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CATEGORY: Questioning the Foundations Essay Contest (2012) [back]
TOPIC: Misleading Assumptions by Robert L. Oldershaw [refresh]

Author Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Jun. 15, 2012 @ 12:21 GMT
Essay Abstract

Three possible fundamental assumptions that are untested or inadequately tested are: 1. that the gravitational coupling constant is an absolute constant, 2. that strict reductionism is valid for nature's entire hierarchy, 3. that scale is absolute.

Author Bio

I am an independent researcher in the field of cosmology. Since 1988 I have been loosely affiliated with Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts and do my research there and at the University of Massachusetts. I am primarily interested in fractal cosmological models that involve discrete self-similarity. For approximately 30 years I have worked on a particular model referred to as the Self-Similar Cosmological Paradigm.

Alan Lowey wrote on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 09:43 GMT
Dear Robert,

I totally agree about the fractal nature of cosmology and how scale is important in a t.o.e. My essay of the last FQXi competition focuses on just these issues and is concerned with the self-similar creation of structure from the starting point of a void.

report post as inappropriate
Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 14:32 GMT
Hello Alan,

I am pleased to hear that we share a similar vision for the new paradigm, which is so badly needed today in theoretical physics after 40 years in the doldrums of Platonic fantasies. The LHC has demonstrated this failure by the continuing no-shows for "WIMPs", "supersymmetry", "extra dimensions", and a host of other poorly motivated pseudoscience.

However, on one point we emphatically disagree. Discrete Scale Relativity unequivocally states that the Universe is eternal and did not start with a "void". Nature is a infinite fractal hierarchy with exact, but discrete, self-similarity. There is no "beginning". The cosmos has always existed and it always will. The very remarkable properties of this unique new paradigm for the 21st century are thoroughly discussed at http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw .

Thanks again for your interest in Discrete Scale Relativity and its implications for real preogress in theoretical physics.

Best,

Rob O

Steve Dufourny replied on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 22:33 GMT
It seems to me that a lot of scientists confound the physicality and its walls and the light behind the wall, but its is just a suggestion of course !!!

report post as inappropriate

Author Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 14:36 GMT
Oops, that's progress, not "preogress". I'm not into coining words.

RLO

Alan Lowey wrote on Jun. 25, 2012 @ 09:55 GMT
Hi again,

Just to state that when I say "void", I mean a 3-dimensional bubble inside a 4-dimensional wraparound universe. Some of the 'outside energy' gets in through to the newly created bubble within it. It was my first basic starting point of reality on a cosmological scale after listening to my older brother who was studying astrophysics at Leeds University incidentally. During the structural creation phase before the big crunch/bang, gravity particles would corkscrew around this higher sphere to emerge as Dark Energy, the trigger for collapse of the spinning helical mega-structures of self-similarity. Archimedes was onto a t.o.e. with his Antikythera mechanism imo, but unfortunately his brilliance was abruptly ended with the rise of continental monotheism. Cheers and good luck in the competition.

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Jun. 25, 2012 @ 14:23 GMT
You might want to try this.

Go to http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw and click on the page "Galactic Scale Self-Similarity" and read section II. "Preview".

It is only 6 sentences long, but it summarizes Discrete Scale Relativity's explanation of what the Big Bang was all about. Not surprisingly, it turns out to be a common astrophysical phenomenon, but just on a far greater length/ time/mass scale than we are used to, or can easily imagine.

If the "Preview" intrigues you and you want a more detailed argument for this interpretation of the Big Bang, then read the whole page.

Best, Rob O

Discrete Scale Relativity

Fractal Cosmology

Alan Lowey replied on Jun. 26, 2012 @ 09:26 GMT
Hi Robert,

Okay, I just looked at your reference webpage. It's quite an impressive site and the writing very detailed with a keen mathematical bent it seems. I have a question for you though, 'What is your opinion on 'dark matter' and spiral galaxy rotation curves?' I don't mean to be rude, but until you clearly give an explanation I'm slightly reluctant to be drawn into your full discourse.

Kind regards,

Alan

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Jun. 26, 2012 @ 14:31 GMT
Hello Alan,

The central prediction of Discrete Scale Relativity is the exact identity and the exact mass spectrum of the dark matter.

This is discussed many times throughout the website! Published papers in the "Selected Papers" section explicitly discuss the whole dark matter issue theoretically and empirically. I do not see how one could take more than a superficial look at the website and not see exactly what I predict for the galactic dark matter.

I also believe that the spiral arms and flat rotation curves of disk galaxies are the product primarily of frame-dragging by the central singluarity whose mass is many orders of magnitude greater than conventionally assumed. This conventional error results from using the wrong value of G for Galactic Scale systems. Only the combination of G and M can be measured for Galactic Scale objects. That is a fact that deserves more acknowledgement and attention.

Understanding nature takes real dedication and an effort that is objective, persistent and largely empirical.

RLO

Discrete Scale Relativity

http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw

nmann wrote on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 19:49 GMT
"2. ... that strict reductionism is valid for nature's entire hierarchy ..."

Indeed. See the first post (following the author's) on this thread:

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1321

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Jul. 10, 2012 @ 23:01 GMT
One can well understand why the fundamental assumption of strict reductionism was embraced for so long. As science gained a full understanding of stellar scale structure and dynamics, a detailed understanding of the structure and processes of biological systems, and a decent heuristic understanding of atomic scale systems, reductionism seemed highly appropriate to each of these three cases. It was natural to go the next step and assume that strict reductionism applies throughout nature's infinite hierarchy.

However, if one studies systems from all the observable scales that are available, and does so without the bias of previous assumptions, one sees that nature has a fundamental fractal organization and dynamics, with discrete cosmological self-similarity. As noted in my essay, we have good evidence for the appropriateness of limited reductionism within any cosmological scale, but a strong indication that strict reductionism is definitely not the right assumption for the infinite hierarchy.

