The Instigator
Sargon
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
Citrakayah
Con (against)
Losing
8 Points

A Neo-Lorentzian Ether Exists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Sargon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/6/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,996 times Debate No: 40095
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (108)
Votes (6)

 

Sargon

Pro

Ave

Resolution

This debate will be about whether or not the Neo-Lorentzian interpretation of special relativity is true. I will be taking the position that the Neo-Lorentzian interpretation of special relativity is true. The winner of this debate will be the person who proves their case beyond a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, when you weight each side, one side was better supported than the other.

Rules

The first round is for acceptance of the debate format and rules. The next rounds are for back and forth debating. I made this debate 10k characters so that each debater can have a very good reference page.

Definitions

I will be using William Lane Craig's definition of each interpretation, as I find them to be suitably simple and understandable for a debate like this.

Neo-Lorentzian Interpretation: This interpretation posits a 3+1 dimensional ontology featuring a privileged time and a privileged rest frame. Lengths contract and time rates dilate in the usual relativistic way only for systems in motion relative to the privileged rest frame.

Better: best supported by philosophical and empirical inquiry


Vale
Citrakayah

Con

I happily accept my opponent's challenge, and look forward to a most illuminating debate!
Debate Round No. 1
Sargon

Pro

Ave

Introduction

I want to thank Citrakayah agreeing to participate in this debate with me. I also want to thank anyone who fully reads this debate and makes an honest decision. This debate certainly isn’t easy to read, although I will try to simplify my arguments as much as possible.


I’ll introduce some common abbreviations and their meaning just so the audience doesn’t get confused.



SR= Special Relativity


NL= Neo-Lorentzian


MI= Minkowski interpretation


CMBR= Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation


New Theory of Reference = NTR




Without further ado, let’s begin! (And, begin, indeed, in the sense of temporal becoming!)



I: The Downfall of Einstein’s Philosophy of Science

The philosophical foundation of Einstein’s theory was based on logical positivism and verificationism. While it may seem strange to argue against a scientific theory based on philosophy, an analysis of Einstein’s theory indicates that his philosophical presuppositions are an important part of it. As the book Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity states, ‘’The introductory sections of Einstein’s 1905 paper are predicated squarely upon verificationist assumptions’’. [1] The downfall of logical positivism and verificationism should give us serious reason to rethink Einstein’s interpretation. Tyler Burge, professor of philosophy at UCLA, once said that the central event in philosophy during the 21st century was ‘the downfall of positivism and the re-opening of discussion of virtually all the traditional problems of philosophy’’.[2] Logical positivism and verificationism are now widely rejected among philosophers today.


It seems that Einstein’s interpretation is also guilty of committing the mind-projection fallacy. This was a fallacy created by by physicist and Bayesian philosopher E.T. Jayne, which states that the way you see the world is not necessarily the way the world is. For example, different measurements of time are taken to mean that time is relative in reality, and that absolute time doesn’t exist. It’s obvious, however, that different measurements of time depending on the observers speed is an epistemological statement--that is, it relates to how we come to know things. There is simply no way of arguing that time is not absolute in reality just because people measure it differently. It relates to how we see time, not necessarily the way time really is.



Another interesting problem with the Minowski interpretation is that it, in some places, it outright contradicts the philosophy of language. The philosophy of language has many ideas, among them an idea which is called the New Theory of Reference. The NTR is considered to be true by the majority of philosophers of language. However, it implies absolute simultaneity. As the philosopher Quentin Smith writes in his article The New Theory of Reference Entails Absolute Time and Space: "it can be proven that the NTR entails the falsity of the relational theory of space, for otherwise all the relevant counter- factuals about places (e.g. , "He might not have been sleeping here") would be necessarily false."


Lorentz’s interpretation is philosophically superior in three ways. 1) It does not depend on logically positivistic and verificationist ideas. 2) It is not guilty of the mind-projection fallacy. 3) It is consistent with the philosophy of language and the NTR.

Remember, the definition of better was to be empirically and philosophically supported. These arguments establish that the LI is philosophically superior. Now let's turn to the empirical evidence...


II: Experimental Vindications of the Neo-Lorentzian Interpretation



The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is left-over radiation from the Big Bang explosion. It is taken as one of the best pieces of evidence that the Big Bang really happened [3]. The existence of the CMBR confirms Lorentz’s idea that there is an ether. The book Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity describes how the CMBR serves as an ether: ‘’The cosmic microwave background radiation fills all of space and is remarkably isotropic for any observer at rest with respect to the expansion of space. The radiation background will be anisotropic for any observer in motion with respect to an observer whose spatial coordinates remain fixed. It is therefore a sort of ether, serving to distinguish physically a fundamental universal reference frame.’’ As the theoretical physicist Lee Smolin writes in Time Reborn, ‘’Another way to fix a preferred family of observers is to use the cosmic microwave background. These preferred observers see the CMBR coming at them at the same temperature from all directions in the sky.’’ [4] It should be remembered that this is not merely theoretical, but that the motion of bodies has actually been measured relative to the CMBR. The following experiment is mentioned in Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity: ‘‘’Smoot, Gorenstein, and Muller discovered that the Earth is moving relative to the radiation background with a velocity of 390+60 km/sec in the direction of the constellation Leo. They comment, ‘’The cosine anisotropy is most readily interpreted as being due to the motion of the Earth relative to the rest frame of the cosmic blackbody radiation-what Peebles calls the ‘new aether drift’’’.’’’[5] (Wow, quotes inside quotes inside quotes!)



