# Difference between revisions of "Talk:Counterexamples to Relativity"

Andy, can you clarify #4 for me? I'm not sure I understand it. JacobB 21:50, 28 November 2009 (EST)

Sure, I welcome discussion of these important points. As I've said, I have an open mind about this and if something is true, then I accept it. But if something is false, I'll criticize it.
The theory of relativity has taught for decades that as the velocity of a mass increases, then its (scalar) relativistic mass increases per the Lorentzian transformation. Now apply a force ORTHOGONAL to the velocity. Does that force encounter the increased mass, as relativity says, or encounter the rest mass, as logic would dictate?--Andy Schlafly 22:02, 28 November 2009 (EST)
Ah, I see what you mean. May I suggest a re-wording? "The logical problem of a force which is applied at a right angle to the velocity of a relativistic mass." I think that might be a little clearer than it is currently stated. Your thoughts? JacobB 22:06, 28 November 2009 (EST)
Please do. Your edits are always welcome, and you've suggested an improvement here. Thank you for making this change.--Andy Schlafly 22:20, 28 November 2009 (EST)
Why would logic dictate that? Mass is a scalar, and a force from any direction should encounter the same increased mass, not different masses from different directions.
I suppose that under Newtonian mechanics, a moving object has a velocity of 0 within the plane perpendicular to its line of motion, and any forces operating in that plane will act on the object as if it is at rest. But that's not what logic dictates, that's what the previous theory dictates.
Essentially your counterexample to relativity is that it makes a prediction that contradicts Newton's laws. This is neithe r a contradiction nor a logical problem, and it is should be edited out.NgSmith
No, it's a logical problem. If you're suggesting that one force can affect the inertial in an entirely independent, orthogonal direction, that's illogical. One thing cannot affect something else that is entirely independent.--Andy Schlafly 15:40, 12 December 2009 (EST)
Why is that illogical? What logical principle does it violate?
See, in relativity, orthogonal doesn't mean independent. In relativity, velocity vectors do not add. In relativity, the effect of a new force is not independent of the object's existing momentum. And there is nothing illogical about that; it's just a new theory that contradicts the intuition from the previous theory.--NgSmith
Ng, something cannot be independent (orthogonal) and yet dependent at the same time. Unfortunately, you're arguing with your own theory at this point. Even most relativity promoters have abandoned the position you take here.--Andy Schlafly 21:37, 12 December 2009 (EST)
It seems that his point is that something can be orthogonal and dependent. I agree: The cross-product of two vectors is orthogonal to both and yet obviously dependent on both. --EvanW 21:41, 12 December 2009 (EST)
OK, good point, an orthogonal vector can be a function of other orthogonal vectors. But that's a bit different from what we're discussing. Here it's an orthogonal force that is not dependent on anything else, and yet Ng says it encounters relativistic mass due to a different orthogonal force.
I think relativists have abandoned Ng's position, so he's really arguing with his own side at this point. As a result, I urge him to reconsider his views with an open mind once he confirms that.--Andy Schlafly 21:59, 12 December 2009 (EST)
First of all, relativity has not "abandoned" the prediction we're talking about. The velocity addition formulas for both parallel and perpendicular velocities have not changed, and they still predict that an orthogonal force will have a harder time accelerating a fast-moving object. Physicists may have changed their informal interpretation of this formula, but not the formula itself, nor its predictions.
Note also that relativity's prediction can't be all that illogical, because this is what we actually observe happening to particles at high speeds. If you think that fast-moving particles commit some terrible offense against basic logic, take it up with God.
There is a very simple way to settle this matter: write an encyclopedia article where the material is properly sourced. If this is indeed some counterexample or logical flaw in relativity, then one can easily find a book or paper exposing that flaw, and cite it.--NgSmith Sun Dec 13 17:55:04 EST 2009
OK, I think I see part of the problem you people are having. The word "independent" has two different meanings. Being linearly independent is a concept from pure mathematics. Being causally independent is an unrelated metaphysical concept. Whether a force pushing on something causes it to move, and by how much, is completely, umm, independent of whether the vectors involved are linearly independent (orthogonal). Please try to be very careful about the meanings of the terms. SaraT 17:00, 13 December 2009 (EST)
I don't think that's the source of our confusion. I think the main problem is that, according to Newtonian mechanics and thus according to our mechanical intuition, orthogonal things tend to operate independently. Not only that, but a force exerted on an object is usually independent of the object's momentum.
In relativity, none of these things are true, due to the fact that velocities no longer add like vectors (and thus acceleration no longer incurs a cumulative change in velocity in the usual way.) This is seen as some sort of logical flaw or paradox simply because it contradicts the deeply ingrained intuition that came from the previous theory.--NgSmith Sun Dec 13 18:10:46 EST 2009

