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 Interview with Carver Mead 
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
John Lane wrote:
Oldavid wrote:
Whether you like it or not, things like electrons do exist; they can be stripped from or added to atoms to make ions, they can be fired through air and vacuum (as in lightning), through tiny orifices to observe their behaviour; and that behaviour is curious- sometimes they behave like particles and sometimes exhibit the properties of a wave thing.


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I agree, except that it seems to me that when they behave like particles, this is nothing more than the "discrete" wave phenomenon that Mead says everybody used to deny could exist, but it does. Don't confuse the phenomena with the theory that has described and named them.

When these men see discrete sub-atomic (sic) phenomena, they say it is "particle" behaviour; otherwise they see it as a wave. Carver Mead has killed that thinking once and for all, I think.
But in every other branch of ordered knowledge of causes (i.e. science), whether it's philosophy, natural theology, political science, economics, psychology, biology, etc., a great confusion has entered in and many truths have been abandoned whilst a great many things are "known" that just aint so.

Yes... but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water

John Lane wrote:
That description of the phenomenon only makes any sense at all within the vague and essentially nonsensical framework within which the phenomenon is described. Carver Mead says he has seen produced a mile-long electron. That's obviously a wave in a medium. I would have thought anybody with common sense would take that as final proof of the complete baselessness of the notion that an electron is a tiny particle that flies around the core of the atom at the speed of light, unless it doesn't, etc. It's a load of codswallop. And the idea wasn't born in any direct way from observation; it was postulated as a way of keeping the aether out of existence, as far as I can tell. A "particle" goes through two separate slits at the same time; ergo, some weird theory... But a wave can do that, will do that, is expected to do that. But the discrete nature of this wave had them bluffed. Heisenberg and co were will denying the possibility of discrete wave phenomena in the 1960s, when the laser was produced. Those blokes are just modern witch-doctors. Seriously, David, it's all black magic. The truth that is found in it is there by accident, or at best, to make it plausible.

I think you're being much too indiscrete with your poo-hoo brush.

In the case of electrons being fired at a cathode ray oscilloscope (old fashioned tv) screen they carry with them an amount of energy that is consistent with a particle the mass of an electron having been accellerated to about 3/4 the speed of light and at which speed its mass has been magnified about 10,000 times.
And yet the same "things", as you say, can go through two slits at the same time like a wave.
It's fascinating, but not necessarily unintelligible magic. The "Designer" is very, very clever indeed because if "electrons" weren't like that they couldn't do what they do. However, I contend that they are consistently what they are and, as a result, potentially "knowable" little by little.

Don't imagine that you'll have nothing to do in your eternity in Heaven.

Grrrrrrrr. Your quote thingy is at least as mysterious as a wave-particle thingy.


Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:53 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Oldavid wrote:
In the case of electrons being fired at a cathode ray oscilloscope (old fashioned tv) screen they carry with them an amount of energy that is consistent with a particle the mass of an electron having been accellerated to about 3/4 the speed of light and at which speed its mass has been magnified about 10,000 times.


This looks to me like a classic case of a circular argument. Define "mass" "energy" "speed of light" a particular way, essentially mathematically (i.e. define these things, x, y, and z, as the terms of various mathematical relations that have been observed, wrap some features around the essentially mathematical relations so that they sound like physical realities) then discover that the maths works. Magic! Carefully don't remember that you've defined them purely from the maths, in case you are forced to do some hard philosophy and face reality.

This is the same procedure that incautious thinkers used when they imagined that the space programme gave support to geocentrism - i.e. the maths worked. Well, of course it worked, it assumed a reference point within the system, and based itself on accurate observation. But as Mead says about other similar nonsense, maths doesn't prove the existance of concrete realities, it only proves relations. One doesn't prove that a perfect triangle exists in nature by demonstrating the properties of an equilateral triangle.

It isn't an accident that the men who are seeking a better understanding of physics are having to go back around 100 years to get to something like some bedrock upon which to start building. This is manifestly the case with the chap to whose book you pointed us, and it's also true with Mead and McLaughlin, and so many others.