To understand nature adequately we must recognize that a pulsar is just as fundamental as an excited subatomic nucleus undergoing de-excitation, and that the stellar scale Kerr-Newman ultracompacts that comprise the galactic dark matter are as rigorously fundamental as the protons, electrons and alpha particles that dominate the atomic scale of the hierarchy.

Thanks for your comment. I looked at what you linked, but I am not sure I understand your point there.

nmann replied on Jul. 11, 2012 @ 01:44 GMT
Reducibility means simulability. You have a process with defined sequences, causal steps. It can be simulated. That's reductionism in action.

In particle physics, QFT, the simulation problem as it relates to bosons was brilliantly finessed sixty years ago with the Monte Carlo method. It took a lot longer (the past 10-15 years) to apply MC to fermions, and then only to weakly-interacting ones. Strongly-interacting fermions appear to be intractable.

How do particles, particle-waves, become solid matter? What's the biggest barrier to explaining the process? The barrier is the inability to put strongly-interacting fermions on the lattice, as they say in the trade. Zaanen calls it "the nightmare of modern physics."

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Jul. 11, 2012 @ 03:14 GMT
Apropos of nothing: I wonder what the hype-masters like F. Wilczek and L. Krauss are going to say if the latest resonance turns out to be a spin 2 particle?

James Lee Hoover wrote on Jul. 12, 2012 @ 21:07 GMT
Robert,

For some time I have liked this poem:

"To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour"

-William Blake

Didn't know its significance in terms of scalar reality for a long time.

Jim

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Jul. 13, 2012 @ 00:09 GMT
Hi Jim,

This little poem by the strange and wonderful William Blake has appealed to me ever since I was an adolescent.

I use it as one of the "philosophical essence" quotations on my website. It captures the feeling of relativity of scale quite nicely.

Here is another quotation that has appealed greatly to me of late:

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." - Albert Einstein

Amen. Time to show the Platonists, and their misleading over-idealizations, the door. Time to start studying nature again, instead of analytical abstractions. Time for natural philosophers to rise again to their proper leadership roles in fundamental physics.

Robert L. Oldershaw

http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw

Discrete Scale Relativity

Georgina Parry wrote on Jul. 12, 2012 @ 21:44 GMT
Dear Robert Oldershaw,

I was a little surprised by the brevity of your essay but I think that may be misleading because you have introduced some very big ideas in that short space. I would have found more background discussion of those ideas helpful to me because I am not a trained physicist, astronomer or cosmologist.I feel that you have just given me a small appetiser and now I have to go and search for the main meal. Which may have been your intention.From what Alan writes it sounds like it is waiting on your web site.

To contrast with your own experience, the limit of my practical astronomy has been trying to interest my son's in the subject. Tying to identify the features on the moon, compared to a small moon globe, and looking at Venus with a not very powerful telescope.

I think that patterns including fractals have perhaps been rather neglected due to a prevailing reductionist attitude within physics, that has sought to explain what exists from a hypothetical bang and inflation rather than an ongoing process of self organisation.I have touched upon pattern generation control at different scales, from a biological perspective, in my essay.I can understand your assumption 2.I still don't understand what "scale is absolute" means. False assumptions 3.

That the gravitational constant may not be constant over different scales seems a good suggestion to me. I think that perhaps at the smallest scale particles are unable to cause the kind of disturbance of the environment that is responsible for gravitational attraction of other bodies and deflection of light from its default path.

I hope you generate lots of interest in your work.Good luck.

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Anonymous replied on Jul. 13, 2012 @ 00:31 GMT
Hi Georgina,

I am not trying to win contests or prizes, but rather to get people thinking about a completely new paradigm for understanding nature.

My very brief essay, which could have been expanded into at least 3 books, is just an invitation to some key ideas of the new paradigm. My website is the comprehensive resource for studying this new discrete fractal paradigm that I call Discrete Scale Relativity.

Absolute scale is a simple idea. If every hydrogen atom, neutron star or galaxy had an absolute size, mass and spin period, then this would be absolute scale.

On the other hand, if each of the discrete self-similar cosmological Scales has its own proton, H atom, etc., then there are an infinite number of differently "sized" protons, H atoms, etc., and that would make their scale relative to the particular cosmological Scale that you arbitrarily choose as your reference Scale.

In other words if there are an infinite number of cosmological Scales and each has its own hydrogen atom, then what is the "size" of the H atom and is it big or small? The answers only make sense within a given Scale. They are not appropriate for nature as a whole because scale is relative.

And in still other words, absolute scale works for small discrete parts of nature's hierarchy, like the Atomic Scale or the Stellar Scale or the Galactic Scale, but not for the entire hierarchy.

Robert L. Oldershaw

http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw

Discrete Scale Relativity

report post as inappropriate

Georgina Parry replied on Jul. 13, 2012 @ 01:47 GMT
Hi Robert,

thank you for explaining. I'm going to have to get my head around that. I think I understand what you mean. A big galaxy might have a big hydrogen atom and a self similar small galaxy might have a small hydrogen atom. ? - You are right the absolute scale is an assumption. I had never really thought about that before. So your plan to get people thinking is working!

report post as inappropriate

Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Jul. 13, 2012 @ 14:30 GMT
Actually things are a little different in a discrete fractal hierarchy with exact self-similarity.

Galaxies correspond to subatomic particles: nuclei and particles shortly after a supernova explosion [the "big bang"] in an object on the Scale just above the Galactic Scale. Galaxies are very compact (relative to their Scale), move at high velocities (100-700 km/sec) and are part of a global expansion.

