Empiricism Bytes the Bullet

My response (bold and in brackets) to an email from an empiricist:

I think there are two ways to look at the world.

1) Make a set of assumptions free from any experimental data, develop a logical math and let the math that you have developed decide on how your world should behave. [This is much like the approach of religious folks and other indeterminists, who believe that “truth” can be internally derived or furnished by some authority.]

2) Don’t make any assumption, develop a logic based on experimental data, Let your logic decide your world. [Ostensibly, this is what is known by most as the “scientific method.” “Truth” is whatever is confirmed by observation or experiment with the external world. I do not agree, however, with the admonition to “don’t make any assumption” or that your “logic will decide your world.” The radical “empiricism” expressed in this statement has no practical merit. If the claims of empiricists were correct, they would be studying things willy-nilly, wasting time measuring sidewalk cracks, pebbles, and sand grains. In fact, no one ever does this. Even the measuring of sidewalk cracks has to be stimulated by a theoretical basis, which must have underlying assumptions (BTW: I have done this to study the rate of aseismic slip on California faults). As I explained in TTAOS and Ch. 3 of TSW, anyone who claims to have no assumptions actually has subconscious presuppositions. Once presuppositions are brought into the light of day, spoken or written down, they become assumptions amenable to further study. Even presuppositions do not pop into our heads out of nothing. All are the effects of living in the real world, with our “microcosms” continually interacting with the “macrocosm.” Theory and practice form an endless iteration. It is impossible to have one without the other. The “logic” that you speak of really doesn’t decide your world, the world does. We only can hope to make some sense of a part of it.]

In the prior, your world is remarkably free from any apprehensions of human intelligence and hence resembles reality exactly given that your assumptions are correct.

In the latter the assumptions are made when and where necessary supported by observations. In this small set of observations are extrapolated to universal laws.

Coming to relativity, the limited velocity of light is enough to validate the theory. If we believe the velocity of light has a limit, it has a wave nature during propagation and it travels through empty space then we have to believe that empty space should have some finite elasticity, because of limited velocity of wave in empty space. [Light is wave motion within the ether. There is no such thing as “empty space.” Even Einstein had changed his mind by 1920: "Careful reflection teaches us that special relativity does not compel us to deny ether. We may assume its existence but not ascribe a definite state of motion to it ..." "There is a weighty reason in favour of ether. To deny ether is to ultimately assume that empty space has no physical qualities whatever." Today’s “ether deniers” in modern physics are not really relativists, but absolutists. Thankfully, some of them are coming back into line with the invention of “dark matter” as a substitute for the ether that they disposed of prematurely.]

So far as time being a dimension, look at a still photograph, a 2-D cartoon movie and observe the world in which we live. Thinking it what is the difference between a still photograph, a 2-D cartoon movie the difference is occurrence of events, which gives a indication that cartoon movie is not a 2-D world it is a 3-D world with one dimension as time. [Time is not a dimension; time is motion. Time does not exist; time occurs. Existence is defined as a portion of the universe having xyz dimensions and location with respect to other portions of the universe. For an imaginary friend to have existence, it would have to have xyz dimensions and be located somewhere in the universe. So time is not “part” of the universe; it is what the various parts do. Whether matter exists as the pixels of a cartoon, video, or the atoms of photographed objects, all have 3 dimensions, otherwise they would have no existence. The illusion or observation of motion always requires the motion of some microcosms with respect to the motion of still other microcosms. Although one can plot time on a graph and treat it as a “thing” in mathematics, that does not make it a dimension.]

And does the time dilate, the elasticity of space can alter length the events taking place between the lengths appears as dilated time. [Time does not dilate, only things can dilate. This misconception was put to rest by Steven Bryant (http://www.relativitychallenge.com/archives/643), who showed the importance of treating wavelength and frequency in the correct manner. If Einstein would have done that correctly, he would not have invented relativity and today’s “modern physicists” actually would know what time is.]

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