the University of Southampton ecostory sustainability radio drama prize. Note that the scripts aren't available to read, and I don't have any material to pass on at the moment, but I'll keep everyone posted if it ends up being published or broadcast.
The Guardian newspaper has written an article about this new report, which is very useful as it gives us some comments from the authors, as well as others in the field, and we don't have to pay to read it (unlike the science article itself, which is pay-to-view, even though it should be in the public domain… grrr). The article includes the comment:
“We have never seen anything like this in the 24 years we have studied the supermassive black hole,” said Andrea Ghez, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a senior author of the research. “It’s usually a pretty quiet, wimpy black hole on a diet. We don’t know what is driving this big feast.”
This isn't the only confusion about Sagittarius A*. There is another stellar object near Sagittarius A*, which is known as G2. Astronomers aren't clear what G2 is; some say it's a gas cloud, others say it's a star. The problem is that recently, G2 drifted very close to Sagittarius A*. It should have been mashed, or stretched out as it entered the gravity well of that huge, stellar object, except that it wasn't, it moved past seemingly unscathed. It would seem that the Sagittarius A* black hole, as the astrophysics have identified it, isn't behaving like a black hole. (For the record, some readers might be confused at how a black hole could be confused with a star, but because huge amounts of dust and gas block our view of the centre of our galaxy, it isn't easy to see what's there)
The official physics description of Sagittarius A* therefore seems to be a mess but there is another physics theory which explains its current behaviour very clearly. Dr Paul LaViolette thinks that Einstein's Relativity is wrong, that there is an ether and that our universe is continually being seeded by new matter, especially where concentrations of matter already exist. His theories are fascinating, logical and solve many existing physics problems, some of which I discuss in my book 'How science shows…' I heartily recommend his book Subquantum Kinetics. It's not an easy read and requires some understanding of physics principles, but it's hugely thought-provoking.
Dr LaViolette explains that the centre of our galaxy doesn't contain black holes, since black holes can't exist (which would explain why physicists still can't resolve Einstein's Relativity and Quantum Physics when it comes to black holes). Instead, our galaxy's centre contains huge hyperon stars, which are made of vast amounts of matter. Since new matter is being formed at the centre of these stars, continually, they will inevitably get bigger and more exotic, like Przybylski's Star, until they eventually explode, emitting vast amounts of matter and energy in the process. According to Dr LaViolette's calculations, there is a huge burst from the centre of our galaxy every 12,800 years. This burst is so large that it sends out a wave of energy, matter and dust, outwards, throughout the Milky Way, affecting all star-systems on the way. The gravity wave that accompanies this burst is so strong that it has entrained the axial spin of our planet. This is why our planet's precessional cycle (the time take for the axis of our planet to go around in a circle) is exactly twice the time between eruptions because our planet has been entrained to align on its N/S, then S/N orientation with the centre of the galaxy at each eruption event. As Dr LaViolette explains in his book Earth Under Fire, the last time we were hit by this wave, and thereby bombarded by meteorite and swamped with cosmic dust, was approximately 12,800 years ago, when the Younger Dryas Impact Event occurred.
In previous articles on this website, I've explained that there seems to ancient warnings that another catastrophic stellar event is imminent. The ancient site at Gobleki Tepi is one example. Another is an ancient Mesopotamian legend. Dr LaViolette's theories give a scientific explanation as to why we've been given these warnings. Worryingly, the evidence reported in this week's science paper on the increasing activity of Sagittarius A* fully supports the idea that the massive objects at the centre of our galaxy are getting ready to explode. At the end of the guardian article, the author writes:
The black hole is about 26,000 light years from Earth and poses no danger to our planet.
Unfortunately, this may be completely untrue. What we may be seeing is more akin to the rumblings of a volcano, shortly before it erupts. If Dr LaViolette's theories are correct, and Sag A* does explode (or in fact has exploded, considering the light is 26,000 years old), then we'll soon get the wave of light, dust and energy from that massive, stellar eruption. Its source might be 26,000 light-years distant to us, but the gravity-energy wave would be directly behind the light we're seeing now. It's a grim prospect; the last time we were hit, it was the end of civilisation.
