The best of Fred Hutchison
A dilettante debates the scientists
Fred Hutchison, RenewAmerica analyst
February 28, 2013

Originally published March 3, 2006

Last fall, I had extended e-mail debates with two credentialed scientists. One was a defender of Einstein, and the other a defender of the global warming theory. Both scientists contacted me after I published critiques of the science models that they support. They both initiated an e-mail discussion in order to set me straight. Not being a professional scientist, I was willing to be set straight, provided that the scientists were logically convincing and demonstrated good faith.

As I summarize these debates for our readers, there will be moments that will be embarrassing for the two scientists, if they condescend to read this review. The reader should keep in mind that the scientists deserve credit for having the courage to come out of their snug ivory towers to debate with a writer who can answer back, and who can publish the debate.

The condensed manner in which I recount the highlights of the debate might fail to give adequate recognition to those moments in which the scientists made good points. I have an unfair advantage over the scientists in that I have the printed e-mail conversation sitting before me, and they might not have access to it so they can defend themselves. In the name of fairness, I shall identify them by initials, and not by name.

Tidy-minded clarity, big-picture myopia

The Einstein defender (Dr. M) set me straight on a minor technical issue that was not really germane to the central questions at stake. The global warming defender (Dr. G) was a clearer thinker than Dr. M., albeit more hostile and obnoxious. Dr. G set me straight on two points that are worthy of telling our readers about. However, he brushed aside a couple of major issues that effectively neutralized the impact of his points.

What I did not expect was that both of the scientists made great blunders, which opened opportunities for me to explain the central fallacies of their case. This was fun for me, but not for them. Neither scientist was grateful to have his mistaken assumptions and errors of logic and theory pointed out. I learned and grew from the experience. They both went away in angry denial with parting insults, having learned nothing. Scientific debate during this era of institutional monopolies on scientific models is not what it is cracked up to be.

Are you a teacher...and know not these things?

The scientists did not understand some of the basics of the scientific models they were defending! I had to fill in the missing pieces of the global warming model for the global warming defender! I had to explain some elemental basics of Einstein's theory of relativity and gravity to the Einstein defender!

I caught the Einstein defender (Dr. M) red-handed using mathematics designed for the physics of Newton. He used Newtonian math to support Einstein, which is illogical and improper. Einstein's models of physics and mathematics are purported to be replacements of Newton's model. At several places in the dialogue, I had to point out that what he was saying contradicts Einstein. (For more details about my interesting debate with Dr. M, scan down below.)

Dr. G, the global warming defender, made some good points, but refused to consider the role of (a) the cooling of carbon dioxide at night and (b) heat loss from the atmosphere to outer space as part of the daily warming and cooling cycle! He insisted that the important but lesser question of how heat in the air warms the ground was to be our focus. He impatiently rejected all discussion about my greenhouse analogy of the massive amounts of heat daily escaping into the atmosphere, thus dissipating the heat build-up in the air during the day. Not being one of his students to be bullied about and told what I am allowed to talk about, I insisted that we not ignore the key factors of carbon dioxide cooling and heat escape into the atmosphere. He stonewalled to the bitter end against discussing these matters, on the grounds he did not like the greenhouse allegory. In other words, the global warming camp is allowed to use the greenhouse analogy for their model, but I am not. These guys do not fight fair, and are sore losers. (Scan down for more of the debate below.)

How was I, a science dilettante and hobbyist, able to pull off this tour-de-force of debate with certified experts? As an autodidact, polymath, and armchair philosopher, science for me is a sideline and a hobby. My scientific knowledge is really nothing special. A bright, nerdy college student majoring in science who reads science magazines could probably match my knowledge of contemporary science. My edge on the nerd is that I have experience with the critical analysis of technical and philosophical concepts, plus a pretty fair knowledge of scientific controversies, the philosophy of science, and the history of science.

The surreal tale of my debates with the two scientists is not really about me. It's about the scandal of the mediocrity and ignorance of many credentialed scientists, who are securely ensconced in our large, dysfunctional institutions of science. Beyond that, it is a story of men out of their depth with critical analysis and debate and who are incapable of handling intelligent criticism with grace. Taxpayers, your money supports such men in institutions that shield them from effective criticism and accountability!

Of course, not all scientists or departments of science are languishing in institutional mediocrity and intellectual paralysis. I am an admirer of some of the scientists of our day. However, certain departments of science that are dominated by a monolithic theory are dysfunctional. Some of the models that are institutionally protected from criticism are: evolution to new species through random mutations, global warming through carbon dioxide emissions, and Einstein's theories of general relativity and gravity.

