The Problem With Science

But wait…

…why don’t scientists talk about this?

Well, I live in Asia. In fact, I’ve been here for more than 25 years, on both sides of this vast continent. And after much observation, I can confidently say that we humans are irrational, insane and unreasonable – myself included. So, the answer to why scientists don’t talk that much about a nova event like Ezekiel’s Fire, is that…

Scientists are only human.

Yes, scientists are also irrational, insane and unreasonable – especially when you get them together as a group. It’s one of the reasons why Max Planck is reported to have said that ‘science advances one funeral at a time’. That’s a paraphrase. What he actually said was:

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

 – Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers

We have an appropriate example in Dr. Kazunari Shibata. For more than a decade, he has been warning the scientific community that our Sun is capable of launching flares that are thousands of times more powerful and destructive than any solar flare that we have ever seen, and few of them are paying attention. And now that Dr. Shibata has retired, I’m wondering about when those few who are still talking about solar superflares will be told to shut up and sit down.

After winning the George Ellery Hale Prize in February 2020, Dr. Shibata gave this presentation a few months later:

AAS 236: Session 300. Solar Physics Division (SPD) Hale Prize Lecture: From Jets to Superflares

By the time that this presentation was made, Dr. Shibata had already retired as professor at Kyoto University. It’s now up to his students to continue doing the necessary research. But, will the short-sighted scientific community pay attention?

Not until it’s too late.

So, even though our understanding of how the Sun works is growing, we are still ignoring the threat to our civilization. But, this is only the most obvious of the threats that are being ignored.