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Mathematicism and Atomism to Logical Etherism

Jim Hodges
Year: 1997
Keywords: Atoms, Ether
The paper explores the implications of the Margaret Wertheim dictum that physics is culturally determined and fallible. The followers of Pythagoras and Democritus have had a beneficial influence on the development of Western thought, culminating in Isaac Newton's law of gravitation/law of motion and John Dalton's atomic theory of matter. However the discovery of a solid elastic ether by Michael Faraday threw Newtonian mathematism and Daltonian atomism into crisis. The reaction of the Western scientific elite has been to bury the ether under a near impenetrable blanket of mathematical obfuscation. The first instance of this process occurred when Maxwell's ether based equations were de-etherized and mathematized by Heaviside and Hertz. A second and more serious instance was a reaction to Michelson's linear ether drift experiment and to Poincare's ether-Fitzgerald-contraction based impotence principle of relativity. This principle was de-etherized and mathematized by Einstein and Minkowski. However at the end of the 2nd millennium there is one small group who is especially able to transcend its cultural conditioning, i.e. the Natural Philosophy Alliance. From the papers of NPA members Ronald Hatch and F. Selleri it should be obvious that the physical universe is but a big blob of ether with vibrations in it.