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Re: [ontolog-forum] Grand Unified Theories

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Avril Styrman <Avril.Styrman@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 06 Mar 2015 20:59:57 +0200
Message-id: <20150306205957.Horde.PjRnpZtzfARUYZHawb4feg3@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
John, Michael and Rich,    (01)

I bet you don't agree completely, but I hope you agree 95%.    (02)

> Of course there is: 4D-space - usually infinite in all directions if one of
> its roles is to explain the finite 3D-volume. And this notion is quite
> fantastic - so it should better make some equations very elegant to  
> be more justified than the spaghetti monster or the cellular  
> automaton.    (03)

It does make things very easy and that's the reason it is used. Note  
that Einstein
had a _static_ 4D model in mind, but he abandoned it once it was clear that it
is expanding. In DU, the static 4D ball is only transformed into a  
dynamic ball:
that's why it is called the Dynamic Universe model. It is infinite in  
all directions
in the sense that if you could go far enough in any direction, you  
would come back
to where you left.    (04)

> Would an eternal heat death count as nothingness?    (05)

I would not know, but the heat death is not a problem in the bouncing  
Universe scenario.    (06)

> Wouldn't that mean endless repetition (if we only allow finite variation)?
> I cannot see the difference to a finite one-shot.    (07)

Yes, if you suppose finite variation (or qualitative finiteness) and  
finite volume,
then all possibilities have been instantiated in the past infinitely  
many times.
But the selection between qualitative finiteness and qualitative  
infinity is open.    (08)

> There can be a first state but no last state too. Isn't this what  
> people usually assume today?    (09)

Many people do assume that, but that's only the indoctrination of either
the standard model or some religion :) There are four logical combinations    (010)

a. start-end
b. …-end
c. start-…
d. …    (011)

> Actually, there are infinitely many alternatives, which physicists
> have been debating and representing in plausible GUTs with serious
> mathematical foundations.  (That's one reason why I don't get overly
> excited about any particular version.)    (012)

> What would Ockham have said about all those theories!  Since there is no
> deep evidence for any of these theories, we can have infinitely many of them
> so long as there is no way to test them in any depth.  They all explain the
> known evidence, but theorize in untestable new dimensions unrestrainedly.
> Sounds like the global warmers.    (013)

Rich asked the relevant question. What would be the best objective criterion
in selecting between two models whose predictions match the observations
equally accurately? Why not the model with the least sum of ontological
commitments? We do not need to appeal to Ockham, for there is enough evidence
without him.    (014)

Aristotle postulated the principle of economy by saying “those  
[theories] which
are based on fewer principles are more exact than those which include  
principles” (Metaphysics bk.1, ch.1, 982a25-30).    (015)

Newton postulated economy  by saying “We are to admit no more causes  
of natural
things than such as are both true and sufficient” (Principia, 3rd  
edition, bk.3),    (016)

Einstein postulated economy by saying “Make everything as simple as  
possible but not simpler”    (017)

Russell: “if everything in some science can be interpreted without
assuming this or that hypothetical entity, there is no ground for  
assuming it.”    (018)

Mario Bunge: “conceptual entities should not be multiplied in vain. . . but
they should be welcomed whenever they lead either to a deeper  
understanding of reality
or to a syntactical simplification of theories.”    (019)

Sowa himself: I have recommended the “refrigerator principle” about axioms
to include in the core: “When in doubt, throw it out”    (020)

> For example, time is reversible in the basic equations of all the
> major theories.  In principle, time could flow equally well forward
> or backward.  Things may get very weird in some exotic regions of
> black holes or worm holes -- or in the very high-energy domains
> in devices like the Large Hadron Collider.    (021)

In intrinsic time, time is a figure of speech that is used in talking about
the changing space. This can be coupled with figure of speech that any
change takes time forward. Why say that time goes backward?    (022)

No matter what kind of a particular you are talking about, black hole or
not, it is a part of the Universe; if it changes, time changes. No use to
get distracted by concentrating on the exceptionally dense particulars:
no matter how dense, it is still a particular. Then again, the idea about
infinite density is just an unnecessary idealization. Even the proponents
of the standard model agree.    (023)

> One reasonable hypothesis is that time, space, and matter/energy
> are interdependent.  That implies that there is no time or space
> outside the universe.  It's meaningless to ask what came before
> the Big Bang because there is no time or space outside the universe.
> In fact, the phrase 'outside the universe' is itself meaningless.    (024)

You are talking about intrinsic time, but the meaning of 'universe' is
unclear. Saying that there is no time or space outside the universe
allows the universe having inaccessible parts. Naturalism explicitly
rejects the inaccessible parts. Naturalism is the fusion of the causality
principle which states that all parts of the universe are directly or  
causally connected, and the postulate that all that ever exists is a part
of the universe.    (025)

> Furthermore, nobody knows why there should be 3+1 dimensions.
> String theories postulate more dimensions, which are supposedly
> wrapped up in strings that appear as particles in our observable
> dimensions.    (026)

Again, what would be your best objective criterion of selecting between two
models whose predictions match the observations? If the best model
postulates n dimensions, then that's a good reason why there should
be n dimensions. But what is the criterion for the best model?    (027)

> And other physicists postulate a multiverse of an open-ended
> number of universes, of which ours is just one bubble in the froth.
> Fortunately, our universe is just right for us to exist.  Most of
> the others might be so weird that material particles would be so
> unstable that stars, planets, and people could never be formed.    (028)

The multiverse or the pluriverse is just an unnecessary idea:
"But if the entities postulated lie beyond our world, and in addition
have no causal ... connection with it, then the postulation has no
explanatory value." D.M. Armstrong    (029)

In sum, we have contemplated about three ontological commitments.    (030)

1. Intrinsic time
2. Naturalism
3. The cause and the consequence axiom (everything is a cause
of something earlier and a consequence of something later) and the
resulting eternal universe theorem. The alternative is to accept the
special first and last stages, which is disunificatory.    (031)

I would accept 1,2,3, for their alternatives are unnecessary,  
disunificatory or both:    (032)

1'. Time and space are independent from one another
2'. There are transcendent worlds in the multiverse/pluriverse
3'. The Universe is either born out of nothing or will vanish into  
nothingness, or both.    (033)

Accepting 1,2,3 makes life remarkably easier, yet without taking away  
anything that
is required in a methodologically sufficient model.    (034)

What about the 95%?    (035)

Avril    (036)

Ystävällisin terveisin,    (037)

Avril Styrman
puh. +358 40 7000 589    (038)

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