Theories can be in crisis without institutional protection, of course. For example, quantum mechanics and the big bang theories have been in perpetual crisis. "String theory" (which deals with multiple dimensions and alterative universes) is a madhouse of speculation and Byzantine mathematics – a playground of the mind, out of touch with the real world of nature and empirical tests. For all my criticisms of Einstein as a blackboard mathematical theorist, I credit him with never retreating from hard empirical realities.

String theory nerds are at one extreme of scientific dysfunction. Institutional automatons, trapped in the prevailing model of their field, are at the opposite extreme. It is in the dark world of the automatons where the reasoning powers black out and men lose touch with the basic concepts of their own models.

Intellectual travelers must be alert to avoid the nerds unchained on the left and the automatons paralyzed on the right. The land of the nerds is an intellectual jungle where one can get lost in untamed undergrowth. The land of the automatons is an intellectual prison where one can get trapped and where the mind is held in chains.

The dogmatic institutional automatons remind me of the tidy-minded Pharisees. When Nicodemus, a Pharisee, asked Jesus a question, He responded, "Are you a teacher of Israel and know not these things?" (John 3:10) If Drs. M and G are authorities and teachers in their fields, how is it they "know not these things" – that is to say, how can they not know about basic concepts of their fields?

Professional puzzle solvers

"Dr. M," who is doing postgraduate research with MIT, told me that he is doing research into the "phenomenon of relativity-denial." In other words, those who disagree with him on the theory of relativity represent a syndrome to be studied as one might study a rare insect, or toxins in the drinking water. MIT, an elite institution of science, actually pays him to do this. It beats working for a living.

Science historian Thomas Kuhn, author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, perfectly described the attitudes of men like Dr. M. Once a scientific model becomes a "prevailing paradigm" that is backed by a powerful institution, the practice of "normal science" is reduced to reconciling anomalies with the established model. (Anomalies are facts that contradict the model.) Kuhn referred to the reconciliation of anomalies as "puzzle-solving." Puzzle-solving includes tweaking the model and reinterpreting the evidence. The general validity of the model is assumed, so when the model does not work, millions of dollars of tax-subsidized funds, and many years of mind-numbing puzzle-solving by paid professionals, are lavished upon the mission of defending and vindicating the officially-approved model.

These professional puzzle-solvers include a number of intellectually-mediocre and narrow-minded individuals. This is nothing like what our high school textbooks told us about science, of course. We were told that scientists skeptically test and criticize all hypotheses and all models, and follow the evidence wherever it leads, in an open-minded search for the truth. Such men do exist, of course, but they are now the exception rather than the rule. A career can be snuffed out if the establishment learns that one of its scientists is open-minded to the suggestion that the prevailing model might have potholes, or that an alternative model has merits. According to Kuhn, dogmatism and group-think are not new to science. The history of science offers many examples of this phenomenon.

Kuhn described in depth the historical wars of science. When a rival model appeared to threaten the prevailing paradigm of the day, some of those who would normally be assigned to puzzle-solving were reassigned to fight against the rival model, as was Dr. M. A science writer for my home town newspaper (Dr. O) frankly admitted that he had been diverted from his primary field of research at Ohio State University to fight those who are critical of the model of gradual evolution to new species through random mutations. Dr. O and Dr. M are now professional debunkers of rival models and seek to discredit the opponents of their institutions' official model.

The government-sponsored institutionalization of science often has tended toward the suppression of new ideas. The Sputnik panic, when Americans realized they were behind in the space race, led to the massive government subsidy of institutions of science. Mediocrities – who do not like new ideas – knocked at the door of these institutions and found that the road to big salaries and tenure is paved with formal credentials. They followed the well-trod path of careerism within the system and thrived in the labyrinth of institutional bureaucracy. They had no compelling interest in ideas for their own sake, but were committed to established doctrine, which they learned by rote to pass tests but never deeply understood. Therefore, the post-Sputnik world saw the ascendancy of ambitious mediocrities to the seats of power in our bloated, bureaucratic institutions of science.

"Ahem. Gentlemen of the committee, come to order. Our opponents are capitalizing upon what they imagine to be flaws in our model. Harumph! Let us spend another $50 million for PPP: puzzle-solving, propaganda, and partisan attacks against our opponents. Those anti-scientific fools who are not credentialed by us must be silenced. Why doesn't someone do research on 'relativity denial'?"

