Critique of "The Scientific Worldview": Part 9b The Ten Assumptions of Science: Irreversibility

Uniformitarianism and Bill's perfect, albeit temporary, isolation. 

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

TSW: Seventh Assumption: Irreversibility (Part 9b)

 "All processes are irreversible."  (continued)

TSW:  "Uniformitarianism declared that the same motions were repeated over and over again."

BW: Not quite. Geologically, Hutton saw a compounding of the same *kind* of events, but his theory applied to the "natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now, have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe."

 [GB: You have to realize that uniformitarianism is a rough generalization, just like causality, which never expects the causes for any two effects to be identical. Instead, the causes are similar, as per 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). In geology, we use uniformitarianism all the time even though we never expect it to work perfectly.]

 TSW:  "[Uniformitarianism] was the perfect key to the future. Taken literally and absolutely, uniformitarianism ... was just another version of finite universal causality."

BW: I don't think that's fair to Hutton. He didn't consider the sedimentary process "perfectly the same" in every geologic age, only the laws (solubility, gravity, etc). But, you can criticize his idea of an "alive Earth" acting as a conscious "superorganism" all you want.

[GB: I suppose you are correct—that is why I included “literally” and “absolutely.” Of course, many indeterminists, who typically believe in absolutism, had trouble with this. If you did not want to believe in uniformitarianism, you would only need one exception to falsify it—probably the best example of the vulnerability of Potter’s “falsification” criterion when used by indeterminists. Neomechanics and infinite universal causality had not been invented yet. Classical mechanics, under which he was working, had all kinds of assumed perfection (identical finite particles, etc.). I understand that some folks still hold to that idea.]

TSW:  "Even those systems coming closest to being perfectly isolated were only approximately so."

BW: In UT [Bill’s “Unimid Theory”], fundamental particles can exist in perfect isolation for a limited time, but anything that qualifies as a "system" certainly cannot. It amazes me that so many experimental physicists imagine "isolated systems" in a gravitational field. Contrary to Einstein's proposition, gravity is not equivalent to acceleration. It is not a "curved space", but rather an energetic process involving objects in motion. Even geosynchronous satellites are affected by gravitational forces (or they wouldn't stay where they are) and they are NOT in any kind of "inertial state".

[GB: Sorry to hear that your theory hypothesizes “perfect isolation” of any kind at any time or place. Mostly, I don’t agree with Einstein either, but I do agree in the Equivalence Principle—a microcosm in inertial motion requires a collision to produce the acceleration needed to change that state, as in Newton’s Second Law of Motion. On the contrary, except for infrequent positioning that requires jet bursts, satellites are in inertial motion. They require an engine to go “up” or “down” with respect to the axis of the vortex in which they exist. Their “horizontal” motions are unpowered, and therefore inertial. The perfectly “straight line” envisioned in Newton’s First Law of Motion cannot exist. That is because all inertial microcosms are parts of vortices of one kind or another.]

TSW:  "At the same moment that any two objects seem to be approaching a former relationship, other objects in the infinite universe are converging on them and diverging from them, ensuring that the relationships between the two objects and others outside the system are never identical at subsequent moments."

BW: Correct, eventually. However, I think spin (even of two connected objects) can persist, without encountering an "event" that modifies their motion, through many cycles. Spin is objective motion, as described in my previous notes, which is what makes it a useful clock.

[GB: Disagree with the word “eventually.” The relationship between two different microcosms is always changing. There is no “eventually” about it. For instance, the relationship between the bat and the ball changes throughout the swing. To consider only the collision between them would be a microcosmic error (i.e., neglect of the macrocosm that includes the surroundings). In addition, no microcosm with or without spin, can exist “without encountering an ‘event’ that modifies” its motion. Again, we assume this with interconnection, as explained in detail in our book, "Universal Cycle Theory: Neomechanics of the Hierarchically Infinite Universe."[1]

TSW:  "As Santayana so wisely put it, "All movements of matter are ... responsive afresh to a total environment never exactly repeated, so that no single law would perfectly define all consecutive changes, ... every response would be that of a newborn organism to an unprecedented world."

