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Thread: newton vs. einstein, the great lightspeed debate.

  1. #1 newton vs. einstein, the great lightspeed debate. 
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    as you all know, newtons law states that the acceleration of an object is equal to the force applied to it divided by the mass.

    and as you all should know, einstein assumes in his theories of relativity that the speed of light is constant and the maximum speed of the universe.

    of course newton's law(one of the most fundamental laws of physics) tells us that einstein is incorrect because an object should be able to accelerate to and beyond the speed of light if a force is applied.

    my question to you is which of these two great thinkers is correct?(as of yet i'm on newton's side, but this is open to debate seeing how einstein's theory is still a theory and newton after all would tell you that a car would never work.)


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  3. #2  
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    Both are correct in their own frames of refference.
    Furthermore you will never approach the speed of light with a finite mass reguardless of the energy .


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  4. #3 Re: newton vs. einstein, the great lightspeed debate. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    as you all know, newtons law states that the acceleration of an object is equal to the force applied to it divided by the mass.

    and as you all should know, einstein assumes in his theories of relativity that the speed of light is constant and the maximum speed of the universe.

    of course newton's law(one of the most fundamental laws of physics) tells us that einstein is incorrect because an object should be able to accelerate to and beyond the speed of light if a force is applied.

    my question to you is which of these two great thinkers is correct?(as of yet i'm on newton's side, but this is open to debate seeing how einstein's theory is still a theory and newton after all would tell you that a car would never work.)
    There is no debate. The issue was settled nearly a century ago. Einstein's theory of relativity is well-supported by experimental data and has supplanted Newtonian mechanics.

    A theory is not a conjecture.
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  5. #4 Re: newton vs. einstein, the great lightspeed debate. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    my question to you is which of these two great thinkers is correct?(as of yet i'm on newton's side, but this is open to debate seeing how einstein's theory is still a theory and newton after all would tell you that a car would never work.)
    There is a huge amount of experimental proof that you can't accelerate things faster than light by applying more force.
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    what experimental data can there be in regards to relativity? please site the source of your information, i'm not prone to just listening to hazy corrections when i'm not told what the correct answer is. and if you don't remember your source drrocket, please try to explain to me how newton's laws were supplanted almost 100 years ago
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    what experimental data can there be in regards to relativity? please site the source of your information, i'm not prone to just listening to hazy corrections when i'm not told what the correct answer is. and if you don't remember your source drrocket, please try to explain to me how newton's laws were supplanted almost 100 years ago
    You can pick any physics book written since 1920. Here are a couple of examples
    [i]The Feynman Lectures on Physics[/] -- Feynman, Leighton and Sands
    Fundamentals of Physics -- Halliday, Resnick and Walker
    Introduction to Special Relativity-- Wolfgang Rindler.
    General Relativty--P.A.M. Dirac
    General Relativity[/]-- Robert Wald

    You can look at the web sites that I supplied.

    You could actually use Google or some other search engine and learn about special and general relativity.

    You can read about the penetration of the muon as an example of time dilation or length contraction.

    I told you what the correct answer is. This is basic physics. It is nothing particularly new or revolutionary, though it was in 1905 when Einstein published the special theory and in 1915 when he published the general theory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    what experimental data can there be in regards to relativity? please site the source of your information, i'm not prone to just listening to hazy corrections when i'm not told what the correct answer is. and if you don't remember your source drrocket, please try to explain to me how newton's laws were supplanted almost 100 years ago
    Expermental data is collected every day by particle accelerators around the world. They pump much more energy into particles than it would take according to Newton to accelerate them past the speed of light, and yet, as predicted by Einstein, they stubbornly refuse to even go the speed of light.
    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


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    I feel it necessary to reiterate the definition of a scientific law and a scientific theory. Newton's laws are called laws because they provide mathematical predictions while making no attempt to explain why they are true. There is nothing in Newton's laws of motion that says why every action has an equal an opposite reaction, just that after much measuring, it always seems to be true. Einstein's theories are called that, not because they are less true than a law, but because they do provide a why to go with the what. This is obviously a bit of a simplification, but the main point is that you're misunderstanding what law and theory means.

