|Email: Marcus Coleman|
In October '96 the following was published worldwide in the news media:
GRAVITY LENS ADDS FOCUS TO UNIVERSE
Such was one Australian headline reporting an Australian research group's announcement of having discovered the strongest incidence yet of the "gravity lens system", which they hope to use to measure the scale of the universe, the "gravity lens" effect of course being based on Einstein's Relativity.
Yet it was also reported that although the new gravity lens was said to be 10 times stronger than any other (and at radio wavelengths "incredibly bright"), it greatly complicated matters, with one researcher (J. Lovell) reported as saying "We thought we understood what was involved, but now it's all uncertain again" and "Really, this poses more questions than it answers."
But before considering the apparent conflict in this discovery, since Einstein's Relativity is a subject immediately relevant to the highest ideals of contemporary science, the following cautionary item published some months earlier (June/July '96) via the news media may repay close reading:
NOT COMPLETE IDIOTS
New York's politically correct and cerebrally challenged intelligentsia is writhing in anguish over a hoax which has left egg, mayo and cream cheese all over their faces.
Last month's issue of *Social Text*, a journal of stupefying density devoted to so-called cultural studies, carried a learned article by physics Professor Alan Sokal, of the University of Minnesota, entitled Transgressing The Boundaries: Toward A Transformative Hermeneutics Of Quantum Gravity. You get the drift of his argument from this: "In quantum gravity, as we shall see, the space-time manifold ceases to exist as an objective physical reality; geometry becomes relational and contextual; and the foundational conceptual categories of prior science - among them, existence itself - become problematised and relativised. This conceptual revolution, I will argue, has profound implications for the content of a future post-modern and liberatory science." Sokal's article provoked high-minded discussion and written commentaries from other academics.
Then the Midwestern physicist revealed his thesis was an invention, gibberish, a hoax.
Not addressed to experts in quantum gravity (a very difficult field barely in its infancy), Sokal's method was diabolical. "Like the genre it is meant to satirise ... my article is a melange of truths, half-truths, quarter truths, falsehoods, non-sequiturs, and syntactically correct sentences that have no meaning whatsoever." Sokal also confessed to his mimicking of accepted wisdom and the "appeals to [academic] authority in lieu of logic; speculative theories passed off as established science; strained and even absurd analogies ... confusion between the technical and everyday sense of English words."
His claim (supported by many authentic quotes from postmodern theorists):- that science is now known to be just a matter of local opinion, that the so-called real world it studies is never more than an ideological construct.
"While my method was satirical," he said, "my motivation is utterly serious. What concerns me is the proliferation, not just of nonsense and sloppy thinking per se, but of a particular kind of nonsense and sloppy thinking: one that denies the existence of objective realities."
He was supported by Professor Norman Levitt, who said: "I don't want to claim that it proves that all social scientists or all English professors are complete idiots, but it does betray a certain arrogance and a certain out-of-touchness on the part of a certain clique inside academic life."
A revival of this matter occurred with the 1998 publication of "Impostures Intellectuals" a book co-authored by Sokal which is said to amplify his point about the pretentions of today's evolved "modern thought".
"The worrying thing about [Sokal's] article" reported one commentator, "was that Sokal himself had to expose it as a hoax. The people at *Social Text* could not tell the difference between his parody and a genuine piece of scholarship. This was not due to mere human error but to the rejection of reason and truth inherent in [the latest thinking processes]. Sokal did not have any animus against *Social Text* and its editors: he was simply pointing to the fact that [the latest 'thinkers'] frequently can't tell an unintelligible sentence from an intelligible one. .....
"None of [the plain] confusions has stopped [these latest thinking processes] becoming popular in universities around the globe. Its influence can be seen in disciplines from philosophy to accounting. In many English departments it has substituted the original line-up of great authors - Chaucer, Shakespeare, Austen and Eliot - with cultural studies, [recent] literatures and all manner of "texts", from children's cartoons to junk mail advertising. .....
"As for history, [the latest thinker's] approach disdains the search for facts in favour of commitment. ...[And such new presenters of history] revel in relativism and difference, and celebrate the struggle of local communities against the powerful pressures of conformity...
"...That is, there can be many versions of how things are depending on your commitment."
However, when this leading flank of modern society is looked at more objectively it is discovered that today's tendency of senior thinkers to be attracted to and perpetuate deeply abstract thought is nothing new. What *is* new is the worldwide unity of universities which has enabled both the universal promotion and acceptance of such thinking as being of practical benefit for future society - this same considered practical benefit being journalistically described as a "legacy of relativism, narcissism, debased language and irrationality".
But this perverse "legacy of relativism" can not legitimately be separated from the "relativism" foundation on which the Theory of Relativity rests, that is, despite the various "proofs" which claim to anchor the theory in the observed laws of physics (the most recent claimed "first proof" of Relativity's physical reality (concerning a 1918 prediction) being qualified as unconfirmable until the year 2000).
Meanwhile, although Einstein's name has become a household word synonymous with 'mentally brilliant' on the basis of the well known Theory of Relativity (rather than for his general mastery of mathematics), each of the main points which have always been thought to establish that Theory have at no time been free of intelligent dispute, a dispute quite within the understanding of even a lower court magistrate if the material facts were to be appropriately presented.
