Speed of Things
An idea perhaps worthy of exploration.
The Publisher and Editor-in-chief, Skeptic,
Dear Michael Shermer,
I have published a website putting forward an alternative concept of basic physics which, if correct, would cause a most significant disruption in the discipline.
As you are clearly aware, the likelihood of any such idea being anything but a fantasy is extremely remote and claims of this nature almost always arise from an attempt to deceive or result from self deception and a failure of logic.
Richard Feynman famously advised caution that we do not deceive ourselves, and pointed out that we are the easiest person for us to deceive. With this in mind I have strenuously attempted to falsify the arguments I have put forward, but perhaps because we generally find it notoriously difficult to fault our own reasoning, have been unable to do so.
Quite a number of well credentialed scientists have of recent years bemoaned the perception that physics has reached a point where significant future progress appears unlikely, as we seem to have arrived at a dead end in some respects. Individuals of particular eminence such as Professor Sir Roger Penrose have expressed the view that 'there is something wrong with quantum physics'.
While I would not take down my site [ hereticalphysics.com ] purely as a result of an unsupported claim that my ideas are utter nonsense, I have no wish to foist incorrect information upon a world already swamped with silly ideas and gullible people. Perhaps you and your team will help me avoid such an outcome.
I am not the first to appeal to Occam's razor for an answer to how things work. Feynman agreed that the simplest answer is often the correct one. He also cautioned however that an idea may be wrong despite its elegance, but also that you will recognize the truth when you see it. I think that I may have found an important truth, and that it would appeal to Einstein's preference for an understanding that we can visualize.
Eventual acceptance of my hypothesis, while necessary if correct, would have a most regrettable impact upon many people with careers and reputations wedded to current 'beliefs'. Max Planck's view that new ideas are only accepted when those holding to the old ones die out may well be true in this instance, as it has been in others, but as you can understand, such an outcome would be a disappointment to me.
No doubt physicists can put forward mathematical 'proofs' debunking my ideas and these would gain ready acceptance by their peers and be considered to put an end to the matter, however, please accept that any argument addressed to me would need to be in words [and perhaps diagrams] rather than any other form of symbology.
My own inclination is to call my ideas ridiculous, but I can't see why they are so. If they are true, the implications are beyond astounding and even if you approach with a truly open mind, your instincts will scream at you that things just could not be so simple ........... and if true, how could this have been overlooked?
Please also apply your skepticism to ideas currently viewed as axiomatic. While these appear to answer many questions, there are important gaps in their ability to explain how the universe works.
Your stated adherence to the posture of Spinoza in considering material such as my own is most encouraging as it leads me to believe that, should you be able to provide clear falsification for the ideas in my website, you will give me the opportunity to 'bow our' quietly.
My contention is that it should not be necessary to resort to devices such as matrix mathematics, probabilities and uncertainties to gain a 'clear' view of reality and in the perhaps unlikely event you find merit in my argument, I invite you to join me in its promulgation and in an exciting and clear-eyed exploration of a universe requiring no magic behind the scenes.
Thank you for your time.
Please note that essentially the same submission has been made to The Skeptical Inquirer as shown below.
Perhaps you would be interested in investigating this?
Editor, Skeptical Inquirer,
you are able to provide clear falsification for the
ideas in my website I would be distressed if you
took this as an opportunity to pillory me in public
rather than providing me with a chance to ‘bow out’
quietly. However, such is of course your
Email sent 17th April 2016
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