Talk:Counterexamples to Relativity

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For a point-by-point summary of this page, see Essay - Counterexamples to relativity points.

See also the page Essay:Rebuttal to Counterexamples to Relativity

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Notice of Pending Revision

It's been over a week now since the reversion (on 9th December) of several edits I made. Despite my request, now explanation has been posted, in contrast to the explanations I gave for each of my changes. I therefore see it only fit to return the article to the state I left it in.

However, to avoid 'edit wars' I think it only fair to give notification of this, to allow a final chance for justification of the reversion.

The specific changes are:

  • Removal of the item: '27. Relativity requires different values for the inertia of a moving object: in its direction of motion, and perpendicular to that direction. This contradicts the logical principle that the laws of physics are the same in all directions.' since it is a duplicate of '10. The logical problem of a force which is applied at a right angle to the velocity of a relativistic mass -- does this act on the rest mass or the relativistic mass?'
  • Removal of '26. The lack of useful devices developed based on any insights provided by the theory; no lives have been saved or helped, and the theory has not led to other useful theories and may have interfered with scientific progress. This stands in stark contrast with every verified theory of science.' After much discussion on this page, it seems generally agreed that there useful devices in existence. (I appreciate that some mention of GPS may be necessary, but a footnote, however valid, cannot justify the presence of the invalid section in the main article to which it is attached. GPS can have it's own separate entry on this page as a counterexample, if need be.)

AugustO 10:35, 31 December 2011 (EST)

  • Removal of '30. The Ehrenfest Paradox ...', '31. The Twin Paradox ...' and '10. The logical problem of a force which is applied at a right angle...' since these are paradoxes and (as discussed above) are not appropriate to a page of counterexamples. These entries have already been moved to and expanded upon in the main Relativity page.

--QPR 10:26, 17 December 2011 (EST)

I've now implemented these changes since no objection has been forthcoming to my explaination above, posted in accordance with editting etiquette. If there are any objections please discuss them here rather than engaging in revert wars. --QPR 13:36, 30 December 2011 (EST)
Sorry, just noticing these comments now. Let's discuss before removing insights from entries.
Items 27 and 10 are similar, but not identical. 27 highlights a conflict between Relativity and basic principles of physics; item 10 emphasizes an internal contradiction in the theory that remains unanswered.
Item 26 remains unrebutted. Relativity has produced nothing of value.
Item 30 and 31 are logical problems which are valid counterexamples, given that Relativity claims to be based on logic.--Andy Schlafly 22:58, 30 December 2011 (EST)

Items 10, 27, and 31 should be taken out because they are just wrong, and make Conservapedia look lazy. Anyone who has learned about relativity from any college-level textbook less than about 40 or 50 years old knows how to do the calculations involving relativistic velocity, momentum, force, and acceleration. Our readers know this, and items 10 and 27 will just leave them scratching their heads about the diligence of Conservapedia. Item 31, the "twin paradox", is also very well known. The fact that something has the word "paradox" in its name doesn't mean that the subject is flawed. Otherwise, we would have to take the Russel paradox too seriously, and perhaps conclude that this: "The next sentence is false. The preceding sentence is true" means that the universe will blow up. The phrase "twin paradox" is simply a name. Everyone knows what is going on. Even Einstein. If it were actually a counterexample, this fact would be well known by now.JudyJ 10:11, 31 December 2011 (EST)

  • 10: The logical problem of a force which is applied at a right angle to the velocity of a relativistic mass - does this act on the rest mass or the relativistic mass? It applies to the relativistic mass: that is observable in a cyclotron. So, it is one of those question you may speculate or philosophy all day long, but do the experiment (and the mass), and it is answered.
  • 27: Relativity requires different values for the inertia of a moving object: in its direction of motion, and perpendicular to that direction. This contradicts the logical principle that the laws of physics are the same in all directions. In light of the above, this seems to be wrong.
  • 30: The Ehrenfest Paradox interesting paradox, solvable and no counterexample
  • 31: The Twin Paradox no counterexample to relativity, it's solved in any physic's course on this subject
  • 26: The lack of useful devices developed based on any insights provided by the theory please re-read the archives, they include plenty material on the GPS (though you seem to ignore it)

AugustO 10:36, 31 December 2011 (EST)

On the points 10 and 27 issue, whilst they may or may not be duplicates, may or may not be counterexamples, they're still just plain wrong, reflecting a fundamental misunderstanding of the basics of relativity. According to Special Relativity, the inertial mass of a body appears the same to all observers who are in the same inertial frame of reference (i.e. who are moving at the same velocity as each other, which may be different from that of the body being observed). If a force is applied to the body it will produce an acceleration of the same magnitude (though obviously in a different direction) regardless of the direction of the force. The force itself can in no sense be an 'observer' since it has no velocity. For observers in a different non-inertial frame, they will observe a different magnitude of acceleration, but it will still be the same regardless of the direction of the force. --QPR 12:27, 31 December 2011 (EST)

I deleted #10 and #27. AugustO 11:06, 1 January 2012 (EST)

Andy, you've reverted an edit that everyone involved in the discussion other than yourself seems to be agreed upon. Can you please at least attempt to justify your position? --QPR 13:20, 1 January 2012 (EST)

deletion of educational information is disfavored on this site; deletions restored How can the perpetuation of false information be educational? AugustO 15:37, 1 January 2012 (EST)

This entire page is ludicrous. If you don't believe in Einstein's relativity, then do you believe in Galilean relativity? If Einstein's relativity is correct up to small corrections, does it invalidate cultural relativism? Ironically, this page signifies to me that Conservapedia itself is an exercise in relative truth; the idea that individuals are entitled to make up whatever facts are consistent with their preconceptions. Aram 16:26, 1 January 2012 (EST)

Relativity breaks down if a solenoid is traveling at or near the speed of light.

As a source for the statement this discussion on physicsforum.org is given. Here are all the contributions to this discussion:

A Dhingra The moment the magnetic field is generated, it should take some time to reach some distance. It cannot reach infinity instantly, it should have some speed, and that speed cannot be more than that of light. So let’s say that the newly generated magnetic field, through a current carrying wire, travels with the speed of light. Now for the application of the faraday’s law, let’s bring a magnet near a solenoid, through which initially no current flows, and make the magnet move with the speed of light. Will there be electromagnetic induction observed in this case?