RELATIVITY'S DILEMMA -
The two recently discovered phenomena described as "Gravitational Lensing" and "Gravitational Time Dilation" are widely held to be not only corroborations of General Relativity but also the best evidence for the theory to date. However even granting that such effects as reported provide the most impressive support of the theory so far, there have long existed and still remain continuing and sometimes hostile disagreements over many assumed truths of Relativity, with such disagreements occurring not just between those who believe in the theory and those who don't, but also between those who consider its foundations beyond question.
And thus considering that such intelligent disagreements have basically not diminished in strength (to the extent where US$50,000 (unsecured) has been provocatively offered on the Internet to any person who can unambiguously disprove a published mathematical and common sense invalidation of the anchor of Relativity - the theoretical "Principle of Equivalence" between gravity and acceleration), an official re-assessment of the roots of Relativity still stands decades overdue.
However such a re-assessment appears most unlikely even in the distant future: Although the case presentable against Relativity may be both unambiguous and insurmountable, the private antagonism so often resorted to in defence of the theory in lieu of sober counter-argument - which should hardly be necessary considering its major acceptance - conveys that the die of such intellects is firmly cast as it were...
But for those enjoying some objective interest in Relativity's credibility in the real world, a broadside electronic Bulletin Board science newsgroup attack of some years ago is reproduced below (edited & updated).
Therefore as the matter now stands, however much these two recently discovered effects may be said to corroborate Relativity, the natural physics and argument on which any competent case against it can stand is too formidable for the theory to overcome in anything like its present form (that is, even on a "balance of probabilities" standard of proof).
Naturally, a solution to this quite substantial dilemma is sought, if only for private interest, since one would expect that any attempt to resolve it must to some extent prove rewarding, if not materially then esoterically..
Message #7667 - GTNET_SCIENCE
Date: 14-5-92 21:47 [& 30-3-93]
From: Marcus Coleman
Subject: Relativity Absolutes
Over the past few months a welter of discussions has appeared concerning various aspects of Relativity etc., all of which unfortunately being either irrelevant to the main contested issues or just plain invalid. So...
First up, some necessary background material for the curious investigator, as after all, Relativity is fundamentally a theory for the explanation of important physical facts and observations, it being intended to replace how the mind naturally understands the universe, the world, and by necessary consequence, man's part in it. (Interestingly, such intent of Einstein is not dissimilar in aim to those of Darwin, Marx, Freud, Ruth Benedict, Hawking, etc., who also evidence it in their theories.)
It has been declared by a Nobel Physics Prize judge (Nordenson) to be a normal experience that when somebody attempts to criticise or even analyse the fundamental principles and/or definitions of the Theory of Relativity (which arose from a theoretical idea, not the need to explain experimental results), he is inevitably told that it is of a purely mathematical nature and that anyone who is not a specialist in mathematics is excluded from the possibility of grasping its contents, that he is unduly prejudiced and fettered by old traditions and ideas and that he is innately alien to these revolutionary lines of thought and therefore more or less incompetent to deal with them. [However it stands that such is not the case: The Theory of Relativity although veiled by mystery, nevertheless expresses practical 'problems' and has been evoked to explain the results of certain physical observations. It is therefore primarily a physical theory, as has been clearly emphasised by Einstein himself.]
And concurrent with the determined dismissals by Relativity experts of all such Relativity criticisms - with each dismissal conveying a presumption of authority based not on any evidence of the senses but only on scientific consensus (the theory still remaining just that, a theory, and formidably contested), it is also declared that science is concerned only with finding the material truth. But again, it is also variously admitted that science is frequently wrong in its pronouncements - even to the extent of scientists having deliberately harboured and not corrected long known scientific frauds, as some recent exposures have shown (the "Piltdown man" and "horse series" of evolutionary science being common examples).
[For those reasonably cognisant with the nature of truth, skip to the next subhead, OVERVIEW.]
UNAMBIGUOUS TRUTH --
Therefore where the foundations of straight thinking are concerned (which have long been set and settled - e.g.,in the common law rules of language), whenever modern science is considered to be synonymous with "the truth", it is quite possible there may be no component of 'truthfulness' in its representation (such component being crucial to honest reporting, forming sound assessments etc.) -- that same component being essential if "the truth" is to be taken in its ordinary (and legal) meaning of "the whole honest truth" about some point. Since modern scientists orthodoxly consider scientific facts to be the only tangible truth, even their being altruistically motivated toward truthfulness would be constricted by an overriding "scientific" view of "the truth". The unbefitting, peer-embarrassing and sometimes vulgar behaviour of normally well- behaved scientists when an "established" idea is threatened by new material evidence is well documented.
There is of course, a wide area of agreement between plain scientific facts and the declarations of modern science - to the extent that many consider that since there's obviously so much truth in modern science, science must represent the truth about everything it generally proclaims, and scientists must be its guardians. But the extensive area of agreement between the discovered facts of modern science and science's interpretations of them cannot be resorted to an attempt to resolve an issue where it is demonstrable that the common sense "truth" is in irresolvable dispute with the conclusions of modern science, that is to say, it is not the quantum of agreement betweem "the truth" and modern science which carries the weight of authority in the reaching of a sustainable scientific decision on a important matter, but the factor of "truthfulness" involved in their disagreements.
