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Date Posted: 11:39
Author: Mike Drake - 4 Jun 2001
Subject: Burbank, Microfiche and Statistical Blunders
In reply to: Waqidi - 3 Jun 2001 's message, "Re: Response to Waqidi" on 11:38



1.1 Call the postulated stellar companion ‘S’. Pretend S is utterly invisible. And pretend has utterly unique gravitational aspects. Finally, pretend that these unique gravitational properties result in an utterly unique orbital dynamic. Result: Conspicuous, predictable* perturbations. Upshot: There is no model under which our Sun could be a member of a binary system with a 24,000 year period.

1.2 There is no independent theoretical motivation to grant the assumptions in 1.1. They are merely ad hoc speculations put forth to save a misbegotten hypothesis.

1.3 Moreover, there is not even a basis in the writings of Yogananda or Yukteswar to suggest that dark matter or exotic stars with unique gravitation properties are involved. First, the hypothesis is that our Sun takes a “star” as its dual – not a “dark” star, “black hole”, or heretofore unpostulated “invisible” star with utterly unique gravitational properties). Second, the hypothesis (as previously discussed) was made to account for the precessionary cycle; but then proposing a completely unique orbital dynamic vitiates that purpose (which is in any case vitiated by the existence of another, exclusive explanation). Third, Yogananda and Yukteswar generally defer to Newtonian/Eintenian classical/relativistic conceptions of gravity, and nowhere do they suggest that some further “dark gravitation” model is required.


2.1 Nothing would prove “conclusively” that Yogananda misquoted Burbank.

2.2. Burbank wrote about his atheism while he was alive, and was quoted by the paper as anti-reincarnation while he was alive. Yogananda quotes him as pro-reincarnation 20 years after he had died. Hearsay recollection of alleged conversations 20 years after the fact are prima facie less credible than attributions made while Burbank was alive (when he could have challenged them).**

2.3. Any argument that Burbank changed is views is a positive argument that requires evidential support. Any appeal to the disputed attributions made by Yogananda is circular, since their validity is what is at issue.

2.4 As well, an ideological shift from atheism and “anti-reincarnationism” (what is the proper term of art?) to theism and pro-reincarnationism (or vise versa) is rather major, and one would expect that a voluble figure like Burbank would mention it.*** But one will search in vain, I think, to find any remarks by Burbank suggesting such a shift.

2.5 Side note: Actually, memory and third-hand sources have been sufficient to convict in courts many times. In any case, I’ll tell you what: If I can’t find track down a copy of the article, I’ll concede this whole issue – but only on the condition that if I CAN find it, you’ll concede that the Newspaper article accurately reflects Burbank’s view at the time.

* Predictable in the sense that any hypothetical model of a dual system will entail perturbations of some sort.

** There are other objective indications that the chapter generally mischaracterizes Burbank’s views on matters spiritual and horticultural. The sweepingly mystical character of the language that Yogananda attributes to him (e.g., creating “vibrations of love” by speaking to plants) is quite different from language Burbank himself used in his own writings.

*** You would think that Yogananda would mention how Burbank was saved from the plague of rank materialism and came to believe in the existence of souls and transmigration – if that’s what had happened.

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