Alain Aspect’s experiments with Bell’s Inequalities also serve as experimental vindication of the NL interpretation. Alain Aspect's experiments with Bell's inequalities demonstrate simultaneous causation with spatially distant photons. The measurement of one photon causes the other photon to instantaneously take on an anti-correlated spin [6]. A measurement of particle A causes an instantaneous change at particle B, which requires absolute simultaneity. The implications of this experiment on the Minkowski interpretation are huge, and some physicists and philosophers of physics take it as empirical falsification of the MI, and proof of the NL interpretation.



‘’To describe how the correlations are established, a hidden variables theory must embrace one observer’s definition of simultaneity [italics are not mine].’’[7] -Lee Smolin, physicist, who once thought that time was an illusion.



‘’The notion of non-local causality, discussed by Bell, requires a criterion of absolute simultaneity which has some absolute significance: it is seem that a cosmological basis for a universal measure of cosmic time resolves this problem...’’- S. J. Prokhovnik, physicist [8]



‘’[But] I would say that the cheapest resolution is something like going back to relativity as it was before Einstein, when people like Lorentz and Poincare thought that there was an aether-a preferred frame of reference...’’ -John Bell, physicist, talking about Alain Aspect’s experiment [9]



‘’We have to give up Einstein’s interpretation of special relativity and return to Lorentz’s interpretation and with it to...absolute space and time...’’ - Karl Popper, philosopher of science [10]



Further findings about the nature of empty space further demonstrate the truth of the NL interpretation. Einstein once said in a 1924 speech in Berlin that “to deny the aether is ultimately to assume that empty space has no physical qualities whatever. “ [11] Modern day quantum physics directly and explicitly contradicts the idea that empty space has no physical qualities. Empty space, or rather, a quantum vacuum, does have physical qualities. Virtual particles pop in and out of existence from the quantum vacuum. [12] The evidence for these particles is extraordinary, so a serious scientists has to accept their existence. But, if virtual particles do exist, then empty space has physical qualities, and Einstein was wrong! We can take the existence of virtual particles as another falsification of Einstein’s interpretation.



III: Conclusion



With the downfall of logical positivism and verificationism, as well as recent experiments conducted, the pendulum of physics is swinging back towards the Neo-Lorentzian interpretation. In order for Con to negate my arguments, he has a lot on his plate. He has to either 1) show that logical positivism and verificationism are actually good philosophies, or that 2) the MI can be reformulated without those assumptions. He also has to show that the MI interpretation does not commit the mind projection fallacy, which is the fallacy of reasoning that the way the world appears to you is the way the world really is. He also has to demonstrate that the CMBR cannot be used as experimental proof of the ether, and he has to comment on experiments that calculated the Earth’s velocity relative to it. Con must also reconcile the MI with two findings in quantum physics: Alain Aspect’s experiments and the existence of virtual particles. On top of all of this, he has to present his own arguments in favor of the MI interpretation. I eagerly await Con’s next round.



Vale



References
Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity, pg 3
http://www.arn.org...
A Universe From Nothing, pg 42
Time Reborn, pg 166
Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity, pg 29
The Fabric of the Cosmos, pgs 112-115
Time Reborn, pg 163
Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity, pg 33
Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity, pg 31
Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity, pg 73
http://www.encyclopedianomadica.org...
http://physics.about.com...
Citrakayah

Con

I: The Downfall of Einstein’s Philosophy of Science

Pro's point is, actually, irrelevant--at least, his points regarding verificationism and positivism are. What matters in a scientific theory is whether or not it explains our observations; that is the foundation of science--it's what makes science, well, science! Even if a theory originated from a philosophical background of "godsaidit," if it correctly explained our predictions, then it would be a decent theory. Pro is making a poisoned fruit analogy, but that only works in legal system.

Most of the rest of this argument suffers similar problems. Nothing here makes any experimental attempts to prove that the ether exists, and there are no actual experimental problems listed, nor firm logical ones. Philosophy is only important in science to the extent that it informs us how to perform basic science. By itself, it does not prove or disprove a scientific theory.

II: Experimental Vindications of the Neo-Lorentzian Interpretation

Firstly, it's worth noting what the traditional definition of "aether" is:

"(archaic, physics, uncountable) A substance (aether) once thought to fill all space that allowed electromagnetic waves to pass through it and interact with matter, without exerting any resistance to matter or energy (disproved by Einstein in his Theory of Relativity)."[1]

Obviously, this cannot be said to be remotely close to the Lorentzian aether theory. It may well be true that we can use the background radiation as a sort of coordinate grid, though that has its own problems--space is expanding, after all, so in terms of absolute distance the background radiation will continue to change. In terms of scale, things will remain the same, but distances will change while position on the background radiation grid will remain identical.

Entanglement is usually, in these discussions, considered to transcend time and space.[3] I'll have to do more research to be certain, but it does appear that Lorentz ether theory is not supported by this line of evidence.

Pro then mentions the subject of virtual particles--however, these are called virtual for a reason. They aren't fully real.[2] He also claims that because Einstein said that denying aether demanded that space have no underlying properties, the finding of virtual particles demonstrates that aether exists. Of course, this is a rather fringe view in physics, to say the least, and just because Einstein said it doesn't make it true. Pro has given no reason to think Einstein was right, nor that a quantum effect like virtual particles should be considered significant when regarding large regions of space.

III: Conclusion

Pro is incorrect in his main argument here. He has to show that a Neo-Lorentzian aether is better supported philosophically and empirically. I can beat him at only one avenue and still win.