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Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:28 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Errrgh!
Is your other name cassini, perhaps?

Never mind; I've not abandoned you. A head full of air can only keep you up for so long in very particular circumstances.


Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:54 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Well, Tito Cassini was one of the most brilliant writers of the early opposition to Paul VI. His The Torn Tunic was absolutely riveting - the kind of book one reads right thorugh and then starts again at the beginning, wishing it was ten times as long as it is. Just meteoric. By the end of that little book Paul VI's body parts appear to be scattered from Rome to Genoa, none of them recognisable...

And Giovanni Cassini - that's John Cassini - was a very competent astronomer in the seventeenth century, after whom several modern space vehicles and missions have been named...

So I don't mind being called Cassini, but I've never claimed the name, David!

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Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:09 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
They both sound very interesting... I'll look them up if I get a chance.

But, as you well know, that's not what I meant.


Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:52 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Oldavid wrote:
But, as you well know, that's not what I meant.


No, I presumed that somebody on the 'Net uses the name "Cassini" but I don't know.

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:56 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
John Lane wrote:
Oldavid wrote:
But, as you well know, that's not what I meant.


No, I presumed that somebody on the 'Net uses the name "Cassini" but I don't know.

Butter wouldn't melt in your mouth... too cool altogether.
John wrote:
This looks to me like a classic case of a circular argument. Define "mass" "energy" "speed of light" a particular way, essentially mathematically (i.e. define these things, x, y, and z, as the terms of various mathematical relations that have been observed, wrap some features around the essentially mathematical relations so that they sound like physical realities) then discover that the maths works. Magic! Carefully don't remember that you've defined them purely from the maths, in case you are forced to do some hard philosophy and face reality.

Ooer. You have been taking lessons on rhetorical tactics?
Let's take them one thing at a time. Where do you want to start?


Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:03 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Your quote thingy is still more mysterious than Einstein's Relativity.


Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:06 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Oldavid wrote:
Your quote thingy is still more mysterious than Einstein's Relativity.


You're used to IA, where the name in the quote tag is not in inverted commas. Here it is in inverted commas.

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:31 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Where to start?

With metaphysics, so that we know what principles physics inherits and must apply to solve its subsidiary problems.

For example, for one thing to act upon another they must be in contact. There is no action at a distance. This is an obvious principle, as soon as it is thought about and the terms are understood, which is why it's one of the first principles.

Put the aether back, and amongst other things you have a medium in which a wave can exist and propagate, and waves transmit "energy", which can be received by another object. This is all easy to comprehend - we see it when we put a hand in the bath and move the water - the wave travels through the water to the rubber ducky resting on its surface, and causes it to rise and fall. The hand did not move the toy directly, since they are not in direct contact, but the water is in contact with both, and so the hand could move the toy by moving the water.

Are we agreed on this much?

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:37 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
John Lane wrote:
Are we agreed on this much?

No.
Your assumptions don't seem to allow for:
gravity
magnetism
electric charge attraction/repulsion
and, perhaps other things that don't immediately come to mind.
Quote:
For example, for one thing to act upon another they must be in contact. There is no action at a distance. This is an obvious principle, as soon as it is thought about and the terms are understood, which is why it's one of the first principles.

That's a bald, bland generalisation that, perhaps, means something to you.
But I imagine that you're going to say that aether is the necessary "contact" like some sort of power cable... but what if aetheric disturbance is what those things are?


Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:16 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Oldavid wrote:
John Lane wrote:
Are we agreed on this much?

No.
Your assumptions don't seem to allow for:
gravity
magnetism
electric charge attraction/repulsion
and, perhaps other things that don't immediately come to mind.


Which assumptions?

Oldavid wrote:
Quote:
For example, for one thing to act upon another they must be in contact. There is no action at a distance. This is an obvious principle, as soon as it is thought about and the terms are understood, which is why it's one of the first principles.

That's a bald, bland generalisation that, perhaps, means something to you.
But I imagine that you're going to say that aether is the necessary "contact" like some sort of power cable... but what if aetheric disturbance is what those things are?