Take another case, when instead of a magnet we have a different circuit containing a solenoid through which current flows when the switch is made on, and this circuit is held stationary moving the other one with the speed of light. Will there be electromagnetic induction observed in this case? What I think is that, as the system without current is moving as fast as the magnetic field … it never gets the chance to cut the magnetic field and cause induction to occur in the solenoid. So there should be no induction. But there is relative motion between the two systems and (also there is NO time varying magnetic field through the moving solenoid,)AND no induced current will be produced ... so will the induction take place or not...?? if induction does not take place then the principle or relativity goes wrong......

DaleSpam You cannot make a magnet move with the speed of light. It is a physically impossible premise, so you shouldn't be surprised that assuming it leads to contradictions.
A Dhingra ... can't it be just a thought experiment like many other paradoxes available....

with that assumption, think about the result.......

DaleSpam Obviously, if you violate the principle of relativity in your question then the answer must be that the principle of relativity is violated. It is just the most basic logic. Non-physical assumptions lead to non-physical conclusions. This says nothing whatsoever about physics, only about your question.
A Dhingra ok........

i agree that the situation is not realistic........ but still i didn't like the fact that one should not think beyond the laws made by humans himself.......

DaleSpam This is elementary logic. If you have any set of axioms (A) which logically imply some result (B) then if your premise is not(B) then you must logically conclude not(A). This is called transposition and is one of the fundamental rules of logic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transposition_(logic)

SR logically implies that a solenoid must move slower than light (STL), therefore if you assume that a solenoid can move with the speed of light you must logically conclude that special relativity (SR) is violated. Written in the usual format for logic: (SR → STL) ↔ (~STL → ~SR)

Whether or not the situation is realistic and whether or not SR is a "law made by humans himself" is actually only a secondary concern. This is primarily an exercise in basic logic. Note that I am agreeing with your OP. Under the stated premise (~STL) you must indeed logically conclude that "the principle of relativity goes wrong" (~SR).

vector22 to make the experiment fair you would have to calculate what would happen to the solenoid at half light speed and then go from there.
netheril96 If you want to think beyond relativity, invent your own laws of physics. If you want to explain in terms of relativity, then think within relativity.
A Dhingra can you help me go about finding this result......

(considering the magnetic field to be varying with time ...... as it is getting produced ...

How does this discussion support the claim? This source seems to be unsuitable and therefore it should be deleted, and the statement marked again to be unsourced.

AugustO 02:00, 2 January 2012 (EST)

Previous arguments

I'm creating a page Essay - Counterexamples to relativity points, the purpose of this is to ensure that arguments are not repeated by people who find the article, not realising that their objections have already been discussed, and removed as part of a cleanup of the talkpage. The page is NOT a place to make points, but a place to see if your objection has already been made, and save everybody time by reading the responses yourself, and then bringing up the objection only if you have a new point to make. Because the numbers for counterexamples change, the page will not include the number of the counterexample, only the text of it. Although I will try to put them in order. I know that to begin with, many old arguments will not be included, but hopefully it will eventually become a very useful resource for those wishing to make contributions to the page. - JamesCA 21:29, 4 January 2012 (EST)

While I appreciate the positive intent behind this idea, I do fear that it risks making Conservapedia look even sillier in this area than it already does. The problem is the implicit suggestion that this new page is in any way 'definitive'. Given that the issues surrounding Einsteinian Relativity have been discussed across the planet for over a century, and that the results of those discussions are available on-line, in textbooks and elsewhere, then it is unlikely that anyone will give a page on Conservapedia very much credence, particularly if it is seen to support this page, which puts forth views that very few with an understanding of the field share.
The real problem is that the counterexamples page itself is not a genuine encyclopaedia entry, but the personal fiefdom of one contributor with little understanding of the subject matter and a bee in his bonnet about a spurious connection between Einsteinian Relativity and Moral Relativism. Unfortunately that contributor has administrator privileges, which he finds more effective in making his case than resorting to rational argument. Perhaps it would be better if the counterexamples page itself became an essay page, to make absoultely clear that it presents a personal point of view. --QPR 10:06, 5 January 2012 (EST)
Anyone who finds Conservapedia silly because of this page will not think it is any sillier because of the new page. For many who see this page, it is a joke, and won't think any less of it because of the new page. The problem with turning this page into an essay is that those who support this page believe that it is not merely a page of personal opinion, but factually accurate. Perhaps I should put a disclaimer at the top of the page then? Something like 'this should not be seen as approving of the counterexamples, but as approval of productive discussion concerning the points'. Also, it should be noted that at the moment, every counterexample listed on the new page have outstanding objections to them, which have not been answered. - JamesCA 21:05, 5 January 2012 (EST)
I hate to go raining on the parade again here, but science is argued by evidence--it is not enough to produce a counter example and highlight the "god of the gaps". There are paradoxical observations under any established paradigm in any field. This does not mean that the entire paradigm is incorrect, simply that there are gaps in the evidence that must be addressed in order to improve extant models. This is the primary reason that trained scientists find this page silly. There are tons of holes in relativity, just as there were massive holes in Darwin's original theory of natural selection (as a biologist, I am far more familiar with how the latter example has been, quite successfully, addressed), the notion that "there are some discrepancies with theory X, therefore goddidit" is an obvious logical fallacy. Rather than poking holes in an outdated model, it is far more scientific to argue in favor of an alternate model using evidence. The central caveat here, and one that must be carefully beaten out of every experiment, is that evidence cannot be approached with the intention of supporting a particular hypothesis--a model must be built around the evidence, not the other way around. That's why scientists laugh at the term "creation science", science is not about hunting for evidence in support of a pre-formed theory, it is about impartially collecting evidence and then letting said evidence speak for itself.
Having said that. I must acknowledge that this article is not explicitly (although, it is implied) about advancing one viewpoint over another--it is simply about highlighting perceived inconsistencies in the theory of relativity. By itself, that is not a ridiculous premise at all. However, because this page is more of an editorial than an academic encyclopedia article, this page itself probably should have been classified as an "essay" to begin with. --RudrickBoucher 14:13, 6 January 2012 (EST)
In my opinion, the article is really a list of anomalies and paradoxes, not counterexamples. The anomalies are observations that need some additional explanation, and that may or may not require an adjustment to relativity. The paradoxes seem like contradictions or contrary to common sense, but have explanations. RSchlafly 00:58, 7 January 2012 (EST)
If someone thinks that Relativity must be true as a matter of logic, then any and all evidence to the contrary is not going to change that view. "Paradox" might be an appropriate term for ostensible contradictions in logic. But the terms "paradox" and "anomaly" are not suitable for observable science.--Andy Schlafly 19:00, 7 January 2012 (EST)
No, it is the term "true as a matter of logic" that is not suitable for observable science. Perhaps your real complaint is with those who push scientific statements as being true as a matter of logic. If so, I suggest renaming the article to "Counterexamples to Einsteinian thinking". RSchlafly 01:09, 8 January 2012 (EST)
I think at least one major college teaches Relativity as a course in the math department rather than being listed primarily in the physics department.--Andy Schlafly 15:28, 8 January 2012 (EST)
If the terms "paradox" and "anomaly" are not suitable for observable science, what are they doing on this page? --QPR 17:26, 8 January 2012 (EST)
Strictly speaking, all sciences are "observational" sciences; the semantic distinction between observational science and experimental science is arbitrary at best. Even in a tightly-controlled experiment, the goal is still to observe the outcome of the experiment in order to make some inference about the processes involved. In other words, an experiment is intended as nothing more than an indirect observation of natural phenomena that are not readily directly observable.
A "paradox", by the most reductive definition, is when the available evidence suggests two contradictory hypotheses. Whereas an "anomaly" is an observation that does not conform to the hypothesis suggested by the previously available evidence. Both of these terms are quite appropriate to use in any scientific or logical context. When a scientist encounters a paradox or an anomaly, it implies that there is a fundamental gap in the theoretical understanding of his or her field. Seeking out evidence to address these gaps allows for scientists to adjust their theoretical models in order to more precisely explain the observed phenomena. --RudrickBoucher 22:32, 8 January 2012 (EST)