Galaxies contain pulsars. Pulsars contain subatomic nuclei.

Galaxies, pulsars and nuclei are the exact same thing on different cosmological Scales, so long as you carefully use their physical characteristics to make sure you have identified specific analogues (say an alpha particle from each Scale).

Don't worry - learning a completely different way to understand nature takes some time. But once you work at it a bit the insights and understanding come increasingly fast.

The degree of unification offered by Discrete Scale Relativity vastly exceeds anything that has come before.

RLO

Discrete Scale Relativity

Dirk Pons wrote on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 08:54 GMT
Robert

I like your idea that the scale of things is highly stratified. I realise your concept is primarily directed at the cosmology side of the scale, but I can see the relevance to the tiny scale. If there were scale effects -from whatever cause- then there could be discontinuities in the manifestation of the physics. Which in turn could explain why quantum coherence does not apply to living cats, for example.

Thank you

Dirk

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Jul. 19, 2012 @ 14:37 GMT
Hi Dirk,

Assuming that Discrete Scale Relativity applies only in the cosmological realm is not correct. It applies to ..., Subquantum, Atomic, Stellar, Galactic, ..., Scales. It unifies the physics of all scales of nature.

-----------------------------------------------

7/18 "manifesto" from nature online:

String theory has failed to even generate a single definitive prediction after 44 years of hype.

SUSY promises much, but nature (via LHC, Tevatron, etc) says: "No, no, no".

The more you objectively study the "Higgs Mechanism" the more it sounds like it was cribbed off the back of a cereal box. Expect multiple additional epicycles to keep the thing floating.

The standard model has 7 serious problems that clearly show that it is purely heuristic model-building.

Conclusion: We need to start over with a new paradigm for the 21st century. New ideas from a new generation of theoretical physicists. Trying to patch up the old paradigms of cosmology and particle physics is just going to keep us wandering in the desert for another 40 years.

The new paradigm will almost certainly be based around the discrete cosmological self-similarity of Discrete Scale Relativity.

Robert L. Oldershaw

http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw

Fractal Cosmology

Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Jul. 27, 2012 @ 02:09 GMT

If you cannot resolve the vacuum energy density crisis,

if you cannot explain the fine structure constant,

if you cannot identify the dark matter,

if you cannot predict the masses of fundamental particles,

if you cannot reconcile General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics,

if you cannot explain why galaxies exist, or come in radically different flavors like ellipticals and spirals,

then you do not know diddly-squat about the cosmos.

Particle physicists seem to be making it up as they go. Here's a nice example: They could not find a single free quark, so they made it a "law" that quarks are hidden inside other particles (just so!).

It's mainly Ptolemaic epicycles in theoretical particle physics, no matter how vociferously they sell it to a credulous public.

Robert L. Oldershaw

http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw

Discrete Scale Relativity

Yuri Danoyan wrote on Aug. 11, 2012 @ 14:52 GMT
Hi,Robert

Are you familiar with this book?

http://www.amazon.com/Scale-Relativity-And-Fractal-Spac
e-Time/dp/1848166508

report post as inappropriate
Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Aug. 11, 2012 @ 21:43 GMT
Hi Yuri,

Yes, I am quite aware of all of Nottale's work.

Whereas I applaud many parts of his general outlook and his call for a fractal model of nature, I find the following problems with his proposed paradigm.

1. Nottale assumes that there are upper and lower limits to nature's hierarchy.

2. Nottale accepts the conventional scaling for gravitation and believes in the conventional Planck scale.

3. Nottale downplays the crucial role that dark matter plays in cosmology.

My research suggests that each of these assumptions is profoundly wrong, especially #1.

His Scale Relativity may apply within any single given discrete cosmological Scale of nature's hierarchy, but I seriously doubt that it is the correct fractal paradigm for the entire infinite and eternal hierarchy.

Yuri Danoyan wrote on Aug. 11, 2012 @ 15:07 GMT
Your point of view close to Spinoza's philosophy a religion of nature.Nature - is the cause of itself(Causa sui).He was the closest in their outlook for the Einstein.

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Aug. 11, 2012 @ 21:57 GMT
I have been a great admirer of Spinoza since I was made aware of his work by the work of Einstein.

I firmly believe that Spinoza has given humanity the final word on the true identity of "God", although very few seem to agree with Spinoza, Goethe and Einstein that the infinite eternal hierarchical Universe, with its elegant laws, principles and symmetries, is all in all.

God = Nature = everything natural and nothing supernatural.

If others need a more anthropomorphic God, let them believe what they will. I would only argue that they are selling God short, in fact infinitely short.

Yuri Danoyan wrote on Aug. 11, 2012 @ 23:58 GMT
Robert

You can read my posts in essay of Philip Giibbs.

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Aug. 12, 2012 @ 16:33 GMT
Robert

There are all my observations.

http://vixra.org/author/yuri_danoyan

My be you can catch some intersection with your interest?

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Michael James Goodband wrote on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 16:09 GMT
Dear Robert,

I totally agree with you on questioning the 3 assumptions as given in the abstract, but for different reasons from your self-similar cosmology where I can see how they would be refuted. Just taking the idea seriously that the metric-field equations of General Relativity describe a closed physical surface of space-time is enough to question whether the 'constants' are really constant in an absolute sense. For a closed universe with radius R, physical analysis leads to the conclusion that the cosmological constant must depend upon R, and that GR formulated on a local basis could have a gravitational constant dependent upon R. Given that 2 of the 3 'constants' would then vary with the radius R of the universe, the suspicion would be that the speed of light would also vary with R, which would obviously effect conclusions from astronomic observations if correct. Assumption 1 being wrong - ticked.

