May 5, 2006

Gravitational ripples: the newest eco-scare

Since it first emerged as a proclaimed environmental threat in 1989, global warming has become one of the most contentious and hotly debated scientific theories of the modern age. Yet for all its headline-grabbing controversy, global warming is hardly the first or even the most insidious hoax of its kind. If anything, it has been kept alive in the public sphere to maintain taxpayer ignorance of a far more overwhelming, trumped-up, ravenous-baby-eating-liberal pseudo-science scare.

Policymakers and economists have repeatedly denounced the Kyoto Protocol, the first international global warming emissions reductions treaty, as too costly; indeed, the U.S. refused to sign on, citing the unwarranted devastation it would wreak on our economy. But no one batted an eyelash when, in the late 1990s, the National Science Foundation quietly went about the construction of two Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatories, under the project name LIGO. The New York Times reported earlier this week that each of these observatories-—allegedly designed to detect gravitational “ripples” generated by cosmic events that “shake the fabric of the universe”—cost almost $300 million to build and a whopping $30 million a year to run.

To repeat: hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to investigate invisible forces allegedly sending a breeze through the cosmic curtain. “Ripples”? “Fabric of the universe”? It’s like spending taxpayer dollars to investigate how exactly Yoda levitates inanimate objects. Such exorbitant expenditures represent the outcome of a tragic politicization of science, merely marking the latest episode in the history of one of the most enduring scientific scare-mongering theories ever perpetrated. Forget about global warming. The theory of gravity is far more insidious, resting on egregiously flawed, politicized science, insufficient evidence, and a fraudulent consensus.

No one disputes that things tend to fall to the ground—much like, in the global warming debate, everyone agrees that a natural greenhouse effect exists. What may come as a surprise is that scientists do not unanimously agree that things fall due to gravity, a conveniently invisible, unquantifiable, and altogether mysterious force. Correlation does not imply causation, and many have a difficult time attributing the so-called Fall-Down Effect to an undetectable power. The simple truth is that the evidence behind the “gravity consensus” is neither robust nor sufficient; even its staunchest advocates admit that uncertainty will always linger and “gravity” can never be proved. More research is needed before discussion can be concluded or radical LIGO-esque policy implemented.

Yet proponents of gravity are not prepared to let that discussion advance. Despite the fact that plenty of other sound hypotheses attempting to explain why things fall down exist, competing theories get swept under the rug and excluded by the conspiratorial peer-review process of the Intergovernmental Panel on Gravity Conspiracy (IPGC). The sinister history of the IPGC goes back to 1672, the same year Sir Isaac Newton—the renowned British scientist widely acknowledged as the father of gravity theory—was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in England not primarily for his scientific contributions, but for donating a telescope, in one of the most transparent and shamelessly corrupt examples of politicized science that history has to offer.

Unfortunately, it is a most suitable beginning for a theory that has gone on to become one of the longest-running social scares of all time. Since its inception, the IPGC—composed of thousands of scientists from around the globe who allegedly represent the unbiased “consensus” on gravity—has used the theory of gravity to keep people the world over in a state of constant fear of falling to the ground. Even where people have learned to take courage and go about their daily lives without cowering in the shadow of the gravity scare, flawed research has been used to inflate fears that gravitational attraction might cause an asteroid or other celestial object to collide with the Earth (some have proposed that such an event wiped out the dinosaurs, an obviously ridiculous claim given the fact that dinosaur bones, even if they weren’t placed in the earth to fool people into believing the earth is older than its roughly 6,000 years, are clearly the remains of creatures drowned in the Old Testament flood). Through manipulating this fear and working with policymakers to exploit the public, scientists have appropriated countless millions to purportedly investigate this non-existent problem and forward their insidious agenda of social control. LIGO merely represents the latest product of this corrupt system.

In such an environment, it is hardly surprising that the politicized, pseudo-scientific consensus behind the wave theory of gravity has struggled to keep the public largely unaware of competing theories explaining fall-down. But such theories do, in fact, exist, even if they have been shunned (at least due to media coverage that never questions the underlying assumptions behind this flawed theory or devotes equal time to its critics). Methodist preacher Alexander Wilford Hall proposed an intriguing alternative to gravity called “substantialism.” The theory argues that “gravity” and all other forces are actually substances, composed of particles smaller than the atoms comprising normal objects. Other theorists have speculated that objects, both organic and inorganic, are all made up of the same set of conscious, sub-atomic cells and that universal laws of attraction can be explained by these cells desperately seeking out their personal twin cell-mate in every other object.

Before we can properly direct our attention to the pseudo-science behind the baseless scare of climate change, we should first address the far more vast and more profound liberal scientific conspiracy at work in discussions of gravity. The debate is far from over, but we must move quickly to address this issue before LIGO and similar initiatives needlessly drain our resources to the point that society itself falls down.