What if there is only one universe?

Jun 04, 2009
What if there is only one universe?

(PhysOrg.com) -- Lee Smolin, author of the bestselling science book The Trouble with Physics and a founding member and research physicist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, writes exclusively in the June issue of Physics World explaining why theories of cosmology that suggest that our universe is just one of many - the so-called multiverse - and thus perpetuate the notion that time does not exist are flawed.

Smolin explains how theories describing a myriad of possible universes, with less or more dimensions and different kinds of particles and forces, have become increasingly popular in the last few years. However, through his work with the Brazilian philosopher Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Smolin believes that, despite there being good reasons for the conclusion that we live in a timeless multiverse, those theories, and the concomitant assumption that time is not a fundamental concept, are "profoundly mistaken".

Smolin points out why a timeless multiverse means that our laws of physics are no longer determinable from experiment and how the connection between fundamental laws, which are unique and applicable universally from first principles, and effective laws, which hold based on what we can actually observe, becomes unclear.

Smolin suggests a new set of principles that he hopes will begin a fresh adventure in science where we have to reconceive the notion of law to apply to a single universe that happens just once. These principles begin with the assertion that there is only one universe; that all that is real is real in a moment, as part of a succession of moments; and that everything that is real in a moment is a process of change leading to the next or future moments. As he explains, "If there is just one universe, there is no reason for a separation into laws and initial conditions, as we want a law to explain just one history of the one universe."

If we embrace the idea that there is only one universe and that time is a fundamental property of nature, then this opens up the possibility that the laws of physics evolve with time. As Smolin writes, "The notion of transcending our time-bound experiences in order to discover truths that hold timelessly is an unrealizable fantasy. When science succeeds, we do nothing of the sort; what we physicists really do is discover laws that hold in the we experience within time. This, I would claim, should be enough; anything beyond that is more a religious urge for transcendence than science."

More information: physicsworld.com/cws/home

Source: Institute of Physics (news : web)

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OBSL33t
3.6 / 5 (14) Jun 04, 2009
Fantastic.
I'm glad someone is at least putting this on the table.
Science has always been based on what we can physically test.
Anything outside of that should be concidered psuedo-science.
VOR
3.3 / 5 (14) Jun 04, 2009
intuitively agree. go with Occam's razor and forget the multiverse nonsense. and forget backwards time travel nonsense. things only happen once. and matter is conserved. I tire of the nonsense.
Noumenon
3.5 / 5 (90) Jun 04, 2009
[quote=]The notion of transcending our time-bound experiences in order to discover truths that hold timelessly is an unrealizable fantasy. When science succeeds, we do nothing of the sort;[/quote]

Time is a subjective component of phenomenal reality. Smolin should attack the multiverse theorists from a different perspective because,...

If one defines 'scientific success' as making accurate predictions of future events, then in fact Science DOES transcend not only Time, ...but Space and Causality (!), i.e. with QM.

On the other hand if one defines 'scientific success' as providing an understanding of reality within the bounds of our a-priori conceptual framework of space, time, and causality, ..that is, for the (epistemological) understanding, ..the potential for such success ended one century ago!

Immanuel Kant's transcendental deduction (1780!), ...that a-priori cognitive faculties determine the form of experience, and so the conditions of science, anticipated the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM with regard to the inability of science to provide an understanding of the underlying reality, that is, reality as it is, apart from the artificial intellectual coherence mind conforms it to.

Time is not a discoverable entity of itself apart from it's intellectual application, ...its a means of ordering events,.. a fundamental concept only in regard to epistemology.

Some theorists would extend the Schrodinger wave function into multiverses, to prevent its demise upon an observation. Their inability to accept the Copenhagen Interpretation (or Kant's epistemological lesson), forces them to regard the Schrodinger wave function as an description of an entity in and of itself.

Science formulates mathematical structures that relate and predict observables, .. in effect wrapping a mathematical leash around a 'something', but never able to know what that 'something' is itself, in terms conformable to the understanding. That is the role of science and what differentiates it from religion, which the multi-verse theorists and the like seem to practice.
Hyperion1110
3.3 / 5 (8) Jun 04, 2009
Fantastic.

I'm glad someone is at least putting this on the table.

Science has always been based on what we can physically test.

Anything outside of that should be concidered psuedo-science.


I understand your perspective. And I agree, but only to appoint. To me, the multiverse hypothesis, and theoretical physics in general, has nothing to do with empirical observation, and everything to do with simple conjecture. Truth be told, the entire discipline of theoretical physics, as currently practiced, is really just a branch of philosophy (much more so than all of science is), and its practitioners nothing more than metaphysicians.

I applaud Smolin and Unger for their work, but, in truth, it is nothing new. Indeed, I don't think Smolin fully appreciats the irony of his sentiments. He writes: "The notion of transcending our time-bound experiences in order to discover truths that hold timelessly is an unrealizable fantasy." Really, Dr. Smolin? I suggest you spend some quality time reading Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. If you did, you would understand that time is an intuition of the subject, not a property of the object. In "transcending our time-bound experiences", we ultimately make judgments a priori, with the resultant truths being, ironically, timeless; indeed, judgments a priori constitute the ONLY timeless, univeral, and certain principles known. What's more, Kant called the science he proposed transcendental idealism.

As for Smolin's "new" principles, he writes: "[T]here is only one universe; that all that is real is real in a moment, as part of a succession of moments; and that everything that is real in a moment is a process of change leading to the next or future moments." Um...those are not new. And they're not principles, but suppositions. I suggest he do some reading on the early modern philosophers; I would suggest Hume, in particular.

And lastly, Smolin makes himself looking even more stupid when he writes: "[A]nything beyond [my susuppositions are] more a religious urge for transcendence than science." Huh? Since when did philosophy become religious? There are perfectly justifiable reasons for denying those suppositions. Seriously, dude, Hume would have a field day with you!

I have a great deal of respect for modern science as an enterprise. But, truly, some scientists need to stop trying to reinvent the wheel by squaring it. A more thorough education in the history and philosophy of science would go a long way to helping all of the "Smolins" out there reason properly.
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (83) Jun 04, 2009
Hyperion1110, I beat you to it!!, LOL. Kudos.

Yes, he should read Hume in respect to causality,.. this having "awakened Kant from his dogmatic slumbers".
Hyperion1110
3 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2009
Noumenon, you beat me by 6 minutes! Still, I'm glad I wasn't the only one to think of Kant after reading that article :)

Kudos to you for your well-argued post.
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (82) Jun 04, 2009
Yes, I thought right away, Good for Smolin, but he needs to wrap his head around it better,.. its even more profound than he thinks!

BTW, I thought yours was better explained. :)
Hyperion1110
3 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2009
Dammit...you beat me to the kudos, too! Stupid 3 minute rule :)

Hahaha...this is WAY better than work!
superhuman
4.2 / 5 (6) Jun 04, 2009
Time is a subjective component of phenomenal reality.

Neither time nor space are subjective.

To be subjective something has to differ from person to person but time as it is defined is not measured by our experiences it is measured by changes in material world which are completely independent of our perception and therefore NOT subjective.
Gammakozy
4 / 5 (10) Jun 04, 2009
Smolin will certainly have his critics. And had I not read his book, I am sure I would be one of them today. I started out reading his book as a skeptic and was even somewhat resentful that anyone would dare to question today's physics and especially string theory because I am fascinated by some of its proposals and would give anything to see them become realities. And I had also subscribed wholeheartedly to the notion, as do all string theorists, that beautiful mathematical constructions cannot be virtual entities but must reflect reality. However, the compelling arguments of Smolin, a former string theorist himself, made me question if the theory will ever be anything other than an exciting exercise in speculative fantasy. I now believe that string theory has reached a critical point where it has to either put-up or shut-up, or at least be shelved once again. Generating increasingly more bizarre possibilities such as multiverses, branes, etc., to explain the outcomes of exotic mathematical calculations is not proof of anything other than that mathematics can be beautiful and interesting.
Hyperion1110
2.4 / 5 (5) Jun 04, 2009
Time is a subjective component of phenomenal reality.


Neither time nor space are subjective.



To be subjective something has to differ from person to person but time as it is defined is not measured by our experiences it is measured by changes in material world which are completely independent of our perception and therefore NOT subjective.


I understand the current, "common" usage of the word subjective on which you base your comment. But, to be honest, it's not really accurate. The root word "subject" refers to "that which is perceived; this was true for both medievals and moderns. Conversely, the "object" is "that which is perceived." By extension, that which is necessarily true is of the subject, that is, subjective. Similarly, that which is conditional, i.e. epistemologically uncertain, is of the object, that is, objective.

In the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM, the observer is the subject and the observed the object; I trust this relationship is axiomatic. Curiously, this prevailing intellectual model, and subsequent empirical evidence, obviates the influence of the subject (observer) on the object (the observed).

One could also appeal to General Relativity in this case, which guarantees that space and time vary depending on the presence of mass-energy, speed, and, last but not least, reference frame. Interestingly, relativity gives us another illustration of the subject/object relationship: subject to reference frame and object to general relativitistic event.

What Noumenon was referring to with "Time is the subjective component of phenomenal reality" is one of the only categorical truisms existent. Time is the internal intuition of the subject (the observer), which forms the foundation of his judgments a priori. Space, on the other hand, is the external intuition of the subject (pertaining to objects) by which one formulates judgments a posteriori. Combined, these two faculties form the basis of the subject's method for acquiring knowledge.

In short, Noumenon is correct in his statement. Time is an intuition of the subject, which is foundational to his experience of the world. QED
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (82) Jun 04, 2009
Yes, I don't mean subjective as in a "phenomenological" personal (variable) interpretation. I mean, ...by definition, 'phenomenal reality' inherently would include as a component a conceptual ordering structure, which is supplied by the (observer) a-prior conditions for understanding, given the nature of the mind. In order for us to know reality it must in some sense conform to conditions dependant on mind.


