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Letter: Unsettled science

Published: Thursday, May 1 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

With regard to “settled science”, those familiar with history remember that in 1901 all observed physical phenomena were accurately described by Sir Isaac Newton’s three laws — with two troublesome exceptions. The first was the failure of the Michelson-Morley experiment to detect the presence of the “ether” through which light supposedly traveled; the second was the nature of the radiation emitted by a heated object. By the time these two problems had been resolved, Newton’s laws had been replaced by the theory of relativity on the cosmic scale, and quantum mechanics on the infinitesimal scale.

Scientists are sometimes wrong, but never more so than when they pretend that something is “settled.”

Michael A. Cosman

South Jordan

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