    Also, I'd like to point out one other thing, something called the classical limit. As it applies to this case, when looking at small speeds and small masses, relativity looks just like Newtonian mechanics. That's why Einstein's work is said to have supplanted Newton's. At those higher speeds (particle accelerators) and larger masses (Mercury's orbit near the Sun) Einstein's work has been shown to be much more accurate than Newton's.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster
    I feel it necessary to reiterate the definition of a scientific law and a scientific theory. Newton's laws are called laws because they provide mathematical predictions while making no attempt to explain why they are true. There is nothing in Newton's laws of motion that says why every action has an equal an opposite reaction, just that after much measuring, it always seems to be true. Einstein's theories are called that, not because they are less true than a law, but because they do provide a why to go with the what. This is obviously a bit of a simplification, but the main point is that you're misunderstanding what law and theory means.

    Also, I'd like to point out one other thing, something called the classical limit. As it applies to this case, when looking at small speeds and small masses, relativity looks just like Newtonian mechanics. That's why Einstein's work is said to have supplanted Newton's. At those higher speeds (particle accelerators) and larger masses (Mercury's orbit near the Sun) Einstein's work has been shown to be much more accurate than Newton's.
    "Laws" and "theories" are really the same thing. Each is a construct, usually expressed in terms of mathematics, that has predictive power and has been shown to produce predictions of natural phenomena that are accurate within the limits of experimental error. A theory, or law, is the highest level of respect given to such a construct.

    Einstein's theory of relativity is the best available explanation that we have for gravitation, and has supplanted Newton's gravitational theory that has been shown to fail to provide accurate predictions under some circumstances. Newton's law of universal gravitation is in fact only an approximation to Einstein's general theory of relativity. Newton's theories of motion and of mechanics are nothing more nor less than an approximation to Einstein's theory that is valid at low speeds and moderate gravitational fields.

    The notion of a "classical limit" or the "correspondence principle" is a recognition that Newton's theories are very good approximations for low speeds and moderate gravitational fields, and with respect to quantum mechanics also valid for macroscopic bodies of appreciable mass. The correspondence principle is a constraint on the development of new theories that recognizes that classical physics is valid under those approximations and that any new theory must agree with the classical theories, to a close approximation, within the domains in which classical theories are known to be valid. That principle also applies to the more speculative modern theories, such as string theories, which in order to be accepted must agree with general relativity and with quantum field theories where those theories are known to provide accurate predictions.

    Unfortunately in common parlance "theory" is often confused with "conjecture". They are not the same thing. Conjectures are simply proposals which may or may not turn out to be valid in the future. Theories are much more substantive. The wordl "law" is really unfortunate. as there is nothing absolute about them.
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    as you all know, newtons law states that the acceleration of an object is equal to the force applied to it divided by the mass.

    and as you all should know, einstein assumes in his theories of relativity that the speed of light is constant and the maximum speed of the universe.

    of course newton's law(one of the most fundamental laws of physics) tells us that einstein is incorrect because an object should be able to accelerate to and beyond the speed of light if a force is applied.

    my question to you is which of these two great thinkers is correct?(as of yet i'm on newton's side, but this is open to debate seeing how einstein's theory is still a theory and newton after all would tell you that a car would never work.)
    Given that most of the usual arguments for Einstein have already been put forward, there really is nothing left to say. Might I just express a little shock that this was actually posted here as a thread? I assumed it was common knowledge that Einstein's theories supplanted Newton's, after Eddington's successful experiment, in 1915. That this is not so is an astonishing revelation for me.

    Also, this was not the only aspect of the theories of relativity that was confirmed. The speed of light issue has, as Janus pointed out, been more than put to rest by particle accelerators; other aspects, such as time dilation, and to a certain extent (or so I believe; please correct me if no experiment actually has confirmed this) Fitzgerald contraction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    what experimental data can there be in regards to relativity? please site the source of your information, i'm not prone to just listening to hazy corrections when i'm not told what the correct answer is. and if you don't remember your source drrocket, please try to explain to me how newton's laws were supplanted almost 100 years ago
    For god's sake, is google not working for you? Type "relativity experiments" and read. It's fine to ask questions, but taking this snotty "you have to prove it to me" attitude when there are mountains and mountains of evidence that are trivially easy to pull up on google just makes you look lazy. Asking for references on this is like asking for references on the fact that electrons exist. The answer is "look in any f*cking textbook."