Not sure I follow you. But let's deal with the fundamental truth of no action at a distance and then see how it applies.

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:52 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Quote:
fundamental truth of no action at a distance

Hmm. I don't believe that it's a "fundamental truth". If you need it to be so for your thesis... then "ploise ixploin". (Heh heh! a la Pauline Hanson).


Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:01 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Oldavid wrote:
Quote:
fundamental truth of no action at a distance

Hmm. I don't believe that it's a "fundamental truth".


Well then, that's the disagreement. I'm following Aristotle and St. Thomas, and most modern scholastics (i.e. up until V2 at least).

The best argument, I think, is simply that the being of a body is circumscribed by a definite place, therefore its action is too, since the mode of action of anything corresponds to its mode of being.

Physical beings don't act spiritually, they act physically. Creatures act in a limited way, because they have limited being.

If you think about the point, it is obvious. What is between two non-contiguous bodies? If you say "nothing" then nothing can act there (except God, creating something, in which case something is then there). If you answer, "something" (even if you don't know what), then you are accepting the principle that there is no action at a distance - that is, that there must be something contiguous to a body for it to be affected by that body.

So when we observe apparent physical action at a distance, we must suppose there to be something unobserved in the intervening "space". We know, for example, that sound waves are effects of the air. That is, that air is disturbed in a particular way so as to transmit "energy" from a voice to an ear, which is then in turn affected by the air. Speak in a vacuum and no sound is made, because the required medium is absent.

Now, what is it that carries magnetism and perhaps gravity? Evidently one or more media, not yet detected, as such, yet which must be present because any other view violates a principle of metaphysics (i.e. violates common sense).

You already suggested, "but what if aetheric disturbance is what those things are?" which to my reading suggests that you see the logic of postulating an aether as the medium through which various forms of "energy" flow.

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:36 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
John Lane wrote:
If you think about the point, it is obvious. What is between two non-contiguous bodies?

Space. Room. Distance. Which is still a God-created "thing"...like "time".

John Lane wrote:
So when we observe apparent physical action at a distance, we must suppose there to be something unobserved in the intervening "space".

You mean, "other than 'space' (whatever that is)"? Sorry, I don't agree.

John Lane wrote:
We know, for example, that sound waves are effects of the air. That is, that air is disturbed in a particular way so as to transmit "energy" from a voice to an ear, which is then in turn affected by the air. Speak in a vacuum and no sound is made, because the required medium is absent.

You appear to be conflating different forms of energy.

John Lane wrote:
Now, what is it that carries magnetism and perhaps gravity? Evidently one or more media, not yet detected, as such, yet which must be present because any other view violates a principle of metaphysics (i.e. violates common sense).

No. Although we have, perhaps, not yet exactly determined the way that the energy of magnetism, gravity, or radio signals "get" from one place to another, to presume that there MUST be a medium, as you understand that term, is, in my opinion, jumping to unwarranted conclusions. It appears to me that you are conflating metaphysics with physics, and perhaps vice versa. Although, again in my opinion, many of the principles of the one, can be applied in certain cases to the other, they are not equivalent.

It appears to me that you are using "metaphysics" as a sort of Unified, All Encompassing, Basis for Everything, a sort of a Unified Field Theory. I submit that metaphysics is a field all its own.

I repeat: although undoubtedly certain principles of metaphysics can be usefully applied to an understanding of some things in the field of physical phenomenon (physics), we simply do not know enough yet to make a blanket application of those to the field of physics either.

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:00 pm
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Ken Gordon wrote:
It appears to me that you are using "metaphysics" as a sort of Unified, All Encompassing, Basis for Everything, ...


Only because that's what it is, by definition!

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:14 pm
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
John Lane wrote:
Ken Gordon wrote:
It appears to me that you are using "metaphysics" as a sort of Unified, All Encompassing, Basis for Everything, ...


Only because that's what it is, by definition!

I'm battling to come to terms with the concepts here. Ole Hawking and co have been bandying around an idea of a "theory of everything" for a long while now; trouble is they can't make the idea fit the observations.