RudrickBoucher, since we already established that you are not a biologist, shouldn't you say "as someone who likes to pretend to be a biologist". Conservative 20:59, 8 January 2012 (EST)

Conservative, I have a BS in cell and molecular biology (CMB) from the top undergraduate CMB program in the country, several years of laboratory experience doing developmental biology research, just as many publications (a couple of which, I first-authored), I also have teaching experience in introductory biology (AP biology and college-level intro bio), graduate level course-work in developmental biology, and, as of this coming fall, I will either be a first-year medical student or a developmental biology PhD candidate (I've been accepted into programs for both, but not a combined MD/PhD program just yet). In short, I am allowed to call myself a "biologist" because it is my profession--it may sound pretentious, but it saves on typing. --RudrickBoucher 22:32, 8 January 2012 (EST)

RudrichBoucher, a profession is something one does to earn money and have a net positive cash flow, while students often invest money in education and often have low earnings or debt accumulation. Perhaps you should consider taking an introductory course in finance so you better understand the concepts of cash flow and investment! :) I would also suggest taking a course in ethics at a Christian university so you no longer claim to be a biologist and then retract that claim like you did at this wiki. Conservative 22:48, 8 January 2012 (EST)

I was paid for my research and for the teaching. Although, admittedly, not very well for either (as neither science nor teaching pays particularly well). I retracted the claim on the "15 questions" essay only after you had already edited it--in the name of diplomatically avoiding a pointless edit war. Similarly, I referenced my biological inclination above as a gesture of humility, to admit that my background in physics is relatively limited. On that note, what are your credentials? Have you spent seven years meticulously learning a specific field like I have? Have you published any papers? Are you a member of any professional research societies? Admittedly, I have at least another six years of education to go, but I can legitimately claim some level of expertise in my field. I don't say these things to brag, say them to lend credibility to my arguments. Finally, as I've mentioned before, I was raised Catholic and I spent my first two years of college at a Methodist school--where I did have the privilege of taking an ethics class (and I very much enjoyed it). So please, let's cut the ad hominem attacks and focus on the discussion at hand. --RudrickBoucher 23:44, 8 January 2012 (EST)
Of those who credit Einstein for relativity, they often argue that Einstein's approach was superior because he ignored observations and presented relativity as being something that must be true as a matter of logic. The Einstein scholars acknowledge that Lorentz and Poincare had all the relativity formulas before Einstein, but Lorentz and Poincare were not true believers because they conceded that the theory could be disproved by experiment.
So the case could be made that there is an Einsteinian-relativity-philosophy that is a is a mathematical system that allows no exceptions, that is based on postulates taken on faith, and that ignores experimental evidence. If so, then maybe the page should be explicit about what is being attacked. All real science is based on experimental evidence. RSchlafly 21:19, 8 January 2012 (EST)
RSchlafly, please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding was that even Einstein considered relativity to be a mathematical approximation. One that precisely, but still somewhat inaccurately, explained the then-available evidence; in a manner similar to the proverbial physicist who, for ease of calculation, treats a horse as a circle. Anybody who has taken more than a year of calculus-based physics (or, even introductory college astronomy), knows the very real limitations of relativity. If anything, these limitations are just as dogmatic as relativity itself. Therefore, the notion that questioning relativity is taboo in intellectual circles (an underlying premise of this page) is patently ridiculous. Poking holes in relativity, and then seeking to explain them, has been one of the great ongoing projects in physics for the past seventy years. --RudrickBoucher 22:32, 8 January 2012 (EST)
I agree that questioning relativity is not taboo. The 2011 Nobel Prize in physics was for observations that caused a modification of general relativity. The biggest physics story of the year was the Italian claim that neutrinos go faster than light, contrary to relativity. Physicists often talk about replacing relativity with some unified field theory or quantum theory. RSchlafly 02:51, 9 January 2012 (EST)
That makes me wonder why there isn't a "Counterexamples to Quantum Mechanics" page here as well. --RudrickBoucher 09:11, 9 January 2012 (EST)
There are a lot of anomalies and paradoxes in quantum mechanics also. RSchlafly 18:05, 9 January 2012 (EST)

