Talk:Essay:Rebuttal to Counterexamples to Relativity

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Greetings! I'm new here and point #2 prompted me to make my first edit and added a paragraph thereto. It turns out that the radius of Moon's orbit is in fact increasing, that this has been predicted mathematically in the late 19th century and confirmed by measurement in the 20th, and that this is due to tidal mechanics. In short: it's real, it's definitely not anomalous, and I don't recall anything about either GR or SR being concerned specifically with tidal mechanics. And yes, I do tend to favor long sentences. Cheers! Mbc 02:22, 20 August 2012 (EDT)


Quantum mechanics contradicts and disproves relativity. It's no consolation that relativity is approximately true at greater distances. Relativity is a mathematical theory that does not permit any exceptions. It would be like saying that 2 times 2 is usually 4. If 2 times 2 is ever not equal to 4, then arithmetic falls apart.--Andy Schlafly 23:27, 5 January 2014 (EST)

Mathematics at times reaches limits. For example, in the function f(x) = 1/x as x approaches 0, f(0) is undefined and we have never seen that value. The same thing is true when applying quantum mechanics near a black hole. We have never visited near a black hole to gather data, and what happens at the black hole is undefined. Wschact 07:31, 7 January 2014 (EST)


That is like saying that "2+2" is usually 4. See my response to a similar point above.--Andy Schlafly 23:56, 5 January 2014 (EST)

The counterexample here depends on accuracy of measurement. As we gather more and better data, the theory to explain the data will evolve and improve. Again, "2+2" is usually 4, but if f(x) = 1/(x-4), what is f(2+2)? Wschact 07:44, 7 January 2014 (EST)


You said that "Einstein's theories lead to the conclusion that observers in different inertial frames of reference (i.e. observers with differing, but constant velocities relative to the thing being observed) will observe different inertial masses in the body being observed. However, there is no variance with regard to the direction of the force." I might be making a mistake, but shouldn't you be a little careful about this? If you rotate the frame, it's just fine as an inertial frame. But obviously, the force will have a different direction. But when you apply it to the two frames at hand, there is no rotation--just translation so the force has the same direction. (Also, does the other stuff I added look good?) AndyFrankinson 16:03, 26 January 2012 (EST)

Yes, that was a bit ambiguous - I've tidied it up. --QPR 10:39, 27 January 2012 (EST)


My edit to #36, (Lorentz aether theory), as a footnote on the counterexamples page itself, has been reverted on the grounds of being incoherent. Can someone help out? Is it equivalent to SR in all cases? Is it equivalent to GR in all cases? Why was it abandoned? Was it for reasons of religious faith? JudyJ 19:29, 29 January 2012 (EST)

First, being cautious in this matter is good. Before putting something on a public wiki, you should check your facts carefully.
An important thing is to do your homework. Look around at the histories of pages, and the other contributions of people who write things. In this case, that's Roger Schlafly. What you will find is that he accepts relativity, but really doesn't like giving Einstein any credit for it. I don't know why. So, most likely, he wants the Lorentz theory to be considered the "authentic" theory, rather than Einsteinian relativity. Two things to do: Look at [[1]] to get your bearings, and look at who wrote #36. It wasn't Roger.
My understanding of the Lorentz theory is that it is equivalent to SR, but needs some fussing to get it equivalent to GR. Once that is done, it seems that the appropriately fussed Lorentz theory is equivalent, so you can say that "Einsteinian relativity has no aether, and Lorentz theory has an aether, but there is no experiment you can do to measure anything about it."
If this turns out to be the situation, you might say something like "both theories are equivalent, so this doesn't make relativity wrong; it just makes Lorentz theory just as good." And remember, you are rebutting claims that relativity is wrong, not that there are no other equivalent theories.
As far as the question of whether scientists prefer relativity for reasons of faith, my guess would be that relativity is simpler, because it doesn't postulate the existence of something that is completely unnecessary. I have no idea about people's reasons beyond that. My guess is that it's Occam's razor. I've never met anyone who embraces the Lorentz theory, and can't find an explanation of it in any of my textbooks or encyclopedias.
SamHB 23:37, 31 January 2012 (EST)

Removal of "talk-page-like" material

I have taken the liberty of moving two comments, made and signed by Andy Schlafly, from the essay page itself to this talk page. It was my intent, when creating the page, that it be kept "professional" and "scientific" and "dispassionate". (Complete with the use of the editorial "we".) This means that back-and-forth arguing, and signed comments in particular, should be here on this talk page, and that disputes on the actual essay page be carried out in a dispassionate-sounding manner.

