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In Search of a Road to Reality
Evolution News and Views ^ | January 13, 2014 | Denyse O'Leary

Posted on 01/16/2014 2:25:14 PM PST by Heartlander

In Search of a Road to Reality

Denyse O'Leary January 13, 2014 5:33 AM | Permalink

yellowbrickroad.jpg

The new cosmologies are not shedding much light, except on the sheer power of the human imagination. Whatever they were supposed to explain has been rendered by their own rules unexplainable. What follows?

In a 2012 triumph, the Large Hadron Collider detected the previously theoretical Higgs boson (the "God particle," thought to give everything in the universe mass). But the boson did not support any radical new cosmologies. Its lightness suggests the existence of other similar particles. That's promising for research but little more than that. Indeed, the Higgs's feast of data "seems to match the standard model's predictions perfectly" and leaves "usurpers of 'standard model' [with] little to chew on, as Nature put the matter in 2012. Science writer John Horgan says, "The Higgs doesn't take us any closer to a unified theory than climbing a tree would take me to the Moon."

Meanwhile researchers are finding greater structure in the universe than they anticipated. Spiral galaxies are "pin-ups of the cosmos" and thus "something of a headache" if chaos and disorder are expected. Much of the vast array of proposed life-friendly exoplanets, that would show Earth to be just average, could mainly be gas and dust.

Britain's Guardian asks, thinking about the multiverse, "Has physics gone too far?" Perhaps a better question would be, is New Atheist cosmology failing as physics? Because, make no mistake, an admitted motive for seeking alternatives to the Big Bang and the fine-tuning of our universe is getting rid of their theistic implications.

Worse, for some, the hateful Big Bang bangs on, oblivious of its critics. Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin, resigned to the Big Bang's reality, theorizes that it was "merely one of a series of big bangs creating an endless number of bubble universes." Another scheme to get rid of the Big Bang as a singularity involves a rainbow universe where time has no beginning, a model that, as Scientific American tells us, "is not widely accepted." No wonder because, as one critic put it, the scheme must get rid of the singularity within the Standard Model of physics. Similarly, another new cosmology accounts for the apparent acceleration of the universe -- but only if there is no Big Bang: "This universe has no beginning or end, just alternating periods of expansion and contraction." It also has no cosmic microwave background, which our universe inconveniently does have.

Still others propose that the Big Bang was a "mirage from [a] collapsing higher-dimensional star," a thesis with which the new Planck data apparently disagree. In general, experimental findings continue to support the Standard Model. As New Scientist's editors put it in a 2012 editorial titled "The Genesis problem":

Many physicists have been fighting a rearguard action against it for decades, largely because of its theological overtones. If you have an instant of creation, don't you need a creator?

Cosmologists thought they had a workaround. Over the years, they have tried on several different models of the universe that dodge the need for a beginning while still requiring a big bang. But recent research has shot them full of holes. It now seems certain that the universe did have a beginning.But does that mean evidence matters again? Not clear. Some say we now have the tools to examine the beginning of the universe scientifically; others that we may never know what it was like. And there's always the option of declaring stubborn facts off limits. Steven Weinberg reflects:

Physical science has historically progressed not only by finding precise explanations of natural phenomena, but also by discovering what sorts of things can be precisely explained. These may be fewer than we had thought.
So are there any science questions the multiverse does answer? In "The Accidental Universe: Science's Crisis of Faith," Alan Lightman echoes,
According to the current thinking of many physicists, we are living in one of a vast number of universes. We are living in an accidental universe. We are living in a universe uncalculable by science.
If science finds the universe "uncalculable," surely the meaning of "anti-science" changes. Isn't "anti-science" a mere unwillingness to waste valuable time and funds on matters into which no one may usefully inquire?

Here's an alternative: On the road to reality, evidence must matter again. The weight of the evidence must count. And when it does count, if our cosmos is orderly, new approaches will emerge. They may be emerging now.

Intriguingly, a recent article in Scientific American noted, "Some researchers think that the world, at root, does not consist of material things but of relations or of properties, such as mass, charge and spin." But information, not matter, is fundamentally relational.

So, is the basic substance of the universe information? In that case, the ID theorists are right.

Editor's note: Here is the "Science Fictions" series to date at your fingertips.


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1 posted on 01/16/2014 2:25:14 PM PST by Heartlander
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To: Heartlander
You know what this is? It's science...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jPg2M1UYgU

2 posted on 01/16/2014 2:38:38 PM PST by PapaNew
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To: PapaNew
She blinded me with science.
3 posted on 01/16/2014 2:53:52 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
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To: Heartlander

In other words, we very well may never know what it’s all about.


4 posted on 01/16/2014 3:02:51 PM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Heartlander

Even the big bang theory has some serious fundamental flaws. Thus the reason Inflation theory was invented. Unfortunately, Inflation is even more problematic than the BB, with many cosmologists not really caring for it, others outright rejecting it.


5 posted on 01/16/2014 3:08:27 PM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Heartlander; All

I recommend this 1-1/2 hr video lecture to anyone interested in the subject. It’s at a beginners to intermediate level.

Inflationary cosmology on trial:

“Watch video of the Seyfert Lecture featuring Dr. Paul J. Steinhardt, the Albert Einstein Professor in Science and director of the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science at Princeton University.

Steinhardt, who is also on the faculty of both the Department of Physics and the Department of Astrophysical Sciences, spoke at Vanderbilt March 17, 2011. He is the author of over 200 refereed articles, six patents, and three technical books. In 2007, co-authored Endless Universe: The Big Bang and Beyond, a popular book on contemporary theories of cosmology.

This talk introduces an alternative to the standard big bang model that challenges conventional ideas about space, time and the evolution of the universe.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcxptIJS7kQ


6 posted on 01/16/2014 3:15:39 PM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Heartlander; metmom
Denyse O'Leary lurches uncontrollably into the truth! If there are any honest bones left in the bodies of other evolutionists they too will have to bend in the direction of the evidence and finally declare: it is design, not happenstance chance, after all.

And when that happens, the necessity of having to identify the Designer will necessarily have to ensue.

FReegards!

 photo million-vet-march.jpg

7 posted on 01/16/2014 4:09:10 PM PST by Agamemnon (Darwinism is the glue that holds liberalism together)
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To: Agamemnon; GodGunsGuts; Fichori; tpanther; Gordon Greene; Ethan Clive Osgoode; betty boop; ...

ping


8 posted on 01/16/2014 4:13:38 PM PST by metmom ( ...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: All

Here’s something you might find interesting...

“Lothar Schäfer is the author of the book, In Search of Divine Reality - Science as a Source of Inspiration, . The book is, in essence, a brilliant description of the encounter of Science and Religion, wherein Schäfer proposes “that the traditional conflict between the two disciplines is mainly one involving classical, Newtonian Science; and many of its most pressing issues have obtained an entirely different meaning by the change in world view effected by the discovery of Quantum Mechanics.”

