Talk:Relativity priority dispute/Archive 1

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Relevance of special relativity before 1905?

Thanks for the long section e4mm - I have a bit of trouble seeing their relevance, but that may be my lack of background - what it tells me is that the Lorenz observations and various mathematical methods for explaining them, including the concept of "local time", was extensively discussed before 1905 - and that the term "relative" is used a lot in the discussion. Is that what you're saying? If so, the timeline might (also?) be useful on History of special relativity, which is far less structured at this point. --Alvestrand 10:31, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Well I guess I was trying to just list the facts about what was published before 1905, assuming it was relevant, and might make people think. Because there is a view, unavoidable if you read only Einstein 1905, that the the theory popped out of nowhere, flabergasting everybody with its originality and brilliance. I think, in fact, it was entirely uncontroversial, the whole idea having been "in the aether" :) for at least 10 years. If I wanted to say more about what the history shows, it would be that one might "charge" Einstein with ignorance of the previous literature, or a laziness in not looking more into Lorentz's latest publications and not putting his paper into perspective w.r.t. to those publications. More important, it seems to me, is that most of the accusations of plagarism of SR center on Poincare's very short paper of 1905, published in french about 20 days before Einstein submitted. (That is, there is a pov which trys to give Poincare something that he never claimed for himself). I think that it is really stretching to say Einstein somehow got a copy of Poincare 1905 and derived everything from that in 20 days. If one wanted to charge Einstein with improper behaviour, it would be much more plausible to say he worked from exactly the same sources as Poincare did, i.e. all of Lorentz's previous publications, but unlike Poincare, did not explicitly give credit to Lorentz. I don't say this, since it is conjecture. On a unrelated matter I think the history of SR shows why Journals gradually introduced proper review procedures (and when did this happen?). It is hard to imagine that nowadays Einstein wouldn't be told by a referee about Lorentz, and told to explain why the new paper was different, to put it in perspective, at least to give explicit references. (But then I think I have a rep. as a demanding referee in my own field.)
(found this on rescanning the talk page - don't know how long I missed it for...) indeed, I think "priority" disputes are contributing to underplaying the contribution of interaction between the people concerned a *lot*. I was a little surprised, after all the talk about Einstein "failing to give credit", to read one of his papers and finding that it had *no* references section or credits section whatsoever - so if he had given credit in the paper, that would have been a *big* departure from his norm - not giving credit was the *standard* procedure for him, it seems. Perhaps on the principle of "none mentioned, none slighted", but more likely (I'm hypothesizing) because he thought the work of adding references was not worth the bother... --Alvestrand 09:09, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

The field equations of general relativity

It is my understanding that the field equations that Hilbert published in 1915 were embedded in an attempt by Hilbert to formulate a unified theory of electromagnetism and gravitation. Since the two are not unified to this day, it can be concluded that Hilbert's endeavour was unfruitful.

It is known that the 1915 field equations occur in Einstein's notes as early as 1913. However, in 1913 Einstein level of understanding wasn't sufficient yet to recognize those as the ones he was looking for, or he discarded them on incorrect grounds.

To be the discoverer of a theory, it is not enough to have jotted down the main equations, or even to have published the main equations. To be recognized as 'the discoverer', a physicist must have a certain command of what purpose the equations are going to serve.

By 1915 Einsteins experience in dealing with the mathematics of the GR field equations enabled him to obtain good approximations. Einstein calculated to within a very narrom margin of accuracy the precession of the orbit of Mercury according to the GR field equations, and found that the answer precisely accounted for the known anomaly in the precession of Mercury, turning the theory from sheer exploration to applied physics.

