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  1. #421
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    Re: WLC's Argument Against an Actual Infinity

    You seem to have read my response as a series of disconnected links rather than as a coherent argument, which explains your confusion. The first source is describing event from a physics point of view that leads into a discussion of causality in the second link (which is by a computer scientist you are correct who is writing about causality in science in general and heavily in physics in particular and which is sourced relatively heavily).
    If events are defined as changes in state as described, and all events must have a fixed number of input states, and as he additionally writes:
    For any point p at a time t, the causal influences depend on the values of functions at some selected set of points at a previous time step. The values at those points, in turn, depend on a somewhat larger set of points at some earlier time step.

    IE the value of points are determined by their causally prior points, then the value of all events is determined by their causally prior points.
    Remember, you're trying to show physicists agree that physical events necessarily have causes. Even assuming arguendo that this computer scientist's definition of event is such that events necessarily have causes, where's the proof that physicists agree that physical events necessarily have causes?

    You misread what I wrote. I wrote that these equations are described by a probability function that is a representation of a physical process.
    What physical event causes particle decay?

    Well it certainly isn’t a failure to respond, it was a response you disagreed with and decided to make a snarky comment about.
    No, it was a failure to respond. Even assuming that every word of your statement was true, you failed to address part of the question you were supposed to be responding to. That's a failure to respond.

    This has also been a habit with you in this thread, insisting that there could be a vastly different definition of terms (see here iterative, for which we have yet to see an example of anyone using in a fashion other than I quoted) than the standard definition.

    Should I also define “the” for you? Could you suggest an appropriate physics dictionary that reveals the specific physics definition of “the” that differs from all other definitions?
    You haven't shown at all that the definition you gave is standard, or that physicists agree that physical events necessarily have causes.

    Given your proclivity for failed attempts at clarification and definition, I don't think I'd trust whatever word salad you'd offer as the meaning or definition of the.

    Then what do you think the author meant when he said: “and caused by the breakdown of the nucleus into a more stable form.” To which you might ask, what causes the breakdown to the more stable form? To which he has already answered, the inherent instability of the nucleus. It doesn’t just “happen” it happens as a result of an unstable nucleus. Because when that happens is governed by a probability distribution does not mean the action lacks a cause.
    Further, I think your question seems to misunderstand how these features can be used across fields. Because an action can be treated as happening without a cause for a certain line of exploration (meaning essentially that we can ignore the cause) does not mean it actually lacks a cause. We often treat random number generators as actually random for certain purposes, it doesn’t mean they actually are random however.
    You're just offering bald assertions again.

    Sure, it would be wrong to infer that because something is described by a probability distribution, it must lack a cause. But that's not the inference; I didn't argue, "Necessarily, everything described by a probability distribution lacks a cause; particle decay is described by a probability distribution, therefore particle decay lacks a cause."

    My understanding is that the particular observation from the probability distribution is the uncaused event. I.e., there's no physical cause for the random variable to take on such-and-such a particular value.

    But my understanding is tangential; you're the one with the claim (that causality implies all spacetime events are caused by some other spacetime event, such that there's no minimal element--WRT the causal order, of course) to support.

    Do any causet authors mention that there cannot be minimal elements? What do you make of R/S's explicit physical interpretation of the birth of a causally-minimal element?

    I think you aren’t taking this citation in the full context of the paper. I’ll attempt to provide some more context.

    First, the citation does indicates that volume is clearly a desirable trait since it is in support of an argument he is making. He is saying that his axiomatic change allowing minimum volumes to be assigned without fatal behavior is a reason for acceptance for accepting his proposal over the current version, clearly indicating that he sees this as an improvement. This is because, as we see later, an event should have some kind of measurable substance to it if it is to be part of the CMH.
    "Volume is clearly a desirable trait"? Was someone arguing that volume wasn't a desirable trait? And do you mean some particular kind of volume, or just volume in general? Because it's fairly trivial to assign a "volume" to any particular object (the trick is for the assignment to behave well under certain transformations).

    This doesn't show that there has to be a minimum volume.

    Second, I think your interpretation ignores the consistent language throughout the document:
    The physical interpretation of C is completed by fixing a discrete measure mu on C, assigning to each subset of C a volume equal to its number of elements in fundamental units,
    up to Poisson-type fluctuations…
    IE, causets have a discrete measure of volume.
    Sure, discrete here meaning that singleton sets are assigned finite volume finite volume (cf. footnote 2). This doesn't say there has to be a minimum spacetime volume.

    Causal set theory takes the bold step of incorporating this discreteness at the classical level, via a discrete measure mu that, roughly speaking, “counts fundamental volume units."
    In their inaugural paper Space-Time as a Causal Set, Bombelli, Lee, Meyer, and Sorkin use the partial order formulation of causal set theory, with the exceptions that an explicit statement of countability,and the nuance of Poisson-type fluctuations, do not appear: ”...when we measure the volume of a region of space-time, we are merely indirectly counting the number of “point events" it contains... ...volume is number, and macroscopic causality reflects a deeper notion of order in terms of which all the “geometrical" structures of spacetime must find their ultimate expression... ...Before proceeding any further, let us put the notion of a causal set into mathematically precise language. A partially ordered set... ...is a set... ...provided with an order relation, which is transitive... ...noncircular... ...[and] reflexive. A partial ordering is locally finite if every “Alexandroff set"... ...contains a finite number of elements... ...a causal set is then by definition a locally finite, partially ordered set."
    Local Finiteness. Sorkin's version of the causal metric hypothesis (CMH) virtually demands some type of local finiteness condition, since the associated measure axiom (M) assigns an infinite spacetime volume to an infinite subset of a directed set. In this context, local infinities produce absurd behavior of the worst sort from a physical perspective
    More on this in a second.
    Okay. Where does this show that there has to be a minimum spacetime volume?
    For example, one might consider altering the measure axiom to admit discrete measures assigning arbitrarily small volumes to subsets of a directed set; i.e., measures without an effective volume gap. However, this strategy would lead far away from the basic insight that \number" can serve as a proxy for volume in the context of Malament's metric recovery theorem.

    Here I think he is talking about essentially what you mentioned. That we could try to alter a fundamental axiom of the CMH in order to assign volumes approaching zero, but that doing so would need to occur for physical reasons rather than to save an existing axiom (indicating it contradicts a current axiom) and that it would essentially remove the fundamental insight gained by causal set theory.
    CMH (Causal Metric Hypothesis) isn't the relevant axiom. They're talking about the measure axiom.

    This is good support for your claim (that under the measure axiom, there's a minimum spacetime volume), although the author doesn't state that allowing arbitrarily small volumes would go against physics; arbitrarily small volumes might be incompatible with the measure axiom, but your argument is about physical possibility. (Although I don't believe that a minimum spacetime volume is necessary or sufficient for the universe to be past-finite.)
    Following this axiom, the volume measure mu on a causal set C assigns “approximately" one fundamental unit of spacetime volume to each element x of C, regardless of the details of local causal structure near x.
    Indicating that unless we adopt the odd position that a fundamental unit of spacetime volume is zero (which would essentially make it meaningless) each volume measure is a non-zero, finite value.
    Assigning it zero would mean you'd assign it zero fundamental units of spacetime volume, not that you'd set the fundamental unit of spacetime to zero.

    And just because each volume measure is non-zero and finite doesn't mean that there's a minimum value (e.g., each number in the set (0,1) is non-zero and finite).

    Interval finiteness permits physically fatal local behavior under Sorkin's version of
    the causal metric hypothesis. In particular, it permits instantaneous collapse, or instantaneous
    expansion, of an infinite volume of spacetime, as explained in section 4.2 above. Mixing finite and infinite local behavior is dubious even without taking the measure axiom (M) into account, but is particularly problematic when the measure axiom is assumed to hold. Topological local finiteness in the interval topology is equally problematic in this regard.
    Okay, but how are "finite and infinite local behavior" relevant?

    Finally, I would point out the measure axiom for CMH which says:
    The volume of a spacetime region corresponding to a subset S of C is equal to the cardinality of S in fundamental units, up to Poisson-type fluctuations.

    So a fundamental axiom of CMH is that the volume of a region is equal to the cardinality of the subset, which would indicate a finite, non-zero volume for all subsets of a causet.
    That's quite an abuse of language; there is no "measure axiom for CMH". CMH is a proposition, the Causal Metric Hypothesis; the measure axiom is another proposition. CMH doesn't "have axioms".

    Again, just because each volume is finite and non-zero doesn't suffice to show that there is a minimum spacetime volume.

    What an unprofessional response.
    lol

    This was defined in the initial analogy, if you have a specific question, please ask it, otherwise please review the work already posted.
    I've asked you the same specific question about four times now; you've confused it twice, and just now refused to answer it. I'll ask it again.

    You said:
    These images refer to causets which do not fit our particular scenario, in these the spatial dimension admits multiple possible values, but that was not permitted via our scenario. So given that we can only have one possible spatial value, how can we have multiple maximal elements per stage?

    Again, the context here is a set T (taken to represent time coordinates), a point in space x, and a collection of events (x,S) where S is a subset of T. T has an order (you've in the past referred to "predecessors" and so forth). The collection (x,S) of events has a causal order.

    So when you ask "how can we have multiple maximal elements per stage?", to which order do you refer, T's (the "temporal" order) or (x,S)'s (the "causal" order)? The "multiple maximal elements" are maximal with respect to some order, but there are two orders here. Which were you referring to?

    No, as I’ll state again, that the work presented in that journal was specifically work that was criticized or shown to be grossly or fraudulently incorrect.

    I understand that criticism of related works should count, but that is fallacious to the argument being presented. If you wish to say the journal itself published work of a grossly or fraudulently incorrect nature, then show that the work it actually published is, itself, grossly or fraudulently incorrect.
    Evans got this paper published in Foundations of Physics:

    Unification of gravitation and electromagnetism with B(3)

    The experimentally supported existence of the Evans Vigier field.B(3),in vacuo implies that the gravitational and electromagnetic fields can be unified within the same Ricci tensor, being respectively its symmetric and antisymmetric components in vacuo. The fundamental equations of motion of vacuum electromagnetism are developed in this framework.


    These equations of motion, and the B(3)formalism of gravity and electromagnetism in general, were shown to be grossly incorrect. Specifically, these equations of motion were shown to fail Lorentz invariance.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

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  2. #422
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    Re: WLC's Argument Against an Actual Infinity

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    This definition isn't very helpful, because you haven't defined what it means for a binary relationship to represent a scenario or a physical relationship.
    It represents it in the same way all iconography represents an underlying concept. Is there a specific part of that relationship that you are seeking to understand?

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    (1) You've explicitly been saying that the "unacceptable" causets aren't actually causets.
    That is an…interesting interpretation of what I was writing. You’ll note that nowhere in what I wrote (and interestingly, not in how you portray what I wrote directly, only in implication) do I say that causal sets that differ from physical reality are not causal sets. Only that posets whose partial order are not defined as causal are not causal sets.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    Again, I'm a bit stumped as to how any of this is relevant to how causet theory supports your claim that the universe necessarily (or actually) has a finite past.
    Causal Set theory was solely brought up to explain the process of iterative addition. That it was chased down the current rabbit hole is largely a result of me humoring your questions rather than a specific rationale towards linking it to debate. I was attempting to demonstrate a process of iterative growth that models temporal behavior. If we can agree on that basic process the other questions you are asking are relatively moot.


    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    (1) Unfortunately, Squatch, it's still not clear what definition you are using for causal partial order. You say here that H-causal relations are causal, which is helpful, but is the converse true? Are all causal relations H-causal?
    I think however it is relatively well defined, I’ve offered the definitions from the papers under discussion which seem pretty obviously clear. Exactly what is it that you think the papers mean when they are discussing a causal partial order?

    Now whether or not all causal relations are H-causal would depend on how you exactly define possible world. Possible world consistent with our laws of physics? Conceivable world? No for the first, possibly yes for the second. You would need to more clearly define what you mean by possible here.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    Your claim is that a partial order could be causal and R-inconsistent. Let us assume this is true. Under the given assumption, every causal partial order is R-consistent
    You seem to have confused yourself a bit in reading my response. I don’t claim that causal partial orders must be R-consistent in order to be causal partial orders. I said they need to be R-consistent in order to be relevant to our discussion.

    I think you are confusing the initial question of whether that causal partial order must be coherent within the law of causality, which is a basic requirement of it being a causal partial order, with the later discussion of which causal partial orders are relevant to this thread.


    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    The particularities of interpretation are a mathematical and philosophical tangent to their point.
    Perhaps, however they spend a significant portion of their paper discussing physical interpretations, which seems unlikely for mere tangents, unless we are to assume they have an inability to focus on topic, which seems unlikely.

    Additionally, the abstract of R/S's paper spends significant verbiage discussing the physical interpretations and consequences of the work, which seems a bit out of place if these interpretations are only tangential:

    The resulting theories provide a relatively accessible “half way house” to full
    quantum gravity that possibly contains the latter’s classical limit (general relativity).
    Because they can be expressed in terms of state models for an assembly of Ising spins living
    on the relations of the causal set, these theories also illustrate how non-gravitational
    matter can arise dynamically from the causal set without having to be built in at the
    fundamental level. Additionally, our results bring into focus some interpretive issues of
    importance for causal set dynamics, and for quantum gravity more generally.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    Sure, and I never said otherwise. My point (which you've resisted mightily) is that the choice of reference frame can change certain spacetime relations among the events,
    No, the original point was your insistence that panels a, b, and c in the illustration must be considered independently. I objected to this stating that the causal relationships in one panel can and should in this context be reviewed in light of the physical and temporal relationships described in the other panel. You attempted to object to this by pointing out the irrelevant fact that observer relationships can affect the magnitude (but not the scope) of the relationships, which as I noted not only is irrelevant to anything I’ve offered in the original point, but mooted by the fact that the author clearly meant to only consider one observer in this discussion. This entire long expedition seems to have returned to my original point, “As I noted in my last response, the lines (or the < if displayed in another format) represent causal relationships. If the point differs along the y axis here (time) then it has a temporal component to it. If it is along the X axis it has a spatial component to it. Two elements can be causally related if:

    They are related only across the temporal axis.

    or

    They are related across both temporal and physical axes.


    Two elements cannot be related if they are only related across the spatial axis.”

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    I honestly have no idea what you mean when you say "a partial order must encode the causal order".
    I’m not sure why you would have a question about the meaning of those terms. You’ve used the words “encode” and “represent” on several occasions with no explanation. (For Example or here or here or here or here) Why would you offer no explanation of a word that you suddenly seem to think has some kind of mystical special interpretation? The reasonable inference is because it doesn’t. It has a common understood definition, which is what you meant when you wrote it and it is what the authors meant when they wrote it.
    “The elements of a causal set are taken to represent spacetime events, while its binary relation is taken to encode causal relations between pairs of events…“
    http://www.physics.umd.edu/grt/jacob...ts/brendan.pdf
    Or
    A causal set (or “causet”) is a locally finite, partially ordered set (or “poset”). We represent the order-relation by ‘≺’ and use the irreflexive convention that an element does not precede itself.
    R/S

    Or

    The elements of a causal set are taken to represent spacetime events, while its binary relation is taken to encode causal relations between pairs of events.
    Axiom

    If you have a specific definitional challenge, please show where there are two different usages of a term and how those differing definitions could cause confusion, this should help limit the number of times you are asking for clarification on plain language terms for which there are generally understood definitions.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    Yes, I've already read what you wrote, a few times now. The logic of your arguments there are entirely unclear to me; I'm not sure why you think linking to them provides clarification.
    Because you offer no specific question or response, you simply say “this is unclear” or “I don’t know what you mean here.” No specific question is offered, no real objection given, just a declaration of ignorance with no idea where or how the message might have been unclear.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    I was attempting to identify which analogy you were referring to, noting that post 396 is somewhat large so it's unclear what language you're specifically referring to.
    Which is why following the thread of conversation back is helpful so that responses can be more informed rather than an attempt to shift the burden to me of explaining your objection. I spend quite a bit of time reviewing the threads of conversation here to make sure I’m responding to the right point you are offering and in what context. That I ask you to do the same is not unreasonable.

    Additionally, careful reading of my response might have been also benefited you. Your response seems to have confused my point in the response just before (where I reference post 396) with the section of my response that you quote, which concerns the discussion in post 345. Hence why you can see why your response seems completely disassociated with my reply. You seem to have confused the two sections of the discussion.

    To reiterate:
    The point brought up was that if we define every step of an iterative process by its initial conditions and the process itself then your objection in post 345 that we need not know all the previous conditions is incorrect. If the initial conditions for a step are required to define that step we cannot simply rely on inferring what those initial conditions are based on a set of rules, those conditions must actually exist for the iterative process to actually continue.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    (2) seems so bizarre that I can't really comment on it; there's no mystical ontological effect that would make something fail to exist because of an inference.
    Which of course was never my point by any reasonable reading. Rather, what I was saying that using a rule to infer their existence is insufficient to elicit the actualized effect. IE the fact that I can use a rule to know what the value of something will be is not enough to bring that event about.

    Now, you might point out that this is a relatively obvious point, to which I will point out that you said:
    You don't necessarily need all the previous conditions, though. If you know x1000, and the rule xz = f(xz-1), then under certain conditions (e.g., f invertible) you can construct x1001 and x999. Under more relaxed conditions, you could 'guess' at x999.
    You took a discussion of actual, physically iterative processes where any given step is causally dependent on its actualized predecessor and instead substituted a scenario where we could use an inference to substitute for an actualized state.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    You claim that you cannot have an initial condition set for an eternal universe. What's your support?
    Please read the next sentences for the logical support: “By definition, there is always another set of conditions that need to be fulfilled in order to have any given point. Essentially, this is the reverse version of the counting to infinity question. You can, in theory, count forever and approach infinity, even get arbitrarily close, but you don’t reach it. Infinity acts as a limit here, not a tangible result.”

    Your rephrasing of my argument leaves a lot to be desired. Allow me to try to write the plain language above into a format you prefer:

    1) For any event X to be actualized, all causally prior events must also be actualized.
    2) An iterative process requires that its initial state be actualized causally before creating its result.
    3) For any event X to be actualized within an infinite series of events, there is an infinite series of iterative steps that have to have been actualized prior to X existing.
    4) All events are temporally finite.
    5) One cannot count to infinity. IE a process of iterative addition of finite values will approach, but not obtain an infinite result.
    6) Likewise, one cannot count down from infinity. IE a process of iterative subtraction of finite values from an infinite value will not obtain a termination, 0.
    7) From 6, this means that for any point “now” (0) the iterative process cannot have actualized all prior events since that would be equivalent to counting down from infinity.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    In what (non-positivist, presumably) sense are the models different if they make exactly the same predictions in every possible set of circumstances?
    In the sense that different mechanisms are producing the results. It would be absurd to argue that because drowning from an accident and drowning from being held down produce the same results they are the same act. Or that two factories are the same factory because they produce the same car.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    Do you agree that the other orders are causal, with the given interpretations?
    They are causal in that they still represent the fundamental underlying structure and that we’ve simply changed the characters representing them. I don’t recall ever really objecting to that point, I was only asking for the proper way to write out a set of this nature so that I could use consistent terminology with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    No, it's more like this:

    (1) There are there types of input for the machine: R,B,G
    (2) There are two known rules of the machine:
    (2a) M(R) = R
    (2b) M(B) = R
    (3) It is not known whether the machine has other rules.
    (4) Therefore, it's reasonable to conclude that the machine cannot output G.
    That isn’t quite right however, we also had two other known rules.
    2c) M(G) = G
    2d) M(null)=R

    Which would change 4 to 4) Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that the machine cannot output G by itself.