Lothar Schäfer is the Edgar Wertheim Distinguished Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He received his Ph.D. (in Chemistry) from the University of Munich in 1965, and is the recipient of numerous awards for his scientific work. His current research interests include topics in Applied Quantum Chemistry and Molecular Structural Studies by Electron Diffraction.

In a review of Schäfer’s book, Professor Quentin Smith, Department of Philosophy, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, writes:

“Schäfer’s book is an integrative approach to Modern Science and Religion that aims to show how some traditional religious and philosophical notions can be understood or redefined in terms of modern science. The scientific explanations are reliable and the scientific interpretations of religious ideas are interesting and should be taken seriously and respectfully by even the most sober-minded adherents of the scientific world-view. Rather than science being opposed or subordinated to religion, religious views are refashioned in terms of currently accepted scientific theories. Most of the arguments of the book are based on conclusions drawn from the phenomena of quantum reality and it is one of the clearest introductory explanations of quantum mechanics on the market. Schäfer’s book is written in a lively and accessible style that will appeal to the general reader. I really enjoyed reading this book.”...”


9 posted on 01/16/2014 4:19:03 PM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: All
On the Foundations of Metaphysics in the
Mind-like Background of Physical Reality

by Lothar Schäfer

That the basis of the material world is non-material is a transcription of the fact that the properties of things are determined by quantum waves, - probability amplitudes which carry numerical relations, but are devoid of mass and energy. As a consequence of the wave-like aspects of reality, atoms do not have any shape - a solid outline in space - but the things do, which they form; and the constituents of matter, the elementary particles, are not in the same sense real as the real things that they constitute.

Rather, left to themselves they exist in a world of possibilities, “between the idea of a thing and a real thing”, as Heisenberg wrote, in superpositions of quantum states, in which a definite place in space, for example, is not an intrinsic attribute. That is, when such a particle is not observed it is, in particular, nowhere.

In the quantum phenomena we have discovered that reality is different than we thought. Visible order and permanence are based on chaos and transitory entities. Mental principles - numerical relations, mathematical forms, principles of symmetry - are the foundations of order in the universe, whose mind-like properties are further established by the fact that changes in information can act, without any direct physical intervention, as causal agents in observable changes in quantum states. Prior to the discovery of these phenomena information-driven reactions were a prerogative of mind. “The universe”, Eddington wrote, “is of the nature of a thought. The stuff of the world is mind-stuff”.

Mind-stuff, in a part of reality behind the mechanistic foreground of the world of space-time energy sensibility, as Sherrington called it, is not restricted to Einstein locality. The existence of non-local physical effects - faster than light phenomena - has now been well established by quantum coherence-type experiments like those related to Bell’s Theorem. If the universe is non-local, something that happens at this moment in its depths may have an instantaneous effect a long distance away, for example right here and right now. By every molecule in our body we are tuned to the mind-stuff of the universe.

In this way the quantum phenomena have forced the opening of a universe that Newton’s mechanism once blinded and closed. Unintended by its creator, Newton’s mechanics defined a machine, without any life or room for human values, the Parmenidian One, forever unchanging and predictable, “eternal matter ruled by eternal laws”, as Sheldrake wrote. In contrast, the quantum phenomena have revealed that the world of mechanism is just the cortex of a deeper and wider, transcendent, reality. The future of the universe is open, because it is unpredictable. Its present is open, because it is subject to non-local influences that are beyond our control. Cracks have formed in the solidity of the material world from which emanations of a different type of reality seep in. In the diffraction experiments of material particles, a window has opened to the world of Platonic ideas.

That the universe should be mind-like and not communicate with the human mind - the one organ to which it is akin - is not very likely. In fact, one of the most fascinating faculties of the human mind is its ability to be inspired by unknown sources - as though it were sensitive to signals of a mysterious origin. It is at this point that the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Ever since the discovery of Hume’s paradox - the principles that we use to establish scientific knowledge cannot establish themselves - science has had an illegitimate basis. Hume was right: in every external event we observe conjunction, but infer connection. Thus, causality is not a principle of nature but a habit of the human mind. At the same time, Hume was not right in postulating that there is no single experience of causality. Because, when the self-conscious mind itself is directly involved in a causal link, for example when its associated body takes part in a collision, or when the mind by its own free will is the cause of some action, then there is a direct experience of, and no doubt that, causal connections exist. When this modification of the paradox is coupled with the quantum base, a large number of pressing problems find their delightful solutions.

Like the nature of reality, the nature of knowledge is counter-intuitive, and not at all like the automatic confidence that we have in sensations of this phenomenon. The basis of knowledge is threefold. The premises are experience of reality, employment of reason, and reliance on certain non-rational, non-empirical principles, such as the Assumptions of identity, factuality, permanence, Causality, and induction. Where do these principles come from? Neither from an experience of external phenomena, nor from a process of reasoning, but from a system program of the self-conscious mind. By being an extension of the mind-like background of nature and partaking of its order, mind gives the epistemic principles - those used in deriving knowledge - certainty. Since they are not anchored in the world of space-time and mass-energy but are valid nevertheless, they seem to derive from a higher order and transcendent part of physical reality. They are, it can be assumed, messengers of the mind-like order of reality.

In the same way, moral principles. Traditional societies based their social order on myths and religious explanations. By assuming a purpose in the world, they told people why things are the way they are, and why they should act the way they were supposed to act. In the “animist ontogenies” values and knowledge derived from a single source, and life had meaning in an “animist covenant” as Monod called it. By destroying the ontological base of the animist explanations, - their astronomy, physics, and chemistry, - science also destroyed the foundations of their values.

In this process Monod saw the origin of the contemporary sickness in culture, das Unbehagen in der Kultur: on the one hand science is the basis for our power and survival; on the other, it has broken the animist covenant, rendered life meaningless in the process, and disconnected the world of values from the world of facts.

The sickness of spirit and the concomitant erosion of moral standards are the great danger for the future of mankind, already apparent in the public adoration of violence and debased behavior. At its roots is the unsolved question, on whose authority are the moral principles to be based now that the authority of the animist myths has been found lacking?

For those who are willing to listen, the answer is: on the authority of mind. In the same way that the self-conscious mind grants certainty to the epistemic principles, it invests authority in the moral principles. Like the former, the moral principles are non-empirical and non-rational, - not derived by a process of logic nor verified by experience - messengers from a higher reality beyond the front of mass-energy sensibility.

