(Ms. K.M. shared this blog for this week's guest post... have fun with this one! This is a good one and raises a very interesting point!)
One of the great mysteries of our time is the deep forces driving the professions, in particular, the scientific ones, through their own massive cultural change over the last century. On a recent visit with Richard C. Hoagland on his show, The Other Side of Midnight, Richard mentioneded that he prefers old encyclopedias and books because they have more informational value than modern ones. I replied to the effect that "honest speculation" has been drummed out of scientific discourse. If you look, for example, at Mars texts from the 19th century, there was a lot of speculation, much, but not all of it, lacking in data to explain the high strangeness of the Red Planet and its enigmatic moons. But a portion of it is spot on.
In modern scientific work, authors will not speculate beyond official narratives. Scientists who do suffer a fate akin to economist Arthur Laffer, who was accused in the 1980's of making "Voodoo Economics," an ignominious gift for the scientist who broke stagflation. For myself, I shared my work on Ceres with a respected "quantum mechanic" I know, and he gently ridiculed my article for "speculating." When did speculation become politically incorrect in science? We need to reestablish the culture of theoretical science.
Theoretical science is a mode of inquiry where inductive and deductive reasoning, plus human imagination and ingenuity, encourage the development of new models to explain and predict reality. What's been culturally lost to science can only be recovered by creating a new scientific culture. Current science stays with a model far longer than the data will support. When physicist Arthur Michaelson, of Michaelson-Morley fame, read Einstein's work on special relativity, he made it his life's mission to disprove the theory. But each experiment he made only showed tighter agreement with the theory. And that's a clue as to how we can recreate a new culture for theoretical science. If the data diverge from the core thesis then the thesis and the model underlying it is likely incorrect.
By contrast, if a model is deployed, and as new data are added, the case is strengthened, then the model is likely to be substantially correct. We notice this with the work of Dr. Thomas Van Flandern, formerly of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington. Dr. Van Flandern made the case in his book, Missing Planets, which was outlined in Joseph P. Farrell's The Cosmic War, that the asteroid belt and a lot of other associated data meant that it was likely that a planet was once there and it is now missing.
You might recall earlier that this author published a piece here (that blog can be found here) discussing the latest science about Ceres, in particular, some excellent scientific work MC De Sanctis and her team published in Science.
In scientific practice, if the data continue over time to tighten towards the thesis, the "data points of the histogram get closer together", then the thesis is likely correct. Well, the theses of Farrell and Van Flandern continue to thrive. Just this past week, our friends over at Phys.org published the latest story on Ceres and it's the most explicit yet.
Scientists are now actively talking about an ancient ocean. Now, my advice, when you read articles like this, is to completely blow past any of the dates they state and stick with the data. Often, when you see scientific writing you see phrases like "scientists believe that Mars had an ocean four billion years ago." Whenever you see that, you are not seeing science, just scientific narrative, which is meaningless. The metrology problems with scientific data are not well known unless you become an insider, but they are all over the place!
That said, JPL scientist Julie Castillo-Rogez and her fellow scientists have been doing a lot of interesting work.
"The Dawn team found that Ceres' crust is a mixture of ice, salts and hydrated materials that were subjected to past and possibly recent geologic activity, and that this crust represents most of that ancient ocean. The second study builds off the first and suggests there is a softer, easily deformable layer beneath Ceres' rigid surface crust, which could be the signature of residual liquid left over from the ocean, too.
"More and more, we are learning that Ceres is a complex, dynamic world that may have hosted a lot of liquid water in the past, and may still have some underground," said Julie Castillo-Rogez, Dawn project scientist and co-author of the studies, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.
Landing on Ceres to investigate its interior would be technically challenging and would risk contaminating the dwarf planet. Instead, scientists use Dawn's observations in orbit to measure Ceres' gravity, in order to estimate its composition and interior structure.
The first of the two studies, led by Anton Ermakov, a postdoctoral researcher at JPL, used shape and gravity data measurements from the Dawn mission to determine the internal structure and composition of Ceres. The measurements came from observing the spacecraft's motions with NASA's Deep Space Network to track small changes in the spacecraft's orbit. This study is published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.
Ermakov and his colleagues' research supports the possibility that Ceres is geologically active—if not now, then it may have been in the recent past. Three craters—Occator, Kerwan and Yalode—and Ceres' solitary tall mountain, Ahuna Mons, are all associated with "gravity anomalies." This means discrepancies between the scientists' models of Ceres' gravity and what Dawn observed in these four locations can be associated with subsurface structures. [emphasis mine]
"Ceres has an abundance of gravity anomalies associated with outstanding geologic features," Ermakov said. In the cases of Ahuna Mons and Occator, the anomalies can be used to better understand the origin of these features, which are believed to be different expressions of cryovolcanism." [emphasis mine]
There is nothing in the recent work by frontline scientific investigators that disputes the core thesis of Drs. Farrell and Van Flandern that the asteroid belt has a missing planet. And there is nothing in this latest work that refutes the theory this author proposed about Ceres being the remnant of the ocean of Tiamat, the Saturn-sized, oceanic world that traveled between Earth and Jupiter. If Ceres is the remnant of the ocean floor and a portion of the water of this ocean (my calculations say less than 6%, ceterus parabus), then one would expect gravitational anomalies as the debris from the exploded planet would be uneven and chaotic, like the southern surface of Mars being 5,000 feet higher than the northern part. My prediction is that the contents of Ceres and the debris on the southern surface of Mars will be chemically and radioactively similar to each other and different from the northern part of Mars. Confirmation of this fact will prove that Dr. Tom was right, that the remnants of Tiamat are found in the belt and on Mars.
I find that the comment about subsurface structures particularly noteworthy, given that the solar system is filled with broken structures almost anywhere you look. They are implying that these are 'natural structures', but are they? They don't say.
With success under our belts, we can begin in earnest the reform movement so desperately needed in science: a return to open propositions and a true theoretical culture. Thanks to the team at JPL for bringing our fact base a little closer to understanding.