The Instigator
Subutai
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
Maryland_Kid
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Theory of General Relativity Is Valid

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Subutai
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 5/26/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,047 times Debate No: 55462
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

Subutai

Pro

As per over a year of discussion, we have agreed to do this debate. Please note that you must have an ELO of 2000 or higher to vote on this debate.

Full Resolution

The general theory of relativity is valid.

BoP is on pro.

Definitions

Theory of General Relativity: "The second is the General Theory of Relativity, which primarily applies to particles as they accelerate, particularly due to gravitation, and acts as a radical revision of Newton's theory, predicting important new results for fast-moving and/or very massive bodies."[1]

Valid: "Having some foundation; based on truth."[2]

Rules

1. The first round is for acceptance.
2. A forfeit or concession is not allowed.
3. No semantics, trolling, or lawyering.
4. All arguments and sources must be visible inside this debate.
5. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed without asking in the comments before you post your round 1 argument.

Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed in the middle of the debate. Voters, in the case of the breaking of any of these rules by either debater, all seven points in voting should be given to the other person.

Debate Structure

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Presenting all arguments (no rebuttals by con)
Round 3: Refutation of opponent's arguments (no new arguments)
Round 4: Defending your original arguments and conclusion (no new arguments)

Sources

[1]: http://www.allaboutscience.org...
[2]: http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Maryland_Kid

Con

Yes, thank you for this debate.

I'd like to add that there are two definitions of Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity: the Theory of Special Relativity states that the laws of physics are the same throughout the universe for those not accelerating, but observing. Einstein"s Theory of General Relativity is explained that massive objects in space cause a pull in the time-space continuum. This is gravity. [1]

Another part of the Theory is that light travels at the same pace and is the fastest speed that you can travel. The perception of what speed light travels at is relative. [2]

[1] http://www.space.com...

[2] http://www.space.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Subutai

Pro

I would like to thank Maryland_Kid for accepting this debate.

Introduction - Special Relativity

My opponent has said that he would like to consider special relativity as well as general relativity. I will simply put forth its two postulates, and then provide some evidence for each postulate.

The first postulate is that the laws of nature are the same in all inertial reference frames. This makes logical sense, and can be proved through the use of mathematical principles beyond the scope of this debate. Further, there have been many experimental studies that confirm this, such as the 1908 Trouton and Rankine experiment on, "...the resistance of a coil fixed in the lab, for various orientations relative to the motion of the Earth. Its null result is consistent with SR."[1][2]

The second postulate is that the speed of light in a vacuum is the same in all inertial frames. This has been proved countless times. There have been no confirmed exceptions to this postulate. The famous 1887 Michelson and Morley experiment showed statistically insignificant results. Its failure eventually put to rest the idea of a luminiferous aether in favor of Einstein's eventual formulation of this postulate. Time dilation and length contraction also support the theory, both of which have been experimentally verified numerous times as well[1][2]

Defining General Relativity

I now want to provide a little more understanding of what general relativity is. "As he worked out the equations for his general theory of relativity, Einstein realized that massive objects caused a distortion in space-time. Imagine setting a large body in the center of a trampoline. The body would press down into the fabric, causing it to dimple. A marble rolled around the edge would spiral inward toward the body, pulled in much the same way that the gravity of a planet pulls at rocks in space." This provides a description of the change in the way gravity was viewed in general relativity.[3]

Experimental Verification of General Relativity

There are a large number of different phenomena predicted by general relativity have been observed, and can be due to nothing else but general relativity itself. I will present three of these predictions.

The Perihelion Precession of Mercury

Orbits are not stable. They change from rotation to rotation. One way to measure precession is by tracking the change in the perihelion, or the point in a planet's orbit where it is closest to the sun. The perihelion precession can be illustrated here:



[9]

Newtonian mechanics can predict the precession of every planet in the solar system, except for Mercury. Because Mercury is closest to the sun, it precesses the most. The precession of Mercury's perihelion moved a little too much based on the Newtonian predictions. Newtonian mechanics predicted a precession of around 531 arc seconds per century. However, the observed precession was around 574 arc seconds per century. that was a difference of 43 arc seconds. That was not statistically insignificant, and could not be ignored. Something was missing from the purely Newtonian model.[4]

"A number of ad hoc and ultimately unsuccessful solutions were proposed, but they tended to introduce more problems. In general relativity, this remaining precession, or change of orientation of the orbital ellipse within its orbital plane, is explained by gravitation being mediated by the curvature of spacetime." General relativity presented the only viable solution to the problem.[4]

"In contrast, Einstein was able to predict, without any adjustments whatsoever, that the orbit of Mercury should precess by an extra 43 seconds of arc per century should the General Theory of Relativity be correct." The equations of general relativity showed an additional 43 arc seconds of precession per century, which exactly equals the deficit in the purely Newtonian system. General relativity is the only explanation for this, and it is clear that Newtonian mechanics cannot explain everything in the universe.[5]

