Be Reasonable: Episode #027 – Alan Butler


This time on Be Reasonable we’re joined by Alan Butler from the website Dawn of Realization. Alan is an author and historian who believes that the Moon and Ceres have far different origins than most astronomers realise.

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  1. #1 by astrotimer on March 31, 2015 - 04:25

    First off the moon Europa is seen as a better a candidate for life than Ceres.

  2. #2 by Myk Dowling on March 31, 2015 - 07:17

    Arrant nonsense. All of these magic ratios he is describing are incorrect, for a start. The ratio of the Earth’s radius to the Moon’s is not 3.66. That’s only the first couple of decimal points of a number that continues on for some time, depending on your level of precision. Also, which radius are you comparing? Neither body is a perfect sphere, and the ratio varies across different locations. the polar radius ratio is substantially different to the equatorial radius ratio (The moon is less oblate).

    Secondly, if Ceres was originally a natural moon of Earth, the ratios matching up between Earth-Moon and Earth-Ceres makes no sense. If the Moon creators were kicking Ceres out to the asteroid belt and creating the Moon to have the perfect ratios at the perfect time, then any correlation with Moon-Ceres ratios is even more massively coincidental. Why would Ceres happen to be just the right size to have this relationship to the supposedly extremely specific Moon requirements?

    He also fails to make any case for why this signalling through magic ratios is expected on the theory that the Moon was created. Without such a case, there is no justification for the creation hypothesis over the coincidence hypothesis.

  3. #3 by dave lambert (@mad_cyclist) on March 31, 2015 - 13:49

    Bloody brilliant:
    “We took the aliens and we applied Occam’s razor.”

    At least this guy isn’t a danger to public health, just erm… eccentric.

  4. #4 by Shawn on April 1, 2015 - 18:12

    He compared the masses of the Earth and Moon to their diameters to imply their densities are way out of whack, to imply that a collision with the proto-Earth couldn’t have spun off the Moon. He has to be incredibly stupid or thoroughly dishonest.

  5. #5 by Pdubyah on April 1, 2015 - 22:45

    I though this could have been called “Fun with Numbers”.

    As well as agreeing with #2Myk

    And not leaving a ‘clue’, a note? (putting aside all the pyramids, Nazca lines, hinges, lay lines, etc)

    top stuff as always delivered with a straight bat.

  6. #6 by DocM on April 2, 2015 - 11:07

    That was a mercifully short episode. Possibly, because Marsh can only go for so long without laughing out loud. I found myself repeatedly thinking “Why is Richard Saunders talking such bollocks”, though. I should maybe try to listen to the podcast sober in the future.

    To elaborate on Shawn’s point (comment #4) a bit more (because it really annoyed me when Mr. Butler brought that up repeatedly):

    The ratio of polar radii of Earth/Moon is roughly 3.66
    The volume ratio is 49.33
    The mass ratio is 81.35
    So the ratio of density is 1.65

    1.65 sounds slightly less than 81, but it is the number you have to use if you want to claim that there are substantial differences. What could explain these differences? Well, for one there is what Marsh brought up: The moon was probably formed from material from the earth’s crust. This is nicely confirmed by the fact that – as far as we know – the moon contains far less iron than the earth (3.5 % compared to earth’s 34.6 %) but more oxygen. Than there would be another fact that could conceivably have some small influence on the density of a planetary body: Gravity. Without gravity you do not get the pressures necessary to form some high density rocks. Or that molten core of iron we assume the earth has.

    Another point he made was that Ceres is “exactly 3.66 times smaller than the moon”, the same ratio as earth has to moon. Well, that is simply wrong. If you look at polar radii, the ratio is 3.82. If you take equatorial radii, it is 3.57. Closer, but still off. The mass ratio is 78.52. The closest the ratios get is for the mean density, where it is 1.61. (Again, gravity may play a role here.) All in all, that is only “exactly” if you squint really hard from a large distance away and with your back turned to the facts.

    In summary: There is no mystery to explain, and the need for time-traveling humans from the far future disappears in a small puff smelling strongly of self-promotion and agrarian by-products….

  7. #7 by Julian on April 4, 2015 - 13:12

    DocM sums it up nicely. Comparing the ratio of the volume 49.33 of the earth to the moon, makes the mass ratio 81.35 look far from extraordinary. The ratio of densities 1.65 is well within the range you’d expect given the current thinking on the origin of the moon and the effects of gravity.
    If I had the time I’d create a graph of volume vs density. That would point out any real anomalies. Anyone got a few spare minutes? There’s probably something out there on the net already.

  8. #8 by Bodkin Van Horn on April 22, 2015 - 16:34

    I like the notion that humans from the future are advanced enough to travel back in time but can’t think of a better way of communicating information to us than using ambiguous ratios.

  9. #9 by David G on April 25, 2015 - 02:25

    Time traveling humans negates the need for traveling through space?

    Alan Butler needs to take a few basic astronomy classes. The Earth moves around the sun, the sun moves around the galaxy, and the galaxy moves through the universe.

    Earth is no where near were it was billions of years ago.

    Occam’s razor needs to be applied to the megalithic yard first. Ancient measurements usually end up being something simple.

  10. #10 by Stuart on May 10, 2015 - 03:57

    I looked over Alan’s website because I was really hoping he was just nervous about mass vs diameter, but he wasn’t. His website very clearly states, “The Earth is only 3.66 times larger than the Moon and yet its mass is 81 times greater!” And “The Moon is 3.66 times larger than Ceres and yet its mass is 81 times greater!.” (exclamation point – period is his writing, not mine)

    As two others before me pointed out, this is ridiculous. Mass follows volume, not length, and volume is length-cubed. Simple as that.

    His claim that no astronomer has questioned him or been able to prove him wrong is either a lie, self-delusion, willful ignoring, or just that astronomers really don’t care enough to point out something as simple and basic as mass follows volume, not length. If he really has a few professional astronomers who have “verified” his stuff but won’t come forward because it would be damaging to their careers – as he claimed at the end of the interview – yes, the reason it would be damaging to their careers is that they’re being stupid enough to not realize that mass follows volume, not length.

    And by the way, Marsh, he has no contact form on his website, no way to get in touch to point any of this out.

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