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2002 Aug 07 23:40

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Re: [vox] [ot] Damn - Slashdot rejections!
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Re: [vox] [ot] Damn - Slashdot rejections!



On Wed, 7 Aug 2002, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> micah, i completely disagree with you.
>
> in fact, there is _NO_ credible evidence that einstein may be wrong.
> the only things that might be suspects is an anomalous redshift we see
> in certain very distant galaxies and a certain satellite which doesn't
> follow an expected geodesic exactly.   both items were "newsworthy" a
> few years ago and have since been dropped because we can explain them to
> a physicist's satisfaction without using the crackpot words "einstein
> was wrong".

What?  Of course Einstein was wrong: he didn't believe in quantum
mechanics ;)

> general relativity has been tested to the 8th decimal place.  and has
> real world applications, just like how engineers still use newton's
> laws.

Just to elaborate on Pete's point: relativity and quantum mechanics could
be said to have proved Newton "wrong," but Newton's laws remain such an
elegant approximation of what happens at a macroscopic scale that they are
for all practical purposes true under a whole lot of circumstances.
Relativity and quantum mechanics are much better approximations of exactly
what is going on, but are mathematically cumbersome for most human-scale
objects.  As Pete says, probably none of these is ultimate truth, but
ultimate truth isn't going to overturn any of them.  It's also only likely
to get weirder.

> is either theory the ultimate truth?   heck no.  but then again, not too
> many people think we'll ever have an ultimate truth.

Not too many people?  I think a good portion of the United States populace
believes that we already have ultimate truth, and that it is *all* stored
in some old books written in the Middle East.

> was einstein right?  let me put it this way:
>
> einstein was about as right as copernicus, kepler, galileo, newton,
> heisenberg, schrodinger, fenyman, yukawa and gell-man.

Hmm.  Interesting list.

--Alex

"He knows everything about nothing,
And not very much about that.
If you know someone who knows what he knows,
Then you know Henry's cat."
                           --opening song to "Henry's Cat,"
                             (a children's cartoon I saw in England)

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