There is a very interesting question on http://www.edge.org, this year. What scientific idea deserves to be abandoned?
At the time I am writing this, the hundred or so answers are not yet publicly known, they will be in a few days.
I have to declare that I have no relation to edge.org whatsoever, except that it’s, in my opinion, one of the best sites on the Internet.
Now, wait to see what those people will say.
I however independently think that at least 10 scientific concepts are outdated or obsolete or plain wrong from the start.
- Infinity in mathematics and everywhere else. I am sorry, but you can’t always add one to a number and get a bigger one. It is easy to add one to ten, but then it gradually becomes more and more difficult, until it’s eventually impossible. Infinity is just an illusion, related to that of a god. Something so big and powerful that it’s bigger than anything from the real world. My point exactly – it’s not a real world member.
- Popper-ism. That we can only negate a theory and can never confirm it with experiments. That no matter how many experiments support a theory, it’s not enough since a single experiment can destroy it. The truth is weirder. We can’t be entirely sure that the theory has indeed been smashed. We might have interpreted the results wrongly. That said, Popper-ism is really quite useless, if not even harmful because of its seductions to the irrelevant.
- Defining life. Despite the fact that many have argued convincingly that no definition of “life” can be given, biologists mostly still hold on to a bunch of half-baked definitions that they are so fond of. In reality, there is no need to differentiate between fruits and vegetables. In the same way there is no need to include or exclude viruses from the category of ‘alive’. Complexity in the Kolmogorov’s sense is a much better approach. Define complex entity, if you must! Don’t mind then when computers fall under this new definition along with “life”, and don’t mind when the mighty stars are excluded.
- Get rid of all interpretations of Quantum Mechanics. Just shut up and calculate! The idea that a million of your twins have been born during the last second, along with a whole Universe each, would perhaps have a place in the religion department if one existed, which it does not. So, for science’s sake, just shut up and calculate in Quantum Physics.
- All kinds of whining like Global Warming alarmism or the fight for biodiversity or anything like that – is not a science. It’s a politics for murky or not so murky causes.
- Abandon the relativistic length contraction! At least until you observe how the packets of protons in LHC have been shrunken when they reach near light speed. And not only the packets but the distances between them too. If consequentially Relativity fails, it matters not, back to the drawing board! Isn’t science all about the truth and not about famous scientists and institutions?
- Retire political correctness across science! As someone pointed out, for all the human qualities like intelligence, skin coloration and so on, only homosexuality is genetically determined from the politically correct point of view. All else is somehow influenced by the environment. Homosexuality has nothing to do with say being in a homosexual family in your childhood. Yet, if you are a Nobel prize winner for physics, as your father was, it’s his influence by helping you with homework. Not genetics, God forbid! So, get rid of PC in science!
These seven points addressed above should be administered an left behind as soon as possible. But why care, all the science will be automated one day. Seven billion “scientists” working for you inside your computer – that’s the real goal. Not only scientists, but “technologists” and “innovators” as well. We will abandon the whole of science except for the true statements it contains already. This before science as an institution will reform according to a single point listed above.