Tag Archives: objectivity

Vodcast Episode One: The Cause of Modern Physics is Philosophy

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Today we are going over quotes that help to show that the cause of the irrationality in modern physics is philosophy.

Click here to download the PDF transcript or read below the video.

You may also listen to or download an audio only version above.

[Note: Please note that this transcript may not exactly match the audio. However, there should be no significant differences.]

Intro

Metaphysics of Physics is the crucial voice of reason in the philosophy of science, rarely found anywhere else in the world today.

We are equipped with the fundamental principles of a rational philosophy that gives us the edge, may make us misfits in the mainstream sciences but also attracts rational minds.

With this show, we are fighting for a more rational world, mostly by looking through the lens of the philosophy of science.

We raise awareness of issues within the philosophy of science and present alternative and rational approaches.

The irrationality of modern physics is the focus of this channel. We have covered topics such as:

The irrationality of Stephen Hawking.The universe and the Big Bang. The philosophy of Niels Bohr. The achievements of Isaac Newton.Optical illusions and the validity of the senses.

If you think that science is about explaining a knowable reality, then this is the channel for you.

If you want to learn more about the irrationality of modern physics, then you are in the right place.

I am your host Ashna. My husband, Dwayne Davies is the primary content creator and your guide through the hallowed halls of the philosophy of science.

We will discuss the problems in modern physics and more and how we can live in a more rational world!

Check out our website at metaphysicsofphysics.com.

The Show Itself

Hi everyone! Welcome to the first of the Metaphysics of Physics video podcast. Today we are going over quotes that help to show that the cause of the irrationality in modern physics is philosophy.

If you are a long-time fan of Metaphysics of Physics, then you will know that modern physics is full of crazy absurdities. Such as things being particles and waves at the same time. And things not being real unless they are observed. Or the tendency to treat obvious concepts such as that of “dimension” or “time” as though they were physical things. Or that the universe is made from mathematics!

Why do educated people take such nonsense seriously? Is it because reality is as weird as physicists like to believe? And do we just have to accept this?

No! If you examine all these kinds of claims, you will not find any evidence that supports them. All these claims are simply baseless, nonsensical interpretations of experiments and/or mathematical equations. There is never a shred of evidence that supports any of these interpretations.

Ah, but what about all the alleged experimental evidence. Yes, what about it? In no case can it reasonably be interpreted as supporting any such anti-reality position. No experiment ever performed will ever show that reality is not real or that it is unknowable.

If reality was not real, the results of experiments would not be real and they would demonstrate nothing. If reality was unknowable, then you could never learn that by performing experiments that could not reveal that.

Or in other words: you cannot use reality to demonstrate that there is no reality. You cannot claim knowledge that proves that knowledge is impossible.

No experiment will ever show that reality is not real….

Why then do physicists take any of this seriously? It is because of the ideas that physicists have accepted either passively or actively. It is because of the philosophies that those in physics have blindly accepted or have actively embraced. Philosophies which lead them to interpret reality through the twisted lenses of those very philosophies which are hostile to reality and knowledge.

What kind of philosophies might these be? The kind that asserts that what we call reality is an illusion and that we might as well give up trying to understand how it works. Instead, they claim that we should confine ourselves to studying only mathematical appearances. As that is all they believe we shall ever know about.

Today we are going to explore some quotes from physicists. We will start with Niels Bohr and his contemporaries. They started physics down the road of abandoning reality in favor of mathematical appearances. And then we shall turn to more recent physicists who evidently agree with Bohr and his peers.

We shall see that the absurdities of modern physics should come as no surprise. The people inflicting modern physics with these absurdities are simply being consistent with the philosophy of Bohr and the like. The philosophy which dominates science today and which is shaped by the Neo-Kantian philosophies that have dominated our culture for over a hundred years.

Without any further ado, let us look at some of these quotes. And then discuss what kind of philosophical premises motivated them.

“Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.” – Niels Bohr

Bohr believed that we could never know reality as it is. We can merely develop a pragmatic abstract description consistent with what we observe. Which is merely an illusion, not things as they are.

Gee thanks Bohr, thanks for plunging physics into irrationality…

If we cannot know reality, then one might ask “towards what purpose?” do we have science? Creating science-fiction?