Of course in GR, the scale R is not physically defined in a properly measurable sense and extensions to GR by adding extra dimensions can inherent this feature, as my Kaluza-Klein theory does. In a KKT like mine the compactified dimensions have the Planck scale L and the physical scale of the universe is then physically defined in units of L, ie. R/L is a physical quantity. But then L is only measurable in terms of itself, and so L is not an absolute physical scale. Assumption 3 being wrong - ticked. I understand that you don't like such cosmological models with upper and lower length scales.

For me, assumption 2 is wrong because the last step down in scale is blocked by mathematical incompleteness and so reductionism fails for this reason. Although this refutation of the 3 assumptions is different from yours, the key can also be viewed as being a reassessment of scaling in GR.

Best wishes,

Michael

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 23:02 GMT
Hi Michael,

For many years I have tried to interest people in the possibility that G is not an absolute constant, but rather has an infinite series of discrete values - one for each cosmological Scale (i.e., ..., Subquantum, Atomic, Stellar, Galactic, Metagalactic, ...).

Two relevant points are:

1. Einstein put the conventional Newtonian G into GR because it gave the right answers for the macrocosm. However, nothing in GR requires that the value of G be the absolute conventional Newtonian value.

2. If one seriously considers the possibility that G is not absolute, but rather has a infinite series of discrete values - one for each self-similar cosmological Scale (i.e., ..., Subquantum, Atomic, Stellar, Galactic, Metagalactic, ...), then one has the makings of a new discrete self-similar paradigm for understanding nature on all Scales in a highly unified and elegant manner.

Maybe if Discrete Scale Relativity's definitive predictions concerning the exact mass spectrum of the galactic dark matter are verified (say, by the NuSTAR X-ray telescope), then those who have studiously ignored this new paradigm for over 3 decades will be inclined to learn about its true potential.

Best,

Rob O

Peter Jackson wrote on Aug. 21, 2012 @ 19:35 GMT
Robert

I also checked out your website, the fractal model is very close to the one I have explored and describe, developed from astronomy as well as physics. The form is based on the same toroidal (nuclear tokamak) form and also discussed in last years essay (2020 Vision).

The scale also includes each universe, consistent with CMBR anisotropy, it's helical resolution, and the 'axis of evil' equivalent to AGN/quasar jets, as described here; Feb 2011 Helical CMBR Asymmetry, Pre-Big Bang State, Dark Matter and the Axis of Evil. http://vixra.org/abs/1102.0016

The form gives multiple spin axis. At the lowest scale is the fundamental twin vortex, again forming the toroid. I will get back to your website. in the meantinme I hope you may read my own essay and comment, the aspect considered showing how Relativity and QM may be one.

Thanks, and best regards

Peter.

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Aug. 21, 2012 @ 22:36 GMT
Hello Peter,

Does you research lead to any definitive predictions?

These are traditional scientific predictions that are made prior to testing, feasibly tested, quantitative, non-adjustable (i.e., non-fudgable), and unique to the theory being tested.

Peter Jackson replied on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 11:31 GMT
Robert

A bit of an embarrassment of novel predictions arose, even before the research, which was mainly trying to falsify the conceptual ontology by proving some of the seemingly ridiculous predictions wrong.

I remember the very first one (of scores) well. It was that 'lensing' delays, from the first 2 nanosecond delay found by Shapiro radar ranging Venus near the sun, would be...

view entire post

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Peter Jackson wrote on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 15:04 GMT
Robert

Sorry, the list runs to almost 5 pages. It seems you may not count that as succinct.

It also predicts that starlight passing through the ionosphere will refracted to c in the (non rotating) ECI frame, then when passing into the atmosphere will change speed to do c/n in the rotating ECRF, thus producing scintillation, ellipticity, scattering, and the need for the addition of a significant refractive component of

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Peter Jackson wrote on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 15:07 GMT
..

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Peter Jackson wrote on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 15:08 GMT
..up to 34 arc mins at 90 degree azimuth to achieve accurate predictions for stellar aberration.

Best wishes

Peter

PS some bizarre pseudo-physics going on with this posting system! 3rd time lucky!

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Peter Jackson wrote on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 16:32 GMT
Robert

And the bars of barred spiral galaxies of course (prediction No.40 odd). Made up of the inner arm matter of spent AGN quasar jets.

(non succinct version and links on Hope He's blog).

Best wishes

Peter

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 23:09 GMT
The efforts of John Baez notwithstanding, it is virtually impossible to devise a perfect test for crackpottery. Some of the lions of physics would have scored badly on JB's test.

But like art, wherein 'I cannot deine great art, but I know it when I see it', one can unambiguously identify a 'lost-without-a-reliable-compass pseudoscientist when one is burdened with enough of his thinking.

Discrete Scale Relativity definitively predicts that the galactic dark matter is composed of stellar-mass and planetary-mass black holes. The theory also gives the exact mass spectrum of these objects. The prediction is prior, feasible, quantitative, completely non-adjustable and totally unique to DSR.

NuSTAR may observe the high-mass tail of this population, and Sumi et al [Nature, 18 May 2011] may have already reported the discovery of the planetary-mass component.

See how easy it is when you are working with a scientific paradigm?

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Peter Jackson replied on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 11:33 GMT
Robert

I've heard Baez described as the definitive 'crackpot' in terms of clogging up the arteries of improved understanding of nature. But many non mainstream theorists have a similar problem, a closed fixation on just their own way of looking at nature, mainstream or not, that prevents them seeing or even looking for other aspects. That re-establishes the common 'inside the box' thinking at each new level. That is perhaps what leads to the real blinkered 'pseudoscience' crackpottery.

I'm a great supporter of the viewpoint of Sir William Bragg, so oft proven correct but still so oft ignored; "The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them."