    Now the objection in your last paragraph is, at best, a caricature of what I said. I didn’t say we can just ignore infinite sets. Rather, I said, “this machine is insufficient to elicit an infinite result without having an infinite input.”
    Now, if this is the only machine capable of creating objects, there cannot, by exclusion, be an infinite input. (R produces R, B produces R, and Null produces R). So for us to get a G result means we had a G input (or that premise 1 is incorrect), and therefore the existence of that G mandates another machine from whence it came because this machine is insufficient to explain its existence.
    When it was suggested that there were other axioms that could elicit G, I asked what they were. So far none have been provided. My point here is not to shift the burden, it is that if you wish to reject a premise here (all of which I’ve supported in this massive thread) a substantive argument needs to be offered to which specific premise is incorrect.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    The union axiom and power set axiom assume the existence of those sets. The power set axiom--that there's a set containing all the subsets of ∅--is an assumption, not a deduction.
    Just for clarity (as I mention later), this is what is commonly understood by the term “bald assertion.” IE you have simply stated that these axioms assume the existence of finite sets, you offer no support or reasoning for that, you simply state it. A good reminder for later.

    But I don’t think your statement is accurate. For the existence of infinite sets we fall back on the Axiom of Infinity (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/AxiomofInfinity.html) right? So what Axiom do we use to rely on the existence of Finite sets?

    More importantly, it is far easier for us to assume some kind of axiom of finite sets because we have observational experience with those kinds of sets. The set of bottle caps on my desk right now is a finite set, accepting that set is relatively easy, especially in the formulation given above where the finite set assumed is simply the null set.

    Quote Originally Posted by cs
    All you did was link to your previous statements--statements whose logic is completely opaque to me and border on gibberish. I begin to think you're not interested in attempting to clarify your position on the matter.
    Not at all, I think explaining a statement more than 3 times certainly constitutes a desire to clarify my position. That I am unwilling to provide dictionary definitions for commonly understood terms or to repeat points elaborated to a fundamental level without a single piece of clarifying guidance from yourself doesn’t speak so much to my motives as yours. I would point out that you aren’t asking specific questions here, you are simply saying “this doesn’t make sense” and then appealing to that statement as some kind of rebuttal. If it doesn’t make sense to you, explain how. Explain what part seems contradictory or that does not follow. Offer a critique of the reasoning, something. But simple “I don’t know what you mean” doesn’t give me much to elaborate on after three repetitions.

    Again, I would ask you to refrain from letting this return to an ad hom type of discussion. Your calling my logic “bordering on gibberish” is neither productive to the debate, nor warranted.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    Where have you defined what causality is (specifically in relation to physical models)?
    … physical relationship it represents a scenario where one event (B) is dependent upon the state of anther event (A) such that what happens at A influences B.
    post 419
    Causality (also referred to as causation[1]) is the relation between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the second event is understood as a physical consequence of the first.
    Post 414.
    The fact that this is even a discussion is illustrative of the tendency I’ve pointed out to quibble over commonly understood terms. The fact that R/S call causality “familiar” or that GP mentions causality without any need for explanation concerning what that term might mean (even though his entire response is an attempt to clarify an issue at the most basic level) are indicators that no one really questions what this term means, it is simply a distraction from the main point.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    I don't see anything from your quotations that has to do with the birth of an event outside the lightcone of all other events producing a universe with an infinite spatial volume for any given growth step value.
    So the first sentence of the quote is his discussion saying that we need some form of local finiteness in order to avoid the infinite spatial volume scenarios.
    He objects to interval finiteness because it allows for this scenario because it isn’t a causally local condition.
    So what is causal locality? He defines it in the quote I offered and is essentially pointing out that events are causally local if they are only affected by their immediate surroundings. IE if the causes are limited to the events contained in their past light cone.
    So the problem with interval finiteness is that it violates causal locality which would allow for those “manifestly nonphysical” interpretations such as infinite special volume growth.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    (1') An event exists if a condition sufficient for its existence exists
    I would rephrase this slightly to be (1’) An event exists if all conditions sufficient for its existence are met.

    Thus, the argument becomes:

    1’) An event exists if all conditional requirements sufficient for its existence are met.
    2’) The set of conditions sufficient for an acausal event to exist is empty.
    3’) The universe fulfills all conditional requirements of an empty list.
    4) Therefore said event should exist.

    1’ would seem relatively obviously true, it is the definition of suffiency. 2’ likewise is true by definition, an acausal event of course has no causes. 3’ seems somewhat obvious, clearly if you have not specific requirements, any state of the universe would satisfy that requirement.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    Remember, you're trying to show physicists agree that physical events necessarily have causes. Even assuming arguendo that this computer scientist's definition of event is such that events necessarily have causes, where's the proof that physicists agree that physical events necessarily have causes?
    Again, it is as if you didn’t read past the by line of the link or any of my argument. The author of the paper isn’t simply offering his own personal opinion, he is writing about the physical interpretation of causality within several scientific fields. The sources he references at the end are references to works about causality in physics.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    What physical event causes particle decay?
    It somewhat depends on who you ask as there are several different proposals for the mechanism occurring (which should be enough to tell you that physicists don’t really consider this acausal).
    Generally it is the breakdown of the nucleus resulting from an inability of the strong force to maintain the bond between nuclear particles. Now this breakdown occurs because of probabilistic variations in particle state in the nucleus. Because the variations of that breakdown are governed by probability (and the physical properties of the nucleus itself) does not mean it happens arbitrarily.

    A different explanation from the quantum mechanics viewpoint can be found here: http://profmattstrassler.com/article...les-decay-why/
    In this article, Prof. Strassler argues that the decay comes from the QM version of wave dissipation. Of course it comes in a quantized form, but it clearly isn’t happening causelessly

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    No, it was a failure to respond. Even assuming that every word of your statement was true, you failed to address part of the question you were supposed to be responding to. That's a failure to respond.
    The challenge offered was: “Support your claim that in causet theory, or in physics generally, "Spontaneous means that it is generated by an internal cause, not that it lacks a cause".”
    To which I responded: “That is the definition of spontaneous, “(of natural phenomena) arising from internal forces or causes; independent of external agencies; self-acting.”
    IE you asked me to support what spontaneous means in this context and I offered you a definition, specifically the definition tailored to natural phenomenon.
    Now, you don’t like that definition (because you seem to think that physicists operate in a language other than English) and you might even have a valid objection (though you haven’t offered one). But that objection does not make this a failure to respond, it makes it a failure of CS to accept my response.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    You haven't shown at all that the definition you gave is standard, or that physicists agree that physical events necessarily have causes.
    I have offered multiple pieces of support from physics oriented sources, to which you response “failure to respond.” Clearly you have some very specific source in mind that is the definitive arbiter on physics terms, could you offer it here? If not, then you’ll have to be satisfied with the fact that not only do physicists seem to use this term as it is defined, but that when they propose models of how the mechanics of this process works, they are implicitly rejecting the idea that this occurs arbitrarily.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    You're just offering bald assertions again.
    How is a quote from a source a “bald assertion?” You either seem to mean something other than what is commonly understood by this term or you are using it as a poisoning the well fallacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    My understanding is that the particular observation from the probability distribution is the uncaused event.
    Three issues here. One lets presume that the specific probability distribution is uncaused. So what? That doesn’t make the event uncaused, it only makes the timing, at most, random (and not truly random), not uncaused. Two, those probabilities are governed via the laws of physics and quantum mechanics. The fact that any particular value is drawn non-deterministically doesn’t mean the process isn’t caused by the underlying physical reality those laws represent. Three, the values aren’t uncaused, they are defined by a wave function with a dependent value representing time (as described by Prof. Strassler above).

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    "Volume is clearly a desirable trait"? Was someone arguing that volume wasn't a desirable trait?
    That is the implication of your objection when you attempted to argue that he wasn’t saying we should or must have volume, only that it could be done without producing fatal local behavior. Given the large context, he is clearly saying that we need a form of spacetime volume for the hypothesis to have any significant physical significance and therefore we need a restriction as outlined in the original support.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    Sure, discrete here meaning that singleton sets are assigned finite volume finite volume (cf. footnote 2). This doesn't say there has to be a minimum spacetime volume.
    To clarify, that they are assigned a finite, non-zero volume. How requiring the volume to be larger than zero doesn’t represent a minimum boundary is something you’ll need to puzzle out a bit more.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    Okay. Where does this show that there has to be a minimum spacetime volume?
    Is this your way of saying TLDR?
    The cited portions are discussing the measure mu which counts the units of volume. Here they are saying that mu is, in essence, counting the number of events occurring within the volume of space. And we also see that they clarify that a partially ordered set is locally finite if it contains a finite number of those events (elements). So unless you are arguing either that zero is a finite number or that there can be a “negative” number of events in a volume of space, this establishes a lower limit (ie greater than zero events).
    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    CMH (Causal Metric Hypothesis) isn't the relevant axiom. They're talking about the measure axiom.
    You’ll notice I didn’t say that the CMH is the relevant axiom. I said, “That we could try to alter a fundamental axiom of the CMH
    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    This is good support for your claim (that under the measure axiom, there's a minimum spacetime volume), although the author doesn't state that allowing arbitrarily small volumes would go against physics;
    No, he is just saying that it makes the CMH physically meaningless. IE that it diverges from the physical insight present if we retain the measure axiom in its current form. Regardless, though, I am reading your response as agreeing that there is sufficient support that a minimum spacetime volume is required for events?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cs
    Assigning it zero would mean you'd assign it zero fundamental units of spacetime volume, not that you'd set the fundamental unit of spacetime to zero.
    Again, this isn’t what I wrote, I wrote: “unless we adopt the odd position that a fundamental unit of spacetime volume is zero.” IE if mu assigns one unit of spacetime volume to an event, the only way for the volume itself, per event, to be zero is if the fundamental unit of spacetime itself is zero. If the meter is the fundamental measure of length, and we know that every event has one meter of length, the only way to argue that events have no minimum length is to argue that a meter itself is a point or contains no length value.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    Okay, but how are "finite and infinite local behavior" relevant?
    It relates back to your original point I was objecting to. You were questioning why there needed to be a finite number of events within a finite period of time. I was arguing that unless you set the temporal value of the events to zero, that wouldn’t be possible. Here the author is agreeing with me in that he is saying that allowing the mixing of locally finite and infinite is problematic.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    Again, just because each volume is finite and non-zero doesn't suffice to show that there is a minimum spacetime volume.
    When one says that a value must be finite and non-zero, that requires a minimum value (unless you are going to propose there is such a thing in the literature as negative volume). IE there is a lower limit on the volume of space time (zero), the minimum value for spacetime volume must be larger than zero.


    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    I've asked you the same specific question about four times now; you've confused it twice, and just now refused to answer it. I'll ask it again.
    So when you ask "how can we have multiple maximal elements per stage?", to which order do you refer, T's (the "temporal" order) or (x,S)'s (the "causal" order)? The "multiple maximal elements" are maximal with respect to some order, but there are two orders here. Which were you referring to?
    I’ve answered it four times in a manner consistent with the literature offered. "The past of an element x ∈ C is the subset past(x) = {y ∈ C | y ≺ x}. The past of a subset of C is the union of the pasts of its elements. An element of C is maximal iff it is to the past of no other element." When they say maximal what do they mean? They mean “to the past”

    Quote Originally Posted by CS
    These equations of motion, and the B(3)formalism of gravity and electromagnetism in general, were shown to be grossly incorrect. Specifically, these equations of motion were shown to fail Lorentz invariance.
    Then showing that that the specific equations were noted and shown to be grossly incorrect, to the level that any peer reviewer should have noticed (which was the point of this objection) should be easy for you to show with a single linked paper showing such. So far all you’ve shown is criticism of other papers.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  3. #423
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    Re: WLC's Argument Against an Actual Infinity

    @ GP or Clive: Can the Higgs boson help explain the connection between quantum physics and relativity?
    Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.
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    Re: WLC's Argument Against an Actual Infinity

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    @ GP or Clive: Can the Higgs boson help explain the connection between quantum physics and relativity?
    Yes or no, depending on what you meant. The Higgs is a prediction that comes out of Quantum Field Theory (QFT), which is the net result of trying to place quantum theory and special relativity into a unified framework. So in that sense, yes, having the Higgs be discovered further strengthens the idea that QFT is the best description of reality until we hit quantum gravity scales.

    But in terms of the direct relationship between SR and quantum theory, this is the provenance of QFT. And while the Higgs plays a part in that story, QFT is more general, and we've been corroborating that QFT is correct for 80 years now.





    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Well the first part of that was addressing your claim that I was being disingenuous, by implying Duffy was a physicist, which I clearly wasn’t. It seems to me that you simply researched every name in the quoted section rather than looking for the exact context that name was given in.
    I have no idea why you keep on making this claim. As I've explained already, I find it disingenuous for you to argue that you didn't present these sources from Szekely's paper as evidence for your claim (i.e. "This is a debate amongst physicists", which you did do this as I showed in my previous post), but it was never my claim that you were disingenuous for trying to present M.C. Duffy as a physicist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Yes, look at the section quoted, he is saying that it has devolved into (rather than is solely) a philosophical issue because different factions are applying different criteria to rationality (essentially he is referencing the same philosophic argument I had with CS above and you earlier) that the debate has moved away from physical predictions (since they essentially predict the same thing) towards the question of whether or not two different mechanisms that produce the same result should be considered different.

    Again, taking this quote in context, he is highlighting that the current preference in which theory you hold is largely a matter of your philosophic underpinnings when you approach a physical theory, he is not saying this is simply a metaphysical debate.
    Right, so you agree with me that what they said was that --insofar as their discussions were concerned-- these theories "essentially cannot be differentiated by experiment", and the whole conversation is based on "what you define as rational" and how you define a "scientific explanation"?

    Given that this is true, how do you think this makes it a "scientific" debate and definitely is not "philosophy"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    I agree, lets remember that the context of this original quote was Szekely’s discussion concerning the original Ive’s group from which further work developed. My point was that this had developed into what in economics we would call a school and as such shouldn’t be dismissed as just a couple of random guys.
    But it is just a bunch of random guys, Squatch. That's why we're still having this discussion. The whole point of posts #401 and #402 was to demonstrate to you that:

    1.) The main sources (as in, the amount of textual time you spent on them) you presented were untrained hacks.
    2.) The entirety of your list of experts all disagree with each other on what LR would mean, they all offer contradictory and competing explanations for why SR is "bad" --ranging from how you define rationality, to saying this is purely an interpretation, to pseudo-Bohmian interpretations of QM, to trying to say that GR actually allows for superluminal propagation, etc-- and thus you haven't presented me with a coherent, unified objection to SR but a laundry list of inconsistent, mutually-exclusive complaints (that have not held water since publication, if they were ever published at all and in most cases they were not).
    3.) Most of these so-called proponents are untrained. But the only ones who might even be considered possibly legitimate are just names recycled from the actual scientific debate before the scientific community reached a consensus. The remainder still made their claims so long ago that in the intervening years experiments have caught up with them and they've all been proven to be demonstrably wrong, setting aside the ones that are theoretically impossible.
    4.) At present, not a single one of the actual proponents who were actually associated to universities are still alive, in fact none of them have been alive for ten years.
    5.) Again, most of them seem to be isolated from each other and not aware of anyone else's work.

    In short, in what sense isn't this the literal definition of "a bunch of random guys"? You're really saying that this qualifies as a "school"? Let alone trying to address te issue of in what sense is this a "more prominent position" amongst physicists?

    Seriously, how are you still holding to this position?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    I was simply highlighting what seemed to be an inconsistency in what level of evidence you were offering given your relatively strident condemnation of what evidence I had provided.
    Strident condemnation? Squatch, this is the paper for which I contacted the journal and got the chief editor of the journal --a Nobel prize winning physicist-- to admit that this paper should never have been published in the first place, and it resulted in an official investigation within the journal. And now you're telling me that there's an inconsistency in the standard of evidence and the effort that I've given in disproving your hokum papers?

    Well, you're right. I am putting in a lot more effort in evaluating your sources than you are, and frankly I think that it's a bit rich coming from you, especially given that this is Shanahan's paper that we're talking about. What higher burden of evidence do you want? A signed confession from Shanahan with the Pope as a witness?

    You have no leg to stand on here, Squatch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    So I reviewed 401 for the third time looking for the second objection you note and still can’t find it. Perhaps you could quote it?
    I think there's a point of confusion here. I said I gave two objections; I don't recall ever having said there were three.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    To be more precise, that it is measured as constant by all observers, right?
    Indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Perhaps it is my limited understanding of this concept, but there seems to be some discrepancies in the quoted sections and with your statement earlier that gravity might be limited to +- 20% of C. It would see that it is well within the realm of even the conservative measure you quoted for gravity to propagate at superluminal velocities.
    I'm not really going to bother going through van Flandern's works, partially because your links are broken and the remainder is because you've radically missed the point; so much so that even if everything that they said were true, what I said is still right.

    To remind you, I was explaining why within the theoretical framework of General Relativity, the speed of light is constant locally. This was explaining that since van Flandern and Vigilier (By the way, no, Vigier was not any well more regarded than van Flandern, I encourage you to read the rest of the Wiki article) had asserted that they were trying to interpret GR as doing exactly the opposite, that they must therefore be making a simple conceptual error. You've responded to me saying that what I'm saying is contradictory with the statement that within the experimental tests of General Relativity, the speed of gravity has not been pinned down to be the speed of light, thus possibly allowing for superluminal propagation.

    It appears that you're confused over the distinction between a theoretical prediction and an experimental result. If we ever had --and we have not-- discovered evidence for superluminal propagation of gravity, then this would falsify and thus rule out GR as the valid model of gravity. So these are different things. The theoretical prediction from GR is that the speed of light is locally constant; an experimental measurement has said to meaasure it to be (1 +/- .2) c. In other words, the theory is consistent with the experiment.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    I am referring to B as well. If a model is developed starting with different assumptions and different origins, even if, and its final construct has the same mathematical structure (though a different interpretation) it would be verifications mentality. The models are representations of what is going on, the context of how they operate is very relevant to whether they are the same thing or not. I would use the car factory example again. The two car factories might have identical layouts and identical products, but that doesn’t mean they are the same factory.
    1.) No, but it does mean that if the only evidence we can investigate is the cars themselves, then we'll never know which factory they're coming from. Well, not unless we find a set of new cars which we know that one factory could have been able to produce, while the other one couldn't have. (In other words, if we do have new evidence, and one interpretation can be generalized to account for the new evidence, and the other cannot, then we know one interpretation is correct while the other isn't. I've said this several times now.)

    2.) Once you say "We cannot do an experiment to determine whether it's model A or model B" we've ceased talking about science. This is not a statement about the verificationist theory of meaning; this is a trivial fact of science. Don't get me wrong, there could be actual content and differences between A and B, but if an experiment literally isn't capable of telling us which is correct, then the difference between them is philosophical taste. Unless, again, there's a more accurate model with this theory as a limiting case; in which case, the question of a preferred interpretation will actually be a scientific question. Short of this, however, we're back to my main point: This isn't a scientific discussion, it's a philosophical one.


