Intelligent Design

What is the “Platonic Realm”?

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In an ongoing discussion with hazel and others in another thread, some agreement has been reached that conceptual elements of mathematics (and in a related relationship, geometry) are things we discover rather than invent, such as circles and their mathematical properties.

That discussion, IMO, could benefit by discussing what is meant by the term “Platonic Realm”. It seems to me that this issue turns on a very simple question; do we live in a universe that is matter-centric or consciousness-centric? What is the primary, driving force of the physical universe – mind or matter?

IMO, quantum experimentation over the past 150 or so years makes the case that consciousness/mind is at least one of the fundamental aspects of even material existence. When we peer down into the subatomic realm, we do not find indivisible bits of matter; we don’t even find motes of “energy” that have objective characteristics. What we find are potentials that seem to be directly connected to and affected by consciousness and observation.

It seems rather simple to me to understand this in terms of the Platonic Realm being, in fact, the substrate upon which the physical world is built, and that is the reason the physical world reveals logical principles and mathematical behaviors wherever we look. If our minds/consciousness exist independent of matter within and as part of that platonic substrate, we have access to all sorts of Platonic Realm information, some of which we may not even know how it is applicable to or manifests in our physical world experience yet.

I don’t know of any “matter-centric” perspectives that can model-explain these discoveries and relationships. Perhaps someone would like to try?

[Again – I have zero tolerance for mocking, insinuations, examining motivations, etc. in my threads. I don’t claim to be fair about my moderation practices, so complaints about it will be deleted. Tread lightly, be FRIENDLY, if you can’t respond without sniping then don’t, show respect. We are discussing a topic, not trying to find out what’s wrong with the participants. – WJM]


55 Replies to “What is the “Platonic Realm”?

  1. 1
    gpuccio says:

    William J Murray:

    Very interesting thoughts.

    Some comments:

    1) I am absolutely in favour of a neo-platonic conception of mathematics. I agree with Penrose on that point. Mathematical concepts are “discovered” in the mind, and not derived from our experience with the material world. I suppose we agree on that. And probably most mathematicians would agree too. I don’t think there is really much in favour of mathematics as an empirical science.

    2) The really amazing thing, as discussed here many times, and often emphasized by KF in his OPs, is that such an “innate” science, apparently originated in our minds, works so well to explain exactly that material world, from which it is apparently not derived. While there can be different philosophical approaches to that, I believe that the only one that really makes sense is: the material world has been built using mathematics and its principles, and the same principles, for some reason, have been embedded in our minds. So, we just discover keys to how the physical universe originated. “Thinking God’s thoughts after Him” (Kepler, I suppose), remains a very good and valid philosophical summary of that approach.

    3) That said, I remain open-minded, but not completely sure, about the role of quantum mechanics in all that. While I am a big fan of quantum level as a key interface between consciousness and matter, especially at the brain level, and probably at the level of biological design too, I would consider with some caution the idea that in itself quantum mechanics demonstrates a fundamental role of consciousness and observation in relation to its intrinsic working. That idea is usually derived from the big problem of the wave function collapse, and of what causes and explains it. I am aware that some interpretations of QM give to conscious observation the role of “catalyst” in wave function collapse, but as you certainly know many other interpretations of QM do not agree. I suppose that QM intepreters do not even agree about many aspects of the collapse itself, or maybe its real nature.

    As far as I can understand, the nature of the wave function collapse, which is also the true core of the probabilistic aspect of QM, remains rather a mystery for all. At present.

    So, while I am convinced that QM is probably the true interface between consciousness and matter, I am not so sure that the wave function collapse in itself proves the role of consciousness.

    And intriguing idea, at least for me, is that the wave function collapse could be in itself independent from consciousness and observation, while consciousness could be able, in particular contexts (like the brain) to superimpose a level of control over it. That could explain how free will can act on matter without violating any deterministic law of physics. And it could be a fascinating paradigm of the design process itself.

  2. 2
    mike1962 says:

    WJM, I wrote a lot of words, but then deleted them. This is a big subject and people can spend years talking about it, seeking it, if they are of a mind. I believe it takes what the Buddhists call a Koan to make the jump. This does not necessarily require years of mediation, but it does involve a certain shift in perception. It comes to some easier than others.

    The platonic ontology is the timeless truth. Whatever is true, or has the potential to be true, in space-time, is already true timelessly “there.” Consciousness is a property of “it.” “It” is the origin of what we call, “genuine creativity” and “genius.”

    I know, this is not much help to those who don’t already perceive it.

  3. 3
    hazel says:

    I think the Eastern religions acknowledge this ineffable oneness that is “behind” the world that we know, including our consciousness of it. They also say that the only way to get “it” is to not think you can figure it out analytically, which Mike is alluding to when he mentions Koans.

  4. 4
    john_a_designer says:

    Penrose describes his metaphysical world view as a tripartite one consisting of the physical world, the mental world and separate and distinct mathematical world. He goes on to explain that… ’there is the relationship between these three worlds which I regard, all three of them, as somewhat mysterious or very mysterious. I sometimes refer to this as “three worlds and three mysteries.” Mystery number one is how is it that the physical world does in fact accord with mathematics, and not just any mathematics but very sophisticated, subtle mathematics to such a fantastic degree of precision. That’s mystery number one.’

    However, since Penrose is a non-theist (according to Wikipedia, which quotes a BBC interview) I don’t see that he has any other choice but to postulate the existence of a separate transcendent Platonic realm. But this is probably too high of a cost for other naturalists to pay (of course, it’s unthinkable for a died-in-the-wool materialist.) That’s no doubt why we have been seeing such a resistance to the idea that mathematics is discovered. But if we reject the idea of a transcendent mathematical realm where does our mathematical knowledge and know-how come from? From our minds– which is an epiphenomena of our brains… which is the product of a long mindless evolutionary process. If you begin with those assumptions that’s where the logic leads you. Therefore, mathematics must be a human invention. The problem with that view, however, is that you first need to prove that your metaphysical presuppositions are true or at least that they are more probably true than not.

  5. 5
    Trumper says:

    So, I have a tough time grasping the thought that conceptual things like numbers (or units) and their special arrangement have always existed. And by always existed, i guess one can only go as far as saying since time began. For example – Primes. A prime number is a prime number here on earth as well as the most distant spec of light from here. Yeah, we devised a name for them…even a way to test every member of the most completed set of numbers for inclusion to the set of known primes….yet there is no rhyme nor reasoning known yet as to their spacing (if you will) , or occurrence.
    Our conscious selves can grasp these things… like perfect circle ( is there such a beast in nature)?

  6. 6

    JAD @4:

    Even if materialists/physicalists cannot prove their view, they would at least have to do more than shrug and say “it’s a mystery.” Accounting for the existence of a platonic realm certainly requires no more faith than accounting for the existence of the physical. We experience both directly. It is no more “miraculous” for a mental world to exist than a physical one.

    When you bore down into the mental realm, you do indeed find indivisible, core, universal axioms, like absolute atoms, conceptual roots that underpin all aspects of existence, beginning with the law of identity.

    However, when you bore down into what we call the physical world, what do we find? We don’t find anything remotely resembling “matter”. We find patterns and potentials. We find information.

    To say we find “energy” is a misdirection, because “energy” or “force” is a placeholding term for a “description of behavior”. Gravity is not a “thing”; it’s a description of behavior. Indeed, it is a mathematical description of behaviors.

    One might ask what it is that is behaving according to those descriptions? If we say a planet is behaving according to the various forces acting on it, what is a planet entirely comprised of? Countless patterns of behaviors all behaving in a large behavioral system. Yet, bore down deeply enough into any part of the planet and there is no matter to be found. What is the “behavioral description” a description OF, if there is no material planet there?

    What is it that we call matter, then? We see it, feel it, touch it. Where do ALL of those experiences ultimately take place?

    In the mind.

    IMO, it’s no mystery at all; “matter” doesn’t exist. When we dream, and we see and touch a wall, does it exist as matter? IMO, the answer to these mysteries is that we are conscious beings living entirely within the platonic realm. Forces and energy descriptions are descriptions of our mental experience, which is why they always obey platonic realm realities. They are not descriptions “of” anything else outside of that.

    This is why we cannot find any “matter”; matter doesn’t exist. The material world, like a dream, is a subset experience of consciousness entirely guided by mind and platonic forms, mathematics, logical principles, etc.

    This is why matter, energy and forces appear to obey platonic realm mathematics; this is why we can universally “discover” axiomatic and necessary truths, principles and laws; mathematics, geometric forms, etc.

    And, if you bore down deep enough, this is why observational perspective can affect what we call physical reality in quantum physics research experiments, why there is no “local reality”. What we experience depends entirely upon how the platonic realm is interacting with our individual perspective.

    IMO, of course. I don’t see any other viable explanation at the time.

  7. 7
    math guy says:

    WJM @ 6
    What a marvelous exposition of the short version attributed to Pythagorus: “All is number”. Your explanation makes intuitive sense to this amateur philosopher.

    While lurking over the years, I would occasionally copy and save notable quotes from UD and other sites. Your ideas as stated above are being saved in my collection, nice work!

  8. 8
    math guy says:

    T @ 5
    As noted on the thread that led to this one, THE outstanding unsolved mathematical conjecture is the Riemann Hypothesis. It says that the distribution of prime numbers satisfies a strong regularity condition if and only if ( the analytic continuation of) the function

    zeta(s) = Sum n^(-s) (0<n<infinity)

    has all nontrivial roots on the line s= 1/2 + i*y (y any real number). The vast majority of number theorists believe the Riemann Hypothesis is true, based on elegance, its other implications, and empirical data (all of the several million roots found so far lie on the critical line).