So I'm not surprised that Einstein is seen as the originator of general relativity. I'm not surprised that Hilbert never claimed priority in the general relativity matter. I think Hilberts reaction is consistent with Hilbert's endeavour turning out to be unfruitful. --Cleonis | Talk 22:08, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Re: It is known that the 1915 field equations occur in Einstein's notes as early as 1913. This is not really true. I have addressed this issue in the talk page to the Einstein article, from which part of the following is taken. Their claim that Einstein found his way back to the correct field equations he had given up in 1913 is misleading. The 1996 Renn-Stachel paper only claims this to be true on the level of the linearized field equations ("auf der Ebene der linearisierten Feldgleichungen"). A more recent Janssen/Renn preprint does not really modify this assertion, although they state more in the title and in the introduction. The only chapter in it which deals with the notebook in detail is chapter 2 on p. 14, and as far as I can see they cannot pinpoint a line in the notebook where Einstein has the correct field equations.De kludde 02:50, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Understanding the notebook is not easy, but it is easy (assuming a modicum of familiarity with the math being used) to form an educated guess about such claims, using Einstein's November 11 paper. On p. 800 he writes:
Dieser Tensor ist der einzige Tensor, der für die Aufstellung allgemein kovarianter Gravitionsgleichungen zur Verfügung steht.
Setzen wir nun fest, daß die Feldgleichungen der Gravitation lauten sollen
so haben wir damit allgemein kovariante Feldgleichungen gewonnen.
I am now translating into English, using the modern instead of (in case you try to read the origninal paper, be warned that Einstein denotes something else by ):
This Tensor is the only one which can be used to formulate covariant equations of gravity.
If we postulate that the field equations of gravity should be
then we have obtained generally covariant field equations.
Now, Hilbert's field equations are
where are is the scalar derived from . If Einstein was familiar with forming this kind of field equations, then why didn't he propose
(where the scalar T is obtained the same way as R), and then present his case for (resulting in Einstein's wrong field equations of November 11)? Jannsen/Renn discuss this November 11 paper on pp. 48-50 without answering (or even posing) this very natural question.De kludde 02:50, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
This way of making exaggerated and misleading claims seems to be typical of the Renn/Stachel crowd. They make a bombastic claim about the correct field equations being found and abandoned in 1912/13, and when you look closer it only applies to the linearized form or something else close to but not identical with the correct field equations. Maybe Einstein could have arrived at the correct form easily, but the simple truth appears to be that he didn't. Another example for their way of making misleading claims is the claim, made in their paper with Corry, that Hilbert was allegedly motivated by Einstein's November 25 paper to introduce the trace term (this notion refferring to terms like or ) into his equations. The simple fact is that they have absolutely no proof whatsoever that Hilbert ever wrote down field equations of gravity which have to be corrected by introducing such terms. The extant part of Hilbert's printer proofs no longer contains the field equations in explicit form, but only the correct principle of least action. Most likely this is so because part of the proofs has been cut off, a fact which CRS failed to tell their readers. But even if the missing part of the proofs did not contain the field equations in explicit form, this simply means that Hilbert did not bother to derive this form (which is somewhat unlikely since he wanted to discuss things with Einstein and since he gave a lecture about his work on November 16, of which Einstein btw obtained notes from a third person). There is absolutely no indication whatsoever that Hilbert ever miscalculated the derivative of his action functional.De kludde 02:50, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Re To be the discoverer of a theory You seem to be trying to represent this as a case where a mathematician proves a theorem of mathematical physics or a conjecture made by a physicist. Like Dyson/Lenard proving a semiboundedness assertion for the hamiltonian of matter or Kontsevich proving a conjecture of Witten. But in Hilbert's case, the result is simply quintessential to have a working theory of gravity along the lines of the Einsein/Grossmann Entwurf. Moreover, Hilbert's plan seems to have been that the problems which bothered Einstein (conservation of energy) is solved automatically if the equations produced from a covariant Lagrangian, in view of what is nowadays called Noether's theorem. This means that Hilbert really took the physical principles which have been a major design criterion to Einstein (and which let him to abandon in 1913) serious and addressed them in a way which nowadays would be standard, but was not not trivial at this time. Note that Noether's paper lists the Hilbert field equations paper as one of its motivations. De kludde 02:50, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
As for the Mercury paper: I think this is based upon a faulty reasoning, as Einstein claims that his condition g=1 from the November 4 paper is essential whereas in fact it is not. It then tries to correct things in footnote which probably was added at the last minute, after Hilbert's letter had arrived. I think I should perhaps discuss this in more detail later on.De kludde 02:50, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
As for the priority: He did claim priority for the field equations. This has, as far as I can see, never really been refuted. And if this was of minor importance, then why does the Wikipedia article on General Relativity give 1915 (publication of the field equation papers) and not 1913 (Einstein/Grossmann Entwurf) as its date of publication?De kludde 02:50, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

