About the Author
The various science notes on this churchofphysics website, which were here for many years, were deleted and have been absorbed into above book, published December 2022. The physics paper which was at this website, “Space is discrete for mass and continuous for light,” is now an appendix to the book, and also made available here: Appendix A (Physics Paper). The Chapter Excerpts at this churchofphysics website are larger for science-centered Chapters 1-6, than those at my other website, ashishsirohi.com. Other Chapter Excerpts are identical at both websites.
This book has four parts, which can be read in any order.
Ashish Sirohi studied physics at Columbia University. By bringing in infinity, he provides a simple explanation for the constancy of speed of light. Einstein simply postulated the constancy. His alternative equations, consistent with both of Einstein’s postulates, are a counterexample to Einstein’s claimed derivation –taught in college level textbooks – that Einstein’s two postulates necessarily imply Einstein’s equations. The book gives full communications with Nobel Prize winners Gerard ‘t Hooft, Steven Weinberg, and Frank Wilczek, where they, having acknowledged reading the paper, evade the question of whether he has a valid counterexample. Similar evasion by Lee Smolin, Carlo Rovelli and others involved with officially reviewing the paper suggests that the counterexample is valid. His theory, like relativity, has different observers measuring time differently, but it gives a specific cosmological test case where they will measure time to be the same, violating relativity. Telescopic observations showing this very predicted violation of relativity have now appeared in physics journals.
A physical reality of our universe is that the speed of light is always the same, irrespective of the speed of the source of light or the speed of the observer. This special status regarding the speed of light violated Galilean-Newtonian physics (which for short we will call Newtonian physics or classical physics) and necessitated a revision of physics. Albert Einstein provided a revision. Classical physics was consistent with the “common sense” or intuitive notion that objects would be seen to move at changed speeds by observers, depending on speed of the observer and its direction. For observers looking at moving mass, the speed they measure is affected by their own motion. How or why does light behave differently, in that an observer’s own speed does not matter when looking at light and measuring its speed? How did Einstein explain this strange reality? Einstein had no direct explanation, no mechanism, and no details of what makes this happen. We do!
We visit Albert Einstein’s famous 1905 Special Theory of Relativity which modified the space, time and equations of Newtonian physics. Modern physics has since been built to be consistent with special relativity. We solve the mystery of the motion of light and from this solution a new theory emerges that challenges Einstein’s. Our theory also serves to show that Einstein’s arguments, using which he derived his major physics conclusions, were based on unstated assumptions and therefore not a valid path to his conclusions.
Most importantly, our theory is urgently needed at this time because of recent experimental failures of special relativity in certain cases. We explained in our paper titled “Space is discrete for mass and continuous for light,” which is attached as Appendix A, that special relativity would fail this specific set of tests. The results of these experimental observations are a failure for special relativity but are in line with our theory, and confirm its predictions. The reader who wants to know all the technical details of our theory can view the Appendix.
Let us begin with some basic physics, and then quickly get to the mystery of motion of light.
In physics, for any observer, we can assign a frame of reference. As an example, for a person standing on the ground by the side of a road, the road is the frame of reference and the person will make measurements relative to the road. For a person in a car moving on the road, the car will be the frame of reference and the person standing on the road will be moving in the car’s frame of reference but persons sitting in the car will be at rest in the car’s frame.
Special Relativity considers two observers who are at rest in their inertial frames of reference. Inertial frames move at constant velocity with respect to each other. If there was acceleration between these frames they would not be inertial frames of reference. We take the term inertial frames exactly as defined in special relativity.
Special relativity dramatically broke from classical physics because of the below postulate.
Light postulate: The speed of light has the same value in space in all (inertial) frames of reference.
The other postulate of special relativity is: The laws of physics are the same in all (inertial) frames of reference. This postulate is largely consistent with what was already known from Galilean-Newtonian physics; in chapter 3, we address the question of arguable fine differences between it and what was before.
The experimental evidence for the light postulate is overwhelming, and there are no credible experimental results against it. Our theory agrees with both the postulates and thus all the experimental evidence in favor of the postulates also supports our theory. (The experimental failures of special relativity that we referred to above are not of the postulates but of other parts, where our theory diverges from special relativity).
Let us first review classical physics, which was so dramatically contradicted by the light postulate. As we know, velocity is just speed with direction specified, thus for our purposes of discussion we can interchange one for other.
We consider two cars moving on the road. Commonly, when we say a car is moving at a certain speed we refer to its speed relative to the road, and that is what we mean here. We can skip the units of speed. One car is moving at 20 and the other at 30 in the same direction as shown. We refer to the occupants of the cars as You and Other.
u and v are commonly used as symbols in physics to denote speed or velocity. You are going to the right at u=20. Other is going to right at v=30.
According to classical physics, You will see Other going to the right at v’= v – u = 30 – 20 = 10 relative to you. And, of course, this classical velocity addition makes perfect sense from experience because Other is 10 faster than You. But to make the light postulate hold true, it can be shown that all velocity additions have to change, so this answer of 10 is not perfectly accurate, but at speeds much slower than light the error is miniscule.
Now suppose You are going to the right at 0.9 times the speed of light, u = 0.9c, and the Other you are observing is Light, v=c.
Then by classical physics, You would see Light going at v’ = v – u = 1c – 0.9c = 0.1c relative to you i.e. light will be faster than you by 0.1 c. But according to above light postulate of special relativity, all observers always see the speed of light to be the same. That means, no matter what speed You are moving at, you will see light to be moving to the right at 1c. Thus classical physics and the “common sense” expectation that you would be catching up to light and therefore would see light at 0.1c is wrong! Even if You increase your speed to, say, 0.999999c, you will observe light to be traveling at 1c.
We provide below a simple explanation for the constancy of speed of light. Einstein simply assumed this constancy of speed of light and called it a postulate. It often is the situation in physics that we have discovered something we can experimentally confirm, and that is where the physics of the situation ends. If one could answer further “how” and “why” something holds true then that could be new physics.
We actually give below the “how” and “why” which Einstein was not able to provide, and that does lead to new physics; in fact, it leads to new equations which are different from and contradict those that Einstein found. To understand our answer to the “how” and “why” of the light postulate let us detour back to classical physics, forgetting about special relativity – for a moment only.
Light has long been known to have a high but finite speed. Special relativity also says (correctly) that no mass can travel faster than the speed of light.
However, in classical physics mass could be made to travel with there being no maximum limit. We are taking a momentary hypothetical detour from special relativity only for the purpose of visiting the concept of infinity (∞). We are only illustrating a mathematical concept and do not suggest that any mass would actually travel with infinite speed in classical physics, and thus do not need to go into what such actual travel at infinity would physically mean.
In mathematics, when you add or subtract a finite number from ∞ you still get ∞. For example, ∞ – 4700000 = ∞ and ∞ + 99999999999999 = ∞.
Then applying this rule of mathematics to below diagram, no matter how fast a finite speed You have, you will always see Other travel at ∞.
In above v’ = v – u= ∞ – 9000000= ∞. The answer from rules of classical physics would be ∞ whether you had u = 9000000 or u = 99999999999999 or any other finite value.
Einstein’s approach has taught physicists to look primarily at distance-time analysis but we are looking at velocity as the starting point of analysis. Trained in Einstein’s ways, Nobel Prize winner Gerard ‘t Hooft reacted to this conceptual case by this email in May 2017: “Didn’t you ask yourself what infinite velocity means? It means that two different points in space are passed by that object at the same time, that is, simultaneously.” Again, we are only illustrating the mathematical concept of infinity, and from it drawing a key parallel below between velocity in classical physics and special relativity. We are emphasizing this point to make it clear to those who are looking to raise objections. And of course, in our theory as in relativity, mass cannot travel faster than light. Since no mass is actually going at infinite speed no time-based objection arises. Gerard ‘t Hooft’s Nobel Prize lecture was titled “A Confrontation with Infinity” and dealt with particle physics and a process called renormalization, which has no connection with the matter of equations of motion. Our theory has no problem incorporating infinity.
In classical physics: If You, the observer, were looking at an object traveling at infinity (∞), your own (finite) speed would not matter. You would always see that object travel at ∞.
Compare to special relativity: When You, the observer, are looking at light, which travels at c in empty space, your own (less than c) speed does not matter. You will always see light travel at c.
Light, in having this property of its speed being constant, is behaving the way an object moving at infinite velocity would in classical physics, in that the speed of the observer would not matter. For light to behave this way there should, in our view, be a hidden infinity in the mathematics of relativity which corresponds to the speed of light. We parted from Einstein and actually found this hidden infinity in the mathematics of velocity addition.
In physics we have the famous notions of “quantum jump” and “discreteness.” These come from quantum mechanics, where at small scales things are not continuous but “granular.” Many physicists have been suggesting a lattice structure for space, or some other way whereby space takes on a discrete character. But giving space such structures would not explain “how” and “why” of the light postulate and tell us where the hidden infinity in the mathematics of the motion of light is which causes the speed of the observer to not matter.
In classical physics and in the theory of relativity all motion is continuous. In our theory we abandon continuous motion for mass and thereby unite relativity with the discrete nature of quantum mechanics. However, very importantly, we hold on to light (or massless particles) having continuous motion. Mass moves through space discretely, “jumping” from one point to another without passing through the points in between. On the other hand, the motion of light through space is continuous.
The book cover design is an illustration of this. The continuous lines at the top represent motion of light and the lines at the bottom depict discrete motion of mass.
For mass traveling at constant velocity, the “length jumped” is constant. The higher the velocity the more the number of jumps per unit time and the smaller the jump length. Note that these jump lengths are all very small. They match the length scales we see in quantum mechanics, which are of atomic length and smaller. At the quantum scale, a fundamental length is called the Planck length, after physicist Max Planck, and it is 10-35 m (which is a decimal point followed by 34 zeros and then 1).
Now let us look at a stretch of space that mass and light are moving through. In a unit time a discretely moving point mass particle will be at a finite number of points and will have made a finite number of jumps; in this time light will travel continuously over all points in its path. Continuous motion is not discrete motion, as the latter has number of jumps per time and length of jumps. However, we can consider the number of jumps in continuous motion to be infinite, with the jump length being zero. By thus using infinity and zero, continuous motion mathematically parallels discrete. Therefore light will effectively have made an infinite number of jumps.
Thus we have the hidden infinity we were looking for.
In our theory, addition of velocities depends on adding (or subtracting) the number of jumps per unit time. The number of jumps per unit time is infinite (∞) for light and finite for an observer having mass. When an observer looks at light, addition and subtraction will involve adding or subtracting a finite number from ∞ and the result will still be ∞. Thus the speed of the observer will not matter and that is what explains the light postulate.
Let us actually go further into the mathematics – all of which is elementary – and show how this works. We will show precisely why the light postulate holds true. Given what we are achieving do follow the simple math. (If you want to not join us in this then skip the below paragraphs having mathematical notations and continue reading after that. Understanding of this mathematics is not needed to read the rest).
In a unit time a mass particle with constant velocity would have made N jumps. N need not, of course, be a whole number (for example, if a particle makes 10 jumps in 4 seconds then we say N=2.5 jumps per second, but the particle makes whole jumps only). Each jump length is Ld where L is a length that is a constant for space and d is a function of N. (A function is a formula; the actual formula is given in the paper in the appendix). We can think of d as a function that causes “shrinkage” of the jump length. The distance the particle travels in unit time is v = NLd, which comes from multiplying the jumps per unit time N by the length of each jump Ld. For simplicity we can take L = 1 and have v=Nd (but if we use the shorter formula for v must keep in mind the L=1 or we will be missing the distance unit from the formula). Note that since d is a function of N it would mean v itself is a function of N. Every velocity v corresponds to a N. Our formula for velocity v is such that as v of the mass particle increases, N gets larger, but d decreases in such a way that v approaches speed of light, c, but never crosses c. That also explains why no mass can travel faster than c.
For light, as explained above, continuous motion means N = ∞, and we have jump length d=0.
Mathematically, the actual product of ∞ and 0 is deemed to be indeterminate, which means it can be any number. However, for motion in space this indeterminate is fixed and we have ∞ • 0 = c. All continuous motion in space is at this speed.
In our theory, addition of velocities depends on converting the velocities to number of jumps per unit time, adding (or subtracting) these number of jumps per unit time, and then converting the result back to velocity. All this is done using the formulas we have found. Let us apply the method to You as an observer viewing Light. As in earlier example, we again take Your speed to be u = 0.9c and for Light we have v = c. Corresponding to them we have jumps per unit time Nu and Nv, where Nu would be a “finite value” (which we can calculate using our formula) whereas Nv = ∞. In classical physics we add or subtract velocities v and u directly. Here we add or subtract the N’s. For the case when You are observing light we have Nv‘= Nv – Nu = ∞ – “finite value” = ∞. From Nv‘ = ∞ we will get d’= 0 and from our formula, with these values of Nv‘ and d’ we get velocity v’ = Nv‘• d’= ∞ • 0 = c. This explains the light postulate.
The full set of three-dimensional velocity addition and distance-time formulas that would replace those of special relativity are in the paper in the Appendix.
Infinity “naturally” occurs in many places in physics and we have embraced it and gotten the light postulate. However, infinity has traditionally been considered an enemy by physicists. Physics dogma teaches that infinity should be avoided, and if that is not possible, then it is to be confronted and eliminated. So physicists would never do what we did above by seeking out and working with ∞. Thus they could never explain the light postulate and simply assumed it. Modern physics has been avoiding or fighting infinity for a hundred years, and the methodologies that have been laid out in modern physics seem to have put physics on course to continue avoiding infinity. Avoiding infinity in physics has, in fact, been a doctrine that goes back to Aristotle.
Another long-standing dogma in physics is to put distance and time as primary physical quantities, with velocity (speed) derived from them. This comes from dimensional analysis which is taught to students as a classical physics foundation. In line with this, Einstein was focusing on obtaining distance and time equations. But the fundamental reality of physics is that all observers see light at the same speed, no matter what the observers’ own speed. Given that this physics truth, which forms the starting point of relativity, is about velocity we found it natural to examine velocity directly.
Starting with velocity is our deliberate approach for another reason too. When looking at moving objects we can directly observe velocity and directly observe distance traveled. We can actually see how fast something is going and from which point to which point it is moving. Time, however, is subtle and elusive in that time “flow” cannot be directly observed, unlike velocity and distance. For us, in that sense too we would rather have velocity and not time as the quantity we prefer to work with as a starting point. This simple realization worked wonders. By going directly to velocity we have above shown how and why it is that all observers measure the same speed of light, and thus we never needed to assume the light postulate. Having gotten equations for velocity we use them to get equations for distance and time.
However, for momentum we get the same effective formula as Einstein’s. So that part is common between the theories. Using his interpretation of special relativity, physicist Stephen Hawking writes, in A Brief History Of Time: “As an object approaches the speed of light, its mass rises ever more quickly.” Physicist Brian Greene similarly states in The Elegant Universe that mass of a particle “increases without limit as its speed approaches that of light.” We never agreed with such interpretations of Einstein’s formula. We note that for momentum we get the “same effective formula as Einstein’s,” the “effective” word being important because the formula is not exactly the same. We are glad that, unlike Einstein’s formula, there is no possibility of interpreting our formula to suggest that mass is actually changing with velocity. If you view our momentum formula in Appendix A, p. 6 you will see why. Having the same momentum formula also results in the same energy formulas, and E=mc2 is thus preserved.
Special relativity is Einstein’s theory. However, the term “Lorentz transformations” is associated with it and we use that term frequently in this book. Let us go into what these Lorentz transformations are. Newtonian physics has distance-time equations, and equations for velocity addition. These equations are not consistent with the physical reality that all observers will see the speed of light to be the same; thus there was need to replace these. Using the constancy of speed of light as a postulate, along with incorporating the older classical physics postulate about the laws of motion being the same in all frames, Einstein’s special relativity derives a set of replacement distance-time equations. These equations are called the Lorentz transformations, after physicist Hendrik Lorentz who first stated them. In high school one first learns the equations of Newtonian physics. Then in advanced high school courses or in college physics one learns the Lorentz transformations.
Time dilation and length contraction are two major results from the Lorentz transformations, but our distance-time equations do not have these physical effects. Thus we can test and see if our equations or the Lorentz transformations are the correct equations of nature.
Lorentz noted that “Einstein simply postulates” the constancy of speed of light, which he and others had been trying to explain. Lorentz was also trying to find a physical explanation, involving electrons, for length contraction, and was struggling with a theory of time. The name Lorentz transformations was given by Henri Poincaré, who interacted with Lorentz, and was ahead of Lorentz in aspects of time.
However, Lorentz praised Einstein’s approach and became a supporter. Indeed, the whole of physics came to greatly admire special relativity. We were not happy with the postulate approach and actually found the explanation for the constancy of the speed of light that Lorentz and others had been seeking, before Einstein appeared. Our explanation formed the basis for our velocity addition equations; from these equations we derive distance-time equations. We got the correct equations using velocity as a starting point. Einstein got the Lorentz transformations by going directly to distance and time, and then from those equations coming to equations of velocity addition. Both our distance-time equations and the Lorentz transformations have the equations of Newtonian physics as a limiting case, which means that at speeds much slower than light, both our equations and Lorentz transformations give physics results close to those given by the equations of Newtonian physics. And the higher the speed the greater the deviation from the results given by the equations of Newtonian physics.
Physics books and papers repeatedly state that time dilation has been experimentally confirmed. Despite what physicists think and claim, time dilation – that time itself dilates – has never been shown to be true; to show it to be true we need to simultaneously test it across multiple clock mechanisms and that has not been done. Clocks are mechanisms that are affected by motion, and by gravity and various forces, so they show different times when these differ. Our equations also lead to different time measurements by observers. However, unlike special relativity, in our theory, the ratio between the time measured by the two observers takes into account the mechanics of the event being measured. To illustrate special relativity’s time dilation many textbooks and popular books give the example of the “light clock,” whose mechanism we detail in chapter 3. In this case our equations yield the same time factor as special relativity. But in our theory different clock mechanisms observed by the same two observers could give different time ratios. Special relativity has a time dilation formula that applies between the inertial frames of the two observers. Using this formula, the ratio of time rates between clocks in the two inertial frames is computed from the relative velocity between the frames. This formula has been tested multiple times using atomic clocks. In special relativity the ratio between the time measured by observers in these two frames will have this same computed value, no matter what the clock mechanism or the event being measured. So to confirm this we need to simultaneously test with different clock mechanisms and show that time dilation remains the same irrespective of clock mechanism. Unfortunately for special relativity, as we discuss below and in full detail in chapter 3, it has already been shown that natural cosmic clocks – quasars being an example of a such a clock – behave differently than atomic clocks when it comes to time dilation. Special relativity has failed this test involving different clock mechanisms!
Length contraction has not been experimentally tested at all. In our theory length of an object remains invariant, and there is no length contraction. Many in physics look only at the mathematics of a physics theory and they can correctly point out that, mathematically, there is no problem with length contraction. However, we are talking physics, and we doubted it was physical reality. What is special relativity’s length contraction? From the Lorentz transformations it follows that length of an object moving relative to you contracts parallel to the direction of motion. Suppose Other and You both have a measuring stick of the same length. Other gets into a very fast vehicle and zooms past You; assume that both sticks are aligned parallel to Other’s direction of motion. As Other passes You, you will notice that Other’s stick is shorter. At v = 0.866c Other’s stick would have contracted to half the length of your stick. It is not just the stick, Other’s vehicle and everything in it will all contract parallel to the direction of motion. And, of course, this happens all the time as people move relative to each other, except that the contraction is so small at everyday speeds that you cannot observe it. We consider length contraction to be one of the strangest claims in the history of physics, and we have always felt that special relativity came with a clear expiry date because the day length contraction claim is experimentally tested would be the day this theory falls. However, giving a rigid body enough speed would be a technological challenge. We also always felt that time itself does not dilate and that properly testing time dilation, by using diverse clock mechanisms, would experimentally topple special relativity before failure of its length contraction does. Where we did agree with Einstein was that the two postulates of special relativity were physical reality.
We have noted that in the path to the Lorentz transformations Einstein made unstated assumptions by choosing to avoid infinity and choosing to start with distance and time. Einstein followed two other paths which we consider erroneous and based on unstated assumptions. These two other erroneous paths were adopting the linear thinking of Newtonian physics and also adopting the wrong philosophy of time based on a seeming lack of realization that, within Newtonian physics itself, two interpretations of time are possible. We discuss these further in the next two chapters.
