Field Theory underpins all of Ken Wheeler’s odd claims about magnetism, electricity, light and metaphysics. Find out how his delusions about fields negate every claim he makes and why he’s no expert in this or any other field.
Electromagnetic fields surround us all the time. Although they vary in size and shape, they pervade the entire Universe.
Anyone who’s ever used a compass has benefitted from an electromagnetic field. Light bulbs are another everyday example.
Whenever we screw in a light bulb, it creates an electrical field. When we switch on the light, the flow of electrons in the current creates a magnetic field. The combination produces a local electromagnetic field that emits visible light.
Scientists Have No Problem Defining a Field
One accusation that Ken Wheeler hurls at legitimate scientists is that “they can’t even define what a field is.” Although he says this in virtually every video he posts, he never seems to base this criticism of scientists specializing in field theory on any facts or evidence.
The truth is that scientists have no problem defining a field. Here’s the standard definition that field theory uses, “A region of space in which a given effect (such as magnetism) exists, e.g. a magnetic field, a gravitational field”
That seems remarkably clear. For example, if you have a magnet, a magnetometer can detect a region surrounding the magnet affected by magnetism. That’s a magnetic field.
Types of Field – Magnetic, Gravitational, Electric, Radiation
Field theory addresses four main types of field: magnetic, electric, gravitational and radiation. These correspond to the forces of nature: electromagnetism, gravity, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force.
So, a field is a defined space influenced by a force of nature. Ken Wheeler is simply wrong when he claims that field theory can’t define a field. He has lifted this false claim from the discredited electricity theorist Eric Dollard, although he rarely cites him. Ironically, when the Theoria Apophasis host met Dollard, Dollard rebuffed him.
Scientists routinely confront the Angry Photographer with their clearly stated definition of a field. His retort is to claim that this definition may describe a field, but it doesn’t explain what a field is.
Wheeler Defines Field as an “Ether Perturbation Modality”
When pressed to “explain” what a field is himself, the Angry Photographer calls it an “ether perturbation modality.” The YouTuber Planarwalk provides a critique of that notion here. Ether perturbation modality is one of Ken Wheeler’s trademark jargon phrases, so let’s break it down, starting with the long, but unscientific heritage of the term “ether.”
Metaphysical speculation about the ether has a long history. It dates back at least to the time of Plato.
Plato imagined the ether as the shining realm of the gods “which God used in the delineation of the Universe.” Aristotle thought of the ether as a fifth element along with fire, water, earth and air.
Ether Was an Element Like Fire, Water, Earth and Air
He went on to say that the ether had none of the qualities of the other elements. It wasn’t hot, wet, dry or cold. It was unchanging, moved in circles, and had no contrary motion.
When Christiaan Huygens discovered that light had wavelike properties in 1678, that seemed to confirm the ether’s existence. Scientists were only familiar with mechanical waves at that time, so they assumed that light waves needed a medium in which to propagate, the way surf needs water and sound needs air.
They called this concept the luminiferous ether. It grew even more popular in the 19th century as scientists studied the wavelike nature of electromagnetic forces. For example, James Clerk Maxwell made a number of groundbreaking discoveries involving electricity and magnetism.
Luminiferous Ether a Popular Concept in the 19th Century
Maxwell strongly believed in the ether, and he developed the famous Maxwell equations based on that understanding. Scientists and engineers still rely on his equations today, although they’ve had to modify them to allow for Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.
Ken Wheeler’s attraction to the leading field theorists of this period is stronger than the world’s most powerful magnet. He constantly invokes the names of Faraday, Maxwell, Heaviside, Steinmetz, and Tesla, often referring to them as “gods.”
These scientists and their peers wanted to confirm the ether’s existence and find out more about its characteristics. From April to July 1887, two of them, Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley, conducted an experiment to try to detect the luminiferous ether.
Michelson and Morley – There Should Be an Ether Wind
At the time, scientists believed that the Earth moved relative to, or through, the ether. This meant that there should be some sort of ether wind, similar to air resistance against a car as the Earth passed through the ether.
To try to detect the ether wind, Michelson and Morley built a device called an interferometer. It had a set of mirrors and two perpendicular arms with overall lengths 11 metres long.
The device directed light down each arm. They hoped to show that the light travelling in the same direction as the Earth through the ether went faster than light going perpendicular to that motion.
“The Most Famous Failed Experiment in History”
Their experiment has been called “the most famous failed experiment in history.” Michelson and Morley found that light travelled at the same speed no matter what direction the interferometer went.
