Intelligent Design

Gravity doesn’t make sense? … hold that thought!

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At New Scientist, Michael Brooks tells us “Seven Things That Don’t Make Sense About Gravity,” including

– If gravity were a tiny bit stronger, the universe as we know it would not exist

– From plants to quail, life of all stripes seems to need gravity to work properly

Uh … so then gravity doesn’t make sense because … why, exactly? Because there wasn’t supposed to be a solution to those problems? Why not?

It reminds me a bit of this earlier kvetching about gravity.

Fine tuning is a big problem for these people.

63 Replies to “Gravity doesn’t make sense? … hold that thought!

  1. 1
    Nakashima says:

    Go Denyse!!1! Only two more copy and post blog entries and you will have pushed all other posters off of the UD main page! You’ll win the Intertubz11!1

  2. 2
    bFast says:

    So what’s the problem here, has Ms O’Leary become even more active, or have the other posters dropped off the world?

    Dr. Dembski, I think you may want to rename this site. It seems to be O’Leary’s site rather than yours any more. Hows about Uncommon D’Oleary?

  3. 3
    IRQ Conflict says:

    Uncommon D’Oleary has a nice ring to it.

    I find it rather amusing you people don’t seem to want to discuss the topics presented. But rather choose to ridicule and whine. Speaks volumes.

  4. 4
    ab says:

    I vote for bFast to become next author, seriously!

    Crossing my fingers now…

  5. 5
    Nakashima says:

    I’ll throw my hat in the ring as well!

    If given posting privileges, I promise to never write about global warming, or moderate comments on my threads.

    but would you use the loudspeaker in the ceiling, Darwinist inuit skirt chaser? -ds

    No, I wouldn’t.

    haiku street theater with a pathetic level of detail, i’m not buying it.

  6. 6
    Gods iPod says:

    I would like to see more ID specific content please.

  7. 7
    jerry says:

    This is an ID specific post. Didn’t anyone read about the fine tuning of gravity?

  8. 8
    Mapou says:

    Thanks for posting this, Denyse. Gravity is a beautiful thing. When we finally figure it out, the answer will reveal itself be so simple, we’ll kick ourselves in the butt for a hundred years, for having been so stupid for so long.

    The reason that we have not already figured out gravity is that one or more of out most cherished assumptions about the way bodies move is wrong. For example, physicists believe that two bodies in relative inertial motion, remain in motion for no reason at all, as if by magic. All humans are religious and superstitious to one degree or another, I know. But that’s no excuse. It is the scientist’s job to sort out the truth from the superstition.

    When we finally get our heads out of the sand and realize that motion (like all phenomena) is causal, the scales will fall off our eyes and we will be on our way to a perfect understanding of gravity.

    The one group that is the most to blame for our ignorance of the cause of gravity is the relativists. To this day, relativists are the greatest impediment to further progress in the field. For one, their religious mantra that only relative movement/position exists is on a par with the flat earth hypothesis, as it can be proven with simple logic that only the absolute exists physically and that the relative is 100% abstract.
    More Nasty Little Truths About Physics

  9. 9
    dbthomas says:

    Well, Mapou liked it. That’s reassuring.

  10. 10
    tyke says:

    Yes, all the brilliant scientific minds of the last 100+ years have gotten it all dead wrong, willfully sticking their heads in the sand in their refusal to examine any new ideas or study the evidence that should be obvious to them…

    And almost alone, Mapou knows the truth, a shining beacon amongst imbeciles like Einstein, Newton, and Hawking.

    If only he would deign to enlighten us poor fools with his brilliance…

    One day…

    Soon…

    Ever…?

    P.S. Mapou, you do realize that you sound exactly like every pseudoscientific crank out there who has a pet theory and a massive grudge against everyone else because they won’t take you seriously.

  11. 11
    dbthomas says:

    Tyke, don’t you get it? We’re part of the problem. We’re relativity-enablers.

  12. 12
    Mapou says:

    tyke @9:

    P.S. Mapou, you do realize that you sound exactly like every pseudoscientific crank out there who has a pet theory and a massive grudge against everyone else because they won’t take you seriously.

    Yes. As a matter of fact, I do. It’s a seemingly insurmountable barrier and I agree that I don’t have the resources to break through it. Not yet, anyway. For now I’m content to leave an internet paper trail, so to speak. I am glad that I have become a source of entertainment to those of for you who consider yourselves more scientific than most. I knew you’d like my latest contribution. LOL. Have fun.

  13. 13
    Seversky says:

    There is no reason to be surprised at the number of posts by this author. She is a journalist. To be a journalist is to crave publication. Posts to this blog might not be the equivalent of an op-ed in the New York Times but they are better than nothing.

