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Letsbereasonable's Avatar Jump to comment 76 by Letsbereasonable

Comment 70 by mmurray

Have you got an explicit example of this kind of behaviour that is not just the result of crappy journalism ?

Well of course the press will be all over anything that hints of sensational controversy. The boxer short-eating promise of one of the apparently speed-of-light-is-sacred scientists was a gift to copy writers struggling to get science on to the front pages. What next? Hacked e-mails from CERN?? Deniers in the pay of fossil-light companies?? Obscure scientists seeking a route to fame and fortune?? Just one more cyclotron and we'll be there.

I can't be as specific as you ask. The news came and the news went. One was left with the impression that a hallowed scientific truth had been challenged. Einstein - God-like in the panoply of the scientific enterprise - looked as if he might be asked to step down if the OPERA findings turned out to be valid. An unthinkable proposition. Who would replace him?

I saw in the public reaction of numerous of the scientists of which I refer a clinging to a dogma rather than an open-mindedness to the possibility of fundamental change. True, a billion times can an experiment tell a story, the same story, and it becomes the de facto truth. And then suddenly it tells a different story and instead of thrilling to the prospect of the scientific principle of falsification on the very cusp of vindication we had scientists swearing by the summary truth of the old way. Cerebral money was on the speed of light being an unchallengable truth.

Well in the end it may be, although you are quite correct in saying that the final word on physics is not in. Inductive reasoning can never lead to final truth. There's always, as Columbo used to say, 'Just one more question'.

Wed, 23 Nov 2011 11:48:03 UTC | #892545