By our equations, have we shown Einstein’s relativity equations to be wrong? No, only experiments can do that, and they have done so. Independent of experiments, what we have theoretically done, using simple mathematics, is to give a counterexample to Einstein’s “derivation” that special relativity’s two postulates necessarily lead only to a certain set of equations, namely the Lorentz transformations. Einstein’s derivation of the Lorentz transformations from the postulates was based on unstated assumptions, and thus was not a derivation at all. That derivation is widely accepted and celebrated. Following Einstein’s thinking, various derivations of the Lorentz transformations have since been published, and this link between the postulates and the transformations is a cornerstone of relativity. This derivation is taught as part of a standard college course in modern physics. Reputable physics textbooks derive the Lorentz transformations, in a claimed mathematically rigorous manner. Numerous physics papers that review or discuss relativity similarly accept that the Lorentz transformations can be derived from the postulates; popular books and articles on the subject repeat this claim.
Einstein’s derivation meant that it has been mathematically and rigorously shown that A (the postulates) necessarily implies B (the Lorentz transformations). Physicists have studied and checked this derivation thoroughly for over a 100 years. However, as philosopher Thomas Kuhn noted in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, the general aim of physicists is to preserve rather than try to refute their foundational theories. Therefore, it should not be generally surprising that all of them would find the derivation to be correct, and we go into more specifics on this matter in the next chapter. It is this “derivation” that we have shown to have been based on unstated assumptions and thus not a valid derivation. We have achieved this because we found a counterexample C (our new equations) that shows that A does not necessarily imply B but can equally well imply C.
We are not questioning that the postulates of special relativity are correct and, in fact, we are in full agreement with them, having actually explained the light postulate. We are questioning the Lorentz transformations. There are two issues to be decided:
(1) Whether, by having a counterexample, we have shown that Einstein’s derivation was invalid. Three physics Nobel Prize winners and others have reviewed this counterexample and none have been able to state that we do not have a counterexample.
(2) Whether B (Lorentz transformations) or C (the Equations we found) are the correct space and time equations. These two sets of equations make different experimental predictions and experiments are the way to show that relativity is wrong and that the Lorentz transformations are not reality. Lorentz transformations have failed the test involving different clock mechanisms.
We have shown that Einstein did not have a derivation of the Lorentz transformations, and we believe physics professors should therefore stop teaching that “derivation” as part of their standard modern physics course. In fact, we emailed many professors asking them to stop teaching the derivation because it is not a derivation at all. It was our suggestion that when they teach the Lorentz transformations they should skip the derivation part since one “cannot logically or ethically teach a derivation to which a counterexample exists.” But, in physics, as in religion, just because something is factually incorrect does not mean the proponents will stop teaching it as true. Physics is run by authorities who today share a great faith in special relativity, and physics professors teach what the authorities have dictated to be taught to students. Today’s high priests of physics will not allow a refutation of special relativity, and professors do not seem to be bold enough to discuss the objectivity and judgment of those in power. They cannot challenge the wishes of today’s physics authorities regarding special relativity, even when armed with a counterexample to Einstein’s derivation. That Einstein’s derivation is scientifically not correct is seemingly not a good enough reason for physicists to challenge authorities and to not teach the derivation to students. Looking for potential whistle-blowers who can tell their physics departments that they will not teach an incorrect derivation has been futile. In 2018 a professor from a top university whose life-long specialty has been general relativity agreed to discuss our paper, with the following condition: “However, there is a caveat: This would be solely for your information. I do not want to be quoted, nor to be involved in any discussion, arguments, or controversies regarding your paper.” The professor was seemingly motivated by philosophical leaning, saying: “I do not believe in ‘postulates’ in physics – for relativity, or for anything else. (I believe that many would agree, but I’m not sure exactly what the vote would be).” I disagree with the professor’s parenthetical comment that many in physics would pause on the concept of postulates. In my view, and we discuss this further in the next chapter, physicists have been trained to uncritically memorize the foundations of special relativity, not ponder them. And today’s physicists memorize Einstein’s special relativity reasoning with the same shared arrogance and confidence with which their predecessors used to uncritically memorize Aristotle’s reasoning, mocking those who offered reasons that challenged the validity of that reasoning.
Special relativity has now experienced experimental failures. Einstein noted that “a single experiment can prove me wrong.” The quasars time dilation failure of special relativity is an experimental failure that professors in classrooms never mention when they indoctrinate their students with the belief that special relativity has passed all experimental tests. Actually, most professors who teach special relativity would not even know about such failure of relativity. It is a result that the physics authorities have suppressed so well that even I, who keeps on top of experiments regarding relativity, found it out only by good fortune while looking for other information related to quasars. And the above quoted relativity expert who required that any discussion be confidential was also surprised upon hearing about quasars time dilation failure. His first reaction was: “Special relativity is not applicable when gravity is important, as it certainly is in cosmology. Thus, on its face, special relativity will make no prediction at all for these cosmological observations.” Gravity would play a role in how quasars create light, but observation of these light patterns is purely a special relativity study.
Quasars are very bright celestial objects that “blink” or “flicker.” Such a blinking or flickering “light bulb” functions like a cosmic ticking clock that telescopes can study. The quasars time dilation study involved “a large sample of quasars that have been homogeneously monitored every year for 24 years.” These “blinks” or “ticks” should be different purely from special relativity’s time dilation based on different speeds of quasars, because in our expanding universe objects farther away from us are moving faster (relative to us). Clocks at different distances would be traveling at different speeds relative to us and should “tick” differently. But the “blinks” of quasars at different distances are not showing this basic variation predicted by special relativity’s time dilation; in fact, the “ticks” are showing no variation with speed at all. No reasonable alternative explanation for this can be found, and we discuss this in further detail in chapter 3. In our theory clocks, such as quasars, which are moving directly away from Earth (as a result of the expanding universe or other setup) would show no time dilation, but other types of clocks could or would, depending on the mechanism. And in our theory this prediction follows from the equations that arise from our above explanation of the constancy of the speed of light.
A big field that has emerged in physics in recent decades is cosmology. Much of cosmology is built on increasingly complicated theories founded on general relativity, but cosmology also connects directly to special relativity, as we show above. Now, cosmology’s foundational premise that the universe is expanding – which we and almost everyone else believes to be true – is actually being contradicted by multiple observations related to measurements of special relativity’s time dilation in celestial bodies. Special relativity (assuming it to be correct) is informing us, based on its time dilation not happening, that the universe is not expanding. Professional scientists and amateurs with an interest in science may not know about these conflicts between special relativity and the expanding universe model because physics authorities and the science media have been ignoring and suppressing this emerging contradiction between these two foundational paradigms, having no way to explain it. The explanation we give is that the postulates of special relativity are correct but its equations need replacement, and Einstein’s derivation of those equations from the postulates is invalid.
Professors who compile or disseminate on experimental status of relativity – examples are Professors Clifford Will and John Baez and we give more details later in the book – do so on a biased basis, which always carries the message that special relativity has passed all tests. We have already mentioned suppression of the time dilation failure of special relativity. Beyond this, such professors, and at least these two in particular, love to throw the word “crackpot” at those who question special relativity. In our view, there perhaps can be no greater crackpot than a professor who provides and disseminates a compilation that continues to spread misinformation on experimental status throughout the world. Professors Baez and Will are two such notorious relativity worshipping professors.
In chapter 3 we examine experimental failures of special relativity and give further experiments that can differentiate between the theories and show the Lorentz transformations to be wrong.
How bad would things be if special relativity were to be replaced? Let us look at the parts of special relativity. One is the postulates, and another part is the set of equations known as the Lorentz transformations. Much of modern physics is built on postulates being correct and that part is not affected; however, much of modern physics is also built on explicitly assuming the Lorentz transformations to be true. For that part there would be a big problem. The Lorentz transformations are the foundation of special relativity’s new spacetime, and that spacetime becomes history if they do not hold true. For momentum we get the same effective formula as special relativity and this also results in the same energy formulas, so that part survives.
But there is another looming problem based on the other relativity – the wide adoption and interweaving into physics of Einstein’s theory of gravitation, general relativity, in recent decades. General relativity’s “curved” spacetime is founded on the spacetime of special relativity. Physics authorities truly admire general relativity’s spacetime and its mathematics, and have been justifying their faith by claiming that general relativity has passed all experimental tests. In chapter 5 we discuss general relativity and additional problems with its assumptions and foundations (besides its being based on special relativity). We will show how far from definitive general relativity’s experimental successes have been and how these successes have been hyped, while suppressing its grand failures. We note that special relativity has had no competitor, except our theory, that perfectly preserves both its postulates. On the other hand, general relativity, though the clear favorite of physics authorities, is not the only theory of gravitation. That massless particles (or waves) move at the speed of light while massive particles move slower is, as above, a foundation of our theory and thus is certainly not unique to special and general relativity. We do not offer a theory of gravity in this book but we note that one of the implications of the Lorentz transformations being wrong would be that the spacetime equations of general relativity, unfortunately, would also be foundationally wrong.
Quantum mechanics is a theory that is very successful at explaining the behavior of mass and light at the atomic and subatomic scale. General relativity is incompatible with quantum mechanics, and we believe this is because relativity’s spacetime is not reality. That, we believe, is the message from the incompatibility, and the resolution is to replace relativity entirely, starting with the Lorentz transformations. But that is not the opinion of physicists in power! Quantum gravity attempts to unite quantum mechanics with general relativity (gravity), and thus the name. Quantum gravity has become the great physics challenge, with string theory and loop quantum gravity as the leading approaches. String theory leads in terms of count of physicists working on it, with loop quantum gravity playing catch-up. Quantum gravity theories – which have become the main pursuit of theoretical physicists in recent decades – are based on the mathematics of the spacetime of special and general relativity and these theories would become a wasteland if the Lorentz transformations of special relativity were foundationally wrong.
Physics has put all its eggs in one basket with the faith in special relativity and in general relativity, which rests on special relativity! Thus there is good reason why physics authorities want our equations as well as the failure of the Lorentz transformations of special relativity suppressed forever. The fall of special relativity would wipe out the theoretical life work of current physics authorities and of so many past others, which was all based on absolute faith in special relativity.
It has been thoroughly tested that the speed of light in space always remains the same, and thus the light postulate is true. However, physicists have not done the full spectrum of critical experimental testing of the precise claims of the Lorentz transformations and part of the testing done has produced experimental failure. Yet there is a near-absolute belief among physicists that Lorentz transformations are true. How did this happen? We believe there are four major reasons for this:
(1) suppression of failure of the time dilation of the Lorentz transformations by physics authorities and their media partners
(2) verification of the postulates being wrongly assumed to also mean a verification of the Lorentz transformations since physicists believe that Einstein showed, through his derivation, that if the postulates are true then so are the Lorentz transformations
(3) lack of another theory consistent with special relativity’s two postulates which could push for testing between the equations and predictions of the theories
(4) ignoring any and all facts that go against the Lorentz transformations, physics authorities and the media work to hype these equations as true, with all of them competing with each other at every turn to emerge as the greater champion of the celebrated theory.
With all the hype about special relativity by the physics establishment, the message is clearly received by all physicists, and absorbed by those just starting a career in physics, that special relativity is something you praise and not question – unless you are a crackpot! And part of the praise is to repeatedly recite the mantra that special relativity “has passed all tests,” no matter what the facts. All of professional physics sang this official line across the world at the centenary celebrations of Einstein’s 1905 special relativity paper. It is not that everyone in physics has learnt to adopt a suppression methodology when it comes to special relativity. It is that physics authorities like to keep their professors, teachers and students ignorant of objective scientific truths, as a result of which they, along with the public, believe and recite that special relativity “has passed all tests.”
Throughout history, people have often come to power in government, church and other organizations who excelled in the art of keeping their own members ignorant of reality, as a part of larger scheme of keeping the public unaware. Physics today is under control of such authorities.
Our counterexample to Einstein’s derivation is also being suppressed by authorities, with three Nobel Prize winners – Gerard ‘t Hooft, Steven Weinberg and Frank Wilczek – commenting on our paper but evading the question of whether we have a counterexample. Either our equations form a counterexample to Einstein’s derivation or they don’t. How much simpler in its thesis and in its invite to find a flaw in the technical arguments could a paper be? If there was no counterexample they would surely have pointed that out with glee. In chapter 4 we document their comments, as well as those of others.
Physicists in power who practice evasion and suppression regarding facts and reason that challenge special relativity may have fears about its future, realizing that the suppression methodology and propaganda, though very successful today, might not be a reliable means of assuring a permanent status quo. However, there is a further strong reason why physics authorities are hostile to our equations as a replacement for relativity. In physics when a new theory has the old theory as a limiting case there is a smooth transition. For example, as speeds fall lower to being much less than speed of light, special relativity’s Lorentz transformations give results increasingly close to Galilean-Newtonian physics, so Galilean-Newtonian physics is a limiting case. This allowed for a continuation in that the older equations are still used today, except when very high speeds are involved. Our equations are also such that Galilean-Newtonian physics is a limiting case. But there is a clash between our equations and the Lorentz transformations in that neither is a limiting case of the other. If our equations are right, this would make things very bad for physicists who have unquestioningly built on the Lorentz transformations for over a 100 years. There would be no smooth transition. The worst case imagined scenario by physics authorities has been the possibility of a replacement theory that limits down to the Lorentz transformations. To not have the Lorentz transformations be a limiting case of any replacement theory would be a crash of today’s physics, and this possibility is beyond their imaginations. In our view, nature is pointing to a crash where the Lorentz transformations and all that rests on them will be eradicated foundationally. However, physics authorities will not allow such a crash. So poor physicists across the world have to continue to indefinitely work with and build on the Lorentz transformations, even if these equations are wrong. What a waste of taxpayer money and their lives!
Physics is a field where a privileged few decide the course, and the masses follow. And these few today, in our opinion, are not making good and honest decisions. Do all fields, and indeed the whole world in its numerous parts, function this way? Is all decided by the few in leadership? We believe that is quite possibly how things largely function once a leadership is established in a field. The process of establishing or changing leadership can be more diverse, depending on the field, and we do not want to go into that here. (We note that leadership does not automatically come from attaining a title but needs having a vast majority who approve of the leadership, substantial length of time in power, etc.) How do the masses, or members of a group, behave when compared to the behavior of those in leadership? We believe the answer is that the masses largely emulate the behavior and walk along the paths the established leaders choose. Thus a field, and particularly an intellectual field, can work wonderfully when the privileged few in control are honest and objective, because the masses will emulate these standards and behavior. Similarly, an academic field gets on a path of dogma when suppression of truth is practiced by those in power, because the rest will also walk the path of ignoring and suppressing inconvenient truths. Is leadership in science fields traditionally more ethical and objective than that in other fields? Whatever the answer, it does not help us deal with the situation – such as that in physics today – where a field of science experiences a substantial decline in ethics and objectivity.
Max Planck, considered to be the originator of quantum mechanics, noted: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” So physics and science has this general problem of scientists sticking to wrong scientific beliefs and not accepting that they are wrong, despite the objective evidence. But Planck and his colleagues, which included Einstein, were never worshippers and suppressors. Today, in contrast, just as zealots and fundamentalists of one religion will not look at contradictory material from another source, relativity worshipping physics authorities will not consider alternatives that do not limit down to the equations of special relativity.
Biased media has played a big role in hyping relativity and in suppression of its shortcomings. Consider the quasars time dilation failure. Almost all of science media and all of general media refused to report it – and these same news outlets report every experimental success of relativity worldwide. To get this quasars bad news one would have had to read New Scientist magazine or Phys.org; these two have often published facts that the rest, seemingly bowing to the wishes of physics or other science authorities, suppress. But not all media would need physics authorities to pressure them into such suppression, because for a large number of news outlets hyping relativity has been a long-term independent policy, and disseminating bad news about special relativity would not be consistent with that policy.
Suppression is unfortunate but it is reality in physics today when it comes to theoretical and experimental problems with relativity. Is such suppression methodology consistent with the traditional methodology of science? We believe that philosophers and historians of science have missed the important truth that the nature of science, which includes the methodology of science, is variable and depends on those who hold power in the field at the time. Today’s powers-that-be in physics are worshippers and suppressors, breaking from their early 20th century predecessors who shunned such behavior. One effective methodology physics authorities have adopted is dismissing and branding all who challenge the foundations of relativity, including those who use proper and rigorous scientific methodology, to be crackpots. So today suppression is a key methodology of physics when it comes to relativity. But tomorrow, possibly with regime change, the methodology of physics may change with an objective and idealistic government in power which does not worship relativity and which shuns deliberate suppression.
Philosopher and physicist Thomas Kuhn, mainly using examples from physics, noted that the great respect for “authority” and “orthodoxy” in science “most clearly distinguishes it from every other creative pursuit except perhaps theology” (italics mine). Philosopher Paul Feyerabend called science the “most aggressive, and most dogmatic religious institution“asserting that “science has now become as oppressive as the ideologies it had once to fight…Heretics in science are still made to suffer from the most severe sanctions.”
Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg, who has written numerous books and articles for the general reader, is noted on the back cover of his books to be “considered by many to be the preeminent theoretical physicist” (of his time). Weinberg sums up his view of scientific reality, challenging and criticizing that of Thomas Kuhn:
There is a “hard” part of modern physical theories (“hard” meaning not difficult, but durable, like bones in paleontology or potsherds in archeology) that usually consists of the equations themselves, together with some understandings about what the symbols mean operationally and about the sorts of phenomena to which they apply. Then there is a “soft” part; it is the vision of reality that we use to explain to ourselves why the equations work … But after our theories reach their mature forms, their hard parts represent permanent accomplishments … I think that Kuhn overestimated the degree to which scientists during a period of normal science are captives of their paradigms. There are many examples of scientists who remained skeptical about the soft parts of their own theories (italics mine).
As Weinberg implies in above note, there is no skepticism of equations parts of established theories because they are deemed to be permanent accomplishments. Kuhn pointed out that physicists do not like to refute their foundational theories. What Weinberg notes in his experience is actually consistent with what Kuhn says, because if physicists are not going to be skeptical of established equations they obviously will not try to refute them. And physics is centered around equations. However, while appreciating many of Kuhn’s insights, there are certain conclusions of Kuhn that we do not accept and where we agree with his critics, as we explain in the following chapters.
Though we disagree with above quoted blanket statements that Feyerabend makes about science as a whole, we believe he does properly characterize the field of physics as it behaves today when it comes to special relativity, in that physics actually functions as an “oppressive” and “dogmatic religious institution” that suppresses valid problems with its holy equations of special relativity and their foundations.
We have written many emails to groups of professors regarding evasion of facts against relativity, such as this one in 2015: “This is regarding suppression of experimental truth … Your Church of Physics has suppressed the published result that quasars are not obeying Special Relativity’s Time Dilation.” We also ran a physics blog and website questioning relativity, and mentioned the website in these emails; we were able to note hits from locations of certain prominent professors when we sent them emails. Knowing that some professors get excessive emails, we sometimes sent a fax copy or emailed department secretaries to bring certain communications to the attention of their famous professor. Steven Weinberg’s department secretary once emailed back suggesting she was not going to present our email to him and, entertainingly, called us a “jerk!” In an article detailing the importance of consensus to a field, Weinberg takes pains to “emphasize that I regarded it not as a dogma to which everyone had to swear allegiance, but as a common ground … It is only when scientists share a consensus that they can focus on the experiments and the calculations … As Kuhn recognized, it is precisely this sort of work during periods of [what Kuhn called] normal science that can lead to the discovery of anomalies that will make it necessary to take the next step beyond our present paradigm” (italics mine). But science can actually enforce a “consensus”, which then all will have to follow. Kuhn notes that “crisis occurs” when “experiments give results that don’t fit existing theories, or internal contradictions are discovered in these theories” (italics mine). Kuhn here, perhaps naively unaware of the kind of regime that gained power in physics in post-WWII decades, assumes that practicing physicists will know of such experiments and contradictions. But, in fact, physics today uses a methodology of suppressing experimental and theoretical problems with special relativity rather than addressing them, and thus preventing the situation where a “crisis occurs.” Under this methodology, physics experts today would never learn of problems with the theory they spend their life building on; this is because higher physics authorities block publication or dissemination of key knowledge of experiments and contradictions that may make their colleagues question the achieved consensus. Physics leaders today indulge in public relations that paint a view that all is well in science today and it is a period of Kuhn’s “normal science”; this is far removed from the reality of how relativity worshipping physics today actually functions.
Our view is that the deep faith and worship of special relativity by leading physicists we mention in this book is similar to the faith and worship within traditional churches; this deep faith of these scientists is also similar to the faith shown by Aristotelian scientists.