Despite attempts to salvage the notion of the ether, such as so-called “ether dragging” by the Earth as it revolved around the Sun, the Michelson-Morley experiment unintentionally proved the ether doesn’t exist. This has now been formally confirmed 33 times by experiments using increasingly sophisticated tools and techniques.
Ken Wheeler doesn’t seem to grasp, or refuses to accept that, unlike surf or sound, forces like electromagnetism and gravity don’t need a medium through which to travel. Since we know the ether doesn’t exist, we also know that there can’t be any disturbances or perturbations in it.
In his document entitled Fields, the Angry Photographer defines the ether as, “Inertia ‘in’ counterspace. All fields are Aether perturbation modalities. Pure non-Cartesian potential.”
Ken Wheeler Doesn’t Link Field Modalities to Phenomena
Explaining modalities, Ken Wheeler claims they’re analogous to ice, water and steam being the same substance. Yet, the Angry Photographer never lays out the categories of these ether modalities, nor does he successfully link them to real life phenomena we can observe like light, magnetism, gravity or radiation.
For example, the Theoria Apophasis creator attempts to use his demonstrably false notions about field theory to explain lightning. Science shows that lightning results from convection inside clouds.
The warm water droplets rise and the cold ice crystals descend, causing friction. The friction generates static electricity. The top of the cloud develops a positive charge and the colder bottom of the cloud slowly builds up a negative charge.
Lightning Results From Static Electricity Inside Clouds
When the negative charge becomes strong enough, the cloud releases a current of electricity. Most of the time, the current stays inside the cloud or travels to a nearby cloud.
However, sometimes the current flows between the cloud and the ground and we see a bolt of lightning strike. Depending on their respective charges, the current may flow from the cloud to the ground or from the ground to the cloud, but it always flows vertically.
Ken Wheeler has his own eccentric explanation that he’s derived from the bizarre claims of Electric Universe crank, Eric Dollard. According to the Angry Photographer, lightning is “a lateral desaturation of the impulse current into counter space.”
“Desaturation of Impulse Current Into Counter Space”
Once again we need to sort through the word salad to explain why his claim is incorrect. We’ve all seen, and science shows, that lightning travels vertically through the air between a cloud and the ground, so it’s clearly not lateral.
Air is an electrical insulator, so it can’t become saturated with current. Since there’s no such thing as the ether, we also can’t be observing ether saturation.
The YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis uses the terms counter space, sub-space, zero-space, and the ether interchangeably. Since none of these phenomena are real, the current can’t be flowing into any of them, including counter space, as the Angry Photographer tries to assert.
Claims that Standard Field Theory is Concept Reification
Despite his own interchangable use of flawed terminology, the Theoria Apophasis creator complains that standard field theory relies on what he calls “concept reification.” By this he means that the conventional definition of field theory confuses concepts with things that are “really real.”
Ken Wheeler has a point here, albeit an insignificant one. The idea of space is a concept, and so is the idea of a region. For that matter, so is the idea of a point within a region that’s subject to a force. Even force itself is a concept. As we know, concepts, models and theories are the building blocks of science, including field theory.
The Angry Photographer fails to grasps that his own idiosyncratic terms – ether, counter space, sub-space, zero-space, perturbation and modality are also merely concepts. Worse, they’re concepts that science has proven to be invalid and demonstrably false.
Uses Concepts that Science Has Proven Demonstrably False
Kentucky Ken’s peculiar conception of field theory wouldn’t be an issue except that he claims to be the world’s foremost authority on the subject. His notion of a field being a disturbance in the ether underpins all of his claims about magnetism, electricity, light and metaphysics.
The Angry Photographer’s so-called “explanations” of these phenomena turn out to be a house of cards. His whole body of work stands or falls on the accuracy of his understanding of field theory.
As we can see, the ether doesn’t exist, so it can’t have perturbations. Further, the Theoria Apophasis host can’t accurately link his purported modalities to real world phenomena or explain a common occurence like lightning.
Wrong About Every Scientific Claim He’s Ever Made
Since Ken Wheeler is wrong about field theory, he’s wrong about every scientific and metaphysical claim he’s ever made. When we pull the Angry Photographer’s field theory block out of his pseudoscientific Jenga stack, his whole body of work suddenly falls to the floor.
Let’s face it, science, metaphysics, and especially field theory aren’t Ken Wheeler’s forte. He should probably focus on another field.