That seems rather pointless to me. But pragmatists would assert that there is some use in describing illusions. If they help us live better lives as we navigate our way around all these illusions.

“Isolated material particles are abstractions, their properties being definable and observable only through their interaction with other systems.” – Niels Bohr.

We are to view things such as an “electron” or a “proton” as abstract descriptions. We should not think that we know anything about what they are. No, we are merely creating abstract descriptions. And then identifying relationships between these abstractions.

After all, if we cannot know reality as it is, and all we have are illusions to work with, then should we not at least try to find out how these illusions are connected? At least then we can learn to live in this world of illusions.

“I consider those developments in physics during the last decades which have shown how problematical such concepts as “objective” and “subjective” are, a great liberation of thought.” – Niels Bohr.

Here Bohr exposes his pragmatism. He does not consider it worthwhile to discuss whether the abstractions he holds so dear are “objective” or “subjective”. He is merely concerned with whether they might prove pragmatically useful.

If we cannot know reality, then what use is it to say whether something is objective or subjective? We can never know. We can only know whether abstractions are useful.

A reasonable person might say that abstractions are only useful if they are objective.

Bohr believed that we cannot know whether something is objective or not, so considers it pointless to consider such things.

“We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections.” – Niels Bohr

Bohr enjoyed the fact that so much of the quantum physics he was developing made no sense. He reveled in its frequent contradictions and insisted that different aspects of the same thing could be in a kind of conflict (but were complementary) with each other. Of course, he urged his peers to accept such conflicts!

He was like one of those deranged poets who enjoys constructing rhymes that make no sense. But who nonetheless insists that his poetry is of great depth and significance.

Except he was not merely some poet filling his victim’s ears with an insult to the Muses. He was detaching physics from reality while insisting that physics does not need it. While insisting that instead it needs beautiful descriptions of contradictions!

“There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum physical description. It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about Nature.” – Niels Bohr

That sums it all up. According to Bohr, the point of physics is not to learn about the fundamental nature of the physical world. What then is the point of physics?

According to Bohr, it is about whatever we want to say about reality. Without concerning ourselves with things like objectivity, logic or the true nature of things. It is all about “poetry” and the relationships between meaningless abstractions with no connection to an unknowable reality.

Of course, physics is about explaining the real physical world. But according to Bohr we can not know the real world, let alone explain it!

You can read more about the philosophy of Bohr in episode seven of the podcast. There we cover his philosophy in some depth.

Bohr and his disciples had an enormous influence on physics and later physicists. But he was not the only person to assert such things.

For instance, we have this quote from Werner Heisenberg:

What is Colour? Clearing up Chromatic Confusion.

Introduction

Perhaps one of the oldest philosophical questions goes something like this:

Why are objects the colour they are?

There are three main approaches to this.

  1. To treat colour as a property of the object being observed.
  2. Treat colour as a property of light.
  3. To treat colour as a mode of perception

In the 17th century, Isaac Newton performed a series of brilliant experiments on light. He shone white light through a prism and showed that you can separate it into rays of different coloured light. He took this to mean that colour is an intrinsic property of light.

When combined with his theory of light which treated light as a series of particles, this led him to believe there were different sizes of particles corresponding to different colours.

Blue is the result of particles of a certain size. Red is the result of particles of a different size and so forth.

So, Is Colour in The Light?

This has led many people to conclude that colour is a property intrinsic to light. As though light has a property of “blueness” or “redness”.

Many people still talk as though they believe that colour is a property of light. For instance, when people say something like:

Look at that light, it is blue light.

However, this is not the case. Light does not have a property of “blueness” or “redness” or any other colour. There is no property of light which corresponds directly to colour.

However, there is a property of light which causes the perception of certain colours, as we shall see in a moment.

So, there is no property of colour in light. You can study light all you want; you will not find this property. Suppose you could isolate a single photon and study every aspect of it.

You will never find a quality of “blueness” or “redness”. No matter how hard you look. Nobody ever has and you should not expect anyone to ever do so. So, what does that mean?

Photon
Mind you, modern physics does not have a clue what a photon is. Still, we can be sure it does not have the property “color”.
Creator: Illusterati
Available under a Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Is Colour in the Object?

