Proof of God’s Nonexistence

PSI Blog 20171108 Proof of God’s Nonexistence

Obviously, the existence of evil is proof of god’s nonexistence. Nonetheless, many believers have written books like this one, a “theodicy,” which is an attempt to resolve the unresolvable contradiction between the idea that god is good and that “he” invented evil along with everything else in the universe (all 2 trillion galaxies included). The contradiction is, of course, especially troubling from the Jewish perspective. Six million cruel deaths ought to be enough proof for anyone. Any god that would countenance that would have to be evil incarnate himself. Apparently that is not enough proof for David Birnbaum, lauded author of numerous theological books.

Occasionally, I am asked to review a religious a book (from the atheistic perspective, I presume). I sometimes oblige just to see what the other half is doing. This tome, “God and Evil,” is Summa 1 in Birnbaum’s 3-part “Metaphysica” series.[1] It is sure to give metaphysics a bad name. You see, metaphysics converts unconscious presuppositions into explicit assumptions to be used in further analysis. In an Infinite Universe we have no other choice. I followed Collingwood’s criteria in asserting that fundamental assumptions always have opposites in which one is false if the other is true and neither can be completely proven.[2] That is what I did by formulating “The Ten Assumptions of Science.”[3] A particularly important assumption was the one that dismisses freewill: The Second Assumption of Science, causality (All effects have an infinite number of material causes). Religion is based on freewill—that is what the “Garden of Eden and the Salvation Myths” are all about. The book finally achieves its basic function of giving god a free pass with these deepities from the perspective of “sophisticated theology”:

 “Yet if we postulate a God of Israel wholly directed towards opening the gates to man’s infinite potential by granting him ascending levels of freedom as he ascends intellectually, and if we grant a God of Israel contracting His real-time consciousness to grant man this crucial freedom, then our outlook is clearer. A Deity exercising contraction of real-time consciousness for the greater good, man’s freedom and potential, clearly—not inscrutably— commits no crimes of breach of covenant or complicity of silence. He is guilty only of the crime of increasing man’s freedom—an option exercised by man at Eden” (p. 168)

Of course in the title of this Blog I was being facetious. In an infinite universe, there is no way to provide a complete proof that something does not exist. You can never prove that unicorns do not exist either, but I am not going to waste time trying to find one. I also am not going to make up stories defending the undefendable.

[1] Birnbaum, David, 2012, God and evil : a unified theodicy/theology/philosophy: Manhattan, Harvard Matrix, 256 p.
[2] Collingwood, R.G., 1940, An essay on metaphysics: Oxford, Clarendon Press, 354 p.
[3] Borchardt, Glenn, 2004, The ten assumptions of science: Toward a new scientific worldview: Lincoln, NE, iUniverse, 125 p. [Free download a http://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.13320.21761].


CERN discovers the universe doesn't exist

PSI Blog 20171101 CERN discovers the universe doesn't exist

Egads! The trillion-dollar regression marches on…

  • By Ryan Whitwam on October 25, 2017

Unless you are looking for a few good laughs, you might want to skip this latest outrage. Here are some quotes that will give you the gist of what the geniuses at CERN have come up with:

“One of the big questions in science is not just “why are we here?’ It’s, “why is anything here?” Scientists at CERN have been looking into this one over the last several years, and there’s still no good answer. In fact, the latest experiment from physicists working at the Swiss facility supports the idea that the universe doesn’t exist. It certainly seems to exist, though. So, what are we missing?”

“In particle physics, the Standard Model…has been supported by experimentation, but it predicts that the big bang that created the universe would have resulted in equal amounts of matter (us and everything around us) and antimatter (rare). If they were equal, why didn’t the early universe cancel itself out, leaving just a sea of energy?”

These guys don’t seem to know what matter is and have forgotten all about the Fifth Assumption of Science, conservation (Matter and the motion of matter can be neither created nor destroyed). So matter and anti-matter supposedly turn into energy, which is once again construed as matterless motion. Krauss and Captain Bligh would be proud!


