This is a very large article, with many charts and pictures.
Scienceâ€™s Looming â€˜Tipping Pointâ€™
It is essential in these exuberant times to pay critical attention to both the observational constraints and to the basic mathematical laws, with a clear sense of what is solid theory and what is only unsupported speculation. This seeming platitude is offered here without jest, because at the present time there are â€˜theoriesâ€™ â€“ scenarios sometimes quite detailed â€“ seriously and often passionately held, for almost every exotic astronomical object that is not resolved in the telescope. In contrast, the one star that can be properly resolved â€“ the pedestrian Sun â€“ exhibits a variety of phenomena that defy contemporary theoretical understanding.
â€”Â Eugene N. Parker
A â€˜tipping pointâ€™ in science is supposed to happen when the weight of evidence against a theory tips the balance of opinion against it. But we are dazzled in this space age by computer-generated â€˜virtual realityâ€™ and the sheer technological brilliance ofÂ applied science. So it can come as a surprise to be told that modernÂ theoretical science is in crisis.
Todayâ€™s inverted science pyramid rests on the mathematics of imaginary particles and energy described by an acausal quantum theory that no one can explain. Occasionally, the more candid scientists admit they donâ€™t understand basic phenomena like mass, gravity, magnetism, lightning, galaxies and even the Sun! So it is not surprising that planets, stars and galaxies are being discovered that â€˜shouldnâ€™t existâ€™ and most of the visible universe seems to be a mere impurity overwhelmed by mysterious â€˜dark matterâ€™ and â€˜dark energy.â€™
In its role as a consensual belief system todayâ€™s â€˜settled scienceâ€™ is now confronted with surprising contradictions more frequently than they can be fitted to the dogmas. And because the fundamental mysteries persist unrecognized,Â Nobel Prizes are awarded for purely imaginary discoveries in physics. The weird nature of those discoveries should serve to warn us that science is at a tipping point of unparalleled magnitude....
Available in PDFÂ format