    If true, RH does lend lots of subtle structure to the set of primes.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    T, I think the problem lies in a gap in our education system. Logic of being and first principles of right reason are not usually taught to us with any seriousness. And yet, for any distinct world W to exist, it holds a particular identity i/l/o its core characteristics that mark it out from other possibilities or actualities; of course LOI, LNC and LEM are corollaries of distinct identity. So are numbers. For, on distinct identity we may make a partition: W = {A|~A}. We directly see two distinct ones, thus a two. As W is complete, and as the partition is empty, we see 0 also as what lies outside or between A and ~A. Thus, we have 0, 1, 2 necessarily present in any distinct possible world. Using succession of order types following von Neumann, we fill out the naturals and manifest that N is transfinite and countable. We can from this get integers, rationals and reals thus the continuum at least as an abstract 1-D space. The introduction of i then opens up a planar space with all sorts of powers. Structure and quantity are built in into the fabric required for a world to exist. I suspect “Platonic realm” comes with a lot of baggage, but the idea that certain abstract realities are necessarily part of the framework for a distinct world to be, may help. If you are a theist, classically, it was held that such abstract realities are eternally contemplated by God, the root of reality “in whom we live and move and have our being.” KF

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    As was touched upon in WJM’s original post, as far as Euclidean (3-dimensional) geometric objects are concerned. ‘platonic perfection’ is never reached.

    That is to say that there are no perfect circles, squares, triangles within the universe.

    As was also touched upon in WJM’s original post, the places where ‘platonic perfection’ is ‘almost’ reached for circles (i.e. The Sun, the Buckyball Carbon atom, and the Cosmic Background Radiation), gives us fairly compelling evidence that the universe was designed for life.

    ,,, Along this line of “perfection” thought, it is interesting to note where in this universe perfection for spheres is approached rather closely,,,
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/responding-to-ed-george-about-mathematics/#comment-669710

    As was also touched upon in WJM’s original post, the one exception to this rule of ‘no platonic perfection’ for Euclidean objects is the axiomatic ‘primitive object’ in Euclidean geometry of the line.

    “When a geometry is described by a set of axioms, the notion of a line is usually left undefined (a so-called primitive object).”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_(geometry)

    That is to say, the place where “platonic perfection” is, not only approached, but arguably ‘perfectly reached’ in the universe, is in the ‘flatness’ of the universe.

    As far as our best scientific measurements will allow, the universe appears to be ‘perfectly flat’.

    How do we know the universe is flat? Discovering the topology of the universe – by Fraser Cain – June 7, 2017
    Excerpt: With the most sensitive space-based telescopes they have available, astronomers are able to detect tiny variations in the temperature of this background radiation.
    And here’s the part that blows my mind every time I think about it. These tiny temperature variations correspond to the largest scale structures of the observable universe. A region that was a fraction of a degree warmer become a vast galaxy cluster, hundreds of millions of light-years across.
    The cosmic microwave background radiation just gives and gives, and when it comes to figuring out the topology of the universe, it has the answer we need. If the universe was curved in any way, these temperature variations would appear distorted compared to the actual size that we see these structures today.
    But they’re not. To best of its ability, ESA’s Planck space telescope, can’t detect any distortion at all. The universe is flat.,,,
    We say that the universe is flat, and this means that parallel lines will always remain parallel. 90-degree turns behave as true 90-degree turns, and everything makes sense.,,,
    Since the universe is flat now, it must have been flat in the past, when the universe was an incredibly dense singularity. And for it to maintain this level of flatness over 13.8 billion years of expansion, in kind of amazing.
    In fact, astronomers estimate that the universe must have been flat to 1 part within 1×10^57 parts.
    Which seems like an insane coincidence.
    https://phys.org/news/2017-06-universe-flat-topology.html

    Moreover, this ‘insane coincidence’ of ‘plantonic perfection’ being reached for the axiomatic ‘primitive object’ of the line just so happens to be necessary for us to even be able to practice math and science, (and apply technology in our world), in the first place:

    How do we know the universe is flat? Discovering the topology of the universe – by Fraser Cain – June 7, 2017
    Excerpt: We say that the universe is flat, and this means that parallel lines will always remain parallel. 90-degree turns behave as true 90-degree turns, and everything makes sense.,,,
    https://phys.org/news/2017-06-universe-flat-topology.html

    Why We Need Cosmic Inflation
    By Paul Sutter, Astrophysicist | October 22, 2018
    Excerpt: As best as we can measure, the geometry of our universe appears to be perfectly, totally, ever-so-boringly flat. On large, cosmic scales, parallel lines stay parallel forever, interior angles of triangles add up to 180 degrees, and so on. All the rules of Euclidean geometry that you learned in high school apply.
    But there’s no reason for our universe to be flat. At large scales it could’ve had any old curvature it wanted. Our cosmos could’ve been shaped like a giant, multidimensional beach ball, or a horse-riding saddle. But, no, it picked flat.
    https://www.space.com/42202-why-we-need-cosmic-inflation.html

    Simply put, if the universe were not ‘ever-so-boringly’ flat (and if the universal constants were not also ‘ever-so-boringly’ constant), but the universe were instead governed by randomness, as atheists presuppose, or governed by some other of the infinitude of ‘platonic topologies’ that were possible, modern science and technology would have never gotten off the ground here on earth.

    Scientists Question Nature’s Fundamental Laws – Michael Schirber – 2006
    Excerpt: “There is absolutely no reason these constants should be constant,” says astronomer Michael Murphy of the University of Cambridge. “These are famous numbers in physics, but we have no real reason for why they are what they are.”,,,
    The observed differences are small-roughly a few parts in a million-but the implications are huge (if they hold up): The laws of physics would have to be rewritten, not to mention we might need to make room for six more spatial dimensions than the three that we are used to.”,,,
    The speed of light, for instance, might be measured one day with a ruler and a clock. If the next day the same measurement gave a different answer, no one could tell if the speed of light changed, the ruler length changed, or the clock ticking changed.
    http://www.space.com/2613-scie.....-laws.html

    As was mentioned, since the universe is ‘ever-so-boringly’ flat, this also has allowed us to infuse mathematical and/or logical information, in a ‘top down fashion’, onto material substrates (i.e. allows us to practice engineering and technology).

    Describing Nature With Math By Peter Tyson – Nov. 2011
    Excerpt: Indeed, many of the technologies you and I enjoy every day simply would not work without mathematics. When you do a Google search, you’re relying on 19th-century algebra, on which the search engine’s algorithms are based. When you watch a movie, you may well be seeing mountains and other natural features that, while appearing as real as rock, arise entirely from mathematical models. When you play your iPod, you’re hearing a mathematical recreation of music that is stored digitally; your cell phone does the same in real time.
    “When you listen to a mobile phone, you’re not actually hearing the voice of the person speaking,” Devlin told me. “You’re hearing a mathematical recreation of that voice. That voice is reduced to mathematics.”
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/p.....-math.html

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt: page 5: A: Causal Efficacy of Non Physical entities:
    Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists. You can point to a CD or flashdrive where it is stored, but that is not the thing in itself: it is a medium in which it is stored.
    The program itself is an abstract entity, shaped by abstract logic. Is the software “nothing but” its realisation through a specific set of stored electronic states in the computer memory banks? No it is not because it is the precise pattern in those states that matters: a higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves. It’s a relational thing (and if you get the relations between the symbols wrong, so you have a syntax error, it will all come to a grinding halt). This abstract nature of software is realised in the concept of virtual machines, which occur at every level in the computer hierarchy except the bottom one [17]. But this tower of virtual machines causes physical effects in the real world, for example when a computer controls a robot in an assembly line to create physical artefacts.
    Excerpt page 7: The assumption that causation is bottom up only is wrong in biology, in computers, and even in many cases in physics, ,,,
    The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.
    http://fqxi.org/data/essay-con.....s_2012.pdf

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Nor, if the universe were not so ‘ever-so-boringly’ flat, would we have eventually been able to deduce the ‘platonic perfection’ revealed in the ‘higher dimensional’ mathematics that lay behind Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

    “Recent experiments have confirmed, to within one part in one hundred million billion (10^17), that the speed of light does not change when an observer is in motion.”
    Douglas Ell – “Counting To God” – pg. 41 – 2014

    Dark energy alternatives to Einstein are running out of room – January 9, 2013
    Excerpt: Last month, a group of European astronomers, using a massive radio telescope in Germany, made the most accurate measurement of the proton-to-electron mass ratio ever accomplished and found that there has been no change in the ratio to one part in 10 million at a time when the universe was about half its current age, around 7 billion years ago. When Thompson put this new measurement into his calculations, he found that it excluded almost all of the dark energy models using the commonly expected values or parameters.
    If the parameter space or range of values is equated to a football field, then almost the whole field is out of bounds except for a single 2-inch by 2-inch patch at one corner of the field. In fact, most of the allowed values are not even on the field. “In effect, the dark energy theories have been playing on the wrong field,” Thompson said. “The 2-inch square does contain the area that corresponds to no change in the fundamental constants, (a ‘true cosmological constant’), and that is exactly where Einstein stands.”
    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-d.....-room.html

    The Most Precisely Tested Theory in the History of Science – May 5, 2011
    Excerpt: So, which of the two (general relativity or QED) is The Most Precisely Tested Theory in the History of Science?
    It’s a little tough to quantify a title like that, but I think relativity can claim to have tested the smallest effects. Things like the aluminum ion clock experiments showing shifts in the rate of a clock set moving at a few m/s, or raised by a foot, measure relativistic shifts of a few parts in 10^16. That is, if one clock ticks 10,000,000,000,000,000 times, the other ticks 9,999,999,999,999,999 times. That’s an impressively tiny effect, but the measured value is in good agreement with the predictions of relativity.
    In the end, though, I have to give the nod to QED, because while the absolute effects in relativity may be smaller, the precision of the measurements in QED is more impressive. Experimental tests of relativity measure tiny shifts, but to only a few decimal places. Experimental tests of QED measure small shifts, but to an absurd number of decimal places. The most impressive of these is the “anomalous magnetic moment of the electron,” expressed is terms of a number g whose best measured value is:
    g/2 = 1.001 159 652 180 73 (28)
    Depending on how you want to count it, that’s either 11 or 14 digits of precision (the value you would expect without QED is exactly 1, so in some sense, the shift really starts with the first non-zero decimal place), which is just incredible. And QED correctly predicts all those decimal places (at least to within the measurement uncertainty, given by the two digits in parentheses at the end of that).
    http://scienceblogs.com/princi.....sted-theo/

    That is to say, as far as our best scientific instruments will allow us to measure, we can simply find no deviation between what our best ‘higher dimensional’ mathematics predict and what our observation of those predictions find.