From that view I confirm I absolutely agree with your propositions as one view of a great truth that we need to better present to 'the gatekeepers.' But there are always other aspects giving a proposition the far greater power and clarity of dimensionality.

As far as discrete scale relativity is concerned I find is has great consistencies with the DFM ontology. As an astronomer I know a black hole as a toroidal AGN also extant at stellar scales and in fact scale invariant, which implements the process of re-ionization of matter via the well known (in astronomy) accretion discs and quasar jet emissions. Taking the broader not narrower view, that seems to join and reinforce your model exceptionally well, and has overwhelming physical evidence.

But I suspect you may not agree, and be tempted turn away to look only back inside the box you8 have so well crafted. Is that really true?

Peter

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 15:15 GMT

As a clear example, I gave you Discrete Scale Relativity's version of what I asked for.

Gurcharn Singh Sandhu wrote on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 06:52 GMT
Dear Robert,

As you know, with arbitrary assumptions we can build wonderful fantasies. But to come close to building a model of reality, we must use barest minimum of assumptions and such assumptions that are used must be plausible and compatible with physical reality. For this reason I think FQXi has chosen a most appropriate topic for this contest.

You are also requested to read and comment my essay titled "Wrong Assumptions of Relativity Hindering Fundamental Research in Physical Space".

Best Wishes

G S Sandhu

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Anonymous replied on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 15:25 GMT
Special and General Relativity are the most conceptually elegant theories we currently possess.

They have been tested in a large number of fundamental ways and have never been contradicted empirically.

I think fqxi has opened a Pandora's box of pseudo-science, and finding intelligent discussions about where our assumptions might be leading us astray is like searching for diamonds in a coal bin.

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Aug. 25, 2012 @ 13:07 GMT
Anonymous,

I can appreciate your frustration, but try to look at it this way: If among all the "coal" one finds a "diamond" that would have otherwise been overlooked would it not have been worthwhile to have this contest? Besides, even in mainstream science, most ideas in fundamental physics will eventually turn out to be wrong.

I have found that by skimming an essay and looking for some of the following characteristics it is fairly easy to quickly identify which essays deserve more time at the expense of the others:

1. Ideas are formulated clearly, concretely and precisely

2. Outrageous claims are avoided

3. Strong claims are supported by mathematics

4. Subjective opinions are not passed off as factual statements

Perhaps you might find this useful.

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Robert H McEachern replied on Aug. 25, 2012 @ 13:33 GMT
The problem is not that the theories do not match the data. They do.

The problem is that the "meaning" that has be slapped onto the theories does not match reality.

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Peter Jackson wrote on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 16:15 GMT
Robert

I'd thought the origin of all bars in galaxies was quite succinct, and fulfilled the same requirements. I agree there are precious few in physics generally, and yours certainly also, very rarely, qualifies, which is why I'm happy to discuss.

Did you not agree, or have a problem with it?

It's also difficult to pick a 'best' one from such a diverse range. You didn't pick a topic, but please do so if you wish.

Best wishes

Peter

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James Putnam wrote on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 18:07 GMT
Dear Robert L. Oldershaw,

James

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 22:44 GMT
Interesting comment.

Others seem to have no trouble finding my essay.

The essay identifies 3 assumptions that I think have led physics badly astray.

I do not waste words, or time with cranks.

If you want to learn something potentially revolutionary about the world you live in, read the essay and then go to the website to see where alternative assumptions lead to.

If you want to toot your own horn [yes I have already seen more than I care to see at sci.physics.foundations], toot it somewhere else, thank you very much.

James A Putnam replied on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 22:57 GMT
"I do not waste words, or time with cranks." Ok.

James

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Aug. 25, 2012 @ 20:23 GMT
Robert,

See my essay post about logarithmic spirale.

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Aug. 25, 2012 @ 22:11 GMT
See Peter Woit's blog "Not Even Wrong" for a new discussion today on the untestable pseudo-science being hyped by A. Linde, who thinks that the SUSY/SUGRA/strings/multiverse/anthropic reasoning rubbish is the only way to make sense of the cosmos.

It is nice to see that a small minority of physicists sees the danger to science posed by the currently fashionable return to Ptolemaic pseudo-science.

Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 12:22 GMT
Hi Robert,

please see some new pages in the Infinite Hierarchical Nesting of Matter : Similarity of matter levels , SPF symmetry , Stellar constants , Strong gravitation , Strong gravitational constant , Scale dimension , Gravitational torsion field , Extended special theory of relativity, Metric theory of relativity, Covariant theory of gravitation .

My essay as you can see is devoted to the Theory of Infinite Hierarchical Nesting of Matter as a whole, there is a shot overview of it.

Sergey Fedosin Essay

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 15:03 GMT
It appears to me that fractal modeling and fundamental self-similarity are not of much interest to people in theoretical physics these days.

This has always seemed a bit odd to me since fractal structure/processes and self-similarity are ubiquitous in virtually every phenomena of nature that can be observed reasonably directly.

The only places that self-similarity, fractals and hierarchical modeling are absent are in the Platonic fantasy fizzics of postmodern pseudo-science like string theory, SUSY and WIMPy cosmology.

Only dramatic observational discoveries (probably relating to the galactic dark matter and/or the unexpected physics of astrophysical systems like exoplanet systems) will lead to a change in the current mediocre group-think that passes for physics.

The basic principles of discrete self-similar cosmology are published and tested and ready to be developed into a more analytically sophisticated theory.

All we can do is wait for nature to convince a deluded theoretical physics community that they have gone way off track and need to rethink everything in the context of a discrete fractal paradigm.

Best,

RLO

James Putnam replied on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 02:46 GMT
Dear Robert L Oldershaw,

"...the Platonic fantasy fizzics of postmodern pseudo-science like string theory, SUSY and WIMPy cosmology.

