Intelligent Design

Does Bad Metaphysics Lead to Moribund Physics?

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Yes, according to Rob Sheldon:

Woit & Hossenfelder & Wolchover are saying something more profound than they realize. It is not simply, as Wolchover put it, “a diphoton hangover”, or as Hossenfelder put it, “we are completely lost”, nor even as Woit said in his 2013 essay, a “nightmare scenario” in which,

“After centuries of great progress, moving towards ever deeper understanding of the universe we live in, we may be entering a new kind of era. Will intellectual progress become just a memory, with an important aspect of human civilization increasingly characterized by an unfamiliar and disturbing stasis?”

For Peter, as well as Sabine and Natalie, “progress” is the birthright of humanity, and “stasis” the curse. But imagine for a moment that you lived in 1350 AD as the Plague made its way northward from Italy and Constantinople. Would “stasis” be a bad thing?

And what exactly is this thing called “progress”? And why is it so important?

The late historian and philosopher of science, Stanley Jaki argued that what stymied Science (and presumably “progress”) in the Greek city-states, the Roman empire, the Chinese dynasties, the Baghdad caliphates, and the Hindu kingdoms, was not a love of stasis, but a failure of metaphysics. If we interpret the world wrongly, we don’t make progress. If we get obsessed with turning lead into gold, we don’t make progress on the heat evolved from heating cinnabar and reoxidizing it. If we think heat is an intrinsic property of matter, we don’t understand how to make a heat engine. The alchemists thought that they could make progress without metaphysics, simply by following more and more complicated recipes, but in the end, the recipes failed them.

I heard a story 2nd hand about how Xerox discovered that light made Selenium charge up, and that static electricity could attract finely divided ink (“toner”), and hence the miracle of xerography was born. But after 20 years, no one could improve on it. The recipes had panned out. So they hired a physicist to understand the physics of charged dust. Only after creating a physics model, were they able to improve on the process.

So by analogy, it was these metaphysical mistakes that stopped progress. And it is these same metaphysical mistakes that are stymieing particle physics. And cosmology. And space physics. And astrophysics. And high-Tc superconductivity. And origin-of-life. And anthropology. And climatology. And biology.

In fact, in every field that I have read the peer-reviewed literature, I find some 20th century model or paradigm that is dominating the field and stymieing progress. Why?

Because every single one of these 20th century paradigms is based on a 19th century metaphysics of incoherence, of randomness, of methodological naturalism, of materialism. The religion of the 20th century is the reason we can’t make progress in the 21st.

But the good news for Peter, Sabine and Natalie, is that there is a cure. It’s called coherence, design, teleology, purpose. And trust me, once you see what it can do, you won’t mind the opprobrium, you’ll be having too much fun.

15 Replies to “Does Bad Metaphysics Lead to Moribund Physics?

  1. 1
    BrianFraser says:

    “it was these metaphysical mistakes that stopped progress” And I agree that they still are. One of my favorite gripes is expressed in the paper: “Beyond Einstein: Non-local physics” by Brian Fraser (2015):

    “You have no doubt heard people say things like “according to Einstein, nothing can travel faster than light”. But the existence of aberration-free forces which appear to have instantaneous effects (“faster than light”) even over large distances, was simply not recognized in 1905 when Special Relativity was introduced. Einstein himself noticed some problems in this regard in a 1935 paper which is now referred to as the EPR paradox. In the following decades more and more experiments revealed more and more problems. But these “faster than light” problems are simply outside the scope of SR and GR; a “local” theory cannot treat truly non-local phenomena in a satisfactory manner.”

    Einstein’s SR and GR are good for explaining reference system effects. But they were never intended to deal with fundamentally non-local phenomena. Until this out-of-scope problem is recognized, the physics of the 21 century will still be stuck back in 1905.