An obvious "solution" to the problem would be to simply dismiss any observations that don't fit the idea, but so far they don't seem to have been cheeky enough to come at that in a big way.

The likes of Sungenis, though, don't seem to have any reservations at all about summarily dismissing anything that disagrees with their ideas.

Metaphysics:- It can't be used as an excuse to imply that Creation is absurd or, at least, inconsistent.

I do hope Ken stays around... I can't keep on top of all this while I am preoccupied with the more important business of provoking Katie.


Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:06 pm
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Oldavid wrote:
I do hope Ken stays around... I can't keep on top of all this while I am preoccupied with the more important business of provoking Katie.

Well, I am having my hands full provoking both my wife and John. :lol:

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Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:47 pm
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Oldavid wrote:
John Lane wrote:
Ken Gordon wrote:
It appears to me that you are using "metaphysics" as a sort of Unified, All Encompassing, Basis for Everything, ...


Only because that's what it is, by definition!

I'm battling to come to terms with the concepts here. Ole Hawking and co have been bandying around an idea of a "theory of everything" for a long while now; trouble is they can't make the idea fit the observations.


Yes, forget them. We've talking about something much more fundamental, and of course true.

Consider these quotes, from St. Thomas:

Quote:
We must bear in mind that there are two kinds of sciences. There are some which proceed from a principle known by the natural light of intelligence, such as arithmetic and geometry and the like. There are some which proceed from principles known by the light of a higher science: thus the science of perspective proceeds from principles established by geometry, and music from principles established by arithmetic. S. Th. I, Q. 1, Art. 2.


Quote:
As other sciences do not argue in proof of their principles, but argue from their principles to demonstrate other truths in these sciences: so this doctrine does not argue in proof of its principles, which are the articles of faith, but from them it goes on to prove something else; as the Apostle from the resurrection of Christ argues in proof of the general resurrection (1 Corinthians 15). However, it is to be borne in mind, in regard to the philosophical sciences, that the inferior sciences neither prove their principles nor dispute with those who deny them, but leave this to a higher science; whereas the highest of them, viz. metaphysics, can dispute with one who denies its principles, if only the opponent will make some concession; but if he concede nothing, it can have no dispute with him, though it can answer his objections. S. Th. I, Q. 1, Art. 8.


Thus there is a natural hierarchy of sciences. Each science which is subsidiary to metaphysics takes some principles as "given" and employs them. The principles of causality, the principle of non-contradiction, for example, belong to metaphysics, but they are inherited by all of the sciences and it does not belong to those sciences to dispute them, but to accept them and use them. Likewise logic is used by all subsidiary sciences. If a biologist decided to deny the principles of logic, I doubt anybody would be surprised if he were condemned by all and sundry as an idiot. The moment that a physicist begins to question a metaphysical principle, he is doing metaphysics, and he ought to recognise this and cease pretending to do physics, until he has settled his own mind on the metaphysical question.

Much of the trouble in the modern era is precisely in the lack of clarity about this. Phyicists offer philosophy all the time, and present it as physics. Newton did it, Einstein did it, Heisenberg did it, they've all pretty much done it. All of them completely and utterly confused about what they were about, hopelessly lost, the blind leading the blind.

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Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:32 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
John Lane wrote:
Consider these quotes, from St. Thomas:

Quote:
We must bear in mind that there are two kinds of sciences. There are some which proceed from a principle known by the natural light of intelligence, such as arithmetic and geometry and the like. There are some which proceed from principles known by the light of a higher science: thus the science of perspective proceeds from principles established by geometry, and music from principles established by arithmetic. S. Th. I, Q. 1, Art. 2.


