LIC Blog

Science can "prove" anything

In 1974 as a post-graduate student in Theoretical Physics I attended a course of lectures in Cambridge onThe Structure and Evolution of Stars. The lecturer, Dr. Gough, good humouredly spent about 8 one hour sessions constructing a mathematical model to show how he believed stars had evolved over vast amounts of time. Such a structure was full of guesses, approximations and some tough mathematics, as are all complex theories.

At last he had reduced his labours to a single number, a value which could be checked by observation on real stars in the heavens.

With a sober face he announced that the two values - theory and observation - differed by a factor of 10. 

It was as though I had a theory predicting that I would have 30 children, when in reality I had 3!

Some might have been daunted by such a shocking discrepancy between mathematical prediction and astronomical observation. Unless the measurements were in gross error, surely suspicious eyes would turn on the mathematical construct and its philosophical base, namely that stars evolved!

But Cambridge lecturers are made of stern stuff. With a chuckle and a twinkle in his eyes Gough announced that he proposed to ignore the discrepancy, because there is no alternative to stellar evolution.

It was, and is, an article of faith; for scientists are religiously committed to their evolutionary hypothesis and nothing - but nothing - can stand in its way. Not even a factor of 10, which shouts out that the theory stinks.

The More4 screening on the excavations in Leicester showed that this mind-set is alive and well in the archaeologists at the University.

One after another gazed in shock at the skeletal remains in the trench, saw the scoliosis and pronounced this must be Richard III. Again and again the deformed spine mesmerised them.

But why?

Because they had imbibed at the breast of humanism the "fact" that Richard was "crook-backed". Everyone knew that. Everyone believed that. From that point on they were hell-bent on shoe-horning their observations to fit the hypothesis.

Of course, if Richard was not crook-backed, then the skeleton cannot be his.

And what evidence do we have from "history"?

The malicious John Rous pours vituperation over Richard's head, but does not call him crook-back.

Neither the Crowland Chronicler, nor Fabian's Chronicle, not even Polydore Vergil use this word to describe him.

So who does?

Thomas More.

And he alone.

And Thomas More was a liar.