Kudzu writes:

An occult force would simply be something that refuses explanation. You will see a lot of this in homeopathy where the catch-cry is often “we don’t know how it works, it just does. Stop asking questions.”

This is exactly what physicists say about Newtonian gravity.

Physicists say Newtonian mechanics works therefore shut up have faith and stop questioning Newton’s sacred authority. This is how physicists reason. They accept Newton’s authority without asking questions.

I say this is wrong. Why? Physics is defined as the science that denies the explanation of natural phenomena with supernatural. If you compromise this fundamental rule of physics, no matter how small, you are no longer doing physics, you are practicing shamanism. Unlike physicists, I am not bound by Newton’s authority and I question Newton’s authority.

Newton’s force is an occult quality invented by Newton. Newton claimed that by using this occult quality he correctly computed orbits. But occult does not exist, therefore, Newton is lying. Simple as that.

It takes courage to defend the axiom of physics against Newton’s sacred authority. No physicists can dare question Newton’s authority and hope to remain a practicing physicist.

All you have to do is to uphold the axiom of physics (occult is supernatural) over Newton’s authority (supernatural is natural). Then you’ll know that Newton could not and did not use an occult force in his computations.

Your reasoning is the official physics party line and it goes like this:

Newton’s authority cannot be questioned, if Newton says he computed by using an occult force, then, Newton is right, we can only admit that Newton used an occult force to compute orbits correctly but we don’t know how this occult force works. We cannot question any further than what Newton told us.

This type of scholastic argument by authority is not surprising to me because physicists are the modern continuation of the academic scholasticism. They are direct professional descendents of scholastic doctors who refused to look through Galileo’s telescope.

How did Newton compute orbits if not by using force? Now you know the answer. Newton did not use occult force in his computations because force is occult and it does not exist.

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I think this makes a few points that I must disagree with.

The first is the attitude of modern physics. I have yet to find a physicist who has told me ‘It works, shut up.’ Indeed, this criticism is often levelled at scientists, usually by the creationist lobby or the fringe such as psychics and homeopaths, yet from what I have seen of the scientific community they’re the first to admit what they don’t know. (Or to go ‘There is an explaination, but it’s too complicated.’) I would be interested in a link to say, a blog or better a website or book that has this ‘shut up’ view; it’s possible you’ve just met some cruddy physicists.

The second point I must bring up is Newton ‘lying’; what is a lie exactly? When Newton came up with his theory, he believed it to be absolute truth, and when Newtonian mechanics is used these days it’s to keep thing simple (A student in physics class doesn’t want to hear about mass, let alone the more accurate concepts of energy and time dilation.) My old physics textbook tells me many things that are inaccurate, that prisms split light, that gas pressure is proportional to temperature and so on. But is it lying to me?

The notion of occult is also one I must revisit. Something occult not only ‘just is’ but something that actively denies explanation. A lot of things in science we take on faith ‘It’s been tested, trust us’ (and I have yet to see any scientist forbidding someone from testing say, Boyle’s laws) but the realm of ‘You can’t explain it, it’s magic\love\a higher plane’ has always been that of nutjobs in my experience. (I should really, really like to see somewhere a physicist truly defending Newtonian mechanics over Einstein, if only so that I may alert the world to their stupidity.)

A lot of science ends up as ‘because’ because science doesn’t know everything (If it did, it would stop.) Sometimes the best explanation we have is ‘It just is’, but we can always look for a why.

Finally this page may also be interesting; there is a whole set of physics that believes that Newton (And Einstein) was wrong and the equations need tweaking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modified_Newtonian_dynamics (sadly it seems likely that these theories aren’t needed, but we live and hope.)

To Kudzu: Let me repeat the results of my research and we can discuss further:

(1) Newton computed orbits by using mathematical methods. These included traditional trigonometric methods and Kepler’s Rule. Newton did not compute orbits by using dynamical qualities he called force and mass.

(2) Newton computed orbits by mathematical methods but claimed that he computed orbits by using his dynamical qualities force and mass (this is where Newton is lying)

(3) In practice orbits are never computed by using Newton’s dynamical doctrines including force and mass. Even today orbits are computed by numerical integration.

