Robert Sungenis: Incompetent in Physics

Geocentrist Robert Sungenis, author of Galileo Was Wrong and executive producer of the documentary The Principle considers himself uniquely competent to overthrow the entire world of physics and astrophysics. As such, it seems reasonable to have a look at his background and demonstrated competence in maths and physics.

Physics Major?

Sungenis presents himself as virtually the only person in the world who is both qualified and honest enough to expose the supposed vast scientific conspiracy to hide the truth of geocentrism from the world. He has repeatedly insisted that he’s credible in the field of cosmology because he was a “physics major”. But as documented in “Robert Sungenis, Physics Major?” we find that:

  • Sungenis only took the first two most basic prerequisite physics courses that didn’t even involve calculus.
  • He didn’t finish the four physics courses required to fulfill the prerequisites for a physics major.
  • He inexplicably took two basic astronomy courses that would not contribute to the requirements for a physics major and were so basic as to be labeled “Primarily for nonscience majors”.
  • He took none of the undergraduate physics courses that are listed as “Required courses in the major”.

Basic Math and Physics Blunders

Sungenis regularly makes basic blunders in physics, demonstrating that he does not accurately grasp even very elementary concepts. He also makes basic mathematical errors, again calling into question his fundamental competency to be pontificating on scientific matters. Here are many documented examples:

In the article “Geocentric Physics: Is That All You’ve Got?” Dr. Alec MacAndrew demonstrated that the geocentrist attempt posted by Sungenis, attempting to answer the extremely significant “Lagrange point challenge” issued to them by physicist Dr. Tom Bridgman, is plagued by basic mathematical blunders, naturally calling into question the fundamental mathematical and scientific compentence of the geocentrists. Perhaps even more significantly, Dr. MacAndrew discovered that the bulk of their “case” consisted of material plagiarized from mainstream scientists and presented, unattributed, as their own. Further examination shows that the problem of plagiarism by the top geocentrists – Robert Sungenis, Dr. Robert Bennett, and Dr. Gerardus Bouw – is much deeper than that and even extends into the pages of the geocentric “bible,” Galileo Was Wrong. While not exhaustive by any means, “Top Geocentrists Caught Plagiarizing” documents many cases of plagiarism by these top geocentrists.

At one point Sungenis attempted to rebut Sky and Telescope editor Camille Carlisle and demonstrated that he is simply not competent to handle even high school-level physics.  In “Elementary Physics Blunders in Sungenis’s Reply to Sky and Telescope’s Camille Carlisle” Dr. Alec MacAndrew pointed out many basic errors in Sungenis’s work. These are compounded by Sungenis’s replacement of the well-known and perfectly adequate mechanism of gravity with a made-up medium that, “magically [does] just what he needs it to do, while remaining completely undetectable whenever he doesn’t need it.”

In his attempt to respond to Dr. MacAndrew, Sungenis ended up compounding his errors by making even more basic math blunders.  See “Sungenis Botches the Math….Again!

Sungenis’s incompetence in physics was again on display in his two mutually exclusive, but equally wrong, attempts to answer the CMB Alignment Challenge which we issued back in February of 2015, in response to the panoply of extravagant claims made by the new geocentrists about certain unexpected features of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). As Dr. MacAndrew says, “There is no shame in not knowing about a subject, but there should be shame in not knowing and yet pretending that you do, especially when you use your counterfeit knowledge to bamboozle others.”  See “Sungenis Fails the CMB Alignment Challenge…Twice

In “Aether, Springs, and Light: Physics Blunders in Galileo Was Wrong” we find that when Sungenis tried to explain the propagation of light and more particularly the speed of light in his own system he managed to get the physics exactly backwards, while deploying still more basic mathematical errors.

In “The ‘Simple’ and ‘Scary’ Mindset of Robert Sungenis” we took a somewhat lighthearted look at Robert Sungenis falling hook, line, and sinker for a Youtube video which purported to “prove” the incredible claim that our Sun is much less massive than the Earth. Sungenis’s original verdict on the video’s claim was that, “It’s so simple it’s scary — scary in that it makes you wonder what other simple ideas we are missing because we’ve been so brainwashed by the Copernicans. I can’t find any flaw in this man’s logic or math . . .” Two days later, after receiving help from others, Sungenis completely reversed himself, declaring that the video was instead, “wrong, very wrong”. (His followers bravely stuck by him, though, as laid out in “Sungenis Followers Double Down”. One of them excused Sungenis, stating that without “specific expertise” the video could appear convincing. But Sungenis found this fundamentally erroneous video completely convincing. Shouldn’t Sungenis’s followers expect their leader to have at least the sort of elementary “specific expertise” that would allow him to spot the flaws in a preposterous claim that the Sun is much less massive than the Earth? If not, then how in the world can they trust his analysis of the complex physics and mathematics involved in proving the case for geocentrism?)