    If you are genuinely interested in learning, there are many people who will try to answer your questions. But no one here particularly gives a damn whether or not you believe in relativity, so if you think people are going to indulge you by engaging in some sort of debate when you get all argumentative, I think you're going to be disappointed.
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    Unfortunately in common parlance "theory" is often confused with "conjecture". They are not the same thing. Conjectures are simply proposals which may or may not turn out to be valid in the future. Theories are much more substantive. The word "law" is really unfortunate as there is nothing absolute about them.
    Amen. I want to throw my TV out the window every time I see some creationist nutjob saying that evolution is "just a theory". One of my good friends said that relativity is also "just a theory" and that E=mc2 has not been proven. Argh!

    I must disagree with you though about the distinction between "theory" and "law". Theory is a much broader construct than a law (or principle) which is a construct with a very narrow and well defined scope. In a way a theory is made up of related laws and principles and a theory's predictive power rests on the predictive power of its laws and principles.

    For example Coulomb's law and Maxwell's equations are some of the principles that make up the theory of classical electromagnetics.

    Newton's three laws and the law of gravity (among others) make up the theory of classical mechanics.

    Similarly the mass-energy equivalence "principle" (aka E=mc2) and the Lorentz transformation (again, among others) make up the theory of special relativity.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScienceWizard
    Unfortunately in common parlance "theory" is often confused with "conjecture". They are not the same thing. Conjectures are simply proposals which may or may not turn out to be valid in the future. Theories are much more substantive. The word "law" is really unfortunate as there is nothing absolute about them.
    Amen. I want to throw my TV out the window every time I see some creationist nutjob saying that evolution is "just a theory". One of my good friends said that relativity is also "just a theory" and that E=mc2 has not been proven. Argh!

    I must disagree with you though about the distinction between "theory" and "law". Theory is a much broader construct than a law (or principle) which is a construct with a very narrow and well defined scope. In a way a theory is made up of related laws and principles and a theory's predictive power rests on the predictive power of its laws and principles.

    For example Coulomb's law and Maxwell's equations are some of the principles that make up the theory of classical electromagnetics.

    Newton's three laws and the law of gravity (among others) make up the theory of classical mechanics.

    Similarly the mass-energy equivalence "principle" (aka E=mc2) and the Lorentz transformation (again, among others) make up the theory of special relativity.
    I will accept your distinction between theories and laws. It does get across the required predictive power that one expects of a theory.

    I have some aversion to lumping evolution together with something like relativity. I find that evolution is more of an emerging theory than a good solid predictive theory. I certainly agree with the principle of evolution, but I find that it is lacking in quantification and an ability to make clear, quantifiable, testable predictions -- though advances in molecular biology are impressive and offer the promise of elevating evolution to a more predictive construct.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    what experimental data can there be in regards to relativity? please site the source of your information, i'm not prone to just listening to hazy corrections when i'm not told what the correct answer is. and if you don't remember your source drrocket, please try to explain to me how newton's laws were supplanted almost 100 years ago
    For god's sake, is google not working for you? Type "relativity experiments" and read. It's fine to ask questions, but taking this snotty "you have to prove it to me" attitude when there are mountains and mountains of evidence that are trivially easy to pull up on google just makes you look lazy. Asking for references on this is like asking for references on the fact that electrons exist. The answer is "look in any f*cking textbook."

    If you are genuinely interested in learning, there are many people who will try to answer your questions. But no one here particularly gives a damn whether or not you believe in relativity, so if you think people are going to indulge you by engaging in some sort of debate when you get all argumentative, I think you're going to be disappointed.
    quite frankly scifor, no. google does not work for me because i don't find it to be a valid research technique, it provides hundreds of thousands of links and the first three pages are usually filled with inquantative and inqualative jibberish about opinionated media on an issue. however i do "thank" dr rocket for the below sarcastic remark that even in consideration that i'm a "freshman" and he's a "Ph. D" is quite disrespectful and uncalled for:

    Quote Originally Posted by drrocket
    You can pick any physics book written since 1920. Here are a couple of examples
    The Feynman Lectures on Physics[/] -- Feynman, Leighton and Sands
    [i] Fundamentals of Physics -- Halliday, Resnick and Walker
    Introduction to Special Relativity-- Wolfgang Rindler.
    General Relativty--P.A.M. Dirac
    General Relativity[/]-- Robert Wald

    You can look at the web sites that I supplied.

