Field Theory underpins all of Ken Wheeler’s odd claims about magnetism, electricity, light, gravity 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.
Energy 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 electric current creates a magnetic field. The combination emits a local electromagnetic field of visible light.
Claims Scientists “Can’t Even Define 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 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.
Geiger Counter Detects Radiation Fields
Similarly, if you have a body of radioactive matter (careful!), a geiger counter can detect an area around it influenced by radioactivity. That’s a radiation field.
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 natural interaction. Ken Wheeler is simply wrong when he claims that field theory can’t define a field. He’s lifted this false claim from the fake electricity expert Eric Dollard, although he rarely cites him. Ironically, when the Theoria Apophasis host met Dollard, Dollard rebuffed him.
Scientists Routinely Confront Ken with Field Definition
Scientists routinely confront the Angry Photographer with their clearly stated definition of a field. Setting impossible expectations for proof, his retort is that their definition may describe a field, but it doesn’t explain what a field is.
At one point, Kentucky Ken went even farther, arguing that “there can’t be a mechanism for field mechanics.” He declines to resolve the logical fallacy that mechanics could somehow function without a mechanism.
When pressed to “explain” what a field is himself, the YouTuber behind Theoria Apophasis 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 Hypothetical Ether
Metaphysical speculation about a hypothetical substance called 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 where the heavenly bodies orbited.
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.
Light’s Wavelike Properties Seemed to Confirm Ether
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.
Ken Wheeler’s attraction to the leading field theorists of this period is stronger than the world’s most powerful magnet. He constantly cherry-picks quotes from Faraday, Maxwell, Heaviside, Steinmetz, and Tesla. He refers to them as “gods,” even though more recent discoveries have made most of their findings obsolete.
Steinmetz, One of Ken’s “Gods”, Called Ether a “Mistake”
One of these so-called “gods,” Charles Proteus Steinmetz described the early understanding of the ether to the New York Times in 1922. He said, “The mistake which led to the hypothesis of the ether was that wave motions were the only waves known at the time when the wave theory of light was proposed, and so the light wave was also considered as a wave motion and the question asked ‘what moves in the light wave?’ And this moving thing was called ether.”
Field theory pioneers wanted to confirm the ether’s existence and find out more about it. So, 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.
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 wind resistance against a moving car, as the Earth passed through the ether.
Michelson and Morley Tried to Detect 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, eleven-metre, perpendicular arms.
The device directed light down each arm. They hoped to show that the light travelling toward the Earth as it moved through the ether went faster than light going perpendicular to that motion.
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.
“Most Famous Failed Experiment in History”
Their experiment has been called “the most famous failed experiment in history.” It 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.
“We have become familiar with waves which are not wave motions, but merely periodic phenomena,” Steinmetz explained in his 1922 New York Times interview. “Thus, the alternating current is a wave, but nothing moves in it. The radio waves and light waves are electromagnetic waves, that is, periodic variations of the electromagnetic field in space.”
“Not Wave Motions, Periodic Phenomena” – Steinmetz
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.”
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.
Kentucky Ken informs us that the ether has no physical characteristics. Yet, he explains the fixed speed of light by claiming that the ether has a “rest inertia,” which, if true, would be a physical characteristic.
Claims Ether Not Composite Then Says It Has a Component
Similarly, the Angry Photographer insists that the ether is not a composite of anything else. This is a way out of having to explain the make-up of his make-believe medium.
Yet, he goes on to say the ether has a “spacial-temporal” component. Something with components is a composite by definition.
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.
Attempts to Use False Field Theory to Explain Lightning
The warm water droplets rise and the cold ice crystals fall, 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.
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.
Eccentric Explanation Derived from Fake Expert Eric Dollard
Ken Wheeler has his own eccentric explanation that he’s derived from the bizarre claims of Electric Universe fake expert, Eric Dollard. According to the Angry Photographer, lightning is “a lateral desaturation of the impulse current into counter space.”
Once again we need to sift 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.
Uses Counter Space, Sub-Space and Ether Interchangeably
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.
Despite his own interchangeable use of flawed terminology, the Theoria Apophasis creator complains that standard field theory relies on what he calls “concept reification.” By this he attributes the definition of a field to a conspiracy theory in which the scientific establishment conflates mere 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 an effect. Even the effect itself is a concept. As we know, concepts, models and theories are the building blocks of science, including field theory.
Attacks “Concept Reification” – His Own Concepts are Invalid
The Angry Photographer fails to grasp 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 logically invalid and inconsistent with observations.
The Theoria Apophasis creator explains the complete lack of any evidence whatsoever for the ether by claiming that “the ether, definitionally, cannot be anything.” What this logical fallacy means is that ether, definitionally, doesn’t exist.
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.
Ken’s “Explanations” Turn Out to Be House of Cards
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’ve seen, 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 occurrence 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 needs to focus on some other field.