Subject: Re: Call for papers...

Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 13:44:18 -0400

From: "Henry H. Lindner" <hlindner1@compuserve.com>

To: "umberto bartocci" <bartocci@dipmat.unipg.it>

References: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7


Dear Umberto,

Thank you for your response. I've posted another paper, Philosophy vs. Relativity , at my website. Please place this link at the beginning of our letters so that your readers can see why I claim to have a unique understanding of Relativity. [SEE LINK N. 50 IN THE LINK PAGE OF THIS WEBSITE]

Please read this paper as it thoroughly (I hope) addresses the difficulty philosophical issues involved in Relativity and Science.

Our concepts of space and time have been honed by millions of years of pre-anthropic and anthropic evolution. They

reflect the sum total of our experience in this Cosmos. I would be surprised indeed if they were not essentially sound

concepts. Relativity certainly is no advance in understanding--it is only an accounting system for the observer's

measurements. Experience teaches us that the Cosmos, and its space and time, are completely independent of us human

observers. Einstein, on the other hand, made them completely dependent upon the observer and his frame.

He introduced a purely subjectivistic, man-centered ideology which denies that an objective Cosmos exists, that its space

is a physical substance influenced by matter, that atomic clocks slow due to motion in this space, and that there exists an

objective "now" throughout the Cosmos.

I have become a philosophical detective. I've realized that one cannot take any ideologies or systems of thought at face

value--least of all Relativity which is so intimately connected with everything modern. Thinkers usually hide their

underlying assumptions and then try to reintroduce common-sense notions that are not consistent with their ideology.

See Philosophy vs. Relativity at my website for a formal philosophical discussion of Relativity.


But one could even introduce the

term anthropocentrization in order to describe this same philosophical

itinerary, since it is quite obvious that the more man is removed from

Cosmos (and God), the more his ethics is FREE from any subordination to any external, objective, "moral law".


You are right in looking for the connections between Relativity and ethical ideas, for all ideas are connected, any world

view is a more or less coherent amalgamation of metaphysical, ethical, psychological, and social ideas. In Relativity, the

objective, material Cosmos and its causation is denied. In Relativity, reality is sensation and it depends on the observer.

Ethically, this implies that there is no human nature from which a natural and objective morality flows; ethical ideas are also

dependent on the observer. This is a false and pernicious concept. We are, in fact, animals who have acquired language.

Our physical, neurological, psychological, social, and economic reality dictates how we should live. But it is the foremost

aim of Church and State to blind us to these realities so that we follow their dictates. Relativistic Science, which merely

describes what the observer senses and measures, was tailor-made to prevent any philosophical threats to Church and

State. The historical origins of this ideology are clear to see. It's in my paper.


What you correctly point out, is that the

"interpretation" of contemporary Physics has chosen "subjectivity" (in

the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics this is rather

evident), which is in my opinion a "consequence" of the success of the

modern subjective ethics; but from a rigorous "metaphysical" point of

view, I still believe that it is better to describe relativity as

belonging to the deanthropocentrizing side, exactly as copernican



Einstein's own statements contradict your last statement. He clearly stated that there is no essential difference in chosing

the Earth or the Sun frame for the description of motion. His "revolution" was anti-Copernican--metaphysically and

physically. Relativity and quantum theory are, by their foundations, incorrigibly subjectivistic. It is no coincidence that

Einstein's papers on SR and the photon theory were published in the same year. Of course, physicists try to interpret

Relativity and QT in a common sense, objective manner. Thence arises all the confusion.


That is to say, I still believe that it would have been

disturbing "modern philosophy" if man's ordinary categories of space and time, which could have been "produced" only by evolution, would have shown themselves useful for a deep understanding of the universe's

structure. How this could have been indeed possible, if man as just a

product of "chance", emerging from casual spontaneous evolution of

matter, from the indifferent darkness of the Universe (Jacques Monod)?


Evolution has imprinted commonsense objectivism in our minds--the Cosmos runs its course regardless of our existence

or our "observations". Any commonsense objectivism is better than Relativity. To understand the Cosmos, we must use

the evidence of our senses to create a refined, objective, theory of the Cosmos and its relationship to our consciousness.

This I have attempted.


In what sense relativity and quantum

mechanics (in its common interpretation) could "save" Christianity?

