Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Tragic State of Modern "Science"

Recently I got into a discussion with a very dear and intelligent friend about the current state of modern cosmology. When I began to challenge some of the existing theories and ideas that supposedly define our universe, his response to me was, "Well, then you don't believe in science, do you?"

What appears below is my response to his assertion:

Who doesn't believe in science? I most assuredly do! I just don't believe in everything the scientists postulate about the cosmos, given that many of their ideas are mathematically and theoretically driven, not observationally and/or inductively driven.

The thing is, when one is deducing the nature of reality based on a theory, and the observations do not match the theory, the obvious conclusion to draw is that one's theory is incorrect. That's because scientific deduction means, "to move from the general to the specific." Scientifically speaking then, a theory is a generalization of the truth, while the observations are the specific evidence being used to support that theory. In theoretical physics today, however, the conclusion too often being drawn when the two do not match is that the theory remains correct, but there exists "stuff" out there that would change the observations to make them fit the theory but that we, alas, simply cannot see.

That, my friend, is not science. It's religion, masquerading as science. The tragedy of the above "process" is that it leads to billions of dollars being spent, along with countless man-hours, on attempts to find the imagined elusive, exotic stuff that will prove the theory correct. And even when something has been postulated to offer indirect evidence of the existence of that stuff, often based on the flimsiest of information, new observations made with better instrumentation almost immediately throw another monkey wrench into these cosmic equations and theories.

Today we have all grown way too comfortable with imagining loads of new exotic, invisible "stuff" that simply has to be in the universe – because the theories demand its existence! – instead of asking the obvious question: "Hey, do you think there might be a better explanation for what we're observing?"

Because, you know, careers and fortunes and reputations have been founded on those theories, and the kings and kingmakers do not suffer gladly being told their entire lives have been dedicated to rationalizing a bunch of hokum. So now we have baked into our "scientific" theories, things like black holes - which cannot be seen, thus cannot be directly proved or disproved (which itself makes a travesty of the scientific method) – and we instead look for indirect, trace evidence of black hole existence that we can use to say, "See? Over there. That must be a black hole, because nothing's there, but that's where a gravity field has to be located for our theory to be correct."

And then one day new observations reveal high velocity jets of energy shooting out of the so-called empty space that contains the mythical black hole – which, of course, totally violates the theory that a black hole is so dense that nothing can escape so the physicists spend the next twenty years frantically scribbling new descriptions of black holes and reworking their mathematical formulas to make black hole existence possible in ways that do allow for high speed, glowing jets of escaping energy to occur. Which in turn leads to the so-called "discovery" of new forms of exotic, invisible black holes that periodically shoot jets of energy.

So these days, whenever and wherever jets are now observed, theoretical physicists confidently say, "Look! There's another black hole!" And then pat themselves on the back for having "proved" by virtue of jet observation that their imaginary friend, the black hole, actually exists. Even though we knew such jets existed long before the mathematicians tortured their black hole formula into accepting jets as part of their basic structure.

Again, all this is being done without ever fully considering whether there might be another, much simpler explanation for these jets that does not require an invisible black hole to exist.

This so-called “process” gets repeated ad nauseum in modern cosmology. And what makes it worse is that much of this exotic "stuff" we now imagine is out in space cannot be recreated or tested in our laboratories here on Earth. We, however, allow our cosmologists the freedom to insert that stuff into equations that supposedly define our larger reality with literally zero evidence it can even exist in reality!

Such is the pathetic state of modern cosmology. It has long ago left "science" in the dust, and has transformed itself into a religious belief system filled with mathematical dogmas and supernatural objects that most dare not challenge for fear of being excommunicated. 

Last but not least, the handful of really, really smart people who are able to understand the complex mathematics that underpin all the above nonsense will, when confronted by those who say with great sincerity, "But hey...your emperor has no clothes!" look at them like they are handicapped children, pat them gently on the head and reply, "I'm so sorry, but you're just not smart enough to see what we, the Brilliant Ones, have been able to see and understand."

That in itself is infuriating to those common-sensical types who simply wish to apply the process of direct observation to contradict all the crap being put forth by the intelligentsia – which is how science was intended to work in the first place. Science is meant to be a rigorous study filled with pain, frustration and disappointment, because it is based on the understanding that a single contradictory observation holds the power to falsify an entire theory. It was not intended to be a imaginative journey down an exotic rabbit hole, filled with wondrous delights and fantasy creations that we can't observe in our everyday, regular world.

That, my friend, is the nature of science.

Not: "Hey, I know...let's invent some exotic new shit, the existence of which nobody can challenge, so we can successfully bend our disappointing observations to fit our theoretical design."