1. http://en.wiktionary.org...
2. http://profmattstrassler.com...
3. http://www.nature.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Sargon

Pro

Ave

I: The Downfall of Einstein’s Philosophy of Science

The resolution states that a theory is better than another theory if it has more support from philosophy and empirical evidence. When comparing Einstein’s theory, which had a relational, non-absolute view of time, with Lorentz’s theory, which had an absolute view of time, as well as an ether, it is necessary to consider the philosophical foundation of each theory. Pro says that philosophy is irrelevant to Einstein’s theory, but I certainly beg to differ. As I pointed out in my last round, Einstein’s formulation of special relativity depended on his philosophical assumptions. For example, Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity notes that “Einstein’s rejection of Newtonian absolute space and time was predicated upon a positivist philosophy of science.”. It goes on to say that “Einstein took it for granted that all of our judgements in which time plays a role must have a ‘physical meaning’, where physical meaning is given by operational definitions. Operationism is already a strong form of verificationism, but there is more’’. It goes on to say that: “The only justification for that assumption is that it is observationally or sensibly impossible to distinguish uniform motion from rest relative to such a frame, and if absolute space and absolute motion or rest cannot be sensibly observed, they therefore do not exist (and may be said to be meaningless )’’. [1] As these quotes show, this is not some esoteric debate on philosophy, but a central part of Einstein’s ideas on time, space, and motion. Einstein’s definitions of time, space, and simultaneity are all based on these philosophical assumptions that are imbedded in special relativity itself. How can Einstein’s assumptions be irrelevant to his scientific theory when they are a part of the theory itself?

Criticizing my first section, Pro says that “Nothing here makes any experimental attempts to prove that the ether exists”. Well, I would hope that a section on philosophy contains no such thing! This section is an attack on Einstein’s philosophical assumptions, not an attack based on the empirical evidence. He also says that there are no logical problems presented. However, it’s clear from reading my first section that logical problems do exist. For example, I argued that there is a logical fallacy embedded in Einstein’s theory, the fallacy of mind-projection. This is an argument concluding that his theory is logically invalid. I also argued that his theory is logically incompatible with the New Theory of Reference, which most philosophers of language hold to be true. Therefore, there are logical problems with Einstein’s theory, and Pro didn’t make any attempt to show that they were consistent. Finally, he says that, by itself, philosophy does not disprove a scientific theory. I don’t think anybody has made this argument. I’m making a cumulative case, combining philosophy and science, against Einstein and in favor of absolute space, time ,and the existence of an ether.


II: Experimental Vindications of the Neo-Lorentzian Interpretation

Con starts off by stating that my arguments “cannot be said to be remotely close to the Lorentzian aether theory”. This is supposed to be true because my arguments don’t establish the ether as traditionally defined. However, this argument isn’t relevant to the debate. The resolution argues for a Neo-Lorentzian theory. The term “neo” implies that the theory is new. It’s not meant to establish the ether as defined by Lorentz, but the ether as defined by the Neo-Lorentzian theory. The definitions in the Lorentz theory, and the Neo-Lorentz theory, are different. When Pro quotes Lorentz’s definition, and then argues that I haven’t established the ether as he defined it, it’s simply a red herring; he’s not quoting the Neo-Lorentzian definition, which is the one I’m arguing for. (It’s a confusing distinction, but one should view the Lorentz theory as the traditional view that Lorentz argued for, and the Neo-Lorentzian theory as a modern, updated version of it.)

Con argues that the CMBR cannot provide us with absolute space because space itself is expanding. Because of this, the CMBR changes. I’m not sure what evidence Con has to support any of these assertions. Beside this point, I don’t understand how it could possibly matter to my argument. Nobody is suggesting that the CMBR stays still and never moves, so it serves to give us something to measure our motion relative to. Rather, the argument is that the CMBR, since it appears isotropic to an observer at rest, and anisotropic to observers in motion, it allows to objectively distinguish who is moving and who is not, giving us absolute space. If the CMBR appears isotropic to you, then you are at rest. If the CMBR appears anisotropic to you, then you are in motion. In order to establish the CMBR as an objective measure of who is moving and who isn’t, we don’t need to say that the CMBR is changeless. It can move, stay the same, move and stop moving. It simply doesn’t matter as long as it appears isotropic to observers at rest, and anisotropic to observers in motion. Even if we granted the unproven assertion that the CMBR changes, it doesn’t matter to the argument I gave.

Furthermore, Con drops some of the evidence I offered in support of the argument. I mentioned an experiment which confirms the CMBR as an ether:

The following experiment is mentioned in Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity: ‘‘’Smoot, Gorenstein, and Muller discovered that the Earth is moving relative to the radiation background with a velocity of 390+60 km/sec in the direction of the constellation Leo. They comment, ‘’The cosine anisotropy is most readily interpreted as being due to the motion of the Earth relative to the rest frame of the cosmic blackbody radiation-what Peebles calls the ‘new aether drift’’’.’’’

Con had no answer to this experimental confirmation, and thus drops it.

In my last round, I provided experimental falsification of Einstein’s interpretation. Alain Aspect’s experiments with Bell’s Inequalities establish absolute simultaneity, and this is supported by quotes from physicists Lee Smolin, S. J. Prokhovnik, and John Bell, as well as the philosopher of science Karl Popper.


I apologize if this is offensive, but Con’s statements in regards to this are just too vague to give an answer to. He states that quantum entanglement transcends space and time. In what sense do they transcend space and time? Con doesn’t make any effort to define what he means by ‘’transcendens space and time’’. Furthermore, he represents the article as stating the consensus in physics, but it’s written by a reporter named Geoff Brumfiel, and he certainly isn't a physicist. The only thing about quantum mechanics transcending space and time is an indirect quote from physicist Terence Rudoplh. Indirect meaning that the report didn't put quotes around it, but is offering an interpretation of his comments. Even then, one physicist is hardly enough to establish a consensus. Con's vagueness hurts him because he doesn't articulate why 'quantum mechanics transcends space and time' is supposed to entail 'Pro's arguments are false". Con fails to link the information provided with my argument.