A few more things

All right, more problems with this article:

15. The failure to discover gravitons, despite wasting hundreds of millions in taxpayer money in searching.
18. The inability of the theory to lead to other insights, contrary to every verified theory of physics.
24. The theory predicts natural formation of highly ordered (and thus low entropy) black holes despite the increase in entropy required by the Second Law of Thermodynamics

15: General relativity does not predict gravitons! Gravitons are massless spin-two particles predicted by QFT that lead to linear GR. (Though the spirit is different; in QFT, the h's--the metric perturbations--are a tensor representing field strength on a background Minkowski spacetime. In GR these represent curvature in spacetime.)
18: Untrue--Consider the Dirac equation. It predicted spin, which was not predicted by Schrodinger theory. It also predicted negative energy states (antiparticles), and QFT has been fundamental to particle physics.
24: Yet another horrible misunderstanding. Consider an ideal gas with N particles. Assume the total number of particles is conserved (it obviously doesn't have to be, but this is an idealized case). First of all, Newtonian gravity also predicts that a star will contract to a point without hydrostatic pressure--due to their mutual gravitational attraction. Should we start a "counterexamples to gravity" page? You've forgotten one thing: there's a term in the expression for the entropy that involves thermal energy!!! In other words (roughly speaking) the gas "warms up" so that the second law of thermodynamics is not violated. AndyFrankinson 20:43, 8 January 2012 (EST)

Very well said! While I'm in a commenting-frenzy, I'd like to add to your points.
Re: #15. It's not a waste of time or money to reject a hypothesis. To quote Enrico Fermi, "If the result confirms the hypothesis, then you've made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery."
Re: #18. Relativity HAS led to other [1].
Re: #24. The second law of thermodynamics only applies to closed systems. In the case of stellar black hole formation, gravitational pressure must exceed the sum of the thermal pressure, supplied by ongoing fusion in the stellar core, and the core degeneracy pressure, provided courtesy of the Pauli exclusion principle. Achieving this condition is, necessarily, a very violent event, complete with giant explosions, gamma ray bursts, and spewing jets of super-heated gas. When considering the entirety of the system giving rise to a black hole, and not just the resulting black hole itself, entropy certainly does increase. --RudrickBoucher 23:19, 8 January 2012 (EST)
Hello! Thanks for the comments. And sorry about #24, like I said, the model I gave is slightly idealized b/c I haven't studied the subject in detail. AndyFrankinson 07:58, 9 January 2012 (EST)
No problem, I was in a bit of a commenting frenzy anyway. I'm guessing, because you referred to the ideal gas law, that you have some chemistry background?
Also, I've had students throw the second law of thermodynamics at me when I'm trying to explain evolution. The Earth's surface isn't a closed system either because it's constantly receiving energy from the sun--so the second law of thermodynamics is inapplicable there as well. The only truly closed system that I can think of is in Washington...and, yes, entropy there is always increasing! --RudrickBoucher 09:05, 9 January 2012 (EST)
Actually, I'm terrible at chemistry! My background is in physics and math. You talk about ideal gasses in any physics class where you discuss thermodynamics. But yeah, that's one of the classical misunderstandings among creationists. One thing I saw suggested that next time someone brings it up, ask them about the other laws of thermodynamics. What I also like about the second law of thermodynamics argument is that they don't seem to understand what entropy is and why it increases. So yeah, next time someone brings it up ask them about those things. AndyFrankinson 20:18, 9 January 2012 (EST)
Can I please delete these "counterexamples"? AndyFrankinson 20:32, 12 January 2012 (EST)
I say go for it. You've justified why they should be deleted and your justification has met with no objection. If somebody wishes to restore them, they are welcome to object here.
As an aside, there does seem to be a disproportionate number of math and physics types on here. It is interesting how the life sciences tend to be predominantly liberal, whereas there's a more even distribution of political ideology in the physical sciences. There are conservative biologists (my old PI, for example), but they are very few and very far between. Knowledge of evolution does not seem to be a factor here, because understanding / acceptance of evolution is nearly universal in all of the sciences. In biology, there is a (seemingly true, in my experience) stereotypical "personality" in each of the sub-disciplines; to reference other fields, the age-old dichotomy between chemists and chemical engineers seems to mostly hold true. I have always wondered if the "personality" of the fields would lead to the observed political differences, or if maybe there is something deeper.
Because I am afraid that my above observation may be taken grossly out of context, I must add to it the disclaimer that I am not in any way suggesting "indoctrination" of students in one field versus another (or making some other similarly fatuous insinuation). I am simply making an observation, and speculating on its possible cause. --RudrickBoucher 21:25, 12 January 2012 (EST)

These counterexamples are not adequately rebutted above:

15. The failure to discover gravitons, despite wasting hundreds of millions in taxpayer money in searching.

If Relativists are not even going to accept the results of experiments that cost hundreds of millions of dollars, then they are a waste of money.

18. The inability of the theory to lead to other insights, contrary to every verified theory of physics.

If you can give examples in your own words, then please do.