Can scientific belief, which is based on empirical confirmation, be properly compared to religious belief? That question itself is problematic because scientific belief is not necessarily based on empirical confirmation. In fact, today’s major fields of quantum gravity, dark matter, multiverse associated with inflation, and others that are founded on relativity being correct have had no confirmation from the universe and their underlying problem could well be that relativity’s equations are wrong. Aristotelian science was substantially based on what Aristotle said and acceptance of his often flawed reasoning for saying it, rather than on empirical evidence. On the other hand, there can be no doubt that many scientific beliefs have origins in verifiable facts and reason, with empirical evidence playing a major role in the theory becoming widely accepted. This is clearly different from traditional religions, where the religious text that is the basis of the belief is supposed to have its foundation in divine revelation or divine events. While there is often this difference in origins of religious beliefs and certain scientific beliefs, there can develop similar unshakable faith in a scientific belief that leads a group to collectively ignore and suppress facts and reasons against the belief. Such scientific belief and practice can be called blind faith, dogma, or worship; it is of the same nature as traditional religious belief despite the difference in origins.
In the next chapter we examine reasons why the dogmas of scientists can be stronger than those of traditional religions, and in chapter 6 we show that this was actually the case during the time of Galileo. The methodologies used by dogmatic physics authorities to prevent dissemination of scientific facts that go against their most cherished beliefs regarding the physical world are also of similar nature to methodologies that have often been employed by authorities of traditional churches. A fundamental difference between science and religion centers on the existence and role of God; it seems the existence and role of God will never be proved or disproved and thus will never be settled. Events such as miracles in religious texts result from the will of God, and since these do not happen in the normal course of events they escape the demand of scientific replication.
In later chapters we will give more details of our experiences with physics authorities as well as devote more space to discussion of philosophy of science, religion, authority and blind faith. We will also look at the evolving roles of Vatican authorities and physics authorities, and discuss how the supposed Vatican methodology of preventing dissemination of scientific reality has been embraced and aggressively put into practice by today’s physics authorities. (We use the word supposed because the historical relationship of the Vatican to scientific facts that go against their beliefs varies substantially, just as the relationship of physics to scientific facts can and does, depending on the authorities in control.) We note that in recent decades, Vatican authorities have been becoming quite open to acknowledging scientific facts that go against their beliefs. Meanwhile, physics authorities have become “most aggressive and most dogmatic” (as Feyerabend states above) regarding protecting their beliefs in special relativity by shielding their believers from knowledge of objective and verifiable scientific facts against it.
Physics authorities are governments, as are authorities within other organizations, and governments historically can be and are substantially varied in behavior depending on the nature of those in power. World history very clearly shows this and we do not need to give examples. Dogma is common to both science and religion and both organizations are run by people. The nature of how science functions varies, just as how a church or government functions varies, depending on those in power. Church and science can behave in very similar ways because humans in power can behave in similar ways. Chapter 8 is a science fiction story about a planet where the atheist Church of Physics defeats God-believing religions and becomes the main faith and religion.
We live in a special time in physics history because never before (since the post-Galileo period) has there been such authoritarian religious worship of a theory and suppression of facts against it by physics authorities. It is for this reason that we call today’s physics establishment the relativity worshipping Church of Physics. (In this book, unless otherwise specified, we use “church” as a generic word for a place of worship or religious organization).
We continue the discussion in the previous chapter of Einstein’s path to the equations of special relativity, called Lorentz transformations. And we discuss in more detail some of the related philosophical matters. Again, the Lorentz transformations of special relativity replaced the equations of Newtonian physics. Since we have a counterexample to Einstein’s derivation that special relativity’s two postulates necessarily lead to the Lorentz transformations, we already know that his claimed derivation of the Lorentz transformations cannot be correct.
There are other books and websites devoted to attacks on special relativity. We do not make a frivolous or amateurish attack. In most attacks on special relativity, the light postulate speed limit is the one questioned; most such attacks are by amateurs who are looking to remove the speed limit but do not offer equations of their own. Many people want a future where we can zoom across the universe as fast as we want. After all, even at the speed of light travel to the nearest star would take years, which means we are not going anywhere in a hurry and are effectively restricted to lifetime travel to a very small region of the vast universe. In science fiction they have the concept of warped space or hyperspace, without which the Star Trek crew would reach nowhere in their five year missions. In fact, as we see below, even mainstream scientists having a need to modify special relativity’s equations would modify the constancy of the speed of light – though only slightly. A potential replacement of special relativity, we felt, would involve one that offers equations explaining the constancy of the speed of light, not one that in some way alters the constancy. Our equations keep the two postulates perfectly intact and, by explaining the light postulate and thus making it not a postulate, completely rule out the faster than light travel for mass that is proposed by many amateurs and mainstream scientists.
In May 2017, Nobel Prize winner Gerard ‘t Hooft replied to us regarding our forming alternative equations to special relativity that also preserved the postulates and thus were a counterexample to Einstein’s derivation: “[T]hink can outsmart more than a century of theoretical physicists … Please be assured that this is elementary physics, taught to freshmen students in a few weeks time.” (This was part of the same email that we quote from in chapter 1, regarding infinity).
Gerard ‘t Hooft’s absolute confidence and blind faith that special relativity’s foundations cannot be toppled has been the problem with special relativity, with students being indoctrinated into accepting their professors’ faith. What fool will question the foundational derivation of what is today deemed “elementary physics”? Students swiftly and faithfully memorize the Lorentz transformations along with Einstein’s derivation that shows no other equations consistent with the two postulates are possible; in such pursuit they follow the same scientific tradition and practice by which much of Aristotelian scientific reasoning was uncritically memorized. Professors who today are the experts in charge, including ‘t Hooft, are products of this ongoing system of deep faith in special relativity. This is the current physics life path to a secure career, just like the path of faithfully following Aristotelian reasoning was once the way. We saw our fellow physics students ready to charge on to a lifetime devoted to building on relativity. But we held on to our doubts regarding the validity of Einstein’s derivation, finally toppling the derivation. The dogma that Einstein has a derivation that shows that postulates imply the Lorentz transformations, and no other set of equations, is the central dogma of the relativity worshipping church. Anti-intellectual evasion is the methodology that church professors today employ to preserve this dogma.
We share technical specifics of comments from physicists in chapter 4, and there we give ‘t Hooft’s and other editors and referees review of our paper, “Space is discrete for mass and continuous for light.” Physicists have not attempted to rebut our proper and rigorous scientific counterexample to the foundational derivation of special relativity using reason and intelligence; instead, anger, evasion and refusal to address the specifics have been the general reaction of relativity worshipping physics authorities.
Most of today’s physics authorities have only religiously memorized and never tried to question or refute Einstein’s derivation of the Lorentz transformations; therefore they cannot address such intellectual challenges to foundations and ignore or evade reason that critically examines the derivation. Such physics authorities today see no path but to shut their eyes to the reality of a counterexample and, as relativity experts, hope to hide from colleagues, upcoming students and the general public the reality that Einstein did not have a valid derivation.
Let us recap Einstein’s unstated assumptions in concluding that the Lorentz transformations were the only ones consistent with the postulates. In chapter 1 we discussed how Einstein chose to avoid infinity and chose to start with distance and time, rather than velocity directly. These choices were seemingly born out of the physics prejudices of Einstein’s time and these prejudices are even stronger today, being firmly cemented into modern physics by special relativity. These were choices made by Einstein regarding what path to follow or not follow in getting to new equations of space and time. By not considering, or not being aware of, alternative paths he had already made unstated assumptions about what paths are available. A derivation based on such unstated assumptions is not a valid derivation. Einstein followed the standard interpretations of Newtonian physics in the matter of time, and reached certain conclusions, as we discuss in the next chapter. However, we do not follow this standard interpretation of time in Newtonian physics and do not reach the same conclusions. Another methodology Einstein followed from Newtonian physics is regarding how to add velocities, which we discuss later in the chapter.
Was it not wise of Einstein to stick closely to Newtonian physics which was so well verified until the matter of constancy of speed of light arose? Well, what Einstein did not realize is that there were other available choices on how to modify Newtonian physics. Our equations also limit down to those of Newtonian physics. However, we retain the three-dimensional space of Newtonian physics, with time being separate, and we also retain constancy of length of objects. Just because all observers see light at the same speed does not necessitate, though Einstein’s derivation concludes that it does, that one must give these up. As noted in chapter 1 and discussed further below, length contraction to us was a strange and unwanted phenomenon that would not survive experimentation. Also, we have explained the constancy of the speed of light rather than postulated it, and an unexplained postulate was the door Einstein left open for us to topple his derivation of the Lorentz transformations and get alternative equations.
Let us pause here to review this task of finding unstated assumptions made by Einstein that we have taken on. Is this how theoretical physics functions? Further, are we out to also prove that even prior to the matter of constancy of the speed of light, Newtonian physics, by itself, was wrong in its conclusions? Answering the first question, looking for unstated assumptions in foundational theories is not how theoretical physics functions today because today’s physicists normally never attempt to refute foundational theories (and later in this chapter we explain in detail why we qualified our answer by adding today). In particular, Einstein’s reasoning on which the equations of special relativity are founded has been declared by physics experts and authorities to be beyond question. Addressing the second question, while we can argue about interpretations of speed and time in Newtonian physics, such arguments remain philosophical and do not attempt to change the laws and equations of Newtonian physics. However, carrying over conclusions about speed and time from Newtonian physics has serious implications for the new situation regarding what set of equations follow from the constancy of the speed of light.
By following the standard interpretations of Newtonian physics in matters of speed and time, Einstein reached certain conclusions. We stress the word interpretations because that is where philosophy comes into physics, and only through philosophical analysis were we able to counter Einstein’s derivation. (Of course, philosophical interpretation is the start and not the end of physics analysis, and we had to change the mathematical Newtonian velocity addition).
Different philosophical thinking can actually lead to different physics equations, as we have shown, and that should be reason enough to be very conscious of possible differences in philosophical interpretations in the foundations of physics. However, the importance accorded to the role of philosophy in physics by Einstein and many of his predecessors is not shared by most physicists today. Einstein’s quotes below from 1936 and 1949 respectively give a glimpse of his views:
The physicist cannot simply surrender to the philosopher the critical contemplation of the theoretical foundations; for, he himself knows best, and feels more surely where the shoe pinches. In looking for a new foundation, he must try to make clear in his own mind just how far the concepts which he uses are justified, and are necessities (italics mine).
A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is – in my opinion – the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth (italics mine).
The value given to philosophical thinking in the physics of space, motion and time has so dramatically declined in the decades after Einstein’s death that even the possibility of different philosophical thinking from that of relativity leading to new foundations would be mocked and dismissed.
Steven Weinberg has a chapter titled Against Philosophy in one of his books and Stephen Hawking announces on the first page of one of his books that “philosophy is dead.” Physicists Lawrence Krauss and Neil deGrasse Tyson also piled on in loudly dismissing the role of philosophy. Skepticism regarding the foundations can arise from philosophical questioning; such philosophical contemplation, which poses the greatest danger to relativity dogma, has been entirely banished from physics. It is not physics alone that pays the price, and these banishers of philosophy can personally pay a heavy price. The life work of Stephen Hawking is almost entirely based on the spacetime and equations of relativity, and not much will survive of his work if these are not reality. And as for his famous book on time, that too is based on the concept of time in relativity.
In chapter 1 we quoted a top relativity expert, who being philosophically inclined was glad that we were removing the need for a postulate – which we did by explaining the constancy of the speed of light. But while we also had other problems with the foundations of special relativity, as we have specified, we saw the concept of postulate as an invitation to provide a missing explanation. However, those who decide to reflect on the philosophical foundations of relativity seemingly memorize the philosophy as it follows from the foundations of the theory, rather than think critically about philosophical foundations as the above professor was inclined to. Thus almost all physicists now love Einstein’s postulate style. Weinberg tells us how, like almost all others, he adopted himself to admire the postulate concept as a philosophy:
We learn about the philosophy of science by doing science, not the other way around … A favorite example of mine, one much closer to home, is presented by Albert Einstein’s development of the Special Theory of Relativity in 1905. For some years before 1905 a number of physicists had been worrying about why it seemed to be impossible to detect any effect on the speed of light of the earth’s motion through the ether … He took as a fundamental hypothesis the principle [postulate] of relativity, that it is not possible to detect the effects of uniform motion on the speed of light … In this work Einstein set the tone of the twentieth century by taking a principle of symmetry, or invariance – a principle that says that some changes in point of view cannot be detected – as a fundamental part of scientific knowledge, a hypothesis at the very roots of science, rather than something that is unsatisfactory until it can be deduced from a specific dynamical theory. In other words, Einstein had changed the way that we score our theories (italics mine).
The title of a public speech by Frank Wilczek exclaims, Symmetry: How Einstein Changed the Way We See Everything and his book adds: “These big ideas – relativity, symmetry, invariance, … form the heart of modern physics. They should be, though they are not yet, central to modern philosophy and religion (italics mine).” Relativity hyperbole seems to have replaced philosophy as the new path, whereby a principle such as symmetry that was already part of physics and can be associated with many past physics theories, including Newtonian space and time equations, is suggested to be a unique philosophy of relativity. Weinberg reiterates: “Symmetry principles made their appearance in twentieth century physics in 1905 with Einstein’s identification of the invariance group of space and time … expressions of the simplicity of nature at its deepest level.” The “deepest level” actually would be explaining why a postulate is true. What is the great new Einsteinian philosophical style that Weinberg, Wilczek and others admire? Is it that a particular principle of symmetry or invariance was postulated by Einstein rather than explained? Is that failure to provide an explanation better than to explain why something is true? Would explaining the constancy of the speed of light ruin the symmetry? Physicists, in their new version of philosophy, confuse postulate with the beauty of symmetry. Weinberg, Wilczek and others assume that Einstein’s postulate cannot be deduced from anything else and no explanation of why the postulate is true can be possible. Symmetry is a mathematical property founded on equations. The special relativity symmetry is called Lorentz symmetry. That and other much hyped symmetries or invariances would be wrong if the equations called Lorentz transformations are not reality. Starting in 2005, leading physicists saw our explanation for the constancy of the speed of light, as detailed in chapter 4 and, matching with the behavior of the worst of church authorities when faced with science that goes against their dogma, evaded the matter. These physics leaders have been peddling relativity and symmetry hyperbole to their colleagues, students and the public. What are you going to do admire about a favorite physics symmetry if it is not a reality of nature!
(We have not discussed ether, which is mentioned in above quote, because our explanation of the constancy of the speed of light is such that there is no need to discuss the nature of any possible ether; in chapter 1 we explained the constancy of the speed of light without ether coming in. Unlike Einstein’s special relativity where a postulate is employed to make ether superfluous, our explanation of constancy of speed of light makes ether superfluous to our theory. However, though entirely superfluous to our theory, we do visit ether again in chapter 5 and discuss its relevance and renewed general status.)
Paul Feyerabend noted in 1969 the philosophical decline in physics: “The younger generation of physicists, the Feynmans, the Schwingers, etc., may be very bright … But they are uncivilized savages, they lack in philosophical depth …” In explaining the above quote one mainstream American physicist blogs: “The simplest explanation for this phenomenon would be that the center of gravity of scientific research switched from Europe to America after the war, and the value of a broad-based education (and philosophy in particular) has always been less in America.” We also believe this anti-philosophy shallow thinking is a unique hallmark of the American way, and this anti-philosophy physics style soon became physics methodology across the world. With this change, physics became hostile to Einstein’s “real seeker after truth” and the “independence created by philosophical insight” and began to celebrate the dogmatic “mere artisan.”
Besides contempt for philosophy, there is also the shared contempt within the church of physics for independent reasoning that goes against the reasoning of Einstein. Logic is a branch of philosophy that relativity worshippers, who have all accepted the reasoning in Einstein’s derivation of the Lorentz transformations, seemingly do not like to practice at all and they even ignore the logic of a counterexample to the derivation. Perhaps the church of physics authorities should change their above anti-philosophy proclamations to “against logic” and “logic is dead.” There are consequences when a field abandons logic which, at minimum, are the eventual invalidation of the life work of scientists whose success is centered around such evasion and suppression of inconvenient logic by physics authorities; their highly awarded and rewarded life work is important only temporarily and is not going to last beyond the point where these powerful fact and reason evading experts lose control of the field.
Einstein biographer Abraham Pais talks of the “admiration of his peers” and the “general public”:
He is a new Moses come down from the mountain to bring the law … Behold, a new man appears. His mathematical language is sacred yet amenable to transcription in the profane: the fourth dimension … He fulfills two profound needs in man, the need to know and the need not to know but to believe (italics mine).
Physicists today religiously believe in the fourth dimension and to them the messiah’s derivation and his mathematical language are sacred. The famous fourth dimension is something we did not share the “admiration of his peers” for or their “need not to know but to believe” in; we wanted to remove this fourth dimension and successfully did, going back to three dimensions and a separate time, while also incorporating and explaining the constancy of the speed of light. We did what their messiah’s worshipped logic, reasoning and proclamations showed to not be possible. But such science cannot persuade relativity worshippers because they will evade reasoning and reality when it goes against dogmas founded on their messianic special relativity.
What separates today’s physics authorities from Einstein, and from physics authorities of Einstein’s time, is that Einstein intellectually addressed any genuine matters that arose – even after relativity had become dominant – rather than suppress and ignore such matters. On the other hand, there is no faster way to make today’s physics authorities turn away in disgust, anger or mockery than to suggest reasons that special relativity may be wrong. (We are, of course, referring here to proper and rigorous reasons and not frivolous questions or lack of basic understanding.) There is no comparison between the scientific methodology of pre-WWII decades and that of today’s scientists. That scientific methodology of open intellectual discourse has been replaced not just by anti-intellectual religious conservatism but, in the case of most leading relativity worshipping physicists, by a fanaticism that contrasts surprisingly with the comparatively intellectually honest way authorities of traditional churches can today acknowledge and address arguments against their texts. The relativity worshipping fanatics not only do not acknowledge any truth or logic that would challenge their faith but, fighting for the continued dominance of their faith, have evolved into being the world’s most skilled public and media relations experts who work fiercely to suppress any scientific facts that challenge the foundations of relativity.
Comparing the workings of relativity worship within the church of physics to the worship methodologies of traditional religious groups, a major differentiation that can be seen between the two groups is that physicists worship relativity theory first and above all else, and Einstein second as the revered founder and proponent of the theory. Thus when church of physics authorities take various media and other public podiums and give worshipful sermons on Einstein and relativity, they are expressing their faith in relativity as being the one and only possible path, and are not open to the founder’s suggestions regarding philosophical independence leading to other possible paths or beliefs. This is unlike traditional churches where everything the founder stated regarding the shared belief is revered. A perfect example of this divergence between the ways of this relativity worshipping church and traditional churches is that Einstein’s own below comments that would go against relativity are shunned by relativity worshipping physicists. Einstein, being a thoughtful and philosophical scientist who pondered foundations, was not a relativity worshipper. He actually seemed to be becoming, in his old age, open to the possibility that relativity could need replacement. Einstein expressed an intuitive feeling that physics may need to abandon “continuous structures” (though not in the way presented in our theory) and this would cause serious problems for relativity. Einstein never doubted that the postulates of special relativity were true, but he seems to have realized that removing the foundation of continuity could have consequences. In chapter 1 we showed how we get a different set of equations by assuming space to be discrete for motion of mass but continuous for motion of light. Einstein’s 1905 special relativity paper, though having no citations to previous works, acknowledges “the loyal assistance of my friend and colleague M. Besso, and that I am indebted to him for several valuable suggestions.” Besso, though an engineer and not a physicist, was credited by Einstein as being “the best sounding board in Europe” for Einstein’s physics ideas. Einstein wrote to Besso in a 1954 letter:
I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept, i.e. on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included.
