Objections to Relativity

By John "Birdman" Bryant


I have some objections to Relativity Theory (hereinafter RT), but let me begin by stating that I really don't know a great deal about the subject. It is true that I diligently studied a layman's explanation in my youth -- a book entitled The Universe and Doctor Einstein -- and that I have worked thru the derivation of E=mc2 in a college physics course, and also that I have done a fair amount of thinking about the subject in an attempt to understand it. But that is about the limit of my qualifications, if you can call them that.

My objections, then, are not so much technical as they are holistic, logical, and philosophical. So without further ado or do-do, here they are:

* The very first 'experiment' done in order to verify relativity was done by Sir Arthur Eddington during observation of an eclipse of the sun in 1919 in Africa, and Eddington traveled to Africa specifically to test RT. He announced that the experiment was a success, but in fact the sky was overcast and his measurements did NOT verify RT, tho they did not refute it either. Yet Eddington's 'experiment' gave RT a boost that effectively sent it to the top of the mountain as far as the academic world is concerned. And Eddington's behavior is perhaps not surprising in view of the fact that Eddington had some of the most cockeyed notions about cosmology ever to come from the pen of a physicist -- ideas which were lambasted by philosopher and logician L Susan Stebbing in a book entitled Philosophy and the Physicists, where she also took to task Sir James Jeans. Eddington's experiment, however, is no isolated example of incompetent scientific work. A number of other highly questionable experiments are described in the book Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science (William Broad and Nicholas Wade, 1982), including one of the most famous of all modern experiments, the oil drop experiment of Milliken which won him the Nobel Prize. Even in the relatively narrow area of evolution, two books of English lay investigator Richard Milton have described scientific fraud and incompetence of literally unbelievable proportions. My point in all this is that to say RT has been 'proved by science' is to raise grave doubts, if not eyebrows or laughter.

* Any pendulum set in motion will have a plane of motion which remains constant relative to the fixed stars (the so-called Foucault pendulum), altho the earth will move beneath the pendulum, as can be shown by allowing the pendulum bob to sweep out lines in a sandbox as it swings. This indicates that there is a framework of 'absolute space', contrary to relativity. (The properties of the FP are best illustrated with a large heavy pendulum hung from a hight of 30 feet or so. Any 3 FPs can determine the coordinates of an 'absolute' 3-dimensional space -- at least after the Coriolis effects are accouned for.)

* RT claims indifference to the coordinate system selected; but this violates the relativistic principle that the speed of light is constant. In particular, if we choose the Earth as the coordinate system, then the 'fixed stars' rotate around the Earth every 24 hours. But since the fixed stars are very distant from the earth, this would mean that they would have to exceed the speed of light in order to cover the huge distances of their daily rotation. An interesting question which the above raises is, if the coordinate system is not a matter of indifference, then what is the best one? The obvious choice is the fixed stars, and yet we cannot say for sure that the fixed stars are fixed in relation to one another. Yes, we can say that it SEEMS that way; but when stars are billions of light years apart, apparent motion among them may not show up for thousands of years, if ever.

* RT holds that the speed of light is invariant no matter what the reference frame. This notion is bound up with the theory that objects 'contract' when approaching the speed of light (the 'Lorentz transformation') -- a necessity if the speed of light is to remain invariant to all observers. My objection to this is that it is just plain silly. It has the sound of an ad hoc explanation whose purpose is to cover up for other inadequacies -- much like the little boy's explanation that he was nowhere near the cookie jar, and that all the crumbs on his mouth were placed there by fairies who were trying to get him in trouble.

* RT holds that time slows down for objects accelerated to near the speed of light. But this again smacks of gross silliness -- does anyone seriously think that my twin brother, if packed off in a space ship accelerated to near the speed of light which goes to some distant star and then returns to earth after a few years, is going to be physically younger than me? It sounds like just another ad hoc explanation intended to cover for theoretical error.

* While the wave-particle nature of light has so far defied explanation, it seems that the waveular nature of light requires a medium -- the 'ether' -- to be transported thru. (If something makes waves, it has to have a medium -- like water or air -- to make them in, since waves are simply the vibrations of the medium). The existence of the ether has apparently been proved by the experiments of Dayton Miller (also posted on the James DeMeo site), and this disproves the major basis for RT, namely, the (erroneous) results of the Michelson-Morley experiments. But if the ether exists, then this is proof of the universe's absolute spatial framework (as opposed to the relativistic one): If the universe is immersed in a 'jelly-bowl' of ether, then the ether provides a physical framework for 'absolute' position and movement.