Sceptical viewers may conclude that the story is a fake and that Dean is severely distorting the story to support his agenda, or simply lying. Personally, I can see is no evidence that he is lying. Also, there is a terrible danger in assuming someone is lying to you, just to suit your own belief system; it's called paranoia. I find Dean's experience very interesting; it doesn't prove anything but it's a fascinating story nevertheless.
In this video, as well as the previous video I've blogged about, Radin ponders why the scientific establishment adamantly refuses to accept the consequences of such a huge amount of experimental evidence, along with the conclusions made by many esteemed scientists over the last century. He notes that the New York Times recently went so far as to warn people not to even entertain the conclusions of an upcoming science paper, even before it was published, because it broke the established paradigm.
It's a very important question; how can all this consistent and repeatable evidence be ignored? One reason is financial. Those at the top of the money-tree in science decide what the scientific establishment believe and disbelieves. That small elite at the financial summits hold the purse strings and the vast majority of scientists tow the dogmatic line because they have bills to pay and they want to progress in their careers. A few scientists may risk their reputation and careers to put forward theories that are against the official line but they are few in number and so can easily be marginalised and excluded from the journals and senior posts. Our scientific establishment certainly does include many principled and brilliant scientists but, because it is a hierarchical, financial organisation, it is cursed to follow the wishes and personal agendas of its financial overlords. As for what their agendas are, and why they're so keen to block a mind-first understanding of reality, that's a topic for another article.
Secondly, there's also a huge problem known as the herd effect. On that matter, I'll leave you with the classic Candid Camera sequence from the 1950's:
‘Luck’ by Adrian Ellis
Most people would like to be lucky; they’d wish that random events such as a lottery draw would swing their way and give them a windfall. They’d love to know that when they’d meet their future soulmate, they’d not - in the inimitable words of Alanis Morissette - then ‘meet his beautiful wife’. But everyone knows, at the end of the day, that the world is ruled by random chance. What happens is entirely beyond a person’s control and is simply pure chance.
Oddly enough, science can show us that the very opposite may be true. To explain this, we’ll need the help of a warmongering ex-Hungarian with a penchant for memorising telephone directories, a deeply uncertain cat and a man with a very large moustache. Read More...
Another scientist who's been conducting a similar type of experiment is Dean Radin, working on the West Coast of the United States. Dr Radin has written a number of books, including 'Supernormal', which I have reviewed already. He's also presented several videos to show, carefully, methodically and thoroughly, the experimental case for our minds influencing quantum-scale events. Here's one video presented by him that I do recommend:
As Dr Radin explains, the experimental results his team have produced - to support the idea that our minds influence reality at the quantum scale - are highly convincing. The results are far above any chance result. To speak scientifically, they are 4 sigma in deviation from the norm. in other words, it is extremely unlikely that the results of his team's experiments are just a chance occurrence. Their results also correspond fully with the results Dr Jahn produced in his long series of experiments.
In his summing up in the video, Dr Radin agrees with comments I have made in the past about how our Western scientific establishment rejects these results. He accepts that the current situation is no different to Galileo inviting the Catholic Priests to look through his telescope. The powers-that-be in the Western World in our time do not want the current dogmatic paradigm of Scientific Materialism changed, even though it is fundamentally flawed and irrational.
Hopefully, fingers crossed, the change will happen regardless. To quote Napoleon Bonaparte:
“There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the mind."
But don't take it from me. Here’s what Richard Feynmann (who won a Nobel Prize for physics for co-developing Quantum Electro-Dynamics) said about such an image in his book ‘Q.E.D. The strange theory of light and matter’ (page 84):
“Shortly after electrons were discovered, it was thought that atoms were like little solar systems, made up of a central, heavy part (called the nucleus) and electrons, which went around in orbits, much like the planets do when they go around the sun. If you think that’s the way atoms are, then you’re back in 1910.”
