Warning: Gravity is Only a Theory

by Ellery Schempp.

Mr. Schempp, a member of the American Humanist Association and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, is a retired physicist who did research in chemical physics, energy conservation, and MRI technology. He is also famous for being the high school student who initiated the case that led to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1963 that declared devotional Bible readings in public schools unconstitutional.

All physics textbooks should include the following warning label:

This book contains material on gravity. Universal gravity is a theory, not a fact, regarding the natural law of attraction. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

The universal theory of gravity is often taught in schools as a "fact," when in fact it is not even a good theory.

First of all, no one has measured gravity for every atom and every star, so how do they know gravity is "universal?" Secondly, school textbooks routinely make false statements, such as "the moon goes around the Earth." Simple arithmetic using the theory of gravity shows that the sun's gravitational force on the moon is far greater than the Earth's force on the moon. So, if the theory of gravity were true, the moon has to go around the sun. Anybody can look up at night and see the obvious "gaps" in gravity theory.

The existence of tides is often taken as proof of gravity, but this is logically flawed. Because if the moon's "gravity" were responsible for a bulge underneath the Earth, then how can anyone explain a high tide on the opposite side of the Earth at the same time? Anyone can observe that there are two high tides every day—not just one. It is far more likely that tides were given to us by an intelligent creator long ago and they have been with us ever since. In any case, two high tides falsifies gravity.

There are numerous other flaws. For example, astronomers, who seem to have a fetish for gravity, tell us that the moon rotates on its axis but at the same time it always presents the same face to Earth. Is it not patently absurd for both conditions to be true? Moreover, if gravity were working on the early Earth, then our planet would have been bombarded out of existence by falling asteroids, meteors, comets, and other space junk. Furthermore, gravity theory suggests that the planets have been moving in orderly orbits for millions and millions of years, which wholly contradicts the second law of thermodynamics. Since everything in the universe tends toward disorder according to this law, orderly orbits are impossible.

While microgravity can be observed when, for example, one drops an egg on the floor, this doesn't prove that macrogravity exists. If there is macrogravity, why don't the sun, the moon, and the planets all fall down and hit the Earth, or why doesn't the Earth fall into the sun? Heavenly bodies don't fall, obviously, because there is no macrogravity. Some argue that planetary orbits are proof of gravity. According to gravitationalists, gravity applies in a straight line between different objects; gravity doesn't make things spin in circles. But the planets do move in circles, and then the gravitationalists say such orbits prove macrogravity. This is mere circular reasoning.

Moreover, if gravity were a complete theory, it would show a full range of transitional forms. No one has ever found the missing links in gravity. Instead, it is presented as fact, with no adequate explanation of its origins. Gravity hasn't been shown to be "irreducibly complex," which undermines the claims for a universal theory.

In the interest of fair and balanced education, there are numerous alternative theories that should be taught on an equal basis. For example, the observed behavior of the Earth revolving around the sun can be perfectly explained if the sun has a net positive charge and the planets have a net negative charge, since opposite charges attract and the force is an inverse-square law, exactly like the increasingly discredited theory of gravity. Physics and chemistry texts emphasize that this is the explanation for electrons going around the nucleus. So if it works for atoms, why not for the solar system? The answer is simple: scientific orthodoxy. Teach the controversy.

The U.S. Patent Office has never issued a patent for antigravity. Why is this? According to natural law and homeopathy, everything exists in opposites: good-evil, grace-sin, positive-negative charges, north-south poles, good vibes-bad vibes, and so forth. We know there are antievolutionists, so why not antigravitationalists? This is clearly a case of the scientific establishment elite protecting its own. Antigravity papers are routinely rejected from peer-reviewed journals, and scientists who propose antigravity quickly lose their funding. Universal gravity theory is just a way to keep the grant money flowing.

Even Isaac Newton, said to be the discoverer of gravity, knew there were problems with the theory. He claims to have imagined the idea early in his life, but he knew that no mathematician of his day would accept his theory so he invented a whole new branch of mathematics, called fluxions, just to "prove" it. This became calculus, a deeply flawed branch having to do with so-called "infinitesimals," which have never been observed. Then when Albert Einstein invented a new theory of gravity, he too used an obscure bit of mathematics called tensors. It seems that every time there is a theory of gravity, it gets mixed up with fringe mathematics. (Newton, by the way, was far from being a secular scientist, since the bulk of his writings focused on theology and Christianity. His dabbling in gravity, alchemy, and calculus was a mere sideline, perhaps an aberration best left forgotten in describing his career and faith in a creator.)

To make matters worse, proponents of gravity theory hypothesize about mysterious things called gravitons and gravity waves. These have never been observed, and when some accounts of detecting gravity waves were published, the physicists involved had to quickly retract them. Every account of antigravity and gravity waves quickly turns to laughter. This isn't a theory suitable for children, and even kids can see how ridiculous it is that people in Australia are upside down with respect to us, as gravity theory would have it. If this is an example of the predictive power of the theory of gravity, we can see that, at the core, there is no foundation.

Gravity totally fails to explain why Saturn has rings and Jupiter does not. It utterly fails to account for obesity. In fact, what it does "explain" is far outweighed by what it doesn't.

It is safe to say that without the theory of gravity, not only would talk about a "Big Bang" evaporate, but important limitations in such sports as basketball would be lifted. This would greatly benefit the games and enhance revenue, as is proper in a faith-based, free-enterprise society.

The theory of gravity violates common sense in many other ways. Adherents have a hard time explaining, for instance, why airplanes don't fall out of the sky. Since antigravity is rejected by the scientific establishment, they resort to lots of hand waving. The theory, if taken seriously, implies that the default position for all airplanes is on the ground. While this may obviously be true for Northwest Airlines, it appears that Jet Blue and Southwest have succeeded in harnessing forces that succeed over so-called gravity.

It is unlikely that the laws of gravity will be repealed given the present geopolitical climate, but there is no need to teach unfounded theories in the public schools. There is, indeed, evidence that the theory of gravity is having a grave effect on morality. Activist judges and left-leaning teachers often use the phrase "what goes up must come down" as a way of describing gravity, and relativists have been quick to apply this to moral standards and common decency.

It isn't even clear why we need a theory of gravity—there isn't a single mention in the Bible, and the patriotic founding fathers never referred to it. If gravity wasn't important in Moses's day or that of Thomas Jefferson, it is ridiculous to take it seriously now.

Finally, the mere name "universal theory of gravity" (or theory of universal gravity—the secularists like to use confusing language) has a distinctly socialist ring to it. The core idea, "to each according to his weight, from each according to his mass" is suspiciously communist. There is no reason that gravity should apply to the just and the unjust equally, and the saved should have relief from such "universalism." Furthermore, if we have universal gravity now, then universal health care will be sure to follow. It's this kind of universalism that saps a nation's moral fiber.

Overall, the theory of universal gravity is simply not an attractive theory. It is based on borderline evidence, has many serious gaps in what it claims to explain, is clearly wrong in important respects, and has social and moral deficiencies. If taught in the public schools by misdirected "educators" it has to be balanced with alternative, more attractive theories with genuine gravity and spiritual gravitas.