Re: It is a funny old world - Dec 30 2007, 09:06 AM

I like non-scientist it is a good description.

I do have a high regard for the scientists and understand that because the fields are so varied they must specialise in their chosen area. I am more of a generalist and have taken an interest in a variety of areas. Structure and shape seem to appeal to me and the study of human nature.

One of my early lessons was as a child watching Bill Bixby and Ray Martin in ’My Favorite Martian’. People do not expect to see what is hidden if it is in plain sight. The episode was when his ship lost its invisibility so Ray Martin tied a string to it and walked it home as if it was a large balloon.

I find value in stories from the generations too. This was in Reader’s Digest ... three generations of women a grandmother, her daughter and her granddaughter were asked "What is the most essential labour saving device in your kitchen, something you would not want to be without. The daughter replied "That’s easy the microwave." The mother smiled and said "The refrigerator". At this the daughter agreed "Oh yes that is the most important". Then the grandmother spoke and it all became perfectly clear "The thing that saves me the most time and that I would not want to be without is running water".

So when Michelson or Morley found it hard to accept there was no aether I wondered why. Was it because for all other wave motions there had to be a medium ... something for it to travel through.

Here in Wikipedia is the entry regarding the search for the aether. One result is to dismiss it and say it does not exist while another might be do we know enough to determine the right test yet. Even general relativity could use a form of ether which if one reads down the page a bit


As late as 1920, Einstein himself still spoke of a type of ether that was not a "ponderable medium" but something of significance nonetheless: "...More careful reflection teaches us, however, that the special theory of relativity does not compel us to deny ether. We may assume the existence of an ether... Recapitulating, we may say that according to the general theory of relativity space is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an ether... According to the general theory of relativity space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time (measuring-rods and clocks), nor therefore any space-time intervals in the physical sense. But this ether may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of ponderable media, as consisting of parts which may be tracked through time. The idea of motion may not be applied to it." Tesla held the idea that space was indeed very stiff and not since his beam experiments has anyone achieved what he did to a distance of hundreds of kilometres some eighty years ago. So clearly there are things we do not know.

But is modern science able to look, now that is the question. So many prestigious reputations are riding on being ’right’ that to even consider ’alternate ideas’ is undermine the elite of the system and question the absolute rightness of the scientific principle based on skepticism.

I am not the first to wonder why personal position and prestige takes precedence over line of inquiry and I sure that I am not going to be the last. At some point there may be a watershed, an event that makes us re-evaluate our ideas just as has happened so many times in the past until the same mistakes are visited on us again. I have only had a year or so in this most fascinating arena, here is someone who has tried for thirty years ... the web page of R Webster Kehr and his example of yet another with results that did not get heard ... Quote:

In 1991 an engineer named Roland De Witte, who lived in Belgium, did a 178 day experiment using 6 atomic clocks, 6 digital phase comparators, etc. During this entire experiment he continuously detected a "sidereal day period." Roland was excited because he had detected that there was a Universal Reference Frame. He submitted several papers to scientific journals and was rejected every time. He could not even get published in Belgium. I can not sum up this little article any better than the Aunt of Mr R. Webster Kehr Quote:

My aunt, Helen Kehr Billings, who herself had a PhD, use to tell me: "When they give a person a Bachelors degree, they take away their mouth, when they give them a Masters degree, they take away their brains, and when they give them a PhD, they give them back their mouth." Helen Kehr Billings, PhD (1901-1995) "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."...Albert Einstein

Last edited by Sentient marine : Today at 09:08 AM. Reason: added link

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