Date: Feb 9, 2013 11:04 AM
Author: Pentcho Valev
Subject: Re: EINSTEINIANA CONTRE LES REVISIONNISTES
"On aurait pu croire qu'après le mitan du XXe siècle, avec la physique triomphante et la découverte des bases matérielles de l'hérédité (l'ADN), l'extinction des alterscientifiques était programmée. Mais non. Ils sévissent de plus belle et naissent au coeur même des institutions scientifiques, ce qui rend précieux le livre de Moatti."
La physique triomphante:
"Physicien au CEA, professeur et auteur, Etienne Klein s'inquiète des relations de plus en plus conflictuelles entre la science et la société. (...) « Je me demande si nous aurons encore des physiciens dans trente ou quarante ans », remarque ce touche-à-tout aux multiples centres d'intérêt : la constitution de la matière, le temps, les relations entre science et philosophie. (...) Etienne Klein n'est pas optimiste. Selon lui, il se pourrait bien que l'idée de progrès soit tout bonnement « en train de mourir sous nos yeux »."
"But instead of celebrating, physicists are in mourning after a report showed a dramatic decline in the number of pupils studying physics at school. The number taking A-level physics has dropped by 38% over the past 15 years, a catastrophic meltdown that is set to continue over the next few years. The report warns that a shortage of physics teachers and a lack of interest from pupils could mean the end of physics in state schools. Thereafter, physics would be restricted to only those students who could afford to go to posh schools. Britain was the home of Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday and Paul Dirac, and Brits made world-class contributions to understanding gravity, quantum physics and electromagnetism - and yet the British physicist is now facing extinction. But so what? Physicists are not as cuddly as pandas, so who cares if we disappear?"
Mike Alder: "It is easy to see the consequences of the takeover by the bureaucrats. Bureaucrats favour uniformity, it simplifies their lives. They want rules to follow. They prefer the dead to the living. They have taken over religions, the universities and now they are taking over Science. And they are killing it in the process. The forms and rituals remain, but the spirit is dead. The cold frozen corpse is so much more appealing to the bureaucratic mind-set than the living spirit of the quest for insight. Bureaucracies put a premium on the old being in charge, which puts a stop to innovation. Something perhaps will remain, but it will no longer attract the best minds. This, essentially, is the Smolin position. He gives details and examples of the death of Physics, although he, being American, is optimistic that it can be reversed. I am not. (...) Developing ideas and applying them is done by a certain kind of temperament in a certain kind of setting, one where there is a good deal of personal freedom and a willingness to take risks. No doubt we still have the people. But the setting is gone and will not come back. Science is a product of the renaissance and an entrepreneurial spirit. It will not survive the triumph of bureacracy. Despite having the infrastructure, China never developed Science. And soon the West won't have it either."
"Nous nous trouvons dans une période de mutation extrêmement profonde. Nous sommes en effet à la fin de la science telle que l'Occident l'a connue », tel est constat actuel que dresse Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond, physicien théoricien, épistémologue et directeur des collections scientifiques des Editions du Seuil."
Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond: "Il est peut-être trop tard. Rien ne prouve, je le dis avec quelque gravité, que nous soyons capables d'opérer aujourd'hui ces nécessaires mutations. L'histoire, précisément, nous montre que, dans l'histoire des civilisations, les grands épisodes scientifiques sont terminés... (...) Rien ne garantit donc que dans les siècles à venir, notre civilisation, désormais mondiale, continue à garder à la science en tant que telle la place qu'elle a eue pendant quelques siècles."
John Barrow: "Einstein restored faith in the unintelligibility of science. Everyone knew that Einstein had done something important in 1905 (and again in 1915) but almost nobody could tell you exactly what it was. When Einstein was interviewed for a Dutch newspaper in 1921, he attributed his mass appeal to the mystery of his work for the ordinary person: "Does it make a silly impression on me, here and yonder, about my theories of which they cannot understand a word? I think it is funny and also interesting to observe. I am sure that it is the mystery of non-understanding that appeals to them...it impresses them, it has the colour and the appeal of the mysterious."
Peter Hayes "The Ideology of Relativity: The Case of the Clock Paradox" : Social Epistemology, Volume 23, Issue 1 January 2009, pages 57-78: "The gatekeepers of professional physics in the universities and research institutes are disinclined to support or employ anyone who raises problems over the elementary inconsistencies of relativity. A winnowing out process has made it very difficult for critics of Einstein to achieve or maintain professional status. Relativists are then able to use the argument of authority to discredit these critics. Were relativists to admit that Einstein may have made a series of elementary logical errors, they would be faced with the embarrassing question of why this had not been noticed earlier. Under these circumstances the marginalisation of antirelativists, unjustified on scientific grounds, is eminently justifiable on grounds of realpolitik. Supporters of relativity theory have protected both the theory and their own reputations by shutting their opponents out of professional discourse."