My actual vision, since it was inevitable that arguments would occur, was that, to use a military metaphor, the two sides lob shells at each other from behind the ramparts of their respective fortresses, rather than coming over for hand-to-hand combat.  :-) That is, issues with this rebuttal page would be made by tightening up the arguments on the counterexamples page, would might lead to tightening up the arguments on the rebuttal page, and so on.

These comments were removed and folded into the narrative:

(1) "This is because the experimental capability to do so doesn't exist." - if that were true, then [why] were the costly experiments done if relativists were going to ignore the negative results?--Andy Schlafly 00:56, 26 February 2012 (EST)
(2) So? That wouldn't change the fact that this is a counterexample to Relativity.--Andy Schlafly 00:56, 26 February 2012 (EST)

SamHB 23:12, 16 March 2012 (EDT)

This is a bit odd. CP has an essay, largely written by Aschlafly, entitled "Counterexamples to Relativity." Presumably he states his best affirmative case there. CP also has this essay, entitled "Rebuttal to Counterexamples to Relativity" largely written by people who disagree with the first essay. So, in 2012, Aschlafly adds signed comments to the rebuttal page, agreed to stop and his signed comments were moved to this page. Now, in 2014, Aschlafly again leaves signed comments in the essay saying that he disagrees with the rebuttals as a matter of mathematical truth.[2][3] The math behind both quantum mechanics and relativity is very difficult and subject to interpretation. It is not as clear as 2+2=4. I would suggest that Aschlafly make the original essay as clear and compelling as possible and that SamHB make the rebuttal essay as clear and compelling as possible, and that we trust the readers to understand that the authors disagree with each other without adding comments to the individual essay points repeating the fact of disagreement. Thanks, Wschact 07:22, 7 January 2014 (EST)

Aristotle and Motion

In Book 4, Chapter 8 of Physics, Aristotle taught that "We see that bodies which have a greater impulse either of weight or of lightness, if they are alike in other respects, move faster over an equal space, and in the ratio which their magnitudes bear to each other. Therefore they will also move through the void with this ratio of speed." MelH 03:01, 14 October 2014 (EDT)

