Peter K. Bros AbstractsTitles
I asked my father that question when I was five years old. My father answered that gravity was a property of matter, that the reason something fell was that it was small in size compared to the size of the Earth. It's hard to be skeptical of the statement that gravity is a property of matter because it is a universal belief, more universal than any religious belief. Because falling objects are a universal experience in our lives, and because we can't go through life without having an explanation for falling objects, we simply answer the question, "What is gravity?" with a meme, a mindless rote statement that is ingrained into our minds as if it were a physical part of our us.
At five, though, being a skeptic is easy, and I said, "No, I don't think so." to which my father replied, "Well, believe what you want."
I didn't want to believe anything, I wanted to know what gravity is, and I spent the better part of the next half a century piecing known facts of reality together to produce a mechanism that drives atoms toward the surface of the Earth in the measurable way that gravity does.
There are two empirical errors that have crippled Western technology. While I do count the Michelson Morley fiasco as an empirical error of the first order, the theories that it produced, relativity and quantum mechanics have merely served to perpetuate the basic two.
Nor do I count Newton's theory of gravitation because the theory, unoriginal in every aspect, merely popularized one of the basic errors and I don't count Newton's theory of colors simply because it isn't a theory. The notion that white light is made up of all colored light and that colored light is lined up the way it comes out of the spectrum is merely monkey see, monkey say science, a fact recognized by Newton's nemesis, Robert Hooke, and apparently recognized as valid by Newton, who waited out Hooke's death before pursuing vigorously his by then thirty year old notions.