Sometimes I am amazed at the ability of clear-headed scientists to come up with nonsense:
Now...did you catch all that? The Kuiper belt is that belt of celestial flotsam (think of it as celestial driftwood), floating around out there, which astronomers came up with to explain, in part, the origin of comets. According to this model, "passing stars" are supposed to have wandered near the Kuiper Belt and kicked some of this driftwood into the wild orbits of comets. Yup...you read that correctly. Now we're being told that Juptier got in on this act and shunted things around a bit, and in the process all this shunting around was supposed to have kicked a huge planet out of the solar system (oh I can hear the chorus of "Nibiru!" even now) and changed its orbit. Proof? Well, all those interstellar free-floating planets out there.
Well, I read this article, sort of breathless, and was looking for a little bit more by way of cogent explanation. Not finding much other than that they have "modeled" all of this (presumably on computers), I come away from this latest fantasia on the theme of Kuiper Belt in the same frame of mind as Dr. Tom Van Flandern, the astronomer for the US Navy who first revived in modern astronomy the Exploded Planet Hypothesis as an alternative explanation for the origin of comets, a theory I reviewed at some length in the first chapter of The Cosmic War. Like me, Van Flandern just had too many difficulties with the whole Kuiper Belt model of modern astronomy.
I have to wonder... why would sober scientists view the solar system as...well...perhaps nothing more than a big game of celestial marbles, with orbit-shunting planets expelling other planets and creating comets by "passing stars", and the disturbing thought occurred to me. A disturbing thought, and nothing more than pure, idle speculation: could part of the reason for this whole model be precisely to keep people from looking at a different model of solar system history and mechanics? One that indeed included an exploded planet (according to Dr. Van Flandern's Exploded Planet Hypothesis), and therefore, that included the possibility of an ancient cosmic war, fought right here in our own celestial neighborhood? Such a war would imply, as I argued in The Cosmic War, a technology capable of fighting it and doing things like that.
Possibly, but why deflect attention away from that? Well, again, why deflect attention away from any alternative model of physics unless, astronomy too, is to be included in the grab bag of what I've called on occasion "public consumption physics," i.e., the covert promotion of models in the public view, while privately and covertly investigating alternatives? There is, of course, no evidence that this is so, at least in astronomy's case, that I am aware of, but it does remind me of those statements of Lockheed skunkworks leader Ben Rich, who is reported to have said that "we now have the technology to take ET home."
Well, if that be so, then the implications are staggering, for one of them might be that "they" already have discovered aspects of celestial mechanics and history that the rest of us are kept blissfully unaware of, while we contemplate elegant computer models of Jupiter shunting large planets out of the solar system, and shunting its own orbit.