"...current mediocre group-think that passes for physics."

And the correct direction for all to follow is?:

"The basic principles of discrete self-similar cosmology are published and tested and ready to be developed into a more analytically sophisticated theory."

But there are obstacles to be overcome?:

"All we can do is wait for nature to convince a deluded theoretical physics community that they have gone way off track and need to rethink everything in the context of a discrete fractal paradigm."

And nature has been revealed here? I don't think so. I have seen too much said that I think is easily not natural only theoretical. Theory is an invention of the mind. If it wasn't, it wouldn't even be needed. Empirical evidence would be the source of natural knowledge which, of course, must be the case. But just in case I am wrong about your information:

From an early message of yours:

"Maybe if Discrete Scale Relativity's definitive predictions concerning the exact mass spectrum of the galactic dark matter are verified (say, by the NuSTAR X-ray telescope), then those who have studiously ignored this new paradigm for over 3 decades will be inclined to learn about its true potential."

And from another one:

"The central prediction of Discrete Scale Relativity is the exact identity and the exact mass spectrum of the dark matter."

What came first, the empirical evidence or the prediction? Just wondering if the theory is predicated upon prior empirical knowledge, or, if the empirical knowledge was unknown, and, the prediction predated its discovery?

James Putnam

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 14:54 GMT
Mr Putnam says: "What came first, the empirical evidence or the prediction? Just wondering if the theory is predicated upon prior empirical knowledge, or, if the empirical knowledge was unknown, and, the prediction predated its discovery?"

-------------------------------------------------
---------

Discrete Scale Relativity has passed 3 definitive predictions relating to pulsar-planets, trillions of unbound planetary-mass "nomad" objects, and M-dwarf planet abundance anomalies. In each case, and for anything that qualifies as a definitive scientific prediction, the prediction must be in print before the observational test of the prediction. If a prediction is "adjusted" to fit the empirical results, then that is pseudo-science. The prediction must be an empirically testable extrapolation from the empirically-based foundation of the theory.

You appear to be operating from a foundation of almost no understanding of Discrete Scale Relativity.

The development of DSR was predominantly guided by empirical evidence of nature, especially the physical properties of fundamental systems on the Atomic, Stellar and Galactic Scales of nature's hierarchy.

Once the empirical evidence led to the basic principles of the discrete self-similar paradigm, and once empirical evidence led to the discrete self-similar scaling equations that are the heart of the theory, then it was possible to derive at least 12 definitive predictions that can be tested now, and in principle a huge number of additional predictions.

All this is carefully laid out at my website for anyone with an interest in learning about Discrete Scale Relativity. There are also many papers posted to arxiv.org and Independent.academia.edu.

After you have a working knowledge of DSR, I would be happy to answer your questions and comments.

James A Putnam replied on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 04:40 GMT
Dear Robert L. Oldershaw,

Your website is some other thing. The essay contest is this thing. I asked a question which in your first few sentences you almost gave the appearance of an almost reasonable answer:

"Once the empirical evidence led to the basic principles of the discrete self-similar paradigm, and once empirical evidence led to the discrete self-similar scaling equations that are the heart of the theory, then it was possible to derive at least 12 definitive predictions that can be tested now, and in principle a huge number of additional predictions."

Of course it did. What good is a theory that does not properly fit the patterns observed in empirical evidence. Afterall, regardless of what theorists claim for their own gratification, it is the continued usefulness of their accepted patterns of empirical evidence that allow for further accurate predictions.

Where do you add something novel that is not credited to the patterns of previous empirical evidence? Where is the great discovery that is not a simple addition to the extrapolation of known empirical patterns?

I will evaluate your website publicly after you justify your non-essay contribution to this essay contest. When there is a website contest, then, I will evaluate your website publicly.

So far as I could tell from your present answer, you have borrowed from prior knowledge given to you by experimental physicists.

James Putnam

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 14:25 GMT
Mr. Putman,

1. You appear to have little understanding of the Self-Similar Cosmological Paradigm and the theory of Discrete Scale Relativity, which applies in the case of exact cosmological self-similarity.

2. You also seem to have an idiosyncratic understanding of how science works.

3. I do not suffer fools gladly.

4. Please go pester someone else.

James Putnam replied on Sep. 7, 2012 @ 03:04 GMT
Robert,

Still with the non-answers. I was testing for hollowness. If you have answers to establish the groundbreaking important of your predictions, that would be of value. Such predictions do not ride on the backs of previous knowledge nor on the patterns established by that knowledge. If you have broken the pattern or have a new pattern or a prediction that breaks the mold, then you have something. I was looking for it and you have not delivered it. Do you have it?

James Putnam

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Sep. 7, 2012 @ 14:55 GMT
James,

Today a young student contacted me and said she thinks that SSCP/DSR holds promise for real unification in physics. She asked permission to do work related to the theory. She is a serious student with abilities that might well compliment mine.

So I am feeling a little less irritated with the human race today, and more hopeful that coming generations of physicists will finaly open their minds to the unifying promise of DSR.

You ask whether I have "broken the pattern or have a new pattern". I certainly think that DSR is the biggest break in old patterns, and identifies the most important new cosmological pattern, in about 400 years. It can be referred to as discrete self-similarity, or discrete scale invariance, or discrete dilation invariance (possibly full discrete conformal symmetry?).

But you can only judge that for yourself by studying SSCP/DSR and coming to your own conclusions.

Robert O

James Putnam replied on Sep. 9, 2012 @ 04:07 GMT
Dear Robert Oldershaw,

Thank you for your message. I was interested in your ideas. When you mentioned a successful prediction, I attached value to that. I wondered if it was so monumental as to be independent, meaning not predictable by previous theory. Certainly if that is the case, then, your work is important for anyone including myself to learn about.

