A friend recently asked: how can we seriously read philosophers from before the 18th century, now that we know of their lack of knowledge regarding the cosmos and the universe? How can we read them and draw any serious conclusions now that we know that they knew almost nothing that we currently do, based on our supreme technology and modern science?
And my answer was: Actually it is only those philosophers whom we need to read! Because their thought was pure and not yet poisoned by the knowledge we think we have.
My friend was stunned. But what about all this knowledge we have amassed?! All the things stubbiness know for the universe? All the things physics knows about the workings of the cosmos? My friend was not the exception. It is really unfortunate that so many people believe that science today has proved things regarding the truth of our cosmos instead of what it is really doing: formulating theories to model the cosmos based on specific unproven assumptions.
But what do I mean by that?
Let’s take for example the field of astronomy and the infamous cosmological principle. This is a principle which governs astronomy today and which in two words holds the belief that the universe is homogenous and isotropic. This principle is based on observations and on this principle many theories are built by modern astronomers.
So far so good, one might say. Except the fact that nothing of the above is true.
So why do we hold that principle? one might ask. The answer to that would be more shocking to someone not acquainted with epistemology: Science continuously used unproven theses as a starting point of theories! This is not bad nor good. It is just the way science works. What is wrong is to take these starting point as “true” even though they never meant to have any relation to what philosophy calls “truth” or “reality”.
Scientific models are just… scientific models!
Think of a glass dropping to the floor for example. This is something we all observe. Let’s now try to formulate a theory to explain this observation. The modern atheist will hold the belief that the explanation of why the glass is dropping to the floor is something “objective” and based on “facts” and data. But he would be wrong. For the observational data is just… observational data. The theory to interpret that data is something else. And for the glass dropping to the floor we have many!
Ancient Greeks thought perhaps that Zeus made the glass drop. Then came Newtown. And we explained the observation with the help of an invisible all existing field called gravitational field. And then Einstein changed everything and now we have not a field but curved spacetime!
Same observation, three different theories!
But are those theories equally valid? And do they all adhere to the data equally successfully?
The answer is yes, if we wish so! Even the theory which wants Zeus to bring the glass down to earth can be formulated in such a way that there is full compliance with the observational data in hand. (E.g. by starting that Zeus makes the glass fall with an acceleration equal to g) In the same way the theory of Newton can be also as accurate as the latest theory of Einstein if we make it so. The problem is that scientists rarely tend to update the details of old theories, so people tend to believe that these theories were abandoned because they were less accurate. A grave misunderstanding which is based on the arrogant ideas that we know more than the people before us. And yet the ancient Greeks could easily predict celestial phenomena centuries in the future even while believing that the gods were moving the planets in the celestial sphere…
To the modern atheist all this is crazy of course.
People who believe in scientism today can hear nothing which could refute their perfect idea of science as a method to reach the “truth”. Not even Godel could change their mind.
Going back to the cosmological principle, today’s believers (in science and scientism) truly believe that this is a fact we hold true on the basis of observations. My friend and his friends could not even consider an alternative. So here we are. Men who do not know if Mars had water, but who do know with certainty that the whole universe is isotropic and homogenous! It would be comical if not so terribly arrogant…
At the end it is not a matter of data or knowledge. It is a matter of the ability to think freely without just following what others say.
Today’s atheists and proponents of scientism would be the greatest followers of the institutional church during the middle ages. Because what makes them blind today is not a lack of knowledge for something specific, but the arrogance of a man who does not want to admit that others might be able to see things clearer than him. These people would follow the Pope in whatever he said, in the same way they now follow the opinion of the majority regarding the truth of science.
The same people would swear that you can only draw one parallel from a straight line.
They would argue fiercely in favor of the fifth axiom of Euclid and would mock anyone trying to attempt to utter a different opinion.
At the end, we will discover if Mars has water…
At the end, we will “know” that no parallel lines can be drawn…
At the end we will draw multiple parallel lines…
Do you see?
There is nothing there.