De Kludde, the claim that Hilbert claimed priority may never have been refuted (outside of Wikipedia, where it has been refuted multiple times) because it was never made. See his 1924 text at Talk:Albert Einstein/Hilbert1924. That text is very much non-explicit about what he claims as his own, but is very explicit in refering to the theory of general relativity as Einstein's. --Alvestrand 09:01, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Poincaré's Method of Clock Synchronization

" * Poincaré had described a synchronization procedure for clocks at rest relative to each other in [Poi00] and again in [Poi04a-c]. It is very similar to the one proposed by Einstein ([Sta89, p. 893, footnote 10]). "

Does the method consist of placing a light source equidistant between two stationary clocks? If so, doesn't this imply that Poincare (and Einstein as well if he used this method) denied the ether? Istm that the method assumes that light moves at the same speed in either direction regardless of whether the frame is at rest in the ether. I don't see how one could synchronize clocks using this method if the ether existed as a transmission medium for light. This relates to the issue of whether Einstein denied the ether in his June 1905 paper. Most commentators claim he simply made the hypothesis, as he stated, "superfluous". But I think not. Iiuc, I think his clock synching method is tantamount to a denial of the ether. Comments appreciated. green 05:06, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Strictly speaking it is not a denial of the ether, but it is a radical step. The second postulate is as follows: When light is emitted from a single source, it will propagate away in all directions with velocity c, both with respect to an observer A and with respect to an observer B, who have a velocity relative to each other. That postulate can only be viable if velocity with respect to the ether does not enter the theory. Over the years, theoreticists had been adjusting the properties of the assumed ether, to make it "behave" in ways that match the observations. In the end only a single property remained that ether had in common with matter: it was assumed that there is such a thing as velocity with respect to the ether. In his 1920 Leiden lecture presented his views on the issue. One might say that the concept of an ether is the concept that space is endowed with physical properties. Relativistic physics confirms that space is endowed with physical properties, and that these physical properties play a huge part in the physics taking place. The radical move is that velocity with respect to the structure of space and time does not enter the theory of special relativity. --Cleonis | Talk 09:05, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
  • A good book dedicated specifically to Einstein and Poincaré's dealings with clocks -- and the differences between their approaches -- is Peter Galison's, Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps. --Fastfission 18:07, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Poincaré's considerations of synchronisation procedures

About the synchronisation procedure that was examined by Poincaré: to my knowledge, Poincaré's discussion is in the context of the theories of Lorentz. Poincaré describes for example synchronisation of clocks that are hundreds of kilometers apart. (It is known at that time that the transmission is not instantaneaous, but the time is too short to be measurable with the instruments available around 1900)
From Poincaré's discussion I infer that without the Lorentz theories he expects the following: if sufficiently accurate measurement is possible, then a difference in the two-way transit time would be measurable in signals exchanged from, say, Paris to Berlin. Measurements 6 hour apart would be compared (in 6 hours the line paris-berlin rotates over 90 degrees of angle, as the Earth rotates.)
But Poincaré is aware of the Michelson-Morley experiment and the Lorentz theory to account for that. Fundamentally, the Michelson-Morley experiment is a time-dissemination procedure, using light. If the transit time of the light is direction dependent then a shift of interference fringes should be detected, depending on direction of motion of the experimental setup. (Instead of having a 6 hour interval between measurements that are to be compared, Michelson and Morley had a setup that could swivel; a huge circular slab of stone floating on mercury.)
Poincaré recognized the significance of the Lorentz theory for synchronisation procedures. If the Lorentz theory for accounting for the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment is good, then a synchronisation procedure between clocks in Paris and Berlin will be similarly affected.
That, is my understanding, was the perception of Poincaré. --Cleonis | Talk 10:16, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I'd appreciate it could you could succinctly state Poincare's clock synchronization method. It's still not clear exactly was it is. Same for Einstein's method and how it differs from Poincare's, if at all. I will then be in a better position to understand your other remarks. Thanks. green 15:53, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Let there be two cities A and B, at such a distance apart that a signal transmitted by wireless telegraph takes 10 units of time to complete a two-way transit. Let the master clock be in city A. City B sends a signal, on reception city A immediately sends a return signal. Encoded in A's signal is the exact moment in A's time keeping that the return signal is sent. The operators in city B then subtract half of the two-way transit time, and use that for the official time-keeping.
Poincaré points out that the operators have no way of knowing whether both legs of the transit took the same amount of time.
I've tried to illustrate something like that in the following two images (I've used three clocks that are to be synchronized instead of two but that does not affect the logic) Clocksync01 and clocksync02 --Cleonis | Talk 16:56, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I really must scan Einstein's 1905 paper to ascertain his clock synchronization method, but can I assume that neither Poincare nor Einstein synchronized two stationary clocks by using a light source equidistant? I cannot recall where I got this idea from. It might be nonsense. green 06:08, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it matters. The synchronisation procedure is just a tool to illustrate some things. The synchronisation procudure does not matter for the content of the theory, the content of the theory being the two postulates of the 1905 paper. --Cleonis | Talk 13:22, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Anatoly Alexeevich Logunov