Hyperion, thanks for your explanation above,...

As I understand from further investigation, Dr. Smolin would be well aware of Kant's ideas, but does not accept them entirely. I will read his book to understand his approach better. W. Heisenberg did not accept Kant either, in his case, because geometry is discoverable in the example of non-Euclidean. However, concerns the structure of geometry, not the elements.

In anycase, it is a fascinating subject for sure, and I'm glad Smolin writes about it.
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (80) Jun 04, 2009
Gammakozy, your exactly correct as is Dr. Smolin,... There is a reason he chose a differing path than an epistemological one or a reflection on the Bohr Copenhagen interpretation,... for me to find out,...
Hyperion1110
3 / 5 (2) Jun 04, 2009
Woops! In my above post, it should read "subject" is "that which perceives" and "object" is "that which is perceived."

I'm planning on reading Smolin's book myself, since I admire what he is trying to do.
OregonWind
5 / 5 (2) Jun 04, 2009
Gammakozy

Your statements are quite emotional. You grew attached to string theory as a beautiful mathematical construction and you would like to see it successful. I understand that part since I hold a degree in mathematical physics but ideas cannot continue in physics or any other science without proper criticism, deep analysis and careful experimentation. A theory must stand against criticism and experiments.
podizzle
5 / 5 (2) Jun 04, 2009
sounds like a step backwards to me, I dont think the multiverse theory is all that wacky considering we still dont really know what's on the other side of a black hole.
Alizee
Jun 04, 2009
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Alizee
Jun 04, 2009
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Alizee
Jun 04, 2009
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Alizee
Jun 04, 2009
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Alizee
Jun 04, 2009
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MorituriMax
5 / 5 (2) Jun 04, 2009
When reading about science, does anybody elses hair stand on end when you see this,

"However, through his work with the Brazilian philosopher Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Smolin believes that,"

In other words, why are we using PHILOSOPHY to investigate hard science about the universe and the whichness of the what?
LuckyBrandon
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 04, 2009
correct me if im wrong guys, but i seem to recall reading somewhere that quantum states are "outside of space-time", so to speak. if that is the case, then time cannot be a fixed property of the universe, as if it were, then the quantum level would need to behave in the same way.
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (80) Jun 04, 2009
That's right Brandon.

Hyperion, I sent you a PM.
spacester
3.8 / 5 (4) Jun 04, 2009
I've been waiting for this moment. Smolin is talking about what I call Hume's Error.

There is a nearly forgotten philosopher who not only transcended Hume's error, but presented an entire cosmology which is strongly echoed by Smolin's view.

"Smolin suggests a new set of principles that he hopes will begin a fresh adventure in science where we have to reconceive the notion of law to apply to a single universe that happens just once. These principles begin with the assertion that there is only one universe; that all that is real is real in a moment, as part of a succession of moments; and that everything that is real in a moment is a process of change leading to the next or future moments. As he explains, "If there is just one universe, there is no reason for a separation into laws and initial conditions, as we want a law to explain just one history of the one universe."

That's pure Lord Alfred North Whitehead stuff there.

Modern Science is based on Hume, who topped Kant and Berkley and all the other sillies by appealing to the "reality" that if a repeated action causes identical reactions, then we may be certain in drawing conclusions as to the aspects of reality connecting cause and effect - leaving our certainty dependent on the consistency of reality.

It's Science's blind spot. Whitehead saw it coming.

Whitehead's Philosophical Magnum Opus: *Process and Reality* - not exactly light reading material.

Whitehead said: Reality is Process - everything that is real is a process of change.

Reality does not undergo change - Reality IS change.
E_L_Earnhardt
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 04, 2009
Theories proponded by "machine" of predictable design operational response, (the human brain), lead only to expected, even if conflicting, ends!
The human brain is just such a machine. Only FAITH
opens doors beyond machine design!
superhuman
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2009
I understand the current, "common" usage of the word subjective on which you base your comment. But, to be honest, it's not really accurate.


Unless you redefine the terms you use you are bound by their common definitions. Whether you think those definitions are accurate or not is irrelevant.
iamcrazy
5 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2009
......hope you guys find your way through the rabbit hole
OregonWind
3 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2009
'However, through his work with the Brazilian philosopher Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Smolin believes that...'

'In other words, why are we using PHILOSOPHY to investigate hard science about the universe and the whichness of the what? '

Roberto Mangabeira Unger is a sociologist and a professor at Harvard. However, I don't know anything about his involvement with physics. Your question about what philosophy has anything to do with hard science is odd. History shows us that all the great scientific mind were (and are) also philosophers one way or another.
jeffsaunders
2 / 5 (4) Jun 05, 2009
I agree with the many posts above that have the common thread of understanding that the topic is related entirely to philosophy. Not to say that these principles cannot be used in thought experiments. And that much that is science has it's roots in philosophy going back thousands of years to times before even philosophy was formalised in writing.

Of course there is only one universe and we are in it. It has existed since the beginning of time and will continue existing till the end of time. That time itself has no beginning and no end is merely a side bar to the endless universe.

I have recently had an epiphany moment myself whereby Gravity and the photon can be inked directly and simply and that in turn supports the universal universe. It is all so simple and elegant that the idea ties in completely with the background radiation of the universe, red shift and many other cosmological observations.

I then started to look around the internet and it seems that I am not alone and that even before there was an internet many of the same ideas expressed in different ways have been floating around the scientific community.

Still it was nice to know that I had the same thought as many distinguished scientists before me and that some of these have received Nobel prizes and are not considered slouches by any means by their peers.

I don't think it will be much more than another 10 years and we will all be laughing at the expanding universe cranks that had hijacked and blocked all the right thinking individuals in the science world.

It will be held up as an example of what can happen under peer pressure in the backward 20th century.
Ivan2
5 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2009
"through his work with the Brazilian philosopher Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Smolin believes that(...)"

Maybe Smolin is trying desperately to get rid of his reputation and he wants to make sure everyone knows he is really a dumb blonde.
Ethelred
4.8 / 5 (4) Jun 05, 2009
Written before reading any of the many comments. Something I usually don't do.

As he explains, "If there is just one universe, there is no reason for a separation into laws and initial conditions, as we want a law to explain just one history of the one universe."


That's what HE wants because he thinks there is only one universe. Much of modern physics has been an attempt to get ONE answer. If there is only one answer we should be able to derive the constants from first principles. So far there is not a single sign that this can be done. Some theories can generate close approximations of SOME of the constants but blow it on others. The Standard Model can't get any.

If we embrace the idea that there is only one universe and that time is a fundamental property of nature, then this opens up the possibility that the laws of physics evolve with time.


There is no need for a single universe for the laws of physics to evolve with time. Just a need for time and while time can be lost in a multiverse I don't see where it HAS to be lost. Entropy seems to give an arrow to time.

I do recommend Smolin's book The Trouble with Physics. It does a good job of covering the problems of the String Hypothesis without being as extreme as Peter Woit seems to be. Caveat - I haven't read Woit's book, just his web site Not Even Wrong.

Ethelred

QubitTamer

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2009
If one defines 'scientific success' as making accurate predictions of future events, then in fact Science DOES transcend not only Time, ...but Space and Causality (!), i.e. with QM.


You still don't understand Bell's Inequality. It DOES NOT prove reality to be in your head or Kant's head. It ONLY proves that reality isn't local IF AND ONLY IF information is transmitted at greater than the speed of light. Which hasn't been done. The catch is that Bell's Inequality ASSUMES that information travels faster than the speed of light in spooky action at a distance.

Also even if information can be passed at greater than the speed of light it only make reality non local in the sense that information would not be limited by the speed of light. Thus Einstein would be wrong about causality and the speed of light. Apparently your thinking is popular with philosophers. Its not popular with physicists.

If information can travel at faster than the speed of light that DOES NOT disprove causality. It just makes it non-local in the sense that physicists think of local as being bound by the speed of light.

Ethelred

QubitTamer

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2009
Of course there is only one universe and we are in it.


And you can prove this of course. How?

It has existed since the beginning of time and will continue existing till the end of time


Only if there is only one Universe. Even if so, that's just a tautology.


I have recently had an epiphany moment myself whereby Gravity and the photon can be inked directly and simply and that in turn supports the universal universe.


Would you care to put some real meaning into that? As it stands it sounds like a prelude to cranking. Then again you may have a profound insight. Doesn't seem likely based on the rest of your post though.

I don't think it will be much more than another 10 years and we will all be laughing at the expanding universe cranks


Sorry, its not cranks. The evidence all leads to that conclusion. Cranks however have a problem with it for reasons I have yet to fathom. Calling the preponderance of physicists cranks just shows that you have a problem with science and are a probably a crank yourself. They are a frequent occurrence on the site.

It will be held up as an example of what can happen under peer pressure in the backward 20th century.


So, you are from the future?

Ethelred

QubitTamer

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.
komone
5 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2009
Perhaps the best evidence for a multiverse is the existence of quantum computing. In a "single universe" - how can this be explained? I'm not saying Smolin is wrong at all, just that the evidence best fits with a multiverse right now, and would be interested how you would go about explaining the schrodinger equation, and more forcefully, quantum computing if you have only one universe to play with.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (4) Jun 05, 2009
Perhaps the best evidence for a multiverse is the existence of quantum computing.


I would agree with that if there was any quantum computing going on. When something is calculated with a quantum computer then Dr. Smolin may have to think things over again. In the meantime its a hypothesis without evidence. Like String Theory which is not a theory but a hypothesis with no evidence to support it. Of course there is no evidence against it either.

Just because I like something that doesn't mean its true. There are others on this thread that haven't figured out that this true for them as well. Numbers aren't enough, logic is not enough. Evidence is needed.

