Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmic Conspiracy of the Highest Order

Dec 27, 2022
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Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, pp. 123-124: "If everyone, everywhere and at all times, is to measure the same speed for the beam from your imaginary spacecraft, a number of things have to happen. First of all, as the speed of your spacecraft increases, the length of everything - you, your measuring devices, your spacecraft - shortens in the direction of motion, as seen by everyone else. Furthermore, your own time slows down exactly enough so that when you haul out your newly shortened yardstick, you are guaranteed to be duped into measuring the same old constant value for the speed of light. What we have here is a COSMIC CONSPIRACY OF THE HIGHEST ORDER." https://www.amazon.com/Death-Black-Hole-Cosmic-Quandaries/dp/039335038X

Let us see how the cosmic conspiracy of the highest order works. Assume that a light source emits equidistant pulses and an observer starts moving towards the source:

View: https://youtube.com/watch?v=bg7O4rtlwEE


The speed of the light pulses relative to the stationary observer is

c = df

where d is the distance between subsequent pulses and f is the frequency at the stationary observer. The speed of the pulses relative to the moving observer is

c'= df' > c

where f' > f is the frequency at the moving observer.

That is, the speed of light relative to the observer VARIES with the speed of the observer.

In order to save Einstein's relativity, the cosmic conspiracy of the highest order can do two things:

1. It can change the distance between subsequent light pulses just in front of the moving observer. If, in front of the moving observer, this distance shifts from d to d'=dc/(c+v), the moving observer will be "duped into measuring the same old constant value for the speed of light" and Einstein's relativity is saved.

2. If changing the distance d in front of the moving observer is too difficult, the cosmic conspiracy of the highest order can supply all human minds with an unconditional belief in Einstein's constancy of the speed of light. The situation will become analogous to that in Big Brother's world:

George Orwell: "In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense. And what was terrifying was not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable what then?"
 
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"Emission theory, also called emitter theory or ballistic theory of light, was a competing theory for the special theory of relativity, explaining the results of the Michelson–Morley experiment of 1887...The name most often associated with emission theory is Isaac Newton. In his corpuscular theory Newton visualized light "corpuscles" being thrown off from hot bodies at a nominal speed of c with respect to the emitting object, and obeying the usual laws of Newtonian mechanics, and we then expect light to be moving towards us with a speed that is offset by the speed of the distant emitter (c ± v)." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emission_theory

That is, originally, the Michelson-Morley experiment was compatible with Newton's variable speed of light, c'=c±v, and, "without recourse to contracting lengths, local time, or Lorentz transformations", incompatible with the constant (independent of the speed of the emitter) speed of light, c'=c:

"Moreover, if light consists of particles, as Einstein had suggested in his paper submitted just thirteen weeks before this one, the second principle seems absurd: A stone thrown from a speeding train can do far more damage than one thrown from a train at rest; the speed of the particle is not independent of the motion of the object emitting it. And if we take light to consist of particles and assume that these particles obey Newton's laws, they will conform to Newtonian relativity and thus automatically account for the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment without recourse to contracting lengths, local time, or Lorentz transformations. Yet, as we have seen, Einstein resisted the temptation to account for the null result in terms of particles of light and simple, familiar Newtonian ideas, and introduced as his second postulate something that was more or less obvious when thought of in terms of waves in an ether." Banesh Hoffmann, Relativity and Its Roots, p.92 https://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Its-Roots-Banesh-Hoffmann/dp/0486406768

Then the cosmic conspiracy of the highest order introduced "contracting lengths, local time, or Lorentz transformations" and the Michelson-Morley experiment shifted allegiance - it became compatible with the constant (independent of the speed of the emitter) speed of light, c'=c, and incompatible with Newton's variable speed of light, c'=c±v. Einstein was happy with this and, in 1921, informed the world about the new meaning of the Michelson-Morley experiment (without mentioning the original meaning of course):

The New York Times, April 19, 1921: "The special relativity arose from the question of whether light had an invariable velocity in free space, he [Einstein] said. The velocity of light could only be measured relative to a body or a co-ordinate system. He sketched a co-ordinate system K to which light had a velocity C. Whether the system was in motion or not was the fundamental principle. This has been developed through the researches of Maxwell and Lorentz, the principle of the constancy of the velocity of light having been based on many of their experiments. But did it hold for only one system? he asked. He gave the example of a street and a vehicle moving on that street. If the velocity of light was C for the street was it also C for the vehicle? If a second co-ordinate system K was introduced, moving with the velocity V, did light have the velocity of C here? When the light traveled the system moved with it, so it would appear that light moved slower and the principle apparently did not hold. Many famous experiments had been made on this point. Michelson showed that relative to the moving co-ordinate system K1, the light traveled with the same velocity as relative to K, which is contrary to the above observation. How could this be reconciled? Professor Einstein asked." https://ebay.com/itm/ALBERT-EINSTEI...e-1st-Visit-to-US-1921-Newspaper/373400655156

Nowadays the cosmic conspiracy of the highest order has no alternative:

"The conclusion of the Michelson-Morley experiment was that the speed of light was a constant c in any inertial frame. Why is this result so surprising? First, it invalidates the Galilean coordinate transformation. Note that with the frames as defined in the previous section, if light is travelling in the x' direction in frame O' with velocity c, then its speed in the O frame is, by the Galilean transform, c+v, not c as measured. This invalidates two thousand years of understanding of the nature of time and space. The only comparable discovery is the discovery that the earth isn't flat! The Michelson Morley experiment has inevitably brought about a profound change in our understanding of the world." http://www.berkeleyscience.com/relativity.htm

Joao Magueijo, Faster Than the Speed of Light: "A missile fired from a plane moves faster than one fired from the ground because the plane's speed adds to the missile's speed. If I throw something forward on a moving train, its speed with respect to the platform is the speed of that object plus that of the train. You might think that the same should happen to light: Light flashed from a train should travel faster. However, what the Michelson-Morley experiments showed was that this was not the case: Light always moves stubbornly at the same speed. This means that if I take a light ray and ask several observers moving with respect to each other to measure the speed of this light ray, they will all agree on the same apparent speed!" https://www.amazon.com/Faster-Than-Speed-Light-Speculation/dp/0738205257

Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, Chapter 2: "The special theory of relativity was very successful in explaining that the speed of light appears the same to all observers (as shown by the Michelson-Morley experiment)..." http://www.amazon.com/Brief-History-Time-Stephen-Hawking/dp/0553380168

Brian Cox, p. 91: "...Maxwell's brilliant synthesis of the experimental results of Faraday and others strongly suggested that the speed of light should be the same for all observers. This conclusion was supported by the experimental result of Michelson and Morley, and taken at face value by Einstein." http://www.amazon.com/Why-Does-mc2-Should-Care/dp/0306817586
 
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The cosmic conspiracy of the highest order has allowed Neil deGrasse Tyson to change his mind about the Big Bang:

"Changing Times, Changing Minds - The Slow Death of the Big Bang"
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHO-ibr5YS4


However the cosmic conspiracy of the highest order would never allow Tyson to change his mind about the speed of light. This lie is existential. No constancy of the speed of light, no cosmic conspiracy of the highest order:

Neil deGrasse Tyson: "One of the towering great achievements of the human mind in our understanding of the universe is Einstein's theories of relativity...It makes only two assumptions: that the speed of light in a vacuum is constant no matter who is doing the measurement and no matter in what direction you are moving or how fast. You always get the same measurement for the speed of light. That's Assumption 1 which by the way the experiment has shown to be true."
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2s1-RHuljo