Epistemic principles give us a sense of what is true and false; moral principles, of what is right and wrong. The former establish the certainty of identity, permanence, factuality, causality; the latter, of responsibility, morality, honesty. By the same process that allows us to accept, without possible verification, the epistemic principles, we can also accept the authority of the moral principles. Violation of any one of them will put us in contrast to the nature of reality. If the nature of the universe is mind-like, it must be assumed to have a spiritual order as well as a physical order. As the epistemic principles are expressions of physical order, the ethical principles are expressions of the spiritual order of physical reality. By being an extension of the transcendent part of the nature and partaking of its order, mind establishes the authority of the ethical principles.

The challenge of reality and the ability to explore it are wonderful gifts to mankind. Understanding reality requires refinement of thought. That is, it has to do with culture. It requires an effort, is not afforded by automatic, intuitive reflex. Making sense of the world takes the response to a challenge, not the complacency of common sense. It is one and the same as striving for the moral life. An important part of it is the need to become aware of the specific character of human nature, to recognize “the human mystery” as Eccles called it: the mystery of how mind and body interact, how self-conscious human beings with values emerged in an evolutionary process supposedly based on blind chance and brutality. The evidence is growing that there is more to human nature than the laws of physics or chemistry, more to the process of evolution than blind chance and brutality; that evolution is more than, as Monod wrote, “a giant lottery, and human beings live at the boundary of an alien world that is deaf to our music and indifferent to our hopes and suffering and crimes”.

The barbaric view of reality is mechanistic. It is the easy view of classical science and of common sense. In epistemology mechanism is naive realism, the view that all knowledge is based on unquestionable facts, on apodictically verified truths. In physics mechanism is the view that the universe is clockwork, closed, and entirely predictable on the basis of unchanging laws. In biology, mechanism is the view that all aspects of life, its evolution, our feelings and values, are ultimately explicable in terms of the laws of physics and chemistry. In our legal system, mechanism is the view that the assumption of precise procedural technicalities constitutes perfect justice. In our political system, mechanism is the view that the assertion of finely formulated personal rights constitutes the ideal democracy. In our public administration, it is the view that responsible service manifests itself by the enforcement of finely split bureaucratic regulations. All of these attitudes are the attitudes of barbarians.

The quantum phenomena have taught us that, without naive realism, knowledge is possible. They have taught us that, without naive animism an ethic of knowledge, as Monod has called it, and a life with values are possible. Principles exist which are valid even though they cannot be verified. The discovery of the quantum phenomena has established a new covenant - between the human mind and the mind-like background of the universe - one that provides a home again to the homeless and meaning to the meaningless life. Whether or not the human mind is separate of the brain, as Sherrington and Eccles thought, I do not know. But I do not doubt that it is human only in some parts, and in others shares in the mind-like background of the universe. It is now possible to believe that the mind is the realization of universal potentia, a manifestation of the essence of the universe. Therefore, the only good life is in harmony with the nature of reality.

10 posted on 01/16/2014 4:20:00 PM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: All

Just now found this. I haven’t watched it yet, but it sure looks interesting. Among the participants is the above referenced Lothar Schafer.

Creation Science Conference:

Filmed in Rome, Nov 11th - 14th, 2004.

Featuring Dr T.D. Singh, Director of the Bhaktivedanta Institute - Prof. Vittorio Marchi, Quantum Physicist, Italy - Prof. Lothar Schafer, Physical Chemist, USA - Prof. Giuseppe Sermonti, Prof of Genetics, Italy - Prof. V.V. Raman, Physicist, USA - Dr. Pauline Rudd, Glycobiologist, Univ of Oxford - and many other distinguished speakers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DjtNqcVNRo


12 posted on 01/16/2014 4:30:12 PM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: metmom
Thanks for the ping!
I await with interest the next breathless discovery that brings Man no closer to the “belief” that he is the final authority in the Universe.
13 posted on 01/16/2014 6:49:53 PM PST by YHAOS
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To: Heartlander; metmom; Alamo-Girl; spirited irish; djf; MHGinTN; YHAOS; hosepipe; TXnMA; xzins; ...
From the link provided at the bottom of the article:

“Subjective certainty is the new evidence…. [So] In this wilderness of unknowns, how do we decide what’s modern science and what’s modern folklore? What makes ET more believable than Bigfoot, apart from evidence?”….

“Multiverse theory is designed for one purpose, and one purpose only, and that is to defend atheism. It makes no predictions, it gives no insight, it provides no control, it produces no technology, it advances no mathematics, it is a science in name only, because it is really metaphysics. — Rob Sheldon, who warns: “… [S]cience cannot thrive outside reality: ‘Now some will say that this is still a small price to pay for the freedom it provides from a creator-god.’ But I want to make it very clear what the terms of the exchange will be.”

“Most people believe that there is an objective reality out there and that our senses and our science directly convey information about the material world. ... The way physics has been going, realism is becoming difficult to defend.” — Stephen Hawking….

Yet as Denyse O’Leary observes:

“Hawking is comfortable with non-realism: ‘I'm a positivist [he says]. ... I don't demand that a theory correspond to reality because I don't know what [reality] is.’ The end of reality is captured in a telling vignette: The lead character in the film Happy Go Lucky, browsing in a bookshop, pulls Roger Penrose's “Road to Reality” from a shelf, glances at the title and puts it straight back, saying, ‘Oh, we don't want to go there!’ … [R]idding science of God has turned out to mean ridding it, not of religion, but of the need for evidence…. Here’s an alternative: On the road to reality, evidence must matter again. The weight of the evidence must count. And when it does count, if our cosmos is orderly, new approaches will emerge. They may be emerging now.”

Actually, I believe new approaches have been emerging, in the work of such physical cosmologist/theoretical biologists as David Bohm, Menas Kafatos, mathematician/theoretical biologist Robert Rosen, others. Their ideas have been resisted tooth-and-nail by the “establishment.”

Instead, the Hawkings and Everetts of this world evidently prefer to dump Reality as presented in observation, experience, and evidence if that’s what it takes to get rid of God. Of course, they destroy science itself in so doing. But they hardly seem to notice, or even to care.

Britain's Guardian asks, thinking about the multiverse, ‘Has physics gone too far?’ Perhaps a better question would be, is New Atheist cosmology failing as physics? Because, make no mistake, an admitted motive for seeking alternatives to the Big Bang and the fine-tuning of our universe is getting rid of their theistic implications.

It seems to me the proper role of science is not to be getting rid of inconvenient evidence already strongly suggested to be valid by experimental scientific means (e.g., satellite studies of the cosmic microwave background which strongly indicate the necessity of a beginning in time as an explanation for the observed cosmic inflation/acceleration).

In consequence, I surmise that the “New Atheist” physicists have entirely evacuated the field of science in order to pursue ideas and objectives which are metaphysical through and through. And they are doing all this “under the color of science.”

There is an obvious analog to this in biology: Darwin’s theory. But space prohibits that investigation here.

For it’s time to close for now.