Ethelred

QubitTamer

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.
komone
1 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2009
No evidence for quantum computing? I believe Artur Eckert showed something of the sort with Shor's algorithm when at Oxford. Has that work been questioned?
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (80) Jun 05, 2009
For the record, I have tried to explan Kant's transcedental deduction to Ethelred at lengh and failed. Now it could be that he does not accept it, thus leading to his multiverse faith, which is orders of a magnitude less rational and lacking in evidence than is a epistemological interpretation, myself and Hyperion accept. Bell inequality shows that qm is complete as is, otherwise or ideas of probability are wrong. That light is c should be accepted unless testable theories can counter that presumption. Btw c is a consequence of Maxwell's electrodynamics, Einstein having found it necessary to accept.

I didn't state that Bell inequality is proof of Kant's ideas, which I regard as a rational interpretation very similar to Bohr and Heisenbergs ideas known as the Copenhagen interpretation, accepted by most physists,... but should give guidence to those who think multiverse or string theory is science.
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (80) Jun 05, 2009
I understand the current, "common" usage of the word subjective on which you base your comment. But, to be honest, it's not really accurate.




[quote=SuperHuman]
Unless you redefine the terms you use you are bound by their common definitions. Whether you think those definitions are accurate or not is irrelevant.
[/quote]



SH, the terms should be understood in the context of philosophy, and have had the technical meanings for hundreds of years. Nither I or Hyperion have changed those meanings.

Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (81) Jun 05, 2009
In otherwords, Ethelred, if we are to interpret current sucessful theories, not string or multiverse, and holding c constant,... with experimental proof that existing testable theories are not missing variables that would provide a more 'satisfying' classical understanding, than one imo should accept the discovery of Kant or at least the Bohr interpretation. Now this is rational and most of science woud take the later route. Apparently Lee Smolin has another means, which should be educational.
Noumenon
3.3 / 5 (82) Jun 05, 2009
[q=spacester]Modern Science is based on Hume, who topped Kant and Berkley and all the other sillies by appealing to the "reality" that if a repeated action causes identical reactions, then we may be certain in drawing conclusions as to the aspects of reality connecting cause and effect - leaving our certainty dependent on the consistency of reality.



Hume in fact in effect showed the opposite of what you state above. What Hume showed was that there is no analytic link between cause and effect, only a constant conjunction of events,%u2026 in other words NOT a certainty at all, as you say, but at best to a degree of probability. This of course has little barring on classical science, but becomes profoundly relevant in modern theories like QED.



Maybe you can elaborate on what you mean. I%u2019ll be reading Smolin book, and I should investigate Whitehead more as well.

Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (81) Jun 05, 2009
... so the role of science now, since the qm revolution, is to provide a mathematical framework in which to make predictions to a degree of probabilistic accuracy,... not to provide an (epistemological) understanding of the underlying reality (!) as such an understanding would have to be in classical terms, which way back at the time of Boztman, was proven impossible.

Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2009
I believe Artur Eckert showed something of the sort with Shor's algorithm when at Oxford. Has that work been questioned?


What work?I am not talking about theory based on speculation but actual functioning quantum computation. None. No one. You have to have a quantum computer first. With enough qubits to have meaning.

From his site:

My work is mostly theoretical but its results also bear directly on issues of experimental implementation. One reason why it has attracted attention from industry and government agencies is that quantum cryptography can guarantee perfectly secure communication. Another is that projected quantum computers will be capable of efficiently solving some problems for which there is believed to be no efficient classical algorithm.


Note the term PROJECTED. Not actual.

Its too late to respond to the longer less cut and dried stuff. Except:

For the record, I have tried to explan Kant's transcedental deduction to Ethelred at lengh and failed.


And I have tried to get it through to you that its meaningless without evidence. Its just a circle jerk. Just like my preference for a Multiverse.

You don't get it. YOU MUST HAVE EVIDENCE. I don't and neither does Kant. If quantum computing takes off then I have some evidence. If causality can be shown to be meaningless then you will have some.

The difference between me and the cranks around here is that I know Wheeler's theories need evidence. The difference between you and the other cranks is that you are a better writer. Being a better writer doesn't make up for a lack of physical evidence. Nor does pretending that I didn't understand what you said change the fact that I did. I simply didn't agree because its just a matter of opinion without evidence.

multiverse faith, which is orders of a magnitude less rational and lacking in evidence


The math works. So it IS rational. Evidence, you have none. There is no evidence that shows Wheeler wrong. It is just that people don't want to think about it. They prefer their own unprovable models that are equally disturbing to the minds of Newtonions. I used to one of those. Not Newtonion, disturbed by the Multiverse.

Like Dr. Strangelove you must learn to love the Bomb or in this case some sort of model with Uncertainty as a principle.

a epistemological interpretation, myself and Hyperion accept.


An opinion based on too many philosophy classes. You accept without evidence the intellectual masturbation of long dead authors that tested not one concept against physical evidence. Evidence is king.

Bell inequality shows that qm is complete as is, otherwise or ideas of probability are wrong.


False. It does no such thing. It shows that there are no hidden variable and nothing else. In no way does it magically make a quantum theory of gravity appear. How many times do I have to point this out to you?

QM is incomplete.

Btw c is a consequence of Maxwell's electrodynamics, Einstein having found it necessary to accept.


Yes. Its nice that you have some acquaintance with reality. How does that make Kant a physicist?

I didn't state that Bell inequality is proof of Kant's ideas,


You acted as if it was some sort of disproof of causality. Otherwise there is nothing to support you at all.

but should give guidence to those who think multiverse or string theory is science.


Wheeler's work was science. String theory which is not yet a theory is science. I disagree with Peter Woit on this. He thinks it's philosophy. The difference is that its not just opinion as is the case of philosophy, outside of formal logic. Both have mathematics that work. Well, the Multiverse works as well mathematically as the Copenhagen model. String stuff is mathematically in need of work, at least based on what Smolin, and others have said.

I shouldn't have started, I need to go to sleep. More later. At least twenty or more hours.

Perhaps someone else can join in the struggle against Kant know causality and E pist on mont ilogical. The proletariat must struggle against that petty bourgeoisie writer that did no actual work. And I must sleep or this will get so silly even I can't make it out.

Ethelred

QubitTamer

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.
Ethelred
not rated yet Jun 05, 2009
I really should have waited. I just replied to people in one post without noticing that it was two people and not two posts from one.

Sorry about the conFusion.


Ethelred

QubitTamer

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Noumenon
3.3 / 5 (82) Jun 05, 2009
"quantum theory of gravity"?

I never mentioned that,.. gets some rest Ethelred, LOL.

Existing theory (qed/qcd) that is experimentally verified, cannot be understood in classical terms,... causality and so time. This is what leads me to a reflection on Kant's ideas as they relate to Bohr interpretations. This is the 'proof' you never tire of asking for. Nothing fundamental has changed since Bohr in regard to the qm problem. Now, if some future empirically viable theory reformulate qm into these classical terms then I would have been proven wrong,... multiverse to prevent the projection postulate won't do it, can't do it,... it is not testable. Kant's ideas are not a science to be tested, they are a potential explanation for odd qm problem.
Hyperion1110
3 / 5 (4) Jun 05, 2009
Ethelred, you wrote: "An opinion based on too many philosophy classes. You accept without evidence the intellectual masturbation of long dead authors that tested not one concept against physical evidence. Evidence is king."

The point you either don't agree with or misunderstand is that, without a rigorous understanding of how one comes to have knowledge, by what mechanisms, both internal and external, one cannot know whether any "evidence" is such; this was Kant's project, and why it is quite important to the matter at hand.

Appealing to mathematics as evidence of physical reality is, to be honest, quite silly. Mathematics, by its nature, need not reference the physical world at all to have meaning. Sure, I can count two beans, then count two more beans, and then say that, in total, that there are four beans I have counted. But this has nothing to do with the mathematical relationship "two plus two equals four." Indeed, as Kant argues (though not directly at this particular point), mathematical relationships like those stated above are the preconditions for understanding the counting of the beans.

For myself, I believe in the existence of an independent reality(for one can never "know" such things). However, and this is a strong however, I have read no compelling argument that an "objective", empirically-verifiable universe exists that is observer independent. In fact, I think it dangerously naive to assume that empirical evidence is uncontestably true; there are two reasons for my view, owing to the fact that evidence can be gathered in one of only two ways. First, evidence may be gathered directly through the senses; in this case, the nature of phenomenal reality is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT in assigning veridicality to the evidence. And second, evidence may be gathered through instrumentation; in this case, mathematics is the basis for determining the veridicality of the evidence, and I defy anyone to give an argument for the link between mathematics and physical reality that is based entirely on "empircal" evidence--that is, give me a subject-independent (observer-independent) argument, based only on observation (sense-based), that establishes mathematically relationships as extant, physical realities. Simply supposing, because the universe SEEMS to coincide with mathematical principles does not mean that that which is mathematically true is identical with that which is physically real.

In the case that one could provide the argument above specified, that all mathematically relationships ARE physically extant, then I think there would be a strong case for the existence of a multiverse, where each mathematical construct corresponds to a physical reality. Until then, I'm going to go with Kant's eloquent argument that mathematical judgments are prior to experience, and themselves help to form the basis for our experience of reality.

On a side note, I often get upset with trolls, who post comments, true or otherwise, without respect to civility. Unfortunately, in the haste of my original post, I did just that, in suggesting Dr. Smolin was unaware of previous philosophical works by Kant and Hume. While the spirit of my comments remain true (those two philosophers seem to offer strong counterpoints to the author's claims), the phrasing I chose was poor in places. Mea cupla, Dr. Smolin.
Hyperion1110
3 / 5 (4) Jun 05, 2009
LOL...and sometimes philosophy really can seem like a circle jerk. Back when I was a hardcore physics guy, I used to laugingly refer to philosophy as the fine art of never coming to a conclusion. But time has proven me wrong. For myself, I think philosophy is important in helping to think critically (remember, logic is a branch of philosophy, which helps form the foundation of mathematics and, by extension, all of the mathematical sciences). But above all, philosophy teaches its practioners an ardent love of wisdom, and that can never be worthless.
MenaceSan
1 / 5 (4) Jun 05, 2009
glad to hear i'm not the only one that thinks theoretical physics is so far into fantasy land as to be a total waste of time.
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (82) Jun 05, 2009
Well said Hyperion. :)
spacester
4 / 5 (4) Jun 05, 2009
...Hume in fact in effect showed the opposite of what you state above. What Hume showed was that there is no analytic link between cause and effect, only a constant conjunction of events, in other words NOT a certainty at all, as you say, but at best to a degree of probability. This of course has little barring on classical science, but becomes profoundly relevant in modern theories like QED.
...


