45
   

How can something come from nothing?

 
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 12:37 pm
@Setanta,
I repeat, your use of "hallucination" is meaningless, but you persist in using it.
Assuming you have the intelligence to understand it, I suggest you refer to "The Copenhagen Interpretation," for my physics comment. In particular you might think a little deeper about Heisenberg's statement:

Quote:
“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.
(italics mine)

You will no doubt bend it how you like ! Laughing


Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 12:46 pm
@fresco,
That you appeal to authority is not evidence for your point of view. You deal in descriptions of reality, but that doesn't mean that there is no reality independent of your descriptions. Time is a dimension of that reality. That it is not fixed is certainly reasonable--time dilation is an example of the dynamic nature of that dimension. It's there, nonetheless. I "persist" in using the word hallucination because that is, in effect, how you choose to describe the phenomenon of electron decay, whether or not you'll be honest enough to admit it. My experience is that you won't. That you say that something is meaningless is mere ipse dixit.

My remark about science was a general criticism of your game playing, it wasn't a reference to any specific remark.
Zarathustra
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 01:00 pm
@ripple,
I am not going to bother with the philosophy viewpoint. But if you are asking how the universe example would be answered based on current theory it would be something like this.

By definition there cannot be nothing. It would violate the uncertainty principle. So the vacuum is not really nothing. We know this to be true because we can observe the effects of virtual particle production. So using current theory the creation event was an analogue of virtual particle pair production. These virtual particles got stuck in a “false-vacuum”…this is where we are today still. So current theory would differ with you in saying there cannot be nothing but, in fact, must be something.

While I do have, very modest, credentials in science I am not as “religious” about my perception of science as most veteran A2Kers’. So here are a few caveats:

By definition cosmologists describe the creation event as being “ex nihlo”. So, while “nothing” is not possible by definition, it is also the starting point of theory all the same.

While the vacuum cannot be empty the value of the vacuum energy is measured at zero, not 0 but 0.00000000000000000000. It is the most perfectly measured value of zero known to man.

Describing the creation event in terms of QM is not valid as the conditions are not known and probably not described by QM, a perturbative reality would be too weird to contemplate (opinion).

There are more, but you get the idea.

Science gets around this by noting that it only models reality to a certain point; we can only talk intelligently up until about 1 x 10 exp(-20) sec of the creation event. Anything before that is unknown and so science is silent, not so the usual A2K vets :-)
0 Replies
 
Ding an Sich
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 01:07 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

OK, how do you explain electron decay in isotopes, and the (to date) universal agreement among educated and careful researchers that it takes place, and does so at predictable rates?


Predictable rates deal with measurements of time, which are ultimately agreed upon (universally) by scientists or other groups of individuals. I'm not saying that there is no such thing as electron decay in isotopes independent of our existence; instead, I am saying that we use arbitrary measurements, which invoke time, in order to bring into our grasp the changes that do occur.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 01:15 pm
@Ding an Sich,
Quote:
Why disagree if you're unwilling to provide a reason for why you disagree?


I can disagree or not disagree as I choose. I am not captive to some set of rules that require I do such-and-such if I do.




Quote:
Unlike Fresco, I am interested in what your position is. I'm a bit curious.


Really?

You are asking me to explain how I know that I do not know something...and the reason is curiosity!

C'mon. Be real...and I will have a conversation with you. Be absurd...and you will have to find another partner.
Ding an Sich
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 01:16 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

You're sidestepping the issue of instrumentation which detects electron decay in isotopes, in order to preach your favorite dogma. You are willing to allege a deep knowledge of science in order to substantiate your claims in some exchanges, but then abandon the imperatives of the scientific method when it suits your latest quoting of chapter and verse. Unless you are willing to allege that the registration of instruments and the reading of their indications is a form of mass hallucination, you'll be obliged to step outside your comfortable little world of word games. You're the one who is "languaging" here (god, you come up with some hilarious bullshit). But just because you love to play that game, and to appeal to authority in that matter is not evidence that neither reality nor time exist independently of your ivory tower.


I think you bring up an important point Setanta, and it is this: Scientist want to make realist claims. However, we have philosophers (Fresco, and a whole line of others starting with Kant) who would claim that scientists aren't really making realist claims. Instead of a scientist saying, "the earth began to exist 4.6 billion years ago", they should really be saying, "the earth began to exist 4.6 billion years ago 'for us'". These two statements are very different. One involves some form of realism (whether it's naive realism is to be determined) while the other involves correlationism (strong or weak). Fresco, being a strong correlationist, would opt for completely rejecting a reality independent of us (unlike the weak correlationist who would say that there is a reality independent of, except we can't know a whole lot about it).
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 01:21 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
BTW Frank's babbling about "knowing" has been going on for years. Never have we seen an analysis of what he thinks "knowing" means, because he has a vested interest in his agnosticism which requires "knowing" to be nebulous. His projection of his vested interest as an accusation of the vested interests of non-dualists would make a text-book Freudian case ! The mere fact that physicists recognize the importance of the interaction of observer and observed (albeit at levels beyond the mundane) should dismiss the accusation of "cultism" with respect to such an idea once and for all.