As for virtual particles, Con says they aren't fully real, and references an article to support his claim. However, this is based on the fallacy of equivocation. When Con says that virtual particles aren't real, he means to say that they don't exist. When the article mentions a thing being real, it refers to a different meaning of the word. In this case, the word real means that the particle is the result of an excitation of the underlying quantum field. He is confusing the common sense definition of real with a technical term in physics, therefore committing an informal fallacy.

Con attacks the argument as a fringe view in physics. However, as the historian Richard Carrier once noted, we can reasonably doubt the consensus on an issue if the conclusions are deduced from flawed methodology. As I showed in Section I, there are very good reasons to doubt the methodology employed. Therefore, we can reasonably doubt the consensus in this case.

Con makes a few more passing remarks. He says that something isn't true just because Einstein said so. I'm genuinely curious where I made that argument. He also asks us what reasons we have to think Einstein was right. I'm not sure about the technical reasons behind Einstein's quote, but as a world-reknowned physicist, it is rational for us to agree with it, even if we don't understand the reasons. He also asks why quantum effects like virtual particles are significant when regarding large regions of space, but he doesn't explain why we need to make this assumption in order for the argument to go through.

For these reasons, the resolution is affirmed.

Vale

References

[1] Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity, pg 3




Citrakayah

Con

I: The Downfall of Einstein’s Philosophy of Science

Again, irrelevant. Whether or not Einstein made certain philosophical assumptions when creating his theory is irrelevant to the only metric we have when determining whether or not something is actually valid, which is experimental evidence. Relativity is a physical theory, not a philosophical one, so arguing on philosophical ground, such as the fact that we intuitively have a sense of the present, is meaningless.

Moreover, even if it was relevant, the initial philosophical assumptions wouldn't matter--only philosophical assumptions that are necessary for the theory to be valid would matter. For instance, if an ancient Greek proposed evolution under the grounds that the perfection seen in nature could only be reached by something closer to an analogue to a democratic process rather than an autocratic one, the philosophical assumptions would be wrong in the extreme--but the hypothesis would still be correct. The most we could say was that the hypothesis was unsupported by the arugments the aforementioned ancient Greek made.

However, relativity is not only backed up by philosophical arguments, it is backed up by empirical arguments. Ultimately, that is what is important for a theory in science--not whether or not it agrees with our intuition or whether or not our language necessitates an objective present. We know that time dilation is a thing[1], whether or not our language says it is is irrelevant. Some languages have no numbers.[2] Does that mean that numbers do not actually exist? If adhering to an older philosophical theory is grounds to dismiss a scientific theory, must we dismiss evolution, gravity, the laws of mechanics, et cetera ad infinitum? Moreover, does Pro really think that Lorentz ether theory--which was based, one must remember, on the idea of a lumineferous ether; that is why it is called an ether--is insulated from the same criticism?[3]

Pro tries to argue that Lorentz ether theory isn't the same as it was a long time ago. Very well. But the same is true of relativity; it has changed over the years and been modified in accordance with new findings and new thoughts.

II: Experimental Vindications of the Neo-Lorentzian Interpretation

If Pro is unfamiliar with the metric expansion of space, he should familiarize himself with it. Most cosmological models involve an expanding universe, and there is observational evidence in the form of redshift that is consistent with metric expansion.[4] That is what I am referring to.

In any event, the cosmological background radiation is useless as an absolute reference frame because, as the background radiation is just photons, it is altered by gravity (black holes, gravititational lensing, et cetera). Observers in radically different locations would not be able to agree on the cosmic background radiation, therefore. Moreover, as the observable universe is larger than the Hubble Volume,[5] parts of the background radiation will not be visible later in time--across temporal gaps, the background radiation does not remain isotropic either.

It is also worth noting that the Neo-Lorenztian ether is supposed to be a preferred reference frame... and the idea of using the cosmic background radiation as a reference frame in no way contradicts relativity.[6]

Pro cites, as evidence of the ether, a book written by a Christian apologist and a philosopher that quotes the source. I would ask for the book's source; given that many of Craig's arguments emerge from his assumption/need to believe that there is a deity in line with his beliefs, I'm rather suspicious of quotations he may make. Near as I can tell, though, what Craig is citing is a paper written in 1977.[7]

Pro continues to argue that entanglement violates relativity, by quoting some people as they are quoted in a book written by aforementioned people. But in reality, things are a bit more complicated.[8][9] Modern analysis of entanglement do not have it breaking relativity as a necessary feature.

My point regarding Einstein is that just because he thinks his theory will fail because of something doesn't mean it actually will, especially since scientific theories change over time. See entanglement.

References

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://theamericanscholar.org...
3. Whittaker, Edmund Taylor (1951), A History of the theories of aether and electricity Vol. 1: The classical theories (2. ed.), London: Nelson 386ff
4. Hubble, Edwin, "A Relation between Distance and Radial Velocity among Extra-Galactic Nebulae" (1929) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp. 168-173 (Full article, PDF)
5. http://en.wikipedia.org...
6. http://www.astro.ubc.ca...
7. http://www.muller.lbl.gov...
8. http://www.sciencedaily.com...

Debate Round No. 3
Sargon

Pro

Ave

General Summary

Con argues that since relativity is a scientific theory, and not a philosophical one, then philosophical arguments against Einstein's interpretation of relativity shouldn't matter. Several lines of criticism can be brought up against this. As my debating friend philochristos once pointed out to me,
"a sound argument is a sound argument, whether it's scientific or philosophical. We shouldn't prefer one argument over another because of what kind of argument it is, but because of whether the argument is sound
." I rely on his wise words to defend me in this debate.

Furthermore, Einstein's special relativity was not just a scientific theory, as Con would like for it to be. It is both a scientific theory and a work of philosophy. His theory makes the following philosophical assumptions, assumptions with are not outside of the theory, but a part of the theory itself. For example, as I quoted in the last round:

- "Einstein took it for granted that all of our judgements in which time plays a role must have a ‘physical meaning’, where physical meaning is given by operational definitions. Operationism is already a strong form of verificationism, but there is more’’.

