Archive for the category “physics”

Is Dark Matter a Glimpse of a Deeper Level of Reality?

Is Dark Matter a Glimpse of a Deeper Level of Reality?

Something that’s been going through my mind lately, for around 4 or 5 months, with all the talk by determinists, is that it is premature to start saying we know everything about physics. It just strikes me that this is similar to about 120 years ago when some held the view that physics was complete, and all that was left to do were ever finer measuring of everything discovered.

This article at Scientific American explains recent attempts to theorize matters of space and time in ways that are outside the bounds of our minds to truly understand, such as time being an emergent property of a deeper reality, and even more bizarre things.

An example is made of dark matter, which does not seem t abide by the known properties of matter, and mention is made of MOND and other incomplete, but situationaly explanatory,  hypothesis and theories like Superstring.

It starts out by revisiting a 2 year old paper that was initially viewed with great scepticism, but has seen a resurgence of discussion lately:

Two years ago several of my Sci Am colleagues and I had an intense email exchange over a period of weeks, trying to figure out what to make of a new paper by string theorist Erik Verlinde. I don’t think I’ve ever been so flummoxed by physicists’ reactions to a paper. Mathematically it could hardly have been simpler—the level of middle-school algebra for the most part. Logically and physically, it was a head-hurter. I couldn’t decide whether it was profound or trite. The theorists we consulted said they couldn’t follow it, which we took as a polite way of saying that their colleague had gone off the deep end. Some physics bloggers came out and called Verlinde a crackpot.

There is the matter(lol) of dark matter and energy, and now speculation about what black holes really are:

In that case, black holes represent a new phase of matter. Outside the hole, the universe’s “degrees of freedom”—all that its most fundamental building blocks are capable of—are in a low-energy state, forming what you might think of as a crystal, with a fixed, regular arrangement we perceive as the spacetime continuum. But inside the hole, conditions become so extreme that the continuum breaks apart. “You can make spacetime melt,” Verlinde told me. “This is really where spacetime ends. To understand what goes on, you need to use these underlying degrees of freedom.” Those degrees of freedom cannot be thought of as existing in one place or another. They transcend space. Their true venue is a ginormous abstract realm of possibilities—in the jargon, a “phase space” commensurate with their almost unimaginably rich repertoire of behaviors.

As I have recently read, the question of Quantum effects being relevant in our brains with the knowledge, now, of a deep structure of nanotubes that may have functional components in the overall operation of neurons that we haven’t considered before, there is very much unknown regarding how the brain functions. There is Gödel’s proof that no purely deterministic system, such as a computer, can have consciousness. There is the inability to explain what ideas and our sensory perceptions really are by any stretch of ‘known’ physics, that determinist’s insist is irrelevant (even Gödel concludes this, though), with which I have serious reservations about right from the get go.

Much to boggle the mind these days, in any event!

I have to start recording my thoughts I post elsewhere

I seem to be coming up with all sorts of thinking and ways of expressing my disagreement with the philosophical idea that free will is highly unlikely, if not impossible, and is only a self perceived illusion.
At the Mind Hacks blog, one such discussion is taking place. I responded to a particularly dogmatic ‘free will denialist’ thus:

Posted January Posted January 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

Mason Kelsey said:

Once again, any first year philosophy undergraduate knows you cannot prove a negative, that is you cannot prove something doesn’t exist, if it doesn’t exist.

Wrong. Fail. You’re saying that I cannot prove that, for instance, that our eyes don’t emit light if they don’t emit light? Or because you can’t prove our thoughts don’t exist, therefore they don’t exist?

You are nothing but a fallacy. You equate generalities with specifics. You are saying that if something doesn’t exist, it can’t be proved so.

Some negatives are unprovable, and from that you get all negatives are unprovable.

Mason Kelsey also said:

Requiring a complete understanding of consciousness in order to debunk free will is like requiring a chemist to have a complete understanding of molecular orbital theory in order to debunk phlogiston.

But you do need and understanding of the chemistry – These are often divided into bonding orbitals, anti-bonding orbitals, and non-bonding orbitals. A molecular orbital is merely a Schrödinger orbital that includes several, but often only two nuclei. If this orbital is of type in which the electron(s) in the orbital have a higher probability of being between nuclei than elsewhere, the orbital will be a bonding orbita – to show how burning occurs, and you do indeed need quantum mechanics to calculate why these reactions are exothermic.

To restate your analogy correctly, you actually do have to understand the intermediary process between air + fuel, and combustion. You have to have precise measurements of the originating constituents, then the sequence of exothermic chemical reactions between a fuel and an oxidant accompanied by the production of heat and conversion of chemical species, and then a minutely detailed analysis of the products.

All you have, Brian, as a starting principle, is a general macroscopic approximation of the brain, and you have zero measurement or even an wild guess as to the resulting product, cognition.

Our mind is completely beyond explanation given your general parameters, yet you are 100% confident that an apparent property(free will) of the product(mind) is inconsistent.

I got news for you: the product itself(mind) is inconsistent with your starting conditions, so unless you have the slightest idea, or even then wildest and most capricious guess, as to what our mind is, then you can hardly claim to know that part of the product(mind) is an invalid illusion(e.g. that free will is false).

Tell me where this illusion is, what is its functionality and purpose?

Why is it necessary? I mean, your whole process of step by step transformation, from physically describable system(brain) -> unknown phenomenal manifestation(mind), breaks down/fails. You don’t know what our mind is, let alone if it is an artifact or not.

You are assuming an entirely presumptuous position by positing a direct cause-effect relationship when you don’t know what the effect is, certainly not in the same manner as your causative agent.

Your theory is inconsistent because you cannot equivalently describe both sides of the equation.

You see, this is a proper analogy: 1 + 1(brain) = մեկ գումարած մեկ(mind). The product is gibberish in terms of the initial statement – a mathematical relationship.

If your complete understanding of reality can be described with just english and math (and that’s not far from the truth), then you don’t know if ‘մեկ գումարած մեկ’ makes sense, let alone if it is true or not.

I leave it you to find out if it is true, but keep in mind you know that both sides of the equations are similar in ways that our physical brains and our awareness of cognition are not. Basically, if instead of using ‘մեկ գումարած մեկ’ for the answer, and instead tried to explain what I am seeing inside my head for an answer(the color reddish ultraviolet, combined with a strange smell), that would be more completely analogous with your physics leading to phenomena description of the cause and effect relationship between our brains and our cognitive process.

Here’s a thought: What if there is no Higgs particle? That would mean that the Standard Model(key word: model) of reality/nature is at least badly incorrect, if not completely wrong.
And then we’ll revisit the ‘brain/illusion of will’ duality you expound.

I don’t have the patience to go through every incongruency you express, so let’s just stick with one simple question: what are qualia composed of?

Everything else is a red herring, a false equivalence, bullshit

Physicists: Universe Almost Certainly Not a Hologram | Wired Science |

Physicists: Universe Almost Certainly Not a Hologram

via Physicists: Universe Almost Certainly Not a Hologram | Wired Science |


I knew it!  The Planck units always bothered me as they indicated quantized units of spaces and time. So this article was looking for limits:

Craig Hogan’s experiments with two of the world’s most precise clocks, which he was using to try and confirm the existence of Planck unit

Read the rest at

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