The Paradise of Thinking

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Scientific Paper
Title The Paradise of Thinking
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Author(s) Peter Marquardt
Keywords {{{keywords}}}
Published 2012
Journal Proceedings of the NPA
Volume 9
No. of pages 5
Pages 358-362

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"The Enemy of Science is not Error - but Inertness" - Henry Thomas Buckle (1821 - 1862), English historian "If you can't beat them, join them" has no justification in science, otherwise we would never had a Copernicus, a Kepler, a Galilei, a Giordano Bruno who courageously rose against dogma. Inertness is the easy path to dogma and a ?closed case? label on a still open issue. Physics suffers from too many premature ?case closed? labels. There is no closed case in natural science - that is one of its trademarks. The other trademark is self-correctness. Performing an experiment or setting up a theory means to keep track of conditions or assumptions, respectively. The photoelectric effect, Maxwell's equations, the ?ether hassle?, E = mc2, the Michelson-Morley experiment, quantization, tunneling, ... - the list is long and none of its items is a closed case. Take an elementary (really?) ?down-to-earth? problem like the oblique throw: Its customary treatment is inconsistent. You don't have to do any calculation to see that this ?flat earth? result is definitely wrong, violating time honored physical principles, no matter how satisfactory its numerical outcome. If we fail here to arrive at consistency, how can we hope to cope with the above list? It's rather a matter of psychology than of science that we don't slow down in our jumping at conjectures and keep our feet on solid ground instead and release a result only if we are (at least halfway) sure that it will stand the ?test of time?. Practically all fields of physics require continuous fresh thinking. Science is the ?paradise of thinking? and we should not let inertness expel us from it!