You are correct; I was imprecise and conFused two points. What I meant to say is that Science has never really dealt with the implications of Hume's conclusion. Yet onward marches Science, with nearly every theory implicitly assuming the link between cause and effect. Not that a failure to answer Hume invalidates any particular theory, or any theory at all for all I know, it's just that the whole enterprise is founded on "faith" that like causes generate like effects.

Douglas Adams made a career with this stuff. We cannot know that a geranium will not turn into a sperm whale in the next instant. We never lose the bet, but we're never really sure either.

It strikes me as an obvious point of attack if one wishes to identify the current set of blinders worn by science, relative to future scientists who are all over anti-gravity and warp drive and whatever.


... so the role of science now, since the qm revolution, is to provide a mathematical framework in which to make predictions to a degree of probabilistic accuracy,... not to provide an (epistemological) understanding of the underlying reality (!) as such an understanding would have to be in classical terms, which way back at the time of Boztman, was proven impossible.



I don't know about Boztman and am not familiar with the argument that an epistemological understanding requires classical terms. By 'classical' I take it you refer to pre-qm philosophy?

In response, I can only return to "Hume's Error", as identified by Whitehead. (I'm a little rusty on this, sorry.)

To Whitehead, reality is the process of change, but more importantly here, all process is a continuum. Change does not happen in discrete events, because time is not a series of discrete events, it is a continuum itself.

If all reality is process, then discrete events placed on a time-line, with one labeled 'cause' and another labeled 'effect', are arbitrary constructs of a Cartesian-like desire on the part of Humans to construct an artificial frame of reference by which to navigate.

This is not to say that effects do not follow causes; the observation here is that the methodology of cause and effect does not match well with the underlying nature of reality.

We do not yet understand the true nature of Time's Arrow and my best guess is that this blind spot on the part of science is a big part of the reason why.

In fact, it is my personal observation that a very large proportion of mistakes made by humans in terms of understanding how their world works have to do with a poor grasp of the nature of change as a continuum driven by Time's Arrow. IOW people in general do not allow for continuous change. This supposition leads me to believe I'm onto something here.
Noumenon
3.5 / 5 (77) Jun 05, 2009
@Spacester,

I can't help but agree with that in part. I'll need to read more on Whitehead to understand better that point, but.. I would rather regard time as it appears to us, as an artifact of the process of constructing an artificial coherence of reality. The entire conceptual framework of phenomenal reality is provided by mind as the form under which knowledge is possible to begin with,... rather than time being an existent entity or continuum of itself, as this would not be discoverable in reality apart from an observer.
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (81) Jun 05, 2009
.... (oops) i mean apart from an observers use of it, which requires that 'concept' in an a-prior sense.
retro
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 05, 2009
Philosophical maundering, and completely worthless. Anyone for a dose of neo-thomism?
spacester
5 / 5 (1) Jun 05, 2009
@Noumenon

I would rather regard time as it appears to us, as an artifact of the process of constructing an artificial coherence of reality. The entire conceptual framework of phenomenal reality is provided by mind as the form under which knowledge is possible to begin with,... rather than time being an existent entity or continuum of itself, as this would not be discoverable in reality apart from an observer.


What I don't get about that is why the observer invalidates the observation, and why the assumed mutual exclusivity between mind-as-basis of knowledge and time-as-basis of reality.

I suppose I understand the logic behind a mind-based reality subjugating observations to mere impressions, but I don't buy into mind-as-basis of knowledge, let alone mind-as-basis of reality.
Soylent
3 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2009
and matter is conserved. I tire of the nonsense.


Destroying matter is the basis for 50% of the electricity production in my country.
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (80) Jun 05, 2009
[quote spacester] What I don't get about that is why the observer invalidates the observation, and why the assumed mutual exclusivity between mind-as-basis of knowledge and time-as-basis of reality.




I suppose that if mind were omnipotent or had no internal mechanism in which to order experience, so that knowledge came straight as it were ready formed into consciousness, ...then I can see the mind being passively effected by time as if it was an existent entity of itself.



But we know the mind has internal mechanisms in order to acquire knowledge, as its not magic but a functioning device, ... and so rather than being passive with respect to time, it is active supplying that element of phenomenal reality as an ordering intuition. The concept of time must be preexisting because it is always applied, not discovered.



[quote spacester] I suppose I understand the logic behind a mind-based reality subjugating observations to mere impressions, but I don't buy into mind-as-basis of knowledge, let alone mind-as-basis of reality.




Naturally, knowledge is acquired through mind so you must have misspoke with regard to " I don't buy into mind-as-basis of knowledge".



As to "mind-as-basis of reality",... I wouldn't take Kant's point into pure idealism, as Fitch, Shelling, and Hegel did. I don't deny an underlying reality at all,.. its just that it must be subject to a-priori conditions of the mind, for knowledge to be possible. Kant recognized that since all of our possible knowledge is subject dependant, since our mental faculties determine the form of experience, our realm, 'phenomenal reality', cannot be the entire of Reality, but just a subset,.. delimited by conditions of the understanding. The remainder he called noumenal reality, unknowable in principal.

Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (81) Jun 05, 2009
...so in regard to say QED, the underlying reality must not operate with the same intuitions or concepts our minds come equipped with, otherwise it could be rationalized and Feynman would be able to say he understands it.
Traveler
1.5 / 5 (2) Jun 05, 2009
Smolin obviously does not understand time. It may sound surprising to some but a time dimension makes motion/change impossible. This is the reason that nothing can move in spacetime by definition. It is also the reason that Sir Karl Popper compared spacetime to "Einstein's block universe in which nothing happens" (Conjectures and Refutations: http://www.stephe...n.html).

There is indeed one universe but not for the reasons that Smolin says. The universe is one because it is made of nothing and there is only one nothing. An ontology of substance that posits an ex-nihilo universe is the only one that does not lead to an infinite regress.

Nasty Little Truth About Spacetime:
http://www.rebels...ious.htm
spacester
3 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2009

Naturally, knowledge is acquired through mind so you must have misspoke with regard to " I don't buy into mind-as-basis of knowledge".


D'oh! Sorry, I did mis-type, sorry about that, like I said I'm a bit rusty on some of this.

I'm remembering Kant better now, thanks.

What I meant to reject is mind-as-basis of information. The noumenal world exists regardless of our observations of it, which is to say it contains information.

Certainly the mind is active with respect to time. Passive / active is not germane to the assertion myself and Whitehead would make. The continuum of the experience of acquisition of knowledge is a process, as is reality itself. What we would observe is that knowledge is often modeled as discrete packets of organized information, yet the reality this supposed knowledge seeks to describe is not based on discrete units.

You would perhaps assert that I have just given an example of the unknowable-ness of noumenal reality, and I would agree, but the point is that Whitehead just might offer a way around that roadblock, for both you and Feynman.

Whitehead was, as near as I can tell, virtually unreadable by professional philosophers of his day. That's how I was introduced to him, in fact: I bought a history of philosophy book for use as quick reference. It was from ~1945 or so and is excellent at summarizing everybody from Lucretius to Hegel, at least until he gets to Whitehead, where he admittedly throws up his hands and flails about.

The next thing that got my attention was Whitehead's insistence that philosophers be worth a damn to society. He had no use for pointless musings.

Sorry for the digression, it was prep for this: Whitehead rejected the whole school of philosophy where Concept is Reality. To him, it was an intellectual shell game to wander into the conceptual universe and come back with a description of reality. He was such a kindly old man that this aspect is hidden, but he was basically at odds with everybody since Plato on this point. He adored Plato, deeming him vastly unappreciated.

So when you say:

"The concept of time must be preexisting because it is always applied, not discovered."

He and I would respond by declaring: Yes, Time, and the rest of the Universe for that matter, needs not our knowledge of it to exist; but if the nature of our knowledge reflected the continuous nature of reality, we would come closer to the mark, with the target being the discovery of the true nature of Time's Arrow. Besides, you'll get nowhere working on the *concept* of time, it is the *nature* of time you seek to unravel, right? Well, that's my response, he would be much gentler and more eloquent.

IINM (and obviously I can be), Whitehead would be more or less on board with the idea of the Noumena as an objective reality - a superset of our 'phenomenal reality', but would kindly scoff at the idea that it cannot be known.

If the underlying nature of Reality is Process, that is also to say that the underlying nature of Reality is NOT State. Yet in seems to me that nearly all of science offers its descriptions of the noumena as descriptions of discrete states at 'instants' in time. But if there ARE no instants, only process, well, duh, maybe that's why we think we cannot know the noumena.
davs
1 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2009
The above thought is smart and doesn%u2019t require any further addition. It is a perfect thought from my side.http://www.backup-sensor.com
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Jun 06, 2009
"quantum theory of gravity"?

I never mentioned that,.. gets some rest Ethelred, LOL.


I did. You however said QM is complete. Without a quantum theory of gravity many think it is not. As I said before in the previous thread QM is complete at this moment IF gravity is not a quantum phenomena. Otherwise it is incomplete.


