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# Who's familiar with the conversion? - "In 15 years' ship-time they could reach Andromeda

layman

1
Fri 18 Dec, 2015 11:14 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
1) If there was way that Special Relativity different substantively what you are calling Lorentzian Relativity it could be tested by experiment.

No, I don't agree, on for at least two reasons:

1. Two theories can be quite different, and substantially so, without having a definitive way to test one against the other.

2. The very question displays an insufficient understanding of the difference between the two.

Why? Well, let's take simultaneity (which is an essential difference between the two). Before you can determine what is simultaneous, you must first devise a way of determining synchronization. If you're doing that with light, you need to know (define) the elements elements of speed (time and distance). Each theory STARTS with it's own (different) way of defining (or explaining) those things. You can't test or prove SR by presupposing it's fundamental axioms to be true. You can't to that with LR either.

In theory you can never test one against each other directly. At best you can only do it indirectly, but even then, so long as they make the same predictions, that doesn't help.
maxdancona

1
Fri 18 Dec, 2015 11:15 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

How do you think you get this understanding, Layman.

To Feynman this understanding is found through experimentation. Experiments are the sole judge. He also states clearly that to understand the knowledge gained by modern experiments requires an understanding of advanced mathematics.

People who go into Physics, including Richard Feynman, spend years in a University learning math and studying the experimental basis of scientific knowledge.

You don't just make this stuff up... and you don't get it from reading little snippets you find through a Google search. Yes, there is a role for imagination in order to get to the ideas you can test by experiment.

But Feynman never says that you can reach this understanding with out a University Education or at least the years of study in mathematics and Physics that that entails.

That seems to be what you are saying.

I will add that the people who have done the years of study in Mathematics and Science, and have wrestled in understanding the work of people who came before them, working through the proofs and wrestling with the experimental results, almost all accept Special Relativity and the correct view of scientific knowledge.

This includes Richard Feynman.

But the fact remains that without taking the time to do the work studying the advanced mathematics and wrestling with the experimental ideas that you would get if you earned a Physics degree under someone like Dr. Feynman (who was a University professor), you don't have a clue of what you are talking about.

You have Cargo Cult Science completely wrong. Read the paper I posted. Cargo Cult Science is "science" done by people who haven't taken the time to study the math or the science, and aren't making their arguments best on knowledge gained by valid scientific experiment.
maxdancona

1
Fri 18 Dec, 2015 11:32 pm
@layman,
Can you tell? I have loved Richard Feynman since I wrestled with his lecture series in college.

layman

1
Fri 18 Dec, 2015 11:40 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
That seems to be what you are saying.

No that's not what I'm saying, and it's not what Feynman is saying either. He says "Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts." What is he calling "experts?" He says:

Quote:
We have many studies in teaching, for example, in which people make observations, make lists, do statistics, and so on, but these do not thereby become established science, established knowledge. [Here he goes into the cargo cult analogy, which I will skip]. The result of this pseudoscientific imitation is to produce experts

So don't believe such "experts," he's saying. So what should you do? Think and analyze for yourself, that's what:

Quote:
It should not be "science has shown" but "this experiment, this effect, has shown." And you have as much right as anyone else, upon hearing about the experiments--but be patient and listen to all the evidence--to judge whether a sensible conclusion has been arrived at.

He has more to say about, but the main point is this:

Quote:
[One] of the qualities of science is that it teaches the value of rational thought as well as the importance of freedom of thought ; the positive results that come from doubting that the lessons are all true. You must here distinguish the science from the forms or procedures that are sometimes used in developing science.

In short, science is about independent analysis and judgment. It is NOT about rote memorization and application of terminology, formulas, or conclusions. Understanding will never come from that. You must judge for yourself why the "explanations" are, or are not, valid, what the underlying assumptions are, what the limitations of the conclusions are, etc.