This can perhaps be called the last major philosophical statement of the 20th century made by a physicist on the foundations of relativity. Einstein seemingly did not have any scientists he could openly communicate his foundational fears regarding relativity to – the relativity worshipping church of physics apparently was being born in America, at the same time Einstein was expressing such fear, and in coming decades all of world physics would adopt its methodology of blind worship. Statements, such as that by Einstein above, would have created an occasional spark of worry among some bold physicists regarding blindly clinging to relativity as the one and only possible path, but the church has taught its members to set aside any doubt and faithfully devote their lives to building on relativity. Anyone expressing interest in examining these comments made by Einstein is denounced as a “crackpot” by the church of physics. Notorious relativity worshipping professor John Baez who, as mentioned in chapter 1 and detailed further in chapter 3, is an expert in spreading misinformation about the experimental status of relativity, has a “crackpot index” out which mocks any suggestion that “Einstein, in his later years, was groping his way” away from relativity. That “index” has been publicly supported by relativity worshipping authorities and this 1954 Einstein quote is taboo in the church. Church scholars, to whom relativity has become a religion Einstein founded for them, certainly cannot consider Einstein’s blasphemous proclamations expressing doubt about relativity, and such blasphemy by the messiah himself is a traumatic quote for the devoted relativity worshipper. Many relativity worshipping physicists are able to import the full orthodox messianic experience of traditional churches into relativity by completely expunging from their minds the reality that their messiah Einstein himself suggested the possible fall of his theory. Then, for these scientists their blind faith in relativity becomes the same as faith in the words of the messenger, matching traditional religions; most of them spend their entire lives devotedly building on their messiah’s work, ignoring all contrary scientific warnings by the messiah.
Relativity has become the most prized and celebrated revelation in physics and the “admiration of his peers” is at such a level that in a December 1999 Physics World magazine poll of physicists Einstein got the most votes as the greatest physicist of all time, beating Newton. That physicists today have lost all sense of objectivity can be seen in their choosing Einstein over Newton. But this loss of objectivity is consistent with physics emerging as a relativity worshipping church. Among what separates Newton from Einstein is his originality, and that includes his redefining physics as a field by transforming physics to mathematical equations. Regarding the actual physics discoveries, Newton towered above others in his time in that no one else was close to publishing anything like the physics discoveries and equations in his Principia and his other works. For special relativity, others were closing in. The equations of special relativity are called the Lorentz transformations because Lorentz came up with them before Einstein, and the equation regarding length contraction includes Fitzgerald’s name since he had it before Lorentz. And many biographers have detailed how Henri Poincaré, who was collaborating with Lorentz, was publishing thoughts on time quite close to those of Einstein. And publishing the equations of general relativity became a race between Einstein and David Hilbert. The final reality of physics is that all physics still has to have Newtonian equations as a limiting case, as did the Lorentz transformations and as do our equations. On the other hand Einstein had no correct derivation, and the Lorentz transformations are not physical reality, and all physics that has these equations as a limiting case is also not physical reality. The above article has quotes from physicists who “either think deeply about physics, who look beyond the confines of their own research, or who always have something thought-provoking to say” and they point out how Einstein “changed physics forever by revolutionizing the way in which we view space and time.” The actuality is that the relativity worshipping church allows for no deep philosophical or logical analysis that would examine Einstein’s views, and such pursuit would get physicists excluded from the list of those who “think deeply about physics.”
However, there are some in physics today who express the belief, common among philosophical physicists of the pre-WWII era, that determinedly looking for wrong or unstated assumptions in foundational theories – special relativity included, they say – should be part of what physicists do. Einstein himself was one such philosophically inclined physicist till the end of his life, and his above comments do not make relativity worshipping physicists happy. But, as we see, even for today’s few philosophically inclined, there are boundaries, and examining the foundations of Einstein’s special relativity derivation has been off limits. Who are these other philosophers, even though they live in a box that restricts them from truly foundationally challenging special relativity? Physicist Lee Smolin is one who has a weakness for philosophy and hidden assumptions, and in his book, The Trouble with Physics, suggests that there might be “some wrong assumption we are all making” and someone “needs to find that unexamined assumption.” Lee Smolin and his research partner Carlo Rovelli have become the public face of loop quantum gravity; as noted in chapter 1 loop quantum gravity is one of the two major approaches attempting to unite general relativity (gravity) with quantum mechanics, with string theory being the other path. The Trouble with Physics was an attack on the then runaway public relations victory – within physics departments – of string theory. Anti-string theory blogger Peter Woit followed with his book. Rovelli later joined the public relations battle with his books. String theory holds special relativity’s Lorentz transformations absolutely sacrosanct, with their leader Ed Witten and others sharing this common faith.
What attracted us to loop quantum gravity was that people within it were, like us, interested in discrete motion and were boldly trying to modify special relativity. These rebels, who would modify special relativity, are mainly from Europe and Smolin (who is an American living in Canada) suggests that such pursuit would not have earned them a position in American physics, though that has been changing slowly, particularly with quantum gravity competitor string theory not living up to early hopes. What was of most interest to us was that these loop quantum gravity folks were looking to modify special relativity’s length contraction, by having observers measure equal lengths at small scales. We certainly shared their desire to modify length contraction and our theory entirely removes length contraction. But our theory does not share the fundamental principle of loop quantum gravity that space itself has a discrete structure with a minimum length. As we saw in chapter 1, in our theory light moves continuously through space and, for mass, the discrete motion has jump lengths that become smaller as speed increases and get infinitesimally (i.e. arbitrarily) close to zero. Further, our mathematical explanation of “how” and “why” of the light postulate will not allow any violation of the constancy of the speed of light, whereas the discrete structure of loop quantum gravity and other such suggested modifications of special relativity involve slight violations of the postulates. Their proposed equations that would replace the Lorentz transformations are mathematically complicated, and we believe this results from these theorists putting on themselves the restriction that their equations must have the Lorentz transformations a limiting case. Our alternative simple equations, which form a counterexample to Einstein’s derivation of the Lorentz transformations, have discrete motion while perfectly preserving the postulates. Again, we do not have discrete space in our theory, since light travels continuously and there is no minimum jump length for mass. In loop quantum gravity discrete space causes the speed of light to be slightly different for different frequencies of light, thus causing slight violations of the constancy of speed of light. In our theory the discrete motion of mass is used to explain why light will always be seen to always travel exactly at the same speed. Thus discrete motion, in the way we propose, becomes the unexplained cause of the constancy of speed of light and not a cause of slight deviation from that constancy.
Another group that was of interest to us had Alan Kostelecký as its major proponent, and these comprised mainly experimentalists that were looking for “Lorentz violations,” as a means to extend what is known as the Standard Model of particle physics. But what they called a search for “Lorentz violations” was mainly a search for violations of the postulates of special relativity and not a test of the equations which comprise the Lorentz transformations; however, for them both were the same since they believed that testing the postulates is equivalent to testing the Lorentz transformations. Our theory states that the two postulates hold true but that the Lorentz transformations do not.
Both the quantum gravity and the standard model extension folks had learnt and accepted the foundational reasoning of Einstein’s derivation, as had the world, that the two postulates necessarily imply the Lorentz transformations. Thus they worked under the restriction that having new equations would need a modification of the postulates.
João Magueijo, in his book Faster Than The Speed Of Light, rails against the sacrosanct status accorded to special relativity, arguing for the need to modify its equations:
Lee [Smolin] and I discussed these paradoxes at great length for many months, starting in January 2001 … The root of all the evil was clearly special relativity. All these paradoxes resulted from well-known effects such as length contraction, time dilation … The implications were unavoidable: To set up a consistent quantum gravity theory, whatever that might be, we first needed to abandon special relativity. We realized that many of the known inconsistencies of proposed quantum gravity theories probably also resulted from religiously assuming special relativity. Our reasoning was therefore that before doing anything clever, special relativity should be replaced by something else that rendered at least one of Ep [energy], Lp [length], and tp [time] the same for all observers [at small scales] … But as we have seen before, special relativity results from just two independent principles [postulates]. One is the relativity of motion, and the other the constancy of the speed of light … solution to our puzzle could be to drop the relativity of motion … or the speed of light would no longer be constant (italics mine).
As the above book title states, Magueijo suggests modifying the constancy of the speed of light postulate through what are called varying speed of light (VSL) theories. Unlike loop quantum gravity where slight variations of speed of light come in because of the discrete nature of their proposed space, VSL, or at least Magueijo, revels in intentionally rejecting the light postulate as a starting point, and does this for reasons not originally related to formulating a theory of quantum gravity. Magueijo the VSL theorist met up with Smolin the loop quantum gravity (LQG) theorist; together they combined their pursuits and got complicated new equations that limit down to the Lorentz transformations. But the postulates are, in our view, good and beautiful principles and do not need to be changed to remove the “evil” of length contraction and time dilation. Again, the Appendix contains our theory’s simple equations that remove length contraction and time dilation while holding on to the constancy of the speed of light and to clocks showing different times. All suggestions by LQG and VSL theorists that in the near future certain types of experiments may show a variation in the speed of light, with the speed being based on frequency of light, have not panned out and speed of light continues to stay perfectly constant. Einstein simply postulated it, leaving a door open for LQG and VSL speculation, but we explain why the speed of light will always be constant and close that door.
Smolin, Rovelli, Magueijo and all others believed that the postulates would need to be modified in order to keep a certain physical quantity (or quantities) the same for all observers. Our alternative equations, which we were looking to replace the Lorentz transformations with, would topple this dogmatic belief. We were happily alone in looking for a possible new theory whose equations would have Newtonian physics as a limiting case (and also maintain the Newtonian constancy of length), and that would entirely replace the Lorentz transformations rather than continue to maintain them as the foundation of the new equations must link to. Further, to repeat, we believe both the postulates of special relativity are physical reality and were looking to get new equations that would be consistent with both postulates i.e. without modifying the postulates in any way. If we succeeded, what would get the theory immediate recognition (we expected and hoped) was that, by finding such new equations which are consistent with the two postulates, we would have a counterexample to Einstein’s derivation. Existence of a counterexample would be immediate proof – no experiments needed – that Einstein’s reasoning that the two postulates necessarily imply the Lorentz transformations, was, in fact, wrong. We did succeed in finding a counterexample to Einstein’s derivation, exactly as we hoped. But then began a science vs. religion struggle against the blind worship of Einstein’s derivation, with the authorities of the church of physics employing evasion and suppression methodologies against the scientific reality of a counterexample.
The task we had taken on was to show that the link between the two postulates and the Lorentz transformations is not a valid one. Accepting Einstein’s derivation of the Lorentz transformations from the postulates, and not finding the unstated assumptions that form its basis, is where modern physics went wrong!
This book goes beyond physics and relativity into philosophy of science and sociology of science, and into comparison of scientific and religious dogma. Our interest in these developed as we interacted with physicists. We go into these matters for much of this remaining chapter, coming back to relativity specifics near its end and in the following chapters.
Let us return to Thomas Kuhn and his view of how science functions. We first examine two of the terms Kuhn made famous. Newtonian physics was an extraordinary and positive change, and Kuhn insightfully pointed out that it was “incommensurable” with what was before – it was a “paradigm shift” and a true revolution. However many, including Steven Weinberg, have expressed dissatisfaction with Kuhn’s philosophy of recurring “incommensurable” paradigm shifts. They argue that the situation changed past the major move from Aristotelian to Newtonian physics, and such “incommensurable” recurring shifts ended. Newtonian physics has shown itself to be a foundation that any future equations must limit down to, and indeed both the Lorentz transformations and our equations follow this foundation. So, rather than be “incommensurable” with future physics, all future physics has to precisely link to the equations of Newtonian physics. Thus it would seem that our own equations help demonstrate that such critics of Kuhn are right. But there is a problem with this argument being made against Kuhn’s thesis of recurring paradigm shifts, and our equations do not demonstrate what Kuhn’s critics believe but support Kuhn in that we again have a case of “incommensurable” physics. Weinberg notes that since Newton’s time, “Each new theory has preserved and even explained its predecessors as valid approximations in appropriate contexts.” Note that the equations of Newtonian mechanics had a reign of only 200 years, starting around 1700, showing how young a field physics in the form of mathematical equations is. Relativity is already over a 100 years old and today special relativity’s Lorentz transformations are what any new physics must be commensurable with. Indeed, even the rebels among those pursuing quantum gravity who would modify special relativity are working on any new equations having the Lorentz transformations as a limiting case. But the Lorentz transformations, and also all physics that limits down to the Lorentz transformations, their length contraction, time dilation and the four dimensional spacetime is not physical reality. Our equations are the physical reality. New equations having the Lorentz transformations as a limiting case would also all be wrong equations. So with the fall of relativity, which is a key foundation of present day physics, we will have the recurrence that Kuhn mentioned of upcoming new physics being “incommensurable” with present physics. Weinberg’s further attacking Kuhn by claiming (as quoted at the end of chapter 1) that for foundational theories their “equations … represent permanent accomplishments” would also be contradicted by the fall and incommensurability of the Lorentz transformations; not only do the Lorentz transformations not have the limiting case status of the equations of Newtonian physics but represent wrongness of new equations if these have them as a limiting case. Interestingly, the non-equation general principles of Galilean-Newtonian relativity and the special relativity principle of constancy of speed of light survive.
While there has been a lot of discussion of “incommensurable” and “paradigm shift” it would seem not enough attention has been paid to an examination of Thomas Kuhn’s analysis regarding the resort to “authority” being a characteristic that distinguishes science “from every other creative pursuit except perhaps theology.” In pointing to “authority” and “orthodoxy” as a common link between science and theology Kuhn notes: “As the source of authority, I have in mind principally textbooks of science together with both popularizations” and other works. Most college students majoring in physics would have already read popularizations of special relativity and been believers from a younger age, well before the textbook with the Lorentz transformations and their derivation from the postulates is put before them. Popularizations have already taught them to admire and accept Einstein’s flawed reasoning and in the next chapter we examine, as examples, popular books where the reasoning of Einstein’s derivation is drilled into the reader. Thus, already being believers makes it easy for college students to blindly memorize the formal derivation presented in the college textbook. In fact, biographical details of the physicists mentioned in this book, who are noted as indulging in suppression and evasion of the flaw of unstated assumptions made by Einstein that we point out, show that they had already been admirers of special relativity well before they formally mastered its technical details in college and then moved on to mastering general relativity. For example, Frank Wilczek tells us, “even in high school, I read Einstein’s books …”.
Physics and science are human enterprises in which faith, power, prejudices and groupthink are often in battle against facts and reason. Which side wins in a field of science can depend on the nature of authorities who have control, and the side that is right can be defeated by authorities. Those in charge can be like Max Planck (1858-1947) and others of his time who feel an ethical commitment to fact and reason; if this commitment overrides religion-like faith in the accepted texts then this would be a case of science and scientists objectively addressing issues that arise. Or those in charge can be like the high priests of today’s relativity worshipping church of physics who are determined to resist abandoning teaching their holy special relativity derivation and equations, just as high priests of other churches have traditionally been associated with resisting abandoning written text that is holy to them. There is no overall progress of behavior or methodology in science towards a lofty or ideal methodology and, in fact, the methodology and behavior can and does move downwards, depending on the nature of the authorities in control in a field. It is for this reason that scientific methodology does not and cannot climb to reach a permanently high plateau. Physics in the early 20th century was a shining beacon of lofty human behavior and open scientific debate but, soon after WWII, and continuing today into the 21st century, physics has been sinking deeper into the worst human behavior with dogma, evasion and suppression controlling physics more and more. Public relations has today emerged as the main expertise that determines which physics group will get the most funding, the most fame, and the most following within professional physics.
Besides Thomas Kuhn, the other major philosopher of science has been Karl Popper. There is a big debate about Popper versus Kuhn and their view on how science functions. Among the various available science fields, examining the behavior of physicists seems to have been the favorite of both Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn, and then this behavior was extrapolated to all of science. Karl Popper encountered physics when deep thinking by previously unknown truth seekers and open debate on these had become practice, and suppression, evasion and dogma were frowned upon. At that pre-WWII time in physics challenges to the accepted wisdom were openly published and addressed; thus Popper concluded that the nature of science is such that scientists like to challenge accepted theories. When Popper made his conclusions many scientists had been trying to refute Einstein’s relativity even as it was increasingly accepted; meanwhile, Einstein and others had been working on trying to refute quantum mechanics even as it was becoming widely accepted. On the other hand, Kuhn encountered science at a post-WWII time when dogmatic truth suppressors were (and in continuation still are) in power in physics and they were (and today even more strongly are) against publication and dissemination of anything that challenges the foundations of the accepted foundational theories, and particularly against dissemination of that which they would be unable to counter logically or empirically. With the physics crowd emulating these authorities, evasion and suppression of facts that challenge foundations became the scientific culture and special relativity was not to be questioned. Kuhn concluded that the last thing scientists like to do is to try to refute accepted theories. We believe that the key constant truth in both scenarios is that the accepted authorities in power in a field set the culture of science for that field. Regarding the debate on whether Popper or Kuhn was right, the fact is that both were right in correctly noting what the behavior of scientists was at the time they published their conclusions. The assumption by both Popper and Kuhn that the nature of science and the nature of the behavior of scientists is constant was where they were, in our opinion, wrong. Science and its methodology should be seen within the general reality of behavior of humans in positions of authority determining and causing shifts in behavior of organizations. The behavior of scientists is the behavior of the few who have come to hold power in fields of science, and saying that science behaves in this or that way is like saying government behaves in this and that way. History shows that the changes in the group of people who form a national government, or other long-living organization, can result in dramatically varying leaderships – from enlightened to truth-suppressors or worse. The argument regarding why the field of science has to be immune from substantial diversity of behavior over the course of time is not made by Kuhn, Popper or others. The way physics should ideally be, in our opinion, is the way it was in the early 20th century. But, again, given the nature of human control and how the masses follow those in power, there can be no permanence in scientific behavior. Today Kuhn’s version is accepted as being closer to the truth; it better describes how scientists behave today, and as we see in chapter 6, Kuhn’s model similarly applied better than the Popper model at Galileo’s time in physics. But in the early decades of the 20th century physicists behaved as Popper said they do and may do so again.
In debates about the nature of science vs. religion, which have become all the rage in recent decades, many scientists have taken the offensive and have been successfully convincing everyone that science and religion are actually the antithesis of each other. In chapter 6, we compare the behavior of science authorities and church authorities regarding Galileo and his telescope as an illustration that this is not the case. Again, the reality in all fields of human endeavor is that they behave in the way those in authority in the field behave, with the behavior of authorities always subject to the possibility of being swayed by causes such as dogma, attachment, egoism, groupthink and conflicting interests. Enlightened leaders certainly can set the tone for ideal pursuit of the scientific method within a field, but for this enlightened leaders are needed.
Whether scientific dogma becomes in practice greater than religious dogma depends entirely on the nature of the science authorities or religious authorities in control. Enlightened scientists are able to have a working methodology that keeps dogma in check, whereas when the unenlightened take helm in science, dogma rules. The positive role played in physics by idealistic Max Planck in making science of his time dogma-free in practice has perhaps not been studied as key in determining the methodology of science of his time, nor has the negative role played by Steven Weinberg, Frank Wilczek, Carlo Rovelli and others in causing the field of physics in their time to be ruled by dogma and power.
Yet, while noting that the nature of authorities is primary in what determines whether scientific dogma is greater in practice, there are other factors worth examining regarding the nature of scientific dogma vs. religious dogma. We will stick primarily to physics in the comparison below and sometimes use the case of special relativity to illustrate our comparison, though other science fields could also replicate such a situation. Planck is paraphrased as saying, “Science progresses from funeral to funeral.” Indeed, it is very hard for scientists to leave the foundational dogmas they have believed in, and they tend to become opponents of truths that are against their dogmas. This view of Planck does not go well with the public relations narrative that scientists are objective and priests are dogmatic. Yet Planck stated it openly, illustrating how he was the philosophically inclined pursuer of truth who could say potential truth that his colleagues would not like to hear. Indeed, as is widely noted by Einstein biographers, it was Planck, more than any other person, who quickly supported dissemination and discussion of Einstein’s 1905 paper. We believe that at this current time science dogma around special relativity is in practice greater than current religious dogma of traditional churches. We discuss below the motivations of scientists as well as their methodologies in practice of dogma.
What can cause scientific dogma to be greater than religious dogma? What can cause scientists to be more inclined than priests of traditional religions to suppress scientific truths and to also be better able to do so? We suggest below ten reasons:
Reason 1: Traditional churches may be more open to truths of nature that contradict their texts because these churches can often defend what is scientifically incorrect in their scriptures by simply reinterpreting the scripture or declaring certain text to have been metaphorical and not meant to have been taken literally. An example is the creation versus evolution debate. Pope Francis, accepting scientific reality, thus stated the new position of the church: “Evolution of nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation because evolution presupposes the creation of beings which evolve.” The religious scripture having a scientific statement here or there that comes under question does not shake the foundations which have messiahs, teachings, and literature text which as their core. Scientific statements are mostly on the periphery of the religious scripture, and are few and far between. Further, the scientific claim in religious scriptures is usually just conclusion, without a convincing intellectual paradigm built on some combination of reasoning and data that an army of great geniuses have examined, understood and built on. The traditional religious churches also do not have any scientific proof or logical fallacy, such as a counterexample, to their fundamental belief in a creator God, and are thus on far more unshakable ground regarding their God foundations. On the other hand, practitioners of science fields like physics, who often operate with similar lifetime devotion to the written text as do traditional religions, deal with equations that often leave no wiggle room, and come with attached reasoning showing those conclusions to be true. All this precise details does not allow a reinterpretation. Thus discovery of problems with the equations or conclusions in their texts, irrespective of whether these problems arise from empirical testing or flaws in the reasoning that led to them, can be fatal, and there may be great resistance to acknowledgment and dissemination of such fatal truths.