  14. 14
    ab says:

    …or Mapou. If not Mapou, please bring back DaveScot!!!

    fat chance…

    As an occasional poster and frequent reader, I have no problem with O’Leary’s posts. I just have trouble finding entries not written by O’Leary. Is it possible to contain all those great posts into one super-great post? Quantity is good but quality is much better.

    Off-topic: Mapou, love your idea for COSA OS. Your blog posts are top-notch. Very interesting perspectives!

  15. 15
    Lock says:

    Mapou writes: “When we finally get our heads out of the sand and realize that motion (like all phenomena) is causal, the scales will fall off our eyes and we will be on our way to a perfect understanding of gravity.”

    Though I suspect we would be in general agreement, I think it best not get too far ahead of ourselves on this point.

    Intelligent agents can cause motion (or a change in motion), and science would be at a loss to explain it via purely material causation.

    Lewis gave the billiard ball illustration as an example. No laws are broken, and neither can those laws explain or help us predict the phenomenon. Someone willed a change in position of the ball, and effectively overuled nature. And nature readily accepted the new instructions.

    This is especially the case since the origins of physical motion within the cosmos are not understood. To perfectly understand (as you put it) teh causality of gravity, one must perfectly understand origins.

    To be sure, the billiard ball illustration is an oversimplification, since we would expect intelligent interference in that case and would not think to explain it by purely material means.

    What is strange, is that intelligence, or at least interference by lifeforms of nature is part of our normal experience. Yet, for some reason we exclude that explanation from many puzzling phenomenon like gravity.

    It would not be logical (or scientific) to conclude that just because many phenomenon have been illuminated by material description, that all phenomenon (or any particular one) will also be illuminated in the same way. The very language of materialistic philosophy will not allow it. It’s no use to even speak of causation before the big bang with materialistic language, since material (in this sense) did not yet exist. One needs a different language to even theoretically intuit it in that case.

    I am not saying gravity will not be understood in the future to a much greater extent in purely relative physical terms. But those terms (the language) have strict limitations and are ultimately subject to futility.

  16. 16
    Kyrilluk says:

    Good article.
    One of the reasons why physics is in such a mess is because people that are open about their biais toward materialists explanations are in greater number that people that are bias toward an ID explanation. Materialists see the world as being random and any intuition about its design must be wrong. Thats why so much energy is spent on rubbish theory such as multiverse, etc..
    I mean, is not strange that the greatest physicists had all an ID biais? Even Einstein that didnt believe in a personal God that took care of it’s creature did believe in an Intelligent Designer.
    You might told me that this is what got him wrong ultimately: isn’t it the one that who say that “God don’t play dice?”. But this biais was actually what make him discover special and general relativity. His equations had, like the String theory, too many solutions and not enought boundaries. He use his intuition — his ID bias — and this is what make him hit the spot quicker.
    Green and Cie are so attached to materialism that among all the different solutions of their String theories, they are not able to use “intuition” to finalise their theory.
    A new theory of Gravitation will finaly emerge. But I bet that the person that is going to discover it will a deep intuition — in other word a strong ID bias– of the universe.

  17. 17
    Mark Frank says:

    A bit of an aside on the fine tuning argument.

    Whenever I see statements on the lines of “universal constant X has to be accurate to within 1 in a squillion parts” I wonder what it really means.

    Suppose a constant X has to be within a range d for life to occur. d is very small compared to X. But is this improbable? It depends on the possible values of X. If they are confined to a range similar to d then it is not improbable. If X can take any value then it is really irrelevant how small d is. All finite values are small compared to infinity.

    There is a further complication. A constant such as G is just a number which makes the equations come right. It does not correspond to any known entity. Another society could with equal justification declare the universal gravitational constant to be some power of G e.g. square root of G. It would make the maths more complicated (G squared would feature in the equations where G currently features) but the universe is not there to make our maths easy. However, if we create a new gravitational constant which is the root of our current gravitational constant then any known margin of error d is smaller proportion of the actual value G i.e. the 1 in a squillion figure comes down. In fact it can be made as small as you like simply by taking an appropriate power.

    All in all the phrase “has to be accurate to 1 part in a squillion” seems to have no significance.

  18. 18
    Mapou says:

    ab,

    Thanks for the vote and for your interest in COSA. I am afraid that, if I were a poster on UC, I would not have much to contribute in terms of news. At least, not for the forseeable future.

    Mark Frank,

    In my opinion, almost all physics constants (e.g., the elementary charge, the electron’s mass, Newton’s G, Planck’s constant, the speed of light in a vacuum, etc.) have the values they have, because of our choice of units of measurements. The equations themselves do not change if the units are change. If we wanted to, we can choose our units such that Newton’s gravitational constant becomes 1, for example. Indeed, to simplify certain calculations, one can set certain constants to 1 without any penalty.

    By setting C to 1, for example, one can change E = MC^2 to just E = M. Of course, you still need C^2 to make the units agree on both side of the equation. Some serious thinkers even think that the distinction between mass and energy should not even exist.