    Now, with that said, I've already explained that there is a preferred interpretation of SR required by GR and QFT: The Minkowski interpretation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    This disconnect arises I believe because you are using a bit of shorthand. When you say “constancy of the speed of light” what you really mean is that it is measured by inertial observers as constant between them (the fact that they assume this when initially syncing measurement devices is an objection I laid out earlier and don’t need to go into again here).
    While I was away, I decided to look into your statements about Einstein synchronization. It turns out that the answer is "No, synchronization changes nothing about what I'm saying", but the issue here is subtle and requires knowing the more sophisticated interpretation of Minkowski spacetime that is adopted in GR courses (again, it's the picture of SR that correctly generalizes to GR). It would seem that most of the confusion arises from this paper by Mansouri and Sexl. The gist of this paper is the following:

    1.) They tried to show that one might consider an alternative to Special Relativity where one attempts to make the theory obey length contraction and time dilation, but preserve absolute simultaneity and uphold a Galilean velocity transformation law.

    2.) To do so, they propose a set of possible aether models (N.B. It's important to note here that neither Mansouri nor Sexl supported these models, they were merely trying to create null hypothesis to further test SR and in their subsequent papers demonstrated that SR is the only consistent model with experiments), parametrized by some coefficients. It turns out that there's a set of parameters, and all of them have been ruled out except for a narrow range (This was shown in the second and third paper). The lone theory that corresponds to the central value of the experimentally valid regime turns out to be equivalent to SR completely, but let me explain this.

    3.) They talk for a long time about the purpose and definition of a synchronization, but what they miss is that it is literally a coordinate transformation (This is equation 3.3). What they are doing is saying that a specific choice of how do to an experiment will result in a specific kind of coordinate system. But by trying to focus on the experimental details too much, they missed the fact that SR already covers these theories. The problem with the ether theory --because given what is claimed, you would think that it couldn't possibly be equivalent to SR-- is that it is how SR looks in a particularly perverse coordinate system. Physically, they're forcing all observers to agree to use the time of a single coordinate system; mathematically, this can be shown to be equivalent to just picking a specific set of coordinates of Minkowski spactime (see the PS below). The form that the Lorentz transformations take on a new form, but it's superficial and only because one has chosen a stupid basis for one's coordinates. (fyi, these people seem to agree with me). As I said from the beginning, it's true that you can superficially hold one frame as being special, but Special Relativity knows when you've done this, and that special frame you put into the theory will cancel out of every single physical prediction (which they admit is true for "kinematics", but the point that they missed is that it extends to all aspects of the theory).

    4.) They spent a while pontificating on what an odd coincidence it was that the ether theory --in spite of having an alleged absolute simultaneity-- always predicted the same experimental results as SR. Of course, the whole point is that the theory they are working with is SR. You can do the coordinate transformation they propose, and it leads immediately to their so-called "ether" theory. But since this is a gauge symmetry of the covariant version of SR, it cannot change physical observables; a gauge symmetry is a technical subject in physics, but it basically says that there's a huge redundancy in the ways that you can write a theory down, but still get the same observable predictions (and thus be the same theory). Of course, such a theory is only superficially distinct from SR, and will output all of the same predictions. In fact, more to the point, the transformations that they give will even form a Lorentz group, it's just that it is in an odd presentation of the Lorentz group.

    5.) tl;dr: There's a large redundancy in the different ways you could write down a theory of SR, but still fundamentally be SR. The choice of synchronization just changes how SR looks, not what SR actually is. You might complain that the Mansouri-Sexl ether theory and SR look really quite different (and indeed, it wasn't clear to them initially that they were identically the same theory), but so long as I can show that they differ only in a choice of coordinates, then I know that the physical observables will remain unchanged, and thus they are the same physical theory. Again, this is because there's a redundancy in the way we can write down gauge theories; and if I can relate two theories by showing that they only differ by a choice of coordinates, then they are necessarily equivalent (Literally in the same way that "2x + y = 0" and "2x = -y" are the same equation).


    In conclusion: No, synchronization is literally a gauge symmetry of Special Relativity in the Minkowski interpretation, and thus it only changes the equations for the Lorentz transformations, but it doesn't change the mathematical or the physical content.


    PS: We've now entered the point where we need differential topology and differential geometry in order to prove my claims. This is why I linked to a paper which agrees with me, but the gist of my statements (relating to things more general than simple synchronization procedures) can be found in Carroll's GR book, in chapters 2 and 3 (specifically, what I'm discussing are equations 3.48 and 3.49 on page 69, although the concept is still more general than this, but it's clear that the Mansouri paper's 3.3 is just a special case of this formula, and thus must merely amount to a gauge transformation --so the theories must be physically equivalent).

    PPS: It's unclear to me how much Sexl and Mansouri knew about how superficial their changes were, because they seem to admit that they're superficial changes in the derivation of equation 3.6; however, they seem to insist that their theory is different. It's a bit strange that they didn't realize this when publishing their papers. However, they appear to have entirely backed off of this claim after these papers were published, so it seems likely that they later realized their conceptual mistake. Either way, the main papers in this series that are remembered are papers 2 and 3, where experimental constraints are actually placed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    However, your initial claim was that Levy’s position was incoherent because it claimed the Aether frame as absolute, but an actual constant speed of light would violate that. But I think you miss the argument he is making. He is saying that the speed of light doesn’t necessarily need to be constant but rather only that the observers measure it as constant. And that we can get the Lorentz transformations from a different source other than the assumption than the speed of light is in fact actually constant. Coming at your argument from that perspective the finding is quite different. The observation of the speed of light as constant has a very different meaning given those origins of the Lorentz Transformation, and that meaning does not necessarily contradict an absolute frame.
    As explained above, no. But if you read the Mansouri-Sexl paper, you'll see that even if we choose a non-Einstein synchronization, this amounts to a new velocity composition rule (Sexl-Mansouri equation 4.2, for example). The fact that they already generate the exact velocity formula from SR using Einstein synchronization tells me that even if you steadfastly refuse to believe me about the fact that SR is unchanged by choice of synchronization, it wouldn't matter anyways because they have already submitted to Einstein synchronization in order to derive that velocity composition rule, or at least that their choice of synchronization must be equivalent to Einstein's.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Again, this seems to somewhat of a hedge from what you initially said which was to imply that all it took was a preliminary review by you to notice that it fundamentally contradicted QED. That would seem to indicate such an egregious error of need for a compelling argument (that you didn’t see) that it wouldn’t make it into a journal.
    I'm not hedging. A lot of theories appear to have problems could be irreversible. But you don't kill theories in their cradle because they don't immediately appear to address all possible problems with the theory. You let people do research, until they realize that it won't work out, or in the few cases, they realize that it does work out.

    Anyways, in my opinion, I do no believe that Einstein-aether theory will recover from the list of possible unitarity problems after one quantizes. I may be wrong about that. Either way, however, it is also noteworthy that the theory has almost entirely been ruled out by experiments (figure 1). Only an infinitesimal amount of parameter space is left in the theory. After further research into binary pulsar measurements, the last infinitesimal sliver of EA theory will be completely ruled out.
    Last edited by GoldPhoenix; August 20th, 2014 at 11:57 AM.
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    Re: WLC's Argument Against an Actual Infinity

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    As I've explained already, I find it disingenuous for you to argue that you didn't present these sources from Szekely's paper as evidence for your claim (i.e. "This is a debate amongst physicists", which you did do this as I showed in my previous post), but it was never my claim that you were disingenuous for trying to present M.C. Duffy as a physicist.
    Except that isn’t what you said, and unless you were being incredibly out of character in your writing comprehension, that isn’t what you meant:

    Squatch: And you’ll notice he [Duffy] isn’t presented as one GP…

    GP: That's disingenuous, Squatch. I had asked you for a set of physicists who were asserting "LR is true", and you told me that the people on that list were physicists. I'm glad that you've conceded that this is false, though.


    Further, your “explanation” of what you meant doesn’t make any sense given the quote originally offered and the manner it was offered in. Obviously I did present them as part of that support because they are quoted in a paragraph of text relating to a physics discussion and I then went into detail in a response defending them as physicists.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    these theories "essentially cannot be differentiated by experiment",
    Which isn’t what was said exactly. They said are currently indistinguishable given current observational data, that is different than the idea that these theories cannot be differentiated.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    But it is just a bunch of random guys, Squatch.
    Repetition of a claim does not give it more weight. I defended their academic training such that you haven’t been able to make the above statement really coherently. I understand that you think they aren’t the guys that you would look for when defending a position, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t physicists. They are, which has been shown, objections not withstanding.

    I'm also confused as why you didn't respond to the sources I referenced supporting Van Flandern's research.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    1.) The main sources (as in, the amount of textual time you spent on them) you presented were untrained hacks.
    You are confusing multiple responses. Can you support that any of the people listed as part of the Ives group in that quote were “untrained hacks?”

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    And now you're telling me that there's an inconsistency in the standard of evidence and the effort that I've given in disproving your hokum papers?
    No, I’m pointing out that you have repeatedly insisted that I walk through the inferences of papers, but when you are offering observational data you say is contradictory, you offer no connection. Essentially your argument amounts to, “I know this is wrong because of “5”.” Now, “5” may very well disprove an argument, but simply listing it isn’t very persuasive, and is inconsistent given the level of detail demanded of your opponent.


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    I think there's a point of confusion here. I said I gave two objections; I don't recall ever having said there were three.
    Nor did I, I said that you didn’t offer two in post 401, you only offered one.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    This was explaining that since van Flandern and Vigilier (By the way, no, Vigier was not any well more regarded than van Flandern, I encourage you to read the rest of the Wiki article) had asserted that they were trying to interpret GR as doing exactly the opposite, that they must therefore be making a simple conceptual error.
    So two gentlemen with advanced training made a “simple, conceptual error” that you happened to note? Forgive me, but that seems a bit presumptuous. It goes along with the objection I pointed out earlier. You are saying that papers that were, in fact, published by reputable journals seem to have made incredibly simple, fundamental errors and happened to not notice that their idea contradicts a well established and known field.

    Let’s presume all of this is true. Why then should I take your opinion for it? If other highly trained personnel can make such fundamental errors, what assurance do I have that you are not doing the same thing here?

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    It appears that you're confused over the distinction between a theoretical prediction and an experimental result.
    Do you really think I am confused about this or is this just unnecessary snark?

    Could it be, rather that you are misunderstanding my point? My point was that if the experimental observation can only pin down the range of velocities to +/-20% around c, then it is well within that distributional possibility that superluminal velocity could be observed, which makes your point in the last post a bit hollow and leads to the contradiction noted. You can’t say “observational data shows me that the color is either white or black, therefore I’ve proved it is black.”

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    1.) No, but it does mean that if the only evidence we can investigate is the cars themselves, then we'll never know which factory they're coming from.
    Or at least that we cannot distinguish which factory based on our understanding of the evidence. Regardless though we still wouldn’t argue they are coming from the same factory, only that which specific factory was currently unknown.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    While I was away, I decided to look into your statements about Einstein synchronization… It would seem that most of the confusion arises from this paper by Mansouri and Sexl. The gist of this paper is the following:
    That seems an odd introductory sentence given the phrasing of your prior responses to this objection which seemed to indicate that you were responding out of familiarity rather than instinct. I just want to be clear, the indented text is not a quote right? It is your writing of what you read on the link? That was a bit confusing, so I just wanted to be clear.

    The summary of the paper leaves a bit to be desired in my opinion. Their discussion of the assumptions necessary to undertake a synchronization procedure are important, as are their expectations of the different results between procedures if you were to compare them between an Aether frame and an inertial frame.
    Interestingly, they also discuss the same cosmological evidence (though extremely briefly) for an aether frame as was referenced by other authors in this thread.

    Your criticism of them as not understanding this as a transformation doesn’t seem particularly warranted. They discuss that in several locations, objecting to various assumptions about transformations and how they must be applied (see page 501 for example). Their whole point is to probe the conditions that must be necessary in order for Einstein synchronization to be an absolute requirement. The point of this discussion they are having is to show that an Aether theory is consistent with current observations, so making an argument that it isn’t wouldn’t make much sense when constructing a test theory, would it? Hence the conclusion, “Thus the much debated
    question [29, 30] concerning the empirical equivalence of special relativity
    and an ether theory taking into account time dilatation and length contraction
    but maintaining absolute simultaneity can be answered affirmatively.”

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Einstein-Poincare synchronization just happens to be the simplest and most physically sensible coordinates to use, because they're the coordinates where you isolate time from space.
    This argument seems to have completely missed the point of what was being said. It was that if you use Einstein-Poincare synchronization to prepare an experimental observation, you assume a constant speed of light in the result because it is a fundamental assumption of the process.




    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    As explained above, no. But if you read the Mansouri-Sexl paper, you'll see that even if we choose a non-Einstein synchronization, this amounts to a new velocity composition rule (Sexl-Mansouri equation 4.2, for example).
    I’m sorry GP, but this response seems completely disconnect from what I wrote. The M/S paper isn’t discussing the same objection as I was referencing earlier, which is that tautological trueness that you seemed to imply in your argument doesn’t necessarily hold if there is another set of axioms that could be adopted that lead to the Lorentz Transformations.



    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    But you don't kill theories in their cradle because they don't immediately appear to address all possible problems with the theory
    Unless of course those theories are part of a claim that there is a discussion in the physics community on the subject?

    This also seems to undervalue the objection and dismissal you initially levelled. It wasn’t just that this theory didn’t address “all possible problems” it was that it was so obviously and fundamentally flawed that it only took you a few minutes to notice and thereby dismiss it. It was that the flaw was so obvious and dramatic that the paper didn’t warrant a real response, that this was enough that it should be stricken from a discussion on whether or not there is a serious discussion amongst physicists.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  6. #426
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    Re: WLC's Argument Against an Actual Infinity

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Except that isn’t what you said, and unless you were being incredibly out of character in your writing comprehension, that isn’t what you meant:

    Squatch: And you’ll notice he [Duffy] isn’t presented as one GP…

    GP: That's disingenuous, Squatch. I had asked you for a set of physicists who were asserting "LR is true", and you told me that the people on that list were physicists. I'm glad that you've conceded that this is false, though.


    Further, your “explanation” of what you meant doesn’t make any sense given the quote originally offered and the manner it was offered in. Obviously I did present them as part of that support because they are quoted in a paragraph of text relating to a physics discussion and I then went into detail in a response defending them as physicists.
    Squatch, you're going in circles. Either you have a rebuttal for my statement that you're being disingenuous or you don't, but you simply cannot tell me that --after I had clarified for the second or third time what my precise statement was and drug up the specific quotes that you'd made in the past that I was responding to-- that I was saying the opposite. You can disagree with it, you can try to rebut it, you can ignore it, but you cannot tell me what I said isn't what I meant (especially given that in the intervening posts you were reminded exactly what some of your claims over the past few months have been, and how you're contradicting yourself).

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Which isn’t what was said exactly. They said are currently indistinguishable given current observational data, that is different than the idea that these theories cannot be differentiated.
    Well, there's sequences of problems here. Firstly, they never come right out and write down the mathematical equations --i.e. the actual theory/model-- that they believe in. There's not a lot that I can say until they get past the "not even wrong" stage. I do, however, remember from reading various essays of theirs that they seem to follow a lot of what Janossy has said. The irony, of course, with what Janossy wrote is that the speed of light is constant, and has insisted that there are no differences between his interpretation (i.e. it's an interpretation) and SR.

    Basically, a lot of their and your misunderstandings can be cleared up with this lecture by Richard Feynman. He describes exactly why preciseness is vital, how science is about the implications.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Repetition of a claim does not give it more weight.
    No, but repetition of a claim with evidence does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    I defended their academic training such that you haven’t been able to make the above statement really coherently. I understand that you think they aren’t the guys that you would look for when defending a position, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t physicists. They are, which has been shown, objections not withstanding.
    Their academic training was only one part (of a list, which was so clearly delineated with literal numbers in the last post that I'm not sure how you could confuse this) of the claim that they were a bunch of a "random guys." The other parts involved pointing out that they had no idea about each other, that they are all dead and no person trained in physics is still alive who supports these positions, and, oh, the most important fact that they all offer mutually contradicting pictures about what "Lorentzian relativity" actually is and each offers completely different and contradicting physics. Perhaps you could try addressing my actual claim with its entire evidence instead of treating refutations as though they were à la carte and like you can ignore their entire claims and their full support.

    (I mean, ignoring the whole issue that the fact of the matter is that as far as textual time spent, it's been concretely demonstrated that you've spent most of your time defending untrained amateurs and philosophers, i.e. everyone but "physicists" whom were the original group of people that you were originally making the claims about, the claims which I've objected to for 7 months now)

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    I'm also confused as why you didn't respond to the sources I referenced supporting Van Flandern's research.
    Because I didn't need to address it to tackle the claim you were making. If you want to have it as evidence, you need to make a claim that directly involves their evidence as proof for your claim. I don't have the time to thoroughly rebut every self-proclaimed expert that you can find if I don't have to waste hours of my time dredging through that swill.


    PS: Even if Van Flandern's work did make it all the way through academic journals, you're still so, so far away from making your point. It's kind of sad for your position that you have had to shift the goal post to something like "I have found one or two papers published in physics peer-review that support the idea of Lorentzian relativity" when your claim is that there is "school of thought" on the subject, that there's a debate (this implies that he wasn't just entirely ignored by the rest of the scientific community; a debate means that there's two sides, not one guy yelling in a room), and that there's a growing number of converts to this school. Of course, I have to imagine that by now you know that all of this is complete bull****, and trying to find even one or two papers that might support your position is the best way for you to try not to have to concede that you're just wrong and that you misspoke previously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    You are confusing multiple responses.
    The confusion is all yours.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Can you support that any of the people listed as part of the Ives group in that quote were “untrained hacks?”
    Sure, just as soon as you can dredge up some support that anyone* in the Ives group was ever part of your main sources.


    Hint: This is a denying the consequent. You didn't ever use the Ives group as a main part of your position --outside of one person who was otherwise dealt with, see below-- so I won't ever have to argue that people in the Ives group are untrained hacks. In any case, it's certainly not a stretch to say that Levy and Shanahan weren't the people who you spent most of your time defending, who are known to be untrained amateurs and in Shanahan's case an overtly discredited hack.

    *Anyone that wasn't already addressed, that is. The only person that you used as a primary source from the so-called "Ives group" is H. Erlichson who appears to have gotten a PhD in physics after he wrote those papers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    No, I’m pointing out that you have repeatedly insisted that I walk through the inferences of papers, but when you are offering observational data you say is contradictory, you offer no connection. Essentially your argument amounts to, “I know this is wrong because of “5”.” Now, “5” may very well disprove an argument, but simply listing it isn’t very persuasive, and is inconsistent given the level of detail demanded of your opponent.
    Squatch, I'm demanding that you actually sit down and carefully explain the results because you can't be trusted to actually understand them, and you've frankly blown your credibility on this issue by steadfastly backing Shanahan and his work (apparently without understanding it, as it was later demonstrated by me pointing out basic errors that he was making that you didn't pick up on).

    I, on the other hand, don't see why I should justify myself when giving an executive summary of an article or linking you to a paper or article about the results of an experiment. No offense, but my credibility here is been far from being impeached despite months of your best efforts to show that I don't understand a very basic tenet of modern science that's played a central role in the development of all modern physics for the past ~110 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Nor did I, I said that you didn’t offer two in post 401, you only offered one.
    We could continue to discuss this, but if you fail to accept that "Here's an experiment" and "Here's a theoretical reason why this is impossible" are two separate arguments, then I'm not seeing where this conversation is going to lead.

