Hilton Ratcliffe is Skeptical
Muse Harbor author Hilton Ratcliffe doesn’t shy away from controversy. In fact, the South African astrophysicist is quite certain that little of what we perceive about the cosmos is, in reality, reality. “Do black holes actually exist?” Ratcliffe wonders. “Let us not concern ourselves with what black holes are in the minds of cosmologists and theoretical physicists. Suffice it to say that black holes are theoretical constructs—monstrous objects presumed by some to exist in deep space—that possibly and ominously portend our extinction as a species and portray the eventual, inevitable doom of the entire universe…And which [Stephen Hawking], in January 2014, finally admitted might not be real after all.”
Which is our way of saying, What the heck’s out there? Is speculation better than a blatant species-wide shoulder shrug? Is there any problem in admitting we don’t know what lies within the infinite playground surrounding our own ‘little blue dot’?
Mr. Ratcliffe adds, “It is profoundly important that I state up front what this book is about: the power and influence of belief over data-driven science in creating our opinions, and the eternal, polarising conflict between belief and instinct in the development of our mindset…Please bear in mind that I am not proposing an alternative model of anything; I am merely tendering a method that favours objectivity in the development of all theories and philosophies, whatever they might be.”
Whatever those philosophies, we here at Muse Harbor believe Hilton’s thoughts to be heretically fabulous, filled with personal insights and brilliant speculations—with the caveat that, far out there—as well as deep in here—we often don’t really know what we’re talking about. Are the world’s great scientists, at a loss for certain knowledge, simply “smoking our socks?”