So, having regard to general civilised thinking and natural psychological truth, since it is obviously repugnant to basic common sense and/or perceived judgements of the conscience (both being human survival-serving influences) to dismiss the element of "truthfulness" from the ordinary meaning of "truth", such factor of "truthfulness" is crucial for civilised human communication: it being the primary impetus behind man's universal pursuit of "the absolute truth", the seeking of which being the only non mind- numbing practical means, whatever the area of personal belief, whereby humans may attain psychological balance etc.
However, where for scientists generally and individually, the antonym of "truth" is "error" or the like, for right-thinking civilised societies generally who in their interactions rely substantially on a "truthfulness" factor, the antonym of truth is "lie", "deceit" or the like, independent of any accompanying genuinely innocent motives.
There are no conventional "scientific method" ways or means of testing for the presence of this truthfulness factor in a scientific declaration because the "scientific method" - the best means of evaluating a matter known to modern science (albeit often departed from in favour of common belief/personal motives etc.) - is not applicable in the matter, the morality of "truthfulness" being regarded as outside the materiality of science and therefore unimportant: the documentation establishing this being extensive. In short, modern science per se, although militant enough to reject distinct errors, aberrancies and the like, has no internal mechanism for determining the presence of a wilful "lie", "deceit" etc., in its realm which may appear under guise of "truth", and hence has no foolproof means on which it can rely to arrive at "the truth" of ultimate realities. And such unfortunately remains the case - more unfortunately so in present times - with the direction of western society now being substantially mainstayed on modern science and its widely promoted societal beliefs (such as where 'good and bad' are not considered as absolutes but rather variables peculiar to any given culture).
Therefore, contrary to popular thinking, science can not be a repository/centre for the highest human wisdom as is so widely and philosophically thought. Thus there must necessarily be another repository - one having a higher precedence in intellectual integrity (despite the research now necessary to uncover it). One not just coupled since earliest times to the learnings and development of the physical sciences, but a repository which includes that reaching back to, and incorporating, the highest extant wisdom of the ancients [such as pre-Jewish Israelites (Moses, Solomon etc.); Greeks (Solon etc.); Romans (Cicero etc.)], and possessing the most reliable means known of ascertaining the extent of "truthfulness" in any controversial matter.
And although now presumptuously relegated to an unrealistic ideal by both legislatures and the judiciary alike, such wisdom is nevertheless still readily enough discovered to be an integral part of the (albeit largely unknown, yet still current) fundamental law of the land of all common law-founded countries. Thus a common law court still has the potential of being a substantially more refined institution for determining of "the truth" of any given matter than the modern scholars'/scientists' arena: the rule of law for civilised societies being far more agreeable to both human welfare and mental peace than any rules possessed by modern science. And it is only by properly examining the evidence according to this standard that one can competently ascertain "the truth" concerning the claims of Relativity.
Now here's an overview of what it's all about. A variously angled concise enough view revealing the wisdom behind Relativity - Einstein and his theory being generally accepted by the scientific world as one of the greatest conquests of the spirit of man in the field of science, but more importantly, as an established standard of judgement to the rest of the civilised world of both the excellence of the human mind and the basis of a new physical reality (albeit essentially hostile to Newton's).
Einstein's relativity was not accepted by a number of his contemporaries. Rutherford, widely thought of as the 'father of nuclear physics', considered it to be nonsense. Columbia University astronomer C.L. Poor in 1922,'26 & '30 gave unassailable refutations of the claims of Eddington, i.e., that observations of the 1919 South American solar eclipse confirmed Einstein's predicted gravitational attraction of light. (Poor also documents a similar situation existing with the 1922 West Australian eclipse and the claims of Campbell & Trumpler.) It was this "proof" espoused by Eddington however, which brought Einstein his first acclaim and greatest fame.
Poor showed clearly that the actual observations were not what was claimed and that they did not support Einstein's prediction. This is still a valid refutation of Einstein's presumed gravitational attraction of light, and notwithstanding the "Gravitational Lensing" phenomenon, still remains standing as an unanswered challenge to Einstein's general theory of relativity and theory of gravitation. As a side issue, this relegates the concept of 'black holes' to pure science fiction as many non-conventional scientists contend - that is, despite evidence of the most recent discoveries being claimed as proof of their existence (even to including the latest data concerning the centre of the Milky Way), such 'proof' does not survive close scrutiny.
In the time since Poor, there have been a growing number of scientists (stable and unstable) who have rejected Einstein's relativity (etc.), one of the most noted being the late Herbert Dingle FRS, a former president of the R.A.S., author of 2 books and 2 Encyc. Britannica articles on relativity. At first he supported relativity, but was later persuaded there were serious contradictions within it.
The scientific "establishment" was incensed that a man of Dingle's reputation and knowledge of relativity would challenge its revered credibility. His articles were then systematically rejected by the leading journals, but Dingle didn't give up. He challenged the top scientists, in personal correspondence, to answer his argument against relativity. Their evasiveness and failure to meet Dingle's challenge reads like what one has come to expect from politicians when confronted with something important! Dingle documents all this in his 1972 work: Science at the Crossroads. This book alone is sufficient to refute the whole gamut of Einstein's relativity, both the theory itself and the presumed observational and experimental evidence for it.