24. The theory predicts natural formation of highly ordered (and thus low entropy) black holes despite the increase in entropy required by the Second Law of Thermodynamics

This statement is true also. The dramatic decrease in entropy predicted by Relativity is contrary to the Second Law. No known mechanism offsets that decrease.--Andy Schlafly 23:39, 12 January 2012 (EST)
re: 15. The existence of gravitons was hypothesized in an attempt to reconcile relativity with quantum mechanics. General relativity, by itself, does not predict the existence of gravitons. Furthermore, money spent testing a hypothesis that is ultimately not supported is not "wasted" (otherwise, I'd be out of a job)--the knowledge gained in testing the hypothesis allows a better hypothesis to be formulated.
re: 18. General relativity correctly predicted gravitational lensing, the existence of black holes, and the accelerating expansion of the universe. Additionally (and this is the first example that I can come up with off of the top of my head, RSchlafly probably knows a few better ones), relativistic effects must be compensated for to maximize the accuracy of satellite-based GPS systems.
re: 24. Black hole formation results in a net increase in entropy when considering the system as a whole. If you were to consider just the mass of the resultant black hole as a closed system, the degeneracy forces outweigh the net gravitational force significantly enough to prevent collapse into a schwarzschild radius. In just overcoming this by itself (as theoretically happens in super-massive black holes), there would be a massive output of emitted particles (radiation), which would still result in a net increase in the entropy of the system.
These counterexamples are not valid. Plain and simple. --RudrickBoucher 01:10, 13 January 2012 (EST)
General relativity did not predict the accelerating expansion of the universe. It predicted that the expansion would be slowing. Most physicists say that the GR equations must be modified to accommodate the accelerating expansion.
I don't get the entropy argument. I always assumed that a black hole would have all the entropy of the collapsing star and matter falling in. Is there a source for saying that black holes have low entropy? As the footnote says, Hawking has an explanation. Is there something wrong with that explanation? RSchlafly 04:29, 13 January 2012 (EST)
Um...I did address all your concerns, Andy....
These counterexamples are not adequately rebutted above: 15. The failure to discover gravitons, despite wasting hundreds of millions in taxpayer money in searching.
If Relativists are not even going to accept the results of experiments that cost hundreds of millions of dollars, then they are a waste of money. Wait, gravitons are predicted by GR?! Please send me a link to the derivation!!!
18. The inability of the theory to lead to other insights, contrary to every verified theory of physics.
If you can give examples in your own words, then please do. I did!!!! Not to be rude, but did you see what I wrote above? Dirac equation! Spin! Antiparticles! Quantum Field theory! Particle physics! The Standard Model!
24. The theory predicts natural formation of highly ordered (and thus low entropy) black holes despite the increase in entropy required by the Second Law of Thermodynamics
This statement is true also. The dramatic decrease in entropy predicted by Relativity is contrary to the Second Law. No known mechanism offsets that decrease Yes, yes, yes, temperature increase is unknown to physics!
(Again I'm not trying to be offensive, I'm just wondering if there was a glitch or something b/c, as I said, these were all addressed above.) AndyFrankinson 19:48, 13 January 2012 (EST)

The footnote for #8 says that the calculations are "complicated or contrived", and that the fundamental formula was "conformed" to match the observed perihelion precession. No one doubts that the derivation is complicated. But "conformed" seems to say that something was "tweaked" to match the precession. The formula is complicated to solve but simple to write: G_{\mu\nu} = 8 \pi K T_{\mu\nu}\,. There's nothing in it that can be "tweaked"--not 8, not pi, and not K (Newton's constant of gravitation.)JudyJ 17:08, 21 January 2012 (EST)

Yep, this is also confusing to me. Does Andy Schlafly know relativity? As you said, nothing can be tweaked in that equation (to "conform" to whatever events). The tensor that represents curvature has to have divergence 0, so that energy-momentum is locally conserved, and the 8*pi*G is determined from the fact that it has to reduce to Newtonian gravity in the weak-field limit. AndyFrankinson 19:47, 23 January 2012 (EST)

Recent reversion

Andy, while your recent change did keep the link to the rebuttal page, don't you think it would only be fair to also keep the note that the page is controversial? Regardless who is actually right or wrong, I don't think it would be fair to anyone reading 'The Trustworthy Encyclopaedia' for them to pick up the impression that the ideas on this page are not very widely disputed. --QPR 16:05, 29 January 2012 (EST)

The whole article is a list of relativity controversies. It says at the top that it is contrary to what liberals promote. Isn't that clear? RSchlafly 21:04, 29 January 2012 (EST)
The point is, I think, that the very idea that there is a liberal/conservative division on this is itself controversial. Personally, I have not seen the issue raised anywhere except on Conservapedia, and even then only by a very small subset of contributors.
On a broader point, if opposing liberal points of view is, by definition, controversial, and given that such opposition is the raison d'être of Conservapedia, wouldn't a better tagline be "The Controversial Encyclopaedia"?--QPR 08:09, 30 January 2012 (EST)
It's a common tactic for the media to label someone they don't like as "controversial". But does anyone ever hear a liberal theory or politician called "controversial"? Was Ted Kennedy ever called "controversial" by the media?--Andy Schlafly 23:43, 29 January 2012 (EST)
Does this make string theory conservative, as it is often labeled controversial? AugustO 02:12, 30 January 2012 (EST)
No, I didn't suggest that everything the media disparages as "controversial" is conservative. String theory is a challenge to liberal orthodoxy from the Left.--Andy Schlafly 02:18, 30 January 2012 (EST)
Just to nail this down Andy, do you or do you not think that this page is controversial?--QPR 08:09, 30 January 2012 (EST)
Also, your question about Ted Kennedy looks rhetorical with the implied answer of 'no', and yet the answer is very clearly 'yes'. Googling "Ted Kennedy" and "controversial" gives 6.4 million hits. Obviously that doesn't mean the term is being applied to him in all cases, but in many of them (e.g. http://www.foxnews.com/slideshow/us/2009/08/26/ted-kennedy-controversy#slide=1) it clearly is. Can you clarify the point you were making about him?--QPR 08:27, 30 January 2012 (EST)
The term "controversial" is not a good term for string theory. The major aspects are not disputed. A subject is not conservative just because some journalist mislabels it. RSchlafly 12:14, 31 January 2012 (EST)
That's the problem with science journalism these days. It overstates the implications of a lot of findings, oversimplifies key concepts, and often fails to accurately convey consensus opinions in a particular field. --JHunter 17:35, 31 January 2012 (EST)
Just wanted to add to this: I have never seen GR disputed anywhere but here. (Save for quantum gravity, of course). AndyFrankinson 19:28, 2 February 2012 (EST)

