Kevin O'Malley <> wrote:

How many replications does it take for a rational scientist to accept the
> finding?  It used to be just 2 or 3, but in this field it seems to be
> hundreds or thousands.

I think for most claims it used to be five or 10 good replications. It
depends on many factors such as the signal-to-noise ratio, the complexity
of the instruments, the extent to which the results call for new and
difficult techniques, and so on. It was difficult to believe polywater
claims because in every case the instruments were operating at the extreme
limits of their capabilities. It is much easier to believe the claim that a
mammal has been cloned because you can look at the baby and see it is a
twin of the parent, and you can test the DNA.

In the case of cold fusion, the experiment is very difficult to replicate,
but the results are easy to understand. The first tier of people to
replicate were the crème de la crème of electrochemistry. I mean people who
now have laboratories named after them such as Ernest Yeager, and people
who should have laboratories named after them such as John Bockris. Also
Miles, Mizuno, McKubre, Kunimatsu, Appleby, Will, Okamoto, Huggins and so

The first ~100 replications came in from a veritable Who's Who of
electrochemistry. Just about every top electrochemist in the world
replicated within a year or so. They were all certain the results were
real. Anyone who does not believe that kind of thing, from this kind of
people, does not understand experimental science.

Over in the Forbes comment section Gibbs referred to these people as "the
LENR community." It would be more accurate to call them "every major
academic electrochemist on earth." That puts it in a different perspective.

The problem with skeptics is not that they don't believe these results. Or
that they have found problems with the results. The problem is they have
zero knowledge of this subject. They have never read any papers and they
never heard of Yeager or Will or anyone else. They think there are no
papers! They would not know a flow calorimeter if it bit them on the butt.
People who are completely ignorant of a subject have no right to any
opinion about it.

A few skeptics such as Cude have looked at results, but they have strange
notions about them. Cude thinks these graphs show only random results with
no meaning or pattern:

This is sort of the opposite of a Rorschach test. Cude looks at an ordered
set of data that constitutes irrefutable proof of a control parameter, but
he sees only random noise.

> Kevin:   Most people still assume it's wrong.
>> Jed: Those people are irrational. You should discount their views.
> ***Unfortunately, that includes the great majority of people.   I would
> guess that 95% of the population (who had an opinion) thought the Wright
> brothers were frauds until they finally had some money on the table & IP
> protection . . .

That is true, but that is human nature. The Wright brothers and others
managed to succeed despite these problems, so perhaps we will succeed now.
The world has not grown more irrational.

> Perhaps 90% of people who have an opinion on LENR think it's a
> pathological science, on the same level as flat earthers, unicorn admirers,
> and perpetual motion devices.
That may be true, although you would have to conduct a public opinion
survey to confirm it. However, such opinions are not based on knowledge or
rationality so we cannot change them. There is no point to worrying about
them. We should concentrate on people such as the readers at
We should ignore people who will not do their homework.

We only need a small number of supporters to win this fight. The thing is,
we need people who have lots of money. Barrels of money. And guts. If we
could win over Bill Gates I would not care if anyone else in the world
believes the results. He alone would be enough.

I do not think there is any chance of convincing Gates, by the way. He
would not listen to Arthur Clarke so I doubt he will listen to anyone else.

- Jed

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