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Obama vs. Einstein

A renowned physicist demolishes a paper by Laurence Tribe, that President Obama played some roll in crafting, on the "revolutionary" aspects and legal implications of 20th century physics.

by
Frank J. Tipler

Bio

February 7, 2010 - 12:00 am
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The fact that relativity theory is a special case of Newtonian theory incorporating the ether was asserted by Albert Einstein himself in a lecture which he delivered at the University of Leyden on May 5, 1920. Einstein entitled his lecture “Ether and the Theory of Relativity.”

The great Russian physicist, Nobel Prize winner Lev Landau, first proved that quantum physics is just a special case of Newtonian mechanics. The mathematical proof can be found in Landau’s textbook Quantum Mechanics: Non-relativistic Theory. Isaac Newton himself, in his book Opticks, first advanced the basic idea that light is both a particle and a wave. Newton expressed his view as a “Query” (Query 17) rather than a theorem, because he did not know how to express this fact mathematically. Hamilton and Jacobi achieved this in the 1830s.

In the paper, we find the claim: “How we think about these institutions [e.g., the court system, and constitutional law] has been fundamentally influenced by new insights into the operation of the physical world.” But if these ”new insights” are in complete error, then it is exceedingly likely that “how we think about these institutions’” is also likely to be in complete error.

Obama and Tribe want a “revolutionary” interpretation of the Constitution, one in which the Supreme Court interprets the meaning of the words to fit the progressive worldview. A majority of the Supreme Court recently declined to do so, ruling instead that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech” means exactly that.

Not only does Obama refuse to read physics textbooks before lecturing us on physics, he also refuses to read Supreme Court decisions before lecturing the Supreme Court on Supreme Court decisions. Justice Samuel Alito correctly mouthed “not true” when Obama made false statements about the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. Obama and Tribe’s claims about physics are equally “not true.”

Obama’s claim that twentieth century physics was revolutionary is false. Since twentieth century physics was profoundly conservative, I expect Obama to follow his own logic, reject liberalism, and become a conservative.

I’m not holding my breath.

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Frank J. Tipler is Professor of Mathematical Physics at Tulane University. He is the co-author of The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (Oxford University Press) and the author of The Physics of Immortality and The Physics of Christianity both published by Doubleday.
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