Re: virus: Science and Religion
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 09:18:05 -0500 (CDT)

On Fri, 27 Sep 1996, Steve wrote:

> David Leeper wrote:
> >>Science DIFFERS from religion and mysticism in that it is a proven
> >>functional and predictive process for manipulating ones environment.
> >
> >Religion and mysticism differ from science in that they deal with
> >qualitative and subjective experience and expression. These too, by
> >the way, are powerful tools for manipulating ones environment.
> >
> >> Modern life is circumscribed by our technical achievements.
> >
> >Modern life is also circumscribed by our passion, insainity, cruelity,
> >and bad sit-coms.
> >
> >> What do become Gods?
> >
> >Yes.
> >
> >>I can only report that I have been unable to move dimes by mental >power,
> >
> >Try advertising. Use sex in your commercials.
> What David Leeper is realizing here (but wording differently) is the power
> of desire and the role of choice. Our desires shape the world in ways that
> are far more powerful than any new technology - indeed, new technology is a
> product of desires, and the memes we choose. The type of 'science' I have a
> problem with is one that ignores or trivialises the role of desire. This is
> perhaps the most serious problem with a purely 'objective' science, since
> desire and qualia are subjective and they are causative. Desires and qualia
> motivate us to choose the memes by which cities are built.

This isn't a problem with science; it's a problem with the philosophy
(metaphysics) of its practioners. [Remember, my view of science reduces
to proof by contradiction.]

> Martin Traynor wrote:
> >Right, here goes. I agree that sciences shortcomings in relation to
> >social studies are more to do with practical implementation than with
> >base principles. As such, the example should not have been used to
> >answer the question posed (and after Wade letting me rephrase it,
> >what an ingrate I am ;). It says nothing about any tools that science
> >lacks but about our current inability to use them effectively in that
> >environment. Point withdrawn.
> Wrong. Mainstream science *does* have serious short-comings, because it
> trivializes, if not ignores, the causative, initiating role of desire and
> choice. Mainstream science is woefully inadequate in dealing with social
> studies because it does not have the right tools (though this is easily
> fixed, with the right attitude). Desire and choice are *not* products but
> causes. (Actually, I should clarify - and this *is* important - systems
> theorists and some physicists talk about the notion of 'boot-strapping', the
> implication being that desire is as much a product as it is a cause, but for
> the sake of brevity, I won't get into that on this post.)

In other words, the philosophy of the scientists is preventing them from
using the appropriate tools.

> We need a new approach to science - a paradigm shift, if you will - one that
> recognizes that we are missing a key link, without which we are being held back.
> In some recent studies on consciousness, people are increasingly refering to
> the
> need for a more inter-disciplinary approach, the importance of subjectivity,
> desire, qualia and choice. 'Intentionality' is a word that is often used now
> among scientists studying consciousness. People like David Chalmers are
> looking at the notion of consciousness as an irreducible, basic entity, like
> time and space.

There are some subtle quantum mechanical/General Relativistic effects
here. It is physically demonstratable that making a simple decision
takes about 0.3 seconds, while reaction time can attain 0.1 second.
Also, some recent research [1995 Scientific American] demonstrates that
there is a 0.2 second compensating factor between subjective time and
objective time. The net effect is this, EXPERIMENTALLY!:

Start to react Stimulus Reaction

This is plausible, considering the classical General Relativistic
electron. [I'm working off of 1950's math, HIGHLY UNPOPULAR because of
its implications.] In order to maintain sufficient smoothness on the
electron's motion, it is necessary for the electron to start accelerating
before the electromagnetic forces arrive.

I didn't say "before the change in the A-vector field arrives."
There's a big difference. The A-vector field, which is supposed to create
the electromagnetic field, is more real than they are.

When working electromagnetics problems, the A-vector field solution uses
local data, while the electromagnetic field solution requires global
data. In the current paradigm (insisting on locality), that means the
A-vector field is mathematically more coherent. In particular, an
A-vector field-based solution can be computed in General Relativity,
while an electromagnetic-field based solution is logically problematic,
because it requires some way of dealing with the nonabsolute
simultaneity. [That is, an ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD solution REQUIRES
SPACE-LIKE data to affect the solution! The A-VECTOR FIELD solution
requires ONLY TIME-LIKE data.]

Indeed, it has been experimentally demonstrated that changing the
A-vector field, without measurably changing the electomagnetic field, is
sufficient to cause an acceleration in an (ensemble of) electron(s). In
other words, the hypothesis that the electromagnetic field is
responsible for electromagnetic acceleration gives contrary predictions
to experiment, while the A-vector field hypothesis does NOT.

The catch?
Electomagnetic field: Has been observed and measured.
A-vector field: never observed nor measured.

I.e.: What you can't see [the A-vector field] is more real than what you
can see [the electromagnetic field]. (I'm assuming current
instrumentation, of course!)

Wade, do you have a reaction/response to this?


> John Wheeler, quantum physicist,quoted in the Scientific American some time ago:
> "The most profound lesson of quantum mechanics, he [Wheeler] remarks, is
> that physical phenomena are somehow defined by the questions we ask of them."
> Another physicist:
> "A particle leaves its options open until it is forced to take a route upon
> being observed by an observer."
> Options? The asking of questions? Do these not imply some sort of choice
> process somehow extending even to the matter level?

I have the impression that materialism and the Copenhagen interpretation
do not get along well. A naive reading of the Copehhagen interpretation
outright asserts that observers are immaterial, and not really governed
by Quantum Mechanics.

/ Kenneth Boyd