Richard T. Fowler

Offering Christian and Christ-centered commentary about climate- and energy-related issues.

Comment in moderation — A.D. 2012/02/02

I posted the following comment to

today, and it went into moderation, where it has been sitting for about a half hour.

Commenter Mike is being allowed to post at least one comment, while having another that he describes as being “of heaviest importance” hidden. He posted his comment after I posted mine.

{{Update: The comment was released from moderation. –RTF}}

Here is the comment I posted.


Richard T. Fowler
February 2, 2012
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

With due respect, both of you are engaging in circular argument.

You propose to test the proposition that time does (Mike) or does not (Claes) vary with motion.

In either case, you are starting with the assumption that it does not vary without motion. This, as I have said, is a reasonable assumption, even if it may be false. It is reasonable because modeling the alternative seems too difficult.

You both then implicitly assume that there exists one or more objects (e.g. caesium radiation, light) that travel with constant speed. The suggestion, apparently, is that experiment has already shown this to be a valid assumption.

How did experiment show this? If it was by comparison to another moving object, then it would be necessary to show that that object moves with constant speed, in order to test the first object. To test the second object would require an experiment comparing it to a third object, and so on, ad infinitum.

So, assuming this validation has not been done (since it would appear to be impossible due to infinite regress), it must then follow that it is simply being assumed that your respective preferred object moves with constant speed.

If this assumption is true, it implies that time cannot vary for that particular object.

If time cannot vary for that object, then it cannot vary for that object within any inertial frame, nor in any non-inertial frame. I.e., it cannot vary for that object in any frame where that object would be found.

If time cannot vary for that object in any frame where that object would be found, then it cannot vary for any other object in the same frame. Therefore, time cannot vary FOR ANY OBJECT between two frames that both contain the control object.

So as can be seen by the above, the experiment begins with an assumption which implies the question that is supposed to be tested. The experiment is begging the question.

I sincerely hope you will both take this very simple line of reasoning to heart and apply it to your future comments about this matter. This is not a trivial point I am making. It would seem to be foundational.




19 responses to “Comment in moderation — A.D. 2012/02/02

  1. Mike 2012/02/02 19:11 at 19:11

    Hi there Richard.

    I wrote the following answer on Claes blog, but I have not decided yet if it is meaningful to publish it on his blog.

    I do think you should read this since it is an answer to you, so I post it for you here.
    Richard wrote:
    “Claes has written pages and pages about this subject, approaching it from many different directions.”

    That’s why it so puzzling,

    that he only talks about kinematics and no dynamics.

    Or doesn’t talk about threshold energies.

    Or doesn’t talk about Mandelstam variables.

    Or that he doesn’t seem to understand what proper time is.

    Or that he doesn’t seem to understand what the ideal clock hypothesis is.

    Or that he doesn’t seem to understand the basics definition of a physical clock.

    Or that he doesn’t seem to understand that the principle of relativity was originally formulated by Galileo hundreds of years ago.

    Or that he doesn’t seem to understand that the equivalence principle goes much deeper than just equating inertial and gravitational mass.

    Or that he doesn’t seem to understand that a time dilation really have been measured.

    Or that he doesn’t seem willing to discuss empirical measurements.

    Or,… should I go on?

    Unfortunately, as you wrote, he has written pages and pages about this subject. That is likely to put him in the position where he has a hard time correcting any mistakes due to prestige.

    Look at his answers about what time is according to him in a Newtonian theory. The answer is completely vacuous and extremely unscientific. Either he have not thought this through, personally I see this as unlikely, or he understands what his true answer will render.

    Richard wrote:
    “SR is not just a theory that “misbehaves” once it is put into motion. By being internally inconsistent with its assumptions, and by requiring circular arguments to attempt to resolve the inconsistencies, SR establishes itself as, at best, a nonsensical, tragic, and untestable error that should never have been taken seriously. I say “untestable” because, if it were somehow possible for all the postulates and definitions to be simultaneously true (which it is not), there would be no way to observe the effects that it predicts.”

    This is a very strong statement from someone who probably doesn’t know what special relativity is.

    There is a group of mathematicians that has formulated the relativity theory (special and general) in first order logic. And to my knowledge they have not found any inconsistencies. That this is done in first order logic guarantees no inconsistencies. So to say that the theory is internally inconsistent with its assumption is simply not true.

    Richard, do you have any intentions to really try to understand what special relativity is?

    If your major exposure to special relativity theory comes from what Claes has written, you should be informed that he has presented less then half of the theory which makes it look like an empty theory “without physical content” as he him self have put it. He has left out important axioms and useful formalism that is necessary to understand the basic theory. And he also has left out import experiments, mainly in particle, nuclear and optical physics.

