Friday, March 17, 2006
Sir John Templeton had stipulated in 1972 that his prize for
"Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual
Realities," now at $1.4 million, was to always be bigger than the
Nobel. British cosmologist John Barrow has been awarded the
Templeton Prize for 2006. Barrow is best known for "The
Anthropic Cosmological Principle," written with Frank Tipler in
1986. The "anthropic principle" states that the laws of nature
were fine-tuned by the Great Designer to allow the existence of
beings so intelligent that they could discover the anthropic
principle. This is so incredibly deep that something happens to
scientists who dwell on it too long. In Tipler's case, it led
him in 1996 to write, "The Physics of Immortality," in which he
derives, "the existence of God and the resurrection of the dead"
(WN 7 Oct 94) . In Barrow's
case it led to the 2006 Templeton Prize.
On March 23, 1989 in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah held
a press conference to announce the discovery of cold fusion, but
the story had already been leaked to the world's most influential
financial dailies, the Wall Street Journal and the Financial
Times. Both papers continued to print unfailingly optimistic
reports for weeks. Among those lured into the swamp was Randell
Mills, a 1986 graduate of Harvard Medical School. Two years
later Mills held a press conference of his own to announce that
it wasn't fusion. It was better! Hydrogen atoms can shrink into
"hydrinos," releasing energy. With the 17th anniversary of cold
fusion approaching, both papers are now running credulous stories
about Mills and his company, BlackLight Power. BLP, which has
never produced anything, is rumored to be preparing an IPO.
Dennis Lee doesn't sell perpetual motion machines. He sells
dealerships for perpetual motion machines. He's done hard time,
but he wears it as a badge of honor, proof that the establishment
is trying to suppress his inventions. He has never delivered a
free-energy machines to a dealer, but he still sells dealerships.
Can he be stopped? In 2002 the state of Washington, with the
help of an obscure professor of physics, barred Lee's company,
Better World Technologies, from doing business. Six months
later, with the help of the same physics professor, it was Maine.
It was slow, but at that rate he'd be out of business by my 100th
birthday. It was not to be. Last week, Eric Krieg, a long-time
nemesis of Lee and the head of an active group of skeptics in
Philadelphia, pointed out that Lee is on tour again. One stop on
the tour is Seattle. Seattle, WA? How could this be? It's not
Better World Technologies that doing the tour, it's Better World
Alternatives, a separate marketing company set up by Lee. In the
age of the internet, education is the only weapon against scams.