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Thread: Acceptance of Relativity

  1. #1 Acceptance of Relativity 
    Forum Junior Vroomfondel's Avatar
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    During my time in this forum, I have encountered an outstanding amount of opposition for Einstein's theory of relativity. The following quote is the only axiom of my theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    This theory has a variety of surprising consequences that seem to violate common sense, but which have been verified experimentally.
    Perhaps the thought of all of the consequences of relatvity tends to put someone out of their comfort zone, and just violates their common sense. This tends to make someone seek out another theory that doesnt violate common sense and puts them back into their comfort zone.

    How does that sound?


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    sounds logical and plausible


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  4. #3 Re: Acceptance of Relativity 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vroomfondel
    During my time in this forum, I have encountered an outstanding amount of opposition for Einstein's theory of relativity. The following quote is the only axiom of my theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    This theory has a variety of surprising consequences that seem to violate common sense, but which have been verified experimentally.
    Perhaps the thought of all of the consequences of relatvity tends to put someone out of their comfort zone, and just violates their common sense. This tends to make someone seek out another theory that doesnt violate common sense and puts them back into their comfort zone.

    How does that sound?
    It sounds to me as though this is not a well-formed axiom.
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  5. #4  
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    Good point.

    My theory DOES make predictions, surprisingly enough. It predicts that no matter how many people are taught relativity, there will always be more people to fail to accept it. The number of people who dont accept it is proportional to the size of the educated population. Since the educated population is growing exponentially, the number of people who dont accept relativity will grow exponentially.

    Now how are we going to test this?
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vroomfondel
    Good point.

    My theory DOES make predictions, surprisingly enough. It predicts that no matter how many people are taught relativity, there will always be more people to fail to accept it. The number of people who dont accept it is proportional to the size of the educated population. Since the educated population is growing exponentially, the number of people who dont accept relativity will grow exponentially.

    Now how are we going to test this?
    I was under the mistaken impression that your "theory" is about relativity. I did not realize that it is about what proportion of the population that is exposed to it will accept it.
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  7. #6  
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    i think it has to do with the amount of people clamping to religion and to 100% explainable physics like how a flame keeps burning etc etc..
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  8. #7  
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    Experimenting is a SIN!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes
    Quote Originally Posted by Vroomfondel
    Good point.

    My theory DOES make predictions, surprisingly enough. It predicts that no matter how many people are taught relativity, there will always be more people to fail to accept it. The number of people who dont accept it is proportional to the size of the educated population. Since the educated population is growing exponentially, the number of people who dont accept relativity will grow exponentially.

    Now how are we going to test this?
    I was under the mistaken impression that your "theory" is about relativity. I did not realize that it is about what proportion of the population that is exposed to it will accept it.
    No, i accept relativity.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vroomfondel
    No, i accept relativity.
    Yes, blue.
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  10. #9  
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    Actually, ACCEPTING any theory as-is isn't a very scientifically good idea. Relativity is a good theory, and it predicts quite a few things, but that doesn't mean it should be left AS-IS. Einstein, to my knowledge, wasn't Omniscient, so there is still a chance of inaccuracy. I think this is also one of the reasons people wont just "accept" it, because it does violate common sense in some areas, but also because there is still the possibility he's not entirely correct. That being said, OPPOSITION to any theory that is said to be set is what makes it interesting. When you have opposition, you have the ability to see if it's really correct or not, since the opposition will present opposing observations or "evidence" as they call it, which will either change the theory, understanding, or bring about a little more understanding of the theory to begin with. Also, funny thing, look up the dictionary meaning for "theory" and then "fact". Einstein wrote a theory, not a fact. To *NEVER* try to see if there is disproving evidence would be like never fully attempting to understand everything surrounding the theory. I've found that, if you don't attempt to DISPROVE something, you never can fully PROVE it if it IS correct.

    sufficed to say, if people never went against the "fact" that the world was flat, it would have set things back quite a few hundred or so years. Hahaha. Also, the more educated people get the more people understand a wider variety of concepts. Doesn't that mean that the smarter the population gets the less likely a chance there is of Einsteins theory being 100% correct? Especially since so many people are "against" accepting it.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    Actually, ACCEPTING any theory as-is isn't a very scientifically good idea. Relativity is a good theory, and it predicts quite a few things, but that doesn't mean it should be left AS-IS. Einstein, to my knowledge, wasn't Omniscient, so there is still a chance of inaccuracy.
    I quite agree with the first part of your post. You then derrail it somewhat with "there is a chance of inaccuracy". No one should seriously expect that relativity will remain unchanged over our lifetimes. Of course it is inaccurate, as it is far from perfect. As you say, it is a good theory, and it does what good theories do, it enables prediction.
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    The root of the problem is: the theory violates common sense.