After all, most of the physicists we are talking about were Jewish, and

it would have been very funny if most of their work was aimed to save



Christian and Jewish thinkers are united in their belief in Spiritualism--that the Cosmos is essentially spiritual. Relativity

supports this conception, indeed was its product. For the historical details and full philosophical argument, see the paper.


You are right when you point out the influence of

Berkeley's thought, but one must not forget that: first, relativity, as

quantum mechanics, is not entirely subjective (see next part of my

answer); second, it is well possible to put in a philosophical systems

"fragments" which come from other different systems, yet the differences between the old system and the new one (both in content than in purpose) remain well alive.


Relativity and Quantum theory are fundamentally, axiomatically subjectivistic. They admit only the observer and his

measurements. To try to insert objectivistic concepts into these systems is to invite chaos--which is what we have in

modern physics.


But one could even introduce the

term anthropocentrization in order to describe this same philosophical

itinerary, since it is quite obvious that the more man is removed from

Cosmos (and God), the more his ethics is FREE from any subordination to any external, objective, "moral law".


Relativity and its associated ideas frees man from objective Cosmos. It leaves him with no objective concepts and no

philosophical understanding. He must scurry to God or State for understanding and guidance. See my paper.


When this attempt failed, then this SAME

philosophy tried to show how all Nature's laws are, on the contrary,

indeterministic (this explains in my opinion the actual emphasis on

chaotic systems, fractals, and so on), since in this physical

"indeterminism" there is enough space in order to give an answer to the (well experienced by each human being!) phenomenon of the human

conscience freedom (free will). Descartes's dualism between two real

sides of the "being", res extensa and res cogitans, offered a solution

of this same problem quite more convincing...


The ability of humans to make choices stems from the virtual self we create through our use of language. See the theories

of self-reflective human consciousness referenced in my paper. Our free-will has nothing to do with determinism or

indeterminism at the physico-chemical level nor with mathematical concepts involving randonmess. There is no denying

that all effects result from causes--we use statistics because of the complexity of the interactions and because we are

ignorant of the causes.



II - The physical issue


You are completely right, this is one of the worst features of the

Minkowski space-time. It has not a good "physical definition", yet it

does work as a mathematical MODEL (unfortunately, the "contradiction" you correctly remark is neither mathematical, nor physical; it just shows how the relativistic "solution" is unsatisfactory from a

"philosophical" point of view).


Minkowski's space-time is a subjectivistic mathematical model--as if all that exists are the observers and their

sensations--as if this "information" could be directly communicated to the observers' minds by God, or a demon, or

whatever. Philosophically, this subjectivistic paradigm is inadequate--to be kind.


Since the very beginning Einstein

assumed that the "old" mechanical discrimination between inertial

observers and accelerated observers was meaningful even in "empty"

space. This was Newton's heritage, and that's why I think that if one

whishes to recover rationality in Physics, then he must go back to

Descartes, and settle in a different way the old Descartes-Newton

dispute about the nature of the space.


Einstein was confused. Descartes, as I amply show in the paper, is at the root of the problem. Newton was at least an

objectivist, but now there is no one to "go back to" at all. We have to use the vast knowledge we've inherited to create a

new and better theory of the Cosmos, of its space and motion, and of our mind and its relationship to the Cosmos.


So I would say that you are wrong asserting that: "there was no such thing as an independent trajectory [in relativity], but only a trajectory

relative to any chosen observer or arbitrary frame of reference": I

believe that this statement is not true (we are talking of relativity,

NOT of quantum mechanics).


You may have missed the fact that words are not mine, they're Einstein's. The reference is in the paper.


A given trajectory has different mathematical

representations in different coordinate systems, yet it is something

absolute, independent on those representations, and then, at the end, on the observers. This is in some sense connected to the philosophical

issue discussed before: it is not true that in relativity there are not

absolute physical entities, it is not true that the theory is ENTIRELY



You are putting your own commonsense, objectivistic spin on Relativity. In Relativity, all that exists are the coordinate

systems, any one of which is as good as any other. So which is the "real" trajectory? I ask you to tell me how an

axiomatically subjectivistic system (Relativity) can be "not entirely" subjectivistic? I say that any objectivistic ideas are

incompatible with Relativity. The objectivist cannot be a Relativist, no matter what he calls himself. He's simply confused,

using a subjectivistic ideology to describe and attempt to understandt an objective world.


I know that very well, there is even a book of my good friend Ludwik

Kostro (a Polish phyisicist) dedicated to this argument: "Einstein and

the Ether". If you wish, you can contact the author at:

fizlk@univ.gda.pl . The fact that the ether exists, but it does not

"show" itself in optics and in electromagnetism, is another one of those unpleasant "irrationalities" of contemporary physics we were complaining above.


