The Instigator
Sargon
Pro (for)
Winning
32 Points
The Contender
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

The Neo-Lorentzian Interpretation is better than the Minkowski interpretation

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
Sargon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/22/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,588 times Debate No: 38017
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (7)

 

Sargon

Pro

Ave

Resolution

This debate will be about whether the Neo-Lorentzian interpretation of special relativity is better than the Minkowski interpretation of special relativity. I will be taking the position that the Neo-Lorentzian interpretation of special relativity is better. Con will be taking the position that the Minkowski interpretation is better. 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 for investigation, not so each debater could ramble for a full 10k characters.

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.[1]

Minkowski Interpretation: This interpretation posits a 4-dimensional geometry of spacetime points. The central feature of this interpretation is the light cone structure in spacetime, and the familiar notions of reference frames, speed of light, etc. play no role in this interpretation. Objects are four-dimensional wholes, whose respective proper times and lengths vary from coordinate system to coordinate system. [1]

Better: best supported by philosophical and empirical inquiry

http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

Vale



Rational_Thinker9119

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Sargon

Pro


Ave




I: Introduction




I want to thank Rational_Thinker for agreeing to participate in this debate with me. I also wish to thank Magic8000 and popculturepooka for posting on my profile and suggesting this debate. Without them, I don’t think this debate would have happened. 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!)




II: 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...


III: 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.




IV: 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...

Rational_Thinker9119

Con

"Alain Aspect's experiments with Bell's inequalities demonstrate simultaneous causation with spatially distant photons."

This appears to be true, and it does seem to cast sufficient doubt the Minkowski view. I'll concede...
Debate Round No. 2
Sargon

Pro

Ave

I thank RT for his gracious concession. As a formality, I extend all arguments that I made in the last round. I encourage the audience to vote arguments to me, and perhaps conduct to RT.

Vale
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

Yes, vote Pro. Moving along...
Debate Round No. 3
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
I don't doubt my debating skills... It's the topics that I end up debating that are the problem lol
Posted by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
Juan_Pablo
Rationalthinker, I've seen you debate. You can be very good. I've accepted debates I've had to concede to. It's no big deal.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
B-Theory debates don't interest me at this point (I have better ways to address issues like the Kalam), I only accepted this debate so Sargon could present his case because I know he has been dying to do so lol He pointed out good scientific reasons to doubt the Minkowski view, so I conceded as I truly don't care about the B-Theory/ A-Theory debate as I did a month ago...
Posted by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
Juan_Pablo
Sorry. In possible explanation (2), as an object increases in speed, the the object expands in width making it appear as though it contracted in length to a stationary reference frame; its sense of time still dilates.

My error.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
Juan_Pablo
Rationalthinker, you're actually confused. The Neo-lorentzian interpretation argues in favor of a priveleged time frame and rest frame. In the Neo-lorentzian version, there are actually several possible explanations to account for the effects of special relativity. (1) As an object increases its speed, it contracts in length and its sense of time dilates; (2) as an object increases in speed, the the object expands in width making it appear as though it contracted to a stationary reference frame; its sense of time quickens; (3) some geometrical possibility consisting of both alternatives (1) and (2).

https://en.wikipedia.org...

The Minkowski interpretation argues that relativistic effects are caused by convulted nature of space-time itself and the way it alters light.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
"where things genuinely do contract with greater speed and where time does retard with increased velocity."

That's the Minkowski version lol
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
"where things genuinely do contract with greater speed and where time does retard with increased velocity."

That's the Minkowski version lol
Posted by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
Juan_Pablo
I really enjoy the quotes, Sargon! Nice presentation.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
I don't really use B-Theory anymore when debating issues dealing with the Kalam, so I didn't have any interest in defending it in a debate at all. However, people want to see it, so it shall be done lol
Posted by Orangatang 3 years ago
Orangatang
Favorited.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
SargonRational_Thinker9119Tied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
Vote Placed by Jakeross6 3 years ago
Jakeross6
SargonRational_Thinker9119Tied
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: Very nice, Sargon. I learned a lot from your arguments. Pro has the arguments and the sources. I will give Con the Conduct point for his concession of the debate.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
SargonRational_Thinker9119Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: concession
Vote Placed by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
Juan_Pablo
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded. Also, I favor a Neo-Lorentzian interpretation of relativity and agreed with all of Pro's points! I think the resolution was presented and defended well. I later modified the point distribution, believing that Con should be rewarded a conduct point for his gracious concession. These things shouldn't be overlooked.
Vote Placed by Miles_Donahue 3 years ago
Miles_Donahue
SargonRational_Thinker9119Tied
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Total points awarded:61 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made a clear and convincing case for the Neo-Lorentzian interpretation of Special Relativity, and made a substantial case against the Minkowskian interpretation. Pro conceded this.
Vote Placed by popculturepooka 3 years ago
popculturepooka
SargonRational_Thinker9119Tied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments to Pro for laying out a well argued position that went unchallenged. Conduct to Con for the gracious concession.
Vote Placed by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
SargonRational_Thinker9119Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession stand