- “The only justification for that assumption is that it is observationally or sensibly impossible to distinguish uniform motion from rest relative to such a frame, and if absolute space and absolute motion or rest cannot be sensibly observed, they therefore do not exist (and may be said to be meaningless )’’

Con says that only philosophical assumptions necessary for Einstein's theory matter. That's exactly the point! These philosophical assumptions are necessary for Einstein's theory. Without these assumptions, Einstein's theory would have no basis for saying that judgements of time must have a physical meaning. Without these assumptions, Einstein's theory could not have said that absolute space and motion don't exist. Therefore, his now-refuted assumptions of verificationism and positivism are necessary to his theory. They are not like Con's Greek example, because you can easily separate Greek platonism from evolution. However, you can't separate Einstein's theory with his philosophy, because the philosophy he used to justify his assumptions about time and space are part of the theory itself.

Con argued that none of my arguments in this section presented a logical problem for relativity. I countered this by showing that my mind projecton fallacy argument (unanswered) and the NTR argument both present a logical contradiction with relativity, so there is a logical problem. This entire part of the debate went unanswered in the last argument.

Con writes in his last round that "relativity is not only backed up by philosophical arguments, it is backed up by empirical arguments. " Firstly, he fails to provide any philosophical argument for relativity. Secondly, he's the debater who just told us that relativity is a scientific theory, not a philosophical one, so arguing on philosophical grounds is meaningless. Is philosophy irrelevant to relativity, but supports it at the same time? I'm not sure what Con's view is anymore.

Furthermore, Con counters arguments that I haven't even presented. He argues that it doesn't matter to relativity whether or not it is intuitive, or if our language necessitates an objective present. I haven't made the argument that relativity is false because it's not intuitive, so this is misattribution. Secondly, the argument wasn't that our language necessitates an objective present, but that counterfactual statements would be necessarily false if Einstein's theory was true. He further does this when he says that 'we know time dilation is a thing, whether or not our language says it is irrelevant". When did I argue that our language is contradictory with the idea of time dilation? He also seems to be suggesting that time dilation is proof that Einstein's theory is true and that the NL interpretation is false. However, there is a Neo-Lorentzian explanation of time dilation: 'By characterizing the variables for moving frames as effective variables, Lorentz maintained that the real spatial lengths, heights, and widths, and real time, existed only in the absolute reference frame. But omitting the Galilean equation, Einstein's theory lost this causal explanatory power. The coordinates (and all properties) of his inertial reference frames become 'brute facts'." [1] So, not only is time dilation consistent with my argument, but it actually helps.

Con states that there are languages with no numbers. However, according to his source, "participants used three terms: one was used for a 'single' spool, one roughly corresponded to 'two-or-three' spools, and the last was used to indicate the rest of the spools, or 'many.'" Perhaps I'm wrong, but two and three sound like numbers to me. After reading the full article, it's only suggesting that the tribe in question has no exact number for certain quantities, not that they don't have any numbers at all.

Con rhteorically asks "If adhering to an older philosophical theory is grounds to dismiss a scientific theory, must we dismiss evolution, gravity, the laws of mechanics, et cetera ad infinitum?". The problem with this argument is the same problem that his Greek example had. While we can separate, for example, Newton's belief in alchemy from his Principia, we cannot separate Einstein's theory and his philosophy, since his philosophy is part of the theory itself.

Con says that I don't need a reference frame, but a preferred reference frame, so the CMBR doesn't contradict relativity. Well, I'll just consult him to the physicist Lee Smolin, who wrote that ‘’To describe how the correlations are established, a hidden variables theory must embrace one observer’s definition of simultaneity [italics are not mine].’’ This is logically equivalent to saying that we must embrace a preferred frame of reference. Furthermore, he writes that the CMBR is a way to "fix a preferred family of observers [italics mine]'. So, it seems to me that I am arguing for a preferred reference frame, not just a reference frame.

This also ties into Con's argument that entanglement doesn't violate relativity. How could entanglement not violate relativity? From Prokhovnik, Bell, and Popper, it follows that quantum entanglement establishes a preferred reference frame which should cause us to abandon Einstein's interpretation. He referenced two articles, but he fails to elucidate their content in the form of an argument.


Con launches an attack on the book Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity. Unfortunately, his attacks are not based on fact. He says that it's a book written by a philsopher and apologist William Lane Craig. This description is extremely inaccurate. The book in question is a collection of essays from various philosophers and physicists, with one article from Dr. Craig, who also co-edited the paper. It is not, in any sense, a book by William Lane Craig. Con suggests that we should doubt the book because Dr. Craig has a motivation to believe in god. However, the book was also co-edited by Quentin Smith, one of the most prominent atheistic philosophers in history. This objection ends up flying back in Con's face.

In my opening statement and the last round, I referenced an experiment which detected the Earth's motion relative to the CMBR, and established a new aether drift. Con doesn't do anything to answer this argument other than point out that it's from a paper from 1977. Con therefore drops this argument.

Con reiterates the objection that the CMBR is moving, and that it's therefore "useless" as an absolute frame of reference. Firstly, I don't see how it can be "useless" given the experiment mentioned. Secondly, I explained in my last round why the position of the CMBR itself doesn't matter.

Speaking of dropped argument, I made the argument that an ether exists because empty space has physical properties. Con dropped this argument. So, just by this, the resolution has been affirmed. (Con also failed to explain what he meant by "quantum mechanics transcends time and space".)

Conclusion

Con drops too many points in this debate.