    You could actually use Google or some other search engine and learn about special and general relativity.

    You can read about the penetration of the muon as an example of time dilation or length contraction.

    I told you what the correct answer is. This is basic physics. It is nothing particularly new or revolutionary, though it was in 1905 when Einstein published the special theory and in 1915 when he published the general theory
    the above would be quite informative if it was not coming from someone with a "holier than thou art" complex, well in the case of atheists such as most of the people on this forum i guess it would be a "smartass" complex.

    for your information, i looked quite well through a textbook i had from my schoolings published very recently(after 2000ace). in it there was only one concrete equation(E= mc^2). other than that there's nothing useful in it, just explanations for phenomena like gravity, as the theory explains it space is like a sheet of paper that warps when you place a large marble on it and the path of an object in an orbit is due to this warping, however for this analogy to even work you have to have a force pulling "down" which we previously thought of as gravity, without this the object would just go over the warp in space time.

    perhaps i'm going on about something that has already been discussed, in that case i'm going to research it the real way now, if i am going on about something already put into theory/law/conjecture then please point me in the direction of an accurate resource rather than flaming me for it.
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
    chemistry: accurate if physics is accurate, slightly subjective, you can blow stuff up
    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
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    Google is a perfectly valid research tool for basic physics. I use it a lot, and it has never contradicted with my lectures or textbooks, except once. Google turned out to be right, and my lecturer was wrong.

    Also, I find it amazing that you thought google wasn't a good way to find things out, but this forum was.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Thomson
    Google is a perfectly valid research tool for basic physics. I use it a lot, and it has never contradicted with my lectures or textbooks, except once. Google turned out to be right, and my lecturer was wrong.

    Also, I find it amazing that you thought google wasn't a good way to find things out, but this forum was.
    It would be more difficult if you didn’t know where to look and which sites to trust.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Thomson
    Google is a perfectly valid research tool for basic physics. I use it a lot, and it has never contradicted with my lectures or textbooks, except once. Google turned out to be right, and my lecturer was wrong.

    Also, I find it amazing that you thought google wasn't a good way to find things out, but this forum was.
    Yep there is lots of informatin available on the internet.

    Part of it is even approximately true.

    The trick to know which parts and how approximately.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Thomson
    Google is a perfectly valid research tool for basic physics. I use it a lot, and it has never contradicted with my lectures or textbooks, except once. Google turned out to be right, and my lecturer was wrong.

    Also, I find it amazing that you thought google wasn't a good way to find things out, but this forum was.
    It would be more difficult if you didnít know where to look and which sites to trust.
    I find that if I google something, the first result is invariably correct. Plus, assuming you know some physics, you should be able to tell which sites are trustworthy. I would reply to Dr. Rocket too, but it would be just saying the same thing.
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  20. #19  
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    If you really need a comprehensive and trustworthy source of physics equations, try http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/physics/, although Wikipedia is usually pretty accurate and usually more readable.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster
    If you really need a comprehensive and trustworthy source of physics equations, try http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/physics/, although Wikipedia is usually pretty accurate and usually more readable.
    I would be very careful with that source. I have thus far seen only good things there, but Wolfram is the author of A New Kind of Science which is full of misconceptions and errors. It has been reviewed several times and has been roundly panned by a host of experts. The world simply does work the way that Stephen Wolfram wishes it did, it is not a cellular automaton.

    http://shell.cas.usf.edu/~eclark/ANKOS_reviews.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Quote Originally Posted by MagiMaster
    If you really need a comprehensive and trustworthy source of physics equations, try http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/physics/, although Wikipedia is usually pretty accurate and usually more readable.
    I would be very careful with that source. I have thus far seen only good things there, but Wolfram is the author of A New Kind of Science which is full of misconceptions and errors. It has been reviewed several times and has been roundly panned by a host of experts. The world simply does work the way that Stephen Wolfram wishes it did, it is not a cellular automaton.

    http://shell.cas.usf.edu/~eclark/ANKOS_reviews.html
    DrRocket you seem to group together someone's credibility and ability to research and gather information with their opinions about how the world should work. you assume that his book has some effect on his site, whereas the evidence you yourself have collected suggests the oppositte, this is the type of thing i used to see in bitchy girls in highschool, they reffered to it as "gossiping".

