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Thoughts on an article on the concept "universe"? by Alex S.

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There is no such thing as ether, and the analogy to air is completely wrong;

"Ether" is used to describe the currently NOT identified/specified thing/substance/whathaveyou which composes what we currently label 'space' or 'empty space'. Unless you are suggesting that there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in this - but that nothing can somehow act as if it were something and transmit energy and matter through the nothing (ie - violate the law of identity) - then your claim that there is no such thing as 'ether' is unsupported. Hmm - come to think of it, you DIDN'T support it. And you didn't support the assertion that the analogy was wrong either.

Oh - and if you DO suggest that it can violate the law of identity, thus invalidating the law, then there is no further means of rational discussion with you. Why? Because reason RESTS on logic - on non-contradiction - ie adherence to the law of identity. If you claim that to be invalid, you necessarily claim there is no means of either grasping reality nor communicating about that reality. In fact, you claim there IS no reality (because for a thing to exist, it must HAVE identity). As such you LITERALLY leave NOTHING to talk about.

As to the caps, they are my "bold". Live with it - or don't read the posts.

--

Renee

Concerning your status as a student of objectivism: you and GC do NOT seem alike. You apparently seek to understand that which confuses you. He seeks to contradict that which he disagrees with. They are completely different approaches. Your approach is that of the student. His is not.

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The universe is acausal, literally: the concept "cause" does not and cannot apply to it, in the same way "time", "location", "size", etc. cannot.

I am having a problem integrating the objectivist concept 'universe' more specifically how time and size relate to it. If I am threadjacking, notify me, and I will start a new one.

First, let me define how I understand the concept of 'universe' as it pertains to Objectivism:

The universe is the sum of all that exists, the universe is finite, yet temporally and spacially unbounded. The universe is without cause.

Here is my objection:

The universe is a collective noun that I interpret as the total sum of matter and energy that exists, whatever its form (e.g.- Galaxies, stars, planets, etc.). As we all know, the total sum of matter and energy in the universe is constant, but it may change between these two as long as the total is constant.

Atoms have always existed. This is compliant with conservation of mass stating that matter cannot be created nor destroyed it only changes forms.

One second of time is defined today as x vibrations of a Cesium-133 atom. If Cs-133 atoms have always existed, then so has this vibration. Therefore, the second has always existed. Leading me to the erroneous conclusion of infinite time. This is where I am stuck, since objectivism teaches that metaphysical-infinities do not exist (what about epistemological infinites? Or is this subdividing the infinity category unnecessarily? I'm thinking mathematical infinities here...)

Also, the fact that atoms possess spacial boundaries, therefore it is reasonable to assume that anything made of matter will possess spacial boundaries. Energy to my knowledge does not possess spacial boundaries, but exists. If some entities in the universe possess spacial boundaries then the universe itself must possess some spacial boundaries. My understanding of the term universe allows me to substitute 'all the matter and energy in existence in what every form' for 'universe'. Since universe is a collective noun. Either way, I am lead to one conclusion, that the universe is both spacially and temporally bounded, the fact that this disagrees with objectivism troubles me.

When I analyze the Objectivist concept of 'Universe'. They seem to treat it as its own entity, ignoring its parts. They say that there is nothing to compare the movement of the universe as a whole to anything else outside the universe therefore time does not apply. My Cesium atom objection above cannot be reconciled with this. The Cs atom vibrates and its electrons are in motion relative to the nucleus... which implies again infinite time or at least infinite vibrations.

