'One wonders where the clear thinkers and scientific rebels have disappeared to...'
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'One wonders where the clear thinkers and scientific rebels have disappeared to...'

Posted by ProjectC 
'Mathematicians deserve much of the blame for the Aristotelian inertia that has obstructed progress for so long.'

'...intellectual preference is never explicitly stated. It rather acts on the unconscious mindsets of theoreticians, for example when evidence for cratering on the planets is immediately, without a second thought, relegated to the eventful ‘early days’ of the solar system; when the possibility of unpredictable fluctuations in the planetary orbits is tacitly ignored; or when the pioneering work of plasma physicists like Kristian Birkeland or Hannes Alfvén does not rate a mention in standard textbooks on astronomy.

...

The seeds for change were sown when Gottfried Leibniz, a cardiac Aristotelian, declared with overweening confidence that natura non facit saltus, ‘nature does not make a leap’, and worked with zeal on the theory of a great continuous ‘chain of being’ that would join all forms of life. This anti-catastrophist attitude snowballed into a movement culminating in the 19th century in the paradigms of steady evolution championed by Charles Lyell, Charles Darwin and a host of minor figures, which overshadowed any remaining catastrophists completely.

On a big-picture view, the course of western science since then can be seen as an on-going effort to liberate the study of transient events in space from the obfuscating clutches of latter-day Aristotelians. The reality of meteorite falls continued to be denied as late as 1833. Sunspots long sat uncomfortably with many who preferred an ‘unblemished’ sun and Herschel’s claim that sunspots may have an effect on terrestrial weather and climate continued to be vociferously opposed even in the early 20th century.

...

Mathematicians deserve much of the blame for the Aristotelian inertia that has obstructed progress for so long. Leibniz was a mathematician; the findings of Richard Carrington and Kristian Birkeland, since proven true, were mainly opposed with mathematical arguments; and today’s astronomers have a penchant for such mathematical fantasies as string theory, black holes, Big Bang analysis, and so on, which prevent any genuine understanding of the universe.

This state of affairs is hardly surprising. By nature, mathematicians are attracted to numerical precision, regularity and a cosmos running with a clockwork stability. For those with an instinctive visceral aversion to phenomena that are irregular, unpredictable or hard to measure and calculate, a universe with cometary intrusions, planets prone to orbital adjustments and stars of which the age and distance cannot be confidently inferred must be a nightmare.'

- Rens Van der Sluijs, An Aristotelian Hangover, Dec 01, 2009


'Although many observations contradict the consensus view, and have been doing so for 40 years or more, those data are ignored or marginalized.'

'...the astronomical community and new, ever more arcane mathematical excursions have been added to the mix, as was discussed in part one.

Although many observations contradict the consensus view, and have been doing so for 40 years or more, those data are ignored or marginalized. High redshift quasars, as previously mentioned, are found in axial alignment with galaxies that possess substantially lower redshift. Indeed, they are sometimes connected to those lower redshift galaxies by "bridges" of luminous material.

Halton Arp was the lone voice among a crowd of scientists who conformed to the standard Big Bang model when he began to publish papers that did not demonstrate that inflation—or the Big Bang hypothesis—was valid.

...

...Their various redshifts do not indicate distance, but age from the time of ejection.'

- By Stephen Smith, Faster Than Light: Part Two, Dec 17 2009


'...reluctant Copernicans?'

'..Why are scientists such reluctant Copernicans? The problem seems to be about approval and fear of disapproval, jockeying for power and position. One thing seems observationally clear, lasting changes come slowly.'

- Halton C. Arp, Is Physics Slowly Changing? ('...beyond our present beliefs as our cosmology goes beyond that of Newton...')


'One wonders where the clear thinkers and scientific rebels have disappeared to...'

'Understand the logic here. Thilker has just reported on galaxy formation completely contradicting the dark matter halo model and yet concedes his findings do not really impact the conventional wisdom about dark matter. One wonders where the clear thinkers and scientific rebels have disappeared to in the astronomy community. Let us hope there are more Halton Arps out there somewhere.'

- Tom Wilson, The Leo Ring, Sep 17, 2009 ('...electromagnetic forces in plasma could be many times stronger than gravity...')


'...not isolated, [not] disconnected and [not] alone.'

'In an Electric Universe we are not isolated, disconnected and alone.'

- Wal Thornhill, Astronomy has little to celebrate in 2009!, 15 January 2009 ('Halton Arp, a Modern Day Galileo')