Possibly still the world's leading scientist on time measurement, L. Essen OBE (being inventor of the atomic clock and used with his approval in relativity experiments), rejects Einstein's relativity. He is also an FRS and has written a book and several articles which expose serious errors in the theory. For example, one brief letter (1977), even though rejected by the leading journal Nature, is sufficient to refute the claim that atomic clocks flown around the world confirmed Einstein's "shortening of time" with motion. In a later article (1988), he stated 1) "Einstein's theory of relativity is invalidated by its internal errors", 2) "Einstein's use of a thought experiment, together with his ignorance of experimental techniques, gave a result which fooled himself and generations of scientists", 3) "Claims frequently made that the theory is supported by experimental evidence do not withstand a close scrutiny"; and in closing he remarks, "Insofar as the theory is thought to explain the result of the Michelson-Morley experiment I am inclined to agree with Soddy that it is a swindle; and I do not think Rutherford would have regarded it as a joke [as said in 1954] had he realised how it would retard the rational development of science".
The renowned British scientist G.B. Brown has also written some clear refutations of relativity. One of his works (1982) presents a classical alternative to certain areas of relativity, he having 10 years earlier mentioned that a number of "Practising physicists and astronomers who know some history of science do not accept 'Relativity' and even a distinguished theoretician, Leon Brillouin has called, in his book Relativity Re-Examined, for a 'Painful and complete re-appraisal' which 'is now absolutely necessary'."
Even prior to the 1960s, this fear was apprehended by scientists, one (1954) expressing that 'On more than one occasion, Vannevar Bush has emphasised the fact that our system of education is not producing fundamental thinkers of the calibre of Gibbs, Helmholtz, Lorentz or Poincare. [Not that these are the best or "model thinkers", but they did have a reasonable measure of fundamental scientific rectitude, as say, compared to Hawking, who in this sense is a counterfeit of these types - an Einstein- environmental product not universally acclaimed by his peers despite pronounced public adulation.]
Continuing Vannevar Bush's comment... 'It is difficult to see how we can produce fundamental thinkers when our teachers cannot detect the fallacies in Einstein's theories, paradoxes and postulates, but instead rush to climb aboard the Einstein bandwagon where further straight thinking becomes impossible.'
[The above would appear to be corroborated by Einstein's significantly aberrant attitude toward the most fundamental human institution - his markedly unintelligent and cruel mentality toward natural marriage being recently made known and lampooned worldwide as front page news.]
Now to a bit more depth. In this science newsgroup not too long ago, someone expressed the popular thinking that
- Newton's 'laws' of motion replaced the Aristotian[sic] model.
- Einstein's model showed that Newton's 'laws' were just a model that operated in restricted circumstances.
But...this is true only from a narrow conventional or historical perspective, NOT from a cogently scientific, or proper court-of-law type assessment. If one adheres to a common law treatment of evidence (which primarily sets aside the 'authority' of theoretical science), one would find that there is no tangible evolutionary progression from Newton to Einstein whatever.
Of course, it cannot be sensibly denied that Einstein's theories formally depend on Newtonian realities since Einstein himself in the 1st chapter of his 1st (1905) paper states something like "Let us take a system of co-ordinates in which the equations of Newtonian mechanics hold good." And concerning those same definitive Newtonian equations, aren't they ultimately relied on in both his "stationary" and "moving" systems? Yes - Einstein completely relies on Newton when it suits him.
But notwithstanding this reliance on Newton, since in certain fundamentals, Einstein's 'laws' are grossly different from Newton's, it's necessary to question if the relationship of Newton's 'laws of motion' to Einstein's has any real relevance to the known physical universe, a relevance which has often been doubted.
And cognizant of the difference between Newton's and Einstein's contentions in this area, it also becomes necessary to question whether in fact Einstein's 'laws' could actually replace Newton's as Newton's are reckoned to have replaced the Aristotelian ones. And further, since it concerns the scientific perspective of how man relates to nature, one should decide whether, as is generally thought, 'laws' and scientific 'models' each have similar factual weight. In short:
Newton's or "classical" model: Absolute physical reality based on natural, observable laws.
Einsteinian or "modern" model : Theoretical physical reality based on impeccable mathematical rules.
The major underlying difference in these 2 models lies in the force of the laws behind them - where one set of laws operates independent of the human mind and compels an 'obedience' to natural forces, the other (and despite the extent of agreement between them) operates only mind-dependently, and compels an ultimate 'obedience' to theoretical forces, that is (and despite the impeccability of mathematical rules), to those forces dependent ultimately, unlike natural forces, on such assumptions from the evidence as are impossible for man to verify. This means that the credibility of Einsteinian 'laws' also is brought into question...
SOURCE MATERIAL --
Ok then. Here are a half dozen creditable sources on various aspects of the subject from which those genuinely interested can either start investigating, or just verify any points doubted. Not forgetting of course that as far as renovating the minds of most 'scientific thinkers' on such a level, the time for that seems to have long gone!
Following is a Table summarising those authors' material concerning relativity. The authors & publications numbered 1 - 6 are:-
1. N. Rudakov, Fiction Stranger Than Truth, 1981;[Note that although the above all criticise certain crucial aspects of Relativity, they all endorse, or refrain from disputing both the near-c (adopted Lorentzian) velocity mass increase, and the (largely Poincarian) formula E = mc^2 (where m = absolutely motionless mass).]