    More to the point, even if you had conclusively demonstrated that I hadn't provided two different arguments in post 401, I certainly have given two (one of which you've contested, and as stated before there doesn't seem to be a conclusive result in the literature, but either way I'll accept your skepticism; the other theoretical argument that has been defended and apparently has gone wholly unobjected to by you, other than arguments like "I don't think that they'd screw that up").

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    So two gentlemen with advanced training made a “simple, conceptual error” that you happened to note? Forgive me, but that seems a bit presumptuous. It goes along with the objection I pointed out earlier. You are saying that papers that were, in fact, published by reputable journals seem to have made incredibly simple, fundamental errors and happened to not notice that their idea contradicts a well established and known field.
    The journal was Foundations of Physics, which you may note that I don't particularly find terribly trustworthy. With that said, yes, I do believe that they made a simple conceptual/mathematical error. And I'd be willing to bet that almost every other (if not every other) theoretical physicist does, too. If you want to show me up, ask some physicists about what their opinions of Van Flandern's work are. If you can find someone in a research university who disagrees with me, please by all means let me know what their opinions are, because if they're right, apparently we've been totally f***ing GR up for about 60 or 70 years now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Let’s presume all of this is true. Why then should I take your opinion for it? If other highly trained personnel can make such fundamental errors, what assurance do I have that you are not doing the same thing here?
    This is why it's so vital that there's a scientific consensus. That's why not even having a response (after 12 years) is worse than having no response at all --it means no one even thought it was worth thinking about because it was so manifestly wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Could it be, rather that you are misunderstanding my point? My point was that if the experimental observation can only pin down the range of velocities to +/-20% around c, then it is well within that distributional possibility that superluminal velocity could be observed, which makes your point in the last post a bit hollow and leads to the contradiction noted. You can’t say “observational data shows me that the color is either white or black, therefore I’ve proved it is black.”
    If your original point (ignoring the original phrasing) is that GR could be false because the experiment only allegedly measured the speed of light to +/- .2 c (Again, setting aside that Van Flandern asserted that it must be >10^9 c, which makes all of this a bit of a side show because basic arithmetic tells us that .2 c < 10^9 c), then my response is "Yes, of course, that's why science doesn't prove things to be true, only that certain things are false and certain things are probably true." There's always an uncertainty in experiments so the next experiment could average to a value inconsistent with the theory. This is what happened to Newtonian mechanics, for instance.

    Either way, could you tell me how any of this helps or hinders any claim that you have made?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Or at least that we cannot distinguish which factory based on our understanding of the evidence. Regardless though we still wouldn’t argue they are coming from the same factory, only that which specific factory was currently unknown.
    There's also a good discussion that you should listen to, which directly pertains to this discussion here:



    at 38:13. A transcript with some editing:

    [After explaining three mathematically equivalent, but conceptually distinct, manners of talking about Newtonian mechanics --Newton's Second Law (Principle of Causality), local force fields (aka Principle of Locality), and the Principle of Least Action-- Feynman gives a discussion of how one should (or shouldn't) pick between these mathematically equivalent theories.]

    "But this is an example of the wide range of beautiful ways of describing Nature. And that when people talk that "Nature must have causality", [he points on the board to the action principle, where causality is not manifest but derived] "Well, you could talk about it this way." And people say, "Nature must be stated in terms of a minimum principle!", [points on the board to the local field formulation where there's no action principle] "Well, you talk about it this way." [Or they say] "Nature must have a local field!", [points to the causality principle, where there are just particles appearing to interact non-locally] "Well, we could do that."

    And the question is, "which one is right?" Now, if these various alternatives are mathematically not exactly equivalent, and for certain ones there will be different [mathematical] consequences than for others, then that's perfectly all right, because we only have to do the experiment to find out which way Nature actually chooses to do it. [But] mostly people come along and argue philosophically that they like this one better than that one, but we have learned from much experience that what intuitions about what Nature is going to do, philosophically, fail. It never works! One just has to work out all the possibilities and just try all the alternatives.


    Now, in this particular case that I'm talking about here, these theories are exactly equivalent. The mathematical consequences in every one of the different formulations --of the three formulations: Newton's laws, the local field method, and this minimum principle-- give exactly the same consequences. What do we do then? You will read in all of the books that we therefore cannot decide scientifically on one or the other. That's true. They are equivalent, it's scientifically impossible to make a decision, because there's not experimental way to distinguish them because all of the consequences are the same.

    Psychologically, they're very different in two different ways. First, philosophically you like them or you don't like them. [points his finger] Training is the only thing you can do to beat that disease. Second, psychologically they're different because they're completely unequivalent when you go to guess at a new law. As long as the physics is incomplete and we're trying to find if there are other laws --and understand [these] other laws-- then the different possible formulations give clues as to what might happen in other circumstances. And they become not equivalent, and are psychologically suggesting to us to guess what the laws might look like in a wider situation."


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    That seems an odd introductory sentence given the phrasing of your prior responses to this objection which seemed to indicate that you were responding out of familiarity rather than instinct. I just want to be clear, the indented text is not a quote right? It is your writing of what you read on the link? That was a bit confusing, so I just wanted to be clear.
    1.) The honest answer is that Einstein synchronization is something that is not dealt with in much detail in the literature. It's sort of an old esoteric point, and after reading the Sexl-Mansouri paper, I can understand why. It's basically just ignoring the massive amount of understanding of what a spacetime is since the advent of GR. To be honest, the only reason why you'd spend a lot of time thinking about this subject is because you want to have room to play with the rules of SR to get the results of SR without it being SR. Unfortunately, it turns out this just isn't an area where you can play, this is all going to end up being equivalent to SR, just in a really dumb coordinate system (which leads to weird notions of "velocity"). In the sense that I'm used to SR in most non-stupid coordinate systems, then yes I am responding from familiarity. In the sense that there's an uncountable number of ways of writing down coordinate systems for SR, then no, I don't know all of them (and thus all different kinds of synchronization or what they would look like). Of course, no one is.

    2.) Yes, that is my summary of the Sexl-Mansouri paper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    The summary of the paper leaves a bit to be desired in my opinion. Their discussion of the assumptions necessary to undertake a synchronization procedure are important, as are their expectations of the different results between procedures if you were to compare them between an Aether frame and an inertial frame.
    Not if they mathematically lead to a theory that is equivalent to SR, which I've claimed (and gave the links that demonstrate how and why) that they do. The only issue is that you have to understand differential topology to see clearly and quickly why that is.

    The issue here is that they are taking gauge varying quantities and trying to ascribe physical meaning to them in one gauge and then trying to compare those same gauge varying quantities in a different gauge. Of course they're going to be different, but that's because they are actually computing something that isn't actually physical because they're asking the question in the wrong way. This is a mistake that you can make if you don't do a lot of gauge field theory, which was unfortunately not paid much attention to by old-school 1970's Relativists as this was being done by the waning S-Matrix theorist population and the rising field theorist population working on high energy particle physics for the past 40 years. It really wasn't until Stephen Hawking's work on QFT on curved spacetimes and Supergravity work in the late 1970's that people really understood both camps perspectives very well because it was the first time it was essential to understand both simultaneously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Interestingly, they also discuss the same cosmological evidence (though extremely briefly) for an aether frame as was referenced by other authors in this thread.
    Yes, and their statements about this are no less stupid when uttered by trained Relativists than by untrained amateurs. The problem here is that they would appear not to understand what the CMB is and what it means to have a spontaneously broken symmetry vs an explicitly broken symmetry. In other words, either being particle astrophysicist (which wasn't even a field yet) or being cosmologists would have fixed the problem. Although, I'll be honest, I suspect they were just trying to be provocative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Your criticism of them as not understanding this as a transformation doesn’t seem particularly warranted. They discuss that in several locations, objecting to various assumptions about transformations and how they must be applied (see page 501 for example). Their whole point is to probe the conditions that must be necessary in order for Einstein synchronization to be an absolute requirement. The point of this discussion they are having is to show that an Aether theory is consistent with current observations, so making an argument that it isn’t wouldn’t make much sense when constructing a test theory, would it? Hence the conclusion, “Thus the much debated
    question [29, 30] concerning the empirical equivalence of special relativity
    and an ether theory taking into account time dilatation and length contraction
    but maintaining absolute simultaneity can be answered affirmatively.”
    I read the paper. The problem here is that they aren't computing a physical velocity. You can try to call it a velocity, but if you actually measure what is going on in that observer's frame, she will tell you that's absolutely not the natural velocity that she would measure. The literal analogy here is that you can mix up spatial dimensions such that they aren't orthonormal, but now in order to compute physically relevant quantities you have unnecessarily complicated formulas (for example, the soh-cah-toa relations are all wrong and have to be corrected, so trigonometry looks completely differ) but it doesn't mean that you're measuring. The problem is that non-Einstein synchronization leads to incorrect formula usage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    This argument seems to have completely missed the point of what was being said. It was that if you use Einstein-Poincare synchronization to prepare an experimental observation, you assume a constant speed of light in the result because it is a fundamental assumption of the process.
    No, you'll derive it either way. If you like, I can calculate the physical velocity in Sexl-Mansouri gauge and then proceed to derive that the speed of light is constant. Or I could just write down the coordinate transformation that they've done, and show you what their spacetime interval is and demonstrate that their transformation leaves it invariant under their superficial re-writing of the Lorentz group. (This demonstrates that they're physically and mathematically still upholding Lorentz invariance as the fundamental symmetry of their so-called ether theory and that their transformations are, in fact, Lorentz transformations in a non-canonical form).


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    I’m sorry GP, but this response seems completely disconnect from what I wrote. The M/S paper isn’t discussing the same objection as I was referencing earlier, which is that tautological trueness that you seemed to imply in your argument doesn’t necessarily hold if there is another set of axioms that could be adopted that lead to the Lorentz Transformations.
    No, I still hold that it is tautologically true. Now, this was in reference of Levy's paper, which is why I brought this up. In order for your claim that Levy isn't assuming Einstein synchronization to be true, Levy would have needed to have a different velocity summation rule (as per the Sexl-Mansouri paper), but that's exactly the thing that he agrees with Einstein on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Unless of course those theories are part of a claim that there is a discussion in the physics community on the subject?
    While it's good of you to point out, once again, that you have no evidence that "There is a debate in the physics community over Lorentzian ether theory is true", it's not the case that I think that we should kill all Lorentz violating theories. It's just a question of how we do it and why we would do it. In Einstein-Aether theory --while I have absolutely no belief that it is true-- it was trying to explore how the effect of an absolute frame from microphysics would effect physics. There's no rejection of basic science here, or a denial that physicists have been wrong about clearly correct things for 110 years now. You'll notice that Nima Arkani-Hamed isn't running around saying that Einstein-Aether theory is true and it's because Einstein is a moron and screwed up very basic physics 110 years ago (Also, Nima clearly doesn't believe that AE theory would work as he stopped publishing on the topic long ago).

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    This also seems to undervalue the objection and dismissal you initially levelled. It wasn’t just that this theory didn’t address “all possible problems” it was that it was so obviously and fundamentally flawed that it only took you a few minutes to notice and thereby dismiss it. It was that the flaw was so obvious and dramatic that the paper didn’t warrant a real response, that this was enough that it should be stricken from a discussion on whether or not there is a serious discussion amongst physicists.
    I didn't say that I'd proven it. I'd said that I looked at it and thought "Wow, that almost certainly cannot work." There's a huge difference in the actual physics community between having a hunch and a proof of a statement. This isn't philosophy where arguments of incredulity are placeholders for mathematical arguments.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  7. #427
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    Re: WLC's Argument Against an Actual Infinity

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Squatch, I'm demanding that you actually sit down and carefully explain the results because you can't be trusted to actually understand them, and you've frankly blown your credibility on this issue by steadfastly backing Shanahan and his work (apparently without understanding it, as it was later demonstrated by me pointing out basic errors that he was making that you didn't pick up on).

    I, on the other hand, don't see why I should justify myself when giving an executive summary of an article or linking you to a paper or article about the results of an experiment. No offense, but my credibility here is been far from being impeached despite months of your best efforts to show that I don't understand a very basic tenet of modern science that's played a central role in the development of all modern physics for the past ~110 years.
    Regardless of how you perceive Squatch's argument, the fact that you are not offering equal explanation and are offering more your personal deceleration on a topic, you do an injustice to those following.
    I mean, if you can sum your entire posts up as "GP says it's wrong and has a degree to prove he understands the material", you could have saved us all a lot of reading time.
    I don't mean this in a way so as to immpune your credibility, only to say that when a discussion reaches a certain level then your credibility is no longer sufficient explanation or a substitute for a discussion.

    Squatch is right that it isn't "persuasive" especially in the absence of any link or support what so ever.
    To you, you are possibly stating the obvious, but I would hope you would recognize that to all reading it is not so obvious and a bit more is necessary to call it a discussion.

    I think that calling it an "executive summary" is a way of assuming a whole bunch of your points and ignoring and not addressing any contradictions to them. To us reading, I see Squatch with a lengthy, linked and reasoned response, and you with a bullet point and a diploma. If I were one to want to accept a bullet point and a diploma to help me make a decision on who is right.. I wouldn't be reading this discussion or debating.

    *the above is in regards to a specific point and not a comment on the thread as a whole*


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    This is why it's so vital that there's a scientific consensus. That's why not even having a response (after 12 years) is worse than having no response at all --it means no one even thought it was worth thinking about because it was so manifestly wrong.
    Earlier in the thread you said that when no experiment can be done then the scientific community looses interest.
    So certainly there is another possible explanation to the silence then "manifestly obviously wrong", when trying to explain silence on a topic.

    So according to your own words and points your conclusion simply doesn't follow. Silence =/= accepted and obvious incorrect.

    *This is a point about the logical flaw in the claim, not the ultimate truth of the conclusion*
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: WLC's Argument Against an Actual Infinity

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Regardless of how you perceive Squatch's argument, the fact that you are not offering equal explanation and are offering more your personal deceleration on a topic, you do an injustice to those following.
    I mean, if you can sum your entire posts up as "GP says it's wrong and has a degree to prove he understands the material", you could have saved us all a lot of reading time.
    I don't mean this in a way so as to immpune your credibility, only to say that when a discussion reaches a certain level then your credibility is no longer sufficient explanation or a substitute for a discussion.

    Squatch is right that it isn't "persuasive" especially in the absence of any link or support what so ever.
    To you, you are possibly stating the obvious, but I would hope you would recognize that to all reading it is not so obvious and a bit more is necessary to call it a discussion.

    I think that calling it an "executive summary" is a way of assuming a whole bunch of your points and ignoring and not addressing any contradictions to them. To us reading, I see Squatch with a lengthy, linked and reasoned response, and you with a bullet point and a diploma. If I were one to want to accept a bullet point and a diploma to help me make a decision on who is right.. I wouldn't be reading this discussion or debating.

    *the above is in regards to a specific point and not a comment on the thread as a whole*
    I reject your characterization of this discussion.

    All of this assumes that I haven't been providing a copious number of links for him, MT, which I have. I haven't been stating "This is the irrefutable truth because I have a degree" and then refused to provide links. If you notice, my posts are litered with references and I've made a concerted effort (wherever possible) to find free access links to the information. I have also on numerous occasions repeated different ways to understand the concept, usually backed up with even more references. So I'm failing to understand why you're saying this. I have made statements and then I always link to sources from university webpages, Google scholar, MS Scholar, research archives, peer-reviewed science papers, and in a few instances Wikipedia for that information, unless I have already done so previously in the post. If Squatch wants more on a specific issue, he's free to ask for further clarification. Unlike Squatch, I never spent literally 4 pages on this thread refusing to provide links or clarify my claims, so once again I think it's pretty rich that anyone is trying to paint me as the person on this thread who hasn't demonstrated or provided links to substantiate their claims when I'm the only person who has been consistently doing this in this discussion.

    For the recond, this is entirely to do with Squatch not carefully vetting his own sources, which in turn forced me to go through a tremendous amount of time pinning down his nebulous claims (e.g. post #222) and finding and confirming or disconfirming the validity of his sources (e.g. posts #401 and #402). So honestly it's a little bit absurd to say that I've simply been running around saying "I'm right" like that's the only thing that I've done. If Squatch had actually consistently given me reputable sources (and knew how to differentiate reputable from disreputable sources), had always linked me to peer-reviewed papers for novel sources, and hadn't made a few key mistakes, then I might not be so harsh on him for not doing so. But he has, and so I am.

    My only criterion here is literally "Just make sure that what you're linking me to is an actual academic source" and I'm demanding that these sources actually support the claims that he's still refusing to concede (There is a debate between physicists about SR and that this debate is increasing the number of physicist supporters of Lorentzian relativity). So there is no double standard nor is there any special standard, I'm only making sure that he meets the normal standard of evidence. I don't even care what his summary is, so long as it is accurate and he's given me a peer-reviewed or otherwise academically credible source (so I can verify that his understanding is correct because he's provided me with an acceptable link from a trustworthy source).

    Quote Originally Posted by MT
    Earlier in the thread you said that when no experiment can be done then the scientific community looses interest.
    So certainly there is another possible explanation to the silence then "manifestly obviously wrong", when trying to explain silence on a topic.

    So according to your own words and points your conclusion simply doesn't follow. Silence =/= accepted and obvious incorrect.

    *This is a point about the logical flaw in the claim, not the ultimate truth of the conclusion*
    There are several reasons why the community might lose interest; however, in this case there's been no follow up research since the author(s) proposed the idea. That's not losing interest, that's never having had it in the first place.
    Last edited by GoldPhoenix; September 2nd, 2014 at 04:10 PM.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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    Re: WLC's Argument Against an Actual Infinity

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    I reject your characterization of this discussion.
    I hope you didn't make the mistake of thinking I was commenting on the entire thread. I did try to make it very clear that it was in regard to that specific exchange regarding a specific link being discussed.

    Barring the above. Then I have said my piece and I will leave yours as the final word.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: WLC's Argument Against an Actual Infinity

    First, I should note that the discussion we are having, while interesting, isn’t really related to this thread. There is no real reason to discuss whether this concept is being discussed if we all agree that time is a causally iterative process rather than a static, causally concurrent manifold like object.

    As long as there are no objections to that concept, I’m not sure what progress the discussion below will actually make in relation to the OP.




    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Squatch, you're going in circles. Either you have a rebuttal for my statement that you're being disingenuous or you don't, but you simply cannot tell me that --after I had clarified for the second or third time what my precise statement was and drug up the specific quotes that you'd made in the past that I was responding to-- that I was saying the opposite.
    At this point it is hard to take this response as intellectually honest. I have quoted your exact statement. Quoted the exact context of your statement. It is perfectly clear what you meant to say and how you seem to have confused how I presented Mr. Duffy, almost certainly because that post was “too long” so you “didn’t read.”

    Remember, you said:


    Squatch: And you’ll notice he [Duffy] isn’t presented as one GP…

    GP: That's disingenuous, Squatch. I had asked you for a set of physicists who were asserting "LR is true", and you told me that the people on that list were physicists. I'm glad that you've conceded that this is false, though.

    I clearly wasn’t presenting Duffy as a physicist, I was referencing a work by him where he references physicists.

