Who says they couldn't? They just didn't in this case. Why? Because what the image shows is the original trace drawn out on a paper feed. It will have no axis labels because the paper the chart is drawn on does not have any. Axis scales are determined by the settings of the machine, and would be added later if they deemed it necessary. The original trace would have had no labels on it. I used to use such a machine in a previous job.The lack of labelling just isn't helping. If the amateurs could provide this information why couldn't Jodrell Bank.
Anyway, the problem with Webbo's argument is that you can't dismiss a piece of evidence simply on the basis that you can spin a yarn. Maybe robot return probes could have brought back the rocks (they couldn't but let's suppose that explanation is plausible), but without even one iota or kappa of support for this alternative expalantion, it has no use. We can't go through life dismissing what we see by hmm-ing and ha-ing with "Maybe this, maybe that" when we have absolutely nothing to lead us down the road of this or that. We start to go down that solipsistic route that fattydash (?) took us a while back on Apollohoax.net.
We have rocks. It was rigorously documented how they were collected. Combined with everything else, that's more than sufficient proof because any meaningless speculation about robot probes is pointless and only of value to people who don't want to except the logical conclusion.
The ALSEP design required extensive manual assembly and deployment, and the experiments spanned up to about 100 meters. The design, manufacture, test, and deployment of the ALSEPs was documented in exhaustive detail. The ALSEPs were loaded onto spacecraft which were launched (and tracked) to the Moon. The heat sources were loaded separately into external casks, which required manual removal before insertion into the generator. (My boss was in a backroom at MCC supporting the first such operation.) Years of data was received at tracking stations around the world from the places the ALSEPs were shown to be emplaced, and matched exactly the characteristics of the devices which were unquestionably built. The data is still available at the NSSDC, and some of it (long stored on magnetic tapes, microfilm, etc.) has even been conveniently placed on line.
That's good enough for proof in any but the most solipsistic sense. Especially when contrasted to your absolute lack of any evidence for any alternative - not only an alternative design, or an alternative robotic capability far exceeding that known to exist at the time, but also of a completely different program of which there is no trace - budgetary, technical, or otherwise.
Simply speculating that NASA could have done something means nothing.
Webbo seems to be saying that "this" evidence (i.e., radio traffic) cannot by intself prove or disprove anything. It's merely contributory evidence, and this differs importantly from proof that might arise from an aggregation of evidence. Okay, I presume I don't need to discuss parsimony today any more than I have over the past 10 years here.
What I meant for Webbo to answer is what constitutes "proof" in an historical context, meaning what we should do since we don't have the ability to go back in time and observe the events firsthand. On the one hand it's a "strength" argument. How surely can we know anything in history? And at what point do we conclude that the prevailing scenario is reasonably unassailable? On the other hand it can be a "scope" argument, which is what I think he was originally alluding to in his answer and what you've said is unchanged by my response. Very well, I agree that the "scope" aspect of the argument is correct as Webbo stated it and as you've endorsed it. As long as we're going to consider only radio traffic, that one point can't determine conclusively that Apollo missions were authentic. But as others have pointed out (and as Webbo apparently concedes), we don't consider evident points in isolation. We consider them together, as they naturally appear, and conclude with parsimony that the simplest explanation for all of them put together is the authenticity of the Apollo missions.
However I can't agree strongly enough with Glom on the "strength" aspect. You can't simply disregard evidence because you can imagine a tall tale that otherwise may explain it. Webbo's claim amounts to, "It's only proof if it's absolutely impossible for it to be otherwise." This is utterly not how real investigation or inquiry happens. You have to show that the alternative is supported by a preponderance of evidence. That's the only "plausible" that matters. This is merely the case of the affirmative rebuttal. It's straightforward, and spinning a yarn that differs from the evident answer doesn't have any proof value.
For example, say an individual is the victim of a hit and run. Any car could be used as evidence that it was the vehicle in question as it agrees with the evidence of the injuries that were received by the victim. Clearly that's absurd.
I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?
The Leif Ericson Cruiser
With all the excitement of tracking the landing as it was in progress, I doubt that adding accurate scales to the doppler chart was at the top of their list. It was just another little piece of data which they probably never even expected would be much use in analysing the mission, just something interesting to show people afterwards.