2. H. Dingle, Science at the Crossroads, 1972;
3. L. Essen, The STR, a Critical Analysis, 1971;
4. L. Brillouin, Relativity Re-Examined, 1970;
5. H. Nordenson, Relativity, Time and Reality, 1969;
6. C.L. Poor, Gravitation versus Relativity, 1922.
Aspects of Relativity | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
Annexations of Relativity; | | | | | | |
Clock (or Twin) Paradox | X | X | X | | X | |
Perihelion of Mercury | X | | | X | X | X |
Deflection of light rays   | | | | | | |
as per 1919 & '22 experiments | X | | | X | X | X |
Gravity-caused redshift | X | | X | X | X | X |
Extended life of mesons | X | X | X | | | |
Hafele's clock experiment | X | | | | | |
Light postulate | X | X | X | | X | |
Length contraction | X | | | | X | |
Time dilation | X | | | | X | |
'Curved space-time' | | X | | X | | |
Misuse of mathematics | X | X | | X | | |
'Thought experiments' | X | | X | | | |
Einstein's fundamentals | X | | | | X | |
Velocity mass increase | + | | + | | | |
Mass-energy relationship | + | | + | | | |
Aspects of Relativity | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
Annexations of Relativity; | | | | | | |
Firstly, re General Relativity and Mercury's orbital eccentricity. Here are a few statements on the subject:-
"...aside from the perihelia motion of the planets, Newcomb, in the late 19th century, testified to several other disturbances in the solar family. Two of these were the variation in the eccentricity of Mercury and the motion of the line of nodes of Venus. In this regard, General Relativity becomes useless since it is unable to even explain in mathematical terminology both the secular distortions in Mercury's eccentricity and the nodes of Venus. These distortions amount to the exceeded values of -0.88" and +10.2" arc per century, respectively."
"Relativity does not predict the excess perturbations in the orbits of the planets other than those of the motions of their perihelia. Still, of all the secular perturbations observed, General Relativity [closely] agrees only with the motion of the orbit of Mercury. It fails to account for more or less than this perturbation since there exists no flexibility in the equations of Einstein, no uncertainty in the calculations, and no room for compensation.
"Take the case of Venus for example. Relativity estimates an excess orbital rotation rate of + 8.6" arc per century with a forward motion. Yet the computed excess rotational rate was found to be -7.3" arc per century with a retrograde motion! "[Therefore it appears] that the forward rotation of Mercury's orbit is a mere coincidence since Relativity theory predicts the correct anomaly for this sole case....however, relativists stress this coincidence as one of the four conclusive proofs for the curved geometry of space and General Relativity.
"The motion of the other perihelia has not been the only fallacy found in Einstein's theories. The alleged deflection of light in the vicinity of a massive body.....(etc.,etc.)". (Poor)
In 1859 Fizeau found that the speed of a beam of light which was passed through a stream of water was affected by the speed of the water and that this effect could be explained by classical physics. However, the effect can equally be well explained by the Theory of Relativity. By making approximations and discarding certain small terms as negligible, Einstein was able to show that it was in accord with his theory. However, he did not stop there. Lorentz had shown many years before that the effect was perfectly explicable by the classical laws. Nevertheless, Einstein boldly claimed that this "...DOES NOT IN THE LEAST DIMINISH THE CONCLUSIVENESS OF THE EXPERIMENT AS A CRUCIAL TEST IN FAVOUR OF THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY", and that 'RELATIVITY HAD BEEN DEVELOPED FROM THE HYPOTHESIS OF ELECTRODYNAMICS'.
Now Charles Poor's comment (1922 - see above) on this matter is right to the point:
"These two sentences of Einstein are, from one point of view, as important as any in his work on relativity:- they should be read and re-read. They give a direct insight into his methods of reasoning. Here is an experiment claimed by Einstein as a 'crucial test' of his theories, yet in the very sentence in which this claim is advanced, he admits that other theories, the very theories he attempts to overthrow, can equally well explain the phenomenon. HOW CAN AN EXPERIMENT, EQUALLY WELL EXPLAINED BY SEVERAL DIFFERENT THEORIES, BE A 'CRUCIAL TEST' IN FAVOUR OF ONE OF THEM?" It can't, except for purposes of deceit.
Now, spectral line shift: There is a very small shift of the lines from a distant star predicted by Einstein's theory. It was at the limits of detectability in 1922, for as is well known, a shift is also generated if the star is moving towards or away from the Earth. Different experimenters have tried to detect this small shift ascribed to relativity but results have varied.
Einstein, however, claimed the results of Grebe & Bachem "PLACED THE EXISTENCE OF THE EFFECT ALMOST BEYOND DOUBT" but admits that the results of St.John, "HAVE LED TO THE OPPOSITE OPINION."
Thus whereas Einstein emphasises the results of the first two experimenters which Poor points out were obtained on an ordinary instrument available in a small laboratory or observatory, St.John's results were obtained at the Mt. Wilson Solar Observatory on equipment far surpassing anything elsewhere.
MORE ON MERCURY --
Now for a closer look at the Mercury perihelion matter: It is reasonably well known that as Mercury circles the Sun on an elliptical path, the axis of the ellipse rotates in space very slowly, so the path is slightly different each orbit. When all known causes have been allowed for, there still remains a progression of the ellipse of about 43 seconds of arc per century. The cause of this movement has not been determined completely, and Einstein claimed that his theory solved this problem "AGAINST WHICH CLASSICAL MECHANICS IS POWERLESS."