I know that I'm wasting my time here. If you read this at all, I have very little hope or expectation that you will understand it. You never doubt anything. You never ask the basic questions. You just want to learn the correct application of the procedures. It much easier that way, and you then convince yourself that you KNOW something that you've never even thought about.
0 Replies

layman

1
Fri 18 Dec, 2015 11:42 pm
@maxdancona,
Heh, now you want to expurge the real point of his introduction with a truncated version, eh? You can only understand this portion of the video in the context of the whole. But, of course, you don't WANT to understand it.
layman

1
Sat 19 Dec, 2015 12:08 am
Two kids ask you what is right, and you say "X is right."

One of those kids will then ask why it is right, what makes it right, and things like that. Then he wants to think about it, and decides if he agrees with the premises and the "necessity" of the conclusion.

The second one will just say "thanks." He doesn't know or care why. He just wants to be "right." So he goes out and does (or thinks) X without a second thought.

I see you as the second kid, Max.
0 Replies

maxdancona

1
Sat 19 Dec, 2015 12:15 am
@layman,
I don't know why you hold Feynman in such high regard. Feynman never spoke out against the Physics establishment. He was part of the Physics establishment. You will note that the "Cargo Cult Science" article you keep misquoting (and I posted a link to) has nothing to do with the Physics establishment. His career, as well as his teaching, was based on Relativity which he considered to be part of scientific knowledge (as shown in his writing including what I posted).

You are wrong about his philosophy too. I can't find an online transcript but in his lecture "Mathematics and Physics" he explains that there are many laws in Physics that we know are true mathematically by experiment, but we have nothing other than the mathematical truth... there is no why. He used the inverse square law of Gravitation as an example, but noted that there are many cases of this... where all we have is the mathematical law, but he counts this as scientific knowledge because we have shown it experimentally.

Of course, as I accept (and Feynman does to) you have intellectual freedom and can choose to believe whatever you want.

However there is what Feynman refers to as "scientific knowledge". There are things in Physics that we know are true because of experiment and there is a correct way to view them. We don't know everything (not even close)... there is a lot that we don't know.

But as Feynman points out there are also things we do know and experiments are the sole judge of this knowledge.

But again, Feynman is only one example of a member of the Physics establishment. You are free to reject it if you choose.
layman

1
Sat 19 Dec, 2015 12:19 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I will add that the people who have done the years of study in Mathematics and Science, and have wrestled in understanding the work of people who came before them, working through the proofs and wrestling with the experimental results, almost all accept Special Relativity and the correct view of scientific knowledge.

This includes Richard Feynman

Show me one place where Feynman ever says that. There is good reason to believe that he DOESN'T believe that it is THE correct view. For more reasons than one. One would be that he is not naïve enough to ever believe that there is ever one, and only one, correct view.

Beyond that, he explains the resolution of the twin paradox by applying a lorentzian, not an einsteinian, perspective of what's "really" happening.
maxdancona

1
Sat 19 Dec, 2015 12:21 am
@layman,
The term he used was "scientific knowledge". This is a term he used quite a bit. Let's leave Feynman for a minute.

Do you agree that if there are two theories that make contradictory predictions that it is possible to determine which theory is correct (by testing to see one makes the correct predictions)?
maxdancona

1
Sat 19 Dec, 2015 12:32 am
@layman,
http://www.cornell.edu/video/richard-feynman-messenger-lecture-2-relation-mathematics-physics

This is a link to the lecture where Feynman explains that part of scientific knowledge is just mathematical formulas with no reason "why" (not that we won't ever find a reason, but the reason isn't necessary). We gain this knowledge through experiments. As he says in the earlier video "we have looked at it very carefully ... that is the way that Nature works".

You can find the key part of this point at around the 11:30 mark.

This video in its entirety is a very good insight into how Feynman views the science of Physics.

maxdancona

1
Sat 19 Dec, 2015 12:55 am
@maxdancona,
I highly encourage Layman, or anyone, to watch this video. I was just watching it again, it is brilliant. The discussion about axioms is amazing.

layman

1
Sat 19 Dec, 2015 02:11 am
@maxdancona,
OK, I listened to most of it, and he has re-iterated a couple things I have already said.