    Simply put, ‘platonic perfection’, as far as we can tell, has been reached in this universe for the higher dimensional mathematics behind both Special and General Relativity as well as reached for the higher dimensional mathematics behind Quantum Mechanics.

    Both Albert Einstein and Eugene Wigner are on record as to regarding it as an ‘epistemological miracle’ that math can be applied to the universe so precisely

    “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.,,,,

    And although the ‘platonic perfection’ of the 4-dimensional space-time curvature of Relativity is fairly well known, one little known ‘platonic perfection’ is the higher dimensional “amplituhedron” of Quantum-electrodynamics that was recently found a few years back:

    A Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics – September 17, 2013
    Excerpt: The amplituhedron itself does not describe gravity. But Arkani-Hamed and his collaborators think there might be a related geometric object that does.,,,
    But the new amplituhedron research suggests space-time, and therefore dimensions, may be illusory anyway.,,, Even without unitarity and locality, the amplituhedron formulation of quantum field theory does not yet incorporate gravity. But researchers are working on it.,,,
    Beyond making (quantum field theory) calculations easier or possibly leading the way to quantum gravity, the discovery of the amplituhedron could cause an even more profound shift, Arkani-Hamed said. That is, giving up space and time as fundamental constituents of nature and figuring out how the Big Bang and cosmological evolution of the universe arose out of pure geometry.
    https://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20130917-a-jewel-at-the-heart-of-quantum-physics/

    Bohemian Gravity – Rob Sheldon – September 19, 2013
    Excerpt: Quanta magazine carried an article about a hypergeometric object that is as much better than Feynman diagrams as Feynman was better than Heisenberg’s S-matrices. But the discoverers are candid about it,
    “The amplituhedron, or a similar geometric object, could help by removing two deeply rooted principles of physics: locality and unitarity. “Both are hard-wired in the usual way we think about things,” said Nima Arkani-Hamed, a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and the lead author of the new work, which he is presenting in talks and in a forthcoming paper. “Both are suspect.””
    What are these suspect principles? None other than two of the founding principles of materialism–that there do not exist “spooky-action-at-a-distance” forces, and that material causes are the only ones in the universe.,,,
    http://rbsp.info/PROCRUSTES/bohemian-gravity/

    More interesting still, these findings of ‘platonic perfection’ are VERY friendly to overriding Christian presuppositions of life after death as well as the presupposition of God upholding this universe in its continual existence:

    Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, General Relativity and Christianity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4QDy1Soolo

    Moreover, although many mathematicians and physicists assume that mathematics itself, all by its lonesome, will eventually yield the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything’, Gödel, via his incompleteness theorem, proved that the universe can never be only be what it is and nothing else.

    “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”
    Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49

    Stephen Hawking himself conceded this point:

    “Gödel’s incompleteness theorem (1931), proves that there are limits to what can be ascertained by mathematics. Kurt Gödel, halted the achievement of a unifying all-encompassing theory of everything in his theorem that: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove”.
    Stephen Hawking & Leonard Miodinow, The Grand Design (2010)

    And to make Gödel’s critique against the idea of mathematics being self existent in some platonic realm all the more devastating, Godel’s incompleteness theorem has now been extended to physics and now undermines the entire reductive materialistic framework that undergirds much of modern cosmology (as well as undermining the reductive materialism that undergirds Darwinian evolution itself):

    Quantum physics problem proved unsolvable: Gödel and Turing enter quantum physics – December 9, 2015
    Excerpt: A mathematical problem underlying fundamental questions in particle and quantum physics is provably unsolvable,,,
    It is the first major problem in physics for which such a fundamental limitation could be proven. The findings are important because they show that even a perfect and complete description of the microscopic properties of a material is not enough to predict its macroscopic behaviour.,,,
    “We knew about the possibility of problems that are undecidable in principle since the works of Turing and Gödel in the 1930s,” added Co-author Professor Michael Wolf from Technical University of Munich. “So far, however, this only concerned the very abstract corners of theoretical computer science and mathematical logic. No one had seriously contemplated this as a possibility right in the heart of theoretical physics before. But our results change this picture. From a more philosophical perspective, they also challenge the reductionists’ point of view, as the insurmountable difficulty lies precisely in the derivation of macroscopic properties from a microscopic description.”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-12-q.....godel.html

    Thus, the reductive materialist, who seeks to explain why the universe takes the precise form that it does, by his appeal to inflation cosmology, is forever stymied in his attempt to explain why the universe takes the precise form that it does.

    Although Dr. Bruce Gordon, in the following article, does not specifically cite Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, none-the-less, Dr. Gordon does precisely capture the implications of Gödel’s incompleteness theorem in regards to how the ‘platonic realm’ relates to this physical universe:

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: ,,,The physical universe is causally incomplete and therefore neither self-originating nor self-sustaining. The world of space, time, matter and energy is dependent on a reality that transcends space, time, matter and energy.
    This transcendent reality cannot merely be a Platonic realm of mathematical descriptions, for such things are causally inert abstract entities that do not affect the material world,,,
    Rather, the transcendent reality on which our universe depends must be something that can exhibit agency – a mind that can choose among the infinite variety of mathematical descriptions and bring into existence a reality that corresponds to a consistent subset of them. This is what “breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe.” Anything else invokes random miracles as an explanatory principle and spells the end of scientific rationality.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    Besides proving, via Gödel’s incompleteness, the sheer inability of reductive materialist to ever be able to give an coherent account for why the universe, or any object within the universe, may have the precise structure, shape, and/or form that it does, this extension of Gödel’s incompleteness to physics also renders all the ‘bottom up’ reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution, of how any particular organism might achieve its basis form, null and void,

    Darwinism vs Biological Form – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyNzNPgjM4w

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    And to state what should be glaringly obvious, since neo-Darwinian explanations are grossly inadequate for explaining how any particular organism might achieve its basic form, then neo-Darwinian speculations for how one type of organism might transform into another type of organism are based on pure fantasy and have no discernible experimental basis in reality.

    That the reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution would be found to be grossly inadequate for explaining why any particular organism might take the unique form that it does should not be all that surprising.

    It turns out that the entire concept of distinct types of species, (like the mathematical concepts of circles, squares, and triangles), is an ‘abstract’ concept that can never be grounded within the reductive materialism of Darwinian evolution:

    Darwin, Design & Thomas Aquinas
    The Mythical Conflict Between Thomism & Intelligent Design by Logan Paul Gage
    Excerpt: In Aristotelian and Thomistic thought, each particular organism belongs to a certain universal class of things. Each individual shares a particular nature—or essence—and acts according to its nature. Squirrels act squirrelly and cats catty. We know with certainty that a squirrel is a squirrel because a crucial feature of human reason is its ability to abstract the universal nature from our sense experience of particular organisms.
    Think about it: How is it that we are able to recognize different organisms as belonging to the same group? The Aristotelian provides a good answer: It is because species really exist—not as an abstraction in the sky, but they exist nonetheless. We recognize the squirrel’s form, which it shares with other members of its species, even though the particular matter of each squirrel differs. So each organism, each unified whole, consists of a material and immaterial part (form).,,,
    Denial of True Species
    Enter Darwinism. Recall that Darwin sought to explain the origin of “species.” Yet as he pondered his theory, he realized that it destroyed species as a reality altogether. For Darwinism suggests that any matter can potentially morph into any other arrangement of matter without the aid of an organizing principle. He thought cells were like simple blobs of Jell-O, easily re-arrangeable. For Darwin, there is no immaterial, immutable form. In The Origin of Species he writes:
    “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience’s sake.”
    Statements like this should make card-carrying Thomists shudder.,,,
    The first conflict between Darwinism and Thomism, then, is the denial of true species or essences. For the Thomist, this denial is a grave error, because the essence of the individual (the species in the Aristotelian sense) is the true object of our knowledge. As philosopher Benjamin Wiker observes in Moral Darwinism, Darwin reduced species to “mere epiphenomena of matter in motion.” What we call a “dog,” in other words, is really just an arbitrary snapshot of the way things look at present. If we take the Darwinian view, Wiker suggests, there is no species “dog” but only a collection of individuals, connected in a long chain of changing shapes, which happen to resemble each other today but will not tomorrow.
    https://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=23-06-037-f

    Of related interest to the inability of reductive materialists to be able to give an account for why the universe, or any object within the universe, may have the particular structure, shape, and/or form that it does, Gödel stated this, “In materialism all elements behave the same. It is mysterious to think of them as spread out and automatically united. For something to be a whole, it has to have an additional object, say, a soul or a mind.”

    “In materialism all elements behave the same. It is mysterious to think of them as spread out and automatically united. For something to be a whole, it has to have an additional object, say, a soul or a mind.”
    Kurt Gödel – Hao Wang’s supplemental biography of Gödel, A Logical Journey, MIT Press, 1996.

    And whereas Darwinists, with their reductive materialism, have no clue what the unifying principle could possibly be that is keeping the trillions upon trillions of molecules in our bodies focused on the singular task of keeping our temporal bodies alive “precisely for a lifetime and not a moment longer (S. Talbott)” on the other hand, Theism, especially with recent breakthroughs in quantum biology,,,

    Darwinian Materialism vs Quantum Biology – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHdD2Am1g5Y

    ,,,is found to be very well supported in its claim that we each have a immaterial soul that is capable of living past the death of out temporal material bodies.

    Quantum Biology, as the preceding video made clear, even goes so far as to strongly support the Christian’s claim that God has formed each of us in our mother’s womb.

    Verses:

    Psalm 139:13-14
    For You formed my inward parts;
    You covered me in my mother’s womb.
    I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    Marvelous are Your works,
    And that my soul knows very well.

    Jeremiah 1:5
    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

    Psalm 139:13
    For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

    A more direct falsification of Darwinian evolution by this platonic realm of mathematics, (besides the sheer mathematical impossibility of Darwinian evolution ever occurring, i.e. Sanford, Dembski, Marks, Axe, Behe, Durston etc.. etc..), is the outright denial of the primacy of mathematics in science in the first place by their reductive materialistic framework.

    That is to say, there simply is no place for the immaterial realm of ‘platonic’ mathematics to find grounding for its reality in the reductive materialism that undergirds Darwinian thought.

