There can be no clearer definition of scientific fraud than what went on in the Tropics on May 29, 1919. What is particularly clear is that Arthur Eddington fudged the solar eclipse data to make the results conform to “Einstein’s” work on general relativity. Poor (1930), Brown (1967), Clark (1984) and McCausland (2001) all address the issues surrounding this eclipse.
Prior to 1919, general relativity was an obscure theory by a rising star in physics, Albert Einstein. Based on the perceived need to test this complex and intriguing concept, it was held as gospel that sunlight passing by the sun should be bent by the gravitational attraction of the sun, something known to Sir Isaac Newton and modified by Einstein. According to prevailing wisdom, this should be observable during a total solar eclipse when the shielding of the sun’s light permitted the observation of light from distant stars being “bent” around the sun.
Arthur Eddington traveled to Principe, Africa (one of the best locations for observing the eclipse) with the express purpose of proving Einstein right. Prior to that, he was an advocate for Einstein, due, in part, to the fact that both men shared the same political beliefs, Pacifism. In his zeal to be both peacemaker and kingmaker (Eddington wanted to be known as the man who discovered Einstein), Eddington engaged in corruption and derogation of the scientific data, the scientific method, and much of the scientific community. To this day, this completely manufactured data set is quoted by prominent scientists and the organs of publication.
These Eclipse photographic plates were supposed to show that starlight was bent by the sun as the light passed by it during a total solar eclipse. The predicted Newton Deflection was supposed to be .87 arc seconds and the Einstein deflection, a totally ad hoc amount, was supposed to be 1.73 arc seconds. Unfortunately, the effect was so small it is impossible to detect accurately even with the strongest modern telescopes under ideal conditions. This is the true meaning of “pathological science” as defined by Langmuir.10
Eddington used a series of complex calculations to extract the deflection estimate from the data and came up with an estimate of 1.6 arc-seconds. Data from two spots in Brazil from that same eclipse were 1.98 and 0.86, but Eddington threw out the 0.86 measurement. Cromer said it best with regard to pathological science, “Real discoveries of phenomenon contrary to all previous scientific existence are very rare, while fraud, fakery, foolishness, and error resulting from overenthusiasm and delusion are all too common.”12 Isn’t this a great description of the Eclipse data!
However, when it comes to fraud, fakery, overenthusiasm, and delusion, Cromer should start with his own journal, the The Skeptical Inquirer. They maintain that they are, “The magazine for science and reason”. In a special edition, they compare Einstein to Jesus Christ and Moses! 14 On the cover, they morph a picture of Einstein on the left to a man with a halo on the right, obviously intended to be Jesus Christ. So this great bastion of “reason” has swallowed hook, line and sinker all the cockamamie misinformation from Big Physics without any skepticism whatsoever. They are great at debunking others. Why don’t they start by debunking themselves?
They have even portrayed Einstein as Moses in a cartoon on page 34 with a finger coming out of a cloud pointing to writing on a stone tablet that reads, “And God said let there be light”.14 Just like Moses, Einstein got a stone tablet. Einstein is seen writing the equation E=mc2 on a chalkboard.14 The clear implication is that Einstein was inspired by God when he came up with the equation. This is the first time I have heard Poincare described as God!
What the editors of the Skeptical Inquirer don’t seem to realize is this: Einstein did not originate the equation.15 He did not derive it.16 He did not originate the idea of the conversion matter into light.17 At least seven scientists came up with the idea of converting matter into energy or light before Einstein.18,19 He did not originate the conversion factor c2.(18,19) The equation as written is wrong.20 E is proportional to mc2 not equal to mc2 (20) Einstein violated the conservation of energy law when he has a candle emitting a wavelength of light and gaining mass at the same time.20 Aside from that, the editors of SI are absolutely right in claiming that Einstein got his inspiration from God.
As fallout of the Eclipse, “Einstein awoke in Berlin on the morning of November 7, 1919, to find him self famous.” The press promoted these falsified reports and told the general public that Newtonian theory had been overthrown and that Einstein was a great genius, who was at least the equal of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton. The press reported that Einstein’s unique insight was so sophisticated and enlightened that only twelve men in the world could understand it. The sensational reports created a mass hysteria for Einstein in America, one which culminated in Einstein’s visit to the United States in the spring of 1921. Einstein’s trip came shortly after Einstein had endured a series of public humiliations in the scientific community in Germany in 1920. He was hiding from the German scientists who had informed the public that he was a fraud.