If anyone "babbles" in our interactions, Fresco...it is you, not I.

And your fanatical adherence to the tenets of that cult of yours is the reason for the "cultism" comment...not any projection.

You are addicted to stating things as though you have KNOWLEDGE of REALITY. I see no reason to suspect you do. And your picture should be placed alongside the definition of "the appeal to authority fallacy" in a dictionary.

But I enjoy your attempts to sound knowledgeable. I take my laughs where and when they are available.
0 Replies
 
Ding an Sich
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 01:26 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

Quote:
Why disagree if you're unwilling to provide a reason for why you disagree?


I can disagree or not disagree as I choose. I am not captive to some set of rules that require I do such-and-such if I do.


I agree that you can agree or disagree as you choose. But to provide no reason whatsoever to your agreement or disagreement seems a little strange. If you don't want to expound on your ideas, then by all means don't.



Frank Apisa wrote:

Quote:
Unlike Fresco, I am interested in what your position is. I'm a bit curious.


Really?

You are asking me to explain how I know that I do not know something...and the reason is curiosity!

C'mon. Be real...and I will have a conversation with you. Be absurd...and you will have to find another partner.


Well, I am being real. Since I don't know much about your take on epistemology and your reasons for thinking that time is independent of us, I am indeed curious and interested in what you'd have to say. I already know what Fresco and JLN think, so I would like to know what you think on the subject. That's all.
Ding an Sich
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 01:28 pm
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

Welcome to the cult.


I'm a realist, not a correlationist. Sorry.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 01:33 pm
@Ding an Sich,
Quote:
Quote:
Re: Frank Apisa (Post 5201120)
Frank Apisa wrote:

Quote:
Why disagree if you're unwilling to provide a reason for why you disagree?


I can disagree or not disagree as I choose. I am not captive to some set of rules that require I do such-and-such if I do.


I agree that you can agree or disagree as you choose. But to provide no reason whatsoever to your agreement or disagreement seems a little strange. If you don't want to expound on your ideas, then by all means don't.


Ding, I normally expound on every idea...when I think the individual with whom I am speaking is being real...and not just trying to get me to jump through hoops. I've been around for a long time in this forum and its predecessor...and most people know I am tenacious as a bull dog.

Get real...and I will discuss anything with you.

But come up with something like "how do you know you do not know that"...and I am going to treat you the way you are asking to be treated.


Quote:
Quote:
Frank Apisa wrote:

Quote:
Unlike Fresco, I am interested in what your position is. I'm a bit curious.


Really?

You are asking me to explain how I know that I do not know something...and the reason is curiosity!

C'mon. Be real...and I will have a conversation with you. Be absurd...and you will have to find another partner.


Well, I am being real. Since I don't know much about your take on epistemology and your reasons for thinking that time is independent of us, I am indeed curious and interested in what you'd have to say. I already know what Fresco and JLN think, so I would like to know what you think on the subject. That's all.


So...you have read what I have written to you...and have determined that I think time is independent of us.

Curious. A lot more curious than the "curious" you have been talking about.

How about you re-read what I have already written to you...try to comprehend what I have actually written a bit better than you have...and come back with a real question.

Then perhaps we can talk.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 01:53 pm
@Setanta,
No. We are not communicating because your use of the word "hallucination" begs the question of "what reality means", and to me (and Kuhn) that is negotiable. I find accusations about "appeals to authority" totally ridiculous for this level of debate. Nobody is claiming that a celebrated commentator is RIGHT because "rightness" (like hallucination) itself is a concept riddled with naive realism. Citing such commentators, who have had hands on experience of hypothesis testing, is the best we can hope for in illustration of our ideas. More often, it is simply the case the "accuser" hasn't got the brains to understand the point being made.

I am of course prepared to accept that we are all merely involved in a language game in the Wittgenstein sense (more tough reading !), but that can be true of all philosophical discussion. My own interest in this mode of debate is
(in the manner of Wittgenstein) to dissipate "problems" by exposing linguistic cul-de-sacs, rather than to "push" a non-dualistic stance albeit that such a stance could be considered concomitant with psycholinguistic deconstruction.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 02:00 pm
@Ding an Sich,
Good post.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 02:20 pm
@fresco,
It didn't take you long to descend to insulting personal reflection. Calling me accuser and stating that i haven't the brains to understand the nature of your appeals to authority is an act of desperation. You call those claims of authority hypothesis testing, all the while denying the overwhelming evidence of the testing of the isotope decay hypothesis--an hypothesis far, far more tested and demonstrated than the maunderings of your favorite authorities.