    The free, 22 page paper can be downloaded from: http://scripturalphysics.org/4.....stein.html The .html file gives a link to the .pdf file but the former has additional information, and many more links and insights.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    It is interesting to note that, prior to the overturning of relativity as to absolute frame of reference for reality by quantum mechanics,,,,

    LIVING IN A QUANTUM WORLD – Vlatko Vedral – 2011
    Excerpt: Thus, the fact that quantum mechanics applies on all scales forces us to confront the theory’s deepest mysteries. We cannot simply write them off as mere details that matter only on the very smallest scales. For instance, space and time are two of the most fundamental classical concepts, but according to quantum mechanics they are secondary. The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time. If there were a dividing line between the quantum and the classical worlds, we could use the space and time of the classical world to provide a framework for describing quantum processes. But without such a dividing line—and, indeed, with­out a truly classical world—we lose this framework. We must explain space and time (4D space-time) as somehow emerging from fundamentally spaceless and timeless physics.
    http://phy.ntnu.edu.tw/~chchan.....611038.pdf

    ,,, It is interesting to note that, prior to the overturning of relativity as to absolute frame of reference for reality by quantum mechanics, Einstein had a disagreement with a leading philosopher over mental time vs. physical time. Basically, Einstein held that the mental time of philosophers, i.e. ‘the now’, was illusory and only physical time was real. The disagreement was so heated that it was one of the primary reasons why Einstein never received a Noble prize for relativity:

    Einstein vs Bergson, science vs philosophy and the meaning of time – Wednesday 24 June 2015
    Excerpt: The meeting of April 6 was supposed to be a cordial affair, though it ended up being anything but.
    ‘I have to say that day exploded and it was referenced over and over again in the 20th century,’ says Canales. ‘The key sentence was something that Einstein said: “The time of the philosophers did not exist.”’
    It’s hard to know whether Bergson was expecting such a sharp jab. In just one sentence, Bergson’s notion of duration—a major part of his thesis on time—was dealt a mortal blow.
    As Canales reads it, the line was carefully crafted for maximum impact.
    ‘What he meant was that philosophers frequently based their stories on a psychological approach and [new] physical knowledge showed that these philosophical approaches were nothing more than errors of the mind.’
    The night would only get worse.
    ‘This was extremely scandalous,’ says Canales. ‘Einstein had been invited by philosophers to speak at their society, and you had this physicist say very clearly that their time did not exist.’
    Bergson was outraged, but the philosopher did not take it lying down. A few months later Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the law of photoelectric effect, an area of science that Canales noted, ‘hardly jolted the public’s imagination’. In truth, Einstein coveted recognition for his work on relativity.
    Bergson inflicted some return humiliation of his own. By casting doubt on Einstein’s theoretical trajectory, Bergson dissuaded the committee from awarding the prize for relativity. In 1922, the jury was still out on the correct interpretation of time.
    So began a dispute that festered for years and played into the larger rift between physics and philosophy, science and the humanities.
    Bergson was fond of saying that time was the experience of waiting for a lump of sugar to dissolve in a glass of water. It was a declaration that one could not talk about time without reference to human consciousness and human perception. Einstein would say that time is what clocks measure. Bergson would no doubt ask why we build clocks in the first place.
    ‘He argued that if we didn’t have a prior sense of time we wouldn’t have been led to build clocks and we wouldn’t even use them … unless we wanted to go places and to events that mattered,’ says Canales. ‘You can see that their points of view were very different.’
    In a theoretical nutshell this expressed perfectly the division between lived time and spacetime: subjective experience versus objective reality.,,,
    Just when Einstein thought he had it worked out, along came the discovery of quantum theory and with it the possibility of a Bergsonian universe of indeterminacy and change. God did, it seems, play dice with the universe, contra to Einstein’s famous aphorism.
    Some supporters went as far as to say that Bergson’s earlier work anticipated the quantum revolution of Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg by four decades or more.
    Canales quotes the literary critic Andre Rousseaux, writing at the time of Bergson’s death.
    ‘The Bergson revolution will be doubled by a scientific revolution that, on its own, would have demanded the philosophical revolution that Bergson led, even if he had not done it.’
    Was Bergson right after all? Time will tell.
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionat.....me/6539568

    After his encounter with Bergson, Einstein had another encounter with another famous philosopher over ‘the now of the mind’.

    In 1935, several years after Einstein’s encounter with Berson, Einstein was asked by Rudolf Carnap:

    “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”

    Einstein’s answer was categorical, he said:

    “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”

    Quote was taken from the last few minutes of this following video.

