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Frank J. Tipler: "Treason against humanity"

Scientific conspiracies like the global warming conspiracy are actually quite common. They occur whenever it is difficult for outsiders to check the claims and whenever a pet theory is involved.

The late Harvard paleontologist Stephen J. Gould has pointed out that punctuated equilibrium — the fact that species are typically not replaced by other species gradually, but “instantaneously” — was for centuries seen by professional paleontologists in the fossil record. But before Gould, such observations were considered inconsistent with Darwin’s theory of evolution. Thus the observations were not recorded. All paleontologists were trained to believe in Darwin, and so they adjusted the data to confirm Darwin, or did not record data “refuting” Darwin. Only after Gould showed that such data did not refute Darwin did paleontologists cease to adjust the data and start recording what they had been actually seeing.

My own field of general relativity, which is Einstein’s theory of gravity, was initially “confirmed” by “fudged” — I would say “fraudulent” — data. Einstein had predicted that stars near the Sun would appear displaced in their positions due to the Sun’s gravity, and the English astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington, a fervent believer in Einstein, set out to confirm Einstein’s theory. And confirm Einstein he did, although Eddington’s equipment was too inaccurate to confirm or reject Einstein. Eddington “showed” that Einstein was right by appropriate weighing of data points, and by throwing out observations inconsistent with Einstein’s prediction. In 1919, Eddington announced his “confirmation” at a media circus that made Einstein a world celebrity. Eddington’s experiment could only be conducted during a total eclipse of the Sun, a rare event, and so Eddington’s claim could not be checked for years.

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