The Virtue of Heresy: Confessions of a Dissident Astronomer
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Heresy: The declaration of opinions contrary to prevailing doctrine; opposition to dogma; unorthodox approach to science; method employed by one's intellectual enemy; individual behaviour often attracting the label "crank". In the course of using essential theories of science in my decades-long attempt to demystify the heavens, I became increasingly frustrated by ideas that just didn't harmonise. If we were uncovering the truth, I reasoned, then the component parts devised by disparate specialists should dovetail neatly together. But they don't. Classical Newtonian mechanics doesn't see eye-to-eye with Einstein's relativity; both are sneered at by quantum mechanics. Theories highly successful in their own right seemed when compared with one another to be describing different universes. I decided that it was scientific methodology that had gone horribly wrong. I was convinced that some of the fundamental hypotheses upon which I based my enquiry were by strict analysis utterly invalid. They did not describe reality. That was a train-smash, both for me and for the progress of science, as I understood it. This book is an account of that crisis. But fear not, this is not a high-tech science report for ?ber-geeks. It's a storybook filled with myth and adventure. It's science unplugged.