    Stanley L. Jaki: “The Mind and Its Now”
    https://vimeo.com/10588094

    And here a bit more detail:

    The Mind and Its Now – May 22, 2008 – By Stanley L. Jaki
    Excerpt: ,,, Rudolf Carnap, and the only one among them who was bothered with the mind’s experience of its now. His concern for this is noteworthy because he went about it in the wrong way. He thought that physics was the only sound way to know and to know anything. It was therefore only logical on his part that he should approach, we are around 1935, Albert Einstein, the greatest physicist of the day, with the question whether it was possible to turn the experience of the now into a scientific knowledge. Such knowledge must of course be verified with measurement. We do not have the exact record of Carnap’s conversation with Einstein whom he went to visit in Princeton, at eighteen hours by train at that time from Chicago. But from Einstein’s reply which Carnap jotted down later, it is safe to assume that Carnap reasoned with him as outlined above. Einstein’s answer was categorical: The experience of the now cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement. It can never be part of physics.
    http://metanexus.net/essay/mind-and-its-now

    The meaning of the question of ‘the Now’ can also be read in full context in the article:

    The Mind and Its Now – Stanley L. Jaki, May 2008
    Excerpts: There can be no active mind without its sensing its existence in the moment called now.,,,
    Three quarters of a century ago Charles Sherrington, the greatest modern student of the brain, spoke memorably on the mind’s baffling independence of the brain. The mind lives in a self-continued now or rather in the now continued in the self. This life involves the entire brain, some parts of which overlap, others do not.
    ,,,There is no physical parallel to the mind’s ability to extend from its position in the momentary present to its past moments, or in its ability to imagine its future. The mind remains identical with itself while it lives through its momentary nows.
    ,,, the now is immensely richer an experience than any marvelous set of numbers, even if science could give an account of the set of numbers, in terms of energy levels. The now is not a number. It is rather a word, the most decisive of all words. It is through experiencing that word that the mind comes alive and registers all existence around and well beyond.
    ,,, All our moments, all our nows, flow into a personal continuum, of which the supreme form is the NOW which is uncreated, because it simply IS.
    – per metanexus

    Later on Einstein also asked this semi-famous question:

    Einstein: An Exchange – 2007
    Excerpt: In fact, a quantum mechanician like Bohr would say that, in the absence of an experiment to determine them, these quantities have no existence at all. This is what Einstein objected to. He once walked back from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton with the late Abraham Pais. The moon was out and Einstein asked Pais, “Do you really believe the moon is not there when you are not looking at it?”
    http://www.nybooks.com/article.....-exchange/

    Yet, contrary to what Einstein, (and apparently even Jaki), thought possible for experimental physics, ‘the now of the mind’ has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics, firmly established itself as a part of experimental physics. i.e., as far as quantum mechanics is concerned, the moon does not exist as a physical, i.e. material, object apart from our measurement, i.e. conscious observation, of it.
    In fact, due to advances in quantum mechanics, it would now be much more appropriate to phrase Einstein’s answer to the philosopher in this way:

    “It is impossible for the mental experience of ‘the now’ to ever be divorced from physical measurement, it will always be a part of physics.”

    A few notes to that effect:

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor quantum computation – Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables

    In fact, according to quantum mechanics, not only does material reality not exist until we measure it, but our choice in exactly how to look at reality have effects that travel backwards in time.

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    “That’s the enigma. That our choice of what experiment to do determines the prior state of the electron. Somehow or other we had an influence on it which appears to travel backwards in time.”
    Fred Kuttner – Univ. Of California

    The delayed choice experiment has been extended and refined. Not so surprisingly, the predictions of quantum mechanics have held up exactly as expected to these refinements in testing

    “If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.”
    Asher Peres, Delayed choice for entanglement swapping. J. Mod. Opt. 47, 139-143 (2000).

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    A little better explanation of the “delayed-choice entanglement swapping” experiment is given at the 9:11 minute mark of the following video:

    Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment Explained – 2014 video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6HLjpj4Nt4

  3. 3
    cantor says:

    1 BrianFraser August 11, 2016 at 11:56 pm wrote:
    “the existence of aberration-free forces which appear to have instantaneous effects”

    Equivocation serves only confusion. Pick a different word that “force” please. Entanglement is not a “force”.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    So committed was Einstein to holding physical reality as being primary over mental reality that Einstein even went so far as to deny his own free will.