1. At around the 46:00 mark he clearly says that math is not physics, and physics is not mathematics, as I have maintained all along. He also says that math need have no "meaning" at all, but physics wants to give meaning (substance) to the math (form). And that's why I prefer LR to SR. There is no comprehensible consistent "meaning" to SR that does not violate other known laws. The math works, but the "meaning" is senseless. He says the "language" of math must be translated into words, and applied to the world, for purposes of physics (but not math). This is a point I have also made (and which you contested by claiming that it cannot be put in words, but only math).

2. He also says that there are many equivalent theories, and no one can be said to be "right" unless they make different predictions, as I have said. Therefore, in the context of SR vs LR, SR cannot be said to be "the correct theory."

3. He says, around the 49:00 mark, that the "rigor of mathematics" is not very useful in physics and that the physicist will be guided by "common sense." He goes so far as to speculate (and believe) that once more is known there will be no need for math in physics at all.

Most of Feynman's lecture on SR is expressed in words, not formulas. The concept that "the moving clock slows down" is NOT mathematical. The question of how much it slows down, at different relative speeds, IS mathematical. But again, the math is derived from the conceptual premises. The conceptual premises are NOT derived from the math.

Lorentz did not first discover the formula, and then deduce the "problem" it solved. He had a problem to solve, proposed a possible solution, and then quantified that solution with math. The (verbal) theory came first.

The problem: How is it that we can KNOW the earth is moving (by orbiting the sun, for instance) but not detect it?

A possible reason: because time and/or length changes with speed. OK, so how much would those things have to change to get this particular result? That's a SEPARATE question, which requires math to answer. But it isn't, and wasn't, the fundamental question. Math is simply a tool for physics. It is not physics.

PS: I have now listened to the whole thing.
0 Replies

layman

1
Sat 19 Dec, 2015 02:14 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Do you agree that if there are two theories that make contradictory predictions that it is possible to determine which theory is correct (by testing to see one makes the correct predictions)?

In theory, sure. In practice, maybe not.

When are you going the answer the simple questions that I asked you a few posts back?
0 Replies

layman

1
Sat 19 Dec, 2015 02:25 am
@maxdancona,
He starts out with Newton's gravitational law. And it is ONLY that, i.e., a law. It is not a "theory of gravity." Newton himself refused to even try to advance a theoretical "explanation" and, as Feynman notes, we don't have a theory of gravity to this day. "Laws" may therefore be "purely mathematical," but not explanatory theories.
0 Replies

layman

1
Sat 19 Dec, 2015 02:42 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I don't know why you hold Feynman in such high regard. Feynman never spoke out against the Physics establishment.

I have not "spoken out against" physics. At least not in the SR/LR context. Lorentz was a great physicist. So were Poncaire, Lamont, and others. I am not opposed to physics. I do think, however, that things like the acceptance of SR as "true" (and the distorted, completely unconvincing efforts to make it somehow "seem" true), started physics down a bad path.

I have quoted many prominent modern physicists (in other threads) as expressing the exact same sentiments, with respect to the trend to throw out significant physical, empirical meaning in the pursuit of purely mathematical speculation. They too are part of the "physics establishment."

I am not against physics, by any means. I just don't want metaphysical speculation masquerading as "physics" when it aint.
0 Replies

layman

0
Sun 20 Dec, 2015 04:40 am
As I recall, Max, another claim of yours was that Einstein proved there was no ether. Not if ya ask Al, eh? From another thread:

Quote:
More careful reflection teaches us however, that the special theory of relativity does not compel us to deny ether...the hypothesis of ether in itself is not in conflict with the special theory of relativity...

...there is a weighty argument to be adduced in favour of the ether hypothesis. To deny the ether is ultimately to assume that empty space has no physical qualities whatever. The fundamental facts of mechanics do not harmonize with this view.

The ether of the general theory of relativity is transmuted conceptually into the ether of Lorentz if we substitute constants for the functions of space which describe the former, disregarding the causes which condition its state. Thus we may also say, I think, that the ether of the general theory of relativity is the outcome of the Lorentzian ether, through relativation.

According to the general theory of relativity space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time (measuring-rods and clocks), nor therefore any space-time intervals in the physical sense. (Albert, 1920)

http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Extras/Einstein_ether.html
0 Replies

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