"According to Bjerknes, a former Vice President of the Russian [Soviet] Academy of Sciences and currently Director of the Institute for High Energy Physics. Author of a book about Poincarés relativity theory. Coauthor, with Mestvirishvili and Petrov, of an article refuting the Corry/Renn/Stachel paper. They discuss both Einstein's and Hilbert's papers, claiming that Einstein and Hilbert arrived at the correct field equations independently."

This needs to be rewritten. It reads as if Bjerknes, author of "Einstein -- The Incorrigible Plagiarist", is a former Vice President, etc., etc., and the first sentence has no verb. green 05:25, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Special Relativity by 1905

This section has an excellent quote from "The Mystery of the Einstein-Poincaré Connection", but who's the author? The book(?) isn't in Amazon's catalogue. green 04:45, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Valid encyclopdia title?

Is a "dispute" a valid encyclopdia article? Does anyone know such a title in another encyclopdia? Harald88 07:49, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia at least has a lot of articles with "dispute" in the title, but the first ones that "search" came up with seem to be references to border conflicts that didn't quite make it as "wars". I'd be surprised if this article was unique. --Alvestrand 08:59, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I think that all such articles will be deleted in the end: I've never seen such in a serious encyclopedia.
Maybe the article can be merged in part with SRT ("history of SRT) and GRT, or linked from those as "development" of SRT and GRT. The guidelines encourage to write neutrally about the facts when there is a dispute about a subject, not to make "dispute" itself the subject. Harald88 21:43, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I think a separate article is worthwhile -- most of the people involved in this "dispute" are self-published or very minor characters and should not be a dominant thread in the main articles at all (in simple analogical form, Priority dispute over Einstein : History of SRT :: Apollo moon landing hoax : Apollo moon landing). My suggestion for the article title is to add the word "priority" before "disputes", which makes it clear what the issue is. --Fastfission 18:09, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
All such opinions can be deleted, they have little importance: just the facts will do -- and the facts belong in the respective articles, not in a "dispute" article. Harald88 06:57, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
This is wikipedia - almost anything can be deleted, but few things are... it seems to me that the history of Einstein-bashing (outside of Wikipedia) is indeed worthy of an article. And I regard it as a subject mostly touching on psychology and history, not as a subject touching much on physics.... --Alvestrand 07:49, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Adding the word "priority" makes sense to me too - although it makes the title long. I think the page is by now a good resource for people who look for information to evaluate more-or-less wild-eyed claims about "what happened first". And wikipedia doesn't seem a place where much is deleted..... --Alvestrand 20:32, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Article by Sauer on the Hilbert proofs

