The suppression of inconvenient facts in physics
Posted by seumasach on October 5, 2010
Science is in a state of crisis. Where free inquiry, natural curiosity and open-minded discussion and consideration of new ideas should reign, a new orthodoxy has emerged. This ‘new inquisition’, as it has been called by Robert Anton Wilson (2) consists not of cardinals and popes, but of the editors and reviewers of scientific journals, of leading authorities and self-appointed “skeptics”, and last but not least of corporations and governments that have a vested interest in preserving the status quo, and it is just as effective in suppressing unorthodox ideas as the original. The scientists in the editorial boards of journals who decide which research is fit to be published, and which is not, the science bureaucrats at the patent office who decide what feats nature allows human technology to perform, and which ones it does not, and the scientists in governmental agencies who decide what proposals to fund, and not to fund, either truly believe that they are in complete knowledge of all the fundamental laws of nature, or they purposely suppress certain discoveries that threaten the scientific prestige of individuals or institutions, or economic interests. Research that indicates that an accepted theory is incomplete, severely flawed, or completely mistaken, is frequently rejected on the grounds that it “contradicts the laws of nature”, and therefore has to be the result of sloppiness or fraud. At the heart of this argument is the incorrect notion that theory overrides evidence.
In true science, theory always surrenders to the primacy of evidence. If observations are made that, after careful verification and theoretical analysis, are found to be inconsistent with a theory, than that theory has to go – no matter how aesthetically pleasing it is, how much mathematical elegance it contains, how prestigious its supporters are, or how many billions of dollars a certain industry has bet on it.
This article will show that a different reaction occurs with disturbing regularity. Anomalous evidence is first ignored, then ridiculed, and if that fails, its author attacked. Scientific conferences will not admit it to be presented, scientific journals will refuse to publish it, and fellow scientists know better than to express solidarity with an unorthodox colleague. In today’s scientific world, the cards are stacked heavily against true scientific breakthroughs. Too many careers are at stake; too many vested interests are involved for any truly revolutionary advancement in science to take place any more. All too often, scientific truth is determined by the authority of experts and textbooks, not by logic and reason.
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