    I do agree with you that it is a dumb argument, clearly you misread how I had presented him the first time (clear from your initial response to me) and caught it later. It doesn’t affect your real argument to concede that.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Firstly, they never come right out and write down the mathematical equations --i.e. the actual theory/model-- that they believe in. There's not a lot that I can say until they get past the "not even wrong" stage…

    Basically, a lot of their and your misunderstandings can be cleared up with this lecture by Richard Feynman. He describes exactly why preciseness is vital, how science is about the implications.
    Again, this is an unfortunate symptom of TLDR. You’ve misunderstood the argument against you, which, as MindTrap points out, is the reason you are in this thread at all since nothing about what you are arguing here is at all germane to the discussion. The point offered by the various physicists referenced here is that there are other plausible mechanisms to explain the relativistic observations that do not rely on the assumptions made for SR. The mistake that I believe you are making and I think MindTrap believes you are making is that you are assuming that because a current experiment does not exist through which to distinguish the two theories, we can simply ignore one of them in favor of another that we prefer, perhaps because (as you’ve said) it is “easier” to use. But that is logically problematic, but because you’ve made a philosophic error here, when pointed out, you reject any discussion of the subject as “just philosophy.”

    This is why Sean Carroll has made a good argument that many physicists need to pay more attention to philosophy, because their rejection of it is leading them down paths that don’t lead to good scientific results. http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/...ut-philosophy/

    “Philosophers care too much about deep-sounding meta-questions, instead of sticking to what can be observed and calculated.”
    Finally, the deeply depressing critique. Here we see the unfortunate consequence of a lifetime spent in an academic/educational system that is focused on taking ambitious dreams and crushing them into easily-quantified units of productive work. The idea is apparently that developing a new technique for calculating a certain wave function is an honorable enterprise worthy of support, while trying to understand what wave functions actually are and how they capture reality is a boring waste of time. I suspect that a substantial majority of physicists who use quantum mechanics in their everyday work are uninterested in or downright hostile to attempts to understand the quantum measurement problem.
    This makes me sad. I don’t know about all those other folks, but personally I did not fall in love with science as a kid because I was swept up in the romance of finding slightly more efficient calculational techniques. Don’t get me wrong — finding more efficient calculational techniques is crucially important, and I cheerfully do it myself when I think I might have something to contribute. But it’s not the point — it’s a step along the way to the point.
    The point, I take it, is to understand how nature works. Part of that is knowing how to do calculations, but another part is asking deep questions about what it all means. That’s what got me interested in science, anyway. And part of that task is understanding the foundational aspects of our physical picture of the world, digging deeply into issues that go well beyond merely being able to calculate things. It’s a shame that so many physicists don’t see how good philosophy of science can contribute to this quest. The universe is much bigger than we are and stranger than we tend to imagine, and I for one welcome all the help we can get in trying to figure it out.

    Sound familiar?

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    the most important fact that they all offer mutually contradicting pictures about what "Lorentzian relativity" actually is and each offers completely different and contradicting physics.
    Wait, is it your position that if there exist multiple, contradictory takes on a theory that the entire theory can therefore be disregarded?

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Because I didn't need to address it to tackle the claim you were making.
    Which seems odd, because you took quite a while discussing everything possible about Prof. Van Flandern’s life except the piece of work I cited him for. You specifically said that you weren’t going to address the information I cited, but would rather discuss what a “kook” he is. You took quite a bit of time discussing every possible bit of Prof. Van Flandern that you could find except the part I referenced in support of the argument.

    If you don’t wish to discuss it that is fine, but let’s not pretend then that you’ve rebutted my sources, unless you are dropping your standards of rebuttal to personal attacks on the man.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    The confusion is all yours.
    This is hardly the kind of professional response I would expect from you GP. This is nothing more than a “you’re stupid!” type argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Sure, just as soon as you can dredge up some support that anyone* in the Ives group was ever part of your main sources.
    This is, I believe, a telling moment in our discussion. You are claiming, quite dismissively, to have rebuked all my sources, to understand my argument and see how weak it is. But here we are, nearly six months later and you still can’t figure out my original sources. Nor, apparently, can you be bothered to go back, take 30 seconds (all it took me) to go to search thread and find my post on March 7th where I reference these physicists in my original support. http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...l=1#post534492

    Now, given that I’ve met your unnecessary response, can you answer the original challenge? That the physicists referenced were “untrained hacks?”

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Squatch, I'm demanding that you actually sit down and carefully explain the results because you can't be trusted to actually understand them, and you've frankly blown your credibility on this issue…

    I, on the other hand, don't see why I should justify myself when giving an executive summary of an article or linking you to a paper or article about the results of an experiment.
    This was more elegantly handled by MindTrap below, but this is a ridiculously overbearing and dismissive response. You demand I go through some exercise while you are free to make whatever claim you wish anywhere you wish and paraphrase a source while presenting it as if it were some kind of quote from the document (that is what the indent tags are used here for generally).

    Further, you response has nothing to do with my last post. It comes across as nothing more than a dismissive hand wave to the point I made, which was essentially that you are applying disproportionate standards of evidence for claims. You are insisting that I walk through the details of a supporting paper in order to warrant your time to even review my post. Then you counter it with “Fundamentally flawed” with no supporting explanation or reference, doing, as MindTrap pointed out, hanging your claim on your degree while ignoring the degree of the original author.

    That is what has impeached your credibility here to be frank. You’ve dismissed plenty of other authors who have equal or greater training than you here as crackpots, while simultaneously resting several of your responses (not all, but the one I was referring to above) with “trust me, I’m a physicist.”

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    We could continue to discuss this, but if you fail to accept that "Here's an experiment" and "Here's a theoretical reason why this is impossible" are two separate arguments, then I'm not seeing where this conversation is going to lead.
    Well that isn’t exactly what you offered though. You offered a bare assertion and a piece of controversial evidence. That is either 1 and a bare assertion or two sentences related to the same idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    The journal was Foundations of Physics, which you may note that I don't particularly find terribly trustworthy.
    So essentially, GP smart, two well respected physicists and many reviewers dumb? That isn’t particularly a very convincing line of argument to outsiders, especially given you reliance on degree titles in past posts.

    Additionally, and I only say this because you seem to rely on your credibility here for some of your support, that nothing in that discussion was in the Foundation of Physics. This discussion was concerning evidence I had presented in post 419, which involves a paper published in Physics Letters A 250:1-11 (1998). I’m assuming Physics Letters A is not disreputable to you? Additionally, his evidence cited papers in Nature and Physical Review E are these sources “trustworthy?”

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Either way, could you tell me how any of this helps or hinders any claim that you have made?
    I would recommend re-reading your earlier posts when responding, you seem to forget how sections were brought up (probably because it has taken me so long to respond). Your point was that the experiment showing the speed of light as +/- .2 c ruled out superluminal velocities. Of course only a finding of 0-.8 C would rule out superluminal velocities.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    There's also a good discussion that you should listen to, which directly pertains to this discussion here:
    Of course the primary error you’ve made here is to assume that I argued they were all identical. Something I’ve corrected twice before. I stated that they were identical as far as current experimentation goes, which means you should be (according to Feynman) agnostic concerning the two, rather than simply rejecting one in favor of the one you prefer (the irony being you seem to be doing exactly what Feynman is arguing here, if you are assuming that my claim is that they are identical).

    More relevantly, Feynman is simply operating under (I should be more precise, the way you are characterizing him is) old theories of knowledge. This is, in fact verificationism, which is what I initially accused you of, and which you seem to be now conceding. The idea that two things are the same if they produce the same results. Really though, Feynman is arguing for something more subtle than the antiquated philosophic concept you seem to imply. He is arguing for some form of agnosticism. That if you cannot distinguish between two theories you don’t support one because it makes you happy, you hold both as equally valid (and more importantly, he doesn’t say they are the same thing, only that both are possible explanations). But, to paraphrase another researcher, Feynman is not Bohr because they match the same descriptors, http://michaeljohnsonphilosophy.com/...eories-14.pptx I might not be able to tell if it is Feynman or Bohr, but that that doesn’t mean I can call Bohr, Feynman.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    1.) The honest answer is that Einstein synchronization is something that is not dealt with in much detail in the literature.
    Fair enough, but you’ve invoked your personal credibility enough in this thread that it would seem a fair point from me. You implied there was a conclusive, universally held take on something that you were familiar with, but when pushed a bit further, conceded that you had to do more research. So regardless of the validity of your reasons for needing to do the research, it does call into question the authority through which you are hanging your take on many of these things. Please don’t take this as a personal attack on you. You’re brilliant in your area, but as you’ve pointed out many times, when physicists are doing physics outside their area of expertise, their personal view of a subject becomes less convincing. I’m only attempting to respond to the frame of the point being responded to. It is your summary of the paper, so your familiarity with the topic would seem relevant to the discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Yes, and their statements about this are no less stupid when uttered by trained Relativists than by untrained amateurs. The problem here is that they would appear not to understand what the CMB is and what it means to have a spontaneously broken symmetry vs an explicitly broken symmetry.
    Which would seem odd from two highly trained relativists. Is the discrepancy that you have more training than they do? This is your particular field and they are outside their depth? What would make two highly trained and accredited physicists make an argument that you find so obviously “stupid?”

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    I read the paper. The problem here is that they aren't computing a physical velocity.
    Having read the paper on several occasions I’m not sure where you come to this result. Their discussions of velocities both in a preferred frame and an inertial frame are perfectly consistent with what would be an intuitive understanding of velocity would be for an observer (movement through a physical dimension over some period of time). The bulk of the paper simply notes that there is a different material result from two different types of synchronization procedures, and that fact is consistent with both theory and observed fact. Given that we can get two different explanations consistent with the data from starting with two different assumption sets, they reach the conclusion I mentioned earlier:

    A theory maintaining the concept of absolute simultaneity can be obtained in this way which is [when the co- efficients a (v) and b (v) are chosen appropriately] empirically equivalent to special relativity, at least as far as kinematics is concerned. Thus the much debated question [29, 30] concerning the empirical equivalence of special relativity and an ether theory taking into account time dilatation and length contraction but maintaining absolute simultaneity can be answered affirmatively.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    No, I still hold that it is tautologically true.
    Which is still the problem, it can’t be tautologically true if there are other logical input/output options to the cycle you describe. Which is why I pointed out that your last response to mine was off topic to the objection. M/S’s work doesn’t really move you further down that track as well. As long as the cycle you describe isn’t inescapable, the objection you raised to the original paper doesn’t hold. Levy can still argue his way out of the cycle.


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    I didn't say that I'd proven it. I'd said that I looked at it and thought "Wow, that almost certainly cannot work."
    That isn’t exactly an accurate representation of your response either. You looked at it and said that it was so obviously and fundamentally flawed that it didn’t really warrant a serious response. Certainly, in your opinion, it was so seriously and obviously flawed it couldn’t possibly be held to even support the relative modest claim it was being used for. But the journal disagreed, they thought it did warrant discussion, that it was coherent enough to be part of the discussion in the physics community (ie, my claim).
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  11. Thanks MindTrap028 thanked for this post
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    Re: WLC's Argument Against an Actual Infinity

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    First, I should note that the discussion we are having, while interesting, isn't really related to this thread. There is no real reason to discuss whether this concept is being discussed if we all agree that time is a causally iterative process rather than a static, causally concurrent manifold like object.

    As long as there are no objections to that concept, I'm not sure what progress the discussion below will actually make in relation to the OP.
    Well, Squatch, I would agree that now that you have fully conceded that Special Relativity is consistent with your philosophical principles and is therefore possibly true (setting aside how utterly intellectually bankrupt this line of reasoning is) that there's not anything left to discuss that is immediately germane to this thread.

    However, what is more incredible is your inability to concede when you're plainly wrong. Squatch, this post of yours is openly re-writing the history of this conversation, contains numerous fallacies, and --worst of all-- you aren't even defending a single source from post 228 anymore (Instead you've opted to introduce a new source, Van Flandern's other work). And yet you've re-asserted that I don't understand the sources in post 228. Seriously? Are you not even trying anymore to make coherent arguments anymore? You do realize that as of about two posts ago you yourself have stopped defending literally every single source in post 228 except for Van Flandern, right? Or are you just not bothering to remember more than one post back? Have you forgotten the entire past 4 months? I only ask because it appears like you literally don't remember this, and I am actually nonplussed here by the irrelevancy, incoherence, or inaccuracy of your responses. Honestly, I would say that you've committed numerous strawman fallacies --but I'm not sure that pretending like entire months of this conversation never happened --even after they were gathered together for you to read-- actually counts as a strawman. It almost seems too grandiose to be a strawman fallacy.

    So after this post of yours, it is clear to me that we're done here, Squatch. You transparently have nothing substantive left to say on this topic and your current argumentation is embarrassingly incoherent and/or inaccurate. Like Clive, I'm simply done here. There's nothing left to discuss; you're just negating what I'm saying without an attempt at a reason being presented. I'm sure that you're going to respond that I'm secretly the one whose committing [whatever things I've challenged you on], but frankly I'm not really interested in entertaining your unsubstantiated opinions on this subject anymore, so take the last word. It's not going to help your position.






    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    At this point it is hard to take this response as intellectually honest.
    That is a rich line to start this particular post out with. But this goes back to my point that a disturbingly large percentage of your post is just just accusing me of committing what you just committed, as though these not-even-veiled deflections actually mean you don't have to respond to the challenges I've laid on you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    I have quoted your exact statement. Quoted the exact context of your statement. It is perfectly clear what you meant to say and how you seem to have confused how I presented Mr. Duffy, almost certainly because that post was "too long" so you "didn't read."

    Remember, you said:


    Squatch: And you'll notice he [Duffy] isn't presented as one GP

    GP: That's disingenuous, Squatch. I had asked you for a set of physicists who were asserting "LR is true", and you told me that the people on that list were physicists. I'm glad that you've conceded that this is false, though.

    I clearly wasn't presenting Duffy as a physicist, I was referencing a work by him where he references physicists.

    I do agree with you that it is a dumb argument, clearly you misread how I had presented him the first time (clear from your initial response to me) and caught it later. It doesn't affect your real argument to concede that.
    1.) You quote me as literally saying "too long" and "didn't read", but then in the quote of me, if you'll notice, I don't say that anywhere. Doesn't this seem a little bit too openly false, even for this post? Apparently not, I guess.

    2.) You're literally just repeating the claim that you made 21 posts ago, as though the past months and 21 posts never happened and you weren't already shown to have been wrong about this. Squatch, you can't just set the clock back three months ago, ignore everything that was said during those two months, and then repeat the same claim as though it hasn't been shown to be completely false. The plus side is that there's no need to respond afresh to this, however I'm glad that you agree that the arguments that you made in post #228 are, in fact, "dumb" (your words). For your convenience, I will repeat the conversation history so you can catch up on what transpired:


    Squatch #409: "Oh come now GP, the fact that he was doing a survey of papers was pretty clear from the original post, that you somehow missed it doesn't make me disingenuous."


    GP #412: "Yes, but that wasn't why I called you disingenuous, Squatch; you seem to have a faulty recollection of what transpired. I am not protesting that Székely presented them as physicists, I am protesting that they were presented as physicists by you, and used as evidence by you for the claim that there's a debate in the field of physics over LR. Székely never made that argument, but you certainly did. Now you've turned around --only after I've concretely demonstrated that the majority of them weren't physicists-- and told me that they never were presented as evidence for your claim that there's a "debate amongst physicists" in the first place. That's just not true. Let's go back and refresh your memory about who claimed what:

    GP #222:
    "There's no interpretation issue; Special Relativity is the theory of Lorentz invariance."


    Like you say, it was
    initially about interpretation. You respond:

    Squatch #228:
    "This does not seem to be the case as I see it. Perhaps this is due to a translation issue on my part, I'm not sure, but sufficed to say there does seem to be discussion concerning the different interpretation of relativistic phenomena."


    The original quotation of László Székely followed, which you may re-read in post #228; however, the list of authors was not only used against my interpretation issue, but also as evidence for the "dispute within the field." You say as such in your next post, but you make your point pretty clearly in this post, too:
    "I'm not arguing this is metaphysics, but physics and that this is a physics debate occurring between physicists." However, here responding to the sum total of your sources, I asserted:

    GP #230:
    "These are crackpot* alternatives to Special Relativity (and GR and QFT, by the looks of it)."


    You replied:

    Squatch #236:
    "This isn't a valid rebutal GP. I also take exception to your characterization of my sources as "crack pot," [...] László Székely has a PHD in Mathematics, has been a research fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and has more than a dozen published papers to his name.


    To which I replied:

    GP #250:
    "[But] László Székely has a PhD in mathematics."


    To which you reply:

    Squatch #290:
    "This is the kind of error one makes when they dismiss their opponent's claims with TLDR initially. If you had read any of my response you would have noted that Prof Székely is writing about the debate in the field, not arguing the underlying physics of the point. Remember, my response here was to show that there is actual debate."


    And there you have it, by your own admission, that Prof Székely was used in support of the claim that these sources were examples of debate within the field of physics. Of course, I've demonstrated that these people are almost entirely not physicists, thus this citation is not acceptable or accurate. Which you just got done admitting yourself two posts ago. So no, you absolutely do not get to say that "you'll notice Duffy isn't presented as [a physicist by Székely]" without immediately conceding that you should never have cited this as evidence for a "debate with in the field" in the first place, nor are you allowed to characterize my line of argument as being off base when it is directly rebutting a claim made by you. That is why I'm saying that you're being disingenuous."



    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Again, this is an unfortunate symptom of TLDR. You've misunderstood the argument against you, which, as MindTrap points out, is the reason you are in this thread at all since nothing about what you are arguing here is at all germane to the discussion. The point offered by the various physicists referenced here is that there are other plausible mechanisms to explain the relativistic observations that do not rely on the assumptions made for SR. The mistake that I believe you are making and I think MindTrap believes you are making is that you are assuming that because a current experiment does not exist through which to distinguish the two theories, we can simply ignore one of them in favor of another that we prefer, perhaps because (as you've said) it is "easier" to use. But that is logically problematic, but because you've made a philosophic error here, when pointed out, you reject any discussion of the subject as "just philosophy."
    Jesus Christ, Squatch, we went over this (literally) 200 posts ago, and repeated it about once every page since then, and you're flip-flopping again on this point. My issue, which it has been since the beginning, is not with you adding extra philosophy to SR, but you saying SR as a scientific model is wrong and that there's an ever-increasing/"becoming more prominent" group of physicists who agree with this position. That's the claim that I'm objecting to, and the claim that you agreed that you were making in post #228. You did not say that you were interested in a purely philosophical interpretation difference, and I pressed you into clarifying, that "I'm not arguing this is metaphysics, but physics and that this is a physics debate occurring between physicists." This is the claim that you agreed that you are making in post #228. So this discussion cannot have anything to do with philosophy, or you're just contradicting yourself with what you said in post #228. If the theory of LR that you believe in is only philosophically, but not experimentally, different than SR, then why the hell did you say otherwise in post #228?