Though Einstein had arrived to a triumphant welcome in New York City, he left the United States an utter disgrace. Though Einstein had accepted many honors from American universities, he publicly ridiculed American scholars and Americans in general in a widely published interview he gave after he had returned to Europe. In spite of all the humiliating defeats Einstein met in the scientific world, a pro-Einstein press stuck by him and unfairly smeared those who legitimately criticized him. Some of his critics were highly respected Nobel Prize winning physicists.
Eddington’s analysis of the data was questionable enough for the Nobel Prize committee to exclude relativity from Einstein’s 1921 Nobel Prize for physics. Assessing the merits of relativity was impossible until it was “confirmed in the future,” the committee said.
The number of “reputable” scientists who have bought into this whole farce looks like a Who’s Who of prominent scientists. For example, Eddington completely bamboozled the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society at his triumphant talk he gave to them. “Sir Joseph Thomson, President of the Royal Society and Chair of the meeting, strongly endorsed the results.”5 It does not appear that any scientists present actually looked at the photographic plates (the whole affair was more like a coronation rather than a scientific presentation e.g. Pais stated, “…the day on which Einstein was canonized.”9)
Sir Joseph J. Thomson, as President of the Royal Society at that time, concluded the meeting with the statement’, I have to confess that no one has yet succeeded in stating in clear language what the theory of Einstein’s really is’. And Eddington recalled that as the meeting was dispersing, Ludwig Silberstei (the author of one of the early books on relativity), came up to him and said, ‘Professor Eddington, you must be one of three persons in the world who understands general relativity‘. On Eddington demurring to this statement, Silberstein responded, ‘Don’t be modest Eddington‘. And Eddington’s reply was, ‘On the contrary, I am trying to think who the third person is!‘ (source)
In 10 further eclipses from 1922 to 1952 only one of these produced seemingly high-quality data, and in that case generated results much greater than Einstein predicted. In 1962, an English team tried to redo the experiment given a similar eclipse and methodology but newer equipment, and they found they could not. The tools and the event were simply too primitive to allow the kind of accuracy needed to prove general relativity via this experiment at that time. Eddington’s dismissal of observations that would have lowered the key measurement’s mean and increased its standard error used an objection that could just as easily been applied to the measurements he kept. In the late 1960s, using radio frequencies as opposed to pictures from an eclipse, Eddington’s results were confirmed, but that does not make that initial experiment good empirical research.
Herbert Dingle (1890 – 1978) was an English astronomer and President of the Royal Astronomical Society. He was a member of the British government eclipse expeditions of 1927 and 1932; and became Professor of Natural Philosophy, Imperial College in 1938, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University College London in 1946-1955 and President of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1951-1953. Appointed Professor Emeritus of History and Philosophy of Science in 1955, he died in 1978.
Originally a supporter of Einstein’s work on the theory of relativity and an author of the textbook Relativity for All (1922), Dingle came to doubt its foundations after reading an account of the so-called twin paradox. According to this, a clock that moves relative to another will appear to run more slowly as judged by the stationary clock and inversely. Dingle claimed that Einstein’s results were inconsistent with those worked out using a “commonsense” method. He refuted the theory of relativity in his classic anti-relativity tract, Science at the Crossroads.
It appears that Dingle’s challenge, although coming from an eminent authority and author of textbooks on relativity, was not given space, while his detractors, notably the astrophysicist Sir William H. McCrea, were allowed to have the last word in the public discussion at the time. That prompted Dingle to write his book which, rather than stimulating discussion, was provided in few copies and has since become practically unavailable, as pointed out by Phipps.
The data we have from GPS, the US military’s Global Positioning System, which uses satellites to facilitate navigation, are casting grave doubt on Einstein’s principle of relativity, says Thomas Phipps, Jr. of Urbana, Illinois. In a paper first published in Infinite Energy magazine, Phipps says that the data of clock synchronization isn’t exactly in accord with Einstein’s relativity:
“The Global Positioning System (GPS) compensates the running rates of its atomic clocks for their orbital motion by speeding them up so as to cancel the relativistic time dilatation. Such compensated clocks, when in orbit, run in step with each other and with an earth-surface Master Clock. This means that a naturally-running proper-time clock placed in orbit without compensation for its motion must run objectively slower than its naturally-running counterpart on earth. There is consequently a factual clock-rate asymmetry between two inertial systems that violates the ordinary understanding of the relativity principle. In brief, clock rates represent physical observables not delimited by specific point events; therefore they do not conform to an event calculus and are not consistently described by special relativity theory.”