Since your civility has fled with the vigor of your rhetoric, the only response you merit is "Sure, Bubba, whatever you say."
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 02:23 pm
@Setanta,
The electron decay of elemental isotopes (EDEI), whatever that means, suggests to me the reality of change and impermance, even within the framework of EDEI. But "over 'time'" is perhaps your conceptual addition to this observed pattern. I don't think the latter is found "all over the planet"*.

* even though you think it should be universal...perhaps as a transcultural "mass hallucination"?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 02:25 pm
@Ding an Sich,
You are engaged in the same process of describing reality of which Fresco is so fond--and as is the case with his rants, the claim is unsubstantiated and does not serve to establish his case simply by being uttered. That there are descriptions of reality, and that they are as closely as we may approximate reality is not evidence that there is no reality independent of the descriptions. Both you and Fresco miserably fail to address the issue i brought up, the decay of isotopes.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 02:30 pm
@JLNobody,
The evidence of isotope decay is indeed found all over the planet. It's hardly my fault, nor any interest of mine, that you fail to understand that.

A crucial dating method is potassium-argon decay measurement. Perhaps you would be interested in reading about it. Then again, maybe not.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 02:33 pm
@fresco,
Damn it , Fresco, don't be so uncivil.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 02:34 pm
@Setanta,
Not my problem if you think "one with no brains" refers to you ! Mr. Green

BTW If you don't understand where Heisenberg was coming from, try your own comfort zone of history. Consider the question of whether Henry VIII was really married to Anne Boleyn. From this you might appreciate the problematic "nature of reality of electrons" as illustrated by Heisenberg.
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 02:53 pm
@fresco,
Quote:
I am of course prepared to accept that we are all merely involved in a language game in the Wittgenstein sense (more tough reading !), but that can be true of all philosophical discussion.


But when this game is used to make an invidious comparison, "tough reading" being a claim to superior intelligence over those who prefer easy reading, it is obviously suspect as an unsupported claim to dignity and honour unlike that of Horatio who held the bridge.

There is a market for incomprehensible literature catering for those who feel that their general excellence requires them to engage with it as a mark of personal distinction. Hence their regular name dropping in conversation.

So what was that bugger Wittgenstein up to fresco? Indian carpets in words?

Reading is an exploration of the mind of the writer. When writing one is placing oneself upon a psychiatric couch. In the last analysis everything we do is the same but creative writing is, I think, I'm not absolutely sure mind you, in a dimension where higher fees are endemic. I use "endemic" advisedly in the sense of a biological manifestation.

Was ol' Witty taking the piss and to carry it off without tittering had to train his facial muscles to look profound, cheerless and depressing and could only afford to relax them in the bath where he could involuntarily urinate without causing trouble.



Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 03:01 pm
@fresco,
Wonderful weasel work there, but hardly convincing. J. B. Bury, when commencing his tenure as Regius professor of history at Cambridge said: "History is a science, no less and no more." I have never agreed with that, it's utter nonsense. History is a rhetorical exercise, involving forensic investigation, much as a district attorney, or a Queen's counsel supposedly investigates an allegation of crime before proceeding to a prosecution. The historian may rely, and in fact, had better rely, on other disciplines, especially in the sciences--just as a prosecutor or a defense attorney will rely on expert witnesses. But that doesn't make an historian a scientist, nor history a science. Just as the prosecutor or defense attorney intends to convince a judge or a jury of the rectitude of his position, so an historian hopes to convince the reader--the more so if he is an academic intending to make a reputation with other academics.

Whether or not Henry was really married to Anne Boleyn, or rather, arguing the point, were an exercise in futility. To the extent that he was the self-declared head of the Church of England, his supporters could claim he was. Furthermore, there would be no more of hypocrisy in the claim than that exhibited by his detractors. Marriage, especially in the bejeweled classes, is an institution to secure and preserve rights in property. When King Louis and the Duke of Aquitaine married off his daughter Eleanor to the Dauphin, it required a papal dispensation because of consanguinity. When they had grown heartily sick and tired of one another, and she had given him no male heirs, the then Pope obligingly annulled the marriage--the grounds? Consanguinity. Thereafter, she married Henry Plantagenet, soon to be King Henry II of England. As she was a closer cousin to him than she had been to Louis of France, they required a papal dispensation, which was cheerfully given. (No money changed hands . . . no, no really . . . i swear to god!)

A genuine historian would have little interest in the question of whether or not Henry was really married to Anne--it's the kind of thing amateurs would argue about. It is not relevant, either, because what was important was that he claimed to be, and put away his former wife Catherine. (Henry was cleverer than other people in such situations--as Catherine had been married to his elder brother Arthur, who died before Henry VII, poor sod, Henry claimed that it was a violation of a biblical injunction to have married her.)

I don't sweat the small **** when it comes to history, to use a crude but wonderfully descriptive phrase from the American language.

By the way, that ought to read Heisenberg's problem with the description of electrons as a part of reality. It's amazingly hilarious how you deny everyone else's descriptions of reality, while treating your dogma as though it were self-evident truth.
 

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