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    Platonic World vs Physical World
    https://i2.wp.com/abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/images/platonic_physical.gif

    Yet, in order to be considered scientific in the first place, Darwinian evolution needs validation from this platonic world of mathematics:

    “No human investigation can be called real science if it cannot be demonstrated mathematically.”
    – Leonardo da Vinci

    Thus, besides already being shown to be mathematically impossible, Darwinian evolution is further falsified by mathematics as being a scientific theory since Darwinism denies the very reality of one the thing it most needs, i.e. mathematics, in order to be considered scientific in the first place.

    Darwinian Evolution vs Mathematics – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3gyx70BHvA

    This predicament that Darwinists find themselves in, in regards to needing mathematics to be considered scientific, and yet denying the reality of mathematics, and thus denying the primacy of mathematics within science, should be the very definition of a scientifically self defeating worldview.

    Then again, the denial of the reality of free will by Atheistic materialists should also rank alongside their denial of the reality of mathematics as a definition of a scientifically self refuting worldview.

    Well, as someone else said in this thread, or perhaps they said it in one of the other recent threads on Platonism, there is much more that could be written on this subject.

    It is certainly a very rich topic that strikes at the heart of the ID vs. Darwinism and Theism vs. Atheism debate.

    So let me end this current post with this quote from Berlinski:

    An Interview with David Berlinski – Jonathan Witt
    Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time….
    Interviewer:… Come again(?) …
    Berlinski: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.
    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/20.....-here.html

    Verse:

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  13. 13
    john_a_designer says:

    WJM @ 6,

    Even if materialists/physicalists cannot prove their view, they would at least have to do more than shrug and say “it’s a mystery.” Accounting for the existence of a platonic realm certainly requires no more faith than accounting for the existence of the physical. We experience both directly. It is no more “miraculous” for a mental world to exist than a physical one.

    True but the point that I was trying to make was that to make a logically valid argument you need to begin with premises and propositions that are either (1) self-evidently true, (2) provably true or (3) at least probably true, otherwise your conclusion does not follow. (That’s deductive logic 101.) Unfortunately, TRUTH is not served to us on a silver platter so we seldom have the advantage of beginning with #1 or #2. Of course, the problem with #3 is: do arguments based on probabilities ever give us certainty? The answer is no. Nevertheless, that is what we are left with– there is no such thing, in most cases, with absolute proof or certainty. However, that doesn’t justify that one can throw up one’s hands and say “Since, I believe in X therefore X is true” or “I don’t believe in Y therefore Y is not true.” Fideism and nihilism are really just two sides of the same coin. Arguments need to be about the Truth not about beliefs. The pursuit of truth requires both intellectual and ethical honesty and some degree of humility. But how can one have either intellectual or ethical honesty if one doesn’t believe in truth to begin with?

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, welcome to the world of inductive argument by responsible support for conclusions. And, of worldview level comparative difficulties. KF

    PS: That truth exists is self evident. Call the proposition truth exists T. Try to deny it, ~T. So, is it true that ~T? Obviously, self referentially incoherent. Next, this shows that well warranted credibly accurate claims exist (here to the degree of self evidence), i.e. knowledge exists.

  15. 15
    john_a_designer says:

    On the other hand, deductive arguments work very well in mathematics. For example, starting with just a few self-evident definitions and postulates Euclidean geometry we are able to prove (as were the ancient Greeks) that there are– indeed, there only can be– five regular or Platonic solids in three dimensional space.

    Descartes no doubt was attracted to the power of that kind of logic when he tried to use cogito ergo sum as an ontological and epistemic presupposition for his philosophy. However, we don’t find the same logically conclusive stepping stones in metaphysics that we do in the axioms and postulates of mathematics. I don’t think any metaphysical system can really claim that.

    Nevertheless, I think starting with the fact of one’s own conscious experience of one’s own existence is a logical place to begin ontologically.

  16. 16
    hazel says:

    JAD writes, “However, we don’t find the same logically conclusive stepping stones in metaphysics that we do in the axioms and postulates of mathematics. I don’t think any metaphysical system can really claim that.”

    Good sentence. I agree.

  17. 17
    gpuccio says:

    john_a_designer:

    “I think starting with the fact of one’s own conscious experience of one’s own existence is a logical place to begin ontologically.”

    Absolutely! 🙂

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, no worldview cores are made up solely from incorrigible or self-evident necessarily true presuppositions and basic beliefs. All worldviews face difficulties. By comparing difficulties across factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power, we escape circularity through cross-comparison. However, that process — a form of grand inference to best current explanation across live options, is argument by support and is thus inductive in key parts. Where, while sound deductive arguments move from true premises on valid reasoning to therefore true conclusions, this is highly restricted and not a good match to the range of things we need to have reliable knowledge on. In addition, ask, how is deduction itself validated; it cannot be by deduction, leaving induction in some form. What we do is go to self-evident first principles of right reason, which can be shown responsible but cannot be proved. Attempted proofs inevitably use these principles in arguing: LOI, LNC, LEM. Mathematics extends this to the rational, intelligible principles of structure and quantity. KF

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    A few notes on the physical reality of “other realms”.

    As the following video shows, atheists have no compelling evidence for all the various parallel universe and/or multiverse scenarios that they have put forth.

    Multiverse Mania vs Reality – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQJV4fH6kMo

    In fact, as was also shown in that video, there is fairly strong evidence and arguments that can be mustered against their claims for parallel universes and/or multiverses. (Such as the not so minor detail of the catastrophic epistemological failure inherent in that claim).

    And whereas atheists have no compelling evidence for all these various extra dimensions, parallel universe and/or multiverse scenarios that they have put forth, Christians, on the other hand, can appeal directly to the higher dimensional mathematics behind Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity and General Relativity to support their belief that God upholds this universe in its continual existence, as well as to support their belief in a heavenly dimension and in a hellish dimension.

    In the following video, the discovery of the higher dimensional nature of the square root of negative one, which is integral to quantum mechanics, and the discovery of higher dimensional geometry, which is integral to General Relativity, are discussed:

    The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality – Gauss & Riemann – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxy3JhPRlV0

    The history of the square root of negative one is particularly interesting to look at. Descartes had rejected complex roots and coined the derogatory term “imaginary” to describe the square root of negative one. Whereas, Gauss, who was the mathematician who finally clearly explained the higher dimensional nature behind the square root of negative one, suggested that complex magnitudes be called “lateral” instead of “imaginary” magnitudes since they represent a dimensional extension of the continuum. Gauss also proposed that complex magnitudes be awarded “full civil rights.”
    The author further comments, in the language of Plato’s allegory of the cave, complex numbers represent “forms” from a higher dimension casting “shadows” on the real number line.

    Complex Magnitudes
    Excerpt: Descartes had rejected complex roots and coined the derogatory term “imaginary” to describe the square root of negative one, , but Leibniz thought that “The divine spirit found a sublime outlet in that wonder of analysis, that portent of the ideal world, that amphibian between being and non-being, which we call the imaginary root of negative unity.”
    Gauss invented the “complex plane” (shown below) to represent these quantities. He suggested that complex magnitudes be called “lateral” instead of “imaginary” magnitudes since they represent a dimensional extension of the continuum.
    Gauss also proposed that complex magnitudes be awarded “full civil rights.”
    In the language of Plato’s allegory of the cave, complex numbers represent “forms” from a higher dimension casting “shadows” on the real number line.
    http://www.keplersdiscovery.com/ComplexNum.html

    And in quantum mechanics, we find that the square root of negative one is necessary for describing the wave packet prior to measurement.

    Why do you need imaginary numbers (the square root of negative one) to describe Quantum Mechanics?
    “Quantum theory needs existence of an x such that x^2= -1. The reason for this is that orthogonal function spaces, of dimension greater than 2, cannot exist otherwise. In fact the only place where i (the square root of negative one) is needed is in the wave packet prior to measurement. Even the Canonical Commutation Relation doesn’t need it. And nor do the eigenvalue equations. In those, any general scalar will do. But in the wave packet, you need an i.”
    – Steve Faulkner – Philosophy of Science, Logic, Epistemology
    https://www.researchgate.net/post/Why_do_you_need_imaginary_numbers_to_describe_Quantum_Mechanics2

    What was not mentioned in the preceding video, or in the article, is that the wave function is also represented as being in an infinite dimensional Hilbert space:

    Wave function
    Excerpt “wave functions form an abstract vector space”,,, This vector space is infinite-dimensional, because there is no finite set of functions which can be added together in various combinations to create every possible function.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.....ctor_space

    Why do we need infinite-dimensional Hilbert spaces in physics?
    You need an infinite dimensional Hilbert space to represent a wavefunction of any continuous observable (like position for example).
    https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/149786/why-do-we-need-infinite-dimensional-hilbert-spaces-in-physics

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: We now have, in physics, two theories of great power and interest: the theory of quantum phenomena and the theory of relativity.,,, The two theories operate with different mathematical concepts: the four dimensional Riemann space and the infinite dimensional Hilbert space,
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Here is an interesting quote about the infinite dimensional Hilbert Spaces in quantum mechanics: “An entire formalism-the Hilbert space formalism-is matched with nature. Information about nature is being “read off” the details of the formalism. (Imagine reading off details about elementary particles from the rules of chess-castling. en passant-a la Lewis Carro;; in Through the Looking Glass.) No physicist today understands why this is possible.”

    The Applicability of Mathematics as a Philosophical Problem – Mark Steiner – (page 44)
    Excerpt: Let us now recapitulate: beginning with the concept of a Hilbert space, a certain kind of (usually infinite-dimensional) vector space, and the formal requirement that a unit vector on the space represents all possible information can be gleaned. First, the space cannot be a real vector space; the usual formalism is, therefore, based on a complex Hilbert space. With this formalism the Heisenberg uncertainty principle follows directly. So does the quantization of angular momentum, including the so called “space quantization”. So does the prediction that “electron spin” cannot be due to spatial rotation. And so do the selection rules for the spectrum of hydrogen, based on the “nonphysical” concept of parity.
    The role of Hilbert spaces in quantum mechanics, then, is much more profound than the descriptive role of a single concept. An entire formalism-the Hilbert space formalism-is matched with nature. Information about nature is being “read off” the details of the formalism. (Imagine reading off details about elementary particles from the rules of chess-castling. en passant-a la Lewis Carrol; in Through the Looking Glass.) No physicist today understands why this is possible..
    https://books.google.com/books?id=GKBwKCma1HsC&pg=PA44

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, we find that the infinite dimensional Hilbert space takes an infinite amount of information to describe properly.