I’d just like to leave the reader with some telling insights from David Bohm:

“…[A] theory is primarily a form of insight, i.e., a way of looking at the world, and not a form of knowledge of how the world [actually] is….

The Newtonian form of insight worked very well for several centuries but ultimately (like the ancient Greek insights that came before) it led to unclear results when extended into new domains. In these new domains, new forms of insight were developed (the theory of relativity and the quantum theory). These gave a radically different picture of the world from that of Newton (though the latter was, of course, found to be still valid in a limited domain). If we supposed that theories gave true knowledge, corresponding to “reality as it is,” then we would have to conclude that Newtonian theory was true until around 1900, after which it suddenly became false, while reality and quantum theory suddenly became the truth. Such an absurd conclusion does not arise, however, if we say that all theories are insights, which are neither true nor false but, rather, clear in certain domains, and unclear when extended beyond these domains…. — Wholeness and the Implicate Order, 1980

Thank you so much, dear Heartlander, for posting this splendidly thought-provocative article!
14 posted on 01/17/2014 11:59:37 AM PST by betty boop (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. —Thomas Jefferson)
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To: betty boop
There is an obvious analog to this in biology: Darwin’s theory.

That appears to be a very subjective certainty.

15 posted on 01/17/2014 12:21:18 PM PST by tacticalogic
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To: betty boop
Hawking is comfortable with non-realism: ‘I'm a positivist [he says]. ... I don't demand that a theory correspond to reality because I don't know what [reality] is."

I would say that your affliction is reality, Hawking . . . and you are dealing with it.

16 posted on 01/17/2014 12:30:38 PM PST by YHAOS
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To: Whosoever; betty boop; Heartlander; metmom; Alamo-Girl; spirited irish; djf; MHGinTN; YHAOS; ...
Ah! the search for reality... what a concept..

Seems to me this search is the same as the search for God...
So many options and opinions on this planet.....

Some never find God, and some never find Reality....
Others find Reality "In" their God... with others Reality "IS" their God..

Since both terms are abstract... they are "perceived"...
What one perceives as real others perceive as illusion..

As thoroughly a mental game of Chess as one could imagine..
Gambits parried in a dumpster dive for truth(Truth)...
What an adventure it is being Human...

Watching a baby grow into adulthood continues...
Even when that baby is old!......
****


17 posted on 01/17/2014 12:36:01 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: YHAOS
I would say that your affliction is reality, Hawking . . . and you are dealing with it.

Or not dealing with it, as the case may be....

18 posted on 01/17/2014 12:50:46 PM PST by betty boop (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. —Thomas Jefferson)
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To: betty boop
Or not dealing with it (reality), as the case may be....

I want to be very clear on this matter. I take your point . . . but . . . on one level Hawking is dealing with his affliction whether or not he wishes to acknowledge the fact.

19 posted on 01/17/2014 5:17:59 PM PST by YHAOS
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To: betty boop

Thank you so much for your excellent insights, dearest sister in Christ!


20 posted on 01/17/2014 9:13:45 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop; hosepipe; All

Thanks for the pings!

Once again, we are faced with the question. THE BIG ONE!!

I’m always delighted and energized to see these threads on FR, knowing that there are people out there pondering things much bigger than themselves!

It’s sad that I don’t have the time to read all the references and do a proper analysis/critique of all the ideas presented.

So, without further adieu, what is reality?

There are a couple answers, I will spell out a few, please add to the list if you think of one!

1) We don’t know and we will NEVER know
2) We are in the process of figuring it out but need more time
3) We are asking the wrong question

Now if you had asked a young boy who used to read every Scientific American he could get his hands on, his answer would have been number 2.

After years of frustration, his answer started leaning towards number 1.

Now, my answer is 3, and here is why.
In college, hanging out with math people, comp sci people, and stoners, it was not unheard of for us to argue about “Is space flat or curved?”

It’s a good argument. It sounds like something that can be answered. Show me the evidence one way or another and we will decide.

Much of this is based on ideas as mathematicians that even though the universe might be discontinuous, might be non-differentiable, might contain singularities, it wasn’t internally inconsistent, it didn’t somehow contradict itself.

Now about 1984 I read an essay written by a mathematician at Oxford that dealt with the issue. In the essay, with fairly simple mathematics (just as Bell’s theorem is pretty simple), he shows something:
A curved universe with straight lines is homeomorphic with a flat (Euclidean) universe with curved lines.

And it is true. As long as the one you are investigating is continuous and differentiable, there is a transform to make it into the other. Singularities in one will map to singularities in the other.

In this case, math proves superior, and shows us our question of “flat or curved” is lacking from the definitional side.

This is a pointer towards something.

If we ask a question, and there is no clear answer, it may be because the answer doesn’t exist, but it may also be that we haven’t really defined the question enough.

We know the slippery-ness of language. Complex, deep-rooted ideas are often simply put into words. Is the universe just some kind of computer code following Backus-Naur form, some kind of SNOBOL program?

We can’t say. We will never know for sure. No matter what the hypothesis are, it would seem we are stuck in THIS PARTICULAR UNIVERSE. Everything we see is part of it, everywhere we go, we are still in it. Sort of.
Let me qualify that statement.

If we thought or expected that something extra-universal had been in our experience, no one could argue against it, but neither could we prove it!

Imagine a dead universe. Stars, galaxies, planets, nebulae. But no life.
Imagine that same universe, with one exception: On one planet, on a rocky hill, there is one ordinary housefly.

No one could argue that universe B is QUALITATIVELY different from universe A.

And that difference is not explained by leptons or neutrinos or the strong force or any of the other building blocks and laws of physics. It takes a DIFFERENT KIND OF SCIENCE to explain to this poor fly why he is sitting there on a rock!

Now thinking about that, consider this: I deceived you when I said “Imagine a dead universe...”
You can’t.
As soon as you try to imagine one, you have injected yourself into it! The religious and philosophical implications of that are pretty daunting.

I may add to this later, but for now my summary is that the universe is sort of a tautology. We need to define the question better.


21 posted on 01/18/2014 1:28:51 AM PST by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
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To: YHAOS; metmom; Alamo-Girl; betty boop; All
"As New Scientist's editors put it in a 2012 editorial titled "The Genesis problem":

"Many physicists have been fighting a rearguard action against it for decades, largely because of its theological overtones. If you have an instant of creation, don't you need a creator?"

Spirited: Indeed, the rebellion against the supernatural personal God whose living Words created all things ex nihilo broke out during the Renaissance. At that time certain theologians and intellectuals had eagerly embraced a myriad of ancient occultisms (especially the ancient 'sciences' of Hermetic magic and evolutionary Kabalah) flowing into Christendom at that time.