Gravitational Lensing

Spacetime can be thought as a fabric. Every object in space warps the fabric of spacetime, creating a depression. This is the description of gravity according to general relativity - an object "falls" into the spacetime depression of another object. An analogy would be two people holding a flat blanket in the air with a ball in the middle. The ball creates a depression in the middle of the blanket. Spacetime so bends orbits, but it also bends light. The creates an illusion known as gravitational lensing, where the apparent image of an object is different from the actual position of the object. A simple illustration of gravitational lensing is shown here:



[8]

Gravitational lensing would only be a feature in general relativity, and thus its very existence is evidence for general relativity. "Recently, these telescopes have measured the deflection of radio waves by the Sun to extremely high precision, confirming the amount of deflection predicted by general relativity aspect to the 0.03% level." That is a very statistically significant result, and shows that gravitational lensing is a real thing. The most extreme case of gravitational lensing can be seen with an Einstein ring, where the light is reflected so much that it forms a ring. Several of these Einstein rings have been photographed. Gravitational lensing can only be explained with general relativity's spacetime fabric model.[4][6]

Frame Dragging

We know already that mass distorts spacetime, but rotating mass tends to drag the spacetime it distorts with it. This effect is known as frame dragging. It is analogous to a bowling ball spinning in molasses, as it tends to drag the molasses along with it as it spins. This tends to cause the orbits of satellites to shift. This effect is measureable with the use of a gyroscope, and was recently determined by LAGEOS I and II and Gravity Probe B.

"We found that the plane of the orbits of LAGEOS I and II were shifted about six feet (two meters) per year in the direction of the Earth's rotation. This is about 10 percent greater than what is predicted by general relativity, which is within our margin of error of plus or minus 20 percent.""The results [for Gravity Probe B] reported the frame dragging effect (caused by the Earth's rotation) added up to 37 milliarcseconds with an error of about 19 percent." Frame dragging has been shown to exist, and is only compatible with the spacetime fabric model of general relativity.[7][4]

Conclusion

Einstein's theories of special and general relativity have been vigorously tested by looking at the predicted and observe data from a number of predictions that they both make, from the confirmation of the two postulates of special relativity, to the observation of the greater perihelion precession of mercury, gravitational lensing, and frame dragging. It can be reasonably concluded that the laws of the universe are the same for all inertial reference frames, that the speed of light is constant, and that mass distorts the spacetime fabric, thus providing a description of how gravity works. The theory of general relativity has been proven valid time and again.

Sources

[1]: http://www.astro.virginia.edu...
[2]: http://math.ucr.edu...
[3]: http://www.space.com...
[4]: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5]: http://physics.ucr.edu...
[6]: http://astro.berkeley.edu...
[7]: http://www.phy.duke.edu...
[8]: http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov...
[9]: http://ase.tufts.edu...
Maryland_Kid

Con

Yes, both theories have been tested many times, but there could always be new evidence to come into the fold.

However, there is new evidence that challenges those theories. The first comes from the Orion Nebula Trapezium, the next comes from the event horizon of a black hole, the later comes from a three-star system acts out of place if the Theory of General Relativity is true and the final piece of evidence comes from neutrinos traveling faster than light.

We got into this debate when debating Evolution. I mentioned that the Theory of Relativity was being challenged. I heard about the Theory of Relativity, from the Glenn Beck program, being challenged and I offer these final thoughts to boost my argument. My point is that science is constantly changing and nothing is set in stone.

Theories and laws are constantly being tested. Just because something is considered right to explain a phenomenon, that doesn’t mean that there is an unobserved variable that makes something work when we think it’s something that we do observe.) Also, my secular Biology textbook says that such findings are given provisional assent. In other words, they are considered to be true unless new evidence shows otherwise.

I have a better and simpler definition of the Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. It is that light travels at the same pace and is the fastest speed that you can travel. The perception of what speed light travels at is relative. [1] His Theory of Special Relativity states that the laws of physics are the same throughout the universe for those not accelerating, but observing. Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity is explained that massive objects in space cause a pull in the time-space continuum. This is gravity. [2]

What is the Orion Nebula? It is a collection of gas in the star constellation (groups of stars making recognizable shapes) Orion, specifically, the Sword. It looks like a star itself because it shines so brightly, but it’s not. Stars are believed to have been created there. [3] The brightest part of the nebula is called the Trapezium. The developments on the Earth being mirrored there is approximately in the present because there is recent man made developments from Earth being reflected on the Nebula. These image comes from around the Nile River. However, according to conventional science, it should take about 300 years for the reflection to get there, because it is 1400 light years. [4] https://www.youtube.com...
http://s949.photobucket.com...