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (quantum) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1)
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia
    Excerpt: Theoretically, a single qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the superposition of the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,,
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entr.....tcomp/#2.1

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Infinity – Max Tegmark
    Excerpt: real numbers with their infinitely many decimals have infested almost every nook and cranny of physics, from the strengths of electromagnetic fields to the wave functions of quantum mechanics: we describe even a single bit of quantum information (qubit) using two real numbers involving infinitely many decimals.
    https://www.edge.org/response-detail/25344

    As should be needless to say, the preceding “infinite dimensional-infinite information” findings are very comforting to overall Christian concerns regarding God’s attributes of Omnipresence and Omniscience.

    Here is a video that goes over the preceding findings, and how they relate to Christian presuppositions, in a bit more detail

    Double Slit, Quantum-Electrodynamics, and Christian Theism- video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AK9kGpIxMRM

    Four dimensional space was also mentioned in ‘The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality’ video. As was the necessity for Four-dimensional space in the formulation General Relativity also mentioned in the video:

    Four-dimensional space:
    Excerpt: The idea of adding a fourth dimension began with Joseph-Louis Lagrange in the mid 1700s and culminated in a precise formalization of the concept in 1854 by Bernhard Riemann.,,,
    Higher dimensional spaces have since become one of the foundations for formally expressing modern mathematics and physics. Large parts of these topics could not exist in their current forms without the use of such spaces.,,,
    Einstein’s concept of spacetime uses such a 4D space, though it has a Minkowski structure that is a bit more complicated than Euclidean 4D space.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-dimensional_space

    What was not mentioned in the ‘The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality’ video is that special relativity is itself also based on a single four-dimensional continuum now known as Minkowski space. In fact, the higher dimensional nature of special relativity was a discovery that was made by one of Einstein math professors in 1908 prior to Einstein’s elucidation of General Relativity in 1915. (In fact, in 1916 Einstein fully acknowledged his indebtedness to Minkowski)

    Spacetime
    Excerpt: In 1908, Hermann Minkowski—once one of the math professors of a young Einstein in Zurich—presented a geometric interpretation of special relativity that fused time and the three spatial dimensions of space into a single four-dimensional continuum now known as Minkowski space. A key feature of this interpretation is the definition of a spacetime interval that combines distance and time. Although measurements of distance and time between events differ for measurements made in different reference frames, the spacetime interval is independent of the inertial frame of reference in which they are recorded.
    Minkowski’s geometric interpretation of relativity was to prove vital to Einstein’s development of his 1915 general theory of relativity, wherein he showed that spacetime becomes curved in the presence of mass or energy.,,,
    Einstein, for his part, was initially dismissive of Minkowski’s geometric interpretation of special relativity, regarding it as überflüssige Gelehrsamkeit (superfluous learnedness). However, in order to complete his search for general relativity that started in 1907, the geometric interpretation of relativity proved to be vital, and in 1916, Einstein fully acknowledged his indebtedness to Minkowski, whose interpretation greatly facilitated the transition to general relativity.[10]:151–152 Since there are other types of spacetime, such as the curved spacetime of general relativity, the spacetime of special relativity is today known as Minkowski spacetime.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

    Moreover, these four dimensional spacetimes that undergird both special relativity and general relativity are also comforting to overall Christian concerns in that they reveal two very different eternities to us. One eternity is found for a hypothetical observer who is going the speed of light, and the another eternity is found for a hypothetical observer falling to the event horizon of a black hole.

    Time dilation
    Excerpt: Time dilation: special vs. general theories of relativity:
    In Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity, time dilation in these two circumstances can be summarized:
    1. –In special relativity (or, hypothetically far from all gravitational mass), clocks that are moving with respect to an inertial system of observation are measured to be running slower. (i.e. For any observer accelerating, hypothetically, to the speed of light, time, as we understand it, will come to a complete stop.)
    2.–In general relativity, clocks at lower potentials in a gravitational field—such as in closer proximity to a planet—are found to be running slower. (i.e. For any observer falling to the event horizon of a black-hole, time, as we understand it, will come to a complete stop.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation

    As was mentioned, the eternity for special relativity is found when a hypothetical observer approaches the speed of light. In this scenario, time, as we understand it, would come to a complete stop for that hypothetical observer as he reached the speed of light.

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Dr. Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 11

    To grasp the whole concept of time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the very same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into special relativity. Here is a short clip from a video that gives us a look into Einstein’s breakthrough insight.

    Einstein: Einstein’s Miracle Year (‘Insight into Eternity’ – Thought Experiment 55 second mark) – video
    http://www.history.com/topics/.....racle-year

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    JAD, consciousness and its various aspects are key elements that have many self evident truths which help us to build worldviews. For one, we are aware that rationality is guided by known duty to truth, right reason, fairness, neighbourliness etc. Indeed, that is an implicit premise of debate, that at least the audience is so motivated. Were this delusional, it would radically undermine and discredit reasoning and community. We are forced to acknowledge. This means moral government by known law of our nature is at the heart of our life of thought, speech, action. We must face the IS-OUGHT gap and the implication that only at world-root can it be bridged. For that, there is but one serious candidate: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of loyalty and of reasonable, responsible service by doing the good in accord with our evident nature. The God of ethical theism — a philosophical perspective; it is reasonable to believe in God. As this is philosophy, if you disagree, why: _____ and on what reasonable basis: _____ . KF

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    That time, as we understand it comes to a complete stop at the speed of light, and yet light moves from point A to point B in our universe, and thus light is obviously not ‘frozen within time, has some fairly profound implications.

    The only way it is possible for time not to pass for light, and yet for light to move from point A to point B in our universe, is if light is of a higher dimensional value of time than the temporal time we are currently living in. Otherwise light would simply be ‘frozen within time’ to our temporal frame of reference.

    One way for us to more easily understand this higher dimensional framework for time that light exist in is to visualize what would happen if a hypothetical observer approached the speed of light.
    In the following video clip, which was made by two Australian University Physics Professors, we find that the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape as a ‘hypothetical’ observer approaches the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light.

    Optical Effects of Special Relativity – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQnHTKZBTI4

    Besides the tunnel curvature to a higher eternal dimension found in special relativity, we also have tunnel curvature to a very different eternal dimension in general relativity. The following video clip is very good for illustrating that tunnel curvature that is found in general relativity.

    Space-Time of a Black hole – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0VOn9r4dq8

    What makes the eternity of General Relativity profoundly different than the eternity found at Special Relativity, is that entropy, which is the primary reason why our material bodies grow old and eventually die in this universe,,,

    Entropy Explains Aging, Genetic Determinism Explains Longevity, and Undefined Terminology Explains Misunderstanding Both – 2007
    Excerpt: There is a huge body of knowledge supporting the belief that age changes are characterized by increasing entropy, which results in the random loss of molecular fidelity, and accumulates to slowly overwhelm maintenance systems [1–4].,,,
    http://www.plosgenetics.org/ar.....en.0030220

    ,,, is found to be greatest at black holes. As the following article stated,, ‘supermassive black holes are the largest contributor to the observable universe’s entropy.’

    Entropy of the Universe – Hugh Ross – May 2010
    Excerpt: Egan and Lineweaver found that supermassive black holes are the largest contributor to the observable universe’s entropy. They showed that these supermassive black holes contribute about 30 times more entropy than what the previous research teams estimated.
    http://www.reasons.org/entropy-universe

    How Special Was The Big Bang?
    “But why was the big bang so precisely organized (to 1 in 10^10^123), whereas the big crunch (or the singularities in black holes) would be expected to be totally chaotic? It would appear that this question can be phrased in terms of the behaviour of the WEYL part of the space-time curvature at space-time singularities. What we appear to find is that there is a constraint WEYL = 0 (or something very like this) at initial space-time singularities-but not at final singularities-and this seems to be what confines the Creator’s choice to this very tiny region of phase space.”
    Roger Penrose – (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 copyright 1989, Penguin Books)
    http://www.ws5.com/Penrose/

    In the following quote, Kip Thorne describes what will happen to a hypothetical astronaut as he reaches the singularity of a black-hole. He stated: “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476

    Thus the ‘eternity’ that is found at a black hole can rightly be called an ‘eternity of death, decay and/or destruction’.

    Needless to say, to those of us who are of, shall we say, a spiritually minded persuasion, this finding of a eternity of destruction should be fairly sobering.

    Luke 12:4-5
    “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!”

    It is also important to note that although hypothetically traveling at the speed of light in this universe would be instantaneous travel for the person going at the speed of light, this ‘timeless’ travel is still not completely instantaneous to our temporal framework of time. And is therefore not completely transcendent to our temporal framework.
    That is to say, speed of light travel, to our temporal frame of reference, is still not completely transcendent of our framework since light still appears to take time to travel from point A to point B from our temporal perspective. Yet, in quantum mechanics, instantaneous travel is not only achieved for the speed of light framework but instantaneous travel is also achieved in our temporal framework.

    Quantum Physicists Confirm Spooky Instant Correlations – Giulio Prisco – August 28th, 2015
    Excerpt: Researchers in the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK have confirmed in the lab that the weird instant correlations between remote “entangled” particles are real. The experimental result has important implications for both fundamental physics and future cryptography.,,
    https://hacked.com/quantum-physicists-confirm-spooky-instant-correlations/

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

    As the following author states, “The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time.,,, We must explain space and time (4D space-time) as somehow emerging from fundamentally spaceless and timeless physics.”

    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

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    That is to say, the instantaneous travel of quantum information is instantaneous to both our temporal framework and the speed of light framework, not just the speed of light framework.
    Quantum correlations are not limited by time, nor space, in any way, shape or form, in any frame of reference, as light is seemingly limited to us in this temporal framework. Quantum correlations are truly instantaneous.

    Of particular interest to all this is that this discrepancy between what Einstein termed the ‘physical time’ of relativity and what philosophers termed ‘The Now’ of the mind.