The conflict between Ether and Relativity is the conflict between objectivism and subjectivism. Einstein was an objectivist

by instinct but a subjectivist by ideology.


You are quite right, a theory can be "defended" for a long time in the

way you point out, but at last it does collapse, as it did the Ptolemaic

theory, when people become tired to do too many such "ad hoc"

corrections. I hope that somebody will be able to find some experiment whose outcome would really put in trouble the Relativists, which would give up, instead of adding another epicycle.


I think that I have suggested a few good candidates for the important "crucial" experiment. Philosophically, Relativity is

subjectivistic, contradictory nonsense. But "proving" its ideas to be false by experiement, concretely, is very difficult due

to the technical limitations.


not allow to "distinguish" between isomorphic models. But let me add

that I do not believe that in Physics one can have completely isomorphic models; there will be always some significative difference somewhere, the only one problem is to understand where to look for them.


True, at least I hope it's true in this case.

Where is it exactly? Anyway I printed all your text, and I shall read it

(with my usual slowness). I proposed another possible one (just

concerning the mean life of speedy particles) with a "moving cup" model,

see point 4/ter in the quoted web page on the Foundations of Physics. I

know of another one, put forward by G. Cavalleri,


Hypothesis: Electrons are themselves composed of circulating EM waves in space. Therefore, when bound to a nucleus

and pulled through space, their EM waves are exposed to the translational velocity of the nucleus relative to space (RTS).

Because these electrons are bound to the nuclei, they do not "gain" waves (increase in frequency) like free electrons

would when forced into higher velocity RTS. They do not emit waves when accelerated or decelerated as free electrons

do. When forced into a higher velocity RTS, the bound electrons’ fixed number of EM waves must propagate through an

increased number of space cells, causing a 2o Doppler red shift. of their frequency and of the waves they absorb and

emit. The electron is the physical reality behind the "light clock" seen in introductions to Relativity.


For instance, the light's speed is not isotropic for an accelerated observer in flat Minkowski space-time, yet this observer can be thought of as a freely falling observer in a curved space-time, where light's speed IS

isotropic, there are for me troubles of understanding and applications.


The flowing space theory I created, which had been advanced previously by Herbert Ives, has given me a clear

understanding of "relativistic" phenomena of every sort. It explains the facts simply. Without it, there is only confusion.

I hope that these thoughts are interesting to you. I hope that you'll read the paper at my website. I know that your

mathematical knowledge is much greater than mine, I only hope to show you the essential philosophical issues underlying

this most important problem intellectual problem of our era.

Henry H. Lindner





- - - - -


Dear Lindner,

just a few words for saying that I received your mail, and that at first sight it seems quite good! As a matter of fact, for instance, I DID NOT KNOW that those words about trajectories were Einstein's words. I did not learn relativity through his papers, no more than I learned analysis through Cauchy's books, but the fact that you point out makes me convinced once more:

1st - that the relativity which has been settled in text-books by generation of scientists (most mathematicians than physicists!) is different from relativity as Einstein thought it;

2nd - that Einstein did not understand relativity "well enough", in the sense that he was not able to understand ALL the CONSEQUENCES of the principles that he himself choosed at the very beginning.

A proof of this second assertion COULD BE my discussion of Ehrenfest paradox. IF I am correct (I am not sure 100% about that!), then Einstein did not see the point, and his formula for that effect (length dilation or contraction of the rotating platform's edge?) was completely wrong.


I shall answer to you with more care, after adequate consideration, anyway since now thank you very much for the very stimulating and deep discussion,


Umberto Bartocci



Addendum - The question concerning the "physical meaning" of the "equivalence principle" in General Relativity [see previous point 2/ter, and "Percival's discussion", in point 4], still requires more attention from my side. Actually, on the contrary to what I have said before:


" > The motion of the Earth about the Sun IS inertial. Orbital motion is free-fall motion. All free-fall or natural motion is inertial. Every object in natural motion in this Cosmos is in free-fall toward some matter.


I am afraid that you are quite right, and that I was terribly wrong. I shall correct this point, but the fact is that until now I was not able to really understand the full meaning of the equivalence principle",


I arrived to the conclusion that the Earth's annual revolution around the Sun is in fact NOT the same as an INERTIAL motion…