Relativism, Constructivism, and the Biases of Modern Physics

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Scientific Paper
Title Relativism, Constructivism, and the Biases of Modern Physics
Author(s) John E Chappell
Keywords Philosophy of Science
Published 1997
Journal None


Why is it so difficult for academic physicists to grasp the major errors in their current paradigms? For one thing, at all levels, dissenters against their most fundamental beliefs are removed from their system. For another, they choose their scientific paradigms by non-scientific criteria, as Kuhn has showed has occurred often in the history of science. Their bias seems to be in favor of the bizarre and the irrational, and against common sense. This is a peculiar exaggeration of the tendency to overevaluate human creativity that typifies western culture, and it defines their special subculture therein. In terms of the relativistic evaluations of constructivism. modern physics represents not the real world, so much as a cultural construct, devised in harmony with this special bias. Advocates of special relativity (SR) pay scant attention to relativism in general, and to the fact that its most basic proposition is that meaning and truth are contingent on viewpoint and context--even as in SR, time, length, and mass depend on relative motion. Thus they fail to understand that those with other viewpoints, not biased in favor of the bizarre and irrational and frankly promoting common sense, can legitimately interpret in other ways the allegedly solid evidence in favor of SR. Thus we find a paradox about SR more mystifying than any involving clocks or twins: how is it that this most famous of all relativistic doctrines is defended by untenable absolutist interpretations of the experimental evidence?