    In fact, Einstein went so far as to say that “The time of the philosophers did not exist.”,,

    Yet, “The Now” of the mind is one of the primary reasons why Einstein never received a Nobel prize for Special Relativity.

    Einstein vs Bergson, science vs philosophy and the meaning of time – Wednesday 24 June 2015
    Excerpt:,, Einstein said: “The time of the philosophers 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.
    ,,, In 1922, the jury was still out on the correct interpretation of time.,,,
    Just when Einstein thought he had it worked out, along came the discovery of quantum theory,,,
    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.,,,
    Was Bergson right after all? Time will tell.
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionat.....me/6539568

    As the following video shows, advances in quantum mechanics have now falsified Einstein belief that “The Now”, i.e. “The time of the philosophers”, does not exist.”

    Albert Einstein vs. Quantum Mechanics and His Own Mind – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxFFtZ301j4

    Thus, contrary to what Einstein thought was possible for experimental physics, ‘the experience of the now’ is now found to be very much a part of physical measurement.,, In fact as was mentioned previously, “The Now” undermines Einstein’s space-time as being the primary framework of reality since, “”The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time.,,, We must explain space and time (4D space-time) as somehow emerging from fundamentally spaceless and timeless physics.”

    Moreover, besides quantum mechanics giving Christians fairly compelling evidence that we do indeed live in a universe that is upheld by God in its continual existence,

    Colossians 1:16-17
    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.

    ,,, quantum mechanics also offers fairly compelling evidence for the Christian’s belief that they do indeed have a immaterial soul that is capable of living beyond the death of our material body.

    Darwinian Materialism vs Quantum Biology – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHdD2Am1g5Y

    In fact, (besides the evidence from quantum biology), “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional.”

    Post-Darwinist – Denyse O’Leary – Dec. 2010
    Excerpt: They quote West et al. (1999),
    What Darwin Got Wrong – pg 79
    “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.”
    They comment,
    “In the words of these authors, natural selection has exploited variations on this fractal theme to produce the incredible variety of biological form and function’, but there were severe geometric and physical constraints on metabolic processes.”
    “The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection. It’s inconceivable that so many different organisms, spanning different kingdoms and phyla, may have blindly ‘tried’ all sorts of power laws and that only those that have by chance ‘discovered’ the one-quarter power law reproduced and thrived.”
    Quotations from Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79.

    The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology
    Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale
    with body size as power laws of the form:
    Y = Yo M^b,
    where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent.
    A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling.
    http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~dre.....18_257.pdf

    More interesting still, the brain, unlike the rest of the “4-Dimensional” body, scales to 1/6 instead of 1/4 (4-Dimensional) power scaling:

    Scaling of Brain Metabolism and Blood Flow in Relation to Capillary and Neural Scaling – 2011
    Excerpt: Brain is one of the most energy demanding organs in mammals, and its total metabolic rate scales with brain volume raised to a power of around 5/6. This value is significantly higher than the more common exponent 3/4 (4- dimensional Quarter Power Scaling) relating whole body resting metabolism with body mass and several other physiological variables in animals and plants.,,,
    Moreover, cerebral metabolic, hemodynamic, and microvascular variables scale with allometric exponents that are simple multiples of 1/6, rather than 1/4, which suggests that brain metabolism is more similar to the metabolism of aerobic than resting body. Relation of these findings to brain functional imaging studies involving the link between cerebral metabolism and blood flow is also discussed.,,
    General Discussion Excerpt:
    ,,It should be underlined that both CBF and CMR scale with brain volume with the exponent about 1/6 which is significantly different from the exponent 1/4 relating whole body resting specific metabolism with body volume [1], [2], [3]. Instead, the cerebral exponent 1/6 is closer to an exponent,, characterizing maximal body specific metabolic rate and specific cardiac output in strenuous exercise [43], [44]. In this sense, the brain metabolism and its hemodynamics resemble more the metabolism and circulation of exercised muscles than other resting organs, which is in line with the empirical evidence that brain is an energy expensive organ [10], [17], [18]. This may also suggest that there exists a common plan for the design of microcirculatory system in different parts of the mammalian body that uses the same optimization principles [45].,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC3203885/

    Moreover, to further validate the Christian claim that heaven and hell are real and actually exist, we don’t have to rely solely on our scientific evidence from special relativity and general relativity. But we can also reference the many testimonies of people who have died for a short while and come back. These testimonies are termed Near Death Experiences.

    It is very interesting to note that many of the characteristics found in Near Death Experience testimonies are exactly what we would expect to see from what we now know about Special Relativity and General Relativity.

    For instance, many times people who have had a Near Death Experience mention that their perception of time was radically altered:

    Time and the Near-Death Experience
    Excerpt: Our time on earth seems like only a brief instance. Time in the spirit realm does not exist. By getting rid of the illusion of time from our minds, we have the power to expand our consciousness. We will realize that we are already living in timelessness right now.
    https://www.near-death.com/science/research/time.html

    In the following video clip, Mickey Robinson gives his Near Death testimony of what it felt like for him to experience a ‘timeless eternity’.

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video (testimony starts at 27:45 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voak1RM-pXo

    And here are a few more quotes from people who have experienced Near Death, that speak of how their perception of time was radically altered as they were outside of their material body.

    ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’
    – Kimberly Clark Sharp – Near Death Experiencer

    ‘There is no way to tell whether minutes, hours or years go by. Existence is the only reality and it is inseparable from the eternal now.’
    – John Star – NDE Experiencer

    As well, Near Death Experiencers also frequently mention going through a tunnel to a higher heavenly dimension:

    Ask the Experts: What Is a Near-Death Experience (NDE)? – article with video
    Excerpt: “Very often as they’re moving through the tunnel, there’s a very bright mystical light … not like a light we’re used to in our earthly lives. People call this mystical light, brilliant like a million times a million suns…”
    – Jeffrey Long M.D. – has studied NDE’s extensively
    http://abcnews.go.com/Nightlin....._gydvW8jbI

    The Tunnel and the Near-Death Experience
    Excerpt: One of the nine elements that generally occur during NDEs is the tunnel experience. This involves being drawn into darkness through a tunnel, at an extremely high speed, until reaching a realm of radiant golden-white light.
    https://www.near-death.com/science/research/tunnel.html

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    In the following video, Barbara Springer gives her testimony as to what it felt like for her to go through the tunnel:

    “I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.”
    Barbara Springer – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv2jLeoAcMI

    And in the following audio clip, Vicki Noratuk, who has been blind from birth, besides being able to see for the first time during in her life during her Near Death Experience, Vicki also gives testimony of going through a tunnel:

    “I was in a body, and the only way that I can describe it was a body of energy, or of light. And this body had a form. It had a head, it had arms and it had legs. And it was like it was made out of light. And it was everything that was me. All of my memories, my consciousness, everything.”,,, “And then this vehicle formed itself around me. Vehicle is the only thing, or tube, or something, but it was a mode of transportation that’s for sure! And it formed around me. And there was no one in it with me. I was in it alone. But I knew there were other people ahead of me and behind me. What they were doing I don’t know, but there were people ahead of me and people behind me, but I was alone in my particular conveyance. And I could see out of it. And it went at a tremendously, horrifically, rapid rate of speed. But it wasn’t unpleasant. It was beautiful in fact.,, I was reclining in this thing, I wasn’t sitting straight up, but I wasn’t lying down either. I was sitting back. And it was just so fast. I can’t even begin to tell you where it went or whatever it was just fast!” –
    Vicki’s NDE – Blind since birth –
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e65KhcCS5-Y

    And in the following quotes, Mary Neal and John Burke both testify that they firmly believed that they were in a higher dimension that is above this three-dimensional world and that the reason that they have a very difficult time explaining what their Near Death Experiences felt like is because we simply don’t currently have the words to properly describe that higher dimension:

    “Regardless, it is impossible for me to adequately describe what I saw and felt. When I try to recount my experiences now, the description feels very pale. I feel as though I’m trying to describe a three-dimensional experience while living in a two-dimensional world. The appropriate words, descriptions and concepts don’t even exist in our current language. I have subsequently read the accounts of other people’s near-death experiences and their portrayals of heaven and I able to see the same limitations in their descriptions and vocabulary that I see in my own.”
    Mary C. Neal, MD – To Heaven And Back pg. 71

    “Well, when I was taking geometry, they always told me there were only three dimensions, and I always just accepted that. But they were wrong. There are more… And that is why so hard for me to tell you this. I have to describe with words that are three-dimensional. That’s as close as I can get to it, but it’s really not adequate.”
    John Burke – Imagine Heaven pg. 51 – quoting a Near Death Experiencer

    Moreover, besides heavenly experiences, there are also hellish experiences that also corroborate what we would expect to see from what we now know about General Relativity.

    To Hell and Back: The Dark Side of Near Death Experiences – Brent Swancer – May 25, 2016
    Excerpt: Nancy Evans Bush has estimated that one out of every five NDEs involve terrifying traumatic experiences such as black, cold voids, total sensory deprivation, yawning chasms of loneliness, prowling monsters, or indeed visions of an actual Hell, the description of which can vary wildly from person to person. In her book Dancing Past the Dark, Bush explains about these different permutations of Hell
    http://mysteriousuniverse.org/.....periences/

    In the following video clip, former atheist Howard Storm speaks of what eternity felt like for him in the hellish dimension:

    Howard Storm’s Near Death Experience – video – (9:00 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi3e16JY6UM

    And at the 7:00 minute mark of this video, Ron Reagan gives testimony of falling down a ‘tunnel’ towards hell:

    Hell – A Warning! – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HSgH2AHkfkw&list=PLCB5F225ABC1F7330#t=420

    And in this following video, Bill Wiese also speaks of ‘tumbling down’ a tunnel in his transition stage to hell:

    Bill Wiese on Sid Roth – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHTU9oe9s7k

    And in this following video, Paul Ojeda also speaks of ‘falling’ towards hell at a very fast speed:

    Imagine Heaven – What About Hell? – John Burke – video (33:00 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/j7N473pY1hs?t=1986

    Thus, in conclusion, Christians, far from being ‘anti-science’ as atheists often accuse Christians of being, can appeal directly to Quantum Mechanics, Special Relativity, and General Relativity, (as well as eye-witness testimonies from NDEs), to powerfully back up some of their core beliefs in God and eternal life after death.