    by the same logic i assume you will thing me a simpleton in my other posts as a result of this one mistaken post due to a lack of interest in the topic most of the time. i assure you this is not the case, i am no simpleton, however my schooling is not yet complete and thus i am not considered an "expert" so my abilities in varius scientific feilds will be questioned untill i prove my worth on this forum.

    to MagiMaster:

    thank you for the resource, i would have had a very annoying time trying to verify all of the equations i found on wikipedia on the subject of relativity, i have also found that there are concrete equations to predict different events in a relativistic world, i understand where i was wrong now.

    to all:

    do to the last sentence of the last paragraph, posts to this sub-topic are no longer required by my ignorance or desired by my lack of time.
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
    chemistry: accurate if physics is accurate, slightly subjective, you can blow stuff up
    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket

    I would be very careful with that source. I have thus far seen only good things there, but Wolfram is the author of A New Kind of Science which is full of misconceptions and errors. It has been reviewed several times and has been roundly panned by a host of experts. The world simply does work the way that Stephen Wolfram wishes it did, it is not a cellular automaton.

    http://shell.cas.usf.edu/~eclark/ANKOS_reviews.html
    DrRocket you seem to group together someone's credibility and ability to research and gather information with their opinions about how the world should work. you assume that his book has some effect on his site, whereas the evidence you yourself have collected suggests the oppositte, this is the type of thing i used to see in bitchy girls in highschool, they reffered to it as "gossiping".
    The subject in question is the new search engine, which is supposed to return calculated information to specific questions. The influence of his opinions about how the world works, specifically modeling physical processes as cellular automata and mathematical misconceptions do indeed have a potential bearing on any data that results from unseen calculations.

    The Wolfram Mathworld site which I noted seems to be pretty good and is checkable does not provide me any particular comfort with respect to Wolfram Alpha.

    This concern has nothing whatever in common with "bitchy girls in highschool".
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    I'm going to go with both are right, however I still feel we have yet to discover the underlying makeup of the real physical universe and the speed of light is really just the fastest thing we know of at the moment. I think given about another 200-300 years science will be doing what we would consider "magic". Finding and fully understanding that which makes up what we consider the smallest things in our physical existence. That of course opens up a can of worms. What's that made of ? "Well it's made of these", well what are those made of ? So speed of light, yep it works for now. Until we understand more.

    I know some will disagree.
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    by the same logic i assume you will thing me a simpleton in my other posts as a result of this one mistaken post due to a lack of interest in the topic most of the time. i assure you this is not the case, i am no simpleton, however my schooling is not yet complete and thus i am not considered an "expert" so my abilities in varius scientific feilds will be questioned untill i prove my worth on this forum.
    I don't think you are a simpleton. However, based upon your posts to date you have revealed yourself to be rude, arrogant and ready to jump in with baseless opinions that obfuscate discussions. This is not a personal attack, but an objective assessment of how you have come across so far.

    I have seen other posters on other forums turn around such negative views by amending and improving their behaviour. I hope you will be capable of the same and will thus become a valuable and valued member of The Science Forum. Your response to this post will be your first opportunity to prove you can do that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    DrRocket you seem to group together someone's credibility and ability to research and gather information with their opinions about how the world should work. you assume that his book has some effect on his site, whereas the evidence you yourself have collected suggests the oppositte, this is the type of thing i used to see in bitchy girls in highschool, they reffered to it as "gossiping".
    I have to agree with DrRocket on this. While a site might be accurate, caution is always advised. It wouldn't be the first site I saw which first displays accurate and well written information, only to continue with rubbish. If an author is known to produce errors (sometimes attractively disguised), one should be wary of other works of his.

