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 Subject: Myths of Modern Physics Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2003 17:10:20 -0600 Tony and Michael, Well, the best thing to realize is there are no absolutes, only models.  We do not perceive nature itself, but only an "interaction" where we strip away time and see a single 3-space snapshot.  We do it rapidly, of course, so we see a rapid series of these, like the frames of a movie.  Our continual and rapid recall from memory, and comparison, thus gives us the sense of "motion" and "degree of motion".  But we don't see the 4-spatial moving entity at all, just a series of intersections of it. The problem cannot be solved in Aristotelian logic, with its 3 laws, but requires a 5-law logic.  If we have A and not-A, we put a boundary between them (common Venn diagram method, used in proving logic theorems).  But the boundary (line) between them is happy to be A and not-A at the same time. That violates 3-law Aristotelian logic, but it also eliminates all boundaries.  Hence it would eliminate any ability to see "anything", since a "one-thing" is a bounded thing and now the boundary cannot be there. Aristotelian logic eats itself, by its own rules.  That is solved by the 5-law logic (I put that in the book).  One has to recognize that "perception of identity or nonidentity" involves an algorithm for a decision process, and a decision made as a result of applying the algorithm.  A black marble and a dark red marble look identical to a colorblind person, but to a person who can discriminate color, they are not identical.  Which is correct?  With the information the colorblind person has, he is correct (with his instrumentation system and his algorithm).  With the additional information the person seeing color has, he also is correct (with his instrumentation system and his algorithm).  The point is, the decision algorithm was changed, and the determination of identity or nonidentity results strictly from the algorithm.  We used that sort of thing, together with the observation time for "seeing A" and "seeing another something, to generate the 5-law logic and explain why opposites could be identical in one case, and not identical in another case.  That logic allowed the solutions to many things after that.  Note that the philosophers never solved their own basic problems, because that means they are boundary problems and Aristotelian logic fails at the boundary. Wave-particle duality in physics is an incidence of just such a thing. Physicists did not solve the problem, but just shook hands and agreed to quit arguing.  So if one finds it behaving like a wave, one treats it as a wave.  If one finds it behaving like a particle, one treats it like a particle.  And doesn't sweat the question of  "Is it a wave or a particle?" which is an Aristotelian question that really does not apply to the question being asked. So all we can build is a model, not an absolute theory at all.  Further, all models are imperfect, this we know also (although it's fashionable to lock in on the prevailing model and make it dogma. Godel's theorem (which he proved) also tells us that, regardless of the model and its mathematics, there are always entities etc. in there that will not fit. So that has been rigorously proven.  Even mathematics is a model, and subject to the same law.  It is not absolute, and one of the noted mathematicians -- Morris Kline --- in writing about such things titled his book "Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty".  That book should be required reading for everyone in science and physics (and engineering). So when one gets to the boundary (to the question of is it absolute), one always finds a dichotomy.  E.g., in general relativity, let us do a thought experiment so we can be "perfect" and "very fast".  A special arrow (very fast) can be fired at a human target.  Consider two observers, in different frames.  In one frame, that of the first observer, the arrow strikes the man and kills him.  In the second observer's frame, the arrow has not yet struck the man.  Now suppose there is also a plate right by the targeted man.  The second observer successfully moves the plate in front of the man, so the arrow strikes it and shatters, as seen by him.  Yet the man is already struck and dead to the first observer, and yet he never died to the second observer.  Which is correct?  There really is no fully accepted solution to such problems.  The "which" is an improper question.  The "which" only exists with respect to a THIRD observer, rather omnipotent. This generated the theory of many-universes, where all possibilities are considered to be real, and there are an infinite number of universes.  There is one in which the man was killed, another in which he was not killed, and so on.  But each of those is in a separate universe. In each universe there is no such quandary, but comparison across and between universes presents a quandary. What it means is that each (either-or) question only applies to one world-history.  It does not apply necessarily to another world-history. Something like that is what is in there. Cheers, Tom