Aristotelian cosmology is an example of scientists, who had the full system with detailed arguments attached, having a stronger foundation to defend than when the same conclusion came from religious scripture, because the religious scripture came without this system. Scientists often think or say that they have “understood” the foundational reasoning when, in reality, they have only memorized it. Those who memorized religious scriptures were not called thinkers who understood the logic of why something is true, while scientists who memorized Aristotelian reasoning were considered experts and intellectual masters who “understood” his arguments. Einstein’s physics reasoning is also uncritically and faithfully memorized in the same way that much of Aristotelian physics reasoning was. With no reinterpretation possible, dogma brings evasion and suppression when logic and reasoning which physicists have come to fully accept is shown to be wrong. An excellent illustration of this behavior are our interactions, detailed in chapter 4, with five of today’s well known physicists – Steven Weinberg, Frank Wilczek, Gerard ‘t Hooft, Lee Smolin and Carlo Rovelli. In physics it can be more acceptable, and not fatal to those who built on old equations or other conclusions, if the newly realized truths have the old truth as a limiting case. What replaced Aristotelian cosmology did not have it as a limiting case, and that additionally was why it became more difficult for Aristotelian scientists to accept the replacement. The same scientific behavior is now happening with special relativity.
Reason 2: Scientists read the affirmations of other great scientists concurring with the revered foundational theory and read publications building on the foundational theory. With a growing number of great names praising and building on the theory, doubters become increasingly rare with time. In science, extreme reverence by experts for what a great scientist laid down, when it grows with repeated affirmations by other revered scientists who have spent their lives studying and building on those original foundations, can begin to exceed the reverence of a church priest for what is laid down in religious scriptures. Traditional religions do not have such repeat proclamations by great intellectuals, and have only the original words. Skepticism and openness to doubting can all vanish in time, with a theory in science becoming a greater shared dogma than any scriptural scientific statement. Special relativity rose to become such a theory.
Reason 3: Dogmatic scientific authorities are able to cement the faith of believers by creating confirmations through objective experimentation as well as through selective experimentation, and by selective conclusion made from experiments (one common unjustified special relativity conclusion being that an experiment showed that time itself dilates), whereas other churches cannot create new facts to support their scriptures. Whether experimentation or conclusion is objective can also depend on the authorities in charge.
Many of the theorists from particle physics, such as Steven Weinberg and Frank Wilczek, who seem to also be spin masters at pushing conclusions made from experiments, moved to various types of special and general relativity confirmations and to related cosmology experiments. Quarks are an experimentally confirmed part of particle physics, with Wilczek and Weinberg being leaders in their theory and related experimental matters. Steven Weinberg writes: “I cannot conceive how we could have made this progress or continued to make any other progress in elementary particle physics without the quark idea” and adds his view that “quarks are permanent parts of scientific knowledge that will survive all future revolutions” (italics mine). We don’t have anything against the quark idea, but the aggressive “I cannot conceive” can push people towards the demanded experimental conclusion and “permanent parts” further knocks out attempted future independent thinking or intellectually independent experimental conclusions. Weinberg responds to the very well argued book Constructing Quarks: A Sociological History of Particle Physics, by countering, “No one would give a book about mountain climbing the title Constructing Everest.“ That is because we can all see Mount Everest, without relying on trust in the objectivity of physicists who made the conclusions from experiments where the interpretation of data has never been openly available for study by those who may like to examine conclusions made by authorities. Books such as The Higgs Fake and Nobel Dreams: Power, Deceit and the Ultimate Experiment similarly point out how experimental conclusions can be made in favor of what aggressive theorists believe, and what to conclude from the experiment is a choice which is not necessarily objective. Physics authorities can possess an aggressive elbow that comes in handy in knocking away certain facts and reason that go against their beliefs, without intellectually addressing them. The authorities of the church are not happy that quasars are not showing special relativity’s time dilation and use their collective elbow to hide such objective experimental reality because they seemingly “cannot conceive” how that could be. The relativity worshipping church of physics decides which experiments and which experimental conclusions they choose to make, and which experiments and possible experimental conclusions they don’t like and will ignore or suppress.
Reason 4: Leading authorities, worshippers and preachers of traditional religions do not have their life’s own intellectual work, and that of their living or past colleagues and authorities whose intelligence they admire, become invalid if a passage or two from the religious text is shown to be wrong; passages in the scripture are not entangled with personal intellectual work or the personal intellectual work of those they know. The ego can highly motivate scientists to not want to see the truth that goes against what they supposedly fully understood and believed, and spent their life building on and publishing on. The more renowned the expert and the more applauded or outstanding the discoveries the scientist made building on the foundation theory, the greater the professional height there would be a fall from when the foundational theory falls. Individual scientists are not professionally motivated to begin a battle to bring down the work of celebrated colleagues who rule the field; the normal scientist might see it wise to pursue a good career under the renowned authorities and experts rather than be the subject of their wrath. Downfall of a foundational theory could mean the literal invalidation of the personal life work of a long line of living physicists, and it can be considered being human that they will hold hands and fight against such invalidation by any means necessary. Here, being human refers to their human ego, both individual and as a group. The nature of scientific work is that decades individually or collectively spent building on the foundational theory brings out the influence of natural human ego in resisting objectivity when faults in that foundation are exposed, and the result is that, naturally, scientific dogma is likely to be greater in practice than religious dogma.
Reason 5: Scientific dogma can in practice be a greater obstacle to pursuit of truth in that scientists can set up a peer review methodology in a way that they can use to can get away with suppressing scientific truth far more successfully than traditional churches; other churches do not have such a working methodology at hand that is available for such misuse. A major advantage that today’s church of physics has over other churches when it comes to science that challenges what is in their texts is that the authorities are the gatekeepers of science while authorities of other churches lack power in that they are not gatekeepers of science – at least not today – and thus cannot attempt suppression of scientific facts that go against what is in their texts. Today, the church of physics is able to prevent dissemination of scientific facts that challenge the foundations of special relativity. Meanwhile, other churches are forced to acknowledge scientific reality, which means they have to address, reevaluate or reinterpret what they have previously worshipped as being fact. The pope, for example, lacks the power to suppress and must acknowledge scientific facts, while science authorities can choose to suppress rather than address scientific facts against their dogmas. The reality today is that relativity worshipping physicists not only do not address any experimental truth or logic that would challenge their faith but have a working scientific methodology and a system that allows them to practice this professionally.
Scientists can, and today do, successfully use power and use colleagues in power at journals to ban alternative theories. Journals that, after peer review, publish work against the mainstream view have been black-listed by physics authorities as publishing crackpot papers, and so have their editors, and getting a paper published there is doom for the paper. The public hears the term “peer review” but the real requirement, at least at the current time in physics, is to work within the major foundational theory, rather than challenge it, or be blacklisted.
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Carlo Rovelli, among the greatest admirers of general relativity, talks of both special and general relativity in his books, noting that “Special relativity is a subtle and conceptually difficult theory. It is more difficult to digest than general relativity (italics mine)”. Special relativity is “subtle,” in our view, in that the physics question of what equations follow from the constancy of speed of light is subtle. And for us special relativity is “difficult to digest” because of its lack of rigor in providing the answer, thus allowing a counterexample to its derivation and, additionally, because of its lack of explanation for constancy of speed of light. Einstein stuck to the great dogma, seemingly started by Aristotle, of avoiding infinity in physics. Subtle is the Lord, as the title of Einstein’s acclaimed biography by Abraham Pais proclaims and, as we have shown, infinity is God’s subtle number that provides the explanation for the constancy of the speed of light.
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Wilczek further notes in his Nobel Prize lecture:
Quantum mechanics and special relativity are two great theories of twentieth-century physics. Both are very successful. But these two theories are based on entirely different ideas, which are not easy to reconcile. In particular, special relativity puts space and time on the same footing, but quantum mechanics treats them very differently. This leads to a creative tension, whose resolution has led to three previous Nobel Prizes (and ours is another).
And Wilczek notes the theoretical foundations of particle physics: “combining quantum mechanics and special relativity seemed to lead inevitably to quantum field theory [QFT].”
Wilczek spent many years staying in the house where Einstein lived; it might have been wise for him to also spend some years at Newton’s old house pondering how his physics did not have a space and time that was so dramatically incompatible with quantum mechanics, and whether special relativity was the only possible way to resolve the matter of speed of light.
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We differed philosophically regarding infinity and the physical world, and went back to 1905 and actually incorporated infinity as the means of explaining the constancy of speed of light, leading to new equations that would replace those of special relativity. Our theory has discrete motion for mass, but not discrete space with a minimum length; such minimum length is a path away from infinite divisibility, and we were not looking to escape the reality of the infinite in the physical world. And our path leads to the constancy of length and not having time itself dilating, thus avoiding these troubling incompatibilities with quantum mechanics.
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In founding special relativity, Einstein continued thinking along the ‘linear’ foundations of Newtonian physics and made the unstated assumption that velocity must be added the way Newton added them. We see that Einstein’s velocity addition is also ‘linear’ just as Newton’s was. Einstein failed to abandon this ‘linear’ thinking in Newton’s equations and thus failed to get the right equations. Newton did not have any information that would suggest that light is not obeying the common sense classical velocity addition, so there was no reason for him to think beyond the simple linear classical velocity addition and look for a new theory of velocity that would explain the constancy of speed of light. Einstein had the facts about the behavior of light but was unable to abandon the ‘linear’ velocity addition of classical physics, and built relativity on this continued ‘linear’ thinking. Einstein did not have a theory of velocity different from Newtonian and simply postulated the constancy of speed of light. As explained in chapter 1, we have a theory of velocity that abandons the ‘linear’ velocity addition of Newtonian physics and relativistic physics. For us, this abandonment of Newtonian velocity addition was key in explaining the constancy of speed of light.
You can skip the below technical paragraph if you wish, since following it is not necessary for continued reading.
There is a (ux ± v) term denoting simple ‘linear’ velocity addition that appears in both Newtonian physics and relativity. Let us look at the typical setup which considers two observers, You and Other, who are looking at a moving object. Other is moving at velocity v is the positive x-direction relative to You. If You see an object moving at velocity u how does Other see that object moving? In chapter 1 we looked at motion in a single line for simplicity but, of course, objects move in three dimensions. Velocity is a vector with a magnitude (value) and a direction, and a vector can be broken into components along x, y and z directions. ux represents x-component of the velocity u. Vector components are numbers with signs, and the sign given to individual components comes from the vector’s direction. Breaking vectors into components is a way to add or subtract vectors. It is the x-component, ux, from which v is added or subtracted, because v was assumed to also be in the x direction. Given that we took v to be in the positive x-direction, according to Newtonian physics (ignoring relativity) Other will see the x-component of velocity of the object to be u’x = (ux – v). In relativity this (ux – v) term also appears in its formula for u’x. In relativity (ux – v) itself is not the x-component of velocity as seen by Other but is still a linear velocity addition. In our theory velocity addition is not linear because from ux and v we get jumps per unit time N and those are what we add, as explained in the previous chapter. Thus we abandon the ‘linear’ velocity addition of Newtonian and relativistic physics.
The philosophy of time has an increasing number of books, articles, and video lectures about it nowadays, discussing the evolution of time from Newton to Einstein and their respective “time flow” and “time flow affected by motion.” Both these “time flow” concepts can be brought down using clock experiments; finally, emerging experimental reality is at hand to bring an end to centuries of mistaken philosophy. This wrong “time flow” philosophy, which states time to be an independent physical entity, came from Newtonian physics and then was built upon – not repudiated as philosophers and physicists say – by Einstein. Our focus is on the common Newton-Einstein philosophy regarding there being “time flow” and on the further Einsteinian modification that time itself dilates. Our time philosophy aligns back with the ancient pre-Newtonian philosophy that time does not flow as an independent physical entity; we agree with the philosophy that time is a measure of change and thus there needs to be some physical change for time to exist. We unite this ancient philosophy of time with the modern reality of the constancy of speed of light.
A favorite description by authors narrating the path from Newton to Einstein is that Einstein freed us from the “absolute time” of Newtonian physics. We would agree that this is true. But things are not that simple. While the Lorentz transformations, the equations of special relativity, do remove the “absolute time” flow of Newtonian physics, they preserve the concept of time flowing as an independent physical quantity. (We will address the matter of relativity’s spacetime later in the chapter.) Physicists summarize special relativity’s modification of Newtonian time flow with phrases such as, “Motion affects the flow of time.”
As discussed in chapter 1, special relativity addresses clocks in inertial frames (which are reference frames moving at constant velocity relative to each other). Einstein’s derivation claims to show that constancy of speed of light necessitates that all clocks in a frame, irrespective of clock mechanism, will show the exact same time dilation. This happens because Einstein’s derivation reasoned that time itself must dilate if the speed of light were to be constant for all observers; however, we have overturned that derivation. We have now shown that Einstein’s derivation that time itself must dilate and therefore the exact same time effect should hold for all clocks in a frame is not correct since, as explained previously, we have a counterexample to the derivation. Our alternative new equations, while incorporating the same constancy of light, show that for some clocks there will be the precise time dilation predicted by special relativity while for other clocks there will be no time dilation whatsoever. And it is not one or the other; depending on clock mechanisms you can have various magnitudes of time effects. This is because, in our theory, time itself does not dilate, and time does not even itself “flow” as an independent physical quantity; in our theory it is a clock’s mechanism that determines the observed time effect on a clock. Quasars are a type of clock that will see no time effect based on their motion, according to our equations, and this is now emerging as telescope-observed reality that violates the time dilation of special relativity.
Let us now examine Einstein’s reasoning connecting velocity and time, from which he made the conclusion that “Motion affects the flow of time.” This conclusion about time has two parts. To analyze the possible cause and effect in “motion affects” we look at the philosophical and logical connections between time and speed; further, the Newtonian physics concept of “flow of time” itself needs examination.
Einstein followed this seemingly infallible logic: since speed=distance/time the only way speed of light would remain the same when measured by different moving observers is if there existed formulas by which distance and time measurements changed between the reference frames of these observers. We quote from the book The Evolution of Physics by Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld pp. 195-6: “If the velocity of light is the same in all [coordinate systems], then moving rods must change their length, moving clocks must change their rhythm, and the laws governing these changes are rigorously determined … there is no other way.” The “laws” are the Lorentz transformations and Einstein’s derivation purported to show these equations to be “rigorously determined” and show that “there is no other way.” At the church of physics the believers sing in chorus that the “law” regarding length contraction and time dilation has been “rigorously determined” and “there is no other way.” Einstein’s conclusion and logic is unanimously accepted by physicists to be correct, and through popular books they teach this conclusion and logic to the general public. Lee Smolin discusses this logic in his book, The Trouble with Physics:
The key is that we do not measure speed directly. Speed is a ratio: It is a certain distance per a certain time. The central realization of Einstein is that different observers measure a photon [light] to have the same speed, even if they are moving with respect to each other, because they measure space and time differently. Their measurements of time and distance vary from each other in such a way that one speed, that of light, is universal.
Einstein’s above conclusion that for different observers to measure light to have the same speed it is necessary that observers measure lengths in space differently and measure time differently was wrong. We can argue that if we rearrange and put time=distance/speed then speed is no longer a ratio and time becomes the ratio, and then it is time and not speed that we can supposedly claim to not measure directly. The relationship between time and speed and whether one, and which one, should be considered the primary physical quantity is an interesting philosophical question. Time, and not speed, being a primary quantity is a dogma that we explicitly rejected in chapter 1. There we gave our simple reasons why, in our theory, we “have velocity and not time as the quantity we prefer to work with as a starting point.” Philosophically, we believe that change (such as that represented by velocity) is associated with the very existence of time rather than time flowing independently of anything else, and that philosophy affected our choice of what we start with: velocity (change) or time. And this different philosophy yielded different equations! The physics reality is that through our theory’s equations, we are able to explain the constancy of speed of light without observers measuring length of objects differently and without time itself dilating. The reasoning about the necessary implications of speed=distance/time is thus shown to be wrong. This unstated and wrong assumption about speed and time was central to Einstein’s thinking.
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. . . In fact, no equation of Newtonian physics necessitates that time is an independent quantity that “flows” at a constant pace. This statement would be surprising to many readers, since it contradicts what they have read in textbooks and popular science books that detail the path from Newtonian physics to special relativity.
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There is no doubt that t’ = t equation holds true in classical physics and we have different observers measuring the same time for the same event. But our interpretation does not take the absolute time of Newtonian physics to have meant that time itself “flows” as an independent physical quantity. We could attempt to make a similar statement about observers in different frames and relativity’s relative time flow; however, in relativity time necessarily is an independent physical quantity and we have actual time dilation.
Our alternative interpretation of time in Newtonian physics, which goes against the conclusory Principia statement regarding time, is a philosophical interpretation that is fully consistent with the equations of Newtonian physics. One can either simply go with the Principia statement from Newton or one can try to understand the physics of time through possible interpretations that Newton’s equations allow. Physics authors have unanimously chosen the former when it comes to classical physics and time.
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. . . In physics classrooms professors write out Einstein’s derivation, which is based on flawed logic, to show that it necessarily follows from constancy of light that time itself dilates, and the light clock is their illustration. Our equations which form a counterexample to this taught derivation are definitive proof of its flawed logic and its wrong claim that it is necessary that time itself must dilate!
If it was time itself that was dilating, as it does in special relativity, then all clocks being compared between the observers’ frames would necessarily record the same dilation. Again, in our theory time itself does not dilate. In particular the equations of our theory state that there will be no measured time variance whatsoever when one looks at an event that involves emission of light from a source and in which the source is observed to be moving along the same line of motion as the light emitted by the source. For observers on Earth, cosmic clocks such as quasars match both criteria; these objects are being observed to show no time dilation in a clear violation of special relativity’s time dilation. Technically, taking the relative motion between source and observer to be in the x-direction, this corresponds to observed light (using symbols as in chapter 1) having ux = c and our theory correctly predicts that in such a case we will have t’ = t. Note that this case of light moving along the direction of relative motion between source and observer is different from the light clock where light is moving in a perpendicular direction. In the light clock the photon of light is bouncing back and forth between two mirrors in a direction that is perpendicular to the x-direction of motion of the source relative to the observer, and for the light clock we have ux = 0 and uy = c. In the case of the light clock both theories correctly give t’ = gamma-factor • t, but special relativity incorrectly says that this time relation should hold irrespective of clock mechanism. (Our paper in the Appendix has full technical details).
Consider the famous traincar-and-platform thought experiment commonly used to illustrate the implications of special relativity. This thought experiment consists of one observer midway inside a speeding traincar and another observer standing on the platform as the train moves past. A flash of light is given off at the center of the traincar just as the two observers pass each other. The observer onboard the train sees the front and back of the traincar at fixed distances from the source of light and as such, according to this observer, the light will reach the front and back of the traincar at the same time (simultaneously). The observer standing on the platform, on the other hand, sees the rear of the traincar moving (catching up) toward the point at which the flash was given off and the front of the traincar moving away from it. As the speed of light is finite and the same for all observers, the light headed for the back of the train will have less distance to cover than the light headed for the front. Thus, special relativity notes, the observer on the platform will see the flashes of light strike the ends of the traincar at different times (and the event of light striking the ends will appear non-simultaneous to this observer). Again, in our theory, different observers can measure different times but not in this specific case. Here the light will be seen by both to strike the ends of the traincar simultaneously because here we again have a case of light moving along the direction of relative motion between source and observer. We have ux = c and thus we will have t’ = t.
We believe the above thought experiment can, using today’s technology, actually be implemented in a tabletop form. The tabletop traincar will not have to travel at extraordinarily high speed because the other devices in the experiment can be cameras, and high speed cameras today can take pictures at very high number of frames per second.
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New Scientist reported in an article titled Time waits for no quasar – even though it should:
Using observations of nearly 900 quasars made over periods of up to 28 years, Hawkins compared patterns in the light between quasars about 6 billion light years from us with those at 10 billion light years away.
All quasars are broadly similar … So one would expect that a brightness variation on the scale of, say, a month in the closer group would be stretched to two months in the more distant group.
