Courtesy of Marvin, here is some bizarre news from nature.com: there’s a physicist named George Chapline claiming, in all seriousness, that Black holes ‘do not exist’. He says they ate dark energy stars, whatever the hell that means. Negative gravity, dark matter… I don’t know, I think I’ll let the physicists armwrestle over it and announce the results, without worrying myself. But if this Chapline fellow’s “primordial dark stars” explain the missing mass problemthe claim that 90% of the universe seems to be missing, or that at least we can’t seem to see itthen maybe it’s a step in the right direction.
Who knows: but SF will never be the same if it turns out there are, in fact, no black holes. And, I think, we’ll never look at physicists the same, either. I mean, the celebrated bet between Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne made John Preskill. I mean, physicists aplenty talk about black holes as if they are real.
If it turned out they weren’t, well, it would be a real vindication of scientific method, because a flawed model would be replaced by a better one, as soon as we realized it was flawed.
But it wouldn’t be commonly perceived that way. It would be perceived as an example of the notion that scientists are eggheads busy playing math games and not engaging with the real world. It would be a coup for Creationists and politicizing postmodernists (in the sense of the word I don’t like, and don’t associate myself with) who want to make us believe scientific knowledge is basically culturally constructed or, in the case of the Creationists, pure fantasy.
It would be bad, socially, even if, for science, it would be a step forward.
But who knows? Maybe this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Me, I take comfort in the fact that I don’t know, but that the truth will probably come out, eventually, if we live long enough to see it.
Or… heh… maybe it was an April Fool’s joke? I don’t think so, though.