Neutrinos do not travel faster than light

The same lab that originally broke the story has confirmed a flaw in their experiment. Dr. Sandro Centro stated, "In fact I was a little sceptical since the beginning, now we are 100% sure that the speed of light is the speed of neutrinos.[...]I think they were a little bit in a hurry to publish something that was astonishing, and at the end of the day it was a wrong measurement."[2]

I hope he did not mean to say that, because neutrinos going at the speed of light would still contradict relativity (or other experiments). Neutrinos have mass, and must go slower than the speed of light. The article has a better statement: "they find that the neutrinos do travel at the same speed as light, within a small error range." RSchlafly 05:02, 17 March 2012 (EDT)

I took the part out - again: have a look at the updated press-release by CERN regarding the experiment: AugustO 10:48, 17 March 2012 (EDT)

The updates and corrections for the benefit of Relativists are less than persuasive. Is anyone claiming quote above ("now we are 100% sure that the speed of light is the speed of neutrinos") is inaccurate? Note, by the way, that the CERN experiment is not the only one that suggested neutrinos can travel at least as fast as the speed of light.--Andy Schlafly 11:57, 17 March 2012 (EDT)
Andy, perhaps you could write to either the ICARUS Collaboration or CERN seeking clarification of their results. After reading the actual paper[3](not the press release), it seems that the team is quite confident that their latest results are in complete agreement with Relativity. "Based on seven neutrino events, our result is in excellent agreement with Lorentz dependent velocities of neutrinos and of light. Neutrinos and GPS measurements are found to be sharply coincident in time within an uncertainty of a few nanoseconds, in disagreement with the superluminal result reported by the OPERA Collaboration." Yet you contend that the results from the very same experiment actually disproves Relativity. In this instance I simply think you are wrong. But who's to say that my interpretation of an article is any more accurate than yours? Obviously, we both can't be right. I think there must be a better way to settle this matter than combing through press releases. --JoshuaB 13:33, 17 March 2012 (EDT)
The new, updated claims seem more like political correctness than real science. Does the paper compare the updated results to the independent prior findings, by another experiment, that also suggested that neutrino speeds conflict with the politicized desires of Relativists?--Andy Schlafly 00:55, 18 March 2012 (EDT)
Political correctness? Come off it Schlafly. You do realize that there's far more fame and glory to be had for a physicist to prove GR wrong than there is to add to the growing list of supporting evidence? You do understand that, right? --JoshuaB 01:57, 18 March 2012 (EDT)
The opposite is obviously true. Those who even question the Theory of Relativity are risking their careers. No grad student can expect to receive a doctorate if he questions relativity; no associate professor can expect to receive tenure if he does likewise; and no tenured professor will ever win the Nobel Prize for questioning relativity.--Andy Schlafly 15:31, 18 March 2012 (EDT)
Yep, and no one will ever win a Nobel prize for questioning whether the Earth is round either. --BradleyS 18:29, 18 March 2012 (EDT)
There aren't 39 counterexamples to the spherical shape of the Earth. But if a doctoral candidate, tenure-track professor, or Nobel Prize wannabe repeats one of the 39 Counterexamples to Relativity, then he's risking retaliation against his career by liberals.--Andy Schlafly 18:52, 18 March 2012 (EDT)
There aren't 39 counterexamples to relativity and this page documents in detail what's wrong with each alleged "counterexample". The acceptance of relativity has to do with the theory passing extensive experimental scrutiny and nothing to do with "liberals". --BradleyS 19:29, 18 March 2012 (EDT)

Aschlafly said: "No grad student can expect to receive a doctorate if he questions relativity[...]" Yes. If a doctoral candidate whipped out almost any of your "counterexamples", in anything short of a joking fashion, they most likely would be signaling the end of their academic carrier. Why? It's simple. Advanced degrees are awarded to students who have shown a mastery of their particular field of study. Presenting this list of counterexamples in a doctoral thesis would only go towards illustrating that the student does not have a thorough understanding of SR or GR and thus should not offered a degree. No political correctness. No liberal conspiracy.
Aschlafly went on to say: "...no tenured professor will ever win the Nobel Prize for questioning relativity." You are 100% correct on this one. Why? Because anybody can sit around questioning anything. It doesn't take any particular knowledge, skill, education, or keen intellect to lob endless unanswerable questions. Otherwise Glenn Beck would have won the Nobel (and every other prize) by now. No, the proverbial (and many times literal) money is in answering questions. --JoshuaB 14:09, 21 March 2012 (EDT)

GPS and Relativity

I'm in the process of getting a debate under way on 'GPS and Relativity' over at Talk:Theory of relativity. A this stage I would rather just have some references, especially any which show that Relativity is not used in the GPS system. Once we have some good references to look at, possibly in a week or two, we can then consider the evidence. RolandPlankton 08:59, 7 April 2012 (EDT)

Biblical Examples

You can't really use the Bible to prove that the Bible is correct. While I'm not disputing the Bible, that doesn't change the fact that it's a tautological argument. I could easily "prove" relativity by saying "Einstein said such-and-such" and conclude therefore that such-and-such is true. But in reality, that wouldn't prove anything because I'd essentially be saying "Einstein said this, therefore what Einstein said is correct". It's no different for the Bible. Even if we were to argue that the Bible represents absolute truth, keep in mind that our source for that is the Bible itself, so regardless of what you believe, it's still a tautological argument. I'm not going to remove the Biblical examples without discussion, but I don't think they belong here. Gregkochuconn 09:31, 13 June 2012 (EDT)

The roundness of the sun

I'm not completely familiar with the general and special theories of relativity, but what do they have to say about the roundness of the sun? DennyR 12:41, 18 August 2012 (EDT)

There is a relationship, though it's somewhat roundabout. See item #4 in the rebuttal page. JudyJ 17:54, 18 August 2012 (EDT)