Phipps says that the principle of relativity, at least Einstein’s version, is doomed. He proposes an experiment: measure the speed of light using the satellites in orbit.
“… the vast teeming masses of academic physicists and others who believe implicitly in Einstein’s form of the [relativity principle] deserve to be shaken up by a closer acquaintance with the facts. It is time for their Great God Consensus to experience another of His historic belly aches leading to a ‘paradigm shift.’ The experiment I have suggested might get that evolution started.”
To read the whole paper: GPS Evidence Against the Relativity Principle
Herbert Dingle Was Correct! – An Investigation of the First Refutation of Relativity – By Harry H. Ricker III
This is a series of articles that looks into Herbert Dingle’s claim that Einstein’s Special Relativity is inconsistent.
“One of the most interesting of Dingle’s arguments appeared in the September 8, 1962 issue of Nature under the title “Special Theory of Relativity”1. This short note by Herbert Dingle points out “what appears to be an inconsistency in the kinematical part of Einstein’s special theory of relativity.” Here the thesis is presented that Dingle’s modest claim is based upon a mathematically correct derivation of the transformation of time from a moving frame into a rest frame following Einstein’s methods. It is concluded that Dingle’s assertion of an inconsistency in Einstein’s 1905 paper on relativity is correct.”
And a recent paper by Franco Selleri of the University of Bari Physics Department(PDF file – 4.6 MB):
“The 1905 formulation of the clock paradox  had a possible implication that surely Einstein did not like. The differential retardation is an absolute effect, as all observers agree, when the two clocks reunite, on the time marked e.g. by the clock moved with variable velocity. They disagree, however, on the numerical value of this variable velocity at any position of the clock in space. In relativity all inertial observers (forming an infinite set) are completely equivalent, so that, in a sense, one can say that the clock velocity assumes simultaneously all conceivable values. But a quantity having at the same time infinitely many values is totally undefined. In this way the presumed cause of the retardation (velocity) seems to vanish into nothingness. This is not physically reasonable, as obviously the cause of a real physical phenomenon must be concrete as well, in spite of the evasive description deduced from the theory. Therefore causality implies that velocity itself should be well defined, that is, relative to a physically active reference background which defines at the same time a privileged reference system
Eddington’s method is held up as the epitome of science, and currently Wikipedia states “The myth that Eddington’s results were fraudulent is a modern invention”. Indeed.
Eddington died after a life of honors, his eclipse experiment his most conspicuous achievement, yet it was tendentious empirical work. Science is filled with fraud behind correct results: Mendel fudged his numbers, Pasteur was hardly fair to his critics. A great deal of science is motivated by confabulation, generating evidence for prejudices. In that sense scientists are little different than most professions, where one has ideals vs. reality. Lawyers aren’t primarily interested in justice, teachers aren’t primarily interested in children, even ‘the best’. After all, unlike judges, most scientists have a rooting interest for whatever theory they are proposing, they want to be the founding father of some branch of knowledge. Those of us merely judging, meanwhile, are choosing between two choices, and as we don’t have any skin in the game, we want the truth because that’s what’s helpful.
In context of Newton gravitational theory, if light bends under gravity then light has mass; and that claim is contrary to Einstein’s claim that light has no mass. AND if light bends twice more than expected by Newtonian theory then that just means excuses are generated to account for the extra bending by other effect(s).
The Eddington fraud surpasses the Piltdown Man Fraud—an attempt by a “charlatan” to fool anthropologists into thinking they had found evolutions “missing” link—as the greatest hoax of twentieth and twenty-first century science. What makes the expeditions to Sobral and Principe so suspect is Eddington’s zealous support of Einstein, as can be seen in his statement,
“By standing foremost in testing, and ultimately verifying the ‘enemy’ theory, our national observatory kept alive the finest traditions of science…” (Clark, 1984)
In this instance, apparently Eddington was not familiar with the basic tenets of science. His job was to collect data – not verify Einstein’s theories.
Further evidence for the fraud can be deduced from Eddington’s own statements and the introduction to them provided by Clark (ibid., p. 285):
“May 29 began with heavy rain, which stopped only about noon. Not until 1.30 pm when the eclipse had already begun did the party get its first glimpse of the sun: ‘We had to carry out our programme of photographs on faith…'”
Eddington reveals his true prejudice: he was willing to do anything to see that Einstein was proved right.