    My guess is that you aren't actually trying to contradict yourself, and that in your view, like you've repeated many times now, Lorentzian relativity is empirically distinct from Special Relativity. But that makes your above bloviation completely and utterly irrelevant to any claim that either of us are making.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    This is why Sean Carroll has made a good argument that many physicists need to pay more attention to philosophy, because their rejection of it is leading them down paths that don't lead to good scientific results. http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/...ut-philosophy/

    "Philosophers care too much about deep-sounding meta-questions, instead of sticking to what can be observed and calculated."
    Finally, the deeply depressing critique. Here we see the unfortunate consequence of a lifetime spent in an academic/educational system that is focused on taking ambitious dreams and crushing them into easily-quantified units of productive work. The idea is apparently that developing a new technique for calculating a certain wave function is an honorable enterprise worthy of support, while trying to understand what wave functions actually are and how they capture reality is a boring waste of time. I suspect that a substantial majority of physicists who use quantum mechanics in their everyday work are uninterested in or downright hostile to attempts to understand the quantum measurement problem.
    This makes me sad. I don't know about all those other folks, but personally I did not fall in love with science as a kid because I was swept up in the romance of finding slightly more efficient calculational techniques. Don't get me wrong, finding more efficient calculational techniques is crucially important, and I cheerfully do it myself when I think I might have something to contribute. But it's not the point, it's a step along the way to the point.
    The point, I take it, is to understand how nature works. Part of that is knowing how to do calculations, but another part is asking deep questions about what it all means. That's what got me interested in science, anyway. And part of that task is understanding the foundational aspects of our physical picture of the world, digging deeply into issues that go well beyond merely being able to calculate things. It's a shame that so many physicists don't see how good philosophy of science can contribute to this quest. The universe is much bigger than we are and stranger than we tend to imagine, and I for one welcome all the help we can get in trying to figure it out.

    Sound familiar?
    Yes, it does, mostly because I've read it before. I'll even go farther and say that I nearly entirely agree with Sean Carroll. But there's one thing though --I fail to see that this has one iota of relevance for my claims. Here's a list of things that I haven't said, which would make Sean's statements relevant:


    1.) Philosophy is useless, and philosophers are stupid.
    2.) Philosophers cannot comment on all scientific discussions, and have no merit whatsoever.

    Here's a list of things that I have said:

    1.) If you're going to make the claim that something is becoming more prominent in the physics community, then if you cite a group of professional philosophers (or, worse, untrained amateurs with neither scientific nor philosophical training), then you have done nothing to support the conjecture that you're asserting.

    2.) Philosophers are not trained in the practice of science, so if they're making comments about physical models and making physics claims (e.g. making statements about the properties of physics models), then this is not evidence for a claim unless it's been published in a peer-review science journal or backed up by one.

    3.) If two models have different starting premises, but have the same mathematical structure and predictions, then they are equivalent at the level of being physical theories.


    And Sean Carroll's statements really have nothing to with any of those.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Wait, is it your position that if there exist multiple, contradictory takes on a theory that the entire theory can therefore be disregarded?
    Seriously, can you please tell me in which universe your comment above logically follows from the previous dialogue? I don't know what phantasm you're combating, but clearly you cannot possibly be responding to me. Here's the previous dialogue (ironically starting with the post where you recapitulate exactly that Szekely was used for a list of author's 'creating a school', whichyou're denying you ever used said two quotes up in this post... anyways):

    My previous post, starting off by quoting you:

    Squatch Post#419: "I agree, lets remember that the context of this original quote was Szekely's discussion concerning the original Ive's group from which further work developed. My point was that this had developed into what in economics we would call a school and as such shouldn't be dismissed as just a couple of random guys."

    Emphasis mine. This is your actual claim. Let's follow the conversation now.

    GP Post#424:
    "But it is just a bunch of random guys, Squatch. That's why we're still having this discussion. The whole point of posts #401 and #402 was to demonstrate to you that:


    1.) The main sources (as in, the amount of textual time you spent on them) you presented were untrained hacks.
    2.) The entirety of your list of experts all disagree with each other on what LR would mean, they all offer contradictory and competing explanations for why SR is "bad" --ranging from how you define rationality, to saying this is purely an interpretation, to pseudo-Bohmian interpretations of QM, to trying to say that GR actually allows for superluminal propagation, etc-- and thus you haven't presented me with a coherent, unified objection to SR but a laundry list of inconsistent, mutually-exclusive complaints (that have not held water since publication, if they were ever published at all and in most cases they were not).
    3.) Most of these so-called proponents are untrained. But the only ones who might even be considered possibly legitimate are just names recycled from the actual scientific debate before the scientific community reached a consensus. The remainder still made their claims so long ago that in the intervening years experiments have caught up with them and they've all been proven to be demonstrably wrong, setting aside the ones that are theoretically impossible.
    4.) At present, not a single one of the actual proponents who were actually associated to universities are still alive, in fact none of them have been alive for ten years.
    5.) Again, most of them seem to be isolated from each other and not aware of anyone else's work.

    In short, in what sense isn't this the literal definition of 'a bunch of random guys'? You're really saying that this qualifies as a 'school'? Let alone trying to address te issue of in what sense is this a 'more prominent position amongst physicists'?"


    N.B. In the following response, you ignore everything that I said except for point (1), which regarded their academic training.

    Squatch Post#425:
    "Repetition of a claim does not give it more weight. I defended their academic training such that you haven't been able to make the above statement really coherently. I understand that you think they aren't the guys that you would look for when defending a position, but that doesn't mean they aren't physicists. They are, which has been shown, objections not withstanding."

    GP Post#426:
    "Their academic training was only one part (of a list, which was so clearly delineated with literal numbers in the last post that I'm not sure how you could confuse this) of the claim that they were a bunch of a "random guys." The other parts involved pointing out that they had no idea about each other, that they are all dead and no person trained in physics is still alive who supports these positions, and, oh, the most important fact that they all offer mutually contradicting pictures about what "Lorentzian relativity" actually is and each offers completely different and contradicting physics. Perhaps you could try addressing my actual claim with its entire evidence instead of treating refutations as though they were à la carte and like you can ignore their entire claims and their full support."

    Seriously, I'm nonplussed here. We were talking about whether or not Lorentzian relativity forms a school of thought, why are you talking about whether or not it disproves the school of thought? That's a totally separate thread in this conversation. I haven't even granted you --nor should I with the evidence given-- that Lorentzian relativity forms a 'school'. We aren't talking about why it's false here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Which seems odd, because you took quite a while discussing everything possible about Prof. Van Flandern's life except the piece of work I cited him for. You specifically said that you weren't going to address the information I cited, but would rather discuss what a "kook" he is. You took quite a bit of time discussing every possible bit of Prof. Van Flandern that you could find except the part I referenced in support of the argument.

    If you don't wish to discuss it that is fine, but let's not pretend then that you've rebutted my sources, unless you are dropping your standards of rebuttal to
    personal attacks on the man.
    Well, that's another patent fabrication and mischaracterization of what I've said. I gave an exact response to why van Flandern's claim couldn't possibly be right in post#401, which I explained and substantiated further in post 412 and 417:

    GP #401: “The BVG theorem applies to Lorentzian manifolds; don't get that language confused, they mean Lorentzian manifolds because they obey local Lorentz invariance. In other words, they obey Lorentz invariance in a manifest fashion.”

    [...]

    “Now, I happen to disagree with every word of [what Van Flandern said] (except that GR is unique) and find it to be complete hogwash, but regardless, the authors are insisting that they're merely re-interpreting General Relativity and still are in the framework of General Relativity. (So this is ceding local Lorentz invariance outright, which is how I know that they must be commiting a mathematical error; of course, as stated, I'm content merely pointing out that this interpretation is in contradiction with experiments.)”

    [...]

    “[The claim that Shanahan and Van Flandern are making about GR implying Lorentz invariance] is erroneous on basic mathematical grounds. As I stated before, General Relativity implies the existence of local Lorentz symmetry (a trivial generalization of Lorentz invariance). So his claim to the contrary is simply mathematically incorrect.”


    Squatch #405
    : “Could you demonstrate this? You seem to be simply asserting it here without a defined reason.”


    GP #407: “I'm sorry, but you're basically asking me to derive that General Relativity is equivalent to Einstein-Cartan theory, and you don't know anything about the mathematical formalism of GR. In Einstein-Cartan theory, you have a locally inertial frame (called the veilbein coordinates or 'flat space' coordinates) where you can easily see pointwise that nothing can go faster than the speed of light. This is because the local Lorentz symmetry is manifest --and the fact that GR relies on local Lorentz invariance to be a consistent theory-- in this formalism. I gave an article discussing this to some degree, which I'll link you to once again.”


    Squatch #409: “So, no? That’s fine, I perfectly understand, I often don’t jump into a debate because I know explaining the basics behind something will entail more time than I have available. But then I don’t make the claim first.”


    GP #412: “Actually, it was defended in post #401, to lesser degree. I cited above the fact that all spacetimes have a local Lorentz structure, which means locally everything that's moving less than or equal to the speed of light. That statement I have proven in global form, merely not in local form. However, the local form basically just says that this only applies locally around individual points. That is the crux of the argument, but the full mathematical proof lies in the derivation of the Einstein-Cartan formalism.

    I will direct you to the following if you desire, pages 4-9 of Samtleben's Lectures on Supergravity and other information can be found on the Wikipedia article on Einstein-Cartan/tetrad formalism. Personally, though, this is quite complicated mathematically unless you have a first or second year graduate student understanding of physics and the associated mathematics.”



    Squatch #414: “Given that it seems to a crux you rely upon quite often I would have assumed a full support was in order. I can understand that is a lengthy process and from your point of view a waste of time, but you can understand why the "this one point dismisses all of your support" is somewhat uncompelling.”


    GP #417: “Again, this is simply not true. I gave you a bunch of citations, and explained that the contents of these documents. I gave a statement of what they proved (certainly not for the first time, btw, these are intro lectures aimed at first or second year graduate students). This is exactly what is required to support a claim on ODN.

    Do you want quotes by someone other than me saying exactly what I said? Okay, first recall that Lorentz invariance means that the speed of light is constant, so if you have local Lorentz invariance this means that locally (experiments done nearby you) the speed of light is constant. So what remains to be shown is that GR is the theory of local Lorentz invariance; I have no interest in proving this (although I did link you to Samtleben who did prove this), but I'm guessing that you just want to hear someone say this who isn't me:

    “The symmetry group of traditional general relativity is the Lorentz group of local rotations and boosts.”

    [...]

    “We'll now see that under three assumptions, GR will be recovered from the Einstein-Cartan theory, i.e. the curvature two-form will become equivalent to Riemann curvature tensor. The assuptions are:

    1. the tetrad is invertible,
    2. the tetrad is covariantly constant,
    3. the torsion vanishes.”

    [...]

    "Most of the theories of gravity acknowledge the postulate known as the principle of equivalence, which may be formulated as in [MTW73, p. 207]:

    'The laws of physics are the same in any local Lorentz frame of curved
    spacetime as in a global Lorentz frame of flat spacetime' ”


    (This can be found in a master's thesis here, at the University of Worclaw)


    Ergo, if someone says that they are able to find a way to have GR propagate information faster than the speed of light, they made a mathematical error. It's like saying "I've found a way to make 2+2=5." You don't need to sort out what the error in their argument is, you know it's explicitly mathematically inconsistent from the outset.”


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    This is hardly the kind of professional response I would expect from you GP. This is nothing more than a "you're stupid!" type argument.
    I'm not saying that you're stupid, I'm saying you're confused. This hardly seems to be out of line, given the massive number of misunderstandings you've nearly continuously had throughout this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    This is, I believe, a telling moment in our discussion. You are claiming, quite dismissively, to have rebuked all my sources, to understand my argument and see how weak it is. But here we are, nearly six months later and you still can't figure out my original sources. Nor, apparently, can you be bothered to go back, take 30 seconds (all it took me) to go to search thread and find my post on March 7th where I reference these physicists in my original support. http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...l=1#post534492

    Now, given that I've met your unnecessary response, can you answer the original challenge? That the physicists referenced were "untrained hacks"
    You're kidding me, right? You must be, or else you have poor memory indeed.

    1.) The people that I've called untrained hacks have, except in one case (Rauscher, who was trained in different field than Relativity), are not physicists. Saying that you have valid sources --even after 7 months-- does not give you valid sources.

    2.) Perhaps you missed the intervening posts since #250/#401/#402 --where I've gotten you to openly concede three sources (the photon mass paper, Shanahan, and Giesse)-- that you have literally stopped defending almost every single one of the the sources of the very post that you're linking me to now? I seem to have dealt with these sources pretty well.

    3.) As I said in my previous post, which apparently fell on deaf ears, I never said you hadn't used any, I said you had used two, both of which were rebutted in #401/402 and the intervening posts and who you've stopped defending, except for Levy (who I've thoroughly countered several times now). Note that they were all attacked in posts #401/#402 and you have stopped defending everyone starting in #414, except for Levy who you no longer seem to be defending, either, and now you've added van Flandern who I'll deal with later on in the post.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    This was more elegantly handled by MindTrap below, but this is a ridiculously overbearing and dismissive response. You demand I go through some exercise while you are free to make whatever claim you wish anywhere you wish and paraphrase a source while presenting it as if it were some kind of quote from the document (that is what the indent tags are used here for generally).
    Yes, and I've already explained to MT that this response is nonsense, that I'm not holding you to a special standard, I'm just holding you to the standard that everyone is held to --actually making sure that their sources are actually sources. It amazes me that after 7 months and posts upon posts demonstrating that your sources have little to zero comprehension of what it is that they're doing, you still insist that in post 228 you were using legitimate sources. Seriously, the number of sources I've gotten you to either openly concede or simply stop defending –your whole line of argument just rings hollow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Further, you response has nothing to do with my last post. It comes across as nothing more than a dismissive hand wave to the point I made, which was essentially that you are applying disproportionate standards of evidence for claims. You are insisting that I walk through the details of a supporting paper in order to warrant your time to even review my post. Then you counter it with "Fundamentally flawed" with no supporting explanation or reference, doing, as MindTrap pointed out, hanging your claim on your degree while ignoring the degree of the original author.
    So here's a helpful hint: Ignoring what your opponent has (repeatedly) told you does not make you right. You keep on pretending that entire posts, which repeatedly addressed your questions and claims, never happened. Here's the problem: They did. You just ignored them. You don't get to ignore evidence and then tell me I never gave it. This is the evidence I gave, multiple times. It's a trivial exercise in copying and pasting to show that your claim that I haven't provided sources is a pure fabrication:


    GP Post#407: "In any case, their "interpretation" of GR is unsound for the other reasons stated [in post #401]."

    Squatch Post #409: "This goes with the above, you are being a bit unclear, you didn?t offer "other" reasons."

    GP Post #412: "If you remember or re-read what you were responding to, then you'd see that I was quite specific. While it's true that #401 and #402 are long posts, if you're going to say that I never said something or offered others reasons, then please do me the courtesy of going back and making sure that I actually never said it. In this case, I did state that there were other problems, in the same section of the post that you're responding to:

    "Now, I happen to disagree with every word of [what van Flandern said] (except that GR is unique) and find it to be complete hogwash, but regardless, the authors are insisting that they're merely re-interpreting General Relativity and still are in the framework of General Relativity. (So this is ceding local Lorentz invariance outright, which is how I know that they must be commiting a mathematical error; of course, as stated, I'm content merely pointing out that this interpretation is in contradiction with experiments.)"


    (N.B. Keep in mind that by that point in the post, I had already stated and defended why the theory of General Relativity requires local Lorentz invariance, which requires a consistent speed of light, earlier in the post, linking you to this Wikipedia article and explaining the contents to you. Please read #401 and/or ask for clarification on something directly said in it.)

    [...]

    Actually,
    [the claim that Van Flandern's 'interpretation' was trivially wrong] was defended in post #401, to lesser degree. I cited above the fact that all spacetimes have a local Lorentz structure, which means locally everything that's moving less than or equal to the speed of light. That statement I have proven in global form, merely not in local form. However, the local form basically just says that this only applies locally around individual points. That is the crux of the argument, but the full mathematical proof lies in the derivation of the Einstein-Cartan formalism.

    I will direct you to the following if you desire, pages 4-9 of Samtleben's Lectures on Supergravity and other information can be found on the Wikipedia article on Einstein-Cartan/tetrad formalism. Personally, though, this is quite complicated mathematically unless you have a first or second year graduate student understanding of physics and the associated mathematics."



    Squatch Post #414: "A couple of things here. You implied that you had offered multiple reasons why that interpretation of GR was unsound. Reviewing post 401, I only see one, the disputed speed of gravity issue. What, specifically, were the "other reasons stated?"

    Additionally, the section of your post that you quote has the same objection I noted in my last post. It is a simple assertion, not an actual objection. You assume it is ceding local invariance (without showing why that is the case) and then proceed to assume (by your admission) that it arises from a mathematical error. That is hardly a concrete objection for an opponent to respond to."




    GP Post #417: "Again, this is simply not true. I gave you a bunch of citations, and explained that the contents of these documents. I gave a statement of what they proved (certainly
    not for the first time, btw, these are intro lectures aimed at first or second year graduate students). This is exactly what is required to support a claim on ODN.

    Do you want quotes by someone other than me saying exactly what I said? Okay, first recall that Lorentz invariance means that the speed of light is constant, so if you have local Lorentz invariance this means that locally (experiments done nearby you) the speed of light is constant. So what remains to be shown is that GR is the theory of local Lorentz invariance; I have no interest in proving this (although I did link you to Samtleben who did prove this), but I'm guessing that you just want to hear someone say this who isn't me:

    "The symmetry group of traditional general relativity is the Lorentz group of local rotations and boosts."

    [...]

    "We'll now see that under three assumptions, GR will be recovered from the Einstein-Cartan theory, i.e. the curvature two-form will become equivalent to Riemann curvature tensor. The assuptions are:

    1. the tetrad is invertible,
    2. the tetrad is covariantly constant,
    3. the torsion vanishes."

    [...]

    "Most of the theories of gravity acknowledge the postulate known as the principle of equivalence, which may be formulated as in [MTW73, p. 207]:

    'The laws of physics are the same in any local Lorentz frame of curved
    spacetime as in a global Lorentz frame of flat spacetime.'


    (This can be found in a master's thesis here, at the University of Worclaw)


    Ergo, if someone says that they are able to find a way to have GR propagate information faster than the speed of light, they made a mathematical error. It's like saying "I've found a way to make 2+2=5." You don't need to sort out what the error in their argument is, you know it's explicitly mathematically inconsistent from the outset."


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    That is what has impeached your credibility here to be frank. You've dismissed plenty of other authors who have equal or greater training than you here as crackpots, while simultaneously resting several of your responses (not all, but the one I was referring to above) with "trust me, I'm a physicist."
    Impeached my credibility? Wow. This would be a great argument if I had ever given an argument that was "just trust me, I know what I'm talking about because I have a degree." As I told MT, pretending that this idea --as though you've thoroughly substantiated your posts and I've substantiated none of mine-- is even slightly how this conversation has gone is an (extremely inaccurate) revisionist history of this conversation. The irony is when I had identified a physicist who was making a claim, I did not merely say "Well, look, their paper never made it to peer-review", in every case except Wintenberg (and here only because he never actually wrote down his ideas for me to review) I specifically addressed the exact error that he made.

    PS: It's almost like you're just watching me say words and then you just throw the same challenge back at me, as though this projection furthers the discussion in any way or it makes your case any more credible, coherent, or substantiated. But it doesn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Well that isn't exactly what you offered though. You offered a bare assertion and a piece of controversial evidence. That is either 1 and a bare assertion or two sentences related to the same idea.


    So essentially, GP smart, two well respected physicists and many reviewers dumb? That isn't particularly a very convincing line of argument to outsiders, especially given you reliance on degree titles in past posts.
    Again, as per above, this is just completely, hopelessly, utterly false. I gave my reason for why van Flandern is necessarily wrong about GR. To date, you haven't even bothered to address the numerous citations that I've given which concretely and clearly demonstrate that GR is the theory of local Lorentz invariance. You have literally just ignored it.