Debating the professional Einstein defender

Dr. M did not mince his words about my criticism of Einstein. "This article is incorrect on point of fact from beginning to end," he said. This comment is nonsense, of course. There was only one minor technical fact about which I conceded that I might be wrong, but the point was irrelevant to the case, so I did not care to pursue it. He invited me to make an unconditional surrender and "retract my essay in its entirety" because of that one arcane point. That stance combined with his wild assertion that my case is wrong on every point indicates that his sole agenda was to get me to lapse into silence. Silly boy. Interestingly, his critique of my essay was so sloppy that I eventually suggested that he "retract his critique in its entirety."

Interestingly, Dr. M's very first word of criticism was incorrect. He quoted my statement that "when Einstein tried to prove that movement and time are relative, he ignored his dictum about the relativity of the movement of two objects." I was referring to the twins phenomenon in which, according to Einstein, a twin on a spaceship would age more slowly than his twin on earth. This contradicts Einstein's relativity of two moving bodies.

According to the physics of Isaac Newton, there is one stationary twin on the earth and another twin that is moving. According to Einstein's relativity of two moving bodies, both twins are in motion as they move away from each other. One might say the twin in the spaceship blasts off from the earth and the twin on earth blasts off from the spaceship. Therefore, it is arbitrary to say that the twin on earth ages faster than the twin in space, instead of saying the twin in the spaceship ages faster than the twin on earth.

However, in order to prove the relativity of movement and time, Einstein abandoned his own rule and insisted upon a fixed frame for one of the moving bodies. Einstein compromised his own physics and reverted to Newton's physics, which assumes that the earth is the fixed point and the spaceship is the only object moving. Einstein contradicted Einstein. (In my column of 1/28/05, I described the twins paradox, and the standard solution to the twins paradox commonly offered to students. Then I explained why the standard solution to the twins paradox does not work.)

Dr. M did not seem to understand the "twins paradox," which has been under discussion for much of the twentieth century. He answered, "On the contrary, there is nothing ignored. The relationship between time and space is expressed in a Lorenz transformation. This has the property of a 'symmetry group' in mathematics, in that it is self-consistent." I responded, "I never said that Einstein's mathematics were not symmetrical and internally consistent. That is the very thing that Einstein cared the most about." Einstein was so eager to make his mathematics of time and space internally consistent and symmetrical that he fudged on his theory of the relativity of two moving objects. The twins paradox is a true contradiction, the contradiction of two of Einstein's laws. (This is not the only time Einstein cheated. In my prior issue analysis, I describe Einstein's "cosmological constant" as a fudge figure Einstein used because his mathematics did not work.)

Dr. M denied that the twins moved like two objects traveling apart. I quote him, "That is not true; relativity includes a strict definition of 'inertial frames.' The 'rocket twin' is not in an inertial frame, and will be aware of this whether or not he or she ever looks back at home." Dr. M's statement is true of Newton's physics, but is false concerning Einstein's physics! Newton measured inertia in relation to a fixed point. Einstein measured the relative movement of two bodies in relation to one another without regard to any fixed point. He ruled out the idea that Earth is a fixed position or a stationary starting point.

I knew this in high school! The classic demonstration for students is that when a professor drops a book to the floor, the book moves four feet towards the floor and the earth moves a fraction of a molecule's width towards the book. The radical difference in the distance of movement is due to the radical difference in the mass of the earth and the mass of the book. Nevertheless, the book and the earth are two moving objects, not a fixed object and a moving object.

Dr. M argued that the twin on the spaceship experienced "G" forces of acceleration and the twin on earth did not experience "G" forces. Therefore, the twin on earth is in the fixed frame. That is what Newton thought, but it is not what Einstein thought. G-forces might be experienced by the twin in the spaceship for the first ten seconds of acceleration, but no inertia will be experienced for most of the flight. If two sections of a spaceship separate through an explosive charge, individuals in both sections might feel G forces for a few seconds. The smaller section will have greater G forces than the larger section, but that does not mean that the larger section is the fixed frame and the smaller section is the moving frame. Dr. M's argument that the temporary sensation of G forces cancels out the relativity of two moving objects is illogical.

For a while, I argued with Dr. M that placing the inertial frame on earth is arbitrary and selective, and he responded by explaining Lorentz mathematics. I decided to check his mathematics on the internet. There seemed to be something vaguely familiar about it. Then I recalled Dr. M saying that orbiting bodies follow conic sections – hyperbolae, parabolas, or ellipses. Then the words "Kepler! – Eureka!" flashed in my mind's eye in a moment of realization.

