Do distance-separated bodies form a universe or do they exist in isolation until they strike one another or some chance physical influence passes between them at or less than the finite speed of light? In other words, is what we call 'the universe' a functioning whole (a non-locality), or is it a chaos of randomly interacting parts (localities)?
This is the most fundamental question that has faced modern theoretical physics since Michelson and Morley failed to discover the existence of the 'luminiferous ether'. Nor does Einstein's famous Relativistic solution now seem likely to survive intact, into the new millennium, its already century-long conflict with quantum physics.
The question, then, of the locality or non-locality of physical existence - of whether what we think of as 'the universe' is a physical whole or else a mess of independent physical bits - remains wide open and has become more and more pressing as more and more physicists have been made aware of it.
The contribution offered here to the heightening debate is a radical one. It employs what Eduard de Bono has called independent or 'lateral' thinking to achieve a possible solution. This is by clearing out the historical and scholastic accumulation of theoretical clutter and looking at the situation in an entirely new, leaner and more logical way.