And you thought the GW deniers were wacko. Well, yes, they are. But not as wacko as some of the physics nuts, and I’m not even talking about the string theorists. I mean the people who know that Einstein was wrong, and possibly part of a vast conspiracy. I’m sure everyone has their favourite, but just today I was happily browsing [[Classical unified field theories]] (why? I know I started at [[Alternatives to general relativity]] but I don’t know why there) when I noticed a section entitled “Lancelot Law Whyte’s unitary field theory” which read a bit oddly:
This theory was based on an organizing process called by [[Lancelot Law Whyte]] the “Unitary Principle”. The history of this theoretical approach is: [[Michael Faraday]] and [[James Clerk Maxwell]] worked from [[Rudjer Boscovich]]‘s theory, which dealt with non-Euclidean and higher-dimensional geometry. This prompted mathematicians such as [[Carl Friedrich Gauss|Gauss]] and [[Riemann]] to investigate that area of mathematics. The mathematics that Riemann developed was used by [[Einstein]] in his theory of [[general relativity]], but that was not as extensive a description as Boscovich’s theory, for which the mathematics had been only incompletely developed. Lancelot Law Whyte’s ideas were adopted for experimental work by Leo Baranski, who planned a series of books based upon this theory. Only Baranski’s first book was published before his death, upon which this line of investigation based upon classical physics was abandoned by academia.
Superficially, it is vaguely plausible, and all the links exist and work, but notice that it has no actual references. [[Rudjer Boscovich]] is probably an unfamiliar name to you (it was to me) and if you follow the link you’ll find he is a harmless but unexciting chap, who is famous for his atomic theory and made many important contributions to astronomy, including the first geometric procedure for determining the equator of a rotating planet from three observations of a surface feature and for computing the orbit of a planet from three observations of its position. In 1753 he also discovered the absence of atmosphere on the Moon. Fair enough, but that makes him an unlikely source for “non-Euclidean and higher-dimensional geometry” which anyway neither Maxwell nor Faraday used.
Nonetheless the page has been edited by a number of sensible people – including the late lamented Hillman – since the text was added way back in 2006. But the clincher of nonsense is looking at the guy who added it – [[User:Roger Anderton]] – and finding proudly displayed the link to einsteinconspiracy.co.uk/ which is even more stupid that you could possibly believe, unless you’ve had specialist training in physics nutjobs. It even gets in the near-obligatory references to Tesla, a touchstone for the deranged.