Examination of Sheldrakes claim the speed of light is not constant

Discussion in 'Critical Discussions Among Proponents and Skeptics' started by steve001, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. steve001

    steve001 Member

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    Some of you may be familiar with his claim, it's based upon seemingly odd measured values of it taken between 1930-45. Well, there's a reason for those discrepancies, which he seems to have been unaware of when he made those claims in one of his books. Read on:
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  2. Hmmm, looking into this brought this post up from Thought Criminal:
    The Speed of Light May Not Be Constant

     
  3. More:
    Rupert Sheldrake’s Response to Banned TED Video: The Science Delusion

    =-=-=

    More on Sheldrake's works in this thread.
     
  4. JCearley

    JCearley New

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    I seem to remember that in that talk, his "attacking the scientific infrastructure" consists of asking people why it appears there are fluctuations in the records and physicists reportedly taking the accusation very hostile.
     
  5. steve001

    steve001 Member

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    I know both of you know physicists spend their entire careers testing theory, not upholding orthodoxy.
     
  6. steve001

    steve001 Member

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    The hostility if there was any wasn't for the challenge Sheldrake raised. If they were hostile they would have been so for the similar reasons a geologist might be hostile to a creationist declaring the Earth is a few thousand years old.

    The question you should be asking is this one. If Sheldrake is on to something why haven't the worlds physicists seized upon this "discrepancy" decades ago?

    As I recall now, this idea of his is from the self authored book "The Science Delusion" My take on that book is similar to the authors *(Brian Koberlein) impression. That book is an attack on science, something I suspect arises from main stream science not seriously considering Sheldrakes personal reality narrative.


    * He has the credentials https://briankoberlein.com/
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  7. Saiko

    Saiko Member

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    lol. Sheldrake is far from the only one who has pointed this out. Quite a few heretics have. Of course the orthodoxy maintains that it's - well, heresy. lol. As for who those heretics are . .do your own seeking. Thankfully I'm well past the point where I feel the need to make a case. I feel certain those who are ready to know certain things will and those who aren't . . .you get the point. ;)
     
  8. Reece

    Reece Member

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    My understanding is that the 'seemingly odd discrepancies' didn't end in the 40s. The definition of the speed of light was changed to accommodate or those very discrepancies that still occur.
     
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  9. steve001

    steve001 Member

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  10. Sheldrake's credentials:

    "At Clare College, Cambridge, Sheldrake studied biology and biochemistry, and after a year at Harvard studying philosophy and history of science, he returned to Cambridge where he gained a PhD in biochemistry for his work in plant development and plant hormones."

    Interestingly enough it was his time at Harvard that led him to morphic resonance, as noted in Skeptical Investigations:

    =-=-=

    Lee Smolin on the changing Laws of Nature:



    Lee Smolin musing about the Principle of Precedence, which is rather akin to Morphic Resonance:

    Smolin's credentials:

    'Born in New York City, Smolin attended Hampshire College and Harvard University. After postdocs at IAS Princeton, ITP Santa Barbara, and the University of Chicago he held faculty positions at Yale, Syracuse and Penn State University. A Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Royal Society of Canada, Smolin was awarded the 2009 Klopsteg Memorial Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers and in 2008 was voted 21st on a list of the 100 most influential public intellectuals by Prospect and Foreign Policy Magazines. He is also adjunct professor of physics at the University of Waterloo and a member of the graduate faculty of the philosophy department at the University of Toronto.'
     
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  11. Former Dining Room Set

    Former Dining Room Set New

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    I love it whenever skeptics defend the constants. Of course, as non-idiots know, the whole idea of there being constants in nature is a cultural assumption that comes out of religion. So the irony is, when Sheldrake is attacked for his proposal of constants perhaps being more like habits, the skeptic is actually being an adherent to monotheism.

     
  12. Bucky

    Bucky Member

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    Exactly. The speed of light had to be made a constant precisely for that reason.

    Here's a discussion about standard unit of measure work. Listen carefully at around 8':00"

     
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  13. steve001

    steve001 Member

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    I don't see why some of you are using the argument from authority? Actually I do, but you can't win an argument through speculation even if it's an expert speculating, ( even the idea of relativity had to be experimentally tested). Speculation, which is what Smolin is doing, isn't how an idea is proven, proving an idea has to be done experimentally, there are no short cuts. As far as I know Smolin hasn't tested his speculation experimentally.

    Bucky I don't see any sort of gotcha at 8 min. What do you think you see? Bucky you should have watched the second video.
    Demise of the Kilogram (extra footage)
     
  14. You misapplied the argument from authority. The point is that people are asking about whether the laws and constants can change as well as what preserves their consistency from moment to moment. (More on this here.)

    And no one has said Sheldrake is 100% right about his conjecture - and that includes Sheldrake! The point is that asking whether the supposed constants change is a legitimate scientific question.
     
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  15. Patty_Molor

    Patty_Molor New

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    You are going to make Steve001's head explode. Keep it simple.
     
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  16. fls

    fls Member

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    It is helpful to distinguish between the usefulness of expertise, arguments from authority and speculation from authority, as Steve pointed out.

    It takes substantial background knowledge and experience to be familiar with the research which has been performed and what conclusions can reasonably be drawn from that research. An expert source is useful only to the extent to which they represent that information, that they are conveying ideas for which evidence has been established.

    Individual speculation in the absence of evidence isn't useful in any case, regardless of the cleverness of the speculator or even their expertise. There isn't much point in providing links to non-experts trying to interpret experimental physics results (The Thought Criminal) or speculation by experts in the absence of evidence (Smolin). It's fine for people who are looking to bolster their beliefs. But not for discussion which is focused on what ideas may or may not be true.

    Linda
     
  17. Except Thought Criminal's point was how Coyne misrepresented what Sheldrake said. I don't think he was trying to present himself as an authority on physics?

    The reason to bring up Smolin is to show that asking about variability in laws and constants is a legitimate question.

    That said, I'd agree with you that even the presence of variability in supposed constants wouldn't show morphic resonance or any other belief is definitively true. (That that stay constant is itself an interesting metaphysical question though.)

    So it's not clear what beliefs would be bolstered here?
     
  18. fls

    fls Member

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    I think the problem is that this is a gross misrepresentation on Sheldrake's part, and is why he has received negative pushback. Yes, these are legitimate questions, which is why the process has been and continues to be about asking those questions. It isn't the case that the actual scientists made declarations of dogma a priori and are now working desperately to make the observations fit their dogma. Instead, they are conveying the results of their careful observations with respect to those questions. Sheldrake's pretense that he is offering some sort of novel approach to these ideas is probably irritating to those people actually working within the field.

    Linda
     
  19. fls

    fls Member

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    I agree, he was not presenting himself as an expert on physics. But in his attack on Coyne, he thought he was presenting legitimate a legitimate counter claim to what Coyne had said.

    Okay, but then that just demonstrates that Sheldrake is wrong about scientists treating this as "dogma", when you have mainstream physicists treating this as a question.

    Linda
     
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