Quote:
As other sciences do not argue in proof of their principles, but argue from their principles to demonstrate other truths in these sciences: so this doctrine does not argue in proof of its principles, which are the articles of faith, but from them it goes on to prove something else; as the Apostle from the resurrection of Christ argues in proof of the general resurrection (1 Corinthians 15). However, it is to be borne in mind, in regard to the philosophical sciences, that the inferior sciences neither prove their principles nor dispute with those who deny them, but leave this to a higher science; whereas the highest of them, viz. metaphysics, can dispute with one who denies its principles, if only the opponent will make some concession; but if he concede nothing, it can have no dispute with him, though it can answer his objections. S. Th. I, Q. 1, Art. 8.


Thus there is a natural hierarchy of sciences. Each science which is subsidiary to metaphysics takes some principles as "given" and employs them. The principles of causality, the principle of non-contradiction, for example, belong to metaphysics, but they are inherited by all of the sciences and it does not belong to those sciences to dispute them, but to accept them and use them. Likewise logic is used by all subsidiary sciences. If a biologist decided to deny the principles of logic, I doubt anybody would be surprised if he were condemned by all and sundry as an idiot. The moment that a physicist begins to question a metaphysical principle, he is doing metaphysics, and he ought to recognise this and cease pretending to do physics, until he has settled his own mind on the metaphysical question.

Much of the trouble in the modern era is precisely in the lack of clarity about this. Phyicists offer philosophy all the time, and present it as physics. Newton did it, Einstein did it, Heisenberg did it, they've all pretty much done it. All of them completely and utterly confused about what they were about, hopelessly lost, the blind leading the blind.

I think we're talking at crossed purposes.
My old philosopher defined philosophy as: "the pursuit of truth using a scientific instrument know as logic". He also said, as is implied by that, that all science(s) are (branches of) philosophy and the law of non-contradiction applies right across the field. That is, say, if a conclusion drawn from metaphycs contradicts a conclusion from chemistry then one or the other or both are wrong.
However, that does not automatically imply that a modern chemist is automatically wrong if his observations/conclusions conflict with the (metaphysical) conclusions of some medieval observer.

As for a physist being a philosopher; so he jolly well should be... it should inhibit his tendency to draw fanciful conclusions.

I think that a big part of the problem stems from the "modern" idea that any stupid idea is "a philosophy" and the stupider it is the more "philosophical".

It may be some human defence mechanism to retreat from the conflicts by just deciding that anything not known in AD 100 is not knowable and should be avoided like the plague.


Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:21 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Well, Gents. this discussion has been very interesting to me. The humor displayed is very refreshing too. :P

In my view, one of the very big problems with modern "science" and "scientists" (in addition the almost complete lack of humility in almost all of them) is simply the tendency to almost complete "reductionism", and much too great specialisation to smaller and smaller "groups" or "areas" of knowledge.

Yet, many of these so-called scientists try, by the method of extreme reductionism, to arrive at a "Unified Field Theory", or an all-encompassing explanation of all sciences and their complete relationship with one another.

The only real "Unified Field Theory" is, simply, God. Leave Him out and everything falls to the absurd.

I really wish there was a single, definitive book which would explain to me all the principles of metaphysics and exactly how to apply those in the real world, with examples.

I think that, in my case at least, it is high time I seriously studied this and put those principles into serious use.

After all, I took the name of St. Thomas Aquinas in Confirmation...

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Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:21 pm
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Ken Gordon wrote:
In my view, one of the very big problems with modern "science" and "scientists" (in addition the almost complete lack of humility in almost all of them) is simply the tendency to almost complete "reductionism", and much too great specialisation to smaller and smaller "groups" or "areas" of knowledge.

Yet, many of these so-called scientists try, by the method of extreme reductionism, to arrive at a "Unified Field Theory", or an all-encompassing explanation of all sciences and their complete relationship with one another.

The only real "Unified Field Theory" is, simply, God. Leave Him out and everything falls to the absurd.

Well, Ken, I don't go agreeing with anyone unless all other possibilities are exhausted :twisted: but I think you might be onto something here.

Perhaps if scientist just applied some pretty basic principles of reasoning to their research many (or all) of the absurdities they propose would be avoided (and their credibility increased) and they wouldn't waste precious time and resources trying to prop up absurd assumptions.

