Post-Modern Science vs. Scientific Natural Philosophy
The Scientific Revolution of 16th Century Europe is widely recognized as the beginning of a new era in Natural Philosophy.
Before this time, due primarily to the lack of instruments and lack of an established community for correspondence, Natural Philosophy had been modelled off of Euclid’s axiomatic approach. In this schema, the scientist’s intuitive feeling is used to generate “primitive terms” (in Euclid’s case, these can be taken to be “point”, “line”, “incidence”, “betweenness” and “congruence”) and their relationships, out of which all other definitions and theorems are built. This approach relies on intuitive thought-based pattern recognition, rather than systematic empirical measurements. In 16th and 17th century Europe, the invention of mechanical time-keeping and the telescope allowed for far easier, more accurate empirical measurements to be taken. Furthermore, the printing press led to the publication of scientific journals, which greatly increased the ability of experts to correspond and follow each other’s work. These new tools effectively revolutionized science, as empirical data and confirmation overthrew Euclid’s intuitive inductive process as the starting point for understanding Nature. Science at last had gained its empirical ground.
The Empirical era of science is characterized by the Newton’s Theory of Gravity and Maxwell’s Electromagnetic Theory. Newton and Maxwell both developed their equations from a large set of previously established experiments and measurements. They applied inductive reasoning to these data sets in order to propose their laws, which were subsequently experimentally verified.
Now look to science today. Again we find a lack of correspondence between experts pigeon-holed into increasingly narrow specializations. What correspondence we do find is ideologically loaded with competitiveness and one-upmanship in the effort to better one’s position within the academic power structure.
Beginning approximately around the beginning of the 20th century when the pursuit for academic advancement became the primary motivation for working in science, science entered another era of Post-modern science, that differs radically from the principles that had grounded science during the Empirical Era. As Steve Fuller observes, “Science’s success as a source of societal governance and economic growth may have been at the cost of its progress as a form of inquiry.”
The Post-modern era of science is characterized by its alleged confirmation of the Theory of Relativity. Unlike Newton and Maxwell, Einstein started with no large data set from which to induce general laws. Instead, Relativity develops as a proposal to explain an absence of data–specifically, the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment. By what standards is the Theory of Relativity valid? The spokespeople for Post-modern Science go to great lengths to convince the world (and themselves as well) that they adhere to precisely the same standards as scientists in the 18th and 19th centuries. A careful study of the circumstances around the alleged validity of the Theory of Relativity reveals a different, quite jarring (to me at least) narrative.
Overview of sources
I know I would not have given any of this a second look as recently as two years ago. Therefore, I would like to start by presenting an overview of the sources I have found from many different perspectives which cast into doubt the assumed continuity between the Inductive Science and Post-modern Science eras.
First I would like to spell out precisely what is agreed to be true within the Theory of Relativity, and then briefly provide the qualification which mainstream science rarely includes.
We agree that:
1. Relativity takes into account the finite speed of light, while Newton’s equation do not.
2. Moving a clock at high velocities causes discrepancies compared to a clock at rest.
3. Many experiments claim to have confirmed the predicted measurements of relativity.
What the mainstream doesn’t tell you:
1. Newton himself knew what the speed of light was. He simply did not consider the problem worth pursuing since at the time it held no practical value.
2. Relativity is just one way of explaining this phenomenon. As Thomas E. Phipps states:
If one elects to stop playing the SRT game–to make new rules and play a different game–then Einstein’s proper-time clocks become simply uncompensated clocks that fail to tell properly the simplest “time,” the kind most useful for consistently ordering a disparity of events… much as uncompensated thermometers–although they undeniably tell temperature–fail to tell properly the most useful kind of “temperature.” … It is more than likely that a simplest formulation of time-related sciences such as mechanics and electromagnetism will result from making compensations of clock readings before treating them as time. [Old Physics for New. pp. 196, 242]
3. Many experiments cherry pick from their data in order to get the results that will most likely be considered “important” and lead to career advancement. It is universally admitted that Arthur Eddington, who organized the first alleged confirmation of relativity, was heavily biased towards getting a confirmation and threw out data sets that did not match Einstein’s predictions. Also, as stated above, relativity is just one possible explanation for discrepancies between the readings of separate clocks.
– a list of sources that call into question the assumed continuity between the Inductive Science and Post-modern Science eras.
As many scientists have wondered, but few have asked, why are dark matter and dark energy classified as science, and not science fiction? They are bailouts of a broken system, that is widely misperceived as “natural order”. The reason for this situation is entirely political–too many influential, existing scientists have built their careers on research that assumes dark matter’s and dark energy’s existence.
– As stated above, even mainstream institutions such as MIT admit that Arthur Eddington cherry-picked his data, and was heavily biased in wanting a confirmation of special relativity.
– Not only did Newton know light travelled at a finite speed, Newton knew what the speed of light was (based on Ole Romer’s 1676 measurements).
While many revolutionary proposals in math and the sciences are met with wide criticism and dissent from the contemporaries, Poincare’s dissent bears special notice. Because unlike the typical historical example, Poincare rejected relativity BEFORE Einstein ever proposed it! Poincare actually wrote what is accepted by mainstream physics as a relativistic equation years before Einstein!
Nikola Tesla holds the US patent for the AC motor and the radio and performed hundreds of experiments exploring the relationship between electricity and magnetism. Tesla never accepted the theory of relativity, despite no reason at all to put himself at odds with Einstein, and their correspondence shows a cordial respect between the two.
I hold that space cannot be curved, for the simple reason that it can have no properties. . . Of properties we can only speak when dealing with matter filling the space. To say that in the presence of large bodies space becomes curved is equivalent to stating that something can act upon nothing. I, for one, refuse to subscribe to such a view. – http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/1932-09-11.htm
It’s well accepted that Newton’s theory was a result of the technology of mechanical time-keeping and the telescope. Maxwell’s theory was the result of the battery and the conductivity of metal wires. But it is quite unclear what new technology it is that led to Einstein’s theory. Suggestions have been made about how the necessity of synchronizing clocks for train travel influenced Einstein’s thought, but this itself is more organizational schema than new instrumentation.
Unlike Newton’s theory of gravity and Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism, Einstein’s theory of relativity is more the solution to an ideological problem, rather than the explanation of a new vista of knowledge.
CORRUPTION OF ACADEMIA
In spite of the hallowed principles upon which are nation was founded, it is widely recognized today that our politicians are now corrupt, and can be bought to represent the interests of the organization that sponsors their campaign. Curtis White argues that the same corruption extends to the deepest levels of our universities, especially the sciences, where more money is at stake.
Thomas E. Phipps, Jr. proposes that electromagnetic theory after Hertz was never properly developed, scientists of the time lost sight of the difference between axiom and observation, and science has increasingly become more and more a game of politics ever since.
Charles W. Lucas, Jr. is developing a theory that all forces, gravity included, are electro-magnetic in origin.