    Checking out this site, though, I don't immediately see any of the obvious signs and it does look good. Usually there are obvious signs. Browsing the sensitive subjects I couldn't find anything even slightly suspicious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    for your information, i looked quite well through a textbook i had from my schoolings published very recently(after 2000ace). in it there was only one concrete equation(E= mc^2). other than that there's nothing useful in it, just explanations for phenomena like gravity, as the theory explains it space is like a sheet of paper that warps when you place a large marble on it and the path of an object in an orbit is due to this warping, however for this analogy to even work you have to have a force pulling "down" which we previously thought of as gravity, without this the object would just go over the warp in space time.
    Okay, I guess I should have said "look in any relativity texbook." If you are simply looking in some freshman-level "inro to physics" textbook that's mostly concerned with teaching you how to calculate the discharge time of a capacitor or how fast a cart will be rolling when it reaches the bottom of a hill, then there probably won't be much about relativity in there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    I have some aversion to lumping evolution together with something like relativity. I find that evolution is more of an emerging theory than a good solid predictive theory. I certainly agree with the principle of evolution, but I find that it is lacking in quantification and an ability to make clear, quantifiable, testable predictions -- though advances in molecular biology are impressive and offer the promise of elevating evolution to a more predictive construct.
    Yeah, I was about to say the same thing. While I think evolution makes sense and is probably a correct theory, it's not nearly as well-supported in terms of experimental evidence as relativity (which is possibly the most thoroughly-tested theory in all of science).
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    by the same logic i assume you will thing me a simpleton in my other posts as a result of this one mistaken post due to a lack of interest in the topic most of the time. i assure you this is not the case, i am no simpleton, however my schooling is not yet complete and thus i am not considered an "expert" so my abilities in varius scientific feilds will be questioned untill i prove my worth on this forum.
    I don't think you are a simpleton. However, based upon your posts to date you have revealed yourself to be rude, arrogant and ready to jump in with baseless opinions that obfuscate discussions. This is not a personal attack, but an objective assessment of how you have come across so far.

    I have seen other posters on other forums turn around such negative views by amending and improving their behaviour. I hope you will be capable of the same and will thus become a valuable and valued member of The Science Forum. Your response to this post will be your first opportunity to prove you can do that.
    along with the fact that yes i am arrogant, and perhaps i am rude, i would like to add that i do not take criticism well, this also should explain why i have what some have reffered to as a "you have to prove it to me" attitude. at first after reading your message i was nearly made to write a quite unkind reply based on everything controvercial you have said, but thought better of it looking at the meaning not the wording of what you said. i thank you for your "hope for the future" offer, and would hope that this topic be closed here on out after my replies to unanswered posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by SciforRefugee
    Okay, I guess I should have said "look in any relativity texbook." If you are simply looking in some freshman-level "inro to physics" textbook that's mostly concerned with teaching you how to calculate the discharge time of a capacitor or how fast a cart will be rolling when it reaches the bottom of a hill, then there probably won't be much about relativity in there.
    well that's quite insulting. and Gault calls me arrogant! what a joke.

    in any case. i didn't use an intro level book. and seeing how i'm taking gault's advice, i think you should listen to him too, you don't need it as much as me, but you've got more to risk by your peers here on the forum gaining a dislike for you, it must have taken time to get to the Ph D. status, either that or your posts are signifigantly shorter than my own.
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
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    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    well that's quite insulting. and Gault calls me arrogant! what a joke.

    in any case. i didn't use an intro level book. and seeing how i'm taking gault's advice, i think you should listen to him too, you don't need it as much as me, but you've got more to risk by your peers here on the forum gaining a dislike for you, it must have taken time to get to the Ph D. status, either that or your posts are signifigantly shorter than my own.
    I don't really have any idea what the other posters here think of me. I haven't sent anyone a "Do you like me??? Check yes/no" note. I imagine some of the posters in the religion forum would certainly call me an ass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    i thank you for your "hope for the future" offer, and would hope that this topic be closed here on out after my replies to unanswered posts.
    Clean slate on both sides.
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    I must say I'm a bit perplexed by the subject of this thread. However, this is not the first time I've encountered modern-day opposition to the theory of relativity (both special and general). Another place I've seen this kind of opposition is on the evangelically-bent wiki site called "conservapedia". I'm not 100% sure why the moderators at that site are opposed to the theory of relativity. Maybe someone among them has identified an irreconcilable inconsistency between relativity and a literal interpretation of the Bible.

    Anyway, my point is that some people are opposed to scientific theories for religious reasons. And in those cases, there's not much point in addressing their opposition from a scientific standpoint. Because if their ultimate motivation is a religious one, what evidence from the scientific literature could you possibly provide that's going to change their minds?
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    Quote Originally Posted by salsaonline
    I must say I'm a bit perplexed by the subject of this thread. However, this is not the first time I've encountered modern-day opposition to the theory of relativity (both special and general). Another place I've seen this kind of opposition is on the evangelically-bent wiki site called "conservapedia". I'm not 100% sure why the moderators at that site are opposed to the theory of relativity. Maybe someone among them has identified an irreconcilable inconsistency between relativity and a literal interpretation of the Bible.