(4) To save Newton’s sacred authority physicists invented units and constants that they named after Newton and incorporated these ideological terms into the mathematics of orbit computations. Physicists refer to these ideological terms and claim that orbits are computed by using Newtonian doctrines. This is scientific fraud.

(5) Physicists do not know that Newton never used his dynamical doctrines in orbit computations. Einstein’s motivation to invent his theories was to remove Newtonian occult force from physics. Einstein did not know that Newton never used force in his orbit computations and that force did not enter any operational formulas in astronomy.

(6) Physicists use casuistry and sophistry to save Newtonian doctrines. They teach Newton’s doctrines and require that all new theories must conform to Newton’s doctrines but at the same time physicists assert that Newton’s doctrines have been proven wrong by Einstein’s doctrines. They do this by casuistry. Case by case, a physicist will claim Newtonian theory to be wrong and replaced by Einstein’s doctrines or claim that Newton’s doctrines to be correct and just amended by Einstein’s doctrines or approximately correct and so on.

The result is that physicists still repeat without question the dynamical propaganda first invented by Newton that (1) he used his dynamical qualities in his orbit computations and (2) his force is an occult quality but since his computations give correct orbits then he does not know how this occult force works. This is still the official party line.

I don’t know if you agree with these historical facts.

I am not entirely sure that I fully grasp your argument, however I will admit that at the school level Newton is indeed usually treated as being correct simply for convenience. (Nobody, at least no student wants to hear even 5 minutes of history on how Newton was ‘kinda right but later we found out he wasn’t’ It’s like how we all know Columbus discovered America (Obviously the Indians already there didn’t count?) and ‘i before e except after c’ A useful shortcut. I should be shocked to find a professional physicist that stated Newton was as right as Einstein. You should always be able to get them to admit readily ‘Ok, Newton is just an approximation’

Einstein seems to be the gold standard for theories these days rather than Newton, and scientists are always rather eager to find a flaw in both, it’s why we’re always testing Einstein’s theory (Newton’s we already know is wrong, if you test it of *course* you’ll find it’s broken.) Here we see an incredibly accurate test of relativity: http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/2528/pulsars-give-even-more-accurate-test-relativity Why do scientists do this? Because many of them *want* something to be wrong. It’s why we want the LHC to find a problem with the standard model and it’s what MOND (Did you read that link) is all about.

Kudzu:

It appears to me that more than not grasping my argument, you don’t want to understand it. That’s ok, no problem. So, let me point out some issues I see with your comment. You are repeating several standard physics boilerplate arguments that are not relevant here.

(1) Why Newtonian doctrine is taught in schools is not relevant to this discussion. I have posts about physics education, you may want to comment there if you want to talk about how physicists indoctrinate children from the earliest age with Newtonian academic materialism.

(2) I found statements like “Newton was wrong”, “Einstein was right” to be academic statements without meaning. I am not claiming that “Newton was wrong.” Newton was not even wrong. I distinguish between “Newtonian mechanics” and Newton’s original writings. They are not the same thing.

(3) “Newton is an approximation” is also meaningless. What is meant by “Newton is an approximation?” Newton is a historical person, he is not an approximation. Of course, physicists exploit the ambiguity in “Newton is an approximation” to prove whatever they want to prove.

(4) I am not discussing Einstein’s General Relativity. It is irrelevant how much physicists test General Relativity. Testing General Relativity has become an academic cottage industry because physicists know that they will easily get funding for testing General Relativity for the nth time. But, physicists have no credibility in testing anything. Here physicists prove a property of the ellipse and claim to prove General Relativity. I have no business trying to conform Newtonian doctrine with Einsteinian doctrine. This is also an academic exercise.

(5) I am not discussing the “scientific method” as practiced by physicists. People who practice casuistry cannot be scientists.

(6) I am not discussing the standard model; I am discussing Newtonism.

(7) When it comes to MOND, it is a project that exists because of the unquestioning acceptance of Newton’s own propaganda about his dynamical doctrines of force and mass. What physicists call Newtonian mechanics is a consistent system of constants and units Newton’s disciples named after Newton but uses Kepler’s Rule as the computational engine. No dynamical doctrine of Newton was ever used in orbit computations.

So you are talking about several meta topics that are not related to the occult force in physics.