Poor gives a long explanation of the problems involved in predicting the position of planets, since they are affected by each other in a phenomenally complex way. Calculations were extensive even when certain assumptions were made, the records of the computations then occupying several volumes. These assumptions include such aspects as the Sun and planets being perfect spheres, and all meteoroids and asteroids are ignored.
Einstein quotes his figure of 43", claiming that "IT DOES NOT DIFFER SENSIBLY" from the observed figures of Leverrier (1859) and Newcombe (1882). But Newcombe's final result (1895) was 41.6". The average of Leverrier (38") and Newcombe is 8% different from Einstein's. Furthermore, if a calculated value for the oblateness of the Sun is allowed for, the difference becomes 16%. Thus Einstein's calculated value does not satisfactorily agree with the observed value.
Einstein quotes only the perihelion of Mercury as completely justifying his theory, and dismisses all of the several other anomalies as being "UNVERIFIED" or too small to be determined with any certainty. This is flagrantly wrong. When Newcombe was checking Leverrier's calculations, he noted several other anomalies in planetary orbits which he could not account for. Poor gives a table of the measured discordancies compared to those predicted by Einstein's formula, which only affects the perihelion of the orbits:
Comparison of the various measured orbital Discordancies with the figures predicted by Einstein's relativity (Poor 1922): (in seconds of arc per century)
PLANET DISCORDANCE EINSTEIN DIFFERENCE MEASURED
Mercury + 41.6 + 42.9 - 1.3
Venus - 7.3 + 8.6 - 15.9
Earth + 5.9 + 3.8 + 2.1
Mars + 8.1 + 1.3 + 6.8
Mercury + 5.1 0 + 5.1
Venus + 10.2 0 + 10.2
Mercury - 0.88 0 - 0.88
Einstein had the gall to dismiss these differences as insignificant, yet they were obviously even then *WELL WITHIN* the range of accurately measurable astronomical observations and calculations. Einstein quite clearly appears to have selected the largest of the discordancies and then proposed that his formula fully explained it, claiming this ONE VALUE as proof of his theory. No matter how lax the foundations of science may then or now have become, there is obviously no scientific ground upon which one could be permitted to select one material result of a research and to dismiss other unmatching ones as unacceptable, or why one figure is to be considered absolutely correct and all varying figures essentially wrong.
But it doesn't stop there. One more example... The curvature of light again: Einstein also predicted that the light from a star which grazed the surface of the Sun would be deflected 1.75" of arc due to the pull of gravity. In order to check this, as is reasonably well known today, two expeditions were mounted, one to Sobral in Brazil and the other to the island of Principe off the west coast of Africa. These were to coincide with a total eclipse which took place in May, 1919. The results of the expeditions were reported in the Memoirs of the R.A.S. in 1923 (v.62,pp.1-43). These results were varying, but it was claimed that they nevertheless showed that the expected deflection did take place and that therefore Einstein's theory was once again confirmed by experimental results. Poor, however, subjected the results to a severe criticism which shows they were wholly unreliable and did not support the theory in any rational way:
"Thirty-three photographic plates taken during the eclipse of 1919 show star images; of these thirty-three, seven only give results even approximating towards the Einstein predictions. And to make even these seven fit the hypothesis, the relativist is forced to invoke the aid of the Sun to distort the camera in a particular way and by just the right amount!" ..... "The relativity theory may be true, but no substantial experimental proofs have yet [1922-1990] been submitted by any of its adherents."
Poor concludes his work with an explanation of how classical methods can explain both the Mercury perihelion and curving of light contentions, NOT that such explanations are required with this Einsteinian state of affairs!
As with the planets Mercury/Venus/Earth/Mars etc., in the late 1950s, the eclipsing double star system named Di Herculis was found to have a precession of its elliptical orbit as well. Since the two stars orbit their common centre of gravity every ten and a half days in a celestial see-saw type motion, their long axis precession is readily observable.
But relativity quite unyieldingly predicts for this situation a long axis precession of over twice as much as is observed, and so the Di Herculis precession presents a critical inconsistency with relativity of no less a standard than occurs with the precessions (etc.) of the inner planets other than Mercury.
Although a way out has been looked for, it has not been found: there is no third body in the system, the stars are almost perfect spheres and not observably distorted, each rotate on axes clearly upright to their orbital plane, the stars have no extended atmospheres, nor is there evidence of extreme stellar winds or magnetic anomalies. Also, it is judicially material to note that in both 1959 and 1977 at least, this Di Herculis system was pointed out to be an 'excellent test for general relativity'!
Since without invoking mystique or an undiscovered force the problem remains wholly unresolvable, the demanded conclusion is that either the unfaulted observations must somehow be faulty, or the Di Herculis situation presents another sizable injury to relativity (at least if such were laid open in a proper court examination) - such an injury being not to just one extremity of the theory which concerns only massive stars, but extending to its mathematical foundations as well.
And another not insubstantial blow to relativity appears to have been discovered from observations of the similar AS Camelopardalis system, where despite some relativity-favouring factors in this case, a similarly critical problem exists with the precession of its long axis: there still remaining a failure to account for the fact that relativity, again unbendingly, predicts its celestial motion to be about three times what is observed.
That there exist a number of similar binary star systems which 'fit in beautifully with relativity' is, however, of little relevance in this case which involves such indefensible charges of major flaws.