Messing up the universe

PSI Blog 20171025 Messing up the universe

Professor Borchardt:

I am a layman who is interested in trying to understand the workings of the universe. I recently ordered your book the, Scientific World View, and the book that you co-authored with Stephen Puetz, Universal Cycle Theory.  I’m very much looking forward to reading them.  I have a question for you born of concern.

I have a fear of man developing a technology that will allow him to rapidly travel through the galaxy.  People are destructive and they are making this planet uninhabitable for themselves and most other animal and plant life.  If man masters space travel as he has mastered travel here on earth, he’ll rapaciously exploit all resources he finds on other planets and destroy whatever gets in his way as he has done here on earth.  So, my question is, given your view of science, is there a chance that this author has worked out a way to make my nightmares a reality?  Could what’s laid out in this presentation be made reality in the next several decades?


My answer:

Thanks for your interest in our books. Please read Ch. 13 in TSW to put your mind at ease. BTW: For every bit of destruction, we include a bit of construction. As I look about me in CA, all I see is the beauty of L. Tahoe and of SF Bay. Disaster books have always sold well (have written some myself), so that is what you are supposed to read. As Wadi wrote: "We are not living in the most dangerous time in human history, we're living in the most fear-mongering time in human history” (p. 43 of http://thescientificworldview.blogspot.com/2017/05/instill-and-enforce-loyalty.html). In other words: Be frightened, very frightened and then pay me money.

As for the outer space scenario, we have already done some destruction (space garbage) and construction (GPS for all). Nothing new about that. As always, we have to clean up the bad and sponsor the good.


The Eclipse and Einsteinism

PSI Blog 20170823 The Eclipse and Einsteinism

The recent eclipse amounted to a big boost to gee-whiz science. Pros and amateurs vied for the opportunity to “prove Einstein right again.” My short definition of an Einsteinism is: “correct prediction; wrong reason.” Here is my entry in the Glossary of my forthcoming book “Infinite Universe Theory ”:

EINSTEINISM. “A statement or prediction that is true, but for the wrong reason.”[1] Other, less preferred definitions are: 1) “a joke that becomes much less funny if it requires an explanation.”[2] 2) “the fallacious and unscientific physical theory that consists of Einstein's writings in the field of the relativity theory and subsequent theoretical works that endorse it.”[3] 3) “the perturbation of language or perception in order to put a positive spin on some aspect of Einstein’s life. It may include distortion, omission, falsification, or corruption of the historic record in order to promote Einstein.”[4]

Measurements of light bending during an eclipse are great fun. Light, of course, is always bent when it encounters an atmosphere, just as it is when it enters water. That effect is known as refraction. Einstein predicted that his imaginary light particle would be affected by gravity and that the perfectly empty space it traveled through nevertheless was capable of being bent. None of this could possibly happen because Einstein’s imaginary photon supposedly was massless and empty space has no properties at all.

The folks attempting to “prove Einstein right” will have gotten some highly erratic measurements once again. That is because the Sun’s corona is highly variable:

Figure 37 This plate from the Eddington paper is a half-tone reproduction from one of the negatives taken with a 4”-lens at Sobral, Brazil. The corona prevented any observation of light bending in the plasma rim at the surface of the Sun (from Dyson, Eddington, and Davidson, 1920).[5]

Dowdy gives the correct interpretation:

Figure 36 Light waves from distant stars bend only in the plasma rim of the Sun due to refraction. They are unaffected by gravitation, contrary to the predictions of relativity (from Dowdye, 2010).[6]