    Well, can anybody explain what common-sense is? Its the way we see the world, the way we expect it to be. Common-sense, to put it as it is, is a sense of the common. We would be doing serious injustice to it if we intend to apply it in the background of the uncommon.

    thats why, its quite natural that what theory of relativity deals with is beyond the realm of our day to day experience. Can u apply your 'common-sense' to move at the speed of light? Common sense predicts, we can move, coz there seems nothing special in that special constant c. Its just another number. May be we can, may be we can't, but its undoubtable that c is a fundamental limit of nature.

    The theory of relativity, and Quantum mechanics deals with the two extremes of nature. They contradict commonsense but never our experience. Thats why Newtons laws of motion turns out to be a special case of relativity.
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    It is true that relativity violates the common sense of the non-scientific community because it contradicts the everyday experience of space, time and velocity. But I think that when the non-scientific community ventures an opinion in science, it generally indicates a non-scientific influence that is causing them to oppose the scientific theory. For example, the non-scientific community opposes evolution not because of any fault in the theory but because of religion. I think another influence as a source of public opinion is even more likely in physics than in biology. Therefore it is not the violation of common sense which is behind this opposition to relativity it is something else.

    I think it is the enormous popularity of science fiction. Like religion it is more fun and easier to understand than science. Educational programs have already learned the hard lesson that must add entertainment in order to be effective in teaching the public. But how can any attempt to educate the public in physics compete with the enormous entertainment value of science fiction like Star Trek and Star Wars where relativity is dismissed and contradicted. Frankly whether it is logical or not, science fiction like religion has won the hearts and mind of the majority of the public and so they put more stock in it than in the sciences. Frankly the only way to turn this around is for science fiction writers and film makers to come up with equally entertaining stories which accept the facts of relativity rather than deny them.

    It would not even require enormous changes to Star Trek. The Enterprise crew would have to be a self-contained community rather than a temporary assignment with a family and home to go back to. The captain would have to be more autonmous than he is in the program because of the inability to communicate with any Star-fleet command. Warp speed could easily be identified with the lorentz contraction factor, which allows the Enterprise to effectively travel faster than the speed of light. But when answering distant distress calls, the Enterprise would neccessarily always be too late. The strain on the engines would depend on the change of speed (including slowing down and comming to a "stop") rather than on the speed itself. Indeed, it seems to me that the wierdness resulting in actually doing the physics right could be very entertaining.
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  14. #13  
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    http://thescienceforum.com/De-Brogli...ivity-382t.php

    Heres one who doesnt even accept galilean relatvity!
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  15. #14  
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    Quoted from: mitchellmckain

    >>
    It is true that relativity violates the common sense of the non-scientific community because it contradicts the everyday experience of space, time and velocity. But I think that when the non-scientific community ventures an opinion in science, it generally indicates a non-scientific influence that is causing them to oppose the scientific theory. For example, the non-scientific community opposes evolution not because of any fault in the theory but because of religion. I think another influence as a source of public opinion is even more likely in physics than in biology. Therefore it is not the violation of common sense which is behind this opposition to relativity it is something else.
    <<

    Actually, no, common sense only goes so far without research. Regardless of how it contradicts everyday experience of space, time, and velocity, that doesn't mean it'll be ignorantly viewed as wrong because it hasn't been physically felt. The non-scientific community usually consists of people who don't do their research. It depends on your definition of "non-scientific" though. People such as me, on the other hand, that do this non-professionally (as in, don't get paid for it) do tend to research. So I'd really like to wonder who you're classing as "unscientific".

    Now I think you're assuming here that I've been influenced by an outside party, didn't do my research, and thus oppose it blindly like a religious person. Nice insulting, but very off base. And the "public opinion" is mostly leaning towards using Einstein as though he was god, and they're using the bible (aka: relativity) to prove god (which Zelos has done, and one of the reasons I stopped debating over it).