Existing theory (qed/qcd) that is experimentally verified


Which is not the same as complete. Nor is it experimentally shown to be any more unassailable then Newton's theories turned out to be.

cannot be understood in classical terms,


I think it can be understood, at least eventually. I disagree with Feinman on this. OK he was smarter. So was Freud and he was as full of it as Baron Munchausen. The key is to take a different point of view. One that doesn't let our genetic heritage get in the way. I gave up on the idea of a solar system type atom model for instance as the evidence showed it wrong. That was pretty much in my genes.

This is the 'proof' you never tire of asking for


Since it is not proof I guess I will have to keep asking. Its just a philosophical point of view. One I see no reason to go along with except to get on the bandwagon because a lot of bright people, with no clothes, are already on. Bandwagons are for politicians, not me.

Nothing fundamental has changed since Bohr in regard to the qm problem.


Wheeler, and for that matter Dr. Prinz has a good idea or two on this site.

Now, if some future empirically viable theory reformulate qm into these classical terms then I would have been proven wrong


That is not going to happen. You seem to be going down a narrow road with blinders here. Classical vs. Quantum is not the issue. Philosophy vs science is. Wheeler's work is in no way classical and neither is my thinking on a Multiverse. You are trying to create a false dichotomy.

multiverse to prevent the projection postulate won't do it, can't do it,... it is not testable.


Projection postulate? Where did you pull that out of? Not from me that's for sure so why did you bring it up? After looking it up I see it is not relevant to determining which is the right model and its only proven to be possible rather than needed.

http://en.wikiped...collapse

As for testable, it is EXACTLY as testable as the Copenhagen model. You chose the one without acknowledging its untestability. I chose the other while acknowledging its untestability. Yet you are pretending to be good at philosophy. Perhaps you have been avoiding those symbolic logic classes. Your logic on this is nonexistent.

Choosing between the two models is largely a matter of opinion and for some stubborn reason you have refused to acknowledge this in many days of discussion. If you continue to refuse to deal with this I will have to assume you are either running a bluff or simply unwilling to think about it.

Kant's ideas are not a science to be tested, they are a potential explanation for odd qm problem.


Same for Wheeler EXCEPT that HE did the math. And I admit its potential and that is the FIRST TIME you have even implied its potential rather than actual. You usually act as if you have proven something.

Ethelred

QubitTamer

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Jun 06, 2009
The point you either don't agree with or misunderstand is that, without a rigorous understanding of how one comes to have knowledge, by what mechanisms, both internal and external, one cannot know whether any "evidence" is such; this was Kant's project, and why it is quite important to the matter at hand.


Trust me on this (and only this), Noumenan and I have discussed this at interminable length on another thread. I disagree with him.

Perhaps you should go here for evidence.

http://www.amazon...94556631

Its a plain waste of time to claim we cannot know things. It gets you exactly nowhere which is why I call it intellectual masturbation.

I see after reading another of your posts that you don't actually go that way.

The long and nearly unending discussion by one that acknowledges opinions (me) and the one that doesn't (Noumenon). Started March 4, 2009, last post April 7, 2009. 199 total comments.

http://www.physor...024.html

And please, please do not attempt to revive that monster. Leave the stake in its heart.

Appealing to mathematics as evidence of physical reality is, to be honest, quite silly.


Didn't do it. However many find it intriguing that math works. Tend to be mathematicians. I suspect they spent too much time with nuns.

However, and this is a strong however, I have read no compelling argument that an "objective", empirically-verifiable universe exists that is observer independent.


Please see my 'punch in the nose' argument. Its pretty compelling. Use Control F on the above thread. Search for nose. Noumenen has had enough of it already. For that matter I don't feel like a punch in the nose either at the moment. I want to play Civilization 3 before I go to sleep.

First, evidence may be gathered directly through the senses; in this case, the nature of phenomenal reality is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT in assigning veridicality to the evidence


Agreed. That is why different independent lines of evidence are more compelling than a single bit.

And second, evidence may be gathered through instrumentation; in this case, mathematics is the basis for determining the veridicality of the evidence, and I defy anyone to give an argument for the link between mathematics and physical reality that is based entirely on "empircal" evidence


I would say you were asking for the Moon. Except that Man has been there.

based only on observation (sense-based), that establishes mathematically relationships as extant, physical realities.


Water flow and pressure. Galileo's experiments with rolling balls in a trough. He used his heartbeat to time things.

Simply supposing, because the universe SEEMS to coincide with mathematical principles does not mean that that which is mathematically true is identical with that which is physically real.


Didn't claim it. However ALL scientific evidence has been able to fit mathematical relationships, sometimes the relationships have been statistical. Clearly not all mathematical relationships are valid for this Universe since when there are to ways to go in math the Universe seems to choose only one of them. That is why math is not enough. You have to have evidence.

Newton could have been right. Einstein could have been right. The math was valid either way. Evidence was the decider.


In the case that one could provide the argument above specified, that all mathematically relationships ARE physically extant, then I think there would be a strong case for the existence of a multiverse,


I suspect that it can't be done. However quantum computing, if successful, will at least lend greater credence to the idea of a Multiverse. I wouldn't call it proof.


On a side note, I often get upset with trolls, who post comments, true or otherwise, without respect to civility


I better be on my best behavior. See my signature(a troll ticked me off and thought he could make fun of me). I get uncivil sometimes. Oddly enough such bad behavior actually gets results when dealing with people that are trying to stand on a pedestal to avoid actual discussion. Don't know why it works but it does.

Ethelred

QubitTamer

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.
Noumenon
3.3 / 5 (82) Jun 06, 2009
Ethelred, When Maxwell formulated his electromagnetic theory, he continued to think in terms of an existent ether,... well if the math worked it must be a real entity, right (?), no wrong. On the other hand we have a direct interface into how knowledge is acquired, so from this perspective my position seems more rational.

spacester, I greatly appreciate your explanation of Whitehead, you have inspired me to attempt a further study of his ideas. I have Copleston 9 vol history which I have read a few times but don't recall Whitehead mentioned (Russel was).
Hyperion1110
3 / 5 (3) Jun 06, 2009
Ethelred,

You're correct in that you did not explicitly equate mathematics and physical reality. However, you note in one of your above posts, "The math works. So it IS rational. Evidence, you have none." Implicity in your statement is that mathematical arguments are evidence. Shortly thereafter, you wrote, "Evidence is king." Forgive me if that's not what you intended to argue, but the syllogism still holds.

Later, you wrote, "Water flow and pressure. Galileo's experiments with rolling balls in a trough. He used his heartbeat to time things." That's not proof of the mathematical basis of physical reality; they are only instances. You're induction doesn't (cheap shot, I know).

To be fair, I find it amazing the correlation between mathematics (surely a human invention) and physical reality. But, truth be told (and to beat that dead horse once again), this fact comes out most strongly in defense of Kant's position. How is it that mathematical constructs, which don't seem to exist in the real world, nevertheless find striking approximations, e.g. the mathematical 2-sphere and the shape of the Earth? If mathematical intuitions, which Kant claims are judgments a priori, are a foundational part of our process of constructing the thing-as-it-appears from the thing-in-itself, then it follows quite easily that the universe SHOULD seem almost "mystically" mathematical. If Kant is wrong, then it's one hell of a coincidence that our universe is mathematical. For me, the argument for simplicity (which is NOT the same as Occam's Razor, which is, roughly, "Never multiply entities beyong necessity"...though that point is not directed at anyone in particular, mind you) supports Kant's position moreso than the alternative.

Again, I'm a huge fan of physics (no really!). For all the "physics is everything" reductist nonsense I seem to hear from them alot, physicist have done an outstanding job of making the world intelligible. But, seriously, there are still some really big problems in the field. There was an interesting article I read a few months back entitled, "What is magnetism?" or something like that. Truth of the matter is, despite Faraday, Maxwell, and QM, we don't have the slightest idea what magnetism actually is. Heck, as an undergrad, I learned that there is no such thing as a magnetic monopole, and this is one of magnetisms distinguishing characteristics...but recent experiments have started to throw that one out the window! It's exciting, don't get me wrong, but it really shakes the foundations of our conceptual understanding.

For me, and perhaps I am in the minority on this, physics has never been about mathematical descriptions of phenomena. It's about achieving a conceptual understanding of all the phenonema in the world. And, despite it's lofty achievements (and I mean that with utter sincerity), what has physics truly achieved? True, we have some outstanding mathematical models of phenomena that allow us to make excellent predictions, and, by extension, new and exciting technologies. But, for myself, I want to know what magnetism IS. I want to know what gravity is, as well as superconductivity, and dark matter, and inertia, and so on, ad nauseum. Take the example of gravity. We have two really good decriptions of gravity in Newton and Einstein. The former is great given the mathematical simplicity of universal gravitation; but it has zero conceptual value. And the former is a mathematical tour de force, with an elegant conceptual formulation; yet telling me that space-time reacts dynamically in the presense of mass-energy just pushes the questions back further. Great, gravitation is intimately linked to space-time...so what's space-time?!

The years ahead for physics are exciting. But it's a bit arrogant (again, this is directed at no one in particular), and intellectually dishonest, for the enterprise of physics to keep marching forward without taking stock of what any of it actually MEANS. Sure, philosophers are trying to put there two cents in. But, as most of know, the majority of physicists don't have a very high opinion of philosophy when it comes to critiquing the science.

Spacester, your points about Whitehead are interesting. Now I have more things to read!

And Noumenon, keep of fighting the good fight, buddy! LOL :)
spacester
1 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2009
Noumenon, I am honored that you will be looking into Whitehead. I dare say you will find it a unique challenge.

I was very fortunate, and a bit clever if I may say so, in how I got to know the man. Coming from the standpoint of 'oh my gosh, all these really smart people cannot grasp Whitehead's cosmology, how am I gonna get anything out of it?', I decided to get to know the man before his cosmology.

I found the perfect book for this:
"Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead" by Lucien Price

http://books.goog...gBFvGSAC&dq=lucien price whitehead

The man lived a three-chapter life: Cambridge, England, then London, then Cambridge, Mass. USA.