There's an additional article on the subject of the Hilbert proofs recently published by Tilman Sauer in Archive for History of Exact Sciences ("What is missing on page 8 of the proofs for Hilbert's First Communication on the Foundations of Physics?"). If anybody wants a copy, send me an e-mail ( My brief skimming of it indicates that Sauer attempts to figure out what is missing in a very systematic way, and concludes that it is highly unlikely that they contain the Einstein equations. --Fastfission 22:05, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
Any attempt to reconstruct this missing piece involves some sort of speculation. In this case, I do not see why Sauer should have a stronger case than Wuensch, who takes text from Hilbert's lectures about the subject. In addition, CRS should have informed their readers that their argument involved a speculation about the content of the missing quarter page, which means that they cannot really decide the priority issue, contrary to what they claim in the title.De kludde 03:25, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm not saying Sauer is "correct", but was merely adding it to the pile of things, and offering to send a copy to anyone who wants one. Sauer is an established figure in the history of relativity, so his POV is relevant here, and I was pointing it out simply because it seems to have been overlooked. I think the NPOV approach to the question of "what was in the missing part of the proofs?" is that nobody really knows and there are a number of solutions that experts in the subject think are plausible. --Fastfission 01:48, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Did Einstein make a claim to SRT?

If that can't be backed up by a direct, unambiguous quote from himself, the title is unsupportable for Wikipedia (even apart of the foregoing subject). Harald88 21:46, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

I think the SRT name was coined by Einstein in connection with the search for a more general relativity theory (one that would include gravitation). I'm not sure at what point the name "relativity" was attached to it - others will certainly know better. --Alvestrand 20:23, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
I remember that: he labeled relativity theory "SRT" in 1916 (it's online), because he relabeled the PoR then "Special Principle of Relativity"; he there did not claim that he was the first or only author of SRT (just as whoever labeled Newton's theory "classical mechanics" wasn't its author!). Harald88 06:53, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Being bold - page moved and linked

Wikipedia:Be bold in updating pages

I have now renamed this article per the discussion, and linked it into the Einstein, Hilbert, History of SR and History of GR articles. I can't link it into Poincaré - that page is still protected. I think the page can still be improved - but I think it carries useful information, so it's now worth linking. --Alvestrand 09:31, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Bullet points

Too many! Really, subsections would be better. Charles Matthews 16:10, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Which section(s)? There seems to be a lot of small facts that people think important here - one could reformat some of them in paragraphs rather than bullet points, but I think it's hard to subhead very many of them - the article already has a lot of sections. --Alvestrand 21:50, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Well, we can talk about that. But on a related point, taking out the Einstein-Hilbert action link on the David Hilbert article, as you have done, was surely premature. This article is pretty new; also it speaks almost entirely to Einstein's reputation, and not to Hilbert's. Charles Matthews 22:32, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

I think it should go back - the article deserves mention on the Hilbert page - but it was featured as a "main article" link in a section whose title was specifically about the priority dispute, not what the mathematics was about. I put the link back into the section as a "see here for the mathematics" - feel free to move it about! --Alvestrand 22:45, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your attention to that section. Its title two days ago was 'Hilbert, Einstein and field equations', which I changed to reflect its actual content. This wasn't of course meant to put the focus entirely on the priority issue. Some more work needed there. Charles Matthews 08:28, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Hilbert "Meiner theorie" sentence

I've changed the Hilbert quote a bit. Old version was: "Einstein kehrt schließlich in seinen letzten Publikationen geradewegs zu meiner Theorie zurück" - after looking around in the Web, the best I could get for a real quote was "Einstein kehrt schließlich in seinen letzten Publikationen geradewegs zu den Gleichungen meiner Theorie zurück" - not quite the same thing. I added the citation data to references, but this was from Licorne, and I haven't matched it to an online version yet, so it needs checking. --Alvestrand 07:00, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Note - the mangled quote on this page was added by De Kludde, not by Licorne. The text, in both German and English, can be found on Talk:Albert Einstein/Hilbert1924. --Alvestrand 08:14, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

I've now added a whole section on the claim that Hilbert claimed priority - Licorne's flagged it enough that it's a Good Thing to have it in plain sight. There's some missing data here... I don't have a reference (or an online copy) for the 1916 version of Hilbert's article, and I don't have a reference for the claim that some people claimed that the 1916 sentence showed that Hilbert was claiming priority. I also discovered that the Talk:Albert Einstein/Hilbert1924 page seems a little incomplete in translation - there's a subsentence "..obwohl wiederholt von abweichenden und unter sich verschiedenen Ansätzen ausgehend.." about Einstein that I can't match to the translated text. Help? --Alvestrand 08:02, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Link for finding out what journals' names are