Except for the things you see…
In physics, the conundrum known as the “few-body problem,” how three or more interacting particles behave, has bedeviled scientists for centuries. Equations that describe the physics of few-body systems are usually unsolvable and the methods used to find solutions are unstable. There aren’t many equations that can probe the wide spectrum of possible few-particle dynamics. A new family of mathematical models for mixtures of quantum particles could help light the way.
“These mathematical models of interacting quantum particles are like lanterns, or islands of simplicity in a sea of complexity and possible dynamics”, said Nathan Harshman, American University associate professor of physics and an expert in symmetry and quantum mechanics, who along with his peers created the new models. “They give us something to grip onto to explore the surrounding chaos”. The work was published in Physical Letters X.
The researchers’ key insight is using a simple case and start working in abstract, higher dimensions. For example, the equation describing four quantum particles in one dimension is mathematically equivalent to the equation describing one particle in four dimensions. Each position of this fictional single particle corresponds to a specific arrangement of the four real particles. The breakthrough is to use these mathematical results about symmetry to find new, solvable few-body systems, Harshman explained. By moving particles to a higher dimensional space and choosing the right coordinates, some symmetries become more obvious and more useful.
Coxeter models, as Harshman calls these symmetric, few-body systems, named for the mathematician H.S.M. Coxeter, can be defined for any number of particles. So far, only rarely do solvable few-body systems have experimental applications. What comes next is to implement the Coxeter models in a lab to help unravel some of the most complex concepts in physics, like quantum entanglement. (1)
We cannot solve even simple equations.
And yet we believe we can describe how the planets move.
We cannot understand how four particles behave.
And yet we believe we can know how the cosmos was created.
For a short period of time it seems that we can.
And yet, one minor detail…
One minor change…
And everything goes into chaos.
No, you cannot understand anything.
Unless you give up trying to understand and be part of everything.
Only when you stop trying to be the mirror, do you realize you are the reflection…
The value of sanitation at reducing child mortality in many low income countries has been substantially underestimated according to recent research.
A study by Prof Paul Hunter from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Dr Annette Prüss-Ustün from The World Health Organization concludes that vital health benefits of access to sanitation facilities such as latrines will only be seen once a certain level of coverage across a community is achieved.
Prof Hunter said: “The provision of sanitation is undoubtedly one of the most important public health advances of recent times, and has become a key objective in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. However recent trials of sanitation interventions have failed to demonstrate a significant reduction in rates of childhood diarrhoea, one of the biggest killers of children under two years old”.
The study suggests that the health benefits from better sanitation differ from other similar public health interventions such as improved drinking water in that the benefit is for the community not the individual user. Prof Hunter warns that other studies into the impact of sanitation that focus only on individuals’ use of improved facilities rather than the wider community coverage, are likely to severely underestimate the impact of better sanitation.
“Improved sanitation appears to be one of the most effective way to reducing childhood mortality from conditions like diarrhoea”, said Prof Hunter, “but only if high levels of community coverage are achieved. (1)
Is this medicine?
No. It is common logic.
Is it high end technological progress?
No. It is something even “primitive” people know when living in small tribes.
We fancy looking ourselves as progressed and yet all of our civilization is based on overestimated tools which offer nothing more than the obvious. And sometimes they even hide it from clear view. We all believe that medicine saves lives through complicated high-end innovations. But it is the simple things which make the difference. Things so simple as “clean up this shit”…
In what’s being hailed as a scientific first, researchers in Scotland have created a fully functional organ from scratch inside the body of a living animal. (1)
Well, because scientists keep making the same claims over and over again, I am oblidged to make the same clarifications over and over again…
It is in the form of an anecdote I have written so many times:
God sits on the sky when a scientist appears and says to Him “God we do not need you anymore. Finally science has managed to create life from nothing. In other words we can do what you did in the Beginning” “Really? Please tell me!” answers God “Well, we take dirt and we shape it like You did, then we give life to it like You did and there we have a human” “Very interesting, show me how…” Then the scientist takes dirt and starts forming the shape of a human body “No, no” answers God “take your own dirt!”
Επανάληψις μήτηρ πάσης μαθήσεως! (Repetition is the mother of all learning)