    By contrast, the fine structure constant is much more interesting because it is not, as far as I know, dependent on our choice of units. Why does it have the value that it has? Materialists say it’s just chance while others say it was designed that way. I am one of the others. Why? Because the number of possible values is infinite.

    When you think about it, why do all electrons in the entire universe (an extremely huge number) have the exact same properties (charge, mass) when the number of possible such properties are infinite? Who ordered that?

  19. 19
    BillB says:

    Lock:

    Intelligent agents can cause motion (or a change in motion), and science would be at a loss to explain it via purely material causation.

    What Mapou is referring to about motion is this:

    It is important to think of motion as a series of quantum jumps whereby the position of a particle continually changes from one discrete value to another. If the particle is set in motion from a rest position, it must make the first jump. Suppose the cause of the initial jump is immediately removed. What causes the particle to take the next jump and the ones after that? My rationale is that every jump is an effect and every effect must have a cause. This is required by the law of causality, the most corroborated law in the history of science.

    It’s kind of like saying that a pie ought to be cold the moment it is removed from a hot oven. Perhaps they should give Mapou posting privileges here?

  20. 20
    BillB says:

    Oops, I should have cited the source of that quote, which can be found here towards the bottom of the page.

  21. 21
    BillB says:

    Mapou, your COSA idea certainly looks interesting. Have you come across LabView which uses graphical programming and facilitates parallelism (as far as I can tell). There are also some interesting developments in reconfigurable computing with graphical object based programming schemas for defining FPGA configurations – starbridge systems is a company that comes to mind.

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    Hugh Ross – Dark Energy; Halos Of Exotic Dark Matter And Earth’s Extremely Privileged Position

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=280Mt0AdIjo

  23. 23
    PaulBurnett says:

    Mapou (#18) wrote: “By contrast, the fine structure constant is much more interesting because it is not, as far as I know, dependent on our choice of units. Why does it have the value that it has? Materialists say it’s just chance while others say it was designed that way. I am one of the others.

    So are you one of the others who agree with Gonzalez and others who say that the fine structure constant and all the other physical constants (c, G, h, e – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_constants ) for all the trillions of galaxies billions of light years away in all directions were fine tuned for the convenience of life on earth? Doesn’t that seem a bit parochial?

  24. 24
    R0b says:

    Mapou:

    Who ordered that?

    I did, with a side of fries. In fact, I asked that the electrons have all of their properties in common, but some short-order cook named Pauli screwed it up.

  25. 25
    herb says:

    dbthomas,

    If by ‘journalist’ you mean ‘person who mostly just paraphrases articles by other people, many of whom are just paraphrasing articles by yet other persons who are in turn mostly just paraphrasing research papers and adding a side of interview’, then yes: she’s a journalist.

    And an excellent journalist she is. Look, by far the most important qualification a science journalist must have is a passion for science, and I think we all can sense that Denyse is full of it. This is a blog, so I wouldn’t expect to see a great deal of in-depth analysis of primary sources. You can always find the actual papers by following her links or by googling if all else fails.

  26. 26
    Lock says:

    Hey BillB, not quite sure what you were getting at there. I have no problem with causality. But I do not think it is reasonable, logical, or scientific to absolutely suppose a material or physical cause for all phenomenon.

    In light of the quantum, physicality or matter itself is not fully understood, let alone forces like gravity acting upon matter. We have a great deal of quantitative understanding of certain forces, but the fundamental issue is qualitative in my mind.

    What is the character or quality of nature as a whole, as opposed to the simple Newtonian understanding of nature most people have in their minds today? It is this philosophical question that science presumes to answer by implication when it uses certain language.

    I find it suspect that scientists very apply language such as, ‘dark matter’ to distinguish certain phenomenon.

    Can we presume scientifically, that the cosmos is ultimately understood quantitatively? It appears obvious to me, that intelligent agents can cause phenomenon by nothing more than the fact the choose to. It need not even be logical in the mechanistic natural sense. Science as it stands today is utterly helpless to illuminate such a cause.

    Much of the absurdity in nature that some mention may be caused not by complex mathematical relationships between entities, though to be sure the mathematics play out no matter how incoherent. I submit to you that it is purpose that motivates intelligent causation, and nature is simply the construct by which we battle for our purposes.

    Seems to me that so many of these arguments and debates avoid the real issues. They are frivolous arguments. And that is the result of both sides accepting a certain language which smuggles in a philosophy.

    Philosophy is inevitable, just give me a language that does not attempt to hide its true character behind the fig leaves of nature.

  27. 27
    bornagain77 says:

    The most precise instrument in the world is:

    Virgo Gravitational Wave Detector at the European Gravitational Observatory – video
    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/1337046

    THE GRAVITATIONAL WAVE DETECTOR VIRGO
    http://icfa-nanobeam.web.cern......_Virgo.pdf

    excerpt – Best sensitivity was
    slightly better than 10-16 m/Hz at 1 kHz and about 10-13
    m/Hz at 10 Hz.