Just so that I can find it again - if someone wonders what "Brit J Phil Sci" means, there's a page that explains it all, at least for some of them: [1]. But it didn't have the full name of "Rep. Bog. Phys." - help? --Alvestrand 10:53, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

  • I think that one is a typo (or an artifact of poor OCR) -- Reports on the Progress of Physics seems to be the full journal title. --Fastfission 17:35, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

White Nationalist Wiki account

I removed the "White Nationalist Wiki" account of the dispute. I don't find it useful and I think it's probably one of the worst sources one could imagine using -- this is a webpage whose About statement says that it is to create a "wiki free from the strong Jewish bias dominating the classical Wikipedia." That's not the language of a reliable source, in my opinion.

Also, it might be worth pointing out that the page on the WN Wiki was written by a user with the name of De kludde. Coincidence? Seems pretty unlikely. He's also the one who wrote the "About" statement. Sigh.

I know the user who posted it was probably not implying it was a good source, but I just felt it was worthwhile to explain my reasons for removing it. I don't think Holocaust deniers are really a great source for answering complicated historical question involving the prominence of a Jewish physicist. The user who posted it may have in fact included it as a way of showing what the White Nationalist account was -- even in that role I don't think it is very good, since 1. it was written entirely by one user (one who has been editing on this page as well), and 2. it is not a published source on it (if one wants to get the White Nationalist take on Einstein, there is plenty written on the Deutsche Physik movement as it is). Just my two cents! --Fastfission 22:29, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Actually I'm the one who added it. Not in order to make people believe it - but in order to point out that some people hold a completely different view of the world. NPOV. Of course, my personal hope would be for people to look at that wiki and recoil in horror..... but you're probably right in the argument for removing it. --Alvestrand 22:37, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Oops -- you were talking about the text I copied, not about the link in the references. The reason for the text was different - I wanted to get the author names and page numbers, so that we could distribute them around the article, but didn't do the distribution work myself. Laziness - but it's almost midnight here. --Alvestrand 22:45, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
This is a difficult issue. A well-known (and, sadly, often-validated) principle says that anything on the WWW is doomed as soon as Nazi's (White Nationalists probably count) are mentioned. OTH, to properly understand the full context of some contemporary and modern ad hominem attacks on Einstein, one needs to see the ugly language used by this type of writer. So there is strong case to made for and against including these links. Barf. ---CH 05:19, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Then it's alright if I add the Ku Klux Klan's version of black history to the pages on Martin Luther King and so forth. NPOV. We must repesent all sides equally. Nonsense. This is epistemological relativism or radical skepticism. What if I decided to put up a site dedicted to the idea that Eienstin never existed?? Shall I add the view of the flat eart h society to all the astronomy pages??--Lacatosias 09:39, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
I'd think that a link to the Ku Klux Klan's version of black history would be appropriate under Historical revisionism (negationism) - but definitely not on Martin Luther King! The existence of revisionism is a fact, and Wikipedia is about documenting facts - but I'll certainly try to document the existence with due reference to the sources that have made me not believe it! --Alvestrand 09:49, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
Sure. Of course it should be documented. But I often hear the interpretaion of NPOV as the idea that all views need to be accorded equal merit. For example, The choice of sources might, in itself, provoke someone to suggest that the people who write these alleged facts are 3 jews, four portuese and 1 Italian. Therefore, we need to belance this spurce with one that has 3 Nigerians, 4 Greman, etc.. And we end up with endless nonsense. --Lacatosias 10:13, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
I think we're in violent agreement. --Alvestrand 10:25, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
The idea that Einstein has done only part of the things for which he is famous (eg, that Poincare and Lorentz did much or most of SRT, and Hilbert did the field equations of GRT) has better supporters (Logunov, Winterberg, Whittaker) than flat earth or related nonsense.De kludde 10:19, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. But then it is these particualr authors and their credentials (I'm not suuficently specialized in theis area to judge them) which should be included and discussed in the artcile, not the White Nationalist Wikipeaid or someone who is writing exclusivelt for the White Naionalist wikipedia and obvioiusly intending to denigrate the contributuions of a Jew. --Lacatosias 10:47, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
