"If you thought that science was certain - well, that is just an error on your part." Richard Feynman
The Way Forward
It is often joked that science progresses in three
1. New theories are ignored and/or ridiculed
2. Their importance is denied
3. It is pretended that the new theory was known all
The trouble is, many a true word is spoken in jest,
and right now we seem to be somewhere betweens stages
1 and 2, with the occasional foray into 3. For how much longer can the importance of Cosmical
Electrodynamics be overlooked?
needed: The hunt for a theory of everything is going nowhere
fast." Headline, New Scientist, 10th December 2005
At the very least it must be time for scientists from
different disciplines to sit down and compare notes.
"As plasma physicists look at astronomy
and astronomers look at plasma, the respective languages,
cultivated over many decades, can only accentuate the
gap in viewpoints. The language of 'plasma cosmology',
describing the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets,
includes many terms more familiar to electrical engineers
than to astronomers — Langmuir sheaths, z-pinches,
glow discharges, arc discharges, plasmoids.
"Astronomers have cultivated a different
language. Having banished charged plasma from space,
they concentrate on the much simpler behaviour of a
'magnetized gas', not the charge. Their equations for
the behaviour of plasma are typically those used to
describe flowing water and blowing wind, with a modification
due to magnetic effects — the math of classical mechanics.
Thus, their lexicon reflects their perspective, with
words one might expect from a weatherman — winds and
jets, bowshocks and shock waves, winds and rains of
charged particles, wind socks, etc.
"What NASA scientists call a 'surprising
rain of charged particles' in the vicinity of Jupiters
moon Io is interesting and dangerous weather for spacecraft.
But in an electric universe the phenomenon means much
more than a cosmic weather report. It is a signature
of electrical activity that could not fail to produce
a continuous stream of surprises for those unaccustomed
to the behaviour of electrified plasma."
"Men occasionally stumble over
the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and
carry on as if nothing ever happened." Winston
An Open Letter to the Scientific Community
A number of leading Scientists, Electrical Engineers,
and Independent Researchers decided to voice their concerns
in 2004, and signed a petition attached to the Open
Letter. It raised a number of issues, and was dubbed
'An Open Letter to Closed Minds' in some quarters.
The letter focussed on a number of areas of concern,
notably the Big Bang's increasing reliance on hypothetical
entities, a reluctance to consider alternative views,
and the effective bias of the Peer Review system, dominated
as it is by 'Big Bangers'. Many of the signatories are
involved in Plasma related research.
"I have always
said that the problem is the American Graduate School
System... When I qualified the best way to get ahead
was to thumb your noses at the old ones... But now you
have to do what you are told... In the Graduate school
system you have to learn what the professors are teaching
you... You get a few places like Harvard and they set
the fashion for every place... The road ahead is hammered
out." Sir Fred Hoyle
"I think there
is a problem with graduate education. I don't think
it teaches students to think or to become independent
researchers..." Jack Sulantec, Observational Astronomer
the end the universe will have its say." Sir Fred
In many ways we might seem to live in a liberal and
enlightened age, but the price of liberty, as they say,
is eternal vigilance.
The Peer Review
There are some who regard the Peer Review system as
infallible, but such a view is naive in the extreme,
even if we make allowances for occasional petty politics
and personal biases. Hannes Alfvén, as ever,
summed-up the situation eloquently:
The peer review system is satisfactory
during quiescent times, but not during a revolution
in a discipline such as astrophysics, when the establishment
seeks to preserve the status quo.
extraordinary thing is that scientists accept the Big
Bang and in the same breath deride the Creationists."
as The Medieval Church
"This is far from the first time this parallel
has been noted. The church, still in Galileo's time,
was the ultimate authority on the most important matters.
The church hierarchy was handsomely supported by princes
and working people, and the lifestyle of the cardinals
depended on having people believe their pronouncements
were important and profound. Due to complex political,
economic, and internal events, the church gradually
lost power to those who protested.
"After the ideals of the enlightenment and the
heady rise of astronomy and physics, however, we have
the present day situation where all authority in natural
law has passed to science. In return for important and
profound pronouncements on the nature of the universe,
academics are supported with high salaries, expensive
facilities, travel, prestige, and life time security.
They also bestow the power of this institution onto
successors of their own choosing."
10, Seeing Red, Halton Arp
"We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our knowlegde grows, so does the shore of our ignorance."
John Archibald Wheeler
In this thought provoking video, Dr David Avery explains why the Electric Universe could be the idea that changes the world. Is today's society based on an outdated mythology?
"...the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” Carl Jung
"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." Max Planck
The reason why many new ideas are dismissed as Conspiracy Theories
The dismissal of new ideas — no matter how reasonable and empirical — is an old problem. Thomas Kuhn has documented many such controversies throughout history in his masterpiece The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
Chris Reeve examines the more recent trend for attacking new ideas by labelling them as conspiracy theories, very often by uninformed and sensational would-be opponents.
"The real crisis in cosmology is that discovery does NOT change anything." Wal Thornhill
new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing
its opponents and making them see the light, but
rather because its opponents eventually die, and
a new generation grows up that is familiar with
it." Max Planck