But Eddington was not to be deterred:
“It looked as though the effort, so far as the Principe expedition was concerned, might have been abortive”; “We developed the photographs, two each night for six nights after the eclipse.
The cloudy weather upset my plans and I had to treat the measures in a different way from what I intended; consequently I have not been able to make any preliminary announcement of the result”. (Clark, ibid.)
Actually, Eddington’s words speak volumes about the result. As soon as he found one shred of evidence that was consistent with “Einstein’s” general relativity theory, he immediately proclaimed it as proof of the theory. Is this science?
Where were the astronomers when Eddington presented his findings? Did anyone besides Eddington actually look at the photographic plates? Poor did, and he completely repudiated the findings of Eddington. This should have given pause to any ethical scientist.
Here are some quotes from Poor’s summary:
“The mathematical formula, by which Einstein calculated his deflection of 1.75 seconds for light rays passing the edge of the sun, is a well known and simple formula of physical optics”
“Not a single one of the fundamental concepts of varying time, or warped or twisted space, of simultaneity, or of the relativity of motion is in any way involved in Einstein’s prediction of, or formulas for, the deflection of light”
“The many and elaborate eclipse expeditions have, therefore, been given a fictitious importance. Their results can neither prove nor disprove the relativity theory” (Poor, 1930).
From Brown (1967), we learn that Eddington couldn’t wait to get it out to the world community that Einstein’s theory was confirmed.
What Eddington based this on was a premature assessment of the photographic plates. Initially, stars did “appear” to bend as they should, as required by Einstein, but then, according to Brown, the unexpected happened: several stars were then observed to bend in a direction transverse to the expected direction and still others to bend in a direction opposite to that predicted by relativity.
The absurdity of the data collected during the Eclipse of 1919 was demonstrated by Poor (1930), who pointed out that 85% of the data were discarded from the South American eclipse due to “accidental error”, i.e., it contradicted Einstein’s scale constant. By a strange coincidence, the 15% of the “good” data were consistent with Einstein’s scale constant. Somehow, the stars that did not conform to Einstein’s theories conveniently got temporarily shelved – and the myth began.
So, based on a handful of ambiguous data points, 200 years of theory, experimentation and observation were cast aside to make room for Einstein. Yet the discredited experiment by Eddington is still quoted as gospel by Stephen Hawking (1999). It is difficult to comprehend how Hawking would comment that,
“The new theory of curved space-time was called general relativity. It was confirmed in spectacular fashion in 1919, when a British expedition to West Africa observed a slight shift in the position of stars near the sun during an eclipse. Their light, as Einstein had predicted, was bent as it passed the sun. Here was direct evidence that space and time were warped”.
Did Hawking honestly believe that a handful of data points, massaged more thoroughly than a side of Kobe beef, constituted the basis for overthrowing a paradigm that had survived over two centuries of acid scrutiny?
The real question, though, is:
“Where was Einstein in all this?”
Surely, by the time he wrote his 1935 paper, he must have known of the work of Poor:
“The actual stellar displacements, if real, do not show the slightest resemblance to the predicted Einstein deflections: they do not agree in direction, in size, or the rate of decrease with distance from the sun”.
Why didn’t he go on the record and address a paper that directly contradicted his work? Why haven’t the followers of Einstein tried to set the record straight with respect to the bogus data of 1919?
What makes this so suspicious is that both the instruments and the physical conditions were not conducive to making measurements of great precision. As pointed out in a 2002 Internet article by the British Institute of Precise Physics, the cap cameras used in the expeditions were accurate to only 1/25th of a degree.
This meant that just for the cap camera uncertainty alone, Eddington was reading values over 200 times too precise.
McCausland (2001) quotes the former Editor of Nature, Sir John Maddox:
“They [Crommelin and Eddington] were bent on measuring the deflection of light”
“What is not so well documented is that the measurements in 1919 were not particularly accurate”
“In spite of the fact that experimental evidence for relativity seems to have been very flimsy in 1919, Einstein’s enormous fame has remained intact and his theory has ever since been held to be one of the highest achievements of human thought”
It is clear that from the outset Eddington was in no way interested in testing “Einstein’s” theory; he was only interested in confirming it. One of the motivating factors in Eddington’s decision to promote Einstein was that both men shared a similar political persuasion: pacifism.
