Kerr Watch

Elapsed time since Richard Kerr failed to inform his Science readers of the confirmation of nanodiamonds at the YDB: 6 years, 2 months, and 1 day

Citizen Catastrophist Burchard apologizes to NASA official Morrison, provides critique of his paper

Sent: 4/6/2010 7:33:33 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time
Subj: Re: No YDR? An Apology to Dave Morrison
Dear David,
Sorry to have used words that you find offensive and to which you object
understandably.  You have my sincere apology for having overstated things.
My choice of words betrayed my own inner biases, unfortunately.

On this occasion, my best wishes to NASA for continued Congressional
funding of manned space flight, that the work on the new Constellation
rockets and others will not be abandoned.  Not sure how you and others at
NASA feel about this.

On the matters rather than words which offended you:  Presumably, you will
concede that most of us, by life-long processes of internal conditioning,
act from prejudice nilly-willy, one issue which I try to analyze in my ’05
philosophy of science paper which I cited.

And if prejudiced, than false results may crop up, imperceptibly.

One thing I need to admit, I have not yet read your and co-authors’ paper,
which I hope to do soon.

Of course, it’s not a matter of replacing one adjective by another, but
that objecting to a factual scientific finding as being “unreasonable”
(rather than false) does not seem to be, well, “reasonable”..


Yes, David, happy you are accepting my apologies, but wait for this, back now to the matters again, as I have read your paper (no co-authors) carefully at least in part, while flying over most of it (a Germanism, “ueberfliegen”= to scan), adding to comments by others, here are some critical findings, as to the substantive accuracy or lack thereof, and strange (un-)scientific attitude displayed in the writing, very brief, numbered quotes with my telegraphic objections in parens:
1.  archaeologists pondered the reality of this sharp boundary layer and the new evidence of extraterrestrial materials (word “ponder”, in sci we investigate, apply sci methodology, not ponder)
2.  impact experts immediately questioned this scenario (words “immediately questioned”, shows bad attitude of experts) —
And BTW what’s an impact expert:  an astronomer? geo-cosmo chemist? geologist, historian, paleontologist, geo-magnetic reversal specialist, geoid specialist — the N American geoid’s chief feature is caused by the Yellowstone hotspot, — volcanologist, D” layer of CMB guy? whom did I leave out? does he know the Goths started to invade Rome long before the Huns (Hsiung-Nu) ever came near Europe, that there was a Mediterranean Basin convulsion in AD 365 just when the Danube was swollen to several miles wide from a climatic downturn that shows up in tree rings and the great Alexandria tsunami hit? Has he seen the gravity anomalies of the Shiva crater off of Mumbai [included with Chatterjee et al pdf attached]? Does he understand hydrocarbons being found in impact craters? etc, you get the point, there are no impact specialists.
2.  suggestions that troubled geologists (word “troubled”, who cares)
3.  They noted that there was no mechanism to hold such a dense swarm of impactors together in space. To the suggestion that a large comet had broken up just before hitting Earth, they replied that this lacked a physical mechanism  (sci bad, from ignorance?  comets break up all the time spontaneously being only weakly compacted by gravity, form dense streams as broad as Earth-Moon that last over millennia or more)
5.  the well-known Tunguska airburst in Siberia in 1908 did not form a crater (fact bad, Lake Cheko)
6.  average impact frequency suggested that only about one super-Tunguska could be expected to hit Earth in the past 13,000 years. The chances of two such extremely unlikely swarm impacts happening within the past few thousand years is worse than negligible  (stat bad, both events Taurid/ comet Encke related, so only one event required, Clube Napier) etc, etc (could go on)
7.  ocean current conveyer belt (not a valid Gulf Stream hypothesis, “fake” Gulf Stream driven by equatorial current, trade winds, Earth rotation, not “thermo haline” which is maybe a side-effect)
David, some of these covered by Napier paper which was too late for you to quote evidently.