The Myth of Relativity
#1
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#2
What interesting concept. A lot of people don't realize that and take it for truth. It is like evolution. A lot of what Darwin said about his theory as been disapproven but many people don't know.
Don't insult the precious, my precious!:book:
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#3
What aspects of Darwinism are you refering to?
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#4
I preferring to microorganism and stuff dealing with DNA. He believed that the parents only decided traits of a child, not the grandparents.
Don't insult the precious, my precious!:book:
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#5
There were some genetic refinements brought to the theory of evolution later on.
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#6
As a scientist I prefer the scientific method to the rhetoric of pseudoscience and used car salesmen. Relativity and Evolution are scientific fact supported by overwhelming evidence and used as everyday tools in the work of scientific inquiry.

As a science fiction author I prefer to explore the possibilities within the dictates of reality which science has established through repeated demonstrations. Exploration of the stars remains quite possible even though stellar empires do not. It is something we should thankful for. There will be no Borg conquests of Earth or anything like that. Even though travel an exploration is within reason, the massive transport of material for war and conquest is not.

As a fan of fantasy literature and film, I still enjoy all the works of Star Trek, Star Wars and such even though they have no more basis in reality than Lord of the Rings.
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#7
Scientists are trained to be subjective through dogmatic skepticism and orthodoxy uses the scientific method very selectively and considers anything outside of orthodoxy as pseudoscience when much of orthodoxy is pseudoscience .
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#8
Space Marshal Wrote:Scientists are trained to be subjective through dogmatic skepticism and orthodoxy uses the scientific method very selectively and considers anything outside of orthodoxy as pseudoscience when much of orthodoxy is pseudoscience .
I have no formal training, but as I understand it, the scientific method is a pretty simple and effective tool. It doesn't draw conclusions where there isn't evidence. I don't understand
how anyone can object to that.

Once again, it's mostly media muddling things up here. Either politically motivated, or stupid sensationalism, like when they were reporting about the study at the LHC
that was "looking for other dimensions." They had a field day with that, even though the study they were reporting on was using a model that had already been disproved. But
that didn't make for a good story, so they went with what did. Which is probably why we never heard any follow up on it, but when do they ever follow up on scientific stories?
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#9
Boomstick Wrote:I have no formal training, but as I understand it, the scientific method is a pretty simple and effective tool. It doesn't draw conclusions where there isn't evidence. I don't understand
how anyone can object to that.

Yeah, the accepted ways have worked for a long time - even people who were initially met with scepticism and disbelief (and not anyone in particular, but the Galileo and Copernicus kind
of guys) were eventually accepted once there was time for other people to examine their theories. With modern communication and technology, that time has been reduced from
decades to months or at most a few years. Most things are even then just considered to "probably" be true, until more evidence turns up. Legit scientists and historians rarely state anything conclusively, and instead leave open room to re-interpretation and re-assessment. Like the changing evidence about Neanderthals that has gone back and forth with new data being discovered in recent years.

The problem is when people claiming to be scientists (or historians, or whatever) have ideas and aren't accepted by the establishment, and decide that, to paraphrase Shakespeare,
the fault is in their stars and not in themselves, and that the establishment is plotting against them to keep them down. An assistant professor at Harvard who publishes some article with
a radical theory that isn't widely accepted since there isn't enough conclusive proof is still going to keep his job at Harvard. But a layman in Pocatello, Idaho who has read books on the subject
and posts his theories on his own website after no journal will accept him for publication, and claims "No I'm an expert! I've already disproved my critics - just read my blog post for conclusive
proof!" is unlikely to get a gig teaching at Harvard. It's sort of the Yertle the Turtle phenomenon we've discussed here before, when someone who is convinced that the scientific method
is designed to hide the truth is doomed to spend their life thinking that, but having no effect or impact on the rest of the world. :up:
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#10
It should be clarified that the layman claiming to be a scientist doesn't have to do with major alternative theories like ether theory because all these theories are researched and proposed by legitimate and intelligent scientists with PhDs, and are based on actual evidence.

Also, I don't think any heterodox scientist is claiming that the establishment is plotting against them. It's a systemic problem because of the attitude problem of most scientists, who are hostile toward any questioning of official science. And heterodox views, no matter how well substantiated or even proven, are routinely subjected to derision and ad hominem attacks, and heterodox scientists are subjected to wrongful dismissal (loss of tenure), threats of dismissal, harassment, mud-slinging, and peer pressure. The repression and intolerance are very real and can't be denied. An example is Virginia MacIntyre who published something in archeology which didn't agree with orthodoxy, and her career was ended. The reason some of them are unable to get published in peer-reviewed journals is because of irrational scientists, not because of lack of logic or evidence.