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RedCap, the concept of ether contradicts reality. Galileo and Newton should have realized the fact, as should have all the scientists up until Einstein's time. Soon after Einstein introduced Special Relativity, two scientists decided to try discovering the "ether drift" ... and what they got was a null answer. The Michaelson-Morley experiment is the definitive, classical, textbook experiment disqualifying the existence of "ether". To shock you a bit further, there is no such thing as "absolute position". Saying something like "I am x feet away from the center of the universe is incorrect. There is no center to the universe, and the concept of position only exists when speaking in relation to a specific frame of reference. Furthermore, the same thing can be said of velocity. Michaelson and Morley were attempting to find the absolute velocity of the ether, ie the velocity at which the ether is moving in relation to the universe itself. They did not get an answer to their question; what they got was no velocity at all: not zero velocity, but none at all. Velocity (speed) is again only valid in relation to some specific frame of reference. There is no ether, and there is no universal position or speed. There is nothing in empty space, and there is no way to tell your velocity relative to nonexistent ether or to space itself. The analogy to air was wrong for precicely the reason cited above: you can feel an "air drift" or wind; but there is no experiment you can possibly set up which will yield a valid measurement for "ether drift". So now I've supported everything you wanted me to.

I'm not sure how you bring the law of identity into play here. Let's say that the universe were in fact composed of an ether continuum. In that case, it would be composed of an infinite amount of energy (or information) - and not only that, but the second order of infinity, or Alpha One = 2 ^ Infinity. Infinite energy ... define that.

Either reality contradicts the law of identity - or you are using it incorrectly. "Things are what they are; A is A" means the question, "how do you know that table isn't really a table, maybe it's a lamppost?!" is invalid. It's tied to humans gaining knowledge, not what actually exists. The law of identity means you can't claim that the real essence of "table" will be forever hidden from you because it's in a world of "things as they are", or that the real essence of "spirit" is unknowable because it belongs to the spiritual realm and not to physical existence. If you construe it to mean empty space really isn't empty space, you are misusing it.

I'm not sure I understand the "rationalist" mentality of opposition to a hundred years of solid science. Perhaps, it is the same reason nobody had understood it since the dawn of time. What humans can sense and perceive without external tools and a rigorous mathematical framework is only an approximation of actual reality. Newtonian kinematics (laws of motion) were an approximation of Relativistic kinematics where all velocities are significantly less than 1 (the speed of light), and Newtonian geometry (Euclidean) was an approximation of Relativity's geometry, and particles and waves were an approximation of the wave/particle duality QM, and on and on. However, science has progressed beyond the approximation.

Lastly, on the net, caps conventionally represents volume, regardless of what you personally mean. A better idea would be to perfect your writing style so that caps become unnecessary. Better to say what you mean than simply to shout - or whatever you mean by caps. As you can tell, since I had to read your post to respond, I am living with it. For personal welfare, though, actual communication of one's ideas is slightly better than a big loud grunt. Nevertheless, if you feel that your stlye lets you say all that you mean to, that your sentence structure already emphasizes all the words that your caps do, caps (and bold) are completely extraneous and in fact make it harder to understand. Good communication interspersed with big loud grunts isn't as good as without. However you write, though, I'll still live with it.

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TR, what of the big bang - is that not a beginning?

Not necessarily a beginning of time, no. We don't know what, if anything, happened before the big bang. (and we cannot know, so there is no real point in speculating. Even most cosmologists agree about that.)

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"Ether" is used to describe the currently NOT identified/specified thing/substance/whathaveyou which composes what we currently label 'space' or 'empty space'.

Renee

Concerning your status as a student of objectivism: you and GC do NOT seem alike. You apparently seek to understand that which confuses you. He seeks to contradict that which he disagrees with. They are completely different approaches. Your approach is that of the student. His is not.

RadCap:

It's obvious from context that y_feldblum is not seeking to evade the law of identity. The term "ether" has a very specific meaning in the history of science, nand under that meaning it has been shown not to exist (the Michelson-Morley experiment) For Piekoff to use "ether" to mean something quite different from its original meaning is very confusing.

As for me, I asked what I thought was a legitimate question about what appeared to be a contradiction in Objectivist political theory. Instead of just answering it, you bombarded me with a series of questions that would supposedly help me answer my query. In fact, they do not. I have answered all your questions and discovered that I am not any closer to an answer. Also, I was not constantly "changing my premises" as you accused me; my position was quite consistent thoughout the discussion; you just didn't understand it. If you have an answer to my question, I would genuinely like to hear it.