    Dr. Ross states a sensitivity of 1 in 10^22 is possible for the detector;

    Yet All individual universal constants are of such a high degree of precision as to defy comparison to the precision of the most precise man-made machine (10^22 gravity wave detector). For example, the individual cosmological constant (dark energy) is balanced to 1 part in 10^120 and the individual mass density constant is balanced to 1 part in 10^60. (The lowest known tolerance for a constant is the Ratio of Electrons:Protons 1 in 10^37

    Fine Tuning Of Dark Energy and Mass of the Universe – Hugh Ross – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B0t4zSzhjg

    The fine tuning of the universe is irreducibly complex to staggering degree for there are at least 93 such finely tuned conditions found in the universe:

    http://www.reasons.org/fine-tuning-life-universe

  28. 28
    tragic mishap says:

    But…but…the Multiverse! Behold, our savior the Multiverse has vanquished all our enemies!

  29. 29
    allanius says:

    The nice thing about the Web is that people like Denyse and Mapou cannot be suppressed. Really, now, Big Science true believers, Stephen Hawking acolytes–you’re not afraid of an obscure little blog, are you?

  30. 30
    BillB says:

    you’re not afraid of an obscure little blog, are you

    If I was I would be trying to suppress them rather than trying to engage them in debate. I see no reason why they shouldn’t be entitled to express their ideas I just don’t see why I should be obliged to agree with them or to keep quiet when I think they are wrong.

  31. 31
    Borne says:

    Dr. Dembski, I think you may want to rename this site. It seems to be O’Leary’s site rather than yours any more. Hows about Uncommon D’Oleary?

    The site name does not contain Dembski’s name.

    I really hope you people are “just kidding” on all this baloney.

    The site was started by Dembski AND O’leary and the former banner contained both of their photos.

    In case you’ve been too blind or just plain dumb to notice, O’leary is a writer and journalist – i.e. she writes for a living! Dembski writes but he’s not a journalist, i.e. may not have time to please all your fancies posting here.

    This is summer, people in science and bloggers also have vacations. Maybe Denyse is filling in for others for the moment.

    Maybe some of the main authors here just got sick of responding to the perpetual slew of Darwinist swill and codswallop and decided not to write during vacation?

    I donno, but lets cut the BS over O’Leary doing her job for petes sake

  32. 32
    BillB says:

    Lock,

    I’m not entirely sure what you are getting at either. I was responding to your apparent reference to Mapou’s ideas about motion requiring a constant cause, something which I regard as a misunderstanding on his part regarding the Planck length. The assertion is (if I understand correctly) that according to physics the moment you remove the cause of motion (a force acting on a body) that body ought to come to an immediate halt because motion is actually particles jumping from one position to the next and that this ‘start stop’ motion requires a cause of each successive start (but apparently not for each stop). The fact that bodies don’t come to a stop the moment you stop pushing them means that something ‘else’ must keep pushing them after you stop.

    Mapou seems to be demanding a cause for something that I believe is just a misunderstanding on his part. As I understand things it is impossible to measure the position of a particle with an accuracy shorter than the Planck length, but this does not mean that particles are required to jump Planck lengths from one discrete position to another

    It has nothing to do with whether intelligent agents can cause or change motion, we know they can and we know they do, but we also know that the change in trajectory of one asteroid hitting another asteroid does not require a proximal intelligence. I agree with the idea and possibility of an intelligent cause for everything.

  33. 33
    Mr Charrington says:

    Bourne,
    I feel compelled to chime in here and agree.

    Personally I have enjoyed reading whatever has been posted, I’ve no problems with the recent direction the site has taken. The lively back and forth between the various viewpoints on this blog from the various people commenting in the threads makes fascinating reading, never mind the blog posts themselves!

  34. 34
    Borne says:

    Hey BillB, not quite sure what you were getting at there. I have no problem with causality. But I do not think it is reasonable, logical, or scientific to absolutely suppose a material or physical cause for all phenomenon.

    All this quantum bull crap about events with no causes is just so … well, GIGO (garbage in garbage out).

    Not only does event without cause constitute a logical absurdity but the theories that claim there are such are themselves absurd materialist nonsense.

    Just because one can’t pinpoint a cause doesn’t mean there is none. The entire universe works on cause and effect laws and if it did not nothing would work at all.