[Article quotes Hawkins:] “To my amazement, the [light signatures] were exactly the same … There was no time dilation in the more distant objects.”
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Is relativity one big conspiracy? No, the behavior of named physicists and their related fear of truth and evasion of truth is associated with the nature of dogma and unshakable belief. As detailed in chapter 2 and illustrated historically in chapter 6, scientific dogma often is greater than religious dogma. Thus science often behaves worse than a church would behave. Then, in our view, the proper question is whether churches sometimes hide or ignore truth that goes against their teachings. The behavior of churches has not been constant in history, and varies with the nature of the authorities in power.
The news is filled with special relativity time dilation tests year after year, announcing it has been confirmed to greater and greater precision. Muon is a subatomic particle that has been tested multiple times to give a change in its average lifetime which is as predicted by the time dilation formula of special relativity. The church of physics tests on atomic clocks and subatomic particles again and again, and they keep verifying time dilation with these to more and more decimal places. But the risk to special relativity is from clocks outside the atomic and subatomic group.
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The most common clocks in use today have an oscillating quartz crystal cut in the shape of a tuning fork. Tuning forks are used in physics labs as they produce excellent vibrations with fixed frequencies that depend only on the dimensions and properties of the material. One would think a tuning fork would not be substantially affected by motion of the clock it is a part of. Let us use these quartz tuning fork clocks to examine special relativity’s time dilation. T formula of this tuning fork clock shows T depending on: (1) dimensions (2) density and (3) elasticity. Density is mass/volume and elasticity of metals refers to the ability to return to original shape after distortion.
Dimensions of the tuning fork will undergo special relativity’s length contraction parallel to the direction of motion. Density depends on volume which would be affected by length contraction in special relativity. But T’ must always somehow come to vary to exactly match the time dilation gamma-factor of special relativity. If orientation relative to direction of motion is changed then dimensions and density will be variably affected, which is an additional problem. Elasticity is a property of the material and would not be varying substantially on motion, and certainly not in a specific formulaic way involving velocity that would be a requirement to make the formula conform to the needs of special relativity. How can dimensions, density, and elasticity necessarily change in sync to give the needed T’? We cannot sweep the matter under the rug by saying that the T’ formula stops being applicable when the tuning fork is at high speed, because T’ must similarly change for low and medium speed too, so as to precisely match special relativity’s gamma-factor. We do not see any possible path for the needed relationship between T and T’ emerging from the time period formula of this clock. And this is not our invented thought clock but is actually the clock that is most common today.
Einstein was always trying to trip quantum mechanics by conjuring up thought experiments or setups where it would fail. One can think up all types of clock mechanisms that would not be affected by uniform motion between frames in a way that matches special relativity’s time dilation formula.
Mathematically, relativity says T for all clocks must always vary in a certain way, and using its time dilation formula we can calculate T’, without need for further analysis. However, since we are talking physics, we have to worry further and go into physical mechanism. It certainly is an extraordinary physics burden in relativity that all clocks, despite their diverse T formulas, must align together so as to make the ratio between T and T’ always come out to the gamma-factor. Physicists ignore this matter of diverse clock mechanisms or evade it.
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The most sophisticated quartz clocks now have an accuracy of 1 second in 600 years. The other part of the experiment is speed. The higher the relative speed the greater the time effect available for measurement . . . There is flying ability available that can carry a pair of clock mechanisms: atomic and quartz crystal – and check whether they go out of sync at high speeds. The atomic clocks mechanism gives the time dilation of special relativity but, for reasons discussed above, we would not expect the above quartz crystal clock mechanism (based on quartz crystal cut in the shape of a tuning fork) to match that result; we predict that the clocks will be measured to go out of sync.
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In special relativity length and time are distorted as one looks out at relatively moving celestial bodies in the universe. God, in our theory, keeps the celestial shapes undistorted. Further, in our theory, the cosmic clocks in our expanding universe would not have the distortion of special relativity’s time dilation and would blink and flicker at the same rate. The physical power of infinity keeps the speed of light the same for all observers while also keeping observations of the celestial universe, both in length and time, the same for all.
Our paper was completed in January 2005 and was rejected by journal editors, mostly without comments on specifics, with our final attempts being in 2018. This is a history of that evasion and rejection, with some renowned names involved.
Peer review is the process by which the editor of a journal sends the paper to referees (with names of referees not publicly revealed). The referee would typically be a professor specializing in the topic. The editor can also make a decision on his or her own, without sending the paper to referees; in practice, this is often done when the decision is a negative one.
Many times a famous name can become involved in a publication decision. Albert Einstein was known for having supported the publication of potentially revolutionary papers by unknown authors, as was Max Planck who published Einstein’s special relativity paper. Addressing facts and reason was the working methodology in physics before WWII, and a recommendation by famous physicists to reject a paper would be for stated reasons. Evasion of the kind we encountered from famous names has not been standard physics practice; traditionally, scientists would give a reason. The nature of a field of science, as we have discussed earlier, varies with the nature of the authorities in charge.
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Most of the people mentioned below have great expertise with special relativity; these include the three Nobel Prize winners we quote below – whose expertise partly comes from quantum field theory (QFT) which is built to be consistent with special relativity. Others included those who had themselves had been working on possible modifications of special relativity as part of their pursuit of quantum gravity (uniting relativity with quantum mechanics).
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Our paper was then submitted to Annals of Physics Editor and physics Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek on May 2, 2005:
Dear Esteemed Professor Wilczek:
… I share your great admiration for the works of Albert Einstein. However, Einstein wrongly thought that his equations are the only ones that can be shown to follow from his two postulates. My theory presents an interesting alternative …
We got this intermediate email from journal administrator:
Submissions are normally made through our publisher, Elsevier, via the submission tool at their site: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/aop and I look forward to receiving your paper through that site. I will log your ms. and assign a number, however, so that if you prefer to wait to do this until Prof. Wilczek had made a decision regarding publication, you may do so.
Eve Sullivan for ANNALS OF PHYSICS
And then Sullivan sent the rejection decision on May 21:
The editor has reviewed your paper and finds it to be too speculative. Thank you for having given us the opportunity of considering it. There is no further report.
“Too speculative” is seemingly a term available to editors looking to reject potentially revolutionary papers that they do not like, without sending them to referees. Again, looking at our argument above regarding Einstein publishing his arguably more speculative paper, what has changed in physics?
A 2020 Wall Street Journal article by Wilczek has as the title the question, Could Einstein Get Published Today? Wilczek answers: “[I]t probably wouldn’t be publishable in a scientific journal today … It might not even get past the first editors to be sent out to referees.” He elaborates: “Scientific journals and institutions have become more professionalized … an all-but-inevitable consequence of the explosive growth of modern science … and outsiders face entry barriers at every turn.”
We believe that the nature of a field of science can vary dramatically in different periods, and physics today is far more dogmatic than it was in Einstein’s time. Political and social power and interests centered around relativity have a big role in physics today. In Einstein’s time pursuit of scientific truth was paramount in professional physics. On the other hand, physics today is a relativity worshipping church that evades facts and reason that are against special relativity and wants to hide these.
Wilczek goes on to explain that the physics peer review system is still fine and Einstein would eventually have successfully published. But in which journal? . . . Wilczek, Weinberg and others hide the reality of their power to evade and suppress, which power pre-WWII physics authorities did not exercise and did not allow others to exercise. Physics now has a system where journals and media hide experimental and theoretical problems with special relativity: its time dilation and its central derivation. Special relativity is a foundation Weinberg, Wilczek and many other physics authorities have become famous building on; their power and their role in preserving special relativity has been key in keeping their own work intact through their lifetime.
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Wilczek cites books by Sabine Hossenfelder, John Horgan and others and counter-argues:
I get asked about these books and their dismal messages frequently … For theoretical physicists they are a kind of reproach, since they argue that today’s physics has gotten itself into a dead-end … What’s going on here? Opinions may differ about the current health of physics, but … 20th-century breakthroughs … relativity … our theoretical understanding reached a very high plateau … a pinnacle of human achievement …When you have reached a high plateau, ascending still higher gets more difficult … Really, the plateau we’ve reached is a good place to be (italics mine).
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The dramatic problem with modern physics has been that its two main theories – relativity and quantum mechanics – are incompatible with each other. That itself should have been cause for caution regarding the extraordinary confidence in relativity. Special relativity, in our view, needs to be foundationally replaced and we have the replacement. But those foundations are sacred to Wilczek and other authorities. Our paper points to specific theoretical and experimental clouds over special relativity, which specifics physicists in power want to hide. Dogmatic physics authorities, who cannot counter these specifics, have turned physics into a power and suppression game.
Quantum gravity has been failing because it aims to unite relativity with quantum mechanics, while also preserving the foundations of both. Authorities will not allow a toppling of the special relativity foundations, and the universe will not change its laws because of the wishes of our physics authorities.
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Telescopes and their observations were in news. While browsing about telescope observations of celestial bodies in 2014, we discovered that quasars had failed special relativity’s time dilation all the way back in 2001! That further dramatically shook our trust in the objectivity of the physics powers-that-be when it comes to special relativity. We would have been armed much better in fighting for publication of the paper, and in countering those citing the perfect experimental record of special relativity, had we known this result.
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The paper was submitted to Foundations of Physics in November 2014, with a letter addressed to ‘t Hooft.
We got the below rejection email:
… I regret to inform you that the editors had to conclude that this work is not suitable for publication in Foundations of Physics.
Gerard ‘t Hooft, Editor in Chief
Specific comments from a member of the Editorial Board:
The author of this manuscript fails to make clear how his/her work relates to current discussions in the foundations of physics. Regrettably, this fact places the current submission outside the scope of Foundations of Physics.
This is displayed by a lack of references to recent literature.
Professor ‘t Hooft – The most recent reference mentioned in my submitted paper was the 2010 Quasars paper, where quasars are not showing Time Dilation. There should have been vigorous discussion of this experimental failure of Special Relativity in physics journals. But since today’s editors and authors are relativity-worshippers there is no such discussion.
From later correspondence with ‘t Hooft it seemed that the “editorial board” had entirely handled the submission and ‘t Hooft was not personally involved, though he seemed to have looked at the issue after we connected by email. These later emails were about the physics matter itself and were not regarding the submission to his journal. A couple of ‘t Hooft emails are mentioned in early chapters, and we quote further here from the times ‘t Hooft engaged with us on some technical matters regarding the paper.
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As part of continued correspondence, we got this thoughtful email from ‘t Hooft on Nov 25, 2017:
… check the group property: L1 . L2 = L3, or, what happens when you add 3 velocities …
PS My arguments for not accepting the paper would still be as they were.
He thought he now had a technical victory punch against our alternative and thus added the PS regarding the 2014 paper rejection. Again, his name had been signed in the rejection but they were likely not his arguments to begin with because the paper rejection statement (above) was, frankly, too stupid to have been written by him; further, there were no technical points there whatsoever.
You point to group property regarding three velocities as a comparison. But please note that relativistic velocity addition is NOT a group operation because it is not associative. While all textbooks on relativity give the three-dimensional relativistic velocity addition, they almost never point out that these formulas – except when velocities are collinear – are neither associative nor commutative. This fact about relativistic velocity addition is not widely known, for details see …
We pointed to two references showing the above statement – a common online article on finer details of special relativity’s velocity addition formula and a book titled Analytic Hyperbolic Geometry and Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity – and noted:
Our velocity addition formulas also satisfy the properties of closure, identity and inverse that relativistic velocity addition does.
‘t Hooft seems to have conceded that objection, and in any case our reply can be checked to be correct.
The last email we received from ‘t Hooft was on Dec 9, 2017 where he said: “[Y]ou shouldn’t formulate the laws of relativity by guessing velocity addition rules.” We replied: “You ignore the advantages of my equations that I listed. You can call my equations a ‘guess’ since there is no derivation, but I would rather have a correct guess than have a mistaken derivation, to which a counterexample exists, as the foundation.”
. . . Foundations of Physics . . . editorial board had three names who had themselves been looking to modify special relativity: Carlo Rovelli who was editor in chief, Lee Smolin and Alan Kostelecký. In chapters 2 and 3, we have discussed our work and compared it with theirs.
Rovelli and Smolin were highly conversant with the matter of discrete versus continuous and the need to modify properties of special relativity such as its length contraction. They were also experts on the matter of time, having written entire books on it.
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We wrote again on May 15:
Rejecting the paper without addressing the specifics is not acceptable peer review methodology, particularly given the multiple editorial board members with expertise in modifications of special relativity. Why are your papers – and that of your colleagues – on possible modifications on special relativity publishable but not mine? It certainly is not a matter of experimental testability because my paper is clearly superior in that respect. Why does the editorial policy of “severe restraint” regarding “relativity” not disallow these other publications?
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Our final email regarding the submission was sent on Jun 3, 2018:
I appeal to the Editorial Board of Foundations of Physics …
Your journal describes itself to be the “leading journal for controversial issues concerning the foundations of modern physics” which “welcomes papers on issues such as the foundations of special and general relativity.”
We have a contradiction between the journal mission statement and the “severe restraint” rejection concerning special relativity.
Carlo Rovelli: You are an expert on possible modifications on special relativity, and my paper cites your papers on the topic. You note that “The worst enemies of knowledge are … those who would never accept their certainties to be questioned” and “the credibility that science enjoys rely on the intellectual honesty of the scientists.” I urge you to publish the paper, or give a reason for rejection. I have read your books and my upcoming book will discusses some of what Lee Smolin and you have written about possible special relativity modifications, and will discuss how these compare to my alternative. I count on your scientific integrity to address the paper on its merits, noting your words that “we scientists live out of public money and it is our duty to be fully honest in reporting.”
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Of course, Rovelli and Smolin imply in their writings that the two of them are like the objective scientists of the past they admire so much. There has been much criticism of the ways of string theorists by Rovelli and Smolin, and they are the physicists the two of them would have topmost in mind when making statements such as the ones quoted above. But politics, power, evasion and suppression seem to increasingly be part of leadership of all physics groups. If loop quantum gravity or string theory had made a correct experimental prediction they would have contacted their favorite journalists and the news would echo across the world. But the quasars time dilation failure is against both the original and proposed modified versions of special relativity, except for our alternative to it. Nobody in physics wants to discuss this published observation regarding time.
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The public also seems to be realizing that the scientists of today are not honest like the physicists from the pre-WWII era they know of. Stephen Hawking complains, “The low esteem in which science and scientists are held is having serious consequences.” One of Rovelli’s books has this promotional praise from Lee Smolin: “At this point in time, when the prestige of science is at a low … Carlo Rovelli gives us a necessary reflection on what science is, and where it comes from.”
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For how many more decades will physicists waste their lives dogmatically building on what is not reality by refusing to replace special relativity?
Special relativity is the foundation upon which general relativity is built. Since the Lorentz transformations of special relativity are not reality, Minkowski spacetime reformulation of these cannot be reality and, in turn, the curved spacetime of general relativity, which is founded on this, cannot be reality.
We have toppled general relativity by taking out its special relativity foundations. However, we do not have a new theory of gravity. A theory of gravity to replace Newtonian gravitational theory was needed because Newtonian theory makes wrong predictions even within our solar system. A further theoretical problem with Newtonian gravity was that gravity was instantaneous whereas we have a speed of light limit in special relativity (and in our theory.) That Newtonian gravity can be reinterpreted to have the speed of gravity be equal to the speed of light is, arguably, a possibility (though some would challenge that and say it cannot be done without substantial problems arising). However, the key victory of general relativity over Newtonian gravity was in making the right predictions within our solar system.
Many Popular versions paraphrase physicist John Wheeler to give a short essence of general relativity: “Matter tells space how to curve, and curved space tells matter how to move.” (Wheeler properly used the rigorous term “spacetime,” rather than space.) Physically general relativity has been pictured in popular versions by a rubber sheet which represents space and a mass that curves the sheet.
The showdown between Newtonian gravity and general relativity occurred during a solar eclipse in 1919, and media coverage of that result made Einstein a celebrity overnight. Newtonian gravity had light bending by half the amount that was predicted by general relativity. Simply having differences in the amount of bending would be too boring a story for the public; the press skipped that key detail and even today many, if not most, physicists and media skip that detail when they transmit the 1919 history to the public. They suggest “mass bending light,” was an extraordinary and revolutionary Einsteinian idea, rather than state that only the degree of bending of light differed in Newtonian gravity. That the sun bends space would indeed be extraordinary and revolutionary, and that was taken to have been “indirectly” confirmed in 1919. However, there is actually nothing about light bending that requires mass to curve space, since Newtonian gravity gave a bending of light too.
There was another key victory for general relativity within the solar system. The perihelion (which means the orbital point closest to the Sun) of Mercury was not behaving in a way consistent with Newtonian gravity. The existence of a planet, Vulcan, between the sun and mercury was theorized to explain this. Such is the power of belief that, from time to time, observers kept reporting telescopic sightings of Vulcan. But it does not exist. General relativity was able to precisely explain the observations
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Let us critically examine the experimental status of general relativity by itself, forgetting, for a moment, about problems with the correctness of the Lorentz transformations of special relativity, which problems alone would topple general relativity. We particularly examine the common repeat claims in books and articles written by physicists that general relativity has passed all experimental tests. We concentrate on two wide aspects: dark matter and curvature of space (or spacetime).
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If there is no dark matter then general relativity is a wrong theory and all those additional bells and whistles in its favor will not save it. No number of experiments can prove a theory right but a single contradiction to its key foundations or predictions can prove it wrong.
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After the first detection of gravitational waves, LIGO pointed to methodologies used to ensure that what was detected was not noise, including:
[LIGO’s inbuilt] PEM sensor network would easily detect any electromagnetic signal … external observatories were also checked for natural or human-generated electromagnetic signals … Although cosmic ray events are not expected to produce coincidences between detectors … cosmic ray rates at the LIGO-Hanford site and external detectors around the world were low and exhibited no unusual fluctuations at the time of the event.
However, LIGO is a unique and extraordinarily sensitive detector that can seemingly detect all types of waves and particles, while these other detectors would only notify of electromagnetic ranges and particles they were designed to detect.
A further LIGO claim is regarding events such as that in August 2017 which was supposed to be a neutron star merger that produced both gravitational and electromagnetic waves. This event with two types of waves would be a confirmation that what LIGO detected was not noise but an actual event that can be independently confirmed. In this event, LIGO detected gravitational waves while simultaneously, 2 seconds later, independent telescopes detected electromagnetic waves. But how do we know what LIGO detected were also not electromagnetic waves or noise, as LIGO would term such? Again, telescopes only detect the electromagnetic ranges they are designed to but LIGO, on the other hand, can seemingly detect all ranges of electromagnetic noise. Further, over the following weeks, this merger kept producing various ranges of electromagnetic waves, which were detected by observatories designed for different ranges; thus diverse electromagnetic radiation seems to be a possible feature of such events. We believe it quite likely that for the first 2 seconds the merger produced electromagnetic waves outside the range of other observatories. There were other problems too with the August 2017 event.
Sabine Hossenfelder notes . . . Alexander Unzicker similarly writes regarding that event . . .
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Gravitational waves are weakly interacting and comparing space and Earth detections of these would not produce the kind of differences that electromagnetic waves and other particles incident on the Earth would, in space vs. Earth detection comparisons. Thus by comparing space vs. Earth detections of supposed gravitational wave detections we can confirm that electromagnetic and particle noise is not what is being detected. Also, with a detector in space, the possibility of Earth-based coincidental noise at detectors will be gone.
Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) is a proposed European Space Agency space probe to detect gravitational waves. It is not over yet regarding gravitational waves, and the conclusion made regarding LIGO having measured gravitational waves may have been premature. We predict that the conclusion from the comparison of space vs. Earth detections will then be that what was being detected by Earth gravitational wave detectors was not a gravitational wave.
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General relativity has a curved spacetime based on a 4-dimensional geometry. This curvature of space (or spacetime) should be measurable. How do we directly measure the curvature of space? . . . light rays in flat space would remain parallel, whereas in curved space (or spacetime) they would diverge away from each other or converge towards one another. By focussing on light reaching us from very far away objects we can make a determination . . .
The cosmic microwave background (CMB) has visible distant “patches” or “spots” and their size has been measured to determine flatness. Physicists now largely accept, based on experimental data from high precision measurements by Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) and by the Planck satellite, that the universe is flat within a 0.4% margin of error. Parallel light rays in our universe stay parallel, and there is no hint of the exotic geometry of general relativity being reality.