During his book, Heisenberg stays very much in the middle ground of the philosophical interpretations of quantum physics. He never concludes that the mind is required for matter to appear out of the quantum realm, unlike Wigner and Von Neumann, but neither does he follow the lead of Einstein and doggedly advocate the Classical Physics viewpoint of an external reality that is present and real all the time, whether we observe it or not. Instead, he talks calmly about what he thinks we can reliably conclude from the experimental evidence and the mathematics, and how that is elegant and beautiful and sufficient just by itself. Read More...
To start off with, I'll explain the Influence Idea again, briefly. It's surprisingly simple. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that everything in our physical universe becomes more disordered over time; this is called Entropy, but something strange is going on because Life becomes more ordered over time. Life grows, develops and reproduces, constantly increasing order in the universe. Since Life exists in the universe, and is clearly acting entirely against Entropy, and Entropy governs all physical things in the universe then, logically, Life must be being created and maintained by a non-physical, positive, organising influence originating from outside physical reality.
Hal Hodson reports that Google's software for ranking pages on their trustworthiness will make its judgement by drawing on a store of facts gathered from the internet. Isn't this circular logic? How would the Google system handle a statement such as "glass is a liquid"? On the internet, the notion that glass is a slow-moving liquid, resulting in medieval windows that are thicker at the bottom, seems far more prevalent than the truth – that glass is a solid and medieval glaziers placed the thicker end of blown glass sheets at the bottom. Since nothing on the internet is unanimously agreed, Google's software would have to take the majority consensus. If this happened, there is a good chance that any site dispelling a popular misconception would appear far down the list of search results, making it harder, not easier, for people to learn the truth. Popular fiction would dominate because the software would add it to the Knowledge Vault and use that reference point to downgrade the truth. Intelligent people can make clever software, but no one makes intelligent software.
This project also reminded of the physicist Max Planck's comment about new ideas. He said:
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
The article then discusses another interesting possibility, that gravity is not a force as such, but instead is a hidden property of light that causes all light paths to reduce in scale over time. I've talked about bats in caves to help communicate this idea, but I haven't drawn any illustrations, so it is a bit dry.
The last part of the article puts forward another idea, that if gravity is the scalar reduction over time of the light pattern that is reality, then the assumption that gravitational mass and inertial mass (known as the Equivalence Principle) may not true for stars, due to their role as massive light creators.
There's a very good chance that my article is tosh, but it's still fun to speculate! ;-)
Greetings! It's cold here in Blighty but it's beautiful in the sunshine.
The beginning of February is only a week away. I was planning to bring out the second issue of 'Visiting Alien' magazine. Unfortunately, there haven't been enough downloads to justify putting out another issue at the moment; but that's okay, as putting the magazine together and working on its contents has already reaped creative dividends.
While assembling chapter 2 of 'Chloë solves the Universe', I delved a little deeper into the history of the Neumann-Wigner hypothesis. This is the idea, put forward by two brilliant scientists, that our minds must be outside of the physical system and influencing it, in order for ghostly quantum superpositions to turn into real objects like photons and electrons. I discovered that this viewpoint wasn't just the view of two mavericks. It was actually fully or partly supported by a host of famous quantum physicists, astrophysicists and mathematicians. Wolfgang Pauli, John Von Neumann, Max Planck, Arthur Eddington, Erwin Schrödinger, Eugene Wigner and Werner Heisenberg were all of the view that materialism was no longer valid. Quantum physics had effectively killed that belief. Instead, they concluded that reality had to be dependent on the mind, either being a creation of the mind or a separate construction to the mind that the mind actively influenced. They debated about this matter for decades. Like any long-running debate, the views of those involved shifted but for many of them, the mind-first idea became more valid over time, rather than less.