    Physicist George Ellis on the importance of philosophy and free will – July 27, 2014
    Excerpt: And free will?:
    Horgan: Einstein, in the following quote, seemed to doubt free will: “If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the Earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was traveling its way of its own accord…. So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.” Do you believe in free will?
    Ellis: Yes. Einstein is perpetuating the belief that all causation is bottom up. This simply is not the case, as I can demonstrate with many examples from sociology, neuroscience, physiology, epigenetics, engineering, and physics. Furthermore if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options.
    I find it very hard to believe this to be the case – indeed it does not seem to make any sense. Physicists should pay attention to Aristotle’s four forms of causation – if they have the free will to decide what they are doing. If they don’t, then why waste time talking to them? They are then not responsible for what they say.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....free-will/

    In my honest opinion, Einstein took the importance of his mind, (and his own free will), as to coherently explaining reality far too lightly, since he himself, as a personal agent, would not have discovered relativity, but the discovery of relativity would have instead been attributable to lower level processes of physics. In other words, instead of Einstein discovering relativity, it would have been the achievement of physics discovering physics and then physics somehow informing the ‘illusion of Einstein’ of the discovery after the fact.

    The denial of personal agency by materialists is simply insane since it leads to such catastrophic epistemological failure.

    Under atheistic naturalism there is not really a real person with the free will to choose to believe in, or to not believe in anything, be it believing in God or be it believing in naturalism. There are only illusions of persons who are fed illusions of free will that seemingly miraculously coincide with the illusory intentions of their illusory self.
    Moreover, according to rigorous analysis of population genetics, ALL of our perceptions/observations of reality also become ‘illusory’ given the materialistic premises of atheism.

    Darwinian evolution, and atheism/naturalism in general, are built entirely upon a framework of illusions and fantasy
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Q94y-QgZZGF0Q7HdcE-qdFcVGErhWxsVKP7GOmpKD6o/edit

    Fortunately, science itself could care less if atheists are forced to believe, because of their materialistic premises, that they are merely a ‘dream within a dream’, (see Edgar Allen Poe), Quantum Mechanics is far more compatible with Theistic concerns, even with Christian concerns, than many people, especially atheists, seem to realize.

    Double Slit, Quantum Electrodynamics, and Christian Theism video
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1127450170601248/?type=2&theater

    48:24 mark: “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information”
    49:45 mark: “In the Beginning was the Word” John 1:1
    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ZPWW5NOrw

    Moreover, as the OP indicated, Physicists and mathematicians are at a dead end as to ever finding the quote unquote “Theory of Everything”. Yet when one allows the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, then an empirically backed reconciliation between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity readily pops out for us with the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death.

    Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the Theory of Everything (Centrality concerns) – video
    https://youtu.be/8uHST2uFPQY

    And although Relativity has been supplanted by quantum mechanics as the absolute frame of reference for reality, none-the-less, relativity still reveals some very interesting things to us. Namely, special and general relativity reveal two very different eternities to us. Specifically, an extremely orderly heavenly eternity is associated with special relativity and an extremely destructive hellish eternity is associated with general relativity:

    Special and General Relativity compared to Heavenly and Hellish Near Death Experiences – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbKELVHcvSI&list=PLtAP1KN7ahia8hmDlCYEKifQ8n65oNpQ5

    Verse and Music:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    Natalie Grant – Your Great Name – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCg3HU1jhVA

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related interest:

    Quantum correlations do not imply instant causation August 12, 2016
    Excerpt: A research team led by a Heriot-Watt scientist has shown that the universe is even weirder than had previously been thought.
    In 2015 the universe was officially proven to be weird. After many decades of research, a series of experiments showed that distant, entangled objects can seemingly interact with each other through what Albert Einstein famously dismissed as “Spooky action at a distance”.
    A new experiment by an international team led by Heriot-Watt’s Dr Alessandro Fedrizzi has now found that the universe is even weirder than that: entangled objects do not cause each other to behave the way they do.
    http://phys.org/news/2016-08-q.....ation.html

    Experimental test of nonlocal causality August 10, 2016
    DISCUSSION
    Previous work on causal explanations beyond local hidden-variable models focused on testing Leggett’s crypto-nonlocality (7, 42, 43), a class of models with a very specific choice of hidden variable that is unrelated to Bell’s local causality (44). In contrast, we make no assumptions on the form of the hidden variable and test all models ,,,
    Our results demonstrate that a causal influence from one measurement outcome to the other, which may be subluminal, superluminal, or even instantaneous, cannot explain the observed correlations.,,,
    http://advances.sciencemag.org.....00162.full

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    And what exactly is this thing called “progress”?