* Einstein's explanation of the precession of the perihelion of mercury is considered by some to be in error. Here is a quote from an author who believes this, in spite of the fact that he does not question RT in general:

"This mistake was just one in a long series. In this paper I will show that the entire historical analysis of the precession of the perihelion of Mercury has been riddled with basic logical and mathematical errors. I find this not only shocking to consider but also painful to report since the central character here is once again Einstein, a scientist I admire and like in many ways. I admire his stance against the Copenhagen interpretation. I like his humility in regard to 20th century science (about which he said, "If I have learned anything from a long life’s ponderings it is that we are much further from a deeper insight into the elementary processes than most of our contemporaries believe, so that noisy celebrations are not much in line [for] the real state of affairs."—compared to the horn tooting we get now from all quarters, this is highly refreshing). And I admire the brash synthesizing he did in his early years, collecting data from all over and forcing it into a semi-viable theory. Without his self-confidence, both Relativity and Quantum physics might never have gotten off the block.
"In many other papers I have also defended the basic postulates of [Special Relativity] and [General Relativity]. so this paper cannot be seem as a fundamental attack on Relativity. Everyone who has read my papers knows that I am not an anti-Relativist of any sort. I have spent a great deal of time correcting Einstein's math, but these corrections only make Relativity stronger. Time dilation, mass increase, gravity-acceleration equivalence, the constancy of the speed of light from all systems: these all must stand. There is no return to Newton. Which makes it all the more difficult for me to say that Einstein failed to follow the simplest procedural rules for problem-solving regarding Mercury’s perihelion. The only mitigating fact in his favor is that no one else followed these rules either. None of his contemporaries or precursors followed any basic rules of logic in trying to solve the problem, none of them seriously questioned his findings (based on these flaws), and no one since has launched a serious critique against [General Relativity] based on the way it was applied to this problem. The entire set of logical and mathematical anomalies I will relate has passed unremarked for almost a century."
http://www.wbabin.net/mathis/mathis30.pdf )

Einstein has been accused of plagiarism, and he was certainly guilty of it in at least the case of having stolen E=mc2 from another researcher without acknowledgement. Whether other elements of relativity were plagiarized or not I do not know; but my concern here is not whether Einstein was dishonest, but only whether he was wrong. I do know that a small number of qualified investigators have been convinced that RT is full of serious error, and that some impressive works have been published on this subject. But I also know that questions about RT, like questions about many other Establishment 'givens', have been suppressed, hushed up, poo-pooed, and generally relegated to the cold back burner of a stove that has been left in a junkyard to rust.

In short, RT is just one more instanace of an intellectual Establishment whose corruption is so insufferably fetid as to induce one to barf at both ends.

Note: A man from Nikola Tesla country by the name of Milan Pavlovik has argued at length and convincingly that Relativity is mostly mistaken. From his home page you can access his online book, and for those who want a taste of the author's technical expertise, I suggest you start by reading the Conclusion (last chapter). Mr Pavlovik has read my above comments on Relativity and in a letter to me dated 10/5/03 he remarks:

"In the matter of your objection to Relativity, I can say, in brief, you are right. In detail about that you can find [the specifics] in my book."



Articles and Books Critical of Relativity Theory


The following is a list of books and articles I have collected over the years. I have no idea about the quality or importance of most of them.

Articles on the Net:

Tom Bethell on Rethinking Relativity


Other Articles:

Essen, L, "The Special Theory of Relativity -- A Critical Analysis", Oxford Scientific Research Papers 5, Clarendon Press 1971

---, "Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity", Proceedings of the Royal Institution 145 (1972): 141

"Stefan Marinov Wins Some Friends", Nature 316 (1985): 209

Owen, WH & GD, "The Variable Speed of Light", Nexus, Nov 1997: 43

Morton, Oliver, "Science in the Dark", Wall Street Journal, 11 Aug 1999

Baird, Frank, "An Inertial Clock Paradox and the Real Meaning of the Lorentz Transformations", Physics Essays 5/1 (1992): 115



Parsinger, Michael, Space-Time Transients and Unusual Events, c 1970

Wolf, Fred A, Space Time and Beyond

Fauvel, John, Let Nature Be, 1990

Aspden, Harold, Physics Without Einstein, Cambridge, 1969

Spolter, Pari, Gravitational Force of the Sun, c 1996 - A good critique of both Einstein and Newton

Bohm, David, and Hiley, BJ, The Undivided Universe, Routledge (NY) 1993 - Primarily on Bohm's breakthru recasting of quantum theory


See also works by Dr Al Kelly (Ireland), Dr Borge Nodlan (U of Rochester) and Dr John Ralston (U of KS)



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