partly hinges on how often it is cited in other journals of the same venue.

Even on their webpage, listing their Endorsements, only one of the quotes provided even mentions Bentham by name. The rest only give their individual endorsements to Open Access Journals.

Now, what people seem to be misunderstanding about scientific journals is that they appear to believe that is something appears in a scientific journal, then it is an official endorsement by the scientific community that the conclusions of the published article. Actually, it is not.

What an article actually does is it puts the conclusions of the researcher out there for other members of the scientific community to read and attempt to either verify or disprove the conclusions presented in the article. If other researchers can replicate the experiments and come to the same conclusions, then the viewpoint of the original author can be considered accepted by the scientific community. If other researcher cannot replicate the results, then the paper and its conclusions are marginalized and eventually ignored.

That’s it. Just because something appears in a scientific journal does not mean that it it accepted as completely factual by scientists. It simply means that the article got through that particular journals peer-review panel. The fact that Open Chemical Physics Journal is never cited by other publications in the same field, does not appear on any list of scientific journals for chemistry and its own editor resigned after the article was published does not bode well for this journal.

If you want a better explanation of the Scientific Method and the role of peer review journals, watch this video by potholer54.

Okay, a few questions I have about the article, a complete copy of which I cannot find beyond the synopsis and I quote from it, specifically the portion detailing how the tested samples were collected

One sample was collected by a Manhattan resident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later.

I’m no scientist, but this paper was published eight years after the 9/11 Attacks and its sample were collected over a period of a week by three different people. The samples were not collected by the authors of the paper, so there is not accountability for how the samples were collected and how they were stored between the time they were collected and when they were tested, which are topics that would come up in peer review.

There is no archive from the website itself for me to study and I’m not a chemist.

But, I think all the hoopla over this paper in the 9/11 Truth movement shows one reason why some real scientific journals oppose Open Source. People also oppose Wikipedia because it is Open Source where anyone can access it, so they doubt Wikipedia’s credibility.

So, let another group of chemists collect samples and test them. This is the replication phase of peer review. If another group of researchers can collect samples and achieve the same results, then we could have something to talk about.

This is one problem I have with the 9/11 Truth movement: it doesn’t matter if a real scientific journal details how the towers fell, showing documentation as how their conclusions were reached and it doesn’t matter if

    thousands

of engineers disagree with what the 9/11 Truth movement thinks. If just one group, consisting on a total of nine people tells them what they want to hear and those nine people write an article that appears in a self-proclaimed “scientific journal”, then they will go with the minority and discount what thousands of other experts say on the subject.

This shows the basic dishonesty of the 9/11 Truth movement. They only believe what they want to believe and will discount any opposing viewpoints. You could show them all the proof there is and they still won’t be convinced. You could build a time machine and take them back to the event itself and it wouldn’t change their minds.

I understand that there will always be people out there who won’t trust official explanations and sometimes that a healthy thing for a democracy. But, in the case of the 9/11 Truthers, it’s just sad and pathetic.

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“9/11 Truth” Conspiracies Debunked, Part Two

6 June 2009

In the comments section for the first entry on this topic, someid4 wrote this:

All I can say is, you obviously have not done your homework!

Please tell me, If 9/11 was pulled off by guys in caves, like the government wants us to believe….. then which one of the guys in the cave got NORAD to “stand down”?

What about the thermite?

I feel so bad for the people who fall for this “false-flag” government deception….9/11 happened to bring about the “patriot act”….”homeland security”….PERIOD.

I must say you “de-bunked” 9/11 about as good as Glen Beck “de-bunked” FEMA camps……oh thats right, he DIDNT!

Well, if you had taken the time to watch RKOwen4’s videos, you would have seen his evidence debunking these pet theories of the “9/11 Truthers”.

Realizing that not everyone has the time or inclination to look for a debunking of their favorite theory, I have decided to do the work for you.

“NORAD Stand Down Order” Debunked

Dick Cheney Never In Charge of NORAD

Norman Mineta – No Stand Down Order

NORAD “Stand Down” Disproven

Claims About Thermite Debunked

Thermate Chemical Signatures Disproven

Columns Cut not by Thermite

“Molten Metal” Explained

No Pools of Molten Steel

So, it looks like one of us hasn’t done his “homework”, but that person isn’t me.

It was you.

I understand that there are some people out there making their money by selling books, DVDs, tapes, CDs, magazines, etc expounding the 9/11 Truth movement’s diatribe.

If more people realizing that the 9/11 Truth movement is full of crap takes money out of their pockets, then that’s just too bad.

Class dismissed.

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“9/11 Truth” Conspiracies Debunked

6 June 2009

I’ll always be amazed at how some people can take an event, seen by hundreds, even thousands, and tell us that what we saw wasn’t what really happened. There’s always some “hidden truth” behind it that only a select few know about.

The 9/11 Truth Movement is one of these. People are out there, speaking in front of audiences, writing books, appearing on braodcast media, etc. and expounding their conspiracy theories about the “truth” behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Even worse, these people are making money for themselves and furthering dark agendas of their own, using the 9/11 Truth Movement as a money-making venture in order to finance other projects or simply to make themselves wealthy.

There are always other people out there who do their best to debunk these conspiracy theories, but they don’t get nearly the same sized audience and the 9/11 Truthers.

If you are tired of hearing the shrill whines of the 9/11 Truthers and would like to hear the other side of the issue, I suggest that you pay a visit to the YouTube channel of  RKOwens4 and have a look at his debunking of individual conspiracy theories put out there by the 9/11 Truth Movement.

So far, he has only 1,807 subscribers, but he has fifty-six videos for you to watch, weigh the evidence and make your own conclusions.

Of all the parts of the 9/11 Conspiracies, the events surrounding the attack on the Pentago often come up, especially the theory that it was a missle, and not a commercial jet liner, that struck the Pentagon that day. Numerous videos on the channel debunk these claims, citing evidence that is readily availble to anyone who wishes to see it.

One claim that is debunked in a very powerful video is the one where it is said by 9/11 truthers that the WTC Towers both collapsed at free-fall speeds. In other words, they supposedly fell at the exact same speed as an obejct would have fallen after having been dropped from the top of the towers. The speed at which the towers were to have fallen has been claimed to be nine seconds. SO, if an obeject fell from the same height as either tower, it would have taken nine seconds to reach the ground. This is claimed to be the same speed that both towers collapsed. However, as the video clearly shows, using film footage of the collapses, the North Tower took 22.02 seconds and the South Tower 15.28 seconds. You can see the video below. I must warn you that it is a very difficult video to watch, especially the scene showing firefighters in the lobby of the South Tower.

Many of us feel traumatized by the 9/11 Attacks, which were the worst terrorist attacks to ever occur on US soil. That fact makes it so much more deplorable that people would use such a horrific day to line their own pockets or futher some sort of agenda.

On RKOwens4‘s channel, you will see individual 9/11 conspiracies challenged and exposed one at a time, citing evidence that is readily available to anyone, so you can look at the evidence for yourself, if you care to do so.

Only by exposing the lies of the 9/11 Truth Movement can we take away any kind of credibility that too many people have given them.

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