Here is a relevant quotation from 1921:
“It was formerly believed that if all material things disappeared out of the universe, time and space would be left. According to relativity theory, however, time and space disappear together with the things.”
Whenever it is said or implied that space-time has an existence independent from matter, a fundamental scientific error is probably being made.
I add another unrelated quotation by A.E. because it is one of his great quips.
“To punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an authority myself.”