[4] Moody, Richard, Jr., 2009, The eclipse data from 1919: The greatest hoax in 20th century science, 16th Natural Philosophy Alliance Conference, Storrs, CT, United States, p. 1-26 [http://tinyurl.com/h6ngd5b], p. 14.
[5] Dyson, F. W., Eddington, A. S., and Davidson, C., 1920, A Determination of the Deflection of Light by the Sun's Gravitational Field, from Observations Made at the Total Eclipse of May 29, 1919: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, v. 220, no. 571-581, p. 291-333 [http://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.1920.0009], Plate 1.
[6] Dowdye, Edward Henry, Jr., 2010, Findings Convincingly Show No Direct Interaction between Gravitation and Electromagnetism in Empty Vacuum Space, in Volk, G, Proceedings of the Natural Philosophy Alliance, 17th Conference of the NPA, 23-26 June, 2010: Long Beach, CA, Natural Philosophy Alliance, Mt. Airy, MD, v. 7, p. 131-136 [


A gene for religiosity?

PSI Blog 20170809 A gene for religiosity?

I am always interested in finding out why indeterminists use the assumptions they do. So I just reviewed a book, “The God Model,” by Phillip Shirvington, that surveys all the prominent religions and comes up with the idea that natural selection may have favored a part of the brain that causes folks to be religious.

He writes:

“So, to summarize, it is proposed that the common thread running through all religions is the existence of a faculty enabling access to what is believed to be a God in the mind of the individual, derived from code in the human genome, emplaced there 15,000-200,000 years ago, during which our ancestors evolved after having acquired human form. This faculty in the mind is the basis of religious experiences by believers, which in turn underpin institutional religion of all kinds…”

Readers should know that I believe that religion evolved in response to the need to instill and enforce loyalty in defense of a particular social organization. The destruction of the unfittest eliminates disloyal elements, protecting the organization from disbandment. In science, we do the same thing, rejecting publications and individuals that contradict the established paradigm.

Most of the text would be useful in a course on comparative religion, outlining the assumptions used by organized religious sects. For instance, some believe that the universe is material per the First Assumption of Science, materialism (The external world exists after the observer does not), some believe that it is an illusion (immaterialism), and some believe in a mixture of both. And, of course, as I have maintained elsewhere, nearly all religions oppose the Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion).

Now for the strange part. A gene for religion? The evolutionist, Dawkins, came up with the term “meme” for ideas that evolve, being passed from generation to generation, sort of like that old “telephone” game in which a statement passed from person-to-person gets messed up in the process. Thank heaven that he never gave a genetic cause for any of those memes—they were all cultural. On the other hand, Shirvington might have something there. Again, he writes: “evidence in this book suggests religiosity is a least partly genetically determined.” He points out that primates without the prefrontal brain capability that humans have do not display religious behavior. He doesn’t exactly say there might be a gene for religion or that there is a special spot in the brain for religiosity.

Instead, I tend to believe Sapolsky’s interpretation that religion is a mental illness. Schizophrenia, for instance, is known to be inherited. It seems in this disease, one half of the brain can talk to the other half as if they were two people. Thus, reports by folks who have “talked to god” have a certain reality to them. Others, who have been properly indoctrinated in religious matters also might display their mental illness as religious behavior. He does have a great explanation of where the idea of heaven came from: We have a tendency to visit our deceased relatives and friends in our dreams. Heaven is therefore just an extension of those dreams. Shirvington puts a lot of stock in ordinary folks who report dramatic religious experiences. Of course, the elation felt when one is “born again” is little different than the dithyrambosis or eureka moments felt by scientists, adventurers, and gold seekers. Also of course, those not exposed to any religious dogma are unlikely to exhibit religious behavior no matter what their genetics—an obvious falsification of Shirvington’s theory.



Universe Alternatives

PSI Blog 20170802 Universe Alternatives[1]

Occasionally, I try to review reformist attempts to ameliorate the current deplorable state of physics and cosmology. The title of this book caught my eye when it was sent to me gratis. The book was published by the author 20 years ago and not much has changed since in the reformist community. Billy Farmer, a medical doctor, sent over 750 free copies of this book to physicists and cosmologists, with no effect whatsoever. Billy passed away in 2003.