## Counterexample 4 (limiting behavior)

For the fourth "counterexample," the author points out that the momentum  does not approach the momentum of light as  and 

Aside from the mathematical sloppiness of taking two independent variables to a limit at the same time, at unspecified rates, these sorts of "discontinuities" can be found in just about any scientific theory. In Newtonian mechanics, for example, take the orbit of a planet as the planet's mass goes to 0. For any nonzero mass the orbit is an ellipse; at m=0 it is suddenly a straight line. Is this a "counterexample" to Newton's laws?

Or in electronics, I=V/R. The limiting case is no voltage, no resistance, no current; but if someone foolishly took V/R as both V and R go to zero, he would get a nonsensical answer. Let them both go at the same rate and you get I=1. Is this a "counterexample" to basic electronics?

Or more to the point, momentum in Newtonian mechanics is , and this also fails to give the momentum of a photon at m=0, v=c. Again, is that a "counterexample" to ? Will we see this entry in a corresponding page of "Counterexamples to Newton's laws?"

But none of these are counterexamples or "discontinuities": they are just a misinterpretation of the formulas. You don't get the momentum of a photon by taking the momentum formula for a mass and setting m=0 and v=c. That's just not what the formula means, or what they are for. This item should also be removed.--NgSmith Tue Dec 15 10:16:21 EST 2009

## Counterexample 9 (Jesus action-at-a-distance)

The quoted verse doesn't strongly suggest "action-at-a-distance" in the relativistic sense. Light could travel the distances mentioned in the passage in a fraction of a second, which is well within the precision given in the verse (an hour). The verse and relativity are not in contradiction here. This should be removed.

I have an open mind about it. In the the healing of the centurion's servant, if the Greek is translated as same "moment" then relativity is impossible, but if translated as the same "hour" then there is no conflict with relativity.
But the healing of the centurion's servant is probably not the only place where there is action at a distance in the Bible.--Andy Schlafly 14:52, 5 January 2010 (EST)
Any distance on the earth is less than 20,000km. A force acting with the speed of light takes less than 1/15,000 ≈ 0.0000667 seconds for this distance.
I don't think how eyewitnesses could spot such a short time...
So, there may probably be no other places where action at a distance is described in the Bible.
FrankC aka ComedyFan 16:17, 5 January 2010 (EST)
You make an interesting point, Frank. But according to this site, it takes 1/7.4 seconds for light to circle the globe, which is much longer than your figure.[1] More generally and more importantly, there is the issue of how this action in the Bible isn't light.--Andy Schlafly 19:30, 5 January 2010 (EST)
Indeed, an error in my calculation: 20,000,000m / 300,000,000 m/sec = 1/15 seconds.
Fast enough, still.
Whether the action in the Bible isn't light doesn't matter: it is indistinguishable from an action happening at the speed of light for the witnesses of the time, so it doesn't say anything about the validity of the theory of relativity...
FrankC aka ComedyFan 19:46, 5 January 2010 (EST)
Frank you make an interesting point, and I have an open mind about it. But I'm not entirely convinced. When the woman cured herself of bleeding and Jesus felt power leaving him, that sounds more like heat than light. And for heat to travel virtually instantaneously (or at the speed of light) WOULD violate the theory of relativity.--Andy Schlafly 20:48, 5 January 2010 (EST)

