Critique of "The Scientific Worldview": Part 6e The Ten Assumptions of Science: Inseparability

Universal time, specific time, space as matter, and time as motion.

I am ever so grateful to Bill Westmiller, whose comments are in bold. The quotes marked TSW are from "The Scientific Worldview[1]":

TSW: "... If the universe is material, then the volume or space it occupies must be regarded as matter."

BW: Confusing, given your definitions. Objects have volume and occupy space, but motion also requires space between the objects to differentiate them as objects. It doesn't have to be "absolutely empty" space, just a separation that gives each object a distinct identity. In my conception, that separation is also a "thing" in the "universe". So, I don't think it's correct to say:

TSW: "The term space, used is this way, becomes another abstraction for 'all things,' i.e., matter."

BW: Space (both occupied by matter and the separation between material objects) is a thing and therefore a part of the universe. It can't be that "all things" ... the universe ... is matter. If that were the case, the entire universe would be ONE solid object. Apparently, it isn't.

[GB: Glad to see that you agree that space is matter. Thanks also for bringing up the common “universe as one solid object” misconception. We will get into this more when we discuss the Tenth Assumption of Science, Interconnection (All things are interconnected, that is, between any two objects exist other objects that transmit matter and motion)[2]. The solid object misconception is similar to the idealization required to produce the solid matter of the imagined finite particle. Let me mention that I am pretty much a believer in the “what you see is what you get” view of the universe. There is space between everything I have observed so far, but that space is always filled with other things. There is space between you and me, but that space is filled with matter: air, Earth, or cosmic particles, depending on where you are. For microcosms to move through the macrocosm, they must be bigger, denser, and/or faster than the microcosms that block their way. This obtains at all scales, with baryonic matter pushing aether-1 around and aether-1 pushing aether-2 around, ad infinitum as we argued in UCT[3]. The upshot is that there are two idealizations that the universe cannot abide: perfectly empty space and perfectly solid matter.]
TSW: "For the determinist, space is something; for the indeterminist, space is nothing."

BW: Odd. Didn't you just say that space is NOT a "thing"? Yes, space is "some thing" in the universe, but I don't think it is characteristic of indeterminism to assert that "space is nothing". It might be a characteristic of idealism, which imagines "perfectly empty" space, but idealists can also be determinists ... characterized by Gottfried Leibniz:

"... despite Leibniz's protestations, his God is more the architect and engineer of the vast complex world-system than the embodiment of love ..."

[GB: I sure hope that I never said “space is not a thing.” It sure isn't in TSW. Classical determinists, of course, were plagued by idealism of all sorts, starting with Newton’s imagined “body at rest.” It is indeed too bad that these co-inventors of the calculus could not follow up with the logical conclusion brought forth by the Eighth Assumption of Science, infinity (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions).] 

TSW: "Only in ideality could matter and space be considered opposites."

BW: Agreed, but idealism is not the same as immaterialism or indeterminism. I don't think any of the advocates would say that matter and space are "opposites", only that matter occupies some space and not other space. Aside from the pure idealist, they would all agree with you that space "evinces varying degrees of solidity and emptiness".

[GB: Hey, for once we agree! As I have mentioned many times before, I avoided including idealism in the dialectical opposition I posed in TTAOS[4]. That is because, as a scientist, I used idealism all the time. When I was young, I went a bit overboard, actually thinking that ideal minerals really existed. Nothing ideal, of course, can exist, but those idealizations nonetheless help us think, prepare models, and predict reactions.]      

TSW: "Time is motion ... we measure time by measuring the motion of things."

BW: I don't think it's correct to equate the two, even if time requires motion. Nor do I think it's satisfactory to define time as something that exists only because we measure it. That's subjectivism, made explicit by Einstein: "Time has no independent existence apart from the order of events by which we measure it." This kind of definition implies that time doesn't exist until (or unless) humans measure it: a variant of Copenhagen mysticism.

[GB: Reread my blog on “Time is Motion.” My replies to many of the comments should help you out. It is good that you are starting to give up the solipsism that infected Einstein and his regressive compatriots. On the other hand, he wasn’t all that far off when I use the proper editorial chop: “Time has no…existence…”, although, unfortunately, I don’t believe that is really what he meant.”]

BW: My attempt: Time is the relationship between a past and present state of matter. If there were no distinction between the two states, time would not exist. We *quantify* the distinction by reference to some objectively cyclical motion, usually characterized as a clock. Universally, time exists independent of clocks, since there is and always has been some change in the state of some matter. If all things in existence were static, there would be no distinction between past and present states and there would be no time.