BW: A misrepresentation: "laws" don't ignore environmental changes, even if those using them may ignore inconsequential, spurious effects. For example, Newton's law of gravitation doesn't ignore ANY masses "external to" those being scrutinized. When applying the law to calculate the orbit of the earth, scientists will ignore the effects of Ursula Major ... but the law itself does not.

[GB: Disagree. Santayana’s famous statement is correct. There is, in fact, “no single law [that] would perfectly define all consecutive changes.” That is what is meant by the Second Assumption of Science, causality (All effects have an infinite number of material causes). This becomes clear in your own example involving gravity, which becomes even more correct as we discover more and more microcosms in the infinite universe. Many classical mechanists, however, claimed that their finite equations were perfect predictive tools (e.g., Laplace’s Demon). You might want to reread Bohm’s “Causality and chance in modern physics.”[2]

TSW:  "... if one assumes that all effects have an infinite number of causes ..."

BW: Well, we haven't gotten to infinity (yet), so all you've established is that every effect (event) has a cause (matter in motion to collision), not how many causes any particular event might have. However, one only need assume that space and motion are continuous - rather than granular - to arrive at the conclusion that no two collisions are identical. In some respects, "continuity" may be a more important principle than infinity.

[GB: Sorry, but space is not continuous. It always contains an infinity of microcosms. The concept of “continuity” is ill defined, precisely because a definition (“fin” or “finis”) would amount to a contradiction. The “granular” property applies to matter (space, i.e., xyz dimensions), but not to motion, which does not exist and therefore does not have xyz dimensions. Perhaps you are mistaking “continuity” for interconnection.]    

TSW:  "... then it is also necessary to assume that an effect will never occur in exactly the same way twice."

BW: ... although "exactly" is an "idealized" term. We don't need perfection to observe consistent effects from the same type of collisions. For example, if I slap my hand on my desk, it will create a sound every time. The cause is always the same and the effect is always the same, even if they are not "exactly" the same.

[GB: Yes, that is exactly what we do all the time in science. It is why we always have a plus or minus in whatever we do in the natural world. Perfection only can be imagined.]

TSW:  "Not only are any causal laws we can devise finite and therefore incomplete, they also are derived from previously occurring causes."

BW: Only true if the standard is perfection. To say that we are not Gods and cannot realize the abstract ideals or principles we might derive from nature, is not a fault. Abstractions are not nature, only mental conceptions of general traits and processes that we find in nature. Your statement verges on fatalism. We *can* know how things work and we *can* depend on the "unmitigated truths" we discover about nature.

[GB: Sorry that you think giving up finite causality is pessimistic. Folks who know me seem to think that I am anything but fatalistic or even pessimistic. Infinite causality is simply realistic in an infinite universe. We can know how things work, but we don’t need no "unmitigated truths" to do it.]

Next:  Irreversibility (Part 9c)

cotsw 017

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

[2] Bohm, David, 1957, Causality and chance in modern physics: New York, Harper and Brothers, 170 p.


Glenn Borchardt said...

Comments from Bill and my response:

GB: "Sorry to hear that your theory hypothesizes "perfect isolation" of any kind at any time or place."

BW: Only in the sense that "events" (collisions) are rarely simultaneous or continuous. If there is any time separation, there is a moment when the object is isolated.

[GB: Again, the isolation of your object is purely imaginary. It is based on the indeterministic assumption of absolutism, which is consupponible with finity. The deterministic assumption of infinity (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions) prevents us from even considering the possibility of isolation. All microcosms at all times are surrounded by super microcosms that continually collide with those microcosms. Aether-1 bombardment, for instance, is continuous. It is what holds things together. Even one microsecond of isolation by your imagined pure empty space would result in the explosion of that microcosm into that empty space.]

GB: "On the contrary, except for infrequent positioning that requires jet bursts, satellites *are* in inertial motion."

BW: I thought you might agree with me on this point. Assuming that gravity is an accelerating force (of a unique kind), then orbits only exist because they are under the constant influence of that force. Therefore, their orbits cannot be considered inertial. To go "up or down" requires an independent acceleration to counteract gravity. Their horizontal motion could not exist if the Earth suddenly disappeared.