Jodrell Bank was not tracking the Apollo 11 mission for anything much other than their own interest in the flight. They were not a critical part of the process. They were not compiling a detailed record of the flight. They were not officially involved. There is a common notion, it seems, that because Apollo 11 was so historically important meticulous records must have been kept by anyone who did anything involved with it. Sorry, but regardless of its status as a professional facility, the stuff from Jodrell Bank relating to Apollo 11 is no more than an interesting footnote. They didn't annotate their charts. So what?Whatever the reasoning they didn't provide any labelling. Ordinarily that would normally be a minor issue for most, but as evidence which they are happy to provide on the net, for probably the most important scientific endeavour in the history of mankind, and they haven't bothered to spend 30 secs completing their part of the historical record. It's just a shame that's all.
They were, however, professionals and had a lot of experience of tracking spacecraft. If they say that is a trace of the LM, then I am rather inclined to the idea they do actually know what they were tracking at any given point on the flight, and they do know what the curves and wiggles represent. Apollo 11 was not that long ago, and the people who made that trace knew when they were still calibrating and adjusting the scales and when the machine was actually recording once the adjustment was completed. We don't have to assume those wiggles are anything other than what the people who actually made the chart say they are.
In fact I would go so far as to say I have found the explanation for that dip in the trace just prior to landing.
The Apollo 11 landing site was sufficiently displaced from the centre of the Moon's disc that the entire decent phase involved the LM moving towards the receiver at Jodrell Bank as it followed the curve of the lunar surface. As Armstrong assumed manual control he made adjustments to the LM's pitch angle, which affected his forward velocity. Those are the humps and wiggles in the line: not varying altitude, or varying 'up and down' velocity but varying forward velocity. On the ALSJ Armstrong is quoted as saying that just prior to landing, at about 30 feet up, he noticed a slight drift rearwards which he corrected just prior to touchdown.
That is what i believe the dip just prior to landing is: the slight rearward drift of the LM reported by Armstrong.
If I have ten pieces of evidence and you affirm a different speculative alternative for each, and at the end of the day those ten alternatives are dissociated, contradictory, and have no corroborating evidence, then I'm not compelled to accept any or all of them. If, in contrast, I can answer those same ten pieces of evidence with a single explanation, and show corroborating evidence for that singular explanation, then I win the day.
Distilling multiple bits of evidence into a single coherent verdict, if possible, is exactly what a court of law attempts to accomplish. It's classic reasoning by induction -- from specific to general. If you're going to invoke a legal standard of proof here, then the coherence of evidence toward that one verdict is exactly what a judge or jury will test, not whether you can conjecturally argue each bit of proof. The single verdict with respect to the multitude of evidence for the Moon landings is a clearly "legal" conclusion.
What I refer to in my answer is the notion of an affirmative rebuttal. In court you can either undermine the prosecutor's case as a non sequitur from the evidence, or you can propose a more viable alternative to explain that evidence. Here's a real-world case to illustrate the former: a woman accused a man of committing a lewd act while driving his car next to hers. The prosecutor informs the defense that they have photographs of the act as proof. However, when produced, the photographs depict only a shadowy figure from the shoulders up. The prosecutor's case fails because it does not identify the accused, and it does not depict any illegal act. Verdict: acquittal. The defense in this case had no burden of proof; they merely had to show that the prosecutor had not met his burden of proof.
Another real-world case for the latter strategy. Plaintiff brings suit against a motorist in a rear-end collision, alleging that it resulted in severe back injury. Medical testimony verifies the extent of the injury. However, the defense argues that the plaintiff's back injury was due instead to different causes. Defense first produces expert scientific testimony based on the post-accident condition of the vehicles and the forensic examination of the accident scene to show that insufficient energy was transferred in the collision to cause the evident injuries. Defense next produces evidence in the form of employer's testimony, medical records, and eyewitness testimony to substantiate a pre-existing injury. Verdict: suit dismissed; the preponderance of evidence shows that the pre-existing condition was the more likely cause of the plaintiff's evident medical condition.
But in this case, the defense -- in proposing an alternative cause -- had the burden to show that such an alternative was not just plausible, but had in fact occurred. The defense cannot merely say, "But Your Honor, it's plausible that other circumstances may have caused these injuries." Of course it's plausible. But did it really happen? This is where hoax theorists inevitably fall down. They can't prove that any of their supposed alternatives really happened, and in many cases can't even show that their alternative is plausible. The ability to spin a tall tale does not produce the rigor necessary to dismiss evidence.