    Unfortunately Claes seem to have started to use a rhetoric that may fool someone not familiar with basic physics theory.

    Finally I must say that I do enjoy this discussion. I really like theoretical physics and since I today exclusively work in engineering (applied mechanics) it is with some pleasant nostalgia that I once again think these things through. Who knows, maybe I will work through Penrose’s book just for kicks. That’s just how twisted I am… ;)

    • Richard T. Fowler 2012/02/02 19:37 at 19:37


      That is an interesting comment, which it will take me some time to work through completely. I do think you were wise to reconsider publishing it as-is on Claes’ blog.

      If I were you, I would consider that there may be some things that Claes is missing that you have, some things that you are missing that Claes has, and some things that I may be missing that one or both of you have … and, yes, even some things that all three of us are still missing.

      Some of your criticism of me in this comment would be more persuasive if you had been willing to follow my advice and post the math that I asked for. You seem to have concluded that because I was having a bad day, I am permanently unable to process the math at any level that would supposedly address the issue I raised that you supposedly had an answer for.

      Has it occurred to you that you have had plenty of time to post your answer, but instead have changed the subject several times since?

      The one link you posted had absolutely nothing to do with the light-matter interactions that I was talking about.

      I will do a post that hopefully will more fully respond to your comment here. But in the meantime, feel free to post more here. But please keep it clean; I do not like the specific comics that you had posted over there. Thank you, and thank you again for your contribution above. If it is all true (as unlikely as that may seem to me at present), it is good that you posted it here.

      If you are an engineer, then it would be interesting to see if CementaFriend can be coaxed to comment here as well. He had expressed that he is not in a position to comment for a couple of months, but he did briefly comment ater that. (The comment was deleted, but thankfully I received it through e-mail.)


      • Richard T. Fowler 2012/02/02 19:41 at 19:41

        Oh, p.s.:

        Claes did post on Galilean relativity. Perhaps you missed it, but it is there, recently posted on his blog.


        • Richard T. Fowler 2012/02/02 19:47 at 19:47

          That having been said, I do think that Galileo would be positively horrified by Einsteinian relativity — as well he should be. But by all means, if you have more evidence to the contrary, please do post it here as soon as possible. You certainly do have the advantage, here, that questions of scientific prestige cannot possibly not enter into my decisions of what to write, since I am not a professional scientist.


          • Richard T. Fowler 2012/02/02 19:48 at 19:48

            Correction: “cannot possibly enter”

          • Mike 2012/02/02 21:00 at 21:00

            I meant the ‘principle of relativity’ – the outcome of a physical experiment is independent of relative constant motion.

            It is a really old idea that certainly may be older than Galileo himself. In modern physical language it is an important principle since it connects to a modern concept that is called Noether charges that corresponds to conserved quantities, like momentum, angular momentum and energy for instance.

            What Galileo would have thought, we can only guess, but I do think we must believe that he was very intelligent and had high scientific integrity. Therefore I do believe he would have thought the modern idea as highly interesting had he been fully introduced to the theoretical as well as experimental arguments.

  2. Mike 2012/02/02 20:41 at 20:41

    Hi again Richard,

    I must start to apologize, I do have been a bit reluctant to post math in a forum like this (text comments), mainly because it is hard to represent it in the form that is justified making it hard and time consuming to prepare it in a readable manner.

    Maybe you could try to specify more closely your thoughts about light-matter interactions and what you think the problems are.

    Meanwhile, if you are interested in some trivia, I can tell you that the leading physical theory of light-matter interactions today is called Quantum Electrodynamics and is a theory that combines special relativity and quantum mechanics and is among one of the most well tested theories in physics


    One very interesting features with this theory is that it gives a model for how force interaction between charged particles could happen. An inverse square law (like Coulombs law) naturally appears in the theory.

    This is a big area where I’m completely puzzled over why Claes has not written anything. The precision between the measurements and theoretical calculations are so mind boggling accurate that any seriously honest critique against special relativity necessarily should discuss this. Not mentioning it makes one wonder if there is some hidden agenda of hiding it.

    If you are interested in an reasonable easy introduction to the modern view of special relativity with easy math I recommend Leonard Susskind’s lectures on special relativity that can be found at

    Lecture 1 and 4 are good, easy digestible, introductions I think.

    Best regards,

    • Mike 2012/02/02 20:45 at 20:45

      The links to Susskind seemed to drop out.

      (They are part of a larger set of lectures on quantum entanglement which explains the title, albeit the subject is on special relativity)

      • Richard T. Fowler 2012/02/02 20:58 at 20:58

        Very well; I will review all of this and respond in due time. Thank you for your response.