Somewhat more recently Sungenis has insisted that by “using the parameters of modern science”, “it turns out that the Earth is the heaviest object in the universe, just as Aristotle said.” His alleged support for this remarkable claim is laid out in more detail in a section of his book, Galileo Was Wrong. Turning there we find yet again that when Sungenis and his associates try to do actual physics the results are shot through with demonstrable misconceptions, oversights, logical contradictions, and outright math errors. All of these and more are documented in “Getting on the Wrong Wavelength: More Basic Physics Blunders by the Geocentrists

In “Geocentrism and Stellar Aberration” we find not only that the geocentric “explanation” for stellar aberration absolutely will not work, but that in laying out that case Sungenis demonstrates that he fundamentally misunderstands aberration.

Dr. Tom Bridgman has said of the new geocentrists:

Geocentrists, like many other pseudo-scientists I’ve confronted on this blog, seem to be nothing but posers.  They want credit and recognition for achievements they have not done (link).

and:

Everything I’ve seen from Geocentrists is a cheat, trying to take someone else’s heliocentric solution and then moving the origin to the Earth.  They don’t appear to have the competence, or courage, it takes to actually transform the known equations of motion, Newtonian gravity and acceleration, well-tested in everything from laboratories to mechanics to spacecraft, to a reference frame where the body of the Earth is not rotating (link).

The bottom line is that the new geocentrists in general and Robert Sungenis in particular have yet to demonstrate that they have even a basic competence in science. And Sungenis, at least, dispenses himself and his cohorts from the same academic standards he expects from everybody else. It’s another unfortunate example from him of “one standard for me and another for thee.”

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Geocentrist Dodges Pioneer Challenge, Part 2

You can tell that you’ve got a great argument against strict Geocentrism when you see the geocentrists obfuscate, misdirect, do anything rather than actually address that argument.  In “Top Geocentrist Fails Pioneer Challenge” we saw that Robert Sungenis engaged in just such a misdirection campaign when challenged by Dr. Alec MacAndrew to explain how all of the corrections for daily motions necessary to glean data from the Pioneer spacecraft could plausibly be attributed to motions of the spacecraft, rather than motions of the Earth.  Sungenis never ponied up with an actual answer to the question – he sought instead to misdirect his readers by focusing on the interesting, but completely irrelevant, “Pioneer anomaly”.

Geocentrist Rick DeLano was confronted with a very similar challenge regarding geocentrism and the Voyager spacecraft.  Here’s how that challenge was laid out:

When viewed from ground [the Voyager spacecraft] also appear to be orbiting a stationary Earth once a day. IF the Earth was not rotating that would mean that V1 is now traveling at a speed of over 1.3 x10e6 km/sec. as it circled the planet, discounting its outward velocity.

Here’s the kicker. Both spacecraft are equipped with three gyroscopes containing sensitive accelerometers. All are still functioning and have been returning solid data since launch. But neither of the data sets shows any acceleration anywhere near that required to achieve your required orbital velocity. In fact, both data sets show the completely expected acceleration from their launch through their gravity slingshots by heliocentric planets to their location today. . . . As a matter of fact, no deep space probe at all has detected the kind of motion your . . . geocentric claims require.

Rather than answer the challenge, DeLano did the same thing Sungenis did – he obfuscated by pointing to the Pioneer anomaly without actually answering the question (see his pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain “answer” here.)  Several forum participants saw right through his shennanigans and pointed it out:

Evasive non-answer by DeLano noted. You Googled lots of information but you completely forgot to answer the questions:

How did the spacecraft manage to accelerate to the huge velocities required when all of the onboard instruments show only the normal trajectories? None show the huge accelerations and position changes your . . . Geo idea requires.

Why does all the space probe data support heliocentrism while none supports geocentrism?

Your cowardly side is showing here Ricky.