From then till now, Westerners have been traveling a broad, smooth highway---ever seeking, never finding--in search of alternative 'theories of everything,' meaning anti-human neo-pagan evolutionary monist cosmologies bespeaking the mechanical emergence of everything from an impersonal one substance. This way of thinking (systems thinking) has given rise to "modern" scientific animism (i.e., Marx's dialectical materialism, particle theory), multiverse theories, Big Bang speculations; wave and fluctuation theories (ancient emanation-from-one-substance speculations), quantum physics (animism), evolutionary thinking and much else.

Most people do not realize the occult implications of modern 'scientific' systems-thinking.

For example, the seedbed of Big Bang speculations are ancient global cosmic events described by Eastern Advaitans and Greek nature sages as Cosmic Eggs.

The "science" and "psychology" behind the idea that mind evolved from matter can be found in the yogic science of Ayurveda and Hatha Yoga which outlines in both modern and ancient texts the glandular and neurological basis of Enlightenment.

Royal Astronomer Lord Martin Rees champions multiverse conceptions in the hope that in at least one or more of them living beings created themselves from primordial matter who are far more advanced than our own life-forms.

Rees believes that if this is the case, then super-intelligent aliens might be capable of simulating in their brains or in a super-computer the complex history of our universe, meaning the universe we inhabit is a simulation lacking real substance and existing only as a mental construction, a matrix, in the minds of highly evolved aliens who seeded our world with life and travel through time in order to control man's evolutionary progress. (Scientific Mythologies, James A. Herrick, p. 216)

The idea that the universe we inhabit exists only as a mental construction is very similar to Hinduism's Brahman. Brahman is the Great Cosmic Spirit – the Ultimate One Substance, the Void, impersonal Mind, or Essence of material phenomena (God-particles, bosons, and/or prakriti matter), meaning that the universe exists only as a mental construction in the mind of Brahman: brahma satyam jagan mithya, or "Brahman is real, the world is unreal." (swamij.com/mahavakyas)

Rees proposal is also similar to the hypothesis presented by Olaf Stapledon, a scientist who has always kept one foot firmly planted in neo-Gnostic science fiction accounts and imagines our universe to be an artifact of the Star Maker.

Building off of Stapledon's fantasy Carl Sagan suggests that we are "star folk" made of "star stuff." (Herrick, pp. 216-217)

Replace Star Maker with Brahman and "star stuff" with prakriti matter and sarvam khalvidam brahma, or "All is truly Brahman" (swamij.com) and we have ayam atma brahmam: "The Self is Brahman." (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5)

In other words, the Self is God.

In the caption of his book, "Just Six Numbers," Rees reveals the ancient occult Hermetic basis of his propositions:

"The ouraboros. There are links between the microworld of particles, nuclei and atoms and the cosmos." (Rees M., Just Six Numbers, P. 9)

Framed in the magical formula of Hermes: "as above, so below."

As a powerful occult symbol, the Ouroboros or Uroboros means the seething power, creative and/or evolutionary impulse or energy of the serpent figuratively depicted as either a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. The serpent's body is often depicted as the Great Chain of Being, Cosmic Tree of Life, or with Darwin, the Tree of Life.

The occult Tree of Life with its' multiple dimensions and life-giving energy systems not only powers the evolving and/or unfolding universe but reaches into the psyche, (meaning that psychic matter is the source of mind), stirring imagination, bringing psychic powers and even awakening pre-human memories of when the scientifically "enlightened occult elite," the modern Gnostikoi, were fish:

"Remember when you were a fish...." suggested Jean Houston, the prophet of the possible, in a workshop to awaken ancient pre-human memories. Nearly a thousand evolved life-forms (people) dropped to the floor and began moving their 'fins' as if to propel themselves through water. "Notice your perception as you roll like a fish. How does your world look, feel, sound, smell, taste?" Then you crawled up on land said Houston, so now you must, "Allow yourself to fully remember being a reptile....Then some of you flew. Others climbed trees." A zoo of beastly sounds erupted from the herd of pre-human birds, reptiles and apes. (America: The Sorcerer's New Apprentice, Hunt and McMahon, p. 218)

From the time of the ancients serpent power (evolution)has been important to religious and mythological symbolism all around the world. Within the Egyptian mysteries, serpent power was associated with,

..."the elemental forces that were in play before the creation of the world." (Carl Teichrib, Gods of Ancient Egypt, p. 182)

Elemental forces= evolving prakiti matter, bosons, fermions, particles, elements, etc.

Westerners received the Truth, but turned away from it in favor of modern "science magic," thus they ever seek reality but never find it.

22 posted on 01/18/2014 4:45:50 AM PST by spirited irish
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To: djf; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; folks

Now thinking about that, consider this: I deceived you when I said “Imagine a dead universe...”................. You can’t.....


I disagree... “We” have evidence of nothing else... UNLESS..

1) the Universe is composed of MORE than visible Matter..
2) there is the “dark” matter thing to deal with..
3) also; is the “spiritual”....................... a dimension?..

After dealing with all that... overlooked is the Betty Boop factor..

A) First Reality...
B) Second Reality...

**and if you’re really “out there”...

c) Third Reality..
***


23 posted on 01/18/2014 10:37:19 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: djf; Heartlander; Alamo-Girl; hosepipe; metmom; YHAOS; marron; MHGinTN; TXnMA; BroJoeK; ...
[W]hat is reality?… There are a couple answers, I will spell out a few, please add to the list if you think of one!

(1) We don’t know and we will NEVER know
(2)We are in the process of figuring it out but need more time
(3) We are asking the wrong question

That list looks pretty exhaustive to me, dear djf! How delightful to hear from you!

Like you, though (1) had initial appeal, I gravitate to (3) above: “We are asking the wrong question.” You credit an essay by an Oxford mathematician for insight into the issue. You mentioned his mathematics was “fairly simple.” That would be all to the good: For historically, “simplicity” is the sign of beauty and truth in mathematics….

I didn’t come to (3) by that route. I started with the question, “What Is Reality?” to see whether it is definitionally well founded. And discovered that “reality” is usually taken to mean “that which can be observed” in the debased currency of positivist, materialist thinking that so afflicts “science” nowadays.

Since obviously immaterial entities, non-observable in principle, exist “in” the world — e.g., mathematics itself and the laws of nature which science endeavors to disclose — that would not do.

Instead, I reconceived the question as: “What Is Life?” For “life” seemed a more capacious category than “reality” as dumbed down by the “New Atheist physicists” to consider such questions as the origin of the universe, of life and mind. It seems we need observables and non-observables alike — and understanding of how they dynamically interact — if we want to understand the universe of which we are parts and participants….

Positivist/materialist thinkers do not like to engage questions about origins, whether it be of the universe, life, or mind. Rather, they put up fictitious “counter-proposals” to the actual reality they tacitly perceive. These are the “multiverse theories,” hundreds in number by now, maybe over a thousand. The one feature that all such constructed “second realities” have in common is the obvious, shared passion of their authors for trying to produce an “explanation of the universe” that obviates divine action of any kind.

