Sunday, April 10, 2016

Hole in the soul

The super-void, that presented itself in the background radiation, sporting a size of close to two billion light years, has baffled scientists. A few years after its discovery, no reasonable explanation is forthcoming. The standard model, that most still pin their research on, has shown so many cracks that scientists who adhere to it are beginning to look like economists, who have similar difficulty letting go of established theories. Hunting in the particle forest, either to propose new ones or to prove the hypothesized ones indeed exist, has been the favorite past-time of physicists. Recently, they even measured the reverberation of gravity waves, generated by an event over billion years ago, to the tune of the diameter of a proton. Now, it is nearly impossible to disprove anything in Physics.

Biologists and chemists are in the same spot. Technology is advancing so fast that scientists are running out of hypotheses to prove. There are so many engineers and technologists, pumped out by the elite educational institutions around the world, who stand ready to prove anything in science. We are fast approaching a regime of dearth of ideas and an oversupply of proofs. Is this what was envisioned a few decades ago by visionary scientists, who predicted a future in which there would be nothing more to prove. If so, it would be bleak, indeed.

Creating hypotheses, a skill that was left undernourished for a few decades, may need to be brought back.