    Maybe take a look at : Jean-Pierre Vigier and the Stochastic Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

  35. 35
    Lock says:

    BillB writes: “I’m not entirely sure what you are getting at either. I was responding to your apparent reference to Mapou’s ideas about motion requiring a constant cause, something which I regard as a misunderstanding on his part regarding the Planck length. The assertion is (if I understand correctly) that according to physics the moment you remove the cause of motion (a force acting on a body) that body ought to come to an immediate halt because motion is actually particles jumping from one position to the next and that this ’start stop’ motion requires a cause of each successive start (but apparently not for each stop). The fact that bodies don’t come to a stop the moment you stop pushing them means that something ‘else’ must keep pushing them after you stop.”

    Perhaps my knowledge of cutting edge physics and understanding of the quantum is inadequate. That would not be suprising considering my high school diploma and current career as a truck driver.

    My guess would be that momentum comes into play as regards your explanation.

    Causation is a necessity regarding the physical universe. It is the ‘unphysical universe’ (if you will allow me to put it that way); the immaterial forces and quantum realities that are the mystery. The relative physical terminology that science historically uses to describe the cosmos does not even apply at less than Planck length.

    All I was trying to say, is that this assumption of a material chain of causation is a philosophical issue and not one of scientific fact. I believe Mapou is making an error in accepting the premise that comes naturally with the language.

    The scientific revolution of centuries ago, changed the language and the conceptual terms even though it did not itself escape the metaphysical foundation upon which it rests.

    I am desperately attempting to remind everyone of this, because I see the error go unrecognized time and time again.

    I hope that helps…

  36. 36
    Lock says:

    Borne writes: “All this quantum bull crap about events with no causes is just so … well, GIGO (garbage in garbage out).

    Not only does event without cause constitute a logical absurdity but the theories that claim there are such are themselves absurd materialist nonsense.

    Just because one can’t pinpoint a cause doesn’t mean there is none. The entire universe works on cause and effect laws and if it did not nothing would work at all.”

    I absolutely agree…!

    It is funny how one can watch a Discovery Channel program called, ‘Are We Alone’, and the scientists make it plain that life may take such a different form on other planets that we would not even recognize it.

    Well… why can’t they apply that same [reasonable] chain of reasoning to causation or the appearence of Christ in history.

    Perhaps the other life out there is so unlike ours that it is not even physical but pure spirit. And perhaps He can, if He so chooses, manifest himself materially in time and space. And perhaps that life can make contact with us, if we accept His provision for our sins and confess our blind ambition and futile understanding of possibility and reality.

    Perhaps, just perhaps mind you… He can explain many mysteries to us by leaving materialistic language behind. Perhpas He only uses the natural world as a metaphor for the higher and lasting reality.

    Since, by definition, the causation before the big bang (or at less than Planck time or length) is not itself subject to physical descriptions (since it was only then that time, space, and such descriptability arose), there must be another kind of Word (or language) in order to intuit it. That is why the naturalist is inevitably reduced to philosophizing. And he does so like the best of them. Too bad his own word is self refuting. Such language should at least be internally consistent.

    What a coincidence that John declared in the beginning of his gospel account that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”

    I absolutely love a striking coincidence! 🙂

    And I do not suppose that any of that will mean a damn thing to the materialists. But I do pray… if God’s Word could change me, it can change anyone. It has power. If only I could wield it effectively and with His blessing.

    btw, regarding all of this (and to help anyone struggling to understand it) I am reminded of a quote by Robert Jastrow which I am sure many of you are familliar with:

    “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

    He also said: Consider the enormity of the problem. Science has proven that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment. It asks, what cause produced the effect? Who or what put the matter and energy in the universe? Was the universe created out of nothing, or was it gathered together out of pre existing materials? And science cannot answer these questions”.

    Only because they are using the wrong language Robert, not the reasoning itself.

  37. 37
    Mr Charrington says:

    Lock

    That would not be suprising considering my high school diploma and current career as a truck driver.

    I think that is what is great about the information age and all this blog stuff. You, the truck driver, me the bric-a-brack shop owner, can still participate in potentially world changing events.

  38. 38
    Lock says:

    Correction:

    I said, “Perhpas He only uses the natural world as a metaphor for the higher and lasting reality.”

    It would be better to say, “Perhaps He often uses the natural world as a metaphor…”

    The point is, that we focus too much on the natural and material.

    He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. ( De 8:3)

  39. 39
    Mapou says:

    BillB @20:

    It’s kind of like saying that a pie ought to be cold the moment it is removed from a hot oven. Perhaps they should give Mapou posting privileges here?

    Dude, you ain’t even close to being as smart as you think you are. Nature is necessarily discrete. Why? Because continuity leads to an infinite regress. Why? Because ‘continuous’ means infinitely divisible. It’s that simple.

    The only reason that physicists are still talking about things like spacetime continuum is that a bunch of brain-dead relativists still hold a lot of sway in the physics community. Even Einstein, the self-appointed king of continuous structures, wrote to his friend Michelangelo Besso, one year before his death, that

    I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field principle, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included…”

    Source: A Very Beautiful Day

    My point is that there is no greater detriment to rationality than an obssessive desire to belong to one group or another.

