Like many scientists, Dobson is not a materialist. He believes that it is a mistake, encouraged by our genetics, to view the Universe as material. In his view, the Universe is apparitional. He also makes convincing arguments against the existence of the photon (using Einstein's theory of relativity) and debunks the Big Bang theory. In place of the Big Bang, Dobson presents a Steady State model which more accurately and more simply describes observed cosmological phenomena.
John Dobson, now in his 80's, is a man of humble means who finances his work by conducting Cosmology and Telescope Making classes. His work is not supported by any large research organization. This grassroots approach frees John from the scientific orthodoxy which handicaps many scientists today.
Webmaster's note: Most of John's writings exist only in paper form and are not currently in computer readable form. We are in the process of scanning and OCR'ing his writings, but this will take some time to complete. We are working to bring them online as soon as possible. This web site is constructed and maintained as a public service by MagicPubs at no cost to John Dobson or The Sidewalk Astronomers.
|About The Sidewalk Astronomers
|The Sidewalk Astronomers are a group of amateur astronomers who build telescopes and take them to public places beckoning passersby to come have a look at the heavens. They do this with no profit motive in mind; it is purely for the satisfaction of sharing the wonders of the heavens with others. If you want to know more about the The Sidewalk Astronomers, you may wish to visit their web sites: San Francisco and Los Angeles. On our site here, there are two papers by John Dobson, "Watchers of the Skies" and "Dying Stars Viewed From Death Valley", which will give you some insight into what motivated John to become involved with the Sidewalk Astronomers.
About John DobsonJohn Dobson, co-founder of the Sidewalk Astronomers and builder of telescopes, is a groundbreaking thinker and teacher. He was featured in the PBS television series "The Astronomers", has been written up several times in "Sky and Telescope" magazine, twice appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and has been interviewed many times for radio programs on stations such as Oregon Public Broadcasting. His theories in physics and cosmology boldly break new ground and significantly challenge the scientific orthodoxy. John Dobson is perhaps best known for his work in the design and construction of telescopes, however, as most telescopes made today use what is known as a "Dobsonian" mount.
John Dobson's scientific musings are very thought provoking and, like Einstein's Relativity, require us to re-examine many of our long-held views. While many leading scientists accept the Big Band model without question, Dobson does not. After examining the theory, Dobson concluded it was fatally flawed and has been debunking the Big Bang ever since. He predicts that the Big Bang will fall out of favor within this decade. In place of the Big Bang, Dobson presents a Steady State model which more accurately describes observed cosmological phenomena. His model does not suffer the flaws of its Steady State predecessors which were popular before the Big Bang theories. The Dobson Steady State model is simple and elegant. It is simpler than the various Big Bang theories and if we apply the Law of Parsimony (aka Occam's Razor), the Dobson model clearly wins due to its greater simplicity.
Like many scientists, Dobson is not a materialist. He admits that our desire to view the world as made up of indestructible matter, tiny billiard balls at the subatomic level, is very strongly instilled in us. But he believes that it is a mistake, encouraged by our genetics, to view the world this way. In his view and words, the "Universe is apparitional." For those familiar with the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Dobson's view is that the Universe is similar to a holographic projection on the Holodeck. Objects and people on the Holodeck are seemingly made of solid matter, but that is only an illusion. It is important to note that Dobson himself does not make this Holodeck analogy; he watches very little television and is unfamiliar with the newer Star Trek series.
No brief biography of John Dobson would be complete without mentioning the fact that he spent 27 years in a Vedanta monastery. Since leaving the monastery, he continues to live a spartan, unpretentious lifestyle. He is compelled to share the beauty of the universe with others, expecting nothing in return save the joy of sharing, and does so by setting up telescopes in public places beckoning passersby to come look through the telescope, and by conducting classes and public lectures.
ComplexificationsIs the apparent trend toward complexity in nature directed by a divinity, or an inevitable consequence inherent in the structure of the cosmos? In this paper, John Dobson explains how this trend could be a natural process which does not require a divine hand, however in so doing he has laid the groundwork supporting the notion that the cosmos itself may be divine. In this paper, Dobson discusses the apparitional nature of the universe, the creation of living organisms and ego, and genetic programming.
The Equations of MayaIn this paper, John Dobson discusses the apparitional nature of the universe and why we are fooled into viewing it in a Newtonian-mechanistic way. This paper is multidisciplinary and should be of interest to anyone interested in the subjects of anthropology, cosmology, genetic programming, relativity theory, sociology, quantum mechanics, or religion. Of this paper, Dobson wrote the following abstract:
Modern cosmologists usually take non-existence for granted and hope to get the Universe out of nothing. But must we assume that in the absence of the Universe and in the absence of space and time there would be nothing? Or can we, without so rash an assumption, find clues to what might remain if instead we take existence for granted but leave out space and time? Could what remains, through apparition or "maya," appear as this Universe? Can we, from what remains, get a Universe of gravity, electricity and inertia?
OriginsThis paper is John Dobson's response to a Questionnaire from the 1993 Parliament of Religions. In it he discusses the origin of the universe, life, and homo sapiens. He also discusses the relationship between religion and science. Topics deal with cosmological, biological and philosophical issues: Steady State vs. Big Bang theory, the Cosmic Expansion and the Background Radiation, the Origin of Life, Sentiency, Intelligence, Homo Sapiens, Tools, Language, Science and Religion.
Photons?In this paper John Dobson briefly discusses the nature of light. He begins with a brief history of the scientific quest to understand light starting with Newton. Dobson discusses why Einstein's relativity theory, in effect, says that photons do not exist. He concludes by suggesting an anti-existentialist view of existence. This paper is very brief and Dobson does not fully develop his ideas on the nature of photons nor his anti-existentialist views.