Bill S - many thanks but I doubt that I can remain when every comment I ever makes is sunk under a pile of irrelevant misquotes. I would just love to have an intelligent discussion on some of the points but it strains my patience too much.

Let us return to the basics. General Relativity is a field theory based on the constancy of the speed of light and the equivalence principle.

It is widely expected that it will fail at the Planck scale. A central singularity in a black hole would require that this scale is breached and there is general agreement that there must be another undiscovered theory to fill the gap.

It would seem that Orac has enormous problems with a frame of reference of a distant observer; I cannot help but feel that this is unfortunate as it is the one 'glued to my feet'. How else can one marry experimental observations with theory?

He also expresses a problem with QCG 'fields' straddling the event horizon. He believes that this is impossible or would lead to the end of the Universe. I know nothing of QCD but cannot understand at all how he imagines that the fate of the Universe hangs on which frame of reference I use. As I see it there are three options here.

- GR fails near the event horizon

- QCD fails at the event horizon

- Nothing crosses the event horizon

It is of course, the last of these three that my results

show.

Orac takes a different route: leave out any frame of reference that leaves any sort of infinity at the event horizon but this would break the equivalence principle on which all GR is based. This would correspond to the first option. Hopefully, the event horizon telescope will shed some light on this. Results are expected this year. GR has passed every test so far, so I remain hopeful.