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NASA Propaganda for the Standard Model
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by Miles Mathis
While taking a break from writing these papers, I browsed a few moments on Hulu.com, looking for free movies to watch. What I found is a new release from NASA. NASA now has 81 promotional videos on Hulu. I say promotional, because these videos are presented in a form indistinguishable from propaganda. I will let a review of the latest of these stand as proof of this assertion.
The title of the video is SpaceRip: New Discovery about the Fabric of Space.* From that title, you might expect that NASA had discovered something new about the fabric of space. That is what the words mean, after all. You might also assume that this had something to do with a space rip. But no, it is nothing like that. The title is just a PR ploy and it it is otherwise false and meaningless.
As a lead-in, we are told that light is being studied to discover “the final secrets of the universe.” That implies that we already know the bulk of the secrets of the universe, and only require one or two more to have the complete set. This is the strongest form of the Stephen Hawking model of physics, whereby we know almost everything there is to know. It now dominates physics, and has completely defined all public relations, as we see here. Problem is, it is demonstrably false. We know almost nothing about how the universe works. As I have shown, even our oldest, most respected theories are shot through with rather obvious holes. The mainstream knows this as well as I do, but honesty has never been good for PR or advertising. Mainstream physics learned its patter from the Dale Carnegie school, and it chooses to paint everything in sunny colors, in order to keep funding levels up. It inflates all achievements and hides all failures. If physics were only selling cars or candy, we might overlook this. But since it is science that is being propagandized, we should not be so nonchalant. Spinning goes against the scientific method. If we want to solve the errors, we should lead with them, not paint over them.
But the propaganda continues, as our astrophysicist explains to us that “Einstein's theory of relativity has been spectacularly successful” and that “quantum mechanics has also been spectacularly successful.” She admits that they have resisted unification with eachother for almost a hundred years, but does not let us imagine that this detracts from their spectacular successes. Theories that cannot be reconciled with eachother must be unsuccessful, but that logic is too bright for these cameras. These two theories are all we have, so we can't look too closely at them. They are our “crown jewels”, as Feynman put it, and it is impolitic to study the crown jewels under a microscope. If the facets should betray major flaws, the insurance company might refuse to pay when we were forced to throw them in the rockpile.
Our astrophysicist then tells us that gamma rays are being studied by the Fermi satellite in order to give us a Theory of Everything. Since we lack only the final secrets of the universe, we are to understand that this Theory of Everything is tantalizingly close. Given the right experiment with the right satellite, we might trip upon complete knowledge tomorrow. The last piece of the puzzle might arrive in a telescope this year, QM and GR might be joined by that piece, and we would become physical gods.
All that is so obnoxious there aren't words for it. Any time I see mentioned a Theory of Everything, whether it is by NASA or Ken Wilber, I cringe. Can it be that we have reached such levels of immodesty? Can it be that we can state things like this outloud and not be ashamed to hear ourselves saying it? As humans, we are far closer to a complete Theory of Nothing than we are to a theory of everything. Our nescience is nearly complete. We are wrong about almost everything. Nearly every word that escapes from the mouth of anyone is either not to the point or flat wrong. We will never make any real progress in any field until we give up this idea of a Theory of Everything. We are only marginally closer to a Theory of Everything than dogs are, or porpoises, and the best thing we can do is be forced to admit it each morning.
Next, our astrophysicists tell us that in previous experiments high energy particles, like these gamma rays, had been shown to be going too slow. Some had arrived late, though we are not told “late compared to what?” These particles are coming from millions or billions of light years away, so we cannot have watched them depart. We have no time schedule.
Then, we are shown animations of space, tying directly into the title of this video. We finally get a theory. We are told that space is thought to be quantized, or “textured.” It has lumpiness, like a sheet of bubblewrap. The word “froth” is also used. Low energy particles are not affected by this texture, but high energy particles are. The high energy particles feel a drag, and this slows them.
