Episode 112 - Losing My Religion
The Thursday Thesis - 06/08/2018
You - like me, and like pretty much everyone else around us - grew up in the shadow of Science and Mathematics , the so-called “Queen of the Sciences”. To keep it simple, I’ll lump Mathematics and Science together and call them “Science”.
Science was drummed into us in school and was generally considered to be a very good thing indeed. Our science teachers were – at least to me – the keepers of The Knowledge – handing down morsels of erudition from the high table of the great minds: Newton, Einstein, Rutherford, Darwin, and the rest of that rabble.
In the absence of evidence for other people’s gods, science became my god – because it made everything understandable with its Laws and Universal Constants.
Then there was this thing called The Scientific Method – this is the route by which ideas are suggested, tested, reviewed and proven.
It goes something like this: let’s say that I have a brilliant idea (stop giggling, because it could happen) a spark of genius so dazzling that it will change the world forever. I cobble together an experiment that proves my idea to be an absolute belter and I write a properly formatted scientific paper and send it off to other scientists for “peer review”: this is their chance to poke holes in my idea and prove me wrong. This is a good thing: giving other people the chance to disprove my idea, or “falsify” it is Science’s way to eliminate the unworthy. In Science, nobody gets a pass and every new theory has to stand up to scrutiny.
Now, just to add a bit of intrigue, I’ll mention that theft is common within the peer-review process and there are plenty of well-documented cases of intellectual theft in the history of Science. This is not just a modern problem where vast amounts of money, job security and fame are at stake. In fact, Newton seems to have been a particularly good thief – and, as President of The Royal Society at the time - he could behave more-or-less as he pleased and knobble anyone who stood in his way.
“Why are you banging on about peer-review?” you ask impatiently.
Well, here’s the thing: Scientists are reviewing new theories and ideas from the standpoint of Science, and there are jobs, money and prestige at stake. Now, if I show up with my brilliant idea and change everything, then the Scientists reviewing my work are suddenly out of work. That’s where my faith in Science faltered and fell: the gatekeepers appear to be more interested in protecting their positions, incomes and the status quo than expanding the range of human understanding.
Real scientists follow the observable facts – the data – rather than dismiss the data because Science says that the data is wrong. And God forbid that any data breaks Science’s Laws makes it through peer-review: these strange phenomena are called “anomalous” and conveniently parked out at the fringes of mainstream Science, rather than dragged into the centre.
Anomalous data are a challenge to what we think we know, a red flag that there’s a hole in the theory or that the Laws of Science are not really laws but entrenched ideas that demand to be updated. That’s how Science – if it is to be worthy of the name – should be done: fact should determine theory, rather than the theory determining the permissible facts.
The current darling of Science, Quantum Theory, is busily attempting ever more tortuous ways of explaining everything in terms of itself, instead of holding its hands up and saying “buggered if we know” when confronted with the apparent paradoxes of what we understand as the real Universe.
Science has no clue at all about remote action at a distance, which defies the Law that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, and is at a loss to explain the observer effect, where the mere presence of a human being will affect the outcome of an experiment - depending on the human’s intention for the experiment.
Then there are the well-documented cases of remote viewing, precognition, the power of meditation to control machines – not to mention all those inventions that have been confiscated and disappeared from the public records.
And there’s Dark Energy and Dark matter, where “Dark” means “we can’t find it or explain it, but we think or know it’s there or should be there.
And please, please, please don’t get me started on medicine that hasn’t been able to do a thing for a person’s chronic pain for thirty-plus years, but I can turn off that pain in a few minutes.
And then there is the problem of Universal Constants...
The problem with Universal Constants (like “Big G”, or G – the gravitational force - and C, the speed of light on a vacuum) is that they change. Science has fixed the speed of light problem by creating a circular reference, rather than facing up to the fact that it ain’t a constant at all. In short, Science is lying to itself and to you and I about the speed of light – and if it’s lying about that, getting caught in that might lead you to ask what else it’s fibbing about.
You see, Science doesn’t know everything – not by a long chalk – but it pretends to. Things that happen but which break the Laws of Science are too often shut-down in peer review or dismissed as anomalous data.
That’s why I don’t believe in Science any more: it is a useful tool, as far as it goes, but it doesn’t cover everything. And it’s a dangerous situation where a single point of view dominates the discourse and intellectual fascism rules.
Science lays claim to absolute knowledge, when all it really has is a rag-bag of contingent theories that don’t always meet the challenges presented by observations of reality.
Science is no longer my religion and my faith, but is - at best - a rabble of dubious dogma fit to be debunked by a long, cold examination of the evidence.
Science is a self-reinforcing belief system – a fundamentalist religious sect, able only to see with its own eyes, narrowing its perspective day by day.
Belief – certainty, often without evidence – is static, ossified, and immovable. Logic and reason cannot assail it, because belief is irrational and not subject to examination.
And belief is the barrier to understanding.
Belief is the full-stop that ends thought.
And everything begins with a single thought...
© Neil Cowmeadow 2018
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