The Black Swan and LENR
|May 28, 2012||Posted by Jack Cole under Uncategorized|
A very important tenet of the scientific method is falsifiability. In other words, it must be possible to prove a scientific hypothesis false. A popular example is the statement “all swans are white.” In order to disprove this statement, it is necessary to sight only one swan that is not white (e.g., a black swan). With respect to LENR, the falsifiable statement has become, “nuclear fusion can only occur at extremely high temperatures.” A single low temperature experiment that yields new elements to the exclusion of other explanations (e.g., contaminated samples), refutes the hypothesis that fusion can occur only at extremely high temperatures.
Certainly, scientists are correct in noting the difficulty of reproducing the effect. This is another very important tenet of science, and one of the reasons for cold fusion research falling out of scientific favor. However, like with finding one black swan, the initial hypothesis is falsified. To now continue to say, “all swans are white,” is illogical even if only one black swan has ever been sighted. The best that can be said is, “most swans are white, but another color has been found.”
With LENR, experiments demonstrating transmutation of elements at low temperatures requires a rejection of the statement, “nuclear fusion can only occur at extremely high temperatures.” Difficulty with reproducibility indicates problems in understanding the conditions necessary to bring this fusion about. Understandably, when a series of experiments does not reproduce the original results, scientists begin to question the original results which they have attempted to replicate. At times, it may well be the case that results are fraudulent, samples are contaminated, or some other unknown factor has produced the results (imagine a white swan swimming through some oil and becoming colored black).
Transmutation has been claimed in a number of experiments. Here are just a few.
The most probable explanation seems to me is that the black swan of transmutation exists, and that it seems scientifically untenable to continue claiming otherwise.