Again I point out your attack on Grant in the same thread. As with y_feldblum, it was clear from context that he was not making a major error, just that he did not understand a particular point. Instead of explaining it, you attacked him, as you are doing to y_feldblum and myself. You have a very bad habit of assuming that any statement that contains an error is an indication of fundamental moral or philosophical error instead of just incomplete understanding. If you want to refuse to deal with people like me because of that, that's your problem, not ours.

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I posted this in another thread, but now have concluded that it deserves its own...

I am having a problem integrating the objectivist concept 'universe' more specifically how time and size relate to it. If I am threadjacking, notify me, and I will start a new one.

First, let me define how I understand the concept of 'universe' as it pertains to Objectivism:

The universe is the sum of all that exists, the universe is finite, yet temporally and spacially unbounded. The universe is without cause.

Here is my objection:

The universe is a collective noun that I interpret as the total sum of matter and energy that exists, whatever its form (e.g.- Galaxies, stars, planets, etc.). As we all know, the total sum of matter and energy in the universe is constant, but it may change between these two as long as the total is constant.

Atoms have always existed. This is compliant with conservation of mass stating that matter cannot be created nor destroyed it only changes forms.

One second of time is defined today as x vibrations of a Cesium-133 atom. If Cs-133 atoms have always existed, then so has this vibration. Therefore, the second has always existed. Leading me to the erroneous conclusion of infinite time. This is where I am stuck, since objectivism teaches that metaphysical-infinities do not exist (what about epistemological infinites? Or is this subdividing the infinity category unnecessarily? I'm thinking mathematical infinities here...)

Also, the fact that atoms possess spacial boundaries, therefore it is reasonable to assume that anything made of matter will possess spacial boundaries. Energy to my knowledge does not possess spacial boundaries, but exists. If some entities in the universe possess spacial boundaries then the universe itself must possess some spacial boundaries. My understanding of the term universe allows me to substitute 'all the matter and energy in existence in what every form' for 'universe'. Since universe is a collective noun. Either way, I am lead to one conclusion, that the universe is both spacially and temporally bounded, the fact that this disagrees with objectivism troubles me.

When I analyze the Objectivist concept of 'Universe'. They seem to treat it as its own entity, ignoring its parts. They say that there is nothing to compare the movement of the universe as a whole to anything else outside the universe therefore time does not apply. My Cesium atom objection above cannot be reconciled with this. The Cs atom vibrates and its electrons are in motion relative to the nucleus... which implies again infinite time or at least infinite vibrations.

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Atoms have always existed.  This is compliant with conservation of mass stating that matter cannot be created nor destroyed it only changes forms.

One second of time is defined today as x vibrations of a Cesium-133 atom.  If Cs-133 atoms have always existed, then so has this vibration.  Therefore, the second has always existed.

DAC, I don't fully understand your post, but let me address these points and maybe that will help.

Atoms have not always existed. They formed from smaller particles some short time after the big bang. Also, it's matter and energy combined that are conserved, not just matter. Matter can be converted into energy (as in the sun or a nuclear power plant) and vice versa.

Cs atoms are used to define "second" but that does not mean that Cs atoms create time or that time is dependent on the existence of Cs atoms. Cs atoms are just a convenient measuring device.

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hmmm .... we may end up discussing the same ideas in 2 different threads, which would be confusing. Here is the reply I posted in the other thread:

DAC, I don't fully understand your post, but let me address these points and maybe that will help.

Atoms have not always existed. They formed from smaller particles some short time after the big bang. Also, it's matter and energy combined that are conserved, not just matter. Matter can be converted into energy (as in the sun or a nuclear power plant) and vice versa.

Cs atoms are used to define "second" but that does not mean that Cs atoms create time or that time is dependent on the existence of Cs atoms. Cs atoms are just a convenient measuring device.

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DAC,

The concept of "fundamental unit of time" has existed as long as the universe has. In fact, the fundamental units of length, acceleration, mass, and energy are all derived from this fundamental unit. Cesium-133 is only our (roundabout) method of counting, though it is very accurate as far as it goes in our approximately inertial frame of reference.

