Cafeteria Conversations

I grew up on a farm in a Christian home and have always been a reader. I was aware of “evolution” but not particularly concerned by it. Rather, I became curious how there could be more than one way to view “science.”

You may wonder why I wrote a book on “creation” which barely mentions creation! Rather, it concentrates on mathematics and electromagnetic perplexities.

Well, all that I can say is ….

My working years were spent in a congenial office. College graduate trainees rotated through our office periodically. Some had the attitude that, while they weren’t Christian, they were bothered by the “flakiness” in some science.

In the cafeteria, I remember once mentioning that I had just read a book review which stated that Einstein was wrong. One of my co-workers had, to me, a startling reaction. With considerable agitation, he said that that was impossible! All Science agreed on relativity and needed it to make sense of reality.

With that introduction, I had to order the book! It was Science at the Crossroads by Prof Herbert Dingle. He was involved in relativity throughout his long career, even providing one of the relativity articles in the Encyclopedia Britannica. When Einstein died, Dingle gave the official eulogy for him on BBC television.

But he later began to doubt – centered around logical inconsistencies in the twin paradox and concerns over uncritical usage of Mathematics. Most now agree that Einstein was right (perhaps) but it is unsettling to see “experts” disagree.

On another occasion, we were back in the cafeteria for an all-employee meeting. Our new VP had a PhD in Metallurgy, but his responsibilities were now much broader. One question he had to answer was why we had so much inventory of a certain product. His revealing answer was that “he had been learning a lot about economics since becoming our VP. He found it to be a unique discipline where you could earn a PhD, be recognized as an expert, even win a Noble prize – without ever once being correct.”

This disheartening news meant that there would be no year-end bonuses – all because an economist, somewhere in GO, had done us in. It was an application of the old saying that “economics is the dismal science.” What did science really mean?

About this time, I read another old book, Gravitation versus Relativity by the astronomer, Dr Charles Lane Poor. It was written in 1922 in response to Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington’s 1921 article in the prestigious Nature journal, reporting the results of his 1919 “eclipse expedition” that “confirmed” Einstein’s prediction that massive objects bend starlight.

Needless to say, Poor disagreed and showed the errors in Eddington’s report. Many years later, in 1983, Sky and Telescope magazine confirmed this by reporting that the “eclipse expedition results were of only 20 % accuracy. Many later eclipse expeditions did not improve the results.”

No wonder I was skeptical of science. There was something amiss that was larger than biology and geology – the usual areas of interest in regards to ex nihilo creation. I didn’t grasp atheorism – yet! But it was coming!

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