I did think that you could have brought more forward in your essay even if it was repetitive of your presentation at your website. I would have preferred reading your case within the confines of the essay rules first before moving on to your website. However, that is your choice.

I understand why a professional would believe me to be a crank. I do have extensive work done in support of the things I say. But, besides the possibility that I may be very wrong there is the fact that I cannot be correct unless theoretical physics is wrong about a great many ideas. Recognizing that that is the case, I thank you for your informative messages. Good luck.

James

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Sep. 9, 2012 @ 05:20 GMT
Hi James,

Lest there be no misunderstanding, I am not a "professional", but rather a mere mortal.

Discrete Scale Relativity predicted, in a published paper, that planets would be found orbiting ultracompact stellar-mass objects. Several years later, pulsar-planets were discovered, much to the surprise of the astrophysical community.

In 1987 {Astrophysical Journal 322, 34-36] I predicted that our galaxy would contain a vast population of unbound planetary-mass objects far outnumbering the stars. Sumi et al [Nature 19 May 2011] reported that microlensing research had discovered at least 100 billion unbound planetary-mass objects within our galaxy. Again, much to the surprise of astrophysicists.

In 2000 I posted a paper to arxiv.org (later published) predicting that the lowest mass M dwarf stars would have a highly anomalous and quite diagnostic under-abundance of planetary companions. Observational evidence has increasingly supported this prediction and a paper published in Astronomy and Astrophysics in 2011 (Bonfils et al) has now virtually confirmed this prediction. Again, much to the surprise of astrophysicists.

Discrete Scale Relativity's most crucial prediction (dark matter = primordial Kerr-Newman ultracompacts; 8 x 10^-5, 0.145 and 0.580 solar masses are the primary peaks in the predicted mass spectrum) awaits adequate observational data for a definitive verdict. A related prediction is that the dark matter cannot be "WIMPs", and that prediction has withstood a 30-year onslaught of false-positives and a near-religious faith in the first coming of a "WIMP".

In my "essay" I just stated what my research indicated were the most aggregiously wrong current assumptions. In the present pseudo-science/Tower of Babel state of postmodern physics, I knew that none of the "professionals" would have any interest in my inconvenient ideas. This might help to explain why I only submitted a brief synopsis.

Best, Rob O

Author Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Sep. 9, 2012 @ 05:27 GMT
Egregiously, that is.

Yuri Danoyan wrote on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 02:42 GMT
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierpinski_triangle

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 16:00 GMT
Dear

Very interesting to see your essay.

Perhaps all of us are convinced that: the choice of yourself is right!That of course is reasonable.

So may be we should work together to let's the consider clearly defined for the basis foundations theoretical as the most challenging with intellectual of all of us.

Why we do not try to start with a real challenge is very close and are the focus of interest of the human science: it is a matter of mass and grain Higg boson of the standard model.

Knowledge and belief reasoning of you will to express an opinion on this matter:

You have think that: the Mass is the expression of the impact force to material - so no impact force, we do not feel the Higg boson - similar to the case of no weight outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Does there need to be a particle with mass for everything have volume? If so, then why the mass of everything change when moving from the Earth to the Moon? Higg boson is lighter by the Moon's gravity is weaker than of Earth?

The LHC particle accelerator used to "Smashed" until "Ejected" Higg boson, but why only when the "Smashed" can see it,and when off then not see it ?

Can be "locked" Higg particles? so when "released" if we do not force to it by any the Force, how to know that it is "out" or not?

You are should be boldly to give a definition of weight that you think is right for us to enjoy, or oppose my opinion.

Because in the process of research, the value of "failure" or "success" is the similar with science. The purpose of a correct theory be must is without any a wrong point ?

Glad to see from you comments soon,because still have too many of the same problems.

Regards !

Hải.Caohoàng of THE INCORRECT ASSUMPTIONS AND A CORRECT THEORY

August 23, 2012 - 11:51 GMT on this essay contest.

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 22:31 GMT
Hello Hoang Cao Hai,

My general paradigm for how nature works regarding ..., particles, atoms, stars, galaxies,... is thoroughly discussed at:

http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw

Best,

Rob O

Sreenath BN wrote on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 18:10 GMT
Dear Robert Oldershaw,

I was glad to go through your short but inquisitive article. It is good to learn that you like original ideas which are based on emperical facts. This is what you are trying to suggest through the concepts of Discrete Scale Relativity / discrete conformal symmetry. I have also seen your comments regarding this in some magazines. Why dont you go through my essay (http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1543--Sreenath B N.) which like yours is also based on new conception and tries to solve the problem of QG.

Thanking you and look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards and good luck in the essay competition.

Sreenath.

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 22:38 GMT
Hi Sreenath BN,

Ok, I'll take a look.

You might take a look at http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw

Best,

Rob O

Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 3, 2012 @ 18:35 GMT
Dear Robert,

I has been rated your essay.

Cood luck.

Sergey Fedosin

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Oct. 3, 2012 @ 22:15 GMT
Hi Sergey,

To read about 4 definitive predictions of Discrete Scale Relativity that have been vindicated, or are strongly supported by observational evidence, and to see 10 more that are awaiting verification/falsification, see:

1986527/Predictions_of_Discrete_Scale_Relativity .

This is what an adequate cosmological paradigm is required to do: make definitive predictions and have them verified.