    And you're half correct, common sense and science tend to go hand in hand. Very few theories *violate* common sense as much as spacetime does, and many that have (such as the world is flat) have been disproven. Relativity *does* violate common sense in numerous instances, such as wormholes or the gravity model used with spacetime in general. I mean, contradiction to the big bang much? The only way Einsteins theory would work big bang wise is if the universe was *created* (einstein was a creationist, I believe). At least, according to common sense! Hah

    >>
    I think it is the enormous popularity of science fiction. Like religion it is more fun and easier to understand than science.
    <<

    Not really, science fiction tends to anger me with it's improbability. They could at least stick to reality. Of course, this makes shows like SG1 more enjoyable, since they use relativity. To an extreme extent, but hey!

    >>
    Educational programs have already learned the hard lesson that must add entertainment in order to be effective in teaching the public. But how can any attempt to educate the public in physics compete with the enormous entertainment value of science fiction like Star Trek and Star Wars where relativity is dismissed and contradicted.
    <<

    Actually. I believe Star Trek implements quite a few things from relativity (wormholes!) and Star wars...well, I have no idea. Sufficed to say, however, they are NOT good learning materials at all. Comparing acceptance of relativity to a science fiction show with insanely unrealistic physics is rather insulting to anyone who disagrees with relativity. You're burning people at the stake.

    >>
    Frankly whether it is logical or not, science fiction like religion has won the hearts and mind of the majority of the public and so they put more stock in it than in the sciences.
    <<

    Not entirely true. A majority of people I know tend to stick to *science research* rather than *OMFG STAR TREK IS ON LOLZ!*. Again, you're insulting the intelligence of anyone who disagrees with relativity. Egotistical much? Plus, logical or not, relativity, like religion, has won the hearts and minds of the majority of every person I've seen thus far.

    >>
    Frankly the only way to turn this around is for science fiction writers and film makers to come up with equally entertaining stories which accept the facts of relativity rather than deny them.
    <<

    That'd convince the stupid people, but not people who bother to research rather than parrot information.

    >>
    It would not even require enormous changes to Star Trek. The Enterprise crew would have to be a self-contained community rather than a temporary assignment with a family and home to go back to. The captain would have to be more autonmous than he is in the program because of the inability to communicate with any Star-fleet command. Warp speed could easily be identified with the lorentz contraction factor, which allows the Enterprise to effectively travel faster than the speed of light. But when answering distant distress calls, the Enterprise would neccessarily always be too late. The strain on the engines would depend on the change of speed (including slowing down and comming to a "stop") rather than on the speed itself. Indeed, it seems to me that the wierdness resulting in actually doing the physics right could be very entertaining.
    <<

    This is just sickening. You're basing the entire *disagreement* with relativity on science fiction. "Oh I saw this science *FICTION* show last night! IT totally proves relativity is false! LOLZ! YEZ IT DUES! HAHAHA!"

    No, it doesn't work like that. Granted, there is a probable subliminal effect from watching shows or movies like that continually, but I rarely watch TV. And reality differs *vastly* from most sci-fi shows. only complete idiots do not know this. But then, you've just classed everybody who disagrees with relativity as an idiot. Huzzah!
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    No, it doesn't work like that. Granted, there is a probable subliminal effect from watching shows or movies like that continually, but I rarely watch TV. And reality differs *vastly* from most sci-fi shows. only complete idiots do not know this. But then, you've just classed everybody who disagrees with relativity as an idiot. Huzzah!
    You are right. I pretty much class everyone who ventures an opinion on something which they clearly do not understand as being in the same class as similar cretins. I have reason to respect both science and religion for the positive contributions they make to human society but I have no reason to give any respect to the spouting of complete nonsense. I can respect the person as a person (their imagination being something of value) without giving respect to activities which have no merit at all. In blaming sentiments against relativity on popular science fiction I have been quite generous and kind, for otherwise I would consider opponents of relativity to belong in the same category as Flat Earthers: the nut cases.

    There is a respectable minority in the physics community beginning with Einstein that refuses to accept the death of determinism in physics, hoping that some further advance in physics will eventually overturn this result. However there is no such respectable minority in regards to an opposition to relativity. Perhasp the sci fi fans are putting together a pseudo-science following the example of the Creationists who also cannot distinguish the difference between science and rhetoric. If so they will receive less sympathy from me than I have for these Creationists who pretend to science, which is practically nonexistent.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I have reason to respect both science and religion for the positive contributions they make to human society but I have no reason to give any respect to the spouting of complete nonsense.
    Darwin was said to be spouting nonsense. Jesus was said to spout nonsense. The list goes on, it's all about personall perspective on what you believe to be nonsense.