Sent to Sherborne before turning fifteen, he was a master of Greek and Latin - they were not foreign languages to him. As a mathematician, he co-wrote Principia Mathematica with Bertrand Russell. As a philosopher, he didn't really get started until after he moved to Harvard at the age of 63.

Somehow, after listening to him in his living room via Price's unique book, his cosmology became at least penetrable. Yet I can claim no more than having scratched the surface of his thoughts.
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (81) Jun 06, 2009
I will definitly look for that book. Thanks! I have some of Russells.

I wonder if Whitehead ever got around to punching Godel in the face (j/k).
spacester
1 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2009
My pleasure indeed.

One last thought if I may.

Whitehead found himself in possession of thoughts for which the English language did not have an adequate vocabulary. He went way beyond fluency in the classic tongues, they were essentially native languages for him. Latin, Greek, Sumerian, Hebrew, dialects and mixed strains, all of it apparently, and he often *thought* in those languages!

As a result, he sometimes felt the need to create his own definitions of English words in order to explain his cosmology. His alternative was to teach everyone all the classics. His critics were all over him for this, I'm not sure why, but it admittedly adds to the challenge of following him into the deeper waters.

Oh, and Russell and Whitehead very much parted ways after their massive tome was finally completed.
spacester
1 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2009
Hyperion1110, good stuff!

What a great time to be alive for philosophers and physicists!
kasen
3 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2009
From dust to dust: consciousness emerges from patterns which appear as universal to its initially limited perception, and seeks the same. The first thing we become aware of, after all, is our very finite self.
What if, by obsessively pursuing laws and predictability, we actually create them? The first laws a consciousness ever perceived, or was born from(or both), may very well have been an incidental, local structure in an otherwise unstructured environment. Kinda like a seed crystal.
I'm beginning to think science may turn out to be mass pareidolia...Makes me wish I was a plant. Or a rock.
GaryB
2.5 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2009
I also immediately thought of Whitehead's Process and Reality when I read the article, glad to see that Whitehead is still a known entity since I think his work is still the most important philosophy (or theology if you like) for our age.



If you want to read, him, he's a sucky writer. Read Sherburne's "A Key to Whitehead's Process and Reality" first.



But ... I maintain that Whitehead's philosophy was really a philosophy built on the concept of cellular automata, though well before the term was coined and certainly well well before Wolfram.

In this view, the nature of reality is computational: perception-decision-action. Where it differs from most concepts of cellular automata is that the consequences of the "decision-action" part, actually change the possibilities available for perception-decision. For example, say, the concept of earning a living by writing iPhone apps appears nowhere in the early Universe, was not "fated" but the possibility slowly emerged and became "actual" and fundamentally alters what is now possible to do next. In this view, the universe is completely unbounded (a fun book on the consequences of systems without boundary conditions is Stuart Kauffman's "At Home in the Universe") because, in a sense, the processes "running" on the universe keep altering the "OS" (operating system) on which the universe runs.


... OK, OK, my take on Whitehead, flame suit prepped.
superhuman
5 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2009
Bell inequality shows that qm is complete as is, otherwise or ideas of probability are wrong.


No. It does nothing of this sort, I've already pointed it out to you on other occasions.

It is blatantly obvious that QM is *incomplete* and *not* fundamental. Why do you think people are working on string theory and other approaches?

Here is quote from Steven Weinberg Physics Today, November 2005:
"Bohr's version of quantum mechanics was deeply flawed, but not for the reason Einstein thought. The Copenhagen interpretation describes what happens when an observer makes a measurement, but the observer and the act of measurement are themselves treated classically. This is surely wrong: Physicists and their apparatus must be governed by the same quantum mechanical rules that govern everything else in the universe. But these rules are expressed in terms of a wave function (or, more precisely, a state vector) that evolves in a perfectly deterministic way. So where do the probabilistic rules of the Copenhagen interpretation come from?"

So unless you consider yourself better informed about QM then Weinberg stop repeating the nonsense that it is complete and what not, your understanding of it is very fragmentary and you only selectively pick the pieces which agree with your romantic belief that QM somehow confirms the ideas of your favorite philosopher Kant.
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (80) Jun 06, 2009
Hello SH,

What I meant by 'complete' should have been clear given the context of Bell theorum. I certainly DON'T mean it is a complete TOE, and never said that.

'Bell's theorum proves that local hidden variable theories cannot remove the statistical nature of quantum mechanics'. Please read again what I wrote with regard to statistics.
spacester
not rated yet Jun 06, 2009
@ GaryB
. . . glad to see that Whitehead is still a known entity since I think his work is still the most important philosophy (or theology if you like) for our age.
...
If you want to read, him, he's a sucky writer. Read Sherburne's "A Key to Whitehead's Process and Reality" first.
...
But ... I maintain that Whitehead's philosophy was really a philosophy built on the concept of cellular automata . . .
...
In this view, the nature of reality is computational: perception-decision-action. Where it differs from most concepts of cellular automata is that the consequences of the "decision-action" part, actually change the possibilities available for perception-decision. For example, say, the concept of earning a living by writing iPhone apps appears nowhere in the early Universe, was not "fated" but the possibility slowly emerged and became "actual" and fundamentally alters what is now possible to do next. In this view, the universe is completely unbounded (a fun book on the consequences of systems without boundary conditions is Stuart Kauffman's "At Home in the Universe") because, in a sense, the processes "running" on the universe keep altering the "OS" (operating system) on which the universe runs.


... OK, OK, my take on Whitehead, flame suit prepped.


Whitehead would never flame - why should I? lol

I decline to undertake the argument that he was a skilled writer

whitehead invariably went to first sources and I've done the same with him so far, but perhaps it is time I got around to reading Sherburne's instructions, er key, to um, processing Whitehead's words. :D

I see no theology whatsoever in Whitehead's cosmology, pray tell to what do you refer?

Ah, cellular automata, good stuff. Unbounded universe, yes, very nice. These things are totally compatible with the cosmology as I understand it.

In fact you seem to allude to my other philosophical pet, an animal I don't know how Whitehead would react to.

It is related to an idea expressed somewhere earlier in the thread: that the act of observation is perhaps somehow related to the act of creation.

My pet is the idea of scientifically rehabilitating the word 'Teleology' - taking it back from the crazy-pants creationists.

I ponder the term "Applied Teleology" as a way of talking about the emergence of current action based on a specified future reality. In its simplest form, it refers to the common act of goal-setting, but I ponder stretching the idea along the lines discussed here.

So I very much enjoyed your description of an actual mechanism for something that I would call 'emergent teleology' in cellular automata. Very cool.

"the consequences of the "decision-action" part, actually change the possibilities available for perception-decision."

Nice. I'm going to remember that one.
tao
5 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2009
Very fascinating, but instead of basing your ideas and beliefs on past ideas of others, try smoking some dmt and and see what that experience does to your beliefs on this subject!
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Jun 07, 2009
However, you note in one of your above posts, "The math works. So it IS rational. Evidence, you have none." Implicity in your statement is that mathematical arguments are evidence.


Inference vs actual statement in context. You inferred without taking the context into account.

multiverse faith, which is orders of a magnitude less rational and lacking in evidence


I was responding to that. I never claimed evidence just rational thinking.

If the math works then its rational. Calling something that is mathematically valid irrational is, by definition, irrational thinking.

Separate statement regarding the the second half of Noumanen's statement:

He doesn't have evidence either so why is he acting as if the lack of evidence is exclusive to my position?

Evidence is needed in science to separate different but valid concepts from each other. Context is needed in discussions.

That's not proof of the mathematical basis of physical reality;


Read what you asked for again. You asked for mathematics and no physical instruments, just human perception. You got what you asked for. I wasn't expecting to satisfy you. Be careful what you wish for. Especially around literalists like me.

I told this next to Noumenon and I guess now I have to tell you.

I am not going to try to prove physical reality to anyone. Except for my punch in the nose idea, which is just basically pointing out that its stupid and pointless to assume that there is no reality. Not proof but is shows just how silly the alternative is.

Someone moron denies reality. He gets a punch in the nose as evidence(like Freud's coin toss this is deeper than a first look can show).

That is reality(simulated in this case). He can ignore reality and bleed or do something to stop the blood thus admitting that he believes in reality.

You can go Noumenon's route on that, claim its not proof. I don't care, because the it shows that assuming things aren't real can result in evolution in action.

this fact comes out most strongly in defense of Kant's position


Only if you don't like science and prefer Philosophy. Otherwise it is explained by the simple idea that the Universe wouldn't exist if it wasn't mathematically valid.

If mathematical intuitions, which Kant claims are judgments a priori,


Which shows he was not a scientist. Math is not dependent on intuition. It often goes in the opposite direction of intuition. And it often produces results that are valid but irrelevant to the universe we live in. Only experimentation can show WHICH mathematically valid ideas match the Universe that we live in.

If Kant is wrong, then it's one hell of a coincidence that our universe is mathematical.


Kant is not involved. It's not coincindence if the Universe must be mathematically valid to exist in the first place. From what you and Noumenon are saying he put human thinking ahead of the numbers. I say the numbers direct human thinking because the results are often non-intuitive.

There was an interesting article I read a few months back entitled, "What is magnetism?" or something like that.


There is an answer. Not necessarily a correct one of course. The system of laws we call electro-magnetism is mathematically valid and it is simply the way the Universe we live in works. Like rules in a game.

Monopoles are still short on evidence. Even if someone can show that the idea is mathematically feasible, evidence is still needed to show that universe we live in has that system of mathematics as a fundamental rule.

[]qBut, for myself, I want to know what magnetism IS

A set of rules. Or a field. Or a distortion in a field. Or something no one has thought of.

I presently think a set of rules that create a field of some sort is likely. A field in this instance is a set of numbers with more than one dimension involved. Not the same kind of dimensions as the usual three plus time although they are involved.

