Alan P. Lightman's essay in Harper's is highly recommended reading for the Catholic Science Geek, and everyone else interested in grappling with the actual implications of the failure of cosmology to model our Universe in accordance with its foundational ("Copernican") Principle.
Why has modern science gone crazy?
Modern science has gone crazy because it has adopted a false principle.
Modern science rejected the necessary guidance of metaphysics and theology, precisely because of the astonishing (initial) success of the Copernican Principle.
This initial success was so profound that science came to the conclusion that the guidance of metaphysics and theology would no longer be necessary, or even acceptable, since- after all- it had been proven that the Catholic Church was in error in insisting upon the Truth of Faith that the Earth was motionless and at the center of the cosmos.
This Copernican Principle is so important, that it can fairly be said to mark the precise point of historical demarcation between the Catholic world, and the modern world.
The development of a theory of universal gravitation itself is a direct consequence of the adoption of the Copernican Principle.
If all of the Earth's inhabitants were to be asked which was more certain- the existence of gravity or the existence of God- I suspect that gravity would win in a landslide.
Indeed, it would arguably win in a landslide if the poll were to be conducted at the Vatican.
But- see Lightman's essay- the truth is that our theory of gravity is so drastically at odds with observations on the cosmological scale that we must either
(a) add in 96% of the Universe by hand, in the form of unobserved, metaphysical entities (dark matter, dark energy), or
(b) admit that our theory of universal gravitation has been dramatically falsified by direct observation.
The Copernican Principle insists that (a) must be right.
Welcome to the multiverse.
Welcome to the end of science.
I look forward to Catholic Science Geek's promised engagement upon these questions.
It's the moment of Truth for science.
It is also the moment of Truth for the Catholic Church, which has in important ways adopted the Copernican Principle as if it were more reliable than the unanimous consensus of the Fathers concerning Scripture.
The theory of evolution, the Big Bang, the multiverse......... each and all of these depend absolutely upon the philosophical presupposition that the Copernican Principle is true.
It is, instead, false.