SERIOUS FUN --
Now to some play-along light-hearted games with a couple of relativity's famous 'hits' - length contraction and time dilation. First the lengthgame. See if you can demolish on logical physical grounds, the accurate compliance with relativity in the following slowed down representation of the old well known rod experiment (a la Rudakov 1981):
'Let us imagine a long straight (E-W) railway line consisting of two parallel sets of tracks and assume that Einstein's *stationary* rod is a segment x of this line. The end points of the segment are two places known as Redend and (eastward of it) Whitend which are 60 km apart.
'Let us further imagine that the two ends of the *moving* rod are represented by two slow goods trains, known as the Frontender and Rearender, which travel (eastward) on one set of the tracks with a constant velocity v equal to 15 kmh, and in such a way that the Rearender always follows the Frontender at a distance of 60 km. This distance is measured by observers travelling with the goods trains, and the method of determination is a 60 km long rigid measuring rod x which forms a permanent connection between the two trains. This idea is of course ridiculous, but certainly no more so than Einstein's Sgt. Pepper type observers with measuring rods and clocks riding on moving rods and intersections of co-ordinates. Einstein's propositions cannot be demonstrated without such extra-reality arrangements!
'Finally, let us assume that the role of the light ray and signal carrier is performed by an express train moving on the other set of tracks with a constant velocity c of 120 kmh. 'If the express train (westbound) leaves Whitend at 12 noon local time, travelling towards Redend, and if the Frontender also leaves Whitend at the same time, but in the opposite direction, then the express train will meet the Rearender at a place where a stationary clock, synchronised with the clock at Whitend, will read 12.444 hrs or 12 hrs 26min. 40sec. pm at the moment of the meeting. The (stationary) distance marker at the meeting place will indicate that the place is 53.333 km from Whitend and 6.667 from Redend.
'According to Einstein, stationary and moving observers will draw the following conclusions: An observer travelling with the Rearender will maintain he is travelling 60 km from the Frontender and will point to the rigid measuring rod between the two trains which is 60 km long. However, a *stationary* observer positioned at the distance marker 53.333 km will assert that this is not so because the express train, which is absolutely reliable, needed only 26min. 40sec. to travel the distance from the Frontender to the Rearender. At a velocity of 120 kmh this corresponds to a time interval t' = 0.4444 hours or to a distance x' which is 53.333 km. Einstein prescribes that the stationary observer must assume that for him, the distance between the Frontender and the Rearender, represented by the rigid rod connecting the two trains, has "contracted" from 60 to 53.333 km. And the "contraction", for the stationary observer, is supposed to be real and not merely apparent! The stationary observer is not permitted to appeal to Newtonian mechanics as it were - oh, no. Or to use natural reasoning to propose a non-Einsteinian explanation of the matter. So there you are. The rod changes length depending on who's looking at it! This imagined physically impossible 'fact' is ultimately reckoned by many as part and parcel of the real world, but for those of sounder spirit, such a belief provides a sobering example of that which in another situation would likely attract the description of 'brain-washing'!
Comes now the timegame! The 'clock' or 'twin' paradox is well known among relativists. This leads to several questions to which a variety of explanations and answers have been explored, sometimes at enormous lengths, by numerous articles, books etc. - none of which being acclaimed as the solution. The fact that the paradox still stands very much unsolved and unresolved today (no buts), is sufficient proof that a new and different kind of reasoning is demanded in the situation.
To further illustrate the point, a simple hypothetical situation can be constructed concerning 3 instead of 2 observers. This has been called 'The Triplets Paradox'! Such was used in reply a while ago to one bod posing his version of the old question:-
Also consider relative velocity when one object moving 0.8c and
the other in an opposite direction at 0.6c. Net velocity is NOT
1.4c as this is greater than c. Will leave you with that one.
Now, suppose the two objects are Tom (0.8c) & Bill (0.6c) in identical spaceships and each has an identical camera and an identical clock and a window through which each clock is visible. Without spelling everything out, suppose they start out towards each other at the same instant from two widely separated points in space and after having obtained their uniform motion for awhile, cross at a point right near the top of a mountain on Earth where Frank is waiting with another identical clock & camera. At the instant the spaceships pass in front of Frank (with everything suitably oriented!), the cameras simultaneously click with each capturing the readings of all three clocks. Ok?
Since according to relativity theory each man and his equipment has a different inertial frame, and in uniform motion all inertial frames are equal (or whatever), each of the photos of the clocks will reveal according to relativity something impossibly weird: i.e., while everything may have started at zero mark at (say) 2 PM "earth time", by the time the spaceships pass each other near the earth at (say) 6 PM by Frank's clock, Tom's clock may read (say) about 4 PM and Bill's (say) about 5 PM. But as seen from the other two viewpoints, each picture would 'relativistically' have to show Frank's clock reading a different time!!
That is, (all this is roughly speaking but true enough in its essentials), Frank's clock on earth may say 6 PM but each of the other 'same-instant' pictures of his clock taken from the spaceships would, according to relativity, show a markedly different time!! And certainly not to be forgotten are the readings of the clocks in Bill's and Tom's spaceships! Or to pose the question which logically arises: could *any* of the clocks in *any* of the simultaneously taken photographs in this example read the same time in *any* of the three pictures?? Will leave you with this one..