Johannes Kepler (1571-1530), German Lutheran astronomer, was the discoverer of the three laws of planetary motion. He used trigonometry, geometry, and illustrations of conic sections to establish his three laws. Kepler died before Sir Isaac Newton was born. However, Kepler's laws of planetary motion belong to the era of Newton's physics.

Hendrik Lorentz published his "Lorentz transformation" in 1904 prior to Einstein's publication on physics. Einstein is said to have been influenced by Lorentz. Lorentz studied electromagnetism and its effect on the apparent absence of movement of the earth with respect to the "ether." Lorentz' preoccupation with fixed frames and the "ether" reveal him to be a man of nineteenth century science, which was still a world framed by Newton's physics.

My eureka moment involved a pattern recognition. Lorentz' mathematics, diagrams, and conic sections build in part on Kepler's ideas, and bear a family resemblance to Kepler. Lorentz was much closer in his cosmology to Kepler and Newton than he was to Einstein.

To test my theory, I asked Dr. M if he was using Kepler. He did not answer directly, but said that the difference between Newton's math and Einstein's math is negligible! Three times I asked him if he was using Kepler, and three times he gave the same answer. It is pretty clear that Dr. M sees Dr. Lorentz as a figure from the world of Newtonian physics and mathematics.

Now it is quite true that on the human scale, the difference between Newton and Einstein is negligible. However, the difference is not negligible for a spaceship leaving the earth's atmosphere and going to the moon or to Mars. That is why the scientists in the space program rely upon Einstein's mathematics.

The twins paradox involves one twin leaving earth in a spaceship and traveling at high speed through space. Einstein's mathematics are needed to guide the ship into and out of earth's orbit and subsequently into the orbit of another planet. Dr. M uses Lorentz mathematics in his answer to the twins paradox on the grounds that it doesn't matter because the difference is negligible. But he is incorrect to suggest it makes little difference. While the difference is indeed negligible on the human scale on earth, it's a material difference for the flight of the twin in a spaceship! Dr. M, Lorentz mathematics is invalid for the twins paradox!

Whirlpools vs. conic sections

If Einstein is correct, planets revolve because gravity causes a warp in the space-time continuum. Such a warp might cause heavenly bodies to move like vortexes or whirlpools. Our disk-shaped spinning galaxy resembles a vortex, with stars spun outward by centrifugal force. The decaying orbit of a satellite that eventually crashes on a planet resembles the inward spiral of a whirlpool.

If Kepler, Newton, and Lorentz are correct, I would expect the movements of orbiting bodies to resemble conical sections. Kepler believed that heavenly bodies mirrored the Creator's perfection and moved in a purely geometric manner. Kepler saw divine order and beauty in the geometric movements of heavenly bodies.

Incredibly, I argued for vortexes and whirlpools, and Dr. M argued for conical sections. Why would I, an Einstein critic, argue for the Einstein-friendly model of vortexes and whirlpools? Why would Dr. M, an Einstein defender, argue for the conical sections from of the world of Kepler, Newton, and Lorentz? Did we both get turned upside down in the smoke and mirror of debate? Well, I feel that somehow Dr. M got turned upside-down and was unwittingly undercutting his own model. Was I also turned upside-down?

During the debate with Dr. M, I remained consistent with what I had said in my essay. I said that Einstein's general relativity and gravity are useful for measuring movements of bodies in interplanetary space. I also said that Einstein's physics is of no use for the human scale or for the mega-scale of the movement of galaxies. My respect for the usefulness of Einstein within a certain range and scale of use was tempered by the reflection that there is always a necessary gap between scientific models and nature. Scientific models are constructs of the limited mind of man in an attempt to mimic nature. Nature is created by God according to the designs of His transcendent mind. The attempt to observe and mimic the superficial effects of nature are useful, but do not signify a deep understanding of the design and essence of nature. Models are useful when they approximate the behavior of events of nature well enough to make reliable predictions of natural events. Newton calculated the acceleration of falling bodies using a model, but admitted that he had no idea why bodies fall. Unlike Newton, Einstein fooled himself into thinking that he understood nature. The intoxicating illusion of being a master of nature might account for Einstein's seductive spell on the minds of men of the twentieth century.

My argument for whirlpools and vortexes was in accord with my recognition of the usefulness of Einstein's model within a limited range of measurement, not that Einstein's model was right or wrong. Scientific models contrived by man to mimic nature are never right or wrong, only useful or useless.