And that's good enough, especially given your utter inability to show a single iota of evidence that this difficult and unlikely course was actually followed.Very difficult and extremely unlikely.
Equivocation. The more parsimonious explanation is that they actually did it, not that they skillfully simulated having done it. If they have the capability to do it for real, and there's no corroborating evidence for simulation, then the only logical explanation for evidence of apparent success is actual success. Anything else is wishful thinking.But for an organisation that was actually able to send men to the surface of the moon and back on multiple occaisions; they would not find it impossible.
Begging the question.Ordinarily that would normally be a minor issue for most, but as evidence which they are happy to provide on the net, for probably the most important scientific endeavour in the history of mankind, and they haven't bothered to spend 30 secs completing their part of the historical record. It's just a shame that's all.
Let us consider the documentary evidence of a frequency plot exhibiting a Doppler shift. We want to explain how it arose. If we stipulate that it's the actual plot of a radio reception associated with Apollo and not just a line drawn on paper creatively by some backroom flunky, then we have to explain it in some way that relates to the actual reception of radio energy. One hypothesis is that it's the plot of an Apollo spacecraft approaching a landing on the Moon. In support of that hypothesis is corroborating evidence in the form of theoretical confirmation that a landing spacecraft should exhibit that Doppler-shift profile, of design documents and surviving examples of the alleged spacecraft available for inspection, of witnessed and documented launches of that spacecraft, and of eyewitness testimony from those who purport to have operated that spacecraft either on board or as ground controllers.
The other hypothesis is that the radio energy was produced by an unmanned orbiting spacecraft. Initially both are a priori plausible. However, theoretical analysis rejects the dynamics of an orbiter as able to produce the evident Doppler-shift profile. No evidence can be produced to show that any such spacecraft was designed, built, launched or operated. No eyewitness testimony can be produced for the existence or operation of any such spacecraft.
So considering these two a priori equivalent hypothesis on the further merit of the available evidence, one is clearly more likely than the other. Amen therefore to the plausibility in fine.
In toto, we find that the same hypothesis that explains the Doppler plot also easily explains several other points of evidence, such as the Moon rocks and the photography. The success of this hypothesis at the large scale is the essence of parsimony.
"Plausibility" is a many-splendored thing. In one sense there is simply the absence of absurdity. If one argues that invisible transvestite space cows flew to the Moon and brought back the Apollo samples, and that's how we're able to have convincing specimens, then we reject it with amusement. It's patently absurd and fails a test of a priori plausibility. However being a priori plausible does not alone make something a viable alternative. Robotic sample-return landers and laboratory fabrication are commonly offered as a priori plausible alternatives, and they pass a priori muster because the contain nothing that is patently absurd to the lay trier of fact. However the proponents of the laboratory fabrication hypothesis ultimately cannot describe a viable method for doing it, and when the matter passes into the realm of experts (for it is an expert question), the answer is invariably no, it cannot be done. Hence the laboratory hypothesis is not ultimately plausible, first because it fails to produce a testable claim, and second because it fails to conform to the all the evidence that it would be expected to produce or explain. "It must 'somehow' have been done," is not testable. And geology lab principles and practice are part of the evidence that hypothesis has to match, even if that evidence is not strictly related to Apollo.
Similarly the proponents of the sample-return hypothesis cannot show evidence that NASA obtained the Apollo samples this way: no designs, records of production, evidence of launch or operation. Further, the capabilities of other contemporary sample-return technology pale in comparison to the requirements implied by the plethora of available specimens. Hence this alternative is not ultimately plausible either. It's unlikely that significant engineering (i.e., clandestine sample-return missions) would leave no recollection or trace and no pricks of conscience. While absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, that doesn't allow an evidence-free hypothesis to compete viably against another one for which there is evidence. The "absence of evidence" condition is an absolutist argument while we're arguing relative strength here. And size matters. Just because something can be done qualitatively does mean that quantitative arguments are irrelevant. If the prevailing technology is able only to produce 1 unit of material, arguing that it can have been used to produce 100 units of material is not supported by the qualitative possibility alone. That shortfall affects plausibility.
You can't stop at a priori plausibility for some hypotheses and say that this puts them on equal footing with another hypothesis for which ample evidence of actuality can be produced.
To date, short of using CGI, faking lunar gravity has not even come close to being accurate - in 1969-72 hardly!
I don't know, that's what I took from your post.