    Anyway, my point is that some people are opposed to scientific theories for religious reasons. And in those cases, there's not much point in addressing their opposition from a scientific standpoint. Because if their ultimate motivation is a religious one, what evidence from the scientific literature could you possibly provide that's going to change their minds?
    While there is no hope of convincing such people with a logical scientific argument, there is some value in presenting that argument for the benefit of the lurkers, particularly younger people who are still developing their own perspectives. In many cases the real audience for counter-arguments is those folks, since it is often clear that the OP is beyond help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    While there is no hope of convincing such people with a logical scientific argument, there is some value in presenting that argument for the benefit of the lurkers, particularly younger people who are still developing their own perspectives. In many cases the real audience for counter-arguments is those folks, since it is often clear that the OP is beyond help.
    Good point.

    Anyway, don't take my post to mean that people should refrain from comment. I was just alerting others to the possibility that the original poster may be motivated by a religious point of view.
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    gentlemen , i do hope you're not insinuating that i'm one of the "conservapedists" i believe in scientific logic, the only objection i had previously had was because i was ignorant of any hard equations that are proven by relativity, i now see that these equations do exist(thanks to magi), and as a result of that logical counterarguement, i'm now convinced of relativity's truth.

    in the event that you were not reffering to me, i do apologize for the accusation.
    physics: accurate, objective, boring
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    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    gentlemen , i do hope you're not insinuating that i'm one of the "conservapedists" i believe in scientific logic, the only objection i had previously had was because i was ignorant of any hard equations that are proven by relativity, i now see that these equations do exist(thanks to magi), and as a result of that logical counterarguement, i'm now convinced of relativity's truth.

    in the event that you were not reffering to me, i do apologize for the accusation.
    I didn't know what to think. I suggested that it was a possibility. But evidently I was mistaken, so my apologies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by salsaonline
    I must say I'm a bit perplexed by the subject of this thread. However, this is not the first time I've encountered modern-day opposition to the theory of relativity (both special and general). Another place I've seen this kind of opposition is on the evangelically-bent wiki site called "conservapedia". I'm not 100% sure why the moderators at that site are opposed to the theory of relativity. Maybe someone among them has identified an irreconcilable inconsistency between relativity and a literal interpretation of the Bible.
    At least half of the people on conservapedia are pranksters who enjoy seeing what sort of stuff they can slip into it without the "real" members catching on to the fact that they're being mocked. If there are anti-relativity articles there, that's probably why.
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    I applaud your willingness to accept constructive criticism Saul. It makes you a rare breed indeed. :wink:
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    gentlemen , i do hope you're not insinuating that i'm one of the "conservapedists" i believe in scientific logic, the only objection i had previously had was because i was ignorant of any hard equations that are proven by relativity, i now see that these equations do exist(thanks to magi), and as a result of that logical counterarguement, i'm now convinced of relativity's truth.

    in the event that you were not reffering to me, i do apologize for the accusation.
    Congratulations. You are one of what is unforunately a rare breed -- people who understand logic and are able to change their perspective in the face of logical arguments backed by data.

    FYI here are some discussions on experimental confirmations of predictions of relativity -- special and general

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_o...ral_relativity

    http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/as...s/980327b.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Status_...ial_relativity

    And a couple of Wiki articles discussing the theory (though I recommend reading some real, no-kidding books with paper and everything)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_relativity

    A good book for special relativity is Introduction to Special Relativity by Wolfgang Rindler. You can understand this book with only knowledge of basic algebra, though calculus would be helpful.

    Books on general relativity require a LOT more mathematics. General Relativity by Robert Wald is quite good. A standard text is Gravitation by Charles Misner, Kip Thorne and John Archibald Wheeler, but I am under the impression that, outside of libraries, it is rather difficult to find these days.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    At least half of the people on conservapedia are pranksters who enjoy seeing what sort of stuff they can slip into it without the "real" members catching on to the fact that they're being mocked. If there are anti-relativity articles there, that's probably why.
    Oh, if only that last sentence were true. To quote Jeremy Irons in "Reversal of Fortune", "you have no idea."
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