[GB: Remember that forces neither exist nor occur. They are only calculations describing collisions. Inertia does not involve collisions and thus no force calculations are applicable. Orbits are described by Newton’s First Law of Motion, P=mv. If orbits required force, each satellite would require an engine to keep it in orbit. Even regressive physicists realize that centrifugal and centripetal “forces” are “pseudo forces.” Think of orbits this way: Each is part of a vortex spinning around a central point or nucleus. Now, consider each satellite as immersed in an aether bath that is also spinning around that central point. Next, consider both the satellite and its aether surroundings to be solid metal. This interconnection between satellite, aether, and nucleus forms a wheel, which explains why satellites do not require engines. Without aether, of course, orbits remain a mystery (unless one believes in imaginary “pulls” or “curved empty space”). BTW: The above explanation gives the physical reason for the well-known Einsteinism (correct answer; wrong reason) involving General Relativity Theory.]


Glenn Borchardt said...

Continued from above...

BW: The only alternative is Einstein's peculiar "curved space" concept. Even then, the analogies (stretched rubber sheets) depend entirely on gravitational force. I don't think it makes any sense to reify "space" and imagine its distortion is a real cause for the gravitational effect.

[GB: To reify is “to think of or treat something abstract as if it existed as a real and tangible object.” That is sort of what Einstein did, although he still considered his curved space to be completely empty. Remember that his aether denial prevented him from suggesting the physical reason for the observation. After all, that is why curved empty space is an Einsteinism. The refraction observed by Eddington was caused by the Sun’s entrained atmosphere, which made Einstein’s reification a physical reality despite his claim that there was no “there” there. Regressive physicists still cite Eddington’s observations as proof of General Relativity Theory and Einstein’s claim that curved empty space was the cause of gravity. That is par for the course for the luckiest indeterminist who ever lived.

Purely inertial effects, of course, have nothing to do with gravitation, which only occurs as a result of collisions involving acceleration (e.g., F=ma, not P=mv). It is true that our hypothesized aethereal pressure increases with distance from baryonic matter. That forms what could be mistaken for “curved space” around every baryonic microcosm. But that appellation is no more warranted than it would be with reference to the atmosphere, which demonstrates an inverse pressure differential with distance from Earth.]

GB: "The perfectly 'straight line' envisioned in Newton’s First Law of Motion cannot exist."

BW: I thought you liked Newton's First. I'll agree that it's never the case that any object moves in a *perfectly* straight line, but that's only because *some* gravity (or radiation) exists, from something, somewhere. But, the principle is still correct: objects move in a straight line *unless* something changes it. In this case, gravity (at least) changes the otherwise straight vector of the satellite.

[GB: Newton’s First Law of Motion, as I have mentioned numerous times, is the law of the universe and the greatest observation ever made. Of course, it is only an idealization: an infinitesimal point moving through perfectly empty space, but it is how the universe works. Sorry, but gravity does not change the straight vector of the satellite’s orbit, as I explained above.]

BW: I won't use your forum to describe my Unimid Theory of gravity, but it is assuredly matter in motion.

GB: "We can know how things work, but we don’t need no "unmitigated truths" to do it."

BW: Some "logic chopping" here: if infinity precludes us from knowing all causes, then we cannot say we know "how" any effect occurred. My distinction is that what we CAN know are truths about effects ... for which there is no contrary evidence. That doesn't mean they're *absolutely* true, only that there's no reason or logic to believe otherwise.

[GB: Sorry, but as I said many times before, uncertainty (It is impossible to know everything about anything, but it is possible to know more about anything) never prevents us from discovering many of the causes for an effect. By discovering some of these causes, we can say that we know how an effect occurred. As scientists, we do not especially care that we are unable to discover all the causes. We always expect and tolerate the fact that no two observations are identical no matter how hard we try. That is why scientific reviewers demand error bars instead of your “unmitigated truth.” Your “how” is the complaint of the indeterminist disappointed in having to contend with the necessary complexities of an infinite universe.]