Perturb Quotes (2 quotes)
Not long ago the head of what should be a strictly scientific department in one of the major universities commented on the odd (and ominous) phenomenon that persons who can claim to be scientists on the basis of the technical training that won them the degree of Ph.D. are now found certifying the authenticity of the painted rag that is called the Turin Shroud or adducing scientific arguments to support hoaxes about the paranormal or an antiquated religiosity. You can hire a scientist [sic], he said, to prove anything. He did not adduce himself as proof of his generalization, but he did boast of his cleverness in confining his own research to areas in which the results would not perturb the Establishment or any vociferous gang of shyster-led fanatics. If such is indeed the status of science and scholarship in our darkling age, Send not to ask for whom the bell tolls.
Over very long time scales, when the perturbing influences of both Jupiter and Saturn are taken into account, the seemingly regular orbits of asteroids that stray into the Kirkwood gaps turn chaotic. For millions of years such an orbit seems predictable. Then the path grows increasingly eccentric until it begins to cross the orbit of Mars and then the Earth. Collisions or close encounters with those planets are inevitable.