Prior to the idea that colour is in the light, it was widely believed that colour is “in the object” being perceived. It was believed that apples were red because of some kind of “redness” in the apples.

In other words, an apple appears red because it has some property of redness. The sky appears blue because it has some property of blueness. This view holds that if study the properties of things, you would find a “colour” property or attribute. Or, as though colour is “in the object”.

Many people still seem to think that colour is an attribute or property of an object. You can see this when they say things like:

That apple has a lot of redness in it.

But this is also wrong. Colour is not “in the object” nor is it “in the light”.

No matter how hard you look at apples, you will not find an attribute of “redness”. Nor will you find an attribute of “blueness” in the sky. Color is not in the object.

Colour is a form of perception which depends on the nature of the objects being observed. As well as the nature of the light interacting with the human eye.

Colour is a result of an interaction between the eye and the light being emitted or reflected from the object being observed.

As everyone knows, the eye reacts to light hitting the retina. Now, here is where it gets interesting…

As light behaves like a wave, it has a certain wavelength. The human eye can detect light of wavelengths between about 400 and about 900 nanometres (a nanometre is one-thousandth of a millionth of a metre). So, any light of wavelengths in this range is visible to the human eye.

Human eye
Of course, we are omitting a few details about how vision works. It is a complicated process. For our purposes we can ignore most of the details.

Light does come in other wavelengths outside of this spectrum. But the human eye can really only interact with light in that narrow range of wavelengths.

Of course, light of other wavelengths strikes the eye, however, the eye does not really interact with them in the context of human vision, so we do not need to worry about them.

Before we go any further, what is light? It is electromagnetic radiation.

What is that? It is, simply put, packets of energy that travel through space at “light speed” and which travel in a wave pattern. And since it travels as a wave, all electromagnetic radiation has a wavelength.

What is wavelength? We do not really need to get very technical on this. To put it simply, a wavelength is the distance between “peaks” of a wave.

What is important to grasp is that light comes in different wavelengths. Visible light comes in wavelengths between 400 and 900 nanometres. The electromagnetic waves in this range are the ones which are visible to the human eye.

As you might expect, not all visible light has the same wavelength. Some of it has a wavelength of closer to 400, some will be closer to 900 and some of it will fall in various values in between these.

For instance, light in the range of wavelengths of about 400-450 nanometres causes the perception of the colour violet. Light in the range of 450-485 nanometres causes the perception of the colour blue. And light in the range of 625-740 nanometres causes the perception of the colour red.

Pencil bent in water.

Episode Sixteen – Optical Illusions, Proof of the Validity of the Senses

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Today we are going to discuss the validity of the senses and how optical illusions prove that the senses are valid.

Click here to download the PDF transcript. This episode’s transcript has no illustrations.

Episode Transcript

[Editorial: Please note that this may not exactly match the audio. However, there should be no significant differences. There is also some background thumping in some of the later minutes of the audio. We were unable to remove this. Sorry if this bothers you, but please tolerate it if possible.

The title uses the word “proof”. Note that this is used in the colloquial sense of “an attempt to convince someone of”. The validity of the senses is not really subject to proof. Instead, all proof relies on the validity of the senses.

A better title might have been something like “Demonstration of the Validity of the Senses”.]

Introduction

Metaphysics of Physics is the much needed and crucial voice of reason in the philosophy of science, rarely found anywhere else in the world today. We are equipped with the fundamental principles of a rational philosophy that gives us the edge, may make us misfits in the mainstream sciences but also attracts rational minds to our community.

With this show, we are fighting for a more rational world, mostly by looking through the lens of the philosophy of science. We raise awareness of issues within the philosophy of science and present alternative and rational approaches.

You can find all the episodes, transcripts, subscription options and more on the website at metaphysicsofphysics.com.

Hi everyone! This is episode sixteen of the Metaphysics of Physics podcast and I am Ashna, your host and guide through the hallowed halls of the philosophy of science. Thanks for tuning in!

Today we are going to discuss the validity of the senses and how optical illusions prove that the senses are valid.

Modern philosophers claim that the senses distort the data provided to them. And that as a result, you cannot fully trust your senses.  We shall analyse what the senses are, how they operate, and why this claim is false.

What Are The Senses?