    Verse:

    Colossians 3:2
    Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, nice vid on complex numbers. And of course, going higher dimensional means going to a vector paradigm. Start with N, go N –> Z –> Q –> R, then use that rotation operator i*, giving i*R orthogonal to R. The set that blends the two is now C. Henceforth all reals carry an imaginary shadow, e.g. 3 = 3 + 0*i. And as we saw two days back this directly ties to the strange world of circular motion where velocity (a vector) is ever perpendicular to the position vector for a given Z. And doing i* again shows that the centre-seeking acceleration that works to trigger change in direction but not magnitude of the velocity points back towards the centre of orbit. KF

  26. 26
    EvilSnack says:

    And here I thought that “the Platonic realm” was an older term for what we now call “the friend zone.”

  27. 27
    john_a_designer says:

    Earlier @ 15 I wrote:

    Nevertheless, I think starting with the fact of one’s own conscious experience of one’s own existence is a logical place to begin ontologically.

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/what-is-the-platonic-realm/#comment-670131

    So what can I be sure of beginning with my experience of my own conscious existence?

    To start off I think there are at least five things:

    First, I am not the cause of my own existence. (That’s logically self-refuting.)

    Second, I am conscious of a spatial-temporal world around me that I did not create.

    Third, I am conscious that there are things that exist independently of me.

    Fourth, I have the logical ability (a mind,) along with the need and desire to try to explain the world around me.

    Fifth, I am conscious of other conscious beings, like other humans and animals.

    (I am not claiming this is an exhaustive list.)

    I would argue that these are properly basic beliefs. I don’t really need to prove any of them. Does anyone really doubt any of the inferences I have made above?

    Yes, I realize that there are skeptics who would challenge some or all of these assumptions but I would counter that skepticism is something that we learn, not something we start out with in life. For example, Daniel Dennett has argued that consciousness is an illusion. Does anyone really believe that? Does Dennett really believe that? I contend that he would not be able to make it through life it he really did. (Besides that it’s logically self-refuting.)

    A couple weeks ago I had a real life every day experience which illustrated to me how deeply we hold these beliefs. I had some dishes piled up in the sink which needed to be washed. So I decided to wash them up that afternoon… However, when I went to grab the bottle of detergent it wasn’t where I usually kept it. No problem I just probably put it in the cupboard under the sink. It wasn’t there either. I then began to look in other locations where I could have absent mindedly have placed it… I spent at least the next fifteen to twenty minutes looking for that missing bottle of dish detergent. It was nowhere. I was mystified. Bottles of dish washing detergent just don’t disappear. But, I decided that I would have to move onto other chores… Fortunately, there is a corner “dollar” store in close walking distance from where I live. I resigned myself to the fact I would have to go out later and purchase another bottle of detergent. Okay, no big deal.

    However, I continued to obsess over the missing bottle. Again, bottles of dish washing detergent just don’t disappear. That’s when I asked myself a logical question: had anything different happened that day? Then it hit me, ‘Yes!’ I had my hot water heater replaced that morning. Where was hot water heater located? In a closet right off my kitchen. Then I remembered they had to remove some shelving to install it. I had several household items on the shelves which the installers had removed and placed on the kitchen counter. I then slapped my palm to my forward, ‘of course.’ I went to closet and there very neatly lined up at the end on the top shelf was the missing bottle of detergent. They had accidently grabbed the bottle when they were replacing the other items. (I appreciate they put everything back so neatly.)

    Does anyone really need to be convinced that physical things just don’t magically disappear?

    PS I do, however, continue to have a problem with disappearing socks. More than once after doing my laundry I have discovered that one of my socks– either the left or the right of a pair– have disappeared. Does anyone else have that problem?

  28. 28
    math guy says:

    I find it interesting that none of the usual defenders of A-mat have deigned to reply to this thread (or its predecessor). Although WJM’s post (at 6 above) is embellished by modern physics, it is really just a 21st century rendition of the Allegory of the Cave.

  29. 29
    hazel says:

    I curious: what posters are you referring to?

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    MG, yes, WJM is giving a C21 version, drawing out his view that the “stuff” of the cosmos is mind. From my view, there is a mind that undergirds reality and gave its laws force. Though, certain things are necessary aspects of any world — tracing to the distinct identity for a world to be. That this world is spatial brings out a host of connected structure and quantity too. Along the way, vectors makes powerful sense of complex numbers, leading to huge, deep connexions of structure and quantity. An inherently abstract and logical discipline that is necessary for science and which traffics in real but abstract, world shaping entities is just plain spooky. Appropriate for Christmas Eve. God bless all at this season. KF

  31. 31

    JAD @27:

    First, I am not the cause of my own existence. (That’s logically self-refuting.)

    That doesn’t mean you were caused to exist, though.

    Second, I am conscious of a spatial-temporal world around me that I did not create.

    Well, I’ll give you that you don’t remember creating it, but I think a more proper phrasing would be: “I’m conscious of what appears to be a spatial temporal world around me that I do not remember creating.

    Third, I am conscious that there are things that exist independently of me.

    Perhaps: “I am conscious that there are things that appear to exist independently of me.

    Fourth, I have the logical ability (a mind,) along with the need and desire to try to explain the world around me.

    “Fourth, I have the logical ability (a mind,) along with the need and desire to try to characterize this experience in a meaningful and useful way.”

    Fifth, I am conscious of other conscious beings, like other humans and animals.

    “Fifth, I am conscious of what appears to be other conscious beings, like other humans and animals.” I don’t think we have direct experience of any other consciousness.

    I would argue that these are properly basic beliefs. I don’t really need to prove any of them. Does anyone really doubt any of the inferences I have made above?

    I would argue that these are very useful beliefs, but “properly basic”? My answer to that would be: absolutely not. I not only doubt them; I wholeheartedly reject them. Also, the beliefs as you stated (1) cannot be proven, whether you need to or not, and (2) cannot even be logically supported.

    JAD @15

    However, we don’t find the same logically conclusive stepping stones in metaphysics that we do in the axioms and postulates of mathematics. I don’t think any metaphysical system can really claim that.

    Hmmm… sounds like a challenge.

    Let me propose a self-evident truth:

    1. All experience occurs in the mind.

    Once one understands what that sentence means, it is self-evidently true. Let’s move on.

    2. The framework of an external world independent of mind is a conceptual model we use to separate one set of mental experiences from others.

    That’s pretty inescapable, given #1.

    3. Assuming there can be a proper theory of mind that accounts for all kinds of mental experience (which includes all possible experiences), the framework of an external world becomes useless and without any value (other than habitual convenience).

    4. On comparables (to employ KF’s very useful model of worldview criticism), the external model is utterly worthless, given 1-3 above and would account for all experience and experiential patterns.

    5. Given 1-4, even if there was actually an external world, it would be a worthless and meaningless consideration.

    6. The only thing we can possibly be researching, examining and investigating are our own mental experiences, even if they are connected to some actual, external world.

    7. Given 6, restricting thought, investigation, research and examination according to the paradigm that it is **about** an external world would [almost] necessarily be an inaccurate process because the external world is necessarily, completely inaccessible to us.

    Given the above, it is (IMO) highly likely that, because of our improper view, we are employing a skewed methodology, limiting theoretical and explanatory potentials, and blanketing the entire system with unsupportable and useless biases.

    I think the platonic/mind-existence metaphysical model is clearly the only logically-supported and logic-based perspective, and is the only model that can seamlessly incorporate the existence and experience of platonic values AND the experience of a physical world AND account for the utter lack of “matter” found in that experience AND account for quantum physics research, the existence of virtually infinite information and potential present in all forms of experience, etc.

  32. 32
    hazel says:

    Earlier JAD wrote,

    However, we don’t find the same logically conclusive stepping stones in metaphysics that we do in the axioms and postulates of mathematics. I don’t think any metaphysical system can really claim that.

    I replied that I agreed with that sentence. And in an earlier thread, someone (maybe me?) said that in such cases the beginning premise was likely to be just as uncertain and problematic as the conclusions that were supposedly reached.

    I think wjm illustrates this when he writes,

    Let me propose a self-evident truth:

    1. All experience occurs in the mind.

    Once one understands what that sentence means, it is self-evidently true. Let’s move on.

    I really don’t see how wjm can establish this as self-evidently true just by saying “once one understands what that sentence means”, and moving on.

    First of all, he references “mind” in the premise, including whatever unstated qualities it has, and then concludes that the “platonic/mind-existence metaphysical model is clearly the only logically-supported and logic-based perspective.”

    But it seems to me that he has “logically supported” his conclusion by assuming a great deal about mind and the world in his beginning premise.

    My interest here is primarily in the logical structure of math, and (although I haven’t discussed this as much) the application of mathematical models to the physical world. But I am interested, in support of JAD’s quote above, in people not misusing the mathematical notion of logical conclusions following from beginning axioms.

    So, to me, not only is wjm’s beginning premise not self-evident, I’m not sure what it even means. By in the mind, does he mean “conscious experience?” If so, does his premise mean “all experience occurs in our conscious experience”? Does this mean “all we are conscious of is what we are conscious of”? That doesn’t seem very meaningful.

    Or is the mind more than consciousness? Until a moment ago I was not thinking about the fact that 7 * 8 = 56, nor a bit later was I remembering Christmas mornings with my grandmother when I was little. Were those things “in my mind” but not in my consciousness before I thought them? How do I know?

    I’m not particularly interested in discussing the philosophy of mind: my main point in posting is that wjm’s premise #1 seems far from self-evident to me, especially since he dismisses supporting it with the phrase “once one understands what that sentence means” without explaining what he means.

    Later he writes,

    3. Assuming there can be a proper theory of mind that accounts for all kinds of mental experience (which includes all possible experiences), the framework of an external world becomes useless and without any value (other than habitual convenience).

    That’s a big assumption: I have no idea what a “proper theory of mind” could be that would make it useless to believe an external world exists. This seems like solipsism to me: one can’t argue against it, but I see no reason to believe it.

