by Rod D. Martin
October 7, 2011

Three astronomers just won a Nobel Prize for upending what we know about physics…again. You should read their story.

Yet again proving that when a scientist tells you anything, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.

This is a glory — “to search out a matter is the glory of kings” — but also a reminder, to policy makers and everyone else, that making a religion out of the latest scientific theory is how you get confident assertions that the sound barrier can never be broken, the airplane will never fly, and the sun revolves around the Earth (thank you Aristotle for that last one; the Catholic Church was just quoting him when they arrested Galileo).

God is a constant. As Einstein discovered, the “cosmological constant” and even Newtonian physics are not, no matter how many people would have staked their careers on the opposite position, just as goldbugs are staking them on a constant rate of growth in the supply of gold (despite rapid advances in our ability to reach and ultimately mine various destinations in space), and the alleged Global Warming “consensus” is staking them on failed computer models. The scarcity of salt and aluminum were once “settled science” too, and anything approaching Moore’s Law a fantasy.

Yet discovery marches on.

UPDATE: Almost exactly five years later, a new team of physicists may have upended the “settled science” that earned the first team it’s Nobel. Which just goes to further prove my point. We don’t know a fraction of what we think we know, and science is the process of constant questioning, not anyone’s settled dogma.