[meteorite-list] Fake Norway Rock

From: Chris Peterson <clp_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:11:25 -0600
Message-ID: <5347332D.8050304_at_alumni.caltech.edu>

How am I gullible? From the very beginning I said this was probably not
a meteorite. That's still what I say, but now I'm even more confident,
given that people familiar with skydiving have provided a reasonable
scenario for how a rock could be packed with a parachute. I still accept
the possibility of a meteorite for the simple reason that nobody
familiar with videography, meteoritics, or the physics of bodies falling
in the atmosphere has provided any evidence against that hypothesis.

Here's the reality: at this point, we have no certain answer. We have at
least three hypotheses: (1) a meteorite in dark flight; (2) a rock
accidentally packed with a parachute; (3) a deliberate hoax. While some
people might like #3, I see nothing in the demeanor of any of those
involved to suggest any such thing, and certainly their ready
willingness to accept a prosaic solution argues against a hoax. That
leaves #1 and #2. The physical evidence is equally good for either. So
the best we can do is ask which is more probable, and that is #2 by a
large margin. So a reasonable person will accept that as being the
likely explanation. But sometimes, the most likely explanation turns out
to be wrong. So only a fool would entirely dismiss #1 given the evidence
currently available.

I can't help but notice that the people on this list who are trained,
professional scientists are the ones who understand this critical
distinction between possible and probable; who understand the difference
between disproving an theory and simply finding a much better one.
Frankly, I think we're the ones with the best tuned BS filters.


Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory

On 4/10/2014 12:41 PM, Joshua Tree Earth & Space Museum wrote:
> Chris,
> You need to install and tune up a bullshit detector. You seem awfully
> gullible. Plausibly explained by the meteorite hypothesis? Maybe to a
> moron.
> Phil Whitmer
Received on Thu 10 Apr 2014 08:11:25 PM PDT

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