When Falsifiability Is a Red Herring
(trop ancien pour répondre)
Pentcho Valev
2017-12-10 08:37:34 UTC
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The muon-lifetime evidence in favor of Einstein's relativity is now an obvious hoax and Einsteinians don't discuss it anymore, but only a few years ago they still had an apparently ironclad argument: Moving muons live longer than muons at rest and accordingly the assumption that the speed of light is constant is confirmed, not falsified (the assumption that the speed of light is variable is falsified).

Falsifiability only works when the theory is both deductive and consistent, and "consistent" implies that the arguments are valid (conclusions do follow from the premises). In today's fundamental physics only special relativity is a deductive theory, but it is not consistent and therefore falsifiability does not apply even in this case.

It all started with the false constancy of the speed of light. Einstein "borrowed" it from the Lorentz equations, called it "postulate", and finally derived, for the gullible world, the Lorentz equations from the "postulate" (reverse engineering):

Albert Einstein: "...I introduced the principle of the constancy of the velocity of light, which I borrowed from H. A. Lorentz's theory of the stationary luminiferous ether..." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorentz_ether_theory

John Stachel explains that the constancy of the speed of light seemed nonsense to Einstein but he introduced it nevertheless:

John Stachel: "But this seems to be nonsense. How can it happen that the speed of light relative to an observer cannot be increased or decreased if that observer moves towards or away from a light beam? Einstein states that he wrestled with this problem over a lengthy period of time, to the point of despair." http://www.aip.org/history/exhibits/einstein/essay-einstein-relativity.htm

The introduction of the false postulate was Einstein's original sin. Einstein's second sin was an invalid deduction. In 1905 he derived, from his two postulates, the conclusion "the clock moved from A to B lags behind the other which has remained at B":

Albert Einstein, On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, 1905: "From this there ensues the following peculiar consequence. If at the points A and B of K there are stationary clocks which, viewed in the stationary system, are synchronous; and if the clock at A is moved with the velocity v along the line AB to B, then on its arrival at B the two clocks no longer synchronize, but the clock moved from A to B lags behind the other which has remained at B by tv^2/2c^2 (up to magnitudes of fourth and higher order), t being the time occupied in the journey from A to B." http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/www/

The conclusion

"the clock moved from A to B lags behind the other which has remained at B"

does not follow from Einstein's 1905 postulates - the argument is INVALID. The following two conclusions, in contrast, VALIDLY follow from the postulates:

Conclusion 1: The clock moved from A to B lags behind the other which has remained at B, as judged from the stationary system.

Conclusion 2: The clock which has remained at B lags behind the clock moved from A to B, as judged from the moving system.

Conclusions 1 and 2 (symmetrical time dilation) in their combination give no prediction for the readings of the two clocks as they meet at B. In contrast, the INVALIDLY deduced conclusion provides a straightforward prediction - the moving clock is slow, the stationary one is FAST (asymmetrical time dilation). The famous but idiotic "travel into the future" is a direct implication - the slowness of the moving clock means that its (moving) owner can remain virtually unchanged while sixty million years are passing for the stationary system:

Thibault Damour: "The paradigm of the special relativistic upheaval of the usual concept of time is the twin paradox. Let us emphasize that this striking example of time dilation proves that time travel (towards the future) is possible. As a gedanken experiment (if we neglect practicalities such as the technology needed for reaching velocities comparable to the velocity of light, the cost of the fuel and the capacity of the traveller to sustain high accelerations), it shows that a sentient being can jump, "within a minute" (of his experienced time) arbitrarily far in the future, say sixty million years ahead, and see, and be part of, what (will) happen then on Earth. This is a clear way of realizing that the future "already exists" (as we can experience it "in a minute")." http://www.bourbaphy.fr/damourtemps.pdf

The year 1905 can be regarded as the year of the death of physics. Science died and idiotic ideology was born.

