October 22, 2004

Earth Found to Twist Space-Time

An 11 year study determined that Einstein was right. Heavy objects like suns and planets twist space and time as they move. This was discovered by precise measurement of the movement of satellites in a 6,000 km high Earth orbit.

It would be nearly impossible to have detected the effect with experiments performed using relatively small objects near ground level. But now scientists have confirmed that at least one of the models we've suspected was right, is actually useful for making practical predictions about real events. Which is the whole point of science. Not the ownership of absolute truth, or disputing the falsity or truth of religious doctrine, but to improve our ability to accurately predict and describe natural phenomena. Even more useful, to predict with the greatest accuracy we can manage what might result from our actions within those limits.

Which is why, to paraphrase Korzybski, an engineer can make a drawing of a bridge and give directions to construction crews that will predict reasonably well how the bridge needs to be made and what sort of stresses it can take when it's finished. And the lack of that sort of rigor elsewhere is why someone who speaks the same language as the engineer can write up a law or treaty which doesn't predict a thing about its effect or outcome.

Posted by natasha at October 22, 2004 01:54 PM | Science | Technorati links |

i was really pleased to read the news this morning. einstein must be saying 'told you so' from wherever he is these days.

even so, the way stars & planets twist space-time is nothing compared to how dubya's administration can twist reality ...

Posted by: magpie at October 22, 2004 02:26 PM

Damn, stole my line...

Posted by: David Aquarius at October 22, 2004 03:29 PM