Another rightly pointed out that the Pioneer anomaly has nothing to do with the challenge to the geocentrists:

The “Pioneer anomaly”, interesting as it might be, has no relationship whatsoever to the question OA asked, which is a simple observational “point of view” item. It’s pretty telling that Rick chose to deposit squid ink and run rather than simply address the very simple question in front of him.

And yet another pointed out that, like Sungenis, DeLano even ignored the fact that the Pioneer anomaly had been explained, using perfectly conventional physics:

Rick’s counterpoint was to claim that the [anomalous] velocities of the Pioneer probes somehow answered OA’s questions about the Voyager probes.

Rick really didn’t answer anything and pooh-poohed the scientific findings of differential heat thrust that was applied to the Pioneer [anomaly].

Rick seems to live on [anomalies] but never reads the following addendum where the [anomalies] are explained.

In other words, DeLano never answered anything, he simply obfuscated and then refused to answer any of the subsequent challenges.  But the challenge that the Voyager and Pioneer spacecraft represent to the neo-geocentric theory won’t just go away.  Here’s Dr. MacAndrew’s Pioneer challenge again:

Geocentrists would have us believe that the daily Doppler modulation was caused by variations in the velocity of the source (the spacecraft) and not by the Earth’s rotation which they claim does not exist. In that case, shouldn’t they explain why, according to them, the velocity of the Pioneer spacecraft, freely flying through space and several billion kilometres from Earth, cycled with a period of exactly one sidereal day? Can they explain why the details of the supposed Pioneer velocity cycle reflected all the subtle variations in the velocity of the ground station such as Earth’s precession, nutation, polar motion, and so on? Can they give us one good reason to conclude that the daily Doppler modulation was caused by daily changes in the velocity of the spacecraft rather than by earth’s rotation?

Obviously, neither Robert Sungenis or Rick Delano can give even one good reason.

Posted in Credibility, Science |

Top Geocentrist Fails Pioneer Challenge

Those who have not spent much time critically reading the works of Robert Sungenis on strict Geocentrism may be unaware of how often he resorts to debater’s tricks when responding to his opponents.  One of his favorites is misdirection.  In many instances he appears to give a fulsome answer, but a closer look shows that he’s failed to engage his opponent’s argument at all.  His frequent modus operandi is to overwhelm the reader with copious but irrelevant verbiage, in the hopes that the reader will confuse quantity of words with intellectual substance.

One example is in his non-answer to the challenge posed by Dr. Alec MacAndrew concerning the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft.  Dr. MacAndrew’s challenge is reproduced below from his article “Here Comes the Sun: How the new geocentrists persist in scientific and logical errors” (well worth reading in its entirety.)  What MacAndrew asks of the geocentrists – his challenge regarding Pioneer – is very specific:

Although it is true that within [General Relativity], local experiments cannot distinguish between various manifestations of acceleration and gravity, it is wrong to say that one cannot make reasonable inferences based on non-local observations and on considerations rooted in causation (as we did for the annual Doppler shift modulation of the CMB and quasars above).

Is there any such evidence for the Earth’s daily rotation? Let’s look at Pioneer 10 and 11, two spacecraft that were launched in 1972 and 1973 respectively, to study the asteroid belt, Jupiter and Saturn. After completing their mission they continued on their trajectory out of the solar system at well above escape velocity. Pioneer 10 remained in contact with earth stations until 2003 when it was some 12 billion kilometres away. You will remember that the Sun has by far the biggest gravitational field in the solar system and for that reason both Pioneers were slowed down by the Sun’s gravity as they flew away from the solar system. However measurements of the spacecraft position and speed indicated that both Pioneers were slowing down more than the models predicted and for several years this effect, known as the Pioneer anomaly, was a mystery. All we need to know about the anomaly is a) that it was tiny (~10-10 ms-2 – a hundred billionth of the acceleration due to gravity at the Earth’s surface) and b) that it has been explained with perfectly conventional physics [Turyshev, Slava G., et al. “Support for the thermal origin of the Pioneer anomaly.” Physical review letters 108.24 (2012): 241101]. What is relevant to us is the fact that the anomaly was so small and therefore, in order to measure it, physicists needed to know the position (range and direction) of the satellites with extreme precision. These measurements are made by Doppler measurements and timing of radio signals sent to the satellites and returned to Earth ground stations. There is a daily modulation of the Doppler signals caused by the fact that Earth’s rotation causes a daily change in the relative velocity between the spacecraft and the Earth which physicists must correct for. In fact this daily Doppler modulation is used to measure the direction of the spacecraft from the Earth (its amplitude gives declination and its phase gives right ascension).