I have to respectfully disagree with you on that point, Andy - I'm not sure this action could comment on relativity any more than the sun stopping for Joshua could comment on the Copernican model of the solar system. If God wanted heat/light to travel at some finite speed except in certain instances, how is that different from the sun and moon moving in the sky, except in certain instances? JacobB 21:32, 5 January 2010 (EST)

• the Joshua account might be understood as the perception of the army that they sun did not set until they completed their job, but the healing in the New Testament cannot be explained as mere perception
• if the Joshua account is taken absolutely literally, Newtonian mechanics does not say it is impossible, while relativity does say action-at-a-distance is impossible

I look forward to our translation work on the Joshua passage (and New Testament passages) to see if that brings forth insights.--Andy Schlafly 22:30, 5 January 2010 (EST)

Your second point is a good one, and I suppose my example wasn't very good. But on a different note, what makes you say that the Joshua account might be understood as only a perception of the army? I think I'm going to go translate that chapeter, I'll be interested to see what Hebrew words are used for that bit. JacobB 22:49, 5 January 2010 (EST)
Shall we look at it next? Joshua 10:11-14, I think.--Andy Schlafly 23:18, 5 January 2010 (EST)

IMO, the discussion is a little bit bizarre: Following David Hume's definition of a miracle as a "a violation of the laws of nature", for evaluating the laws of natures, miracles can't be taken into account.

As I said earlier: we shouldn't try to restrict God with the laws of our logic - or even physics.

FrankC aka ComedyFan 07:27, 6 January 2010 (EST)

Frank, perhaps what you mean is that you don't want the logic of the Bible to be used to evaluate claims by scientists. If so, I completely disagree. And so would Isaac Newton and most great scientists.
As our Conservative Bible Translation project is revealing, Jesus said his works were not miracles, but signs. So any definition of miracle by Hume (who, by the way, leaned toward atheistic rather than Christianity) is not terribly helpful.--Andy Schlafly 08:00, 6 January 2010 (EST)
So, what's the definition of a sign, then? FrankC aka ComedyFan 08:06, 6 January 2010 (EST)
The same as its name suggests: a disclosure of reality, rather than a violation of it.--Andy Schlafly 08:35, 6 January 2010 (EST)

• I took Hume's definition as I found it on conservapedia's page on miracles.
• The page on signs doesn't describe Jesu works - perhaps you can fix this
• If you don't like Hume, what's about Thomas Aquinas:
Now, there are various degrees and orders of these miracles. Indeed, the highest rank among miracles is held by those events in which something is done by God which nature never could do. For example, that two bodies should be coincident; that the sun reverse its course, or stand still; that the sea open up and offer a way through which people may pass. And even among these an order may be observed. For the greater the things that God does are, and the more they are removed from the capacity of nature, the greater the miracle is. Thus, it is more miraculous for the sun to reverse its course than for the sea to be divided.
Then, the second degree among miracles is held by those events in which God does something which nature can do, but not in this order. It is a work of nature for an animal to live, to see, and to walk; but for it to live after death, to see after becoming blind, to walk after paralysis of the limbs, this nature cannot do—but God at times does such works miraculously. Even among this degree of miracles a gradation is evident, according as what is done is more removed from the capacity of nature.
Now, the third degree of miracles occurs when God does what is usually done by the working of nature, but without the operation of the principles of nature. For example, a person may be cured by divine power from a fever which could be cured naturally, and it may rain independently of the working of the principles of nature.
• Acts 2:43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles (KJB) So, we have miraculous signs and wonders
• John 2:11 This was the first of the miracles Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and by doing showed his glory, and so his disciples believed in him. (CBP) Changing water into wine is something nature never could do: it's an outright miracle, miraculous sign, whatever...
FrankC aka ComedyFan 09:00, 6 January 2010 (EST)
That's great recitation, Frank, but how about simply applying logic yourself? You're a bright guy, why simply hunt and repeat quotes from others? On this site we encourage thinking in a logical way.--Andy Schlafly 09:21, 6 January 2010 (EST)