Where a forum has such generous freedoms that no-one is 'moderated', even when the location, frequency and subject material is so out of kilter with a forum's specifically nominated purpose, then it is inevitable that certain like-minded individuals will accumulate there without any due regard for the values that the forum once had, such as staying within the bounds of demonstrable scientific realism.
A major problem is that there is no new data on Polywell. So, we find other things to talk about, because most of us, no matter how eccentric, seem to find each others' ideas interesting.
Now, I realize there are a bunch of LENR boosters over in the LENR thread who are "true believers" in things like Rossi's scheme, but they seem to get constantly mocked. If you're looking for an offending thread, that one is a lot longer, and has a lot more mindless rhetoric than this one.
On this thread GIT and Paul March are fairly convinced that warp drives are an achievable technology. The rest of us would like to see such things created if possible, and so are interested in following any serious research. However, my impression is that people such as myself, Scott etc. are not convinced that such devices will ever be physically possible, but think that if certain poorly understood areas of physics turn out to operate in certain ways, such things might become possible.
The fact is that the people who have done thought experiments and relatively low-budget lab experiments into exotic propulsion have already ruled out ways that propulsion systems can not work. For instance, your objection a couple of pages back that a space-time warp would rip the ship itself apart. People like Kip Thorne and Alcubierre did the math two decades or more ago, and it was peer-reviewed and published, and such problems were quite apparent. So, they narrowed it down: if you want a usable warp drive or wormhole, the only way you can manipulate space time is to have a distortion around an area of flat space in which a vehicle would sit. The math indicates that to create a big enough distortion for any meaningful propulsion would require a negative energy density somehow concentrated in a thin shell around that area of flat space.
Having come to that conclusion a long time ago, people are taking an interest in the question: is creating such a thin shell of negative energy density possible? Woodward has one theory, "Sonny" White has a different one, both think it is possible... most of the rest of us say that we don't know, but we're very interested in whether any of the experimentation returns even a marginally positive result.
When someone describes the common basis of these theories - that you create a shell of very high negative energy density - it doesn't make him or her a "religious believer." It just means that the person is pointing out what is generally accepted by anyone who's studied the idea: if you were to be able to do this, you would have to do it with a thin shell of negative energy density.
I'll also note that the addition of warp drives and wormholes to the discourse has muddied the last twenty or so pages of this thread. Much of Woodward's Mach Effect research over the years was oriented towards a sublight propellantless drive, which is significantly more plausible than a FTL one. Woodward thinks the idea could carry over to FTL. No one really knows whether it will. Most of us are aware that there are a large number of steps still to be taken. In the case of Mach effect, these include:
1. A much better electrical system to power, designed by an experienced EE to power Woodward's PZT devices. Preferably an EE on site at least part of the time to help operate it as well. Also, hopefully, custom-designed ceramics. With such improvements, hopefully Woodward can get a consistent effect rather than a hit-and-miss one, and he can get it without having to fiddle with most of the setups before they work. If he can get a consistent and reproducible thrust signature, and especially if it went an order of magnitude or two higher, it would give many of us more confidence that we're not seeing some sort of noise.
2. If favorable results emerged from step 1, the next step would be to do what you've asked for a few times on this thread: a completely self-contained device. Such a thing would probably be significantly more expensive than the current experiments, but if step 1 is successfully achieved someone, or a few people, may be much more likely to spend a bit more money to find out if the effect is real. A self contained device should show thrust in many situations. It should, for instance, create meaningful movement in a pendulum arm if attached to it. It should also be able to slowly crawl across a table. Something like a table isn't a very good experiment, since simple vibration could cause something to creep across a table, but the basic point is that it should move around, even if very slowly, in various environments.
3. If step 2 is achieved the next thing would probably be to look for enough funding to add a device as a "microsatellite" secondary payload on a rocket. Say a Falcon 9 which is already launching a couple of large satellites, and has 1000 to 2000kg left over payload. A M-E powered mircosatellite weighing anywhere from a few to a few hundred kg could be sent up at relatively low cost as an extra. The claim made repeatedly is that early model M-E devices will have thrust in the same range as Hall thrusters or small ion drives. So, if the microsatellite flies around as well as one with a Hall thruster, Woodward's basic theory of gravity and inertia would be demonstrated. This alone would be fascinating for the study of physics.
4. If step 3 works, a lot of organizations would probably become interested. Funding at this point would probably become available to design and build much larger vehicles using the effect. At this point it would become an engineering, rather than study of physics issue.
5. At this point, physicists could start studying whether all aspects of Woodward's theory are correct. Does the M-E effect really also translate to being able to create negative energy densities and therefore the possibility of warp drive? I think at this point that there are only broad outlines of experiments you might conduct to study this.
6. If the "warp" effect were proven real, then people would start to study whether it's practical to actually engineer a device than can generate and control it consistently. If someone figures out how to do so, you could actually have a warp drive.
Of course, the whole idea could hit a show-stopper at any of those steps. Most of us are perfectly aware of this.
Similarly, Sonny White's theory would also have to go through many steps before demonstrated feasible.
Discussing it is really no different than having the "implications" sub-forum on this forum. Various propulsion schemes have been discussed from the basis that: "if Polywell works, we could maybe build this kind of spaceship with it." Similarly, here we are saying: "if Mach Effect theory is correct, we could maybe build this kind of spaceship with it." That's all.