This seems to refer to the conservation of momentum of the type which occurs for example when a body collides with a stationary body. So that since mv1i + 0 = mv1f + mv2f therefore mv1i - mv1f = mv2f. The mv1i - mv1f is the impulse J. So impulse J is equal to mv2f, and bodies that are alike (the condition supposed by Aristotle) have the same m mass, so that J x constant (1/m) = v2f. Therefore the ratio of J to v2f is a constant (which incidentally is none other than m), so v2f does increase (move faster) in proportion to impulse J by the constant ratio (1/m). VargasMilan 16:16, 14 October 2014 (EDT)
I think you're misinterpreting "impulse" as a more modern sense than Aristotle knew if you read this as about elastic collision. In any case, this section has been cited as the teaching, which Galileo sought to disprove at the Leaning Tower, that objects fell at a rate proportional to their mass. This is even mentioned in the Aristotle article here, so if you wish to argue otherwise you should raise the issue there. MelH 16:40, 14 October 2014 (EDT)
Do you suppose that you could have cited the wrong section? VargasMilan 17:05, 14 October 2014 (EDT)
I don't believe so. In this chapter, Aristotle is arguing against the "void," a concept similar to the vacuum. He correctly notes that the medium through which a body falls affects the rate of fall by resisting its motion. He incorrectly notes that the mass also affects the rate. He concludes that in no medium (the void) an object will fall infinitely fast. This absurd conclusion proves the impossibility of the void. The "impulse" of weight is what we would call gravity, but in his physics it was a function of that weight. If you read the whole chapter, the centrality of a falling object's velocity being determined by its mass is quite clear. MelH 17:54, 14 October 2014 (EDT)
But the "absurd conclusion" isn't relevant to anything we are discussing, and your use of it only serves to suggest his observation of the mass affecting the rate is somehow as absurd as infinitely fast decline!! Is that what you're trying to do? VargasMilan 23:57, 18 October 2014 (EDT)
The "absurd conclusion" was the way Aristotle proved that there was no void. It's his application of logic, not mine. He shows that (because of the fact that we are discussing -- to wit -- mass has an innate character to fall (at a speed in proportion to itself) ) that the removal of all resistance due to medium results in an infinite rate of fall. He compares this with division by zero. Because infinite speed is impossible, he feels he as proven that there must always be a medium to resist falling bodies. He is arguing reductio ad absurdum. It is not me making an editorial comment! MelH 00:44, 19 October 2014 (EDT)
Yes, you inserted this discussion of the void where it wasn't relevant to begin with. It's conclusions aren't relevant to the discussion. Yet you allowed them to sweep away the real subject (the interpretation of the earlier portion of the quotation before it gets applied to the case of the void) into discredit along with them. And here you are discussing them again as if its the reasoning itself rather than the ambiguity you introduced through the reasoning that's objectionable. VargasMilan 01:07, 19 October 2014 (EDT)
The chapter on the void is where Aristotle makes the statement that bodies fall in proportion to their weight. It's the key to his proof of the impossibility of the void. I'm afraid I've failed miserably at illuminating that point. I accept it is purely the fault of the logic of my presentation. I am no Aristotle. Feel free to ignore the argument. MelH 01:24, 19 October 2014 (EDT)
Lol. Except we weren't discussing the void (on the Essay page where you linked to here, and where afterwards the link disappeared), just the arguments that he uses that happen to apply to the discussion of the void in the eighth chapter, and which could also apply to any number of other different discussions as well. VargasMilan 01:42, 19 October 2014 (EDT)
And Aristotle's conception of gravity isn't the same as ours, yet we are to conclude he shared our conception of differentiating mass from weight?! And using this alleged conception of mass in various propositions is to you not only central, but its centralness is clear to you?! And clear to you to a nuanced degree?! VargasMilan 23:57, 18 October 2014 (EDT)
Perhaps I came across as disrespecting one of the greatest thinkers of antiquity, for which I apologize. The intention of that whole section was to give examples of "accepted wisdom" being overthrown later by observation and experiment, and the gravity business, with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, is a well known example. Perhaps a more nuanced treatment of Aristotle's role in this is called for.
I do have a couple of web references that suggest a link between Aristotle and some kind of notion that heavier/denser objects fall faster. It may be a (wrong) conclusion that other people drew from what Aristotle said. In any case, I don't have time to work on that just now. Maybe this weekend.
This has been the most interesting thing to happen at Conservapedia in a couple of years. Much better than the "atheism and applesauce" series. SamHB 00:40, 15 October 2014 (EDT)
Perhaps it isn't right to blame Aristotle specifically for this—the point of the item was to show that what is "accepted wisdom" in one era is debunked in another. But one can see how Aristotle got connected with this notion in public discourse. In this we have
"'Bodies having a greater degree of heaviness or lightness but in all other respects having the same shape, traverse an equal space more rapidly in the same proportion as the quantities mentioned.' Thus, according to Aristotle, the velocity of a falling body is proportional to its weight."
Just to close the loop this is just a different translation of the passage from Book 4, Chapter 8, on the impossibility of the void, that I cited and discussed above. MelH 01:47, 19 October 2014 (EDT)
And in this we have
"This was one of the earliest explanations of gravity: that it was the natural tendency for the heavier elements, earth and water, to return to their proper positions near the center of the Universe. Aristotle's theory was for centuries taken as implying [Note: just implying--SHB] that objects with different weights should fall at different speeds; that is, a heavier object should fall faster because it contains more of the centertrending elements, earth and water."