[GB: Let’s analyze your statement: “If there were no distinction between the two states, time would not exist.” Once again, you are at least being consistent, hypothesizing matter without motion. If that idealization could be correct in reality, then you are right that time would not occur. Everything you mention here illustrates that time simply is motion. Again, for clear thinking, you need to abandon the idea that “time exists.” It does not have xyz dimensions and location with respect to things--our definition of existence. If you think that it exists and therefore is material, please send me some so I can finish my next book!] 

TSW: "Universal time is the motion of each thing relative to all other things."

BW: Roughly the same thing as my explication, but you seem to be objectifying "A Superior Time" as distinct from, but dependent upon, the composite of ALL times (ie: all possible relationships). From my perspective, there is no singular Universal Time, nor any singular, universal clock.

[GB: Silly, that idealization was just a way of making folks realize that time is necessarily universal, being what all things in the universe do. I was not proposing that a universal clock was possible. Time is specific to each microcosm. For once, I agree with Einstein that each clock samples only a specific measure of universal time.]

TSW: "Speculations about going 'back in time' are mere amusements in science fiction."

BW: Agreed, but I think my definition makes it clearer that a change in the relationship of two states has no plus or minus values and the *quantification* by reference to a clock is always cumulative.

[GB: Right, univironmental motion is always unidirectional, as will be explained later under the Seventh Assumption of Science, irreversibility (All processes are irreversible).]

TSW: "But dimensionality is a property of matter; it is not a property of motion because motion does not exist; it occurs."

BW: I like this, but I think it would be more precise to say that dimensional quantities objectively exist in matter, while the quantification of time (used to measure motion) is only *fabricated* by reference to a clock. As noted earlier, I don't think it's proper to say motion (or time) do *not exist* as things, amid all things (the universe), including objects.

[GB: For the life of me, I cannot see how you could agree with that statement and still say that motion or time exists. Have you been a moderator for too long?]

TSW: "... dialectical nature of the world ..."

BW: I'll just repeat my assertion that dialectics is a useful procedure for humans to pursue truth, but that is a statement about our ability to form and modify valid concepts ... it is not a characteristic of nature. I'm not a fan of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

[GB: As I mentioned before, dialectics is one of the foremost characteristics of all things and you don’t have to be a fan of Hegel to make that observation.]

TSW: "... four types of errors of logic...

1. That matter could occur without motion ..."

BW: Matter doesn't "occur" as an event in time, whether it's moving or not. Conservation requires that it always existed, in one state or another. Conservation also requires that it only moves when it is moved; it only changes it's relationship to other objects as the result of a collision "event" with another object. It doesn't "not exist" until it collides with another object, nor cease to exist when the collision ends.

[GB: Good catch. Thanks so much. The proper word is “exist,” not “occur.”]
TSW: "2. That motion could occur without matter ..."
"3. That matter is motion
"4. That motion is matter

BW: Agreed, though #4 seems to contradict your earlier proposition that motion is not a "thing" distinct from matter.

[GB: I don’t quite get what you mean by that. Remember that these four statements illustrate common mistakes, not truths. I stand by my assumption that motion is not matter.]

BW: In general, there's very little to disagree with in this chapter (in spite of my prolific notes on syntax and terminology). At worst, we disagree on whether motion "creates" matter or that matter "requires" motion for its existence.

[GB: Disagree. It seems that you disagree with at least half of the essentials of inseparability despite your wonderfully conciliatory tone. If I ever said that motion “creates” matter, please let me know where that was. We must agree to disagree on whether matter requires motion for its existence. I suspect that you may never realize that there can be no matter without motion. I predict that your inability to accept this will give us plenty of trouble in the rest of your review.]

Next: Conservation

cotsw 011

[1] Borchardt, Glenn, 2007, The scientific worldview: Beyond Newton and Einstein ( http://www.scientificphilosophy.com/The%20Scientific%20Worldview.html ): Lincoln, NE, iUniverse, 411 p.

[2] Borchardt, Glenn, 2004, The ten assumptions of science: Toward a new scientific worldview ( http://www.scientificphilosophy.com/assumptions.html ): Lincoln, NE, iUniverse, 125 p.

[3] Puetz, S.J., and Borchardt, Glenn, 2011, Universal cycle theory: Neomechanics of the hierarchically infinite universe: Denver, Outskirts Press ( www.universalcycletheory.com ), 626 p.

[4] Borchardt, Glenn, 2004, The ten assumptions of science: Toward a new scientific worldview ( http://www.scientificphilosophy.com/assumptions.html ): Lincoln, NE, iUniverse, 125 p.

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