All the most publicised "scientists" are always just trying justify an assumption that everything is a result of a spontaneous evolution of material "stuff". But maybe, if they accepted the self evident premise that "a thing that does not exist cannot cause itself to exist", they'd spend their time and resources discovering HOW things work rather than trying to make things SEEM to conform to an absurd premise.


Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:13 pm
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Pax Christi !


Speaking of debunked Unified Field Therory. Here is a good expose-..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... Hz4mB9GKY#!


In Xto,
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Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:39 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Oldavid wrote:
Ken Gordon wrote:
The only real "Unified Field Theory" is, simply, God. Leave Him out and everything falls to the absurd.

Well, Ken, I don't go agreeing with anyone unless all other possibilities are exhausted :twisted: but I think you might be onto something here.

Hee hee! Thanks! :)

Oldavid wrote:
All the most publicised "scientists" are always just trying justify an assumption that everything is a result of a spontaneous evolution of material "stuff". But maybe, if they accepted the self evident premise that "a thing that does not exist cannot cause itself to exist",

Yes!!!!!

Oldavid wrote:
they'd spend their time and resources discovering HOW things work rather than trying to make things SEEM to conform to an absurd premise.

Well, I will most certainly go along with that, David. :lol:

Good on ya!

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:33 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Thanks for the video, Vince, very interesting.

But, have "black holes" been discovered or are they just a possibility/probability?

I, personally, don't have a problem with the possibility of a "black hole", that is, a "thing" whose mass/gravity makes even the speed of light less than escape velocity.

But I confess that I'd not even thought that there might have been a point centre of such a thing that would present conceptual problems to that idea. Interesting!!


Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:56 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Anyhow, back to the original grumble:

"Physics" can't just keep on inventing imaginary "particles" whose only purpose is to fill in a space in an imaginary equation the purpose of which is to make-believe that matter and spirit can spontaneously "appear" out of nothing.

That what Ken said back there is close to being able to pull the pin on the Darwinist/Modernist imaginings.


Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:27 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Oldavid wrote:
I think we're talking at crossed purposes.


Yes, in part.

Oldavid wrote:
My old philosopher defined philosophy as: "the pursuit of truth using a scientific instrument know as logic". He also said, as is implied by that, that all science(s) are (branches of) philosophy and the law of non-contradiction applies right across the field. That is, say, if a conclusion drawn from metaphycs contradicts a conclusion from chemistry then one or the other or both are wrong.


Agreed.

Oldavid wrote:
However, that does not automatically imply that a modern chemist is automatically wrong if his observations/conclusions conflict with the (metaphysical) conclusions of some medieval observer.


What, like the medieval observation that there can be no action at a distance? But that's as much part of metaphysics as the law of non-contradiction. It's in the very nature of things. If the physicist denies it, he's out of his field and into a higher science, where he almost certainly isn't competent.

Oldavid wrote:
As for a physist being a philosopher; so he jolly well should be... it should inhibit his tendency to draw fanciful conclusions.


I agree with that, too, in the sense you mean it, but of course he usually won't be a specialist in both sciences, so he won't be equally competent in both, and therein lies much danger.

The other thing is that if he is competent to add to the science of metaphysics, he will be perfectly clear, and perfectly willing to admit, that he is doing so. A lot of the trouble, as I said above, is that they clothe their metaphysics with the language of empirical science and pretend it is really "physics".

Oldavid wrote:
It may be some human defence mechanism to retreat from the conflicts by just deciding that anything not known in AD 100 is not knowable and should be avoided like the plague.


No, that's not what is going on. It isn't when the bulldust was stated that matters. Nor is it when the truth was stated that matters, at least not essentially. What matters is whether something is true or not.

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:40 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
John Lane wrote:
What, like the medieval observation that there can be no action at a distance? But that's as much part of metaphysics as the law of non-contradiction. It's in the very nature of things. If the physicist denies it, he's out of his field and into a higher science, where he almost certainly isn't competent.

Yes, I noticed that when you first said it way back, but I didn't think I should challenge it then.