And I don't think anyone is saying the scientific method is designed to hide truth; it's a matter of orthodoxy ignoring the observational or experimental evidence in order to support fallacies, as we see for relativity.

As well, orthodox scientists regarding their theories as only probable or something similar is often only in theory, as in practice they treat them as necessarily true. The official philosphy of orthodox science is empiricism, which regards reason as very secondary and supports empirical evidence only so far as it agrees with the paradigm, and dogmatic skepticism, which is irrational, is 1 of its foundations. Global skepticism, which is part of dogmatic skepticism, is professed by many scientists and nothing can be less scientific than that, as it says we can't be certain of anything, including the round earth, heliocentricity, and evolution.

And historians, and philosophers for that matter, are also scientists, they are social scientists.
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#11
I'm sure that scientists who have a stake in some theory would react as if attacked personally when the theory is attacked. But that's a small percentage of scientists. Most just want some framework that works for them. If the predominant theory gives the right answers, they won't go to the trouble of learning something new. I'm not sure if it's either Special or General Relativity that you think are mythical, or both, but they provide exact predictions for all kinds of stuff that scientists are interested in. Special relativity is used to design high energy particle accelerators, and there is no evidence whatsoever that the theory is incorrect there. General Relativity has been used to explain multiple high precision astronomical measurements. Most scientists just don't see any good reason to abandon those theories and learn something new. There are only so many hours in the day, and most scientists don't seem to have the stamina of those advocating for novel theories.
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#12
Space Marshal Wrote:It should be clarified that the layman claiming to be a scientist doesn't have to do with major alternative theories like ether theory
because all these theories are researched and proposed by legitimate and intelligent scientists with PhDs, and are based on actual evidence.

Obviously it varies with every situation and theory.... but what may seem like legitimate and intelligent scientists with PhDs to one person may seem like crackpots to another,
just as something one person may say something has been definitively proven - or definitively disproven - while the rest of the world is blissfully unaware of that belief. Hence the continuum
of the "mainstream" professional world in assorted fields in disciplines... and the powerlessness of those who feel disenfranchised by that world to do anything about their disenfranchisement.

Quote:Also, I don't think any heterodox scientist is claiming that the establishment is plotting against them. It's a systemic problem because of the attitude problem of most scientists,
who are hostile toward any questioning of official science. And heterodox views, no matter how well substantiated or even proven, are routinely subjected to derision and ad
hominem attacks, and heterodox scientists are subjected to wrongful dismissal (loss of tenure), threats of dismissal, harassment, mud-slinging, and peer pressure.
The repression and intolerance are very real and can't be denied. An example is Virginia MacIntyre who published something in archeology which didn't agree with orthodoxy,
and her career was ended. The reason some of them are unable to get published in peer-reviewed journals is because of irrational scientists, not because of lack of logic or evidence.

Well, that in itself could be seen as claims that the establishment is plotting. :laugh: So if some scientist claims to have been wrongfully treated and a career was ended, while others say "No, that's not correct" - it's sort of a dead-end, with the others winning, and the one with the ended career....well... ended.
Quote:it's a matter of orthodoxy ignoring the observational or experimental evidence in order to support fallacies, as we see for relativity.

But again we get to the Yertle the Turtle phenomenon, which Neil Simon had a one-liner about in his play Broadway Bound. His fictional alter-ego Eugene is arguing with his brother Stanley about believability in a comedy sketch, and says that there's nothing believable about the Three Stooges. Stanley observes that the Stooges' humor is for morons, and Eugene counters that the morons are making movies in Hollywood,
while he and his brother are freezing in Brighton Beach (i.e. a working class neighborhood in NY.) So if someone is convinced that the experts are all wrong... and that only the true believers know the truth...
yet the experts still have the worldwide acclaim and respect and the true believers are ignored... is there any value or merit to their take on the truth? To them, there must be.... but it's like the mythological Cassandra - what good is knowing the truth if no one believes you? And if there are lots and lots and lots of brilliant scientists who do agree.... what good does it do if the rest of the world doesn't see them as brilliant, and they don't reap any benefits from being right?
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#13
RKomar,

The orthodox theorist reacting as if the attack is personal is quite commonplace. And what you're saying about relativity is part of the myth. Also, some theories provide some correct predictions and measurements but are still wrong--geocentricity is often used as an example--and relativity is no exception. In other words, official scientists use those correct predictions and measurements and ignore all of the incorrect ones, which are more numerous and are falsifiers, to say that relativity is the right theory.