    Finding out things about the universe that we didn’t know before?

    And why is it so important?

    Isn’t learning new things valuable in and of itself? And if it isn’t for you, how about new science, new technology, new medicines which improve the human condition? I find that an odd question for a scientist to ask.

    In fact, in every field that I have read the peer-reviewed literature, I find some 20th century model or paradigm that is dominating the field and stymieing progress. Why?

    Because every single one of these 20th century paradigms is based on a 19th century metaphysics of incoherence, of randomness, of methodological naturalism, of materialism. The religion of the 20th century is the reason we can’t make progress in the 21st

    First, contributors to this blog have argued forcefully that the principles underlying modern science are rooted in Christianity. Are you claiming that those principles are wrong in some way?

    Second, of course science depends on sound theoretical contexts or frameworks to move towards better approximations of the phenomena it is attempting to understand. A lot of research goes into pushing the boundaries of existing theories so as to find out where they fail. Theoretical failures are a feature not a bug in science. They are what inspires newer and better theories. That is what everyone here, who pounces gleefully on any perceived failure of contemporary science, ignores. The paradigmatic example of advancing through failure being, of course, the observed limits of Newtonian mechanics driving the development of relativity theory. You could view that as a failure of Newton’s theories but physics as a whole advanced because it was replaced with a better understanding afforded by relativity theory.

    Third, there is a simple test you could perform. Draw up two lists, the first being all the scientific and technological advances of the last two hundred years, say, that were based on a naturalistic/materialistic/ physicalist metaphysics, the second being a list of all such advances based on a teleological metaphysics. A simple comparison should reveal which has been the more prolific and productive approach.

    If you believe that a teleological metaphysics would be more fertile than the current approach then no one is stopping you or other ID proponents from developing one that is demonstrably superior.

  7. 7
    Barry Arrington says:

    Seversky

    Third, there is a simple test you could perform. Draw up two lists, the first being all the scientific and technological advances of the last two hundred years, say, that were based on [1] a naturalistic/materialistic/ physicalist metaphysics, [2] the second being a list of all such advances based on a teleological metaphysics. A simple comparison should reveal which has been the more prolific and productive approach.

    Interesting test. The answer is on list [1] there would be zero entries. On list [2] there would be all the scientific and technological advances of the last two hundred years.

    You see, Sev, many people spout materialism. No one actually conducts their lives, from moral choices to scientific research, as if it were true. Because if it were true, there would be no point to any moral choice, and there would be no reason to expect that the universe conforms to regularities we call scientific laws. So, even the researchers who spout materialism act as if it were false when they are actually doing research.

  8. 8
    jimmontg says:

    Listen to Paul LaViolette’s speech at the Secret Space Program Conference. He speaks of Quantum effects powering the Nassikas Superconductor Thruster. It uses quantum effects of the thruster powering without any power input and explains why. He is a very slow speaker, but the speech is tolerable if you turn it up to 1.25 speed. What he has to speak about is all experimentally proven, the Meisner effect. Because of quantum forces means it cannot be explained by regular thermodynamics. A perpetual motion machine is quite possible if you get out of standard physics. Especially listen to what he says at subquantum physics the Universe is an OPEN system, and there is a Prime Mover without which the Universe would disappear. This video also explains a lot of UFO phenomenon. Top Secret programs have been using this stuff since WW2.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWEsVtZRhUA
    Link.

  9. 9
    BrianFraser says:

    @Cantor
    “the existence of aberration-free forces which appear to have instantaneous effects” + “Equivocation serves only confusion. Pick a different word that “force” please. Entanglement is not a “force”. ”

    The aberration-free forces referred to in the literature are those of gravitational, electrical, and magnetic fields. As the article points out, they are actually “motions” not forces, and they don’t have anything to do with entanglement, which is a different subject altogether.