Spacetime (zeroth dimension of time plus three dimensions space) is itself a property of the universe. We don't talk about "things inside the universe expanding" - we talk about "expanding universe". The universe was once a singularity, a point with no length or width, and no time. The universe is indeed temporally and spacially bound. A straight line from infinity to infinity in spacially unbound, but an expanding circle is bound spacially and temporally; same in 2d with an infinite plane and an expanding sphere. (If you think I'm making this up, (a) the Hubble Constant is the rate at which the universe, physical existence at all, is expanding like a hypersphere, and (B) Einstein initially thought his equations were wrong too; he lied initially to cover up the fact but soon regretted it.) You can in fact travel infinitely in any direction, though, just as you can travel infinitely around the Earth. Perhaps in an alternate reality things might have been different, the universe would not be curved, it would have existed forever, and it would be unbounded by space and time; but such is not the fact of our existence. Universe to me connotes physics, spacetime, and the sum total of mass/energy within spacetime.

Atoms and all particles are not exactly spacially bound; in fact, one speaks more of a "particle cloud" than the particle itself. A particle cloud is the conception of a probability spread. Technically, atoms in your body have probability spreads that include my body. Things are in fact fuzzy. Objectivists probably don't like it because they don't like fuzzy moral/metaphysical realities, but that's just how it is.

Energy exists, like matter, only in the form of wave-particles. The photon is a wave-particle; and heat is a higher frequency excitation of a wave-particle. Re spacial boundaries, don't confuse spacetime with matter/energy. General Relativity (geometry) and Quantum Mechanics (wave-particles) are different theories.

For anyone who cares, it is up to us to integrate Objectivist philosophy with scientific reality; don't let us default on that. What Objectivism currently says about the physical laws of existence aren't nearly as binding as what science reports them to be.

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Note, this was copied from that other thread (see the first post). Reply to this topic here.

DAC,

The concept of "fundamental unit of time" has existed as long as the universe has. In fact, the fundamental units of length, acceleration, mass, and energy are all derived from this fundamental unit. Cesium-133 is only our (roundabout) method of counting, though it is very accurate as far as it goes in our approximately inertial frame of reference.

Spacetime (zeroth dimension of time plus three dimensions space) is itself a property of the universe. We don't talk about "things inside the universe expanding" - we talk about "expanding universe". The universe was once a singularity, a point with no length or width, and no time. The universe is indeed temporally and spacially bound. A straight line from infinity to infinity in spacially unbound, but an expanding circle is bound spacially and temporally; same in 2d with an infinite plane and an expanding sphere. (If you think I'm making this up, (a) the Hubble Constant is the rate at which the universe, physical existence at all, is expanding like a hypersphere, and (B) Einstein initially thought his equations were wrong too; he lied initially to cover up the fact but soon regretted it.) You can in fact travel infinitely in any direction, though, just as you can travel infinitely around the Earth. Perhaps in an alternate reality things might have been different, the universe would not be curved, it would have existed forever, and it would be unbounded by space and time; but such is not the fact of our existence. Universe to me connotes physics, spacetime, and the sum total of mass/energy within spacetime.

Atoms and all particles are not exactly spacially bound; in fact, one speaks more of a "particle cloud" than the particle itself. A particle cloud is the conception of a probability spread. Technically, atoms in your body have probability spreads that include my body. Things are in fact fuzzy. Objectivists probably don't like it because they don't like fuzzy moral/metaphysical realities, but that's just how it is.

Energy exists, like matter, only in the form of wave-particles. The photon is a wave-particle; and heat is a higher frequency excitation of a wave-particle. Re spacial boundaries, don't confuse spacetime with matter/energy. General Relativity (geometry) and Quantum Mechanics (wave-particles) are different theories.

For anyone who cares, it is up to us to integrate Objectivist philosophy with scientific reality; don't let us default on that. What Objectivism currently says about the physical laws of existence aren't nearly as binding as what science reports them to be.

