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Consensus and the scientific method are, in fact, incompatible concepts. If consensus ruled science, the sun would still be circling the earth and phlogiston would still cause fires to burn, rather than the oxidation of hydrocarbons. It’s hard to imagine any concept that has been more accepted as absolute truth in modern times than the limiter of the speed of light. So many other parts of Einstein’s general and special theories of relativity have been experimentally proven, often using tests that Einstein himself suggested could be tried when technological progress made them practical. There wasn’t any reason for scientists to even suspect that the speed of light might not be absolute.
But, a good scientist never says “never” and when the surprising results came through, the scientists at CERN checked, re-checked and checked some more. Eventually, they decided they could not disprove what their own eyes were telling them, and the results have startled physicists around the world into rethinking the way things work.
Wouldn’t it be refreshing if left-wing politicians, the environmental left and the mainstream media took a minute to reflect that if something so set in stone as the absoluteness of the speed of light might be overturned, perhaps these claims that the “science is settled” when it comes to global warming are a bit misplaced? Wouldn’t it be nice if all of those people put some effort into understanding the scientific research that tends to refute the alarmists – and there’s plenty of it out there – rather than turning the issue into a show of hands?
Just recently, for example, another CERN study showed that cosmic rays play a more important role in cloud formation than previously thought. Does that mean that the over-blown role of greenhouse gases in the climate system has been disproven once and for all? No. But it does demonstrate, once again, how poorly we actually understand the complex interactions that go into determining planetary climate trends and how we must always keep our minds open to learn more. For, as CERN’s latest research shows, good science is not static – it is never “settled.” Science done right always keeps an open mind and it is only with an open-mind that science can lead the way to new and even more amazing discoveries.
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