- He dropped the argument that quantum mechanics transcends time and space
- He dropped the argument that Smoot's experiments measured the Earth's motion relative to the CMBR.
- He drops the argument that my Section 1 doesn't present any logical contradiction with relativity.
- He drops the argument that an ether exists because empty space has physical properties. This is enough to win the debate for me.
- He drops the argument that he is equivocating on the meaning of "real" in quantum physics.


He also attacks many arguments that I never made.

- I never said that relativity is false because it contradicts intuition.
- I never said that our language necessitates an objective present.
- I never said that time dilation and our language contradict each other.

It's not as if Con ran out of room (he had many thousands of characters left in each round). It's that he couldn't provide any arguments to negate mine. For these reasons, I recommend a vote for Pro.

[1] Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity, pg 83


Vale
























Citrakayah

Con

General Outline

Well, philocristos is wrong here. This is like making an ethical argument against evolution. If the world doesn't agree with our philosophical ideas, then we need to revamp our philosophy, not the other way around. Science always trumps philosophy, always.

Pro then gives argument stating that several philosophical assumptions that he finds erroneous are necessary for Einstein's theory to be correct... but if we examine the claims, we can easily see what Pro's problem is--his argument really doesn't exist. He states things like "Einstein took it for granted that all of our judgements in which time plays a role must have a 'physical meaning,' where physical meaning is given by operational definitions. Operationism is already a strong form of verificationism, but there is more."

The problem is that he doesn't elaborate. He just states this and expects it to be immediately obvious to the audience that he is correct. Why, for example, is verificationism wrong? All Pro says is that his book--written by philosophers rather than actual scientists--says that it is wrong. He gives no proof of a consensus. All he does is appeal to authority to make his arguments for him--but in a debate like this, one cannot do that.

For example, immediately afterwards, Pro argues that the New Theory of Reference demands absolute time, and therefore absolute time is true. But he gives no evidence that is correct other than to provide a quote that isn't even arguing for the theory being true! There is no substance here, merely gossamer and finely made (and highly breakable) stained glass windows, which are easily broken by the Baseball of Reality, thrown by the Child Who Asked Why We Should Give A Sh!t, at which point his parents yell at him.

Peculiar brands of humor aside, the point is this: Pro gives us no reason to think that philosophy of language is relevant here (since language is completely a social construct, and the English language is a European construct), nor that the New Theory of Reference is true, or that we should believe what Quentin Smith says! He merely expects us to. Perhaps his sources provide detail--he could even be right (though I don't think he is). But in a formal debate, none of that matters. You must support your own arguments, not merely invoke others.

This is also one of the reasons why my arguments have been short. There is little to refute.

Pro attempts to assert that I am being hypocritcal by saying that relativity is backed up by philosophical arguments. But I only mentioned them to state that they are, ultimately, irrelevant.

Pro attempts to argue that a word for "couple" and "more than couple" are numbers. While I suppose one could argue that they are a sort of number, they are certainly not numbers in the traditional sense. Numbers are supposed to be able to be exact, not just be vague approximations.

Then Pro misquotes Smolin. The actual quote, in context, is pointing out that if there is a hidden-variables theory--which we do not know there is--it is not compatible with relativity.[1] And that is another thing entirely. Moreover, this undercuts Pro's argument even more--the very fact that a hidden-variable theory is not universally agreed to exist, and is only necessary if there is a deeper level of understanding than quantum mechanics is evidence that the existence of quantum entanglement is not solid proof for Pro. And even then, Smolin's view isn't necessarily going to be mainstream!

Again Pro tries to argue that the motion of Earth relative to the CMBR proves his ideas. It doesn't. He then attacks me for my pointing out that as far as I can tell the paper is from 1977--which, given that the paper puports to discover an aether, and that the paper has had over forty years to get attention, and Lorentz aether theory is still a complete fringe theory, suggests that maybe the scientists whom Pro is so quick to cite have excellent reasons for not actually believing in it!

Then Pro tries to say that because empty space has physical properties he wins. But again: He has not shown how empty space having physical properties (not that it does--the fact that virtual particles come into existence does not give empty space, on the particle level, actual properties) refutes relativity.

Pro's arguments rest on three main pillars.

1. Einstein's model of relativity hasn't changed in over half a century, and we should therefore assume that just because Einstein said something conflicts with it, it does, and no one has found a workaround. (Example: Pro argued that because Einstein said that space having physical properties would contradict relativity, relativity is wrong--no arguments for why Einstein was correct were presented and Pro resorted to blatant appeal to authority.)
2. If a scientist said something that could be interpreted as explicitly saying that something had to be abandoned, even when next to no scientists have abandoned that idea in many decades, that scientist can be fairly cited as supporting abandoning that idea. (Example: Please see most of Pro's quotes of famous scientists.)
3. Arguments are just meant to link quotes together rather than providing any particular substance on their own. (Example: See most of Pro's arguments.)

All of these are false.


References:

1. http://books.google.com...
Debate Round No. 4
108 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
Citrakayah did not drop any arguments. And, Sargon only made philosophical arguments and used a religious fanatic as his main source of evidence.

This was a debate based on scientific fact, not religious and philosophical nonsense as proffered by Sargon.

Sargon lost this debate without out a doubt. But Sargon's friends voted for him like they did in his last debate on this subject.

This is such a sham that it makes me sick. But, this in-group/friend voting goes on all the time at this site. That coupled with confirmation bias leads to debate results that prove nothing.

And, Sargon winning this debate in no way disproves Albert Einstein's theory of relativity or proves that ether exists. All modern day theoretical physicists accept Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.