    So, you want to know if I'm right that he made a trivial math error or a trivial conceptual error? Well, the fact is, he did. I won't bother going through the details of it myself, but suffice it to say he made a completely trivial mathematical error because he forgot to account for relevant terms. Oh, by the way, this paper, too, was published in Physics Letters A, which you'll notice didn't publish any response from Van Flandern and Van Flandern was never published in that journal again and never published on the topic ever again after Carlip exposed his trivial math errors.

    So no, Van Flandern is a crack pot and has been corrected on his erroneous nonsense, and you absolutely should not treat him as a valid source on any aspect of Special or General Relativity.


    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Of course the primary error you've made here is to assume that I argued they were all identical. Something I've corrected twice before. I stated that they were identical as far as current experimentation goes, which means you should be (according to Feynman) agnostic concerning the two, rather than simply rejecting one in favor of the one you prefer (the irony being you seem to be doing exactly what Feynman is arguing here, if you are assuming that my claim is that they are identical).
    No, my primary problem is that you continue to assert that there exists some model where they are physically different but so far you have done nothing but give me conceptually incoherent models that were shown to be flawed, "models" by crack pots that most of the time aren't even models, some bare assertions by a few philosophers who don't like SR, references to a set of arguments that were settled in the physics community 60 to 80 years ago, and interpretations of SR that are mathematically equivalent to SR. On top of the fact that, again, they all completely disagree with each other on what Lorentzian relativity is.

    And even if you'd found legitimate sources for Lorentzian relativity, the irony is that you're still so, so radically far from even having a hope of justifying the claim “this is becoming a more predominant view amongst physicists.” which is the actual claim that I'm nailing you on.




    Post continues below.
    Last edited by GoldPhoenix; October 3rd, 2014 at 05:33 AM.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  13. #432
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    Re: WLC's Argument Against an Actual Infinity

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    More relevantly, Feynman is simply operating under (I should be more precise, the way you are characterizing him is) old theories of knowledge. This is, in fact verificationism, which is what I initially accused you of, and which you seem to be now conceding. The idea that two things are the same if they produce the same results. Really though, Feynman is arguing for something more subtle than the antiquated philosophic concept you seem to imply. He is arguing for some form of agnosticism. That if you cannot distinguish between two theories you don't support one because it makes you happy, you hold both as equally valid (and more importantly, he doesn't say they are the same thing, only that both are possible explanations). But, to paraphrase another researcher, Feynman is not Bohr because they match the same descriptors, http://michaeljohnsonphilosophy.com/...eories-14.pptx I might not be able to tell if it is Feynman or Bohr, but that that doesn't mean I can call Bohr, Feynman.
    1.) Wow, really, you're going to say that this is what I'm “claiming” that Feynman said? Squatch, I quoted Feynman saying what he said. He said it, plain as day. What you're responding to is basically just a long quotation and a link to the video so you can watch Feynman personally tell you exactly what I've told you multiple times. And you have the audacity to tell me that I'm misrepresenting his position? You're kidding me, right?

    2.) Once again, you're going to falsely accuse me of verifcationism and you've previously tried to assert that my misunderstanding of your brilliant argument stems from a failure to understand the philosophy of physics. You still seem to radically misunderstand what Logical Positivism actually is and what they supported, and what their role in the development of science was. Logical Positivism is the philosophy that is centrally based on the Verifiability Theory of Meaning. I'll link you to a set of videos that hopefully you can educate yourself more on what you're talking about, but the verificationist theory of meaning states that “The meaning of a sentence is in the manner in which you can verify it.” Therefore, statements which don't contain a method of determining their truth are literally, linguistically “meaningless.”

    Here's a set of videos by a PhD philosopher who gave a long set of lectures on Logical Postivism (as a part of a larger series on the philosophy of science):



    and here's the follow up video explaining the problems with Logical Positivism.

    Now, with all of that stated, do you see why what I'm saying isn't verificationism? Firstly, even assuming that I said two things were literally equivalent when they produced the same results, that's still an incorrect characterization of Postivists and Verificationism. This doesn't say that two things are equivalent, only that the manner in which they would be considered different would have to amount to a set of statements that had no meaning. With that said, this is clearly not what I said (or what Feynman said, rather). What he (and I) have stated is that two theories are scientifically equivalent when they are mathematically identical. You seem to struggle with the existence of adjectives, so I bolded the adjective “scientifically” that modified “equivalent.” The adjective means that I'm willing to entertain the idea that these theories could be scientifically equivalent, but not literally equivalent at the level of their meaning (In other words, the sum total of what it would mean to say that two realities are, in fact, the same). In fact, I've gone on at length about how certain interpretations of theories end up being more correct than others once we know the more accurate picture.

    So, like most of your current claims, trying to pin my as being ignorant of the philosophy of science and trying to assert that I'm a logical positivist is simply a function of your own misunderstanding of what constitutes as a scientific claim, when and where and why this is limited, and what the actual definition of verificationism is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Fair enough, but you've invoked your personal credibility enough in this thread that it would seem a fair point from me. You implied there was a conclusive, universally held take on something that you were familiar with, but when pushed a bit further, conceded that you had to do more research. So regardless of the validity of your reasons for needing to do the research, it does call into question the authority through which you are hanging your take on many of these things. Please don't take this as a personal attack on you. You're brilliant in your area, but as you've pointed out many times, when physicists are doing physics outside their area of expertise, their personal view of a subject becomes less convincing. I'm only attempting to respond to the frame of the point being responded to. It is your summary of the paper, so your familiarity with the topic would seem relevant to the discussion.
    1.) Well, that's an amusing summary of this thread, indeed, but like much of the rest of your re-imagining of this conversation, it's not very consistent with the original material. I told you that a specific element of this discussion I was not familiar with, and a specific element which I had stated 6 months ago could not possibly be right. More or less, I said it why couldn't possibly be right was spot on in my literal first post to you on this subject:

    “You can try to add an absolute reference frame, but they become either inconsistent or equivalent to SR (And then implies the relativity of simultaneity):

    [Quoting Wikipedia:] Also some test theories of special relativity use some sort of Lorentzian framework. For instance, the Robertson–Mansouri–Sexl test theory introduces a preferred aether frame and includes parameters indicating different combinations of length and times changes. If time dilation and length contraction of bodies moving in the aether have their exact relativistic values, the complete Lorentz transformation can be derived and the aether is hidden from any observation, which makes it kinematically indistinguishable from the predictions of special relativity. Using this model, the Michelson–Morley experiment, Kennedy–Thorndike experiment, and Ives–Stilwell experiment put sharp constraints on violations of Lorentz invariance."

    In other words, what I said was factually correct. I had to fill in a few details on the specifics of what was going on in the Sexl-Mansouri paper, but otherwise, what I said and have said are 100% factually correct.

    2.) You're so quick to judge my “specialty in physics”, and yet you seem to be only capable of suspending disbelief for your own sources, independent of their training and no matter how many times they've been shown to be factually incorrect, experimentally false, or otherwise full of ****. It's a bit amusing, but honestly I'm not interested in your judgments on whether or not I correctly understand the material at hand. Again, I think this thread speaks for itself for anyone who wants to read it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Which would seem odd from two highly trained relativists. Is the discrepancy that you have more training than they do? This is your particular field and they are outside their depth? What would make two highly trained and accredited physicists make an argument that you find so obviously "stupid"?
    As for the second question –no, not really. Would you care to substantiate why it seems odd? Certainly, they should know better in a sense that all academics should have an unimpeachable understanding of everything going on in their respective fields. But in reality, they don't, and they can misunderstand certain things, but not all Relavist's did cosmology in the 1960's and 1970's. Indeed, the best Relativists --Stephen Hawking, Roger Penrose, etc-- did very little, if any, work in the field of cosmology.

    PS: I like how you assert above that I'm talking about something “outside of my depth” and yet now you tell me you have no idea what my depth is. LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    Having read the paper on several occasions I'm not sure where you come to this result. Their discussions of velocities both in a preferred frame and an inertial frame are perfectly consistent with what would be an intuitive understanding of velocity would be for an observer (movement through a physical dimension over some period of time). The bulk of the paper simply notes that there is a different material result from two different types of synchronization procedures, and that fact is consistent with both theory and observed fact. Given that we can get two different explanations consistent with the data from starting with two different assumption sets, they reach the conclusion I mentioned earlier:

    A theory maintaining the concept of absolute simultaneity can be obtained in this way which is [when the co- efficients a (v) and b (v) are chosen appropriately] empirically equivalent to special relativity, at least as far as kinematics is concerned. Thus the much debated question [29, 30] concerning the empirical equivalence of special relativity and an ether theory taking into account time dilatation and length contraction but maintaining absolute simultaneity can be answered affirmatively.


    Which is still the problem, it can't be tautologically true if there are other logical input/output options to the cycle you describe. Which is why I pointed out that your last response to mine was off topic to the objection. M/S's work doesn't really move you further down that track as well. As long as the cycle you describe isn't inescapable, the objection you raised to the original paper doesn't hold. Levy can still argue his way out of the cycle.
    Their error, which I suspect that they realized (since they dropped the claim in the subsequent papers, although I'm not entirely sure), lies in the fact that velocity is not measured by the usual formula:

    v = dx/dt

    This is because they haven't isolated space and time, they are using a different slicing of Minkowski spacetime. This modifies the velocity formula, as described in chapter 2 of Sean Carroll, which I've already linked you to on what the error they're making is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch
    That isn't exactly an accurate representation of your response either. You looked at it and said that it was so obviously and fundamentally flawed that it didn't really warrant a serious response. Certainly, in your opinion, it was so seriously and obviously flawed it couldn't possibly be held to even support the relative modest claim it was being used for. But the journal disagreed, they thought it did warrant discussion, that it was coherent enough to be part of the discussion in the physics community (ie, my claim).
    Again, when the truth is inconvenient, simply substituting it with a fabrication is not a valid debating tactic. I never said that Einstein-Aether theory didn't warrant a serious response, I gave you a long list of my issues with the theory and later gave a link giving the experimental problems there are with the theory. So that's just another utterly false accusation.


    Here's my original response to Einstein-Aether Theory:

    “The main problem here is that you have introduced a vector field, and you've explicitly turned on the temporal mode. One of the first issues in QFT was addressing how you can consistently project out this mode, because it's completely unphysical and ends up violating quantum theory at an extremely foundational level. It turns out that if you quantize this theory, then you violate unitarity, which means that the sum of all possibilities is not equal to 1. In other words, it's like asking "What's the probability that one of my possible outcomes can happen?" and the answer you get back is "110% chance one of them will happen." It's meaningless. A discussion of this is in Weinberg's Quantum Theory of Fields, Volume II.

    This is why the word "gauge" exists in physics. It's the manner in which we keep Lorentz invariance but allow ourselves the ability to project out these temporal modes (and possibly more) of the photon. These modes are called ghosts because they completely screw up the theory. Crucially, however, this is the mode that is necessary for the aether field to work (since they've normalized the field to be time-like).


    Note 1: However: Wikipedia has stated that this issue has been addressed and resolved, but without anything resembling a citation for this bold claim. If it has, a cursory glance in the literature doesn't seem to have demonstrated that this is true. I can find nothing to support this, so I'm treating it as false or at least unknown until I see a paper that demonstrates otherwise. That's not a trivial calculation to do correctly.

    Note 2: The matter sector of this theory still obeys Lorentz invariance (at tree level, quantum effects introduce Lorentz-violating effects, assuming the theory can be consistently quantized). So all of these statements about rods and other bs are still false under this model. Lorentz invariance is broken only in the gravity sector, so Einstein's laws still hold when far away from strong gravitational fields. There's a very serious sense in which this is nothing like Lorentz's aether theory, and it only works because of how different it is.”


    Now, does it sound like I just dismissed it without consideration? No? Good. So why are you making that claim?




    Honestly, Squatch, it appears to me like you aren't even trying to debate me. Your arguments seem to rely on either at best a very faulty recollection of what has transpired in this conversation or at worst an outright fabrication of what has transpired in this conversation. In at least one instance, you aren't even responding to my statements in any coherent way and appear to be addressing something entirely irrelevant to what was being discussed. In other places, you're just openly demonstrating your ignorance of the philosophy of science while trying to claim that you're secretly right because somehow I'm just not grasping the philosophical profundity of what you're arguing –of course, never ever actually saying how philosophy supports your position. Then in the next section, you're arguing that this has nothing to do with philosophy whatsoever, and you're actually arguing that there are actual physics models that give different predictions and aren't just philosophical differences. Worst of all, you actually link me back to your post 228, which has been so thoroughly rebutted you aren't even defending sources from that post anymore.

    In other words, we're back to where we were in post 222. You have no intelligible or logically coherent position on this topic and you have no reason for claiming what you're saying. So at this junction, I'm perfectly happy letting history judge exactly who does and who doesn't have a coherent understanding of this topic that is supported by evidence, and either way it ought to be painfully clear to anyone who has read this thread, even badly, that the claim that Lorentzian relativity is becoming a “more prominent” view amongst physicists is magnificently erroneous.


    I'm done here.
    Last edited by GoldPhoenix; October 2nd, 2014 at 08:27 AM.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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  15. #433
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    Re: WLC's Argument Against an Actual Infinity

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Well, Squatch, I would agree that now that you have fully conceded that Special Relativity is consistent with your philosophical principles and is therefore possibly true (setting aside how utterly intellectually bankrupt this line of reasoning is) that there's not anything left to discuss that is immediately germane to this thread.
    Rather, I was thinking that since you had agreed that regardless of this discussion’s resolution, time as a process wasn’t an arguable point, neither outcome of this discussion is germane to the thread. It is important to remember, that as long as time acts as a successively iterative process that the argument I offered holds. If it does that under SR or it does that under LR is irrelevant if they both have the same outcome.



    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    you aren't even defending a single source from post 228 anymore (Instead you've opted to introduce a new source, Van Flandern's other work).
    While I appreciate your attempt to reframe the discussion, this isn’t an accurate statement. As recently as my last response to you I was defending what I believe to be your misunderstanding and mischaracterization of my first source.

    You’ve never substantively criticized my second source in that post aside from a personal dismissal of the authors, which I have rebutted as a tactic on several occasions, including in this post.

    I also offered two sources later in that post in support of a related note that weren’t adequately rebutted either.

    That I then also added additional sources as research disclosed them is hardly a mind shattering point. You, as recently as two posts ago, admitted needing to research a bit more on a specific aspect of this argument. So finding additional data while researching a wide field is hardly surprising or undermining.

    Even if we were to presume that I had dumped all my original sources. So what? If the additional sources hold, then who cares? How does that specifically relate to the truth value of the underlying premise?

    Even more cogently, lets assume all the sources I’ve offered don’t hold. So what? The claim I’m supporting is that there is a discussion in the field. That one side has some errors (as you point out errors are present in peer review all the time, things are rarely fully worked out) is irrelevant to the fact that there is a discussion.

    Rather, I think this is an attempt to reframe the debate back to the sources in my initial post, which I believe you feel you had better success with (though aside from one or two instances, I would disagree) rather than needing to face the current sources for which you’ve needed to concede academic publishing, but still reject out of some “it could still have errors in it, peer review isn’t perfect (despite my insistence on it earlier) concept.”


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    That is a rich line to start this particular post out with. But this goes back to my point that a disturbingly large percentage of your post is just just accusing me of committing what you just committed, as though these not-even-veiled deflections actually mean you don't have to respond to the challenges I've laid on you.
    Perhaps. However, I’ve pointed out the text you offered, the context it was in and the clearly contradictory later text with its context. You’ve linked a post of mine and your interpretation that can’t even avoid being patently at odds with my last post. Saying, “I never said X was Y” and then being shown the exact quote where you say “X is Y” is a harder thing to refute I think. Regardless, both of our arguments on that issue are laid out there, the readers can see which has the better warrant for themselves.


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    1.) You quote me as literally saying "too long" and "didn't read", but then in the quote of me, if you'll notice, I don't say that anywhere. Doesn't this seem a little bit too openly false, even for this post? Apparently not, I guess.
    Hmm, perhaps you should re-read my post GP. I didn’t say that you said TLDR in that exact post. I said that when the source was initially presented you expressed that my response was “too long to read” (it is literally in the next post and then repeated on several occasions) and therefore only a cursory dismissal by you was necessary. I think it was that fact that led you to misunderstand how Duffy was being presented. You simply looked at the paper’s author and said “a-ha!” rather than actually reading the quote offered and the list of physicists within it.

    Regardless, it is clearly beyond any shadow of a doubt now that I never presented Duffy as a physicist, despite your concern that I did. Whatever the mechanism that led to that confusion, that you were confused is clearly the case. Claiming that the two statements “Duffy isn’t even a physicist!” and “I never claimed you did [present him as one]…” are consistent is a bit of a stretch.



    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Yes, it does, mostly because I've read it before. I'll even go farther and say that I nearly entirely agree with Sean Carroll. But there's one thing though --I fail to see that this has one iota of relevance for my claims.
    I comment more on this later in thread, but he is talking about exactly what you’ve done in this thread (and dozens of times on the site), which is to dismiss philosophical nuance when you want to arrive at a specific conclusion and fail to understand the impact of the statements you are making beyond the limited scope in which you have presented them. That you can argue that a ball being pulled by gravity and a ball being pulled by a string are essentially identical is exactly the kind of area that Carroll is arguing physicists could benefit from adding a bit of philosophic inquiry into their statements.


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Seriously, can you please tell me in which universe your comment above logically follows from the previous dialogue?
    I think it would have been imminently clear given not only the context I quoted in my last post, but the discussion you just offered. If you go back and re-read your own post you’ll see that “the most important fact that they all offer mutually contradicting pictures about what "Lorentzian relativity" actually is and each offers completely different and contradicting physics” is used as a reason to reject the entire group. Otherwise, it being “the most important fact” is a phrase that contains no meaning in the context of your argument. GP, you are quite clearly arguing that the fact that physicists disagree with each other is a valid reason for dismissing the entire proposal. I know that you don’t think that in a non-adversarial setting, so it seems like an odd position to take here. But that you did take it is pretty unmistakable.


    The fact that you make the same exact claim later in this post only reinforces my point: “On top of the fact that, again, they all completely disagree with each other on what Lorentzian relativity is.




    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Well, that's another patent fabrication and mischaracterization of what I've said. I gave an exact response to why van Flandern's claim couldn't possibly be right in post#401, which I explained and substantiated further in post 412 and 417
    I would first point out that 401 is the same post where you incorrectly claimed I had presented Duffy as a physicist and claimed that E. Rauscher was an untrained amateur (which even the most basic google search showed wasn’t the case and that the “trivial” error was discussed in the paper, indicating you probably didn’t read that section before responding). So I think it is safe to say you might have been shooting from the hip a bit in this post based on assumptions of what I had said, not what I actually said.


    Interestingly, your response to me here contains text that was tangential or parallel to the discussion you are referencing. For example, the very first thing you say:

    GP #401: [I]“The BVG theorem applies to Lorentzian manifolds…

    Is in reference to my discussion about the Causal Metric Hypothesis. That discussion occurs at the beginning of the post, with the Van Flandern section coming as the very last response of that particular post.

    You seem to highlight a portion of that text as if it were relevant to the Van Flandern argument, yet it occurs in an entirely separate portion of the debate, completely unrelated to my discussion of LR, but rather in my discussion of CMH.

