RE: FTL transmission?

From: Jonathan Reeves (
Date: Fri Jun 02 2000 - 07:11:11 MDT

On Thu, Jun 01, 2000 at 04:09:32PM -0400, Brian Atkins wrote:
> What I mean is the difference between someone watching a moon landing
> in 1969 on TV vs. someone watching it on Alpha Centauri many years later.
> In either case there is a delay, and even if you had instant (FTL) TV
> signals from the moon to your TV in 1969 there still is no way that I
> see that you actually are going "back in time" or causing any kind of
> paradox.
> By classical physics, you are right.
> With relativity things happen differently.
> If you are standing next to Fred, and are stationary relative to him,
> time moves at the same speed for both of you.
> If you are walking past Fred, your time is a little slower.
> If you are flying past Fred in a spaceship at near light speed, it is a
> lot slower.
> If you are a photon, and flying past him at the speed of light, time is
> stationary for you.
> If you are flying past him at faster than the speed of light, time for
> you goes backwards. Hence, you arrive before you left.

I keep hearing this argument, but as far as I can understand, this rests
solely upon the fact that an arbitrary decision has been made that nothing
can move faster than the speed of the light. Because of this whenever
something comes up that appears to be able to move faster than the speed of
light, or invalidate the argument that nothing can move faster, this theory
reverses the situation and says "ah, in that case it must be moving
backwards in time because nothing can move faster than light."

This is circular reasoning and rests on the premise that the mathematical
equations of special relatively are exactly correct in all cases.

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