Oddly, Dr. M insisted that I was arguing that Einstein was wrong. I could not shake him from this conviction, and he became angry when I tried. After all, he was involved in researching the phenomenon of relativity denial and has categorized me as a specimen of this phenomenon. Once the bug is mounted and labeled in the display case, it is inconsiderate for the bug to jump off the display.

Falling bodies and orbital decay

I argued that Einstein offered no explanation of why an apple falling from a tree moves straight down. A warp in the space-time continuum – i.e., Einstein's gravity – seems to cause a moving object in space to curve as it passes by the warp. However, such a warp is not a direct force of attraction, as is Newton's gravity. Newton explained that an apple falls straight down from the tree due to a direct attraction between the mass of the apple and the mass of the earth. A warp in the space-time continuum is not a direct force of attraction. Such a warp can only change the direction of a moving object, if the object passes the warp in a flanking movement. The trajectory of the object curves as it passes nearby. That is why an asteroid passing near the earth can be captured by earth's gravity and either enter a stable orbit or spiral inwards in a whirlpool motion.

Dr. M's answer was: "It is straightforward to prove that if you apply Einstein's GR equations to weaker and weaker gravity fields, they give results that are closer and closer to Newton's. Earth's gravity is quite weak...and thus local GR is nearly indistinguishable from Newton's gravity, except in high precision experiments. In order to deny that GR explains falling bodies, you have to deny that Newton's does."

Very shaky argument, Dr. M! You have still not explained why a warp in the space-time continuum causes an apple to fall straight down.

Dr. M's argument is: (a) Newton recognizes a force of attraction that causes an apple to fall straight down. (b) It is difficult to differentiate between Newton's math and Einstein's math when working on the human scale on earth. Therefore, (c) Einstein's gravity causes an apple to fall straight down. This is a false syllogism of the cum hoc ergo proctor hoc fallacy. The fallacy is an assertion that when two things move together, they have the same cause and behavior. But this is absurd. Newton said that gravity is a direct force of attraction. Einstein said that no such force of attraction exists. Therefore, we cannot make inferences about Einstein's gravity by observing mathematic parallels between Einstein's gravity and Newton's gravity in highly selective measurements. Dr. M's argument is illogical.

Neither Dr. M nor Einstein has a logical explanation for why an apple falls from a tree in a straight, downward trajectory. Science students are offered whirlpool motion analogies of Einstein's gravity – which tells us nothing about the fall of an apple.

Global warming summary

Because I have run long on the Einstein debate, I shall be brief on the global warming debate. In my issue analysis piece on the subject, I argued that the mean global temperature has increased by one degree in the twentieth century mainly because the earth's climate is still in recovery from the five-hundred-year "Little Ice Age." Sunspot activity corresponds with moderate warming and cooling periods of a five-hundred-year length, give or take a century. My arguments about carbon dioxide were as follows:
  1. The water cycle – and not the carbon dioxide cycle – causes the greenhouse effect.

  2. Carbon dioxide is a naturally-occurring colorless, odorless gas. It is a diffused gas and does not form into clouds like water droplets.

  3. Carbon dioxide is essential to the life of all the green plants on earth, and is the foundation for the dominant carbon-based life on earth.

  4. Most of the carbon dioxide in the air comes from (a) the oxidation and exhalations of every plant and animal on earth, (b) volcanic eruptions, and (c) forest fires. The volume of carbon dioxide emissions from industry and cars is the fourth and least material source of carbon dioxide.
Dr. G's good arguments

Dr. G argued that warm gasses release heat at different rates – and that carbon dioxide releases its heat more slowly than does the nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere. Dr. G is correct. (A reader also told me about this.) Dr. G also noted that warm air helps to heat the ground. Dr. G is correct on that point as well.

My response

I responded as follows:
  1. The ground is heated by the sun and radiates heat into the air. The effect of this radiation from the ground is more striking than the effect of warm air heating the ground.

  2. The greenhouse effect occurs when the rate of heat accumulation exceeds the rate of heat escape. In a greenhouse, heat builds up during the day as objects in the greenhouse are warned by the sun. Heat is radiated from solid objects in the greenhouse, and heat in the air builds up faster than heat escaping through the windows. During the night, the greenhouse cools because the loss of heat through the windows continues all night, while the radiation of heat in the greenhouse subsides. Heat escaping through the greenhouse windows is an analogy for heat escaping from the atmosphere into outer space.

