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Galileo and the coming revolution

Lead Summary
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

In the 1600s, Galileo used the best scientific instrument of his day, the telescope, to postulate that the Earth is not the center of the universe. His views in “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems” (1632) resulted in his being tried by the Inquisition, found “vehemently suspected of heresy,” forced to recant his work and spend the rest of his life under house arrest. (Source: Wikipedia.)

Methinks in the next 20-30 years, we are going to see the equivalent of Galileo’s inquisition experience in many fields, followed by our great-grandchildren, should we succeed in not blowing up the world or repressing free thought with political correctness, being as bemused by the leadership ignorance of our times as we are of the pronouncements of the Inquisition as pertains to Galileo.

What is driving this revolution that I have yet to define is the explosion in scientific and computational apparatuses, especially in the last 70 years. (Oh, I so wanted to use “apparati” but all the consultations tell me that plural does not exist, even in the Latin, for I really wanted to use the phrase “the explosion in apparati exponentially” for the readers’ enjoyment, but, alas, it is not to be.)

This explosion, which we might wish to mark with the practical application of electricity by Samuel F.B. Morse’s telegraph of the 1840s (really the first electronic digital computer and internet) has resulted in instrumentation and computational advances, ever accelerating, even up to and past this day.

In everyday life we see this. In my lifetime, we have gone from virtually no television to three channels of television to now countless channels of television. Indeed, “television” has leaped from a gargantuan analog box full of glowing tubes in the corner of the living room (and requiring two strong people to place it there) to a serving plate size device, mechanically disconnected from everything, which cost me $50 at Amazon, and which provides access to the entire world of textual and visual knowledge (at least that portion not secured by passwords) ever cataloged.

Apologies for what I considered the necessary prelude to set the table for the thesis of this column.

Across all research and scientific venues, the march of the technology to do the work, what I have attempted to capture above, has proceeded at a supersonic pace. Researchers and scientists in any field now have cheap, accessible tools and computational devices unheard of in history, indeed, in some cases, unheard of even a couple of years ago.

Further, the spewing forth of new knowledge is at warp speed. Consider what one doctor explained to me a year or so ago, when we were talking about cancer research. He said the only way to keep up with developments today in just this field alone requires the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence). As he put it, if a researcher started out one morning completely current in their specialized field of study in one area of cancer research and did nothing for the day except read relevant new literature appearing in that field that day, by the time they finished their work day, they would be three years behind. No one can even read fast enough to keep up, even if they do it full time.

So here comes the revolution.

It will affect many fields we have discussed here before – intelligent design, evolution, fetus viability, climate change, energy exploitation and so forth. This revolution is being caused across all fields because the researchers have new, better and less expensive tools every day. Using these widely accessible tools and the already accumulated knowledge, researchers are making radical new discoveries changing how we think about previously accepted areas of research and what the possible notions of scientific outcomes may be. Again, this is all because of this revolution in tools.

It is a revolution much like the one Galileo experienced when he used a relatively new tool, the telescope, and his exquisite brain, his computer, to reach a different conclusion than the commonly accepted “truth.” And in this revolution, like Galileo’s experience, the repercussions from those with the most to lose (in our case, largely politicians and bureaucracies around the world) will be just as severe.

Simply, friends, what is today considered the popular common “truths” in many fields is at the threshold of being turned on its head. Scientists and academics which are staying silent (for fear of losing their stipends and funding) when they really want to agree with what seems to be anomalies in research findings are about to be overwhelmed by an irrefutable tsunami of new evidence that cannot be denied.

An example of the coming revolution in just one field is the new book “Foresight – How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose” by Marcos Eberlin. This is a book presenting the case for Intelligent Design and hence the beginning of the end of Darwinian ideas.

Nothing unusual, there are a lot of books on Intelligent Design. What is earth-shaking though, in rarefied academic worlds, is Eberlin’s book debuted endorsed by three Nobel Prize Winners – Sir John B. Gurdon (Physiology or Medicine, 2012), Gerhard Ertl (Chemistry, 2007) and Brian D. Josephson (Physics, 1973). These endorsements are overwhelming in Intelligent Design and mark a breakdown in the silence of the majority.

Scientifically, we have been looking at many subjects through a low-resolution fog. The fog is clearing, and the resolution is tightening. Thank the new tools. Hold on to your seats.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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