By Walter Hudson
October 4, 2011
Einstein may have been wrong. New evidence suggests that the speed of light, central to his special theory of relativity, may not be the ultimate speed limit. If the findings hold up, everything we think we know about the inner workings of our universe will need to be revised.
This potential discovery reminds us that science is a continual process which is rarely conclusive. That should inform our regard for politicized scientific claims.
You wouldn’t know that as a causal observer of political discourse. Science is often evoked as an authority rather than an empirical yet uncertain process. Anthropogenic climate change is a “fact” established by “consensus,” its skeptics ranked alongside Holocaust deniers.
The potential derailment of Einstein reminds us of science’s limitations. They are the limitations of man, finite perception and finite knowledge. Our theories are all contingent upon the next unforeseen discovery.