Critique of TSW Part 15a Neomechanics
Bill continues to have difficulty accepting "The Ten Assumptions of Science" as he boosts systems philosophy in his review of Chapter 5 on “Neomechanics: The Reduction.”
I am ever so grateful to Bill Westmiller, whose comments are marked "BW: ". The quotes marked TSW are from "The Scientific Worldview" and my comments are marked "[GB: ".
Neomechanics: The Reduction
TSW: "... the greatest advance known to science: Isaac Newton’s mechanics."
BW: Three cheers for Newton! However, I think you misrepresent his view of reality, in several respects.
TSW: "... real bodies, microcosms, have properties ranging from nearly inelastic to nearly elastic, from nearly solid to nearly insubstantial, and from nearly inert to nearly dynamic. By taking his cue from the atomists and their notion of the ultimate, finite particle, Newton ignored the insides of his model."
BW: While it is true that Newton's general Laws applied to distinct objects ("bodies"), his conceptual achievement was to identify the fundamental characteristics of mass and motion, irrespective of size. He certainly didn't ignore the "insides" of objects. In fact, he articulated the objective essentials of elasticity, viscosity, sheer stress, wave transmission in a media, and even the velocity of sound (see multiple notes below).
So, far from imagining that all objects were rigid, solid, and inert, Newton clearly recognized (and quantified) the essential characteristics of complex material compositions. He certainly made incidental errors, but his basic principles are still the dominant "unmitigated truths" of modern science.
[GB: The beauty of Newton’s three laws of motion was in their simplicity. They were idealizations that most folks could understand and accept even though they were religious. You could observe them in action in your everyday life. Nonetheless, they really only amounted to rough, finite approximations of reality. We have been “mitigating” them ever since. You are right that Newton subsequently did many of the modifications himself. He even came up with the real cause of gravity before Steve and I came up with it independently. But, as I mentioned previously, none of this has ever produced a single “unmitigated truth.” In science, we determine truth via observation and experiment. Because of infinity, no two observations or experiments are identical. All scientific measurements have a plus or minus. These facts provide support for the Second Assumption of Science, causality (All effects have an infinite number of material causes) and the Third Assumption of Science, uncertainty (It is impossible to know everything about anything, but it is possible to know more about anything).]
TSW: "[Newton's First Law] first makes a very simple statement about the motion of the microcosm, and then, almost as an afterthought, qualifies it by noting the influence of the macrocosm."
BW: Newton never thought in terms of microcosm or macrocosms: all of his laws were universal. That objects interact was not an "afterthought", it was critical to his First Law of motion. In essence: nothing changes unless it's changed.
[GB: You are right about the microcosm/macrocosm bit. Of course, the microcosm-macrocosm concept is no less universal. That’s why I call it univironmental determinism (UD), the universal mechanism of evolution. UD is the observation that what happens to a portion of the universe is determined by the infinite matter in motion within and without.]
TSW: "Newton brings in the concept of "force." The word force, however, is an anthropomorphism ..."
BW: Energy is always matter in motion. Newton never idealized "forces" as anything other than objects in motion relative to an inertial object at the point of encounter. Newton's Law was always mass times velocity. He even recognized and articulated the idea of "relativity" ... that all lateral motion had to be viewed in context. So, it isn't true that he idealized "absolute space" or absolute motion. He did distinguish "force" (F=ma) from "energy" (E=mv) as distinct terms, but the force of "a" = acceleration is just a persistent change in the motion of matter.
[GB: Sorry, but energy is not matter in motion, it is a description of matter in motion (BTW: E=½mv2 or E=mc2, not mv, which is momentum, P). Remember, the picture of a running dog is not a running dog. That is why I prefer to say that energy is a calculation. It is neither the microcosm nor the motion of the microcosm. Similarly, momentum and force do not exist or occur either. You seem to have forgotten the Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion). There is no such thing as a magical, anthro-like “force” that causes acceleration. The acceleration is caused by some other chunk of matter (i.e., a microcosm). The Star Wars “force” cannot be with you, you will have to do it yourself. The matter-motion terms, momentum, force, energy, and spacetime, are not the names of things or of motions. Again, they simply are calculations. It is too bad that their shorthand use has led to a kind of fetishism that has fallen right into the hands of indeterminists.]
TSW: "Today we assume that no microcosm can exist by itself, and slowly we are beginning to realize that no microcosm can even hold together as a body by itself."
