Thursday, July 26, 2018

Mike Bara: Maximum hubris

        This morning Mike Bara tweeted "Thanks for the confirmation of my work guys..." He was referring to the announcementnote 1, yesterday, that Italian scientists analyzing data collected by the MARSIS radar of the ESA's Mars Express have confirmed the existence of a substantial sub-surface lake below the Planum Australe region of Mars.

        By "my work" he meant the so-called Mars Tidal Model, according to which the planet Mars was once tidally locked to a sister planet which then exploded, splattering one hemisphere of Mars with debris. This blog has critically reviewed the theory passim, noting that the hemisphere that is so obviously splattered is NOT the one that would have been pointing toward a hypothetical companion.

Not his work, not relevant anyway
        Well, for one thing, the Tidal Model is not Bara's work. He's credited as second author but the work, such as it is, was accomplished by the primary author, Richard Hoagland. For a second thing, the announcement of liquid water 1.6 km underground near the south pole has no connection whatsoever to the tidal model.

        This is far from the first time that Hoagland and/or Bara have blown their own false trumpets in reaction to astronomy news of the day. I think back to this claim from August 2008, and this one from October that year, in which Mike Bara stated that the hexagonal rings around the North pole of Saturn are "an inherent and specific prediction of the Hoagland\Torun Hyperdimensional physics model."note 2 In 2012 I coined the term Convenient Recall Adjustment Phenomenon (CRAP) for this kind of false recollection.

Planum Australe: WHAT geometric structures?

        Bara was even given most of the first hour of Coast to Coast AM last night to comment on the Italian announcement (although, typically, he did not credit the authors.) He said "geometric structures" in the same region make him suspect that this area was once inhabited by a now-dead civilization, and perhaps the underground lake was a water source for them. George Noory invited him to extend his comments to Mars, and the Moon, more generally ("What's goeeeen on, Mike?") To my mind, conferring the status of "expert" on someone who is so totally wrong about the nature of the Moon is an admission of failure.

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[1] Radar evidence of subglacial liquid water on Mars: Orosei et al, "Science" 25 July 2018

[2] This is what astronomers refer to as "bullshit." There is no documentary evidence that either Hoagland, Torun or Bara ever predicted the phenomenon.


astroguy said...

I still want to know what "geometric structures" mean. It's so vague that anything fits, natural or artificial. For example, fractals are very complicated -- in fact, by definition, infinitely complicated. The Grand Canyon is a fractal. Clouds are fractal. Without even getting into the "chemtrails" crap, they are natural, not artificial. Pit craters and impact craters are circles or ellipses - a very simple geometric shape - yet are also natural and not artificial.

Chris said...

Question for astroguy. If I wanted to write, "A large subterranean lake has been found on Mars" the word "subterranean" is not suitable since it relates to Earth. Is there an equivalent word for Mars?

Trekker said...


expat said...

I was going to suggest that too.

Trekker said...

On second thoughts, 'subterranean' is Latin-Latin, whereas 'subarean' is Latin-Greek. Maybe the right term, to keep it consistent, should be 'submartian', which is Latin-Latin.

Chris said...

Submawortean or submavorsean perhaps

astroguy said...

What Trekker said. Earth is a geoid, Mars is aeroid, for example.