Date: Jan 20, 2013 1:03 PM
Author: Pentcho Valev
Subject: CONVERSION OF INNOCENT PEOPLE TO EINSTEIN BELIEVERS
Peter Hayes "The Ideology of Relativity: The Case of the Clock Paradox" : Social Epistemology, Volume 23, Issue 1 January 2009, pages 57-78: "The prediction that clocks will move at different rates is particularly well known, and the problem of explaining how this can be so without violating the principle of relativity is particularly obvious. The clock paradox, however, is only one of a number of simple objections that have been raised to different aspects of Einstein's theory of relativity. (Much of this criticism is quite apart from and often predates the apparent contradiction between relativity theory and quantum mechanics.) It is rare to find any attempt at a detailed rebuttal of these criticisms by professional physicists. However, physicists do sometimes give a general response to criticisms that relativity theory is syncretic by asserting that Einstein is logically consistent, but that to explain why is so difficult that critics lack the capacity to understand the argument. In this way, the handy claim that there are unspecified, highly complex resolutions of simple apparent inconsistencies in the theory can be linked to the charge that antirelativists have only a shallow understanding of the matter, probably gleaned from misleading popular accounts of the theory. The claim that the theory of relativity is logically consistent for reasons that are too complex for non-professionals to grasp is not only convenient, but is rhetorically unassailable - as whenever a critic disproves one argument, the professional physicist can allude to another more abstruse one. Einstein's transformation of the clock paradox from a purported expression of the special theory to a purported expression of the much more complicated general theory is one example of such a defence. (...) The defence of complexity implies that the novice wishing to enter the profession of theoretical physics must accept relativity on faith. It implicitly concedes that, without an understanding of relativity theory's higher complexities, it appears illogical, which means that popular "explanations" of relativity are necessarily misleading. But given Einstein's fame, physicists do not approach the theory for the first time once they have developed their expertise. Rather, they are exposed to and probably examined on popular explanations of relativity in their early training. How are youngsters new to the discipline meant to respond to these accounts? Are they misled by false explanations and only later inculcated with true ones? What happens to those who are not misled? Are they supposed to accept relativity merely on the grounds of authority? The argument of complexity suggests that to pass the first steps necessary to join the physics profession, students must either be willing to suspend disbelief and go along with a theory that appears illogical; or fail to notice the apparent inconsistencies in the theory; or notice the inconsistencies and maintain a guilty silence in the belief that this merely shows that they are unable to understand the theory."
Bingo The Clowno