Dr. George J. Marklin

INTRODUCTION

The equations of the theory of relativity have been verified by
experiment, and are therefore valid beyond question.  But this
does not prove that the theory is true.  Agreement with experiment
is only a necessary condition, not a sufficient one.  Just what is
required to obtain sufficiency is a very complex philosophical
issue known as the problem of induction.  Even Ayn Rand did not
have a complete answer, but I believe she identified the essential
requirement: integration.

Everyone who learns the theory of relativity initially thinks that 
it is very strange and encompasses many "weird" effects.  It is 
usually taught by professors who take delight in confounding their
students with talk of traveling twins who age at different rates; 
twenty foot long cars inside of ten foot long garages; space that
is "curved" so that if you keep traveling in a straight line, you
eventually arrive back at your starting point; and the velocity
addition law, where c + c = c.  The students eventually become
acclimated as they work through all the standard exercises and 
learn the mathematics.  They emerge from their courses with the
resignation that the universe is just a strange place, and thank
God that Einstein figured it out, because they never could have.

But the universe is not strange at all, it is only the theory that
is strange, because it does not integrate well with the rest of our
common knowledge about the world.  If the theory is wrong this is
not suprising, but if you believe the theory is right then you must
accept that your common sense is wrong. Simple concepts like length,
time, and velocity, become complex and mysterious.  Vibrating waves 
exist without any *thing* that is vibrating.  Effects occur without 
any causes.  Students give up hoping to ever aquire an intuitive 
understanding.  And it's all unnecessary.

In the articles that follow I will discuss and compare the theory
of relativity, and the Lorentz ether theory, its alternative.  I 
will show how the former can not be integrated with the rest of
physics while the latter can.  I will show that the reason for this
is that the former uses concepts which are based on mutable standards, 
while the latter correctly uses only absolute standards.  When I have
finished, I think you will be convinced (especially those advanced
enough to follow the math) that the theory of relativity is not 
consistent with Objectivism, while the Lorentz ether theory is, and 
you will understand what the theory of relativity actually means.

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