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Pentcho Valev

Posts: 6,212
Registered: 12/13/04
Posted: Nov 23, 2012 3:27 AM
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A few years ago John Baez, the main ideologue in Einsteiniana, found it suitable to inform the world that the science he had preached up until then was going to become schizophrenic - Baez had no more confidence in it and shifted allegiance accordingly:
John Baez: "On the one hand we have the Standard Model, which tries to explain all the forces except gravity, and takes quantum mechanics into account. On the other hand we have General Relativity, which tries to explain gravity, and does not take quantum mechanics into account. Both theories seem to be more or less on the right track but until we somehow fit them together, or completely discard one or both, OUR PICTURE OF THE WORLD WILL BE DEEPLY SCHIZOPHRENIC. (...) I realized I didn't have enough confidence in either theory to engage in these heated debates. I also realized that there were other questions to work on: questions where I could actually tell when I was on the right track, questions where researchers cooperate more and fight less. So, I eventually decided to quit working on quantum gravity."

John Baez quitting Einsteiniana is like Tomas de Torquemada quitting the Holy Inquisition. How did the scientific community react? There was no reaction. The era we live in can be called the era of Postscientism: theoretical science is long dead, once flourishing false theories quietly disappear, there is no sane replacement, nobody cares. Einsteiniana's dignitaries have already abandoned the Divine Theory but keep this secret. Still hints do leak out now and then:
Joao Magueijo, Faster Than the Speed of Light: The Story of a Scientific Speculation, p. 250: "Lee [Smolin] and I discussed these paradoxes at great length for many months, starting in January 2001. We would meet in cafés in South Kensington or Holland Park to mull over the problem. THE ROOT OF ALL THE EVIL WAS CLEARLY SPECIAL RELATIVITY. All these paradoxes resulted from well known effects such as length contraction, time dilation, or E=mc^2, all basic predictions of special relativity. And all denied the possibility of establishing a well-defined border, common to all observers, capable of containing new quantum gravitational effects. Quantum gravity seemed to lack a dam - its effects wanted to spill out all over the place; and the underlying reason was none other than special relativity."
"Einstein, Relativity and Absolute Simultaneity is an anthology of original essays by an international team of leading philosophers and physicists who have come together to reassess the contemporary paradigm of the relativistic concept of time. A great deal has changed since 1905 when Einstein proposed his Special Theory of Relativity, and this book offers a fresh reassessment of Special Relativitys relativistic concept of time in terms of epistemology, metaphysics, and physics. (...) Unfortunately for Einstein's Special Theory, however, its epistemological and ontological assumptions are now seen to be questionable, unjustified, false, perhaps even illogical."
"Many physicists argue that time is an illusion. Lee Smolin begs to differ. (...) Smolin wishes to hold on to the reality of time. But to do so, he must overcome a major hurdle: General and special relativity seem to imply the opposite. In the classical Newtonian view, physics operated according to the ticking of an invisible universal clock. But Einstein threw out that master clock when, in his theory of special relativity, he argued that no two events are truly simultaneous unless they are causally related. If simultaneity - the notion of "now" - is relative, the universal clock must be a fiction, and time itself a proxy for the movement and change of objects in the universe. Time is literally written out of the equation. Although he has spent much of his career exploring the facets of a "timeless" universe, Smolin has become convinced that this is "deeply wrong," he says. He now believes that time is more than just a useful approximation, that it is as real as our guts tell us it is - more real, in fact, than space itself. The notion of a "real and global time" is the starting hypothesis for Smolin's new work, which he will undertake this year with two graduate students supported by a $47,500 grant from FQXi."
"It is still not clear who is right, says John Norton, a philosopher based at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Norton is hesitant to express it, but his instinct - and the consensus in physics - seems to be that space and time exist on their own. The trouble with this idea, though, is that it doesn't sit well with relativity, which describes space-time as a malleable fabric whose geometry can be changed by the gravity of stars, planets and matter."

Einsteiniana's dignitaries unhesitatingly abandoning the Divine Theory in search for a more profitable enterprise:

Pentcho Valev

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