Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Closed Minded Science

Closed Minded Science

Thomas Gold basically is saying that most research money is only awarded to research that supports current theories that have well established foundations (like the biological origin of oil), not that try to build new theories or foundations.

Which of course, is a good and bad thing, a ying and yang. An excellent way to speed up progression is to build upon the foundation of knowledge made by others. However, at some point, the "base" or foundation can only support so much more information on top of it, and the foundation may turn out to be entirely wrong or not sufficient enough to explore new applications.

For example, Newton's laws of physics were heralded as complete for centuries, until Einstein and other physists led to the development of quantam physics. Newton's laws still work great for most things, except on the microscopic level :)

Thomas Gold might not be right, but after reading excerpts from his book, it's clear that scientific community surrounding petroleum is a bit closed minded. It would be my hope that this is an exception to the rule, not the rule itself, and that other scientific communities are more open minded. Alas, however, humans do have the tendency to repeat historical mistakes ;)

Of course, even if the abiotic origin of oil is true, and oil won't run out 20 years from now like the "Peak oil" predicts (which I'm having a hard time believing now that I've did some reading on the subject: apparently it was also predicted in the 70's,based on the "peak oil" model, that oil would run dry by the late 1990's), it's best if people continue to believe oil is more scarce than it actually is. Why? Environmental reasons. Our consumption of oil needs to, at the least, not increase much further. I'd like to be able to breathe later in life :)


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