  10. 10
    cantor says:

    9 BrianFraser August 13, 2016 at 6:22 pm wrote:
    “The aberration-free forces referred to in the literature are those of gravitational, electrical, and magnetic fields.”

    “gravitational, electrical, and magnetic fields” were certainly “recognized in 1905”. And they aren’t “faster than light”.

    Re-read what you posted.

  11. 11
    BrianFraser says:

    @Cantor

    Yes, those fields were recogized prior to 1905, and in fact MUCH earlier than 1905. But were they ‘simply recognized’ as “aberration free” and “faster than light”? The answer to that question seems to be No. In fact they STILL are not ‘simply recognized’ as such today (Newton, Laplace and Sir Arthur Eddington notwithstanding; Ref: “The Speed of Gravity – What the Experiments Say” , Tom Van Flandern, Physics Letters A, 250 (1-3) (1998) pp. 1-11)

    So back to the original question: Does Bad Metaphysics Lead to Moribund Physics? The article states (variously) “If we interpret the world wrongly, we don’t make progress. . . . And it is these same metaphysical mistakes that are stymieing particle physics. And cosmology. And space physics. And astrophysics. In fact, in every field that I have read the peer-reviewed literature, I find some 20th century model or paradigm that is dominating the field and stymieing progress. . . . there is a cure. It’s called coherence, design, teleology, purpose. And trust me, once you see what it can do, you won’t mind the opprobrium, you’ll be having too much fun.”

    Some of that fun is mentioned in “Beyond Einstein: non-local physics”:

    “Control of gravity and control of locality, would give us the ability to travel to the stars without traversing the intervening space. It would give us new forms of energy, and new ways of shaping our world, as well as many other astonishing things. But, clearly, there is a lot of work to do before we get there. At a minimum the currently “reigning paradigm” in physics must change and include things that are Beyond Einstein.”

    Let the fun begin!

  12. 12

    #6 Seversky,

    As you saw in Barry’s reply, even a pragmatic approach that eschews metaphysics can be waylaid by definitions, by the words meaning different things to different people. There’s no avoiding metaphysics. Like the old joke summarizing the 3 laws of thermodynamics–“There is a game. You can’t win. You must lose. And you can’t quit.”–so also with metaphysics.

    So what is this metaphysical thing called progress, and why is it good? You could talk about it for a very long time, but I think in the end it is a religion. And if it obeys some external calling, if it recognizes some external good (think Plato), if it aspires to some divine perfection, then it is good.

    But if it obeys only an internal ethic, if it satisfies only a mob rule, if it justifies a personal benefit, then it is evil. Or more precisely, it becomes evil. For whenever something we define, something we invent, something we desire is called a “divine right”, we have made a god in our own image, we have created an idol.

    When we seek for an external good, we have a “negative feedback” search, because if we are heading the wrong direction, we see less of the good. But when we seek for an internal desire, we have a “positive feedback” search, because we keep moving the goalposts to match our location, we keep changing the rules to let us win.

    How else do you explain that in the name of progress, Americans eat tasteless “wonder” bread with 35 unpronounceable ingredients that can sit in a plastic bag on the fridge for 2 weeks without either going stale or going moldy, and when they make a sandwich they treat the bread as an untasted wrapper. Progress has turned a major food group, “man cannot live by bread alone” into a disposable glove with no caloric benefit.

    This is not an anomaly, but our society is full of such ironies, because irony is the name for a positive-feedback element in our language, in our culture, in our life.

    Science has lost its way, when in the name of progress, it kept moving the goalposts to what everyone was getting paid to do anyway. Cure for poverty? Cure for work? Cure for cancer? Cure for depression? Cure for teen-age rebellion? At one time these were all goals of progressives, of science, of society. Watch an old Jetson’s rerun. Where did all those goalposts go?

    And the biggest driver for turning inward instead of outward? The biggest driver for defining progress as societal rather than as divine? The biggest driver for assuming random motion of uncorrelated particles instead of collective behavior of purposeful design? Materialism.

    Lucretius told us this in 50BC. He said it delivered us from fear of external goals, of failing to measure up. I’m sure he would have rejoiced to see this day–like a walk in the park–at night, in Central Park, wearing a T-shirt saying “I carry cash.”