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My understanding of the article above is this:

The universe is spacially and temporally unbounded

There is no circular space or time

The universe is finite (i.e.- possesses identity)

Time can only be applied to entities that have a duration characteristic with a beginning and an end.

Size can only be applied to entities that have a finite spacial extension.

The universe is 'out-of-time', or time does not apply to the universe as a whole...

Basically this is treating the universe as one entity, without reference to the fact that the concept 'universe' is a collective noun used to denote 'the sum of all that exists (many entities)'. My question is: What is the nature of all that exists? It is matter and energy in many different forms. What are the properties of matter and energy? Because spacial and temporal characteristics apply to these entities. Therefore they must apply to the universe as a whole (used in the collective sense). Put another way if the matter and energy possess attributes, some of which may be spacial or temporal, how is it that the universe cannot, when the universe is nothing more than a shorthand way of saying 'all that exists'. The universe is a collective noun, not a concrete entity in it own right. NaCl is its own entity, with its own properties, that differ from its constituent atoms (e.g.- Sodium is explosive in water, Chlorine is a poisonous gas... Put them together and you have salt... A requirement for human survival). The universe is not like this, it is a shorthand concept, not a new concrete entity. No one can point to the universe and say there it is. It is grasped conceptually not ostensively.

Does anyone have any particlular disagreement with the logic in my first post? I believe I am defining the concept of universe to be in agreement with Objectivism. But in thinking it through. I arrive at a different conclusion than Mr. Silverman, or more importantly Ms. Rand and Mr. Binswanger. I believe that y_feldblum does not agree with the objectivist view of the nature of the universe (as possessing no temporal or spacial extension) and I have to say that I am leaning that direction as no satisfactory answers are forthcoming. But in the interest of understanding, I must acknowledge the possibility of my error and ask any who are interest to throughly read both my first post above and the article I linked to and offer any insight they deem helpful.

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If science bases its answers on contradictions to the law of identity and flows from a Primacy of Conciousness philosophy - NO, you don't.

Time is a relationship, not a dimension.

Identity is non contradictory. A cannot also be non-A. As such, the identification of a thing as BOTH a wave AND a particle is invalid, just as is the concept "round square". The inability to EXPLAIN obeservations does not give license to violate this law - which is where philosophy comes BEFORE physics - or any other science. Philosophy identifies the framework in which any and all sciences MUST operated. It identifies the realm of the "valid". And contradiction is NOT valid.

There have been theories which explain QM and its "oddities" (supposed non-causality, the identification of wave/particles, etc) without violating the laws of identity (Lewis Little's "Theory of Elementary Waves" for one).

To accept such violations is to accept the irrational - and, as I said previously, places you outside the realm of rational discussion.

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I can't disagree with your understanding of the article (partially since I don't fully understand it myself).

The article has plenty of flaws though. "The universe" can mean different things to different people and in different contexts, so we must be clear here. There are three keys ideas: the laws of physics, existence (spacetime, its shape etc), and the sum total of information (ie energy/matter, wave-particles). Depending on the context, the universe may or may not be its own concrete entity. It may sometimes refer only to the sum total of information, or sometimes it may refer to spacetime and the laws of physics. Spacial and temporal characteristics apply differently to information than to existence.

The model of the universe I tend to agree with is what I know from modern science, eg GR and QM (and it's not all that much, really, just a couple fundamentals and a tiny fraction of the math). If Ayn Rand and most Objectivists disagree with it, one can't consider it a fault of Objectivism but only of metaphysically inclined students without the heads for tensor calculus and observervation-dependent results (and stop fleeing in terror).

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It's obvious from context that y_feldblum is not seeking to evade the law of identity. The term "ether" has a very specific meaning in the history of science, nand under that meaning it has been shown not to exist (the Michelson-Morley experiment) For Piekoff to use "ether"  to mean something quite different from its original meaning is very confusing.