Sorry to disappoint, but Billy’s attempt does not propose more than one alternative to the Big Bang Theory. What it really means to say is that there are alternative interpretations of some of the data used to support the Big Bang Theory. Like many of us, Farmer believed that the universe had no beginning, although, like other reformists, he is equivocal: “the expanding universe concept [will be] replaced by an overall static model that will most probably be envisioned as being unlimited in both size and age” (p. i). Now, the universe is either infinite or finite; one is either pregnant or not pregnant—choose one.  The universe is either eternal or it is not. This is the first sign that Farmer’s “alternatives” are not likely to be much more than reforms.

Nonetheless, he spares us the oxymoronic “multiverse” nonsense, and does have a few good ideas. In particular, is his “denial of ‘empty space,’ which implies that some phase of a single universal entity should occupy the entire universe volume” (p. 106). Unfortunately, he uses the annoying “single universal entity,” to avoid the stigma attached to the proper designation: aether. His timid justification is that the “ether” of the Michelson-Morley Experiment[2] was incorrectly assumed to be fixed. In fact, the MMX result was lower than expected only because aether was entrained around Earth just like our atmosphere.[3] I agree that nothing in the universe is fixed per the Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion).[4] In other words, the fixed “ether” was falsified, but the “aether” consisting of particles in motion was not.

My greatest disappointment with this book was Farmer’s adoption of “universal entity cohesion” as the driving force responsible for things coming together. It is as if he never heard of Newton's Second Law of Motion and its observation that force describes a push, not a pull. Like Newton and others who promulgated the attraction hypothesis, Farmer presents no physical mechanism by which an actual pull could be performed. That is because there is none.

His theory has another fundamental flaw in that it picks on the galaxy as the fundamental microcosm most likely to be recycled endlessly. I have to admit that I once entertained the same idea. Actually, all microcosms tend to be recycled as long as the univironmental conditions for doing so are present. They follow the Sixth Assumption of Science, complementarity (All things are subject to divergence and convergence from other things). None of the “recycled” microcosms are exactly the same as the original, but similar microcosms are produced until the univironment inevitably changes. This also means that the “age of the eternal universe” can never be determined. Each portion of the infinite universe will have a different age, with each portion coming into being via convergence and going out of being via divergence.

All in all, Billy’s reform was admirable, but like other reform attempts it was close, but no cigar.

[1] Farmer, B.L., 1997, Universe alternatives: Emerging concepts of size, age, structure and behavior (2nd ed.): El Paso, TX, Billy L. Farmer, 129 p.
[2] Michelson, A.A., and Morley, E.W., 1887, On the relative motion of the earth and the luminiferous ether: American Journal of Science, v. 39, p. 333-345 [http://galileoandeinstein.physics.virginia.edu/lectures/michelson.html; http://www.anti-relativity.com/MM_Paper.pdf]. [Often referred to as “MMX.”]
[3] Borchardt, Glenn, 2007, The Scientific Worldview: Beyond Newton and Einstein: Lincoln, NE, iUniverse, p. 202. [http://www.scientificphilosophy.com/].
[4] Borchardt, Glenn, 2004, The ten assumptions of science: Toward a new scientific worldview: Lincoln, NE, iUniverse, 125 p. [Free download at http://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.13320.21761].


Playing the Big Bang Theory game

PSI Blog 20170727 Playing the Big Bang Theory game

All games have rules. If you don’t play by the rules, you might get sent home forthwith. The more I study it, the more I get the feeling that the Big Bang Theory is just a game. No real scientist could be serious about such a fabrication. Nonetheless, here we are, enduring the last days of the last cosmogony.

