The following presentations are copied entirely from answers posted on Quora to Dex Jackson's question, "How do you handle conceptual doubt on ether (electromagnetism, special relativity, spacetime, antimatter, aether, physics)?" In this discussion the arguments for and against time dilation are presented as the interpretation of relativity theories.
Argument for Time Dilation
What could it be? What the clock is measuring?
The clock is an instrument that measures a physical parameter. This physical parameter belongs to a physical phenomenon. This physical phenomenon is generated by something.
This something might be the clock by itself, the environment by itself, or the interaction between the clock and the environment.
We chose the interaction between the clock and the environment
So, what the clock shows us is the interaction between this instrument and the environment. The indications showed by the clock are not constantly or between two + or - positions.
These indications are more like a gradient. The faster we move the clock the slower it will tick. We say that its speed in time is slowing down.
The further the clock is from the sea level the faster it will be its ticking. We say that its speed in time is speeding up.
How can we unify these two? Simple. Our clock when is moving faster than before is going down on the fourth dimension. Our clock when is near sea level it is also down on the fourth dimension than on satellites.
So, the ticking of the clock is according to its positions on the fourth dimension.
The speed in time of the clock is according to its positions on the fourth dimension.
When we use the fourth dimension we need to use a 4D space. But the clock is the instrument for the time. So, the clock is positioned in spacetime. What is spacetime? What is it this environment that interacts with our instruments (the clock)
Spacetime is not the old ether (or aether) The spacetime is an environment more like a physical field. ( As the magnetic field of the Earth) The spacetime has not the same intensity everywhere. We may say that the clock shows us the intensity of this field and we may represent this physical parameter in a 4D geometrical space.
The lines of this physical field are also distorted. There are excitations, oscillations, or distortions of these physical lines. We associate all of these with particles or waves.
So, the ether is an outdated concept that can not fit with electromagnetism, special relativity, antimatter, aether, physics. We need to replace it with spacetime.
The indications that are on the clock screen show us the intensity of the spacetime in the 4D position where the clock is. Due to the gravity or to the movement of the clock, its position might be deeper or in upper on the fourth dimension ( on the fourth degree of freedom) in the place where the measurements are made.
David Thomson's Reply
“Spacetime is not the old ether (or aether) The spacetime is an environment more like a physical field. ( As the magnetic field of the Earth)”
“Old Aether,” “new Aether,” it is Aether either way. Aether is defined as structured space. A magnetic field is structured space.
The understanding that space and time are inseparable is further evidence for the existence of the Aether. The Aether, through its universal and quantum structure, maintains both spatial and temporal absolutes, hence the absolute speed of photons through the Aether.
“These indications are more like a gradient. The faster we move the clock the slower it will tick. We say that its speed in time is slowing down.”
The problem with saying that the speed in time is slowing down is that time has no speed. Time cannot be sped up or slowed down any more than a photon can travel at any velocity in space other than c (and the temporal frequency of space and the speed of photons are related).
You already accept that spacetime is like a physical field (because it really is a physical field), therefore the gradient would be a gradient of the physical field. Space constructs from quantum rotating magnetic fields (Quantum Field Theory), and the density of these quantum rotating magnetic fields changes with the gradient around objects constructed from neutrons (planets and stars construct from neutrons, for example).
The appearance of time slowing down is a distortion of the fact that there is more space density further away from a massive body, hence the space density gradient of the Aether. With more space density (Aether) to travel through, a clock will have to tick more to complete an orbit at a higher altitude than at a lower altitude.
Since time is not a thing that can slow down or speed up, time dilation is impossible. Also, if a clock at a high altitude shifted into a different time frame, it would not be visible to the time frame it shifted away from. No clock has ever disappeared from one time frame and appeared as a double in a different time frame.
Pretending that the Aether does not exist, and then pretending that time can magically replace the Aether even though time is nothing more than a metric, is highly illogical. Physicists complain that they can’t adequately measure the Aether (although that is exactly what General Relativity does) and then they invent a physical, dilating timeline, which they cannot possibly comprehend as a physical entity, to replace the Aether. There is an abundance of evidence proving the Aether as structured space, which is ignored, and there is zero evidence proving the existence of a dilating, physical timeline.
There is a Quantum Field Theory, so why isn’t there a Quantum Time Theory?; where are the physics that describe the existence and mechanics of physical matter in a dilating, physical timeline? How does physical matter physically replicate such that physical matter can physically travel among different time frames? Why is it possible for physical matter to exist in a physical past and yet there is no way to traverse that physical timeline such that physical matter disappears in the present moment and ends up as a duplicate in another time frame? If each time frame is real, then the physical matter of the entire physical Universe must be static in each physical time frame such that all the clocks read the same time; how does non-physical consciousness then get pushed along from one physical time frame to the next?
Time dilation as an explanation for relativity theories makes no sense at all, and neither is time dilation physics a viable physical science. And yet we have an abundance of evidence for Aether theories in the form of viable experiments, viable calculations, and reliable data.
In conclusion, give up on time dilation perceptions; they are a fallacy.