The Aging “Crisis” in Physics
The silliness of relativity and the Big Bang Theory (BBT) has been plaguing thinkers for over a century. Some consider this a “crisis” in physics. If so, this crisis is certainly quite elderly. I imagine the flat-earth and the geocentric theories also overstayed their heyday as well. Once established, traditional mythology tends to stick around—with the various religions being among the better examples. In science, however, bad theories are supposed to get the boot even before they can be published. So we ask the question: How can regressive physics survive, producing much of the remarkable results of the 20th and 21st centuries without its flawed foundations being discarded as ineffective?
This is one of the tougher questions. A proper answer would involve a lot of detailed work that surely would be worth a Ph.D. or two. I guess the short answer would be the usual one: Any theory will do. As I explained in one of my most popular blogs, “Theory Formulation,” even a grossly incorrect theory can get us out of the office, interacting with the external world. Recent exponential growth in these interactions has led to corresponding growth in data accumulation. Most of our observations and experiments have nothing whatsoever to do with relativity or the BBT. The ones that do, invariably are interpreted from the indeterministic viewpoint. All the same, the ever-widening, progressive exploration of the universe nonetheless impinges upon both theories. The one characteristic of the theories—aether denial—is being inundated by rapidly accumulating data to the contrary. Regressive physicists not looking for aether have found it anyway. This cannot be openly admitted, of course, because use of the word is grounds for academic dismissal. Physicists necessarily working under the old paradigm have learned to handle these findings adroitly, as Kemp (2012) says so well:
“Various models of the aether are being published in current scientific journals under different names: Quintessence, Higgs Field, Vacuum Expectation Value Energy, Zero Point Energy, Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), and Ground State Energy. All are Aether Theories at their core, each with their own twist, but Aether theories never-the-less!”
All these are signs of the aging crisis in physics, which might have been averted altogether if Einstein’s (1920) public relations slip-up had not been swept under the rug: “There is a weighty reason in favour of ether. To deny ether is to ultimately assume that empty space has no physical qualities whatever." It is not quite that simple, of course. Einstein’s corpuscular theory of light actually requires the absence of aether. Once aether is reinstated as the medium for the wave motion of light, both relativity and the BBT will be but museum curiosities. In the meantime, physics will remain retarded, spending vast sums on all sorts of dead ends that nonetheless wrest huge amounts of data from the universe. The main difference between an incorrect theory and a correct one is the efficiency with which that is accomplished.
Indeterminists, of course, would not agree that there is a “crisis in physics.” It is what was desired all along. The foundational assumptions of regressive physics and of the greater society are similar. For instance, Big Bang theorists and most folks on the planet believe in creation, in opposition to the Fifth Assumption of Science, conservation (Matter and the motion of matter can be neither created nor destroyed). Many have tried to ameliorate this by proposing mathematical singularities, parallel universes, multiverses, or other embellishments. These only serve to highlight their desperation. As scientists, they know they should believe in conservation, but they just cannot. It is an assumption after all. There can be no proof that conservation holds at all times and in all places. Besides, they have been told to avoid assumptions. Better to stick with what you believe to be empiricism. At least you won’t get fired for sticking your nose into philosophy, which mostly is defunct anyway.
Einstein, A., 1920, Sidelights on relativity: 1. Ether and relativity. 2. Geometry and experience: London, Methuen, 56 p.
Kemp, R.L., 2012: http://superprincipia.wordpress.com/about-the-author/, February 17, 2013.