2017-08-12 11:15:36 UTC
Scientists don't care about the truth/falsehood of Einstein's relativity - in science the post-truth era started much earlier than in politics. They need relativity because it has a virtually divine status, as Marian McKenzie and Walter Smith from Haverford College and Max Tegmark from MIT explain in their songs:
Marian McKenzie & Walter Smith: "Divine Einstein! No-one's as divine as Albert Einstein not Maxwell, Curie, or Bohr! His fame went glo-bell, he won the Nobel - He should have been given four! No-one's as divine as Albert Einstein, Professor with brains galore! No-one could outshine Professor Einstein! He gave us special relativity, That's always made him a hero to me! No-one's as divine as Albert Einstein, Professor in overdrive!"
Max Tegmark: "We all believe in relativity, relativity, relativity. Yes we all believe in relativity, relativity, relativity. Everything is relative, even simultaneity, and soon Einstein's become a de facto physics deity. 'cos we all believe in relativity, relativity, relativity. We all believe in relativity, relativity, relativity. Yes we all believe in relativity, relativity, relativity."
Due to its divine status Einstein's relativity is a perfect money-spinner. You may worship it, test it, confirm it, criticize it, challenge it, reject it - whatever you do, if you belong to the scientific elite, your success in terms of career and money is guaranteed. Somewhat paradoxically, elite scientists who reject relativity are most successful:
Nobel Laureate David Gross observed, "Everyone in string theory is convinced...that spacetime is doomed. But we don't know what it's replaced by."
Nima Arkani-Hamed (06:09): "Almost all of us believe that space-time doesn't really exist, space-time is doomed and has to be replaced by some more primitive building blocks."
What scientific idea is ready for retirement? Steve Giddings: "Spacetime. Physics has always been regarded as playing out on an underlying stage of space and time. Special relativity joined these into spacetime... [...] The apparent need to retire classical spacetime as a fundamental concept is profound..."
"[George] Ellis is up against one of the most successful theories in physics: special relativity. It revealed that there's no such thing as objective simultaneity. [...] Rescuing an objective "now" is a daunting task."
Joao Magueijo, Faster Than the Speed of Light, p. 250: ""Lee [Smolin] and I discussed these paradoxes at great length for many months, starting in January 2001. We would meet in cafés in South Kensington or Holland Park to mull over the problem. THE ROOT OF ALL THE EVIL WAS CLEARLY SPECIAL RELATIVITY. All these paradoxes resulted from well known effects such as length contraction, time dilation, or E=mc^2, all basic predictions of special relativity. And all denied the possibility of establishing a well-defined border, common to all observers, capable of containing new quantum gravitational effects."
"And by making the clock's tick relative - what happens simultaneously for one observer might seem sequential to another - Einstein's theory of special relativity not only destroyed any notion of absolute time but made time equivalent to a dimension in space: the future is already out there waiting for us; we just can't see it until we get there. This view is a logical and metaphysical dead end, says Smolin."
"Was Einstein wrong? At least in his understanding of time, Smolin argues, the great theorist of relativity was dead wrong. What is worse, by firmly enshrining his error in scientific orthodoxy, Einstein trapped his successors in insoluble dilemmas..."