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  1. 1 point
    Introduction: By "epiphenomenonal" I do not mean those perfectly valid descriptions appropriate to the context of physics and biology to articulate those phenomena which can be termed non-primary insofar as their effects are correlated with some relevant primary effects, but are not suspected to be their cause (see: Epiphenomenon subsections "Medicine" and "Electromagnetism"). Instead I mean the usage common to materialist theories of mind, i.e. the doctrine that consciousness exists, but is fundamentally acausal in the physical sense (as though there could exist some rupture between physicality and causality). In this sense consciousness does not affect the brain in any meaningful way, but is "epiphenomenal" - an illusory and metaphysically impotent byproduct of our third-person ontology. Argument: "Epiphenomenon" in this sense is an anti-concept, and more specifically, a stolen concept. When speaking to the referents of the concept of "nothing" in the appendix to Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Ayn Rand describes such negative concepts as "purely relative". She remarks later on that "[n]on-existence - apart from what it is that doesn't exist - is an impossible concept. It's a hole - a literal blank, a zero". In our case of the concept "epiphenomenon", the relative distinction has been collapsed - the referent in question is both "non existent" and the "what it is". The omissions relevant to the formation of the concept "nothing" are the totality of the measurements belonging to the existents whose absence is being signified. The omissions relevant to the the formation of the concept "being" are the the totality of the measurements of the measurements belonging to the existents whose existence is being signified. In collapsing the just-mentioned distinction, the measurements and the measurement's measurements become one, absolving the relative character needed to produce anything of sense about an absence of being. This "sense" derives from the existent (read: causal) nature of all productions of knowledge and principles known. Put very simply, the attribution of acausality contradicts the requirements of knowing an existent to attribute. The absoluteness of reality and the principle of no metaphysical hierarchies guarantees the nonexistence of any gradations of existence, including the gradations of existence relative to putatively known existents. Conclusion: The adjectival form of "epiphenomenon" common to those materialist fetishizations of the human mind's nonexistence is an anti-concept, and just another poor way (albeit a fashionable one) of attempting to side-step the axiom of consciousness.
  2. 1 point
    New Buddha, I sincerely apologize concerning ad hominem attacks. I try to delete them when I proofread my comments, but some do get through, based on emotions I feel at the moment. Notice also, although that doesn't excuse me one bit, that they are indirect attacks. I would never directly attack anyone on this forum! Yes, there is also a contradiction on my part (based also on emotions, rather than proper reasoning). When you brought up LQG I was a bit surprised because I've never heard about it before, and since I disagreed with the Atomic article I decided to attack the theory too, not realizing that my disagreement was with its philosophy, not science, of this particular writer. (It's funny, though, that he also confuses philosophy with science, as in his book on Anaximander.) In any case, we should stick to philosophy here, as I am not a professional scientist, just an amateur like Peikoff is. The 'deception' part is a rhetorical tactic I've used too often, so I will try to hold off on that. I respect Peikoff greatly (much more so than Rovelli), and when the contradiction was obvious I hated attacking him. I am also surprised that Lee Smolin "approved" of Harriman's book (that's indeed quite a shift in the scientific community if that is indeed so!), as I didn't grasp that from your previous comment. Could you reference exactly the "approval"? Only a posteriori as an explanation, yes, as happens in M-theory (necessitating the presence of gravity by the structure of strings). In any case, as I quoted from Wikipedia, gravity is added after quantum evidence was coded into strings. Yes, and here I once again refer to string theory. Notice that Einstein's and Hawking's original explanations (equations, descriptions) had nothing to do with actual quanta. The idea that information is not lost in black holes and that holographic principle is fruitful in understanding them comes from Leonard Susskind, one of co-founders of string theory (and the principle exponent, I would say). In the Diagram I've added him as an integrator of a completely new kind, undiscovered yet by Peikoff or any of Objectivists. But seeing that someone on this forum is actually approving of him is another great surprise (of today)!
  3. 1 point
    Actual usage of quantum gravity from literally today. https://www.ibm.com/blogs/research/2017/07/scientists-observe-gravitational-anomaly-on-earth/
  4. 1 point
    No a theory of quantum gravity must exist. Explaining the physics of black holes would be impossible without it. Way too many explanations pop out of the equations, things like the holographic principle or bouncing branes causing the phase transition that we today see as "The Big Bang", etc., that it is virtually certain that we on the right track with M- theory. I'm an Objectivist and also certain that the various Objectivist intellectuals who attempt to shoot down string theory are always attacking a straw man that they simply don't understand while taking an extremely rationalist view point regarding physics that doesn't jive with reality at high energies.