Gravitational waves found

BBC article

Lede quote

I would argue if anything needs to be changed it's the detail in point 4. The lede quote is recent and relevant, and more sources for it are available than just LiveScience. In looking into it more just now, I've found it's progressed. Apparently the evidence against relativity was so concerning to the scientific community they began immediately trying to explain it away and forced the person in charge to resign.[4][5] Evidence that the original results are wrong was just finished.[6] This displays the level of bias in the scientific community though, in trying to do all they can to protect the doctrine of relativity, and make it appear more substantiated and certain than it is. Maybe the quote should be removed, but it should be mentioned in point 4 regardless. That such major evidence was found in recent months against relativity and the scientific community sought so hard to cover it up, is news indeed. --Joshua Zambrano 05:47, 5 September 2012 (EDT)

No one mentioned in those articles believes that neutrinos travel faster than light. I don't see how the OPERA leaders' resignations provide any evidence. Sounds more like their team was ticked off at them for making them all look like fools. Spielman 13:12, 5 September 2012 (EDT)
The fact that it occurred like that shows relativity today is still under investigation, and not necessarily a proven fact - right? The scientific community is still trying to persuade everyone there is evidence for it. The effort to prove relativity correct is ongoing, rather than established like it was portrayed. --Joshua Zambrano 21:23, 5 September 2012 (EDT)

Removing material

Unless you are the site owner, please do not remove, dilute, or water down, or adulterate the items here. This page is extremely famous, and represents the views of the site owner. It has been quoted and cited in print and internet articles all over the world. It has over 1.8 million page views, more than 10 times as many as either the Counterexamples to an Old Earth and the Counterexamples to Evolution articles. If you think something is wrong, the Essay:Rebuttal to Counterexamples to Relativity article is the place to bring it up.

I suppose "2+2=4" represents my views also, but the truth does not care whether I or anyone else agrees.--Andy Schlafly 23:59, 6 September 2012 (EDT)
Touché! Your point is well taken. Though I doubt that taking such a daring and controversial stand would get 1.8 million page views.  :-) JudyJ 22:36, 17 September 2012 (EDT)

27. RE:PSR B1913+16

Data from the PSR B1913+16 increasingly diverge from predictions of the General Theory of Relativity such that, despite a Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded for early work on this pulsar, no data at all have been released about it for over five years.

I would like to suggest that this be removed as both points (1. lack of data and 2. divergence from relativistic predictions) were disproved by the publishing of this paper in The Astrophysical Journal in 2010. Fnarrow 00:35, 8 April 2013 (EDT)

Force acting on a mass

The example, "The logical problem of a force which is applied at a right angle to the velocity of a relativistic mass - does this act on the rest mass or the relativistic mass?" needs to be rephrased to be more clear. Are we talking about measuring the force applied to the object or mesuring the change in trajectory of the object? The force acts on the object, but the sentence is currently phrased as if there are two possible different answers. The force will cause the trajectory of the object to change, which can be measured in specified frames of reference.

A good example would be a particle accelerator, or synchrotron. A charge particle is traveling at speeds that approach the speed of light. A magnetic field is applied to the particle to keep it traveling in a circular path. As the speed of the particle increases, the force applied to the particle must increase to keep it in the track of the particle accelerator. The force is applied at a right angle to the velocity of the particle. The calculations to determine the force needed to hold the particle to a circular path are well-tested and verified. Thanks, Wschact 22:42, 8 April 2013 (EDT)

#47: Historical evidence suggests that the year used to have 360 days. However, Relativity cannot explain how the orbit or the rotation of Earth could have changed enough to give us the current 365.24-solar-day year.

To the best of my knowledge, this has no relevance toward proving nor disproving the General or Specific Theory of Relativity... However, very little of my physics training was in the field, so please correct me if I'm wrong. If there is no objection, I will be removing it after the mandated 24 hour waiting period. (unless the length of day suddenly changes again, I suppose it might be shorter/longer than 24 hours in that case) Fnarrow 13:18, 21 April 2013 (EDT)

According to liberals, General Relativity predicts all gravitational interactions. It follows that whenever a gravity-related prediction is incorrect, Relativity has been disproven, don't you agree? Somehow the length of the day or year has changed, even though Relativity says the orbit should be static. Would you also support removing the other gravity-based examples #2, #3, #4, #6, #7, #21, #41, #43, #44, #45? Of course not. Spielman 14:20, 21 April 2013 (EDT)

Honestly, yes I would... For reasons explained on Essay:Rebuttal to Counterexamples to Relativity and through any number of scientific journals. Fnarrow 15:00, 21 April 2013 (EDT)

I agree with Fnarrow. I stumbled upon this page recently and thought it was a parody. I see that some of the stranger items have been removed. But #40 persists... what do tides have to do with relativity? And #39 pre-supposes that an object is traveling at the speed of light? These are parodies, right? AlexanderS 22:10, 23 April 2013 (EDT)

At least they finally got rid of the "Earthquakes in Ireland" example... I never could figure that one out. lol. But #4 still persists even thought it is easily explained by anyone who understands that it's surface is a plasma and not a solid as the citation presupposes. Anyway, I wouldn't go around agreeing with me too vocally, that's not a popular stance to take these days. Thanks for the support anyway though, Fnarrow 22:31, 23 April 2013 (EDT)

Protect this page

This page should be protected, as parodists seem to be attracted to editing it, and inserting their own information. brenden 13:47, 23 April 2013 (EDT)

I second the protection motion put forward by Brenden. As much as I 1. hate protected pages on a wiki which depends on "the best of the public" an 2. desperately want to personally replace this page with refutations of every example Aschlafly has made it clear that this page is one of the most popular on the wiki and that he stands by it. Therefore I think the following should happen:
  1. Revert to last known "approved" version, looks like that would be "20:44, 10 January 2013" in my opinion.
  2. Protected
  3. Move and expand the notice which currently appears at the bottom re: "future edits" and the Essay:Rebuttal to Counterexamples to Relativity. to the top of the page.
  4. Allow only User:Aschlafly to change the article in the future when/if someone provides sufficient evidence on this talk page to convince him that their proposal warrants such display.
I will take care of numbers 1 and 3 after the mandatory 24 hour waiting period, I leave 2 and 4 up to someone with those powers. Thanks, Fnarrow 09:34, 24 April 2013 (EDT)