        Please keep in mind I started this blog not with the intention of primarily discussing relativity, but rather climate and energy supply matters. So if I seem unprepared for the discussion, it is because I did not choose the topic.

        Regarding QED, I have seen frequent references to it in the discussions of Claes’ work and at some climate blogs; but I had not at all gleaned that it had any connection with relativity. So I will have to look into that issue more before commenting on it.


  3. Mike 2012/02/03 01:33 at 01:33

    Oh yes, I forgot to write that I for sure intend to respect your request about ‘keeping it clean’ and do respect your Christian belief.

    Maybe your interested in another trivia? One of the pioneers in using Einsteins general relativity in the 1920:s was a Belgian priest, Georges Lemaître (, who proposed the basis for a cosmological model that is used today using Einsteins equation (G_{ab} + lambda*g_{ab} = T_{ab}).

    • Richard T. Fowler 2012/02/03 07:30 at 07:30

      1. Thank you, sir.
      2. You might have noticed that I commented about that in my first comment here:

      It was right before I presented my unified field hypothesis, on the same page.

      Note that I suggested the situation between Lemaitre and Einstein was rather ironic, given my recent exchanges with Claes.

      Also note that I believe that Lemaitre was not being dishonest with his relativistic ideas. I believe he was genuinely taken in by Einstein’s ruse at the time he produced his work.

      Also please note that I have not stated in writing for quite some time (months, if not years) any belief that the universe expands by the expansion of space itself. I really don’t blame Lemaitre that much for such an error, since everyone was so anxious at the time for a more complete cosmology. Perhaps this was just a necessary dead end en route to the correct answer.

      I think that with the benefit of subsequent knowledge that has emerged, Lemaitre would probably come around closer to my concept, which prescribes absolute space and time within the universe.

      Perhaps it would have taken him a bit longer than Galileo. Perhaps each man was partly a product of his time: Galileo, of a time of cooler heads and more rational thought; Lemaitre, something of a fish out of water, doing his best with the insane environment and material he was given to work in and with, and slipping up a little bit in the process.


  4. Mike 2012/02/03 03:45 at 03:45

    There is one more thing I been thinking of.

    You should be informed of the philosophical implications one must draw from the ideas that Claes is working with.

    His scheme of viewing nature itself as a finite precision computation makes his view of nature fully deterministic which also implies the impossibility of free will.

    Best regards,

    • Richard T. Fowler 2012/02/03 07:39 at 07:39

      Thank you; I am well aware of that. It has been a source of continuing frustration to me that I cannot discuss this matter with Claes on his blog, beyond just picking at the edges a little.

      The solution is really quite simple: there are many universes, but only one which completely embodies God’s original Will and Plan. We are not in that one right now, but by His grace we will be. Within each universe, nature is fully deterministic, and, while man has a limited measure of free will to choose between alternatives, there is only one future, only one time line, within that universe. Thus, it is already written what he will decide within that universe.

      This is not an acceptance of the Copenhagen interpretation, which is ridiculously stupid. It has similarities with it. But with the previous paragraph, I have fundamentally altered its meaning. It has no more in common with the Copenhagen interpretation than I have with my reflection in a mirror.

      I have much more to write about your comments, but let me take a few more hours, if you please. I just woke up.

      Best regards,

  5. Mike 2012/02/04 04:15 at 04:15

    Just to inform you.

    I am thinking about how to answer your question above about how something that has a constant velocity could move at all in the special relativity theory.

    The problem is that its hard to formulate this in a nontechnical way, but I’m pondering on how to explain it in an understandable fashion.

    • Richard T. Fowler 2012/02/04 08:23 at 08:23

      As you like it! I’d appreciate any explanation. If I can’t understand what you are trying to say, I will wait to comment until I do.

      Regarding other points, I’ve been too busy to post, in the last 24 hours. Perhaps later today.


    • Richard T. Fowler 2012/02/04 08:53 at 08:53

      I am reminded of an anecdote I read on a blog recently (I think it was WUWT).

      If you asked an economist to imagine that he were stranded on a remote island by himself, having to use his best scientific skills in order to get open a can of tuna that he had with him, his answer might well be:

      “First, assume the can is open.”


  6. Pingback: Reply to Comment from Mike — A.D. 2012/02/07 « Richard T. Fowler

  7. silver account 2012/12/20 09:51 at 09:51

    While this pattern is very effective for many cases, sometimes the mock object cannot be passed into the object being tested. Instead, that object is designed to either create, look up, or otherwise obtain its collaborator.

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