One of the things I have found questionable in Peter Woit's thinking about more than 4 dimensions is that he thinks they have to have the same characteristics as the space-time dimensions and since they don't then he says they don't have meaning.

Weight is a dimension. Mass is a dimension. Sex is a dimension. Color and frequency are dimensions.

Lbs, Kgms, MF, Ultraviolet through Red, and Cycles per second are all dimensions.

If you can plot it on a graph against another dimension then it too is a dimension.

We have two really good decriptions of gravity in Newton and Einstein.


And both are mathematically valid. Only experiment has shown which is right.

Great, gravitation is intimately linked to space-time...so what's space-time?!


A set of dimensions that are mathematically consistent.

But, as most of know, the majority of physicists don't have a very high opinion of philosophy when it comes to critiquing the science.


Its that need for evidence and actual numbers. I wish I was good with numbers.
I am going to post an edited version of something I wrote on these ideas on the time travel discussion. It distilled my thinking on the Multiverse concept. After my other replies if any.

Ethelred

QubitTamer

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Jun 07, 2009
I think Jonnyboy is trying to play with my head. He usually gives me ones and gives fives to the people I am arguing with.

Jonny if you are interested then participate.

Ethelred

QubitTamer
Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Jun 07, 2009
Ethelred, When Maxwell formulated his electromagnetic theory, he continued to think in terms of an existent ether,... well if the math worked it must be a real entity, right (?), no wrong


I think my reply to Hyperion1110 covers this misconception of my thinking on this area quite thoroughly. But to be specific:

Mathematically valid is not the same as a real rule of the universe.

Only evidence can show which mathematically valid ideas are actualized in our Universe.

Ethelred

QubitTamer

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Jun 07, 2009
Ah, cellular automata, good stuff. Unbounded universe, yes, very nice. ?


If the Big Bang idea is right then the Universe is bounded in time. The beginning is a boundary. The end of meaningful change is a boundary.

Ethelred

QubitTamer

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Jun 07, 2009
I like the idea of a Multiverse. I am not married to it despite what I am about to say.

One of the things that I particularly like about a Multiverse, whether its based on Wheeler's work or not, is that a single, solitary, only one there is, Universe really has a lot going against it.

Why does it exist rather than not?
Why is it fit for life?
Why is it fit for intelligent life?
Why does math and the universe fit together perfectly so far?
Why does something exist at all instead of nothing?

All great things for the religious despite the total lack of evidence to support any particular religion and the fact that the questions apply to a god equally well. Mathematical principles would be valid whether anything notices them or not. Whether there is a universe or not.

Whats good about a Multiverse Ethelred version? - not invented by me but I didn't get it from any particular person either, I just ran across this one key idea somewhere.

Why shouldn't a universe exist as long as it is mathematically valid?(not exactly the way I recall seeing it).

Valid is where there is way to get it started and there are no paradoxes to make it go boom and or stop before getting started, no guarantees that paradoxes can't ever arise but I am going on the idea that they aren't allowed at all.

That covers ALL those questions above. Every single one. If it wasn't just philosophical wanking it would be a great idea but it may not be subject to testing. Then again quantum computers, if they can be made to work, may lend credence to the idea of a Multiverse.

In universes that are possible but can't support life and intelligent life at that, nothing notices the existence of the Universe. It is irrelevant to life or questions as to why it exists because nothing cares.

In Universes that support intelligent life, questions of reasons arise but there is no reason except that it can exist. The bad part is that universes can exist that are quite nasty. Life just starts asking questions when the universe runs into fine tuning problems. We live a universe that may have a fine tuning problem though it will not become important for several billion years at least. Any claim that the universe is perfectly tuned for US is a sign of ignorance or wishful thinking.

Evolving self generating universes not only become possible but certain. Thus massively increasing the percentage of universes that are finely tuned to produce more universes having long periods of stability like ours seems to be having.

Universes that allow time travel and ones that don't become certain to exist. Universes that people argue about time travel become certain. Universes that people don't argue about it either have time machines or very boring intelligences.

Nothing in this requires that you strain credulity. All you need to do is stop claiming its crazy without a single reason for the claim. Not once has anyone here or anywhere else given a valid reason for their thinking. Not Lee Smolin or Peter Woit either.

Ethelred

QubitTamer

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (80) Jun 07, 2009
[QUOTE=Ethelred] I told this next to Noumenon and I guess now I have to tell you.

I am not going to try to prove physical reality to anyone. Except for my punch in the nose idea, which is just basically pointing out that its stupid and pointless to assume that there is no reality. Not proof but is shows just how silly the alternative is.

Someone moron denies reality. He gets a punch in the nose as evidence(like Freud's coin toss this is deeper than a first look can show).

That is reality(simulated in this case). He can ignore reality and bleed or do something to stop the blood thus admitting that he believes in reality.

You can go Noumenon's route on that, claim its not proof.


Ethelred, it%u2019s clear you are a knowledgeable and intelligent person, obviously,.. but based on the above response, I%u2019m far from convinced you understand Kant%u2019s position which as I stated on other occasions, is very subtle and easily to miss.

I%u2019m NOT claiming that there is NO reality apart from an observer, that is called idealism. I stated above that we can derive the fact that there is a reality separate from consciousness! Since the mind is the thing that is to encapsulate or conceive that reality in order for their to be what we regard as understanding, such a conception is in a form dependant on the mind,.. all that is even in principal knowable is subject dependant, because to be knowable is to conform to conditions of our biological noodle.
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (81) Jun 07, 2009
I think Jonnyboy is trying to play with my head. He usually gives me ones and gives fives to the people I am arguing with.

Jonny if you are interested then participate.

Ethelred


LOL, johnnyboy gave us all one's. It's clear this thoughtless troll couldn't understand 80% of what was writen above, to supply an viewpoint.
kasen
not rated yet Jun 07, 2009
Mathematical validity and evidence are rather co-dependent, I believe. The basis of any form of perception is difference. Math, or logic/reason for that matter, assigns symbols to the resulting categories, and fiddles with them. Thing is, a single initial differentiation is all that's needed for the emergence of mathematics. The first crack in the proverbial holon(perceptual or actual) propagates, recursively creating more and more categories. From this point of view, the observable universe, and any evidence extracted from it, is inherently mathematical. When explaining it this way, however, we have to choose between consistency and completeness. The singular universe model seems to me like the consistent one, whereas the multiverse model seems the complete one.
You can choose to play dice with God, or you can choose to draw an imaginary circle around you and summon Laplace's demon in it.
superhuman
not rated yet Jun 07, 2009
Since the mind is the thing that is to encapsulate or conceive that reality in order for their to be what we regard as understanding, such a conception is in a form dependant on the mind,.. all that is even in principal knowable is subject dependant, because to be knowable is to conform to conditions of our biological noodle.


This is not true, our minds are neural networks. The amazing property of neural networks which is even recapitulated in artificial neural networks (to some extent) is that they can learn about anything and make absolutely no prior assumptions about data. In humans this plasticity decreases with age but new minds are constantly born and start fresh.

Neural networks can learn about anything the only requirement is that it has to be introduced through one of the inputs. While our natural inputs - senses - are limited it's not a problem since we can use tools to translate reality to a form suitable for them. We also don't need to have prior knowledge to make such translations as we can and do make discoveries by accident. So in the end the mind does not limit what is knowable the way you believe it does.

There are some limits due to the size of our brains but those are not fundamental since no one knows how large they will eventually evolve. So while there may be practical limits on what is knowable at any given time there are no theoretical limits on what is knowable in principle.

It seems Kant had not understood how our brain works, the principles on which neural networks operate were not known at his time. Kant is treating mind as a mechanical machine which once created can only process information it was designed to process but this is not how the brain and the mind work.
Hyperion1110
not rated yet Jun 07, 2009
Ethelred, mathematics has everything to do with intuition. Consider the principle of mathematical induction and the set of natural numbers. If I want to show a pattern holds, I must establish a base case, show the next case holds (two show the succession holds), then use the nth case and show the (n 1) case holds. If all of this is true, then by the principle above, I claim the induction holds. Now, it's important to note two things. First, nearly ALL of theorems in number theory, of which virtually all of mathematics is reducible to, are proven inductively. Moreover, there are no tautologies used in this method of proof upon which to guarantee the logic holds. Now, let me be clear on this point. The other methods of proof in mathematics come in one of three flavors: direct proof (including the contrapositive), proof by contradiction, and "pick a point". All of these are founded on tautologies, in whole or in part; mathematical induction is not. It is a grounded only by the intuition of the mathematician, and the supposition that the principle (weak or strong) holds. So, as I wrote, mathematics is based on intuition.

Superhuman, I appreciate your comments in the spirit they were written. But I would like to point out that mind-brain identity is not a certainty. Now, I write this not because I disbelieve the identity between them. Rather, I just think people are putting the cart before the horse on this one. If brains are neural networks, then great: build one of equal complexity to a human brain, with equal sensory stimulation, and let's see if it starts talking in one or two years. If not, neural networks aren't the end of the story.
Noumenon
3.4 / 5 (80) Jun 07, 2009
[QUOTE=SuperHuman] It seems Kant had not understood how our brain works, the principles on which neural networks operate were not known at his time. Kant is treating mind as a mechanical machine which once created can only process information it was designed to process but this is not how the brain and the mind work.




Exactly Hyperion. SuperHuman, I am a programmer, yet I reject AI based on a neural network model. The mind is orders of a magnitude more subtle than this. As I pointed out above we don't discover Time then learn to relate things accordingly, time must be a pre-existing intuition, an inherent condition of the understanding.

Soylent
3 / 5 (2) Jun 07, 2009
Very fascinating, but instead of basing your ideas and beliefs on past ideas of others, try smoking some dmt and and see what that experience does to your beliefs on this subject!


