Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Let's Hook a Generator Up to Einstein!

Because he's probably spinning in his grave. Not that that's really news, since you're probably all well acquainted with some of the people who started up this little PMM.

Anyway, MarkCC does a little more to impress me by deconstructing one of the YEC claims: That the Earth is at the center of the universe, and relativity has Earth in some time dilation where it's only been 6,000 years here, but the rest of the universe has experienced billions of years. Of course, they ignore little things like local radioactive decay rates, the results of billions of years of starlight compacted into a few millennia, everything out there blueshifting into gamma radiation, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

An example of Mark's takedown:
First: you can compute a pretty good approximation of instantaneous gravitational forces between bodies by treating them as point-masses at their center of gravity. But they are not point masses. And if you do anything but an instantaneous calculation, treating them as point masses will give you the wrong result. They've made a fundamental math mistake here: a simplifying assumption can only be applied in the specific type of calculation for which it was designed, in the specific situation where it was derived. They're applying it in a very different situation - they are not doing an instantaneous calculation of gravitational forces.
I may not be a physics professor, but I do know that point masses may be handy for hankerchief calculations. I would think that these sorts of people would have more at their disposal, though.

1 comment:

Rev. Bob said...

Don't forget, the very basis of relativity, the Michelson-Morely experiment, has two interpretations. The one everybody paid attention to is that there is no aether. But you'd get the same results if the Earth were the center of the aether universe.

Never mind that the aether for the whole universe would have to rotate once a day and spin around the sun once a year. Think of the benefits! When the Michelson experiment goes away, then the Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction goes away, so light (and the aether) can have infinite velocity.

Granted, the aether's angular momentum off in the Tadpole Galaxy must be pretty fierce. It's a good thing the density of the aether isn't all that much greater than, uh, well, osmium actually.

I've been reading way too much mindrot recently, so I bookmarked the link instead of reading it. Please tell me they didn't say the Earth was the center of the aether universe!