Stephen Hawking hypothesizes that the part of falling through the gravity well the boundary of a black hole to which no light or radiation can escape, called an event horizon, is wrong. Matter and energy are only stored for a period of time and converted into a new form. In turn, the Kavli Institute scientists found out laws of [5] quantum mechanics (the universe can be divided into smaller pieces [6]) would actually have the astronaut burn up in the event horizon. According to Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, physics inside the event horizon [5] (or border of the gravitational pull of the black hole[7]) should be identical to anywhere else in the universe. [5]

Neutrinos are reportedly speeding faster than the speed of light. This observation comes from Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus (OPERA,) a 1300-metric-ton particle detector in Italy. The Neutrinos made the jump roughly 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. [8]

[1]http://www.space.com...
[2]http://www.space.com...
[3]http://www.astro.wisc.edu...
[4]http://beforeitsnews.com...
[5]http://beforeitsnews.com...
[6]http://dwb.unl.edu...
[7]http://www.astronomysource.com...
[8]http://news.sciencemag.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Subutai

Pro

I would like to thank Maryland_Kid for presenting his arguments. I am going to cover the two issues my opponent brings up at the beginning of his argument first before I refute my opponent's three arguments themselves.

Clarifying Misconceptions

I understand that science constantly changes and that no theory is set in stone because of science's nature of falsification, and what we learn after we make a theory. The resolution states that the theory of general relativity is valid, which I defined to be, "Having some foundation; based on truth." In other words, I am not arguing that general relativity is the last word on the subject, nor am I arguing that it is completely true and will always be true. I am simply arguing that, from what we currently know and the affirmed predictions of general relativity, that the theory is valid.

The other thing I will address is his new definitions. If you read them, and then compare then two the definitions I gave of special and general relativity, the two are the same. I mentioned special relativity has two postulates - the consistent laws of nature for inertial reference frames, and the constant speed of light. I defined general relativity to be a description of how gravity works by matter warping the spacetime fabric. Notice how this is the same as what I said in my first argument, and is the same as what my opponent has defined them as. I'm not sure why my opponent felt the need to define both theories again.

Refuting Counterarguments

My opponent makes three separate arguments against the resolution that I will refute individually.

Orion Trapezium Cluster

After giving the video my opponent presents a listen, I honestly can not help but say outright that this argument is incredibly stupid. Even assuming that the two mirror each other (when you look at the picture, you see that it doesn't really), there are still a number of questions my opponent has left unanswered. One, what mechanism causes the Orion Nebula to mirror the Nile? Two, why is it only in the Orion Nebula and only the Nile (the sheer size of the universe, again assuming the pictures showed mirroring, makes a coincidence almost certain)? And three, the Nile has changed little over the past 100 years, so the "mirror" may mirror the Nile as it was 1300 years ago. But again, these are all assuming that the "mirror" exists, which, judging by the picture, doesn't. There has been no scientific research on the topic. My opponent's only evidence is a conspiracy theorist from a conspiracy website. There is no credibility at all. For my opponent to even attempt to salvage his point here, he needs to address all of these glaring holes in his argument.

Event Horizon of a Black Hole

Before I begin rebutting this claim, I would like to point out that my opponent's argument here is still a hypothesis, and is nowhere near refuting the idea of the event horizon. A lack of X-ray bursts in black hole candidates points toward the need for an event horizon for black holes, "A type of X-ray explosion found on neutron stars does not occur near black holes, scientists announced here today. The lack of explosions is strong evidence for the existence of a black hole event horizon.""They must then have event horizons. Though not yet strong enough to qualify as proof, this line of reasoning must surely be considered compelling evidence for the reality of the event horizon."[1][2]

Even so, eliminating the event horizon does not disprove the entire concept of general relativity anyway. Hawking's own solution points to a reconciliation between quantum mechanics and general relativity, "Quantum mechanics and general relativity remain intact, but black holes simply do not have an event horizon to catch fire. The key to his claim is that quantum effects around the black hole cause space-time to fluctuate too wildly for a sharp boundary surface to exist." Assuming that this hypothesis is valid, it, by no means, makes general relativity invalid, as it offers a compromise between the two initially competing theories.[3]

Neutrinos

This experiment has been disproved several times. In fact, the major coordinators of the experiment resigned in the face of extreme hostility. As it turned out, "A link from a GPS receiver to the OPERA master clock was loose, which increased the delay through the fiber. The glitch's effect was to decrease the reported flight time of the neutrinos by 73 ns, making them seem faster than light." Notice the glitch was larger than the supposed violation of the speed of light, making the problem null.[4][5]

Experiments after the fact have determined on four separate occcasion that neutrinos travel very close to the speed of light and not over it. "Gran Sasso houses four particle detectors capable of timing neutrinos fired from CERN: OPERA, ICARUS, BOREXINO, and LVD. All four have now found that the neutrino's speed is consistent with the speed of light, as Sergio Bertolucci, research director at CERN, reported at the 25th International Conference on Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics in Kyoto, Japan." Other experiments have been conducted elsewhere that have arrived at the same conclusions.[6]

Overall, this finding was the result of an over-exuberant group of researchers who wanted fame without checking for possible other explanations for the result. This experiment does not violate the theory of special relativity's second postulate.