[Of course, if any of these nutcases actually were to pull this off “in” reality, they would obviate themselves and all of human thought and history in the process, including the foundations of science.]

Better put a sock in it for now….

Before closing, I’d just like to mention that I am particularly interested in the fitness or aptness of classical — that is, Newtonian — physics as a tool in biological theory. On questions of life and mind, it just seems so limited to me:

(1) Of the four Aristotelian causes, classical physics recognizes only two: the material and the efficient. Formal cause and final cause are banished. Yet, how is it even possible to speak of a “biological function” without necessarily invoking the idea of final cause?

(2) Newtonian mechanics is premised on abstract “particles.” These are posited as the “ultimate building blocks of all that there is.”

(3) Also it is premised on the idea that only local causes can have effects capable of being measured locally.

Moving on....

Djf, I really liked this:

…No one could argue that universe B is QUALITATIVELY different from universe A.

And that difference is not explained by leptons or neutrinos or the strong force or any of the other building blocks and laws of physics. It takes a DIFFERENT KIND OF SCIENCE to explain to this poor fly why he is sitting there on a rock!

As soon as you try to imagine [a “dead universe”], you have injected yourself into it! The religious and philosophical implications of that are pretty daunting.

Indeed! Then you added: “the universe is sort of a tautology”… Could that mean sort of fundamentally self-reinforcing entity of some kind?

Perhaps this is what the great mathematician/philosopher Bertrand Russell had in mind when he declared he “hated” what he called the “impredicativity.” I’m no mathematical genius; but it seems to me the hated impredicativities are simply mathematical axioms which, by definition, cannot be subdivided into lesser, analyzable parts. Which means they are difficult, if not impossible, to subsume under the rules of purely computational models.

Heaven knows, the great mathematician David Hilbert tried. He recognized that mathematics was a “language”; and thus like any other language, it was composed of two parts: syntax and semantics. Syntax — the rules that constitute the transactional grammar, or “rules of the road,” of a language — was found to be easily rendered into “computizational” terms.

Unfortunately, the semantic component of language strenuously resisted being “reduced” to “computizational” terms, even though it was Hilbert’s mission to prove that semantics could be so reduced, replicated by more sophisticated forms of syntax, thus rendering semantics to computational form.

But what is semantics? It is the irreducible meaning of life and experience of human beings as captured by human beings, expressed and carried as an irreducible “value-added” component in human language wherever that language is spoken.

And mathematics is the universal language….

Anyhoot, Hilbert’s project came up a cropper, when Kurt Gödel showed him he was “barking up the wrong tree.”… [e.g., the Incompleteness Principle]

Must leave it there for now. Thank you so much for writing, dear djf! It’s good to see you again. Like you, I appreciate threads like this one. So thanks to you — and to Heartlander, for posting “In Search of a Road to Reality.”

24 posted on 01/18/2014 2:14:12 PM PST by betty boop (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. —Thomas Jefferson)
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To: betty boop
Instead, I reconceived the question as: “What Is Life?”

I think that's what's normally referred to as "changing the subject".

25 posted on 01/18/2014 2:29:29 PM PST by tacticalogic
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To: betty boop; Alamo-Girl; djf; tacticalogic
May I offer an alterbate thought? ...

As one who believes life is more than the chemistry of an organism, that a soul is a real 'thing' existing in some where/when we have yet to measure, I would offer that physical life is more akin to a virtual reality world TO THE SOUL which is the origin of the animation in the body. Of course, The Creator is the source of all life, on any plane. But I am led to believe that the soul has temporal and spatial aspects, so the trick is to seek the temporal components of the physical and therein we may discover the temporal aspects of the soul which is not the body.

26 posted on 01/18/2014 3:34:28 PM PST by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: tacticalogic

Instead, I re-conceived the question as: “What Is Life?”


I don’t think so.. Life, God, Reality... could be synonyms..
All three must be present.. aspects of the same thing..

Lose one of them then something is lost.. in the conversation..
What is length and width without depth?..

Even two dimensional art attempts to simulate depth..
To wit: a conversation with out all three is simulating depth..

Nice....... that you would notice that..


27 posted on 01/18/2014 4:43:19 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: hosepipe
All three must be present.. aspects of the same thing..

Not necessarily. You can be alive and still be delusional.

28 posted on 01/18/2014 8:16:48 PM PST by tacticalogic
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To: Heartlander
Britain's Guardian asks, thinking about the multiverse, "Has physics gone too far?" Perhaps a better question would be, is New Atheist cosmology failing as physics? Because, make no mistake, an admitted motive for seeking alternatives to the Big Bang and the fine-tuning of our universe is getting rid of their theistic implications.

Seeking a rush to judgement on a question is not the action of someone confident in the outcome of careful study.

29 posted on 01/18/2014 8:31:27 PM PST by tacticalogic
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To: tacticalogic

You can be alive and still be delusional.


Can you be delusional about being or not being delusional..
You’re going loopy on me Mr. T..


30 posted on 01/18/2014 8:43:15 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: MHGinTN; hosepipe; tacticalogic; betty boop; Alamo-Girl

Thanks for the thoughtful replies!

This will sound somewhat rambling, hopefully my point will coalesce.

Mathematics is defined as being, in a way, a type of language. I can’t say whether mathematics is part of the foundational basis of the universe or not. But it has some interesting lessons imbedded in it.

In mathematics, we form hypotheses about numbers, objects, spaces, equations. We then attempt to prove the hypotheses.

The essence of a good proof is that it has two qualities, it must be both
A) necessary and
B) sufficient

The “necessary” part means that the proof provided actually addresses the fundamental issues of the problem at hand. For instance if I wanted a proof that 3X3=9, and a student supplied a paper saying “because it’s Tuesday”, then his proof does not in any way meet the “necessary” requirements.

Sufficiency means that the proof covers all formations and permutations of the problem. For instance if you were going to try to prove an equation for all real numbers, it would be NECESSARY that you prove it for negative numbers, also positive numbers, and it would be SUFFICIENT if it gets proved for all positive numbers, all negative numbers, and zero.

Imagine I invite the worlds expert in bricks for a consult. Also, the worlds expert in lumber and construction.
They wait for me in a room drinking coffee, and I walk in, say “Good evening, gentlemen. Please tell me about architecture”.

They both kind of chuckle, get a look on their face that briefly looks like Gomer Pyle, and tell me that architecture is not their discipline.

Their knowledge and expertise cannot bridge the gap that would lead them to the Taj Mahal.

An almost exactly similar situation with the materialist scientists. They know about quarks and leptons and forces and clocks, but can they tell us about sunrises? Funerals? Rainbows?

Their knowledge does not bridge the gap into the experiential world. It simply does not and can not. Ever.