BW: I don't know who "we" is, but the idea that existence requires persistent interaction was a momentary amusement of Perdurantism, an obscure back alley of ontology:
Of course, it is true that no ONE thing could be said to "exist" in the absence of any other things, if existence is construed as the "perception of being". I wrote a six page memoir when I was 12, arguing that a "God" could not be said to exist *prior to* the existence of other things ... part of a refutation of Aquinas' "First Cause" argument.
[GB: Sorry, but your “Perdurantism” appears to be more indeterministic hogwash. Something about it being the view “that an individual has distinct temporal parts throughout its existence.” The “temporal parts” are objectifications of motion. No, I was vaguely thinking of the necessity for the aethereal pressure that eventually became our "Neomechanical Gravitation Theory." In a way, the perdurantists were reaching out toward neomechanics in their realization that every microcosm must contain submicrocosms in motion.
Congrats for solving the god problem at such a young age. Hope you did not require any “perception of being” in your definition of existence. The correct definition of existence is that which has xyz dimensions and location with respect to other things. Looks like maybe you were heading toward Infinite Universe Theory, which destroys the "First Cause" argument of the Big Bangers as well as Aquinas.]
TSW: "... the word unless should be changed to until."
BW: It makes no difference to the First Law, except that "unless" doesn't assume that every body must *necessarily* encounter another body, only that *if* it does, whenever that might be, this effect will occur. Assuming eternity (infinite time) is true, it's highly unlikely that such an encounter would *never* occur. But, Newton's Law doesn't care whether time is eternal or not: it works in any case.
[GB: You are so right. The First Law of Motion works in either case. In a way, Newton’s “unless” was the essence of classical mechanics and its assumption of finity. By using that word, he was able to satisfy indeterminists and their desired cosmogonies for over three centuries. The “unless” is a tipoff to the other end of that law as well. The First Law says nothing about where that inertial motion came from in the first place. The correct answer is that it is motion received via transfer from some other object in the infinite universe. The First Law therefore was not as “natural” as it could have been. Today, however, we are leaving the supernatural behind, gradually crawling out of that finite box. Once Infinite Universe Theory is accepted, the “unless” will disappear along with the finity assumption that previously hindered the development of neomechanics.]
TSW: "[Newton's Second Law] ... the result was motion along a *perfectly* straight line."
BW: That's Newton's First Law, which is correct: absent any contact, objects move in a straight line: inertia.
[GB: Sorry, Bill, but that was not a restatement of the Second Law, it was a sentence intended to demonstrate the idealism needed for the First Law.]
TSW: "... these changes occur to each body as a whole and do not require the participation of parts or of submicrocosms within."
BW: As I pointed out above, Newton didn't disregard - much less deny - internal motions in a body. He described them and articulated their relationships and characteristics.
TSW: "Six Interactions"
BW: I'm going to skip over large parts of this section, because it's all standard, classical mechanics. Newton didn't deny absorption or emission; those kind of interactions were based on Newton's ideas. However, I will point out that your segregation of absorption or emission "of motion" or "of matter" contradicts your earlier commentary about their unity.
[GB: Bill, how do you think that absorption or emission violates the Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion)? Do you really think that a “particle of motion jumps from one thing to another”? When the bat hits the ball, part of its motion is transferred to the ball. When the coffee cools, part of the motion of its submicrocosms is transferred to the macrocosm of air and aether. Only an aether denier could see a contradiction in that.
TSW: "[Neomechanics] ... endeavors to make it virtually impossible to conceive of a microcosm that does not contain other microcosms."
BW: That may be your endeavor, but I think you're simply trapped in this purely subjective relationship of micro to macro, essentially an anthropomorphism. Size is just a relative *quantization* of dimensions. I've already discussed the evidence and logic against "micro-divisibility" in the section on infinity.
[GB: Sorry, but micro and macro have nothing to with subjectivity or anything anthro. Too bad that you were not able to maintain your belief that “size is just a relative *quantization* of dimensions.” In other words, it is just a matter of scale, which you conveniently give up when it suits you in your ultimately futile quest for a Finite Particle Theory.]
TSW: "... [I] have merely moved [idealization] to the level of the submicrocosm. This is true."
BW: An interesting admission, that your segregation of reality is just a vague abstraction.
[GB: Boy, did you miss that one! Remember what the title of this chapter was (Neomechanics: The Reduction). All of mechanics, whether new or old is an abstraction. Classical mechanists tend not to admit that because they assume finity. Both must be abstractions because the universe is infinite, whether or not one believes that or not. For neomechanics, the assumption of infinity is overt and it would be silly of us to declare otherwise. How “vague” an abstraction might be is a matter of practicality. If you only hope for a “clear” abstraction, I am afraid that you will have a long wait in the face of infinity.]