Peter Woit: "I think the worst thing that has happened to theoretical physics over the past 25 years is this descent into ideology, something that has accelerated with the multiverse mania of the last 10-15 years." http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=9375

Correct, except for the number 25 - it should be replaced by 112:

"This paper investigates an alternative possibility: that the critics were right and that the success of Einstein's theory in overcoming them was due to its strengths as an ideology rather than as a science. The clock paradox illustrates how relativity theory does indeed contain inconsistencies that make it scientifically problematic. These same inconsistencies, however, make the theory ideologically powerful. [...] The gatekeepers of professional physics in the universities and research institutes are disinclined to support or employ anyone who raises problems over the elementary inconsistencies of relativity. A winnowing out process has made it very difficult for critics of Einstein to achieve or maintain professional status. Relativists are then able to use the argument of authority to discredit these critics. Were relativists to admit that Einstein may have made a series of elementary logical errors, they would be faced with the embarrassing question of why this had not been noticed earlier. Under these circumstances the marginalisation of antirelativists, unjustified on scientific grounds, is eminently justifiable on grounds of realpolitik. Supporters of relativity theory have protected both the theory and their own reputations by shutting their opponents out of professional discourse. [...] The triumph of relativity theory represents the triumph of ideology not only in the profession of physics bur also in the philosophy of science." Peter Hayes, The Ideology of Relativity: The Case of the Clock Paradox http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a909857880

And when ideology replaces science, bureaucrats replace scientists of course:

Mike Alder: "It is easy to see the consequences of the takeover by the bureaucrats. Bureaucrats favour uniformity, it simplifies their lives. They want rules to follow. They prefer the dead to the living. They have taken over religions, the universities and now they are taking over Science. And they are killing it in the process. The forms and rituals remain, but the spirit is dead. The cold frozen corpse is so much more appealing to the bureaucratic mind-set than the living spirit of the quest for insight. Bureaucracies put a premium on the old being in charge, which puts a stop to innovation. Something perhaps will remain, but it will no longer attract the best minds. This, essentially, is the Smolin position. He gives details and examples of the death of Physics, although he, being American, is optimistic that it can be reversed. I am not. [...] Developing ideas and applying them is done by a certain kind of temperament in a certain kind of setting, one where there is a good deal of personal freedom and a willingness to take risks. No doubt we still have the people. But the setting is gone and will not come back. Science is a product of the renaissance and an entrepreneurial spirit. It will not survive the triumph of bureacracy. Despite having the infrastructure, China never developed Science. And soon the West won't have it either." https://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-172684821.html

Pentcho Valev
Pentcho Valev
2017-12-10 17:30:50 UTC
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Popper's falsifiability criterion doesn't make any sense if the theories in question are not DEDUCTIVE:

Karl Popper: "According to the view that will be put forward here, the method of critically testing theories, and selecting them according to the results of tests, always proceeds on the following lines. From a new idea put up tentatively, and not yet justified in any way - an anticipation, a hypothesis, a theoretical system, or what you will - conclusions are drawn by means of LOGICAL DEDUCTION. These conclusions are then compared with one another and with other relevant statements, so as to find what logical relations (such as equivalence, derivability, compatibility, or incompatibility) exist between them. We may if we like distinguish four different lines along which the testing of a theory could be carried out. First there is the logical comparison of the conclusions among themselves, by which the internal consistency of the system is tested. Secondly, there is the investigation of the logical form of the theory, with the object of determining whether it has the character of an empirical or scientific theory, or whether it is, for example, tautological. Thirdly, there is the comparison with other theories, chiefly with the aim of determining whether the theory would constitute a scientific advance should it survive our various tests, and finally, there is the testing of the theory by way of empirical applications of the conclusions which can be derived from it." The Logic of Scientific Discovery, p. 9 https://www.amazon.com/Logic-Scientific-Discovery-Routledge-Classics/dp/0415278449

Except for special relativity, models and theories in modern physics are empirical, not deductive. Below Einstein defines two types of theory - empirical and deductive. Among modern physics theories, only special relativity is "built up logically from a small number of fundamental assumptions, the so-called axioms":

Albert Einstein: "From a systematic theoretical point of view, we may imagine the process of evolution of an empirical science to be a continuous process of induction. Theories are evolved and are expressed in short compass as statements of a large number of individual observations in the form of empirical laws, from which the general laws can be ascertained by comparison. Regarded in this way, the development of a science bears some resemblance to the compilation of a classified catalogue. It is, as it were, a purely empirical enterprise. But this point of view by no means embraces the whole of the actual process ; for it slurs over the important part played by intuition and deductive thought in the development of an exact science. As soon as a science has emerged from its initial stages, theoretical advances are no longer achieved merely by a process of arrangement. Guided by empirical data, the investigator rather develops a system of thought which, in general, is built up logically from a small number of fundamental assumptions, the so-called axioms." https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/einstein/works/1910s/relative/ap03.htm

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