William Lane Craig is a religious quack. The only people that support him are other religious nut cases like him. Craig knows if time is relative, then God is relative. That is, God had to have a beginning. But, that does not sit well with Christian apologists like Craig, since God had no beginning and has no end.
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
His RFD and Your Subutai were pure BS and dishonest.
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
Part I

The voting on this debate was problematic for me because 3 or 4 of the Sargon voters were religious folks that rejected Albert Einstein"s theory of relativity. Albert Einstein is the greatest theoretical physicist in history. These 3 or 4 Sargon voters rejected Einstein in favor of no evidence presented by William Lane Craig that aether exists and time is absolute or God"s time. William Lane Craig is a theologian, a religious fanatic " who have no degree in science and is not a theoretical physicist.

Citrakayah won this debate without a doubt. These voters should never have been allowed to be judges in "Revive DDO Tournament," IMHO.

One voter, Magic8000 states in his RFD 3 months ago (November 2013):

"Ultimately, arguments goes to Pro. Con drops arguments like hippies drop acid at Woodstock. I personally agreed with Con at the start of the debate. I rejected many of Pro"s experimental arguments because physics is not complete and this could potentially refute the experiments. However, in this debate Pro cleared up a lot of things about his philosophical arguments, mainly his first argument about relativity's philosophy makes me skeptical of the Minkowski interpretation."

Magic8000"s statement that he agreed with Con, who drops arguments like hippies dropping acid at Woodstock, before the debate is problematic based on what he posted to my forum today.

Today, on March 4, 2014 (3 months later) Magic8000 states in my forum "Neo-Lorentzian Ether Does not Exist":
http://www.debate.org...

"Lol GWL. I use to be a Relativist atheist like you. You see The atheists of the world jointed together to form a theory that would deny the Bible. Men like The Government and Hitler created relativity and presented Jewish proctologist Einstein to present the new theory. You see, it was created to refute the true Geocentric model of the universe, as presented in the Bible."
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
Part II

In response to my question as to what "kfc" meant, Magic8000 also stated today on March 4, 2014:

"Both. Kentucky Fried Chicken actually funded the book "Einstein relativity and absolute symmetry". Craig himself told me. KFC is a Christian aether supporting group" The aether touched me in a good way. The aether lead me to a Kentucky fried chicken. Where I found William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith working on their book. I sat down with them and they should be (s/b showed me) God exists and relativity is false" How does your science explain that? God told me to get my sh1t together. You need to pray and ask for the aether to touch you (in a good way)."

So Magic8000 believes Einstein was a proctologist who was persuaded by the Government and Hitler to fabricate the Theory of Relativity, but Magic did agree with Citrakayah before the debate.

Too Funny!
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
Part I " 2-28-2014

Ave " Greetings in Latin:

There is no doubt that Sargon lost this debate and that the people who voted for him are his friends and know almost nothing about theoretical physics or Albert Einstein, the greatest theoretical physicist in the history of the World.

Sargon has completely distorted everything done by Albert Einstein using BS from two religious fanatics that are not scientists or theoretical physicists in a retarded book they co-authored that is rejected by all real scientists and theoretical physicists.

"Einstein, Relativity, and Absolute Simultaneity" is co-authored/edited by two religious fanatics that are not scientists or theoretical physicists " William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith. Craig and Smith actually wrote two chapters in this eleven chapter book. And, Sargon only quotes 5 sentences taken out of context from 5 pages in those two chapters of this 11 chapter book. He site 4 sentences from 4 pages in the first chapter of this book which was written Craig " "The metaphysics of special relativity: three views" " by William Lane Craig. Sargon quotes pages 3, 29, 31, and 33 from this chapter; and from chapter 3 - "A radical rethinking of quantum gravity: rejecting Einstein"s relativity and unifying Bohmian Quantum mechanics with a Bell-neo-Lorentzian absolute time, space and gravity" by Quentin Smith " a religious fanatic " not a scientist or a theoretical physicist. Sargon quotes page 73 from that chapter.

This book is garbage and proves nothing, and should have been rejected as evidence by all voters.

The idea that Albert Einstein was sympathetic to positivism is just a myth that has been spread by liars like William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith, two religious fanatics; but, now too, Sargon is spreading that myth.

In Part II I will present all the evidence needed to prove that Albert Einstein was not a logical positivist.
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
Part II " 2-28-2014

"Einstein's Philosophy of Science"
First published Wed Feb 11, 2004

"Why Einstein did not think himself a realist (he said so explicitly) is discussed below. Why he is not to be understood as a positivist deserves a word or two of further discussion here, if only because the belief that he was sympathetic to positivism, at least early in his life, is so widespread (for a fuller discussion, see Howard 1993).

"That Einstein later repudiated positivism is beyond doubt. Many remarks from at least the early 1920s through the end of his life make this clear. In 1946 he explained what he took to be Mach's basic error: He did not place in the correct light the essentially constructive and speculative nature of all thinking and more especially of scientific thinking; in consequence, he condemned theory precisely at those points where its constructive-speculative character comes to light unmistakably, such as in the kinetic theory of atoms. (Einstein 1946, 21)"

"Why, then, is the belief in Einstein's early sympathy for positivism so well entrenched?"
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
Part III " 2-28-2014

"Einstein's Philosophy of Science" continued:

"The one piece of evidence standardly cited for a youthful flirtation with positivism is Einstein's critique of the notion of absolute distant simultaneity in his 1905 paper on special relativity (Einstein 1905c). Einstein speaks there of "observers," but in an epistemologically neutral way that can be replaced by talk of an inertial frame of reference. What really bothers Einstein about distant simultaneity is not that it is observationally inaccessible but that it involves a two-fold arbitrariness, one in the choice of an inertial frame of reference and one in the stipulation within a given frame of a convention regarding the ratio of the times required for a light signal to go from one stationary observer to another and back again. Likewise, Einstein faults classical Maxwellian electrodynamics for an asymmetry in the way it explains electromagnetic induction depending on whether it is the coil or the magnet that is assumed to be at rest. If the effect is the same"a current in the coil"why, asks Einstein, should there be two different explanations: an electrical field created in the vicinity of a moving magnet or an electromotive force induced in a conductor moving through a stationary magnetic field? To be sure, whether it is the coil or the magnet that is taken to be at rest makes no observable difference, but the problem, from Einstein's point of view, is the asymmetry in the two explanations. Even the young Einstein was no positivist."

