Thursday, March 03, 2016

Tim Ball can't meet Trumps' timeframe for disavowal of Velikovsky

Trump had to think long and hard about whether he should disavow support from white supremacists, but after a day or so he decided to do it. I have no knowledge of whether denialist Tim Ball has similar ethical blinders, but his mental blinders are appalling.

Outsourced to Sou:

....Anthony Watts has got Tim Ball resurrecting Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision. Scientists pointing out that the 1950's book was gobsmackingly stupid is another sign that climate science is a hoax....

Tim Ball wrote: Nature Climate Change is owned by the Nature Publishing Group that is a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. This is interesting because they were the publishers involved with the Velikovsky travesty, one of the most egregious examples of the conflicts that occur between publishers and a search for the truth....

Velikovsky became a target for Carl Sagan, an early promoter of human CO2 caused global warming. That claim became central to the argument about the threat of higher CO2 levels. He challenged the claims of the levels and cause of temperatures on Venus. Sagan felt so threatened that he published a book Scientists Confront Velikovsky. It is about all his claims thus collectively including Venusian CO2. He is not to be believed on anything.


In case you missed it, here is the Wikipedia article describing Velikovsky's book from 1950 - how he figured that Venus shot out from Jupiter as a comet, almost sideswiped Earth causing lots of catastrophes, then swung back again causing more catastrophes on Earth. In its wild screeching journey, Venus pushed Mars which also nearly hit Earth and caused a heap of other catastrophes.
Words fail. Even some Watts commenters acknowledge this puts Sagan in a good light, which it obviously does. Sou says Ball backtracks a bit on Velikovsky in his own comment, claiming he was "not pushing" Velikovsky. However, I don't see a disavowal in that statement or in anything else Ball wrote at that post, just uncritical sympathy for Velikovsky being "censored".  Saying you're not pushing something means it could be right or it could be wrong, and you're choosing not to comment about that.

Tim Ball needs to disavow this nonsense that he chose to highlight favorably, and nothing is stopping him from doing that except his own choice.

UPDATE:  more from Sou - Ball and even Watts are going two steps down, one step up at the Velikovsky Hole.

6 comments:

Layzej said...

Regarding Trump, I think it's a kind of progress to see the KKK supporting a person of colour... even if that colour is orange. (with apologies to whoever I stole that joke from. I can't find the source)

Regarding Tim Ball, it sounds like he is likening climate contrarians to Velikovsky and consensus scientists to Sagan. Sounds about right.

Bellman said...

This isn't the first time Time Ball has praised Velikovsky before, so I doubt he's going to disavow him. Scientific Reaction to Velikovsky Symptomatic of Climate Science Debacle

Russell Seitz said...

What surpasses human understanding is http ://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2016/02/words-in-collision.html "> Ball's fingering Harvard's Hasty Pudding Club as Velikovsky's nemesis.

Kevin O'Neill said...

Russell - Is there actually any backstory on that? Did Ball get an acronym wrong or his spell-checker got the best of him - or is that just word salad Ball wrote?

Russell Seitz said...

It's kind of like blaming the Emden Dispatch on the Bismarck Herring cannery

Russell Seitz said...

Ball < a href=" http://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2016/03/great-balls-of-ball.html">has just cannonballed on Worlds in Collision

From his links it seems he confused Velikovsky's letter to the Harvard Crimson denouncing Harlow Shapley ( Science journalist Deborah's dad) with the Hasty Pudding Club somehow having gotten embroiled in the fray.