  33. 33

    hazel @32:

    If you’re not particularly in discussing the philosophy of the mind, and this thread by it’s nature IS about philosophies concerning the mind (platonic realm), then don’t. Please either get in the pool or get out.

    As far asking for someone to support a self-evident truth, that is not the nature of self-evident truths. You cannot support them. If they require support, they are not self-evident.

    2nd, it is not necessary for a thing to be completely defined or known in order to make qualitative statements about that thing. If that were true, we wouldn’t be able to make qualitative statements about virtually anything.

    One can quibble meaning and semantics endlessly. “It depends on what your definition of “is” is,” to quote a famous term-quibbler.

    If you do not accept that all experience occurs in the mind, fine. Cease contributing to this part of the discussion.

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    hazel,

    I’ll reserve commenting further until you decide if you are in or out of the pool.

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    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, the concept of self-evidence is yet another gap in our education, alongside logic of being (aka ontology). Things are self evident indeed if to one who (on experience of the world and due reflection) correctly understands what is said it is and must be true. This, on pain of patent absurdity on the attempted denial. One can lack the experience and due reflection it takes to recognise that a SET is so, and one may be motivated to evade its force or even to cling to absurdity. That said, that experience is a phenomenon of mind is of the order that it is impossible to be in error that one is conscious. Experience is a major process of conscious existence. However, that does not compel one to the further view that experience and particularly perceptions and propositions cannot accurately relate to a physical, external world or to external persons, etc. KF

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    hazel says:

    wjm, you write, “If you do not accept that all experience occurs in the mind, fine. Cease contributing to this part of the discussion.”

    I think I had some reasonable points to make about your premise in my post, but if the only acceptable comments in this thread are ones that accept your premise, I’ll opt out of the pool.

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    hazel says:

    You opted out, hazel. Don’t post in this thread.

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    kf said:

    However, that does not compel one to the further view that experience and particularly perceptions and propositions cannot accurately relate to a physical, external world or to external persons, etc. KF

    I’ll accept that it is a bare possibility that by blind chance we might be making an accurate correlation to some actual external reality should it exist, but that chance is incalculable and absolutely blind and we would have absolutely no way of verifying it.

    So, I changed #7 to say: Given 6, restricting thought, investigation, research and examination according to the paradigm that it is **about** an external world would [almost] necessarily be an inaccurate process because the external world is necessarily, completely inaccessible to us.

    Can you tell me how (or if) we can verify the accuracy of any observation, test or experiment on anything other than mental experience?

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, Pardon a short summary. I suggest, we are not locked into a form of the Kantian ugly gulch. As F H Bradley long since noted, s/he who imagines that the world of things in themselves is utterly unknowable has already implied a major knowledge claim about that reality beyond the gulch; its alleged un-knowability. Going further, we can freely take any model of our reality that implies a grand delusion as self-stultifying as there are no fire-walls in mindedness. That’s a species of implosive self-referential undermining of the senses, experiences, rational reflections etc that we must use to ponder reality credibly. It is reasonable instead to accept the testimony of our senses [including how often we are surprised or even dumbfounded] and reflections thereupon as well as the community of our fellows that we live in, perceive and are part of an actual physical world rather than a grand simulation of some sort. So, we see yet again an exercise in comparative difficulties and the wisdom in say Thomas Reid’s policy of common sense realism with recognition that when we are warranted to conclude we have an error, we will acknowledge it; rather that resorting to global hyperskepticism about external experienced reality. Which is also exceedingly fine grained and comprehensive beyond the sort of pocket cosmos most plausible on some sort of Boltzmann brain delusional world. Beyond, on ethical theism, it is reasonable to see that our senses are acting in an environment they were created for by One who is Truth himself, and would not systematically reduce us to grand delusion. KF

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    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I think Feser’s lecture is also somehow relevant: https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/feser-and-ross-on-the-immateriality-of-the-mind/ — there is sufficient essential difference between the characteristics of mind and matter to take them both as distinct though interacting categories of reality. The world of the life of the mind and that of the embodied existence are both worth taking seriously. And of course, tonight, we ponder Incarnation.

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    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Locke, too, is instructive:

    [Essay on Human Understanding, Intro, Sec 5:] Men have reason to be well satisfied with what God hath thought fit for them, since he hath given them (as St. Peter says [NB: i.e. 2 Pet 1:2 – 4]) pana pros zoen kaieusebeian, whatsoever is necessary for the conveniences of life and information of virtue; and has put within the reach of their discovery, the comfortable provision for this life, and the way that leads to a better. How short soever their knowledge may come of an universal or perfect comprehension of whatsoever is, it yet secures their great concernments [Prov 1: 1 – 7], that they have light enough to lead them to the knowledge of their Maker, and the sight of their own duties [cf Rom 1 – 2, Ac 17, etc, etc]. Men may find matter sufficient to busy their heads, and employ their hands with variety, delight, and satisfaction, if they will not boldly quarrel with their own constitution, and throw away the blessings their hands are filled with, because they are not big enough to grasp everything . . . It will be no excuse to an idle and untoward servant [Matt 24:42 – 51], who would not attend his business by candle light, to plead that he had not broad sunshine. The Candle that is set up in us [Prov 20:27] shines bright enough for all our purposes . . . If we will disbelieve everything, because we cannot certainly know all things, we shall do muchwhat as wisely as he who would not use his legs, but sit still and perish, because he had no wings to fly.

  42. 42

    KF,

    1st, we both know that is argumentum ad consequentiam, which is a logical fallacy. Just because the consequences are undesirable doesn’t mean my argument is faulty. Also, just because consequences are preferred doesn’t mean an argument for the existence of an external material world is good. You might have a point if the consequences of a platonic existence necessarily undermined the value and validity of rational thought, but that is simply not the case.

    2nd, I haven’t implied any grand delusion. It is a false dichotomy to say there is either an actual physical world external to our senses, or we are having a delusion. We simply could be in error about one of the fundamental assumptions about our existence.

    3rd, you say “there are no firewalls in mindedness” against self-delusion. That couldn’t be any more wrong IMO; the only firewalls that exist against self-delusion are in mindedness – and they’re called proper critical thought. No such firewalls are even proposed to exist in the supposed external physical world and even if they did, the only way we could experience them is in our mind.

    Now, I understand your concerns about self-delusion, but I think they are misplaced. I also think you may be operating under the assumption that I’m talking about an individual’s mind. I am not.

    If platonic forms and values are real and universal, then they occupy a mental landscape within which our consciousness resides and which can access those things by turning our attention to those aspects of mind. Other people would simply be other consciousnesses residing in mind.

    It is inappropriate under the platonic existence paradigm to call the experience of a consistent, consensual physicality an “illusion” or a “simulation”; those terms would only apply from a external world paradigm.

    Please note my #3: “Assuming there can be a proper theory of mind…” A proper theory of mind would categorize various kinds of experience. One of those categories of experience would be “consistent, consensual physicality”. Under this paradigm, “physicality” doesn’t imply matter any more than the experience of physicality in a dream would imply matter was involved. Dreams, of course, would be a different category of experience – inconsistent, non-consensual, semi-physicality, for example. Imagination, for the most part, would be inconsistent, non-consensual, non-physical experience.

    Just from that simple beginning, we can see that it is not true that it would be a case of “external material world” vs “self-referential absurdity”. It would simply be a different and more meaningfully defined categorization process that would include other forms of experience as well.

    Under a proper theory of mind, we will lose nothing but an utterly useless and most likely detrimental paradigm that is a monumental defiance of Occam’s Razor.

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, no. This is comparative difficulties on a start-point of reasoning. Absent a credible mind and senses, we have no basis for responsible rational thought. We clearly and collectively experience a physical world. If those perceptions etc amount to grand delusion, there is no point to trying to reason. And if we collectively have so big a mistake, grand delusion along the lines of Plato’s Cave or the modern take, the matrix, is what we are indeed looking at. There is by contrast no good reason not to start from the stance that takes our common experience seriously instead, which leaves enough credibility on the table to discuss. Where for instance we see that Mathematics is in core part present in any world, and we may use possible worlds frames to discuss. Enjoy the rest of Christmas Day, KF

  44. 44

    KF: From my perspective, I’ve sufficiently addressed those concerns and rebutted your criticisms so far. When and if you provide a new concern or criticism, I’ll respond to that. If you don’t understand something about how I’ve addressed your concerns or rebutted your criticisms, let me know and I’ll be happy to explain further.

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, there is enough that the onlooker can see why we take different views. KF

  46. 46
    mike1962 says:

    kairosfocus: If those perceptions etc amount to grand delusion, there is no point to trying to reason.

    It’s not a delusion in the sense that it doesn’t exist or isn’t regular enough to provide a framework where stable objects and rational brains can exist, whether you think matter is “real”, having an independent existence, or “virtual”, dependent on something that “generates” it at every moment.

    The universe does exist with some kind of nature, it’s only a delusion only insofar as we don’t understand it’s nature. That’s the case regardless of the universe’s nature.

    Was humankind deluded before we discovered that quantum particles have strange “ghostly” and non-local features- features that are impossible to actually imagine in one’s mind, and only approachable using abstract equations by learned mathemeticians and physicists? (And there are still many unanswered questions about its nature.) If that’s true, then the average person is operating under delusion at every second, because the average person has no idea how unlike the subatomic realm is compared to their common sense perceptions and ideas.

    Learning that the universe is a virtual reality would make it no more a delusion than discovering all the unimaginable weirdness about the quantum world makes it a delusion. It would simply be one more step toward understanding the universe’s nature.

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    hazel says:

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    kairosfocus says:

    M62 & Hazel, for Q-mech we have the correspondence principle, i.e. as scale gets big enough the classical picture emerges. As it would have to to have been accepted, the classical picture is extremely reliable at relevant scale. The delusion I spoke to is the perception of a physical world that simply would not be there save as a Matrix-like narrative. The latter is very different. KF

    PS: I see new livery without comment numbers or an edit window. Is that the common experience or is it my browser and its settings?

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    hazel says:

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    hazel says:

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    mike1962 says:

    KF: The delusion I spoke to is the perception of a physical world that simply would not be there save as a Matrix-like narrative.
    Please explain.

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    kairosfocus says:

    M62, please see above from WJM and in my exchange with him. KF

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