August,

None of that applies if one is objective instead of dogmatically skeptical with the automatic assumption that heterodoxy is always wrong. I don't think anyone would argue that official science is dogmatically skeptical wherein lies the proof of my argument. Naturally, the orthodoxer will sling mud at the legitimate scientist and will ignore the evidence and will deny any wrong doing; that is expected and proves my point. Also, the Yertle the Turtle argument and dogmatic skepticism fail since heterodox theories often become orthodox, witness the round Earth, heliocentricity, evolution, cladistics, meteorites as ET, washing one's hands as a hygienic measure, etc., etc.

Like Schopenhauer said, ''All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.''
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#14
Space Marshal Wrote:RKomar,

And what you're saying about relativity is part of the myth. Also, some theories provide some correct predictions and measurements but are still wrong--geocentricity is often used as an example--and relativity is no exception. In other words, official scientists use those correct predictions and measurements and ignore all of the incorrect ones, which are more numerous and are falsifiers, to say that relativity is the right theory.

Scientists are not going to change until they are shown that what they are doing is giving them incorrect answers. Particle accelerators test Special Relativity to great precision. If it was wrong, they would certainly notice, because it is fundamental to how the machines work. To say that the ways in which SR is wrong are more numerous than the ways it is right makes no sense to me. How would the theory even be usable if that was the case?
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#15
You need to read the articles I referenced.
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#16
It's the ones who call heterodox scientists crackpots who are the crackpots. (angry)
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#17
Space Marshal Wrote:Like Schopenhauer said, ''All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.''

:clap: Aha - yes! See, that's the key. If something is legit, sooner or later it will become accepted by smart, wise people. Might take a few years, might take a few centuries, but
sooner or later it will. If ifs only accepted by it's originator, who then says "No, you're all stupid - only I see the truth - you can't keep me down!" then it's probably destined to lie
hidden in obscurity. Until large numbers of smart, wise people either discover it, or discover it on their own.

See, a lot of this happens with or without our individual agreement or approval. Whatever participants at a fantasy message board decide as to whether philosophers and historians are actually scientists, there aren't any scientists or philosophers or historians who care to take time away from their work to worry about it, and so they retain their respective discipline and departmental titles. (And even if there are a hundred who do somewhere, as above they dwell in obscurity, and the other 99.99% are unaware of what they think.)

And it's the same with whoever the lady was above whose career was supposedly ended - whatever someone posts on websites or science fiction message boards, no university recruitment committee nor any editorial advisory board is seeking her out as a result to give her a job. The systems remains the same as it was with our ancestors in caves: if enough old wise experienced educated people agree that something has value, then maybe it does. Until then, it's a dead end.
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#18
It is ridiculous to say that scientists are satisfied with "orthodoxy" so they don't bother to learn anything new. That isn't how science works. The reason why they see no point in discarding the formulations which actually work is that these are the tools they are using to learn new things all the time. What they refuse to do is waste their time on unfalsifiable speculation precisely because it is useless in discovering new things. The most that such purely metaphysical ideas can do is impose an interpretive framework on things. Since these do not lead to questions which can be tested in any way, no scientific inquiry or learning of new things come from them.

Science at its most basic economic roots is driven by the need of new scientists to make their own contributions (discovering new things) in order to earn their PHD. For this reason learning new things is what it all about. It is why physicists have struggled for anything that might help them break the Standard Model, because as long as this continues to give the right answers then it difficult to find new areas of science to investigate.

Take for example the very common idea that God made things the way they are. Regardless of whether scientists believe in God or not, for the work of science it is a dead end. When your hypothesis doesn't connect to anything you can test or manipulate under controlled conditions then there is nothing science can do with it. It must be discarded as a scientific hypothesis altogether.

So you are absolutely wrong to think scientist are wedded to any kind of orthodoxy. But they won't throw away the tools scientist have used over and over and over to discover new things to get excited over some idea which cannot even be tested. Relativity is one of those things tested and used over and over again -- nobody has EVER proposed a falsifiable alternative.
Author of "Out of Skull for the Stars" available as an ebook on Amazon.
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