Those playing the game seem to know the rules well (e.g., the universe had an origin; Einstein is always right; mathematics determines what is possible, etc.). The winners maybe don’t get $200 million dollar contracts, but there are awards and prestigious academic positions aplenty. Folks standing on the ground outside the paradigm, like myself, just don’t get it. The logic escapes us.

Now, in preparing his forthcoming book “Notfinity Process,” PSI member George Coyne already has come up with 61 problems with the Big Bang Theory. Generally, it only takes a few such falsifications to disprove a theory, but like relativity itself, this is a tough nut to crack because of its association with religion. At the moment, the Big Bang Theory seems as everlasting as the universe. I am sure that George will come up with ever more problems before the theory meets its eventual demise. I hope he keeps his list up-to-date on a special webpage. It should be a great resource for future historians of science.

Typical of one of the problems that go to the heart of the matter is the one about the “universe from nothing,” which we already lambasted in a Blog by PSI member Rick Dutkiewicz.[1] Like Krauss’s “Universe from Nothing,”[2] there have been numerous defenses of the Big Bang Theory. One of the most famous was the ad hoc proposed by Alan Guth, an MIT professor, who wrote “The Inflationary Universe” back in 1984.[3] The math had not been working out well, so Guth simply jiggered it enough to keep the theory going.

Guth is famous for saying "The universe could have evolved from absolutely nothing in a manner consistent with all known conservation laws."[4] Like the rest of us of a practical nature, George wonders about “the mathematical or cosmological difference between ‘nothing’ and ‘absolute nothing.’ If there is a difference then it must be possible to compare various amounts of "nothing" from a small amount to a very large amount.”

Of course, all that Guth stuff is nonsense, but George persists in asking “What conservation law is Guth referring to that supports his claim?”  

According to George’s excavation, Guth assumes that “gravitational energy is negative, and because it is in balance with the positive energy of matter, he concludes it is possible that the Universe evolved from ‘absolutely nothing’ without violating any known conservation laws.”

As George says, “To argue that the BBT agrees with all conservation laws depends on accepting that energy exists as a positive substance in matter and a “negative” one in the form of gravitation. However, even if one were to accept that premise, it still does not account for how matter emerges from nothing.”

This is an excellent example of how regressive physics has gone wrong. Energy is not a substance, it is a calculation. Even NASA promotes the idea that the universe consists of energy as well as matter. But according to progressive physics, the universe only consists of matter in motion. There is no energy “substance,” so repeating that old shibboleth will not help the universe to pop out of nothing. We are stuck with the Fifth Assumption of Science, conservation (Matter and the motion of matter can be neither created nor destroyed). Physicists should pay more attention to thermodynamics and give up trying to objectify energy. Looks like the whole theory is a game about nothing.

[1] Dutkiewicz, Rick, 2012, Dutkiewicz Blasts Krauss Interview on “A Universe From Nothing”: The Scientific Worldview: Blog 20120620: Berkeley, CA, Progressive Science Institute [http://thescientificworldview.blogspot.com/2012/06/dutkiewicz-blasts-krauss-interview-on.html].
[2] Krauss, Lawrence M., 2012, A universe from nothing: Why there is something rather than nothing: New York, Free Press, 224 p.
[3] Guth, Alan H., 1998, The inflationary universe: The quest for a new theory of cosmic origins, Basic Books, 384 p. [https://rebrand.ly/robot9b7e].
[4] Ibid, p. 12.


Quantum Mechanics Crashes into Infinity

PSI Blog 20170719 Quantum Mechanics Crashes into Infinity

Another good one from George Coyne:

“Here is an article by Steven Weinberg from Jan 19, 2016

Chapter 1 The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics

Here is an excerpt:

"The trouble is that in quantum mechanics the way that wave functions change with time is governed by an equation, the Schrödinger equation, that does not involve probabilities. It is just as deterministic as Newton’s equations of motion and gravitation. That is, given the wave function at any moment, the Schrödinger equation will tell you precisely what the wave function will be at any future time. There is not even the possibility of chaos, the extreme sensitivity to initial conditions that is possible in Newtonian mechanics. So if we regard the whole process of measurement as being governed by the equations of quantum mechanics, and these equations are perfectly deterministic, how do probabilities get into quantum mechanics?"

[GB: Thanks George for the nice illustration of the regressive quandary that mathematicians get into when infinity raises its ever-present head. Remember that neomechanics is simply the addition of our assumption of infinity (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions) to classical mechanics. This is consupponible with our revised assumptions of causality (All effects have an infinite number of material causes) and uncertainty (It is impossible to know everything about anything, but it is possible to know more about anything).

The upshot is that any measurement anyone could make always has a plus or minus. Only an infinitely long equation could make perfect predictions, which, of course, will never happen. As quantum mechanists have found out, the infinite subdividability of the universe pertains to even the smallest of microcosms. The Infinite Universe always provides yet another collision from yet another microcosm that contributes to the variability that we are forced to present as the margin of error. Infinite subdividability makes it impossible to have “equations [that] are perfectly deterministic.” In the Infinite Universe, there always are still smaller microcosms whose motions we cannot determine precisely. That is how “probabilities get into quantum mechanics.”]



Worldview hysteria and conversion disorder

PSI Blog 20170712 Worldview hysteria and conversion disorder

Figure 1 Brasoveanu’s view of modern physics.[4]

Jesse writes:

“I am now fully on board with your view that there is no point in debating the regressives. I had the misfortune of discussing with a few pHd physicists on Quora and they started ad hominem's immediately. They got quite hysterical.

I pondered that awhile. I believe it has to do with what I am now calling "Foundational Wordview" (FW) that I loosely define as: "Any assumptions that are made by individuals that highly influence how they view and interpret phenomena in the world."

These FW's can be in any field and pop up in very unlikely places. Many religious people hold them (many don't). Many climate change people hold them. Many physicists hold them. Many politically active people hold them.

I have found that if you test the FW's of most people, it initiates a "Fight or Flight" response that is dramatic. It is basically hopeless to engage in conversations with these people because they either run away or fight you. There is no listening involved. It's an interesting field of study in it's own right. How are these formed? Are there any people without them (I keep trying to think if I hold any)? Has anyone figured out how to shatter them?”

[GB: Thanks for the comment Jesse. As you imply and Wikipedia confirms, the use of an ad hominem is a sure way of losing a debate: "Argumentum ad hominem is now usually understood as a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.”[1] Being on the eventual winning side of the arguments you mention, we do not need to resort to name calling. Most dissident physicists have come across hysterical behavior involving those topics.

Ironically, hysteria is now called “conversion disorder,” in which “The sensory and motor manifestations of conversion disorder take many forms and are designated conversion reactions because the underlying anxiety is assumed to have been “converted” into physical symptoms.”[2] Maybe we should redefine “conversion disorder” to indicate the response we get when especially emotional types are confronted with Infinite Universe Theory. So far no physical effects have been reported by those who have read any stuff from the Progressive Science Institute (other than dithyrambosis, which, as you found out, can lead to lack of sleep and spousal boredom due to equations and lengthy words).

I agree that more work needs to done on what you call Foundational Worldviews. I touched on this in previous books, such as “The Ten Assumptions of Science,” in which I traced it to the philosophical struggle between determinism and indeterminism. How one gets to either view depends on the univironment, which, in this case, amounts to the person and the environment. My ever-popular Blog on scientific curiosity gives us a hint.[3] The gist is that, in science we determine the truth by interacting with the external world via observation and experiment. Children who have had their hands slapped enough times tend to stifle their curiosity. Religions are notorious for discouraging curiosity, which might lead to philosophical confusion and eventual unbelief. Cloisters keep us from venturing too far afield in search of beliefs without contradictions.

About Foundational Worldviews you ask: “Are there any people without them (I keep trying to think if I hold any)?” Of course, everyone has them, except that they tend to become increasingly deterministic with increasing contact with the infinite variety of the external world. You can begin to find out what yours are by studying "The Ten Assumptions of Science."

You ask: “Has anyone figured out how to shatter them?” Well, that is exactly what we do at PSI. There is no way to replace a powerful paradigm without replacing the foundational assumptions of that paradigm first. That will not be easy. The bigger the fish, the harder they fall. The connection between cosmogony and religion appears almost everlasting. The “shattering” you write about is serious philosophical and economic business. Nonetheless, it is proceeding apace with every step out of the indeterministic box. Cosmogonists are now talking about oxymoronic multiverses and parallel universes. The Internet spreads deterministic information with light speed. Once having learned something about the Infinite Universe, it is hard to unlearn it. Ultimately, however, it all comes down to this: horse, water, drink. You cannot teach someone who does not want to be taught. With regard to the traditional indeterministic beliefs that underlie cosmogony we only need to ask: How is that working out for you?]

[4] Not all mainstream physicists are happy with modern physics and cosmogony. In addition to presenting this amusing cartoon at a conference, Dan has written a reformist book proposing a unification of SRT and QMT: Brasoveanu, Dan, 2008, Modern Mythology and Science, iUniverse, 94 p.


Boundaries and existence in the Infinite Universe

PSI Blog 20170705 Boundaries and existence in the Infinite Universe

In response to George Coyne, who wrote: 'In order for anything to exist it has to have boundaries,' henk wrote:

“Does a cloud have a boundary and if yes, how to describe that? I can see a boundary from the ground but not flying in the clouds.”

[GB: Boundaries exist because of what we describe in the Ninth Assumption of Science, relativism (All things have characteristics that make them similar to all other things as well as characteristics that make them dissimilar to all other things). Microcosmic boundaries consist of submicrocosms, each of which contains subsubmicrocosms ad infinitum. The macrocosm that surrounds each microcosm also consists of “submicrocosms, each of which contains subsubmicrocosms ad infinitum.” As you point out in your cloud example, boundaries are not absolute even though indeterminists often like to think that they are. A cloud, of course, has a boundary whether you are able to see it or not. There is a gradual to somewhat gradual transition between the cloud (a microcosm) and its environment (its macrocosm).

You asked how to describe boundaries. I will give examples from earth science. Geologists confront the vagueness in boundaries anytime they deal with nature directly. However, engineers, working at their drawings in the office, sometimes consider boundaries to be absolute. This can be a problem in the assessment of earthquake fault hazard. I once saw a fault map drawn by an engineer. It was a series of straight lines instead of having the curves, en echelon segments, slight changes in strike, and other vagaries that nature provides.

Another example:

The evolution of soils results in layers useful for determining their ages. However, soil layers are notorious for sometimes having vague boundaries that torment beginning students. This is how we describe boundary thickness in soil science: 


 henk: So, if the universe exists as a thing it must have boundaries? Why?

[GB: Of course, your very astute question involves the two opposing fundamental assumptions one can make about the universe: 1) that it is finite or 2) that it is infinite.

If the universe was finite, then like all things, it would have xyz dimensions and would have a beginning and an ending, as assumed in the Big Bang Theory.

If the universe was infinite, it would have different rules:

1.    It would have no dimensions.
2.    It would have no boundaries.
3.    It would have neither beginning nor end.

A finite object has a necessary boundary because it is a microcosm, an xyz portion of the Infinite Universe surrounded by its macrocosm (the rest of the universe). The boundary is formed by the interactions between the submicrocosms within and without as in your cloud example. A clearer example would be a helium balloon, which has a more definite boundary. It holds its shape as long as the pressure inside is similar to the pressure outside.

A microcosmic boundary is determined by deterrence—collisions with supermicrocosms in the macrocosm. It is what happens when Newton’s First Law of Motion operates in the Infinite Universe. All microcosms traveling under their own inertia eventually collide with one or more microcosms—such is the boundary. As an aside, we often speak of “determinism,” which speaks of the things that lead to deterrence, not necessarily of whether we can actually “determine” anything. In other words, henk, we have boundaries because the universe is infinite. In the Infinite Universe there is no place that a microcosm could go without running into another microcosm, which temporarily slows its further motion, constituting a boundary. The Infinite Universe “itself” has no such boundaries because it is endless, continuing on forever. The perfectly empty space of the idealist cannot exist and thus nonexistence is impossible.]


Regressive physics does not know what energy is

PSI Blog 20170628 Regressive physics does not know what energy is

Thanks be to George who gave us the heads-up on the usual difficulty that regressive physicists have with defining energy:

“GC: Hi Glenn

This is from The Physics Hyper Textbook http://physics.info/motion/:

The term energy refers [to] an abstract physical quantity that is not easily perceived by humans. It can exist in many forms simultaneously and only acquires meaning through calculation. A system possesses energy if it has the ability to do work. The energy of motion is called kinetic energy.’

Based on this definition, energy is abstract matter, which means it is an idea of an abstraction for all things (i.e. matter.) That suggests that the word "energy" refers to a thought, which can be quantified. That makes no sense.”

[GB: George, I love these regressive faux pas that you keep digging up! I really get a kick out of this guy’s definition of energy as “an abstract physical quantity that is not easily perceived by humans.” You bet. That is because energy does not exist despite his confused belief that ‘It can exist in many forms’. He gets a bit closer when he mentions calculation, because that is all that energy is, a calculation. It is neither matter nor motion, but a way of understanding those mechanical phenomena through calculation.]

GC: “Do you know how it is possible that so many people can be so idealistic that they easily accept that motion can occur without matter?”

[GB: George, remember that such idealism is a necessary part of indeterministic philosophy. Without it, the idea of a “soul” would be intellectually impossible, as I discussed in this Blog:

I must admit that when I was religious I did not think twice about how one could “go to heaven” after dying. I never thought about how this physically could happen. It didn’t seem to involve the material body lying there in the casket. I think we all just thought that the “spirit” (i.e., motion) that folks displayed was simply what made the heavenly trip. After all, that was the great expectation we shared with family and friends. How wonderful that would be! We could visit our departed relatives and live with them for an eternity! It is all that anyone ever talked about when someone died. As believers, we wanted to believe.

We tended not to believe the Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion). After all, even if you had physics, the evil mechanistic view (that the universe consists only of matter in motion) had been abandoned by Einstein and followers. It was said that mass could turn into pure energy, which like the imagined soul, could miraculously leave the atom, travelling through perfectly empty space as matterless motion.

All this shows why relativity and its regressive ideas got so popular and why Einstein is always purported to be right. Both relativity and religion are founded on the same indeterministic assumptions. Even though the most accomplished scientists are atheists, they live in religious countries and most probably were once believers. Those assumptions we were born with and are surrounded by don’t just disappear. They hang around as unconscious presuppositions.[1] Working physicists and cosmogonists don’t have time to bring those presuppositions into the light of day. They remain as the foundation of cosmogony, which will not be rejected until they are abandoned. As Kuhn maintained, paradigms do not change until the underlying assumptions change.[2]

So George, that “abstract physical quantity that is not easily perceived by humans” is akin to the soul we were all taught to believe in. We cannot escape from the myth that the universe exploded out of nothing without finally realizing that energy is nothing but a calculation.]

[1] Collingwood, R.G., 1940, An essay on metaphysics: Oxford, Clarendon Press, 354 p.
[2] Kuhn, Thomas S., 1962 [2012], The structure of scientific revolutions (With an Introductory Essay by Ian Hacking) (50th Anniversary ed.): Chicago; London, The University of Chicago Press, 264 p.