  40. 40
    BillB says:

    Mapou,

    Nature is necessarily discrete. Why? Because continuity leads to an infinite regress. Why? Because ‘continuous’ means infinitely divisible. It’s that simple.

    I see no necessity, just some assertions on your part, and this does not address my point about why, even in a universe where entities can only occupy discrete locations, the motion of an object should stop at each location and require a cause to move to the next. Even if the fine structure of the universe is as discrete as you suggest it does not follow that an object in motion requires a hidden mechanism to remain in motion.

    Continuity may lead to infinite regress as far as our conceptual ability to divide things in half goes but this does not necessarily mean that there is no continuity. I would suggest that it is your conception of a continuous structure that finds this regress an impossibility, there is no law that says it is an impossibility in fact, it might just be hard to imagine.

    I have a strong suspicion that most of us are incapable of understanding lots of things about the universe simply because our cognitive architecture is incapable of adequately resolving some relationships.

    Now, Imagine a nine dimensional sphere…

    I would say that for almost everyone in the world such a feat is impossible because our minds are evolved/designed to operate in three dimensions (or four if you are classifying time as one). My basic point is that some properties of the universe may be so incomprehensibly paradoxical that we are inclined to reject them as false because we just can’t process them as concepts and our attempts to understand them as metaphors just lead to error, but his does not mean that they do not exist.

  41. 41
    Mr Charrington says:

    Mapou

    My point is that there is no greater detriment to rationality than an obssessive desire to belong to one group or another.

    I have no particular stake in the game either way.

    a bunch of brain-dead relativists

    Calling names is guarenteed to lock you out of the game.

    Those “relativists” are open to new evidence, however brain-dead you may think they are.

    What prediction does your theory make and what experiment can be done to prove the case either way?

  42. 42
    Mr Charrington says:

    Mapou

    Nature is necessarily discrete. Why? Because continuity leads to an infinite regress. Why? Because ‘continuous’ means infinitely divisible.

    And therefore, because of that fact, the following will be seen which would not be seen if Nature were continuous:

    ?

  43. 43
    Mapou says:

    BillB:

    I see no necessity, just some assertions on your part,

    If you cannot understand that an infinite regress is irrational, what’s the point of even having this debate? The notion that calculus somehow solved the old Eleatic objection to motion is as brain dead as it gets. I refuse to go there because I am tired of arguing against the same silliness over and over.

    and this does not address my point about why, even in a universe where entities can only occupy discrete locations, the motion of an object should stop at each location and require a cause to move to the next.

    Wow. A cause in physics is a violation of some conservation principle. The cause of movement is an interaction between two particles. If they have equal positions, they must interact due to an exclusion principle which is itself a consequence of a conservation principle. An interaction lasts as long as the two particles violate the principle. As soon as they move away from each other, they are no longer in violation and there is no reason that the movement of either particle should persist. If it does, it is because they are continually interacting with other particles. Consequently, we are swimming in a highly regular ocean of particles.

    [As an aside, for the Biblical minded, The books of Ezekiel and Revelation compare it to a sea of glass (transparent), like crystal (lattice)].

    It is all very simple really, so simple in fact, that children will have no trouble grasping it. However, I am afraid that, after centuries of wearing blinders, physicists have become so accustomed to wearing them that they will feel very unconfortable if they are forced to take them off.

    I have a strong suspicion that most of us are incapable of understanding lots of things about the universe simply because our cognitive architecture is incapable of adequately resolving some relationships.

    I suppose you include yourself in this group. And yet, in spite of the admitted inadequacy of your understanding, you know that continuous structures are a fact of reality? I, on the other hand, maintain that there is nothing that human mind cannot understand given enough time. That is the difference between you and me. You are convinced that human beings are just animals whereas I believe that we are gods.

  44. 44
    Nakashima says:

    As I pointed out to Sal Cordova a while ago, Ed Fredkin has done some interesting work on a quantized universe (at the Planck scale, of course), see his Digital Physics. And Wolfram would also like you to believe that the entire Universe might be a CA, which is much the same idea.

  45. 45
    derwood says:

    “Fine tuning is a big problem for these people.”

    Indeed – in much the same way that mud puddle dimensions being optimum for the amount of muddy water held inside it is a big problem for those who cannot understand the analogy.

  46. 46
    Mr Charrington says:

    Mapou

    You are convinced that human beings are just animals whereas I believe that we are gods.

    Would your godlyness care to explain to this mere mortal how your idea can be tested?

    What test can you do that will differentiate your idea and show it to be right and capable of explaining more then the ideas of the relativists?

  47. 47
    Mapou says:

    Mr. Charrington:

    Calling names is guarenteed to lock you out of the game.

    Whose game? And what makes you think I want to be part of it?

