THE AIM OF THIS BLOG

The aim of this blog is twofold:

                   To share a wonderful experience

                                     To share a blinding insight.

      From 1977 to 2012 I was a key member of the Hubble Space Telescope team which designed, built and then exploited that extraordinary eye on the Universe. Ours was to be a voyage of discovery as exciting, but more momentous than any undertaken by Marco Polo or Vasco da Gama. It will take generations, perhaps millennia to recognise the real implication of what we were to find. It always does. Up until his death Columbus was convinced he’d been to Japan – never discovered America.

     As one of the original crew I have tried to tell our story in a quartet of ‘novels’ just published (2020) entitled ‘Written in the Stars’. The blog is designed to introduce them to you in the hope that those who love adventure might like to share, and join in.

     Active Science is so exciting partly because it is an arena of conflicting ideas and conflicting evidence. Hidden Galaxies, my own passion, became such a controversial subject that international conferences devoted to them sometimes broke up in acrimonious disagreement. But such violent controversies are nothing new in science. I innocently supposed that they are finally adjudicated by reference to “The Scientific Method”. So, after one particularly disagreeable conference, I set out to pin down that Method and appeal to it for the truth about Hidden Galaxies. Did they exist or were they figments of our overexcited imaginations?

     But I was to get a real shock. It turned out that no real Scientist appeared to know what the so called Scientific Method was. Philosophers and Statisticians were certain that they knew – but alas they disagreed violently amongst themselves, and anyway they didn’t appear to know how real science was done. Successful Scientists said it was ‘Common Sense’, but they couldn’t explain how Common Sense Thinking actually worked, not even Einstein. So I was embarked on another voyage of discovery even more exciting than the one with Hubble. It was to range across 2,500 years, be turned back by impassable obstacles , and lose itself along meandering jungle trails. After a dozen years of slogging I was almost ready to give up. But then, in the most unexpected place, at the most unlikely moment, I caught what I thought must be a glimpse of light. Pressing on, the trees thinned out and there it stood , as it must have stood for millions upon millions of years: the secret of our own survival: Common Sense, Wisdom, call it what you like.

We all need to think to the very best of our ability. Alas, millennia ago, scholars and priests befuddled themselves before befuddling us, which they have been doing ever since. I know that sounds unlikely, but it is so, as you will find out on a journey back with me into Thinking For Ourselves, which is the name of our blog, and the accompanying book. And you don’t have to be a genius to do so, or have three degrees, indeed they may even be a hindrance. After all, Common Sense must be buried deep inside all of us, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. It’s just been baducated out of us. That’s the reason so many of us fall for propaganda and other fake news. We’ve simply got to reclaim our birth-right: Common Sense. And when we do so we will really take off, both as individuals, and as a species.

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