"...to establish it [gravitation] as original or primitive in certain parts of matter is to resort either to miracle or an imaginary occult quality." -- Gottfreid W. Leibniz, polymath, July 1710
"Since Newton announced his universal law of gravitation, scientists have accepted and educators taught it, and rarely has it been questioned. Occasionally one has the temerity to say that gravitation is a myth, an invented word to cover scientific ignorance." -- C.H. Kilmer, historian, October 1915
Here is a recent example of someone who still has faith in Newton's pre-Space Age 17th century creationist hypothesis:
Ford, M., Is Gravity Not Actually a Force? Forcing Theory to Meet Experiments, Ars Technica, Apr 2011
How are controversial ideas handled by modern science? A common charge leveled against science (generally by those who are unhappy with its conclusions) is that the only way to get funding or continue your research is by going along with the current theories and not rocking the boat. For those who spend their careers in science, this is laughable—it is those who successfully rock the boat who are the most successful. In this article, we are going to look at a manuscript that purports to overturn hundreds of years of accepted ideas about gravity, and use it as an illustration of how controversial ideas are dealt with in modern physics."But what do you know about gravitation? Nothing, except that it is a very recent development, not too well established, and that the math is so hard that only twelve men in Lagash are supposed to understand it." -- Isaac Asimov, writer, 1941
It was Isaac Newton who first proposed a universal law of gravitation, where every massive body in the universe was attracted to every other one. This simple law proved extremely powerful, able to explain the orbits of planets and the reason the apocryphal apple fell on his head. However, Newton was never able to explain why gravity worked or what exactly it was. Two hundred plus years later, Albert Einstein was able to offer a more complete description of gravity—one where Newton's laws are a limited case. According to Einstein, gravity was due to the warpage of spacetime by mass and energy; all objects followed straight paths, just on curved spaces.
With the advent of quantum theory over the past 100 years, scientists have been able to develop an elegant mathematical framework capable of uniting three of the four fundamental forces that are thought to exist in the universe. The fourth, gravity, still remains the fly in the ointment, and has resisted unification to this point. Early last year, Dutch theoretical physicist Erik Verlinde published a manuscript to the arXiv that purports to explain why science cannot reconcile all four fundamental forces. According to him, it is simple: "gravity doesn’t exist."
"The mathematical proofs of Newton are completely erroneous." -- Immanuel Velikovsky, polymath, 1942
"It was only the downfall of Newtonian theory in this century which made scientists realize that their standards of honesty had been utopian." -- Imre Lakatos, philosopher, 1973
"Well, you know, if you flip a coin it doesn't come back down again if you're in space." -- Buzz Aldrin, astronaut, 2007
"The only solution would be to reject Newton's classical theory of gravitation. We probably live in a non-Newton universe." -- Pavel Kroupa, astronomer, May 2009
"Dark matter is an excuse for the failure of gravitational theories." -- Stephen Smith, author, June 17th 2010