    Those “relativists” are open to new evidence, however brain-dead you may think they are.

    Don’t make me laugh.

    What prediction does your theory make and what experiment can be done to prove the case either way?

    This is not about my theory. It’s about how simple logic shows that a bunch of assumptions that physicists make about nature are dead wrong on the face of it. They are so wrong, in fact, that we see some of the world most prominent physicists use them to make foot-in-mouth pronouncements about ridiculous things like time travel and parallel universes. It’s all a pile of Star-Trek fairy tales. Nothing to write home about.

    That being said, I predict that, in the not too distant future, we will have flying vehicles that move around at prodigious speeds with no visible means of propulsion because we will have figured out how to use the lattice for powered movement. We will also have technologies that tap into the energy of the lattice (it is so enormous, there are no words in any language that can do it justice). Yep, free energy, floating cities and all that beautiful jazz.

    But that’s not all. I predict that the secret powerful knowledge that will unlock these marvels was written down thousands of years ago.

    I just thought I would take the opportunity to write something weird for you guys to chew on. I am always glad to be a source of entertainment. I enjoy being a crackpot. ahahaha…

  48. 48
    Mr Charrington says:

    Mapou

    secret powerful knowledge that will unlock these marvels was written down thousands of years ago.

    Ok, I’l bite. How do you know that? And when is it happening? And if you know about it, how come it’s not happened already?

    If you are talking about “the bible code” or similar then it’s already been debunked I’m afraid.

    we will have figured out how to use the lattice for powered movement.

    Unless you help and share some of your secret knowledge I doubt it….

    Do share.

  49. 49
    Mr Charrington says:

    Mapou

    This is not about my theory.

    I’m afraid it is. Yes, those brain dead scientists might well be wrong. All those foot-in-mouth pronouncements might be wrong. Yet until something better comes along that explains more and predicts things that can be tested, then that’s where we’ll stay.

    So call names all you like, but realise you’ll be on the fringes until you show not only why people are wrong but what should replace their broken idea. And if you think a debate is not already happening between competing points of view then you are sadly mislead. There are people who might share a similar view to you, should you care to investigate it.

    And, frankly, promises of hidden knowledge from thousands of years ago just makes you sound like any of a thousand internet cranks. Especially when you don’t say where you are getting your information from.

    Timecube much?

  50. 50
    Mr Charrington says:

    Mapou

    Whose game? And what makes you think I want to be part of it?

    The game of being taken seriously. And I think you very much want to be a part of it. Otherwise, why bother with the website, the posts here, the pointing and laughing at the brain dead scientists who are getting published in quality journals? Why not just say nothing and bask in the knowledge you are right, they are wrong and you’ll be proven as such any day now?

  51. 51
    Mapou says:

    Nakashima @45:

    As I pointed out to Sal Cordova a while ago, Ed Fredkin has done some interesting work on a quantized universe (at the Planck scale, of course), see his Digital Physics. And Wolfram would also like you to believe that the entire Universe might be a CA, which is much the same idea.

    Fredkin et al are cool. I remember reading about Fredkin a long time ago in a book called “Three scientists and their Gods”. The problem with their digital physics, however, is that it assumes a deterministic universe. This is obviously nonsense since the universe is necessarily probabilistic.

  52. 52
    Mapou says:

    Mr. Charrington:

    What test can you do that will differentiate your idea and show it to be right and capable of explaining more then the ideas of the relativists?

    I have already said more than I had planned but I have a prediction regarding the propagation of the electric charge that is at odds with relativity. Relativists claim that the electric charge propagates at c. I claim that it is a non-local phenomenon and I predict that that its effect is instantaneous. The same goes for the gravitational potential. So there you go. Come up with an experiment to measure the speed of the electric charge and get ready for a trip to Oslo. You don’t even need to mention my name. Gotta go.

  53. 53
    Clive Hayden says:

    dbthomas,

    ——“If by ‘journalist’ you mean ‘person who mostly just paraphrases articles by other people, many of whom are just paraphrasing articles by yet other persons who are in turn mostly just paraphrasing research papers and adding a side of interview’, then yes: she’s a journalist. And also, I have it on good authority, a respectable grandmother.”

    Prove your assertion that Denyse mostly paraphrases other paraphrases, or you will be banned. I won’t tolerate this vitriol.

  54. 54
    Clive Hayden says:

    BillB,

    ——“It’s kind of like saying that a pie ought to be cold the moment it is removed from a hot oven. Perhaps they should give Mapou posting privileges here?”

    I’d give him posting privileges here before I’d justify giving you commenting privileges.

  55. 55
    Kyrilluk says:

    Uncommun descent is a very important blog.
    Thanks to O’Leary and other contributors, we are able to discover, with a critical perspective, news articles that we might not have had the opportunity to read. I think that this is really important in a world where most journalist are devoted to further the Evolutionist agenda even if it means being economical with the truth.
    And if you think that this is easy, please do it. The more the better.