The senses take in inputs and according to their mode of operation, cause the experience of sensations.  For example, human eyesight works by absorbing light, which leads to the sensations of sight.  An aspect of the sensations of sight is colour.

However, dogs and many other animals perceive reality different to humans and other beings that perceive colour. They see the world around them in black, white and shades of grey.

Apes color perception.
Many other apes have tri-chromatic colour perception that humans do.

[Editorial correction: Actually the thing about dogs seeing in black and white is a myth, which we neglected to correct ourselves on. It is now thought that dogs can see in other colors. Granted, a more limited range of colors than humans. But, for the sake of argument and not having to correct the entire article, let us pretend it is true.]

Does this mean that dogs do not see things as they are?  No, their senses are not deceiving them.  Sensory organs are passive; they simply interact with light, sound or other forms of input, respond and send signals. This triggers the last stage of perception, the experience of sensations.

Sensory organs have no power to deceive or to distort their input. They simply receive input and send signals to the brain.  There is no mechanism which they possess which can alter the input. Or by which they can alter the sensations experienced.

Different sensory organs work in different ways, reacting differently to light, sound, touch and so forth.  However, regardless of how your sensory organs react to stimuli, regardless of whatever sensations the organism experiences, reality remains the same.

Your eyes react differently to different wavelengths of light, causing the brain to experience sensations which include various colours.

Dogs are blind to colour, but this only means that their eyes and brain do not react to different wavelengths of light in the same way the eyes and brains of humans and other colour-perceiving organisms do.

What is it that you call “colour”? Is the observed colour in the object? Or is colour a matter of sensation? What do you observe when you experience colour?  You are observing that an entity has properties such that it either emits or reflects light of a certain wavelength.

Are you for instance observing that a blue object has “blueness”?  No, the object does not possess “blueness”. It has such properties that it emits or reflects light of a certain wavelength that causes the sensation “blue” when it reaches our eyes.

Colour is not in the object. Colour is a sensation which is dependent on the visual mode of perception.  Visible objects possess properties which cause the sensations of colour.

Multicolored sky
If the sky has “blueness”, it would be harder to explain why it can be so many different colors at once …

Every organism capable of sensing the world around them has sensory organs that trigger sensations.  The nature of those sensations depends on the nature of the entities observed and how they interact with the sensory organs.

Ah, but a dog sees the world in black and white, and humans see it in colour! Therefore, the vision of a dog is subjective and so is ours.  After all, we know that the world is not black and white, but a world of colours.

Or do we? Perhaps neither are objectively true! Perhaps colour is just in our mind!

These kinds of irrational ideas show why it is important to identify that colour is not in the object, but the result of the means of operation of the sensory organs of certain organisms.

[Editorial: These kinds of irrational ideas also show some of the dangerous conclusions you can reach once you start questioning the validity of the senses.]

The sky has no “blueness”, nor does chocolate have “brownness”. The sky has properties which cause it to scatter light in such a way that, when observed by sensory organisms that respond to different wavelengths of light, cause the organism to experience the sensation of the colour blue.

Chocolate interacts with light in such a manner as to cause such organisms to experience the sensation of some shade of brown.

No matter how hard you look, you will never find “colour” in any object, only properties of the object which cause the object to emit or to reflect light of a certain wavelength.

Sensations are not in the object. The nature of sensations depends on the nature of the entities and how they interact with the sensory organs.

Objects do not possess the innate attributes of “blueness”, “bad odour” or “loudness”.  They possess properties that cause organisms to experience particular sensations when observed by those organisms.

You are receiving sensations based on how your sensory organs operate and the nature of the relevant entities you are observing.

In the case of eye damage such that you experience blurry sensations of sight, your eyes are not distorting reality. You simply experience sensations consistent with your eyes not being able to process light rays properly.

The facts of reality remain constant. Regardless of the facts, your eyes are not able to react to light in the same manner as someone without eye problems.

The fact that sensations can take a different form, depending on the state of operation of the sensory organs, does not mean that the senses are potential agents of distortion.  While they operate at all, sensory organs will trigger whatever sensations their current condition is capable of triggering.

Different organisms might experience different sensations if their sensory organs operate differently.  The fact of differing sensations is not a valid reason to doubt the validity of senses.