As for me, I asked what I thought was a legitimate question about what appeared to be a contradiction in Objectivist political theory. Instead of just answering it, you bombarded me with a series of questions that would supposedly help me answer my query. In fact, they do not. I have answered all your questions and discovered that I am not any closer to an answer. Also, I was not constantly "changing my premises" as you accused me; my position was quite consistent thoughout the discussion; you just didn't understand it. If you have an answer to my question, I would genuinely like to hear it.

Again I point out your attack on Grant in the same thread. As with y_feldblum, it was clear from context that he was not making a major error, just that he did not understand a particular point. Instead of explaining it, you attacked him, as you are doing to y_feldblum and myself. You have a very bad habit of assuming that any statement that contains an error is an indication of fundamental moral or philosophical error instead of just incomplete understanding. If you want to refuse to deal with people like me because of that, that's your problem, not ours.

GC

Actually the concept "ether" has been around for a much longer time than the concept refered to in the aforementioned experiment. And I defined it quite specifically in my post. Of course that definition was IGNORED (neither corrected nor recognized) and instead a different definition was used and shot down.

That is a classic straw man argument.

As to the rest of his arguments here (THROUGHOUT the forum), they are NOT based on "incomplete understanding". They are based on CONTRADICTORY premises which lead to the acceptance of irrational theories.

Finally, your TREND in personal attacks continues - as does your attempt to REWRITE reality. I *specifically* and EXPLICITLY removed myself from a conversation in which you could NOT keep your premises from shifting moment to moment (and which you EXPLICITLY admitted - and were even called on by OTHER moderators here). Yet you persist in trying to bring me back into it - ie to get me to sanction your irrationality. As I have already stated, I will NOT do that. FURTHERMORE, you claim that my responses to you were attacks ON you, and you use Grant as a corroberating example. Considering he was tossed from the forum for his IRRATIONAL behavior by ANOTHER moderator, this comparison simply demonstrates the lie of your claim - AND throws your position into even worse light.

At this point I want nothing more to do with your continued irrationality. And for reasons I have already explicitly stated here and elsewhere, I am going to recommend your removal as well. Ash etc are a more forgiving lot, but I do NOT suffer fools lightly - especially when they attack me and misrepresent both themselves AND me.

--

y

Concerning the law of identity, not only have I used it correctly but I must disagree with ALL you said on the subject matter. Based on your responses, I have to assume you have NOT read the objectivist lit on the subject of existence, identity, and consciousness (which makes one wonder why you post on an objectivist site). If you have, your posts do not show an understanding of those concepts whatsoever - especially as they are applied beyond philosophy.

Identity IS "tied" to what "actually" exists. And the law of identity does NOT allow nothingness to have properties (like the ability to transmit energy or matter, etc). In fact, it does not allow nothingness at all. The law of identity dictates that SOMETHING exists there. The ONLY question is WHAT that something IS - ie what its SPECIFIC identity consists of. To assert that nothingness exists is a contradiction. To assert that nothingness has properties is a contradiction. etc etc etc.

THIS is why there is opposition to "one hundred years" of physics. Because it is based on FLAWED philosophy. The opposition you claim is "rationalistic" is not to the observational science which has been done (at least not those that follow proper scientific proceedure), but to the philosophical basis upon which explanations FOR those observations have been drawn. It is the CONCLUSIONS drawn on the basis of non-causality, on Primacy of Consciousness, and the allowance of contradiction which are opposed.

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I don't understand the logic. Why not say, "The universe is a collective noun denoting the sum of existents; existents have location; the universe must have a location." There are some concepts that are applicable to existents in relation to one another that are not applicable to all existents as such. Among them are size, time, cause, and, as Silverman brilliantly points out, quantity.

It is precisely the universe's nature as a collective noun that strips it of these attributes. What is applicable to a single Cesium atom is not applicable to existence as such. Size is the boundary of one entity in relation to others. Time is the motion of entities in relation to each other. Etc. When you consider things as a total sum, these concepts cease to be applicable. "Vibrations of a cesium atom" designates a change in position of the cesium atom in regard to other entities. All entities, considered as a collective noun, cannot change in position relative to all non-entities. The concept "time" isn't applicable.