I often wonder how many of the material scientists are aware of that. Every so often, you see a glimpse of it when a famous scientist or philosopher kinda sorta admits that they are painted into a corner of their own creation and don’t have the tools to get outside of it.

For any comprehensive view of the universe, a knowledge of the material aspects is a necessary part.
But it is not sufficient.

Just like with the Taj Mahal, it is necessary that we understand bricks and mortar and wood, but it is not sufficient.

I find it interesting that the things physicists study, the material things, are pre-existing.
But the new things in the universe, the emerging things, are experiential.
For me, I take that as some sort of clue.

I’ve played around quite a bit with Conway’s “Game of Life”
It is a simple procedure/algorithm/program that can and does, using simple rules and objects, generate very complex patterns.
All of it is STRICTLY deterministic.
There are no morals involved. No opinions. No free will.

Yet it is truly dazzling the intricacies, the patterns, the cycles that get generated.

At this point, I would be hesitant to call anything generated by GOL as a “behavior”. But it is getting closer all the time.

As these computational methods and simulations improve, we will gradually some to understand the richness of the world we live in compared to the relative sterility of GOL and a strictly mechanistic, deterministic universe.

And those contrasts will be the answers. The purpose. The meaning. The reason for life.

But I don’t see these insights coming from yet another billion or multi-billion electron volt collider. Physics doesn’t have the tools and the language to completely describe reality.


31 posted on 01/18/2014 9:27:31 PM PST by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
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To: hosepipe
You’re going loopy on me Mr. T..

When in Rome.

32 posted on 01/19/2014 4:05:15 AM PST by tacticalogic
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To: tacticalogic

Is it just an ego thing, this constant effort to denigrate folks?


33 posted on 01/19/2014 9:36:49 AM PST by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: MHGinTN
Is it just an ego thing, this constant effort to denigrate folks?

Is it wrong to get tired of seeing every discussion of philosophy reduced to evolution vs Biblical literalism?

34 posted on 01/19/2014 9:57:40 AM PST by tacticalogic
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To: tacticalogic

No (and I too suffer that fatigue factor), and I think I get the point now. Have a good afternoon ... and enjoy the Broncos’ edging out the Pats. I expect Seahags will route the Friskies.


35 posted on 01/19/2014 10:10:09 AM PST by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: Whosoever; MHGinTN; tacticalogic

Is it wrong to get tired of seeing every discussion of philosophy reduced to evolution vs Biblical literalism?


I see... WoW.. worshipping philosophy as a Demi-God...
What a concept.. Designer Gods are quite fashionable..

It becomes then, Not, what’s the source of everything....
but does the source of everything LOOK good while doing “IT”?..

A queer look at, Is there a God?.. and what is “it” up to?..
A kind of Philosophical-Porn.......


36 posted on 01/19/2014 12:00:51 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: hosepipe
I see...

And everybody else had damned well better see it the same way.

37 posted on 01/19/2014 12:48:11 PM PST by tacticalogic
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To: tacticalogic; djf; MHGinTN; hosepipe; YHAOS; Alamo-Girl; TXnMA; metmom; marron; BroJoeK; ...
I think that's what's normally referred to as "changing the subject".

Not at all dear tacticalogic! The basic issue here is the sufficiency of questions asked to account for the sufficiency of "answers" they seek logically to entail.

djf very usefully put it this way:

[W]hat is reality?… There are a couple answers, I will spell out a few, please add to the list if you think of one!

(1) We don’t know and we will NEVER know
(2) We are in the process of figuring it out but need more time
(3) We are asking the wrong question

It seems that both he and I opt for (3), after having flirted with (1), and finding it somehow wanting.... [If my surmise is incorrect, please djf do correct the record.]

For as I already mentioned, the populist, post-modernist view of "reality" sees only the physical, the material. Whatever cannot be directly observed (or indirectly observed, by means of technical extension) does not exist for a positivist or a materialist. To reduce reality itself to such an impoverished view of "all that there is" in an ordered universe (physics presupposes this) leaves out all of biology altogether.

That is why the question "What is Reality?" is the wrong question. It is blind to the Great Hierarchy of Being: God–Man–World–Society. It cannot address, let alone answer, such questions as: How do life and mind arise in Nature? (Though it has been known to construct fairy stories along those lines from time to time; e.g., macroevolution, abiogenesis, panspermia theory.)

Which is why IMHO option (3) ought to be considered: The question as stated — "What Is Reality?" — asks the "wrong" question, if one wants to understand the world in which one lives.... The "right" question is: "What Is Life?"

I don't think of this as "changing the subject," rather of "clarifying the subject," thus to ask better questions....

Good to see you again, dear tacticalogic! Thanks so much for writing.

38 posted on 01/19/2014 2:21:46 PM PST by betty boop (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. —Thomas Jefferson)
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To: tacticalogic

And everybody else had damned well better see it the same way.


Thats the spirit.. good doggie..


39 posted on 01/19/2014 2:25:10 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: MHGinTN; Alamo-Girl; djf; tacticalogic
I am led to believe that the soul has temporal and spatial aspects, so the trick is to seek the temporal components of the physical and therein we may discover the temporal aspects of the soul which is not the body.

Interesting notion, dear brother in Christ. All I can say about that is Einstein did show the ultimate convertibility/convergence of energy and mass in his most famous equation: E = MC2....

Beyond that fascinating fact, I'm still not sure that "spirit/soul" can be reduced to material/mechanistic expression without introducing a colossal category error into the analysis....

40 posted on 01/19/2014 4:35:26 PM PST by betty boop (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. —Thomas Jefferson)
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To: metmom

>> “In a 2012 triumph, the Large Hadron Collider detected the previously theoretical Higgs boson (the “God particle,” thought to give everything in the universe mass). But the boson did not support any radical new cosmologies. Its lightness suggests the existence of other similar particles.” <<

.
Seems they were fibbin.

If the particle they found didn’t match the characteristics that they proffered, then they really didn’t find it.
.


41 posted on 01/19/2014 8:02:54 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: betty boop
If the temporal perspective at the basis is an orientation of present to past, as in we sense only those things which have occurred, temporally, then E=MC2 rules the energy relationship to time and space of the equipment and the readers of same.

IF (and yes it is a big if) the speed limit of a realm of reality we have yet to sense is always above C, however, the medium of energy sensing (light and light speed) is no longer bound by the Einstein equation.

C2 is not a real rate for anything in our universe, much less a reality in a continuum where things sensed must have a past-to-present orientation to be sensed. But Jesus stepped from our universe into another realm, with His body, and stepped back from thence with His body. So, there must be some spatio-temporal basis for that other realm.