    I can respect the person as a person (their imagination being something of value) without giving respect to activities which have no merit at all. In blaming sentiments against relativity on popular science fiction I have been quite generous and kind, for otherwise I would consider opponents of relativity to belong in the same category as Flat Earthers: the nut cases.
    Actually most "flat earthers" are a group of people that decided to start the whole thing as a joke. The fact they can brilliantly deduct "false" claims and twist them to such a degree that the average idiot can believe them (such as their FAQ), then they're very intelligent.

    With relativity it's common for every idiot to try and take a poke at it. The problem with every idiot is that they fail to admit they're wrong, or that their "theory" is a "hypothesis". The original posts by Zelos and such perfectly apply to this group that are too arrogant to admit anything. It even applies to those "on the side" of relativity.

    But not everybody who opposes relativity exists on that closed view. I believe, rather than opposers to relativity, you are looking for "closed-minded" opposers of relativity. Almost no difference to the "closed-minded" defenders of relativity. You may think of it as an atheist-theist debate where nobody ever gets anywhere because both sides are equally closed to the possibility they are incorrect.
    Exception is when either knows what he's talking about and the opponent ignorantly dodges, weasels out of, etc, claims made.

    There is a respectable minority in the physics community beginning with Einstein that refuses to accept the death of determinism in physics, hoping that some further advance in physics will eventually overturn this result. However there is no such respectable minority in regards to an opposition to relativity.
    Ah, but there is a fatal flaw. There is this minority. You just prefer to class everybody as the opposite of "respectable" the minute they disagree. Zelos has, thus far, had the exact same problem. This is not to suggest I'm not exempt from it, but I've ended up admitting I was wrong on numerous subjects numerous times to a few people (a few times it was in grave humiliation). I can't say the same for either of you, since thus far I've not seen you do it nor hint that you might ponder the possibility.

    Going on that flying-blind observation, I request a correction. Heh
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  18. #17  
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    ok, why did you drag me into your post?
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

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  19. #18  
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    There's no such thing as "common sense".

    A couple hundred years ago people doubted, discussed, denied and defended Newton's principles. The fact that they are largely accepted now as "common sense" has come with hundreds of years of experimental validation and reasoning. Back then, it would have been mostly scientists who expressed their opinons, while the "common" people were relatively uneducated scientifically, Latin still being the main scientific language in the West, keeping unwanted commoners segregated from an elite of scientists. Things are different, today, and in comparison with relativity theory (in summary of some of the previous posts):

    Newton theories are seasoned and tested far more extensively than Einstein's relativity.

    Unlike relativity, which will remain largely theoretical for most people, Newton's principles provide explanations for phenomena that common people can relate to (e.g. the legend of the apple falling onto Newton's head).

    Today, even common people have some basic knowledge of physics. The level of education increases with the history of humanity and science, as new, ever more sophisticated theories are added to our collective scientific database. Of course, not all scientific theories are taught and studied with equal effort and enthusiasm. True, most people learn something about the basics (earlier, more fundamental theories), which includes classical physics. However, relatively few people will be accustomed with more sophisticated, modern theories. Einstein's relativity theory may seem "classical" to some, but it is far younger and far less covered in high-school physics than Newton's axioms.

    Einstein once remarked (from my memory): "Adulthood consist of all the prejudices and stereotypes we have accumulated over 18 years of life."

    In analogy, I would say that "common sense" is a collection of all prejudices and stereotypes that humanity has accumulated over its history. Science is part of that. Nothing in science, at any time, is ever going to be just "accepted" and will remain unquestioned. That would be completely against the idea of science.

    The claim to possess a monopoly on unquestionable absolute truth is a (failing) concept of religion, not science.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelos
    ok, why did you drag me into your post?
    Just for the fun of it. Or I have an evil plan.
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  21. #20  
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    im the evil manglomaniac master mind here
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

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    Well move over, I'll replace you inevitably.
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  23. #22  
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    I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me
    Hey, Zelos, has any of those b-IE-ng thingies ever told you that your signature could use a decent spell check? Or is that the prevailing orthography in your u-I-niverse ?
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  24. #23  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Zelos confuses quantity with quality. If you aim for the former then spelling (and syntax, and meaning) must take a back seat. :wink:
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