Also, as a side note, the universe is not just matter and energy; the sum of all existents includes mental existents as well, which are non-physical.

Edited by softwareNerd
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RedCap, stop kidding yourself. What famous and accepted and radically new scientific theories has Ayn Rand proposed?

It is a fallacy to dismiss the modern science with a wave of the magic "A is A" wand. I've said before, "A is A" applies to the person, not the thing being understood. "Things are what they are" - and that leads us to Newtonian Kinematics, class, so please take out your notebooks and pencils and take notes. No. "Things are what they are" - so you cannot dismiss the fact that I'm typing at a thing called a "computer" with the wave of the magical mystical wand, chanting "no, it's really a box with fancy pushbuttons that don't do anything, but there's this pink elephant in the sky that's watching you and is making things appear on the screen based on what you do, but sometimes he'll get pissed at you for no reason and show you something he likes to call the blue screen of death and nothing else until you push the button on the box marked restart." Understood? "A is A" dismissed Plato and Kant; it doesn't dismiss modern science, no matter how weird to your normal mode of thinking it may seem at first. You have a very peculiar understanding of the law of identity; and it's demonstrably peculiar since it excludes science as we know it.

Time is a dimension more basic than the spacial three. Time and space are completely intertwined - and this is verifiable experimentally - such that time is the same kind of thing as space: if space is a dimension so is time, and if space is a relation then so is time. We all know space is a dimension.

Your rejection of the wave-particle duality is reminiscent of the debate that began before Newton, which one light was. The answer is, your understanding of the world is mistaken, not physics. Because you are evolved for the macroscale, where the distinction is impossibly blurred, where things appear particles and oscillations appear waves but nothing appears both, does not change that which is readily observable under an electron microscope: particles are waves and waves are particles. Light behaves as both - you can do the experiments yourself - and the results that you obtain (one position excluding the other) are entirely dependent on what you are looking for. If you are looking for waves, you will find that your experiments tell you, light behaves like and is composed of electromagnetic waves. If you are looking for particles, you will find that your experiments tell you, light behaves like and is composed of independent photons. Whether or not fact meshes with your macroscopic understanding does not change fact. And your "theories" - there are theories for everything, but give me solid proof. We have the experiments for QM, now where are they, undisputed, for your theories?

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It is precisely the universe's nature as a collective noun that strips it of these attributes.

I understand this. This is symantecs. The question is that if all matter and energy (I include consciousness in energy) exist and have properties, some of which are spacial and/or temporal, how is it that the parts say nothing about the whole? Yes, I agree that there is nothing to compare the motion of everything to. But I do not believe this means the universe (i.e.- the sum of all that exists) is not temporally or spacially bounded. The universe is the matter and energy that makes it up (assuming all that exists are matter, energy, or combinations of the two). Matter and Energy have always existed finitely, according to Objectivism and science. If this is true, then the individual matter and energy particles, waves, etc. have always existed and if these possess temporal (e.g.- The electron is in motion relative to the nucleus) or spacial (e.g.- The 'electron cloud' posited earlier) boundaries then the universe (i.e.- The sum of matter and energy) possesses temporal and spacial bondaries. In other words: The sum of all that exists has always existed as matter and energy varying in different amounts in each existent. Therefore, in the frame of reference of the universe as a whole time does not exist, but the whole cannot contradict the parts when it is a collective noun. It is not a new entity. From the frame of reference of an atom, time has always existed because the atom has always been in motion. I think 'time' may not be the concept I am looking for to describe this.

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Redcap,

"Ether" is used to describe the currently NOT identified/specified thing/substance/whathaveyou which composes what we currently label 'space' or 'empty space'.

That seems to be precisely the hundred-year-old scientific description of ether, the definition I was using, and (I'm only guessing) the definition you were using. Nobody then knew what ether was, nobody knew its properties, nobody could identify it or specify it, nobody could classify it. It was simply an unidentified what-have-you for all anybody could tell. That, and it's a concept completely shot down by hard evidence. No such kind of thing exists.

