Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, January 13, 2012

How Einstein Ruined Physics

Albert Einstein is universally admired as a genius for discovering relativity and for forging a new model for scientific breakthroughs. I recently talked on my Saturday radio program with a mathematician and scientist, Dr. Roger Schlafly, to learn why he believes that most of what you learned about Einstein is wrong and why it matters. (Full disclosure: Roger is my son.) Dr. Schlafly noted that Einstein was a heroic figure for him until a few years ago when he decided to investigate what made Einstein and his contributions so special. Dr. Schlafly was disappointed to learn that another man, Henri PoincarĂ©, actually presented a paper on relativity, motion, and the speed of light in 1904 at the World’s Fair in St. Louis before Einstein wrote anything about the subject. Einstein did help to popularize the theory, but he had nothing to do with developing the idea that changed physics forever.

Even if Einstein doesn’t deserve credit for discovering relativity, did he really “ruin” physics? The mythological history surrounding Einstein is that he dreamed up a theory that was a complete paradigm shift for science while working full-time in a patent office, and without doing a single experiment. The problem, explained Dr. Schlafly, is that many modern physicists now believe they can cook up new scientific theories that explain how the world works without doing experiments and without observational evidence.

Some modern physicists think they should be able to discover the next big paradigm shift in the same way Einstein supposedly did. That very unscientific approach has led some scientists to focus their efforts on abstract theories that are more suited to science fiction novels than real science. That is how Einstein “ruined” physics. You can learn more about Albert Einstein by reading Roger Schlafly’s book called How Einstein Ruined Physics: Motion, Symmetry and Revolution in Science. It's available on Amazon and an interview with Dr. Schlafly is available on my website: eagleforum.org.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep comments short. Long comments will be deleted.