Shermer on Crothers

“A self-taught mathematician named Stephen Crothers riffled through dozens of PowerPoint slides chockablock full of equations related to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which he characterized as “numerology.” Einstein’s errors, Crothers proclaimed, led to the mistaken belief in black holes and the big bang. I understood none of what he was saying, but I am confident he’s wrong by the fact that for a century thousands of physicists have challenged Einstein, and still he stands as Time’s Person of the Century … The EU [Electric Universe] folks I met were unfailingly polite, unquestionably smart and steadfastly unwavering in their belief that they have made one of the most important discoveries in the history of science. Have they? Probably not. The problem was articulated in a comment [Wallace] Thornhill made when I asked for their peer-reviewed papers: “In an interdisciplinary science like the Electric Universe, you could say we have no peers, so peer review is not available.” Without peer review or the requisite training in each discipline, how are we to know the difference between mainstream and alternative theories, of which there are many? In his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe quotes Merry Prankster Ken Kesey: “You’re either on the bus or off the bus.” It’s not that EUers are wrong; they’re not even on the bus.”

[over-polite] Michael Shermer, Scientific American, October 2015


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