"The law of identity does not allow nothingness" - really? If so, can you tell me what there is between the electrons and the nucleus of a carbon atom? How is it we can move through whatever this thing is? How is it that something can exist - displacing ether or coexisting? Since your only question is, what is the ether that you just know exists (mysticism), please answer it, because nobody else can.

Scientists have so far discovered not a single law, not a single equation dealing with any ether. Their premise is that empty space is empty, and so far that premise has proved true wherever there is empty space to test it, your own misused law of identity notwithstanding.

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LOL

You want me to identify that which I already stated was not identified. Can we say contradiction? This is exactly what I was talking about. By accepting a philosophy which allows contradiction you necessarily end up rejecting all logic - including such simple logic as that.

(Your demand for identification simply hearkens back to the "air" analogy I gave previously. It is identical to the ancient greek demand to specify WHAT exists between us - ie to identify the specific components of air - with the petulent assertion that if that ancient greek cannot identify those components, then air simply does not exist. That there is instead NOTHINGNESS - void - and yet *somehow* SOMETHING can move THROUGH that nothingness. All very contradictory. All very old. And all very DISPROVEN.)

The point is, I do not NEED to specifically identify this thing - or things - (nor, as you well know, do I - OR YOU - have the necessary scientific training or equipment TO identify them, which makes your request AT BEST specious). I ONLY need to point out that claims to the contrary CONTRADICT the law of identity. So it is up to you to either PROVE the law of identity is invalid (an impossibility since proof REQIRES identity) or to reject the conclusions which contradict that law.

Its quite simple really.

Given your previous posts - and your labeling of the law of identity (the source of the knowledge that nothingness cannot exist) as MYSTICISM (!), I believe I already know which you will choose - which is why I am now forced to repeat myself and say you have placed yourself BEYOND rational discussion.

All of this simply confirms my suspicions that you have either not read - or not grasped - the philosophic basis of objectivism - especially when it comes to the axioms: existence, identity, and consciousness. If you wish to continue posting on a site devoted TO objectivism, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the concepts and the premises behind them. I suggest a couple readings:

Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (refered to as OPAR) by Dr. Leonard Peikoff

and

Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology by Ayn Rand

I also suggest listening to the lecture series by Harriman entitled: "The Philosophic Corruption of Physics"

(Oh - and if you TRULY want an answer to some of your physics questions, I suggest reading Dr. Lewis' aforementioned theory as well.)

Until then, all we have from you is one big, complex floating abstraction - based ultimately upon the Primacy of Consciousness philosophy. And that philosophy is NOT valid.

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Matter and Energy have always existed finitely, according to Objectivism and science. If this is true, then the individual matter and energy particles, waves, etc. have always existed and if these possess temporal (e.g.- The electron is in motion relative to the nucleus) or spacial (e.g.- The 'electron cloud' posited earlier) boundaries then the universe (i.e.- The sum of matter and energy) possesses temporal and spacial bondaries.

This just doesn't follow. Even if all parts of the universe possess spatial and temporal bounderies, it does not automatically follow that the universe does too. There is no law of logic that says that attributes of parts are transferred to attributes of the whole. The cells in my body have the attribute of being able to undergo mitosis. I do not. If I split a uranium atom, a nuclear explosion will occur. If a split a hunk of uranium in half, it will not.

Your objection seems to be that the universe is different from these cases because it is not a new entity in the same way my analogies are. But in the sense relavent, the universe is a "new" entity; it is different from each of its component parts.

Maybe "sum" is throwing you off. I don't think it's a great word. "Universe" is all existents; it is not their "sum", whatever that would literally mean.

Maybe this will help. "Universe" is one of several synonyms for "existence", and as such has no normal definition. You can only reiterate it, which is what "the sum of all existents" is meant to do. "The universe is all existents" just means "Existence is existence." (Existent is defined as a "piece" or narrowing of existence.)

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