Unfortunately, we still don't have any mechanics here. We have a sort of squishy theory, but it is both illogical and unmechanical. What could possibly give space a texture? In the old days, when people actually defined words and tried to stick to those definitions, space was nothing and particles were something. If a thing had texture, it was required to be made of particles, since you cannot give texture to nothing. But if space is made of particles, it isn't space anymore. This theory is really proposing a new field or ether, but it doesn't want to admit that. For many reasons: 1) Because Newton and then Einstein allowed them to get rid of the ether, and they are proud of that. They don't want it back. They have spent the last century ridiculing anyone who so much as mentioned an ether, so it would be embarrassing to call this texture an ether. 2) Because they have done the same thing with anyone who mentioned a new field. They have told us that gravity explains everything, that Laplace and Einstein perfected the field equations, that any remaining error is assignable to chaos. They don't want a new field any more than they want a new ether. 3) If they admit that texture must imply particles, then space must have mass and extension. If it has mass and extension, then how is motion through it possible at all? We return two and half millennia to Parmenides' block universe, where all is particle and nothing is space, or to Spinoza, where all is monad and nothing is void.
Rather than face this dilemma, it is much easier to just assign texture to nothing, and then dodge all mechanical questions. Texture, like charge photons and gluons and Dirac's particle sea and Higgs' particle sea, is virtual, which allows it to do anything we desire. Physics is being engulfed by virtual physics, where there is no difference between particle and space, between something and nothing. A particle or field may now be both: something when we need it to be and nothing the next moment. The same sort of magic has invaded cause and effect, since we now have virtual actions as well as virtual things. Using the idea of spontaneous symmetry breaking, anything can now be spontaneous. Something that is spontaneous is uncaused, so it requires no mechanical explanation.
At any rate, this video spends the bulk of its short time selling us this frothy space. It wants that idea burned into our heads, and it takes the time and effort to burn it with an animation and other visuals. In a six minute video, we have 5.5 minutes of mainstream theoretical propaganda, and another sales pitch for the newest theories. We have a title that tells us space is a fabric and animations to show it. We are told that NASA has an important new discovery, and are shown the astrophysicists who are very excited about it. Only in the last few seconds are we told that the data is negative. The low energy particles and the high energy particles arrived at exactly the same time, with no delay.
Your average viewer cannot possibly digest that data, because it doesn't fit the long lead-in. You have been expecting a date with a supermodel for six minutes, and in the end you get five seconds with a hag. What will a normal brain do? It will reconstitute the supermodel and forget the hag. You will remember all the sunny propaganda and forget the negative data.
Because of course the data means that everything you just watched in the video is completely false. Space is not a fabric, it cannot be “ripped”, there was no new discovery, there is no reason for these astrophysicists to be excited (since this data destroys all their theories), and facile interpretations of previous experiments by well-known astrophysicists that found a delay were dead wrong.
Our narrator admits this “confirms that space and time is smooth and continuous,” but spins this by telling us it confirms Einstein. Even this negative data is spun as a confirmation. The video ends with, “We are one step closer to unifying Relativity and quantum mechanics.”
Even those final sentences are disingenuous. First of all, the experiment does not confirm that space and time are smooth. The form of the sentence implies that space and time are the same thing, although this experiment had nothing to say on that hypothesis. These physicists have worked in a bit of subtle propaganda even here. Beyond that, the experiment did not show that space was smooth. It showed that space was nothing. Smooth is an adjective that must apply to something. Peanut butter is either smooth or chunky, but space is neither, by definition.
And none of this brings them one step closer to unification, especially if they keep spinning. If they think this data can be used as confirmation of anything, they are one step further away from unification. They have to face facts. Negative data is not a “new discovery.” And the fact that a whole category of modern theories has been proved wrong is not a step toward unification. That is like having a cupboard full of cigarette cartons, throwing one cigarette out the window, and claiming that you are a step nearer quitting smoking. Until these physicists develop the honesty to admit that neither GR nor QED is “spectacularly successful”, they will make no progress toward unification. No amount of negative data is going to help anyone put a square peg into a round hole.
Finally, physicists should have known that space cannot affect different wavelengths differently. The proof of that is in shifted absorption lines. The lines are quite narrow. All wavelengths have to shift equally to keep the lines from being lost. If different wavelengths or energies of light were affected differently by space, then the shifts would not be equal, and the absorption lines would be covered over.
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