TSW: "The motion was transferred from whole body to whole body and submicrocosms had nothing to do with the transfer."
BW: As noted above, a misrepresentation of Newton and classical mechanics.
[GB: Sorry, but I stand by that characterization. Newton’s three laws mention nothing whatsoever about the insides of his model. At times, the model is even considered an infinitesimal point. And as you have noted and as I mentioned previously, the rest of classical mechanics amounts to a detailed modification of the three laws. Those were movements toward neomechanics, which could not be completed without an overt assumption of infinity.]
TSW: "One could say that there is not enough *time* for the infinite progression to proceed through an infinity of microcosms within microcosms..."
BW: Correct. Your "micro" conception requires an *infinite* amount of time for any cause to have an effect, which is a fundamental violation of causality. It's a variation of Zeno's Paradox: IF your step is half the remaining separation, you never make contact. This is a mathematical truth derived from the mathematical premise of division: that every divisor "deducts" a portion and leaves a remainder that is always divisible. But, reality is not (cannot) be infinitely divisible (as you pointed out in an earlier example) ... which is the basis for my Unimid Model.
[GB: Bill, pray tell where I ever said that “reality is not (cannot) be infinitely divisible”? Not possible, in view of the Eighth Assumption of Science, infinity (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions) I have been using for decades. Surely, by now you have learned the resolution of Zeno’s Paradox. Paradoxes always contain an incorrect assumption. Zeno forgot about motion. While he was taking half steps, the rest of the universe was in motion, not waiting for those half steps. Bang! A collision occurs whether you are ready for it or not. End of Zeno.]
TSW: ".. the divided portions of the microcosm I call submicrocosms ..."
BW: Meaning that every "microcosm" is divisible, into a "sub-microcosm", into a "sub-sub-microcosm", into a "sub-sub-sub-microcosm" ... to infinity. However, what you consider a "cosm" is purely arbitrary, unless there is some objective distinction between the parts. That must (at least) be spatial, which is Zeno's problem.
[GB: As I have mentioned before, each division produces what we consider matter and space, ad infinitum. You never reach infinity because that fact is inherent in the concept of infinity. Take the smallest subsubmicrocosm you can imagine. Now look up at the night sky. That is what that subsubmicrocosm looks like. There is no reason to think otherwise, unless you are an indeterminist who imagines there could be solid matter, which we have never found anywhere.]
TSW: "... some of the deceleration causes the microcosm to rotate."
BW: Which I think is a distinct, non-relative form of motion ... whether micro or macro. Newton didn't ignore angular momentum or acceleration, but he didn't expand on his concept of the *relativity* of motion applying only to translational (straight line) motion.
[GB: There is no such action as non-relative motion, as I have pointed out before. The submicrocosms within any vortex move relative to each other, just like the circling cattle in the typical western roundup. The motion within a vortex is just as inertial as the non-existent straight-line motion that Newton imagined in his First Law of Motion.]
TSW: "... the Newtonian model must be one of an 'ultimate' particle, the atom filled with an indivisible substance through which motion can be transferred perfectly and instantaneously."
BW: That's not what Newton intended, but it is a logical inference and the basis for my own theory. However in UT, collisions are never "perfect", in the sense that they can transfer ALL motion from one object to another. They have to induce a portion of lateral (subjective) and rotary (objective) motion to both objects. The transfer is "instantaneous" in the sense that there is no smaller subdivision of motion (time).
[GB: Well, you have certainly imagined quite a lot. Your Unimid Theory, with its assumption of finity is no different than Newton’s initial idealization. Let’s hope that you eventually find some submicrocosms in those little finite, solid unimids, just like Newton and his followers eventually did, at least to some extent.]
Next: Chapter 5 Neomechanics continued…
Newton's View of the "Insides" of things, using his universal Laws:
 Borchardt, Glenn, and Puetz, Stephen J. , 2012, Neomechanical gravitation theory ( http://www.worldsci.org/pdf/abstracts/abstracts_6529.pdf ), in Volk, G., Proceedings of the Natural Philosophy Alliance, 19th Conference of the NPA, 25-28 July: Albuquerque, NM, Natural Philosophy Alliance, Mt. Airy, MD, v. 9, p. 53-58.