Sources

[1]: http://www.space.com...
[2]: http://arxiv.org...
[3]: http://www.nature.com...
[4]: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5]: http://www.sciencemag.org...
[6]: http://news.sciencemag.org...
Maryland_Kid

Con

I do not contend that Pro's points are false. Moving onto the conclusion.
Debate Round No. 3
Subutai

Pro

Well I don't have anything to say, so I'll pass this round to my opponent. Thank you for the debate.
Maryland_Kid

Con

No ad hominem of "conspiracy" website or theorist. Just because something is a conspiracy doesn't make it untrue. The establishment may be either wrong, lying, or have an agenda.

It does mirror the Nile. Not completely, but that is to be expected. It is a slow, gradual changes. Light travels at the speed of.... light. [1] Gas and dust make the light slow down, which can hinder light speed. [2] Reflection Nebula mirror the light from the nearby star(s.) [3] Agriculture settlements have changed dramatically around the Nile River over the years, as well as technology [4] and buildings. [5] Danny Wilten has found a reflection of the entire world in the Orion Nebula Trapezium. [6] If the reflection of the light followed the normal laws of the Theory of Relativity, the reflection wouldn't show up on the Orion Nebula Trapezium. Yes, this person doesn't have credentials, but does that make his evidence false? It may have just not gotten the eyes of the scientific community.

As for the Event Horizon of a Black Hole, it's true that that is a hypothesis and the Theory of Relavitity remains intact. My bad.

Yes, over looking it, the neutrinos moving faster than light seems to have been dis proven.

My three star system that seems to defy gravity still stands. It was dropped.

[1]http://www.space.com...

[2]http://www.intelligentdesigntheory.info...

[3]http://apod.nasa.gov...

[4]http://www.fao.org...

[5]https://www.academia.edu...

[6]https://www.youtube.com...
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by n7 2 years ago
n7
Pro started the debate arguing that GR explains the precession of mercury's orbit, gravitational lensing, and evidence from the GPB- probe. Con's arguments were from black holes, the Orion Nebula, and FTL Neutrinos. Pro pointed out how the Orion Nebula's reflection has no credibility and has no explanation for why that happens or why the nile river. Pro refuted the black hole argument by showing Hawking's goal was to reconcile GR as it is with quantum mechanics, and showed Hawking's idea was only a hypothesis that has evidence against it. Pro refuted the Neutrino example by showing how it was due to an error in measurement. Con concedes Pro's round 2 and concedes all but the Orion Nebula argument. Con never responded to Pro's arguments like why the Nile, what's the mechanism. Con says just because the person doesn't have credentials and is a conspiracy theorist doesn't make his evidence false. This is irrelevant, it makes his evidence less likely to be true. It is only one "study" done by a non-scientist. This needs to be repeated to confirm it really is the nile and it is reflecting off the Orion Nebula to eliminate statistical noise, confirmation bias, and possible measurement errors. This "study" has none of that, so shouldn't be taken seriously unless we have more scientific evidence to back it up.

Con also claimed Pro dropped his argument from three star systems. This is false because Pro's round 3 deals with his evidence from the Orion Nebula, so it's a completely unjustified claim.

Pro wins on arguments, sources, and possibly conduct as Con conceded almost everything.
Posted by Subutai 2 years ago
Subutai
I'm going to concentrate on general relativity, and only make a short argument for special relativity in my introduction. I'll adjust my rebuttals to however you choose to make your arguments.

Also, while I am by no means knowledgeable on relativity compared to most physicists, I do hold a knowledge of it that is above the vast majority of people's knowledge. Making an argument out of your credentials is a logical fallacy, but having credentials does give you increased knowledge and credibility of the topic. It's called ethos.
Posted by Maryland_Kid 2 years ago
Maryland_Kid
Both of my information put into dispute both of those theories. Carry on. Also, @n7, don't misuse a person's credentials for facts. Just because someone has a job or a degree in something doesn't make them automatically right. They may be wrong, lying, or have an agenda. The debate should be about facts and arguments. It's a logical fallacy http://creation.com...
Posted by Subutai 2 years ago
Subutai
Maryland_Kid, I decided to debate the theory of general relativity as debating both would be a little tough in one debate (if you want to do a debate on the theory of special relativity, that's fine), and it's more controversial.
Posted by n7 2 years ago
n7
A physics major vs Marland_kid.

hmmmm I wonder how this will turn out.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by n7 2 years ago
n7
SubutaiMaryland_Kid
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments