LETTER TO A FRIEND
A European physicist has been trying to convince me that within the current scientific paradigm, the standard model of particle physics, SMP, is fine without TDVP's nine dimensions and gimmel. I'm sharing my latest correspondence sent today with the readers of this blog because I want you yto know that as a scientist, my beliefs and findings are always open to debate.
Thank you for your perseverance. I think you may be a true friend, honestly trying to redeem a fellow physicist who you believe has gone astray.
When I registered as a physics major, math minor in a small liberal arts school called Central College in North Central Missouri in 1955, there were only a dozen or so physics majors in the school, and they had formed a ‘physics club’. The club’s major activity was a weekly meeting at Mac’s, a local bar and grill just off campus. George Newton, a senior physics major was president of the club. He welcomed me to the first meeting and informed me that as a new member of the club, I had two choices: I had to be either a homosexual, or an alcoholic. I looked around the table upon which there was a large pitcher of beer and a row of beer steins emblazoned with E = mc2, at the faces of the club members, all focused on me, and I quickly responded: “Pass me a beer!”
I loved physics and math, and the first few years at Central were great fun. I was nearly always first or second in every class I took, and I soon became a big duck in a small pond. In my second year, I became a member of Kappa Mu Epsilon, the National Honorary Mathematics Society, and the Chairman of the Math Department took us, the four or five members of KME, to the University of Missouri at Columbia to hear a lecture by Norbert Wiener, the father of cybernetics. I was able to talk with him after the lecture. His insights impressed me and I became convinced that the current science/math paradigm was inadequate to deal with the phenomena related to the human brain.
In my third year at Central, my roommate David Stewart and I launched an investigation into parapsychology, which was just beginning at that time in the US at Duke University under Dr. J.B. Rhine. We performed a number of interesting experiments with the support of a couple of the professors at Central, including Dr. Harley Rutledge, the Chairman of the Physics Department, who even let us use the physics lab on weekends. We shared some of our results with Dr. Rhine, who was impressed, but he advised us to keep on with our experiments as best we could, but not to neglect our studies toward conventional degrees so we would be able to get a job upon graduation.
Even though I became convinced that the really important frontier in science was the interface between physics and consciousness, I remained skeptical of most ‘new age’ philosophies and ‘spiritual’ experiences. I became convinced, however, about a year later, that mainstream science had it backward: instead of consciousness evolving out of matter, matter must have evolved out of some primary form of consciousness. My conviction grew out of meeting some outstandingly gifted people, and some experiences of my own that defied explanation in the current materialistic paradigm. I’m telling you all of this in the interest of honesty, because I really do believe that you are an honest person, and so you will understand that I am just as honest about my beliefs as you are. I certainly do not reject all of the standard model of particle physics, and, if you can provide me with indisputable evidence that I am wrong, I will recant.
I look forward to open and honest discussions. Maybe you can redeem me from the heresy of TDVP, or just maybe, I’ll win you over and convince you of the value of a new scientific paradigm expanded beyond the finite limits of the material universe.
Hoping to be your friend,