Professor James W. Cronin won a Nobel Prize for "repudiating a fundamental law of physics".
Isn't that wonderful! For *repudiating* a long-held idea he gets the world's highest scientific prize.
That's the way science advances. That's how humankind advances. By disproving old ideas, leading to new and better ideas. Theories, we call them. They are alway falsifiable, and the longer they can't be falsified, the sounder they are. But scientists welcome the falsification of dearly held views, because they know that this offers rich veins for new and better Theories.
Imagine, by contrast, if you tried to repudiate a fundamental belief of any religion: say, that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Or that Muhammad didn't hear the Angel Gabriel, but instead was a schizophrenic who heard voices. In the first case calumny heaped on your head. In the second case, off with your head!
That's the wonder of science. And the perniciousness of faith.
James W. Cronin, a physicist who shared a Nobel Prize for repudiating a fundamental principle of physics and explaining why the universe survived the Big Bang with anything in it, died on Thursday in St. Paul. He was 84.
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