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William B Stoecker
In the latter part of the nineteenth century, physicists theorized that light and other electromagnetic radiation might be propagated through space via some tenuous medium they called the luminiferous (light bearing) aether. It could be thought of, perhaps, as another kind of matter. Then, in 1887, two American physicists, Michelson and Morley, constructed an apparatus using two mirrors and a semi-silvered mirror to split a light beam into two beams travelling at right angles to one another and then recombined them and measured the size of the interference fringes caused by constructive and destructive interference. It was reasoned that, as the Earth orbited the Sun and moved through the aether, the beams, due to a kind of aether wind, would travel at different velocities, creating patterns within a certain range. They repeated the experiment over and over and in many directions, and never found evidence of an aether wind. Other physicists, more recently, have had the same result. It was reasoned that if there was an aether, there would have to be an aether wind, so, clearly, there is no aether.
Science had to go back to the drawing boards, so to speak, and one of the results of this was Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, published in 1905 and dealing, as the title implies, with the concept that motion is never absolute, but only relative. Yet it seems to me, even though relativity theory seems to have passed every test, that there can, indeed, be absolute motion. Imagine that you are in a room with a large balloon filled with air. The air molecules inside the balloon are vibrating and circulating, but you can still move relative to the balloon as a whole. If the balloon were removed and you had only the air mass, for all its internal movements, you could move relative to the mass as a whole. Planets like our Earth orbit the Sun, but you can move relative to our Solar System taken as an entire unit. And you can move relative to our entire galaxy, despite all of its internal movements. By extension, then, it is possible to consider our entire universe, whether it is expanding or not, as a single immense "object"...and move relative to it. Since the universe is, by definition, everything that exists, that would make the motion absolute.
In 1916 Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity, dealing primarily with gravity. He theorized that there was a fourth dimension (time) at right angles to our familiar three spatial dimensions, and that mass caused space to curve back in time. This cannot be visualized, but it is possible to construct a spacetime diagram collapsing our three dimensions into one, and the timeline is at right angles to it. As two masses progress forward in time, their timelines, due to the curvature of space, are bent toward one another. So the theory seems to work perfectly...as an abstract concept. The problem is that for space to bend, space cannot be mere nothingness. There has to be some structure, some substance, something there to do the bending...some kind of aether. So Einstein developed his theory in part due to the assumed absence of an aether, but the theory needs an aether to work. Something is wrong with this picture.
"Sacred Activism is the fusion of the mystic's passion for God with the activist's passion for justice, creating a third fire, which is the burning sacred heart that longs to help, preserve, and nurture every living thing." - Andrew Harvey
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