  56. 56
    BillB says:

    I’d give him posting privileges here before I’d justify giving you commenting privileges.

    Good, although I think most of his ideas are errors I’m open to being corrected and I still find some of his stuff interesting and worthy of debate, it would be nice to see them aired in a forum beyond his own blog and his theistic allusions seem to fit with some of the themes discussed here.

    The one problem I have is that he seem more interested in responding to critical comments with snide, patronising missives instead of engaging in a debate.

  57. 57
    Clive Hayden says:

    Mapou,

    ——“You’re just a cry baby, Billy boy. You can dish it out but you can’t take it. Too bad Hayden ain’t your momma, eh?”

    What is wrong with you? Do you think this is acceptable? I will put you on moderation too if this continues.

  58. 58
    90DegreeAngel says:

    I believe the comments of Mapou are cause for being moderated, not just the threatening of moderation.

    Clive, as a supporter of UD, I don’t see how unfairly using the threat of moderation will help this blog encourage an open debate. I left UD while Davescot was in charge of moderation because I felt he used his privileges in an inappropriate manner. When you arrived on the seen and made clear your moderation policies, I expected you to be fair. Many of the commentators who disagree with UD’s position are kind and patient. Yet they get moderated for politely disagreeing.

    A scientific theory that cannot stand up to scrutiny is weak. Each critic that gets banned is just a signal to the naysayers that ID isn’t scientific.

    Please for the sake of ID moderate Mapuo, and let the critics speak more freely.

  59. 59
    Mapou says:

    Clive,

    Clive Hayden:

    ——”You’re just a cry baby, Billy boy. You can dish it out but you can’t take it. Too bad Hayden ain’t your momma, eh?”

    What is wrong with you? Do you think this is acceptable? I will put you on moderation too if this continues.

    Clive, there are several anti-ID commenters on this forum who continually use mockery and ridicule as a form of argument. BillB is one of them. So is Nakashima (who seems to have something personal against Ms. O’Leary) and dbthomas. There are others, of course. Personally, it does not bother me that they do it, as long as they get a taste of their own medicine.

    I am a Christian but I admit that I do enjoy whacking the enemy with a two-by-four every once in a while. I think it’s funny. And I think that we should be allowed to rough them up a little before you ban them. Who says that UD needs to be fair? UD has taken sides and it chose ID, not Darwinism. UD is biased on the face of it, which is the way it should be. Besides, it livens up the discussion. I admit that I am rather unorthodox in my views but that’s the way I am. Sorry.

  60. 60
    Clive Hayden says:

    Mapou,

    ——“I am a Christian but I admit that I do enjoy whacking the enemy with a two-by-four every once in a while. I think it’s funny. And I think that we should be allowed to rough them up a little before you ban them. Who says that UD needs to be fair? UD has taken sides and it chose ID, not Darwinism. UD is biased on the face of it, which is the way it should be. Besides, it livens up the discussion. I admit that I am rather unorthodox in my views but that’s the way I am. Sorry.”

    You should be. What you posit doesn’t even warrant a real response. I don’t care what your philosophy is, here you will obey the moderation policy, just like everyone else.

  61. 61
    Mapou says:

    Clive Hayden:

    You should be. What you posit doesn’t even warrant a real response. I don’t care what your philosophy is, here you will obey the moderation policy, just like everyone else.

    Well, it doesn’t hurt to fantasize a little, hehe. But hey, UD admins have the right to enforce whatever moderation policy they see fit. I’ll try to stay within the norms in my future comments.

  62. 62
    Clive Hayden says:

    90DegreeAngel,

    ——“Clive, as a supporter of UD, I don’t see how unfairly using the threat of moderation will help this blog encourage an open debate.”

    It’s not used unfairly, if anything, a warning is better than a moderation or outright banning. I give folks chances, which I call a warning, which you call a threat.

    ——“Many of the commentators who disagree with UD’s position are kind and patient. Yet they get moderated for politely disagreeing.”

    No they don’t. Every single person I’ve either moderated or banned warranted it. I honestly don’t know what gives you this impression.

    ——“Each critic that gets banned is just a signal to the naysayers that ID isn’t scientific.”

    No it isn’t. It is a signal that civility will be maintained.

    ——“Please for the sake of ID moderate Mapuo, and let the critics speak more freely.”

    I have moderated Mapou. It is impossible to please everyone, I also get exhortations to stop the forum from being overrun by “the critics”. Let me be clear, no one has been moderated or banned except when it was deserved. The critics do speak freely, as long as they speak civilly. Thanks for your advice.

  63. 63
    jerry says:

    If someone does not think the critics are speaking freely on this site, then they are in denial and need a reality check. They constantly exhibit derogatory remarks against ID and its supporters. It is amazing we are so tolerant.

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