- It has been said that the greatest obstacle to discovery
is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge. Too often the things we
think we know obstruct the things we need to learn.
- In the 20th century, the luminaries of theoretical science
forged a picture of the universe that seemed somehow complete and inarguable.
From subatomic physics to the life sciences, from planetary science to
astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology, the 'big picture' of the natural
world left little room for doubt. Or so it seemed.
- Today's popular cosmology stirs public imagination with
weird and wonderful possibilities, all based on mathematics far beyond
the interest or comprehension of most mortals. Working forward from a
conjectured primordial state, the theorists would have us believe that
they have solved the primary riddles of the cosmos; that they are on the
verge of completing a 'theory of everything.'
- We believe otherwise. Modern theory is not impregnable,
and all is not well in the sciences. Space age engineers have indeed achieved
unprecedented advances, and theoreticians have basked in the resultant
glow of public attention. But in this environment a decades-old scientific
myth froze into dogma that progressively excluded uncomfortable facts
and counter-arguments. By the end of the 20th century, the illusion became
'reality' and the voices of critics--present in considerable numbers--were
no longer heard.
- It will be up to historians of science to show how this
occurred. To make our case we need only consider discoveries readily
accessible to working scientists and to all who have remained skeptical
in the face of supposedly settled questions. As we intend to show, the
fatal mistake of standard cosmology is its dismissal of electricity in
space. Devotion to an electrically neutral, gravity-driven universe has
turned cosmology into a playground for mathematicians. And this turn of
events was possible only because today's cosmologists lack the training
to see the most compelling message of the space age--that we live in an
- Cosmic Speculations
- How did the universe begin? How does it work? Where is
- For years, the scientific media have bombarded the public
with intriguing answers to these big-picture questions. The themes are
familiar even to the most casual observers of scientific commentary.
Cosmologists speak confidently of the Big Bang that set the clock ticking
and the universe on its course 13.7 billion years ago. This is a universe
filled with black holes, dark matter, dark energy, and other incomprehensible
objects and forces, all with one thing in common: they remain unseen and
inaccessible under known laws of physics.
- With each new discovery, the 'Big Bang' universe grows
increasingly bizarre, inviting parodies that underscore the question many
working scientists have hesitated to ask: can anyone make real sense
of this? The popular science fiction writer, Terry Pratchett, satirized
the cosmological creation event: "In the beginning there was nothing--which
exploded." When another science fiction writer, Douglas Adams, conjured
an 'Infinite Improbability Drive,' the object of his wit was today's probabilistic
quantum mechanics theory, which disconnects cause from effect. This theoretical
approach has opened the door to every imaginable violation of physical
laws, culminating in what many now claim to be the greatest scientific
embarrassment of the twentieth century-'string theory.' "Where are
the surrealist-art critics of science?" one humorist asked.
- There is good reason for us to be skeptical. Cosmologists
contend that their abstractions offer a secure foundation for understanding
the origins, structure, and dynamics of the cosmos, as well as our place
in it. But as we intend to illustrate with many examples, their conjectures
failed to predict any of the milestone discoveries of the space age.
- Unyielding Faith in Gravity
- Cosmologists insist that the weakest force known to science-gravity-
controls the universe. Early in the twentieth century, Einstein redefined
Newtonian gravity by adding a metaphysical framework. He combined the
three measurable physical dimensions of space with a mathematical 'dimension'
that cannot be measured with the same ruler: time. The claimed success
of Einstein's 'thought experiments' encouraged mathematicians to follow
his lead, and they have dominated physics and cosmology ever since.
- It must be said that Einstein himself showed integrity
by doubting his own work. But his followers have shown no such restraint.
In their devotion to mathematical abstractions, cosmologists wrote themselves
a blank check, with the freedom to invent anything necessary to save the
theory when observations didn't fit.
- Around the middle of the twentieth century, astronomers
were shocked to discover unimaginable concentrations of energy in deep
space. Limited to gravitational models, they could only envision super-massive,
super-compact objects hidden from view. So they suspended observed laws
of physics to allow for 'black holes.' On discovering galactic motions
that directly contradicted gravitational models, astronomers imagined
vast regions of invisible 'dark matter.' Since no one could see it, they
were free to place it wherever needed to preserve appearances. Then, when
other dubious assumptions led them to think that the universe is expanding
ever faster--the ultimate violation of gravitational dogma--they resorted
to 'dark energy,' an exotic force neither witnessed nor understood, but
supposedly dominating cosmic motions.
- As the 'queen of the sciences.' modern cosmology has
imposed boundaries on all related disciplines, with disastrous consequences.
How did the Sun and its planetary satellites arise? Theory required stars
to accrete gravitationally from diffuse nebular clouds, lighting a nuclear
furnace hidden in their cores. From the residual disk of equatorial material,
the theory says, planets and moons slowly congealed, together with a horde
of lesser rocks moving around the Sun as meteors, asteroids, and comets.
- From these assumptions, it was no great leap to write
the history of our solar system. If gravity rules, the planets have surely
moved on regular and predictable orbits for billions of years--a tranquil
backdrop for the geologic and biologic evolution of Earth, punctuated
only by random impacts from space.
- By the force of 'reasoning from the top down,' the clockwork
solar system also set firm limits to our understanding of human origins,
the history of consciousness, and the rise of civilization. In the uneventful
solar system of theory, the present became the guide to the past. The
sky above our early ancestors must have been virtually identical to what
we observe today. A mere speculation thus deprived historians, archeologists,
and anthropologists of a desperately needed incentive. It permitted them
to ignore the universal testimony of early cultures that the sky once
looked vastly different. Scholars investigating the human past did not
realize that this submission to the cosmologists' creed only added to
the cost of misdirection in the sciences.
- A New View of the Universe
- Today a new breed of scientist is challenging modern
cosmology at the level of its underpinnings. Researchers standing on the
shoulders of unsung twentieth century giants of science (including several
Nobel Laureates) are investigating the plasma universe. They remind us
that interplanetary, interstellar, and intergalactic space is filled with
plasma, a medium that continually defies astronomers' expectations.
- Plasma is distinguished by the presence of charged particles,
and the freely moving electrons in plasma are efficient carriers of electric
currents. For today's innovators, electricity is the key to understanding
the never-ending surprises of the space age. The patchwork of modern cosmology
is unnecessary, these researchers tells us. They do not follow abstract
reasoning from the top down. Their understanding arises from experiment
and direct observation.
- They begin by comparing plasma behavior in the laboratory
to patterns seen in space. And their insights have consistently succeeded
in predicting the path of discovery where standard cosmology has failed.
- Working with advanced computer simulations and the most
powerful electrical discharges that can be produced on Earth, these investigators
are now pointing the way to a new and revolutionary vision of the universe.
- Note to readers: The full text (including illustrations)
of the Introduction and Chapter One of THE ELECTRIC UNIVERSE is now available
in PDF at--
- Additionally, for a limited time, we have placed the
hour-long DVD, "Thunderbolts of the Gods," on Google. Go to
Google video and enter this title. It will be the first item listed.