Every 'thing' (as in any matter) in the physical universe of our sensing is but a pinch of energy, a twist of space, and a moment of time. The ether is the volume of time. Orientation in that volume determines ... well, I should stop there. No sense giving negative nay-bobs more to derail the thread. Re orienting can allow one to 'be' in a 'higher' continuum yet interact with our 'lower' continuum. Only Jesus has done that so far as I can discern from Biblical references.

42 posted on 01/19/2014 9:00:59 PM PST by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: hosepipe

Famous last words.


43 posted on 01/20/2014 5:10:03 AM PST by tacticalogic
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To: betty boop
Which is why IMHO option (3) ought to be considered: The question as stated — "What Is Reality?" — asks the "wrong" question, if one wants to understand the world in which one lives.... The "right" question is: "What Is Life?"

I don't think of this as "changing the subject," rather of "clarifying the subject," thus to ask better questions....

Why is that a better question? Life is part of reality. How will limiting your investigation get you more comprehensive results?

44 posted on 01/20/2014 5:26:44 AM PST by tacticalogic
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To: tacticalogic; djf; Alamo-Girl; YHAOS; MHGinTN; Heartlander; spirited irish; hosepipe; TXnMA
Why is that a better question? Life is part of reality. How will limiting your investigation get you more comprehensive results?

From my point of view, I'm not "limiting" my investigation. You say "Life is part of Reality." I say Life is prior to Reality, more basic than Reality; and totally comprehends it.

No one who is not alive can observe Reality. Thus one presumes life and consciousness are more basic and more general.

In his fascinating work, Life Itself: A Comprehensive Inquiry into the Nature, Origin, and Fabrication of Life (1991), Robert Rosen puts some of modern-day science's most cherished presuppositions under intense scrutiny.

[Rosen [RIP] is a mathematician, systems theorist, and theoretical biologist.]

Once such cherished presupposition is that physics is the preeminent science, for it addresses the "general case" with respect to reality in all its parts, including the biological parts, which are just so many "special cases," and comparatively rare.

...[T]he phenomena of biology have played essentially no role in the development of physical thought.... Why? Mainly, I think, because theoretical physics has long beguiled itself with a quest for what is universal and general. As far as theoretical physics is concerned, biological organisms are very special, indeed, inordinately special systems. The physicist perceives that most things in the universe are not organisms, not alive in any conventional sense. Therefore, the physicist reasons, organisms are negligible; they are to be ignored in the quest for universality. For surely, biology can add nothing fundamental, nothing new to physics; rather, organisms are to be understood entirely as specializations of the physical universals, once these have been adequately developed, and once the innumerable constraints and boundary conditions that make organisms special have been elucidated. These last, the physicist says, are not my task. So it happens that the wonderful edifice of physical science, so articulate elsewhere, stands today utterly mute on the fundamental question: What is Life?

After mulling over the implications of this situation for a bit, Rosen asks a striking question: "Why could it not be that the 'universals' of physics are only so on a small and special (if inordinately prominent) class of material systems, a class to which organisms are too general to belong? What if physics is the particular, and biology the general, instead of the other way around?"

Thus in effect, dear tacticalogic, I invoke Robert Rosen in hoping to explain why I regard the question "What Is Life?" as more "general" than the question "What Is Reality?" — which I imagine is closely related to physicalist (not to mention atheist) views so popular among so many scientists and students of science these days. This question represents the "particular case," not the general one.

It has been said that the great "art" of science is asking the right questions....

Rosen also has a field-day with the absolute wrongness of the "machine metaphor" or model of Newtonian, or classical, physics, viewed mainly under the aspect of mechanics, as applied to living systems in nature. A quip comes to mind: That answer is so bad, it isn't even wrong. But space does not permit elaboration here.

Thank you so very much for writing, dear tacticalogic!

45 posted on 01/20/2014 11:23:10 AM PST by betty boop (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. —Thomas Jefferson)
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To: betty boop
No one who is not alive can observe Reality. Thus one presumes life and consciousness are more basic and more general.

Doesn't that lead to a conclusion that nothing exists unless and until it's been observed?

46 posted on 01/20/2014 11:37:53 AM PST by tacticalogic
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To: MHGinTN
C2 is not a real rate for anything in our universe, much less a reality in a continuum where things sensed must have a past-to-present orientation to be sensed.

Indeed, dear brother in Christ! The problem is compounded by some skepticism I've come across in physics articles recently, that C is perhaps not the "speed limit of the universe."

It is beyond my competence to evaluate such matters. Just as it is beyond my competence to "prove" or "certify," by the scientific method, your observation:

But Jesus stepped from our universe into another realm, with His body, and stepped back from thence with His body. So, there must be some spatio-temporal basis for that other realm.

Because I cannot "test" this by means of the scientific method, does this fact make your statement "ipso facto" false? I STRONGLY DOUBT that.

However, I'm not driven by any need to establish the physical continuity of this realm and the next in terms of, say, an "ether," or universal quantum field, whatever. I figure there must be a Limit to how much Heaven and Earth, Spirit and Matter, can be "normalized" together.... [Which was where I got the idea of possible "category problem."]

Anyhoot, that's just to say: I don't know. Maybe I'm just dull-witted....

Please stay in touch, dear brother MHGinTN — please do keep me up with what you're working on!

Thank you so very much for your thought-provoking, penetrating essay/post !

47 posted on 01/20/2014 12:03:38 PM PST by betty boop (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. —Thomas Jefferson)
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To: tacticalogic; djf; Alamo-Girl; hosepipe; MHGinTN; YHAOS; spirited irish; TXnMA
Doesn't that lead to a conclusion that nothing exists unless and until it's been observed?

Not necessarily. This is the old "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to observe it, does the tree make a sound?" problem.

Two great friends — Einstein and Bohr — are on record as having quibbled over this problem.

Einstein twitted Bohr in so many words: "Niels would deny that the moon rises in the sky, unless he could see it for himself."

That is to say, the "existence of the moon" depends on Niels having observed the moon. That is, the moon is ontologically dependent on Niels' observation of it, which is an epistemological exercise.

Of course, Bohr denied all this. His answer was that the moon's existence did not depend on his observation of it; He doesn't "create" anything by "seeing" it. Rather, he acknowledges that any description that he could give of the moon surely did depend on his observation of the moon.

Vive la différence!

48 posted on 01/20/2014 12:29:10 PM PST by betty boop (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. —Thomas Jefferson)
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To: betty boop
No one who is not alive can observe Reality. Thus one presumes life and consciousness are more basic and more general.

So what did Tegmark just say when he said “Consciousness is a state of matter”? He just said, “Consciousness is something people are consciously conscious of.”
- From an interesting review by Rob Sheldon - On consciousness…

49 posted on 01/20/2014 12:31:51 PM PST by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: betty boop

So what will knowing exactly what “life” is tell you about everything that is not alive?


50 posted on 01/20/2014 12:45:26 PM PST by tacticalogic
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