However, the bald statement needs some qualification, I think. What, for example, is "action" (act) and what is "distance"? For us time-space bound beings it's simple; you can't do something in Peru and expect the results in Alice Springs.

Another Thomistic philosopher/theologian told me that pure spirits (like angels) are pure Act... that is, they are what and where they act. It's a difficult concept to get one's time-space bound head around but it does make sense if one can get some appreciation of timelessness: of God's eternal NOW.

I'm sure you're scandalised but I'm not sure what it's got to do with Carver Mead.


Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:46 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
Oldavid wrote:
Another Thomistic philosopher/theologian told me that pure spirits (like angels) are pure Act... that is, they are what and where they act. It's a difficult concept to get one's time-space bound head around but it does make sense if one can get some appreciation of timelessness: of God's eternal NOW.

I'm sure you're scandalised but I'm not sure what it's got to do with Carver Mead.


Why would I be scandalised at that? It's pure Thomism.

Now, when we're talking about dumb matter, how does one body act on another body except by physical contact? It doesn't. This is where Carver Mead comes in.

So we postulate the aether.

And we have analogies for the aether in sound waves in air, and waves in water, so it isn't like we're postulating something weird or difficult to understand.

Once that's grasped, we can start to evaluate the really interesting observational data relating to gravity, magnetism, electricity, and "quantum" phenomena, etc.

Do you really see any problem with any of that?

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:15 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
John Lane wrote:
Oldavid wrote:
Another Thomistic philosopher/theologian told me that pure spirits (like angels) are pure Act... that is, they are what and where they act. It's a difficult concept to get one's time-space bound head around but it does make sense if one can get some appreciation of timelessness: of God's eternal NOW.

I'm sure you're scandalised but I'm not sure what it's got to do with Carver Mead.


Why would I be scandalised at that? It's pure Thomism.

Now, when we're talking about dumb matter, how does one body act on another body except by physical contact? It doesn't. This is where Carver Mead comes in.

So we postulate the aether.

And we have analogies for the aether in sound waves in air, and waves in water, so it isn't like we're postulating something weird or difficult to understand.

Once that's grasped, we can start to evaluate the really interesting observational data relating to gravity, magnetism, electricity, and "quantum" phenomena, etc.

Do you really see any problem with any of that?

Hmmm. So we postulate an aether to fill a gap in some metaphysical "equation"?

My understanding of aether is that it's not just some "atmosphere" around material things in which light travels... etc., but, rather the "stuff" that material things are made of. Even things like gravity and inertia could be a result of aetheric "disturbance".

Anyhow, this is all (as far as I'm aware) proposed as possibility and, very likely, little to do with Carver Mead's grumbles/observations.


Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:51 am
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New post Re: Interview with Carver Mead
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_theories

Robert B. Laughlin, Nobel Laureate in Physics, endowed chair in physics, Stanford University, had this to say about ether in contemporary theoretical physics:

Quote:
It is ironic that Einstein's most creative work, the general theory of relativity, should boil down to conceptualizing space as a medium when his original premise [in special relativity] was that no such medium existed [..] The word 'ether' has extremely negative connotations in theoretical physics because of its past association with opposition to relativity. This is unfortunate because, stripped of these connotations, it rather nicely captures the way most physicists actually think about the vacuum. . . . Relativity actually says nothing about the existence or nonexistence of matter pervading the universe, only that any such matter must have relativistic symmetry. [..] It turns out that such matter exists. About the time relativity was becoming accepted, studies of radioactivity began showing that the empty vacuum of space had spectroscopic structure similar to that of ordinary quantum solids and fluids. Subsequent studies with large particle accelerators have now led us to understand that space is more like a piece of window glass than ideal Newtonian emptiness. It is filled with 'stuff' that is normally transparent but can be made visible by hitting it sufficiently hard to knock out a part. The modern concept of the vacuum of space, confirmed every day by experiment, is a relativistic ether. But we do not call it this because it is taboo.


There's no such thing as action at a distance. Aristotle was right, obviously. Only the brilliant modern mind could fail to accept such an obvious truth!

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Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:45 am
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