I think it's very surprising that this important debate has never been written about in a popular science book (as far as I know). That may be because popular science books are usually written by senior scientists who are still active in science. The problem with this approach is that it may lend weight to the scientist's views but nowadays, any scientist who espouses a view that isn't materialist is endangering his or her scientific career, whether or not the evidence supports such a view. In recent decades, many senior scientists, doctors, biochemists and neurologists have produced evidence strongly indicating that the materialist view is wrong but in most instances, they've been careful not to make any statements but simply present the evidence. This is a shame, and it's not scientific, but there you go. Eugene Wigner, who won a Nobel Prize in 1963, wrote of this problem in his article 'remarks on the mind-body question':
"In the words of Neils Bohr, 'the word consciousness, applied to ourselves as well as others, is indispensable when dealing with the human situation'. In view of all this, one may well wonder how materialism, the doctrine that 'life could only be explained by sophisticated combinations of physical and chemical laws' could so long be accepted by the majority of scientists. The reason is probably that it is an emotional necessity to exalt the problem to which one wants to devote a lifetime. If one admitted anything like the statement that the laws we study in physics and chemistry are limiting laws, similar to the laws of mechanics which exclude the consideration of electrical phenomena, or the laws of macroscopic physics which exclude the consideration of 'atoms', we could not devote ourselves to our study as wholeheartedly as we have in order to recognise any new regularity in nature. The regularity which we are trying to track down must appear the all-important regularity, if we are to pursue it with sufficient devotion to be successful."
I'm therefore rewriting 'Chloë solves the Universe' as 'Chloë's Quantum Quest'. Its central focus will be this historical debate between these Nobel Prize-winning physicists. Chloë will find out about quantum physics and then hear of the Big Argument between the physicists about the nature of reality. When she hears that the mind-first view has been abandoned by modern physicists, she is indignant and decides to do something about it.
That'll be my job for the next couple of months. Roll on Spring!
'Quantum' is an excellent book and a first-rate chronicler of that tumultuous time in physics. It cleverly combines a thorough biography of quantum physics and the (mostly) men who developed the field, along with a strong human story, that of the ongoing tussle between Albert Einstein and Neils Bohr. Einstein may have developed Relativity and transformed our understanding of light, motion and gravity, but he was never happy with the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Physics. He refused to accept that there was nothing outside of our observation of reality, or that the presence of a fundamental particle could be no more than probability, or that the universe's foundations were impossible to know fully. In the latter part of Einstein's life, he watched the physics community move almost to a man to the Copenhagen Interpretation but he did not budge, making his life in physics both an astounding success and a bitter failure.
The idea that plants make use of quantum physics to harvest light more efficiently has received a boost. Plants gather packets of light called photons, shuttling them deep into their cells where their energy is converted with extraordinary efficiency. A report in Science journal adds weight to the idea that an effect called a "coherence" helps determine the most efficient path for the photons. Experts have called the work "a nice proof" of some contentious ideas.
The problem scientists are finding with black holes is that the physics (and maths) of a black hole doesn’t fit with the physics (and maths) of the universe. These problems are really extensions of a still bigger problem, which is that physicists have developed two important theories to explain reality; Relativity, which explains the largest scales brilliantly and Quantum Physics, which explains the smallest scales brilliantly. The only problem is that the two theories aren’t compatible. Black holes, being a place in the universe where the largest becomes deeply involved in the tiniest, not surprisingly are a source of much consternation; they’re like huge cosmic signposts saying ‘YOU’RE MISSING SOMETHING IMPORTANT!’. Read More...
“New scientific ideas never spring from a communal body, however organized, but rather from the head of an individually inspired researcher who struggles with his problems in lonely thought and unites all his thought on one single point which is his whole world for the moment.”
Last year, I wrote to Rupert Sheldrake, a fascinating man who developed the theory of morphogenetic fields and is the author of books such as 'Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home' and 'Seven Experiments That Could Change the World', both of which I recommend. I wanted to make him aware of the intriguing research that Luc Montagnier has been carrying out with water and DNA. He very kindly replied and agreed it was very interesting and threw up a lot of questions but he couldn't see on first glance how it could connect to his theory of morphogenetic fields. Here's my reply:Read More...