Publicly, physics professors will confidently preach that general relativity has experimentally passed all tests. But where is the curvature of space? Privately, with the assurance that their name will not be divulged, general relativity experts can give a clear unequivocal view that lack of curvature is a serious negative for the theory. A professor from a top university, quoted in chapter 1, whose life-long specialty has been general relativity emailed regarding this clash of its curved spacetime with reality: “There is no experimental evidence, I believe, that our space-time is not conformally flat.” Being objective in addressing the zero curvature reality and being a traditionalist on options that need to be pursued, he was himself inclined to suggest the need for a replacement theory.
The book compares scientific dogma and religious dogma, using the Galileo matter and Sirohi’s own experience, and shows that the former is often stronger than the latter. At Galileo’s time the church was much more open to addressing empirical evidence and pursuing emerging truths of nature than were the scientists who effectively worshipped Aristotle. Similarly, most physicists today are worshippers of special relativity. Physics authorities religiously teach students a wrong derivation, hiding the counterexample; further, above observational relativity violation is not covered by physics texts, media or popular science writers. Included is a science fiction chapter about a planet where the Church of Physics defeats God-believing religions and becomes the main faith and religion.
The world is pervaded by the general impression that readiness to overthrow accepted beliefs about the physical universe based on empirical or other objective evidence is the scientific mindset and sticking to dogmatic beliefs stated in texts is the religious mindset. The Galileo case is often used to illustrate this difference: the story of a pioneer from the scientific establishment prosecuted by the church establishment. Many writing on the philosophy of science or on the claimed historical conflict between science and religious dogma cite this famous case of the scientist prosecuted by the church. It is also often stated that, as part of church establishments’ practice of dogma, there was a requirement that scientific matters which contradicted scripture be considered hypothesis only and not stated as being factually correct. We examine the conclusions about adherence to dogma by the church establishment vs. scientific establishment based on this famous case, as well as other related information.
Galileo attacked Aristotelian teachings on multiple fronts including motion, flotation and, the most famous matter, cosmology, which part also contradicted church scriptures.
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The Aristotelian model had the Earth as the unmoving center of the universe, with planets and the sun circling it in uniform circular motion. As observations of planets became more accurate, the Aristotelian geocentric model ran into trouble.
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Dedicating the book to the pope, Copernicus writes in the preface the role such encouragement played:
To His Holiness, Pope Paul III,
I can readily imagine, Holy Father … they will shout that I must be immediately repudiated together with this belief … Those who know that the consensus of many centuries has sanctioned the conception that the earth remains at rest … because of their dullness of mind they play the same part among philosophers as drones among bees …
The scorn which I had reason to fear on account of the novelty and unconventionality of my opinion almost induced me to abandon completely the work which I had undertaken. But while I hesitated for a long time and even resisted, my friends drew me back. Foremost among them was the cardinal of Capua, Nicholas Schönberg, renowned in every field of learning. Next to him was a man who loves me dearly, Tiedemann Giese, bishop of Chelmno, a close student of sacred letters as well as of all good literature. For he repeatedly encouraged me and, sometimes adding reproaches, urgently requested me to publish … to make my work available for the general use of students of astronomy. The crazier my doctrine of the earth’s motion now appeared to most people, their argument ran, so much the more admiration and thanks would it gain after they saw the publication of my writings dispel the fog of absurdity by most luminous proofs. Influenced therefore by these persuasive men and by this hope, in the end I allowed my friends to bring out an edition of the volume, as they had long besought me to do.
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In internet search about Copernicus, the biography details that come up at mainstream websites almost always point to Georg Joachim Rheticus as the one who encouraged him to write his book, with Bishop Giese as the rare additional detail. This is despite the above preface that Copernicus wrote where Giese is clearly credited with encouraging and Rheticus is not even mentioned.
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These ideological writers have successfully diverted credit to Rheticus . . .
The church it seems had varying policies depending on those who were in power, as well as on external and internal pressures, and also other causes unique to individuals involved; based on such considerations their previous liberal attitude changed. Indeed, as we discuss in early chapters, science also varies in its practices, depending on those in power and the prevalent pressures on scientists. This common variation in science and religion undercuts the premise of the nature of science versus the nature of religion and shows how they both vary with the nature of the humans heading the group.
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To examine from a wider view the case of there being an inherent conflict between the nature of science and the nature of religion let us diversify far outside Europe.
Let us go to India, both at Copernicus’s time and today more religious than Europe, and where they were also pondering cosmology.
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While Western science writers will typically choose to ignore non-Western achievements, we must here acknowledge and give credit to Steven Weinberg, whose writings are often attacked in this book, for accepting historical truth in his field of particle physics, and not shutting out contributions of ancient non-Western science. He notes in the preface of his 1992 book, Dreams of a Final Theory that “Atomism has roots in Indian metaphysics that go back even earlier than Democritus and Leucippus (italics mine).” This note by Weinberg is a particularly rare individual attempt at accuracy from a Western writer of popular science, the rarity of it being evidenced by the fact that even after Weinberg’s acknowledgment, and the easy availability of this acknowledgment at internet sources, others writing popular physics choose not to address the existence of such reality. They do not deny it or challenge it, but practice suppression of truth by ignoring it entirely, and continue to publish the Western-centered narrative of Democritus and Leucippus as being the first to propose atomism.
Carlo Rovelli is one such culprit, as can be seen from his 2016 book, Reality Is Not What It Seems . . .
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Also admirable was the role of royalty in their bold support of Tycho and Galileo in the pursuit of new cosmologies that went against the texts of Aristotelian physics. Galileo wrote to royalty advertising his discoveries and found interest. Such royalty – with titles of king, duke, and duchess – were applauding these pioneers by supporting them with funds. In August 1610 Galileo bragged in a reply to Kepler, “You, dearest Kepler, ask me for other witnesses. I will mention the grand duke of Tuscany, who, a few months ago, observed the Medicean Stars [moons of Jupiter] with me at Pisa, and generously rewarded me …” And we will return below to further correspondence between Galileo and royalty.
Now we turn to the second of the four groups – church authorities and the leading university affiliated with the church, the Collegio Romano.
Many of the scientists associated with the church were Jesuits, with the name derived from Jesus. The Jesuits were a religious order under the authority of the Vatican and the pope, and as a group were distinguished for their intellectual leanings. The Collegio Romano was under the Catholic Church and was also known as the Gregorian University, in honor of Pope Gregory XIII who fostered its growth. The college attracted the best Jesuit scholars, and Catholic leadership turned to them for scientific opinion. The mathematical sciences were headed by Christoph Clavius. Clavius was an adherent of the Ptolemaic system and had written a book, Sphere, with the first edition published in 1570, arguing against other systems; thus he was a leading skeptic of new cosmologies. Clavius’s bosses at the Vatican were continually worried about scriptures, rather than Aristotelian science, being contradicted. And many of the faculty at the Collegio Romano were “fathers” leading highly religious lives devoted to the study of the scripture as primary truth. Yet Clavius and his colleagues began telescope observations around mid-1610, despite the danger that these would topple the scripture and also the Ptolemaic system.
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Many church officials attended the event honoring Galileo. Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte wrote regarding the occasion: “Galileo … had the opportunity of showing his discoveries so well … all found them … astonishing. Were we still living under the ancient republic of Rome, I am certain that a statue would have been erected in his honor on the Capitol.” Cardinal Farnese gave a farewell banquet for Galileo and accompanied him for part of his further journey.
Now we look at the fourth group in the Galileo affair: the Aristotelian professors who were the science authorities, or scientific experts as science professors today like to be called.
A letter from Galileo to Kepler in August 1610 notes: “You would be amused if you saw this restless professor in Pisa who, through logical arguments, before the grand duke, tries to prevent and cancel the new planets, as if by magic!” The letter refers to Professor Guido Libri who wanted to convince the grand duke that the observed moons of Jupiter cannot exist. On Libris’ death Galileo sarcastically commented, “never having wanted to see [the moons of Jupiter] on earth, perhaps he’ll see them on the way to heaven?”
Biographer Karl von Gebler notes how “these men of science turned away with a righteous awe from the inconvenient recognition of the truth,” . . .
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An interesting question is why the dogma of Aristotelian professors so exceeded that of personages associated with the church that these professors turned away from making objective empirical observations through the telescope.
Arthur Koestler, noting this reaction of Aristotelian professionals in The Sleepwalkers, tries to explain it:
But there existed a powerful body of men whose hostility to Galileo never abated: the Aristotelians at the universities. The inertia of the human mind and its resistance to innovation are most clearly demonstrated … by professionals with a vested interest in tradition and in the monopoly of learning. Innovation is a twofold threat … it endangers their oracular authority, and it evokes the deeper fear that their whole, laboriously constructed intellectual edifice might collapse (italics mine).
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Newton, both very philosophical and very God-centered, proclaimed, “Aristotle is my friend, but my greatest friend is truth.” The latter part of the phrase separates out the truth-seeking nature of Newton from how the typical Aristotelian scientist functioned and how scientists, as a group, often function.
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Galileo twice had a fallout with the church and it is now widely accepted that the reasons were far more complex than science vs. religion. We believe a substantial cause of the tension was Galileo’s insistently pushing the wrong scientific argument that tides are proof that the Earth moves. Hostility to tides as proof was expressed by both popes who took action against Galileo, in 1616 and 1633.
Einstein sums up the reality regarding tides in a Foreword to an edition of Galileo’s Dialogue: “It was Galileo’s longing for a mechanical proof of the motion of the earth which misled him into formulating a wrong theory of the tides. The fascinating arguments in the last conversation would hardly have been accepted as proofs by Galileo, had his temperament not got the better of him.”
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But as we see in many places in this book, while the authorities of organized religion are no longer able to ban and prosecute free speech, universities, old and new media companies, and government leaders have emerged as today’s great prosecutors and suppressors of free speech. They often do this through a “cancel” culture where a proponent of unpopular views can overnight lose professional standing or place in intellectual or social society, and this is only one of many methodologies of persecution for such open expression.
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Going back to the relativity matter which is detailed in multiple chapters, we again have to ask what it means to say there was a scientific revolution if, with relativity having replaced Aristotelian cosmology, open scientific pursuit is similarly curtailed and preserving relativity by ignoring and suppressing facts and reason against it has become the main pursuit of today’s church of physics.
The Galileo matter is the famous church vs. science story in physics. However, as we discuss in chapter 6, the Galileo affair illustrates that scientific dogma can be stronger than religious dogma; Galileo’s colleagues were more hostile to the claim that the Earth circles the sun than was the Catholic Church. The theory of evolution is the big science vs. religion event in biology. Separately from matters of physics and biology, God has long been associated with the infinite in philosophy and theology, and we touch on that in chapter 9; infinity became important to us because it explains the constancy of the speed of light, which Einstein simply postulated.
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Weinberg informs us of “the fact that religion originally gained much of its strength from the observation of mysterious phenomena – thunder, earthquakes, disease – that seemed to require the intervention of some divine being.” Hawking confirms, “Ignorance of nature’s ways led people in ancient times to invent gods to lord it over every aspect of human life.” We don’t agree that religion gained much of its strength from unexplained “thunder, earthquakes, disease.” Religion came from the concept of God as the creator. In different religions or regions, there might be different legends or deities or gods associated with this or that function or event, but there is only one God who is the creator of the universe. The debate has been about the creation of the universe, as it is today, not about thunder or fire or some names associated with this or that. That same question about the origin of it all is still with us and science has not answered it. Knowing the laws of motion or what causes thunder is not the way to defeat the need for the creator God of the religious texts. It is because of their failure to counter the origins claim through an alternative that many scientists attempt to change the foundations of the God theory. They want to preach that because of their success at understanding many of the laws of the universe, and mechanisms such as thunder or fire, the God theory has been weakened or refuted. It has not because origins continue to remain a mystery.
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General relativity is built on special relativity. In chapter 5, we discuss that dark matter and curvature of space are beliefs of scientists that their instruments have never (directly) shown to be true, despite massive testing for these. No one has seen these all-pervading features of our universe, but people at the church of physics believe in them. So much for empiricism which is supposed to separate science from religion. It would seem null results shown by scientific instruments do not deter dogmatic authorities, who are experts at spinning these into not being a negative development.
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One of the famous science vs. religion gatherings took place in November 2006, and physicists took the lead in attacking the God-believing churches. . . .
First up to address the initial question was cosmologist Steven Weinberg . . . “The world needs to wake up from the long nightmare of religion,” Weinberg told the congregation.
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Physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson victoriously pointed out that the vast majority of “members of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject God” but “want[ed] to know why” all don’t
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Lawrence Krauss from physics has teamed up with Richard Dawkins . . . writes in an article titled All Scientists Should Be Militant Atheists:
I ridicule religious dogma . . . the suppression of open questioning in order to protect ideas that are considered “sacred” (italics mine).
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The 2021 book, Religion’s Sudden Decline by Ronald Inglehart, notes that from 2007 to 2019 religiosity fell in most of the world, with 43 out of 49 countries (containing 60 percent of the world’s population) studied showing this trend. Many atheists in the US celebrated the news that the US had finally shown a substantial move in becoming less religious, making it more like Europe in that regard. There continues to be one major exception to this trend of religious decline: India.
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But militant scientists are not stating the reality about dogma when it comes to science vs. religion. The truth is that science can be and often is more dogmatic than religion.
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(Note: This chapter shows what can go wrong with the methodology of science, and we use fictional planet Venuts to illustrate. Do note that Venuts is not Earth. . . . )
Planet Venuts’ distinguishing features included a high density crust, large radius, and very high mountains. A monumental experimentally-verified physics discovery was that gravity affects time, and time dilates or slows as you go up from the planet’s surface. The slowing of time was repeatedly demonstrated by a simple pendulum taking longer to complete a back-and-forth cycle when higher.
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Long before the above modern physics discoveries regarding the nature of space and time, planet Venuts had settled down to two major religions, along with several smaller ones. The founders of early physics considered religion to be an “unnecessary evil” and also founded militant atheism.
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“Only truth is holy. Physics is experimentally verifiable truth. Traditional religion is a story and is fiction because there is no God. All miracles of God-centered religions are, by the truth that is physics, impossible and false.” . . . and proclaimed itself the “Only Experimentally Verifiable Religion.” The term “Holy Equations” began seeing common use.
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Militant atheism was now leading the daily news and the Church of Physics was looming as the promise of the future. All mainstream media outlets, and even most of the independent ones, agreed that the domination of the old religions was on its way out. Expert media persons regularly delivered the message that the days of believers of one “myth” killing believers of another “myth” were over. The people of Venuts were being increasingly persuaded via various channels to abandon the old religions and their myths, and to embrace the Church of Physics as the “Experimentally Verified Religion.” More and more people were beginning to agree that religion was an “unnecessary evil” which had brought devastation to humanity.
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Physicists – members of the Church of Physics – became the most powerful people on Venuts and their arrogance touched the stars. Based on their teachings and influence most people now felt that there was no need for God. Those clinging to the God-believing religions were considered to be less intelligent; almost no one with a college degree believed in God. Holiness was now considered to be in the equations of physics which, given the experimental proof, were accepted to be the highest truth of the universe.
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The highest position in physics was Bishop of the Church of Physics. There were no more than a dozen active Bishops and they were chosen from those who devoted their lives to building on the Holy Equations. It was an honor that was far above all other awards and recognitions in other science and non-science academic fields. The Bishops met at regular scheduled meetings open to the public as well as closed meetings. No one else could attend Bishop-Level closed meetings and these meetings kept no records of what was discussed. Urgently called meetings were Zeta meetings.
Bishop-Level Zeta Closed Meeting. Agenda: Unauthorized Clock used to supposedly show Holy Equations’ Motion-Based Time Dilation Equation to be wrong.
“We called this Zeta meet because of a situation which we are calling the Elefah-Gnitaek Incident. A test of the time dilation formulas of the Holy Equations was being performed by our highly respected professors Elefah and Gnitaek using atomic clocks and our highest-speed space plane. The pilot turned out to be carrying an unauthorized clock to attempt an alternative test of time dilation. You have some of the details in the brief, others are just coming in. The pilot took an unauthorized high-precision Trivibrational clock which underwent a time dilation when compared to its twin clock left on the ground. But the pilot’s clocks gave a time dilation which seemingly contradicted the time dilation of the Holy Equations. Elefah and Gnitaek successfully verified with their atomic clocks that time dilation was as predicted by the Holy Equations.
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“What kinds of pilots are we hiring for our most important missions? Rebels?
“The pilot had passed all background checks. She was a supporter of the Church of Physics from her early days.
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“How did the pilot get into clock experiments?
“Among her most read documents was a paper that we had deleted from Ourchive database as being nonsense.
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“However, experimental anomalies are still a threat. The greatest role the press plays is in the suppression of experimental anomalies that challenge our foundations – by not giving them coverage while publicizing every experimental success of the Holy Equations. We physicists are able to intelligently and pragmatically accept the reality that we do not like to try to refute our foundational theories and certainly will never attempt to refute the Holy Equations or tolerate those who try to. The biggest danger to the Holy Equations is an unexpected experimental result. A single experiment can knock our foundations and prove the Holy Equations wrong, and we have to protect against such an event.
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“We need not worry about physics teachers in our schools or colleges rebelling against anything. They are sheep who will teach what is put in front of them. If the textbook says that the Holy Equations have passed all experimental tests that is what they will teach. Classrooms on Venuts fully belong to the Church of Physics. It does not matter what else a few physics professors might know, they will not allow questioning of the written words in the books, let alone boldly state to students that the textbook assigned to them by Church of Physics authorities may not be entirely correct or updated.
“Nevertheless, it is better for everyone if our professors and teachers do not know of experimental anomalies in the first place.
“Agreed. And let us work hard to keep it that way.
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With Sirohi’s physics and mathematics breakthroughs centering on infinity, he discusses the controversial popular belief that pondering infinity has an effect on the mind. At Columbia Sirohi mocked a racial hoax that had consumed the campus – it claimed a black student, Michael Jones, was attacked by a white lynch mob. In retaliation, Jones along with fellow black militant leaders concocted a #MeToo hoax by recruiting Sirohi’s housing suitemate, Jessica Lee, a white student, to pursue fake #MeToo spying. However, her pursuit turned into a case of The Spy Who Loved Me. He dropped out of the university after an unrelated dispute which got head of Columbia College, Robert Pollack, fired; Columbia carried out a massive destruction of related documents. Court actions against Columbia and individuals followed for these acts. Pollack and President Lee Bollinger later got Sirohi arrested for sending an email to people at Columbia mentioning above Pollack matter. Sirohi notes the growing trend of racial hoaxes and persecution of free speech at American universities.
Can pondering infinity have an effect on the mind? That strange question is what this chapter is about.
This chapter also touches on the foundations of infinity within math and science. The greatest unshakable dogma being practiced in physics, seemingly based on the views of Aristotle, may be the avoidance of infinity. As described in the early chapters, I parted from that physics dogma. But I also discuss something that has gone unappreciated regarding what Aristotle said regarding infinity and nature, and how precisely right he was.
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The two problems I would ponder in my lifetime were settled during or before the first year of college. One was from physics and the other from mathematics, and both were centered on infinity.
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Cantor began to openly pursue what is called the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy. This controversy was already in existence and suggested Francis Bacon wrote William Shakespeare’s plays, letting him become publicly famous as the writer.
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David Hilbert understood and thus explains the importance and necessity of pursuing infinity: “The definitive clarification of the nature of the infinite has become necessary, not merely for the special interests of the individual sciences, but rather for the honor of the human understanding itself.”
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Many biographers report that Gödel, who had originally intended to become a physicist, was turned to mathematics by Philip Furtwängler’s excellent lectures on number theory. Olga Taussky-Todd, a mathematician and fellow student of Gödel writes in her memoir this remark by Furtwängler on Gödel’s mental breakdowns: “Is his illness a consequence of proving the nonprovability or is his illness necessary for such an occupation?” She herself ponders the cause of Gödel’s problems: “I do not know whether they were caused by the overstrain he suffered through the creative processes he made his brain carry out or whether they were just in his makeup.” Among mathematicians, it would seem, the debate ensues.
I mentioned the views of my own professor Dorian Goldfeld at the start of this chapter.
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I often said to myself as years went by that I am still the one who can take out Einstein; it seemed no one else was working on the light-infinity connection. I wondered why physicists were not looking for an explanation that brings infinity into the picture to explain the constancy of speed of light. There should have been hundreds of the so called best minds working on it but they were satisfied with Einstein’s special relativity concept of a light postulate, and here I was alone in this pursuit of an explanation of the postulate. In those days, physicist and mathematician Ed Witten was being hailed as having unleashed a “second superstring revolution.” Following his path, hordes of theoretical physicists were turning to string theory, which aims to unite quantum mechanics with relativity while keeping special relativity unchanged.