BTW, I've now integrated the (verifiable) references I wanted to have from the WNWiki page into the text. No more need for the quote; we can go on discussing the link. --Alvestrand 09:51, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
I have linked the CRS article on the WN Wiki (which has GNU FDL), as it contains the references you are using and because it is certainly relevant to the discussion.De kludde 10:16, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
In fact, do you want to know the truth? The addition of the (now two) links to the White Nationalist Wikipedia will almost certainly have on the general reader the effect it is beginning to have on me: I can no longer take seriosuly the substantive and responsible criticims and scholarly discussions of these "disputes" because the first thing that pops immediately into my mind is "they must be racist and anti-Semitic, hateful, revenge-seeking white supremacists." Sorry, I can't help it, but that is the unintended effect that your insistence on including such nonsense in the article is having on my view of the whole thing. You are discrediting the work of Hilbert, Poincaré, Lorentz and all of the serious scholars involved in this debate, sir. Perhaps this is what you really intended all along??--Lacatosias 11:27, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
The fact (which you mention above) that you are not qualified in this area of course explains why it is of such importance to you that the article I was linking is from a White Nationalist website. This is perfectly understandable. For instance, I am not familiar with THC biochemistry but tend to disregard most claims that THC is harmless or may even be beneficial. I do this because I am familiar with the political views of those pushing for THC liberalization, and think they are up to no good. But I understand that this way of forming your opinion, while often being a good rule of the thumb, is prone to error. In the majority of cases we just have no other choice, because we have in-depth-familiarity only with a limited number of subjects. But for the Hilbert/Einstein debate I think I have at least some of the prerequisites to form an educated opinion about the issue.De kludde 13:55, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
I think you miss his point. He's saying that instead of it being a problem of POV because the "White Nationalist" point of view is over-emphasized, it makes it POV the other direction because most sane people know that anything associated with Holocaust deniers, anti-Semites, and White Supremacists is probably a complete crock of lies. Now, you can say that you think that's wrong all along (as an active contributor to something which seeks to remove "Jewish influence" from Wikipedia, I can imagine your take on it), but that doesn't change the fact that most people are not very cool with anti-Semitism and White Supremacy (it is a descriptive, not a prescriptive statement). --Fastfission 21:11, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Lacotosias, no-one is proposing to systematically add links to that wiki from all physics articles, and I think we would all (except maybe de Kludde) strongly oppose anything like that. I was just saying that it does seem relevant to me to describe in an article dealing with certain attacks on Einstein the frankly antisemitic motivation of at least some of those who have made such attacks in public. IOW, while I certainly don't want to see references to church bombings in every article on churches in the WP, some articles do have a legitmate need to address head-on some very ugly topics. Since those articles tend to raise passions which I prefer not to have to deal with, I do agree that we should keep reference to hate speech in the physics article space to an absolute minimum. But it just does not seem possible to avoid this particular citation in this particular article, especially since the presence of here of User:De kludde this discussion as an author (?) of Einstein-related articles on the WN wiki seem to imply that while we did not go looking for hate speech trouble, such trouble came looking for us. Does that make sense?---CH 02:41, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
No, no. I wasn't suggesting that it should either be removed or not removed. As Fastfission clarified, it was more of a descriptive statment than a prescptive statement. If anything, there may have been an implicit suggestion to De Kludee that, if he really thinks he can successfully contaminate this artcile with such nonsense by citing it, he should probably think again. The content is not very subtle and his the strategy is bound to be counterproductive for him. I also suggested that it detracts from serious dicussion of this material and I think that should be obvious from what has happned on the talk pages. But not suggesting cleaning up all refrences to anti-semtimism or denial of the existence of anti-semiticism. If DK insists on introducign anti-semitic material as relevant, then it will probably be interpreted as relevent to the existence of anti-semtism in these "disputes". Unfortunately, this may detract from the work of non-antisemiic scholars who are intersted in the facts. --Lacatosias 09:45, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I think that last bit is a good thing to note. Nobody had made any insinuations about alterior motives about editors here until they were stated explicitly! If you come here citing your great work at an explicitly anti-Semitic website, don't be surprised if someone suggests you might be an anti-Semite. --Fastfission 03:24, 27 February 2006 (UTC)