  13. 13
    cantor says:

    @ Brian Fraser: The water is getting even muddier. Let’s start over.

    In post#1 you wrote:

    “You have no doubt heard people say things like “according to Einstein, nothing can travel faster than light”. But the existence of aberration-free forces which appear to have instantaneous effects (“faster than light”) even over large distances, was simply not recognized in 1905 when Special Relativity was introduced.

    What are these “aberration-free forces” to which you refer with “instantaneous effects” which were “not recognized” in 1905? You can’t be referring to electricity and magnetism since they were known in 1905 and they are not “faster than light”.

    So it appears you are referring to entanglement, which was not known in 1905 and which is instantaneous. But entanglement is not a “force”.

    So what exactly do you mean?

    .

  14. 14
    BrianFraser says:

    @Robert Sheldon

    “This is not an anomaly, but our society is full of such ironies. . . Science has lost its way . . .”

    Halton Arp, a well-know astronomer, reminds us just how severe this problem is. Here are a (very few) quotes from his book: Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science (Halton Arp, 1998)

    “Scientists, particularly at the most prestigious institutions, regularly suppress and ridicule findings which contradict their current theories and assumptions. . . . astronomers now feel compelled to fit the observations to the theory and not vice versa” (p. 12)

    “I gloomily came to the ironic conclusion that if you take a highly intelligent person and give them the best possible, elite education, then you will most likely wind up with an academic who is completely impervious to reality.” (p. 131)

    “The mission of academia should be to explore—not to perpetuate myth and superstition.” (p. 257)

    “Investigative journalism so far as science is concerned is clearly dead in the water.” (p. 260)

    “. . . it is well justified today that people view institutional claims with skepticism and even hostility. And it is important to always keep in mind who have the vested interests and what they have to gain. (p. 261)

    Another astronomer, Fred Hoyle, has noted the same problem:

    ‘Science today is locked into paradigms. Every avenue is blocked by beliefs that are wrong, and if you try to get anything published by a journal today, you will run up against a paradigm, and the editors will turn it down.’ A quote from Sir Fred Hoyle in Horgan, J., 1995, Profile: Fred Hoyle. Scientific American 272(3):24–25.

    Here is one from Polanyi:

    “Any contradiction between a particular scientific notion and the facts of experience will be explained by other scientific notions; there is a ready reserve of possible scientific hypotheses available to explain any conceivable event. Secured by its circularity and defended further by its epicyclical reserves, science may deny, or at least cast aside as of no scientific interest, whole ranges of experience which to the unscientific mind appear both massive and vital. . . . Contradictions to current scientific conceptions are often disposed of by calling them ‘anomalies’; this is the handiest assumption in the epicyclical reserve of any theory.” (Personal Knowledge, Michael Polanyi, 1962, p. 293)

    Fear of ridicule is another. An example:

    “Electrical stimulation for pain control was used in ancient Greece, 63 A.D. It was reported by Scribonius Largus that pain was relieved by standing on an electrical fish at the seashore.” (from Wikipedia.org under Transcutaneous_electrical_nerve_stimulation )

    So you tell your friend to “Stand on this fish and your backache pain will go away.” You have done the experiments and you know what the result will likely be. But your friend might not share your enthusiasm. He might say, “I’ll look like a fool and you will be accused of practicing ‘quack’ medicine!”

    Far fetched? Not at all. The modern day equivalent is seen in asking universities to have students investigate things like Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) and antigravity. Good, simple experiments in these fields can be done, but they are still controversial and do not yet have much public support. Questions will come up. “What will the department heads think? What will the dean think? If the public thinks we are wasting money on JUNK SCIENCE, we will lose funding. We will lose enrollments. We will lose our reputation as a great university. We will look like fools!” The perceived “risk” of experiments can be just too great sometimes.

    But you mentioned that there is a cure and “once you see what it can do, you won’t mind the opprobrium.”

    I heartily agree. Truly wondrous things await us! Let us move forward anyways!

  15. 15
    cantor says:

    in post#1 BrianFraser wrote

    the existence of aberration-free forces which appear to have instantaneous effects (“faster than light”) even over large distances, was simply not recognized in 1905 when Special Relativity was introduced.

    `

    What “aberration-free forces which appear to have instantaneous effects” are you referring to ???

    `

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