. . .
My mind would lock on to certain matters, with three being favorite themes: the possible role of zero in science and math, and whether zero had any implications for my work on infinity and light; a link between the black students controversy at Columbia and the fall of Western civilization; Leibniz having plagiarized his mathematics and philosophy.
. . .
Liebniz being substantially on the mind was now common to Cantor, Gödel and me. I had a negative feeling about Leibniz in that there is a Leibniz authorship controversy similar to Shakespeare not writing his own plays. Neither Gödel nor Cantor had such a feeling, and both were great admirers of Leibniz. . . . And Leibniz’s philosophy, including monadology is becoming ever more famous. The Bacon-Shakespeare controversy was already well known when Cantor focused on it, but such speculation about Leibniz did not exist at the time of Cantor and Gödel; even today this Leibniz matter is not well known and few write about it. However, the matter of Leibniz’s sources should be a serious topic for scholarly research, and the evidence may be easier to find and evaluate than the Bacon-Shakespeare matter, in my view. Further, such research would be relevant to the Leibniz–Newton calculus controversy, which so much has been written about.
. . .
Zero has properties similar to the infinite, such as a fractional (or larger) part being equal to the whole, as in k·0=0, where k is any finite number such as, say, 4/7 or 999.
. . .
Mileva Marić was Einstein’s fellow physics student and they married in 1903. In an October 1897 letter, eight years before Einstein came up with special relativity, sans infinity, Meliva wrote him in a letter: “I don’t think the structure of the human skull is to be blamed for man’s inability to understand the concept of infinity.”
Three mathematician-physicists who have their names associated with parts of relativity had been pondering Georg Cantor’s actual infinity: Henri Poincaré, Hermann Minkowski and David Hilbert.
. . .
The famous companionship that developed between Gödel and Einstein and the question of what they discussed puzzled many.
. . .
Gödel was a member of the inner group of the elite Vienna Circle that met from 1924 to 1936 at the University of Vienna. At the Circle, Einstein and special relativity were hot topics. Gödel was close to philosopher and physicist Moritz Schlick . . . Schlick was an early supporter of Einstein . . .
. . .
Pursuit of an explanation of the constancy of the speed of light brought actual infinity into physics. Unfortunately for Einstein and those who built on relativity, infinity, in providing an explanation for the constancy of speed of light, would annihilate the equations and spacetime of special relativity. Accompanying the entry of actual infinity into physics was the question that has long troubled mathematics: Can pondering infinity have an effect on the mind?
At around 2 am on March 22, 1987, a fight occurred between a group of undergraduate black students and white students at Columbia University.
The cause of confrontation centered around two students, Michael Jones, black, and Matt Sodl, white, who had seemingly been having problems with each other.
Based on witness testimony, Michael Jones and a group of about 10 black males he had gathered waited for Matt Sodl and others to come out of the Ferris Booth Hall (FBH) student activities center. When Matt Sodl appeared with some friends, an argument between the groups ensued and turned into a physical fight.
An organization called the Concerned Black Students at Columbia (CBSC) was formed the day after the fight. Black Students Organization (BSO) was the permanent organization at Columbia, while the CBSC was formed ad hoc in response to the racial incident. The most outspoken leaders of the CBSC – and part of what was called the steering committee – were Michael Jones, Doriana Scott and JacQuie Parmlee. JacQuie Parmlee was also the head of BSO, but the leadership of the CBSC was with Michael Jones who took the title “Political Chair.”
The CBSC’s description of events was stated in the “Wanted” posters they put up:
. . .
To me, as a foreign student, this was an extraordinary American style political event, and at the time in the late 1980s a racial hoax of this nature could, perhaps, only happen at places like Columbia, with its dominant left wing and its Harlem location being key factors. Today racial hoaxes can happen and are happening across American universities.
The demands for expulsion of involved whites, increase in black faculty counts and equality of black student counts to their US population were loudly made with warnings . . .
. . .
The militant CBSC did not like such diversity of thought and open expression of views on campus, and seethed that op-eds that went against their “lynch mob” story were accepted in the Spectator.
After learning of what witnesses said, Columbia’s silent majority realized that the incident was a fight between black students who were waiting for certain white students to exit the student activities center. Not only was there no lynch mob, whites did not even outnumber blacks in the fight. Most students I talked with had concluded that the “real racists” were Michael Jones and the CBSC leaders who were lying about him and other blacks being attacked by a white lynch mob. The term “real racists” was becoming prominent among the silent majority but not among the marchers and the left wing whose version of events pervaded the Spectator and outside news coverage.
. . .
In court testimony used to establish Krause’s claim of racial discrimination, Krause’s lawyer, Summers, pressed deans on why they did not discipline the black students responsible for literature and posters that included names and pictures of white students involved, describing them as a white lynch mob.
. . .
One has to look at facts and cannot apply color-based justice during a fight. Within left wing universities such reality is lost, with most of the left wing shocked at demand of equality in such black-white student racial matters, given the clear history of one race being the oppressor. Krause used the N-word but he has no history of racial harassment, his use of the N-word in the fight being his history. Jones should have certainly been disciplined for his behavior, and Krause should then have been disciplined too for his lesser harassment. That would undoubtedly be just. But one cannot just hang the white student and let the big racial harasser go unpunished.
. . .
As mentioned above, the Columbia administration testified regarding the posters that there was no issue that such “horrible” behavior and the “creatures that created these things” should be subject to a “disciplinary hearing” and they “wanted to have” such a hearing. The University instead gave the jury other defenses of their failure to discipline the CBSC. Their excuse, at least regarding the posters, was that they couldn’t find out who these “creatures” were and Dean Johnson suggested that there was a “rumor” that it was not the CBSC but some outsiders. Such false excuses must make this among the most brazen and foolish false testimony by a university dean – not just was the administration fully aware that the CBSC was responsible for this and various other misbehavior – the CBSC was proud and open about it.
. . .
Peer-to-peer #MeToo allegations, both student-student and faculty-faculty, are becoming common in academic institutions. Such peer-to-peer controversies go beyond the traditional faculty-student or employer-employee matters, where one person officially had power over the other. Before examining my own matter, I briefly look at well-known #MeToo peer-to-peer cases where alleged incidents occurred between peers at academic institutions. Two of these cases are from physics.
Among the most famous #MeToo claims are those made against US Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh during his 2018 nomination to that position; these were from alleged incidents in his time as a high school student and college student, which occurred over thirty years before his nomination. These allegations were student-student.
. . .
In retaliation against me for mocking their lynch mob hoax, the CBSC planned a student peer-to-peer “whisper campaign,” with the aim of getting my housing suitemate, Jessica Lee, to make allegations.
My story of fake #MeToo has officially been in the public domain – since it was part of a lawsuit I filed, even though the story was under the media radar. I had left Columbia in October 1988, had been investigating the matter, and within a few years filed the lawsuit detailing the matter.
Much of what is mentioned below is from a Court Complaint, filed in New York state court in 1994. The complaint was about 200 numbered paragraphs that ran over 30 single-spaced pages.
. . .
Even if a #MeToo is fake, the accuser seems to persist with the claims, in almost all cases. Matters regarding whether or not the accusations were actually fake thus remain forever undecided. My case is highly unusual in that the accuser completely took back any and all #MeToo type claims. Court prosecution for fake #MeToo, which I pursued, is also rare.
. . .
Independently and on her own, Lee would not even have come to make a statement that I did something that could be considered a show of personal interest in her, and she would just have been a normal suitemate and acquaintance. However, she had been successfully pushed by the CBSC into a #MeToo project, . . .
. . .
Michael Jones was very unhappy at not having gotten an official complaint filed by Jessica Lee. It would seem that, as a political expert at executing successful hoaxes, he saw the partial success with Lee as a glass half empty and not half full.
The fake #MeToo assignment then dramatically turned into a case of The Spy Who Loved Me!
. . .
Black militants at Columbia have long benefited from the power of their skin color. Among black militants who took the lead in the formation of a Columbia blacks-only space, Malcolm X lounge in Hartley Hall, was Eric Holder, who headed the US Department of Justice under President Barack Obama. Holder, who was an undergraduate at Columbia from 1969 to 1973, brags about the power he enjoyed as a militant black leader at Columbia: . . .
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Will foreigners continue to flock to left wing universities where militant left wing student gangs wield great power and can act with impunity in persecuting students? Further, these student gangs have discovered fake #MeToo as a means of retaliation against those who openly speak out against them.
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There can be no doubt that most of the racial controversies and claims are not hoaxes. However, the growing count of racial hoaxes is alarming.
. . .
A few pages of this chapter are about math and then we get to other matters.
In chapter 9, I mentioned my pursuit of infinity in physics and math. Mathematics was secondary to me, with physics as my main pursuit. However, my seeking a wide understanding of infinity led me to ponder pure mathematics issues.
In my 2nd year as an undergraduate at Columbia, the 1986-87 academic year, I discovered a new math theorem regarding infinite series, and this played a substantial and dramatic role in my affairs at Columbia.
. . .
At the end of summer 1987, I emailed the Columbia College head, Dean Robert Pollack, regarding my theorem and expressed my interest in immediately switching from SEAS to the College. Dean Blake Thurman was responsible SEAS-College transfers and Pollack asked me to connect with him. Blake Thurman reported to Dean Roger Lehecka, who reported to Pollack.
. . .
The Indian student club got involved, with a formal letter signed by its officials. As part of this process, there were meetings with another College administrator regarding the matter, asking that he formally investigate what had happened in the office. Nothing came of that, and there was no real investigation. Pollack and Lehecka did not want such an investigation and I was told that the deans were suggesting that I take my complaint to the office for foreign students – an office that had no power whatsoever.
In January 1989 I wrote a detailed narrative for Columbia University President Michael Sovern and other central administrators and asked that they investigate the matter. I also gave copies of that document to many high profile faculty members.
. . .
Provost Goldberger sent me a letter in February 1989, in which he said they found no wrongdoing by any administrator and my claims had no merit. Meanwhile, the central administrators continued to discuss Pollack’s future and finally fired him for his misbehavior against me.
Pollack’s resignation was announced in April 1989.
. . .
Major legal advice I got was to have a list and copy of all the notes I had left for deans, along with other records that had been generated in the many months I interacted with administrators. These would be key details needed for lawyers to see if they have a strong enough case to consider taking it on a contingency basis; if they took the case they would quickly subpoena a copy of the records. In May of 1993, I put in a formal request to examine my Columbia College student file; there is an official file for each student and all correspondence, as well as other matters, go into that file. On learning of this request to examine my student file, Dean Karen Blank, in consultation with Lehecka, carried out a massive destruction of documents from my student file . . .
. . .
That university administrators are not accountable is, by itself, a problem with these institutions.
. . .
. . .
At the start of 2004, I sent two emails to people at Columbia; in response, Columbia called in the police to prosecute that act. I have detailed in chapter 11 my free speech persecution by militant black students at Columbia relating to my expressing views on a racial hoax incident and also by the Columbia administration regarding a letter I wrote a white student who had played a key role in such persecution.
I knew the Columbia administration would not be happy with my sending these emails to people at Columbia. However, I could not imagine any police arrest . . .
. . .
The email was regarding Pollack but was sent to others, as below, and not to him.
January 2, 2004
From: Ashish Sirohi
Subject: Robert Pollack: One of Many shameful secrets of CU!
To: Biological Sciences people, CSSR Staff, a few of the faculty active in Columbia-250
Your colleague, Professor of Biological Sciences Robert Pollack . . . has the notorious distinction of having been secretly fired from his position of Dean of Columbia College for deceit and other wrongdoings. This is just one of many skeletons in the closets of the corrupt administration of Columbia!
. . .
Unhappy at my putting up a website in late January 2004 to disseminate information about Columbia’s misusing the police, the Columbia administration called up friend(s) high up in the US Department of Justice (USDOJ) head office in Washington, DC. The INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service), now called ICE, falls under the USDOJ.
. . .
It is interesting that in recent years the two names associated with my email arrest, Pollack and Bollinger, took the helm at Columbia regarding the importance of free speech. While Bollinger as Columbia president, and also a legal expert on freedom of speech, can be expected to be involved in major resolutions, Pollack was now also a Columbia leader and free speech advocate and expert.
. . .
The reality is that American universities and media applaud some free speech while looking to ban other, often based on the political leanings of the speaker or writer.
. . .
The Columbia Global Freedom of Expression was established in 2014, “bringing together international experts and activists with the University’s faculty and students to survey, document, and strengthen free expression.” It may be wise for Columbia University to give up these free speech leadership shams and for these alleged “activists with the University’s faculty and students” to work to first address free speech persecution within Columbia!
An article in a conservative newspaper titled, Columbia University is worst college in nation for free speech: report begins with “If you like free speech, don’t go to Columbia,” . . .
. . .
Another college students’ poll matches the findings of the above in the FIRE-College Pulse report and shows how students have been increasingly aware of free speech problems. A Knight Foundation-Ipsos study titled College Student Views on Free Expression and Campus Speech 2022 notes that a “steadily declining share of students think free speech rights are secure,” with this number down from 73% in 2016 to 47% in 2021.
. . .
A 2019 article at the American Association of University Professors notes that administrators, and not faculty, lead the persecution of free speech: . . .
. . .
What is often not realized is that there can and will be serious consequences for evading key truths. Which key truth is being evaded by universities and mainstream media, and what will be the consequences for America? I discuss that in the last two chapters of this book.
. . .
Sirohi sought an understanding of the cause of black students’ underperformance and high rates of misbehavior within American academic institutions. He discovered the dramatic reality, evidenced by test results, of white students having falling IQs, as well as its cause. The effect of such white decline is that the intellectual fall of Western schools and universities is already well in progress. However, ancient civilizations, across different races, seem to share a common immunity to the cause of this IQ fall. We seem to be at the start of a new age of reversion to leadership of ancient civilizations.
. . .
There is a reality that students with high scores on the math sections of standardized tests are successfully able to complete STEM majors, and that students with low scores often change away from these majors.
. . .
In academia, previously used genetic arguments to explain racial IQ test differences are shunned. We agree that such genetic arguments were not correct. In fact, our predicted change from the large gap in black-white scores to equality of scores would go against the model of genetic explanation of racial differences in standardized tests or IQ tests performance.
. . .
Scholars today like to cherry-pick what “environmental” factors are acceptable to them as having an effect on IQ and they do that for reasons not having to do with pursuit of truth, in our opinion. It is this groupthink – based on social, political and other fears and pressures – that we do not agree with and certainly do not succumb to.
. . .
Many physics organizations and departments have cited with approval an American Institute of Physics (AIP) 180-page TEAM-UP report released in January 2020.
. . .
For activists, commentators and experts on such matters the report has become something to be lauded, and it is always uncritically cited. However, the report’s own data does not even support the conclusions reached in the report. In August 2020 we wrote an email, addressed to all the individual members of the AIP task force, regarding this matter.
. . .
Meanwhile, starting in 2020, many physics activists have organized and been aggressively talking of anti-Blackness in physics, with one such group of thousands called Particles for Justice declaring:
[I]t is widely known that Black students often feel unwelcome, unsupported, and even unsafe in their physics departments . . . Anti-Blackness is pervasive . . . the number of students and faculty in particle physics and other subfields make this very clear (italics mine).
. . .
Based on our correct understanding of the matter of black student underperformance, we can make dramatic and correct black-white-Asian physics predictions. And we will give data we base these on. The final proof of what we say is in these predictions coming true. Since the AIP report is evading the truth regarding the cause of low black count in American physics, and pushing for ways to remedy their declared false explanation of departmental racism, their above quoted 2030 goal of 500 black Americans getting a physics bachelor’s will not be met. That is our first prediction. We give below further predictions.
. . .
There are already reports of stealth affirmative action for whites in America, which is needed to maintain white count at top colleges because scores of white Americans in standardized tests are falling relative to Asians.
. . .
The great irony is that this dramatic white American student academic fall has been happening while all the clamor about structural and systemic racism as the cause of the gaps between white and minority students has been reaching resonance.
To talk more generally of IQ or cognitive ability, let us look at the Asian-white comparison beyond math. Let us look at English/Verbal scores using a controversial book, but one that is well researched in that it heavily cites data for much of its arguments.
. . .
Every decade is now going to be more bad news about the math and Verbal/English abilities of white Americans. What is happening is a fall in the IQ or cognitive ability of the American white majority, in both math and verbal, and it has a long way to go.
Today, admissions officials at American colleges are hit but these truth evading professionals are uniting and fighting back to maintain white numbers without calling it what it is: stealth affirmative action for whites. The advisory group Making Caring Common in its January 2016 Turning the Tide report has, on the page preceding the report text, a full page picture of a student holding his head in frustration against a blackboard full of equations. The “message” these new college groups are sending is that math ability and excelling at subjects that have a lot of math is not what American colleges consider cool! But the white students’ problem is not just falling math ability but falling IQ or general cognitive ability; though this is not openly discussed, it would seem it is being quietly recognized by some.
. . .
Stuyvesant is often considered the flagship NYC school. In recent decades, the big chunk of these top schools has been white and Asian. Asian percentage at Stuyvesant, exceeded 70% in 2019, up from 6% in 1970; meanwhile, white enrollment plummeted from about 80% in 1970 to under 20% in 2019.
. . .
Segregation was a term that came from non-whites not being allowed in white schools. Now the American mainstream media increasingly uses it for schools where Asians dominate, which results from their outperformance on the admission criteria.
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. . .
American black-white students’ standardized testing gap had been growing wider for decades and then noticeably started a reverse trend and began narrowing around 2005. This coincided with a widening Asian-white gap, including on tests of Verbal/English where whites had traditionally been ahead of Asian Americans. What is the cause of these trends? What had been getting worse among black American students relative to whites prior to 2005, and then what started going wrong with white American students relative to blacks and Asians?
. . .
China certainly is rising in power, but most experts would say it has no great advantage and thus has a long way to go before it can displace America. However, America has a major problem, which China does not have!
. . .
Explaining white decline is now the towering problem for the left wing, with racism not being the cause; the increasing Asian-white gap is particularly a dilemma for the systemic racism argument as being the explanation for racial performance gaps.
. . .
With whites being the American majority, and Asian counts being small, the continued white general decline in excellence will dramatically affect American companies. Groups such as Making Caring Common can get whites into top colleges but cannot have them achieve at the needed professional excellence levels in American companies and organizations. With whites performing at the top levels in schools falling, fewer and fewer whites will become outstanding physics researchers, mathematicians, engineers, founders (particularly of tech companies) or top managers. American companies, especially those creating technology, will struggle for talent and productivity. . . . cannot remain a STEM leader, and that leadership is today essential to be the leading economic power. Beyond STEM, if reading ability is in decline and this begins to show up even among those with degrees from top universities, then all types of American companies will suffer. They will not find old style excellent candidates among those who got admitted to universities through such newfangled left wing notions.
. . .
These researchers add in above article, “In a time when the economy is becoming more globally competitive . . . it’s important to ensure there are enough high-achieving students to fill jobs that will drive the economy.” And they point out in a follow-up article having the subtitle America’s lack of STEM students is bad news for national security, “The country’s defensive capabilities often depend on brains, not brawn.”
. . .
This trend has been borne out by the count of black males in college being substantially lower than that of black females. Now whites are showing the same female-male college gap.
An article titled A Generation of American Men Give Up on College: ‘I Just Feel Lost’ cites data showing this white trend . . . data cited in the article also shows that among Asian Americans there is no similar collapse in the percentage of males going to college. Colleges are now quietly giving preference to white males over white females to counter the growing shortage:
. . .
We believe Greece will re-emerge as the Western leader in physics and math, and will tower for coming millennia over the decaying Western nations that only managed to shine briefly in the history of these fields: US, UK and Germany. Greece will successfully fly the flag of Western intellect at a proud level similar to the upcoming prosperous civilizations east of it.
. . .
Women already make up the majority of university graduates in America and Europe. As American and European colleges become more women-dominated, the percentage of women choosing STEM becomes even more crucial. In looking at which countries have a higher percentage of women choosing STEM, one runs into what researchers in the field have stated to be a paradox. The gender-equality paradox is that the higher the gender equality within a country, the fewer women in STEM.
. . .
The gender-equality paradox is founded on assumptions regarding what constitutes gender equality. If one switches to . . . then the gender-equality paradox largely disappears.
My struggle with the church of physics and other evaders of truth continues with the writing of this book.
Those interested in technical details can view the Appendices from the book. These Appendices are also made available below: