Questions From a Reader of “The Ten Assumptions of Science”
From Bill Howell with my comments in brackets:
Hello Dr. Borchardt.
Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. My copy of TSW finally arrived and I’m looking forward to getting into it. While waiting for it to arrive, I reviewed your Web site and blog and now have a number of comments and some questions to bother you with before digging into TSW. Hopefully, they are interesting, or at least entertaining. If you have the time and the inclination to respond to any of this, I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts.
But first, I was amazed at the number of concepts and beliefs that you express in the blogs which parallel my own thoughts that have developed thru my own independent search for truth and understanding. Rather than presume it’s because great minds think alike :-), I suppose it is probably because “all roads of inquiry lead to the truth” (cuz even the dead-ends tell us something). Some examples of what I mean are reflected in some ‘sayings’ I’ve come up with (which I turned into bumper stickers and put on my RV). Such as: “Evolution (both physical and biological) is the manifestation of infinite variety in dynamic equilibrium”, “Nature’s symbol for evolution is the spiral”, “If it ain’t working, question your assumptions”, “You don’t perceive what you can’t conceive”, and “The earth, the universe, life, and reality is a fractal”. I don’t know if you buy into the last one but it seems to me that your Assumptions Nos. 3, 8, and 9 each describe a property of fractals. Fractals also illustrate how mathematics only represents idealizations of the natural world, which relates to a comment you made in one blog and the IUT essay that science should drive mathematics and not the other way around.
[In TTAOS we recognize the fractal nature of the universe with the assumption of INFINITY. Newton and Leibniz did so with the calculus. In TSW the neomechanics chapter proposes a slightly more dressy reduction and the univironmental determinism chapter presents the complete expansion. Look for more on this in a book now in preparation.]
Anyway, I really enjoyed reading the various essays you’ve posted. I thought the Unified Cycle Theory- Integration Toward a Cause essay was simply breathtaking in it’s scope and synthesis.
[Thanks, and I agree that Steve Puetz is an amazing and most generous coauthor. It is mostly his work. He will appreciate your comment immensely.]
Re: the Resolution of the SLT-Order Paradox essay, it struck me that the negentropy concept of Schrodinger, the Morphic concept described by Whyte, and the Makridakis concept that the opposite of the SLT is as natural as the SLT itself; supports the existence of a universal process or ‘force’ that permeates the universe (like gravity). It seems to me is already a word for this process/force. It’s called ‘evolution’.
[You are right, although I would lose the “force” bit, simply using motion instead. Another word for “evolution” is “motion.” Actually, the Second Law of Thermodynamics (SLT) is simply a restatement of Newton’s First Law of Motion (A body in motion stays in motion unless it collides with some other body). Of course, in an infinite universe, this always happens. So it is no different with the submicrocosms within any microcosm. They are always in motion and only respect the microcosmic boundaries partially and for only a little while before they are off to meet some other microcosm elsewhere in the universe. In the infinite universe, the birth/death (convergence/divergence) cycle is eternal.]
I particularly enjoyed reading the The Physical Meaning of E=MC2 essay and was intrigued by your statement: `Although somewhat fanciful, the model illustrates the general principle that under the right conditions what we commonly think of as matter can appear as the motion of matter’. The illustration you give re: vortices supports a thought I’ve had which might be a corollary to your 4th Assumption (Inseparability). The idea is that not only can there be no matter without motion, but that matter IS motion (at least subatomic, and maybe macro too).
[Whoops. That was one of the deadly sins promulgated by the opposed indeterministic assumption of separability. That is why I was careful to use the words "can appear as" rather than the word "is." Remember, that motion is what matter does. Matter exists; motion occurs. Matter is part of the universe; motion is not “part” of the universe. With infinitely differentiated and integrated matter, size makes no difference. Reread my blog on Einstein’s most important mistake: the objectification of motion. I do not blame you for the mistake, as that error is one of the qualifications for becoming a modern physicist. Einstein did it up big, considering time (which is motion) to be dilatable. This made time a confusing object, a thing having a dimension (which only matter can have). That is how he got 4-D space-time, which became the bulwark of the BBT. Without that, it would be obvious that our location in the center of the observable universe looking at galaxies at 13.7 billion light years in all directions was simply a matter of perception in a nonexpanding infinite universe. If the universe were really expanding as a result of the BBT in 3-D, we would be off to one side at least.]
Support for this idea is that atoms are observed in experiments to be mostly composed of space i.e. it’s the ‘electrochemical’ bonds that gives molecules substance. My thought is that atoms are standing waves and the different shapes of electron orbitals reflect the harmonics of standing wave vibrations. Cymatics give many fascinating examples of the complexity that standing waves can produce. Given the existence of aether, moving matter produces vibrations and vibrations produce waves in all media regardless of the scale of magnitude (i.e. infinite). In trying to research the physics of standing waves awhile back, I came across a web site by physicist Gabriel LaFreniere (http://www.glafreniere.com/matter.htm). Like yourself, LaFreniere thinks Einstein got it wrong. Mr. LaFreniere posits that matter is made of waves, the material Universe is solely made out of aether, and the characteristics of matter reflect standing wave interactions that are in motion. I think you will find his Web site interesting. Hope you’ll check it out sometime (and hope you’ll let me know what you think of it).
In your Infinite Universe Theory essay you mention the idea that gravity is a pushing force rather than a pulling force. It reminded me of another thought I’ve had which could explain why this is true. A magnet moved within an electric field will generate a current in a loop wire, and if the magnet stops moving then the current stops flowing also. While the direction of movement of the magnet affects the direction of the current, the important aspect is that it is the movement which generates the field. I imagine this as an expanding field that radiates out from the source of the magnetic movement. Conversely, I wonder if gravity is also a field that is generated by movement but, instead of radiating out as EM does, the movement of mass (in a plasma or aether field) causes gravity to radiate in toward the source of the moving mass. If true, then it would be a pushing force instead of a pulling force. Do you think there’s might be any validity to this idea?
[Possibly, since there are no real pulls in nature. More on this in a future book…]
I also looked into some of the references you mentioned re: the positive experimental results for the existence of aether. In the process, I stumbled across a site that describes a theory called the Dynamic Steady State Universe (DSSU) (http://www.cellularuniverse.org/). DSSU has 3 main principles: The Universe is not expanding (except ‘locally’), the universe is infinite (in both time and extent), and the universe had no genesis (but is dynamic). DSSU also proposes that the universe has a cellular structure (the cells being some 300,000 light-years in diameter (http://www.cellularuniverse.org/AA1Aether&Cosmology.htm). The DSSU Web page at http://www.cellularuniverse.org/CrisisOf1998.htm describes the basis for the accelerating-universe modification to the inflationary-universe modification of the BB theory. It contains a neat statement- ‘A theory has only the alternatives of being right or wrong. A model has the third possibility: it may be right, but irrelevant’. -Manfred Eigen (1973, as in Edward Harrison, Cosmology, The Science of the Universe p308). It also includes a great example- ‘The most successful universe model of all time, using the criteria of longevity, was the Ptolemaic model. It served as the establishment cosmology for over 1400 years prior to the Copernican revolution. It was meticulously constructed on the premise that the Earth is the center of the universe. The model had no logical flaws. As a theory it was wrong. As a model it became irrelevant. The same is true of the BB theory and the BB model’. By the way, another DSSU Web page (http://www.cellularuniverse.org/G2GravityLambda_010001pep1.pdf) posits that gravity both pushes and pulls a galaxy together. Anyway, it’s an interesting site (and consistent with some of your Assumptions). If you’ve not heard of DSSU, check it out sometime. I’d enjoy hearing your take on it.
[Thanks for the great anti-BBT link. This just shows that there are many others critical of modern cosmogony. Although the name is an oxymoron, the DSSU (The Dynamic Steady State Universe) theory appears to be an improvement on the BBT. His alternative name, Cellular Universe, is much better. Nonetheless, Conrad Ranzan, has many good ideas, with a great flow-chart analysis of the possibilities. I especially like this statement:
“But now observe: Only a finite universe can, theoretically, expand. An infinite universe cannot. It would be utterly foolish and completely pointless to propose an infinite universe that could or would expand and become measurably bigger! If the concept of infinity means anything, it certainly means “already fully expanded” and the infinite radius (or diameter) cannot become more infinite!
And so, Official Cosmology must turn its back on the infinite universe concept, for it has committed itself a priori to the expansion paradigm. History tells us, the medievalists had solemnly pronounced that the perfection of the universe was revealed in the perfect circular motions of the Heavenly bodies. Their modern counterparts now ordain that the perfection of the universe is patent in the universal Hubble expansion.”
Unfortunately, Ranzan nevertheless appears to believe that space can expand independently of the things within it.]
On a related topic, if the universe is steady-state, do you have an explanation for Olbers’s Paradox?
[I don’t think the universe is steady-state by any means, it is infinite and there really is nothing “steady” about it. Paradoxes always indicate that a beginning assumption is incorrect. In the Olbers’s case (TSW, p. 203) it is the assumption that light, whether wave or particle, could travel an infinite distance without anything happening to it. Not going to happen.]
If the universe has a cellular structure as DSSU postulates, it might account for Olbers’s Paradox because the visible sources of light (stars) are not spread homogeneously throughout space but cluster along the cell margins producing a filamentary web-like structure. This is consistent with optical data of the (visible) universe, but I’m not sure if their cellular structure resolves Olbers’s Paradox. While the concept of absorption over distance can explain EM radiation dropping below the frequency of the visible spectrum, in an infinite universe wouldn’t the new light that’s created (in both the visible spectrum and from EM radiation dropping frequency into the visible spectrum from higher frequencies) still be continuously generated?
[That assumes that each light source emits infinitely high frequency EM radiation. I do not think that is possible. The motion of any particular microcosm is always limited by the univironment in which it occurs. A guitar string, for example, only has a limited range of motion. Stars emit light motion to the ether that reflects the chemical transformations that occur within them. Some of these involve wavelengths shorter than the visible, but none of them probably is shorter than the diameter of an ether particle, which constitutes the medium being disturbed. Some have hypothesized that light emitted by any object would equal the light absorbed by it. This too is an idealization. It assumes a perfection that cannot occur in the real world.]
And if so, wouldn’t this reinstate Olbers’s paradox?
[As implied above, the answer is no it would not.]
Of course, this implies that the universe is currently in a state of equilibrium. If the universe is dynamic, then, like chaos theory suggests, it might fluctuate around equilibrium but never attain a static state. If so, then it’s possible that we are observing the universe during a stage where there is insufficient light being generated to brighten the night sky. This may violate the Copernican Principle by implying that we are in a special time or are special observers, but if the universe is dynamic, as all of nature on planet Earth is (and as I define Evolution on my bumper sticker), then it’s possible notwithstanding the Copernican Principle. Anyway, being a ‘steady-state’er’, do you have an explanation for Olbers’s Paradox?
[Again, I am not a steady stater. See above. My main point about Olbers: Neither matter nor the motion of matter can travel from point A to point B without losses. Practical examples abound everywhere, with electrical transmission lines being obvious examples. Olbers got popular again only because Einstein, ever the idealist, hypothesized that space was completely empty. We have found no evidence that would substantiate Einstein’s claim and plenty that falsifies it.]
If so, I’d enjoy hearing your views (I looked in the index for TSW and saw that Olbers is mentioned on p. 203, but it’s just a description of the ‘paradox’).
I also wanted to ask you about your conception of the aether. I didn’t find much in your blogs other than that you believe it is made of particles. I look to nature for analogs and so would imagine the aether could be seen as analogous to an ocean (i.e. an ocean is composed of particles of H2O molecules). But another analog is that of the field. In the same way that what gives atoms and molecules their substance are the force fields of electrochemical bonds, couldn’t aether be viewed as a medium resulting from a force or field instead of from particles? This wouldn’t mean there aren’t particles embedded in the field or even that that the aether isn’t composed of particles. The distinction I’m trying to make is between substance/matter and fields. An analogy is that the movement of groundwater can be described by its potentiometric surface potential. The groundwater is composed of H2O molecules, but its movement is described by the field. Yes, there are additional factors affecting the movement of water, such as friction, viscosity, permeability, and tortuosity, but the fluid behaves as tho it’s movement follows field lines. The thing is, if the aether is viewed as a medium, then it has properties (such as the speed of light), and so the speed of light is a limit because it reflects a property of the medium and not because of the density of particle distributions that light encounters while traveling thru space. I’m not being very clear (I’m probably confused), but if you grok what I’m saying, I’d enjoy any response you may have.
[You are right that ether consists of particles. Furthermore, the ether particles also consist of particles ad infinitum. Einstein’s “field” was supposedly immaterial. As is often the case, the math would work whether fields consisted of particles or did not. INFINITY, of course, includes the assumption of microcosmic infinity. Based on that assumption, fields must consist of particles. Despite the claims of the positivists, that is only “common sense.” How could “empty space” do anything at all?]
Well, sorry about the length of this e-mail. I just had to get this stuff off my plate before digging into TSW.