Best,

Rob

Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 09:56 GMT
If you do not understand why your rating dropped down. As I found ratings in the contest are calculated in the next way. Suppose your rating is
$R_1$
and
$N_1$
was the quantity of people which gave you ratings. Then you have
$S_1=R_1 N_1$
of points. After it anyone give you
$dS$
of points so you have
$S_2=S_1+ dS$
of points and
$N_2=N_1+1$
is the common quantity of the people which gave you ratings. At the same time you will have
$S_2=R_2 N_2$
of points. From here, if you want to be R2 > R1 there must be:
$S_2/ N_2>S_1/ N_1$
or
$(S_1+ dS) / (N_1+1) >S_1/ N_1$
or
$dS >S_1/ N_1 =R_1$
In other words if you want to increase rating of anyone you must give him more points
$dS$
then the participant`s rating
$R_1$
was at the moment you rated him. From here it is seen that in the contest are special rules for ratings. And from here there are misunderstanding of some participants what is happened with their ratings. Moreover since community ratings are hided some participants do not sure how increase ratings of others and gives them maximum 10 points. But in the case the scale from 1 to 10 of points do not work, and some essays are overestimated and some essays are drop down. In my opinion it is a bad problem with this Contest rating process. I hope the FQXI community will change the rating process.

Sergey Fedosin

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 14:41 GMT
Hi Sergey,

To me what matters is the fundamental, testable science.

Contests, prizes and fashionable pseudo-science are not of much interest to me.

Best,

Rob

Member Benjamin F. Dribus wrote on Oct. 6, 2012 @ 00:41 GMT
Dear Robert,

I was looking at your website after reading your paper, and a few thoughts came to mind.

1. One can't help noticing that the constant you call D is within about 1 percent of pi, and is also of course close to 3, which is the dimensionality of space. Where does this number come from?

2. I have thought about the possibility of 5 "interaction scales:" the strong/weak, electromagnetic, gravitational, dark matter, and dark energy scales. The basis of this is the scales on which various types of "interactions" dominate. Of course, this assumes that dark matter and dark energy really involve "something different."

3. What exactly do you mean by "discrete conformal symmetry?" For instance, conformal symmetry ordinarily preserves angles. Does discrete conformal symmetry have this property? There seems to be a lot of trouble in general with trying to replace the continuous symmetry groups with something discrete. Personally, I think that at least some of the continuous symmetry groups should be replaced, but not with exact symmetries.

Interesting paper and website! I see you have a long list of experimental connections. Take care,

Ben Dribus

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Oct. 6, 2012 @ 03:29 GMT
Hi Ben,

1. Best guess: 3 is the topological dimensionality; 3.1416 is the fractal dimensionality. Non-integer, greater than 3, but less than 4.

Lambda, D and G are interrelated in DSR, but I have yet to fully understand why lambda and D have the values they do.

Also remember that they are derived empirically, not theoretically.

2. ? I like infinite discrete self-similar Scales, but I am biased on this issue.

3. Yes, angles are preserved in discrete conformal symmetry. Think of discrete dilation symmetry. Instead of a continuous set of sizes for the analogues, you only are allowed a discrete set of sizes for the analogues.

On vacation.

In haste,

Rob O

Julio wrote on Oct. 6, 2012 @ 20:50 GMT
Hi!

I think the paradigm is essentially right. I would like to contribute to it myself but I lack mathematical skills. The most I can is some sort of "phylosophical" contribution.

The theory makes some predictions about black holes (I prefer the term dark stars), including analogues in the atomic scale. I´m afraid, regarless the evidence on superficial "ultradense objects", there´s...

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Author Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Oct. 7, 2012 @ 01:11 GMT
I am mystified by the large number of people who have very strong beliefs about technical scientific issues for which their knowledge base is in the "slim and none" category.

How can these people be so sure of themselves when they overtly or more covertly reveal that they do not have the technical knowledge and analytical skills to evaluate their beliefs.

They just seem to take a stance like: "the Big Bang theory is completely wrong", or "singularities are impossible", or "Einstein was totally wrong about (fill in the blank), and treat it as if it were some sort of received wisdom.

Scientific knowledge is not gained by such irrational means.

Julio replied on Dec. 29, 2012 @ 17:52 GMT
I am mystified by the scientists who keep on working and making propaganda for already falsified theories (or tell me where are the trillions of black holes surrounding galaxies, hiding in "temporal pockets" à la dr Who?).

Despite you encourage "open minds" you seem to believe that there´s only one theory compatible with the principles of scale relativity, yours. Then the paradigm is dead. To clarify, I´m not talking here about adjustable parameters, all parameters are univoquely defined once the equations "work out".

Singularities are a by product of the Platonic attitude of taking flawed theories too seriously _ or even perfect theories: a theory is not reality. Einstein himself NEVER believed in a primordial singularity (neither you, I see) nor in "singularities at the heart of extremely collapsed stars". Missing (or dark) matter might be a by product of ignoring electromagnetism on cosmic scales so gravitation is the only actor. Gravity and electromagnetism are relevant on all domains, I see you agree on this.

Two random ideas:

normally, space is considered infinite but, what if space turns out to be unbounded but finite, a 3-sphere, for instance? Then we can not find arbitrarily large scales or objects (self similar or not), the same way we can not fit any size on Earth surface.

In part inspired by the R - 1/R duality of string theory, it may be that scales do not go indefinitely up and down but they close, ergo, largest scales and tiniest scales match. For instance, subquantum and metagalactic realms are one and the same. Not infinite nesting of matter but not upper or lower limits either.

Regards

PS: whenever you find a singularity, call me. By the way, merry christmas and happy new year.

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Anonymous replied on Dec. 29, 2012 @ 23:20 GMT
I do not discuss science with morons.

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James Putnam replied on Dec. 30, 2012 @ 05:03 GMT
"I do not discuss science with morons."

So your work has been accepted by the professional physics community? I have a question from your website for you if this is correct. Is it correct that your work has been accepted by the physics community as a unifying theoretical success?

James Putnam

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