"First generation logical empiricists sought to legitimate their movement in part by claiming Einstein as a friend. They may be forgiven their putting a forced interpretation on arguments taken out of context. We can do better."
http://plato.stanford.edu...
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
Part IV " 2-28-2014

Guess what Sargon and Sargon voters, metaphysics is not a real science and proves nothing about science. Nothing written by Albert Einstein is based on metaphysics, or logical positivism, which is the BS discussed by William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith (two religious fanatics), which Sargon uses as his main source of evidence. Too GD funny!

That evidence proves nothing; and sure as Hades does not disprove Albert Einstein"s theory of special relativity and the fact that time is relative, not absolute. And, it surely does not prove that Hendrik Lorentz"s ether theory is true.

It is a sad testimony for debating at DDO when uneducated people debate and vote on subjects they are not sufficiently educated to debate about or vote on. In-group bias voting is destroying DDO. Most of the same voters who voted for Sargon in this debate also voted for him in his first debate "The Neo-Lorentzian Interpretation is better than the Minkowski interpretation." How and why would that happen? Is it mere happenstance?

It appears that Sargon has Christian leanings but claims his beliefs are those of a "Theoretical Atheist." I wonder if William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith, two religious fanatics are Theoretical atheists?

The whole idea of theoretical atheism is new philosophic BS, which is why all philosophers should just die and fade away; they add nothing to reality or the world; Philosophy has reduced itself to a game of words. Philosophy should only be taught as a history class to show how before science, men came up with nonsense about how the world worked and the basis of knowledge, i.e., "a priori" knowledge.

You are either an atheist or you are not. If you are an atheist, you believe that God and gods do not exist. You don"t have to prove the negative. Atheists don"t believe in anything that is related to the concept of God or gods. Theism is meaningless to an atheist because it is based on a God or gods.
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
Part V " 2-28-2014

The only philosophy that is real is empiricism, i.e., that all knowledge is derived from sense experience. Basically, the only truth is through science. It you can"t verify it my observation and experimentation; it is not real, like LET " Lorentz"s ether theory is just BS that Lorentz could never prove and Albert Einstein disproved, pure and simple. Lorentz's initial theory created in 1892 and 1895 was based on a completely motionless aether. Guess what, that idea of completely motion aether could never be proven despite repeated experiments.

"Theory of relativity"

http://en.wikipedia.org...

"In 1905, Albert Einstein published his paper on what is now called special relativity. [A 22] In this paper, by examining the fundamental meanings of the space and time coordinates used in physical theories, Einstein showed that the "effective" coordinates given by the Lorentz transformation were in fact the inertial coordinates of relatively moving frames of reference. From this followed all of the physically observable consequences of LET, along with others, all without the need to postulate an unobservable entity (the ether). Einstein identified two fundamental principles, each founded on experience, from which all of Lorentz's electrodynamics follows:

1.The laws by which physical processes occur are the same with respect to any system of inertial coordinates (the principle of relativity)

2. In empty space light propagates at an absolute speed c in any system of inertial coordinates (the principle of the constancy of light)
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
Part VI " 2-28-2014

"Theory of relativity" continued

"Taken together (along with a few other tacit assumptions such as isotropy and homogeneity of space), these two postulates lead uniquely to the mathematics of special relativity. Lorentz and Poincar" had also adopted these same principles, as necessary to achieve their final results, but didn't recognize that they were also sufficient, and hence that they obviated all the other assumptions underlying Lorentz's initial derivations (many of which later turned out to be incorrect [C 4]). Therefore, special relativity very quickly gained wide acceptance among physicists, and the 19th century concept of a luminiferous ether was no longer considered useful. [B 17][B 18]

Einstein's 1905 presentation of special relativity was soon supplemented, in 1907, by Hermann Minkowski, who showed that the relations had a very natural interpretation[C 5] in terms of a unified four-dimensional "spacetime" in which absolute intervals are seen to be given by an extension of the Pythagorean theorem. (Already in 1906 Poincar" anticipated some of Minkowski's ideas, see the section "Lorentz-transformation").[B 19] The utility and naturalness of the representations by Einstein and Minkowski contributed to the rapid acceptance of special relativity, and to the corresponding loss of interest in Lorentz's ether theory.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Miles_Donahue 3 years ago
Miles_Donahue
SargonCitrakayahTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Despite what's been said, Pro's discussion concerning the philosophical foundations of relativity is not irrelevant to the debate. If a theory is found to have a philosophically inadequate foundation (Minkowskian relativity), and there is an alternative theory that does not have a such a shaky foundation (neo-Lorentzian relativity), we should prefer the latter. Pro gave three philosophical arguments against Minkowskian relativity and Con never says anything of substance against these, and so arguments go to Pro. Pro gave three arguments for a neo-Lorentzian interpretation of relativity, and, so long as Lorentzian relativity entails an ether, an ether. Citrakayah's rebuttal is rather weak, and only in the last round does he really grapple with the arguments put forward (though he did raise a substantial argument against the CMBR which I don't think Sargon adequately dealt with), by which time is was too late for Pro to respond. This was a rather messy debate.
Vote Placed by rross 3 years ago
rross
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Reasons for voting decision: See comments.
Vote Placed by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
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Reasons for voting decision: see comments. Although I found PRO's case to be well-structured, I also found it largely irrelevant to the resolution proper.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
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Reasons for voting decision: rfd in comments