Now concerning the claims of both length contraction/expansion and time dilation/compression, one researcher (Rudakov) after reasonably well presented logical/mathematical arguments refuting their actual physicality, vented his spleen thus (with his unduly acidic tone to no extent invalidating either his credibility as an "expert witness" or the materiality of the conclusions):
"For those who do not shut their eyes and ears whenever the tenets of relativity are criticised, the flimsiness and ludicrousness of the axiomatic structure of the theory is quite discernible. One does not have to perform a deep analysis of Einstein's arguments in order to discover that neither a systematic nor a consistent and sufficient explanation of the relativistic premises is offered by their author. No justification is provided for physically meaningless imaginary procedures and rigidly prescriptive rulings. Clear definitions are lacking, unsupported assumptions are used most of the time, and are used selectively and arbitrarily. Proceeding from Newtonian foundations, Einstein subsequently pretends that they no longer exist, except where it is expedient to assume otherwise. Finally, pseudo-physical interpretations of light paths are introduced, leading to the invention of length and time variation."
Unfortunately, conventional scientists and their many supporters tend to grant relativity the status of an a priori truth which no longer needs empirical verification. This puts relativity i.e., Einsteinianism etc., into the category of Darwinism, Marxism Freudianism, that is, into that of a science-based ideology - one which takes on an overt religious dimension: adherents become evangelists, and pure faith takes the place of critically required evidence. And despite strong disagreement and even factual refutations from peer-group experts in the subject, such faith is unshakable.
The much quoted Karl Popper (unwittingly) labelled ALL such
ideologies "pseudoscience". These all-embracing views of the world
or universe are attractive because of the immediate mental relief
and perceived superior wisdom imparted through their immense
apparent explanatory power. Acceptance of such faiths had the
effect, said Popper,
'of an intellectual conversion or revelation, opening one's eyes to a new truth hidden from those not yet initiated. Once one's eyes were thus opened, one saw confirming instances everywhere: the world was full of verifications of the theory. 'Whatever happened always confirmed it. Thus its truth appeared manifest; and unbelievers were clearly people who did not want to see the manifest truth: who refused to see it, either because it was against their class interest, or because of their repressions which were still "unanalysed" and crying aloud for treatment.' Well, so much for this aspect.
E = MCsquared --
And surprise, surprise! Last but certainly not least, the famous E = mc^2 equation. Although much could be said about the finer aspects and applications of this equation, a quick sketch of the equation's origin will suffice. Here's a summary-type segment from a file uploaded ages ago to certain Bulletin Boards (NewEinst.txt):
"It's not Einstein's formula E=mc^2 (1905b) (which was not correctly arrived at until 1906/7 by Planck), but again, (and only once given due credit by Einstein in 1906) Poincare's in substance (1900), that same famous formula not being uniquely dependent on the theory of relativity as Einstein expressly implied but readily derivable quite apart from it (as was first formulated simply by Pauli in 1920)."
And if that's not enough, there have been other classical type derivations of the formula. As a novelty, try this one from 1938:-
The connection between energy and mass can also be derived from the pressure of radiation, roughly as follows: If a jet of fluid travelling at a velocity v and having mass density d, strikes a surface and is absorbed, it can be determined from basics that the energy or pressure exerted on the surface by the jet will be of magnitude dv^2. Likewise when light, travelling at c, which although having no mass density, has a wavefront density d, falls on a surface, it is similarly the case that the energy or pressure exerted by the light on the surface, which is equal in magnitude to the energy contained in the light beforehand, will be of magnitude dc^2. And since the wavefront density d, being measured in terms of energy per unit volume, is thus equivalent to an effectual mass m, it must be that energy = mc^2. Q.E.D. :-)
(cf. A. O'Rahilly (1938;1965), EM Theory, pp.304-323.)
And here are a couple of postscripts. First from H. Dingle:
"The genius of Einstein is shown most clearly in his perception of an omission from Newton's system of kinematics that had not previously been noticed and that might, as he saw, provide an opening for a reform that would reconcile the two conflicting branches of physics (kinematics & electromagnetism). In such insight he was pre-eminent in his generation: his weakness...lay in his relative inability to follow up the implications of his insight and in a too great readiness to accept a promising starting- point as an achieved goal. He was rather like one of a body of men imprisoned in a dungeon, who alone perceives an opening offering a means of escape, but omits to verify that it does not lead merely to another part of the dungeon..." (Science at the Crossroads,1972)
And lastly, back to Nordenson (1969):
"With regard to the investigation I have here presented I maintain that whosoever from now upholds the relativistic ideas or applies the fundamental relativistic formulae as representing relations between physical quantities, without regarding and refuting my above criticism of the Theory, makes himself liable to the accusation of grave intellectual laxity."
[NOTE: All such threats lack worthwhile correctional force because of overriding peer group influences.]
"I do not hesitate to declare as a result of my investigation the opinion that Einstein's Theory of Relativity is not only among the most sensational fancies, but also one of the most serious logical incoherencies in the history of science." .... "I have often met persons..who have expressed their astonishment that Einstein was not awarded the Nobel Prize for his Theory of Relativity, which many people consider as one of the most outstanding achievements of this century."
[Note: the Prize given in 1921 related to his work on the photoelectric effect.]
"As a member of the Swedish Academy of Science which distributes the Nobel Prizes of physics I am on the other hand very glad that this was NOT done, since THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY IS NOT PHYSICS BUT PHILOSOPHY AND IN MY OPINION POOR PHILOSOPHY" (Author's emphasis).
"Free thinking is great."
"Right thinking is greater."