When you're done smoking DMT, try bashing your head against a radiator to see what insights that might provide.
LuckyBrandon
not rated yet Jun 07, 2009
VOR-it would seem to me that IF quantum behaviors truly operate outside of space time, then that would entail that occams razor would not come to the simplest conclusion being 1 universe with a static space-time property. In fact, it would lead to the simplest explanation probably being a perceived multiverse.
magpies
1 / 5 (2) Jun 07, 2009
Idk why multiverses got accepted as being even possible... So many reasons you cant have multiverses... This is one. Void-emptyness knows itself anywhere anyhow. If a region of void exists it is connected with every thing thus no two universes could exist with void in them and not be connected thus meaning they are still one universe. If you understand what void is youll understand what almost everything is imo.
Alizee
Jun 07, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Hyperion1110
not rated yet Jun 07, 2009
This discussion is full of morons, who are ignoring, what the others are saying - isn't it a nice example of universes separated with respect of information spreading? If such cases can exist in small scale, why not in more larger one? If Universe can be formed a destroyed a well before is succeeds in exchange of some information with other Universes - isn't it a typical example of multiverse? Every 2nd quantum fluctuation is behaving so.


Alizee, with respect, no one is a moron who disagrees with someone else. As for your comments, one of the great conflicts in modern physics is that the universe behaves differently at various scales--hence the reason why we have quantum mechanics at microscopic scales, Newton and Maxwell at our scale, and General Relativity at large scales. In short, the universe seems to be scale-dependent. Thus, the possibility of something happening at a microscopic level does not imply that it can happen at a larger scale.
Hyperion1110
not rated yet Jun 07, 2009

Exactly Hyperion. SuperHuman, I am a programmer, yet I reject AI based on a neural network model. The mind is orders of a magnitude more subtle than this. As I pointed out above we don't discover Time then learn to relate things accordingly, time must be a pre-existing intuition, an inherent condition of the understanding.


Word, Noumenon, word.
superhuman
5 / 5 (1) Jun 08, 2009
Exactly Hyperion. SuperHuman, I am a programmer, yet I reject AI based on a neural network model. The mind is orders of a magnitude more subtle than this.


I don't see why the fact that you are a programmer is supposed to be relevant.

Yes, mind is "orders of a magnitude more subtle" and yet even the simple artificial neural network can learn about anything that is supplied to it through it's inputs without having any prior assumptions, this just affirms my point.

As I pointed out above we don't discover Time then learn to relate things accordingly, time must be a pre-existing intuition, an inherent condition of the understanding.


You are just stating your beliefs here which are far from convincing. I don't see any reason why a child should need a "pre-existing intuition" of anything.

An artificial neural network will just as well experience time - the effects old input values have on neurons diminish as new values are being provided, this is all there is to experiencing time and it does not require any "pre-existing intuition."

We experience time in the exact same way, the ordering is the aspect of reality not the mind - the inputs are ordered in time and this order is then imprinted in the mind just as it can be imprinted in matter for example in stratigraphic layers.
lengould100
not rated yet Jun 08, 2009
This may be philosophy, but it aint science.
x646d63
1 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2009
I'd like to abandon the notion of "time," since, "time" is simply a tool we use to measure change. Call it change...change is one-dimensional, from where it was to where it is. Using the word "time" confuses the issue. Time exists only as a function of human thinking, but change is eternal.
Hyperion1110
5 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2009
I'd like to abandon the notion of "time," since, "time" is simply a tool we use to measure change. Call it change...change is one-dimensional, from where it was to where it is. Using the word "time" confuses the issue. Time exists only as a function of human thinking, but change is eternal.


If there is one lesson from relativity, from Minkowski, Einstein, Lorentz, and all the rest, is that you cannot get rid of time. I simply don't understand why there is this drive to get rid of it. Sure, it's more complicated than space, insofar as it's unidirectional. But it's also critical to, well, everything. I mean, for goodness sake, folks...how can one conceive of an event without time?! Besides, the notion of time is contained in the notion of change. So, appealing to change without time is like trying to fly a plane with no wings. Ain't gonna happen!
LuckyBrandon
not rated yet Jun 08, 2009
hey hyperion...isnt a helicopter basically a plane without wings :D

but seriously I would tend to agree that time is merely something we humans use to comprehend things and give it a scale of some sort, if anything, just so we can begin to grasp onto concepts that continue to elude us.
Time to me really seems like more of a concept, a concept made real to us by the fact that we perceive it.
lengould100
5 / 5 (1) Jun 09, 2009
Time is an integral part of every physical event. Proposing to ignore time is to propose that gravity is bi-directional, heat can flow from cold to hot.
LariAnn
not rated yet Jun 09, 2009
Consider that understanding the true nature of time is the crux of the problem in recognizing the possibility of parallel, or alternate, universes. You see, parallel universes are separated by a measurement along the dimension of time. Time is not measured by hands on a clockface, but by degrees around what I call a "kronosphere", a temporal sphere defined by eleven nonlinear temporal dimensions. The eleven spatial dimensions are all measured at right angles to the temporal dimensions. Grasping this reveals why no spatial measuring device can measure real time, because real time is always perpendicular to any spatial construct. However, the existence of time enables spatial motion (defined by spatial dimensions 5 through 7), which in part has led to the misconception that spatial motion (as in hands moving around a clockface) measures real time.
brentrobot
not rated yet Jun 09, 2009
It may yet be possible to prove that parallel universes do indeed exist. With further improvements to quantum computers I see no reason why a more advanced one could not be programmed to record a short video message from a randomly selected universe and then output to all. Seeing a message from a duplicate self that you did not record is proof enough for me.
TomH999
5 / 5 (1) Jun 12, 2009
The evidence for the multiverse is just a few pictures away from reality....

http://www.youtub...3uNrI8tE
http://lpsc.in2p3...LTIV.pdf
http://lisa.nasa.gov/

Hyperion1110
not rated yet Jun 16, 2009
For some reason I forgot to mention this one. There is another reason why there is no multiverse. Assuming that it exists, that which we call the multiverse is nothing more than a multifaceted universe. It's still singular, inasmuch as there is only one multiverse, and within it is contained all that there is; this is the very definition of universe. So, I'm not sure how multiverse solves any problems. In fact, it makes more, because, somehow, you need to find a way to have an infinite number of strict physical laws all existent concurrently.
robbycoats
not rated yet Jun 16, 2009
I jumped off the top of this page and it took me 3 minutes to fall to the bottom.
Weir
5 / 5 (1) Jun 20, 2009
I agree with the comment about the multi-verse as a unified theory is still in this sense a universe. This exemplifies the use of meta-languages that have developed in physics that need not relate to reality because of the dichotomy that has become accepted between the practice and interpretation of physics. Language has evolved to allow us to cope collectively for our practical needs. It is not well suited to answer ultimate questions about the nature of truth. A lot has happened since Kant, Hume and other classical philosophers struggled with the limitations of language. Of special note are clear distinctions that have been established by the brain sciences between three focal points primary to all thought. Right-brain intuitive insight seeks out integrating or holistic patterns to phenomenal experience. Left brain language based logic or reason seeks out linear patterns for applied techniques of thought and behavior. These two distinct functions of the neo-cortex or new brain are fueled by ancient limbic brain emotional patterns with evolutionary roots going back 400 million years. These three focal points seek a sustainable balance.

It is to Einsteins credit that he objected to the split between practice and interpretation and he also questioned the spacetime continuum basis of relativity late in life. The only alternative is a discontinuous universe consistent with the Planck constant and the empirical evidence on which atomic theory is based. I doubt that anyone believes in their heart of hearts that probability waves are real.

The concept of a universe implicitly requires the belief or faith that there is such a thing as universal wholeness upon which the integration of meaning is based. It also requires that there must be a rift in universal wholeness in order to allow for separate particular phenomena that we obviously experience. There must be both universal and particular aspects to all phenomena. This leaves us with ONLY TWO OPTIONS. If we chose to believe that there really is an a priori universal spacetime continuum in which all particulate matter is embedded then all phenomenal experience is exclusively objective since the continuum itself is not an observable phenomenon. This takes us back to a Big Bang as the integrating event from which the universal laws of the universe somehow came into being. This can only be a blind belief. It essentially denies a subjective non-physical mind that can transcend space and time to integrate the history of phenomenal experience. It implicitly requires that subjective aspects of experience are emergent properties of physical matter. This option thus has implicit contradictions that invite a diversity of interpretations through endless manipulations of language.

In this scenario all interpretations share one thing in common. They require that epistemological knowledge derived a posteriori from creation pre-empts the ontological structural foundations of being. In other words they can not acknowledge a more fundamental cosmic order that defines the basis of being.

The second option requires that all particular phenomena must share BOTH a universal inside and a universal outside neither of which can be known to the exclusion of the other. ALL we can know in phenomenal experience is the active interface across which the universal active inside interacts with the universal passive outside. This requires that the cosmic order must consist of a nested hierarchy of Systems such that the Lower Systems transcend and subsume an open ended series of discrete Higher Systems that elaborate on them and by which particular phenomena are known. In doing so the subjective to objective aspects of experience compound within themselves in such a way that language alone can not untie the knots within knots. This second option embraces the objective empirical evidence of the first option. It introduces a non-linguistic universal methodology that requires and facilitates direct intuitive insight into the structural dynamics of the creative process consistent with how phenomenal experience evolves. It can bring the three focal points of thought to a sustainable balance.

For an intro to how this works in physics see the website article Unified Theories, Fantasy & Cosmic Order at http://www.cosmic...ach.com.

Hyperion1110
not rated yet Jun 29, 2009
An excellent post, Weir.
Slotin
1 / 5 (3) Jul 11, 2009
.An excellent post, Weir..
Are you sure?

It was very well spoken, indeed - but from informative and logical perspective it's just a random pile of nice words: a classical example of postmodern philosophy. Does it contain some memo or explanation?