    It is hard to take your “summary” as representative at all given that kind of context jumping and the sheer volume of “clarifying” contextual text added to your posts. For example:

    “[The claim that Shanahan and Van Flandern are making about GR implying Lorentz invariance] is erroneous on basic mathematical grounds. As I stated before, General Relativity implies the existence of local Lorentz symmetry (a trivial generalization of Lorentz invariance). So his claim to the contrary is simply mathematically incorrect.”


    This is in response to solely quoting my Shanahan section. Nothing about Van Flandern’s position or argument is related anywhere near that section. Further, the text you replace is “this” not “these” indicating that you knew when you wrote it that you were only referring to one argument, not multiple sections.


    To imply now that those two people are linked in the manner you suggest or that the response you quote from yourself here is related to Van Flandern does no benefit to your claim of special insight into the thread’s history. It is telling that you intentionally leave out the next sentence from this quote, “Past this, however, I've already addressed the errors of Shanahan above, so I'm not going to address this further.” Further reinforcing that this response was about Shanahan’s paper, not Van Flandern’s.


    The rest of it is completely related to our back and forth about Shanahan’s paper. The only other time you reference his work is during my insistence that you only offered one objection, which resulted in post 419, where I offered up several other peer reviewed supports of Van Flandern’s work here. Again, at least showing the field is being discussed. You offered what was at first a completely flippant dismissal of the man’s work. When pushed, you admitted that the only actual evidence you offered (relating to the speed of gravity) was certainly not anything like settled in the manner you initially implied. When pushed further you offer an unpublished masters thesis from a Polish university (incidentally, this is the same time you dismissed Eötvös Loránd in Hungary as some random school). Finally ending up with a stretched objection relying on an uncharitable interpretation of what he meant by saying that aspects of his work were consistent with GR. It was at that point in 419 I offered up the peer reviewed work that potentially supported Van Flandern’s argument, which would seem to contradict your dismissive claim that anyone making such a claim is making a simple mathematical error.


    Essentially, this back and forth took the same shape as many of the others. You claim an opposing position is “kooky.” When asked why, you claim it is patently obviously wrong and imply that any first year grad student would see such an obvious error. Then when shown peer reviewed work on the matter you dismiss the work by arguing that editors don’t really care. As if the reviewers of Phys. Letters A and Nature don’t really care if fundamental flaws so obvious a grad student would notice are present in peer reviewed papers.

    That is a claim that is hard to accept, especially given your initial berating of me for not offering peer reviewed articles, that they were the only truly acceptable standard here.



    At no point do you directly show Van Flandern’s work and why it necessitates the claim you insist that it does, you simply appeal to such a contradiction and then work to defeat it. When asked why that was necessarily true you offered:


    424: I'm not really going to bother going through van Flandern's works…

    Squatch: I'm also confused as why you didn't respond to the sources I referenced supporting Van Flandern's research.
    GP 426: Because I didn't need to address it to tackle the claim you were making.

    So clearly you knew you hadn’t responded materially to his work because you thought it unnecessary. The validity of that argument aside, you can’t now, intellectually honestly claim that you did respond to it.



    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    1.) The people that I've called untrained hacks have, except in one case (Rauscher, who was trained in different field than Relativity), are not physicists.
    This is the second time you’ve claimed that without support. That you alternate between noting that I have offered physicists and then claiming I haven’t, doesn’t speak well of your understanding of the discussion being offered. As I stated in my last post. A simple 30 second search was all it took me to find the post and then link it again where I offered several physicists. At first I assumed you overlooked them since they are in a body of a quote rather are the source of the quote, but after linking it again and explaining it on several occasions I can only conclude that you would rather ignore it and simply repeated your unsupported claim.


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    I'm not holding you to a special standard, I'm just holding you to the standard that everyone is held to --actually making sure that their sources are actually sources.
    Everyone except you of course. You are free to post any number of random wiki articles, to dismiss opposing sources as “kooks” without discussing the actual substance of their argument, and to trumpet the need for peer reviewed sources such that it is a requirement of your opponent, but when presented still is insufficient, because “it could be wrong” (ignoring the fact that this discussion is about the fact that there is a discussion going on not that it has been settled).


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    So here's a helpful hint: Ignoring what your opponent has (repeatedly) told you does not make you right.
    One could make the same helpful suggestion concerning ignoring your opponents objection to your argument. The fact that you repeatedly insisted you offered several reasons in posts 401 and 402 does not overcome the fact that I have quoted the relevant sections of the post and shown that, in fact, you only offered one, concerning the speed of gravity, which as you agreed, doesn’t necessarily rule out what I posted (except in your initial begging manner in which +/- 20% c means only -20% c).


    Look at the discussion below for a great example of this. I ask you what “other” reasons you offered. You simply re-quote me the single reason you put forward (post 412). When I noted that your response in 412 was still only a single reason you responded, indignantly, that you had offered “a bunch of citations” (post 417), confusing that defense with having presented multiple arguments.


    As I pointed out earlier, this back and forth dies off when I ask you to show exactly how Van Flandern’s paper requires the assumption you make as the basics of your argument. And if it is so obviously, and trivially wrong as you claim, why are papers that would be making the same error present in Nature and Physics Letters A?


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Again, as per above, this is just completely, hopelessly, utterly false. I gave my reason for why van Flandern is necessarily wrong about GR.
    Except that isn’t what was being discussed in the section you quoted. Rather, it was your abject dismissal of the sources I offered in defense of Van Flandern’s work.

    You automatically assumed those works were in the Foundation of Physics Journal. Let’s assume that was true for a moment. If so, then my summary was accurate and your response, “The journal was Foundations of Physics, which you may note that I don't particularly find terribly trustworthy” was simply an attempt to veto other qualified physicists. The articles didn’t count because they were in a peer reviewed journal you didn’t trust. Not that it was wrong, not that it had a clear error as demonstrated by x, but that you don’t think the reviewers (who are academically trained physicists) are up to snuff. That is exactly as I summarized it, GP smart, other physicists dumb.


    Your response loses a bit more credibility when we realize that the journals in question weren’t in the Foundations of Physics, but rather in Nature and Physics Letters A. The section I explained that to you was inexplicably not included in your quote:

    Additionally, and I only say this because you seem to rely on your credibility here for some of your support, that nothing in that discussion was in the Foundation of Physics. This discussion was concerning evidence I had presented in post 419, which involves a paper published in Physics Letters A 250:1-11 (1998). I’m assuming Physics Letters A is not disreputable to you? Additionally, his evidence cited papers in Nature and Physical Review E are these sources “trustworthy?”


    So when you earlier asked where you had ever attempted to veto a source based on your credentials, I’ll offer this as exhibit a.


    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Once again, you're going to falsely accuse me of verifcationism and you've previously tried to assert that my misunderstanding of your brilliant argument stems from a failure to understand the philosophy of physics. You still seem to radically misunderstand what Logical Positivism actually is and what they supported, and what their role in the development of science was.
    That isn’t quite correct. I didn’t accuse you of failing to understand the philosophy of physics, I pointed out that you are using old theories of knowledge which you are applying to physics. I think the word choice you invoke here is telling, you act as if there is one, defined, proven philosophy of physics, but as I pointed out to you in my last post, and Sean Carroll seems to agree with me on this point, there isn’t. There is what is currently trendy, or at least you appear to be doing here (which is about 50 years out of date in philosophy) and then there are other, more modern theories of knowledge.

    Your mistake, imo, is that you misunderstand the implications of your assumptions of theories as identical. The modifiers you invoke don’t really help you the way you think they do. The point of that equivalence in this thread has been to repeatedly dismiss alternative interpretations as unworthy of consideration (indeed even non-existent), that they are essentially your position under another name.

    That fits the exact definition of verificationism I offered in post 414 and that Stanford offers up in the link in that post. You’ve attempted to avoid this implication by shoehorning the other models into a circular argument you’ve constructed (that as long as the theory, at any point, has a similar aspect, it becomes identical at all points, because there is no escape from the circle), but that doesn’t save you from the fact that they both posit very different views of the universe. By arguing there is no difference because at one point they don’t predict different results is exactly what is being described in the Stanford article as archaic.

    Take again the example I offered earlier. One theory proposes a ball is moved via gravity. It models that movement through the classical acceleration due to gravity equation. Another theory proposes it is moved via a string. It also models that movement through an equation identical to classical gravitational acceleration (but obviously starting at different premises and different conclusions). The fact that the two models are mathematically identical at that single point doesn’t mean that that they are the same theory, scientifically or otherwise. It simply means that that one particular observable piece of data (whether or not the movement matches the model) is insufficient to distinguish between the two theories.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    1.) Well, that's an amusing summary of this thread, indeed, but like much of the rest of your re-imagining of this conversation, it's not very consistent with the original material.
    As are you, I am more than happy for any reader to actually go back and read your posts to see the change in attitude you’ve had on this topic over time. Initially, (in the posts around the one you link, interestingly not in the one you chose to link) you act as if this was conclusively shown, that no work in this field is being done, that no papers have been published related to it, essentially that this is something anyone and everyone should know.

    Eventually, however, you get back to the quote I noted above, “While I was away, I decided to look into your statements about Einstein synchronization.” So it became clear that while perhaps you were familiar with the surface conclusions of your position, the underlying reasons were new to you.

    I have no objection to that, it happens all the time. The problem is that you have dismissed sources and views sometimes (certainly not always) as “untrained hacks” or as “untrained in this area” only to reveal that you also must look into the background of the argument to better understand the position.

    This isn’t to say you are a bad person, or unintelligent, only to point out that your criteria for acceptance seems to be inconsistent between what you accept and what you would have the readers accept.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    2.) You're so quick to judge my “specialty in physics”, and yet you seem to be only capable of suspending disbelief for your own sources
    Not at all, I don’t presume to even know what your specialty is, I’m simply pointing out that you spend a lot of time calling others “kooks” or “untrained hacks, “ who happen to have a great deal of academic training, and who have a large set of published work.
    You simultaneously say “this is too complex for laymen” and “I reject the work of some people who have greater training in this than I.” You can understand how that position seems incoherent.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    As for the second question –no, not really. Would you care to substantiate why it seems odd? Certainly, they should know better in a sense that all academics should have an unimpeachable understanding of everything going on in their respective fields.
    I made that response because you have repeatedly dismissed the training of some of my sources as “outside their depth.” Here we have two people with strong backgrounds in relativity and in which the paper was well inside their specific expertise, yet the response that they are still making dumb mistakes comes up. That seems to indicate that your objection doesn’t revolve so much around physicists writing outside their specialty so much as physicists writing outside the orthodoxy.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Their error, which I suspect that they realized (since they dropped the claim in the subsequent papers, although I'm not entirely sure), lies in the fact that velocity is not measured by the usual formula:

    v = dx/dt
    Except, as I noted in the last post, that isn’t the case. Specifically, I said;

    Their discussions of velocities both in a preferred frame and an inertial frame are perfectly consistent with what would be an intuitive understanding of velocity would be for an observer (movement through a physical dimension over some period of time). [IE dx/dt] The bulk of the paper simply notes that there is a different material result from two different types of synchronization procedures, and that fact is consistent with both theory and observed fact. Given that we can get two different explanations consistent with the data from starting with two different assumption sets, they reach the conclusion I mentioned earlier:

    A theory maintaining the concept of absolute simultaneity can be obtained in this way which is [when the co- efficients a (v) and b (v) are chosen appropriately] empirically equivalent to special relativity, at least as far as kinematics is concerned. Thus the much debated question [29, 30] concerning the empirical equivalence of special relativity and an ether theory taking into account time dilatation and length contraction but maintaining absolute simultaneity can be answered affirmatively.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Again, when the truth is inconvenient, simply substituting it with a fabrication is not a valid debating tactic.
    There is no need to resort to such a scolding tone when we have the quote in question is readily available.

    GP 408: The link is broken to this article, but this is almost certainly wrong because it disagrees with QED

    IE I couldn’t read it, but it is ok to dismiss it as a legitimate source because it disagrees with my view of orthodoxy. It is irrelevant that it is peer-reviewed and it likely won’t matter what it actually says, I’m willing to discount it as a source sans actually seeing it as a source.

    The quote you reference as being part of the same response actually comes before the source we were discussing here and is, in fact, discussing an entirely different set of peer-reviewed sources I offered. You discuss those in some detail, but in the “meh I don’t actually need to read this source” response you don’t. You simply offer up a monologue that may or may not be related to the paper’s actual position since you can’t actually read the paper or the extract (given that the link was broken). That is the nature of the objection you are responding to here, so the idea that I invented the history of the thread strains credibility given that you seemingly conflate two separate sections of the debate as if they were the same thing (something you’ve done on three occasions in your last post). Again, I’m satisfied with letting anyone who comes across this thread read it for themselves, and I think that fact speaks for itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Honestly, Squatch, it appears to me like you aren't even trying to debate me. Your arguments seem to rely on either at best a very faulty recollection of what has transpired in this conversation or at worst an outright fabrication of what has transpired in this conversation. In at least one instance, you aren't even responding to my statements in any coherent way and appear to be addressing something entirely irrelevant to what was being discussed. In other places, you're just openly demonstrating your ignorance of the philosophy of science while trying to claim that you're secretly right because somehow I'm just not grasping the philosophical profundity of what you're arguing –of course, never ever actually saying how philosophy supports your position. Then in the next section, you're arguing that this has nothing to do with philosophy whatsoever, and you're actually arguing that there are actual physics models that give different predictions and aren't just philosophical differences. Worst of all, you actually link me back to your post 228, which has been so thoroughly rebutted you aren't even defending sources from that post anymore.
    This is frankly a very disappointing response. GP and I have had some relatively good conversations (many via PM or email), but he insists on tailoring his response in such a dismissive manner that would seem to imply that I am unfit to understand the thread. Given that I’ve highlighted three separate occasions in his last post alone where he has conflated two discussions or grafted a discussion on in place of the actual string or even outright inserted “clarifying” text to misrepresent his response, I think the reader of this thread can judge for himself which of us has a better grasp on the actual discussion being had here.

    This response ignores the multiple peer reviewed papers on this subject posted in this thread. To be fair, some did have detailed responses to objections. Some did seem to have problems of their own. Some however, didn’t. And what’s more it doesn’t really matter one way or the other. My opponent spent a significant portion of this thread attempting to act as the arbiter of what sources “count.” And his insistence was that only peer-reviewed sources from main line journals did. The validity of that arbitration aside, just those kinds of articles have been presented here, and somehow they are still insufficient to show that there is a relevant discussion in this field. The fact that numerous editors and reviewers found this group of hypotheses compelling enough to warrant publication and discussion does little to convince him that the subject is actually being discussed.

    Rather, he all too often (not exclusively to be sure) relies on dismissing the opposing sources as “crackpots,” “kooks,” or “untrained hacks,” even when those sources have a PhD and years of published papers. Please don’t confuse this for a battle of credentials on my part. But if my opponent wishes to dismiss their positions because they are “untrained hacks” and rather insist that we accept his ruminations on the subject, it would warrant a discussion of relative credentialing.

    Even in the more serious responses (and there have been quite a few, again to be fair), he lacks any principle of charity in understanding the source’s positions. Several times choosing the more bizarre reading of a paragraph that makes the argument incoherent over the more simple reading that makes the reading consistent. When those other interpretations are offered, he seems to bristle that there has been some question of his reputation or credibility, or that this subject is simply too complex for laymen (as if the opposing sources were also laymen).

    We will both have to submit this to history as he points out when he says he is done debating here. I am more than happy to as well as I think the notable objections and tone of the discussion is relatively clear. My only real disappointment is in the final condescension the posts seem to have to his opponents which I think masks the real point he is trying to make. That, and the fact that this entire side discussion serves little in the way of the actual debate of this thread, and only obscures the fundamental point that you can’t get to an actual infinite by adding finite values to a finite value.

    To summarize these positions, I have simply been showing this is a discussion in the field, that it has a recent uptick in activity (given that there are published papers now and GP maintains that this field has been dead, that would seem to be clearly supported). The reason it became a discussion point is because it was 1 reason to support A-theory time (tensed) out of 8 presented. GP’s rebuttals have focused about problems with individual papers rather than to question whether or not this is a discussion being had. So why is the fact it is a discussion relevant?

    Because if LR holds, then A-theory is mandated. LR holds an absolute reference frame where temporal passage is fundamentally constant, ie that time is, indeed tensed. SR holds no absolute frame, but as GP points out allows A-theory as well as B-theory. Indeed that even in SR, A-theory seems to be more intuitively correct. So given that one version mandates A-theory, and the other indicates it as likely, I think that offers us sufficient warrant to move ahead with A-theory as the temporal model we use to discuss time’s passage (the point of the thread).

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    I'm done here.
    This comment would seem to lose some of its impact on successive iterations (posts 401-402 and 336).






    Given that the debate in this thread is at an end and my opponents seem to have offered something like a conclusion to their arguments I’ll offer a quick summary from my take on the issue to close out this incredibly long discussion.

    Essentially what is being argued here is whether or not, if you only finite elements and you add them one at a time you can have an infinite result. To oversimplify the question, it is whether or not you can count to infinity.

    As I highlighted above, the passage of time is a process rather than some kind of feature of a static dimension. So we can start with that as a premise.
    1) Temporal passage is a process.

    2) No moment in time can be said to exist unless all causally prior moments are said to exist.

    3) Each moment comes into existence in an iterative manner following the immediately causally prior moment.

    4) A single element (finite in nature) when added to a finite set of elements cannot produce an infinitely cardinal set (cardinality being what we normally refer to when we speak of something’s age).

    5) The process described by the rules above cannot, by itself produce an infinitely old universe.

    Now, one of my opponents has appealed to the possibility of their being another “rule” or premise. IE another method of temporal passage. That of course would violate premise 3 which itself flows from premise 1, which we’ve accepted. So we can’t accept that time is a process of this sort and then also say it is something else. Let alone something else undefined or unexplained as it would be in this thread (no one offered a competing option).

    Alternatively, he has suggested that we are begging the question because we assuming a finite starting value. But that objection can be waived by a simple realization. We are at a definite, finite starting place (now). And if we were to simply reverse the process (and go back in time), we would never actually get to an infinite amount of time. So why then should we presume that we’ve done exactly that by arriving at now?

    To frame this with an incredibly simple analogy. Imagine I’m laying one domino after another, creating a long line of dominos. Obviously, I can only lay one domino at a time and I need the one before the one I’m laying now to be there so I know where to put the one in my hand. No matter how many times I do this I’ll never actually lay down the infinite domino (ie the domino chain will never be infinitely long). Even if I keep doing this for an arbitrarily long period of time. While I’ll get closer and closer to the infinite domino, I’ll never actually reach it. That is because there are always an infinite number of dominos to go to actually get there, that is the profound realization of the Hilbert’s Hotel example made early in the thread.

    My opponent’s confusion arose because I believe it was overlooked that when we talk about processes, infinities are limits, not values. They are something we approach, or can reference for the sake of argument rather than a tangible step in the process.

    Once we realize that the idea that “right now” is the “infinite domino put down,” my opponent’s argument falls apart. No matter how many moments we go through there are always an infinite number to continue to go through in order to get to the “infiniteth moment.” Knowing that, there is no reason to presume the universe has done exactly that in order to be infinitely old. We are left with the relatively obvious point that any kind of counting process that is at a definite step must have had a beginning.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  16. Thanks MindTrap028 thanked for this post
 

 
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