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This article appears in the June 22, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.


The Case of Sir Isaac Newton—or, What Was God Thinking?

[Print version of this article]

Editor’s Foreword

In order to understand David Shavin’s article below (available to subscribers only), the reader must become aware that he or she has (in almost all cases) been hoodwinked by widespread and nasty propaganda for a radically false view of what science is. If science were really the impossible chimera which it is claimed to be by the generality of our prestigious and non-so-prestigious media and academic institutions, then we would never have advanced to more truthful understandings of “man and nature,” nor advanced our cultural and material civilization as we have done, as mankind, ever since our first entrance onto the stage of the universe millions of years ago.

To jump ahead here: to those who claim that it is “Newton” who was responsible for our ability to launch earth satellites and moon-landings, we will show that these achievements owe precisely nothing whatever to Newton.

Resuming the thread of our discussion: What exactly is this false view of “science” which must be exploded? One of the difficulties of defining it, is that it so saturates all our discourse to the exclusion of any possible alternative, that it seems at first that there is really nothing there to be defined. It seems at first that this false view of science is self-evident. Think here of the difficulties Eighteenth-century chemists had in reasoning through the properties of gases (mass, for instance), when they were only just beginning to work out the implications of the fact that each of them had actually spent his entire lifetime at the bottom of a vast sea of gas.

For initial, working definitions of the pseudo-science which everywhere surrounds us in the abused name of science, let us give two. One was actually proposed as a definition of “science” by some benighted person (I forget who), who wrote that “science is the mathematical description of natural phenomena.” This was the bastard creed of that British author who prefaced a London edition of Benjamin Franklin’s path-breaking work on electricity, with the statement that it was not science because it contained no equations.

A kindred, false, definition of “science” is the lowly one of “curve-fitting.” I must admit that “curve-fitting” doesn’t sound quite so prestigious as a job-description—but isn’t it really the same thing as that first definition in the last analysis?

But before we can make any more headway here, we first have to go back to deal with the nitty-gritty of the reader’s (most readers’) actual life-experience of the distinctions we are trying to make here. The reason they feel impelled to defend the fraud, e.g., of Newtonian physics, is not because they have mastered it for themselves. It is because they fail to master it. Or better, they believe they “have failed”—as in “you flunk this course.” They defend a caste-distinction all the more strongly, as one that they have tried, but failed to achieve for themselves. Even if they got good grades, they still know inwardly that they lack real knowledge. But all the more do they believe that this sort of knowledge must be out there somewhere—if not in their teacher, then in his teacher’s teacher. It’s all known, all of it—I’m certain of it! There are those who know it. Let’s call them “the Cathar elect.”

A corollary is that current scientific (mis-)education teaches that everything is known (at least in principle). This is reinforced by only giving students problems which were already solved long ago, perhaps by using the same simple-minded methods they have just been taught. Descartes even tried to limit the very definition of “problem” to only those problems! But the truth is that very little is yet known—as Dmitry Mendeleyev was at pains to point out in the preface to his great elementary chemistry textbook. The farce of so-called “dark matter” provides a ludicrous example. Many galaxies do not behave as they should according to Newtonian (ahem!) principles. Does this anomaly mean there is something “out there” that we do not yet understand? Not at all! It can only be more matter that we have been unable to detect—the Newtonian principles must stand! But this so-called “matter” cannot be seen, felt, touched, tasted. . .? Certainly the real, historical Isaac Newton, Newton the black magician, would be happy with this so-called “matter.”

But now we must ask what is science actually—real, true science? It exists, and it is provably effective, but I cannot even begin to give anything like an adequate answer to that question—at least within the limits of this preface. David Shavin truly indicates how the bare-bones algebraic formulas which were falsely claimed as Newton’s discoveries, were only dumbed-down, impoverished hacks of results which had been achieved earlier, and much more fully and usefully, by Kepler and Leibniz respectively—using methods which the Newtonians openly reviled. David also rightly asks whether light is alive, and whether matter is alive. In truth, there is no abiotic universe of physics—there is only the one existing universe. In it, the principle of life and the principle of creative mentation are everywhere active, and Max Planck truly said that you cannot get behind or beyond consciousness, even in the smallest particle—if such particle were possible. This is the hylozoic monism of Plato and his successors.

Plato’s greatest living successor is now, and has long been Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., who wrote in an article that we have recently reprinted here, that the most fundamental principle of science is the absolute distinction of the human species from all animals. To go further in the study of what real science is, you could do much worse than to begin reading his historic writings which are being republished here weekly.

In conclusion, let me say here that if there is any truth in these paragraphs above, the reader owes it all to that same Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

—Tony Papert