  3. The rate of heat release by carbon dioxide during the day is less important than the amount of heat released over a 24-hour period. If carbon dioxide releases its heat more slowly than oxygen and hydrogen, then the ground is slower to warm up in the morning and slower to cool down in the late evening. If carbon dioxide falls behind other gasses in the amount of heat released during the day, it has the entire night to catch up. By morning, carbon dioxide in the air has about the same temperature as nitrogen and oxygen in the air. The only way carbon dioxide can affect global warming is if carbon dioxide molecules at 5:00 A.M. are warmer than oxygen and nitrogen molecules. But this is preposterous.

  4. The earth's warmth reaches equilibrium when the warming of the atmosphere is balanced by the escape of heat into space. The only possible way that carbon dioxide can cause global warming is if it reduces the total amount of heat escaping into the atmosphere during a 24-hour period. It is clear that water droplets in clouds slow the release of heat, but it is not clear that carbon dioxide gas can do this. If proposition #3 is true, and the quantity of heat released by carbon dioxide over a 24-hour period is the same as other gasses, then it is highly dubious that carbon dioxide gas reduces the amount of heat released into space. The greenhouse model of global warming does not work.
Dr. G storms off in a huff

Dr. G refused to discuss the cooling of carbon dioxide during the night or the escape of heat from the atmosphere into outer space. He was extremely annoyed when I insisted upon discussing these issues. He signed off with personal insults when he discovered that he could not control the debate and that I was not intimidated by his credentials or impressed by his logic. It was not enough that I acknowledged the good points he made. My effrontery to explain to him how the greenhouse effect works in daily cycles was probably the pill he could not swallow. His only response to my explanation of the greenhouse effect was to deny that the analogy of a greenhouse is valid. He gave no explanation of why it is not valid, of course, or why the advocates of global warming theory constantly use the analogy that he rejects. When reason and logic fail, one can always stonewall and storm off in a huff.

Oz the Terrible

What has all this to do with the culture war at the heart of the issue? The moral of the story is that one ought not be afraid to challenge bad ideas and to debate with the "experts." Many of our opponents in the culture war are not very bright people. They get easily overwhelmed by clear, critical thinking. I entered both of these debates supposing that the experts might slaughter me, only to find out that they were not that hard to refute.

In the fable The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her companions entered the throne room of "Oz the Terrible and the Magnificent," and saw a frightening giant head with fire spitting out and sound effects. Toto, the little dog, pulled away a set of curtains to reveal that the head was a projection on the wall, and that a carnival con-man was operating the controls. The Oz throne room is a metaphor for my debate with the scientists. I had the fun of playing Toto and pulling away the curtain. The scientists I debated were closer in stature to the carnival con man than to Oz the Magnificent. However, their intimidated students tend to think of them as the terrible Oz that no mere mortal dares to challenge.

What is the point of debating and defeating incompetent experts? The prevailing paradigm of science that they defend has become a proud idol. We always gain ground for the good when we cast down idols. Like the Oz image, such idols cast their spell over the mind of man to seduce and terrify. Such spells must be broken and disbursed before the truth can prevail. Sometimes all it takes is someone playing Toto, which any bright intrepid student can do.

No man can come to the truth if his mind is blinded by idols. At the same time, when you knock idols down, the idol worshipers will hate you for it. That is the price we pay for fighting for the truth.

A prevailing paradigm can be abused so that it brings the mind into bondage. Bondage to prevailing paradigms may be part of the reason why the two scientists I debated – who are men of proven academic achievement – have become intellectually shrunken and narrow. As we fight for truth, we must resist those petty tyrants whose minds are in bondage and who are trying to bring the minds of others into bondage.

"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." Thomas Jefferson

A message from Stephen Stone, President, RenewAmerica

I first became acquainted with Fred Hutchison in December 2003, when he contacted me about an article he was interested in writing for RenewAmerica about Alan Keyes. From that auspicious moment until God took him a little more than six years later, we published over 200 of Fred's incomparable essays — usually on some vital aspect of the modern "culture war," written with wit and disarming logic from Fred's brilliant perspective of history, philosophy, science, and scripture.

It was obvious to me from the beginning that Fred was in a class by himself among American conservative writers, and I was honored to feature his insights at RA.

I greatly miss Fred, who died of a brain tumor on August 10, 2010. What a gentle — yet profoundly powerful — voice of reason and godly truth! I'm delighted to see his remarkable essays on the history of conservatism brought together in a masterfully-edited volume by Julie Klusty. Restoring History is a wonderful tribute to a truly great man.

The book is available at

© Fred Hutchison


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They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. —Isaiah 40:31