Billions of dollars and a hundred years spiked with fruitless theory may not sound like the human race is getting far in its study of its own world,
but the frustration around the science is one thing we do know for certain.
This is a quote from the website “Space.com”: “In 2014, scientists announced that they had detected gravitational waves left over from the Big Bang using the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP2) telescope in Antarctica. It is thought that such waves are embedded in the cosmic microwave background. However, further research revealed that their data was contaminated by dust in the line of sight.”
I’m not making this up!
Could-a been Einstein was right …
Could-a been some dust!
Maybe they just need a “BICEP3,” and maybe it’d be designed to see what it’s looking for, invisible black holes, instead of just the invisible gravitational waves that support black holes theoretically! There’s something not only expensive but preposterous about the depths we are digging to claim to see the invisible. At a certain point, to the average mortal, human scientific study seems too much like little kids with toys and wild imaginations. I’m afraid it’s all so obvious to me it seems like a joke just waiting to be made!
Two years later, we’ll conclude that speculative proof of a theorized gravitational wave, because it was a successful test, proves part of a theory that’s still no more than a theory (general relativity per Einstein), and a well-disputed one at that, and like teenage girls on Facebook, stretch not knowledge, but the English language, describing what we’ve done as a big breakthrough.
In July, 2016, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) announced it found evidence of gravitational waves, “ripples in spacetime,” according to an article by Nola Taylor Redd, who quoted LIGO spokesperson Gabriela Gonzalez as saying “We can test general relativity, and general relativity has passed the test.” Is this a vast and unfair elaboration for consumption by the general public? Doesn’t it sound great?
In February, 2016, fellow Space.com Staff Writer Calla Cofield discussed the discovery in her article “In Historic First, Einstein’s Gravitational Waves Detected Directly,” where she starts off telling us, with the important-looking dateline “WASHINGTON,” “Gravitational waves, the cosmic ripples that distort space-time itself, have been directly detected for the first time.” Fact, evidence, theory … it doesn’t seem to matter anymore; not to the general public, anyway, apparently, when you’re trying to make the world a better place with illustriously expensive experiments.
How much of this is real? Cofield quotes “scientists” next: “The signal picked up by LIGO came from the collision of two black holes and was detected on Sept. 14, 2015 by LIGO’s twin detectors in Livingston, Louisiana and Hanford, Washington, scientists said.” The article continues, but in a far from scientific fashion, mixing exaggeration with what could be considered, easily by a non-believer, pure science fiction, all presented as if it were written in stone and proven years ago.
Throughout the article, the concept of a theory is completely ignored by everyone involved. LIGO team member Rainer Weiss is quoted as saying “The description of this observation is beautifully described in the Einstein theory of general relativity formulated 100 years ago and comprises the first test of the theory in strong gravitation.” He says it right there – they tested a theory and made observations, that’s all – but he makes it sound like relativity has been proven! Has this observation been previously described by Einstein? Really? Or is it just a picture of something that corresponds nicely if you believe the theory?
We keep sticking pins in the same donkey, just because science tells us to stick pins in it. We’ve completely abandoned the first thought, the problem of sticking the pins in the donkey in the first place, to find the second thought was quite a leap (that one of these times the pin will get stuck perfectly), and have decided to keep ignoring the first thought and just continue post-leap.
What I keep struggling with, I can’t get past, is that proving one part of a complicated theory obviously does not prove the theory at all, but worse, this experiment involves more than one unproven theory – we don’t have to be scientists to know this test discusses theoretical black holes and a theoretical gravitational wave, which are supposed to support a broader theory of general relativity. All theory. All of it. Every bit.
The only thing that’s really massive here is the misrepresentation. The scientists, dare I say even the “journalists,” are so excited they’re doing something that follows-up Einstein, they forgot they’re just playing with really expensive toys, and haven’t given us much evidence of anything at all.
The fact is, LIGO’s gravitational wave experiment may well have detected something entirely different than what they seem to think it is, and further, any skeptic would think so. The planets of logic are not perfectly lined up – far from it. “Scientific American’s” John Horgan said the facility where the tests are performed cost over a billion dollars. The project would benefit from better-guided journalistic coverage.
If this, so far, is the best human “everything theory” we have, short of evidenced fact, let it be so without insecure extrapolation that feels intended to do nothing but mislead.