But there’s more – because the Pioneer anomaly was so small, perturbations in the Earth’s daily rotation and in the velocity of the ground stations were significant and had to be taken into account. Corrections were made for: Earth’s precession, nutation, polar motion, tides, the Moon’s, Sun’s and planets’ gravitational torque, Earth’s mantle elasticity, Earth flattening, structure and properties of the core-mantle boundary, rheology of the core, underground water, oceanic variability, atmospheric variability, evolution of Earth’s shape, and the location of Earth’s centre of mass relative to the crust [see here.] Geocentrists would have us believe that the daily Doppler modulation was caused by variations in the velocity of the source (the spacecraft) and not by the Earth’s rotation which they claim does not exist. In that case, shouldn’t they explain why, according to them, the velocity of the Pioneer spacecraft, freely flying through space and several billion kilometres from Earth, cycled with a period of exactly one sidereal day? Can they explain why the details of the supposed Pioneer velocity cycle reflected all the subtle variations in the velocity of the ground station such as Earth’s precession, nutation, polar motion, and so on? Can they give us one good reason to conclude that the daily Doppler modulation was caused by daily changes in the velocity of the spacecraft rather than by earth’s rotation?

Sungenis’s “answer” to this challenge in his article “There Goes the Sun…” was to cut and paste seven pages of outdated and irrelevant material from Galileo Was Wrong (pp. 351-358 of volume 2 in the 11th edition.)

I emphasize outdated because Sungenis’s copy-pasted material only extends to 2004, whereas MacAndrew cited a source from 2012 that lays out the explanation of the Pioneer anomaly.

I emphasize irrelevant for three reasons:  First, MacAndrew’s challenge didn’t rely on the anomaly itself, but rather all of the corrections for motion that had to be made in order precisely to track the anomaly.  Without correcting for all of these motions we wouldn’t be getting intelligible data from the spacecraft at all.  The anomaly is irrelevant to this discussion, but that’s where Sungenis focused all of his attention.

Second, in the copy-pasted verbiage Sungenis doesn’t give even “one good reason” that we should conclude that the daily motions with regard to the Pioneers are motions of the spacecraft rather than the Earth.  He prefers to hide behind the Pioneer anomaly as if its mere existence absolves him from having to answer MacAndrew’s perfectly reasonable questions.

And third, the Pioneer anomaly was explained in 2012, as Dr. MacAndrew points out, “with perfectly conventional physics”.  Now that the anomaly itself is explained, Sungenis has nowhere else to go.  He prefers to hide behind an avalanche of outdated and irrelevant verbiage.  He’s hoping the reader won’t notice.

Well, we noticed.  Here’s Dr. MacAndrew’s challenge again:

Geocentrists would have us believe that the daily Doppler modulation was caused by variations in the velocity of the source (the spacecraft) and not by the Earth’s rotation which they claim does not exist. In that case, shouldn’t they explain why, according to them, the velocity of the Pioneer spacecraft, freely flying through space and several billion kilometres from Earth, cycled with a period of exactly one sidereal day? Can they explain why the details of the supposed Pioneer velocity cycle reflected all the subtle variations in the velocity of the ground station such as Earth’s precession, nutation, polar motion, and so on? Can they give us one good reason to conclude that the daily Doppler modulation was caused by daily changes in the velocity of the spacecraft rather than by earth’s rotation?

Obviously, Robert Sungenis cannot give even one good reason.

365ist

Now, dear reader, one can easily anticipate that, if Sungenis “answers” this article he will point out other alleged anomalies in various spacecraft trajectories detected since 2012.  In doing so he will hope that you fail to notice that, as interesting as those anomalies may be, they have nothing to do with the Pioneer anomaly itself, which has been solved.  He will hope that you don’t notice that said anomalies have absolutely nothing to do with the substance of the challenge.  And he will hope that you fail to notice that in the midst of all this obfuscation he will still have yet to give even one good reason why the numerous corrections necessary for daily Doppler modulations between the Earth and the Pioneer spacecraft could plausibly be attributed to motion of the spacecraft themselves, rather than to motion of the Earth.

Given that strict Geocentrism is no more than an elaborate exercise in scientific special pleading, gummed together with conspiracy theories, it is unsurprising that, yet again, its proponents have to rely so heavily on debater’s tricks like misdirection and obfuscation rather than answering basic questions.

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