In various places (Smashwords reviews, Amazon reviews, etc), I’ve been accused of attacking a simplified version of relativity, an 8th grade-level theory that is used to introduce beginners or laypeople to relativity, and that if I destroy such a simplified version, I’m not really destroying the “true” theory of relativity, because the “higher” version of relativity, the one that beginners eventually move on to and attempt to master, the one that requires a university major in relativity to comprehend, is not simple.
I always counter this by saying that no, relativity really is absurdly simple, and the so-called simplified, introductory version is the true meat and bones of the theory, and that the “higher” version is built upon the shaky, faulty foundations of this absurdly simple “introductory” theory. The “higher” version is where the mathematical acrobatics are introduced to mask the faults in the theory. Relativity is a house that should be condemned because it is unsafe to enter.
But when relativists object to my saying that relativity is a simple theory, what are they actually saying? They’re basically saying that relativity is not simple. But if relativity is not simple, then it must not be “elegant” (which is the scientist’s way of saying something is so simple it’s beautiful). Elegance, or synonymously, simplicity, is often presented by scientists as evidence of a theory’s truth (an elegant theory is more likely true than a similar, less elegant or inelegant one). So if relativity is not simple, not elegant, then by objecting to my statement that relativity is a simple theory, relativists are implicitly admitting that relativity has a strike against it.
Basically, imply the relativists, I’m attacking the beautiful, elegant version of relativity, but the true, ugly, inelegant version safely survives my assault.
Either that, or they’re trying to say that the “higher” version is the elegant version. So what does that make the so-called beginner’s version? A simpler than simple version, in which case, wouldn’t it be doubly elegant? Or does it make it an inelegant version that only becomes simple, or elegant, once you delve into the higher, mathematical version, which sort of streamlines that beginner’s inelegant version? In which case, why is the relativist accusing me of attacking a simplified version of relativity?
Or are they really saying that the beginner’s version is a “dumbed down” version of relativity, especially designed for idiots like me?
Whatever the case, it seems to me the objections that I’m attacking a “beginner’s version” of relativity, whether it’s characterized as an inelegant version, a dumbed-down version, or whatever, implicitly acknowledge that my attacks are succeeding in destroying the “beginner’s” version. It's like, "Ha! You destroyed that one, but guess what? It was only a decoy!"
The question then remains: is there actually a “beginner’s” version and a “higher” version of relativity, as implied by the objection, or are they one and the same, differing only in the depth and mathematical detail to which the subject is studied? (That's a rhetorical/sarcastic question).
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
I've put two new videos on YouTube. The first is more on what I call the Planck Length Problem, mixed with some stuff comparing relativity to the "oil culture" of the world. The second is on the announcement of Stephen Hawking joining the Breakthrough Listen project and a few other topics.