I concur with Brenden and Fnarrow. This is a highly technical subject, and while it reflects the best of the public, the constant back and forth consumes too much energy from the best of the public that could be devoted to other articles. The 20:44 10 Jan version seem appropriate to me. Thanks, Wschact 11:39, 24 April 2013 (EDT)

Are you sure that 10 January is the right target? That version includes the derided "earthquakes in Ireland" example, as well as a few other recently-purged items. AlexanderS 13:48, 24 April 2013 (EDT)
Watch out for the edits by the parodist Spielman, when selecting the revision. I haven't read the others yet, so I have no idea if they are also parody. brenden 14:05, 24 April 2013 (EDT)
Are those the ones Spielman listed in the above section (#2, #3, #4, #6, #7, #21, #41, #43, #44, #45)? Are those all parody edits? I tried contacting him (?) for clarification, but seems to be blocked. AlexanderS 14:30, 24 April 2013 (EDT)
He's a parodist, and his edits have never been in good faith. brenden 14:46, 24 April 2013 (EDT)

I'm open to any/all suggestions. 10 Jan may not be the "best possible date" but I chose it based upon the fact that it seems to align the most closely with both Aschlafly's most recent edit and the refutations offered on Essay:Rebuttal to Counterexamples to Relativity. While I agree that some of the entries on that date seem to be either 1. parodies or 2. gross misunderstandings of what the Theory of Relativity actually is, I figured choosing the date which most closely matched those two criteria would require the least all around editing on both pages. As this is obviously a contentious topic, I just want to let everyone know that I won't be changing it myself, I'll leave that to someone higher on the food chain once a satisfactory agreement has been reached here. Thanks to everyone for participating in this discussion. Fnarrow 14:55, 24 April 2013 (EDT)

I also will wait, but in the meantime I have restored the two items deleted by AlexanderS. I would hope that Andy or someone who has spent more time than I have on the topic, will look at this page. A group of people have invested a lot of work on generating this list. If items are sourced, they should not be removed. If an item is a parody, then it should be removed because it will detract from CP's credibility. I have an open mind about this, but I also think that claims made on this page should be backed up by more detailed articles in CP. For example, the rotation of the Earth around the Sun should be covered in depth in the Earth article. If people disagree as to the relativistic effects on measuring the "year", we should give both sides of the controversy and let the reader decide. CP has at least four articles on relativity. We then summarize the "Counterexamples to Relativity" and also have a rebuttal essay. Anyone willing to read through all of that (even if the reader is a homeschooled high school student) will understand what to believe. I say lock at January 10, and then if someone wants to add or subtract from that, they can plead their case to Andy or some other Admin. Wschact 22:26, 25 April 2013 (EDT)

Set back to version of 1 December -- explanation

I have set the page back to the version of 18:45, 1 December 2012. This version was made by the site owner. To those who say that Spielman was a "parodist", I can say that his general edits on technical matters, including inductor, capacitor, semiconductor, laser, neutron, and the other relativity pages, have been sensible and responsible. I disagree with most of his edits to the counterexamples page, but I disagree with nearly everything on that page. To those who dislike the "warp-speed solenoid" example, I wish to point out that it was put in by the site owner at 22:57, 20 August 2011.

While I disagree with much of the content of the page, it should not be diluted by well-meaning editors. Here is why:

  • This was largely written by the site owner, and clearly represents his views. This is corroborated by his writings on other relativity pages elsewhere. While he did not personally put in Spielman's items, he has steadfastly defended many similar items on the list (Hulse-Taylor, Mercury precession, supraluminal neutrinos, gravitons, gravity waves, dark matter, black holes, the aether, action-at-a--distance) in talk page discussions here and on other relevant pages.
  • In addition to writing many (if not most) of the points on this page, Andy has had ample opportunity to remove material that he considers detrimental to Conservapedia's position on relativity. Most of Spielman's "parody" edits were made prior to Andy's last edit of 1 December 2012.
  • The "Essay:Rebuttal to Counterexamples to Relativity" page adequately rebuts all of the points on the page. Andy accepts its existence—he has placed counter-rebuttals on it.
  • When users (AugustO, Wschact, et al.) have diluted other relativity pages, particularly the E=mc^2 page, Andy has been quick to revert.

Users (and that includes myself) who disagree with this page and the other relativity pages are simply going to have to accept that they will not be satisfied. They will just have to be satisfied with the "rebuttal" page, or will have to go elsewhere. We need to stop the bickering.

I see that Andy has brought us back to a set of 47 counterexamples. Could we please protect the page now? Thanks, Wschact 16:39, 27 April 2013 (EDT)
Why not welcome improvements? There have been many edits by others to this page that have strengthened it.--Andy Schlafly 16:42, 27 April 2013 (EDT)
In my view it is a cost/benefit calculation. I would rather have people spend their time developing substantive articles, including the articles about relativity. The "Counterexamples to Relativity" and "Essay:Rebuttal to Counterexamples to Relativity" pages are more of an "op-ed" feature instead of being an integral part of the encyclopedia. I don't have the time to delve into each tendered counter-example and rebuttal. So, I would advise locking the Counterexamples down, subject to anyone making a request to add an additional bona fide counter-example. This subject is too easy to parody. For example, someone reading the "Earthquakes in Ireland" bullet would be tempted to add bullets for "Earthquakes in X" (where X is any country that has had an earthquake.) We need stated criteria for inclusion of new bullets and then we should enforce the criteria. So, protecting the article would be the next logical step. Wschact 17:22, 27 April 2013 (EDT)
Improvements? In reward for some of those "improvements" Spielman received a five-year block from Brenden. Rightly so, in my opinion, but it doesn't seem like very consistent policy. (Sorry if this is off-topic, but it just struck me as odd.) AlexanderS 19:29, 27 April 2013 (EDT)

Inertia

Number 29 says, "Relativity requires different values for the inertia of a moving object: in its direction of motion, and perpendicular to that direction. This contradicts the logical principle that the laws of physics are the same in all directions." Does this person mean "inertial mass"? Thanks, Wschact 23:41, 25 April 2013 (EDT)

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