To suggest that politics played no role in Eddington’s glowing support of Einstein, one need ask only one question:
“Would Eddington have been so quick to support Einstein if Einstein had been a hawk?”
This is no idle observation. Eddington took his role as the great peacemaker very seriously.
He wanted to unite British and German scientists after World War I. What better way than to elevate the “enemy” theorist Einstein to exalted status? In his zeal to become peacemaker, Eddington lost the fundamental objectivity that is the essential demeanor of any true scientist. Eddington ceased to be a scientist and, instead, became an advocate for Einstein.
The obvious fudging of the data by Eddington and others is a blatant subversion of scientific process and may have misdirected scientific research for the better part of a century. The BIPP asked,
“Was this the hoax of the century?” and exclaimed, “Royal Society 1919 Eclipse Relativity Report Duped World for 80 Years!”
McCausland stated that,
“In the author’s opinion, the confident announcement of the decisive confirmation of Einstein’s general theory in November 1919 was not a triumph of science, as it is often portrayed, but one of the most unfortunate incidents in the history of 20th-century science”.
Einstein’s dubious science led other scientists to disgrace themselves for the express purpose of proving Einstein right about general relativity. It is almost unimaginable to ponder just how bad “reputable” scientists are when it comes to understanding the limitations of scientific instruments, the limits of the physical conditions under which data is collected, and a complete lack of understanding of the logic behind the various predictions for the deflection of light. These scientists don’t appear to understand what the scientific method is or how to apply it.
Strong models are like crude filters, readily admitting data consistent with the theory and systematically rejecting data inconsistent with the theory. This results in a feedback loop between the corrupted and derogated data to the strong model. They reinforce each other. This has been the case for general relativity. It went from an obscure concept from a somewhat obscure scientist, to the reigning paradigm overnight, dominating thinking in theoretical physics over the past half century. “Strong models corrupt weak men and women. . .The desire to conform, is almost as strong as the desire to create.”1 Strong models discourage free and independent thought. Where wealth, power and prestige come into play, they serve as a club to beat back promising alternatives. General relativity is just such a model.
It cannot be emphasized enough that the Eclipse of 1919 made Einstein, Einstein. It propelled him to international fame overnight, despite the fact that the data were fabricated and there was no support for general relativity whatsoever.
This perversion of history has been known about for nearly 100 years and is still supported by much of the scientific community.
The first official act of any queen bee when she recognizes what she is, is to immediately kill off any potential rivals. This is how strong models operate. Consider this observation from Ian McCausland,
“In spite of the fact that the experimental evidence for relativity seems to have been very flimsy in 1919, Einstein’s enormous fame has remained intact, and his theory has ever since been held to be one the highest achievement of human thought.
The resulting deification of Einstein has had some unfortunate effects: critics of his theory are often dismissed as cranks, and the search for better theories has been inhibited. It is suggested that the announcement of the eclipse observations in 1919 was not a triumph of science as it is often portrayed, but rather an obstacle to objective consideration of alternatives.”2
“Einstein’s enormous and enduring fame resulted directly from the announcement of the eclipse results, although the results were not particularly accurate”2
This final sentiment is shared by Sir John Maddox Editor Emeritus of Nature Magazine. 3
“Because of the veneration of Einstein and relativity in November 1919, the objectivity with which science is supposed to act has been inhibited. Canonization, deification, and claims of personal communications from Nature, should have no place in science. If the findings of the eclipse expeditions had been announced as being inconclusive instead of decisive in 1919, general relativity would have had to compete with other possible theories…”2
“It is also reasonable to ask whether the rapid and strong entrenchment of the general theory that occurred as a result of the eclipse announcement may have led experimenters to obtain the ‘right’ answers from their observations, as suggested in the above quotation from Sciama.”2
Strong models corrupt the data. This failure to recognize and promote alternatives to existing paradigms in astrophysics is so severe that 33 prominent scientists have found it necessary to decry the state of funding there.4 Want money? Just come up with some new way to “test” general relativity. Want to test other theories? Forget it; you won’t get funding. Existing models drive funding in this country because the old guard benefits in terms of wealth, power and prestige by promoting the status quo. There is tremendous scientific inertia today, and, as a result, it is getting progressively more difficult to break ties to a comfortable past.
- Richard Moody, Jr.; Extracted from Nexus Magazine; Volume 11, Number; (December 2003-January 2004); from NexusMagazine Website recovered through WayBackMachine Website | Secondary source