First of all, and again: both of Einstein’s theories assume as “proven” that which is not “proven”: an Earth orbiting the Sun. But since, I must expect, all those who read this sentence have with him been conditioned to believe that assumption as gospel truth, for them this argument falls to the ground.
A second consideration possibly carries more weight. Metaphysics deals with unobservables, physics with observables. Accept Einstein’s “sacred cow within a sacred cow”,(50) the absolute velocity of light, that is. Furthermore take for granted that the Earth rotates and orbits a Sun, which is, as a nondescript member of the Milky Way, with this Way revolving relative to the aggregate of galaxies further out. Then the exigencies of applied physics and ineluctable logic force us to conclude that radiation reaching us from different directions will here on Earth be clocked at different velocities. This is not the case, and hence there must be a reason why. However that reason, actually Poincaré’s “principle”, is -allow me to repeat the sobering phrase – unobservable except through the very phenomenon it is invented to explain. To introduce Maxwell’s notorious demon: if I account for the awkward Ptolemaic appearances by postulating legions of little gremlins adjusting the velocity of incoming light to the sacrosanct standard value c, then this preposterous theory and the found-ational assumption of the reigning relativity share, ontologically judged, the same nugatory status. To wit: both want us to accept an explanation that by clearheaded science should be eschewed as worthless fantasy. A logician might even point out that equating Maxwell’s demons with the mysterious capability of Poincaré’s “principle” is not fair to those little nosee’ums. They are, after all, logically possible and hence admissible. For homo sapiens, who in his thinking, and doing, and research refuses to brush off the strictures of logic and the laws of mathematics, it is not easy to accept that relativity. It needs a wrenching of the mind “understandingly” to acknowledge that, though the Doppler effects are the same for sound waves and light wavicles”, an observer “at rest” in the trajectory of a light ray, and all observers, relative to him moving with whatever speeds along that trajectory, yet will clock that ray’s velocity relative to them at the constant velocity c. As science teachers know: when students for the first time are introduced to the special theory of relativity it is not the dullards in the class who initially are often unwilling to reconcile themselves to it. Until, of course, they begin to realize that a refusal logically constrains them to part with Copernicus’ system. Which system, thanks to Galileo and his apostles, they have been brainwashed to deem “obvious”. And therefore seeing no other way out of the dilemma, no other acceptable possibility in sight, they close their eyes and swallow what in their heart of hearts they know to be impossible, but gradually and under persistent peer pressure are converted into believing as scientific and self-evidently true truth.
Einstein himself, for that purpose designating logic as “common sense” once gave short shrift to the whole matter. Objections against his theory, he proclaimed, result from “a deposit of prejudice laid down in the mind prior to age of eighteen”.(51) I know that I am banging my head against a wall, against a conviction pretty much ineradicably engraved on mankind’s mind. Yet I cannot withhold myself from hoisting all relativists with their own petard by asking them whether their unshakable faith in Galileo’s gospel is not just as well such a deposit In Einstein’s 1905 paper he considers relativity for first order magnitudes “already proven”.(52)But where is that proof or anything approaching it? I have been searching for those for twenty years and have found only syllogistically unsound demonstrations, untestable and therefore questionable ad hocs, circular reasoning, and Newton’s laws, acknowledged not to be equal to the task of proving Copernicus when higher powers of the eccentricities of the planetary orbits are counted in.
Yes, I know: Einstein’s relativity explains to Copernicus’ disciples so many otherwise baffling physical phenomena. I shall be the last to deny it, or to question the table of experimental bases(47) “confirming” it mentioned earlier in this essay. If we accept Copernicus there is no way around it. The wearying trouble is that “if”. Why do we have to side with him and Galileo, and on whose orders? Why do we remain unwilling levelheadedly to realize that a fully, as well as any semi-geocentric, model will explain these phenomena just as cogently and should be added to the theories in that table just mentioned as relativity’s equals on any score? And then that hackneyed combination of Einstein and the “E = mc2“, endlessly bandied about in popular-scientific Western folklore! True, it can be deduced from the theory, but it does not prove STR, and does not depend on it, as Einstein himself has admitted. That formula has been derived in at least three non-relativistic ways,(53) and abandonment of STR will leave that Bomb-equation unharmed. Even in a vague manner to think that somehow Hiroshima in a most horrible way has confirmed the theory to be right is unwarranted. And modus ponendo ponens “proofs” may try to buttress its supposed veracity – in the nature of the case the logically necessary verification will be hard to come by.
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